One last project to finish off 2013

And it’s a familiar one!

Pattern: Odessa, by yours truly. I don’t typically knit the same pattern more than once, but I wanted to knit something of my own design for an upcoming charity auction. This pattern seemed to fit the bill.

Yarn: Berroco Vintage in Blue Moon (51191). Vintage is a little bit thicker than the Rowan Cashsoft DK originally called for in the pattern, but I didn’t notice any significant difference in fit – the hat came out just the right size. This colorway is gorgeous – a deep blue with a soft red/purple halo, how is that even possible? I had a difficult time capturing it accurately.

Needles and beads: US 4 and US 6 circs, as stated in the pattern. The beads are from Beadworks in Cambridge, purchased eons ago (first used, and rejected, here, actually). They are a matte silver, and pick up the blue around them nicely.

All in all, I knit 12 projects in 2013, plus sewed two cut chenille blankets and froggie hats for Halloween. Behind the scenes, there have been countless small projects for my house – hemming pants and too-long sleeves, sewing curtains for unusually-sized sidelight windows, et cetera.

But I’m certainly nowhere near the productivity of my single, child-free days (25 projects in 2006, that seems impossible now). What’s more, I feel completely out of the knitting loop. A funny example: to knit the hat above, I had to go to Ravelry and download a copy of the pattern – I no longer know where my own copy lives (electronic or paper)! And I designed it!!! I used to pride myself on being “in the know,” but now there are books, patterns, designers, yarns, needles, and approaches that I’ve never heard of. And such an abundance of them, too! (Clara Parkes is spot on with respect to pattern abundance in her review of 2013, if you haven’t read it yet.) One contributing factor to feeling out of the loop is the loss of several local yarn stores this year, most notably Windsor Button, where in a 30-minute visit I could quickly touch new yarns, look at new books and pattern booklets, and reconnect with the knitting world at large. Coincidentally, it’s where I bought the yarn to knit the above Odessa, where I saw the unique, un-photographable color of the yarn with my own two eyes, which convinced me to buy it.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I love knitting too much to just give it up (blogging, too). The pros continue to outweigh the cons. And so, I will continue to trudge along, knitting and blogging at my own pace. After all, there are new books, patterns, designers, yarns, needles, and approaches that I have yet to try!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for knitting. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

18 thoughts on “One last project to finish off 2013

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  1. Laurie

    Kathy,

    It’s always good to “hear” from you. You were one of the first bloggers I discovered way back when … way back, I believe when you designed and knit your Tivoli top!

    Now I have a daughter in college in the Boston area (I grew up in the area but moved away long ago), and we both are still bemoaning the demise of Windsor Button. My daughter has found a small LYS in Porter Square – nice, but well, so different. We compensate by taking an annual day trip to Webs, which is altogether its own kind of wonderful.

    Your post today made me laugh – I cannot believe you had to “ravel” Odessa! I’ve made several of them, and I must say that pattern has stood the test of time. (Oh my – remember the brouhaha over MagKnits?)

    I wish you all the best in 2014 – as your son grows up, you’ll find yourself once again with far more time for yourself, and it will be bittersweet. Until then, savor every moment. Hard to imagine sometimes, but it is over so quickly.

    Happy New Year!

    Laurie

  2. Mary

    Glad you are still at it. Enjoy your son! My oldest ones were born 10 minutes ago and are going to college next year. The yarn and fabric will still be there.

  3. Joanna

    Happy New Year to you and your adorable family! Keep on knitting and keep on blogging. Don’t even consider abandoning either. When Gregory is a bit bigger, it will be a lot easier.

  4. Sue

    The beauty of knitting is that it’s a lifelong thing – there have been years when I haven’t knit a thing. When I returned to the “community” I felt like I had landed on the moon. But if the interest is there it becomes a fun new adventure, catching up and charting new directions. Don’t be too hard on yourself – enjoy your life.

  5. Sarah

    Keep it up! As a mother of small people myself I find encouragement and enjoyment reading what other people are doing. I’m using the Berroco Vintage myself to make a pullover sweater for me….maybe I’ll finish it this year…..

  6. Amber

    I found you recently as a “you might like this based on your apparent yarn obsession” through my RSS reader. I’m glad I did, and I’ll look forward to posts as they come :)

  7. Eleanor (undeadgoat)

    Well I was going to comment on one of the old chenille blanket posts you linked for year-in-review but then your new comment policy (which I totally agree with) stymied me. This is just RE: buying too little fabric on your first blanket over the summer: (1) as a former fashion school attendee, I can tell you with 100% certainty that ANY cotton fabric you buy from a fabric store WILL shrink in the wash and you should always round up by 10% and (2) as a chain fabric store employee (not Jo-Ann but I imagine their policies are similar) that it’s not the STAFF at Jo-Ann giving you the off-grain cuts . . . it’s corporate policies stating fabric must not be ripped in the store, but cut precisely as it presents itself on the bolt (unless there’s a clear horizontal stripe for single-layer cutting). Usually 6 inches will be more than enough to straighten the grain at home, but you should always assume you’ll have to.

    (And just in life in general, if you encounter incompetent staff who are paid minimum wage or not much more, minimum wage is not a living wage anywhere in this country so it leads to high turnover, especially for competent people, which in turn leads to insufficient training before new employees are unleashed on customers.)

  8. Mary K. in Rockport

    Always a nice little jolt to see a new entry from you. The “Odessa” is one of the few patterns I’ve made more than once (3? 4? times) because of requests for the hat. It’s also, funnily enough, a pattern that I always struggle with a little bit, and have to use markers. I hope you’re getting a snow day today with Gregory – they say there are no more beautiful words in English than “snow day”!

  9. Kathy

    I really miss Windsor Button too — it was right around the corner from my office. Gorgeous hat — I’ve always wanted to knit it — maybe this is the year! Happy New Year!

  10. Amy

    So glad you are continuing to blog – and knit! Love to see photos of Gregory as he grows, and I’ve always appreciated your posts. I’ve tried several patterns and bought several books, based on your reviews and posts of finished projects.

  11. maureen

    Happy New Year! Odessa is still one of my favorite knits. I have made it several times for my daughters. I too don’t normally knit a pattern more than once but I make an exception for Odessa always an enjoyable knit!

  12. claudia

    I also used to be “in the know” about knitting stuff, but no longer. However, after a long knitting funk, I’m hopefully coming out of it.

    Odessa was a lovely project. I remember enjoying making it back in the day. I’m actually knitting another Yulie. So there is a trend of repeat Gumperina-pattern-knitting.

  13. Katinka

    I need to share this with you…Carolyn Greenwood of Greenwood Fiberworks is local-ish to me, and she spoke at my knitting guild in the fall. She shared how she started dyeing yarn on a lark, and how it wasn’t until a popular blogger posted about her stretchy cotton sock yarn that things exploded overnight. As she was saying this, I thought, “Hey, that was Grumperina!”

    Carolyn has a flourishing business now both in mail order and in fiber fairs, and you had some part in that. :)

  14. Kathy

    thank you for deciding to stick with blogging. I feel like so many good blogs have just faded away. I know what you mean about reduced productivity – with my little one at 7 months, there seems to be no time anymore. Happy 2014.

  15. Lynne Barr

    I think it’s fortunate that you love knitting and blogging too much to give it up. You would be missed. And your productivity is way more than mine was when my kids were young! Have a wonderful 2014 being a mom… and knitting and blogging.

  16. Miranda

    Happy New Year! I have been reading your blog ever since I started knitting seriously. It’s been so wonderful to see your family grow, and I’ve learned a lot from you over the years.

    All the best wishes to you, Mr. Sweetness, and Gregory for a wonderful year!

  17. sarah

    Hi Kathy,

    I love your posts so please keep writing. We can be patient and know the demands of a toddler.

    I have been a knitter for over 50 years and it is still a joy…and as Sue said above there have been some dry spells where I became infatuated with cross stitch or rigid heddle weaving.

    Now with a little granddaughter to keep in knitted outfits, I am in my glory and am back in production mode.

    Thanks for your humor and the great photos and explanations. More of that adorable little boy, please…

    Best wishes in the New Year

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