cardigan


This year was a bit of trying one all around.  While the SO & I were better off than a lot of folks, we still spent 3/4 of the year stressed about the future – there were times when we didn’t think we would make through. But instead of dwelling on the negative, I thought I’d end 2011 on some of the positives that happened.  With lots of pictures!

First was adopting our silly cat.
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Even when we were at our most depressed, Rorschach kept us sane & laughing.  She really is the best thing that could have happened to us.

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On that same note, volunteering at Pixie Project was one the things that made me the happiest this year.  A bit of animal therapy for me every week was what I needed.
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I ran my first 5K this year

my first 5k!

It was a lot of fun and I was very proud of myself.  I was never a runner but I was determined to complete it.  And I did pretty well actually!

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I got to finally see my beloved Red Sox play my second loved Mariners.  Even though the Sox lost (and ended up being the start of their horrible end of season) I had so much fun.

sox game

I also got to see the Blazers for the first time -in fact, I’ve seen them twice now!  It was a very sporty year.
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I got to travel more this year – mainly work related but it was all wonderful.

I went to OH in June for TNNA with my lovely coworkers.  Then a month later it was off to Boston where I visited 20 yarn shops for work.
MA trip

I got to reconnect with my dearest friends out there too
MA trip

Closer to home, I went to the coast with my Mom in the spring & again in the fall.  It was a good trip for both of us (and for Maddie the dog).
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We didn’t go to very many shows this year, but the few we did were great.  Eddie Vedder was probably my favorite, but I also saw Social Distortion, Thurston Moore, the Posies and a special performance by Wild Flag at OPB with only like 50 other folks.
wild flag

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Of course I knit a lot this year (it’s part of my job!)  Since I blog so much for work, it’s hard to find time to post to this blog.  In any case, I made a lot of stuff I’m very pleased with, including my favorite new sweater.
ProvidenceVert3

My friend Jenny is also an awesome photographer.

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It didn’t seem like I did a whole lot of reading but I read all three Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books (liked them all) and the three books in the Hunger Games (liked the first, didn’t think the others were as good) .  I seem to spend more time rereading Jane Austen (especially the new annotated versions of the novels).  I also discovered it’s far easier for me to listen to audiobooks – especially at work when I’m doing a lot of just data entry.  I joined Audible and made it through all 5 Song of Ice & Fire books (by George R. R. Martin – I’m pretty obsessed with the TV show as well) and my current favorite, Bossypants.
wpid-bossypants
I really do want to read more next year but I think it will mainly be audiobooks again.

I also I discovered I can’t live without the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.  It really gets me through the week & relisten to them all the time.

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While 2011 was not a great year, I’m very thankful that the SO & I managed to get through it with our relationship still strong.  I think if we could get through the last 2 years, we can get through anything now
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I’m also thankful for our fantastic friends who were also a huge help in keeping us sane through 3/4 of the year  (especially Carmel & Shawn, who were actually with us at many of the events I mentioned above).  Love you all.

Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2012 for everyone.

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So even though I don’t blog here as often as I used to, I still knit.  And sometimes, when I get a wild hair, I actually take pictures of my projects.

We got a copy of New England Knits several months before the book came out and I was completely in love.  I’ve honestly become part of the group of knitters who rarely buys books or magazines anymore, preferring to purchase single patterns (not surprising, given my job I guess).  But this book…I had to have it.  I found at least a dozen projects that I immediately wanted to cast on.   It’s like my dream book.

First I did a quick knit – I mentioned it in my last post.
Birdies

When you’re sad, there’s really nothing like casting on something quick out of Malabrigo.  Even better, having cute birdie buttons to put on it.  This is the Brattleboro Hat, super quick & easy and lifted my spirits immediately.   Awesome buttons are from Blue Manatee Buttons, of which I have way too many of now – they are all so adorable.  I need to find more projects to put them on.

I had a hard time picking my next project.  I finally settled on Salem Hooded Jacket.
Merlot Hoodie

I had some Swish Bulky in Merlot Heather that was intended for another project but I decided I wasn’t in love with the project anymore.  And I loved this sweater – a hoodie with pockets!  Best of all, it’s called Salem – while I have no idea which Salem they mean, Salem MA has always been one my favorite places.  So that’s what it refers to in my mind.

While it’s a “bulky” yarn, it’s really more of an aran to me and I got gauge on size 9s. I cast on & went to town.
Merlot Hoodie

The only think I didn’t love was just the top closure – I have so many knit cardigans that only close at the top.  So I decided to add buttons.  I’m glad I did, I really like how it turned out.
I love buttons

I found some really awesome buttons at Twisted too.

There were a couple of odd things – the sleeves are much wider than how they appear in the photo in the book.  I had gauge & everything but they end up being bell sleeves.  I don’t really mind, but if I was to do this again, I would probably start with fewer stitches & a smaller needle size.  The length is also the same for all sizes.  I added a couple of inches to them, and they are
Merlot Hoodie

The other is the hood – it’s also the same size for all sizes.  Well I have a huge head (“That’s a huge noggin. That’s a virtual planetoid!”) so after trying it on, I wasn’t happy with it.  So I added a few more inches too it & am much happier.
Merlot Hoodie

A couple of other small mods – I slipped the first stitch on each side of the body, intending to pick them up & added an icord bind off like my Central Park Hoodie.  But when I finished, I liked it how it was without it.  Pockets I think ended up being smaller than the pattern – I did them like Rooibos but I don’t think I knit long enough.  But they are big enough for small items, which is all I need them for.
Merlot Hoodie

Overall, I’m really pleased with it.  Plus it only took me about 3 weeks! It’s been a remarkably cool summer (not complaining, especially after the Hell On Earth last summer)  Not quite cool enough to wear this regularly yet, but I think this will be worn quite a bit this fall & winter.

Next is the Greenboro Cardigan – a nice garter stitch sweater.  And I’m particularly excited about my yarn choice
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It’s Capra, our new cashmere/merino blend yarn, which I absolutely love. (yes, there’s even quotes from me on the new yarn page about it.)  And I love this color – generally I’m not drawn to orange, but I am more & more and this is the most perfect color (it’s called Tiger Lily).  I’m hoping to finish this one pretty quickly – I’m hoping to photograph it on my Seattle holiday at the end of September…with my guy.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

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