2013 Knitting Retrospective

The screens of thumbnails show my completed projects for 2013: 8 shawls, two grown-up vests, 2 baby vests, 2 shrugs, 8 scarves, 12 hats, 5 headbands, 8 cowls, 1 pair of fingerless mitts, 11 toys, 2 baby legwarmer sets, 7 pair of baby boots, 3 baby blankets and one hard-to-describe Grabbit. (My apologies with the slow loading time on the photo pages…I am working on it.)

Yipes! If you have any interest in looking back, here’s 2012, 2011 and 2010.

If you prefer a pop-up slideshow where you won’t have to click back and forth, the next view should work better for you. In this view, the captions underneath the photos identify the pattern and designer. Good knitting to you all in 2014!

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Molly by Susan Mills

Boot Toppers

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As a Savannah friend recently asked when I sent her this photo, what do you call those things anyway? (She didn’t mean the boots…boots she knows.) She was speaking of the pretty things stuck in the boots. Knitters mostly seem to call them boot toppers.

Sometimes you don’t know you need something until you see it. OK. Sometimes you don’t need the things that you see that catch your fancy. But this was a fun, quick knit and a colorful addition to my “each guest chooses” holiday basket. The chosen (this one was) are in the running for next year’s basket.

These worsted weight boot toppers are Leslie Taylor’s sensibly named “Fair Isle Boot Toppers.” The pattern was kitted-up with Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool, a great work-horse yarn available in all the company’s colorways. Look for the kit in your local yarn shop or on the web. It includes two dark colors and two color-changing teeny skeins. Mine had plenty of yarn to spare–enough for a fair isle coffee cozy.

Oh, just in case you’re wondering. Those spiffy-looking boots are brand new in this photo. We’re having a wicked winter so far here in Michigan. All I can say is, despite my siliconing the dickens out of them, the salt attack is in full-swing.

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Sputnik the Magnificent

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Meet Sputnik, the Magnificent. He’s designed by Annie Watts of Wattsolak Designs. Next time I knit him, I will choose more contrasting yarns. My Sputnik is a little more subtle-featured than is ideal. He’s knit in fingering weight yarn on size one needles, so at times the work is a bit fiddly. But what a hoot to see his stripes and especially his face emerging from the colorwork.

Watts has a wonderful collection of patterns of all sort, but I’m totally drawn to Sputnik and her toys. When I next have time to knit a stuffed buddy, Strelka the Valiant just might be it. But Watts’s Izzy Gator is also in competition for my knitting attention. Such clever designs!

I’ve learned something about something about something about, hmmm…might it be color temperature?  Anyway, who would have thought that these two colorways would melt into each other the way they do? It was news to me. I work under an Ott Light, where a yarn’s true colors stand out. I was quite far into the project before I realized I should have chosen a different set of colors.

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I am still very fond of Sputnik, though. He looks magnificent sitting under the Christmas tree. Here he is, showing off his tail.

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I-Cord Christmas Tree Garland

XmasGarland2I worked up these long strings of I-cord mostly knitting in public places many years ago. As I recall, I drew more than the usual amount of questions and comments, often (of course) asking me what I was crocheting. Each skein was about 4 ounces. I cast on 5 stitches and knit until the skein was used up. Since even back then there were I-Cord makers, I think this must mean I have a high tolerance for knitting boring stuff.

In the many years since, my I-cord garland is always the last addition to my messy little Christmas Tree.

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Milo

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This little vest is Milo, the brainchild of Georgie Hallam. She’s the talented Australian designer behind Tikki Knits. Her pattern is sized for newborn to six years, with chest sizes from 15 to 25 inches. The cabled column is a “knitter’s choice.” The pattern includes five cabled front panels, among them a very sweet set of stacked owls. I knit the horseshoe cable pattern. Milo is seamless, knit from the top down, and meant to be a bit close-fitting. Couldn’t be easier.

Isaac’s Milo is knit in DK weight Berroco Vintage. It’s an interesting, very soft, but somewhat splitty mix of  50% acrylic, 40% wool, and 10% nylon. I decided to knit the 9 month size to leave some growing room. The vest used just under 60 grams of yarn.

Milo appears on on more than 7000 Ravelry project pages. Patterns don’t reach those kind of numbers without having tons going for them.