My weekends have been fairly busy, and I haven’t been able to post a Year of Projects update in a bit. So here’s a combo post!
I am working on sport weight socks for Bob, a Halloween cardigan, and my Arrowhead cardigan. The yarn shown in the featured image is from my stash and will be used in a Summer Solstice Ambah knitalong. I am also working on my knitting pattern design for the Volunteer Sunflowers yarn mystery box.
The Halloween cardigan is from the Fall Favorites Collection, Pumqueen version. The yarn is Cascade BFL, which I am really enjoying working with. I’m modifying the pattern to be a cardigan with a steek.
I am focusing on project bags right now. I hope to have a finish to show by Friday. But I did sew matching KISS pajama shorts for Bob and me.
In the spirit of “conserve” (my word for 2022) instead of buying yarn, I begrudgingly trawled my stash for something appropriate. This Quince and Co Tern in Sea Star is fingering weight, but close enough to sport, especially with my loose knitting. Since the content is wool and silk, I knit a swatch to see if the stitches would be crisp enough for a gansey, and I think it works. It will be a nice, light, spring gansey. And, yes, I will probably put an anchor on it somewhere. I’m thinking ladders, wedding lines, a tree of life, and an anchor in a quiet spot. As someone who has moved from place to place throughout my life, an anchor is a symbol that is meaningful to me, even though I don’t live a nautical life.
Have you ever wanted to knit a gansey? If so, are there any symbols that are particularly meaningful for you? If you would like to learn more about ganseys, I found this article Ganseys for Dummies on the Knitting Genie site. I especially liked this bit, “The modern word ‘yarn’ comes from the Old Norse ‘garn’ (Old English ‘gearn)’. That initial ‘g’ in Old English was actually pronounced more like a cross between a ‘h’ and a ‘y’. So the ‘gan-sey’ may just be a corruption of ‘yarn-sy’, ie: ‘thing made from yarn’.”
I can’t wait to start knitting on my pink yarnsy. I have some math to do first, though.
My youngest asked me about some handwarmers to use on her walks through the woods. I did a little research, and they are easy to make. Many sites come up if you google “DIY hand warmers.” I read a few to get the gist, and then proceeded to make my own. The following recipe makes two 3 inch square hand warmers.
What you need:
cotton, linen, or wool fabric scraps
whole flax seed
a little dried lavender or other herbs if you are feeling fancy and want them to have a fragrance, although the flaxseed smells wonderful on its own
cotton thread preferable, but poly thread works
Cut four 3 and 1/2 inch squares of 100% cotton fabric. (You could also use linen or wool, but don’t use anything synthetic.)
Finish one edge of each square separately by serging or zig zag stitch. This will be the top edge seam.
Place two squares together with right sides together, top seams matching, for each hand warmer.
For each hand warmer, sew or serge the other three sides together with a seam allowance of about 1/4 inch. Finish the seams with a zig zag stitch if not serging. This is important, as flax seeds are small and you don’t want them working themselves out.
Turn the hand warmers inside out. Turn the top edges under 1/4 inch. Press.
Sew around all the edges of each square, about 1/8 inch from the edge. Sew along the top edge as well, leaving about 1/2 inch open so you can fill the pouch with flax seeds.
Using a small funnel, fill the hand warmers with whole flax seeds as full as you can without allowing them to spill out.
Stitch the opening closed either by hand or using your sewing machine.
That’s it. Pretty simple!
Directions for use:
Place the hand warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds on high
Take them out carefully (they’re hot!)
Pop one into each pocket. These will keep your hands warm for 15-20 minutes, maybe longer!
This made a nice little Winter Solstice gift for my youngest along with a chocolate. These would also make great stocking stuffers!
This beanie is for my oldest. Yarn is Valley Superwash DK in (starting at the brim) Classic Navy, Eggplant, Steel Grey, Squash, Forest, Burgundy, and Blue Mist. Superwash so if it gets thrown in with laundry, it will not felt.
My stitch gauge is 22 stitches to 4 inches on size 6 needles. I used size 4 needles for the ribbed brim. I cast on 100 stitches, knit 9 rounds of ribbing, then 9 rounds of each color until I reached 9 inches in length, maintaining the color order for the stripes. Then I began a five point decrease for the crown, starting with knit 18, knit 2 together, every other row for a stripe, then every row until 5 stitches were left. I won’t bother writing out the crown, but if you want that, leave me a comment. This is really more of a recipe than a pattern.
It looks like I missed a round of Steel Grey. Oops!
I hope this beanie fits and is loved. The last beanie was a little short, but gets worn. My children have big heads (for their big brains).
Below is an updated half-year list that I will continue to edit as I complete and add new items. Scroll all the way to the bottom for my resolution. Don’t feel like you need to look at my list unless you want to.
I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is 12 pieces. 7/12 finished.
I’m dyeing my own wool for this work. Above is sky blue and a mix of spruce and kelly green I’m calling Black Forest. Next up is a deep, rich brown. These are two different fibers: merino and shetland. They take the dye a little differently.
I canceled my lessons because I wasn’t doing them. My new goal will be to practice fingering and scales when I feel like it.
Not into it right now. Back burner.
My One Resolution for 2021
I don’t normally make resolutions, but this year I’m going to listen to more music, intentionally. I normally listen to music all day while I’m working, but it’s the local public radio station. I like the music they play, but it’s passive listening. And I listen to Celtic fiddle music when I run.
For New Year’s Eve, Bob and I watched the first movie we bonded over. There’s a song in it by Gogol Bordello, and it’s kind of an ear worm, but I love it. So yesterday, I listened to a Gogol Bordello Essentials playlist while I vacuumed the house and had a really good time singing along.
My friend Sharon recommended I watch that movie, so she kind of started the whole thing. She’s blogging again, so check it out if you feel like it. I hope she will turn her comments on.
I love the French Press Felted Slippers pattern by Melynda Bernardo (Ravelry link). I have always fantasized about dressing up for a New Year’s Eve party, but I don’t think I ever have. I feel like 2020 is the year for dressing up at home with some comfy but fancy slippers. I might make these in a sparkly yarn and put a rhinestone button on them.
This is my last December HoliDaily. I really enjoyed posting a festive pattern everyday in December. I hope you enjoyed it, too, and that it wasn’t spammy. Just a reminder that I don’t get compensated in any way for anything I share. I do it for my own enjoyment.
I enjoyed my yarn advent photo taking so much, I had a calendar made. It’s hanging in my studio. I will use it to plan my projects in 2021.
I’ve noticed other bloggers wrapping up the year with a list of completed projects. I think that sounds like the perfect New Year’s Eve post for 2020.
Two pieces completed. I’m not going to post pics of new pieces since they are for a gallery show in September 2021.
I want to thank everyone for their input. I finally went with Solstice DK in Desert Rose, which is a warm pink. I loved the walnut but didn’t trust myself to dye it. I think Kathy mentioned peach and it stuck with me.
I noticed some people are adding a fourth color to their Vintersoll. This is Solstice DK in Wicked Game. I like the addition, but I will have to think about if I really want to knit four colors. I have an alternate plan for this yarn if not.
And it’s good I have an extra skein or two because I am playing yarn chicken with Arachne and I may be losing. I’m a loose knitter, which is why I’m knitting Vintersoll in DK instead of worsted.
Virtual Knit this Sunday? 1PM EDT? DM your Skype ID to me if you are new? Hmm??? Silliness aside, I NEED my Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit time. It’s my only social activity aside from when kids come to visit.
Hans has asked me to knit him a scarf. The symbols/lines have something to do with music. I asked him to draw the scarf so I would understand what he had in mind. He’s asked for it to be navy and gray, and we chose Woolfolk Far for its softness.
I’m not sure how to knit this. The background is gray and the designs are navy. Should I raise them in purls? Brioche? I guess I have some swatching to do!