The Hudson Throw

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On the December 30th, with one more week of winter break, I had 114 rows left to go on my Hudson Throw, which had been on the needles since January of 2012!  Could I finish this before I returned to work on January 6?  I usually don’t go public with my resolutions, but thought I might be able to motivate myself by posting this on Facebook.

In order to accomplish this, I went into data analysis mode, calculating the length of time to complete a row (8 minutes), total time required (15.2 hours), and dividing up the knitting time by the number of days remaining in my break (2.1 hours per day).  Then I got to work.  In the wee hours of Sunday, January 5, I completed it.

Strangely, though, I feel sad that it is done.  I first set my eyes on the Sonoma Mountain Wrap at “The Knit Shop” in Aurora, Ohio.  The owner, Edie,  had made hers in another colorway and it sat folded on the checkout counter.  What I loved about it was the drape of the thing.  It lay flat and smooth as linen stitch will do.  Plus, made of Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca, it felt soft and very warm.  I really wanted to make it and helped at a yarn sale to earn the money to buy the yarn.

Made entirely in linen stitch, this was the perfect TV knit.  I watched seasons 1 through 3 of “Downton Abbey” while working this.  I also took in the 2012 and 2013 Tours de France. and innumerable movies with the Greg.  At first, I made a few mistakes and had to rip out, but soon got the rhythm and was able to knit almost without looking (but not quite).

Last night, I watched episode 1 of Downton Abbey’s season 4.  But, I had nothing to knit. What will I do now?

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My Knitting Year in Review

Inspired byKristenlynnea and Konrad, I add my review of 2013 in knitting.  These two knitters have really inspired me for 2014 and humbled me as I reflect on my 2013 knitting.  I cannot aspire to that level of production and creativity (or can I?) Watch out 2014!

My Aran pullover

In February, I complete an Aran pullover for TKGA’s Master Knitter Level III .  I love Mission Falls 1824 Wool used for this project.  The bad news is that 1824 Wool is discontinued.    I didn’t submit this sweater because the neckline was poorly planned and executed.  The shaping at the side seams made for a funny silhouette.  The waistline shaping would be better placed in the interior of the front and back.  It’s hard to spend so much time on a garment that doesn’t make the grade.  The learning from this is to plan the heck out of every project.  Leave nothing unplanned.

Alpaca Batwing Top

My daughter and son-in-law gave me enough alpaca yarn spun in England for a sweater.  I decided on Brooke Nico’s #21 Lace Batwing Top from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2013.  Its always fun to work a pattern from Vogue Knitting, just to join the crowd and compare notes on a project.

I made use of the improvements noted by Meg Swanson in the tubular cast-on from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2013. I had to use a heavier waste yarn for one of the strands
in the provisional cast on because my working yarn is so lightweight.  I also lengthened ribbing to 4.5”.

This light and lacy sweater keeps me amazingly warm.

Catkin Hat

My Catkin hat  exists only in this  photo from my front hallway mirror.  Designer Kate Davies suggested the hat as my swatch for the Catkin sweater and I obediently made it.  However, I needed the yarn to complete the sweater, so it was unravelled later in the autumn.

Tea Cosy

Another small project, from Martin Storey’s Terrific Tea Cosy made it off the needles.  I gifted this to my librarian friend who loves tea and the color red.

My Catkin

Kate Davies’ Catkin sweater was one of those patterns that insisted that I buy the yarn and make it now!  However, for me, “now” applies only to online buying.  I can click with the best of them.  baa ram ewe, the lovely shop in Headingly, Leeds, UK, sent my yarn right away.  I downloaded Kate’s pattern from her website.  The actual knitting with fingering weight Titus, took me 5 months.  This project, imported from the UK, travelled with me to the UK this summer during our annual visit to daughter and son-in-law in London.  It then accompanied me through Norway, and returned safely to the US for completion.  The finished object is wonderful, warm, and beautiful.

Amy’s fingerless mitts

Amy’s fingerless mitts were my last finished object for the year, designed by me.  They are double-knit and therefore reversible.  The Norwegian star pattern, a traditional motif, commemorates our trip to Norway.  I made 2 other versions of these before settling on this one.  The funny thing about this is that I inadvertently put these in Emily’s stocking at Christmas instead of Amy’s!  As with anything I create, I have ideas for a new and improved version to give to Amy.

Compared to Kristenlynnea and Konrad, my year is review is quite brief, but it is fun to look back on what has been accomplished.  Perhaps when I retire, I can ramp up the knitting.  Meanwhile, I thank them both for inspiring me to write this entry.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Did anyone say “New Year’s Resolution”?  Did anyone make one?  I have and it is to complete my Master Knitter Level III administered by The Knitting Guild Association.  I have everything done except the 2 projects, a sweater and a hat.  If you haven’t heard of the Master Knitter Program, it is a great opportunity for expanding your knowledge and practice of the craft of knitting.