Monday, December 26, 2011

A Long Time Waiting

This is a project that I finished several months ago.  I went through a phase this past summer in which I decided to buckle down and finish a bunch of WIPs I had sitting around.  I was becoming a bit overwhelmed by the amount of half-finished projects strewn about my apartment and decided it would be better to finish those up than to start anything new.

I'm not sure why I was even stalled on this project.  I loved knitting the cables and the yarn was wonderful to work with.  Life must have just gotten in the way at some point and forced me to put it aside.

The pattern is Jared Flood's Dryad scarf and I knit it using six skeins of his SHELTER yarn in the Button Jar colorway.  The yarn and pattern were a gift from my mother for my birthday last November (not this past one, but the one before.)

Despite my numerous attempts, the winter we've been having this year has proven too mild for such an excessive extraordinary scarf and I fear that I may have to retire it from my wardrobe until the snow really starts to fly.  I feel torn, as I both love the idea of snuggling up in this swath of rustic wool and also look upon the days of Arctic conditions with a healthy amount of apprehension.

I can tell you two things:  The first is that this scarf means business.  I'm convinced that this wool is magical and very likely produces its own warmth, which would explain why I overheat every time I try to convince myself that it's cold enough to wear.

The second is that based on my experience knitting this scarf, I knew as soon as I saw Jared Flood's new fingering-weight yarn, LOFT, I would be a fool to look away.

I do believe there will be a pair of magical hand ovens in my future, just as soon as I finish, well, everything else.  I fear it may be a long time waiting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Selfish Gifting

It seems that I have done the same thing that I did last year, which is to blog through perhaps the first week of classes and then take a hiatus for the rest of the first semester.  Grad school, it turns out, is a bit of a time suck.  Let's hope that the rest of the school year continues as it did last time, which is to say that I returned to the blog and happily knit along through the second semester.  Of course, this next (and final) semester of grad school may be a bit more time-consuming as I prepare for my comprehensive review, my graduate recital, and start taking auditions for jobs in the real world.

I must thank each and every one of you for your comments, emails, facebook messages, and texts in reply to my last blog post (which was three months ago.  It's ok if you don't remember.)  The response was overwhelming and sadly I never managed to get back to all of you, but I hope you know that I truly appreciated the time you took to read it and respond.

I should also thank the number of you who have emailed, facebooked, or texted me to check if I am still alive and happy and to gently remind me that I do in fact have a blog and wouldn't I like to get back to it some day?  The answer to that is that yes, I would like to get back to it.  So here I am.

Unlike last year, I didn't completely stop knitting during my first semester of school.  However, most of the knitting I have done over the past few months have been samples and I couldn't really blog about them.  Plus, I'm not sure how entertaining it would have been to read about sweater after sweater without seeing pictures or hearing about details.

At any rate, I'm back and I do have some knitting to show you.  I've been sneaking smaller projects in among the sweaters I've been knitting and am currently working on a pair of mittens for myself.  I know, I know, I'm a poor example of what a knitter should be at this time of year.  Knitters should be selflessly knitting away the hours until Christmas creating gifts for each and every single member of their extended family while avoiding household chores and fighting the urge to eat so as to maximize the amount of time they have to create their incredible gifts.

Well, then let's think of these mittens as a gift -- for myself.

I have big plans for these mittens.  What you see above is the outer mitten, but there is also going to be an inner (removable) mitten done in the lighter blue color.  It's going to be simple and so far it's looking exactly how I imagined in my head.  Plain, functional mittens with enough personality that they can't be something found in a store.  Can I show you my favorite part about these mittens?

When I charted out my cuff pattern, I did it so that it is seamless where one round meets another.  That jog always bothers me when knitting patterns in the round and I figured that as long as I was taking the time to design my own cuff, I might as well make it exactly how I wanted.  You see that right there in the middle?  The pattern just keeps on going happy as a clam.  And that makes me happy, too.

I'm going to try to be around these parts much more often from now on.  I've been keeping up with blogs, but I hardly comment these days.  Perhaps that's the next thing I'll have to change.

I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season!