Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review, Part 3: The Everyone Else Edition

Last recap post for 2013! It'll be nice to actually blog in real-time once these are done.

First, I made knee socks for my first San Diego friend. I'm trying to get her hooked on knitting too, so I looked at Hannah's Socks as a gateway drug. I took a legwarmer pattern and added some calf shaping and a foot. I don't have any good pictures of the pair after they were finished, but this picture of the back of the leg shows the shaping I added in. I was pretty proud of how I worked it out to stay pretty much in pattern.

These Kalajoki socks were intended to be for me, but once I finished them they were a little too tight. The yarn bled like crazy on my skin while I was knitting, so I didn't feel like fixing them right away. That worked out well because I ended up going to B's parents' house for Christmas. Guess whose mom ended up getting a pair of handknit socks?

Finally, I made my second hat! The pattern for the Scallop Lace Hat called for size 10 circulars and DPNs, but the largest size I had was an 8 so I just used those. The hat ended being tighter than intended, but I think it's cute. Since I have a weirdly large head and don't really wear hats anyway, I'm putting this in my newly-started "gift basket".

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review, Part 2: The Ashley Edition

As a proud Selfish Knitter, the majority of what I knit is for myself. I went a little sweater crazy this year and have learned a lot, both about sweater construction and how my body is actually shaped, as opposed to the weird way I've always imagined it to be (I have a waist. Who could have guessed?).

My very first Wollmeise project! This Lush is made from Wollmeise DK in Grashupfer and is the most insanely rich kelly green. I love it. I tried to be extra carefully with gauge, but this ended up being pretty big from the boobs down. I will probably end up reknitting the body at some point since it doesn't get much use as it is now.

These (Un)Padded Footlets were made from the yarn left over from the baby cardigan, which was made to match the mom's socks. So I inadvertently have made us sock sisters for life. This pattern was one of the first sock patterns I ever knit and I've made several pairs since then. The padding part is really fiddly so I don't even bother with it, which makes this great for using up smaller amounts of fingering weight yarn.

Ah, Grace. My beautiful Southern Grace. I dreamed about this sweater. I love the pattern, and the yarn was the most beautiful light, fresh pink. I started this sweater living in a condo with 2 girls and finished it after moving in with my boyfriend. This beautiful cardigan is made out of Knit Picks Stroll.

Whatever the label says, KNIT PICKS STROLL IS NOT SUPERWASH! Felted the first time I washed it. I was heated. Still am. I've managed to stretch it a little bit and will do a blog post in the future about the 2nd go-around.

Very basic, but I did knit my first washcloth to use up some Lily Sugar n' Cream I had sitting around. The pattern (Nai-Nai's Favorite) makes a really nice, squishy fabric, so I bought some more cotton to make more.

I've loved Sperry since the moment I saw it on the Ravelry Patterns page. I knit the entire body before trying it on and finding out that it was too big, so I did some angry frogging. I love the way it turned out.

Finally there was my Chuck, made out of Wollmeise DK in Vamp. As I mentioned before, I'm planning to rip back and add another diamond repeat to the body as well as make the sleeves full-length. I can see myself wearing this a ton once those changes are made.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Year in Review, Part 1: The Baby Edition

Since I've been MIA for all of 2013, I figured I'd do a few big recap posts to track everything I made during the year. I may have sucked at blogging, but I was knitting constantly.

First of all, one of my former roommates from college found out she was having a baby that was due in May. Obviously, I took advantage of this fact and started making baby items immediately.

Technically speaking, this Maile cardigan was made in December 2012. It's my favorite thing I made for the baby, though, so I'm throwing it in here. The yarn is Cascade Heritage Silk in Aqua Foam, which is the same yarn I used to make a pair of Embossed Leaves to go under the mom's cowboy boots at her wedding. The buttons are vintage, and came out of the old glass Jif jar my grandma used to store all of her buttons. Honestly, I liked this sweater so much that I almost kept it for my future child.

Next, I made a Baby Chalice Blanket. The yarn wasn't great (Lion Brand Pound of Love), but I figured this wasn't going to be an heirloom quality piece and should probably be able to withstand some wear and tear.

This Cowboy Hat and Boots Set was a special request by the mom-to-be. The parents are a little county (see: wore cowboy boots at their wedding), so it only made sense. I have a lot of this yarn left over and might end up making the baby a larger set to carry her through the next year.

I had some yarn left over from my Classic Raglan Pullover, so I made my very first hat. I can't believe I had never made a hat before, but there you go. This Isabella Bonnet worked up very quickly since I worked it inside out and just knit the whole thing. I added a little bit of shaping to the bow and think it helped it keeps its shape. I wish I had written down what I did because I'm planning to knit another one with some more scraps. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out again.

The mom and I met through our sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. Our symbol is a squirrel (hence the name of this blog), so when I saw the pattern for the Oh, Nuts! bib, I knew it had to be made.

Finally, the parents requested that I knit a large wall hanging to cover an ugly breaker box that happened to be in the nursery and ended up being directly over the baby's changing table. I used knitPro to make a chart out of a large letter B and basically just knit in stockinette until I thought I might die. Seriously. This piece had to be at least 18" by 45" and was done in Caron Simply Soft, which is an aran weight. I will not be making another one of these any time soon.

I have more baby items planned for 2014, but it's nice to know that I can use up scraps to make tiny adorable things that a tiny adorable person will actually wear. Adult-sized goodies to follow soon.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

So, it's been a minute...

I know, I know. I move all the way to sunny San Diego and get distracted by real life and forget to post on my blog. I'm determined to keep up with it this time, so here are some life updates:

1) B and I have moved in together. We have a pretty nice one bedroom that's really far from work, but it has an amazing ocean view.

2) I've decided not to become a CPA because I don't want to stay in public accounting long. This decision is new, but it made an immediate improvement on my mental state and I feel good about it.

3) I may have a yarn problem.

A major reason for going full-force on the blogging thing is my major goal for 2014: Operation Stashdown. Spurred by my recent decision to cohabitate with my boyfriend and said boyfriend's discovery of jut how large my yarn stash really is, I have decided to only knit from stash for the next year. I took a picture of my stash about 6 weeks ago when it looked like this:

Since then, I have knitted the 2 skeins of Wollmeise DK in Vamp into this lovely Chuck (pattern by Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots):

 I love love love the pattern, although I made a mistake at the beginning of the center motif--it should have an extra twist. I lengthened the body by 1 repeat and am not really loving the length, so I'm planning to rip back and add a fourth diamond as well as make the sleeves full-length. As it is, this sweater used 700 yards of Wollmeise DK. I have over 300 yards left from my 2nd skein (love those oversized skeins), so I should have plenty to work with.

My current project is a Clapotis from the 3 skeins of Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Looking Glass. It's about 40% done and really much to look at at the moment:

Finally, I gave in and purchased some yarn from Knit Picks right before New Year's with a gift card my dad gave me for Christmas. I'm only knitting from stash for the next year and I didn't have any sweater quantities in the stash, so that's my excuse...for buying 2 sweater quantities. And 2 skeins of Felici. But seriously, no more! To keep me on the straight and narrow, my 2014 goals are as follows:

1) Find patterns for all stash yarns (Finished!)
2) Knit at least 12 queue projects.
3) Start building up stash of gifts through #2.
4) Start working on hexipuffs again for my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I have 100+ little balls of fingering weight rolling about in my stash for this project.
5) Knit at least as much as I did in 2013 (let’s call it 7,500 yards).
Let's see what happens.