A Weekend’s Worth Of Knitting

I seem to be having a glut of "welcome to the new year, everything is going crazy" overtime at work and insanity with kids, but despite that, I did find a bit of time to knit over the weekend.  And especially, a big thanks to Downton Abbey, when everything in my house comes to a halt and I can knit and indulge.


I devoted my knitting time this past weekend to Olivia.  Olivia is the first project I ever cast on in yarn from The Plucky Knitter.  It's Primo Aran in the Holloway color, a delicious teal.  This is the first time I've ever done a Fisherman's Rib, and the number of mistakes in this project (I've found the rib almost impossible to rib back and make corrections in) attest to my learning process.  Although it's slow, I've reached the point where I really enjoy it.  I'm about four inches into what needs to be seven inches of rib.  

For the next couple of weeks, I'll probably have painstakingly slow photos of "oh look, I've knit another half inch of Fisherman's Rib" to show you, so in an effort to make up for that in advance, I'll share this odd but intriguing cell phone video my daughter shot in her ballet class, because she knew I would like the music.  It's grainy and off kilter but really moving.  If you're interested, she comes in midway through in a black unitard with a white top and sleeves.  Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with knitting, but imagine all the warm ups you could knit for those dancers, if you really put your mind to it!





Another Knit Nevermind Hat. Subtitle: Why I Love The Plucky Knitter’s Snug Yarn

I'm sure I sound like I have lost my marbles to anyone who is not passionate about knitting.  But, I have a new favorite yarn, and I really don't care who knows about it.  Snug.  I love you Snug.  I love you for your cashmere content and for your beautiful, smooth, round, bulkiness.  And I love how you take color.  All of them.  I loved you right out of the box, even before the first time I put you on my needles.


I love you even more, now that I've knit a second hat out of Snug, my second using the Nevermind cabled pattern.  It is what you were meant for.


Forgive me for the glamour shot.  I'm rather partial to the model as well.  But she still doesn't get to keep the hat!

The colorway is Fisherman's Wharf, a neutral with just a hint of a purpleish undertone in the right light.  So subtle that you're not even sure it's there.  So beautiful that I'm kicking myself for not getting a sweater quantity.




Here is the obligatory cat photo.  I was chided, after the lovely photo of our baby cat Juliet earlier this week, for not including our cats in more photos.  So here is Harry, who is skilled at photobombing, but agreed to pose just this once.


In case I haven't been clear, if you don't have any of The Plucky Knitter Snug in your stash you need to RUN not walk and get some.  You can buy it at her periodic updates or through destash on Ravelry if you're lucky.  It's amazing yarn.  You need to knit with some now!


New Year’s Knitting

I wanted to catch you all up on the knitting I have planned for the month of January.  I've joined The Plucky Knitter WIP Wrangling KAL, the goal being to finish Plucky projects that were started before the new year during the month of January.


I started Olivia at the end of November, but promptly set her aside to get some final holiday knitting done.  Fisherman's Rib has been slow going for me, but I really like its plump, cushy effect. I'm hoping to spend some quality time with Olivia and conquer the short row technique necessary to finish her off this month.

Because I'm like this as a knitter, I hit a Cast-On-All-The-Things streak the last two weeks in December and set up a number of other projects to include in the KAL:

  • I'm knitting a second Nevermind Hat in Plucky Snug.  This one is for me.


  • Vodka Lemonade is a sweater I've wanted to do forever.  I've cast on in Plucky Crew — a cotton/merino blend.  Although there is about zero chance I'll finish this in January, I'm hoping to get a good start.


  • I'm in love with Paddle Mitts and am doing mine in Plucky Scholar.  The stripes on the hands will be in a different weight Plucky yarn, but I'm optimistic that it will all work out.


  • Some of my precious Plucky cashmere is going to become a Lina Hat.  I'm not overjoyed with my cable cast on, but I've decided to assess it tomorrow and rip it out for a fresh start if it sucks as bad as I think it does seems to need a little help.


Wish me luck, ok?  January is always a busy month at work for me, so this may be my knitting for several months, rather than just January.  I'm really happy to have it all on my needles and ready to carry with me for delays and lines.

Finally, a sad note to the start of the year.  Longtime blog readers (that would be you, Mom), know that we have four cats.  Our beloved black cat Squirt, the oldest of our cats, passed away peacefully but suddenly.  I'm going to miss his affectionate nature and loving support for my knitting — he enjoyed the holidays and was especially fond of having me sit on the couch for hours at a time and bat balls of yarn around for his pleasure.  I'm going to miss him a lot, but am really glad he sat for one last family photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.



What Did You Knit This Year?



[Click on the photo collage to see the larger version]

This is my knitting year in review, or at least most of it.

2014 was a really good year for knitting in my house, likely because our Iceland trip spawned the need for lots of warm things early on and once my hat and cowl mojo got into gear, it never left me.  It was also the year I conquered lace, starting with Pale Pink Shells, knit during the Olympics, and continuing onto Rainbow Fish and Lida.  I started Lida during a trip to South Carolina in May and didn't finish her until September.  She became my constant companion, knitting a row here and there in the carpool line or the doctor's office, and I love wearing her as much as I loved knitting her.  I also knit a Citron, the oldest unknit pattern in my queue, from my favorite yarn of all time, Elliebelly Moth and Goat, a silk/cashmere blend that I dyed into a sunshine-y color, just when I needed some sunshine in my life.

Speaking of favorite yarns, late in the year I discovered The Plucky Knitter's yarns and fell in love.  Some people got up early to shop on Black Friday.  I sat in front of my computer and bought Plucky.  Lots of it. My first project was a Nevermind hat in the Plucky bulky cashmere blend called Snug.  My second project, which I only speak of with great difficulty, was a pair of beautiful merino mitts that were almost done when I stupidly left them in the Atlanta airport, never to be seen again.  I've got an Olivia shawl in the works in a worsted Plucky yarn and plan to cast on several more projects this week to get me through January and February in Plucky yarn.  Because I am in love.  Plucky has great yarn, beautiful colors and the most incredible customer service.

2014 has been a great knitting year.  Looking at my collage, I've decided I need to up my photography game in 2015, so my poor knitting models darling children can all have that to look forward to.  2015 will be a year filled with cashmere, sweaters, happy knitting, and it will, of course, be the year I start my Christmas knitting early.  I'm starting in January this year.  Really.



Knitting Gadabout

My Gadabout cowl started out as an experiment.  I had some aran weight Debbie Bliss cashmere yarn in a natural color, leftover from a hat I knitted years ago.  I had just under 300 yards of it left and it was so soft that I wanted to knit something to wrap around my neck.

image from images4-d.ravelrycache.com

So I dyed it blue and went off in search of a pattern.  I swatched for a simple scarf, but didn't think the yarn had enough structure. I tried a Black Death shawlette.  It was a great pattern, but I wasn't feeling the love.  Then I saw , cowlThe Plucky Knitter's Gadabout and fell instantly in love.  I adore cables, and these are clever but simple to knit.  Best of all, you can memorize the pattern during the first 16 row repeat, making this the perfect portable knitting project.


This is a pattern that whispers to you "just one more repeat, your bed will wait."  It's almost impossible to put down.  

I'm about half way finished — my six 50 gram skeins limit how large I can make it.  The pattern itself has three panels of cables running up its length, but I wisely cut back to two out of fear of yardage and think this should work, as my gauge indicates I'll still be as wide as the pattern calls for, given the bulk of my yarn.

I love this pattern, and let's face it, I live for cashmere.  This is one of those rare patterns I feel sure I'll knit a second time.  If you're looking for something to cast on for this new year, this is it!



Bad Things Happen When I Go Away

I should have known it was going to be a bad trip, right?  For openers, within minutes of my getting on the first plane, husband sends a series of photos that demonstrate that my months of careful training of the puppy are all going out the window.  Immediately.


He taunted me with photos all week: dog on table, dog on bed, dog in the trash.  I should have known it was going to be a really bad week.  And it was, at least in a knitting way, because this is the last photo we're every going to see of my Ferryboat Mitts, knit in my beloved Plucky Knitter Trusty yarn in Corduroy.


I finished the first mitt and started on the second the night before I left, hence the fabulously bad hotel room lighting photo.  But they were lovely.  I couldn't stop trying them on in progress.

IMG_2436 (1)

(Airplane lighting, even worse than hotel room lighting).  

I answered a work-related call in the Atlanta airport as my flight home was boarding.  Typically, I would have had better sense than to combine those two, but it was an important call.  By the time I sat down on the plane, I realized I didn't have my knitting.  A kind stewardess told me I had time to run back and get it. The gate agent wouldn't let me off, but said she would go get it.  Predictably, she came back 30 seconds later, telling me it wasn't there and that I had to get on the plane.

Despite the efforts of some kind Ravelers and other friends to track it down, my knitting is nowhere to be found.  So RIP wonderful mitts that would have kept me warm, along with my favorite copper stitch markers.  Somewhere around gate T3 in the Atlanta airport, my knitting is cold and lonely.  I feel sure it misses me.  And I feel really sad.