19. Knit a pair of socks? NOT. Lace instead!

So this is my list of 40 in 40, right? That means I get to sub out items if I want to. And I want to.

The impetus behind item #19 – knitting a pair of socks – was to force myself to do something I hadn’t done before in knitting, something that I found daunting, and something that I’d be really happy I knew how to do once I finished and would want to do again. Socks fit that bill. But you know what else fits that bill? LACE!

As Christmas approached, I realized that I wanted to make something for my niece, Celeste. I’d received a skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino in a swap earlier in the year, with the colorway name of “Celeste”, which meant that of course it was destined to be made into something for her. She’s a teenager, so I knew a hat was probably not going to work (what teenager do you know who would willingly wear a handknit hat and risk crushing her hair?) So I poked around on Ravelry and found a really awesome scarf that several people had made from this yarn and decided to give it a whirl.

Celestial Branches
Finished scarf

Celestial Branches
Getting ready to block

As you might imagine, I’m really excited about how it turned out! The yarn was a dream to work with. The new knitting needles I was using were wonderful (the interchangeable set from WEBS). The pattern was relatively simple to learn – only 5 rows. I did most of the stitches one might need in any other lace pattern. I threw in lifelines here and there (thank goodness, because I had one major goof during a weird power outage that I had to recover from). I blocked the daylights out of the thing – it grew from 37″ to 50″ after blocking! And you know what? It was so fun to do that I turned around and made another one for my mom out of a completely different kind of yarn. I haven’t mailed that to her quite yet (sorry Mom!) but I’m equally happy with how that one turned out.

24. Read a romance novel

I tried. I really did. I scoured through all sorts of romance books at Target and at the public library. And I honestly couldn’t pick any of them up without wanting to … well, they just weren’t going to get read. We’ll leave it at that.┬áSo I sat and I thought. And then I sat and thought some more. And then I remembered that the author of one of the knitblogs I read had recently published a book, and she mentioned that she went to RWA to promote it. RWA? Romance Writers of America… Bingo!

The day after I got the book at the library, I had a pretty bad day (migraine – ugh!) and slept all afternoon. That meant that by midnight, I was wide awake and not ready for sleep. I picked up How to Knit a Love Song, started reading, finally got tired, and didn’t put the book down until 3 hours later when I was done with it. It was pretty great, not what I was expecting from a romance novel. Thanks Rachel!

Cast On: Basic Gloves

I cast on this weekend for a pair of basic gloves, recipe from the Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (which, by the way, definitely needs to go on my “to-buy” list!). Knitting for me seems to happen in spurts – the last time I knit anything seriously was last January when I made a bunch of hats for a knit-along over on Ravelry.com. Yes, it was for the January Hat Trick in the hockey group… no one should be the least bit surprised by that!

These gloves are going to be hockey-themed, thanks to Brynna, who recently opened a shop on Etsy called Draygone Yarnes. I bought a skein of fingering-weight wool in the “Boston Bruins” colorway.

Draygone Yarnes: Boston Bruins Draygone Yarnes: Boston Bruins

I’ve never knit with such fine yarn, but now have about 2 inches of ribbing done on the first glove. So far, so good!

Basic Gloves (Bruins Edition)

Stay tuned for more progress photos next week.