Hi All -
Sorry for the long silence again! I should be able to post more regularly again because, believe it or not, I'm now retired!! Friday was my last day of work, so it's still sinking in. But now my time is all my own! I've been offered some contract work from my old employer, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which sounds interesting to me so I'll probably do that if it works out for everyone, but I'm definitely taking a couple of months for myself first so I can get used to the new norm and so that I can enjoy March Madness without anything else vying for my attention. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!
But, anyway, let's see what I've been doing since my last post! I've been working on finishing some of my old projects. It's nice to finish these up and reclaim my needles. I generally leave my knitting needles in the bag with my unfinished projects so I know which needles I was using and I can start back up again easily. This isn't too big a deal since I generally use ChiaGoo interchangeable needles and I can get a new set for a project, if I don't have the right size available, for only about $8 per pair so I don't mind collecting a few extras. But it's still nice to finish!
My first finish is my Witchful Thinking cowl designed by Amy Gunderson:
This was a Halloween "Advent Calendar" project from Jimmy Beans Wool from a couple of years ago. I had originally stopped working on it when I realized that I didn't repeat the rows like I was supposed to. I decided to finish it up so that I could add the rest of the yarn to my left-over yarn blanket and decided that it was okay that I didn't repeat things like I was supposed to. This pattern was done using a lot of slip stitches. I think if I were to make it again, I would use larger needles for the main section, keeping the smaller needles on the ribbing, so that my slip stitches would be looser. I think it would look a little better that way.
Another project I finished up was my Otayski headband designed by Laura Nelkin:
This was one of the projects from Laura's "Lola's Choice" knit club, which sends me a new little project every other month. I had some trouble getting the tension right for the colorwork on this headband because it was knit in a small circle around the width of the headband and I couldn't decide how long the floats needed to be. But the floats are inside the tube of the headband and the yarn is rough enough that I think it will be held in place. I love the headband, but it turned out a little bit big for my head. I think I can make it better by reblocking it.
I've also made some progress on my Aquifer scarf designed by Laura Nelkin:
This was one of the projects from Laura's "M Club" which was a mystery knit club where you didn't know what you would be making, but got the yarn and then were given a part of the pattern periodically until you had the whole thing. I've come back to this project several times, but kept getting side-tracked. I think I'll be able to get this finished up this time!
Laura Nelkin also had a Cowltober event, where we knit any of her cowl patterns and were eligible for prizes. I decided to make one of my Shalola kits that I had purchased from her. Shalola is a knitted lace cowl with beads:
The cowl is knit flat, then you block it and seam up the back. Sorry I don't have any pictures of Lance modeling this! He's getting too old to make him sit for pictures in my knitwear. But I think it turned out beautiful and I will be making more of these!
I won a skein of yarn from knitCompanion, who has a thread on Ravelry where you can post pictures of the projects you are working on using the knitCompanion application (which I use for all of my knitting). Periodically, they randomly select some of the projects and and let the makers pick some yarn or another prize from their prize coffers. I picked a beautiful yarn and decided to knit an Undulating Waves Scarf designed by Laura Nelkin:
|Undulating Waves Scarf|
I really love how this turned out! It's a little heavy with all of the beads, but I really think it's gorgeous!
I've also made progress on my Habitation Throw designed by Helen Stewart:
This is the blanket I'm making to use up my leftover yarns. It's so close to being finished! But, unfortunately, I ran out of leftover yarn. So, I'm working on finishing up other projects so I'll have more yarn to add to this blanket. I'm also going to spend some of my retirement time cleaning up and reorganizing my crafting supplies, so I'm sure I'll come across some more of my leftovers in that process since I didn't have a place where I was keeping the leftovers before. So, hopefully I'll be able to snuggle up in this blanket soon!
A new project that I made is this 81-Yard Cowl designed by Gretchen Tracy:
|81-Yard Cowl close-up|
I saw this yarn on sale from Jimmy Beans Wool and I thought it would look beautiful on my niece, who has long blonde hair and blue eyes, so I ordered some. Then I looked through the patterns on Ravelry and found this one for a simple cowl that I thought would showcase the yarn well. I really like how it turned out.
Another new project is this Star Stitch Knit Cowl designed by Amy Gunderson:
|Star Stitch Knit Cowl|
This was the October 2022 knit project for the Jimmy Beans Wool Accessory Club. The JBW Accessory Club is a monthly club where they send you yarn for a project, along with a knitting pattern and a crochet pattern for an accessory. This is a fun, fairly inexpensive way to try new yarns and make fun projects. I've always been using the knit pattern, but one of my goals in retirement is to also do some crochet so I'll probably be trying some of those patterns in the future. This month they gave us so much yarn that I was also able to make a Sundial Beanie designed by Carli Miller with the leftover yarn and a pom-pom that I had in my stash:
I was really excited to find this pattern that uses a slightly different stitch, but matches the cowl so well! And I love the pom-pom!
Another project I was able to start and finish is the Lolancha Shawl designed by Laura Nelkin:
|Lolancha Shawl close-up|
|Lolancha Shawl close-up|
This was the Lola's Choice project for November 2022. It was a really fun knit! It's made with WoolDreamers Manchelopis yarn, This yarn is actually something called "sliver" which is the yarn plies before they are twisted together. You knit with two of the plies and have to be very careful while knitting because the plies pull apart very easily. But once you knit them, you have added the twist that makes the yarn strong so you end up with a really soft and plush shawl. It's scrumptious! I picked up a couple of extra cakes of this yarn to play with in the future....
A bigger project that I also completed since my last post is my Da Light shawl designed by Laura Nelkin:
This was an advent calendar project. We got the pattern, yarn and daily goodies as a package. Each day, we opened a new mini-skein of yarn and a little surprise. The surprises were things like knitting notions, patterns, recipes and treats. Each was individually wrapped so each day (Dec 1-25) we had two little packages to open -- the yarn and the surprise. It was a lot of fun! The shawl is over-sized and is perfect for keeping by the couch to wrap in when it's a bit cold in the house. I love it and use it all of the time!
Another couple of Christmas projects I did were the Quantum Cowl designed by Vincent Williams:
and the Zaniah Hat also designed by Vincent Williams:
These were the 2022 MadelineTosh 12 Days advent calendar knitting projects. The 12 Days advent calendar was an advent calendar that had 12 boxes of surprises. Each day you either got yarn or a knitting notion or a treat. It came with two knitting patterns and two crochet patterns. As usual, I made the knitting projects but I could try the crochet projects in the future. MadelineTosh is a yarn company that makes really beautiful yarns.
I've also made some progress on my After the Storm Cardigan designed by Kelly Fowler:
|After the Storm Cardigan back|
|After the Storm Cardigan front|
I haven't spent much time on this project since I've been working on so many other projects, but I hope to start making more progress again now that I'll have more time to work on this. I'd really like to be able to wear this sweater and another that I also need to finish up!
Well, I think that's everything! I took my sewing machine in to be serviced so that it would be all ready for my retirement, so hopefully I'll have some sewing to share soon. I'm working on cleaning up my sewing area, so it might be a little while, but I have a bunch of projects calling my name!
For those of you who know Lance, he is still getting along. He just passed his 16th arbitrary birthday (no telling when he was actually born), which is amazing for a dog his size! His back legs continue to get worse (he has Degenerative Myelopathy), but he can still get around at bit. Otherwise, he seems quite happy and healthy! He gets acupuncture every other Tuesday to keep his legs working as long as possible, and his vet takes care of any problems that might crop up during that two week period, so he's getting incredible care. And, of course, he's as sweet as ever!
I hope everyone is doing well and is keeping warm