Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas Round Up: More Lace

Christmas Present Round Up continues

I went a little crazy with the lace weight this year. If you would have told me three years ago that I would be knitting a lace weight SCARF, I would have slapped you across the face and called you crazy.

But when I saw the Crooked Little Scarf Pattern by Anne Hanson of Knitspot I knew that it would be the perfect sophisticated and stylish gift my step dad would love. So I ordered two skeins of Knit Picks Shadow Lace and got to knitting in September.

Normally this pattern is knit on size 2 needles because of my normally loosey goosey gauge I knit it on size 0 needles. I knit the larger version (it's slightly wider) and instead of counting my repeats just knit until the size looked long enough. The lace pattern was easy enough to memorize most of it. Although I won't knit a lace pattern, even a simple one, without the pattern out because I'm nervous I will screw it up.

It turned out beautiful. A perfect man knit. Simple and Elegant. Soft and cuddly, just the thing thing to wrap around your neck this cold winter. I would only recommend tackling this project for someone you really really love.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christmas Round Up: Lace Weight Nightmares

Now that the holidays are safely behind us and gifts have been given we can round it all up here. This year almost everyone received hand knit gifts. I started all the way back in the summer so everything was finished on time this year (a Christmas miracle!)

First up is project that has been a long time coming, my featherweight cardigan. Started back in December of 2010,

A top down cardigan worked in lace weight yarn on size 4 needles this is some teeny tiny yarn. I quickly lost motivation after starting it. But I picked it back up this summer knowing that I wanted to finish it as a Christmas gift for my mom.

It became my constant companion and I was able to plow through it fairly quickly once I focused on it. I waited until right before Christmas to block it out and I was so pleased with how great it looked once it got a little bath.

I am very happy to report that it fits my mom like a dream. I'm waiting until it gets a little warmer to snap a few photos of her wearing it.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I didn't think that I had knit that much this year. It felt like real life kept getting in the way of my crafting goals this year so I was surprised by most of these numbers when I sat down and actually added them up.

In 2012 I knit:

6 adult garments
2 baby sweaters
1 baby blanket
7 hats
4 scarves/shawls
4 pairs of mitts/arm warmers
1 pair of socks

For a total of 25 knit items.

Today is my birthday. I turn 27, it's at the time where logically, I know I'm not old but the reality of the time I have spent in my life is looming in front of me. It feels difficult to plan and look forward when all I want to do is look back and figure how I've gotten where I am today. But I know I need to be patient and kind to myself and let myself realize that I will not wake up with these answers one magical morning.

So when I think about my knitting and crafting goals for 2013 I'm inclined to keep it on the simple side. I was shocked to realize that I made 6 adult garment without even really trying. I was published in two issues of Holla Knits. Which was an amazing, challenging, rewarding, awesome experience. and I don't think I'm done designing yet. But I have to remind myself to be patient, and let it unfold in front of me. I've discovered that if I don't let myself experience and be where I am and instead push forward doing something because I "should" do it, I won't enjoy it. and I knit mostly because I ENJOY it. So keeping that in mind here are my crafting goals for 2013:

  • Knit 13 sweaters: adult or baby doesn't matter, I'm shooting for 13 in 13
  • Finish some of my unfinished projects lying around: I have about five sweaters in various stages of completeness and a few accessories thrown around. I want to tie off these loose ends. Finish them if I'll wear them, frog them if I won't. Move on. 
  • Knit mostly from my stash: Nothing like moving three states over and packing up all your belongings will help you really put into perspective HOW MUCH yarn you have. My current count is six large rubbermade containers. I know enough about myself that I won't stop buying yarn. and I don't want to impose that restriction on myself, there will be a new yarn or a new project that need something I don't have. I know that. Plus it's not like I have tons of a sweaters worth of quantity or yarn thrown around. Now how many sweaters worth of yarn for a particular sweater pattern I have, that's another story! (current count: 6) But I want to do more with what I have, and that means looking hard at using the resources I have. So, knit through the stash. Do more with less. Realize that I don't always need to go out and find a new yarn, that sometimes I can modify and adjust to fit things I already have. Be open to this. Be aware of this. That's what I'm striving for.
  • Keep designing: I thought of setting a goal of design this many things, or submit this many things for publication. But I realized more than anything else. I want to keep thinking like a designer. Be inspired by the things around me, continue to create, continue to see possibility all around. I know if I do those things, I'll keep producing things. 
So here's to a new year and new things. I'm glad to look back on last year and see how much I WAS able to do and create. But 2012 was a sucky year for me, and I'm excited to put it behind me. Remembering to be more patient, and kind, and honest and open and responsible and reliable into 2013.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Homeward Bound

Six weeks ago I moved back home to Minneapolis. I had been thinking of leaving Chicago for a long time but the quickness and swiftness I actually left with suprrised even me. Between my decision to move and leaving was three weeks.

Since I've been home it's been a whirlwind of holidays, and visits and relearning where things are. I'm slowly but surely settling in to life here. It's still familiar and strange at the same time. Comforting and claustrophobic. It's hard not to feel disoriented and then completely secure in where I am at one time.

Before the holiday frenzy descended on us I spent most of my free time remembering all of my favorite places to eat.

Seward Cafe

Sonora Grill 

The Salty Tart

In between all the eating I managed to refinish a dresser for my new (to me) room. 

The holidays were crazy with lots of (knit!) presents and time with family. I'm also back working retail so my work schedule has been nuts. But look for some gift updates and of course, it's a new year. With lots of new projects to get on the needles and lots more changes in the wings. Here's to new beginnings.