Bad Start, 2016 (but I made a great sweater anyway. Ha!)

I know that I kind of did this to myself. I was really pushing things as I got everything baked, stitched, knitted, wrapped, mailed and cleaned for Christmas. It was wonderful. My family was all here on the big day, the dinner was perfect, and it was even snowing lightly making it a true White Christmas. A wonderful, wonderful day.

I was just exhausted afterwards.

Still, I made some after-Christmas plans. I wrote out some ideas for the end-of-the-year blog post and made a list of projects to tackle in the coming weeks and months. Great stuff: weaving, spinning and quilting made the list along with the usual plethora of knitting items.

Cat Face
No New Year’s for us. Mom got sick.

The Monday after Christmas I woke up sick. Influenza!! I had had the vaccine, but I knew that it was unlikely that I would get the full benefit because of my immuno-suppressant drugs. By New Year’s Day I literally couldn’t get out of bed. The next day I dragged into the after-hours clinic and was sent home with antibiotics and some serious cough medicine. Thus a cascade of severe unhappiness was launched. Here’s the short version: bronchitis; removal from immuno-suppressant drugs; allergic reaction to the first antibiotics; more antibiotics; a full rebellion by my digestive system; low blood pressure; dizzy, dizzy, and more dizzy; help: I can’t even manage to knit; a flare of my systemic sclerosis; and a complete helping of why can’t I breathe right yet??? There. That was the whole month!! In fact, it is still going, but I am definitely on the mend.

Take home lesson: it is possible to survive on yogurt, cranberry juice and Christmas cookies. Maybe I should write this up as a new fad diet. 🙂 It is also good to have a pile of books waiting to be read. An emergency stash of chocolate is a given, right? Oh yeah, one more thing: GET YOUR FLU SHOT, PEOPLE!!

Two weeks ago I pulled out my partially completed Daelyn Sweater (by Isabell Kraemer) and got started knitting on it again between naps. Last week I finally finished it. Oh, my goodness. What a wonderful sweater. It kind of looks like a sweatshirt…

Daelyn Sweater
See what I mean? The ultimate comfy weekend sweater. This baby is knit from the top down and there isn’t a seam anywhere in it. I decided to knit the XL size (43.75 inches) so that I would have at least 6 inches of positive ease; because of the garter stitch shaping it hangs really nicely and is actually kind of flattering. This view of the sweater is pretty boxy looking, so I decided to try to get a selfie…
Sweater front
Do you know how hard that is? Ugh! Still, this gives you a better idea of how the sweater actually hangs. Once it is on it doesn’t look wide and boxy anymore because of the garter stitch side panels. My swollen fingers are due to the systemic sclerosis flare. I want my drugs back!!
Raglan Sleeve
and just check out the raglan sleeve and the back view! The garter stitch in the back  makes it really comfy and stretchy. The back of the sweater is a little longer due to short rows shaping which also helps make it hang nicely over my rear end. 🙂
Cat chomping yarn.
Did you notice the cat hair on the sweater? Yep. That’s a thing as cat help and yarn chomping happened fairly frequently as I knitted… MacKenzie purrs and kneads like a madman (madkitty) in these sweater attacks so it is hard to heartlessly chase him off. I think that he especially liked the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn that I used.

Shelter Yarn

I have to give a shout out to this yarn. You almost have to work with this stuff to believe it; it is soft, squishy and very light weight. My finished sweater is soft, warm, comfy, looks and hangs like a bulky sweater but weighs very little. It is almost a shock when I lift it to put it on. There are little bits of veggie matter in the yarn, but I think that is because it hasn’t been over processed. It was fairly easy to pull them out while I worked.

When I got ready to knit my sleeves I began to panic about running out of yarn. I ordered two more skeins online that were from another dye lot. I blended the new yarn in by knitting every other row for 8 rows (it did happen on the sleeves..) and you absolutely can’t see the change in yarn. I could have just skipped the blending. How’s that for quality control! Here are the Ravelry notes for my project if you want more info.

So, here it is whole month late but I am starting to think about my new projects for the year. Lots to do. You weren’t very nice to me at the start, 2016, but let’s see what we can get going now. Behave yourself!!

 

 

End of October WIPs

My wrists are behaving again: every day it seems that I can knit a little longer. Since I got the queue organized and a lot of projects lined up I have been on fire. Since it is Wednesday I thought that I would just show off all of the knitting WIPs.

September Socks

Oh yeah. I was making a pair of socks each month this year as my New Year’s Resolution. I remember now. It is now almost the end of October, and the last time I made a sock was… July. My favorite yarn store received a big shipment of Malabrigo Rios last week and I found this:

Yarn
Isn’t this the perfect color for September? This is 100% superwash merino and the color is so rich and wonderful… I decided to make the Stepping Stones socks from the Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. The pattern is also free on Ravlery. My copy of the pattern says to use size 2 needles (with worsted yarn? Not with these wrists! I decided to use size 4 needles and the sock came out springy, wonderful, and has a good fit on my foot.
Cat with yarn
This happened while I was trying to take pictures today for this post…
Sock
To get the shot I had to put the sock onto my foot. Ta-daa! Here it is. The pattern was designed to change on the instep but I kept the same stitch pattern down the whole sock because I kind of liked it. 🙂 It’s nice how the colors in the yarn are broken up in the sock: no pooling allowed!!  

The sock knit up really fast. I should have the second one done by the end of the week. I already have the October Socks ready to go. Catch-up time. 🙂

Daelyn Sweater

Shelter Yarn
I bought this Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in August while doing Yarn Along the Rockies. It is soft, cushy, and fabulous.
Sweater
Here it is as a growing Daelyn Sweater by Isabell Kraemer. It is knitted from the top down with NO SEAMS!! The back is garter stitch which is kind of fun, and there is short row shaping at the bottom of the back so the sweater will have a slight tail.  I want this baby done before serious snow arrives.

Mitts!!

I can’t stand it; I always have an urge to knit more mitts. It is kind of irrational as no one could possibly wear all of these, but they are just so cool and a great way to try out yarns and patterns. I’m going to have enough left over yarn from the September socks to make some mitts in the same stitch pattern. I have some exceptionally yummy cashmere blend yarn that nags at me, and then there is this hand spun that I pulled out today for another mitt project I’m dying to do (but I’m not going to talk about it now as, seriously, I think that it deserves it’s own post). Here is the yarn teaser…

Yarn
Handspun alpaca yarns. Don’t they just look like they want to be striped mitts?

Tonight is the first frost warning of the year so I brought as many of my potted flowers into the garage as I could. I know that they are running out of time, but I hate to let them die. I think that next week I will hang indoor grow lights and get some of them indoors. The first snow can’t be that far off now.

Plant
The last leaves are falling off of my trees and it is definitely getting colder, but this potted plant is still blooming its heart out. I moved this one into the garage for sure and may try to save it for indoor color this winter. Maybe it will be easier to capture the seeds once it’s inside. Another project!! 

Have a happy week everyone.