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December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

2006? I'll take it . . . it's got to be better than 2005 was.

Meanwhile, I'm placing here for posterity my lofty knitting goal for 2006: completing one pair of knitted socks per month during 2006 (with yarn from my favorite local yarn store). That's it. No other noble goals like reducing or using stash yarns -- I simply hope to enhance and increase the size of the stash throughout the entire year.

One of my favorite sock-knitting bloggers is Polly; I love reading her UK-based blog and enjoy the random wildlife photos and her travel knitting. Polly has two wonderful published projects - the Kiri Shawl and the French Market Bag.

May this be a HAPPY and prosperous new beginning for all my friends and loved ones!

December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Seasons Greetings to all my friends and fellow knitters. May this season bring you much peace, joy and prosperity.

December 18, 2005

Quiet Desperation

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" - Henry David Thoreau

It is totally by design that this is a boring blog.

One of my sisters stopped by my blog not too long ago and had this to say, "I love it but it's just about knitting!"

Yes. It is. No personal information here except as an occasional afterthought. When I made the decision to begin blogging again, I chose to limit the revealing stuff and stick to knitting - my passion. It's highly unlikely that any but a handful will find it interesting here at all. It's about striking the proper balance for MYSELF and using this as a forum for those who know me well already -- some of my local fellow knitters.

For those to whom I am gifting knitting this year, please understand that I am capable of purchasing a store-bought gift -- yet I have invested some time and thought to create something with my own hands, something chosen especially for you to use and enjoy over the years. If you're dubious about handcrafted items, I hope you read this entry at Keri Smith's blog. Nothing would be more meaningful to me than to have handcrafted or handmade items in my own home, but I know that many don't feel that way . . . and that's okay.

As for quiet desperation, I don't experience it much. I used to experience it EVERY DAY, but so much has happened this past year that proves WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME HERE. In 2005, I made some incredibly poor choices and yet have been extended immeasurable grace and forgiveness. I see it as a second chance and an opportunity to not waste a single moment. Knitting keeps me on track and is a constant reminder of that grace and forgiveness.

Happy Holidays, dear readers and a special thanks to those who have stayed with me through blog changes and know how to read between the lines.

December 15, 2005

Picot Cast-on

I had a 30-minute window of time the other day and wanted to learn the picot cast-on. Tere are some excellent instructions included with the pattern for the Miss Dashwood Hat on Knitty. It takes far less than 30 minutes to learn!

There are alternate methods for a picot look, including the one used for the Picovoli, a Grumperina pattern.

And, finally, a great photo and explanation of the picot cast-on choices was blogged by Nona in September.

When I have bigger blocks of time in which to knit, I am working on my Annie Scarf from Jane Ellison's Queensland Collection. I have many other projects planned and might or might not finish them before the holidays and I am putting no pressure on myself to do so! Next year, however, I think everybody needs a knitted stocking. Just sayin'.

December 07, 2005

Cabled Clutch

I was planning to put this on my sidebar, but it's so cool that I had to create an entry for it:

Libby's Cabled Clutch

Go there and read the entry and have a look at the pattern - so adorable.

Now . . . click here, and here.

I've seen this clutch talked about on several knit blogs. -- the idea has taken off in a rather viral way! And, yes, you could totally knit one for less than $150 . . . or just maybe you could design your own knit handbag and put a $150 price tag on it. The most interesting thing to me is the difference between the type of person who would knit and carry their own knit knock-off of the cable clutch and the one who would create a new and equally smashing original knit handbag design. Neither knitter is "better" than the other, but they are two distinctly different approaches.

December 06, 2005

My Favorite FREE Online Knitting Patterns*

Here are my favorite FREE online knitting patterns -- what are yours?

Multidirectional Scarf (3)

Multidirectional Scarf #2

Update: It was brought to my attention that the Multidirectional Scarf as posted above was inspired by an Iris Schreier (of ArtYarns) design. If you join her Yahoo Group, Modular Knitting and introduce yourself, you will receive her free multidirectional scarf pattern.

Sophie Felted Bag (8)

Sophie - Brown Sheep Nature Spun

Booga Bag (3)

Booga #1

Branching Out Scarf (1)

FINISHED Branching Out

Lace Capelet (3)

Capelet #3 - Finished

Elizabeth Perl's Sock Program (1/2)

Knit Picks Simple Stripes - Snapdragon

Chunky Ribbed Scarf (1)

Pink Ribbed Scarf

Tempting Ribbed Sweater

Knitty Tempting

And my favorite "nearly free" (i.e. very economical) pattern:

One Skein Wonder (1)

Glampyre - One Skein Wonder

* I have a LOT more favorites I could share, but wanted to include only the items I've already knit or am in the process of knitting.

December 05, 2005

My Knit Beliefs

My Knit Beliefs

1. Yarn and notions that I am meant to have will find me
2. I will be surrounded by knitters who can help me improve my knitting if I listen to them and learn from them
3. I will have enough yarn to finish my favorite projects
4. It will be easy to frog what wasn’t meant to be knit
5. I can give away yarn that I can’t use and never miss it
6. I will find something to love about even my worst knitting
7. I will continually release myself from guilt in having too many projects on the needles
8 . I will find no shame in my enjoyment of the process over the end product

December 04, 2005

Knit Gift Bag - Debbie Bliss Yarn

For purposes of scale, there is a votive candle inside. This was something I was experimenting with based on (and inspired by) the pattern in Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I knitted the main portion of the bag last night while watching Polar Express. I did the three-needle bind-off and i-cord this morning. Joelle Hoverson's pattern calls for Blue Sky Alpacas' Alpaca & Silk yarn (1 skein) -- after the holidays I'll choose one of the great new dark colors and make one. I used DPNs for my small bag, but when I make the larger one in the book, I'll invest in 16" circular needles.

Needles: US6 DPN's (Brittany Birch)
Yarn: Something Debbie Bliss in pale pink - perhaps cotton angora?

Knit Gift Bag