Monday, December 31, 2012

Knitting Goals for 2012 Revisited

These were the 12 knitting goals I established for myself when I joined the group called "12 in 12 2012".  The group's mission statement, if you will, was to encourage folks to set goals to complete at least 12 knitting projects in 2012.  I went a little crazy with my goal setting, knowing that I would complete more than 12 projects during the year since I tend to make a lot of small-ish projects.  For myself, I set "12 knitting goals" instead of 12 specific projects.   MY PROGRESS TOWARD EACH GOAL IS IN BOLD FACE.

(1) An afghan called "Nature in Natural" (a pattern from Lion Brand) using up my Berroco Weekend yarn/color: natural, oatmeal. I may re-purpose this yarn to make a pattern called "Girasole" by Jared Flood. I just can't decide!   Started an afghan called "Vortex" and discovered a mistake / frogged the entire thing.

(2) A sweater called "Pismo" for me using my Cascade 220 Superwash Wool yarn in a lovely lavender/periwinkle color.  Started the sweater but frogged it/decided I am not a sweater knitter.
(3) Make something out of my gorgeous two (2) skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock. This yarn is too beautiful to waste! I just can't decide!  SUCCESS! Made an entrelac cowl and a crocheted market bag.

(4) Make an "Annis Shawl" with beads instead of nupps with yarn from the Sock Summit 2011SUCCESS! But made a Diantha Shawl instead of an Annis Shawl... same designer/different pattern.

(5) Make one (1) shawl (for "Wrapped in Care" group on Ravelry).  NO PROGRESS but I did pick a pattern!
(6) Make a "Swallowtail Shawl" in teal Lion Brand Sock Ease yarn. NO PROGRESS! But I did make a lot of other shawls.

(7) Make an "Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl"-Inspired Christmas Tree skirt out of Mom's Stash Yarn: Schaffhauser Wolle 'Nancy' in an antique/off-white shade.  NO PROGRESS but I still really want to make a tree skirt!

(8) Use remaining stashed Berroco Comfort DK yarn for chemo caps.  Made 10 chemo caps this year and gave them away, but bought more yarn instead of entirelyy knitting from stash. Still have lots of Berroco DK left..

(9) Find a good use for Mom's Stash Yarn: 'Lil Grins' (cotton/acrylic blend). May make a little sweater.  SUCCESS PARTIALLY. Did make 3 chemo caps with some of the yarn but a the black yarn is tied up in BOBLACA... BOring BLack CAardigan.

(10) Make 12 Christmas Stockings for "Operation Holiday Stockings" (at LEAST 12 stockings in 2012).  FAILED. Made less than 1/2 a dozen and forgot to mail them!  I guess now I have a head start for 2013. 

(11) Make 12 of pairs of SOCKS OR make 12 of projects from book "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders" (or any combination of the two that adds up to 12)  I had pretty good SUCCESS with this goal... I used a lot of sock yarn in projects aside from socks... and I did make 6 pairs of socks this year.

(12) Try, try, TRY to not buy new yarn for 12 entire months! EPIC FAILURE! Bought yarn on 01-14-2012 and it was all down hill from there. I can say, however, that I have been knitting my newly purchased yarn right away... it's just the stash that won't go away!

If there is a prize for not following plans, I win!  Bottom line... I finished a LOT, LOT, LOT of projects this year.

Here is a summary of what I did complete in 2012.

* Completed 4 shawls (Holden, Diantha, Larch, and Ginkgo)

* Completed 12 tiny hats for Calvin's Hats

* Made and donated 10 chemo caps and also completed 4 other hats and 1 headband (Calorimetry)

* Completed 6 pairs of socks

* Completed 6 pairs of mittens/fingerless mitts

* Completed 3 Striped Infinity Scarves

* Completed 2 Clapotis scarves/wraps

* Completed 1 scarf called "Scarf for Him" (also posted pattern on Ravelry)

* Completed 2 cowls; one called "Intertwisted" and the other was an entrelac pattern. I also completed some of those novelty scarves... do those count? I made 3.

* Completed a blanket called "Serenity" with stash yarn and gave it to my sister. I was especially proud of this project.

* Completed a bunch of miscellaneous small things... 1 coffee cup cozy, 1 crochet market bag, and about 1/2 a dozen mini-Christmas ornaments, and some cotton-face-scrubby thingamajigs.

Happy New Year one and all! 
Now, what shall I make in 2013?


Calorimetry... with added crocheted flower.

I've been eyeing the pattern for "Calorimetry" on Ravelry for quite some time. There are over 15,300 projects on Raverly in this design.  There were a lot of comments about the project being over sized.  Given that I have a peanut sized head, I reduced the number of stitches from 120 to 100 and ended up with a very loose headband, but I am still over the moon about my cute completed project.  As you can see, I added a crocheted flower which I found in a pattern for another headband.  The flower pattern can be found HERE. I'd also like to try this headband pattern.   

The Calorimetry pattern can be found on Ravelry and on Knitty.  The links are HERE and HERE.

Bad picture of me taken by me... you know the technique... extend arm... smile...snap photo of self!

I used Cascade 220 Superwash for this project.  I bought enough for a sweater but I was not getting the sweater done so there will be several lavender projects in my future.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mini-Mitten Ornament: Free Pattern

New pattern: Mini-Mitten Ornament

I've decided making up my own knitting patterns is my NEW favorite thing.

I'll put it here so it's official... my goal for 2013 is to be creative and make up my own knitting patterns. Folks on Ravelry have been so nice each time I have uploaded a pattern. It's fun!

We had a White Christmas! My first EVER. Can you tell I took this photo on fluffy, beautiful snowflakes?

I enjoy making miniature ornaments each year for my Christmas tree. This year, I made miniature mittens following a number of patterns I found on Ravelry. The tiny size of the mittens and the length of my double pointed needles made me feel I was "all thumbs" while knitting, especially the mitten’s tiny thumbs. Ironic! I actually went so far as try to knit on wooden tooth picks and it seriously would have worked if it weren’t for the fact the tooth picks splintered easily. I learned bits and pieces from each pattern I tried and I incorporated what I’ve learned from making full-sized mittens in order to come up with my own pattern which is quick and easy to knit.

The pattern is offered for free on Ravelry and the pattern link is HERE.
You can also download a PDF file HERE.

Here are the other mitten ornaments I made this week, while trying various patterns and while trying to make up my own pattern.  As you can see, I also made two mini-stockings and one mini-sweater. The mini-sweaters sure are time consuming but I can whip out the mittens in no time at all.  It's funny using left-over tidbits of yarn for these ornaments. I think of the original project... the pattern, who received the item, or what was going on in my life while working on the project.  A little walk down memory lane.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Knitting... for Mom and Dad

Socks for Her...

Socks for Him...

Socks for them...

Sometime after Halloween, I decided to do some knitting for Christmas gifts.  I made matchy-matchy socks for both my Mom and Dad.  I knew my Mom (a knitter!) would especially appreciate my efforts to get the self-striping yarn to cooperate and it turns out my Dad was impressed, too!

Without even asking, my Mom and Dad sent me a photo of them modeling their new socks on Christmas Day.  Sweet!  Thanks Mom and Dad.  Merry Christmas.  Love you bunches!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Simple Scarf for Him (a free pattern)

Simple Scarf for Him

On November 29th... just before Christmas… I announced to my husband, "… you know, I was thinking of making a pair of mittens for Pam for Christmas!" (Pam being my husband’s dad’s wife). My husband said, "Well, if you are going to do that, could you knit my Dad a red scarf for Christmas?!" I couldn’t believe my husband was actually encouraging me to go to my local shop and buy yarn! How could I say "No!" to that?

At the yarn shop, I found some suitable, easy-care yarn in a nice deep red. I cast on a pattern I had in mind but soon realized I would never get the scarf done in time for Christmas; turns out the pattern was primarily ribbing and ribbing is too cumbersome and slow for me to knit. I decided to wing it and came up with this pattern. I have used this stitch pattern before in cotton dishcloths. It’s a nice pattern because you don’t really have to refer to the pattern at all; you simply have to "read" your knitting. The pattern is fun for the knitter since it’s not just plain stockinette stitch and the texture created by the diagonal columns of purl stitches could be used in a project for a guy or a gal... young or old. Why, this pattern could even be used for a baby blanket.

I got the scarf knit in time to mail to my father-in-law for Christmas.  I was thinking typing the pattern up and putting it on Ravelry might be fun, so I did. The pattern link is HERE; it's offered for free.  You can also download a PDF file by clicking HERE.

I have only put a pattern on Ravely one other time. A little over a year ago, I uploaded a pattern for a hat called Ribbons of Hope.

Both times I have put patterns on Ravely, I have had such heart warming experiences.  After adding the scarf pattern, I was contacted on Ravely by a lady who lives in Western Australia. She told me she thought it was such "good karma" to share patterns with others; she offered me two free patterns.   Apparently she collaborates on patterns with another gal on Ravely; the other woman lives in Arizona.  A short while later, a woman from Canada contacted me to let me know she was using my pattern to make a comfort item for a first responder to the shooting in Connecticut.  Very nice.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Striped Infinity Scarf

Striped Infinity Scarf
A pattern my Michelle Hunter

I have actually had this Striped Infinity Scarf done for a few weeks.  I was struggling with the seam so I tossed it aside for awhile, but buckled down and finished and blocked this project this weekend.  This will be a gift for my friend, Bev... we've know each other at work for 20 years.  Twenty years!  Somehow a statement like that makes me feel old.  Whatever the case may be, Bev is very fashionable and I think she will like this accessory.  Bev is one of those ladies who looks very pulled together and fabulous even on dress down days when we wear are allowed to wear jeans to work.  At work, dress down days are fund raisers for the Employee's Club.  You pay $2.00 for the privilege to dress down.  Funny, huh?  My son was patient enough to model the scarf for me.  Thanks, Buddy!

In case this pattern looks familiar, this is my 3rd scarf using this same pattern. It's a very fun knit!  This scarf is knit in Zauberball.


Cabernet Sauvignon Mittens

Another pair of mittens in Berroco Boboli yarn. The pattern is called "Woodhaven" and it's a free pattern from Berroco.  I picked this yarn for my coworker, Mrs. W, as she loves purple!  We exchange handmade gifts each year; she paints ceramics and, of course, I knit.  We've worked together since January 2007.

The pair of mittens I finished last week reminded me of Monet's water lily paintings because of the colors in the yarn. This time around, the yarn used for these mittens reminded me of the glass of Cabernet Sauvignon I just poured for myself this evening.  A nice glass of wine to relax and celebrate the fact that my Christmas knitting and my Christmas cards are done, done, done!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Water Lily Mittens

I love, love, love to make mittens.  They can be rather quick to make, especially with worsted weight yarn.  These are a last minute Christmas gift.  The yarn is Berroco Boboli and the pattern can be found HERE.  By the way, I haven't yet met a Berroco yarn I do not like.

I snapped this photo with the mittens lying on top of my clothes dryer so the colors are not true. When I was knitting this project, the colors in the yarn reminded me of tones in Monet's water lily painting.