Friday, December 31, 2010

Curse you 2010...

...don't let the door hit you on the way out.

2010 has been the worst year of my life, and as an appropriate ending to a dreadful year, I have just returned from 6 hours at the ER. I'll be so happy to see this one go, and I have high hopes that 2011 will be better. It simply has to.

The knitting wasn't bad, really. I never showed you my finished Clapotis. Here she is, blocking.

Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb, 3.2 skeins
Colorway: Embers
Needles: US #8
Comments: This is my second Clapotis, all for me! Love the colors. Grays, blacks, reds, with bits of purplish goodness. It's aptly named. And look at how gorgeously it pooled!

Started in the old year, to be finished in the new year: first ever 2 at a time toe up socks. Using leftover yarn because of stashbusting. They were fiddly at first, but I think I'm getting the hang of the method. May use it more often on single color designs. Probably won't make a habit out of knitting multi-colored patterns two at a time. Too much tangling.

So... I'll see you in the new year. May 2011 treat us well, be kinder to us than 2010 was, and bring much joy to everyone.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions Old and New

First, an update on the water heater situation: we have hot water again! Turns out the blizzard had knocked out the pilot light, and it just needed to be relit. I love solutions that don't require us to spend loads of money!

Then, before we get into the serious business of resolutions, let me quickly share a secret FO from the old year, the Christmas stocking for my MIL. Who, by the way, now has 3, so she's all set. They officially have more stockings than people in the house now.

I love this pattern, it's well-written, and the cable detail is fun. I learned something new too: I'd ever done an attached i-cord. It's not hard and makes for a very pretty finish.

Pattern: Glendalough Stocking, available on rav
Yarn: Classic Elite Renaissance, about 2.5 skeins of it
Needles: US #5
Mods: I did the join for the cable band in the middle of the part facing the wall, not at the middle of the heel. That way, it doesn't show at all when the stocking is hanging.
Comments: So much fun! The only thing to keep in mind: if you put the seam in the middle of the part facing the wall, it's more obvious that a provisional caston and the castoff tend to be offset by one stitch. This would be less obvious if the join were at a folded edge.

And now, without further ado: Resolutions!
I actually did well on the old one. Remember, 0 tolerance yarn diet? Well, only 5 skeins of yarn entered the house in 2010. 1 was souvenir yarn, 4 were for my MIL's stocking. That's it. I did sign up for the Cookie A. sock club, but that yarn won't start coming in until 2011.

New Resolutions:

  1. Zero tolerance yarn diet, again. Turns out it's not enough to not buy yarn, I also have to knit faster. So: only yarn coming in should be the sock club yarn. No other purchases.
  2. Have at least one project in thicker yarn going at all times. You can knit, knit, knit sock or laceweight yarn, and the stash keeps not shrinking. DK weight and bigger works wonders for stash reduction.
  3. Tackle colorwork. I'm still not good at it, but I'm signed up for Janel Laidman's colorwork club and colorwork sock club. The colorwork club has already started, so I need to pick up my needles and plunge into this new adventure. I want to feel confident by the end of the new year -- and actually have produced a garment that fits an actual person, not some critter from the D&D Monstrous Manual!
That's it for this year. I was also going to try to knit a sweater a month, but I'm a pretty slow knitter. Then, work gets busy, and there goes the knitting. Instead of making it a resolution, I'll simply say "I'll try" and we'll see where that goes.

Are you making resolutions this year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Let it Snow

Yesterday, I checked the forecast, and they predicted snow. Every once in a while, they'll do that and be wrong, not a flake to be seen. But this time? This time, we got a proper blizzard. Look what we woke up to. Note that I had shoveled the deck yesterday, twice!

Closeup, with condensation on windows. I'd get better pictures from outside, but I'm not going. It's warm in here.

Lovely, picturesque, the only downside is that our water heater is now dead. No hot water. I hope we can get it fixed soon, or I'll have to go to the gym to take a shower.

And because this is a knitting blog, here's some knitting. First in the "Formerly Secret Knitting" category: bed socks for my sister-in-law. She says they fit and go with her pyjamas. Yay!

Pattern: Heelless Sleeping Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: I think this is Wildfoote. Pretty sure, actually. But not 100% because I tossed the ball bands.
Needles: US #1/2.25 mm
Mods: Cast on 68 stitches. Regular flat toe instead of the star-shaped one the pattern calls for.
Comments: These don't go as quickly as you'd think. The pattern is easy to memorize, though, and it's a great takealong project. No heel, just a tube sock with a toe. Ideal if you can't measure the recipient's foot.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ! It's not a holiday typically associated with bats, but at our house, we have a bit of a bat theme. So, without further ado: Christmas bats! Sugar cookies, bats, what's not to like?

A bit more traditional: pumpkin pie.

Best of all, the Christmas knits have pretty much all arrived. I'll finally be able to share them! The season of secret knitting is almost over.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Don't want to jinx it...

...but for the first time ever, my Christmas knitting may get done before Christmas! Now please excuse me, I have to go knit. There has been lots of activity, but all of it secret. I'll post pictures as soon as I get back to the not-so-secret stuff.