Monday, January 05, 2009

Knitting in the New Year

I had a wonderful Christmas, so this should in no way be seen as a complaint, but there was no yarn in my stocking. Not exactly, anyway. Well, not exactly - dh got my a gift certificate for a yarn shop. The bonus is that it's near where he works so I can have lunch with him when I use it.

But from a practical standpoint, I had no new yarn on Christmas. When everyone else was playing with their new toys, I had just empty needles. It's little like getting a new toy but having no batteries for it!

To fill the void, I dug into the stash and pulled out a lovely ball of purple that was a gift for last Christmas. I have spent a year gazing at it wondering what it was supposed to be. It refused to talk. Not even a hint. But on that day it screamed at me: I AM A HAT. MAKE ME A HAT! And so I did that very night. Thick thin yarn. Big needles. Quick knitting. Even the teens approve, which is a lot coming from them. The 6yo likes it so much she wears it whenever I'm not!

Then shortly after Christmas, I got yarn. Not just any yarn. Silk and merino yarn. From California. From my great friend Allison who knows that I'm not grooving on the cold and snow of New England. The name of the yarn - absolutely true - is Summer Dreaming. It's as lovely to touch as to look at. We had no problems with communication this yarn and I. It told me right away that it wanted to be a scarf. I found the perfect pattern - a lace variation of a bias pattern that I've knit before. It was tricky to get started, but just engaging enough once I figured it out. I finished on New Year's Eve, pretty much as the ball dropped in Times Square. To celebrate the new year, I made a hat to match the scarf. I wasn't quite sure if there would be enough yarn since Santa didn't bring my the yarn meter I requested (again not a complaint - just a statement of fact). It felt like enough and I figured it was worth the risk. As it turned out, I had enough with just a tiny bit left over.

This brings me to another New Year's resolution, however. I am determined to improve my hat sizing abilities. Most of mine are too big - even my nice thick brioche hat, which should be toasty but lets the wind in. those that aren't too big are too small. I'm like Goldilocks searching for the "just right." I do swatch, but it doesn't seem to help. Action: keep track of needle sizes and stitch counts to get a better sense of what is happening. Hopefully this will help me "head off" any problems in the future (lol)

Here is why I really appreciate the name of the yarn - Winter in New England is beautiful but bone chilling and now they say another storm is heading our way - one that might (gasp) force the schools to close just two days after they opened!


Allison said...

It's gorgeous and you knit them both so quickly! I'm impressed. So glad you like the yarn.

Dorothy said...

The hats and scarf are BEAUTIFUL!

Lisa L said...

That is too funny! I didn't get any yarn either, but all I wanted to do all day was just knit! I didn't even crack open the new book that I requested!

Beautiful hats despite their sizes!

Holly Jo said...

That is a bummer about no new yarn. Funny how non-knitters feel intimidated to buy knitters yarn.

It is hard to adjust when things are consistent. If you knit them all too big, you could just go down a needle size. You should check gauge midway through the hat - I find my gauge swatches are often off. Just a thought.

Here's hoping the kids went to school. :)