Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, Hello

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
and let each new year find you a better man.
-Benjamin Franklin

One might think that with the last twelve hours of 2008 at my disposal, I would have some deep and profound thoughts. I don't have many. The past year has been a good one personally, professionally, and certainly knitterly.
I tried to count the finished projects of 2008 for a year-end wrap up, but I lost track after 100. The year in my mind seems full of snapshots, so I'll share some of my favorites.

As my sister says, it's not every year you get to marry your husband all over again.
There's nothing cuter than a baby in handknits.I discovered just how much I love stranded colorwork knitting, no matter how little it suits my current climate. I also discovered what a grateful recipient my husband is.I made two adult Dale sweaters this year (yes, I know you're still waiting for good photos of my Park City), and in the process discovered that this is my favorite thing to knit. Expect to see much more in 2009.

I have plans for the coming year, not so much resolutions. As I tell my patients, there's a difference between a goal and a plan. A goal is "Exercise more." A plan is "Lay out my gym clothes at night, set the alarm for 5:00, and go to the gym for 45 minutes before work." Plans have a way of making goals come true. And as 2009 is the year I will knit whatever I want to knit, when I want to knit it, expect a bit of a cast-on frenzy coming up.

After all, it's already 2009 in Iraq.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Thursday, December 25, 2008

All Around the World

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Christmas in Iraq, photos from my husband.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Christmastime

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another
The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.
-Emily Matthews

There's nothing like handmade for Christmas. I have all sorts of handknits winging themselves across the country - even the world! - but they're secret. Well, except for Kate D's. She opened her presents before Christmas. Go ahead and start the public shaming. So, since I can't show you any of the lovely things I've been making (shhhh!), let's all enjoy the table runner my mother-in-law made.

It's perfect for our dining room table. It has a lovely pieced top with Christmas fabrics, and check out the quilting.

Do you think she put hearts in the corners on purpose? I'm guessing so.

Now I need to pack. My flight for home leaves tomorrow night, and the weather report is calling for a high of about 43 degrees for the entire time I'll be there. So, which hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, and sweaters to take? Gosh, my life is hard!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

My So-Called Something

Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.
-Stephen Wright

And I was doing so well. With blogging. With stash reduction. And then I saw this post on Ravelry offering a phenomenal deal on sock yarn. Let's consider that my Christmas present to myself, shall we?

Believe it or not, I was actually (sort of kind of maybe in another universe) running low on sock yarn. Or at least it seemed that way since I copied Rebecca and bagged up all my yarn for Personal Sock Club 2009. Out of sight, out of mind.

So, blogging. I kept telling myself I had so much to blog about and then that seemed daunting, so I put it off. So we'll just pop in for fun here.

This was the project of the month from November. Or was it October? I finished it just in time for the 3 year anniversary of buying the yarn just for this project. I bought it at Churchhouse Yarns on Bainbridge Island on a delightfully chilly and blustery and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest when I was visiting the incomparable Kate D. Ah, memories.

My So-Called Scarf
Pattern: free, online
Yarn: Manos del Uraguay
Needles: US 9
Notes: No changes. Great pattern.
Best Thing About This Project: The memories, of course. And how it matches my winter coat. That I'll get to wear in Pennsylvania next week.

Is it just me or have scarves gotten fun lately? I've spent most of today captivated by a Noro Striped Scarf (but in Paton's Soy Wool Stripes), and I just started Besotted for my handknit-appreciating husband. He is always telling me to buy more yarn, after all. Right, honey? Right? Right? Hello? Are you there? You like me to buy yarn, right?

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Things I Love

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
-Abraham Lincoln

Things I'm loving today:
  1. My snazzy new haircut - no more buns!
  2. Pedicures. Being able to wear flipflops to my pedicure in San Diego.
  3. My sister calling me to inform me that she ONLY has four pairs of handknit socks.
  4. Her favorite socks, by the way, are the Merino Lace socks made of Judy's hand-dyed sock yarn. The yarn gets a rousing endorsement for being "too soft to be wool." God bless Merino!
  5. These Dale patterns I picked up at Velona Needleworks a few weeks ago. The middle two - St. Anton and Baby Trondheim - are the hard-to-find ones.
  6. Christmas movies on TV. Back to the knitting!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Full Disclosure

Colors, like features, follow the change of the emotions.
-Pablo Picasso

I'm glad there's so much general support for a year of just casting on whatever. In fact, there's so much support that I really felt free to start a whole month early. It's like those 13 month calendars.

Apparently I was really feeling the lack of stranded colorwork. Meet Bondegard, a ridiculous (and ridiculously cute) Dale baby sweater that involves 14 colors of yarn. (They're labeled as 15, but the pullover doesn't need color 14. If you look closely, you can see that I had to take my sharpie and label each with it's color number and the chart symbol. And we all wonder why my stash is growing . . .
Since Bondegard is a bit of a lengthy project, I went for some more immediate gratification. In fact, it's surprisingly fast - almost instant! Here are the Snowflake Socks from the Fall 2007 Interweave in KnitPicks Telemark. They're so delightful I had to pull them on before even taking the dpns out of the toe!

Good thing I'm moving along here. The yarn for the Tree Bark Pullover has arrived off back order. I'd sort of forgotten that I'd ordered not one but two options for the contrast color. For those of you not following in excruciating detail, see the linked post here. I decided to continue with the Tree Bark Pullover in Mission Falls 1824 cotton. My main color is Indigo (#404), and my options for the contrast color are Chicory (#401) and Sky (#403). Both are light blues. The Chicory is more of a slate and the Sky is more, well, sky-like. Both are pleasing with the Indigo. Any thoughts? I'm withholding judgment (and thus, casting on, since the cast on row is in the contrast color) until I can see and compare them in sunlight.

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