Still cold outside, still cozy and just right inside. To the low-key weekend bliss that consists of lying on the couch, by my favorite window, with good podcasts in my iPod* and knitting needles in my hands, this short season brings an additional tree: lying on the couch, etc, etc, with the Christmas tree twinkling just for me a few feet away, its faint scent of pine an absolute treat.
Even during a holiday full of great movies to see, it is hard to pull oneself away from the couch. This year, the temptations are few. Having given three long hours of my life to Benjamin Button yesterday (and resenting it just a tad -- two hours would have been enough) I really deserved a knitting marathon this afternoon.
I promptly finished my silver and black wisp of a scarf -- it looks pretty good even without an official blocking, but a photo will have to wait daylight. This was a piece-of-cake project, a delight to knit. I can't wait to try other color combos with the feather-and-fan pattern.
My other active project has been a bit of a drag. A long-lost, recently found again friend of the family just had a baby girl. I wanted to welcome her in style but didn't get inspired until right after the birth, over Thanksgiving.
I swatched a few possibilities, but nothing clicked until I walked into a yarn shop and stumbled upon a good selection of Mission Fall 1824 wool. There on the shelves sat some skeins in a warm raspberry red that called my name.
I decided to knit a simple cardigan/jacket, using Sweater Wizard for a baby-size pattern. The body was knitted in one piece, with 3-needle bind-offs at the shoulders and sleeves knitted down. Since the photo was taken this afternoon, I have knitted the second sleeve and one of the button bands. I am going to use one-row buttonholes and add a polo-style collar. Easy-peasy.
But, I must say, not all that much fun. I loved the yarn at first, still do, but I am having second thoughts about using worsted weight yarns for baby garments. This thing feels heavy to me. I'll stick to lighter yarns for babies in the future.
In the department of projects I am toying with, may I present
I pulled out an old issue of Knitter's Magazine (Fall 1999, the glory days of Knitter's in my opinion) because it contained an article on buttonholes written by Sally Melville. On the top of this picture, you may notice the post-it tabs that amount to my filing system for knitting magazines. Techniques and patterns that catch my eye get a tab with a brief notation on it. I even attempt some minimal color coding: green for technical articles, orange for baby patterns, yellow for home decor and accessories, pink for women's patterns. This single issue is peppered with ten tabs. Recent copies of the magazine have been woefully bare of tabs, which is why I am finally pulling the plug on my ancient subscription to Knitter's.
But we'll always have Paris! or in this case, some pretty good back issues like this one. I have been looking for cabled cardigans that are not too heavy, that emphasize vertical lines and that call for dk or light worsted yarns. I especially like cables that grow organically from the waist ribbing.
What I am less crazy about is the dowdy classic neck shape. I would want to change it either to a v-neck or perhaps an open funnel neck which would be more contemporary.
I swatched yesterday, with a gorgeous muddy green yarn from Shelridge Farm that has been waiting forever for the right project. I need to block the swatch and do some math. If I like the way the 2/2 ribbing behaves, I'll cast on for this one pronto. And still make time for Gran Torino, Milk and Cadillac Records in between rows.
*Two of my favorite (non-knitting related) podcasts these days come from the New Yorker magazine. The fiction podcast features one short story a month, from the magazine's archives, chosen and read by another New Yorker author. It is almost always a good discovery; and the Transition podcast (formerly the Campaign Trail podcast) always offers some bright perspectives from the political editors at the magazine.