Monthly Archives: January 2008

The return of Captain BigHead.

Malagaiter I’ve heard it said that every time a knitter weaves in an end on an FO, an angel gets his wings. Four pairs of wings later, I have the first FO of 2008, Mary Lou Egan‘s terrific Malagaiter from the December 2006 Magknits – an issue I thought was so good, I wrote a fan letter to Kerrie telling her so.

So here are the details: I changed everything. Instead of Malabrigo, I used rare and beautiful handspun gifted to me by a knitting friend, about 200 yards worth. To get gauge appropriate for my big head and light worsted yarn, I changed the cast on number to 100 stitches (I probably could have gotten away with 90). Instead of brioche stitch, I used mistake rib stitch in the round. I also made a three-stitch i-cord (rather than two), because that’s the way I roll. And voila, I ended up with a hat long on cute and warm, short on boring. Malagaiter on

Next up: a desperate attempt to actually finish a perfectly nice pair of pink Koigu socks for which I have tragically run short on yarn, and I break my vow to knit old patterns with old yarn for this clever honeycomb reversible cabled hat at the request of Knit One Purl Too’s chief early morning dogwalker (my husband). The idea of four warm layers of merino over his ears made him swoon, and who am I to say no to a handknit he really, really wants (unlike the fliptop mittens I really, really wanted to make, now sitting on his desk because they are “too nice” to wear)? Hats for everyone – at this rate, the dog will get one too.

Everything old is new again.

I thought I’d take a look at my Best of 2007 because I love lists like this:

1. Your best FO of the year: I wish it were Cable and Rib, but it’s really no contest. My favorite FO was the Picot Timberline Toes socks, finished this summer. I loved the picot hem so much that it’s become a staple in my knitting repertoire, the yarn was so appealing I stashed another colorway as soon as I could get back to the shop, and the fit is great.

2. Best FO of the year made by a blog you link to: This was also easy – Jody’s St. Brigid hoodie. The color, the modifications, and the attention to detail and craft were all super-inspiring. I want to make St. Brigid right. now.

3. Best yarn you tried: ONline Supersocke was a strong contender, but I truly loved knitting with Noro Silk Garden when I made my Rebuilding Greensburg afghan square; I’m so glad I have a sweater’s worth in the stash!

4. Best new book/mag/pattern of 2007: This was very hard; I think I’d just like to note two things I saw and liked. First, there are lots of new sock patterns with gusset “decorations” – I love when the pattern highlights the foot’s shape in a neat way. Second, Berocco has really stepped up, with pretty new yarns and lovely patterns that seem light years beyond the glitz I first saw when I susbscribed to their newslettter a few years ago – yay.

5. Best new knitting technique or gadget you tried in 2007: The picot hem – I’d wanted to try it for years. It was just as easy as I suspected it might be, plus it’s a terrifically cute design element, and cuteness is a plus for me.

6. Top 5 inspirations–what five things inspired you the most over the past year? First and foremost, Ravelry has finally hit the spot for me – I love being able to see different versions of the projects that intrigue me, so I can get a clear idea of which pieces will fit and flatter. Susan and Sally Rainey are technique-driven knitters with a tremendous sense of color (that modular felted tote is now a must-knit for me) and a knack for finding challenging, beautiful projects in their knitting travels (seriously, isn’t that Damask Kauni the coolest?). Noro yarns feed my need for color; Jane Ellison’s and Lisa Shobhana Mason’s patterns let me wear them in style. The last inspiration would have to be the knitters I’ve seen make terrific mods to all sorts of patterns – from the Fake Isle Hat (I know! It’s great!) to the Monkey sock – they really made these patterns catch my eye when they hadn’t originally.

7. Designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year: It’s a photo finish between Anne “lace is everywhere” Hanson of Knitspot and Norah “Tweedy Aran was just the beginning” Gaughan. I’ve not knit anything from either of them, but each designer consistently inspires and intrigues me. To the queue with you both!

8. Knitting resolutions for 2008–what’s next for you and your blog? At least 14 items from patterns I already own or know about. I have the yarn for each of the items below and I can’t wait to see things pop off my needles this year.

Knitting Inspirations, 2008-style