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Archive for the ‘Garter stitch’ Category

Back in 2013, I knit my younger sister, K, a Luxury Holiday Garland. It was a clever pattern, which used some simple short rows to create little six-pointed stars, and the end product was appropriately oohed and aahed over at my family’s Christmas Eve gift swap. I loved it. It seemed like the sort of Christmas decoration that might come out year after year, colorful and cheerful. K's garland - a charming rainbow pileThe issue was that I started it far too late in the year. I was knitting stars up until 12/20, blocking them until 12/22, and stringing them together on 12/23, cursing my procrastination the entire time. It was one of those projects that I enjoyed knitting for somebody else, but knew I wanted to knit again so I could have one of my very own. Of course, it took me just over three years to get around to doing it, in part because I was pretty burned out after that initial garland. Each star isn’t particularly time consuming on its own, but to get a good garland – apparently I’m a garland maximalist, because I feel that they are incomplete without at least 15-ish stars – is not an insignificant feat, and doing it on a time crunch was less than ideal.

My garland - skewing heavily towards blues and pinksSo this year, I had a brilliant idea – every time I finish a project, I’m knitting a star with the leftover yarn. Done a couple at a time, it should never feel particularly onerous, and when holiday season comes around all I will need to do is string them together before I have myself a lovely garland. An additional benefit is that I will be able to look at it and think of all the projects that went into its making – already I have the yarn from multiple hats, a Drachenfels shawl, and a pair of thrummed mittens.

An interesting side effect of this plan is that it throws my color choices for projects into sharp relief. I’m up to 8 stars at the moment, and they are skewing heavily towards the blue/purple/pink end of the spectrum. Pink is especially understandable this year – I have knit an inordinate amount of pussyhats, for myself and friends – but seeing them together and imagining how I want my garland to look makes me realize that I either need to branch out on colors or decide to knit some stars out of stash. Bring on the yellows and greens! It also makes me consider my yarn weight choices a bit – my natural inclination is towards fingering weight, but now that I have a couple worsted stars in the mix I feel like I need to balance them out.

Updates will be forthcoming.

 

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Beige and Stripey

img_2209My early attempts at knitting during breaks at my current job were, in hindsight, probably cursed.

On paper, I have a great commute. A pleasant walk to the subway, a fairly brief ride to downtown, a quick stroll to my office. There’s a bus I can take instead of the walk if I feel like it, and if one subway line is misbehaving (in winter, especially, always a possibility) there are two more within a reasonable distance.

My commute is cursed when it comes to knitting.  There was the time that a pushy fellow passenger bumped me and my bag into the wall hard enough that it snapped a wooden dpn. There was the time that I bumped myself and my bag into the wall hard enough that a metal needle pierced my bag and almost stabbed me in the process.

And knitting in the break room wasn’t much better for concentration. I’m in IT. People come to find me at all times. So anything that included lace, colorwork, or anything else that could be considered tricky inevitably got mangled. And when the goal of lunch time knitting is to relax, needing to carefully frog rows of mangled lace just doesn’t hit the spot.

All this to say that I have decided to have an office project, and that this project is a simple little garter stitch number in baby alpaca, which is lovely to knit with during my all-too-brief lunch breaks. Pattern is Swedish Lines by Caroline Wiens, knit in Cloudborn Fibers Baby Alpaca Fingering. I couldn’t stand the fabric I was getting on the called-for size 8s, and I don’t need a shawl that large anyways, so I’m using size 4 circs. Progress is slow, but I like what I’m seeing so far.

And as a bonus, I haven’t destroyed any needles or bags on the red line recently. And my rates of accidental needle stabbing have gone way down.

 

 

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