Ringing In

The new year is off to an auspicious start: I’m getting lots of knitting done! I’m celebrating with some local eggnog, knitting and Netflix since everyone else is asleep. I have about half of one edge of I cord border left to do on the blanket for my father in law, and then I will turn in.

The old year wrapped up with two FOs on the last day. I added the pompoms and took pictures of my Capitals hat and Ingeborg hat.

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Although now that I look more closely, I realize I forgot to add the tail to the one visible p. I guess this project will extend into 2016 after all!

This was my first attempt at stranded colorwork. I think I said it best in my project notes from ravelry, so I will copy them here:

-I really don’t know how to tension yarn with stranded knitting yet. This is not shocking as it was my first attempt. If/when I do it again, I think I need to bite the bullet and try holding one color in each hand. I did them both with the right hand for this and it has some drawbacks.

-I was determined not to have puckering. I don’t. I have the opposite problem, though! I should probably have used feltable wool. I left long enough floats for most of it, but sometimes they’re so long that the stitches between them are pretty slack. I think wool would felt up a little so that the float yarn would stay in the floats and the rest would stay in the stitches. As it is, the piece’s gauge is all over the place and the pattern is sometimes a little distorted.

-Since my gauge was so much bigger than I predicted, the hat is a little on the wide side. Also, it somehow came out kind of short, too. I’m not sure how that happened, but it looked like it was heading that way so I added one or two k rows between decrease rows at the crown. I would add more if I did this pattern again. Also, I cast on fewer sts than called for and increased on the row after the ribbing, so it cinches in at the bottom a lot. Okay, probably a little too much. I’m not going to lie–it looks a little like a Mario Bros. mushroom cap.

-I only trapped a few floats–the ones that hit 7 sts long. I have no idea if I did it “right” or not, but they seem trapped, don’t show from the RS, and weren’t hard.

-For all its drawbacks, I am very happy with my first stranded colorwork project. I will gift it to my bil and let him know that someday, when I get better at it, I’ll knit him another one and make it look sleeker. I’m pretty sure he will like it as-is.

My next stranded colorwork project will be a test knit pullover with kitties on the yoke, and I’ll be starting it soon!

The Ingeborg hat is my most recently completed test knit. My three year old daughter modeled it for me today…sort of. Here are the best shots I was able to get:

Looks great until you consider that for most or all of these shots, I was begging her to look at me! Oh well, at least she’s cute.

So, my WIPs are down to just the top row of my ravelry project tab, which means I only have five. Two are test knits that need ends woven, buttons sewn and blocked. They should both be done by early next week. Another is the car blanket I mentioned at the start of the post. It still needs a pocket knitted and sewed on, ends woven in and washed. There are kind of a lot of ends. I think I’m just going to knot the little bastards and move on with my life. After all, it needs to stand up to machine washing! That will be three more WIPs done so I’m starting the year with a nearly clean slate.

I’m not huge on yearly reflection, resolutions or any of that stuff. However, I am seriously stoked that in 2015, I made 42 projects, start to finish. I have never churned out knitting that fast and that consistently. Not all of those were huge things…there were some dishcloths, a mug rug, a sweater patch and stuff like that, but some of them were pretty big. According to ravelry, their total yardage is 12,391. I made my first socks and shawls, started test knitting, cabled up a storm and learned a ton of new techniques. If you really want to know, all of these projects were started in or after June, so it’s been a very knitty six months!

Here’s hoping I’m able to keep up the pace. Knitting is playing a very important role in my life right now. It has helped keep me sane and balanced through struggles with depression, helped me deal with the aftermath of the car accident I was in in August and helped me handle not being able to go back to work. It’s looking very likely I will be able to return to work next week. This is good news, but also daunting.

I’ll be okay, right? And if not, well, there’s always knitting! Happy New Year!