Monday, December 30, 2013

Knitting Highlights of 2013

Only two days until 2014 begins, so it's a good time to look back at my knitting in 2013. It's particularly important that I do this, because the knitting posts have been few and far between this year. To make up for that lack at least a little bit, I going to share some of my favorite knitting projects from 2013, and add a promise that there will be much more knitting content on the blog in 2014.

So here is the whirlwind tour of my knitting year. Links are to my Ravelry project pages.

Hats: I knit more hats this year than in any other year since I returned to knitting in 2008. Below are a few of them.

The Mr. D Hat and The Matt Hat.  The pattern is BRRH! (Basic Reversible Ribbed Hat), designed by WillyG. The two clowns in the photo are each modeling one side of said hat.

The Baby-to-Be Hat, which I knit for my friend Emily, who gave birth to Oscar in late November. The pattern is Rhythm, designed by Stick Chick Knits, Melissa J. Goodale.

Over the past two months, I've been knitting hats for Halos of Hope, a wonderful organization that provides hats to people going through chemotherapy. So far I've knit three hats, and I have another one on the needles. The hat in the photo is Marly Bird's Gerri Hat, my Halos of Hope Hat #1, modeled by me.

Scarves and Cowls: I knit three scarves (two of them lingering WIPs, one from 2011 and one from 2012) and three cowls. Here are photos of my two favorites.

This is my Zig-Zagging Around the World, started on our European trip in August 2012, and finally finished in May. The pattern is Zig-Zag Wanderer, designed by Kimley Maretzo.

This is my Berry Breeze Cowl, the Summer Wind pattern, designed by Carrie Sullivan, Irishgirlieknits. I loved knitting this pattern, and I know I'll knit another one in the future.

Shawls and Socks: As always, my two favorite things to knit, and I knit many of each of them this year: 9 pairs of socks and 7 shawls. Some of those socks and shawls have gotten into my posts this year, but here are two that haven't:

My happiest pair of the year, Toe-Up Try (Once Again), the first toe-up socks that I have knit that actually fit! The well-written pattern is Straight Up Socks by Kellie Oreb.

This is my Rusty Milkweed shawl, started in 2012 and finished last January.The Hazel Knits colorway, Big Red, was a bit too orange to look good on me, so I gave it to my sister-in-law, Karen, and it was perfect for her. I loved knitting with the yarn, Hazel Knits Entice MCN, and the pattern, Laura Chau's Milkweed, is one I will knit again.

There was a real variety of projects in 2013 that I haven't touched on here—mitts, toys, coasters, dishcloths, and cardigans—but this post has gone on long enough, so you will have to wait and see what comes off the needles in the months ahead, as I know there will be more of all of these (except perhaps, the coasters).

Watch for my knitting goals for 2014 coming up soon!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Going Back to the Gilded Age

I'm sure you are wondering if I have fallen off the face of the earth, right? Well, I haven't; it's just the holiday season, and I've been busy, busy, busy!

I also realized that I haven't posted any photos of the week in a long time. I'm not going to go back and find a photo for each week I've missed. Instead, I'm going to share some recent "themed" photos occasionally.

First up, some photos from our Thanksgiving trip last month. On the way to our first family visit, in Massachusetts, we decided to explore Ventfort Hall, a Gilded Age mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts. This choice fit in very well with my recent reading: I had just finished reading Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence shortly before we left on our trip. Lenox is also Edith Wharton country; her home, The Mount, is located not far from Ventfort Hall, but isn't open in the late fall and winter.

Ventfort Hall was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1990s and is slowly being restored; in fact, parts of the second floor had just been opened a few weeks before our visit. This amazing mansion is beautiful! Here are a few of my favorite things from our visit.

I hope you have enjoyed my little photo tour. I'll be back soon with an actual knitting post!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Goal Accomplished

Remember my annual goals post last January? Item number 3 on the list was to improve my stranded knitting skills by knitting either the Fireweeds socks or the Winter Twilight Mitts. Look what I finished on November 17: the Winter Twilight Mitts! It's so satisfying to meet my goals...