Feb 13, 2015

The Long Haul

It's already mid-February and deep winter around here yet I have no big projects on my needles.  I think it's time to remedy that this weekend while we anticipate another few inches of snow and very chilly temperatures.

Looking around for just the right project reminded me that we knitters sometimes need instant gratification projects and sometimes toothy, commitment ones.  Should I tackle some fair isle colorwork?  A cabled pullover?  or maybe an intricate hat?  I just know that I want to have to work hard, pay attention, and push my brain to do some somersaults.


As I thought more about this new yet-to-be identified knitting project last night, I couldn't help but compare it to what I'm reading right now.  I've been wanting to read Anna Karenina for years ... probably since my college days ... and decided that now is the time! I went to my new local bookstore last weekend and happily found a lovely edition.

I'm completely swept up into the world of 19th century Russia and the lives of Anna, Vronsky, et al. This weekend will be spent alternating between my knitting and my reading (no, I haven't figured out how to do both just yet), and in my opinion, the only way to get through the rest of this winter!

Jan 7, 2015

The Word

So many of you are blogging or posting about your word for the new year, and it got me thinking about what my word is.  I have many wishes and desires for 2015, many that I think I will be able to accomplish, but the one concept or word that is foremost on my mind is Stash.  I know, how appropriate, right?

But I don't mean stash as a verb such as to stash more, but rather, stash as a noun such as to use and rely on my stash of all kinds.  As I get older, I find myself desiring less rather than more and this got me looking at everything I already have.  Sure, my jeans are five years old but they still fit; my boots aren't as shiny as when they were new but I've got miles left to walk in them; and my yarn stash is still as plentiful and enticing as ever.


There's no doubt that focusing on and using my stashes of things has an added economic benefit, but I see my new-found commitment as a way to keep the clutter down both physically and mentally. As you can see, I cast on my first pair of socks for 2015 with some very old Regia self-striping yarn that was hiding at the bottom of my stash.  I needed some new wool socks and now I'll have a cozy new pair without spending an (extra) dime. And while I will be adding this pair of socks to my dresser, my yarn stash will be just a little lighter.  Win-win, as they say!

Dec 19, 2014

Magical

Sometimes, I can't help but feel that knitting is like magic.  When you combine the right yarn with the right pattern, some type of fairy dust must hover over the project and create something like this.


This is the Riverton Cowl which needs only one skein, but I highly recommend that you pick a yarn that has a lot of loft as the stitch pattern really enhances a fiber such as alpaca or cashmere.  I knit mine in Juniper Moon's Herriot which is 100% alpaca and 100% scrumptious.  This is my first time knitting with any JM yarn and it certainly won't be my last.

Another project that seems to be made from magic dust is a 2x ribbed beanie which I cast on the other night for my girl.


I love that she still asks for knitted gifts and even though it's only days away from Christmas, I'm determined to finish this up over the weekend.  I'm totally improvising here ... I decided to go top-down and am winging the increases and ribbing as I go along.  It seems to be working (keep your fingers crossed), and I am absolutely loving knitting with Woolfolk's Tynd.  Talk about dreamy!

And if I don't seem to have enough on my needles, let's not forget my hubby's pullover that I'm desperately trying to finish by the 25th.  I'm knitting this in Malabrigo Rios ~ another dreamy yarn. Heck, I can't complain ~ all these yarns are such pleasures to knit with. Hope you're enjoying all your gift-knitting this year, too!



Nov 24, 2014

Stranded

I'm taking a page from my friend Michelle who is letting her gift knitting this year just happen.  I love that concept ~ you know, simply free to be inspired by whatever comes my way. I haven't made any solid plans for knitting gifts this season; rather, my thoughts about casting on presents for knitworthy loved ones hinges on feeling excited and letting the finished object tell me who it should go to.  Yes, I believe that my knitted objects sometimes tell me such things.

So, over the weekend, I came across the most adorable motif of a reindeer's head and as I've always wanted to try my hand at stranded knitting, I grabbed my circular needles and two balls of worsted weight yarn, and dove right in.


I posted my work-in-progress on Instagram and got the nicest feedback (thanks Gail, LibbyBonnieKelly, and my sister Esther! Kelly asked if I was hooked, and I can't even describe how utterly obsessed I am now that I've conquered a technique that I've been thinking about for so long. You see, I've always been an English knitter although I've secretly wished to master continental knitting, too.  So, when I decided to give this hat design a try, I put the main color yarn on my right side and the contrasting color on my left and voila, I became an ambidextrous wiz!


Needless to say, my Saturday afternoon was completely eye-opening and I reveled in my new-found skill.  In fact, I seriously couldn't put my needles down and finished my hat in a record two hours (thanks to this podcast).


You probably can't tell but this hat is child-size being blocked on my hubby's adult-size head!  Now, I'm in search of a little person to gift this to....