Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Post for 2013

Hard to believe it is the last day of the year and time to access the knitting accomplishment for the end of the year.  I managed to complete everything I had planned for Christmas... the key was to start before September.  Then I had so much time that I kept adding projects, but at least they all got done.

My most favorite item was also the smallest... tiny Christmas trees.  Absolutely adorable and such quick knits that you kept on adding to the forest.  Did I take a picture of the forest before the wrapping began?  Nope.  I managed to finish 20 and never took the first picture until I realized I had only 3 left.  Maybe next year I'll get a shot of the entire Forest.

A coupled of cowls were completed... super quick knits.  The first one was done in my current favorite yarn called Plucky.  It isn't the easiest yarn to buy.  First Plucky Knitter posts when they are going to offer it for purchase... either on the blog or in the Easy shop.  Then you stalk the site until it goes live where you loose all of your common sense and buy multiple kits or skeins of  'anything'. 

It is a feeding frenzy, but so worth it once you score a skein or possibly 30 skeins.  Not that any one is counting.  I managed to knit a couple of presents out of various Plucky yarns.  The first thing was a shawl called Bees to Honey.  A gift for Iris in colors that screamed "Iris"... she wears bright colors so a bright happy shawl was knit out of Plucky's kit called 'All the King's Men.  The pattern was fun and moved quickly to completion. 

Design Details:
Pattern:  Bees to Honey by Amy Miller;

Yarn:  Plucky Fingering by Plucky Knitter; 75% merino, 20% cashmere, 5% nylon, 385 yards in the colorways Vintage Icebox and King Salmon.  I used almost all of the Vintage Icebox with a wee bit over 2 yards left.  The King Salmon has 12 grams of yarn leftover so an excellent pattern for using up an entire skein. 

Needles: US 4, Addis Clicks

Gauge:  24 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch

Modifications:  Like quite a few others I ran out of yarn before starting the lace.  The designer had offered a few suggestions on changes to the pattern once it had become clear that people were running low on yarn.  I changed up my last section and started the lace a few rows early.  Not a big deal since the wrap is plenty big enough.  The last section is slightly smaller, but not dramatically different. 

The designer actually offered up 2 more patterns to make up for the miscalculation.  Got to love people who want to make things right... even if it wasn't that big a problem.  A good soak and blocked using my wires the wrap was done.  It turned out stunning if I do say so myself.

For my next Plucky knit I used a different base yarn...Plucky Single to  knit a cowl that  turned out to be super soft next to the skin.  Another great yarn that was a joy to knit without the usual silk slubs (lumps of silk that interrupt the knitting since you have to pick them out).  The cowl was another super quick knit. 

Design Details:Pattern:  Milanese Loop by tante ehm; 

Yarn:  Plucky Single by The Plucky Knitter; Fingering / 4 ply;  80% Merino, 20% Silk; 430 yards / 100 grams in the colorway Fisherman's Wharf.  I used a bit over 50 grams to complete the cowl.  Plenty to actually do another one in the same colorway.

Needles:  US 4; Addis Clicks

Gauge:  oops forgot to measure

Modifications:  None

My second cowl was knit using yarn from the stash from Three Irish Girls.  This yarn was part of a yarn club selection the last year that clubs existed for TIG.  Once again a super soft yarn that feels wonderful against the skin.  The pattern was yet another quick knit...2 evenings and it was done. 
Design Details: 
Pattern:  Growing Leaves Cowl by Meghan Macho; 

Yarn:  Glenhaven CashMerino Worsted by Three Irish Girls;  Aran / 10 ply 80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere, 195 yards / 100 grams in the colorway Eifel Tower.  I had a 22 grams left from the skein. 
Needles:  US 7, Addi Turbo
Gauge:  Once again failed to measure
Modifications:  I used the directions for worsted weight, but otherwise knit as written.
The last items knitted as gifts were the Forests of Christmas Trees.  I used whatever green yarn that
was hanging around in the stash... Paton's Classic to Noro.  Each tree was then topped with a glass bead.  Super simple and slightly addicting.  I'm kind of bummed I didn't get a few pictures of the Forest before I dismantled it.  Maybe next year I will do better.  Happy New Year!
Design Details:
Pattern:   Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tasha; 
Needles:  US 2, Addi Sock Rockets
The gauge did not matter and I did not do any modifications.  Great fun pattern that I plan on knitting again and again.

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