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.

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

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

FO: Nightfall Woodsmoke

Nothing like 200+ yards of edging to chisel away at a lingering anxiety about knitting lace.

Pattern: Woodsmoke Scarf by Jared Flood
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Fingering (Cosmos & Robot)

 

I bought the yarn back in January with a holiday gift card, knowing that I wanted to knit this scarf. I then proceeded to keep looking at the pattern in Brave New Knits… and keep wimping out. Finally my desire for the finished object won out.

Now the anxiety and delay the lace caused seems pretty laughable. (It’s a mere 8-row repeat over 5 stitches!) The hardest part was figuring out how to join it to the caterpillar created by picking up all 632 stitches in the perimeter.

After that, watching the lace edging grow and the scarf unfurl was really fun — and went too fast. Wait…  Who’d have ever thought I’d say 200+ yards of lace went too fast?

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Along with finally starting this blog, last year I also set knitting goals for the first time. Rather than (as I feared) feeling like nagging tasks and dragging down my desire to knit, the two activities set me on a year of knitting like never before. More projects. More techniques attempted. More knitting friends.

So here we go again. This year my goals are about colorwork: a small starter project in Fair Isle (Intarsia is all I’ve ever attempted) and then something that requires steeking (what’s more fearless than cutting your knitting?). I’ve picked out the first project — the Fiddlehead Mittens, a pattern that I continue to love with each new version that hits Ravelry and one that Julie of Knitted Bliss has inspired me to tackle. As for the steeking, maybe one of the blankets in the second Mason-Dixon Knitting book? Definitely open for suggestions, so please post if you have them.

Also, I’ve got long-delayed FO shots for my old group of Twin Cities Public Television noon crafters. The 2009 log cabin afghan for my sister and brother-in-law that they saw lots of in its early stages but never got photographed when finished. When I saw it out during my visit this year, I staged a mini photoshoot so I could complete my Ravelry queue. (Yeah, I’m a bit of a completion nut; it’s pretty sick how much I love checking off those lists! 😉 And you’ll notice I remembered to photograph the FOs this Christmas. Happy New Year and new knitting!

FO: Izzy’s Skating Sweater

Pattern: Finley from by Marie Grace Smith

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton

Started: June 2010
Finished: Nov 2010

I started the year with two simple, but long overdue, goals: knit lace, knit cables. For nearly two decades, I hovered in the advanced beginner realm, picking projects that promised relaxation and few challenges. But 2010 would be different. I’d stretched but hard for work the previous year and came out the better for it and not too banged up. Time to move out of my comfort zone in other areas.

Being a “let’s hold our nose and get the worst of it over first” kind of person, I started with the lace. The pattern was easy on the lace scale, but a worthy enough foe to make it one of my now prized possessions. Onto the cables … and the discovery that I couldn’t wait to turn that next cable.* The pattern, itself, was addicting and oh-so-smartly written. What’s not to love about a sweater that requires weaving in ends and toggle buttons as the only finishing details. No seaming! (And even so, that finishing sat untouched for a good month.)

Since I wanted to morph the Finely coat into a closer-fitting sweater for Izzy, I chose to use up a bunch of black cotton yarn I’d had for years — intended for Leigh Radford’s gorgeous Kandinsky Kimono. I purchased it back in 2002 during a moment of “nothing’s too hard if you want the knit item bad enough” delirium. (On a side note, kudos to the four Ravelers who’ve actually completed it. I’m so not worthy.)

Other than swapping out the wool yarn for cotton and using the 4-6 directions (Izzy’s 9), the only other mod I made was to do one fewer toggle (knew she’d never want it buttoned at the neck).

Special thanks to The Knitmore Girls for their terrific couture button tutorial.

* And couldn’t wait to start the next cable project; while I worked on Finley’s cable-less sleeves, I added in a few bibs.

FO: Deep Peace + New Project: Fresh Chaos

Let me begin with the knitting, for a change. After much ado (and I do mean much ado), I have survived my knitting kryptonite and completed Deep Peace. All told, I knit this wrap nearly three times. My problems had nothing to do with the pattern, which fulfills its promise of two straight-forward lace repeats, but had everything to do with being new to lace. And did I mention, irrationally afraid of lace?

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When I first started knitting Deep Peace, I flashed back to those early knitting days — the half-holding your breath when working through a pattern for fear of making a mistake with no idea of how to correct it. I went in with the low, low goal of knitting something *close* to the pattern. Hey, this was a “lace experiment.” Even then, the center section is what nearly did me in. Each unmistakable mistake meant ripping it back to the garter-stitch divider. After a half-dozen starts, I got smart and hunted down some tips … and (cue choir of angels) discovered lifelines.

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Once I knew that sustained perfection was no longer a requirement, I exhaled. And relaxed. Started feeling that deep peace. And then frogged the whole thing to start over. Because why not aim for something close to perfection when it’s within reach? (And being the knitter my grandmother raised, really there is no other choice.)

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So, feeling all ridiculously “hear me roar,” I decided to tackle another aspiration.

Meet Violet, our 10-week-old puppy.

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