Finally finished my Advent 2019 socks. I can’t wait to wear them. The feet are an eclectic mixture of leftover Christmas sock yarns. Adds to the fun of the stripes I think. They will be too hot to wear in Florida but I’m hoping to wear them on the drive to Charleston, SC the end of the month on our way to Florida. Then I’ll bring them back with me when we fly back to Cincinnati for Christmas. I’ll get to wear them at our Christmas party for hubby’s church choir.
CHRISTMAS SOCKS CAST-ON
I got to cast on a pair of Christmas sock yarn. Sadly I don’t like the yarn at all! It is the cheap Mary Maxim yarn. I’m learning I’m very spoiled by hand dyed yarns. The Mary Maxim yarn is very “wooly”. I can’t image wearing the socks and it certainly is no fun knitting them. I am using Cinnamon’s Say Yes to Pie pattern so I’m looking forward to how it knits up. I plan to complete the pair and block them to see if the yarn softens up.
BABY BLANKET – WESTERNHILLS
I cast-on the baby blanket for my niece. It’s the Western Hills pattern – a free pattern on Ravelry. I am making myself knit it Continental to give my shoulder a break from my usual English (throw) method. I’m enjoying knitting it this way. I use the Norwegian purl which is a bit slow but let’s me keep the yarn in the back for both knits and purls. I want a nice easy pattern to knit in the car or while visiting our children on the drive down to Naples, FL. I’m using the multi color minis my daughter-in-law game me last year for Christmas. Not much to see so far.
Don’t know that I’ll get much car knitting. I typically have to do all the driving. I’m thankful that we are able to break up the 18 hr drive by staying a full day with my daughter in Charleston, SC giving me a day off from driving. Then this year we will stop at my son’s near Orlando, FL spending the night before making the final 3 hr drive to Naples. So a 2 day trip becomes a 4 day trip but we get to visit with kids we rarely see. I haven’t seen my son and his wife in person since pre-Covid, so almost 2 years.
Not surprisingly I’ve got my knitting planned for wintering in Florida before what clothes to take. Can’t believe we leave in 2 weeks. A goal for 2022 is to knit a pair of socks per month. That will be aggressive for me. Even so, I’ve caked and packed yarn to make 4 pairs of socks in addition to the Christmas yarn socks I’ve just cast-on. I also packed the yarn to make my hubby’s sweater plus a tee top for me. I will be casting on a tank top for the wife of my oldest stepson before we leave as well. I’m hoping to finish it by the first of the year. I have no doubt all these projects are more than I can complete during my winter in Naples. But I’m looking forward to completing some and starting others.
Time is really rushing by as annual doctors exams, Christmas shopping/gift making and Florida packing is cutting into my knitting time. I’m currently making vegan “soup in a jar” kits to give as Christmas presents to my daughters. Plus I’m making a candy and nuts Advent Calendar garland for my SC daughter.
Today was our first official snow flurries making us that much more anxious to get to Florida!! Have a great crafting week.
This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.
Well, this wasn’t on my plan but a pair of Christmas stockings that I started 2 years ago finally got finished this week!! I took a one evening class, from my friend that now has her own business of dying yarn, 2 years ago. At the time I hadn’t knit very many socks so the heel was still intimidating. I also didn’t have the right needles to finish the toe with the ridiculously thick Macro yarn by Berroco. The intended recipient of the stockings turned out to already have themed stockings so didn’t want them. Plan B recipients also already had stockings. So the stockings went to the “someday” never neverland.
After my recent success with the quick knits of fingerless mittens, I decided to pull out the stockings since I figured I could finish them quickly. I now know how to make sock heels and I also know how to “wing it” by using a needle that isn’t necessarily the right size to hold the stitches while using the correct sized working needle. So after 2 years, the stockings are completed. They are now going to my youngest son and his girlfriend. I detested “knitting” with such thick yarn. It was like knitting with rope. But I’ll probably make 1 or 2 more with the intent of using up the remaining yarn.
I’m a little over halfway through my advent calendar from Wool Interrupted. The minis are much “duller” than the yarns I like. I like vibrant colors and speckles. Oh well. The maker has included nice “extras” so far, a wooden shawl pin, a packet of wool soak, and a snowman stitch marker/progress keeper. Ravelry did have a nice sock pattern recently, Fairy Glen, that would be a nice use of these greyish minis.
Beside the time spent on the stockings, I worked on my non-shellseeker sweater. Not going to get it done by the end of the year probably but still should get it done fairly early in January which would be record sweater knitting time for me!! I had intended this project to be a carryover WIP.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas celebration. This will be my last post from the cold north. My next post will likely be in the new year when I’ll share my knitting goals for 2021. Indeed I’ve already made a change to my draft plan as my hubby volunteered that he would like a sweater. I indeed will use up, and possibly need to add to, my Summer Silk leftovers from my non-shellseeker sweater.
My stepson asked me if I could repair his childhood teddy bear not understanding the difference between knitting and crochet. Sadly I’m only a knitter. It is a very worn and well loved teddy bear so finding yarn to match would be impossible. So I got out my trusty thread and needle to stitch the foot closed. Then to draw attention away from all the gapping holes on the body and arms as the yarn has stretched I suspect due to multiple washings, I knit a scarf. The scarf helps hold up the head as well. I hope he will be happy with it. My husband found his baby book while cleaning out the garage last week. What a baby book was doing in the garage we have no idea. So I think I will give him his baby book and teddy bear at Christmas. The baby book is extra special since his mother died when he was 11. I suspect there will be lots of tears.
It’s the 13th so I get to start opening my yarn advent calendar!! Today’s mini is a slate blue. I was never a mini person other than the mini’s Lollipop yarn includes with her self striping sock yarn skein. But now I have a set of 12 to match the minis I put in my friends” advent calendars and I’ll get 11 minis with my advent calendar. One of my 2021 projects, I’ll be sharing the plan as my first post of January, is to knit the Advent 2019 socks from Ravelry (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/advent-socks-2019) . I will be working on them periodically over the months of 2021 with the intent of having them done by December 2021. I need to plan the colors that I will use for each stripe so that I can pack the needed minis for my extended stay in Florida.
Finally besides the little scarf for the teddy bear, I’ve worked on my “shellseeker” sweater. It’s really not the shellseeker pattern since I changed the neck, use the wrong thickness of yarn, do increasing stripe width instead simply doing 2 row widths for each stripe, and won’t do the pouch pocket on the front. The only feature from shellseeker that I’m doing is the faux darts. For shellseeker, these lines of k2tog and ssk created the lines where the front pocket pouch attached. For me they are the decorative feature. Since it’s basically a stockinette sweater, it’s an easy knit.
Less than 2 weeks till Christmas!! Hope you shopping is going well. Due to Covid we will keep it small and skip our usual traditions of attending church services and dining out. I’m very thankful that our local public radio station and playhouse will broadcast a 1 hr radio play of Scrooge Christmas Eve. It’s a one man play done by the actor that has performed as Scrooge at the playhouse for the past 15 years. https://www.wvxu.org/post/playhouse-park-brings-christmas-carol-wvxu-0#stream/0
Santa and Mrs. Claus got their mitts delivered this week. My knitting friends got their advent calendars delivered Saturday. And I got my 12 Day Advent Calendar from Wool Interrupted!!! I’ve decide I’ll open the bags of minis from Dec 13 thru Dec 24 when I’ll get to open the full skein. I’ve hung the bags from a cord across my knitting nook so it makes a Christmas decoration hence the decision to wait to start opening till the 13th. Plus I don’t plan to knit them right away so there isn’t a hurry.
We had a nice Thanksgiving. We sat spaced out sitting 8 at our table for 14. The 3 boys living in Cincinnati attended in person (one lives with us so already part of our bubble). 3 others attended via Zoom. Better than nothing and since they don’t live in town it’s not like we would have got to see them even without Covid. We wore masks much of the afternoon, opened windows for additional ventilation and sat far apart. We designed our home with cathedral ceilings and no interior walls on the main floor so it’s easy to be spaced apart. Hubby dished out the food so no buffet line. Now fingers crossed it worked and no one develops Covid. Sadly our daughter in Charleston, SC has it but so far it’s limited to loss of smell and taste.
I did cast-on my Shellseeker sweater so a WIP for 2021. Hoping 3rd time is a charm because I keep twisting it. Finally pinned the edges together hoping I don’t end up twisting again. 😝 I don’t like the boat collar the pattern calls for so I’m doing a small (4 rows) of K1P1 rib. I had to go up 4 needle sizes as I’m using a smaller weight yarn. But I want a more open fabric for warmer weather wear. As with hers, I’m going to make ever increasing stripe widths from top to bottom alternating between 3 colors. This has been on my list to make for over a year so I’m glad to finally start it.
Christmas decorations come out today. Bought a smaller, prelit tree this year since we won’t be having parties or family gatherings. Also, we are getting too old to be climbing a ladder and reaching to decorate a 10′ tree.
This week’s “project” wasn’t on my plan but I’m excited to share what I’ve been up to. I’ve mentioned how lucky I feel to have my local group of knitting friends. We met taking sock and sweater classes at our LYS 3 years ago. This evolved into meeting at the LYS at it’s bi-weekly knitting session. Then we added meeting on “off” weeks at a local coffee shop. Now we have even taken some “girls” weekends to visit yarn shops, wool shows, or VogueLive classes.
With Covid, we have moved to weekly Zoom sessions. So I wanted to do something special since 2020 has been such a isolateing and frustrating year. Back in August I started planning how to make an advent calendar for my knitting friends. I didn’t like how most calendars I found online are yarn only or stitch marker only or teas only. I found an inexpensive hinged wooden box that I stained and 2″ gold and silver cube boxes to use to hold each day’s surprise. I was able to include support for another friend who has moved from teaching at the LYS to making and selling her own yarns by buying 12 minis for each calendar. The other 12 boxes are filled with inexpensive charms that make cute stitch markers, tea bags, or chocolate pareils. I spent half of what purchasing a yarn or stitch marker calendar would cost online displayed in a MUCH nicer wooden box than the paper bags most online calendars use.
There is no pattern included in my calendar as all 12 of the mini skeins don’t necessarily go together in my opinion. But I hope that opening the little surprises give my friends something to look forward to and some joy in this very stressed time. The holidays are going to be very different and probably a little sad this year.
YEAR OF PROJECTS UPDATE
2020 Project List Mitts/Hats: 1 Planned and about to cast-on Socks: 4 Planned with 6 Done and another already cast-on Sweaters/Tops: 4 Planned with 3 Done Shawl/Cowl/Shrug: 2 Planned with 2 Done 2019 WIPs: 2 carried over with 1 sweater completed and the argyle sock put in hibernation
I’m fairly satisfied with my knitting accomplishments this year. Basically replaced a sweater with 3 pairs of socks. I am almost done with my daughter’s Christmas socks. I will have to mail them to her as she is not able to visit us in person for Thanksgiving. As soon as I get them finished I will start on the fingerless mitts.
I have deemed 2020 to be the year of the sweater for me. I’ve only made three sweaters so far in my knitting career. The first one was a simple tunic of worsted weight for me. Then I made two more sweaters but made them for my daughter Sara. Even though she lives in Charleston, SC, it gets cool enough in the winter months that she can wear a sweater. I decided I needed to make some for me. It would help me understand fit better if I actually wore some sweaters I knitted.
I kicked off the year with an “advent calendar” kit. While technically I started it back in Dec 2019, I only knit about 20 rows so that I could start it with my knitting friend Kim. I put mine aside as I had a pair of Christmas socks I was hoping to finish by Christmas. That didn’t happen but I did get them done in time to be put away with the Christmas clothes for next year.
So once we got to Florida I focused on the advent sweater, a simple tunic of fingering weight yarns. I’m happy to say it’s done and I am tickled with it. The sleeves are a bit too blousy but not bad. I had to rip out the I-cord bind-off of the body. Blocking might have fixed the curling but I wasn’t sure. I’m happy with the ribbed edging and simple bind-off which blocked well. While we were told to knit one ball after another, I learned that I should have used half balls for the yoke as the yoke is too much of the same color instead of the thinner stripes of the body. I’ve used leftover scraps of body yarn and double knitted rows to bring some of the body colors up to the yoke. Plus I’m making a cowl out of the 3+balls that I didn’t use for the sweater to bring some color to the neck.I
So 2020 is off to a good start. I was afraid a sweater would take me three months so I only planned 4 for the year. This one took me 2 months. So I’m hopeful that I will complete all 4 I have planned. Now to put the next one, Shellseeker, on needles.
While at VogueLive back in early November, a knitting friend and I discovered an “advent calendar” sweater project at the Mass Ave booth. The 24 15g balls of fingering weight yarn were so colorful that we couldn’t resist. I bought the project knowing that I wouldn’t really knit it for advent but instead would knit it in January. I had some really cute Christmas self striping socks yarn that I really wanted to knit up instead.
So come January I embarked on knitting the advent sweater. It’s an extremely simple stockinette tunic with raglan sleeves so no seaming!! I am very pleasantly surprised at just how much fun I’m having knitting it up. Since I didn’t pick the yarns, the colors are often a surprise. It is surprisingly to see how the colors display as they are knitted. I bought the sweater to be a fun splash of color worn over black leggings and it will definitely be that.
My friend has completed hers already. She started in December and decided to make it a shorter hip length. It is just as cute and fun as we had hoped. It looks great on her but I think I still want mine to be longer, upper thigh. So I’ll keep an eye out in the future for a fun knit like an Advent Calendar project.😁