2013 Wrap Up

Being sick over the holidays really messed up my end of year/beginning of year rhythm and I’m only now just catching up.

Last year I challenged myself to knit 13 pairs of socks in 2013, and I did! Of those 8 pairs were for myself, 2 pairs were for my husband and the remaining 3 pairs were gifts.  I even made a wee dent in my sock yarn stash.

Many of these socks you  have seen throughout the year, but a few were gifts and I didn’t post them until now.

This year I’ve joined the Stitch Addiction sock club. It’s meant to be like the Yarn Harlot’s sock club. Basically you select 12 skeins, pair them with patterns, put them in bags and then just select one pair per month and knit them up. Stash busting, warm feet, and patterns you meant to knit with yarn you meant to use. What could be better? I’m winging it a bit, selecting something from the stash each month. And I have a few special skeins that probably won’t be socks, but will end up as hats, cowls, shawls or some other.  But I’m looking forward to cranking out a skein of sock yarn a month in 2014!

More on my other crafty resolutions soon!

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November Knits

I guess November was a bit of a “me” month. I did knit a few other things which I can’t share because they are holiday gifts, but I did have a banner month in new couture for me.

First up, my NaKniSweMo sweater. I bound off on November 28 and took advantage of the beautiful unseasonable 50 degree weather over Thanksgiving weekend (and my new tripod and remote) to shoot a few pictures of my sweater. I’m calling it Sweet as (Cherry) Pie:

I love it. It’s everything I wanted it to be: a tunic to wear with leggings, cozy, fall-ish, a big cowl neck, dressy enough for work, but casual enough for knocking around if I want to. In the future, however, I’m probably going to stick to patterns rather than riffing my own. Although I love this one, I didn’t love the decision making process, or the ripping.

I also knit a few new accessories this month. My friend Kate has recently launched a podcast and has declared her undying love for hats, specifically a couple of Jared Flood hats. I had a pattern from a magazine I bought a while ago, and some stash yarn and I became obsessed with a hat. A few hours worth of work and I had a cheery, cozy, tweedy new hat:

The pattern is Relm by Jared Flood and the yarn is Classic Elite Portland Tweed in Ruby Red.

Finally, in homage to the 80’s and my cold knees, I knit some legwarmers. I wanted something a little classy, that I might even get away with wearing at work. Last year I fell in love with the Nozky pattern and I had some yarn in the stash (imagine that!).  A few weeks of lunchtime knitting and I had my legwarmers:

Now it’s on to December. Bring on the knits and spins!

Fall crafting.

I don’t know about you but as soon as the temperature drops I go into KNIT ALL THE THINGS mode. The mornings have been in the 30s this week and all I can thinking about is tights, skirts, sweaters, boots… warm wooly things.

The first thing I wanted was a big warm cozy shawl. I purchased a skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina (cashmere mmmm!) and spun some merino and a yak merino blend and I was off to the races. I knit Fifty Shades of Any Colour by Susan Ashcroft.

I ended up with a shawl measuring almost 68″ across and 20″ deep. It’s so warm and soft I can’t stop reaching for it each day.

I’ve had a few things on the spinning wheel, but the one I’m happiest with is some Southern Cross Fiber Texel.  I’d never spun Texel before. It’s definitely not a soft wool – it’s more rustic and crisp – but it drafted beautifully and it has such a luster and shine to it!

Finally I wove a quick houndstooth scarf on my loom. I was pleasantly surprised that the Knitpicks Stroll I used is not only durable (merino/nylon blend) but really soft. And I think the green/grey combo adds a modern twist on a fashion classic.

Both the handspun yarn and handwoven scarf are now available in my shop!

Now if you’ll excuse me there are a couple of handknit afghans on my couch that I’m longing to crawl under and get warm.

Imaginary Internet Points.

Some of my local knitting friends and I decided that we wanted to join the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. Basically this is a group that organizes itself around the model of Hogwarts. Each “term” is 3 months. You sign up to play, and you get sorted into a house for the term. Each month there are tons of “classes” to choose from: each has a prompt to knit some kind of themed project. When you finish the project and post the details you get points.  At the end of the “term” the House with the most points wins the Cup!

Yes this is all terribly contrived, but I can’t believe how the presence of imaginary internet points has motivated me to get cracking on my knitting projects.  I’ve been crafting what I want to, and writing little stories about the items to ensure that they fit the prompt. (as opposed to deciding what to knit based solely upon the prompts)  I can’t show you everything I’ve crafted this month because many are gifts, but I can share a few.

The first is a hat that I knit to look like the hat that Hermione wears in The Deathly Hallows. When I first saw the movie I immediately came home and looked for patterns. As is the case with knits featured on TV and in films, there is no official pattern, but there are several that look similar to what I wanted. I chose to knit the Trinity Hat.  I had 2 skeins of Knit Picks Capra, a merino cashmere yarn that I was saving for a good project and this was it!

Another class prompt was to craft something in metallic colors, like the metal in your cauldrons.  I already had a skein of handspun beautiful fall colors that I hoped to weave into a scarf for the craft sale. This weekend I pulled out the loom and I wasn’t disappointed. Copper kettles anyone?

This scarf is now available in the shop!

The final project I can show you is some handspun that I spun up for a shawl to be knit in October. I had already selected this skein and I submitted it to the Apothecary (potions) class as inspired by a beautiful array of glass bottles I might find in an apothecary.  This is Maude & Me fibers (currently on hiatus while moving) in a soft merino:

The rest of my projects for this month’s imaginary internet points have to remain a secret for now but I’ll reveal them later on. Now I’m off to finish up the last few projects of the month before October 1st kicks off a new round of classes and projects!

Sweet Audrey.

I’ve been quiet on the blog as of late because I’ve been crafting in a whirl for the holidays.

The weekend of November 22-23, the Kansas City Fiber Guild and the Weavers Guild of Kansas City are holding their annual Creative Hand Sale featuring crafts from artisans all over the Kansas City area. I’ll be including some of my handspun and handwoven items in that show!

I’ve also been crafting for Christmas. I don’t know if I’ve ever started this early, but I had ambitious plans this year and I’m glad I got a head start.

However, I do have a little something I can show you. Two weeks ago one of my sister’s best friends had her first child, a beautiful baby girl that she and her husband named Audrey. I wanted to send a little something special.  So I scrolled through Ravelry patterns and found a sweet little sweater pattern that I had wanted to knit forever. It worked up quickly in worsted weight and I delved into my very shallow crochet skills for a little embellishment. The purple is Dream in Color Classy in Visual Purple and the rose is some Cascade 220 Superwash that I had over-dyed in Kool-aid.  I hope they enjoy it!

Camping.

Those of you who know me know that I don’t camp. Well except if it involves yarn and virtual camping.  I just finished another summer at Camp Loopy – three projects in three months with yarn purchased from The Loopy Ewe.

For my final project I decided to try a new-to-me yarn: Spud and Chloe Fine. I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn – it’s got a really nice drape and softness which make me eager to wear the finished product. It was a little splitty to knit with, but I think that is outweighed by how soft and lush the finished sweater feels.

I decided to knit a new pattern, the Pin-Striped Sweater Tee by JenJoyce Designs.  The pattern is a simple raglan sleeve top, but it’s knit from the bottom up with a few nice details (i-cord finish to the ribbed edges).  It was a little awkward to knit the sweater more or less backwards from the way I’m used to, since I really like top down raglan sleeve patterns quite a bit. There wasn’t shaping in the body of this pattern, which I might add if I knit it again. But otherwise it was a clearly written pattern and a breeze to knit.

Summer Knits.

This summer I had it in my mind that I was going to knit the perfect summer sweater. A while ago when my local yarn store went out of business, I picked up a sweater quantity of Frogtree Pima Silk.  This cotton silk blend is soft and drapey. It still has some of the splittiness of cotton, but is much easier on my hands to knit and makes a lovely fabric to wear.

Several years ago, I knit a really cute textured sweater as a shop sample. I always had it in mind to knit another one for myself, and now I had the perfect yarn to do it.

I cast on over a month ago and then the sweater got laid aside for Tour spinning. With a spare week or ten days after the Tour concluded, I tore right through knitting the rest of the sweater. I finished weaving in the ends on Monday night and was able to wear it to work on Wednesday.  I can tell this is going to be a new favorite.

The pattern is #05 Textured Tee from the Knit Simple Spring/Summer 2008 issue.

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