Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where is the year going?

It has been almost a month since I have posted anything to this blog.  What a crazy few weeks it has been.

Things got really nutty at work; it was like several perfect storms colliding with each other.  Home was just plain busy with a little bit of really sick.  That always makes for fun times.

Even amidst the craziness, I was able to start and finish my first project of 2011.  I made a Drop Stitch Scarf by Christine Vogel (ravelry link) out of Mini-Mochi yarn.


I love the color transitions in this yarn.  They aren't all uniform and have a more organic feel to them.  The color coupled with the feel of the yarn (it's a nylon/wool blend) make it ideal for this pattern.  The pattern shows off the colors of the yarn and the yarn shows of the stitches in the pattern.  Isn't it so nice when it works out that way.

I also enjoyed the simplicity of the pattern.  All garter stitch and yarn overs, yet it looks like so much more.  It never ceases to amaze me that the simplest of patterns can draw so many oooos and aaaahs.  I love being able to say, "Yes, I made this."

It had been a long time since I knit something just for me.  In fact, I had to look back through my Ravelry projects to see when the last time was.  It was almost 2 years ago, February 2009, and it was another scarf.

I think it's time that I finish my windowpane coat that I started in November.  If I can get this finished in short order then I will  consider it a really good start to the Year of No New Yarn (or YONNY).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Husband's Sweater

On October 25th, 2009 I started working on the Avast Sweater by Jesse Loesberg for my husband.  Since it was mostly stockinette stitch, I figured that it would knit up very quickly.   On Dec 31, 2010 I finally finished the sweater. 

The fact that this project took me over a year to complete has nothing to do with the pattern.  It really should have knit up as quickly as I expected it, but here is a breakdown of why it took my so long:

I ended up with what I though was a flare up of tendinitis in my wrist so I stopped knitting for a couple of months to help it heal.   When the pain didn't go away I went to the doctor.  After a few months of appointments I was diagnosed with RA.  After another month of medication I was pain free and back to my knitting.  This was this past August . . . 10 months after I started the sweater.

At this point I was knitting the sleeves.  Silly me, I wasn't knitting them at the same time and as they were entirely stockinette I got very bored with the project and set it aside for other, more interesting projects.  Then, once I finally knit the second sleeve and was ready to attach them to knit the yoke, I discovered that they were not the same size. I wrote post about that in September.

I finally finished all the knitting at the end of October and just had the seaming left to do.  At this point I distracted myself from the project with NaKniSweMo and knitting a Christmas present.  Finally, I vowed to my self that I would have this sweater done before the end of 2010. A goal I knew I could accomplish as I had the week after Christmas off from work.

It didn't take me long to seam everything together.  (I rather enjoy the act of seaming a garment.) The last hurdle to completion . . . installing a zipper.  Yikes!  This was something I had never attempted before.  I always relish learning a new technique, but, to be honest, this one scared me. Luckily, the Winter Interweave Knits had recently arrived and it had an article on a new zipper technique.

Tools acquired, I started the process of adding the zipper.  It took a long time to prep the zipper (totally worth it though).  When I finished sewing in one side I felt such a sense of accomplishment that I was ready to tackle the second side.  (Note: to avoid what happened next, always pin your zippers properly.)  I quickly started work on the second side and as soon as I was finished I handed to my husband and proudly said, "Try it on!"

That was when I discovered that one side of his collar was a good two inches higher than the other side.  ARGH!  I new this couldn't be possible as it was knit in one piece so they both had to have the same number of stitches.  It took a few minutes for me to realize that even though I had even marked the chain stitches on the zipper I hadn't sewn them into the same stitches on each side.

So while I consider December 31, 2010 the completion date for the sweater, I will admit that I spent New Year's Day 2011 ripping out and correcting one side of the zipper.  I'm not totally happy with the end result, but I have deemed it good enough and I have closed the books on The Husband's Sweater!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Year of No New Yarn

I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions.  I always view it as setting myself up for failure.  Instead, I set myself up for success by making goals for the year.

You may be asking yourself, "What's the difference?"

The difference is simply semantics.  Resolutions, to me, imply that I want to change something instead of accomplish something.  Yes, I know that I could state the resolution in the same way I state a goal.  I've already admitted it is a game of semantics.

Anyway, this year my goal is to knit only with the yarn I have in my stash*.  I have a large stash (after all I'm a self professed yarnaholic) and a lot of it was bought for specific projects.  I've decided it is time to knit them all.  I also have a lot of yarn that was purchased simply because it was pretty/soft/on sale and it is waiting for the right project.  I believe this is the year to find those projects as well. 

Now, I don't think that I will make it through my entire stash this year, but a sub-goal is to finish all the UFOs sitting around my house. (Yes, Barbs this includes the ugly monkey and the teddy bear.)  Having finally finished my husband's sweater last night, I feel that I am starting out the new year ahead of the game.

While I sit here writing this post and watching the Rose Parade, I feel the urge to pick up my needles and start working towards my 2011 goal.  I'm excited to discover what forgotten yarn awaits me in the bottom of my stash (and I'm trying to ignore the feeling that not buying new yarn this year is going to be difficult).

What is your knitting goal for the year?

*The only exception is if I need to knit a gift and I don't have appropriate yarn in my stash, but I have to look through my entire stash before making that determination.