Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Knitting galore!

December was truly a knitfest romp here!  With time on my hand, and without a steady paycheck, it was time to do some serious production line knitting.

First, I made myself something. (And I WILL get someone to make a photo of me wearing it, as I'm wearing it often and loving it.) Worn as a scarf, it's provided the certain something that I needed for the holidays, proving once again, that I should knit more for myself than I do.

These weird light photos do nothing to display the color of this amazing hand dyed from Miss Babs' yarn.
Thank you, Miss Babs for my treat yarn and the inspiration, even after a rough year with the fire in your studio.  This would be a color indicator, until I can get you a shot or two of the finished garment.

Yes, I realize that's not a way to get going on the gift list.  But I'd purchased my 'treat' at SAFF and it just kept calling my name.  The day the pattern came in, I was consumed with the notion that I should sit and knit and not feed anyone, nor do any housework, nor do anything else that might be construed as productive until I'd finished the Damson.  I seldom purchase patterns, but this is one that I not only purchased, but I recommend highly.  It was a fun pattern to knit, well written and simple enough, once I started over three times to get the numbers right.  To do this, I actually laminated my pattern and used a dry erase marker to keep track of what line I was one... you see the pattern gives you a line by line breakdown on where you should be, number wise.  The designer of this one is Ysolda Teague, an awesome young Scottish designer with a style all her own. 

Next, I made a stack of caps for band kids.  Back in November, the band director assigned classwork where the kids were allowed to choose a person to whom they would dedicate their performance at the Christmas concert.  I got four of the types of letters that both warm your heart and wet your cheeks... the sorts of notes that remind you why you spend endless hours helping out where you can.  I decided that they needed a tangible object as a token of my affection and so produced these... (Two of them did not manage to get photographed, it seems... will chase those two down soon, now that school is back in session.

 This cap is a free pattern called Rib a Roni. Pattern designer is Jane Tanner from Knit Jane Knit.  It's an easy, fun knit... so easy and so much fun in fact that I believe that I've made 4 or 5 of them this season.  It rolls a bit at the bottom, so I ran a row of single crochet along the bottom to stop the roll.  It has an awesome decrease feature.

This pattern is also a free pattern called Dean Street Hat.  Designer  here is Nina Machlin Dayton.  The pattern contains a variety of sizes and two different bands.

Another free pattern that I've done several times this season is The Natural by designer Homero Luna. It's a very nice unisex cabled cap with a just right amount of cabling.  I got ahold of the pattern before errata was posted, but figured it out for myself on the fly.  I made this one in a blue heathered wool and also in a cream alpaca.

I wanted to include a scarf as part of a gift with the cream alpaca cap and not finding a pattern that would match closely enough, I wrote up the pattern as I knitted.  I will share my pattern here as soon as it has been test knit for errors and technical glitches.

I knit a pattern called Snowtracks Cap, by designer Timothy Peters for my daughter. It was published by Stitch Nation.   Ironically, as I sat down to knit it on Christmas afternoon it began to snow.  Made of soft pink alpaca, it was a happy, feel good knit.  A slightly more complicated pattern with a lovely celtic knot, this cap kept me busy for a bit longer than some of the others this season.  It was worth every minute.

See this cute smile...yeah.... worth every minute...

We could go on... and on... by last count, over the Thanksgiving to New Year holiday, I've knit 18 caps.

I still have a few to finish up... caps for a favorite family and caps for a pair of special girls. If I can land some yarn, I might just make the Damson in a dark red.  If the cold weather holds out, I'll wind up this knitting frenzy just in time to spend a few days with the seed catalogs.
You see, seed catalogs are my other 'cold winters night' indulgence.

An amazing resource, and an excellent way to get lost in cyber space is Ravelry.  If you knit and if you have not begun to Ravel, then you should join the more than one million enthusiasts who gather there.  It's a user friendly social media where you have your own space, friends, projects and where you can keep track of all things knitting.  I recommend it as a frugal resource as well, as it's a clearing house for so many free patterns.

Last but not least, I'll again reiterate... when the world around me feels like it's spinning all out of sorts, or when I need to soothe my mind, or for simply no reason at all, I can head to my chair (front porch rocker, van seat, rock at the river or insert any other seating locale you can imagine) with a ball of yarn and needles and set the world to rights with a peaceful, rhythmic past time that in the end produces warmth and comfort on so many levels.  In a meditative prayerful way, every stitch begs a blessing for the recipient and for me as well.

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