The Boyfriend Scarf

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I know there is that superstition that a girl shouldn’t knit a sweater for her boyfriend before they’re officially a couple, but I don’t think it applies to 1)the girl’s mother knitting for the boyfriend and 2) a scarf rather than a sweater! At least I hope not, because I just finished a gorgeous scarf for my daughter’s boyfriend, which I will add to a package of gifts she left for me to send to him while she is studying abroad in Europe this semester.

I am so happy with this scarf. The pattern is Christian’s Scarf by Agnes Kutas-Keresztes. There is a matching hat pattern on Ravelry also (both are free!). This was a wonderful, rhythmic pattern that was fun, easy and looks fantastic–no curling, just the right amount of texture. The Cascade 220 Superwash that I used was the perfect yarn–softened up with soaking (and a little spin through the dryer after blocking), very durable and just the right weight. My daughter chose the very rich, not quite black shade called Jet. I definitely want to make this scarf again. Can’t wait to see how the boyfriend likes it–I will mail it in a few weeks.

Another very successful part of this project was the use of the Inspinity Premium Blocking wires. I bought these a few years ago and they are fantastic. The set comes with a number of different lengths; they are very flexible (almost like threading a needle in and out of the rows and produce a beautiful result. I highly recommend them!

Hand Knits Are a Bright Spot in a Cold Winter

It’s been unusually cold here in NJ as well as throughout the US, as I don’t have to tell most of you. I was struck the other night, when I mustered all  of my motivation to walk out the door in sub-10-degree-weather and a foot of snow and drive to my book group meeting. When I walked in, our hostess asked me to take my boots off at the door, and when I walked into the meeting, where some of my fellow readers are also knitters, I was greeted with admiration about the number of hand-knits I wore and carried:

  • a hand-knit, mohair sweater (knit pre-Ravelry, so no photos or links!)
  • hand-knit socks
  • a hand-knit cowl and matching mitts from one of my favorite cold-weather yarns, Misti Alpaca Chunky
  • and I carried a hand-knit, felted bag, which contained my current WIP, a beautiful men’s scarf for my daughter’s boyfriend

It struck me that, although I hate the cold, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to wear so many of my knits at once and to know that they are the best antidote to being cold. My husband and daughter have been wearing their hand-knit socks every day during this cold spell, and my son, braving his first winter at college in Michigan, is grateful for the bulky scarf and hat I made him.

I even made a sale of a warm, bulky hat in my Etsy shop! This makes me want to drop everything and knit 24/7 (so does the fact that I don’t want to go outside!) This makes me even more determined to do something to make knitting more of a part of my life–and find a work solution that will allow me to devote more time to this craft that I love so much. I hope 2014 will be the year that I finally make it happen.

Stay warm, everyone!

Happy 2014!

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted–I’ve been enjoying time with my children who are home from college, and have been putting regularly scheduled knitting projects on hold to make them some warm slippers to take back to school. Their friends are next. I really take a lot of pleasure in knitting for my kids and their friends–they appreciate the items and I feel like I’m enveloping them in love and warmth.

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In perusing my Ravelry projects page, it looks like I completed 16 projects in 2013–including an afghan for my son to take to college, several scarves and cowls, and a sweater for my daughter. I also knit several projects that were sold in my Etsy shop, although I would have liked the number of projects sold to be higher than it was.

For 2014, I am committed to taking some Craftsy classes and hopefully the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructors program so I can begin to realize my goal of incorporating knitting into my next career stage. I had hoped to take the leap in 2013, and to devote more time to preparing over the holidays, but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m not giving up–I’ll use this forum to keep me on goal and I’m committed to reporting to you, my readers, about my progress. Help me stay motivated to realize my dream if you can!

Wishing a Happy, Healthy, productive and peaceful new year to all.

Activity!

Have been working hard on many fronts–my “day job,” my personal knitting (I’m participating in the 2 KnitLit Chicks Poncho Comeback KAL; I’m making the Easy Folded Poncho pattern with the  that I bought a few weeks ago. Using luscious Juniper Moon Farm Herriott (100% alpaca). I’ve had several “false starts” until I think I arrived at the dimensions that will fit my small frame and the seed stitch edging that will keep me from going crazy with severely rolling edges.

Then, just got several new orders in my Etsy shop from a dear friend. I’m hoping this will be the start of a busy holiday season and maybe my “new direction” will be able to begin. Stay tuned.

Soft, Lacy Cowl

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Yesterday I finished the Garland Cowl, which was the winner in a long inner decision-making process regarding what I should make with my one skein of the luscious and soft Tess Designer Yarn’s Cultivated Silk and Wool, in a beautiful blue-green. I had a moment of panic when the cowl, even when fully blocked, was about 31″ long — this after the pattern said it should be 60″ long! The good news is that after that good blocking, the cowl hanks about to my waist when not doubled around my neck, and I am able to double it if I wish. I think I’ll wear it to work tomorrow!

So Much to Be Thankful For

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with dear friends yesterday. We’ll be sorry to see them go when they move across country soon, but we know we will stay in touch.

Prior to the day(s) of cooking, preparation and finally eating, I had completed a knitting project for each of my children. Thankfully, both of them flew home without delay during a nasty Nor’easter and on the busiest travel week of the year. They modeled their knitwear yesterday before we sat down to eat and both seemed genuinely happy with their finished object. Image

 

I’m pleased with my daughter’s sweater, the Estelle Pullover–she tried it on Tuesday night and I made some notations about where it needed to be slightly bigger; I then blocked it and it fits PERFECTLY. My son’s scarf, the Textured Triple Stripe Scarf from 60 Quick Knits, is long, particularly since I knit it in bulky instead of worsted and didn’t do my calculations exactly right–but he likes the warmth of it looped around his neck and it looks great on him.

Wish I had them home longer, but in general, life is very good today!

I Gave In to Temptation

Walking down the street today, on my way to the train station to go into New York City for a lunch meeting….I passed Wool & Grace, a yarn store that I heard about from a friend but have not had the chance to visit since it’s been open about a year now. After a successful meeting, I rewarded myself with a visit to the shop, where I found lovely yarns and had a great discussion with shop owner Cathy. 

I wasn’t going to buy yarn, although I wanted to buy something. But when I saw the Easy Folded Poncho (by Churchmouse Yarn & Tea) on a mannequin, and I felt that Eileen Fisher vibe from both the style and color of this garment, I had to have it.

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The yarn is Juniper Moon Farm Herriott, 100% baby alpaca, so it’s incredibly soft and will be very warm. Yet anothertem added to my bursting stash. But I felt so good when I walked out of the store!

Now more projects will have to take a back seat as I itch to cast this on…but first, my son’s scarf! 10 LONG rows to go!

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