Oh January….

Oh January, why do you act this way every year?  You start with a day or so off filled with the sparkle of the New Year, and then you push straight through to the hustle of crazy busy at work, short days, and cold, gray gloominess outside.  January is filled with projects and events for me.  Tax receipts need to be sent by the end of the month, and I feel the weight of that as the holidays wrap up.  The decorations are down, all the cookies have been thrown away or we are pretending not to see them on the counter, and veggies have once again filled the crisper drawer.

On the flip side, every time it snows, the world is covered in a fresh, clean layer of white.  January is a good time to toss the stash and remember which yarn you have that you adore and want to work with.  It’s a time to knit without thoughts of giving something as a gift or the pressure of a deadline.  (By the way, there was no gift knitting at my house this year.  None.  It felt kind of weird, but maybe weird in a good way.)  It’s time to pick out pretty yarn and knit for the love of knitting.

It’s also a good time to be OK with being in the middle of a project (or three) that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast.  Somehow, I managed to bind off several projects at the beginning of the month and promptly cast on another two.  I’m in that mindless slog through the middle of each project where I feel like there’s never going to be an end.  I even have a sock (the second sock!) that is in the middle of the foot.  I’m trying to be patient with myself and tell myself its ok.  There’s no rush to get to the next project.

Gothic Lace Cowl

Yarn:  Malabrigo Rios – 2 skeins that I had in my stash.

Mods:  None.  I am working the large size and planning to do the crochet button holes.

This is a relatively simple lace pattern that my brain is having trouble with.  For some reason, I cannot remember if I should be K2tog or SSKing.  Really, it’s not hard and I should be able to glance at my knitting to see which way the decrease lays.  However there comes a point at night where I just need to put this away and work on something simple.

There was a bit of a tragedy with the yarn bowl you see above.  The bowl usually sits on a small yarn storage bin end table beside the couch.  This spot on the couch is what we call “the sweet spot.”  It’s the spot that everyone tries to get first because of the way our tv is placed.  Well, my husband took the spot on the couch and so I was at the opposite end.  I had the bowl on the couch beside me and as I jerked the blanket out from under my husband adjusted the blanket, the bowl fell on the floor and broke.  My husband was kind enough to repair it, I’m just waiting for the repair to dry fully before using it again.

So what are you working on this month?


Brioche-Ing Through the Snow

Remember this post where I listed a bunch of unfinished projects that I wanted to get done?  Well…. yeah, I’m working on it.  I got completely sidetracked by one of the projects.

I drank the Brioche stitch Kool-Aid.   And you know what?  It’s good.  It’s very good.  Brioche is squishy and satisfying to knit.  It also works up quickly, as you slip every other stitch.  It’s kind of addictive!

It’s the Rudbeckia Hat.  I knit one as a class sample.  Then I bought more yarn (I have a strange lack of dk weight yarn in my stash) to make a second hat.  I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to see if I start to brioche everything ala Stephen West, or if this second hat gets it out of my system.

Rudbeckia Hat

Yarn:  RavenTwist Superwash Merino.  This lofty yarn feels like it’s got cashmere in it.

Mods:  None, knit as written as I feel the need to follow it to the letter for the class’ sake.

Addie claimed this hat almost as soon as it was knit.  And because I think that she looks adorable in it (and it’s a step (or three) above the WWII brimmed hat she’s been wearing), I let her keep it.  Since RavenTwist is not yarn that the shop I work for carries, I felt like the second hat should be out of something we sell there.

Rudbeckia Hat II

Yarn:  Rowan Pure Wool dk

Mods:  Since the first hat turned out on the large and very slouchy side on me, I decided to stick with the smaller needle for the entire hat.  Otherwise no mods were made.  The hat is still slouchy, but in less of a Rastafarian sort of way.