W is for Warm, Wooly Wurm

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Sometimes I knit because I’m captivated by the construction or techniques used in a pattern. Or because I feel I need to learn something new to stretch my skills a bit.  But mostly I knit because I’ve fallen for a yarn or I’m smitten with a pattern.  It’s doubly wonderful when I’m really excited about the yarn and pattern being a serendipitous combination.

(This is all aside from the real reason I knit: so I don’t go completely nuts. Because I have to make things. Because I love color and texture.  But you knew this, right?)

This hat is one of the projects I cast on to take on our most recent trip.  I’ve had this yarn in my stash for a couple of years, and was waiting to come across a pattern that was just right. Every now and then I’d do a search on Ravelry, but nothing seemed quite right.

Then, in a middle of the night bout with insomnia just before our trip, I decided simple was best. Sometimes the challenge is to find an understated pattern that will let the yarn be the star.  I have to say that the Wurm hat really shows off a special yarn well.

Silly me, I thought I would finish this hat on the plane ride to Hawaii. While it is a fairly simple hat, the yarn is a sport weight knit on smaller needles than I’m used to for hats. The cushy, warm turned hem is lovely, but picking up those stitches on the airplane was a feat, for sure!

There was even a point where I thought about ripping this hat out entirely, as it wasn’t going to use a good amount of the second skein of yarn.  I’m the type of knitter who likes to use up all the good stuff, or as close to it as possible.  There’s no sense in having a golf-ball size of yarn around, unless you want to save it for repairs or stripes or scrappy projects later.  And I have plenty of leftovers, don’t get me wrong!

Anyway… I decided I had enough time and yarn invested in this hat that I wanted to see it through.  And on a cold, drizzly day like today, I’m oh so happy that I did. It’s warm yet lightweight, slouchy and cozy without being sloppy, and those colors? Well, they’re soft and pretty much perfect together.

Are you saving a special skein for just the right project? How do you feel about leftovers?

Bedrest Knitting

The Christmas holiday is officially over.  This can be proven by the lack of festive decorations, holiday music, cookies, and wrapping paper strewn about the house.  Also, family have returned to their respective homes, Sweetie is back at work, and PB and I are trying to get back into some sort of routine at home.

This post-holiday time is always wrought with feelings of transition for me.  Of course, there are the inevitable feelings of wanting to begin this new year with intention, organized closets, getting back to a yoga class, and baking bread from scratch.  Then there’s my knitting to-do list!  I’m thinking of January as a Knit All the Leftovers from 2010 month.  More on that later.  For now, I’d like to share one last gift knit, documented with my new big-girl camera on a sunny winter’s day.

  • Pattern: Dashing (free from Knitty)
  • Yarn: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran in color 360028, 96 yards
  • Needles: US 6/4 mm
  • Mods: Made shorter.  See mods on Ravelry

I was sick as sick the two weeks leading up to Christmas.  So much so that there was talk of me having mono.  I don’t, thank goodness, but until we found out for sure, I was assigned a strict regimen of bedrest.  Which, for a knitter with a toddler in the house, is a little like heaven!  I napped, caught up on podcasts, and knit these mitts for Sweetie.

Dashing is a pattern I had been meaning to make for years.  This simple, elegant cables just called out to me, and paired with a tweedy yarn I thought they’d be perfect for Sweetie.  The creamy oatmeal color of this yarn was so soothing to knit with; I have a tendency to go for bolder, saturated colors, and working with a neutral was unexpectedly thrilling.  I only had one ball of the yarn so I made the mitts significantly shorter, eliminating most of the rounds between the last cable twist and the thumb opening.  I think it worked out well, especially since I only had a couple of yards of yarn leftover!

And finally, because I have to share the cuteness, here’s a shot of PB and me, decked out in mama knits.

Happy Monday!

The Progress is in the Process

I have been a very busy knitter and budding designer this past week!  Let me just get the first exciting bits out of the way…My first 2 patterns are up on Ravelry!

orange-owl4Owl Cowl & Neckwarmer

ribbed-warmth-cowl21Ribbed For Your Warmth

These are of the “quick & dirty” variety, but they are official.  I am waiting to be linked on the website as a Designer, after which time I can add photos and PDF links to the pattern.  That way, users can download the file and print easily, or save the file in their Ravelry libraries.  (If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say Ravelry, please take a moment to go here and sign yourself up.  It’s a blast!)  Now I just need to figure out how to link my pattern PDF files through this blog.  For now the patterns are available to blog readers (that’s you!) through the Original Designs tab at the top of the page.

After spengind all this time figuring out websites, pattern formats, and PDF files, I’m ready to hit the needles and do some good knitting.  My Wicked sweater is still coming along, though progress seems to have slowed.  I have a couple of inches to go before I can start doing some hip increases, then it’s the home stretch to the bottom band, pocket, and sleeves.  And I have 8 days before Thanksgiving to meet my goal of wearing this sweater.  What am I doing on the computer?  I should be knitting!

I also got sidetracked by a new project, one that was absolutely critical I cast on immediately.  you see, my mom asked for a pair of socks way back in July.  I never knit them.  Now my mom has been here visiting for a week and I still hadn’t started these socks.  So when we decided to take the train into NYC yesterday, I saw that as the perfect opportunity to cast on and get knitting.

Undulating Rib Sock in STR Pebble Beach

Undulating Rib Sock in STR Pebble Beach

I’m not sure this is the best yarn to show off the stitch pattern, but it’s knitting up nicely and quickly, so it’s a winner.

I had a celebrity sighting in New York as well.  I just about ran into Barbara Walters on the sidewalk!  Just as I realized who she was and how close we were, she took a sharp left into a restaurant entrance.  I took my mom back by the window just to make sure it was her, and it was!  Hope you had a nice lunch, Barbara!