Running with knitting needles

Long time no write. I know.

Work troubles, bad health, weirdly hot weather. Excruciating arm pain. Generally ferocious mood.

And the most wonderful time of the year.

I like to give handmade prezzies to my friends and family in an attempt to keep the season more heartfelt, so I’ve been knitting like a one-person sweat shop this last 6 weeks. I left this task way too late the year, largely because of the work thing. The pain thing was no abetment to fiddly hand-work either. However, things look like they might actually make it for the big day.

There is this simple but satisfying infinity scarf:

Sweet Georgia’s “Five by Five”

This is a pattern by Felicia Lo, owner of Sweet Georgia Yarns (@heysweetgeorgia) which I knitted up in three strands of fingering yarn knit as one. The yarn is a washable mix of merino and nylon called Stroll from @KnitPicks, and is super-soft and very reasonably priced. The scarf is a six-foot infinity scarf called Five by Five. Although it is easy enough to be classified as TV knitting, the end project is lush and really goes to show that sometimes, simplicity = absolutely elegant. I made the same pattern in different colors last year, and was astonished by how well it came out. It was my first return to knitting in about 15 years. The only tricky bits are a provisional cast-on and the Kirchner stitch to graft the ends together.

Sweet Georgia Five by Five and a cute baby hat.

Above is my last year’s attempt at the same pattern and a cute berry baby hat, made in hypoallergenic alpaca, also from @KnitPicks. (Alpaca is always hypoallergenic, if you have any wool-sensitive types you’d like to knit or crochet for.)

Next is this complicated-looking mock cable scarf designed by Holli Yeoh, whose patterns really appeal to me. (Check her out on Ravelry). It’s knit in a Cascade yarn, merino and silk, called Venezia, from a book called 60 Quick Luxury Knits published by Cascade:

red mock cable
Mock Cable Scarf designed by Holli Yeoh

This is 7ish feet of merino-silk luxury, and uses a clever pattern of decreases and yarn-overs to mimic a true cable.

I’m currently charmed by a book called Charmed from Knit Picks. I have three projects on the go now, all from that pattern book, pictured below:

Linen stitch scarf designed by Angie Schwenn

This scarf also looks complicated, but only requires some self-discipline in repressing muscle memory. Only every other stitch is worked in each row, with the alternating stitch slipped. Although the yarn is switched from front to back between the slipped and worked stitch, you only knit on one side and purl on the other. I had to keep slapping myself for a few rows to NOT do a rib stitch. This is one of those wonderfully flat stitches that doesn’t need much blocking to look superb. The yarn is Andean Treasure, alpaca, from Knit Picks.

Then this quick knit, again by Holli Yeoh, The Écleté cowl. This is pretty much a two-evening knit. This one needs a blocking.

bobble cowl
Me <3’s bobbles.

Finally the Amuse scarf, by which I was initially bemused. It is a series of simple triangles knitted and shifted by picking up stiches along one edge to make a more or less straight scarf. This also requires a provisional cast-on and grafting:

Wibble-wobbly now, will look fantastic after a good blocking. And working in a few dozen ends. Design by Katy Banks.

I have one more project to do after the holidays, and then, I might actually knit something for myself. Like a tasteful Christmas sweater for next year. Or a scarf in the Five by Five pattern in yummy lime greens.

For those unlucky enough not to make the knitting list this year, pear jams of various flavors are on offer. Lord knows I have PLENTY. The ‘rents are getting some weird stuff because I think they literally have everything there is in the world they could possibly want by now. So I’m reduced to getting them things they’ve never heard of. Sometimes that strategy even works out OK.

And, since my father thought the scarf I made him last year looked girly, even though the model in the pattern was a very manly looking male person and the scarf was burly and the color of mud, he’s on my knitting doo-doo list. I hold grudges, Mr. Grinch.

Mr. Grinch also told me last year that my mother’s very best and most favorite coat was some old pink and maroon thing, so I laboriously made a complicated pattern in those colors (colors I hate). It was a difficult pattern, many stiches knitted into one, and then many decreased, and I had to rip the whole thing down to the cast-on several times because of mistakes. Finally I got the hang of it, and thus ensued 7 feet of pink and maroon zig-zags. Gag.

Then Sweet Georgia came to the last-minute rescue with another easy pattern, a Fisherman’s rib, which I made in colors I know my mom likes — teals and blues, in the same yummy yarn that Sweet Georgia suggested in the pattern. Mom showed up for Christmas wearing her new coat — TEAL!!!

I told her to give the pink one away, burn it, bury it. I never want to see it again.


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