2012 in review: knitting

January 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

It’s been a surprisingly good year for knitting.

It started with finishing up, at the last minute, a toy octopus(!!!) and the homecoming outfit for J-L – hat, sweater, and legwarmers. And, in the hospital postpartum unit, I was working on a pair of shop model socks for SH. I made a couple of pairs of baby socks out of sock yarn remnants I’d had, with the intent that Jean-Luc would have a new pair of wool socks per month of his first year, showing the size of his little baby feet. A cute idea, but for the first two pairs, even though I’d measured and measured, the socks were too small by the time I’d kitchenered up the toes! He’d outgrown them faster than I could knit…so I gave up the project. (note – the actual reason they were always too small was because stitches, even tiny sock-yarn-on-size-1s stitches have thickness, which means that the inside of a garment is always going to be smaller than the outside. For an adult garment, this difference is negligible. For the baby sock, I’d mistakenly made them so that the outside was the right size, and those few millimeters meant enough that they weren’t comfortably wearable.)

I made a little woolen soaker for JL’s cloth diapers in the spring, but we never really got the hang of wool – PUL covers are so light and easy to care for, it’s hard for wool to compare to. So, neglected it remains. I haven’t even taken a picture of it, and somehow it has a hole in it. I suspect we have carpet beetles. Ugh.

Knitting slowed down as Jean-Luc became more interested in the outside world (and what I was working on), so it took me until May to finish the (awesome) baby blanket I’d started months before. Part of the delay was the tedium of the pattern, all in garter stitch. And part of the problem was that it turned out more like a bedspread than a baby blanket, covering a full-sized bed rather comfortably.  [here’s the post I wrote about it] I really recommend Woolly Thoughts’ patterns if you like math-inspired knitting – they’re beautiful and make you think, just the way I like it.

A triumph of the summer was putting together a pattern for sale – A Sip Of Bubbly Shawlette, using BeSweet’s bubble ball yarn, a single-ply merino strung with felt bobbles. It was fun to write a pattern especially for this yarn, and I may try that approach in the future, particularly for interesting yarns like this one. [here’s my post about it]

Another triumph was finishing the spinning on my first full skein of handspun yarn! It’s a light grey llama that I bought 2 years ago at the Mass Sheep and Woolcraft festival, and I’ve been chugging along at it steadily. Now, to figure out what to knit with it!

Then came the Clapotis I’d had the yarn for years, since the 2011 Great Rhody Yarn Crawl. It’s knit from SWTC Bamboo, in a beautiful golden yellow, just like the one dear Chelsea had made for Stitch House. That’s a bittersweet thought, as Chelsea passed away this year, and has left a huge hole in the hearts of many people who knew her. We miss you, Chelsea!

I cranked out a pair of Skew socks in the fall. It was my second pair of this pattern, which is frankly brilliant and beautiful. The only disadvantage is that the heel is naturally weak, with a row of slightly less-dense increases sitting right at the top of the heel, a place that shoes tend to rub. My first pair sprung a hole not long ago, and because of the novel construction, it’s not a straightforward repair. Boo.

When the seasons changed, Jean-Luc needed a hat. And mittens. And a dicky. It was nice to use up some stash scraps!

I swatched and started (but haven’t yet finished) another long-planned project: Eunny Jang’s Venezia sweater. It’s slow going; the color work requires constant attention, which isn’t so much my style. So, while working on that, I knit up a sweater for Jean-Luc, which I just put the buttons on. (I’m planning on a small blog series on improvising your own pattern, based on my experience with this sweater!) On Small Business Saturday, I used my AmEx credit to get the luscious supplies to make a Shibui Gradient Cowl -4 skeins of Silk Haze in navy, teal, graphite and silver. It made its way onto the 2012 collage, even though I finished it in early January 2013. Shhh…

And at the last minute, I knitted up a little star to top our Christmas tree (pattern forthcoming).

It’s been a quiet year in yarn acquisition, too, with the exception of a birthday blitz on a sweater’s worth of MadelineTosh Vintage in plummy pink and blue-grey. Probably a tea leaves cardigan with some color work added in, or something similar. That and the Shibui, and a few treasures purchased on vacation in Canada (oh Canadian yarns…). Not too bad. Now, to find more time to knit!

So, looking back, more than 12 things in 2012, even with a baby at home. It gives me hope that I’ll be able to claim 13 in 2013!


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A new year! Dabbling with Brioche

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