Yes, I am just now — on January 5th — getting around to wrapping up 2011. But since I’ve been in catch-up mode for the past few months, it feels apropos.
I finished the knitting for this in early November, but didn’t get around to blocking and photographing it until the end of December. The biggest hindrance was the gallbladder surgery I had in late November. (I also blame that for the decision to undertake the frenzy of Christmas knitting. That form they give you that says not to make any legal decisions after anesthesia should include a “no new knitting projects” clause.)
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (3029, Steel)
Now that all the 2011 FOs are blogged, how did I do on my knitting goals? Well, I did some colorwork but I never cast on those Fiddlehead Mittens. With that in mind, I’m going to keep my 2012 knitting goals more general and say that I want to try three new techniques/items.
And now we come to the end of the holiday knitting madness.
Given what I’d started, I had to add a knit gift for my sister — especially since she’s the only one of the crew who’s done any knitting. I’m nothing if not a planner (and deadline driven, in case you haven’t yet figured that out), so I’d wisely purchased enough Malabrigo to make this wrap for her.
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (Red Mahogany)
In case anyone needs to know this for future reference — not that I’m advocating for that madness — this wrap can be completed in a couple of days. It also makes good airplane knitting.
Somewhere between finishing the Transverse cardigan and knitting a pile of monster parts, I sort of lost my mind. That’s really the only explanation I can come up with for why it seemed wise to plan more holiday knitting at the end of November.
So I grabbed the Malabrigo and cast on slippers for my father and brother-in-law. Since it was only after I’d purchased the yarn that I got the pattern, I didn’t realize that short rows were involved. So, yes, I unwittingly queued up a new skill test for myself just to add to the Christmas frenzy. As I said, sort of lost my mind.
Pattern: Malabrigo Loafers
by Julie Weisenberger
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (Marine & Red Mahogany)
Once I’d committed to the project, though, I went all in and decided to knit sole inserts for both pairs. If you’re going to wear Malabrigo on your feet, why not make it extra cushy? Both pairs were finished before we left New Mexico, but I didn’t get a chance to photograph the second one until we were in MN (hence the crappy shot on flannel sheets).
I had so much fun making the Penelope Sisters that I decided to create another grouping, this time for my nieces and nephews. Since all four are under the age of 5, I went the practical route on the yarn. There’s just something so cute (at least to me) about super-sized monsters for little kids, so I chose super bulky.
Yarn: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (Sky Blue, Lemongrass, Fig)
They we a big hit — not that you’d exactly know that from this I Love Lucy attempt at a group photo.
The only thing I’ve been working on longer than this now finally finished cardigan is the Moderne Log Cabin… and that’s a blanket, so much more deserving of the extended timeframe.
I’m very happy to announce that it was finished in time to make it under the tree for my mother.
Yarn: Hand-dyed yarn from 2010 Taos Wool Festival
Good thing she liked it enough to be willing to pose for the FO photos. Izzy helped with the photoshoot so she gets the credit/blame for the final goofy pose. And, yep, that’s Northern Minnesota in late December — just barely enough snow to call it a White Christmas.
Waste not, want not? Well, maybe want less. Loved the yarn used for the Penelope “sisters,” so I was happy to discover I had enough green left over for this small infinity scarf/cowl.
Yarn: Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed in Forest Green
This is the time of year when I really start appreciating Albuquerque — chilly days with fading leaves instead of falling snow. Perfect Thanksgiving weather.
Nothing like 200+ yards of edging to chisel away at a lingering anxiety about knitting lace.
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?
My finishing plans for the knitted monsters got derailed last weekend by my own little monsters. And, to be fair, my growing addiction to Pinterest is also partly to blame. It seems Halloween is approaching Christmas in this house in terms of build up and activities.
Along with trying out Ghost Cupcakes (and a half-dozen other Halloween-themed foods), last weekend Izzy’s school had its first Monsters on the Mesa fundraising event, complete with a 1K costume parade for the kids and dogs. Dorothy & Toto were reprised, but this time with a wig. (Note: I’ve long since expected to get a shot of both looking at the camera at the same time.)
But this weekend, thanks to a light activity load (and that extra precious hour), both monsters were assembled and photographed. Here they are before the purple one heads off to MN tomorrow to a good friend’s daughter who is like a sister to Izzy (who’s hanging on to the other one).
Yarn: Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed
(Forest Green & Grape)
It took several months, but I’ve recovered from the heartbreak of Izzy having lost the first skating sweater I made her. Yep, you read that right. Best we can figure, it went MIA at either the ice rink or school in April. But since it never showed up in either’s Lost & Found, I’ve consoled myself by fabricating a story about how it’s being worn and loved by some little girl somewhere. Some little girl who sleeps in it and never lets it out of her sight.
So when I agreed to cast on another sweater for Izzy, it came with a sworn promise that she would not lose this one. (And the acknowledgement that if she did, there would be nadda handknits for her for years to come.)
Yarn: Alice Starmore Scottish Heather (Aubretia), Noro Iro (111)
It also seemed wise to go stash diving for the yarn. In the end, I ended up frogging a half-finished Tweedy Pie coat I’d started for Izzy when she was three — even at that small size, it was more Seed Stitch (1000-some yards) than I could stomach. The yarn is this amazing heathered purple with bits of violet and pink that’s not done justice by my photos. It also proved to be one of those yarns that change texture completely (from stiff and kind of scratchy to almost fuzzy soft) after blocking.
This is my first attempt at a yoke cardigan, which had me quite nervous before the blocking. The fact that I’d pushed the purl stripes by selecting a slightly bulkier yarn than what was in the pattern certainly didn’t help. In the end, I’m reasonably satisfied with the result — the button band is just a bit wavy, but I’m hoping that will straighten out with wear. I’d also done the math to size up two-inches around to make it bigger than the largest size in the pattern. And while it’s a bit big now, given how fast Izzy’s growing, I was happy to see that.
To get the color sequencing I wanted, I had to dip into the second skein of Iro I bought for the project. But that left me with nearly a full skein to play with. And who could resist digging through Ravelry to find just the perfect pattern to use up the rest of that glorious rainbow yardage?
Yarn: Noro Iro (111)
Gotta say, I’m as happy with this extra knit as I am with Izzy’s sweater. Now for fall to arrive in Albquerque…