Friday, February 1, 2013

Thinking jug

 Hello readers!  It's been too long, but I haven't just been sitting around, oh no!  I've been knitting my way through many of my Rhinebeck purchases, which was exactly what I wanted to do when I dropped a couple hundred dollars on yarn in one weekend in October.  The last thing I wanted was for that delicious yarn to sit around and collect dust while I lusted for new and exciting yarn.  Here's what I've been working on:

This one was a quick and simple knit, made for my hairdresser who just had a baby in December.  I searched high and low at Rhinebeck for the perfect bulky weight superwash yarn for a baby-tastic little item.  I chose a baby sack (some of you may call this a bunting bag, BORING), and she loved it.  At my last hair cut (which I had to wait 2 months for because of the previously mentioned newborn baby), she mentioned that she'd already washed it a few times (phew! it passed the washing test), and it's the perfect little thing to slip on baby Abigail when she's in her crib.  That's all a gifter/knitter wants in life, to know that my gift is enjoyed.  Ah, satisfaction.

 I also had enough yarn to knit up a quick little baby hat.  I love the wooden buttons I found, since I didn't need to actually make button holes for them.  I wrapped the whole package up in bright green tissue and wrapped a shoe box in brown craft paper and butcher twine.  I win at presents.

 I also started and finished a non-Rhinebeck item that I had my eye on for a while.  I bought 3 pillow forms from Ikea in the summer, and I finally found a reasonably priced roving-style wool for this project - I had looked everywhere at Rhinebeck, but considering I needed 4 normal skeins for one pillow, I wasn't really down with spending $80+ on a single throw pillow.  I ended up buying Bernat's Roving wool from Len's Mills Store in Cambridge, and spent a total of about $40 on the yarn for the project.  Score. 

 Quick and simple knit.  I panicked a few times during the production of the pieces about how they would fit the pillow form, but I blocked the pieces out to the correct measurements before sewing them together.

Trinity stitch pattern.

Also in the pile of non-Rhinebeck FO, please welcome Momma's Christmas socks (finished January 19).  These were made with one of the sock yarns from my indigodragonfly shopping splurge in June last year.

 Nutkin pattern, and the yarn is Merino Sock by indigodragonfly in "We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero"

Back to Rhinebeck projects - hello big chunky delicious cowl!  I had my eye on a big thick cowl when I saw them featured in Vogue knitting holiday 2009, and while I originally bought this yarn to make the baby sack above, I decided on a cowl for me because of the 60/40 alpaca/wool blend. 

 Fun fact: the yarn I bought did not have a dye lot, and one of the skeins definitely had more of grey-speckle going on, while the other one had lighter yellow and white splotches.  I decided to alternate each skein every row throughout the piece to evenly distribute the variety of non-yellow colours.  It was a mild pain in the ass to juggle two balls of yarn at the same time, but I'm very happy with the result.

 Horseshoe cable (made without a cable needle), twisted rib, and bobbles of knit stitches on patches of purling.

 Hello pretty!  Wearing a coat and cowl in my kitchen.

First socks from the Rhinebeck stash:

 This is Maeva, knit in The Periwinkle Sheep, Oh So Fine! sock yarn in "Memories of Summer".  From the lovelies at The Periwinkle Sheep, I really wanted to buy their "Rhinebeck 2012" yarn, but I hesitated on day 1 and when I came back on day 2, they were all out.  Sad face.

And finally, my pride and joy, my new baby, my 2013 sweater: paulie.  He doesn't look like much yet, but he will be glorious.  I'm swatching like a mad woman to make sure I have the right gauge, and then I'll be blocking everything and hanging it to test for gravity-effectedness.  No one wants a saggy sweater.  Paulie will be my go-to work cardigan to wear over my uniform.  And then for once, when someone knows I'm a knitter and asks if I made my sweater, I can say YES.  It will be a great day.

This is Blue Moon Fiber Arts, BFL Sport in "Manly yes, but I like it too", which will be joined by his contrasting colour friend "Tumbleweed".

 In knitting-related news, I'm officially a professional knitting instructor.  The programming coordinator at my museum learned that I was an avid knitter, and asked me to put together some knitting workshops to teach in the winter.  I suggested 7 different workshops that I would be comfortable teaching, and she agreed to all of them.  You can find the full schedule and pricing for the upcoming workshops here, just scroll through and look for anything with "Knitting" in the title.  I've already taught my very first class, Knitting 101 (shout out to my two brand new knitters!), and I'm looking forward to the next few months of teaching.  My upcoming workshops, in order, include Knitting 102 (the "next steps" class after Knitting 101), Learn to Knit for Kids, Knitting Lace, Knitting Cables, Colourwork Knitting, and Knitting Socks.  If you know a knitter who wants to learn a new skill, send them my way.

I'm off for the day now, readers, happy knitting!