Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year's Knitting

Hello, it's me again! Back from the abyss of Christmas in the countryside. Well, almost back - we leave Suffolk in two days, so I'm gearing up for a return to society. I was brought low by a nasty cold over the holidays, so I wasn't really up for much excitement over Christmas, but eventually one starts to recover, and the country quiet becomes positively stultifying. Every other year I look forward to some peace and quiet over Christmas, and every other year I start going stir crazy after about a week. Alternate holidays we spend with my folks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is also maddening, in its own way. We usually try to make a trip to DC or NY to get some relief from those leaden Michigan winter skies. In Suffolk we make it in to Ipswich a couple of times. Which really can't even begin to compare.

Anyway, Christmas this year was dispatched quickly enough, with one gift each and no singing, as everyone was sick and thus liable to lose their voice. New Year's also passed relatively quietly, with one firework and ancient sparklers that refused to light. And I settled on a couple of New Year's resolutions, even though I don't believe in them.

Resolution 1: To knit a sweater for my mother.

I've been planning to knit a sweater for my mother for Christmas for several years, but by the time I actually get started on my Christmas knitting, around the beginning of December, it is far too late. So this year I've decided to start her sweater in January. That way, even if I don't complete it before I set aside all woollen knitting in spring, I'll still have time to finish it off when I pick up wool again in the fall. My mother even has a pattern picked out. However, I'm not going to be able to knit her choice, because the pattern calls for 3 ply yarn, and I've learned the hard way to never again knit anything with sleeves in anything less than 4 ply weight.

Anyway, I don't think the pattern she picked out is particularly flattering. Here it is (Stone Garden Jacket from Japanese Inspired Knits):

And here is the pattern I'm going to do instead (Medallion Jacket from Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/09 in nice, quick knitting 10 ply worsted weight):

I will no doubt change my mind, but I do think the second jacket is more suitable. Nice and funky, and it looks like it would be a fun knit.

I've managed to finish up a number of projects over the holidays, so I might even be able to allow myself to start a pattern I've had my eye on for a while, a Fair Isle cardigan from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2009. It calls for 5 ply yarn, so just manages to make it over the insane knitting weight threshold.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot.

Resolution 2: go to bed at 11pm and read for an hour before going to sleep, instead of knitting until midnight. Obviously there is a tension between knitting and getting anything else done (to be further complicated once gardening starts up again in the spring) which is why I am determined to get started on next year's Christmas knitting right away.