The State of the Knitting — December 2015

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Yeah, that time of the year to take stock of things and that includes my knitting. Like most knitters, I have more unfinished objects than I should lying about the house in various states. To deal with this, the plan (she says with immense overconfidence) is to focus on a few items every month, and try to make efforts at getting those finished or at least seriously moved along the road. I have no pretensions matching Stephanie McPhee or Wendy Johnson’s productivity, but I can definitely do better in 2016. Here’s what mainly on the needles at the moment.

Zorya by Anna Dalvi

Advent ShawlZorya will be a triangle-shaped shawl, being released as an Advent knit-along, with a new clue each day between December 1 and December 24. I’m doing pretty well on this one (only about half a day behind at this point) and the goal is to actually wear it to Christmas Eve services on the 24th. Looking at the schedule for the day job, though, I have a feeling that while I may finish the shawl before services, I won’t have time to block it that day without making myself crazy.

The yarn is fingering weight, with the darker color being a variegated blue-black with silver thread among the strands, Studio June Yarn Star Struck in Moon Dance, which has been aging in my stash since early 2011. The lighter color is also variegated deep rose and purple, Dream In Color Smooshy in Ruby River. I bought the yarn back in 2009 — and somehow forgot about it until after we moved two years ago. I tried using it on another shawl earlier this year, but that didn’t quite work. Pairing it with the Studio June, though, seems to be the match that particular skein was waiting for.

Night Blossoms by Romi Hill

Night BlossomRomi Hill makes amazing lace shawls and Night Blossoms was one that caught my attention because I could easily see it in a gradient yarn. The pattern is designed so there is a patterned yoke over your shoulders and then blossoms and pattern descending from that.

I found the yarn from Apple Tree Knits, a pure alpaca lace called “Ominous.” I’ll admit I like it, but it’s actually less ominous and more pleasant twilight. Definitely pretty and I’m receiving plenty of compliments, but it’s not turning out quite as dramatic as I’d hoped. However, given the intricacy of the pattern, this will make a nice shawl for summer evenings. In the picture, you can see the yoke and how the pattern begins to spread out from there. At the top of the picture, that’s not a shadow, but the yarn shifting from pink to blue.

And for anyone wondering, yes, this was the shawl I was knitting away on at the December LARA meeting.

Katya by Wendy McDonnell

KatyaOkay, if I want drama, this shawl will deliver it in spades. Katya is what’s termed an heirloom shawl, knit on tiny needles (Size US 0) with Cobweb Lace yarn. Yes, I’m essentially knitting a shawl that will be ultimately six to seven feet across with thread. A very nice merino/silk/cashmere thread, but thread all the same. Did I mention that it’s also beaded?

Now, why would I do such a crazy thing like that, you might ask. Because this is a knitting project that’s going to seriously stretch my skills. The pattern was a knit-along for 2015, but I started several months late and never caught up. We’re remedying that in 2016.

If you want evidence of how crazy I am, the picture shows the first 25 rows. That’s my index finger for scale. This is one I have to keep the cats away from because one good bite…

I’m looking at this list and my fingers are itching to go knit instead of handle the day job or any of the other tasks that are to hand. One reason I’m glad it’s almost the weekend; even with the holiday craziness, there’s still going to be plenty of time to curl up with some nice, squishy yarn and let my mind escape from the madness for a while.

So, with the last full weekend before Christmas before us, what do you have planned to give yourself some down time? Or do things seem just too overwhelming?