Friday, December 30, 2016

Onward


With xmas knitting behind me, I'm back to work on my Filled With Secrets for the Early Check In KAL. I'm almost done with the body-just a couple more inches until the bottom ribbing-and hopefully I'll be able to bang out those sleeves real quick (right, because when have I ever banged out sleeves real quick??). This KAL goes through January 9, so I really gotta get a move on so I can finish in time. I'm also doing Andi's Selfish Sweater KAL this year-more on that when Filled With Secrets is done, but I have cast on and I am loving my project so far. 

After my wrap-up post I debated setting knitting goals for 2017, and so far I don't think I'm going to. I got tons of knitting done in 2016, and I love all my projects, but they didn't really line up with the goals I had set for myself. And it turns out that I kinda like being able to change up my knitting at will, and work on things as I feel the drive and desire to. Knitting is my calm, and setting goals (for me, at least) takes some of that calm away and turns it into a task. And yes, sometimes I have projects that feel like tasks (gifts, samples, sleeves), but there's a difference between plowing through a huge sweater to give to my mother because I love her and knitting eight pairs of socks in a row because "my goal says I need to."

I'm still trying to find my balance here between knitting and fun stuff and political stuff, but 2016 was a really rough year for most of us. And as much as I can't wait to see 2016 vanish in the rear view mirror, I know 2017 is probably going to be rough as well. I hope that 2016 was a wakeup call, not a harbinger, but in light of all the pain and despair and uncertainty that we have surrounding us, I want my goals for 2017 to be less about how many hats I  can knit and more about how kind I can be, how much I can give, and how loud I can make my voice. 

This is kind of a meandering post to end the year on, but it feels fitting. I'm still trying to make sense of a lot of things, and part of my response is to stop trying to shove knitting into a checklist of accomplishments. Knitting doesn't make everything better, but it makes a lot of things easier to process and cope with, and it can't be that for me if I try to force it too much. So here's to a 2017 filled with love and light. Peace to you all <3 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016: The Year in Review


Well, looking back at my Knitting Goals post for 2016, it's safe to say that the year was a complete failure. BUT I don't really believe in failure as a concept, and I'm super thrilled with everything I got done this year, so TAKE THAT, OVERLY-AMBITIOUS PAST KAT!


We'll start with the designs from this year. There were only four, but I really do love all of them, and I'm definitely okay with releasing fewer patterns that I really love instead of working myself ragged trying to fill some self-imposed quota. I did want to design more garments this year, and while I only got one done, it's one I'm really proud of, and it took up a big chunk of the year for me.


I definitely focused way more on garments this year than I have in years past, and I'm so stoked about that! I love making clothes and embracing the challenges and joys of knitting garments. I knit thirteen adult-sized garments plus three little baby sweaters, and I really enjoyed each one!




 Sock-wise, I'm on par with years past. I got three pairs done (four if you count Foot Ovens, which haven't been blogged yet), and while I do love them all, I wish I had more. I've been having some trouble with my hands and fine gauges, so hopefully I'll figure out a balance in the new year to keep my fingers and wrist happy and my feet warm.


2016 was also the year of the KAL for me! I had a blast participating in several KALs, and I finished an incredible nine KAL projects this year (and number ten is halfway done, but won't wrap up until January). I talked earlier in the year about feeling intimidated in KALs, but I've really had a blast, and I definitely plan to keep KALing my little heart out.




As far as accessories go, I wasn't as crazy this year. I knit three hats (one as a gift), nine cowls (one as a gift, four as pattern samples), one shawl (as a gift), and two pairs of mitts (both as gifts). Of the thirty-seven knits I finished this year, twelve were gifts, which is definitely more generous than I've been with my knitting in years past, so maybe I'm growing as a person (no, I'm still super selfish).

I'm super proud of what I accomplished in 2016, and I really love all my knits from this year. As of right now I'm refraining from making knitting goals for 2017-if there's anything the past year has taught me, it's that I have no clue what's going to happen, what KALs are going to catch my eye, if I'm going to get sick and slow way down on knitting for four months-so much is up in the air, and I'd much rather take each day as it comes than feel beholden to goals set by my past self!

**Since 2016 was such a rough year for most of us in so many ways, I'm having a 'Kick 2016 in the ass' sale! Get 30% off everything in my Ravelry Store with code "staybold". 
Code is good until 11:59pm US Central time on New Year's Eve 
and has no limits or restrictions!**

Linking up with Yarn Along

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Eve

Here we are, two days before Christmas. I have pepparkakor dough made, and this afternoon I'll bake those. I've got one last shopping trip planned to get stuff for fudge and chocolate-oat no-bakes, and then I'll make those. The dogs need to get groomed, at some point I need to bake anadama bread, and I haven't even started my wrapping yet.

The knitting is going about as well as possible. I've passed the 75% point on the final gift and I should be able to finish it tonight. Anemone will come down for the weekend later this afternoon, and I still need to weave in a couple ends on my Xmas Sweater so I can wear it all weekend. Somehow everything is coming together, as it always does, and we'll have a mighty fine Christmas this year.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Approaching, and a Sweater

Despite my optimistic proclamations, xmas is still feeling a little bit off. I haven't managed to get any knitting done since finishing Fox Hills on Monday night, and it's starting to get to me a little. I'm hoping to finally get into my mum's present today, get some cookies started tonight, and hopefully by tomorrow it'll start feeling like xmas. And about time, too, since it's the solstice today and I haven't made sun bread (we do have candles out though, so that's something).


In the meantime, I managed to get one little package sent out-the Reindeer Pullover, which is for my cousin's baby (she doesn't read the blog, so I'm safe talking about it). This sweater is tiny and adorable and perfect and I'm so pleased with how it came out, despite having taken longer to knit than any worsted-weight baby sweater has a right to.

I knit this exactly according to pattern-I debated picking up around the neck for a bit of garter stitch to stop the roll so you could see all of the reindeer's antlers, but I didn't want to risk the neck being too small for the kid. Babies have big heads, yo. I'm still completely charmed by this, and I really hope it fits him! Since this is a knitting blog, I'll leave you with one other picture of those beautiful reindeer guts:


Ravelry Page: Reindeer Pullover
Pattern: Reindeer Pullover by Jill Wick
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted "Red" and "Mink Heather"

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, December 19, 2016

Maybe Everything Will Be Fine


This weekend was rough. Friday evening we discovered our wifi wasn't working (the horror!) so we went to the movies (Rogue One is an absolutely beautiful film and an excellent tie-in to the Star Wars franchise and I want to go see it a dozen more times). But that left Saturday and Sunday.

I managed to finish up the Reindeer Pullover on Saturday morning, and then I went to town winding the yarn for the Fox Hills cardigan. By afternoon, I had put in Star Wars Episode 4, poured myself a sombrero, and went to town on this cardigan. By the time I went to bed, I had the whole body, and the start of both sleeves.

Sunday morning I started back up on the cardigan, and worked on it intermittently between cleaning (my stove looks glorious right now, and our basement/guest room is navigable) I finished the sleeves, seamed it up, did the button band, made an emergency button run, and started the embroidery. And boom.  Two days, a whole little toddler cardigan, waiting only for a tiny bit of embroidery, buttons, and blocking.

Maybe Christmas will be okay after all.

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, December 16, 2016

It's Gonna Be a Sprint to the Finish


That, my friends, is a tiny sweater body-front and back, and a pair of little sleeves. I've got about a dozen more rows on the sleeves, but they keep getting shorter and shorter and I can just sneeze those out. Then tonight I'll have a little seaming party, and this little guy should be ready to go soon.

So far, the Xmas/December knitting list stands as follows:

  1. Mum's Sweatshirt Sweater: DONE
  2. My Xmas Sweater: DONE
  3. Filled With Secrets: YOKE DONE, BODY STARTED
  4. Reindeer Pullover: ALMOST DONE
  5. Fox Cardigan: NEED TO WIND YARN
  6. Mum's present: STARTED
Okay, technically I still have to seam the underarms of mum's sweater and block it. But that's like 5 minutes of work, so it's crossed off the list. I feel like I'm sitting in a pretty good place-this weekend is gonna be all about weaving in ends, finishing seams, blocking, and winding the yarn for that Fox Cardigan, and hopefully by this time next week everything will be done.

(HOLY CRAP IT ALL BETTER BE DONE BECAUSE NEXT WEEKEND IS XMAS WHERE DID DECEMBER GO)

I also need to do my annual cocoa-palooza, so it's going to be a bit of a busy weekend. And we're looking at at least two good trips to the post office. And I need to do more baking-we already have one batch of snickerdoodles, but we may need another, we need gluten free pepparkakors, probably some chocolate-oat no-bakes, fudge, and almost definitely either a coffee cake or cinnamon rolls for xmas morning. 

So, PLAN: catch up on finishing this weekend, make cocoa, start powering through the Fox Cardigan, bake pepparkakors. Get Fox Cardigan done by Wednesday (which is the solstice, how on earth did I forget the solstice was coming, I gotta dig out candles and make bread!), get everything mailed, bake more cookies, and hopefully mum's present will be done sometime on xmas eve. Man, I was feeling a lot more prepared before I wrote all this out. Eek.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Finished Shawl, With Love


Another finished project! Once again, this has been finished for nearly a month-it took a couple weeks for me to block it, and then a couple more weeks for me to get pictures of it, but there is so much love and time in this shawl I just couldn't bear to send it off without final photos.

A couple months ago a very good family friend started going through some health trouble. Our families have been friends for over fifteen years, I grew up alongside her daughters, and she is my bonus mother. So as soon as I heard about her diagnosis, I knew I had to knit her something. I wanted something simple, but flexible. I want it to be a shawl for when she's sitting at home, a scarf for when she's out and about, and a light blanket for sitting in doctor's offices.


All told, this shawl is exactly what I wanted for her, and I'm so pleased with how it came out. It's light and airy but warm, and it's delicate and beautiful without losing the things that make it profoundly utilitarian.

This kind of knitting is one of the most profound, for me. I love knitting myself sweaters and hats, and I love knitting my mum socks, but when my people need some love, I am so grateful to be able to make them something tactile. There's something powerful in giving knits, in giving time, and love, and hopes, and there's so much of all of that in this shawl. I'm not a very religious person, but some knits are sacred, and it's a profound feeling when you know you've made something like that.


Ravelry Page: Blue Shawl
Pattern: Malagash Square Shawl by Mimi Fautley
Yarn: Trendsetter Yarns Cash Woole "7083 Black Teal"

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, December 12, 2016

Knitting Progress! (And a Finished Hat)

Happy Monday, my knitters! I have some great progress to share with you. This weekend, despite having tons of work around the house to do, I managed to finish TWO SWEATERS! I don't think I've ever finished two sweaters in one weekend before, so I'm kinda floating on a cloud. My Xmas Sweater is blocking (and still needs two or three ends woven in) and my mum's Sweatshirt Sweater is done but for the underarm seams, a few ends, and blocking. Look forward to hearing more about those next week probably, since it's dark all the time and I can only get pictures on weekends now.


Speaking of pictures on weekends, I managed to get caught up on photos yesterday! Today I'm all about my Cloudbusting, which is probably my new most favorite hat ever. When Cory released the Cloudburst Hat pattern earlier this year, I fell hard immediately, and when I found this skein of yarn at Fiber Fair back in September, I knew it was meant to be.


This hat's been done for a month now, and I've worn it several times already and it's perfect. I knit it exactly according to pattern and I'm so thrilled with how the colors in this yarn go with this stitch pattern. I know I go on and on about Cory's patterns a lot, but they're just so thoughtfully written and such a joy to knit.


Ravelry Page: Cloudbusting
Pattern: Cloudburst Hat by Cory Ellen Boberg
Yarn: ModeKnit Yarn ModeLuxe "Quetzel"

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, December 9, 2016

Xmas Knitting (Just Keep Knitting)


The little Reindeer Pullover is coming along-I'd really love to get this done and photographed this weekend, since it has the farthest to travel. I started the raglan shaping on the back yesterday, and it shouldn't take too long to power through the rest.

I think I've decided to knit the sleeves two at a time to avoid second sleeve syndrome. They're just small sleeves, so it shouldn't take too much to bang them out, but I don't want to jinx myself. Once this sweater is done I still have to wind the yarn for the next kid sweater, and there's just over two weeks left before xmas.

I think I can do it. There's the raglan shaping and two sleeves left on Reindeer, another kid's sweater (fiddly, but in bulky yarn, so should be okay), and my mum's gift (again, bulky yarn). Plus my Xmas Sweater. Plus approximately eleven dozen cookies. Plus cocoa mix. Plus another hundred things that I'm forgetting right now. But the knitting should be fine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Back to the Sweatshirt Sweater


Could it be? Is that? Yes, that's my mum's sweater, back from hibernation! I got the rest of the yarn I need for this and I am cruising through the yoke shaping now. It feels a little weird to be back to work on this after being focused on Xmas knitting for the past couple weeks, but I'd really like to get this done soon.

My goal is to have this sweater done for mum this week, and plow through the rest of the body of my own Xmas Sweater (which should really only take a day or two) so I have time to wear it this year. Then I want to finish the Reindeer Pullover since that has the farthest to travel, and I want to make sure that little has lots of time to wear it while it fits.

It feels like a lot, but I should still have plenty of time. My goal is to get a lot of knitting done this week, and then I'm hoping to get a lot of cookie baking and movie watching in over the weekend. So much cheer! So little time! Less than three weeks left!

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, December 5, 2016

Making My Xmas Sweater!


I haven't shared this year's Xmas Sweater with you all yet, and I wanted to get a WIP post in before I finished it. I haven't actually finished a xmas sweater on time yet-last year's was supposed to be Drift, but that didn't work out. If you'll recall, I scored this yarn at the Scandinavian bazaar last month, so I'm limited to the four skeins that were in the bag.

I knew because I had a limited amount of yarn that I had to go top-down, and I knew I wanted a circular yoke with some slipped stitches. I used Leah's Filled With Secrets pattern to get my yoke and sleeve numbers, but this sweater is going to be much more fitted.

I finished the yoke last week, and then I did the sleeves because I wanted to make sure I got elbow-length sleeves and could still make the body as long as possible. This week I'll be starting my final skein, and the sweater should be done soon!

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, December 2, 2016

Knitting Xmas


Xmas knit number 1 is going well-I feel like I should be done the back by now, but I know that colorwork goes faster than plain one-color stockinette (for whatever reason), and I should be able to finish up the sweater back tonight. Then it's on to xmas knits 2 and 3, which should hopefully go quickly as well. (Xmas knit number 2 is going to have some fiddly parts, but I think I'll be okay.)

My Xmas Sweater has a full yoke and I've divided for the sleeves, and exactly half of my yarn has been used up, so I'm sitting pretty good there. I wasn't ever too worried about that one (I know I haven't shared it with you yet, and I will remedy that, but it's a cropped, half-sleeved pullover in bulky yarn, of course it wasn't going to be a problem.)

I have my Christmas carol concert on Sunday, and once that's done I have to hit the ground running to plan all the cheer I want to fit in this year. (2016 was rough, We need a lot of cheer this season.) There's movies to watch and cookies to bake and I don't know if three weeks is going to be enough, quite frankly.