Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Since I ended 2012 with a "Year in Review", it would be fitting that I start 2013 in the same vein as 2012.
Since we missed spending both Christmas AND New Year's together last year, our strategy and planning actually worked this year. Eric managed to get the 24th off, as well as New Year's eve and day. Things were going to work out for us, after all.
After a scrumptious New Year's Eve party at friends, we fell into bed at 2 AM. One thing I have discovered over the years is 1) control rich food intake, and 2) ditto for alcohol consumption. While I behaved last night, if you can call eating foie gras, scampi bisque and beef Wellington "behaving", I was also the designated driver, since Eric is most always the designated drunk. (He's French, he can't help it. Plus I think he deserves it - he's always shafted on weekends and holidays.) But going to bed late throws me off, and waking up close to 10AM is the closest I come to feeling hung-over and jet-lagged.
Today, I need a nice blanket, a hot fire, and lots of mineral water. Tomorrow, after a good night's sleep, I'll probably recover.
In 2012, I resolved to not buy any more wool and finish everything I start. To say that resolution crashed-and-burned is an understatement. I bought wool, I was given wool, and while lots of little projects flew off the needles, the biggest project I finished was my neutral Saga:
Now, since this is my second Saga, I did a few things differently. I made a large this time, and added repeats to make the sleeves longer. Despite using the same needle size for the seed-stitch border, it turned out a bit wavy, but I haven't blocked this baby yet, so that feature might block out. Either way, I actually like the wavy, somewhat flared look. I have monkey arms, so I added a few row repeats in strategic places on the sleeves as well as the yoke, so they're longer and not 3/4 like the pattern is written for. I also wanted a large because I knew I'd be wearing this over my regulation gray cashmere sweaters which I wear like a uniform in winter months. I've got them in all shapes, shades and styles. The only prerequisite is that they're gray, and cashmere. I aim high. I always say, if I'm gonna be cleaning my house, I'm gonna be doing it in cashmere. Take that, Mr. Clean!
I stalled on how to finish the front. I didn't want frog-clasps like the first one, but something different. It took me a few months to figure out what that "different" was. Finally, I made a rolled garter stitch border, sewed it on the inside, and added buttons on both sides, all closed with a simple crochet loop:
I blogged about my Blue Hole shawl which provided hours and hours of fun:
Vancouver Fog fingerless mitts done in Lana Gatto camel hair (seemingly on liquidation the world over and fabulous stuff!) and a cabled hat from Rowan book 48 called the Tinker Hat that I completely re-wrote. I didn't do anything the pattern called for in the end. I cast-on 96 stitches instead of 109 going down 2 full needle sizes, knit it in the round instead of seaming (who does that? who seams a freaking hat?) and winged every single crown decrease. I also used only one ball instead of two, following some helpful tips on Ravelry. I love this hat, it fits perfectly and is super-warm despite being loosely knit. I love me some Rowan Cocoon, but I don't love me the price...but this being a one-skein project given my mods, I can easily justify the cost.
I cannot however justify the cost of the Sweet Georgia I ordered to make the Colour Affection shawl. Not realizing it's dyed to order and the delivery time was 6 weeks, by the time I received my order, my love affair with the pattern had faded away like lust is wont to do. Now this wool is languishing in a Rubbermaid bin in the laundry room. Not even cast on, this wonderful wool might need to find another vocation. So much for my 2012 resolutions.
Likewise, I fell in love with Kate Davie's Rams and Yowes on a whim. Kate knows how to write a pattern, and Jamieson and Smith Shetland could be my antidote to lopi, I'm that much in love with it. Again, total impulse purchase, but the project is still chugging ahead:
In the interim, the days are getting longer, and we've probably gained a half-hour of daylight since the solstice just over 10 days ago. Once again, the setting sun casts a shadow of the house against the side of the barn, and in minutes, I know I'll see the moon rise from behind the barn. Despite the fact it's a bone-chilling -14C outside right now, with a wind-chill that would freeze exposed flesh in minutes (there's always a downside, isn't there though?), it's that time of year for reflections on the past and hopes for the future.
So, with a click of the mouse, I'll turn the page on 2012, and open the book that is 2013.
My hopes are that everyone can experience the peace and gratitude that I feel, from the moment I pull up the blinds and find another fresh day waiting for me outside. From the time I put my head on my pillow at night, resting with the knowledge I've done my best and accomplished something, no matter how inconsequential it seemed at the time. From the knowledge that I've been kind and good and smiled and laughed, done a small favour or a big one, I appreciate my life, plywood floors and all.
Here's to 2013. May it exceed our expectations. May you all be able to see the gold instead of the snow.