I'm in the middle of knitting a gorgeous sweater for myself, but it's the sort of knitting that requires focus and focus is something I seem to be lacking lately. So I work on it in short bursts and balance it out with smaller quicker projects.
I've had lots of excuses for little projects lately. The weather turned cold and I immediately cranked out a few hats and a lovely pair of mittens for my friend Amy (which I forgot to photograph before giving to her). These sorts of projects are perfect for the mood I've been in lately. Life is busy, you know? I need little projects that I can finish quickly and feel a sense of accomplishment. A few friends have obliged that need by having babies. Baby sweaters are the best little projects because you can crank them out and when you're done you've made a whole sweater - just on a small scale.
This week I finished Roo for Bill and GL's baby Alazne. The sweater is adorable, but, seriously? Look at that face!
I used Berroco's Vintage Wool for this, which is a revelation. This stuff is 50% Acrylic, 10% Nylon, and 40% Wool, but touching it you wouldn't know it's anything but super soft wool. It knits up gorgeously and it's completely easy care - throw it in the washing machine. The only trouble I had with it was a bit of slipperiness when doing the cables without a cable needle (as I do) and when winding it on the ball winder. After winding the skein into a ball, it was a mess from the yarn slipping - straggly loops hanging off that I knew would end up making tangled nightmares while I was knitting. I rewound the ball into a new ball and it was better.
I had some leftover Queensland Rustic Wool (another superwash for easy care) in my stash and when my friend Jill had her baby girl in August (named Kathleen, like me, but they're shortening it to Katie with an 'ie') I whipped out this little top (it's Boheme by Fiddlesticknitting).
Earlier in the summer, I went through all of my unfinished projects (an embarrassing number I wont quote here....) and found this little Tomten that was finished except for one sleeve. I taught this jacket as a class at Webs in the spring and this was my class demo. I've made several of these in the past and it remains one of my favorite patterns ever. In fact, it's a sure sign of autumn when there are Tomten sightings in my neighborhood.
This Tomten has ties to several of my knitterly/fibery friends. The yarn (which I believe is Valley Yarn's Superwash) was dyed by Gail the Kangaroodyer. These were sample skeins which Gail gave to Melissa a few years ago. Last year, a few of us staged an intervention at Melissa's house and made her go through her enormous (I have a big stash, but, folks, this one was unbelievable - literally a room full of boxes stacked to the ceiling) yarn stash and get rid of things. I ended up coming home with these skeins after making a promise to Melissa that I would so something special with them. I think this is pretty special. It still needs a zipper (but zippers scare me) and then I'll be waiting for the right child to come along and claim it.
In addition to little sweaters, I made a little gift for my Dad for his birthday last month. Those of you who know him, will understand why I HAD to make this as soon as I saw the pattern.
It's done in Valley Yarn's Northampton (lovely basic wooly goodness). And the pattern is from an ebook by Leah Sutton which also has patterns for a VW Beetle and VW Bus. The construction is a bit complex, but the instructions are good and I'm impressed by the engineering/construction skills that Leah must have put into this.