Hard cold reality question: My budget does not include "spending money" so why do I knit? Answer: Knitting is my happy place.
Feeling the tactile wool is a joy I only get from knitting due to severe allergies preventing me from sharing a life with furry beings such as cats or dogs.
Sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in both process of colors and texture passing through my fingers and a physical finished item, something I experience nowhere else in my life.
In making for others, it's a long, slow form of meditation on that person. Even if I watch movies or listen to audible books while making, a part of my mind is constantly aware of the person for whom the item is intended.
Here are my WIPs (works in progress) since the start of 2023. I am taking a hard cold reality look at obtaining a second job and fully plan to soon. My knitting time may wane but I vow to never give it up as following that endless thread keeps me centered.
1) Half a sleeve of the Rowan cardigan of Hudson & Co. Because this cardigan will be the largest and hopefully more enduring piece I make in my lifetime, I decided to splurge on a payment plan for this woolen spun wool ideal for cabling with its airy round texture in a deep dark green (greens never photograph well) called Big Woods from Barrett Wool Co. American wool from the heartland of America (Wisconsin).
2) Serein sweater collar. I knew I wanted to make this relaxed sweater from cashmere-containing wool for the first time ever in my experience, using cloud-like Önling No. 11 yarn from Denmark I'd obtained two years ago for a different purpose. It is 90% superfine Merino and 10% cashmere. After realizing the Önling is closer to a light fingering to lace weight and Serein pattern uses DK weight, I decided to hold the Önling together with an MCN sock yarn for my first marled sweater. Great hand-dyed yardage, by the way, from Emma's Yarn Hella Hank at 600 yards per skein!
The Serein pattern by Caidree is sized up to 5X, and I love to support designers who create size-inclusive patterns.
I'm getting gauge, and can't wait to wrap myself in this magnificent comfort.
3) The Azor sweater, my New Year's Eve cast-on. Truer colors can be found on the Le Petit Lambswool page of Biches & Buches, dark red and green-pink turquoise. Wool milled and dyed in Scotland. Lovely wooly wool! I intend to modify the pattern by placing the top colorwork motif at the base before the ribbing.
I made these Dog Star sweaters by Tin Can Knits (named after Sirius, the brightest star visible in winter) over the past two months for nephews and they look awesome in them! Wool used: Main dark one is Malabrigo Arroyo color Vaa, light base version John Arbon Yarnadelic 100% Corriedale wool, which is an incredible treat to work with and I can't recommend enough. You can really experience the difference of sheep breeds by seeing how differently wool behaves. Here are some great blogs on the Falkland Corriedale: https://yarnandknitting.com/know-your-sheep-corriedale/, https://woolgatherings.com/blogs/news/breed-study-falkland-wool
My Wild Pony Begonia going bonkers
My word for 2023 is singing to me because I have felt hopeless a lot of 2022.
I have avoided a second surgery for now, had a clear MRI over the past month, and my leg pains seem to be easing up as my body adjusts to new normal. Hopeful this trend continues in my next 6 years of treatment/follow-up.
My daughter has had a doozy of a month recovering from COVID followed by what we assume to be RSV. Judging by the empty grocery store shelf of cold/flu products, she is not alone.
For years I created a New Year's Eve tradition of making a huge sweet-sour ratatouille recipe with hours of veggie chopping and hours of cooking until midnight and then giving away the fruits of my labor the next day.
This year I decided to start a new tradition to cast on some new knitting project for fun instead.
After unraveling all my half-finished 2022 projects, I am ready to transform the wool into other things. Aside from completing my nephew's Christmas Dog Star sweater (better late but still in winter than never), putting sleeves to two 2022 sweaters, these are my plans.
2023 Planned Projects
Rowan Sweater by Meghan Babin of Hudson and West Co.
I intend to start (not complete) this and it may take me a decade. I'll post more about wool choices for this, as I have searched high and low for a way to make this much yardage affordable and quality. When/if complete, will go in my Knit Hall of Fame for sure!
Azor Sweater by Orlane Sucche
This was my New Year's Eve cast-on. Version by sheebsg on Ravelry is closest to colors I'm using. I had never seen this sweater pattern until mentioned by Stitches and Starlight podcaster, Tazhi, who blows my mind by being a self-taught wool worker, spinner, and knitter in a short amount of time.
A second Dathan Pullover by request
Serein Sweater by Caidree
Using cloud-like Önling wool I unraveled from a project I took with me to daily medical treatment. Too many negative associations for me, so I'm transforming it into this luscious garment thanks to inspiration by the bougie sweatshirt knit-along by Kaci of Youngfolk Knits podcast. I have never successfully made something that fits me to lounge around in, so let the lounging commence!
A second pair of Erica Heusser's Wishmaker Mitts by request
Using cashmere rather than woolly wool for this set per request
Ilha Sweater by Orlane Sucche
Pale green wool, short-sleeved version for summer. Love the delicate design.
Over the holidays, I was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate for Spincycle Yarns, favorite wool on the planet made in the county North of me. Since I have enough green Cascade 220 wool (non-superwash), I am choosing between this Trinigan Cardigan by Andrea Mowry or the Easy V sweater by Caitlin Hunter. The Trinigan requires twice as much yardage of Spincycle as the Easy V (and twice my gift certificate) but I do have other color shifting yarn I can use for the Trinigan that will just add to the super colorful effect. What a lucky decision I have to make.
Crazed Scandinavian Cowl by Wendy Johnson in Mountain Meadow wool colors lupine and cream
Anthology Throw by Helen Stewart
Great way to make something beautiful and light with leftover yarn.
Three white doves were seen in back of my house and taken as a sign of Peace on Earth. I can only hope so.
My dream for humanity includes: A global laying down of arms, meeting more basic needs so people do not need to resort to corrupt means to obtain them, healing for all who've had violence perpetrated upon them, shelter for those unsheltered.
May you have a gentle entry into 2023.
Staying close to the wealth of nature and making with my hands bring me greatest joy and comfort. You can find me on Instagram as @waterwomanknits, and on Ravelry as Waterwoman-Knits.