Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Selfish Knitting Month

A few years ago, a blogger tagged January as selfish knitting month.  Although we knitters/crocheters  have something on the needles year round, most projects done in the last 3 or 4 months of every year are holiday gifts for our friends and loved ones.  What better way to celebrate all the hard work that produced heart-felt gifts than to start something special just for you?  Choosing my first selfish project of the month was tough  (there are 650 patterns in my Ravelry queue) but the winner - just for the luxury factor alone - is this B├ęcot hat by Julie Hoover.
It's a classic slouchy shape made with a luxurious yarn.  The suggested yarn is Jones and Vandermeer Happy Mink.  It's a guilt-free mink mixed with cashmere.   Last week my yarn came from Knit Purl Yarns.  They are my current favorite online site to satisfy my yarn snob tendencies (lol).  I went with the model color "Truffle".  My fingers can't move fast enough on this one. With the temperatures in single digits today, I'd like some instant gratification to wear when I have to go out tomorrow.  I'm off to cast on ............ 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Best of 2013

Happy New Year to all.  Renewing the blog with a fresh look for the new year.  It's an understatement to say that 2013 went by in a flash. 

  • From retirement to working a couple days a week to keep the mind fresh (and afford my yarn habit);
  • Leisure travel - Atlantic City, Williamsburg, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Dover;
  • Knit trips - Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival; Stitches Midwest; Shenandoah Fiber Festival; New York Sheep and Wool Festival
  • Family fun with the girls & the grandkids;
  • A spin on the relationship wheel (enough said) 
  • Purchase of my first sheep fleece and lots of knitting
Plenty has been written about the peaceful nature of knitting and how it can restore a person's sense of peace & tranquility.  I am a testament to the truth of that assertion.  Even with everything going on, my mind always reverted to the fact that this was the first year without the physical presence of my Mom.  But her angel spirit remains with me everyday.  To keep life in balance, I relied on family, knitting, knit-sibs, &  a vast array of luxurious yarns.  Here's the "Best of the Year-In-Yarn":

Hats and cowls were my projects of choice for the year.  A few projects not shown are a second Hitchhiker Shawl, another Beanie in Fort Hunt Federals colors, two cabled beanies (Icicle pattern), and a second pair of leg warmers.  I'm not ashamed to say I have developed a deep appreciation for llama, cashmere, and silk yarns that will continue into 2014. 
My fleece was purchased at the Shenandoah Fiber Festival and has been processed into DK-weight yarn by the Central Virginia Fiber Mill.  I should receive it shortly so stay tuned for the pics.  I welcome all suggestions for a large, intricate project that will showcase its beauty.  In the meantime, here's the progress on my first project of 2014.  It's the Lineage Cowl by Lisa Mutch.  It's a very simple, classic style cowl with garter stitch and a few stockinette lines.  I'm using Madeline Tosh Merino Light purchased at Vogue Knitting Live in 2012.  The colorway is Midnight in Manhattan which was created for that first Vogue Knitting event.  Loving the pattern, loving the yarn .......