Sunday, January 4, 2009

Launching the New Year

With two finished objects to make it even happier.

Happy New Year, everyone! The holidays have rushed onward until, pouf, here I am in the New Year without even having observed all the proprieties. I have an appointment for a little make-up session with some oysters and some black-eyed peas that are going to need to be attended to if I'm to have a lucky year. So I haven't started the new year properly yet, but I'll just ignore that for the moment and act as if I have.

So, herewith, my resolutions for 2009:
-- Write thank-you notes promptly
-- Get to bed earlier for more sleep
-- Knit more yarn than I buy
-- Don't forget the eggnog.

That knitting one shouldn't be all that difficult, since I have piles and piles of beautiful yarns and spinning fiber already here in the house awaiting my pleasure. But, then, that's what I thought last year, too. Hmmm, we'll see.

To celebrate the old year's passing, here's my last finished object of 2008! The day after Christmas, when the rush to knit presents and cook and wrap and decorate and celebrate was over, I settled down to knit again. I got out a pair of half-done socks and knitted with zeal, with abandon, around and around, until they were finished. And, after knitting for others for the last few weeks, I greedily knit these just for me. :)

They're plain stockinette socks, but the yarn makes them fun. It's Colinette's Jitterbug sock yarn, in the Kingfisher colorway. I love the way a black background brightens other colors, and I thoroughly enjoyed these.

They're knitted on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles, and mostly just lazily following the simple sock pattern on the yarn label. I did depart from it by replacing the smooth stockinette on the heel flap with a slipstitched heel stitch for variety. The yarn was a pleasure to knit with, soft bouncy merino, with those ever-entertaining Colinette color changes. (One minor note of caution, though: the skein does not have a huge amount of yardage, so if you're knitting for a larger size, you may need two.)

I also recently got around to buying a couple of pairs of shoes sized with enough room for socks, so I'm finally getting in the habit of wearing my handknit socks, not just admiring them in the drawer. I'm looking forward to adding these to the rotation.

And, even better, here's the first finished object of 2009, the Kid Hollow Brushed Mock-Neck Sweater, Hooray!

This is knitted of brushed kid mohair yarn from Kid Hollow Farm in Free Union, Virginia. It was a gorgeous hand-dyed skein that I bought at this year's Fall Fiber Festival, in Montpelier, Virginia. The yarn is so light and fluffy that the whole sweater only takes one skein of 8 ounces or so. (And I bought another skein that will soon be heading for mock-neck-sweater-hood, too.)

The design is by Puff the Magic Rabbit, who raises angora goats (more mohair yarn!) and angora rabbits in the Virgina countryside and who is lovely and encouraging. No wonder her goaties love her. :)

The fuzzy mohair is wonderfully warm and comforting to wear, and just look at those gorgeous colors!

The sweater is knit at a worsted weight. But I actually had to go down a size -- unusual for me -- to a US size 6 (4 mm) needle to stay close to gauge. Something about knitting with this delicate fluffy yarn seems to make me drift into holding it more and more loosely, treating it gently and solicitously. There, dear, can I plump your pillow for you? Bring you a cup of tea?

So, it still sprawled a bit, but it's a great sweater. It's a little loose and slouchy, and it has a relaxed slouchy neckline to match. (World's-most-patient-husband calls it my "hippie shirt.") I find I'm already reaching for it a lot. It looks terrific with jeans, and I have a feeling it might dress up well, too, with the right outfit. I'm pretty pleased with it. :)

I painted my toenails purple in its honor.

Hope your New Year has had as good a start!


Bess said...

oOOO. Beautiful knitting. And I love the resolution Knit more yarn than you buy! Happy New Year to you.

Anonymous said...

Your sweater looks wonderful!! The brushed is one of my favorite yarns of Pat's (Kid Hollow). So this was the push I needed to get that hoodie out of my head and onto paper and needles. Enjoy your sweater- you did a fantastic job!