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I have just come from the madness of Melbourne CBD, roads are blocked, tram routes diverted, people everywhere, all because of the Myer Christmas Parade.
Christmas? It’s only 14th of bloody November!
Trees and decorations are up and invites to work Christmas parties are flowing in. Is it just me or is Christmas getting earlier each year?
Anyway…talking of Christmas or “the holidays” as Americans put it, I grabbed a copy of IK Holiday Gifts recently. I am not really planning to knit gifts this Xmas but something about this issue grabbed my attention. I think it was mainly this pattern, Tapestry Mittens.. Of course, it’s 30 degrees here today and I want to knit mittens! But ever since knitting the Selbu Modern hat, I have been a little smitten with fair isle. I walk to work each day and some mittens would be quite useful in those cold Melbourne morns. This issue has 57 patterns, which is pretty good value and lots of nice socks and other little patterns like scarfs.
But check out this for a jumper to mentally scar the children in your life!
It’s a bit Bridget Jones Christmas jumper, innit?
Mark Darcy Xmas

I am also quite taken with the Tilted Slouch hat. There are also a bunch of blokey jumpers but not to my blokes tastes.

There is also a few Christmas decorations, but I will talk about knitted Xmas decorations next time….

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I have a short attention span when it comes to garments. I can do lace but I can’t knit rows and rows of stocking stitch making one minor increase or decrease every 6 alternative rows. My mind wandering and my jumper pieces never match up.
So as winter approached, I decided to try a top down jumper with no seaming! I grabbed some stash Jet bought at a Clegs sale and set to making a man’s jumper for me.
The Retrograde Pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2006 is designed to be reversible, but I want a thick round the house dagging out jumper and don’t care about looking too swish. I stuffed the neckline a little but I am enjoying the body of the jumper. Ah the lazy 12″ of garter stitch in the round while watching movies in my handknit socks!
Here’s a sneak peek.
retrograde jumper

Top down style definitely suits my lack of attention! Let’s see how it all turns out.

Also finished a quickie hat. ZigZag Beanie in Cascade 220 Heathers. Only used half a skein! The beanie probably would have looked better in a yarn with a halo.
zigzag beanie

Alhambra in School House Products is coming along, but delayed by work on the jumper.

I am enamoured with the small shawlette at the moment. Here’s a new cute one, Milkweed from cosmicpluto

After a two-hour train trip from Bendigo to Melbourne, I am now at the decreases for the toe on the RPM sock! I think I am going to finish before New Year.
As New Year’s Eve comes around, it makes me think about 2009 and my knitting resolutions.
Firstly, I will revisit my 2008 resolutions – entrelac (done!), lace (done!), cables (done!), toe-up socks (done!) and dyeing (NO!). Overall 2008 has been a successful year of learning new knitting stuff. Highlights being the big items; Goth Mermaid Shawl and Peter Davison jumper. But sometimes the simple things are favourites, I love my Noro Striped Scarf and slipped whilst at Wool Baa recently and bought the yarn for another.

Ok, in 2009 I want to try;
– colourwork : mittens for the cold walk to work on wintry Melbourne mornings
– hats : not really a hat person (I got lots of hair!) but want to make a slouchy beret
– dyeing
– spinning
The list is shorter this year, but I want to branch out into other fibre arts associated with knitting.
Also
– more swatching
– pay more attention to row and stitch counts when making garments (jumpers and cardigans are not my friends at the moment!)
– knit from the ever increasing stash (lace weight yarn is so easy to buy!)

What are yours?

I have been working exclusively on the Peter Davison cricket jumper from Joy Gammon’s famous Dr Who Pattern Book.
This is my first cable project and my first time knitting with cotton. I got over the cable phobia and a few issues with the pattern and now see that cables aren’t that scary!
I bought cotton instead of wool in a tizz when buying from a Bendigo sale. But now I think it was a serendipitous mistake. The stitch definition is lovely and crisp. The recipient of the jumper is the type of man who never wears a coat, so a cabled woollen jumper would probably have been too heavy for him. I am making the largest size and was initially concerned about the sizing, but stressing less because the cotton will most likely stretch.
I had to frog about 10cm from the armhole decrease, I blame the Three Burials of Melquaides Estrada.

I am in a jumper mood at the moment and gone off socks. I have been purchasing jumper quantities of yarn and have a couple of pattern queued up in Ravelry.
I bought a 5 ply Heirloom Easy Care for the Gathered Pullover, Paton’s Jet Alpaca for the Citrus Yoke Pullover and Vintage Hues for Cardigan with Circular Yoke and Pockets. Thanks to Damo, I scored some new Merino Deluxe DK and am looking for a suitable jumper, perhaps something from Knitting Nature like Ogee Tunic or Turbulence U-Neck.
Better learn to knit faster I think!