A Good Year

Now at the cusp of a new year, I started reflecting on this past one and am glad to say that it was a good one. Our family is healthy and happy, a little older, maybe a little worse for wear, but still going strong. My husband realized a personal goal of making a pilgrimage walked by thousands before him. Our sons started their senior years in high school and are anxiously awaiting to hear from their chosen colleges. I received a surprise promotion earlier this year. My mom, who is usually full of vigor at 72, is starting to feel her age a bit and is fighting it the whole way. One of my brothers was elected to the school board of my hometown. We had our share of troubles, some minor, others not, but found our way through them and learned in the process. There are still some scars but they are healing. There are so many other reasons, large and small, for which to be thankful – hot summer days, shared meals with friends, a good book, down time, birthday celebrations, a rewarding job, a good hair day, and soft yarn.

Speaking of yarn, 2014 was also a good knitting year. My goal was to create from my stash, which has continued to grow. I accomplished this with one exception, the hat for my niece because she was very specific about wanting a neutral color. In total, I knit 10 items in 2014. They were all small projects for a couple of reasons: (1) I was trying to use up my stash especially where I had only one or two skeins of the same yarn/dye lot; and (2) With my work schedule, it takes me too long to complete larger projects and I wanted to show progress every month. So here are my 2014 FOs.

Another highlight in 2014 was discovering new yarn stores. One was discovered during a trip to Colombia – and what a glorious find that was! We came across two other shops during a trip to the Texas hill country. Click on any image to view on a larger screen.

(Stay tuned for another recent discovery in an upcoming post.)

In 2014, I also enjoyed the fabulous Kid ‘N Ewe Fiber Festival, had a fabulous Girl’s Weekend in the Texas hill country with my mom and aunt, and experienced Yarn Terrors when I found moths in my stash! And lastly, I enjoyed having my niece become a part of our family while attending college. All in all, 2014 was a great year.

Wishing everyone an amazing new year in 2015.

May FO: Array Cowl

The Array Cowl is finally done.

Array Cowl - Finished 1

The texture produced by the stitches is lovely. Even my boys commented on how nice it looked. The pattern is free at Shibui Knits.

Array Cowl - Folded

I stayed loyal to my goal of using up my stash. The pink and gray combination of wool, alpaca, cashmere and silk make this cowl soft and warm.

Here my labels are ready to go into my knitting notebook.

Array Cowl - Yarn

Another shot of Bear wearing the cowl.

Array Cowl - Finished 2

Now to find another project…

Dew Drops Cowl in Orange

Ever since the new year, like many of my fellow knitters, I’ve wanted to reduce the size of my stash. I purchased this lovely orange skein at a fiber festival a couple of years ago because I was intrigued by the color. It’s from Brooks Farm Yarn in Lancaster, Texas. “Ellie” was marked down in the widows and orphans bin – the place where leftover skeins go to retire. It’s 4 ounces, 400 yards of a lustrous 50% Fine Wool, 50% Silk Slub.

Ellie Yarn

I used the Dew Drop Cowl pattern which is available as a free Ravelry download. Here it is blocking.

Ellie Cowl Blocking

Down here in Texas, it gets cold and occasionally freezes but not for long. I wanted a cowl that would keep me warm without burning me up. This airy pattern was just right. Bear is back to model the cowl for us.

Dew Drops Cowl in Orange

Here is a close-up. I like that the yarn was spun to have thick and thin sections. It gives the cowl an interesting texture.

Dew Drops Cowl in Orange Close-up

Bear is keeping watch over my work in progress, a large knit blanket. I keep it tucked away in this large tote from 31 Gifts. The tote bag was only $5 with my other purchases! I love those big grommets. I pull my needles through them to keep my stitches from falling off.

Dew Drops Cowl in Orange and Knitting Bag

It’s been a bit chilly here in Texas. Perfect weather for my orange cowl. Now, back to that blanket.