Mar 25, 2015

An Ode to the Stitch

There are times when I can't wait ... Typically, I'm a patient person and if given the chance to have two marshmallows if I can wait ten minutes rather than one marshmallow right this very second, I'll opt for the two marshmallows.  But earlier today, when this gorgeous scarf jumped on my screen while tootling around Ravelry, I literally had to put everything down and pick up my needles. 

Within minutes, I had this and I was in love.  This beautiful stitch pattern got me thinking about how certain types of stitches get me excited ... every time.  So, what is it about this design that I love so much?  Well, basically, it's a pretty simple drop stitch and whenever I come across a drop stitch pattern, I'm smitten. I love the openness of it, the architecture of it, and let's be honest, I also love the slightly daring aspect of dropping a stitch.  C'mon, we knitters know that dropping stitches is a huge no no and one of our biggest fears but when you are required to do it on purpose ... it's kind of fun!

I've been thinking about this scarf now for the past hour, and I think my other projects are going to be put aside while I rummage around for some fluffy yarn to cast this one on.  So much for the two marshmallows ... 

Mar 3, 2015

Up and Down Mitts

Over the weekend, I had an image in my mind of convertible mittens.  You know, the kind that have little covers that can be flipped up over your fingers or down behind the back of your hand. I imagined them knit in a worsted weight, with a little bit of ribbing, and only a covered thumb.

There are times when I have ideas like this one, but I don't have the skills or patience to turn them into reality.  With this mitten idea, I just knew that I could figure out a way to transfer this image onto my needles.  I rummaged through my stash, cast on some Patons Classic Wool, and had at it.  I ribbed, increased, put the thumb on hold, finished the hand, and bound off.

I then took a break to think about how best to create the finger cover, had a cup of coffee, (and a cinnamon danish) and cast on again.  I know, the thumb is a bit too fat so I'll have to redo those numbers when I write this pattern out.

I first tried to pick up some stitches on the back of the hand and cast on a set of additional stitches but it all got a bit too fiddly so I thought some more and decided to knit the cover separately.

That worked beautifully but it took a few different attempts to attach it before I figured out the best way to add the cover.  I love how these mittens turned out, and I have a feeling that winter is not quite over so they'll come in handy for a little while yet. 

* Pattern to come so if you're interested, let me know!

Feb 13, 2015

The Long Haul

It's already mid-February and deep winter around here yet I have no big projects on my needles.  I think it's time to remedy that this weekend while we anticipate another few inches of snow and very chilly temperatures.

Looking around for just the right project reminded me that we knitters sometimes need instant gratification projects and sometimes toothy, commitment ones.  Should I tackle some fair isle colorwork?  A cabled pullover?  or maybe an intricate hat?  I just know that I want to have to work hard, pay attention, and push my brain to do some somersaults.

As I thought more about this new yet-to-be identified knitting project last night, I couldn't help but compare it to what I'm reading right now.  I've been wanting to read Anna Karenina for years ... probably since my college days ... and decided that now is the time! I went to my new local bookstore last weekend and happily found a lovely edition.

I'm completely swept up into the world of 19th century Russia and the lives of Anna, Vronsky, et al. This weekend will be spent alternating between my knitting and my reading (no, I haven't figured out how to do both just yet), and in my opinion, the only way to get through the rest of this winter!

Jan 7, 2015

The Word

So many of you are blogging or posting about your word for the new year, and it got me thinking about what my word is.  I have many wishes and desires for 2015, many that I think I will be able to accomplish, but the one concept or word that is foremost on my mind is Stash.  I know, how appropriate, right?

But I don't mean stash as a verb such as to stash more, but rather, stash as a noun such as to use and rely on my stash of all kinds.  As I get older, I find myself desiring less rather than more and this got me looking at everything I already have.  Sure, my jeans are five years old but they still fit; my boots aren't as shiny as when they were new but I've got miles left to walk in them; and my yarn stash is still as plentiful and enticing as ever.

There's no doubt that focusing on and using my stashes of things has an added economic benefit, but I see my new-found commitment as a way to keep the clutter down both physically and mentally. As you can see, I cast on my first pair of socks for 2015 with some very old Regia self-striping yarn that was hiding at the bottom of my stash.  I needed some new wool socks and now I'll have a cozy new pair without spending an (extra) dime. And while I will be adding this pair of socks to my dresser, my yarn stash will be just a little lighter.  Win-win, as they say!