Fair Warning: here begins approximately three months of moaning about the cold and longing for spring. What can I say? It’s a little ritual of mine. Do you know what else appears to be gaining ritual status for me? January knitting.
By the time supper is cleaned up, homework is done, and the kids are heading up to bed, I want nothing more than to curl up in a cozy spot with the needles or the loom, and a little project. I feel a lot better about the time I spend on nighttime TV, when I’m also making progress on something tangible. Especially when it’s so so cold outside. I don’t knit much between April and October, but in the winter? Oh, it’s on, baby.
This past weekend, Eamonn went to a birthday party, and I loomed a sock puppet gift according to his color specifications and button choices. This is a nice, single-day project and has been our go-to kid gift for the last year or so. My tutorial is here, if you want to loom up one of your own.
My little ongoing project for the last few weeks has been these Ballband Dishcloths from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I’ve wanted to make them since before I knew how to knit with needles, when I saw the ones Gerri made last April. Love at first sight, I tell you. It’s weird how enamored with these I have become, but really – custom-made dishcloths to match your kitchen? How cool is that?
I’ll be stopping at three for now, but only because there are other things I want to make. I fully intend to return my focus to the dishcloths at some point. I think they’d make nifty bathroom washcloths, too, or great hostess gifts with a jar of homemade dish soap. It’s taking all of my will-power not to buy a cone of this cotton yarn in my bathroom sea foam color…
The big project I want to get started on is a sweater. I have wanted to make a sweater since forever, but it has always seemed so intimidating a process. Besides the time involved in the knitting, there’s also the tricky-ness with sizing. What if it doesn’t fit? All of that time wasted.
Well,I bought this book that has turned around my thinking on the matter. It’s called Custom Knits, and all of the patterns are top-down style, meaning you can try them on as you go. I love that you can discover that the sweater is too small long before you get to the end of it. I’d be much happier ripping out a few rows than frogging a whole sweater.
My local yarn shop is having a January special, where you can get a free sweater workshop or finishing workshop, if you buy the yarn for a sweater there. So yesterday I went in, armed with a couple of gift certificates from my in-laws and my aunt, and spent way more on the materials for my new sweater than I would ever imagine spending on a sweater itself (Target shopper, that I am…). Thank goodness for gift certificates. If I am ever going to make more than one sweater in my lifetime, I either have to become independently wealthy, or settle for the cheap yarn you can get at Michael’s. (I’m currently holding out hope for independent wealth, as it’s so hard to knit with Lion Brand once you’ve sampled Malabrigo…)
Anyway, what I bought was six skeins of Cascade Rustic, which is a wool/linen blend with a nice drape. And I love the pattern they helped me pick out at the yarn shop, too. It’s got ruffles down the front – I don’t own a single thing with ruffles on it, but I was just thinking last month, after an unusual-for-me stroll through an upscale clothing store, that the one big thing that separates my wardrobe from theirs is ruffles, and that maybe I ought to find something ruffly to wear.
I’m so eager to get started on this sweater – I’ve heard it’s a relatively quick knit, so with luck I’ll be done sometime this month.
And that’s the January knitting (so far) in a nutshell. I am toying with the idea of casting on a pair of Dashing for my FIL for his January birthday, but I’m not sure if he’d wear them. Besides, I’d have to tear myself away from the sweater-making, and I’d have to learn cables, and he’d probably be just as happy with a bottle of Metaxa. Ah well. I’ve got about a week and a half to make up my mind on that.
As a completely unrelated aside, I have made a little bit of advertising available here on the blog. Just one spot for now. I’d love to see it go to one of my creative blog friends – you all make such lovely things! You can get more information about that here. Rates are so reasonable right now, it’s just plain knock-your-socks-off silly.