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Posts Tagged ‘hobbies’

Erie hat pom pom knit table

I used to be quite a prolific knitter.

Especially the first few years I lived in Boston, I was always making something – fingerless gloves for my girlfriends, sweaters for my then-baby nephews and niece, so many hats and cozy cowls for myself. These were also the years of Downton Abbey and Castle, Lark Rise to Candleford and Sherlock and Grantchester. I’ve never been a big TV watcher, but an hour here and there added up to lots of knitting over the years.

And then a couple of years ago, I just…stopped.

We’d moved again, and several of my favorite shows had gone off the air, and I couldn’t really justify knitting myself yet another hat or scarf. I spend more of my evenings running than sitting at home these days, and so the knitting fell by the wayside. But around Thanksgiving, as the hubs and I were watching Modern Family or doing the NYT crossword (possibly both), I realized I had itchy fingers. So I picked up a skein of Madelinetosh sock yarn I’d had sitting around for ages, and I started knitting – just a round or two here and there.

Two months later, I have an Erie hat – cozy and soft. And I decided it was high time I owned something with a pom-pom. (Red, of course.)

It’s been a comfort to have something back on the needles, and to watch the progress, stitch by stitch, round by round. The merino wool feels good in my hands. And when the weather in New England does its schizophrenic thing, I have another way to keep out those biting winds.

I’m not sure I’ll dive back into knitting the way I once did. But I am eyeing the Queensland Beach headband pattern, with some yummy red yarn I have in my stash…

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Selfish Knitting Month

I went crazy with Christmas knitting this year. When all was said and done, I knitted three pairs of felted slippers, four cowls, three pairs of fingerless gloves, three hats and a set of three dishcloths for gifts. (I did start this madness in October, so it wasn’t quite as frantic as you might assume.) However, by the end of December I was good and ready to knit something for myself – and so I declared the time from Christmas to the end of January “Selfish Knitting Month.” (I did steal the name from Melynda, whose French Press Slipper pattern made several lovely Christmas gifts.)

I’d been jonesing for a red hat for months, so over Christmas I knitted myself a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret in a lovely, deep red Malabrigo colorway called Sealing Wax. Here it is:

(This was one of the quickest things I’ve ever knit – and it is so soft. It stretched out a little with wear, but after a wash and some fiddling, it fits fine again.)

Next up was one of Melynda’s patterns – the Breckenridge Cowl, made with the leftover Sealing Wax and a pink-and-red colorway called Amoroso. Hence I dubbed it the Valentine Cowl.

I’ve since added two toggle buttons, bought on Etsy, to keep it closed – but the post-button photos aren’t quite as good. I love these colors – and it’s SO soft and cozy. (I always thought I hated wool until I discovered Malabrigo Merino Worsted.)

I apparently can’t get enough of Melynda’s patterns, or cozy cowls, or shades of red – so I had to knit her Autumn Orange Cowl pattern (since mine is cranberry-colored, it’s my Cranberry Cowl):

(Somewhere in here I attempted a black slouchy beret, but had to frog it – rip it out – because it was HUGE when I finished. I was disappointed – but have big plans for another pattern with the same yarn.)

My most recent triumph – just finished last night – is a pair of Princess Mitts, to provide a little contrast to my lovely red coat:

This braided cable is by fair the most complex pattern I’ve ever attempted – and it came out beautifully. I am SO pleased. (And so in love with the softness of Malabrigo Silky Merino.)

I have at least another hat and cowl planned for me before I get back to gift and charity knitting (though I have squeezed in a hat for Lizzie and another pair of slippers since Christmas). It’s lovely once in a while to be able to knit for yourself, without guilt and with enjoyment – and if the weather forecast is correct, I’ve got plenty of cold weather left to enjoy my new handknits.

Thanks for letting me gush about Selfish Knitting Month. Now, to go and cast on the next project…

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