oh-nine.

Well, here they are: the 2009 knits still in my possession. This year I knit 3 sweaters (4, if I manage to get the GYC butons on today), 3 pairs of socks, 10 hats, 4 baby gifts, 2 pair of toast mitts, 4 shawls, and a cowl (in a pear tree).

I took a look at my oh-nine goals, and I’m feeling pretty good about my fibery progress this year. I wanted to finish 28thirty, and I did. I wanted to knit toe-up socks, and I did. I wanted to successfully knit a short row heel, and I did (though the pair isn’t done). I started knitting socks on 2 circular needles. I wanted to learn how to ply on my drop spindle, and I did. I wanted to spin a 3-ply sock yarn, and I did (though I did it on the wheel, not the spindle).

Things I didn’t quite get to? Cabling without a cable needle, knitting more of the sweaters on my list.

Things not on the list? I knit my first “real” lace shawl, for my friend H’s wedding. Oh, and I bought my wheel, and learned to spin on it.

In life beyond knitting, this was a huge year for me. 2009 contained some of the best and some of the hardest moments of my life. I’m pretty sure I fell in love this year, and those of you who read regularly know that I also had my heart broken. (Apologies for the passive voice, but I’m not sure it is totally fair to say that he broke it. Heartbreak was certainly the result, but the experience of trusting someone enough to allow myself to become more codependent than I imagined I’d be — and then dealing with the aftermath — was very much about me.)

I’ve spent quite a lot of time in my head this year, wrestling with my own dreams and expectations, and I imagine that will continue. It isn’t always easy, but it is important, I think, to keep doing it.

This year I started canning. I discovered a passion for pickling. I found yoga. I taught my first section, gave my first lecture, did archival research for the first time as a grad student. I made a home here, and then set about making it anew, slowly reclaiming places that had been “we” places for me.

2009 was not what I expected. I’m not sure I’d change it, but I’m rather relieved that it is time for 2010.

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red buttons.

[Picture-heavy post today!]

Before buttons:

beforebuttons

Yesterday I slipped my 28thirty on to take Boh around the block, and snapped a few pictures of me wearing it. Then I realized that it would be so worth it to sit down, sew on the buttons I’d chosen, and actually finish the sweater!

After buttons:

buttons1

buttons2-dark

buttons-allbuttoned

buttons-arm

buttons3

I can’t help it. I love this sweater. One more picture:

buttons-closeuo

project details:

28thirty, by the Zephyr Girls.

size: 36-39″

yarn: Peace Fleece, colorway grassroots, 4.5 skeins (buttons from ebay)

needles: US 7

mods: lengthened body to hit at hips, followed pattern for yoke and sleeves, but found that sleeves were way too loose — decreased severely on either side of center underarm every other row until stitch count was down to the XS size. decreased a few more time as directed in the pattern at wrist. (I am mostly happy with how this turned out — will likely be useful when I layer this over lots of other things, but over a t-shirt, there is some extra room there in the chest near where the sleeves start.)

victory? yes.

rains/pours.

Lots of knitting and posting this week, folks! (Me? Hiding? Procrastinating? Never.) First up, 28thirty, gloriously blocking on the kitchen table:

28thirty-blocking

I won three or four lots of buttons yesterday on ebay, and I can’t wait to play around with color combinations. Right now, I’m thinking big red buttons, but we’ll see…

For some reason, the catharsis of casting off just makes me want to knit more! I dug into the bag that goes everywhere with me for my toe up socks, and realized that I only had a few more inches to go on sock #2. A few hours of decompressing from a very productive Monday-Tuesday and voila! Socks!

socks-fo-chair

Although these socks are not perfect, I am thrilled with them, and I may be a toe-up sock convert! This is my first toe-up pair, and believe-you-me I did some serious wrangling with the cast-on, heel instructions, etc. before discovering knitting by bicycle’s tutorial and experiencing an a-ha moment. The heels do not match, and I can’t quite figure out why. Neither looks wrong, exactly, but they are not the same. Also, my loose bind off is not loose enough. Something to work on.

socks-fo-3

socks-kitchen

Maybe I’ll do a wrap up post on these sometime in the future, but for now, these puppies are on my feet! Notes on my stitch count, etc. can be found on the project’s Rav page or in an earlier blog post. (Confession time: I haven’t even gotten around to weaving in the ends and tidying up those little holes that show up sometimes when you turn the heel…)

___ skills.

kitchen skills:

potato-pancakes2

florida-panhandle1

Potato pancakes and a pizza in the shape of Florida (minus the panhandle). Recipes by Deb, of course.

frolicking skills:

mossy-forest-and-boh1

silly-with-dog1

icy-trail2

gnarly-pines1

lounging skills:

maddy-on-ledg1

happy-dog-rock1

amy-boh-lay-on-rock1

catskills:

brown-leaves-through-trees1

catskillview1

amy-and-mad-long-arm1

whale skills?

whale1

Boh, my best friend M, and I met up for a long weekend of mountain air, good food, and bad tv. Crosswords were completed, legs were stretched, brains/selves tired from work and school were rested/restored.

Thanks, M. I love that we continue to make time for frolicking.

the perils of pooches (and some oh-nine goals).

dsc05552

One minute, the hat was where it always is when it is not on my head: in the basket by the door. The next, Boh is galloping gleefully through the apartment, a destroyed star-crossed slouchy beret in his mouth. At least he looks sad, right?

A few other things I’ve been working on:

blurry-pizza

Reacquainting myself with my kitchen (yay!) through pizza-making. (If you haven’t checked out Smitten Kitchen, do so now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, etc. I love Everything I Make from Deb’s blog, and you should see the pile of printed out recipes in the kitchen queue.)

Also, dishcloth knitting — some thank yous for hosting us on our north country adventure:

dishcloths

Apologies for my link-laziness: it is unlikely that I will actually connect these patterns to their internet homes. Quick rav searches should do the trick…

So! I’ve been making lots of lists, clearing space on my bookshelves for a new semester’s pile o’ reading, and thinking big thoughts about what I’d like to accomplish this spring, and this year. I won’t bore you with the Grand Academic Plans And Worries just yet, but I do have lots of exciting knitting ideas. I recognize that purely by virtue of writing all of this down, I will not accomplish all of it, but at least I’ll be able to come back to this post for inspiration, should I need it throughout the year.

First up: sweater knitting, or rather, sweater completion!

Right now I have Brompton and 28thirty on the needles. I’m happy with how they are coming along, and I just need to find some slightly longer chunks of knitting time to feel like these are worth pulling out — a row here and there simply doesn’t work when you are trying to keep track of increases or knitting huge rows. I desperately want to wear these, though, and I really think I can get Brompton finished in time to turn it into the cozy grad school cardigan I have been envisioning forever!

Other sweaters on the list:

Valia (Santa brought me a bag of gorgeous Malabrigo and the pattern, and I’d love to have this ready for next fall’s holiday trips home, if not sooner.)

Drops Jacket (I’ve had yarn for this forever, love all the FOs I’ve seen, and my apartment gets cold in the afternoons. This is obvious, right?!)

Cobblestone (for me), Tangled Yoke, Salina, Francis…I have yarn that would work for all of these, and they all have long stretches of stockinette: exactly what the frazzled grad school mind requires.

Next up: Socks! I’ve been a member of the Yarn Pirate Sock Yarn Club this year, and I have a gorgeous stash of Georgia’s yarns, but I’ve been slow to turn them into socks. I’ve unsubscribed after this 3-month round as a way to motivate myself to knit with what I have. I think socks have finally clicked for me as great mindless knitting — I can now turn a heel on a basic sock without having to dig for the instructions, and socks really are perfect take-to-school for extra free moments waiting to meet with professors or for class to start.  No specific pattern goals here, except to master the art of both toe up socks (I’m working on my first pair now) and the short row heel (mine are always hol-ey. I think Cat Bordhi will rescue me on this one, as a knitting friend pointed out last year).

I’m also working on learning to cable without a cable needle, so this year, I’d like to develop confidence/comfort with this technique.

Spinning goals: I think I’m finally getting the hang of (and the addiction to) spindle-spinning, and to this end, I want to make time each month to work on my spinning and learn how to ply. By the end of 2009. I’d love to spin up a 3-ply sock yarn to knit (toe up?) socks with.

All that should keep me busy, don’t you think?