Friday, December 31, 2010

End of the Year Project Roundup

I've been revisiting some of my projects recently (as in, tearing one back and reknitting to make it more wearable) and blissfully looking at my ouvre. So far I've completed 32 projects this year, and I might finish up Honey Cowl the Fifth sometime today.

This also seems to be the year that I made the same damn projects over and over again. So far I've made five honey cowls (almost), two Hap Blankets, two Shrooms and two Tiny Tea Leaves cardigans.I've also experienced some pretty intense growth as a knitter, and I've learned a great deal about the craft. Looking forward to learning a whole bunch more!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Pattern: Citron
Yarn: Morehouse Merino in Blackberry and Wisteria

Georgia kind of stole this shawlette from me. It's just her size, as I never blocked it, and the yarn is quite soft. Plus, it has purple. I really should block it one of these days...

Pattern: Liesl
Yarn: Berocco Vintage

Ella (pictured) helped me pull this one from a total fail to a win. Of course, I originally knitted it for myself and she ended up with it, but, there you go. Anyway, when I wore it, I looked like I was a particularly scraggly reject from the Middle Ages. Ella decided on the button placement, crossed the fronts, and voila! Looks great on her.

Also, the Berroco Vintage is one of the nicest acrylic blends I've ever worked with. Great stuff.

Pattern: Improvised by me
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande Hand Dye

Not the prettiest thing, but the warmest scarf EVER! If it is not somewhere around 20 F (-6 C), I am sweating in it. I've worn this scarf nearly every day this winter.


Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan
Yarn: Morehouse Merino in Indian Summer

Made it for Ella. It took forever. I think she still wears it. I lost patience with the stockinette portion of the sweater, so it came out a little short. Ah well.

Pattern: Terry's Pullover
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Wave

Sort of fail. I definitely chose the wrong yarn for this sweater. It's too heavy and the sweater has already pulled out of shape. Also, I completely and utterly lost patience with trying to figure out the hecking cable chart at the top, and quit about two inches before I was supposed to. But, Bruce wears the sweater. He says it is quite warm. Though a little baggy.


Pattern: Francis Revisited
Yarn: Cascade Eco

Ironically, this is the sweater that I ripped back and am re-knitting. I'm making the cowl more cowly, as I like the drape. I'm probably also going to rip out the sleeves and knit them longer. I may also rip out the bottom hem and knit it longer as well. For a sweater that didn't take me that long to knit in the first place, I sure am taking a while to re-finish it. Heh.


Pattern: February Lady
Yarn: Cascade 220

Another example of my inability to size things correctly for myself. I made this about 10 inches too big, as I followed my bust measurement, rather than the rest of my body's measurements. I also do not like the sleeves at all. I HATE bell sleeves. Hate hate hate. So I'll be sending this one off to my mother, as I believe she will like it, it will fit her, and the sleeves won't bother her at all.


Pattern: Cinnamon Grace
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Primavera

This is by far my most favorited project on Ravelry, which is funny to me, because I like it, but I don't love it. I knitted it as a gift for my friend Jorie, and she adores it, though. I get a phone call every time she wears it.

 Pattern: Wispy Cardi
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in Queen Anne

Knitted this for Georgia and she's already outgrown it. She also finds this yarn itchy. So I'll probably rip it and use the yarn for a shawl.


Pattern: Tiny Tea Leaves Cardi
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Violet

She loves this sweater. I do too. Unfortunately, we had to put it through the laundry quite a few times, and the sweater shrunk in length and grew massively in width. I'll probably re-make this one for her in a different yarn. Maybe Berocco Vintage, as I love that yarn SO MUCH (and it's easy care).

Pattern: Traveling Woman
Yarn: Indigo Moon Merino Superwash in Raspberry
I enjoyed the pattern. Haven't worn this shawlette once. It's still sitting on my dresser. And I haven't found the shawl's recipient yet, either. Really soft yarn, though.


Pattern:  Helen's Waterfall lace Scarf 
Yarn: Oasis Yarn Aussi Sock in Fall Melody

A fun knit from my blogging friend Helen. It's a great pattern, easy to memorize, and fun to knit. Kept me entertained. This scarf ended up with my friend Cara.

Pattern: Villane
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Whales Road

I adore this pattern, even if I did screw it up. I also wear this sweater all the time. However, I will nevah, evah make another sweater from Malabrigo worsted. This poor cardi has pilled so much it looks like it is 10 years old, not brand new. Also, variegated yarn. Sigh. I like it, and I kind of enjoy the variegation, as its tonal, but it probably wasn't the right choice. Will definitely make myself another one of these sweaters.


Pattern: Travel Shawl
Yarn: Peace Fleece DK in Grandfather's Gray

Love love love love love this shawl. I wear it quite a bit, and yes, the Peace Fleece does get softer with wear. The shawl is big, warm as all get out, and gets approving nods from Russian ladies on the subway.


Pattern: Braided Mischief
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Masala

This was a fairly quick knit. The yarn is held double, and the cable pattern was fun. Bruce says this scarf is really really warm, so he's only been hauling it out on cold days.

Pattern: September Circle
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball

This cowl was for Ella, and she lost it. So RIP September Circle. She did feel bad about it, and purchased me another ball of yarn to knit her a second one. It's my second most favorited project on Rav.

Pattern: Hap Blanket
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes

Fun quick knit. These colors are not at all what the blanket looks like. Wool of the Andes is a much softer yarn than I expected, given all the kvetching on Ravelry about it. I think it is softer than Cascade Eco.


Pattern: 103-1 Jacket in Eskimo or Silke-Alpaca with A-shape
Yarn: Mirasol Sulka

 I finally put some buttons on it, and this thing is VERY warm. Love it. I haven't blocked it yet, which sucks of me, because it really needs it. Also, I think I'm going to have to put a hook and eye closure on the inside of the front placket because the yarn is heavy and the buttons pop open.

Pattern: Dierdre
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns CashLuxe Fine

Beautiful shawl, great yarn, not a fan at all of the color. It was a gift for my daughter's day care provider, Cheryl.

Pattern: Shroom
Yarn: Mirasol Sulka

The amazing five hour hat! I wear it daily. The yarn is holding up pretty well, with only minimal pilling. It is SUPER warm, although sadly not wind proof. I am going to need to come up with something wind proof to keep my ears protected.

Pattern: Ryan's Very Manly Cowl
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball

Ella bought this yarn for me to make her fiance, Ryan something for Christmas. It has been gifted, and despite Ryan's initial "what the hell do I do with this?" reaction, I believe he's worn it every day since then. He definitely wore it all night on the evening that he received it.

He promised a picture of himself in it, so I'll post that on ye olde blogge as soon as I get it. In the mean time, here is Beezer looking very catly on it.

Pattern: Shroom
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande in Orchid Purple

Georgia, much like myself, finds alpaca itchy. I know. We are apparently the only two people in the world who think that alpaca is itchy. Almost unbearably so. Unless it is SUPER cold outside. Then we want to snuggle up in the stuff.

Anyway, Georgia, despite loving the style of the hat, refused to wear it due to itchiness. So Ella ended up with it. As Ella ends up with nearly all of my knitting mistakes.

This was also my fifth project for October, and the one that killed my hands for a few weeks.


Pattern: Tiny Tea Leaves
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Archangel

A gift for the granddaughter of the mother of one of my friends. Or alternately for my friend's niece. Whatever. My friend's mother commissioned it. I like the Rios a lot. I really hope it doesn't have the same pilling problem as the worsted. It shouldn't as the Rios is both superwash and plied.

Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Smoke

This was commissioned by my friend Katie, and it started a craze. I also made one for her sister (below), my husband's aunt Libby, who watched me knit half of this cowl and obviously wanted one (though she didn't ask. I made her one anyway, also below), my husband and myself. It is awesome, and only takes two skeins.

Pattern: Cherry Fizz
Yarn: Alchemy Migrations in Rosy Finch

The yarn is surprisingly similar to the malabrigo silky merino. Also, this is the most complicated thing I have ever knitted. And it was awesome. LOVED this pattern. Hate the colors of the yarn. Georgia ended up with this scarf. She adores it. She wants a matching hat and mittens. Sigh.

Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Cape Cod Gray

This is the second of the honey cowls I've knitted. This one is for Katie's sister.


Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Karabella DK Merino Silk

The third of the honey cowls. This one from a fun yarn from Karabella. The yarn's home store, School Products is in Manhattan and it is a wonderland of inexpensive cashmere and other luxury yarns. Awesome stuff. This yarn was a blast to knit with. This was a gift for Bruce's aunt Libby, who, as I mentioned above, saw me knitting Katie's honey cowl and was lusting after it.

Pattern: September Circle
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball

So my dear friend J (over at the blog Constant Chatter of that Crazy Cruisin Chick) saw the September Circle I did for Ella, fell in love with it, and quite subtly hinted that she wanted one. Subtle as in "Virginia, I want a cowl exactly like that." So I made her one. Once I finally found the wool. Finding the yarn was the hard part. Webs, where I originally got Ella's, was sold out. So I finally tracked some down at Brooklyn General, which is my new favorite yarn store.

Anyway, this was one of the secret projects. Janey has now received the cowl, loved it, and I'm allowed to talk about it.

Pattern: Snapdragon Tam
Yarn: madelinetosh dk in Gilded

Awesome knit. I made the medium size and it is a little too big. Plus, the brim of the hat gets floppy, as per Ysolda's notes, so I think I'll need to put some elastic thread in it. But otherwise awesome, and such a great color.

Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Smoke

Ah, the Fourth. This one was for Bruce, and he loves it because he says it looks like chain mail. He has worn it daily since I gave it to him. So I'd say this is a winner.

Pattern: Snug
Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky in Highlands Variegated

Baby gift for a friend's kiddo. I haven't gotten it to her yet (and she gave birth on Sunday), but you know... blizzards.

Pattern: Hap Blanket
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Bulky in Ivory and Adobe

Baby gift for my sister-in-law Susan, who is due any minute. I haven't gotten this off to her yet, but the post office told me not to bother until next week, as the mail is moving a little slowly.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finished Object: Hap Blanket

Yes, I finished off the insanity Hap Blanket last night for my sister-in-law's forthcoming baby. Georgia and I will likely walk it over to the Post Office today to ship it, and my neice's Christmas present.

The blanket itself is very fluid and drapey. I'm a fan. However I will say that the Comfy Bulky yarn is definitely not a true bulky. It's more like a heavy worsted weight. Despite the fact that it is cotton blend yarn, I actually didn't have too much trouble with it drying out my hands.

Pattern: Hap Blanket (my rav page)
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Bulky in Ivory and Adobe
Needle: US 11 (8mm)

I started on a honey cowl for myself last night, however I'm not wild about my yarn choice. Will I ever learn about variegated yarns? Sigh.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blizzards, et al.

While this wasn't our chilliest Christmas on record - that honor belongs to the VERY cold one we spent in Richmond, VA in an old house with no insulation and windows/doors that didn't properly close, and no heat. However, this year we had no heat or hot water for more than 24 hours. On Christmas. Yay.

Oh, and did I mention the small matter of a BLIZZARD? Yeah. So in the middle of the whole no heat thing, we got hit with a blizzard.

Thankfully, as of about 5p.m. today, we got our services back.

Doubly thankfully, I've been knitting on the Hap Blanket for my sister in law's baby (no, I didn't get it done by Saturday, but no biggie, as the blizzard kind of ruined our plans for actually going to see her), so I've had a lap full of nice warm knitting.

Also, Beezer discovered this particular joy, so much of the past two days have looked like this:

He and our other cat, Bagheera, have been trading off on either sleeping under my knitting on my lap, or snuggling up against my legs trying to steal all of my body heat.

I got some truly WONDERFUL Christmas presents from Bruce, including a whole library of Alice Starmore books. Quite excited about those. Such great reference manuals. So full of mullets. (The photos were shot in the UK during the 1980s.)

I'll post a little more about all of this when I get the chance to photograph my haul. I hope everyone else had very merry Christmases!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy 300 (and an insanity update)

This is my 300th post. YAY!

OK, enough celebration. I need to write quickly so I can get back to the insanity knitting.

Ok, baby project number one, completed. I literally just took it off the needles and sewed on the button. Desperately needles blocking, but I'm not sure I have the time. Maybe I'll just tell the recipient to machine wash it.

Pattern: Snug (my project page)
Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky, Highlands Variegated colorway, 1.5 skeins
Needles: US 10 - 6mm

I started on the Hap Blanket last night and am about halfway through the center section. Maybe, just maybe I'll get this done by Saturday. Maybe. The yarn is drapey and soft, and it's not too bad to knit with even if it is cotton.

Ok, back to the insanity.

Tonight we see the Nutcracker. I am starting to sweat thinking about all the lost knitting time...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I are havings sanity problemz.

I decided to make two baby projects by Christmas, oh, say, two weeks ago. I ordered the yarn for one, which is of course, the larger project, in cotton, which, I might add, I hate knitting with, and it arrived yesterday. The larger project is a Hap Blanket for my sister-in-law who is due any day now. I need to finish this before I see her on the 26th. Did I mention that I might have gone a little insane?

Here's the yarn for the Hap Blanket:

The other project is the Snug sweater, which I have mostly completed, I just need to knit the collar and hood.

Here's the progress on that.

Needs some blocking, but otherwise looks cute. I swear, this thing is about as big as my hand.Also, I'm learning all kinds of new skills on this project such as grating, provisional cast ons and sewn bind offs (Thank you, Helen, for this suggestion). All of which are keeping me entertained on an otherwise boring garter stitch knit.

Anyway. Yeah. Pray for me. Light a candle. Something. Please.

Monday, December 20, 2010


This arrived in the mail today. I know what is in it (addi clicks). And I can't have it until Christmas. ARGH.

Another package came today (one that was a complete surprise) from my friend Julia in Maryland. I haven't had a ton of contact with her for the past few years (which totally sucks, because Julia is awesome), but she's been reading my blog and sent me two skeins of really amazing yarn. It is from a friend of hers who raises alpacas, and lemme tell you, these photos do not do the yarn justice at all. This stuff is softer than any alpaca yarn I've ever touched, and it is just gorgeous. It has the sheen of silk. Details, Julia, I need details! Also, I gotta say, I REALLY like it when people send me random yarn in the mail. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Also arriving recently is the following:

Two skeins of Cascade Eco + to make a cute little sweater for me:

A few skeins of Rowan Lima in Guatemala (dark purple) and Cuzco (lighter purple):

This photo really shows off the knitted construction of the yarn. I can't wait to knit with this stuff, because it truly looks fabulous. I've never worked with a knitted (rather than plied) yarn before. Supposedly it is extremely lofty, yet quite warm (there's some alpaca in there).

And, adding to the insanity, I started on the baby stuff. I'm making a Snug (rav link, also a free pattern) for my friend Josephine's baby, using Paton's Shetland Highlands Variegated. It's pretty, soft and machine washable.

I love the way the ball looks.

And I have another baby project that I'll need to get done by the 26th, AND the yarn hasn't arrived yet. Hmm. This could be interesting.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finished Object: Bruce's Honey Cowl

Bruce liked Katie's (a honey cowl) cowl so much that he asked for something similar. So I got the yarn and knitted one up for him this weekend. It technically is a Christmas present, however, as he saw me knitting on it, he knows it is coming. Also, he tried it on today, although he was shirtless so no pix of him modeling. Sorry ladies. I will eventually get a photo of him wearing this thing. Anyway, Bruce says this looks like chain mail (which it kind of does) and it will help keep the back of his head nice and warm during the winter (he shaves his head).
Pattern: honey cowl (my project page)
Yarn: Malabrigo silky merino in Smoke, two skeins
Needles: US 8 - 5mm


This afternoon we're going to the 100th Anniversary of the reading of The Night Before Christmas at the Church of the Intercession at 155th and Broadway. It's a pretty special evening, with the reading, Christmas carol singing and a candlelight procession to Clement Moore's grave. It's really really lovely.

And I have a few last minute projects of total insanity that I need to complete, including a baby blanket and a baby sweater. I'll be doing another Hap Blanket for the baby blanket, and I have no idea what kind of pattern I'll be using for the sweater. Will have to take a look at some point today.