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....

Nov 20, 2014

Code Breaker

You're probably going to laugh at this post, but I just started watching season two of The Bletchley Circle and was suddenly struck by how much the current project I'm knitting is like reading code.  If you're a TBC fan, you may recall that in the opening scene of season one, Susan is reading a knitting pattern while clicking away on her needles.  Of course, that's a hint at her secret past of being a code breaker during WWII.  



As I'm trying really hard to knit down my stash, I pulled out my one skein of The Fibre Company's Road to China in the malachite colorway, my US3 dpns, and cast on for a pair of Nalu fingerless mitts. I'm in the mood for a small'ish project with some teeth to it ~ you know, a bit of chart reading, some simple stockinette, and a thumb turn to add interest.  I started this project at the same time that I began watching season two of TBC and when I got past the cuff ribbing and started on the cable chart, I couldn't help but notice the similarity of me and the Bletchley girls.  Okay, I admit it ... being a code breaker would be one of my dream jobs!  Yeah, I'm that kind of geek.

Nov 13, 2014

A Sleeve ... or Two

There are those of you who aspire to have a variety of projects on your needles. You've got a hat, a sock, a mitt, a sweater, and a blanket all having a party in your knitting basket.  And then there's me.  If I have more than two projects calling for my attention, I get a little antsy and, yes, even a little dazed.  It's not that I can't multitask (I'm the queen of multitasking), but I find it hard to work on one project and not feel like I'm neglecting the other one.  Anyone willing to offer knitting therapy?


And then there's the UFO (aka unfinished object) lurking in the back corner of the closet or at the bottom of the project bag or stuffed under the couch cushions.  Okay, hopefully not under the couch cushions, but I have a feeling you know what I'm talking about.  So, here I was, at the start of fall knitting season feeling very proud of myself for having individual clear bags filled with yarn, needles, and pattern waiting for when I would finish one project to then cast on a new pattern.



And then I dug just a little deeper into my knitting basket and saw it ... my UFO from last October! It was my Bailey cardigan begun with some gorgeous Uncommon Thread Yarn that Mark brought back all the way from Loop London in summer 2013.

You can be sure that I whipped that project out of its bag, read through the pattern again, found where I had left off, and started knitting.  And I have to say, with complete joy, that I have been enjoying my Bailey so, so much.  This is all to say that I have been monogamously knitting on my cardigan and am almost finished.  Yes, you see one fully completed sleeve and another one making its way to the elbow.  




I guess you can say that I'm not suffering from second-sleeve syndrome.  

Nov 5, 2014

Hat Face

There are some people who have what I call hat faces.  You know what I mean ... stick a hat on their heads and voila, they look completely adorable.  I, for one, do not have a hat face.  Stick a hat on my head and my forehead disappears, my eyes shrink, and I do not look completely adorable (cue the sad face here).



But as a knitter, knitting a hat is one of those amazing pleasures.  The commitment is long enough to feel invested but short enough to get quick gratification. I've even designed a couple of hat patterns, and have really enjoyed creating Autumn in New York and Miranda. Last but not least, because I tend to only knit hats with animal fibers, I get a lot of happiness working with yarns I especially love.  



Both these hats are the Citadel pattern, and I just love how they turned out.  The oatmeal-colored one is in worsted weight knit in Patons Classic Wool and the other is a soft white in dk weight knit in LB superwash merino.  I don't know who I'll gift these to, but as you can guess, I'm really all about the process.  Hmm, I may be feeling a hat phase coming on. 



*My talented and very beautiful blogger friend, Michelle, has a wonderful giveaway over on her blog ~ a gorgeous shawl pattern by my other talented and very beautiful blogger friend, Libby.  Go and enter!!