While I did not jump on the Knit the WIPs challenge, I have been trying to clear the decks a bit.
I don’t know about you, this seems to happen to me often. I go through a period where I feel like all I’m doing is starting new projects. Then, I have so many projects on the needles that it feels like I’m not making any progress on any of them — at which point I try to tell myself that I’m a “process knitter”. Who is kidding who? I’m an end-product knitter. The next step is the phase I am finding myself in — the projects get close enough to being finished that I turn into a serial monogamist and start finishing them. That is, unless I lose my mojo by entering into startitis phase before the finishitupistis phase is fully complete. (I’m reading this, slightly alarmed that I may have some knitter’s version of manic-depressive thing going.)
Anyway, I find myself in the serial monogamy phase of the cycle. As a result, I’ve finished a few projects that have been on my needles for a few months. Here’s the count down:
Number One: The Holiday Sweater. Yes, I’m done! Just in time! This is the sweater which I thought, probably due to my food coma state from Thanksgiving, would be a good idea for me to knit. This was supposed to be a quick knit. #8 needles and silk mohair….I thought that I would blow through this sweater in no time. It took a bit longer, as the yarn/needle/pattern combination ended up being a bit more fiddly than I’d bargained for. That being said, the sweater has already earned its place as my holiday garment of choice so far. It’s a bit dressy, it’s a bit unusual — and it’s really nice and warm. I highly recommend this design, which is by Romi Hill, available from Interweave Knits. And, if you are not sensitive to mohair-fuzzy, I really think silk/mohair blend (my go to is Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze, the sweater was knit in Shibui Silk Cloud) makes great garments. It’s not for everyone, it’s almost not for me because it tips the scale toward slightly frou-frou, but it is light, it is warm, and you can knit it with large needles!!!!
Number Two: Modified Buttonwillow. I made the original Buttonwillow, another design by Romi Hill, as soon as the pattern became available to the public in Road to China Light in Hematite. This yarn is very yummy — it’s 65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% cashmere and 10% baby camel. It’s got a slight halo, it’s really nice going through the hands for the most part (I noticed some dust or bits of fiber coming off on my hands, but I could have imagined it), and blocks like a dream. The original pattern is a sort of an elongated triangle, which is nice for a shawlette, but if you want to make it bigger, not the ideal shape given the long wings. My first shawlette was barely off my needles when I cast on the second shawl, with the same yarn but this time in Lapis, and started my modification plan…I wanted a large triangle, while keeping the center spine pattern. I also decided, given the size of the shawl, to do more repeats of the “flower” part of the pattern. And of course, I had to modify the bind off a bit so I did that as well. The result is a very large shawl, 78″ across and 39″ deep. It’s a big yummy hug of a shawl. I used 6 skeins of yarn. I really love the garter rib that make up the body of the shawl. And it is a warm, cozy, soft thing to wear around the shoulders.
Number Three: MADRONA! I cast this on as soon as the pattern became available to me (it’s a Romi Hill Pins & Laces Club pattern, I believe this becomes available to the public sometime early next year). Then, I had a massive mishap with one of the skeins of Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace that I was using for this shawl — the cake of yarn flew off my ball winder as I was winding the skein and it took me 4 hours to untangle the mess. It almost derailed me. Then, I felt like the yarn was a little fiddly, and I was not progressing along the shawl at my normal clip. The Holiday Sweater cured this feeling though, and as soon as I started knitting the sweater is when I decided that Gaia Lace wasn’t fiddly AT ALL (and it wasn’t compared to having mohair/silk on blunt metal needles trying to do k2tog for basically the entire sweater)….and I finished this as well. When this shawl came off the blocking boards, I could not believe what I had in my grubby little paws.
First of all, I could not believe that I made this shawl. It’s really that pretty. The construction is interesting — you start the center sort of like a circular shawl, and then knit wings off of it, which results in an L shape — it’s a stole/shawl! I’ve been wearing this around this weekend, and it stays on my shoulders like a champ! Important especially as you have food in one hand and an adult beverage in another as you are sharing holiday cheer with friends! I actually think I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of this shawl in the spring. Perhaps it’s the color that I used, but I can totally see throwing this over a dress (or more likely, white t-shirt but I can pretend I’m going to be wearing dresses instead). There is short row shaping, there’s crochet chains in the cast off….it’s a really fun knit.
There you have it, there’s my December Romi Trifecta!
Update of my swap gift for you. I believe I have settled on the yarn that I’m going to use, and I am swatching currently for 3 different things. I’m hoping that the yarn will tell me what it’s going to turn into. All I have to say is, whatever it turns into, I hope you like it and if you don’t, don’t tell me!!!!
As for Susie’s Reading Mitts…I don’t quite understand why this pattern has gotten yanked from Ravelry (it appears, as of very late Sunday night, that the pattern is off Ravelry again). It has been a free pattern for such a long time that I’m not exactly sure what Dancing Ewe is going to do with it. I feel like the disappearance has caused some sort of a mild panic among Ravelers.
Your red pair are gorgeous, by the way.
What are your plans for Christmas? Is it in the islands? Elsewhere? Knitting? Spinning? And do you have a New Year’s cast on planned?!?