2008 is the year of production knitting. True fact. I've started out fairly hard core, but it's necessary. I've got some pretty substantial goals. A mountain of wool to climb. Everest, if you will. Kinda freaky, as you'll see. But first, The Pretty Part.
The first finished knits of 2008.
1. Twins. The same, but different.
Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Araucania Ranco, 75% wool, 25% polyamide. 376 yd [344 m], 100g. 1 ball each in colors 108 (teal), 102 (apple).
Needles: 40" Addi Turbo 2.50 mm (US 1).
Started: Saturday, December 30, 2007.
Finished: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008.
Fun. I love these socks. I would wear them, too, were they not a shop sample. They're in my size. (Then again, who would know?...) Also, don't be fooled. I have thick ankles, but not that thick. I was wearing tights under these for the picture. I swear.
2. Rustic Beanie.
Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed, 85% wool, 15% angora. 96 yd [88 m], 50 g. Color 36007, 1 ball.
Needles: 16" Addi Turbo 4.5 mm (US 7).
Started & Finished: Friday, January 4, 2008.
A quick knit for a friend who commissioned me to knit this for him, which I rarely do. It just doesn't pay. Literally. I charged him $40--which of course, many non-knitters say, hey, that's a lot for one little stocking cap, right? Wrong. The yarn retails for $9.00 & it took me four and a half hours to knit. And I'm fast. Real fast. Even so, it's like I got paid $6.88 an hour. Isn't minimum wage in Michigan, like, $7.42 now?
3. A Pair of Monkeys. (Picture to follow. They've already been gifted.)
Pattern: Monkey from knitty.com. (Yes, everyone in the world has knit them. Yes, I was late to follow the bandwagon. And yes, this is the 4th pair I've knit. They fall under the category of addicting substances. Just below sugar. And crack.)
Yarn: Fleece Artist Nova Socks, 100% merino wool. 376 yd [342 m], 100g. Color "Ocean", 1 hank.
Needles: 40" Addi Turbo 2.5 mm (US 1).
Started: Sunday, January 6, 2008.
Finished: Wednesday, January 16, 2008.
A semi-belated birthday gift for my mom. I had one finished for her birthday (the 13th), and the other well on its way when disaster struck. I was knitting before dinner and, like a fool, left it on the coffee table while we ate. My mom just got a really cute--and really playful--new kitten a few weeks prior. You do the math. The socks took a little longer than initially planned.
4. The Big Fattie. (Picture to follow. It's on my kitchen table. It's a hat, people.)
Pattern: My own.
Yarn: Harrisville Heathered Bulky, 100% new wool. 90 yd [82 m], 100 g. Color 15 Loden Blue, 1 skein.
Needles: 16" Addi Turbo 9 mm (US 13). [Biggest needle I've knit with in awhile--kinda awkward!]
Started: Wednesday evening, January 9, 2008.
Finished: Thursday morning, January 10, 2008.
I'm trying out this new yarn from Harrisville--there is nothing like this here in the shop. I'm in love. It knits up at two and a half stitches to the inch & comes in 18 fabulous colors. If only everything was this quick. I plan on carrying this at Inish before summer hits. I've got the yarn to knit the Weekend Jacket from here in 15 Loden Blue as a shop sample. I may even cast on this week. Or not.
5. My First J. Crew Rollneck.
Pattern: Knitting Pure & Simple Baby Pullover, #214; 12 month size.
Yarn: Unikat Zitron, 100% merino wool. 176 yd [160 m], 100g.
Needles: 16" Addi Turbos & Brittany 7 1/2" dpn in 6 mm (US 10) & 5 mm (US 8).
Started: Wednesday, January 16, 2008.
Finished: Saturday, January 19, 2008.
A gift for a friend having her first baby due in early February. It was a big hit at the baby shower we had for her yesterday here at Inish Knits. It's kind of become The Shower Gift for me.
I guess that wraps up my finished items for the month so far. I also have these puppies on my needles (things I've started this month):
1. Plain vanilla anklets with picot edge for my sister Becca (a Christmas gift, of course.):
This yarn (Crystal Palace Maizy) is a little tough to get used to since I knit mostly in wool--it's 80% corn fiber (yup, the eatin' kind!) and 20% elastic nylon. So I gave myself a break and picked up a project I was starting to feel real guilty about:
2. Plain vanilla socks for my dad.
These are really nice socks. If you know Jer, you'll know he doesn't really like to wear socks. Or hats. (Or shirts.) But he does defy his hard-and-fast rules when he snow blows the driveway. These socks are for that purpose. Thoughtful, I know. Especially since they were a gift for his birthday. In August.
I am such a bad daughter. I'm hoping the cashmere content in these will make up for it somehow.
In order to combat my guilt, I cast on a new sweater. For me.
These will become this:
(The blue, cabled long-sleeved sweater.)
This is the Layered Skater's Top from Veronik Avery's new book, Knitting Classic Style. It's really simple, but I can see myself reaching for this sweater over and over again. I'm knitting the 40 1/2" size--enough ease to layer a long-sleeved shirt underneath. I usually have no problem wearing wool next to my skin, and even thought I love Jamieson's, it's a little scratchy, even for me. In addition to doing a little stash-busting, I am hoping this will satisfy the Cable Challenge for the Close Knit Guild meeting next month AND be done in time for a wintry UP trip we're taking at the end of February AND count as one of The Sweaters.
Which leads me to my next point.
The List. (Or, The Not-So-Pretty Part.)
The following is a list of self-imposed rules I am to follow for the next 11 1/2 months. Since the purchase of Inish Knits, I haven't been as diligent as I could be about how I conduct myself as a knitter.
Sure, I knit, but I tend to be a little, oh, how do you say, distracted? I pick up projects only to fling them aside shortly after I cast on. A sweater will languish--unfinished--in the bottom of my knitting bag (or the back of the stock closet) for months. I can knit maniacally, sure, just as long as I'm knitting 27 projects at a time. And as I flitter around from one project to the next, I'm not getting a single thing done. Period.
Now I know that I'm not able to focus on just one project at a time. I've tried. I lasted for 17 days in 2007 on that little "resolution". Rather than attempt the impossible (or, set myself up for a guaranteed failure), I am starting the New Year off with goals that can be achieved.
There are only two, but these two span distance I do not yet know.
1. In 2008, I will knit 50 (fifty) pairs of socks.
2. In addition, I will complete one sweater per month, equaling 12 (twelve) sweaters for the entire year.
a. Of the 50 (fifty) pairs of socks, miniature socks of any variety (child, Christmas ornament or freakishly small oddity [i.e. knit on piano wire with embroidery thread]) are allowed, but may not exceed more than 10 (ten) pairs over the course of the year, and no more than 1 (one) pair per month.
b. A Christmas stocking may count as 1 (one) pair of socks, but no more than 5 (five) stockings may count toward the final sock tally.
c. All socks must be knit (cast on) on or after January 1st, 2008 and finished (grafted and blocked) on or before December 31st, 2008.
d. Matches to socks knit prior to January 1st, 2008 (the "Second Sock") may be knit throughout the course of the year and will count toward the final goal. However, these socks will only be applied to the final tally as a "half-pair".
e. Of the 12 (twelve) sweaters, only 4 (four) may be child-sized and count toward the final number of sweaters knit, and must be spaced at least one month apart.
f. Of the 12 (twelve) sweaters, 8 (eight) must be shop samples for Inish Knits, 1 (one) must be a sweater for Curt, and the remaining 3 (three) must be knit from my stash.
g. Swatching prior to January 1st, 2008 is allowed.
Too rigid? Just asking for a knitting injury? Am I making knitting "un-fun"? Maybe. I really don't know. I may be totally insane to think I can do it. But I'm kinda thinking that if I stick to these goals, I might just blow my own mind.
At the very least, I know I'll be warm in '09.