Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Knitting Resolutions for 2013. . .

Happy New Year!

Whew - nice to get the xmas knitting out of the way.  I finished three out of the four projects I was trying to get done which isn't too bad.  Didn't finish my Leftie in laceweight (well, that was a daft idea from the start) but did get one done in fingering.

And then having been obsessed by linen stitch at the end of last year, I knit up a long cowl, again for a gift. In retrospect I should have used larger needles as the fabric was really tight.

Speaking of gifts, I also received two really nice knitterly ones.  Sitting on my bedside table is Kaffe Fassett's autobiography, Dreaming in Colour which I'm really looking forward to reading.  The book is wonderfully designed and the photos are just gorgeous, with his many glorious patterns interspersed with his paintings, quilts and knitwear, and inspirational scenes from his many travels.

And then another knitter gave me this wonderful set of alpaca fingering from her friend's own herd. I love the accompanying photos and names of the animals.  I will have to search for the perfect pattern for this lovely yarn; I'm thinking it would make a really nice pair of mittens.

It's nice to be able to get back to the needles and knit just for me.  Yesterday, I whipped up this fun hat using some Misti Alpaca worsted from my stash in a mustardly colour (the second photo captures the colour a bit better.)  I still have to block it, but I really enjoyed the pattern - The Star Crossed Slouchy beret by Natalie Larson which is free on Ravelry.

I was quite proud of all the knitting I did in 2012 and my obsession with the craft is definitely not subsiding. I finished my first jumper and my first cardigan, learned to add beading to my knitting, and figured out Kitchener stitch, magic loop and doubleknitting.  But I still have tons to learn and so have made several knitting resolutions for 2013.

1. Try Fair Isle and intarsia
2. Learn to crochet (I have a gorgeous book of Japanese designs that I would love to tackle)
3. Finish the two cardigans I am in the middle of
4. Knit a top-down sweater (I've done bottom up and a seamed one)
5. Knit more from my stash and buy less (well, at least until Woolfest)
6. Finally finish up my knitted log cabin quilt that has been languishing for two years (just need to seam it and add a border)
7. Finish my hexi-puff quilt (I've done about 70 hexi-puffs - probably need close to 500!)
8. Knit a pair of socks


Lynn said...

I was dreaming of getting the new Dreaming In Colour book for Christmas- it wasn't under the tree so I am definitely going to go ahead and order it for myself. Love your "leftover shawl". Happy knitting to you in 2013!

Unknown said...

I loved the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret pattern! It was my first hat and was knit up in some obscure acrylic, so it didn't turn out so great. Yours came out so well that I think I might have to try it again, though!

Blithe Spirit said...

Thanks Lynn - Happy 2013 knitting to you too. I'm trying to knit every single day - who knows what I'll end up with by the end of the year.

Jacqueline - I really loved the pattern and the hat is SO cozy. I was wearing it today walking by the sea and it was extremely windy. The hat passed the test though and stayed on! I'm usually rubbish at hats because I always seem to get the sizing wrong but this pattern definitely has a lot of give and can be blocked to stretch if it's too small. You should definitely give it another try. Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I love that linen stitch cowl. Could you tell me where to get the pattern?

Blithe Spirit said...

Hi Natalie,

It's a really easy stitch pattern and you can incorporate any number of colours or even do it all in just one. If you are using more than one colour, it's easiest to use an odd number. For my cowl, I used 3 colours.

So here are the steps:

1. Cast on any odd number of stitches with Colour A

2. With Colour B, K1, *slip the next stitch with the yarn in front, K1* and repeat within the asterix. You should end the row with a K1

3. Change to Colour C and K1, *P1, slip the next stitch with the yarn in the back* and repeat within the asterix. For the last stitch in the row, K1 to give a nice edge.

4. Change to Colour A and repeat step 2. Then change to Colour B and repeat Step 3 etc.

Slip all stitches purlwise. It takes a few rows for the pattern to become noticeable. Knitting it horizontally will show off the pattern to best effect (the reverse side is also nice - different and with more of a pebble effect but a nice texture). I think I cast on about 257 stitches using chunky yarn. I knit it flat and then just seamed the ends to make the cowl.

And that's it. It's deceptively easy because once you get going, it does become a bit hypnotic and it's very easy to slip a stitch the wrong way or purl when you meant to knit etc. but you can usually spot where you've gone wrong and rip out to that spot.

Enjoy - it becomes highly addictive!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Thanks!