Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thoughts on a new year

Well, the calendar has rolled over on us once again, and we have all mentally hit our reset buttons and jumped right into 2011.

Happy New Year everyone!

I don't typically go for New Year's resolutions, but I've made one for the knitting side of things - sort of. I decided that this year, I will be completely and utterly selfish and knit myself a pair of socks a month. I am calling this the Selfish Sock Project.

Why? Because I seriously need more socks. The pattern so far has been that I'll notice I need socks, panic, knit up a few pair, relax, then move on to something else, and then the cycle repeats after a few pair end up with holes and I'm back at the panic part. (It didn't help that I knit up several pairs of socks in a yarn that I've discovered is really not durable. Each pair lasted about five months. Knit at 8 sts per inch. Seems a reasonable sock gauge, but not a particularly reasonable lifespan for a sock in Canada.) I'm not keen on the panic part. I figure if I just keep on knitting myself socks for an entire year, I can go back to producing a pair every couple of months or so and not end up in sock panic anymore.

I set up the tags for my projects in Ravelry, created an organizing set for all these socks, and even assigned a few patterns in my queue to the upcoming next few months. I didn't go as far as assigning yarns, but once I've finished January's socks, I'll start thinking about what yarn to use for February.

Who am I kidding? I've already had some thoughts on that.

I'm pretty excited about this goal for 2011. We'll see if I can keep on top of it without falling apart in some other domain of my life.

So. January's socks are the Early Spring socks, by Janice Kang, knit up in Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed Sock Yarn in Wine.

Thus far I have a toe. And half of the first pattern repeat. That's not worth photographing, so you get nothing to look at. I hereby promise to post a picture when I have something worth photographing. Well, something that is at least identifiable as a sock in a particular pattern.

Monday, January 3, 2011

K'done: Ester Shrug

I've been wearing it, so why has it taken me so long to take pictures of it?

And my pictures aren't even particularly good.

Pattern: Ester, by Alice Bell
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss HW, in Mahogany
Needles: 5.5 mm / US 9

I really like how this turned out - it knit up pretty quickly, I think I got it done in a week, the delay came in getting it blocked and then getting those little seams done up. I haven't worn it to work yet, but I did wear it to an office holiday party (with a little black skirt and little black tank top) and I also wore it on vacation in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago (with cords and other long sleeved sweaters) - it's really versatile, which makes it a fantastic addition to my collection. It is also surprisingly warm - I wouldn't have expected such a small garment to provide so much warmth.

I don't ever wear it closed - I don't have a shawl pin. That being said, I think it might be a bit tight if I were to try to close it. I really like the way the shawl collar drapes at the back, though I do worry about that a bit when I have a coat on over top - I worry it's compressing it funny and stretching it all out. Depending on what I'm doing, sometimes it slips off one of my shoulders - hasn't been irksome yet, but others may have a lower tolerance for that sort of thing. I've also accidentally taken it off when removing my coat a couple of times.

All in all, I'm very pleased though, and I could see myself making another of these in a different colour. Maybe soon.

Well. Not that soon. I haven't got any more appropriate weight yarn, and I need to knit up some of the stuff that's been accumulating before I go purchasing more.

Still. A definite win. I'm happy.