As the YotA (Year of the Accessory) draws to a close, I’m back to the one-skein projects I’ve come to adore. The attraction is less about the number of skeins and more about the ability to start, finish and enjoy without adding yet another project to that too-long list of things that need finishing but I don’t have enough brain left to tackle. And they allow me to knit with really luxe yarns without a major investment. I started (and false-started) all of these at the KR Retreat. I love them all for different reasons.
First, my New Beginnings project from the Retreat. Narragansett Beret from Kristen Kapur. Lots of reasons for this project: 1) I purchased the yarn, DyeDreams Celestial, specifically for it at this year’s Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival. 2) I’ve never made a hat for myself before. I need something for those snowy days when my hair gets utterly wet. 3) I stand a chance of actually completing it – which has never happened for a New Beginnings project before. In this case, it’s been in the hands of Clara Parkes, Ann Budd, Melissa Morgan-Oakes and the most wonderful friends in the world. Even without the “commitment ceremony” voodoo that Clara performed this year (see last post for photo complete with tiara), the ju-ju is very good. The pattern is lovely. The yarn, a blend of wool, silk and alpaca, is nice enough right now. It doesn’t feel particularly scrumptious at the moment, but I know it will be when it’s had its bath.
Brief digression: Here’s the write-up of the KR Retreat. Most of the real details are in the captions of the slide show. For the record, yes, I am in the group photo as well as a couple of others. You may recognize some projects. 😉
Next up, Swirling Petals Cowl (a free rav download). I think cowls can be one of the most deliciously cozy gifts without major time or yarn investment. This one, in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, is for a dear friend who has no idea it’s coming. It will be absolutely gorgeous with her black hair as she tromps about with her menfolk this winter on the ski slopes and otherwise.
Completing the trio, Knitspot’s Tudor Grace. I’m calling this Grace Notes. The recipient is my longtime piano teacher, whom I visited with Darling Bebe over the summer. I had not seen her in a few years, though we keep in touch at the holidays. She cocked a dubious eyebrow when I told her that knitting and teaching were my personal-time passion, in spite of my explanation that I make really lovely things. The yarn is Handmaiden SeaSilk in the jewel tones she favors. Because she is very petite, (and because I know from experience that it grows with blocking!) I scaled the pattern down to 3 repeats instead of five. With “resting rows” in this six-row pattern, it’s almost going too fast for me to keep up with. Especially after ElmRow!
A word about the right side of the photo – since everyone asks about it. (ETA: I claim no credit whatsoever for thinking of this. Another awesome idea from Melissa.) It’s a CD spindle. I use them all the time now to keep things tidy. In the case of silk yarns, which tend to collapse and tangle when pulled from the center of a yarn cake, these are perfect to draw from the outside. When I work on projects 2-at-a-time, I pull from the inside and outside at the same time and nothing ever gets tangled. The lid screws back on without damaging the yarn, super for travel knitting. It’s a great way to re-purpose and reuse. Try it!
For the record, it’s certainly possible highly likely that 2009 may not stand alone as YotA. And that’s okay, too.
Tags: alpaca, beret, celestial, claraparkes, cowl, Dyedreams, elmrow, hat, knitspot, kristenkapur, KRR, KRRetreat, Narragansett, narragansettberet, newbeginnings, recycling, seasilk, swirlingpetalscowl, tudorgrace, YotA