Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'm back

Okay guys. I'm officially reviving my blog. Though I have completed several dozen knitting projects in the time we were apart, I'm not going to revisit each one. I thought we could do a highlight reel and then get straight to the current and exciting stuff.

Since I stopped posting, I've made ten adult hats, three baby hats, two sweaters, three baby blankets, six pairs of socks, four headbands, two pillows, and many random other miscellaneous items. (Thanks, Ravelry!) Here are some of my favorites:

Hanukkah Socks
Made: November 2013
For: My sister

Every year I knit socks for my family as Hanukkah presents. I made these the year before last for my sister Rebecca. It turned out to be one my favorite sock patterns ever. Colorwork argyle is complicated and difficult-- this is like the quick and dirty, easy-peasy way to achieve the cool argyle look, plus texture (I love textured socks), without dealing with a million different yarn and a complex pattern. I didn't even need a cable needle for these-- the same effect was achieved by twisting the stitches on the needle. Love them!

Herringbone Cowl
Made: November-December 2013
For: Me

I bought this gorgeous yarn at a yarn store in Skagway, Alaska, while on a cruise with my family. I dawdled in the shop choosing a skein probably for at least thirty to forty minutes while they waited and only complained a little. I'd had the pattern in my queue for a long time and I decided this yarn was perfect for the project. I LOVE the colorway-- it's so rich and bright, and the yarn is soft and comfortable next to the skin. The herringbone pattern was a bit titchy and the beginning of the round is messy. Again, a textured stitch pattern-- which I like. The only drawback is that the cowl curled a lot and blocking didn't help. But it's very warm and I like to wear it in my apartment on freezing Jerusalem winter nights.

Baby Blanket
Made: August 2014
For: my friend Gemma's baby

I loooove this blanket! I used Caron Simply Soft, which I always use for baby blankets and baby things in general because it's sooo soft and it's machine-washable, and all the colors are always available so if you run out it's easy to match the color. I made the blanket after the baby was born, so I picked boy colors, and I love the clean stripes. It's made of four triangles, starting with the long edge and decreasing down to the point, so the knitting felt quick. Stitches for each triangle are picked up along the edge of existing triangles, so there's only one seam and there aren't ten million ends to weave in. However, the border was hugely annoying. Stupidly I sewed the last seam before picking up for the border so instead of one loooong row worked back and forth, I had one loooooooooooong round. The pressure was too much for my circular needle; it broke. I ended up having to knit the border in two pieces and seam two edges together and the result was messy. So it wasn't a perfect story.

Made: October 2013
For: Jill

This would fall under that "miscellaneous" category I mentioned earlier. I was putting together a care package for my best friend Jill and when I saw this pattern on Ravelry, I knew I had to make it for her. (By the way, there are knitting and crocheting patterns for almost anything you can possibly think of. ANYTHING. See this uterus for an example. And it's not the only uterus pattern on Ravelry either.) At the time, Jill was a counselor at a women's health clinic. She was on the front lines every day helping women get access to birth control, abortion, and counseling. OBVIOUSLY, SHE NEEDED A KNITTED UTERUS. So I made her one.

Fall Sweater
Made: September 2013-November 2014
For: Me

Careful readers will note that it took me over a year, and not two months, to finish this sweater. I was really excited to make it when I ordered the yarn from KnitPicks, but after I cast on and started knitting my enthusiasm cooled. This was a LOT of stockinette. Like, a loooooooot.... like ALL stockinette. And the rows were VERY long. I picked it up occasionally in between more complicated projects or when I just wanted something to do with my hands, but the bulk of the knitting was completed last fall. It blocked out biiiig. Which I like, because I wanted a long sweater, but it was... long. I made the extra small since I used a heavier weight yarn than was called for by the pattern, so it turned out a big larger than expected. The only thing that's a bit annoying is that the sleeves are super long, and it's heavy. Otherwise it's really nice. I think I loaned it to someone and I don't remember who. Er... 

Hanukkah Socks
Made: November 2014
For: My mom

Another favorite pair of socks! I used a new kind of sock yarn for this which is part wool and part acrylic, and though it's really soft it's also light fingering, so a bit finer than what I usually use, and it's really soft so I was worried about elasticity, but my mom reports that  the socks stay up fine. I love the combination of the color and the sweet, feminine pattern.

Chevron Pillow
Made: February 2015
For: My sister

Apparently chevrons are very in right now. My sister saw me making a pillow for Jill and she requested one for herself, and miraculously I managed to design, knit, block, and seam the whole thing in two days while I was in New York for a visit. She picked the colors and the pattern. Instead of doing colorwork zig-zags, I cheated and used a simple chevron pattern to create the design. Super cute. I made it with Paton's Classic Wool, which I am really into right now-- it's affordable, comes in lots of colors, and it's 100% wool which is hard to find at a crafts store like Michael's, where I usually get my yarn because I'm too broke to shop at fancy stores. There is SUCH a huge difference between using wool and acrylic. For one, you can block wool and shape it, which opens up lace patterns beautifully, whereas you can't really do that for acrylic so lace patterns often end up looking lumpy or uneven or just not their best selves.

Made: March 2015
For: My friend Sarah

I made this simple, cute little headband for my friend Sarah as a bridal shower gift. It was really easy but SO adorable-- as soon as I was done I wanted to make one for myself. In every color. The first few rows after you do the cable, it looks like a messy mistake, but then it evens out and looks great. (Okay, to be honest I just included this one because that picture is awesome. It even has my spinning wheel in the background.)

Okay. Now that we've revisited the Best Of from the past few years, we can forge ahead to my current project! However... I think that deserves a post of its own... Stay tuned!

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