2012 Knitting Report


I’ve not been very good this year about reporting my knitting projects on my blog. Let me assure you, there has been knitting and several finished projects.

I’ve become very good about recording each project on ravelry.com, and I think that has robbed some of the impetus behind my knitting blog posts of the past. Technical data recorded in a place where it is most likely to be useful to other practitioners - my knitting blog posts seem superfluous in contrast.

I will end the year with a report on what I did with the needles this year.

Sunrise Circle Jacket (completed January 8)

Obviously most of the knitting on this project happened during 2011. It’s knit in Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, an undyed yarn that is soft and lofty. This is a very warm sweater with flattering shaping and a professional flair. I would feel comfortable wearing it to any business meeting.

The designer, Kate Gilbert, created a precise pattern that sewed up perfectly despite some very unconventionally shaped pieces.

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Homage to Sock Summit II (completed January 15)

Again, a project that was mostly knitted in 2011.

I cast these socks on during the first day of the Sock Summit II, a premier knitting event that was held Portland, Oregon, in July 2011. I could only dream of attending such an event, so I did what I could to enjoy myself vicariously: cast on a pattern designed by one of the event’s organizers - Rogue Roses by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock yarn from the company owned by the other event organizer, Tina Newtown.

These socks are WARM.

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Mental Recipe Socks (completed April 8 - yarn dyed 12/26/11, socks cast on as soon as yarn was dry & wound into balls)

This is where I proved to myself that I have knit enough socks, I don’t need no stinkin’ pattern - at least to knit a basic cuff-down sock.

I dyed the yarn on a sock blank, dying 2 strands at once by painting dye onto a knit rectangle of yarn. I then unraveled the dyed rectangle, and used the yarn to knit socks.

These are favorites!

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Midnight Aeolean Shawl (completed May 5 - 2011’s Christmas cast-on)

Such a dreamy project, so difficult to photograph!

The yarn is Knitpicks Shadow in Midnight, a lovely complex deep navy. The pattern is the Aeolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman, an iconic design that has over 3,400 projects on Ravelry. The shawl is studded with beads. Non-knitters don’t seem to focus on it the way that knitters do.

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Cherry Kleio with Tweaked Edging (completed August 12)

Yet another shawl. This one is very, very long, more of a scarf than a shawl, and it looks great with my winter coat.

The design is by Rosemary Hill in hand-dyed yarn from The Spinning Bunny purchased at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival, with blue edging in a basic Knitpicks Stroll sock yarn.

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Black Alpaca Coraline (completed September 29)

Mmmmm - pure alpaca! This sweater is very soft, but already proving itself to hold up well to heavy wear.

The pattern is by Ysolda Teague, and was designed for alpaca, a yarn with more drape and less bounce than a wool yarn. I had a very limited amount of yarn to knit with (purchased at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival), and used nearly every yard to make this sweater. This sweater is where I really learned how to use a digital scale in my knitting. I weighed my swatches, my project, and the sweater pieces as I went to make sure I would have enough to finish the project. This was especially necessary because my gauge did not exactly match the pattern’s gauge, so I had to made several modifications to make the yarn fit the pattern. The results are well worth the effort.

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Escher Socks (completed November 2 from yarn dyed 12/26/11)

I like these socks, but they seemed to take forever to knit. Warning to anyone else who attempts the pattern: the stitch pattern pulls in severely, and it can be very easy to make socks that are too tight to pull on your feet.

The pattern is by Lorna Miser and comes from the book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, compiled by Carol Sulcoski.

I dyed the yarn - TweedSock by Wool2Dye4. It’s an interesting yarn that is plied with strands of regular and superwash wool. The strands absorb dye differently, resulting in a tweedy look.

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Homespun Litchfield Hat (completed November 6 and just one month in the knitting)

I spun the yarn for this hat, as well as doing the knitting. It’s tightly knit in a fiber that still has some lanolin left in it, so it should resist the weather this winter.

The pattern is Litchfield by Elizabeth Doherty, available from the Twist Collective.

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Felted Mug Cozies (completed December 23 and just 13 days in the knitting)

These were a present for my dad and stepmom, who love their brewed tea. I adapted the Slice of Pi Felted Pillbox Hat pattern from Sarah Bradberry’s book The Any Yarn, Any Size Knit Hat Book. They were also a test of the felting capabilities of our new washing machine, a LG high efficiency top-loader. High efficiency washers don’t have a good reputation as reliable felting machines, but this machine did fine. I set it for hot water, high soil, and heavy duty, and threw in a couple of towels to increase friction. It took 2 wash cycles to felt the cozies. In the future, I will be sure to felt test swatches to confirm finished gauge, as I don’t have as much control over the process as I did with my old agitator machine.

Before and after pics:

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On the needles at year’s end:

A cardigan sweater in a glowing green, luscious wool/rayon blend.

Basic toe-up-two-at-a-time socks in a self-striping yarn by Opal.

A scarf in the Pogona pattern by Stephen West (2012’s Christmas cast-on). This pattern was given to me as a random act of generosity by another knitter on Ravelry. Such generosity must be followed by casting on the project at the earliest possible opportunity.

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