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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Yarn Along: 12 Sweaters

So, finally, there was some sunshine after our dreary, miserable weather. It's still cold as the dickens, but at least it looks nicer. That meant I could get some photos of me in my Driftwood in the sunlight. (Those are my least flattering pants I own, but they are lined with flannel, which is a bonus in the cold weather.) This week, though, my knitting has largely been on Cross My Heart, and I've done a little knitting on some baby beanies from a pattern a friend is revising. I also picked up a crochet hook to work on my Paradise Fibers Yarn Club selection.

MadelineTosh A.S.A.P. in Peace of Paradise. I wound the yarn and started a crochet project before I got a photo of the yarn in the skein.

Since Monday was a holiday from college for Alexander, we took some time to knit together. Rich took this photo that night. The mess in the background is part remodel relocation of stuff, part putting in the new bookcases and having things all over as we sort, part small house chaos, part homeschool clutter, and part large family with lots of children untidiness. I'm sorry. Amira is working on a hat, I'm working on the neck of my Cross Your Heart, Alexander is working on gloves, and Jerome and Yasmina are working on scarves. I love that two are working in the round along with me. Mariam wants to learn and I told her that she needed the same skills to knit as she needs to write, so I've been getting her to work on her writing skills that way. She is much more motivated to learn to write now that she sees it as a ticket to knitting. I don't think that Elijah wants to learn and Dominic decidedly doesn't want to learn. Rich started to learn from me many years ago, in an effort to learn what I liked so he could get me to learn to fly. Even though he didn't get that far, technically, he does know how to knit. That means that eight out of ten people in our family either know how to knit or want to learn. That's not too shabby.

Anyway, I liked the challenge of trying to knit an adult sweater in a month, even though I failed on that one, so this year I am going to try to knit 12 sweaters in the year. The good news is that they don't have to be one a month, finishing one that was started before counts, and they can be any size, from infant to giant. If I finish Cross My Heart this month, that's two already. The challenge is either to do 12 or to do 16 for 2016. I don't think 16 is a reasonable goal for me, even counting baby and children's items. So, 12 it is, and I already have those mapped out. We'll see if I succeed, or come close. Amira, which I might have finished in the next month, though, will count, too.

Swatch for Amira.

If you are interested in being part of a Preview KAL of this design, please contact me, though, I need knitters for the finished bust sizes of 29" and 49". I'll send you a reminder when we're get the ball rolling. This is a woman's, sleeveless shell that requires seaming, but only two seams, one on each side (if you are uncomfortable with a three needle bind off, then the shoulders will need seaming as well). As you can see from the swatch, it involves texture and simple lace. The pattern requires standard chart reading skills, ability to increase and decrease, make yos, knit in the round, and pick up stitches. Participants in the preview will get my working copy of the pattern, initially, upon completion and editing, they will receive the finished pattern. There are no specific brand requirements for the yarn, simply a DK weight yarn that knits up at 5.5 stitches per in in stockinette (the gauge for the top will be about 5.25 spi, but I want a yarn that will drape well at that gauge). I'd like to have at least two knitters per size: 29", 34", 39", 44", 49" finished bust. Yardage requirements are calculated for each size, respectively, as: 790, 900, 1000, 1100, 1225 yds. This is still an estimate, however, so I recommend getting an extra skein of whatever you buy, or if you are using stash, making sure that you have an extra ball's worth of the yarn. I'll want you to join a Facebook or Ravelry group for preview knitters and make a Ravelry entry, tagging me in it, and a link up when the pattern is released. The specific details will be given if you take this on for me. I will give the finished copy of the pattern to knitters when the pattern is released, a percentage/amount off coupon to my Ravelry Store for those who complete the item, and a coupon for a free pattern for those who complete the KAL, provide photos and link up to the pattern page. There isn't much besides that to share right now, so here's the weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and preview knitting opportunities and other design news. Thank you!

My reading for the week has been Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe and How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. I first got this book from the library after seeing it on the yarn along last year, but I never really peeked into it. I picked it up again to give me a boost and some ideas in teaching a Shakespeare on a Shingle class at our co-op, and it is better than a supplement to what I was doing before. The author is excellent at conveying the hows and whys while still expressing his joy in the writing. I'm not following the exact format he suggests, and I'm making sure we cover a sonnet each week as well as a play, but I'm enjoying what he has to say on the topic (ETA: I meant to include his helpful website as well). I also read Thin Crust Killers: Pizza Mystery, as a little fluff book when my brain was too tired to think.

Amira and I are still reading The Swallow's Song, and are almost finished. There is one other book after this, and then we'll be finished with Norma Johnston for a while. The family is still enjoying Life, the Universe, and Everything as we continue in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 25th Anniversary Edition and we're still reading Alice in Wonderland along with our other school work.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On, and The Philosopher's Wife.

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Oh, this sweater looks absolutely beautiful! It fits you wonderfully! And this chunky colorful yarn is absolutely delicious!
Thank you so much! I have been enjoying wearing it quite a bit. Can you believe that in nearly 30 years of knitting I have only completed six sweaters for myself? One of those I gave to a friend and another I unwound and have waiting to become a design for babies/toddlers. A goal of mine this year is to make more sweaters for myself to fill my sweater drawer.
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