Sad as I was to leave Minnesota behind for what will likely be another year, I’m pretty happy to have escaped their crazy weather! It’s pretty cold here, but not nearly as cold as MN.
I did a surprising amount of crafting while in Minnesota–I’m especially surprised at how much I accomplished since I wasn’t glued to my knitting like I normally am around the holidays.
I didn’t quite finish my sweater surgery before we left, so I got to work kitchenering the body of Le Massif back together once we settled in at my parents’ house. Then I tacked down the sleeve facings, attached the zipper facing (which was an ordeal!), and stitched on the official Dale of Norway patch. The whole sweater was finished on the morning of Christmas Eve, so Sweetie finally got the gift he’s been waiting for for years.
Now that I’ve lengthened this sweater, it fits him pretty well (Can you see where I added length?? Me neither!!!). And since this has been such a long haul, finishing this sweater has really given me my complex knitting mojo back–I didn’t realize it was gone, but I’m ready to tackle some big projects again!
Pattern: Dale of Norway Le Massif 2004
Yarn: Dale of Norway Falk 15 skeins #3841, .5 skein #0083, .5 skein #3727, 2 skeins #0017, .3 skeins #9915
Needles: Addi Turbo US 0, 1, 2
Made for: Sweetie
Timeline: 14 October 2008 – 24 December 2013
Modifications: added length to sleeves and body
Worst Part: conducting intensive sweater surgery
Best Part: the combination of colors and pattern–Sweetie did a great job picking them out!
As soon as Sweetie’s ski sweater was complete, I went ahead and cast on another one for Mom on Christmas day. She picked out yarn for Whistler while I was still working at the LYS, and I’m excited to finally be working on her sweater. Unfortunately, the photo above is as far as it’s gotten: I re-checked my gauge at this point after using my new knitting on Sweetie’s sweater as a giant swatch, and somehow this sweater was coming out too small. I’ve ripped out and cast on with the next needle size up, so things are moving forward again.
After making the rounds at Christmas, we headed North to the even colder temperatures of Duluth. We spent a long weekend catching up with old friends, visiting favorite spots, and eating way more than we should have.
Some friends from grad school were kind enough to let us stay with them in their new home and give their two cats and a puppy lots of attention. PE is one of the people that I knit a hat for during grad school, and I know he wears it just about every day. Such a great knitwear recipient deserved another hat, so I knit some Thorpe hats for the two of them using leftover yarn I had in my stash.
We went out to our favorite pizza joint/microbrewery on our first night in town, and it was really cool to see that my knitwear had touched just about everyone that had come out with us. One friend told me how he had nearly lost a cabled hat I made for him years ago and was relieved to have found it back again. Then everyone else chimed in with what accessories I had made for them–it turned out that everyone at the table but the friend’s girlfriend I had just met owned something I had made. It’s pretty great to keep your friends happy and warm.
I also had the opportunity to knit at my old LYS with a few of the Sunday ladies who braved the cold. It was great to hang out with them again and spend time in my favorite shop in the whole world. Of course, I couldn’t leave empty handed–I picked up some supplies for Mom’s Dale of Norway and the new commemorative Olympic ski sweater book, and KG gave me some gorgeous yarn, Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, and some other goodies.
I kind of went a little crazy when packing for this trip. I was terrified that I would be a popsicle in Minnesota after spending a relatively mild winter in PA. I over-packed in the fleece leggings and tights department, and I also knit like mad to make sure Sweetie stayed warm.
He got a Stephen West Filbert scarf, Glynis socks, and a hat out of some crazy polar fleece yarn I bought for him years ago (links go to ravelry for project details). I really shouldn’t have worried about him being too cold since he spent much of the trip in a sweatshirt and vest, but something about living apart makes me want to knit/sew him All The Things.
The last thing on my Minnesota 2013 bucket list was to stop by S.R. Harris, a massive fabric warehouse, to pick out wool for Sweetie’s Albion coat (here I go again, keeping the husband warm…).
My entire immediate family got to the store less than an hour before it closed and searched for the perfect wool in the wool aisle you see above. In the end, we went with our second choice because there wasn’t enough yardage of our first, and we got some beautiful gray wool that’s just waiting for the Colette sewalong to begin. Luckily for my wallet, we didn’t have the time or suitcase space for me to buy more fabric, so that will have to wait for my trip to the Garment District in March.
Of course, the best part of this trip was all the time we spent with friends, family, and each other. We hate missing out on time with our favorite people while we’re out here in PA, and we hope to get back to the Midwest for good sometime soon.
That should be it for the long blog posts now. I’m back home and plan to return to my regular blog schedule. Thanks for reading!