New Post Blahs

Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the fact that Daytime Savings Time just arrived, my least favourite weekend of the year, but I’m feeling tapped for inspiration for a new post.  Life has been quiet, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I’m working away on Gryffindor Scarf 1 of 2, making good progress, my job is steady and keeping me busy, and I haven’t had any major excursions of late to share.  For where I am right now, everything is as it should be.

I have been happily wearing my mid-winter cardigan, which I finished a week or so ago.  My wonderful co-worker took a few pictures of me wearing it last week, so here they are.

Mid-Winter Cardigan - aka the sweater I haven't stopped wearing
Mid-Winter Cardigan – aka the sweater I haven’t stopped wearing

I repeat, life, right now, is good.

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Midwinter Project

My Midwinter Cardigan is almost complete.  It’s in that stage where it’s so close, but there’s still enough knitting left to keep me busy.  One sleeve.  That’s all.  It’s testing my patience because I want more than anything is to set in the sleeves and wear it, but… one sleeve.

Wet blocking my midwinter cardigan
Wet blocking my midwinter cardigan

Last night, I blocked the body and the one finished sleeve, and I’m working on getting that sleeve finished.  My goal is to be wearing this cardigan by the weekend, and with how cold it has been in southern Ontario, having a warm sweater to wear will be delightful.

I have loved everything about this project, from the bulky yarn it called for, making it a quick knit (I used 7 hanks of Berroco Vintage Chunky), to the cabling down the front, which made knitting long rows more interesting.  I managed to get gauge with using 7.5mm needles, a somewhat awkward size.  To make the sleeves, knit in the round, I tried my hand at the Magic Loop for the first time.  It took me a while to get used to this new-to-me technique, and it also was an adjustment to not get ladders where the stitches were divided; ultimately I got used to this method and sleeve number two is knitting up like a dream.

Finally, I love that the yarn I bought for this project was the first yarn I wound on the swift my father made for me.  I bought the yarn a) for this project, and b) so that I could use my new knitting toy, hand made by my amazing father.  This cardigan will always remind me of that beloved Christmas gift.

Now excuse me while I continue to work on this sleeve…

Sleeve, slowing approaching completion!
Sleeve, slowing approaching completion!

Oh, The Weather Outside is… Canadian?

Yes, I am Canadian, and proud of it.  I love my country, its history, its diversity, its beauty.  However, the one thing I could live without is our winter.  I don’t have too much of a right to complain.  I live in Southern Ontario, so our winters aren’t as bad as, say around the 60th parallel, but still, our winters can get a little frigid. Yes, the inner child in me loves the first snowfall, and I love having a white Christmas, but the adult driver in me curses the snowfall and having to travel in it!

This week, the weather got cold.  Waking up one morning, it was -10°C (or, for any American readers, about 14 Fahrenheit).  If anything, this weather has given me the push I need to get knitting, because, really, no knitter worth their salt should be cold.  A few years before I truly learned the craft, I was gifted a pair of mittens, and while they are nice and toasty, the quality was lacking, and after a short time, they were falling apart.  After far too long, I’ve made a replacement.

Rest in pieces, white store bought mitts...
Rest in pieces, white store bought mitts…

I made my mittens, a variation from Kate Atherley’s Alcazar Mittens.  One thing I loved about the falling apart mittens was the cable along the back, so I included a 6 stitch cable on my mitten.  For the right mitten, the cable is worked at the beginning of the round, and for the left, it is worked at the end.  As well, rather than decreasing to 4 stitches, then drawing the yarn through, I decreased to 16 stitches, then re-arranged the stitches and did a kitchener stitch bind off.  If I was to make another pair like this, I would decrease another 4 stitches before the bind off, but hindsight is always 20/2o.

Completed warm mittens
Completed warm mittens

I chose to use Loops and Threads Charisma yarn for this project.  I’m wool intolerant, so I often do gravitate to acrylic yarns, and although it can pill, I find Charisma soft and warm.  And for these mittens, it hasn’t let me down, as they are soft and keep my fingers warm.  I’m also not very patient, and it is bulky and knits up fast, so these mitts were a quick, satisfying project.

I’m hoping later this winter to make more of these quick mittens and donate them.