Monday, January 09, 2012

winter catch-up

January: finally there's time to stop and sit down and clear one's head.

It's a mad dash through December. I knitted like a madwoman from the middle of November until the week after Christmas when I was still furiously finishing gifts for visiting relatives (one right under the recipient's nose!). I knitted so much and so fast that I didn't manage to snap a picture of any of it, which is kind of pathetic for Ravelry addict like me.

Above are a pair of mittens I made for myself in November when I realized one day that my hands were cold, and I did in fact have the power to do something about it. I fished out some wonderful Noro Kureyon Sock that I'd bought specifically for mitten-making, from a clearance bin at a yarn store in Vermont during our summer vacation (I think this yarn has been discontinued). I rocked through them in a few days, picked up the needles again and started powering through holiday gifts.

Here's what I made in December: three pairs of mittens, a little birdie, a lovely hat, four twisty cuffs, and a Christmas stocking (which was actually mostly knitted in November). I can't believe I finished all that in a month. I am generally a slow, plodding knitter, but in December I was a machine.

But it has left me wanting to do more creative knitting this winter - having fun making things for me, or maybe not exactly for me, maybe for someone else to have in the end, but because it's a particular technique or color or something that I want to explore. Not just because I think that maybe someone else will like it.

So I'm working on a design for a little girl's jumper in Malabrigo RĂ­os (UK and Aussie readers, I mean a little dress thingy, not a pullover). And I'm getting ready to write up a fun post on some of my learnings about mitten knitting, since I've done rather a lot of it lately and feel like maybe I have a nugget or two to share about it.

But most of all, I'm dreaming of knitting myself a big, warm snuggly old-fashioned-looking sweater with the wonderful yarn I got in Vermont over the summer. And I'd like to have it ready rather soonish so that I can wear it in this winter weather... but I'm not exactly a speedy knitter. So maybe it will be for next winter. Maybe it will be one of the spectacular fishermen's sweaters from the book I got for Christmas: Patterns for Jerseys, Guernseys and Arans: Fishermen's Sweaters from the British Isles, by Gladys Thompson. What a wonderful book! I am snuggling up with it when I go to bed at night, leafing through wonderful historic photos and reading about the author's anthropological ramblings through the British Isles in the first half of the last century. It's as good as a Henry James novel for transporting you to another time and place.