During my time off (and even before, since I had completed Christmas knitting before December 1st), I got to knit things that are not under any particular deadline, for whoever I wanted. And it turned out they were mostly for me.
I knit a Hitofude cardigan back in the fall for my cousin Rachel, and it fit her really well. I knit the medium for myself, and unusually for me, I actually used the yarn indicated by the designer, Tosh Merino Light in the Baltic colorway. This is a loosely plied single, so I know going in that the yarn has the potential to pill some, but I really wanted a blue-blue sweater, and finding enough Tosh Merino Light in the right colorway seems to be like finding a unicorn!
Here are the blocking photos:
I put the sweater when it was almost dry into the dyers on the very gentle setting for a bit of pulling in, as it seemed a little big, only 5 minutes, and it turned out great! I still haven’t woven in the ends, because I’m enjoying wearing my other sweaters at the moment. It’ll happen, its only about 15 minutes of work.
Vanilla ribbed socks in worsted weight – Rachel’s Significant Other is starting a farm this year (wow, right?) and we talked at Thanksgiving about how great wool socks are. So, I dived into the stash and found this Opal 8-ply that is hardy, thick, and quick to knit. Even knitting for size 11 mens was not a chore in worsted gauge (about 6 stitches to the inch).
Finally, one of my Christmas presents to myself was the book Sock Architecture by Lara Neel. It’s a great little book about knitting socks, getting them to fit, and a bunch of combinations for knitting toe-up and cuff-down socks. The pattern I really wanted to knit were the Uncommon Dragon Socks — it has a lovely “scaly” stitch pattern, and a new to me heel – the shaped common heel – which turns out to fit me quite nicely. I ploughed through these very quickly, and now they are in the “waiting to be worn” bag in my sock drawer, where finished socks go to wait their turn when older socks are not darnable anymore. I think if I knit more socks, I’ll be doing them for other people because I have three pairs in the bag already! Here’s an in-progress photo where you can see the stitch pattern pretty well,
Now I’ve pulled out more stash yarn (can we see a theme here?) – a lovely skein of Zen Serenity Silk Single for Ysolda’s Marin Shawl. It has been quite the relearning experience in following a pattern’s directions. I have been ripping out a lot because I’m used to simply scanning directions and knitting, but this is not one of those patterns at least for me. Here’s a photo from yesterday:
And finally, in the “time to pull out a new knit category”, I stopped by Bluebird Yarn & Fiber to pick up a shawl I had knit over the summer, and had loaned to them while it was warm, and they were able to sell yarn because of it. Now that it is more grey and cooler, I’m thrilled to be wearing my Leftie (by Martina Behn)!