I got a lot of that over the holiday break, in fact - I feel very lucky to have ended what in other ways has been a tough year in such a wonderful way. Rick's brother and sister-in-law and our niece came to spend nine days with us, and I loved every one of them. It was hard to see them go. I've got pictures to share another day, in fact - we did a lot (including running my first 5k, thanks to my SIL's inspiration - I still think that she slowed down for me, but I stuck to her heels, and made it over the finish line in the end; can you tell I'm feeling proud?).
Meanwhile, until I have all of that organized, I thought I'd share the last few knitting projects from the old year, just to wipe the slate clean, as it were. I didn't aim to do any holiday knitting, but I did finish one last baby surprise jacket plus booties for a friend's baby-to-be, and managed to give it to her at my LYS' holiday party - thank goodness, because her baby came a few weeks early! I don't have any pictures of the sweater and booties, alas, but I'm hoping that perhaps I can get a picture of them in situ, on the baby herself.
I also started and finished a sweater for Younger Daughter in the weeks just before Christmas. I saw two projects in IK Winter 2011 that I knew immediately were meant for my girls. The first was the Fabled Cardigan, which I wanted to knit for Younger Daughter. I promptly cast on after picking the yarn up at my LYS (I used Cascade EcoWool), and this knit up fast. I will never be a fan of chunky yarns and big needles (but wait 'til you hear what I'm working on now!), but I admit that this one is right for what it is.
I have also cast on for Older Daughter's project, of which I have no pictures as yet. I am knitting for her the Leif Slipover from IK Winter 2011, in Cascade Lana Grande (which I have an overwhelming urge to call Lana Grossa; perhaps this says something about how I feel about knitting on yarn this big), on size 15 needles, which are, frankly, not so much needles as boar spears.
I also knitted a little sweater for myself. I saw it (and the yarn) at my LYS during the holiday party there, and knew that I really had to have it for Christmas eve this year. I finished it at 3:30 on Christmas eve, an hour before people started to arrive for the annual
I also finished up the socks I started for Cat Bordhi's class.
Rav page. The yarn I used for this was Dye Dreams Luster Sox, and it was a very interesting experience. It's a lovely 3-ply yarn, made of Blue-Faced Leicester (BFL), which is perfect for socks in so many ways. However, I found that it handled very differently from the way I expect yarn to handle - it seemed to be picking up twist as I knitted. I finally checked and found, interestingly, that the yarn had been spun counter-clockwise and plied clockwise, which is opposite to the usual spinning and plying pattern for knitting yarns. I had heard and read many times that it is better for knitting yarn to be spun clockwise and plied counterclockwise, but this is the first time that I've worked with a yarn that hasn't been. It definitely makes a difference in the manageability of the yarn. I have some left over, so I want to take some time to play with it a little bit to see if I can really see what's going on when I throw the yarn to knit, and why that seems to be adding clockwise twist (which in turn causes the yarn to behave as if it were overplied). Very interesting.
Last, but not least, I finished the Not Stockinette socks that I cast on over Thanksgiving to alleviate my stockinette slump. These are the Isabella D'Este socks from the amazing Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Socks (I love every single one of her books, and would like to be her when I grow up).
I do have some knitting plans for the new year, but I will wait on those until I've taken some more pictures to go with them. I did, however, do some playing around on Ravelry this evening, and it seems fitting to end this with a recap of this year's projects:
30 projects started and finished in 2011, including:
7 pairs of socks
3 baby sweaters and booties
4 sweaters (two for me, one for my mom, one for Younger Daughter)
1 pair of mitts
Not too bad, all things considered.
Happy New Year!