Sunday, January 29, 2012

FO: Just Ducky Chadwick

First off, heartfelt thanks to everyone who weighed in here or on Facebook to my "to frog or not to frog?" question. As you can see in the above photo, I decided to keep my "design modification" and finish without shame.

Pattern: Chadwick by Stephen West
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts, Blue Label Fingering
(Mallard and Chestnut)

I'm a bit sad this project has come to an end — it was that perfect combination of interesting but not too challenging to knit. And the yarn... Gorgeous and so aptly named. I'm a MN-raised girl who's always loved watching mallards on the lake. The interplay of blue and green is spot on — and makes me so happy.

Credit goes to Albuquerque, though, for today's bright January sun and running water to pool my the shawl alongside.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

FO: Incognito

Pattern: Incognito with Snidely ‘stache
Yarn: Smart (Olive, Chocolate, Black)

You could call this a gifting-redo. For Christmas, I'd made a pair of Malabrigo Loafers for my brother-in-law. Even though they were the largest size, they turned out to be too small. Bad for him but good for my sister, who yelled out "Score!" and then got details about how to felt them down to her size before the rest of the presents were  unwrapped. Later on, I conferred with him over this patten (since it's the sort of thing you either find terribly witty or can't imagine wearing).

The Incognito has made its way to Minnesota for his January birthday. Should the weather there return to normal, it'll make a nice addition to his winter biking gear. Before I packaged it up, though, Izzy and I brought it with us to the zoo for a few quick snapshots. And — I should have seen this coming — she now wants one of her very own.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Decade

Today marks 10 years to the day that Isabel and I flew home together from Guatemala. My life has been infinitely more colorful since... So I knew this mosaic chair would make the perfect photo when we saw it yesterday at the ABQ BioPark (her choice for our Family Day celebration). Can't wait to see what the next decade has in store for us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Incognito

Since my 2012 knitting goals are all about trying new techniques, I decided to follow the "Tangy" version of directions for Incognito. I'm not counting this "knit-in hem" as one of my three new techniques tried for the year — well, unless the year proves to be a spectacular failure — since it was pretty simple once I got past the initial awkwardness of double circular needles. But it's such a tidy technique that I'll be looking for ways to use it again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FO: A Thousand Splendid Moons Cowl

I have Julie of Knitted Bliss to thank (or is it blame?) for my introduction to Tanis Fiber Arts. I've long had my eye on the Dove colorway and decided to splurge on this wool-cashmere-silk blend. So when it came time to cast on for the January TFA knitalong, I grabbed this heavenly skein for a little selfish knitting. What better way to kick off the new year?

And now I have my first FO of 2012.

Today was an uncharacteristically overcast day in New Mexico, but I think it helped capture the yarn's mix of colors with a little less gleam.  There's something very lunar about this combination of yarn and pattern — not that I could bring myself to include "craters" in the name.

Knitting all those little moons/craters was a challenge... Not because it was a difficult pattern, but because trying to keep my tension consistent was driving me mad. With help from my wise sister, I decided to relax and start honoring the imperfect. All in all, a good practice to start a new year.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Just Ducky Chadwick

In a strange turn of events, I think it's because I love this one so much that it keeps getting pushed to the side. I used the promise of it back in October to tackle a pile of finishing. Then it was set to the side for the rest of my holiday knitting, with full knowledge that it would travel to MN with me and be my reward vacation knitting.

All well and good, or at least I thought so. Then I passed the halfway mark only to discover that I had unintentionally made a "design modification." See that band of three Chestnut stripes in the sea of Mallard? Those are supposed to be purl ridges.

I don't know if I had the pattern wrong in my head from the start, or if the stopping and starting caused me to forget that detail. Crazy thing is I even wondered while knitting them, "Hmmm. Why did he start these rows on the opposite side?" Doh.

To frog or not to frog? It was good timing that I had a TFA Knitalong to cast on for in January and reason to set this aside for a good think. At the moment I'm leaning towards embracing my unintentional individuality and carrying on — although I do have moments of wanting to just rip back and do it "right." But then I wonder how much that's prompted by my desire to hang onto this WIP just a little bit longer.

So I'm throwing the question out to you. To frog or not to frog? That is today's question.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dr. Watson's Scarf

Over the holiday break, I had a chance to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and one of the surprise highlights for me was Dr. Watson's scarf. Turns out I wasn't alone. There's a thread devoted to making the scarf on Ravelry and one ambitious knitter is auctioning off her own version of the scarf on eBay.  

And while it's certainly a fine scarf (don't get me wrong), my reaction to the movie wasn't that I wanted to knit one.  Small Spoiler Alert: In one scene Watson stands by calmly as his personal items are lifted by a tribe of gypsies... until they take the scarf made by his fiancee.

Yes, I'm such a dweeb that my first thought was, "He's ready to fight for the knitwear!" And while I'm still a Sherlock/Robert Downey Jr girl, for one moment there you could classify me as Team Watson.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Goodbye 2011; Final FO: Steel Scarflette

Yes, I am just now — on January 5th — getting around to wrapping up 2011. But since I've been in catch-up mode for the past few months, it feels apropos.

I finished the knitting for this in early November, but didn't get around to blocking and photographing it until the end of December. The biggest hindrance was the gallbladder surgery I had in late November. (I also blame that for the decision to undertake the frenzy of Christmas knitting. That form they give you that says not to make any legal decisions after anesthesia should include a "no new knitting projects" clause.)

 Pattern: Wheat Field Scarflette by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (3029, Steel)

Now that all the 2011 FOs are blogged, how did I do on my knitting goals? Well, I did some colorwork  but I never cast on those Fiddlehead Mittens. With that in mind, I'm going to keep my 2012 knitting goals more general and say that I want to try three new techniques/items.