It has been since I last bought yarn!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I Knit on my Christmas Vacation

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Today is, sadly, the last day of my Christmas vacation. Tomorrow I return to work and get back to the grind- but today, I have one last day to reflect on how awesome it is to live a life of leisure.

I knit a lot this vacation. I listened to podcasts, I watched the first two seasons of Mad Men, maybe the first 3 of 6 Star Wars movies and most of all, I knit through all of it. With that kind of focus on the knitting- there was bound to be some progress. I finished the following before New Years (and therefore will be counted in the 2009 list of my FO's).

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Pattern: Marlene by Cookie A
Yarn: Estelle Cadenza in sexy colorway name 955 (purple). (PLEASE YARN PEOPLE, it is so much more fun when you NAME your yarn instead of giving it a number.)
Needles: US 2
More Pics because these look smashing: (if you are a Ravelry member there are always more photos on that site)

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Thoughts: I couldn't start the new year with an old purse sock. I decided I had the brain power to commit to the sock so I just went for it, and was surprised how quickly, (and without errors) I was able to grind this sock out when I put my head down. The yarn makes the project just pop- and I really hope they keep my dear friend Melly's feet warm!

Also, keeping my hands warm, and knit to sort of matching my Burberry scarf:

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Pattern: Bird in Hand by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 8505 and 4102 (or white and pink)
Needles: US 1 for the cuffs and US 3 for the hand portions
Thoughts: I know that I'm supposed to embroider the bird in the thumb of the mitten- and lord knows I tried. I'll still try, but I wish I had heeded the advice of everyone else who knit these and embroidered before I seamed up the thumbs, so far all attempts at embroidery have failed. I also wish that I'd done a different color palette. The pink is light enough that the pattern doesn't really "pop" out, and you have to look at it for a bit before you get the effect of the pattern.

I did really love the braid and the cuffs. I want to put a braid in everything now!

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In general I'm a little disappointed with these mittens. (Although they are incredibly warm and practically bullet proof and I will wear them for the remainder of this cold winter!) I'm still knitting fair isle too tightly. I had to rip these mittens out three times to get a hand size I liked. Here's the difference between the hand on US 2's and the hand on US 3's. (3's are a much more comfortable fit.)

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My stranding still pulls and puckers and I'm annoyed with myself that I haven't mastered this yet. I want to sit down and knit with Magses and have her show me what I'm doing wrong. Her fair isle always turns out so beautifully and smooth. My cuffs are perfect... but my hands are not. I wonder where the difference is? I still want to get good at this technique... I will still try more mittens, but I'm hoping that there will be a magic moment where the light bulb turns on and I get it.

With the mittens and socks off the needles, I found myself staring down at a New Years project-less. Having knit the Marlene's and Bird in Hands, I was longing for something simple. Really simple. I cast on a plain a$$ sock, and I'm enjoying the reprieve from having to pay close attention to a chart and counting my stitches. I made pretty impressive progress in a very short amount of time. (I would so love to finish these today!)

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Who doesn't love a project that is mostly knit stitch?

As far as New Years resolutions go, I've decided not to pressure myself into hats this year. I'm staring down another year of baby blankets, and every time I take some time off from the blankets, I end up knitting hats to try and catch up to my total. I'm missing out on knitting the projects I do want to knit because I'm trying to stay up to date on the hats. It's not to say that I won't be knitting hats. I just won't be attempting to knit 52 of them. My only other resolution is to whittle away at the stash more aggressively. My Loopy Ewe order arrived on Wednesday last week- and it contained the most beautiful stash addition.

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This is Madelintosh in "Window Pane". It's so unbelievably squooshy I just want to squeeze it in my hands all the time. I might take it to work to squeeze it when I get stressed... this seems to have the magic powers to make any bad day disappear.

I have a lot of yarn. It's time to knit it down. I love my stash. I love what's in my stash- I just need to get to KNITTING my stash. 2010 is going to be a good year if I just knit with my stash. So I'm going to try. I'm not going to make promises of no slip ups along the way- I'm weak, and I'm also flush with Pudding gift cards from generous family members. (I'm also dreaming of Rowan's "Lima" yarn and what I could make of it, I have fallen in love. But I won't allow myself a purchase until I make some room in the stash boxes.)

2010 is off to a great start- looking forward to see what I'm going to make this year!

2 comments:

Heather said...

All of that knitting is beautiful, but your Marlene socks? WOW. If you're able to bear it, I'd say hold off wearing those suckers and put them in for the Stampede blue ribbon contest thingee.

faeriecollege said...

Those Marlene socks are fabulous! Well done to you!

Blocking is the miracle fix for colourwork, I swear. Oh, and needles that keep the stitches spaced out a bit to keep the floats the right length. For me that's smooth needles, they naturally slid into place. But other people swear by bamboo! So try things, and see what works for you :D