I’m a New Year’s Fail, and I Don’t Feel Bad About It

It’s been a long, long, long, long time since I last posted!  A little over two months!  A lot has happened in my life since then, but not a lot of knitting has happened.  I’ve totally fallen off of the bandwagon in regards to my New Year’s resolution.  If you’re new to my blog, my resolution this year was to knit a pair of socks a month for all of 2017.  I still only have one sock done of my April socks, and while I technically did finish my March socks, I had a bunch of leftover yarn so I ripped out the top ribbing and decided to knit the calf up higher, which I haven’t finished!  I didn’t even cast on a May pair, let alone a June.  I’ve decided I’m not going to feel bad about it, though.  It wasn’t a resolution to improve my health or finances, or anything important like that.  It was more of a challenge to myself.

I think I’m just naturally a fickle knitter and I don’t like sticking to one type of garment or technique.  I like sweaters, socks, shawls, and hats, and I like cables, colorwork, lace, and knit-purl texture.  Forcing myself to stick to one thing never works out in the long run!  That’s also why it takes me so long to finish projects (except for socks), because I like to have several things going at once and rotate between them.  I used to feel so bad for abandoning projects for a few months and then coming back to them, which is so weird.  Why should I feel bad about that?  It’s not like I just keep casting on new things and never finishing them.  I’m going to embrace my natural tendencies from here on out!

Is anyone else like this?  I always see people on Ravelry and Instagram who are able to just work on a single big project like a blanket or sweater from start to finish, and not touch anything else and I get so jealous sometimes!

The reason I haven’t been knitting very much at all is that a few weeks ago, I finished up the busiest semester of my life.  I signed up for 16 credits, which doesn’t sound like much, but three of those credits were laboratory sections (which only offer one credit per three class hours, as opposed to one credit per one class hour like lecture classes), three of the credits were being a teacher’s assistant (why is it that students always wait until 12 hours before the essay is due to ask the TA for help with fundamental problems?  I had a student ask me the day before an essay was due if I thought he had a good topic!), plus I was doing non-credited research in my free time for about ten hours a week.  Plus, I am the president of the knitting, crocheting, and sewing club on campus.  Huge mistake.  Oh, and did I mention I went about a month without a computer when mine died right before finals?  I just got a new laptop yesterday!  My goal for next year is to not overwhelm myself, so I’m only enrolled in 13 credits next semester.  I really only have three classes left to take before I graduate, but one of them is only offered in the spring, so I have to stay a full year anyway.

Back to the interesting stuff, because I doubt anyone cares too much about my academic stress.

I have been knitting some, though.  I cast on and have made serious headway on an Ebba pullover sweater!  I changed the colors from white, blue, and red to camel, olive, and cream, inspired by a field trip I took to some famous local dunes here on Long Island.  Also, I realized that I have very little “natural” colors in my wardrobe, so I had to fix that!  I’m about halfway through the waist shaping increases, so right now it’s just a big swath of camel wool.  Not too cute for pictures!  I do have a picture of the beach near the dunes though:

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There’s just something so soothing about the beach in the wintertime.  I do love being able to swim in the summer, but I love the way the water looks when it’s cold and gloomy, and the salt air feels so bracing when it’s chilly.  Most of my friends think I’m bananas for that, though!

I’m sorry for this long and rambly post, but I wanted to get my feelings about my resolution down on “paper.”

Update on Operation Sock Drawer 2017 and Other Projects

Hello!  I hope everyone’s had a good February!  I’ve been super busy so far this semester.  I may have over-committed a bit and signed up for too many classes, but I think I’ll be able to balance everything!  I also had a very successful doctor’s appointment on Friday.  All my blood work came out great, and a huge improvement over my levels from the summer.  I’m definitely feeling better too.

I’ve finished my January and February socks already!

I started a pair of Rumpelstiltskin socks that’ll be my March socks, but I haven’t gotten very far in them yet.  I’m doing them in a really pretty bright pink, Knit Picks Hawthorne (do I use anything else?) in Parkrose.

In much more exciting news, I finally finished my Colorblock Sweater!  I started it more than a year ago, got about 85% of it done, and then promptly forgot about it at the bottom of my WIP pile.  I dug it out and finished off the body and final sleeve last week!

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The yarn is Berroco Lustra, which has since been discontinued (that’s how I know I’ve been ignoring it for too long!).  I wouldn’t use this for a sweater again since it sheds.  It also splits a lot and I don’t know how sturdy it will wear.  Despite this, I’m very excited and I’ve been wearing it a ton.

I also have a TON of yarn left over, so I’ll be churning out a bunch of quick hats to get rid of it all.

I’ve also been doing a little work on my Laurel cardigan, just a few rows here and there, but I really need to dig in and make some progress on this project.  I’d really like to get it done before the end of the semester, but I’ve been so slow on it that I don’t know if that’ll happen.  It’s just easier to work on a small, portable sock than a huge, heavy sweater-jacket.

Finally, I’ve been working on an asymmetrical shawl called Chasing Blizzard.  It’s a pretty new pattern and I’m enjoying it a lot!  I’m using two skeins of Artyarns Ensemble Light, which is by leaps and bounds the most expensive yarn I’ve ever bought, but it’s so, so soft and warm.

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This photo definitely isn’t 100% true to color, but it’s close!

What have you guys been working on?  If you’ve had any New Year’s Resolutions, have you been able to keep them?  Do you have any fun plans for the next week or two?

Lobster Point Neckwarmer

Hello, everybody!  This is just a pattern for a simple neckwarmer I knit up late last year.  It’s a bit form-fitting, more like a turtleneck sweater without the sweater, and with slits a few inches up the sides so you don’t get that horrible gap between your collar and the neckwarmer!

Lobster Point Neckwarmer

Yarn: 1 skein of fingering yarn.  I used about half of a skein of Nooch Fiber Morningside Sock yarn (400 yards).
Needle: US 3 (3.25 mm) 16 or 12 inch circular needle

Gauge: 53 stitches x 39 rows = 4×4 inches in 2×2 rib

Cast on 68 stitches with the long tail cast-on or preferred method.  For this section, knit back and forth as if on straight needles.

Row 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * until end of row

Repeat row one until piece measures 3 inches from cast-on edge.  Transfer stitches to stitch holder or spare needle and cut yarn.  Make another piece identical to this one.

Transfer held stitches from the first on to the circular needle with the second piece.  Knit in pattern across the second piece and then across the first piece, connecting the two.  At the end of the row, join to work in the round and place marker.

Continue knitting in the round as established in 2×2 rib until piece measures 9 inches long.

Cast off using the cable cast off or preferred method.  Weave in ends and block gently.

Notes: this pattern is un-tech-read and un-test-knit!  It’s just a quick write-up of what I did to make the neckwarmer I’m wearing in the picture.  I hope you enjoy!

Snowman Says “Hello 2017!”

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Time just runs away from me during the holidays but now that it’s finally over I can actually take a minute to sit down and write.

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The snowman above isn’t mine unfortunately.  I found him on campus a few weeks ago after our first big snow, so snowman credits go to whoever built him.  He’s got plastic forks for arms, paper napkins for his scarf, craisin eyes, and a french fry nose.  No one ever said college students weren’t resourceful!  I thought he was just too cute not to share.

I had a lovely Christmas with my family.  We had my stepsisters and brother-in-law over for Christmas Eve dinner but Christmas Day was just the four of us (my mom, my stepdad, my brother, and me).  We went to church in the morning, opened gifts in the afternoon, and demolished a canard à l’orange for dinner!  My stepdad has a fascinating cookbook of obscure Sicilian recipes so we also had a pasta dish with a cocoa powder, cinnamon, and pork tomato sauce.  It sounds strange but it’s delicious, very warm and flavorful.  A few days later, my brother and I had dinner and exchanged gifts with our dad, who had gone on vacation over Christmas itself.

Shockingly, I only got one skein of yarn this year.  I’m actually really glad I didn’t get more since I’m still working through last year’s yarn gifts (more on that further down the post).   My aunt, uncle, and cousin got me the yarn for the Maya Hat and Mitts from the Fall 2016 issue of Knitscene, as well as a copy of the magazine.  It looks like it’ll be an interesting knit since it’s done as stranded knitting working from either side of a ball of gradient yarn.

I also *drumroll please* won a skein of yarn as well as a free pattern from Allison O’Mahoney in a giveaway by Of Grace and Stitches here on WordPress!  I have yet to decide what to make with it, so into the stash it goes.  Please excuse the blurry and strange photo!  I haven’t had any good light for photography in weeks, since I’m at work during all daylight hours.

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Mostly, I’ve been working on a pair of socks that I’ve dubbed my “Finals Socks,” which I started during final exams.  The pattern is Cadence Socks on Ravelry!  I’m really enjoying how they’ve worked up and the pattern is quite intuitive and easy to memorize.  I’m well into the foot of the second sock, so those will be an FO sooner rather than later.  The fabric is great, stretchy but firm, which I like around my legs and feet.  The yarn is KnitPicks Hawthorne in Compass.

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I cast on a Rudbeckia hat by Andrea Mowry earlier this week and I’ve been getting through it like a fiend.  I’m almost at the crown decreases already.  I’ve modified the pattern to use fingering weight yarn and size 4 needles by simply increasing the number of stitches and the number of repeats of each section.  The main color (purple and blue) is Hawthorne in Fremont, while the brown contrasting color is Hawthorne in St. Johns that I had left over from a pair of socks I knit my brother for his birthday this summer.

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Clearly, I enjoy KP Hawthorne fingering yarn.  I actually got a ton of it for Christmas last year (my mom bought one of the samplers and some singles) and I purchased a few skeins myself.  It’s got a nice tight twist and a nylon blend, which makes it very sturdy for socks, and it comes in a ton of colors with good yardage.

I’m realizing that this is kind of a long rambling post but I’m still trying to get my head screwed on straight post-holidays.  I hope everyone had a good holiday season and let’s wish for a successful 2017!  Does anyone have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Sock Frenzy

I’ve been sock knitting like a crazy all weekend!  I actually managed to finish a single sock in a day and a half.  Wild, right?  I’ve been spending the days from 10 to 4 studying with a friend for our final exam, and every other minute I’ve been knitting to try and stay calm.

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These are the socks I mentioned in my last post:

I wore them today and they’re so nice and warm!  Finally getting them off the needles has reignited my love for sock knitting.  It helps that I have small feet so I can get through a pair pretty quickly.  My brother is a men’s size 13.5 wide, so knitting him a pair of socks this summer took almost twice as long as usual (and almost two whole skeins of sock yarn!).

After I finish the pair I’m working on (it should only take me a few days since I finished the first sock in two days!), I have a ton more socks I want to make.  I have a pretty big collection of sock yarn, since last year for Christmas my mom bought me two of those KnitPicks samplers of Hawthorne, and I’ve accumulated a bunch of single skeins.

I’m also still working on my red cowl, but I think I’ve almost finished that!  I want to try to use up the whole ball of yarn on it, but I’m not sure.

What have you guys been working on?  I see everyone doing a ton of holiday gifts (as well as a lot of gifts year-round) which is so nice!  I decided not to knit Christmas gifts this year (minus a hat for my dad), just because last year I didn’t finish on time.

New Projects!

It’s been a very productive week for me, knitting-wise!  I managed to finally finish a pair of socks I’ve had on the needles for months, and I started a new cowl and pair of socks and have made decent headway with both!  I’ve just realized the new cowl matches my header font… Clearly I love these kinds of reds.

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The cowl pattern is my own.  I’ve been looking for a crisper, more sophisticated alternative to a lot of the drapey cowl patterns that I keep seeing (not that I don’t love drapey cowls as well!).  My style has become much more tailored lately and flowy scarves and cowls don’t fit in as well.  Basically, the cowl (or maybe neckwarmer is a better word) is going to be the neck part of a turtleneck sweater, plus a few extra inches in front and back slit up the sides.  There’s nothing I hate more than that gap between my shirt and my cowl.

Today was my last day of classes for the semester, so the finals madness is about to begin!  I have an eight-hour physics review session tomorrow (that’s right, eight hours straight), so here’s to hoping I survive that!

In other knitting news, I’ve put the Laurel Cardigan aside for now.  I’m so easily bored with big projects, unfortunately, and the fact that it’s so big makes it hard to transport (and I do most of my knitting on the go).

Chugging Along

Woo, it’s been a while!  The semester is winding down now and I’ve been so incredibly busy with schoolwork.  I’ve been slowly but surely working on my cardigan, but I’ve definitely slowed down.  I have bible cysts in both wrists and they’ve been acting up lately.  This week, they’ve finally stopped hurting so badly, so I’m trying to get my momentum back up.  I’ve finished the left sleeve and I’m about an inch into the body of the sweater.

In terms of my personal life, I had a great Thanksgiving week!  I spent it with my mom, stepdad, and brother.  We had a nice, low-key dinner.

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On my way home, my mom and I saw the most amazing rainbow.  You can’t see it in the picture, but we were able to see the entire arc, from one end to the other.

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The best part of being home for a few days was reuniting with this nugget:

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That’s Phoebe, my cat.  I can’t take her to school, no pets allowed in dorms, so I miss her so much!  She’s the sweetest little noodle.  Look at her tiny nose and feet!  I’m sorry, I’m such a proud cat mom.

I was also able to get all my holiday shopping done.  I pride myself on being a pretty fantastic sale shopper, and I certainly did well this Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend, all without stepping foot into a single store!  I did it all online.

How was all of your Thanksgiving weekends?  I hope they were relaxing and peaceful.