21 finished objects: 13 hats, 2 sweaters, 2 scarves, 1 cowl, 1 pair of mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 toy. a slightly ridiculous amount of hats. an unprecedented amount of sweaters. 1,561 yards, though that is a very approximate conjecture. as opposed to last years 16 finished objects: 4 cowls, 4 hats, 2 mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of legwarmers, 1 camisole, 1 sweater, 1 baby blanket. so less diversity than last year, but more FO’s.
goals for 2012:
publish one pattern
knit one sweater (doesn’t have to be for me!)
finish 20 knits
knit for pleasure
go back to spinning. maybe 6 skeins?
welp. i failed at a few of those. no patterns published, as i never could choose one to start pursuing! and i didn’t spin 6 skeins, though i did actually start making headway on that goal! i think i got 2 skeins spun up? but the balance on my spinning wheel got a little wonky, and i still need to get that looked at.
but i accomplished more goals than not! 21 FO’s, one more than i hoped for! 2 sweaters! knitting for pleasure and knitting selfishly. this was kind of a big deal for me. in 2012 i experienced a bit of… knitting malaise. primarily due to taking on projects i did not have enough interest in. so i tried to be more careful about the projects i took on this year. i tried to make sure that even when i was knitting for others, that i was making choices consistent with what i wanted to be making. and it worked out! i’m still knitting a little less than i used to. but my peak was when i spent a minimum of 10 hours on a train every week. i don’t commute by train anymore. and now that i’m more active in the producing of PoPS, i don’t know that i can expect my output to equal those heights. and that’s okay. it’s just an adjustment.
this next year:
– de-stash. i want to have a stash that inspires me, not weighs me down. i don’t mind how i de-stash. it doesn’t all need to be knit up, i can donate, gift away, whatever. right now my ravelry stash claims i have 93 yarns in my stash. let’s aim for… 85 by next year? i would also like it all to fit in the closet i have allocated for it.
– try a new technique. i made a toy for the first time this year! one of the things i love love love about having knitting as my favorite hobby is that there are always new ways to challenge yourself, to learn more. if there’s a ceiling to what you can know about knitting, i’ve never glimpsed it! that said, i certainly can get sucked into remaining in my comfort zone. so this year, i want to make sure there’s at least one adventure! maybe brioche stitch? i’ve never done that. or stranded colorwork with more than 2 colors per row? maybe it’s time to get over my intarsia aversion?
– work from some new designers. while i was doing the round up, i realized how many designers i admire but haven’t knit from! so i’d like to try at least one design by joji and alicia. i’ve admired both of their styles for quite a long time now, but never made anything they’ve designed!
and i’m keeping the following:
– knit 20 objects. this is just a goal, not a resolution. i’d be happy with less, if they were a little larger in scope this next year.
– keep spinning. i was really loving getting back to it before i got interrupted.
i think that’s plenty to accomplish, honestly! i wouldn’t mind publishing another pattern, but i’m still not sure which one to pursue, so i’m not going to toss it on the official list. what did you knit this year? which was your favorite project? are you making any goals for the new year?
pattern: margaret dashwood shawl by joanna johnson
yarn: ursula’s alcove kettle sock, a gift from the lovely chronographia and her mother, 560 yards (512 meters)
needles: US size 5 (3.75mm), both because ursula’s cove is a tad lighter than the suggested loft, but also because i tend to prefer a slightly firmer stitch.
i fell in love with this pattern the moment i saw it. i’m sure you are all aware by now what a fan i am of jane austen, and period pieces. i also love historical fashion, and the sweet old-fashioned quality of this, while simultaneously transforming easily to the contemporary fashion. for a related post, i bow to the superior scholarship of kate, who recently published a pattern for a similar garment, though the knitting style is quite different: sontag.
this was my on-the-go project for several months. it lends itself well to this, being garter stitch based, one skein, easily memorized repeats. but it stayed in my purse, only to be taken out while waiting for things to happen, or long conversations, so it took awhile to complete it.
when i first began to knit, i was stuck for a very very long time on garter stitch before i really branched out. this had a bit of a whiplash effect once i did branch out, and i disliked garter stitch for feeling rather unrefined, implying a time when i did not know anything else. it took awhile, but i’ve come back around to being fond of it. now i perceive it as a really ‘handknit’ aesthetic.
how about you? any knitting qualities or stitches you stay away from? or have come around to? any strong feeling about garter specifically?
i’ve been reading north and south by elizabeth gaskell. i watched the mini series a few weeks ago on the suggestion of a friend, and fell in love with it. it took me a bit of hunting to get a copy in my hands, but i’ve been tearing through it at a pretty good pace.
i’ve been working on a test knit of sierpinski’s hat.
and i started margaret dashwood’s shawl the other night while watching game of thrones (season two). i’ve been enamored of this pattern since it was first released, so i’m hoping the end result will live up to my expectations.
other than that, i’m recovering from being ill. today is the first day i have really started to feel better. the world always seems extra cheerful and wonderful the first day after being ill, don’t you think?
she got her package (a while ago, actually… i’m a little behind in my blogging) so now i can tell you guys all about what i made for her!
FO: rosy fingered dawn <– ravelry project page
named after homer’s usual description of eos, goddess of dawn, in the odyssey.
pattern: a mash-up of annis and echo flower shawl
yarn: madelinetosh dk in molly ringwald (isn’t that a great name for this sweet pink?), exactly two skeins. i think i had maybe 5 feet of yarn left after binding off this shawl. approximately 450 yards.
needles: US size 9 (5.5mm)
mods: well, obviously, this is true to neither pattern. when i saw elven‘s lothlorien, i just fell head over heels in love with it. so i used the same mods: the crescent shaping and length of annis, and the last two lace charts of echo flower.
it took me a few tries to get the crescent shape where i wanted it to be. in case you guys are trying to do something similar, i added an additional 6 stitches to each row, in the usual manner of the annis shaping, and that got me a gently curved edge that i like. this is such a great, versatile shape. i can imagine picking practically any lace edging from a stitch dictionary and applying it to this shape and having a satisfying result.
it’s neither here nor there, but when it came time to do my nupps, i got over-excited and made bobbles instead for the entirety of the first row (40 total, i think?). only to facepalm when it came time to purl back. ^_^ ah, well. one row ain’t so terrible.
this is probably the most color accurate. i loved the quiet peachy tones, but you gotta get right up in the shawls business to see them. they remind me of the color of the inside of a seashell.
the echo flower shawl had a bind off that i hadn’t seen used before, which doubled the yarn and had the knitter purling the bind-off row. if the shawl was knit up in a thinner yarn, lace or fingering weight, and were a low or loose ply, i think this would have the effect of weighing down the edging, and helping it to drape better. i’m not convinced that it will have the same effect with madelinetosh dk, which is sturdy, stout, and tightly plied. but i gave it a go, if for no other reason than novelty.
images of kessa are from her blog, and used with her permission. if you wanna check out what else she got in her package, she blogged it, which is good, considering i totally forgot to document it. ^_^ thanks, kessa!
j. crew gingham shirt thrifted belt target grey skirt, ballet flats
i always forget that i actually really like november. when the trees first go bare, i love looking at the shapes they make in the sky, and the cold weather is more fresh and new than frigid and overlong.
i’ve been on a quest recently for the perfect shade of nude nail polish (still pursuing this). i was really excited about trying this shade, but less so once it was on. the sparkles helped quite a lot though. my quest might… still… be… on? i’m not sure really. i like having ridiculous little quests, though. so, if this does end up being the right shade, i’ll need a new one…
i saw this bridge while i was taking the outfit pictures, but it was a little inaccessible. i’ll try to get to it in the future though!
since it’s been a really long time since i last showed you any kind of knitting, how about a wip pic?
i started this stockholm scarf (yeah, another one) on our trip to england, and it’s been my carry-around knit ever since, getting a few minutes of attention here… and then a few more minutes a couple days later… the yarn is actually from a thrifted sweater, so it’s all ramen-noodle-looking. i’m kind of excited to see the big transformation at the end, when i block it out all proper like. at the rate i’ve been knitting it, i might finish the cowl before the new year.
i finished this cowl… a little while ago now. sometimes i am a bad blogger, what can i say?
but let me tell you a story! it starts with this yarn, four(ish) skeins of which were gifted to me several years ago:
this colorway? not so much for me. but, oh, if you could feel this yarn! (it’s 70% angora, 25% merino, and 5% nylon) you would understand why i couldn’t give it away. so it stayed, languishing in my stash, uninspiring to look at but so so divinely soft…
and then last autumn, i was overdying a pair of jeans (still need to do round two with those!) and i stuck this yarn in, because a dunk to darken it up & mute the colors a little definitely couldn’t hurt it in my estimation!
and then it only took me practically a year to start knitting up the intended project! for an eliza timeline, that actually isn’t too bad…
stockholm cowl <– ravelry project page
i knit this up pretty verbatim to the pattern. i followed the notes to knit it up seamless and in the round. this pattern is fantastic! it is the perfect mix of easy to memorize and interesting to knit.
and then, of course, there was the drama of tearing a hole in it while it was blocking. but it’s all fixed and done now! huzzah!
FO: zig und zag cowl <– ravelry project page
this cowl turned out much smaller than i had anticipated. it was clearly noted in the pattern that it would be smaller than the cowl shown, but because i was a test knitter, i didn’t have any project pages to browse to find out what size it would be. i followed the directions dutifully, and added a little length by doing a few repeats of the first chart when it became clear that i would need a little more length.
if i were to remake the cowl, however, i would follow the directions for the larger cowl, as i like the look of it a little better.
i used the same trick for colorwork kitchener for this cowl as i did on the triangle loop, where i did more of a duplicate stitch version of kitchener into the top side of the row, as opposed to the proper kitchener, which goes into the bottom of the row, but means that the colorwork would line up a little wonky. my version does create a little bit of excess bulk, though less than a 3 needle bind off, or a regular bind off with additional seaming to join it.
does that make sense? did i explain that well enough? is this something that would warrant a tutorial? or, conversely, is there a better way to do this?