Honestly, I wouldn't blame you if you had concluded that I had given up knitting altogether! But let me reassure you: I had not given up on knitting, I had given up on FINISHING! And unfinished projects do not make for impassioned blogging.
But I've had a burst of energy, no doubt tied to my mania for decluttering the house--by the way, check out these before and after photos of my office/fiber room:
But there's still a lot of stuff, even if it IS stuff I wanted to keep:
There was an interesting post about de-cluttering on The Simple Dollar (a very good blog that covers all aspects of personal finance, whether you have an immediate need to downscale or just want to keep out of trouble). My goal is to use a significant amount of this fleece and roving in 2009. Full disclosure: this photo does not show my yarn stash or my teaching yarns, nor does it show the 3 fleeces in the closet. It's funny--I know that I am not a hyperaccumulator, but even purchasing at a slow rate results in a large stash when you use it up even more slowly.
So, here is the absolutely darling baby sweater for Vincent, my new cousin of some degree who knows how many times removed (the daughter of my newly discovered Swedish cousin Elisabeth just had a baby boy last week):
"Babies and Bears" pattern from Cottage Creations
Wool-Ease worsted weight yarn
Blue Heather color
This is the cutest little sweater and a wonderful pattern to knit--highly recommended for being so well written that a beginning knitter could make it. My photo doesn't show the nice textural effects of the mitered garter stitch and some gansey patterning.
I've also finished the ill-fated Nantucket Jacket, which looks like an amorphous blob in this photo--I'm posting it anyway as proof that I've got this far:
Nantucket Jacket by Norah Gaughn (Interweave Knits Winter 2006, but I don't need to say that because everyone has already made this sweater)
You may remember my speed cable technique, perfected in this sweater. Well, waiting until I felt relaxed and clear headed, I snipped the yarn at the top of where the cables were supposed to be and I dropped the 6 stitches down to the bottom. Then I reknit the cables row by row. The most difficult part was grafting the opening at the top. I want to warn you to calculate your cable crossings so that you don't graft in the row right above the cross. I mean it.... Last night I deciphered the crochet edging instructions and now the garment is blocking. Just the buttons to go.
And take a look at the Monteagle Bag!
Monteagle Bag from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines (free download!)
This was a challenging little knit--lots of tricksy stitches to try out (resulting in some inventive new swear words as well)--but the end result has proved itself to be a very useful little bag. Be sure to avail yourself of the technique videos Ann and Kay have posted on their blog--trust me, my experience is that you quite simply cannot figure these fancy dancy stitches out from the text alone. In the photo, you can see why I love California: it's December, and there are our mandarin oranges, ripening in the background!
The Redbud Vest is moving along as well:
So there! Now it's time to start decorating for the holidays....