Category Archives: squares

I may be a square after all.

Greensburg Afghan Detail 1 Much to my surprise, my return home from the road trip to end all road trips marked the beginning of what could only be called a finishing frenzy. At the frenzy’s center? An afghan for the Rebuilding Greensburg Block by Block project that I had hoped to have seamed up months ago.

I had high hopes that after I completed this sweater, I’d whip through the afghan like butter and finish by the end of January. After all – how hard could it be? Harder than I thought (as so many things in life are), but after poking along and worrying that I wasn’t quite good enough to do the fine work of all these knitters and crocheters justice, I rallied. Greensburg Afghan, All Seamed Up And I fell in love with my afghan. I have a favorite square, but really, I liked them all – and now I am salivating to start a Lizard Ridge afghan, a Manos Four Seasons Throw – bring on the squares! I think I may have discovered the other portable thing (besides socks) that I’m interested in knitting one after the other.

Cable and Rib Progress, first sleeve As if that weren’t enough, I give you the first sleeve of Cable and Rib, officially taking forever to finish, and the only project on Flickr tagged “ithoughtiwouldbedonebynow” Get it? Beautiful, beautiful, ready for another sleeve and a button band…and slightly too big for Knit One Purl Too’s rail-thin sweater model (aka my husband). Ah, the irony; she knitted too much! I might need to downsize it, so stay tuned for updates (as if I could stop myself from telling you). If I finish by December 30, the sweater will have been a UFO for 1575 days – wow.

Which brings me to a status report of sorts. I’ve been telling myself that my knitting goal this year is 14 finished objects from patterns I already had or knew about. Seaming the afghan brings me to 5 FOs for the year, and it seems more important to clear off my needles than to knit a herd of dishcloths just so I can reach some arbitrary number. So I’d like to finish Cable and Rib, and Lizzy (the Noro cardigan – one front to go), and the Step Above Socks (pretty far along), and the Sunset Fancy Socks I’ve been carrying around as my mindless knitting (I haven’t told you about those, but I will soon enough). That would leave me with just these beautiful lace socks (better view of the pattern here – not my socks). Seems like a good way to start the year, no? And if I finish early, there’s always dishcloth knitting along with Dick Clark!

The guy next to the guy in the daisy hat.

I’m Knitting Five for Dulaan Red Ribbed Dulaan Hat #4 This was the easy hat – after knitting three of these babies, the fourth was like falling off a log. Poof! Before I knew it, I was casting off.

It was the fifth hat that took a few days. I think this may be the first time I’ve ever knit a pattern more than once. The fifth hat was a little like that moment when you’re swimming, and your body is protesting that it’s too hard, it’s too far – and then your muscles realize you are not going to stop swimming just because they’re complaining – and they stop complaining quite as much so you can keep going in relative peace. I knit the fifth hat even though I would have preferred to put the size 15 needles down, because someone like this guy (in the daisy hat) is waiting. The guy next to him needs one, so I made one more. A Fifth Dulaan Hat The hidden fun factor in these is the opportunity to knit once more with scraps of yarn from favorite projects – the grey hat here contains a little DZined worsted weight hemp yarn from my Multidirectional Scarf and some Pastaza from the bucket hat that wasn’t so bucket-y after all.

The project that served as a temporary distraction for me between hats 4 and 5 was a garter stitch square for the Rebuilding Greensburg Block by Block afghan project. Laura is receiving squares by the boatload now (seriously, 54 squares? That’s some crazy amount of knitting; I’m impressed!) And I’m adding my one square, from a lone skein of Silk Garden and some Cascade 220 that might look familiar Rebuilding Greensburg Afghan Block There was serious appreciation for Silk Garden in my house while this square was in production, so I’m glad Lizzy is in the queue. I’ve had an opportunity to think carefully about what I plan to knit as I build my project queue at Ravelry; for those of you still waiting for an invite, it’s worth it. I like the look and features of Ravelry very much; it doesn’t replace good old-fashioned noodling around on the Internet for me, but it has a lot of potential, simply because good visuals play a large part in how the site displays information. Thank you to all of the knitters who’ve taken such nice photos of your work! After all, isn’t a project so much more enticing to you when you see someone’s pretty FO photo? Perhaps that’s why I have more than 50 projects in my queue [I’m knitonepurltoo there, so feel free to peek in and friend me — ed.].

I read an article not too long ago that suggested bands become more popular as people figure out they’re popular already: in other words, people like what’s liked. I worry that Ravelry’s social network will encourage popular patterns to grow even more so, and it will require (more) work to unearth the new and unusual – but it takes work to discover new and different things now, so I think I should wait and see what happens instead of knitting myself a Chicken Little hat. Although I could totally add that hat to my queue….

Thank goodness for small favors.

Happy belated New Year! January brought me a case of bronchitis followed by a cold, so I’ve spent most of the last three and a half weeks recuperating – with intermittent bouts of knitting. On the bright side, if only I’d known small projects went so quickly, I’d have started knitting them sooner.

Fig and Plum Hat First up, with my memory jogged by this discussion of decreasing for hats, I whipped out a Fig and Plum ribbed hat. I used 3/4 of a ball of Plymouth Encore Chunky in a nice oatmeal heather (color 240), sizing the stitch count down appropriately for a bulky yarn (I think I cast on 64), and the hat fits Knit One Purl Too’s Chief Snow Removal Expert (aka my husband) perfectly. I’d definitely make this pattern again, because the decrease pattern looks very sharp, yet it’s idiot-proof.

Second, my contribution to the Square-Along – very, very fun, and it went so quickly, it was over almost before I knew it. Vital stats: 1/3 of a ball of Plymouth Sockotta in oranges, greens, browns and yellows – this yarn was almost destined to be Evelyn Clark’s Go With the Flow Socks at one point – after seeing this, I’m glad I reconsidered (and I probably still have enough left for socks).Square-along FO

I’m not sure if I have any knitting resolutions for the new year – if I do, they can probably be summed up as follows: Use the patterns you have, and no saving yarn “for good” – use it, and love it. I’ve bookmarked hundreds of patterns and have hundreds more on my bookshelf – socks from Knitting on the Road, Knitting Vintage Socks, shawls and wraps from Wrap Style, hats and mittens from all over. It’s time to really make the effort to use them (in other words no plain vanilla socks until further notice).

I also have lots of single skeins of yarn, some of which I bought to swatch for future projects which may never get made (the cover aran from Men in Knits was the original designation for the Encore Chunky) – so it’s time to use those too. I have a friend who buys lovely clothes and then doesn’t wear them, saving them “for good.” I thought of her when I wound my most beautifully crafted skein of handspun yarn (the one on the right) to make the Malagaiter from MagKnits. I felt so bold, but think how much more I’ll get to enjoy this one-of-a-kind yarn when I’m wearing it!

Finally, my third project in January was converting this blog to WordPress and implementing the redesign my friend Bran made in exchange for the flowerbasket hat which I am still working on (sigh). If you’re reading this using Bloglines or another news reader, click through and enjoy her handiwork (that’s really me up there!). I’ve been looking forward to this redesign – what a treat, and the hat and mittens and accoutrements are thisclose to being done, so I felt like I could put the redesign together in good conscience.

Leena sleeping Thanks to everyone for your kind comments about Charlie;we miss him, but I know the catnip patch in the sky is treating him well. We were surprised to find right away that our house felt a little too empty without a cat, so I have a new knitting companion, Leena. She’s seven months old today, and just like me, she likes yarn. I think we’ll have a beautiful future together.