WIP Wednesday

Before I tackle all that blue stuff I want to finish, I have a couple of other things on the needles.

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This is a Peaks Island Hood, which I started on my recent holiday trip to visit relatives in Illinois. Seed stitch was the perfect thing to work on when hanging out with the fam, because it’s so simple. The beautiful Malabrigo Silky Merino in Velvet Grapes makes it look a bit more interesting.

This is a Honeycomb Vest, in the same shade of red I used to make Glasgow Lace. It’s my mom’s color, so the yarn was calling out to be something for her.

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I had wanted to finish it for my mom’s birthday, but it looks like it will be finished for my birthday instead. That’s appropriate, eh? I suppose we should give our mothers gifts on our birthday, not the other way around.

2009 – the year in knitting

Can you believe that this is the end of my third full year blogging, and my third year end review post? (2007, 2008). Time flies.

My goals for 2009 weren’t as elaborate as those for 2009. I failed in some of the specifics (to finish some particular WIPs and contribute to the WTP once a week) but my main goal for 2009 was to learn something new. I learned to crochet, I sort of learned to spin, and as Pink Pirates demonstrates I’m getting more and more comfortable with colorwork.

The most exciting knitting-related development in 2009 was not something I planned at the beginning of the year. I have real-life knitting friends now, which is super exciting. I love you, CT River SnB! I have to credit Sonia (of the New Haven SnB) with coaxing me out of my shell to meet other Connecticut knitters. She invited me to an SnB party at her house in February (you can see me chatting with Rebecca in the fourth picture) and in March I decided to find my own SnB closer to where I live. I’m so glad I did!

Here’s a recap of 2009, with a fibery focus:

January:

I made Otto for my mom:

Otto

I got my nice camera at the Circuit City going-out-of-business sale.

February:

I recapped January in the world of knit blogs. I should keep doing this in the new year, it’s really fun putting together best-of posts.

I made the “dead fish hatfor my friend Elizabeth:

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I finished Exchequered for my sister:

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March:

I made a surprisingly accurate heart for my mom:

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I learned how to crochet!

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I finally finished Wicked:

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April:

I started Wisteria:

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I started an Ishbel in purple:

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I finished Cathode (and I look even more embarrassed to be wearing it in some of the other pictures):

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May:

I made womb for my mom (duh):

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I made an Ishbel shawl for my friend Jennifer, in our college’s color:

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We took in a stray cat! She was pretty scrawny and bedraggled when she came to live with us…

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but look at her now! She’s such a good kitty.

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June/July:

I had an intense summer internship at a law firm I love. I was too busy to knit very much at all, but I did crochet some.

I had a great time with the potholder swap:

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And I started Babette:

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August:

I started a Dotty cat bed:

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I finished my purple Ishbel:

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I started Seraphim and Orangina:

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I went on two great trips.

September:

I swatched for a Deep V Argyle Vest, but I never really got started. Maybe it should be my Knitting Olympics project?

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I finished Seraphim:

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I made Knucks:

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October:

I brought my DPP out of hiding but barely made any progress on it:

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I WENT TO RHINEBECK!

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I made myself yet another Foliage and matching mittens for the occasion:

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My home town hosted Stitches East, and the CT River SnB led a pub crawl:

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I finished Serrano and was able to wear it to Stitches:

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I finished the Dotty cat bed. Fiona actually uses it all the time:

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I made Flora to match my Knucks:

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November:

I did some spinning.

I made an Inga hat:

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I made two more Foliage hats for my school’s charity auction:

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I made OWLS:

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December:

I made a blankie for baby Elsie:

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I started Celestine:
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I made Daybreak for my mom:
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I made a pink We Call Them Pirates for my sister:
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I made some Venezia napkin rings for my in-laws:
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I started a Peaks Island Hood on a family trip to Illinois:

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Whew. It was a great year. See you in 2010!

Colors

Aside from the little pirate hat snafu, gift knitting is going pretty well around here.

I’m working on a multi-colored Celestine for the toddler boy of some friends of ours.

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I’m also working on the Daybreak Shawl in purple and red Malabrigo Sock, for my mom.

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The red is the same color I used for my Seraphim shawl. I worked on Seraphim in front of my mom a few times, and she always complimented the color. My mom loves the color red, and I always associate it with her. I considered giving Seraphim to her, but she’s not a lace shawl kind of gal. But i knew that the extra skien of Tiziano Red had to be for her. It feels strange to work in this color and not have it be for her. It feels sort of strange for anything in this color to be mine and not hers.

My favorite colors are blue and green, and while I use those colors often enough, I use other colors for myself too. For my mom and my sister, however, everything I ever make for them follows a pretty well-defined pallette.

Here is a sampling of what I’ve made my mom over the years:

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(Clockwise from top left: Diagonal Cross-rib Socks (2008), Mr Greenjeans (2008), Calorimetry (2006), Red Light Special (2008))

All exactly the same color.  Is that bad?

And look at the things I’ve made for my sister:

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Caroline scarfCaroline Sweater

(Clockwise from top left: Exchequered (2009), Everlasting Bagstopper (in progress), Calorimetry (2006), Lopi Sweater (2004), garter stitch scarf (2002), Elijah (2007))

As you can see, all pink, magenta and orange.

Am I alone in this?  Is there anyone in your life who gets the same color stuff every single time?

Pink Pirates – Take One

I decided to knit We Call Them Pirates for my sister as a birthday present (her birthday was over the weekend).

The good news:

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It looks awesome!

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It’s lined in shocking orange Shine Worsted to keep the wool off her face!

The bad news:

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It’s way too short. It’s so short it pops off my head if I turn my neck. Curses. So I think what I’ll do is rip back and add a fourth row of skulls, and give it to her for Christmas.

Welcome to the world, Elsie Rose

On Saturday my friend Kate gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

My first thought, of course, was “aww, bebe.” My second thought, of course, was “what shall I knit for her?”

There is something special about knitting for babies.  It sort of feels like a prayer.  A prayer of thanks, and a prayer for a good life for the little one.

So anyway, what shall I knit for her?

Since she’s a November baby, I suppose a multitude of hats would be appropriate. I’m sure that I’ll make some.  But I also decided to take the opportunity to knit something that’s been on my list for awhile.

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This is Op Art from knitty and I am very happy with how it is turning out so far. Every baby needs a blankie.

NaKniSweMo – Buttons

The owls have taken shape.  Time to find them some eyes!

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I went down to Colchester Mill Fabrics, my favorite source of buttons, zippers and similar items. Look at their button selection!

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That’s not even all of it. They also have a ton of zippers.

I had considered doing all of the eyes in white, but I settled on an assortment of colors.

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There is white, pink, purple, and three shades of blue. I think the owls deserve their own personalities!

NaKniSweMo – Joining Up

This weekend I finished the sleeves of my OWLS sweater and joined them to the body.

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As I’ve discussed, I’m using worsted weight yarn so I’ve have to make some adjustments. Since I have to do my own math anyway, I decided that I might as well correct a couple of things that I don’t like so much about the (otherwise lovely and well-written) pattern. First, I don’t like how the owls start immediately after the join. It sort of looks like the owls are being sucked into the armpits (oh how I wish I could link to examples, but that would be mean, no?). Second, my size was supposed to have 21 owls. I insist upon symmetry in most of my knitting (see rant about Wicked) and there is no way to divide 21 owls in such a way that they are symmetrical and all line up the same way with the armpit joins.

So, here is my solution.  The body of my sweater had 200 stitches, and each sleeve had 64.  I cast off eight stitches for each part of the underarm join, which brought the total number of stitches down to 296.  Then, I joined and worked four sets of raglan decreases at the underarms.

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This brought the total number of stitches to 264, and gives the owls a little breathing room so they don’t get sucked into the armpits. The owl motif is 20 rows tall, and in 20 rows a sweater should decrease roughly 80 stitches (four per round, or the more typical eight every other round). I started doing some math, and came upon what I think is a lovely solution. 264 is divisible by six, so I decreased by 44 (264/6) evenly spaced around the yoke.  I can get rid of the extra 36 stitches after the owls, as the pattern was originally written.  Now, I have 220 stitches, 70 each across the front and back areas and 40 across the sleeve areas. Each owl is ten stitches wide, so I can fit exactly seven owls across the front and back and exactly four across each of the sleeve areas, and it will all be symmetrical. Huzzah!

You can all tease me now ;)

NaKniSweMo – Sleeves

I’m about done with the body and chugging along on the sleeves.

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I am SO looking forward to getting to the owls chart. I’ve had about enough stockinette!

I’ve had a pleasant little diversion lately, doing some knitting for an auction to benefit the public interest program at my law school

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Here is a child size Foliage, knit out of Blue Sky Organic Cotton. This is the softest cotton I’ve ever used! The matching Mom version is coming soon!