Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 Washcloths - January Edition

One of my goals for 2011 is to knit a washcloth every month. This will be rather like the self-imposed sock club that the Yarn Harlot established for herself last year, only I haven't organized to pick out all the yarns and patterns ahead of time. Each month, I just make a washcloth. Hopefully, this will help put me in a good position for Christmas gifts at the end of the year.
I'm off to a good start with January's washcloth coming off the needles in the middle of last week.

This is the "Shapely Diamond" pattern from a Leisure Arts booklet called "Kitchen Bright Dishcloths," and I knit it out of my standard Sugar 'n Cream cotton, this one in sage green. I think for next month's cloth I'll use the pattern that came on the ball band.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Second Finished Object - Socks

I've been motoring right along on my projects this month. The second finished project for 2011 is a pair of socks for my mom.

These were made using the Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula by Amy Swenson from Knitty Summer 2006. The yarn is Regia Bamboo in a many-shades-of-blue-with-some-brown colorway. I bought it and started the socks early last year, but when I picked them up again at the end of the 2010 Christmas knitting they fairly flew off the needles. It helps that my mom has small feet - the first skein lasted me past the heel of the second sock. So, as with 2011's first finished project, I'm looking for something to do with the rest of yarn. I'm thinking matching fingerless mitts for this, too. I'm mulling over a design idea, so we'll see if anything comes of that.

I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretching Bind-Off, which I now absolutely love, and anticipate using it for many things in the future.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Finished Object of 2011

Well that didn't take very long at all. My first finished object for the year is a Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret (ravelry link) for myself.

I used Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in the Purple Mystery color. I bought this skein early last year, and had been saving it for a time when I could make myself something for a treat. I think right after Christmas and a year of baby knitting qualifies! I only used about half the skein, so I'm trying to decide whether to make another hat or some matching fingerless mitts. I'll probably make the mitts.

This was a super fast project. I cast on on Wednesday, January 5th and finished on Saturday the 8th. I really enjoyed working with this yarn; it's a fluffy single. I also really like the pattern and love the finished hat. I haven't left the house without it since it finished blocking. On the recommendation of Alisha, who has made at least five of these hats, I went down a needle size and used #9 (5.5mm) for the ribbing and #10.5 (6.5mm) for the body of the hat. I'm quite glad I did because I like the fabric better this way, but I would have liked to have a slightly larger pie plate to use for blocking it -- just to give it a little extra slouch.

You can see the cables a little better in this picture, but not the colors (there aren't many good picture-taking opportunities in January, I'm afraid).

This was a great start to a new year of knitting!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, new dedication

Wow, it's been way too long. I've had this blog for two full years, now, and I'm going to be more dedicated to making better use of it this year. First of all, I think I have a pretty good excuse for being away from this for most of last year:

My lil one born the day after Labor Day, 2010. My universe has re-arranged itself more than a little bit, as I'm sure other parents know well and other people can imagine.

Secondly, some catching up on the knitting:
During my June vacation at the Lake, I worked on a cabled cardigan for me. I have finished the fronts, back, and sleeves. The next step is to block them all, connect them to each other, and work on the huge shawl collar.

What a nice place to sit and knit all day.
I'd really like to finish this soon, because I think it'd be a great sweater to wear this winter while I'm breastfeeding so much. It turns out that nearly all the sweaters I own right now are pullovers.

Then I made two more baby sweaters - a six month and a twelve month size of a lace sweater for a new first-cousin-once-removed and for a new niece.

Then I made my baby a blanket. This is the "Baby Shane Blanket" from Tanis Fiber Arts. I made it with four colors of Baby Boutique, two solids and two variegated. The colors remind me of a sunset at the Lake.

After a bit of a break (see baby picture above), I made a hat and sweater for a new nephew. Here's Strong Bear modeling the hat.

No pictures of the sweater. It wasn't quite done for the baby shower, and then the little guy came early so I had to hurry up and finish it. Christmas green Encore worsted weight in a simple pattern with some cabling. I had to size down what the pattern called newborn size because it was coming out huge. It's still more like a 3-6 month size. I also modified it to add buttons. The pattern called for a drawstring around the neck, and that just seemed like a really, really bad plan.

I also made two pairs of baby mittens, one for Lil One and for Nephew O, out of leftovers from the baby blanket. Those little hands just will not stay in swaddling and get so chilly during the night.
The only Christmas knitting consisted of four stockings. Here are two of them:

There was one more Snowman Head and a Rudolf. These are Mary Maxim stocking patterns of which I have about 60, I think.
I also gave my grandmother a nice pair of fetchings in blue alpaca, but I had that gift idea right after Christmas last year, so those were knit almost one year ago. I'm just glad I found them!

So ends 2010, The Year of Babies.