Monday, January 19, 2015


I wasn't planning to knit anything for the holidays this year but I ended up knitting three xmas gifts (technically four, since I made a matching hat and cowl for my mother). In reverse order of finishes, mum got the Scrollwork hat and cowl set worked in Malabrigo Rios.

The cables are fantastic, the instructions clear, and the fit of the cowl is great for cold, windy days. And Rios is a delightful yarn to knit with. Although I have to confess that after binge-listening to the podcast over the last couple of weeks and hearing Pam Allen discuss all of the nasty chemicals that go into making a wool yarn super wash, I'm a bit put off the idea of buying more at this point. Probably a good thing for my stash.

Anyway, Rios seemed to be my go-to yarn for knitted gifts this season since I also used it to whip up a Lacunae hat for my grandfather. I had worked a similar hat for Mr. Tinks and Frogs several years ago and decided to support the designer and actually purchase the pattern this time around since I didn't want to think too hard about the crown shaping. I should have just unvented the pattern again since I ended up working the crown shaping three times before finding something that would fit an average man-sized head.

To distract you from the fact that I don't have a good picture of that one, let me show you my sister's present, fetchingly modeled by Tadpole:

It actually looks half-way decent on me, too.

This is Shibui's Pebble/Peak Hat worked in Shubui Pebble held double. I cannot say enough good things about this yarn (except for maybe the price point, which is actually quite reasonable when you consider the fiber content). And the hat pattern is delightful - an interesting twisted rib pattern at the hem, several inches of stockinette you can zoom through, finished off with some clever grafting at the top.

Having been so productive with my holiday knitting, I really wanted to treat myself to something special. I'd been eyeing Gable from the latest Wool People and thought I'd try it in the Knitspot Stone Soup Fingering, which had recently come into my LYS. I eagerly picked out a color and brought some skeins home. Unusual for me, I sat right down to wind the first skein so that I could start swatching and ended up with this:

That's right, 19 separate segments of yarn were wound together into the skein. Let's just say I won't be trying that yarn again for a while. I'm very grateful for how gracefully my LYS handled the situation and let me return all four skeins. But doesn't change the sour taste I have from the whole experience and fact that I desperately want to be knitting a sweater right now (a sweater for me, that is). Anyway, I can take a hint - no sweaters for me for the time being.

So I went back to my trusty Rios and started up some more gift knitting. I love the cushy cables!

Now I just need to find the time to finish the piece and pop it in the mail. 

Time is always short around here but I've been making some for my newest crafty pursuit. Thanks to a blissful four-hour quilting extravaganza (courtesy of Mr. Tinks and Frogs for wrangling the girls and sending me out the door last weekend), I finished squaring up what must have been hundreds of half-square triangles and started laying out blocks.

I think I'm in love. Now I just need to lay out the last row of squares and start piecing everything together. Bets on how long that will take?

And I've been practicing my free motion quilting. Tadpole and I went to my favorite fabric store together a couple of weeks ago and she asked if I would make a quilt for one of her toys. How could I resist? So she's getting a mini quilt with all-over pebble free motion quilting using fabrics and thread that she picked out.

It's by no means perfect but I'm definitely seeing progress. Now if only I could figure out how to keep the thread from breaking while I'm working. Maybe I'll come up with an answer by the time I finish this piece. Fingers crossed!


Rachel said...

Here's the simple reason you need to post more: you pack so much goodness into one post that it's overwhelming! Where to begin? Great knits...all of them (but oh, the cable goodness on that gift--lucky recipient!). I've never tried Rios before...maybe a future yarn purchase after your glowing recommendation. But now I know which yarn I would not try. That's insane. Very happy to hear your yarn store would take it back.

And the quilt...I love it!! I particularly love the fabric choice here...beautifully saturated fabrics that aren't too busy. Really nice. And go you on free motion quilting! Can't wait to see this one finished.

Stephanie said...

Fantastic projects! I will have to check out the pattern pages for yardage requirements. I decided to knit hats for both my BILs for Christmas this year. Both in Malabrigo: Finito for the one who lives in Baton Rouge now and Arroyo for the one who lives in Akron.

So disappointing to hear about your skein of Stone Soup. I purchased 2 skeins (1 dark, 1 light) of Confection Worsted at her shop grand opening. (It's about an hour from my house.)

Quilt looks great; I love the colors! I couldn't turn down a request like that from DD either. I haven't had any requests, but her baby doll often wears her "going home from the hospital" hat and socks I knit her.

(sjn821 on Rav)