Monday, January 14, 2019

Happy January

Hello there, friends!  How are you?  Happy January.  I didn't meant to be away so long.  The last few weeks have been so January-ish.  Basically I'm just slumped in a chair watching ten episodes in a row of Mr. Robot and knitting.  Lying in a cozy little heap in front of the fireplace, trying to keep the catdog from licking my face.  Stirring the soup pot.  Banishing dust bunnies from the distant corners. Moving from one chair to another, lazily following the occasional rare beams of actual sunshine around the house.

I have so much to show you all, I can't even think where to start.  Those mittens up there (Milet, by Ysolda, knit in Rauma Finull (navy and gold) and KnitPicks Palette (cream) finally got finished.  I started those when feeling all christmassy, but I lost steam after the first one and it took a bit of giddyup to crank out the second mitten.  They're gorgeous and I love them, but they are knit in fingering weight yarn and it's honestly just too cold around here for that kind of thing.  I think I'll try to make a lining for them, but that's at the bottom of the list right now.  Also, this sweater is done, and hoo!  It almost did me in.  This is Lucky (me) by Solenn Couix-Loarer, and I knit it in Maine Organic from Green Mountain Spinnery.  This colorway is called, um, "gray."  This yarn was one of my Rhinebeck purchases this year, and I can only say that I love/hate it.  It has made a beautiful garment--I think this is one of the best things I've made in a long time--but I did not enjoy knitting with that yarn.  I can't even really put my finger on the reason--it was very sheepy and woolly and minimally processed and it is the best natural color ever, but it was just no fun.  This pattern was easy on the brain (I did modify some of the cables because they were just too big for me to work without a cable needle, and ya'll, I'm not using a cable needle) but the yarn made me not want to work on it.  Of course, after an extra-sudsy warm bath in the sink, it fluffed up and became lovely (I thought it probably would) and can you believe I had enough buttons already in the cupboard?  This sweater has the sweet smell of victory on it.

Speaking of sweet, holy moly!  Take a look at these socks, would ya?  Oh man, I know.  I know!  These are Selbu Socks by Skeindeer Knits, knit in Regia 4-ply (red) and Cascade Heritage fingering (gray).  They are full of my mistakes, but honestly, they are so beautiful I don't even care.  I learned three new skills in order to make these, most significantly the Magic Loop method (here's what that's all about, in case you're interested) and I loved every frustrating minute of it.  This is the year I'm going to learn things.  Word of the year = LEARN.

There's still room for self-care.  Between those two those knuckle-busters, I needed something soothing, and this came along to save me.  This is the European Road Trip Shawl, a beautifully simple freebie by Espace Tricot, that involved (almost) nothing but plain, unshaped stockinette knit according to my whimsy in smooth, soft, beautiful sock yarns from my stash.  In here is three skeins of Fiberrarium Conservatory Sock (colorways "slate" "sycamore" and "dusty") one skein of Holland Handmade Co MCN sock in "Ciel" and Dream in Color Baby, colorway "In Vino Veritas".  I tossed in two speckled Kestrel Minis in colorway names I can't remember right now.  Every time I couldn't take another minute of cabling or it got too dark to see the tiny sock stitches, I picked this up, and it was done in a flash.  I'd make another, but I haven't figured out how to wear this one yet.  You know how that is.

I hope you're all having slow, sweet, sunny winter days.  January can feel like a time when we have to  somehow improve ourselves, and you may be feeling for one reason or another like you're navigating some rough water, but I want you to know that you are already beautiful.  Yes, you are.  Don't be afraid to learn, and know that it's okay if you get it wrong at first.  Getting things wrong is just the beginning of getting things right.  Find a piece of sunlight and sit in it.