Looking Back, Looking Forward

You could say I’m emboldened for having forged ahead with the Marin — and for actually meeting my 2012 knitting goals: three new items/techniques (baby booties, short rows, Fair Isle) and  “12 in 2012.” Forgive me the following Ravelry documentation; it’s just that a dozen shawls seemed so unlikely a few months back in the frenzy of the move and new job.


What are my 2013 knitting goals? More venturing into that territory of new items and techniques. This year I’m tackling socks, mittens, and Fair Isle that’s more than rudimentary. And since I acquired quite a bit of lovely yarn last year, including holiday gifts, I’m going to dive into my stash with glee. (Goal is to try to use up three stash yarns for each new purchase.)

Final 2012 FO: Marin

This last knit of 2012 just may be my favorite — and not because it was knit practically straight through in the quiet days after the holidays. (Although, I definitely loved that.)

I’ve long admired this pattern and bought it soon after it was released… Then I looked at its charts and got scared off. When I found the perfect yarn pairing last month, I gathered up my courage. Can’t tell you how glad I am that I did. I’m completely smitten with the FO.


Pattern: Marinby Ysolda Teague
Yarn: TFA Purple Label in Rock
Did I mention the yarn is 20 percent cashmere? Swoon.


Best of all? It wasn’t anywhere near as hard as I’d imagined.

Holiday FOs: Guernsey Triangle and Isla Wrap

Now that they’ve been unwrapped, I can post these two FOs from the month-long blackout between my last two blog posts. (I may not be blogging, but rest assured, I am always knitting! 😉

First up, one of the lovely yarn and pattern combos from the 2011 Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club. This one had my sister’s name all over it from day one. (Although I must confess, I wasn’t sure until the end that I’d be able to let it go.)

Pattern: Guernsey Triangle by Jared Flood
Yarn: TFA Red Label in Smoke
And second, a present for Izzy. She saw this yarn online right after Thanksgiving and asked for “something, anything” in it for Christmas. I was only too happy to oblige and found this nice little caplet/cowl on Ravelry. The color is actually somewhere between these two shots… Ah, the joys of snapping FO photos in winter!


Pattern: Isla Wrapby Jessica Vinson
Yarn: TFA Red Label in Frippery


FOs: Cassis & Stacked Eyelet Cowl

Got a two-fer today as I try to catch up on blogging. First up, my #10 (this might actually happen) shawl of the year, knit from the lovely birthday yarn from my friend Jane.

Pattern: Cassis shawlette by collete audrey
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk Solid in Spruce

Fun technique with this (free!) pattern: Start by knitting the lace border, then pick up 240 stitches and create the crescent. I decided I wanted the shawl a bit deeper than the original sliver, so I changed the K3s to K2s in the short row section.

Second up is a cowl to match Izzy’s fingerless mitts, which you also see again in this very hammy photo. Lest you think fall has come really late to MN this year, full disclosure: The photo was taken nearly a month ago… And the cowl has gotten plenty of wear in the chilly days since the photoshoot. (And unlike Izzy’s jaunty top hat headband, which she made at school, it’s still in one piece.) Phew!

Pattern: Stacked Eyelet Cowl by Ami Madison
Yarn: Lana Grossa Cool Wool Merino Big Print (#811)

FO: Nightlock Fail

We’ve got a first on the blog today, gentle readers. Love the yarn, love the pattern, but absolutely hate the FO.

It started off so promising. The colors in this TFA yarn are stunning and the the Merino-Cashmere blend is beyond lovely to work with. Here I am hanging out a few weeks ago at Wild Rumpus, a magical kids bookstore where chickens and cats (and lots of other critters) peacefully coexist. I grabbed a chair near the Harry Potter and was kept company by the friendly (and hungry) Bilinia while Izzy started her once/week volunteer work.

promising start


I brought in the second OOAK colorway during my visit to a (new to me) knitting group last week. And while I was a bit skeptical at the time, I was lulled by the group of kind women and the wine. It’s not that the two colors don’t work together — in fact, they echo the golds and pinks of the other strand quite well.


But now that’s it’s done, my fears are realized. Even if I hadn’t moved back to MN between purchasing the yarn and knitting it, I’m pretty sure I’d see only MN Gophers colors in the FO. 😦

Pattern: Nightlock by Lisa Mutch
Yarn: TFA OOAK Purple Label: Squash and Autumn Sunset

As you’ll see, I haven’t woven in the ends or blocked it. The decision at hand: Do I gift to a Gophers fan or frog and create two new items with the lovely (but not combined) yarn? The selfish knitter in me is leaning toward the latter since it’s my first go-round with TFA Purple Label. What would you do?

Either way, it’s chronicled here and counted as #9 in my 12 in 2012 challenge. At least there’s that…

FO: Malabrigo Mizzle

Do you ever just have to knit a particular color? For whatever unknown reason, I was craving blue. And this lovely Malabrigo with bits of purple and green in my stash answered the siren call. And how.


Pattern: Mizzle by Patricia Martin
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (Indiecita)


The first part of this free (!) pattern went so fast. And then came the, shall we say “just slow down and breathe,”  decorative ribbing. But that deep border is what drew me to the Mizzle, so slow down and keep knitting I did.

For those keeping count, this is #8 of my “12 Shawls in 2012” personal challenge. Good thing it’s knitting season, ’cause I’ve got some catching up to do!

FOs: Scalene Double Take

Since they knew we were headed back to MN, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a birthday gift certificate to another new yarn store that had opened in Minneapolis during our stay in Albuquerque. (This place is fiber heaven!) Rather than spending it right away online, I decided to exercise some rare restraint and wait a few months so I could visit in person… As luck would have it, I traveled to Mpls a few weeks later for an interview (for the job I got, yay! 😉 and visited Bella Lana over Memorial Day weekend.

Being the total geek that I am, I traveled with the last skein I planned to purchased in NM and the goal of buying a complementary skein in MN to create a symbolic transition knit. Yep, total geek! Here’s my “Two-State Scalene,” which I love for more than just the silly sentimental reasons.

scalene-2Pattern: Scalene by Carina Spencer
Yarn: Zitron Unisono (1210) &
 Madelinetosh Pashmina (Magnolia Leaf)
Beyond the great mix of color stripes in the Unisono, my favorite detail is the double keyholes, which make the Scalene so easy to wear.


I wasn’t alone in appreciating the style. The Scalene also caught my mother’s eye… And I instantly knew what I wanted to do to thank her for all the help this summer, which included hosting Izzy for several weeks and unpacking my kitchen. Yeah, I know. I’m one lucky daughter! Not sure that this “Gratitude Scalene” is enough, but at least it’s a good start. And the colors suit her to a T. (And in case it’s not clear, Izzy insists that I note she’s sporting her “silly face” in the following shot.)


Yarn: Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino 
Silk DK (Nutkin and Anise)


FO: Summer Color Affection

I queued this pattern back in March shortly after I first saw it and even bought three skeins of yarn (selecting shades of my favorite colors: green, blue, purple). Then I made two swatches and couldn’t decide — indecision no doubt enhanced by the fact that I was in the middle of making some pretty big life decisions.

Thank goodness for the announcement of a TFA KAL — and the Yarn Harlot getting infected with the Color Affection bug — so that when I posted the swatch photo on Ravelry asking for help, my fellow TFA fans knew the pattern and helped me pick, with a few weeks to spare.

Even so, I got a late start casting on for the KAL since I wanted to finish up another project. But all proved well and good. This is an easy pattern to memorize and really flies off the needles — well, that is, until you get to those final, reeeaaalllllly long rows. Not that I was suffering my way through them — in fact, when I started to worry that I was running out of the Atlantic, I discovered I had read the directions wrong and had already knit an extra six rows of the three-color-stripes section.

Pattern: Color Affection by Veera Välimäki
Yarn: TFA blue label (Atlantic, Plum, Olive)















In the “bigger is better, right?” frame of mind I decided to leave them and start on the Olive border. Warning: This is one big, cozy shawl. It blocked out at more than 7 feet, not that my six extra rows really tipped the scales.








It’s sure to keep me warm this winter. But more about that in the next blog…

FO: Stained Glass Is Sweet

More than most projects, this one has quite a few miles on it. I started it before we headed off on our vacation, getting in several rows on that lovely porch swing in Carlsbad. It traveled to all the Saturday ice skating lessons and Thursday practices, and even made the trip to Santa Fe for the competition.

Mind you, when the yarn contains cashmere and silk, I’m happy to carry it anywhere. Anytime. The pattern was as sweet as the name promised. Yep, pretty much loved this project from beginning to end. What more can a knitter ask?

Pattern: Sugar Is Sweet by Rose Beck
Yarn: TFA Red Label (Stained Glass)