I like to tell people that the beginning of the year is Selfish Knitting Season. Here's my version of Elaine's Blouse (from Interweave Knits Winter 2008), which I fell totally in love with as soon as I saw the magazine preview.
(I'm wearing a flesh-colored tank top underneath. Really, I am.)
When the Stash and Burn girls did their magazine review, Nicole said she didn't think the design and the yarn worked well together at all, but I think the rustic yarn keeps it from being too girly. The finished object isn't perfect—the ribbing doesn't line up on the back (I mustn't have picked up the stitches for the buttonband or buttonhole band evenly enough), and if I could knit it over I'd make the peplum two or so inches longer. But I love the color (my sister keeps telling me to buy/make clothes that aren't black, purple, or green), it felt good to get a deal on the yarn (ggh Silky Tweed, purchased in Munich—it's a lot pricier in the States), and it's surprisingly toasty! I'll go back and reknit the buttonband and collar (so the ribbing lines up right) sometime when it's too warm to wear it.
Thanks to Brendan for taking such nice pictures! We lucked out with the weather today.
I want to do more 'selfish knitting' this year, but I also want to knit at least one item for charity per month. That's part of the reason I started knitting in the first place! I was working at Jo-Ann between getting my M.A. and going back to Ireland for Moon Handbooks, and I rang up this really nice lady who was buying bright red yarn to knit a receiving blanket for Project Linus. She inspired me to learn to knit—for the third time—but once I'd finally gotten the hang of it I just started making stuff for myself and my family. In three years of knitting, I've only made one object for charity, and I'm ashamed of that. I think I'll try to make a few things for both Dulaan and the Knitters for Obama service project, which will benefit the Mattaponi Native American tribe in Virginia.