Friday, December 31, 2010

On the 7th day of Christmas the postman gave to me

A box of yarn

with some patterns

And a folder.

Happy sigh. 'Scuse me while I go knit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Christmas present for ???

This year, we thought Filia got a Papasan chair for Christmas. When we woke up on December 26th, we thought again.

I'm still waiting for a box of Christmas goodies I ordered in mid-December. Hopefully it will get here before the 12 days of Christmas are over - but if not, then we'll just celebrate when it gets here. As my family will tell you, I am dangerous enough already with my gift -- a Vita-Mix! Since getting home with it, I have made banana ice cream, peanut butter, rice bread, wheat bread, garbanzo bean pancakes ... and before the day is over will have made Bacon and Cheddar Soup, as well as a smoothie or two. The flour it makes is so much finer than what my grain mill produces - NOW I can see how I can make breads with no store-bought flour. Truly, I am going to be having too much fun.
The new year is rapidly approaching. My somewhat random approach to knitting this year (take pictures of the ball bands once a month) felt like a total flop. Apart from NOT taking pictures of the ball bands, there wasn't much of a sense of accomplishment. No decent goals to work towards. Floppy, floppy, floppy. My organizing, goal-achieving, pointy little heart did not feel any satisfaction from checking off items on the non-existent list. (What? You say I knit 10 miles of yarn anyways? That wasn't on the list.)
Obviously, I need a better list for 2011. And so I present .....
  1. Test and Sample Knits
  2. Knit from My Stash
  3. Knit in Cycles
Divine providence has plopped some lovely test and sample knitting in my direction, and I am looking forwards to it with delight. As 'work', I can even knit on those sorts of things when there's other stuff to do! Getting the yarn and pattern for one of these knits is like Christmas all over again.
Knitting from my stash is going to be a goal, because I just have too much stash. I also want to weed out some stash (non-wool yarns, your heads are on the chopping block!) and in general, get my yarns down to a nice tidy inspiring bunch. I'm currently working on watch caps made from a sweater I recycled from my stash of FO's. When test knits are not calling, I hope to be whittling down the stash with hats and mittens and such-like. I'm going to aim for one project per month.
Knit in Cycles is something I thought of a few months ago, when I got not one but TWO knitting books on the same day. There are just too many fun things out there to knit - and since I don't know how many years God has given me, assigning a year to each flavor of knitting may not be a good idea. I'm also too much of a 'leaf' knitter. Flit here, flit there, flit all over the place scattering random finished objects behind me. So instead of having a whole YEAR of Brioche, or Norwegian, or Ganseys, or Lace (aaaaah), I think it would be interesting to do a QUARTER of whatever. It'll somewhat depend on what destashing projects I come up with, and how much other knitting falls my direction, but I think I'd like to give this a shot. Maybe I can even make it a challenge - send me a theme, and I'll come up with a destashing project to use it!
Then there's that Twisted-Stitch Knitting book I got for Christmas. I want to make a pair of ladies' stockings .... and that is DEFINITELY a project that will take some concentration, especially for starters. And calculations. Sure, the book has patterns with needle size, and yarn weight - but there is no gauge given! It'll be a matter of measure me, count stitches, figure out negative ease, take a stab at gauge, then take a stab at needles and yarns to get that gauge -- cast on, start knitting, and see how it goes! Unless I want to start off by knitting the samplers in the front of the book, using 00 needles with laceweight?

So - what are YOUR plans for the upcoming year? Any fun knits in the works?

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas

First Snowstorm of November, 2010
December 12, 2010
December 24, 2010

Our pass to the 'real world' -- the top of the pass is as tall as I am!
(the willow tree is off to the right)
It really seems like we'll have a White Christmas this year. I can't see away around it.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yarn Stats!

As it's coming to the year's end, I decided to go through my tin of ball bands and see what I've been knitting with this year. Spreadsheets are so dandy for statistics - so I made some up.
  • Total Yardage Knit: 17656
  • Total Miles Knit: 10
  • Average Yardage Per Day: 48
  • Ball Bands Saved: 94
And what have I knit with this year? Drops Alpaca, Rauma Finullgarn, Knit One Crochet Too USDK, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, Naturespun Sport, and Wildfoote, Kauni Effektgarn, Elann Highland Wool and Lino, DMC Cebelia, Cherry Tree Hill Sock, Rabbit Works Toe Jam, Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky and Sport, KnitPicks' Gloss, Wool of the Andes, Merino Style, Telemark, Essential, and Palette, Louet Gems, Bartlettyarns Fisherman 2-ply, Froelich Blauband, and Araucania Ranco.

And that list doesn't include things I didn't finish skeins of, like Sandnes Garn Tove, or Denis St. Nordique, or even my handspun (one shawl's worth).

I must be a knitter. (Don't tell me you are surprised.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Lately, I have been knitting hats. Hats are great for small projects when one isn't sure when THE yarn will arrive to knit other fun things, like socks. I forsee many socks and mittens in the coming year. But the yarn for them isn't here yet, so I am biding my time by knitting hats.
This hat was actually planned. The yarn came from Yarn Harbor in Duluth, and the pattern from Knitting Brioche. It's reversible, and definitely would benefit from a lighter weight yarn. Still, it's cozy and was much-used this fall.
This hat came from the latest issue of Cast On. I didn't have the patriotic red white and blue of the original hat, so instead of USA mine says SDG - Soli Deo Gloria! Mom liked the hat so much she asked for one.
So I pulled out the bag of stash yarns I had with me (doesn't everyone travel around with 13 skeins of leftover sportweight, 'just in case'?) and she picked out these colors for her own hat. Corn stoves are great - this hat blocked and dried in just 3 hours.
I've been meaning to knit something from Dale of Norway's Commemorative Collection -- and here is the Lake Louise Hat, worked in leftover Blue Sky Alpaca Sport. A fun knit, and a perfect fit for a pink-loving girl.

Before I knit Louise, though, I was at a loss. What to knit, what to knit? Friends told me to cast on for the socks El Pronto - but it's hard to cast on without yarn. I pulled out Molly's Fault and worked on it and thought. (Molly's Fault has grown quite a bit - 25 more squares - due to my indecision) I browsed through things on Ravelry to see what my friends were finding interesting. Someone had favorited a hat by knittergized and it called my name. Loudly. With just a wee bit of number crunching, I discovered that my gauge from the Soli Deo Gloria hats would work nicely with 5 reps of the X pattern, and off I went. Then one of my friends asked for the pattern, so I jotted it down and knit another one to make sure the pattern was accurate, and sent it off to other knitters so they could check it as well. I called it the Estonian Sock Hat because it uses a motif from an Estonian Sock (and probably a Lithuanian, Latvian, and Komi motif as well). Then I knit Louise and decided I needed to make another Estonian Sock Hat which is going to be MINE!!!

I wonder how many of these I will knit before the winter is over?

Speaking of winter, here's a photo of our 'pass to the street' on the first day of winter. The snow fell on the last day of fall, but there was no sign of a pass at that time. I am so happy to have a teenaged boy in the house this year!
Whatever will the pass look like by midwinter?