I promised you knitting content, and knitting content you shall have! First up is a simple mostly-garter-stitch shawl/scarf that will just be the thing to keep out the chill (and I DO mean a real chill, even indoors! The winter weather has finally roared into NYC with low low temps and I’m finding myself pilin’ on the knits even when I’m working indoors. Things could be worse, I suppose, if I didn’t have any hand knits at all…)

Damson

This is Damson, designed by the well-known and well-loved Scottish designer, Ysolda Teague. This is a perfect traveling/subway/small space knitting project and it’s coming along nicely in Blue Sky Alpacas’ Alpaca Silk in their “blueberry” colorway. You can see in the picture above that this dk-weight 50/50 blend of alpaca and silk has both a slight halo, a slight sheen, and drape drape drape! Because there are so many increases at the edges, this will be a cinch to wrap around the neck in great folds for total warmth. Once I finish the larger garter-stitch crescent, there’ll be a bit of lace at the edges. (And by the way, those are German Addi Turbo Lace Needles there – I love the super spiky points, it makes manipulating the stitches so much easier, if not a little more dangerous.)

Moving on, I thought that a nice big sweater project would be just right for nighttime knitting (or any time I’m knitting and can really spread out) and one of my very favorite sweater designers is Hannah Fettig of Knitbot in Maine, because she always creates such simple, but timeless, designs.

Trail jacket

This is her Trail Jacket design, which I’ve modified quite a bit (not because the original pattern isn’t awesome- it is!) because I always planned to make some sizing changes and also because my gauge was a bit tighter than I wanted, so I also had to make some math changes to accommodate the smaller gauge. A few of the changes include: no A-line shaping, one less button, and a narrower fit through the bust and waist. As you can see, I’m already to the sleeve because sweaters knit on US10.5 needles knit up fast, even if you’re a slowpoke English knitter!

The yarn is a relatively new discovery of mine, and it’s a dream to work with – if you can, get your hands on some of these skeins with seriously generous yardage because I know you’ll love it too! It’s Fiberphile’s Super Squish Worsted yarn in her “Turkey Hill” colorway, a complex hand-dyed blend of reds, browns, and oranges. Here, take a closer look at the yumminess (and the color is deeper than this, my lighting was bad…):

Trail jacket

I’m also planning (I think) to lengthen the sleeves, so I think I’ll end up needing 4 skeins of this yarn, even for this smallest size. If nothing else, I like having the 4 skeins so that I can alternate skeins as I knit to keep the variations between the skeins minimized.

So that’s all the knitting I’ve got to show you at the moment. I’ve got a couple design ideas in progress, both for self-publishing and 3rd party publication. Obviously the 3rd party ideas are Majorly.Top.Secret. for the time being, but once I’ve got the next self-publication idea on the needles, you’ll be seeing it grow.

I guess that my upcoming ideas are a natural segue into what knitting resolutions, if any, I might have for 2012. I think, in a way, I only have one resolution and that is to just Keep On Keeping On. For someone relatively new to design, I think the only way to expand my horizons and design boundaries is just to keep practicing. Practice may never make perfect, but practice will definitely make for a more experienced designer with a better sense of her individual style and a more finely tuned sense of what will work in knitting and what just won’t cut it. If Keep On Keeping On is the main resolution bullet point, then maybe some subheadings would be “publish more designs,” “create some color work designs,” and “work with more publications.” I’m sure I could come up with a bunch more if I sat here and thought about it intently, but part of the design process, I’m starting to discover, is organic. That is, the process can only be forced so much and after that, it’s as much about serendipitous daydreaming as anything else. After all, haven’t they proven that workers who daydream a bit each day are more creative and more inspired employees? Sure, yes, I’ll go with that. 🙂

Hope the beginning of 2012 is going great for you and I’ve got the perfect antidote for any cold weather that may be barreling your way: KNIT!

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