2011 – the objects

This year feels like I didn’t create all that much, but I think I still did pretty well. My total for 2011 that I knit/crocheted or finished includes: 2 pair of mittens, 3 cowls, 14 people hats, 2 hats for Jackson, 30 hexipuffs, 2 stroller blankets, 1 pair of tinkerbell shoes, 1 turtle, 1 pair of booties, 4 shawls, 2 spoon coasters, 2 sweaters, 1 headband, 1 scarf, 2 pairs of socks, 1 vest, 1 grass, 2 crochet monster-things, 1 doll, 1 pair of flittens. And I had a baby, so that threw my momentum off for a bit. I have been stash diving and looking ahead to what the next bunch of projects will be – can’t wait to share them!

for 2012

It’s resolution time. I love the idea of resolutions, I really do. My follow through on any resolutions I have made for myself has gotten better the less stringent they are. Looking back at last year, here are some things that May, or May Not, Happen in 2012:
*I will keep working on the Beekeeper’s Quilt
*I will keep working on the Neon Nightmare
*Knit Dan a new pair of socks. Did I tell you he wore out the Manhattan socks I made? Each sock has a large hole where the heel should be. And, he still wears them! According to him, his toes are still warm. As a knitter, I’m honored… as his wife, I’m horrified! Don’t wear holey-heeled socks! This might have to take a top priority spot!
*Baby knits – I’ve got a list of 5 babies I want to knit for, all before July. I have patterns and yarns picked out, so I am in good shape to start that. This doesn’t included any knitting for my own baby.
*A sweater for me!
*Read my knitting books – so many times I just go straight to the pattern sections but someone took the time to write these books I should honor that and actually read them!
*I really want to try steeking and some colorwork this year.

Photo Proof

My dad likes to take pictures. A. Lot. Of. Pictures. Granted, he is really good at it – he has a nice camera and with the grandkids he does get lots of practice. Looking at his photos from Christmas I noticed we have a lot of similar shots – photos of the kids, a picture of my brother and his girlfriend on the computer via gchat while we all gather around, etc. Having another photographer comes in handy for a different perspective and proof of some events.

We have had Christmas Crackers at the Christmas table for the last several years, I believe since my brother returned from his study abroad program in college. And his wife has always had them at her Christmas. Anyway, Christmas crackers come with a toy, a joke and a paper crown inside. Everyone wears the crown at dinner. This year, I ripped mine when trying to get it on my head.

I remember us all laughing about it, and here is the proof. I ripped my crown putting it on my head.
DSC_0044

And here is my lovely family. Laughing at me in the “Oh yes, you DO have a big head that ripped your crown!” My sister-in-law was kind enough to try and blame it on my hair and clips. We all can see what’s happening here. Thanks, Dad!
I especially love my brother’s expression of horror!

crown

I have decided to embrace it though – I took a photo from my Dad that had my uncle (who also claims to have a large head of hair) and I with a new crown, and I am using it as profile pic just about everywhere.

Yarn Along – December 28

from small things
~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
photo.JPG
I truly believe there is not much better than a big stack of books! I am a very lucky gal and this pile was given to me for Christmas. Make the Bread, Buy the Butter is fantastic so far – this book has made me chuckle several times. I love the “tell-it-like-it-is” – I have a cookbook that my mom and grandmother also have – when I got my copy I had to borrow mom’s to copy all her notes (Gooey, Not worth the trouble, Looks awful tastes delish!etc). The Knitter’s Book of Socks has been on my wishlist for a while. It is a readable book, a reference book, an inspiring knitting book. Good stuff. Dan’s next pair of socks are coming from that book I believe. The Big Book of Knitted Monsters has some fun toy patterns that has me eyeballing my stash leftovers. And another knitting book – Baby Beanies. My kid’s heads are only getting bigger and there is a new crop of babies due next year! At the bottom of the pile is a book my Dad made, “The Year Lorelai Met Nathaniel” – he puts together a photo book each year of some of his best shots. I do a similar project for the grandparents, but it is really nice to get one as well with different shots!

There is one lonely little hexi-flat. I am re-thinking the “Beekeeper Quilt” project. I am still planning to do it, over a long period of time, but now I think I do not want to stuff and puff these little pieces. This little hexi is 100% cashmere (LOVELY!) and the mini was sent to me through a “Secret Santa” swap on Ravelry. I knit it up on Christmas Eve while traveling and would keep stopping the knitting to fondle the fabric.

I love giving books at Christmas as well, and the Lorax received a new one that we have already read many times – Christmas in the Big Woods. Nate also received some new board books – Eric Carle and Dinosaurs, already big hits!
IMG_3588
IMG_3593

Christmas Knits

I have to say, I am quite pleased with myself and the gifts I knit for Christmas. There was no frantic weaving in of ends, and for the most part everything work as I intended it to. I found these great handmade gift labels to attach to each gift and include some care instructions on the backside. Each was received in the proper way, so I know I made good choices in knitting for the right people!

I made my first pair of thrummed mittens for my cousin. I found a kit at Rhinebeck this year that came with the yarn and fiber all together – I even went back to the Good Karma Farm booth to purchase a second kit and I do plan on making myself something thrummed because whoo-boy, they are warm and cozy!
Fleece Stuffed Mittens
I had to wing it a bit on the size, as my cousin told me she had small hands – but upon receipt she said they fit and really liked them, so that’s a win!

I am so proud of crocheting my first wearable, the Cardiff Cowl, in Malabrigo Silky for my Godmother.
IMG_3502
This was lovely right off the hook, and after a quick blocking it opened up even more. Win!

I also knit a cowl, Ptarmigan, a BrooklynTweed-Jared Flood design, for my sister-in-law.
Ptarmigan Cowl
The yarn is Delly’s Delight – “Oh So Soft” 100% alpaca – that we actually both bought our first time at Rhinebeck together back in 2009. I have plenty left over and am seriously considering making this again, for myself. I really enjoyed knitting this and it was hard to wrap it up and give it away.

Keeping with my own tradition, I knit another Koolhaas this season. This one is for my Dad.
2011 Koolhaas
I obviously had some trouble getting a good picture of this one – the yarn is Cascade 220 superwash in a really nice chocolate brown.

I was going to make a Koolhaas for my brother as well, but after talking with his wife she told me he would be happier with a plain plain plain hat. After some back and forth for ideas she suggested the Regular Guy Beanie
photo.JPG
I chose a slightly nicer yarn, Mountain Mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery, and enjoy the boringness of this hat pattern. My brother really liked it, so that’s all that matters. Especially if it means he will wear it.

Now I am feeling the itch to cast on *ALL THE THINGS*! I do have a sample knit that I am working on and is my current #1 priority, but I’ve got a mental list going – earflap hat for me, earflap hat for Lorelai, new socks for Dan, next hat for Nate, hexipuffs (which I’m thinking I may switch gears and go hexi-flat and not stuff them). I was generously gifted several knitting books and a set of blocking wires so that only fuels the fire to knit more and knit faster!

Professional Test Knitter

I am way behind on blog reading, thanks to a certain little nutmeg who seems to be sleeping through the night (*knock on wood that I didn’t just jinx myself!!*). I do make sure to read blogs of my Ravelry friends and fellow knitters. Did you catch the YarnHarlot‘s post about professional test knitting?

I test knit. I sample knit. I have done this for friends, for designers and for yarn companies. I have been compensated in some way or paid for my work, fairly, and the resulting work is quite good, if I do say so myself. For me, there are many positives to this sort of work – I get to work with yarns I might not usually choose, on patterns that I probably wouldn’t pick – it is good to expand my experiences. Each project also usually brings me a chance to learn or improve on a new skill. Even the most enjoyable jobs have the occasional downside and test / sample knitting certainly can have those moments, but it doesn’t keep me from doing it.

Here’s some of the work I have done: My Samples and Tests

I have put “Sample / Test Knitter” on my resume. I have worked with several well known names in the business. This sort of work requires me to work independently, sometimes with little direction, on a deadline and requires efficient communication. I would love to be “certified” as a test / sample knitter. I wonder if going through that “Master Knitter” program would be the closest thing? In the meantime, I will keep on knitting for my companies, I will keep on making friends with designers, and I will keep my eye on Ravelry and Twitter for test and sample knitting opportunities. Anyone hiring? I’m available!