Friday, December 31, 2010

A Time For Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope 2011 brings all of you good health and memory making fun.

As always I plan to do a lot of knitting. Timber is still time-consuming but is quite a cute Golden fellow so I don't mind too much. Teddy Bear is an angel...and I remember the time I never could imagine describing him like that. He is now 7 and is grown up but loves to play with his 11-month-old Golden brother. Lily is doing well on her thyroid medication, so I'm hoping she continues to ride a steady course.

I will be knitting for myself and others. I knit for a very few selected friends and for charity. It makes my heart feel good to knit a simple hat for a child, teen or adult who otherwise would be cold. The people of Penns Valley are important to me. I have encourage my fellow knitting group members to knit for charity and the people of the Valley. I haven't heard responses yet but I'm hoping they consider giving a little of their time and talents to knit or crochet something for others. Our knitting group has plenty of donated yarn and others of us have niceleftovers that could be knitted into striped hats, scarves, neckwarmers, mittens and gloves. It is horrible to be cold. I'm planning to knit at least a dozen charity items this year and more if possible. I am trying to be realistic and do know my time constraints.

Other charity knitting on my list is fingerless mitts to donate to Golden Retriever Rescue for its sales table. I think they will sell least I hope so. I have nice yarns from Knit Picks for those items.

My mantra for the year will be "Knit From Stash." I have tons of yarns of varying weights, colors and fiber contents. I'm also going to share some stash with others who would love to use a nice skein of hand-dyed yarn but it just isn't in their budget right now.

I am not unrealistic enough to say I won't buy any yarn....heck if I lived in a cave I'd find a way to order on-line! But, my purchases are going to be better thought out, not spur of the moment, and measurable less in volume that the past few years. The two places where I know I will buy yarn of some sort is the upcoming Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA (begins on Jan. 8 for a week). There are a number of vendors with hand-dyed yarns and many with handspun fibers. Really nice. Also, a number of alpaca farmers have booths and their yarns are scrumptious. And of course there is Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May. I have some specific goals in mind for this show and plan to visit as many booths as possible. Last year I saw less than 15% of the show but this year will be different. It is always an awesome time.

I need to knit myself some more socks. Yes, seriously, I do. But instead of the heavier weight ones that I'm hooked on I must add more fingering weight yarns into my sock knitting. Some heavier ones wont fit into certain shoes so don't get worn often enough.

I resolve to learn to knit a cable. OK, laugh. I'm sure they are as easy as you all say but until I knit one several times I won't be convinced.

I also want to learn to felt, if only to knit slippers for three guys who I know will love them. I have plenty of terrific stash yarns that will work. One thing I want at MDSW is to purchase slipper bottoms for each of them...that will definitely get me knitting and felting.

Hopefully, even if it is just a few rows I will be able to knit almost every evening. It is relaxing before bedtime.

What are your knitting resolutions for 2011?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Knitting

Christmas knitting was done...or so I thought. Then I got the bright idea to knit a neckwarmer for the wonderful woman who takes care of my Goldens at the kennel. An easy, quick worsted weight neckwarmer. Easy, peasy right...not necessarily.

I chose a nice superwash Cascade 220 twist in navy, royal blue, teal, and light greeen. Really pretty, soft and from my stash! Yeah stash knitting!!

I have knit probably 4 inches total but right now there are no stitches on my needles. I have frogged twice. The pattern I was modeling my version after called for 95 stitches on a size 6 or 7 needle. I had an idea for a simple neckwarmer -- 4 rows of purl, 8 inches or so of stockinette, 4 rows of purl and cast off. Easy pattern but huge...would have fit a middle linebacker for the New York Jets. Second time I tried 85 stitches on the size 7. Still too big. So, now I got a size 6 circular needle and am knitting 80 stitches and I hope it isn't too small. I think it will be fine. Design is stretchy. I don't want her to feel as if she is wearing a neckbrace but I also want a sturdier fabric and smaller neck opening. So it will be her New Year's present when I pick up my boys from her kennel.

I knit a nice feather & fan neckwarmer for the friend of a friend. She loved mine and my friend picked the yarn -- from my stash again. Woo-hoo! Mountain Colors twist in the Sundance colorway (I think that is the name). Came out really nice and should keep the new owner who lives in Buffalo warm this winter.

I also knit a pair of fingerless mitts for the woman who grooms my Goldens. Hope she likes them. They are shown in the accompanying photo.

It wasn't a Christmas present but I made a neckwarmer with a drawstring for a colleague in Philadelphia. She received it in Thursday's mail and called me that night. She LOVES it and can't stop raving about it.

Next up after Jeannie's neckwarmer is a gift for a swap I am doing through Ravelry's Loopy Ewe site. Will not post photos until it is mailed for the Valentine's Day deadline. I think my swap partner is now reading my blog so I don't want to ruin the surprise.