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)

FO: Zuni Truffle

Not sure what it is, but I find myself liking the look of garter stitch these days.
No doubt, it’s partially tied to working with some gorgeous hand-dyed yarn. Who would have thought that bumps showcased color variations so well? While I’ve done my best to capture the greens and purples that emerge from this chocolate brown, it is even more swoon-worthy in person.
Life is also in one of those “buckle your seatbelts” phases, so the Zen-like nature of garter is not to be argued with. Evidence: Entry #3 in my 12 in 2012, which was knit in a few weeks, only to lag for nearly double that time before blocking and photographing.
Pattern: Zuni Shawl by Danielle Chalson
Yarn: TFA Blue Label Fingering (Truffle)

FO: Bunny Nuggets

Happy spring / Easter! These fuzzy little critters were a fun stash busting exercise. I only wish I’d seen the recommendation by one clever knitter to insert bread ties into the ears before I’d sewn them all on. In this squishy soft yarn the ears are beyond Peter Cottontail floppy. Even so, I had waaaay too much fun posing them outside in the best patch of returning grass I could find. (Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.)

Pattern: Bunny Nuggets by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: The Knitting Goddess DK Alpaca & Silk (Topaz & Dove)

FO: Beach Glass Spectra

First things first: Izzy is recovering nicely from her sprained wrist — phew! Thanks for all the well wishes. Now on to the knitting. Remember that rut I mentioned about a month ago?

Pattern: Spectra by Stephen West
Yarn: Noro Taiyo Sock (S8)
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Antique Lace)

Well, I decided to embrace said rut when I couldn’t wait to cast on another shawl the minute I finished up this one. Yep, I signed up for the the 12 shawls in 2012 challenge. Crazy? Perhaps.

And for those keeping track of my  New Year’s “three new techniques” challenge, I’m counting this Spectra and its short rows as #2 down. Sure, I did a few short rows when making those holiday Malabrigo loafers. But here I worked on learning how to conceal the wraps — thinking of Cat Bordhi and her excellent tutorial each time I lifted a “yarn necklace” (all 500+ of them).

FO: Fracture

These days it seems I can’t get enough of shawlettes/scarves knit in fingering weight yarn. The fact that I added several lovely skeins to my stash with the two StevenBe gift cards I received for Christmas (and had to spend before flying back to Albuquerque) certainly is aiding my momentum.

You could say I’m in a rut… But this shawlette only looks like it was designed by Stephen West.


Pattern: Fracture by Paulina Popiolek
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Grasshopper)
Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (Charcoal)

And while green is no stranger to my FOs, nor even acid green, it’s the first time I’ve used a full skein this vibrant.

Then again, perhaps I’ll just skip the rationalizations and add 12 in 2012 to my goals for the year. Something to ponder as I finish up the Spectra currently on my needles. And, yes, that one is designed by Stephen West.

FO: Hearts & Bows Headband

Ah, the joys of having a tween. While Izzy specifically requested this headband for Valentine’s Day — and was thrilled to get it this morning — you’d have thought I asked her to scrub the toilet based on her facial expressions in the quick photos I took today.








It’s quite the miracle that this one smile slipped into the mix.

The yarn, which is a perfect girly pink and fuzzy soft, made its way to my stash via an online trade. (Last fall, I got a Ravelry message from a UK knitter in need of my leftover Lavender Cotton Glace.) While I got gauge, the fabric seems pretty airy… And now has me wondering if DK in the UK is actually what we call Sport in the US/Canada. It’s a fun, fast knit and I have plenty of yarn still, so think I might try reknitting it with the yarn doubled.

FO: Baby Steps

This post needs to start with an admission — my fine motor skills are seriously lacking.

I don’t jest, as my friend and former co-worker Laura would be happy to confirm. She once handed me an X-ACTO knife and asked me to help cut Peter (or was it Plinky?)* out of foam core. Not believing my claim, she insisted. And so I started, cautiously and carefully. Really trying. After about two minutes, she said, “You know what? You’re right. Never mind.” and promptly took that X-Acto back.**

So it’s not surprising that I’ve avoided knitting with smaller yarns and needles. But this past Christmas I asked for and got a lovely set of sock-size DPNs. A member of my team is expecting a baby at any moment, so I took the opportunity to grab some fingering weight yarn from my stash and knit up my first-ever pair of booties. On size 1s (2.25 mm). Here are the booties on top of the needle set for a sense of scale.

And here is my snoopy ever-helpful cat Chloe walking into the photo, providing her paw as further evidence of the wee size.

Once I got past the feeling that I was knitting doll clothes on toothpicks, I found the booties fun. In fact, the size 3s (3.25 mm) felt clunky when I first started the hat. I’m counting the booties as my first new item/technique of the year… Now to decide, socks or mittens next?

* For the record, Peter, Plinky, and all the Mint Pals have changed quite a bit in the (how is it possible?) more than a decade since we brought them to life. Laura’s art was far superior.

** Also for the record, Laura is a lovely person — so lovely, in fact, that I could only laugh and not feel the least bit offended.

FO: Just Ducky Chadwick

First off, heartfelt thanks to everyone who weighed in here or on Facebook to my “to frog or not to frog?” question. As you can see in the above photo, I decided to keep my “design modification” and finish without shame.

Pattern: Chadwick by Stephen West
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts, Blue Label Fingering
(Mallard and Chestnut)

I’m a bit sad this project has come to an end — it was that perfect combination of interesting but not too challenging to knit. And the yarn… Gorgeous and so aptly named. I’m a MN-raised girl who’s always loved watching mallards on the lake. The interplay of blue and green is spot on — and makes me so happy.

Credit goes to Albuquerque, though, for today’s bright January sun and running water to pool my the shawl alongside.

FO: Incognito

Pattern: Incognito with Snidely ‘stache
Yarn: Smart (Olive, Chocolate, Black)

You could call this a gifting-redo. For Christmas, I’d made a pair of Malabrigo Loafers for my brother-in-law. Even though they were the largest size, they turned out to be too small. Bad for him but good for my sister, who yelled out “Score!” and then got details about how to felt them down to her size before the rest of the presents were  unwrapped. Later on, I conferred with him over this patten (since it’s the sort of thing you either find terribly witty or can’t imagine wearing).

The Incognito has made its way to Minnesota for his January birthday. Should the weather there return to normal, it’ll make a nice addition to his winter biking gear. Before I packaged it up, though, Izzy and I brought it with us to the zoo for a few quick snapshots. And — I should have seen this coming — she now wants one of her very own.