The Gift that Keeps on Giving

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For Christmas my mom gave me a do it yourself yarn club. She portioned out checks for four months worth of yarn buying. So fun!

My February purchase was two skeins of Koigu sock yarn. So scrumptious. I’ll be knitting this up for my year of socks March project. Pattern suggestions are welcome. 

Old(new) Favorites

It has been immensely cold in New York for the past month or so. When the cold first hit I was using a pair of store bought smart wool gloves. They worked pretty well but alas, the temperature soon dipped into the single digits and the flimsy store bought gloves were not cutting it. Frantically searching for something warmer and wishing I was a super knitter, I found these (unfinished) in my basket of knits. I remember knitting them a few years ago with some Cascade 220 held together with bits and pieces of leftover sock yarn. I was going for obnoxious and I think I succeeded. My favorite is the pink/orange colorway just below the top blue stripe, some yarn that was left over from some 70’s inspired socks for my mom.
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In my frantic 15 minutes that I had until I had to run out the door I cinched the mittens closed without decreasing leaving a large hole in the top. Impractical for the warm weather but I can stick my finger out to use my phone!
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I also neglected to weave any of the ends in. If I cared I would spend some time fixing them but I have to admit that I love the imperfections and unfinished nature of these mittens. Because I would never gift something to someone in a state like this, I know these are only for me. I also have to admit that the ends are fun to play with when I am bored waiting in endless NYC lines.
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I think I am going to be forced to do a little maintenance on these soon because I recently found a stitch that I dropped. Hahaha, oh dear! I am little embarrassed that I am sharing these with you but they honestly might be one of my favorite knitted objects. In any case, they keep my poor hands warm. Do you guys have any unfinished knits that you love?

Cold Snap and a Goal

Yikes! We have another cold snap here in NYC. There is nothing above freezing in the whole 10-day forecast. I am freezing and have given up my half-marathon training in favor of tea, knitting, and school books. Yay for new semesters! Boo for a sedentary life!

The cold snap has spurred a series of texts like this from the boyfriend.

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The sweater he is referring to is the Bespoken that I have on the needles for him. It’s a belated Christmas present and I’m hoping to be done by Saturday. Luckily all of my staying in has been fruitful knitting time because I finished all the pieces and set them to block this morning! Below is a picture of the sleeves. I added a cable panel up the center at JB’s request.

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I’m hoping to do the seaming and cast on for the collar tonight. For now it’s back to school reading. Hopefully I’ll have a FO soon!

New Year, New Hat

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This is the first year I have brought in the new year with friends. I was especially excited to bring in 2014 with my college bestie. We celebrated last night with plenty of dancing and sparkles. Today we took it easy with a diner breakfast, some New Girl and a walk around the lake. All around a perfect Seattle day if you ask me.

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Here we are on our walk. I decided a bit ago that I needed a new winter hat as mine was a bit cold for New York winter. I chose Varia by Dull Roar as my pattern (on my head on the left). Before my flight last week I frantically searched for some odds and ends to make a colorful hat and this is what I found (seriously 5 minutes before I walked out the door). The yarn is left over from some gloves (black), mittens (purple), a hat (yellow), and a goat (tan). I didn’t have enough yardage of any of them to make anything but a striped something and I am super happy with the result. This hat took me about 5 hours max. Such a rewarding break from my current sweater obsession. Shelbs is wearing my old hat in this picture. A Quotidian affectionately called my elf hat but the boyfriend. I am sad to see the elf hat go but I’m super excited for a warmer something to grace my head. Please excuse the crazy pictures, it was harder than I thought to get good pictures of the top of my head.

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I made some substantial modifications to the pattern. I knit the suggested worsted weight yarn up on size 4 needles instead of the recommended size 8s. My gauge was quite a bit smaller than the one called for so I knit the largest size to make up for it. I also knit it up to be quite a bit shorter than the pattern. I am super happy with the finished product though. Something stylish and warm just in time for my trip back to NYC.

New Years Resolutions

The other day my boyfriend asked me if I was going to make any resolutions for the new year. I honestly don’t think I have ever made a resolution before so the question really stumped me. I can’t really think about anything about my general life that I would really like to change but I do have some knitting goals that I need to make happen.

1. Year of Socks  One pair of socks a month for the whole year. Socks are one thing that I really love but I often push them aside for other projects (mainly sweaters). They are really such an ideal project though because they are so portable. Mainly I want to hone my skills to see what styles I really like. I have made a number of pairs but I am always unhappy with the length of the cuff, the style of heel, or the overall pattern. I pinned this guide to different heel styles a couple of months back. I want to give some of them a try. So here we go, a pair of socks a month for a year. Hopefully I can really hone my skills way.

2. Foreign Patterns  Speaking of honing skills, I really want to make more of a commitment to knit almost exclusively from patterns. I tend to enjoy knitting off the cuff because I can and because it is more of a creative process for me. The trade-off here is that knitting off the cuff means that I don’t learn any new skills. For example, Pull Gaspard taught me some new construction techniques and a new method for short rows. Nuvem taught me a new method for make one increasing that really helps the stitches around the increase to lay flat. Both super simple examples but worthwhile to learn. I have found that knitting foreign patterns has been the most fruitful patterns for this reason.

3. Blog Posting  I would like to make a commitment to publish here once a week. I get busy with school but I really feel like knitting and posting is helpful for maintaining balance through an otherwise stressful program. PhD work can be all consuming at times and posting here is a good way to force balance into my life. It is also a fun creative outlet that gives my brain a break from constant academic thinking/writing.

Here’s to a new year and more commitment to the craft.