I didn’t finish very many crafting projects during my blog “hiatus”. Mostly that was because I couldn’t handle much more than simple garter stitch or stockinette knitting. I have also been adjusting to a new job and a much more regimented routine than I had during my free-as-a-bird grad school days. I’m just getting into a good rhythm now.
The craft project that took up most of December was my Christmas Garland, which I cobbled together as a way to display my collection of Christmas ornaments without needing a tree.
This photograph was taken in my boyfriend’s apartment since his walls are white and are thus a much better background. Also in my apartment I hung the garland up in front of my windows, making photographs “in situ” impossible.
The garland is combines 8 Christmas balls (patterns from the book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit), three embroidered ornaments (from a Posie by Alicia Paulson kit) and many green pompoms. I used my Clover pompom maker for the first time and it was very easy. My coffee table was littered with pompom trimmings for days. All the pieces of the garland are strung together on four strands of the same yarn used for the pompoms. I knit two of the Christmas balls in 2013, one in 2014 and FIVE in 2015.
I was determined to get through all of the yarn and finish the project! The garland is very soft and lightweight, so I dragged it along with me on all my Christmas travels. It was very festive.
I started off 2016 by finishing several projects in rapid succession. First I wove in the ends and blocked a cable hat that has since gone to the Guild’s charity bin:
Then I knit a pair of giant boot socks for my boyfriend’s birthday. I knit the cuffs twice each since I couldn’t decide between German twisted and long tail cast on, or between k1p1 and k2p2 ribbing. The winning combination was long tail and k1p1. The socks were knit top down so on one sock I ended up grafting a cuff to the top of a completed sock after re-knitting it to match the other sock. I definitely made this project way more difficult than it needed to be, but I was very proud of my mad grafting skills. Bonus: the boyfriend loves them.
Shown here modeled on my feet, pre-gifting. I thought it might be too weird to ask to take a photo of his feet “for the blog”.
High on my grafting success, I finally finished my Kidsilk Cowl, which I cast on back in December 2014. It had been sitting in my knitting basket for months, sadly unfinished, with two circular needles trapped within it. I grafted at least 200 stitches of fine lace mohair yarn over several days, but it was absolutely worth it. As it turned out, grafting mohair is actually fairly easy since when you adjust the stitches to the correct size, the yarn stays put. I immediately started wearing the cowl every day on my lunchtime walks at work. Two layers of mohair are incredibly warm, although it does occasionally feel like you are eating hair. I’ve been wearing it so often I don’t actually have a photo, something I need to remedy ASAP.
About two weeks into January I finished my long-running pair of vanilla socks (also cast on in the final months of 2014), and promptly knit a tiny earbud pouch and more hexipuffs with the leftovers.
These socks are the best-fitting I have ever made, which is encouraging since I had a run there where every pair I knit turned out slightly too large. I love the fantastically bright yarn, and the almost-stripe effect it created. I miss having vanilla socks on the needles, though. I really need to cast on another pair.
I finished the socks in mid-January, and I haven’t finished anything since. Basically, I stopped watching so much TV and my knitting output dropped dramatically. My sewing and embroidery time has also been nonexistent, and I’m still trying to figure out how to work it back in. I’m still determined to work down my big backlog of almost-finished projects, too, so hopefully there will be a steady stream of those popping up here soon. Stay tuned!