Swatching is probably one of my least favourite parts of knitting, second only to weaving in ends. It feels tedious, doesn’t feel productive (even though I completely admit it is), and it’s time away from knitting the final product. Lately, however, I have been trying to embrace this process as practice, an introduction to the yarn I’ll be using, and a way to experiment.
Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already 2016. This is both my favourite and least favourite time of year. It feels like there’s so much promise, when the new year is just a couple of days old, but it also feels a little bit pressured. At least in my knitting resolutions, I see nothing but fun ahead for my new year.
Even though Christmas hasn’t happened yet, my mind has moved past it already (blame working in the publishing industry; there I’m getting started on 2017). Potential New Years Resolutions are streaming through my mind, and knitting-wise, the same one pops into my head each year (just like the perpetual “I will lose weight this year!”): stop buying so much yarn and knit down the stash.
I’ve gone from not wanting to knit much for the past few months to needing to knit all the things. Consider this knitting mojo rediscovered.
And just in time, too, as family members decided fairly late in the game that they wanted hand knit things for Christmas. Oy vey. I owe my brother a birthday/Christmas present of a panda hat (very long story), the other brother a Dalek hat, and a few cousins some Doctor Who-themed knits. Luckily, these will all be fairly small projects and so should be quick to knit. That’s the goal anyway. However, I’m a hardcore procrastinator, so we’ll see how this goes.
In the meantime, my needles have been busy. The picture above is of the Scrollwork cowl by Irina Dmitrieva. The pattern includes two different projects (a hat and a cowl), and while I don’t usually do sets of things, I couldn’t resist in this case. I’m a sucker for cables. First up was the cowl. I modified this a bit to cut the stitch count way down. I really wanted to use up some stash yarn for it. The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Pollen, leftover from my Dryad scarf.
The pattern was very easy to follow. I really enjoyed working on it, even though I had to make some major tweaks to get my yarn yardage to work with it. The cowl fits very closely about the neck, making it perfect for under my winter coat. I’m looking forward to wearing this in a couple of months.
Next up was, of course, the hat! For this, I used Manos Del Uruguay yarn from my stash. I can’t seem to find the tag right now, but when I do, I’ll update this on the colour. It’s this rich, vibrant red almost pink. I love it, and the cables sit up gorgeously on this yarn. This has to be one of my favourite hats, and after having done a couple of her patterns, I have to say that Irina Dmitrieva is quickly becoming one of my favourite designers.
And then something unexpected and irresistible crossed my path on Ravelry this weekend. My husband is a big Breaking Bad fan, so when I spotted the Heisenberg cup cozy by Alexandra Davidoff, there was no question. I had to knit it. We’re not even cozy people. The project was extremely fast to knit and very easy to follow. The best part? It wasn’t intarsia, which I had half expected it to be at first glance. I finished the project in just a couple hours, with the frequent distraction of my cat Ampersand trying to steal the yarn.
I also finished my Meridian sweater by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I don’t yet have a picture of that as I’m not entirely pleased with the collar. It’s not a design issue; I just haven’t decided if I want to try a hard blocking on it to get it in shape (the whole sweater has been blocked already) or if I want to try tacking it down. I’ll write more about it when I’ve figured all this out.
Sunday morning I knocked one of the Christmas items off my list. I started and finished the Tardis Beanie by Morgan Kenia Andrews. It was a fun, quick knit. I also don’t have a picture for this yet, but I should have one today. That’s one Christmas project down and four to go! I think I’m going to relegate these projects to the weekends, so I can spend time on my Bond Street shawl by Kirsten Kapur, which was on the needles before this craziness started.
Phew! I hadn’t realised until writing this out how much I’ve finished and how much more I have yet to go. At least I have my mojo back. I may be in a frenzy to knit up presents between already planned projects, but I love it really. More time to knit for people I love.
What projects have you been working on?
Where on earth has August gone? I swear it only just started, and now it’s the last full week. I suppose that’s good in a way, because now we’re nearly to fall! This will be my first “real” fall in over a decade, with changing colours and everything.
This year, I decided I was only going to knit a Christmas present for one person. After a couple years of stress and last-minute (or more often, late) projects, I’m just done. It’s too much stress, and my knitting mojo was gone for months this past year. That being said, I chose my person wisely. I picked the one person who tried to teach me to knit ages ago and who I haven’t made anything for yet: my grandma.
Digging through old boxes at my parents’ house, I found something I had forgotten all about: my first piece of knitting. It’s misshapen, awkward, and filled with holes, but it’s all mine. It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come and an inspiration of how far I have yet to go.
I hate to freak anyone out, but there are now only 23 days until Christmas. I’m a little freaked out, but despite having a growing Christmas list, last week I decided to cast on a new project, something just for me. Maybe I’ll count this as my Christmas present to me?
Are you excited? I’m super excited. Finally, in Central Texas, I was able to wear some of the things I knit, with our weather finally dipping into the 30s. The wonderful weather didn’t last long, but I’m hoping it comes back soon!
With my knitting group’s Christmas party quickly approaching, I’ve had ornaments on the brain. Ravelry is an excellent resource for finding ornament patterns, which didn’t help much. However, when I spotted these little guys, I knew my search was over.