General Update

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Wow!

I’m posting!

Sorry…it’s just been that I so rarely get on a computer not for work anymore, and I’m not one for typing up blog entries on my phone.

Last time I posted I was working on that Dragon’s Rest Shawl, the mystery vest, and a sweater. I finished the shawl, only to decide it was way too small and frog the whole thing. I plan to make another out of that pattern but wait a lot longer for the pattern change. The mystery vest and the sweater are still on the needles, kind of being ignored. Oops.

I’ve started and finished a pair of mitts for my dad for Christmas last year, and a neck warmer for myself, and that has pretty much been it for 2015 knitting. I’ve got a pair of mitts for a friend on the needles right now, and am pondering some hats. Basically my knitting brain appears to not be able to handle larger projects this year. Mitts, hats, neck warmers, that’s about all we can manage. Oh well.

The neckwarmer can be found here on Ravelry. I like the pattern- easy to follow, with just enough interesting bits in the increases to be good knitting-while-socializing. I will probably make more for other people, but this one is MINE.

Here’s the fingerless gloves on Ravelry. These were pretty quick and easy to knit (other than a silly mistake I made), and he seemed to like them.

I’d like to knit more next year. People asked me if I wanted yarn for presents and I just laughed– I have so much yarn. Yeah, I love stash, but it gets ridiculous. I’m getting the same way with fabric lately, but I’ve actually been sewing some of it!

So my knitting goals for 2016 are to finish long-languishing projects (or admit that they aren’t working and frog them, also possible) and actually start knitting up my stash. Wish me luck!

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Dragon’s Rest Shawl

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A few weeks ago my husband and I went up to visit some friends for the weekend and I really wanted to bring some knitting with me, but both my current projects (the sweater and vest) are the kind that require all my attention. I needed social knitting. So I threw some yarn and knitting needles in a bag, and while hanging out with my friends I found a pattern on ravelry that called to me and started it.

The pattern is Dragon’s Rest Shawl – I actually bought the 4 pattern ebook of shawls it’s in because they all looked good. The only size 9s I had with me were straight needles, so I started knitting on those and perservered as long as I could. I like the pattern, and once you get to the main wings part and understand the expansion,eits definitely easy social knitting. I did find it a little confusing at first, as I mentioned on my rav page, but I worked it out. I’m almost done:
 
Knitting this shawl seems to have unlocked the knitting part of my brain – I woke up dreaming a sweater pattern the other morning and have been having a lot of project ideas. I’d been in sort of a slump of wanting to knit but not knowing what I wanted to knit for a while now, so this is a really good feeling.
 
I don’t have any pictures of the shawl in progress, I’ll post after I finished. 

A Rebirth

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I’m going to try to bring this place back to life.

I’ve added a page with all my finished objects from 2011 through 2013. You’ll notice a big drop-off the last two years in knitting productivity. Part of that has been less free time to knit- in 2012 I started teaching a new (to me) class at work. Planning and preparing to teach my first Advanced Placement class, and my first government class, well, it was a lot of work. On top of that, my rheumatoid arthritis basically went into overdrive during January 2012. It’s hard to knit much when so many things set off pain in my hands. We have adjusted my medication a lot and the past few months finally seem to show progress in getting the disease under control, so I’m hoping to be able to knit more this year.

Right now I’ve got two sweater projects going for me. One is a raglan sweater I’m calling Gettysburg in Winter. I got myself Wendy Bernard‘s Custom Knits book last year, and I love her approach. Looking at the big picture behind patterns is how I’ve always approached knitting, and I love the recipe approach she takes. I’m using her explanation of raglan sweaters as the basis for this one. Right now I’m down to the under bust decreases, but I haven’t worked on  it much lately because I got distracted.

The second project is one of those random inspiration moment things. Hubby’s Nana sent me some yarn for Christmas that my brain said needed to be a vest. Said yarn is discontinued and doesn’t have yardage info on the band, so I had to figure out how much I had. I’m also making up the pattern as I go, and doing a weird construction bit where I’m knitting from the under bust up and then going to add the bottom later (provisional cast-on is my best friend). Yeah, craziness. But I drew a thing that looked cool and everyone said “knit that one” and this was the easiest way I could think of to make the construction work out when I’m not sure if I’ll have enough yarn or how much it’ll take. I’ve already had to frog and recast on twice because my swatch and gauge on actual circs was off by enough to make my math all wrong. (Swatch came out 4 sts = 1″, actual knitting on circs was 3.5 std = 1″. I don’t know.)

Other than that, I’ve been working up this seahorse plushy pattern. You can see version in the baby in the picture below. The problem is, I knit him on a car ride, took no notes, and immediately gave him away. So I’m working on another one, writing it down this time.

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I’m making a sweater!

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I’ve been wanting to make myself vests and sweaters for at least the last year or so of knitting but I kept being too terrified of knitting things that actually have to fit me. Last winter Jasper’s mom sent me 10 balls of a soft bulky weight yarn that I knew immediately would end up as a sweater for me, and I’ve spent the last year looking for the right thing.
"Temptation"

Well, I found it! I’m working on Lia from Knitty. I’m pretty excited.

The sweater is coming along nice and quickly for the most part. I’m enjoying bulky weight yarn!

I did have to restart it like 5 times because I decided I didn’t like the fabric on 11s and actually needed to swatch, and then I couldn’t get the cast on to work and went with long-tail on larger needles after deciding to knit on 10s. After all that fuss, though, the sweater seems pretty easy. I was lazy and cabled sans extra needle for most of the front, a skill which I’m glad to have these days. At this point I’m almost done the bust short rows. When I tried it on last night while hanging out with SCA friends, everyone said “you should make it a knit corset”. It’s an entertaining idea, but I want a sweater. 🙂

The poor Crazy Ribs Mitts have been put aside yet again- I did a row on them today out of guilt, actually. I will finish them someday! It’s just hard to keep working on teeny tiny needles when I have this large, easy-to-knit project over here…

Where are they now?

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I’ve been knitting for three years now and I thought it would be fun to check in on old projects and how they’ve held up.

Yes, it’s a silly picture. It’s also what I wear most days along with my coat if I’m going to leave the house.

Garter Stitch Mitts: One of my earliest projects and I still wear them daily in the winter. They are suriving ok, although I’ve learned all about how much alpaca stretches. I rarely wear them as intended and instead turn them over as wristwarmers or sort of make a muff. But I still love them. Eventually I’ll finish the Crazy Ribs Mitts and I’ve a got a simple fingerless pattern in mind for a superwash wool to replace these before they become too shapeless to wear.

Sweet Marguerite: It’s very warm. I wish I’d made it a little slouchier, but I still love it.

Picky Hubby Scarf: He wears it. 🙂 It got much use in our holiday travels.

Not Pictured:
Mistake Rib Scarf: Too scratchy, never wear it. It is the second thing I ever made, to be fair.
Everyone else‘s mitts: Jasper wears his occasionally although he says its almost never cold enough for him to wear them. Mom was very excited to get her Treads for Christmas this year, saying “It’s finally my turn to get some! Everyone else wears theirs all the time.” So I guess my brothers must wear theirs? I didn’t see it when we were up but I didn’t really see them leave the house much. I did see Dad put his Thanksgiving Day Mitts on every time we left they house. I restarted the scarf I was making to match that with different needles and I’m thinking another pair of mitts for him this year, maybe something with half fingers? We’ll see.
Stormcloud Shawl: I still haven’t blocked it.
Blue Ellen: not warm enough for winter, but I’ll probably wear it a lot this spring again.
Lemongrass Socks:  I wear them whenever they’re clean. So warm! Makes me wish I could stand knitting on small needles more often. Hand knit socks are awesome.

Finished in 2010

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I update the FOS: 2010 page to reflect the couple of projects I finished up in December. All in all a slow knitting year- only 8 finished projects and 2 were started in 2009.  I blame that endless scarf! Well, also a really insanely busy summer with finishing grad school and all that.

I ended up throwing two last minute Christmas knitting projects in, both hats. To match the Green Treads I made earlier this year, I made my mom a hat with the linen stitch in a black band.

Dec 17-27

For Jasper’s Nana, who I want to be when I’m 90, I knit the 16 Cables Hat in a yarn I just discovered, Neighborhood Fiber Co. It’s a nice worsted washable, and the color is totally not captured by the picture. I almost came home with it in orange and red and green too– all the colors are just gorgeously  intense and variegated.

December 17-24

She seemed to really like it, and told me that no one knits anything for her. Plus she asked for the pattern, which you know is a good compliment from a knitter!

I only had my iPhone with me on our endless trek, which made me sad because the photos are not up to par. We drove from Virginia to Cape Ann in Massachusetts to Pennsylvania to Maryland and home over 2 weeks. Also, through a blizzard the day after Christmas. I need another vacation where all I do is lay around the house!