Monday, January 14, 2013

New Years FO Parade

Happy New Year!
To everyone who popped into the comments section to send a holiday greeting, I thank you!
I hope you had a good holiday season to usher in the New Year. I have not had much of a break, since I work in the healthcare industry; in fact, I worked both Thanksgiving and Christmas this time around. Still, I managed to knit whenever I could, and here is a rundown of how things went.

Some of the Christmas knits included a couple pairs of Diamondback Mitts:
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Since I used dk yarn it turned out a bit smallish, a great size for my mom's hands. Since the intended recipient was not my mother, though, I made a second pair, adding stitches and working it at a much tighter gauge to tweak the sizing. Can you tell which mitts are which size?

Then I had a last-minute worry that my mom might not appreciate the chain-link look of the mitts, so I whipped up another pair just in case, this time using the Nalu Mitts by Leila Raabe.

I think my choice of the above pattern was perhaps influenced by the halting of my work on a pair of Galadriel socks by Claire Ellen. Isn't that a great cable? Sadly, the smaller sizing for the sock turned out to be too small, and I had to rip all of this out. I am not quite as far as I had gotten the first time around.  Eventually.

Another knit that when awry was an attempt at Barbara Gregory's "Ringo and Elwood" mittens. Besides botching up the thumb by holding the yarn double, I did a lousy job catching the floats, making this cute guy look just a bit mangy. 

Look at that back! It's like a car ran over him a few times.

I used the same yarns yet again, this time in a design that does not have super-long floats. Score!
The stranding made these yarns feel so friggin soft. I was pretty pumped to give these to my sister.

I finished Jeff's arm warmers, and after a few lessons about the difference in arm size and shape, I am very pleased with how they turned out.
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I had to make some modifications, including an extra cable bit to stabilize the cuff. I think I prefer it that way!
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When all my main gift knitting was done, I dove into some delightful little mitten ornaments. These are so much fun to make!

I kept some of my handspun for our tree, and gave the rest to family and coworkers.
Smitten with Handspun

And here's my Bartek hat. I wouldn't mind a cabled sweater in this yarn, though I don't know that I'd love doing the knitting. It's pretty comfy on the head.

On New Years Eve I found a sort of symbolic strength to rip out the ribbing on my red not-quite-Rhinebeck sweater -- though that is as far as it has gone. Someday that sweater will have thought about its failings enough that I will consider allowing it back into the pool of WIPs. I also ripped out a baby blanket I had started in order to reuse the yarn in Jared Flood's Leaves of Grass for a knitalong with Girls In Sheep's Clothing.
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At midnight I ushered in the new year with the beginning of the Leaves of Grass blanket, using some Briar Rose Fibers that the guys at the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat surprised me with. While other knits have gotten in the way, I'm looking forward to getting back to this. You can read about everyone's progress in the knitalong at the Girls in Sheep's Clothing blog. I'm posting as a guest blogger there, too. It's a fun way to get involved, and I like having the assurance that other people are interested in seeing my progress and encouraging me to press on to completion on such a large project.

One of the projects that is getting in the way of this blanket is the Hypotenuse wrap designed by Anne Hanson. It is also using one of the Briar Rose Fibers yarns gifted by the guys at MSKR, and it is beautiful. When I finish I will try to get better photographs of the colors, which are very tricky to capture. Think a dark, woodsy green and a dark, slightly intense purple.

By the way, I think there are only a few slots left in this year's registration for the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat. They are even reserving two of those slots for newbie knitters, so if you are a guy who is interested but feel intimidated by not being able to knit (or knit well), never fear. You will be surrounded by inspiring and skilled men who would love to usher you down the rabbit hole that is knitting. There is something wonderfully restful about not having to defend or rationalize your knitting based on the fact that you are a man. I would love to go every year, if nursing homes paid more. But, since I bring that up, there are a few scholarships being offered, including a travel stipend, to make it truly accessible. So hop over to this page to find out more about the retreat and to make a nomination for a deserving guy - make sure you get his permission first!

Oh, and I hereby give you permission to nominate me, if you feel so inspired! :)


  1. love all your stops and starts and finished objects (and even the roadkill mitten ~ I burst out laughing when I read that!)

    I'm glad you've joined us for the knitalong ~ you're a great addition to the blog and so damn funny! Melissa

  2. Mitten porn. I love it. (I know what I am going to do with the left over sock yarn I have.) I also noticed your model wearing the Kate Davis hat. I never thought of knitting it for myself but it looks great on him and I love the pattern.
    Ron in Mexico

  3. It has been a while since I last left you a note; however, I have been reading.....the road kill comment almost made me spew 7-UP out my nose.....

    The parade was quite inspiring and I always love your parings of yarns with patterns. You have inspired me and that is a blessing and a bonus! Off to learn more about the retreat!

    Happy New Year!

  4. I love the diamondback mitts! Also, I really need to knit myself a bartek... Like soon.

  5. OMG! I love that Ringo mitten! I have it on my to-do list, but the the fair isle intimidates me.

    That pattern is for a child right? Any chance it could fit an adult?

    Love your blog!

    1. Ringo is a child's pattern, but I used a dk weight instead of the recommended fingering weight to make it more adult-sized. I still may try this again, simply because it's so darn cute.

  6. Thanks for your response! I'm gonna give it a go. It IS too darn cute!