FO: Sara Lace Cardigan

If you check my Ravelry project page for this sweater, it says that this cardigan took me over 11 months from start to finish. Which is true because I frankly did start it last February, but then it sat when I realized I had messed up the lace chart. I finally came to terms with the fact that I need to snip the old project and start over, which I think I did either December 27 or 28, so I really knit the sweater in less than one month.

I love the color (you’ll see below I did complete the other sleeve):

and it looks pretty good on me too:

 

The total yardage for the sweater is about 1,300 yards, and that’s with doubling the yarn for the neck/front bands and the wristbands.

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Begin again.

 


Here we are about 1/2 into the first month of 2017, and the knitting has gotten going pretty well. I’ve restarted the Sarah Lace Cardigan and have one sleeve to go:

I’ve finished a couple of hats that will be going to deserving friends.

The one on the left is a simple 3×1 ribbing, with a clover 2.5″ pompom in both of the yarns (Brooklyn Tweed shelter in Soot color way, the other is Cascades Alpaca L’ana del Oro in Teal (I think).  The other is a Koolhaas hat in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Almanac color way. I knit the large size,  because the small is pretty small in this pattern. I had just enough yarn with one skein.

While helping out a friend of my cousin’s who knits over the holidays, Marie requested some fingerless gloves, and then took me to the local yarn store in Santa Rosa – now a multi-craftual store called Castaway Folk. Such a great strategic move, right? I found a lovely skein of Tosh Sock in the Shire color way, looked in my library of patterns on Ravelry, and found the lovely Beadless Fingerless Mitts by Marji LaFreniere in Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders. I knit them without beads, as I think my cousin was planning to use these on walks, not indoors:

 

I think I’ll still have some sweater yearnings when I finish the cardigan, and now I’m reviewing stash to see what I’d like to knit. This sweater that I knit for Afghans for Afghans (with my own small cable design on the front) is still calling to me, and I have the yarn – Cascade Eco:

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What I knit in 2016

Lunna Voe Shawl pattern by Ysolda

Each year, I like to review my Ravelry notebook projects to figure out what I knit in the past year. Hint: this is easier to do when you tag each project with the year tag “2016”, and so on. This past year, Ravelry tells me that I knit 12,640 yards of yarn, down from 17,340 yards in 2016, which is closer to my annual average. There was a self-described “knitting trough” in the middle part of the year. I think that is in part to knitting fewer sweaters and shawls this past year. I’m not one to make things a competition, so it is what it is. I did do a fair amount of both charity and gift knitting, and this year, I think I’d like to make myself some sweaters, including one that I restarted over the holidays.

Socks –  12 pairs, most of them as gifts.

Shawls – 5, a couple as presents, but 3 for me. This is down from 9 last year!

Hats – 5, mostly presents

Necklaces – 11 beaded ones, all gifts and charity knitting

Knitted Knockers – about 50, but I didn’t count. I have a bunch more that will be donated soon. Check out the Knitted Knockers website.

Sweaters – 2. Wow, only two this year, one for my cousin, and one for me. As noted above, this needs to be rectified in this coming year.

Fingerless mittens – 1

Miscellaneous – 1 pair boot toppers, 1 dishcloth, 1 cowl, a few kitty fish toys

The knitting for the new year is productive already – I’ll post in a  day or two what’s been worked on at Casa del Revknits!

 

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Christmas Knitting

I do like to knit for Christmas – because it is a way of showing concretely my love for friends and family. But I learned a long time ago that putting myself on a treadmill of knitting (which for some, spills over into the New Year), is no fun at all. A couple of these were not specifically for Christmas, but given in the season, so I think it counts!

So I usually begin by August – because then I’m having fun with the planning and the doing. This year, after I had made a lot of my plans, I heard from my cousin’s family that instead of all of us giving each other gifts, we were drawing names. This is an idea I can totally get behind, mind you, I am not opposed in the least, except that, you know, I had already made a lot of gifts. So I asked for an exemption and continued on.

Most them were smaller – socks, cowls, shawls, etc. And the bonus was they were all done in plenty of time for Christmas!

One piece of positive feedback was from the fiancé farmer – I had been wondering if he liked the hand knit socks, and the verdict was very positive, so I’ll keep knitting those – no matter whose name I get next year!

 

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Restart

I started a sweater last February, with the intention of having the opportunity to wear it in the Spring – but I got completely stalled when I realized that my stitches were off for the lace sweater on the back of it. For a while, I indulged myself in the illusion that I could figure out how to make the pattern work. But then, the day came when it became clear that it was not going well.

It sat in time-out for quite a while. Because this sweater is knit top-down, and in one piece, ripping some of the rows to find a place to pick it up again seemed daunting. Were there no other options?

There were – this is a sweater knit in lace yarn, and I have plenty, as in, almost enough to knit another one with shorter sleeves. So, I simply snipped the yarns, took off the WIP off the needles and saving the stitch markers, and it looked a little sad:

But the thing is, I was free – and freed – to restart from the beginning, without a single mistake put into the project. It relieved me of trying to fix the other mistakes, and allowed me to take the learning from those mistakes and apply them to the new attempt at the sweater.

This time, I marked the pattern more clearly, and have gotten through all the exciting and potentially crazy points in the pattern. Izzie is giving her approval:

 

And it makes me think: what else might I need to give myself permission to restart in my life? The turning of the year is a helpful marker and reminder that we don’t necessarily need to carry into our lives all our past mistakes.  God gives us grace when we screw up. We can let them go, and keep the learning with us for new things, and new adventures.

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