Definitely not all three.

As I made my Sunday morning coffee this weeekend, I thought about what knitting I wanted get done. Actively on the needles were my Zweig and my July rainbow socks. I knew that I wanted to finish the socks first thing, but where to go after that?

I have, of course, another pair of July socks just waiting to be cast on and that sweater has been calling my name. I really want to be done with both before the end of the month. August is my birthday month and this year I want to cast on birthday socks and a birthday sweater. However, finishing socks, casting on socks, and finishing the body of a sweater is a tall order, even for a Sunday. I decided I’d have to pick a couple.

Over that first cup of Sunday morning coffee, I finished up the July rainbow socks. These socks have been good travel companions. but it felt good to get them wrapped up.

IMG_20180715_101918_917

This is the 13th pair in my Box O’ Sox and the 7th pair of rainbow socks for the year. The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in Prisma, the July colorway from the 2017 rainbow of the month club.

img_20180715_095545.jpg

So pretty and summery. I’m starting to get really excited to see how the fall rainbows knit up, but we still have August to knit. Moving right along, I opted for casting on the next pair of socks. I’d rather keep the sock train going. We’ll be traveling over my birthday so the birthday socks will be first on the docket in August, anyway.

My July light socks came with a contrast mini. I wasn’t really feeling like doing heels, toes and cuffs, or even just heels and toes. I tend to just do contrast toes and don’t even do that very often. However, with my new found love of colorwork, I had an idea. What about adding a little contrast in on the leg?

img_20180715_165839.jpg

Oh. My. Goodness. This, this I cannot stand. I took the heart motif from Dale by Molly Klatt of a Homespun House. I’m not following the rest of the pattern, but those hearts! I love the teal with the speckles, these are so much fun! The yarn was a sock set from Hooker’s Corner in the Tippy Toes colorway.

With those cast on, I turned to my sweater. I don’t think I’ve shown it on the blog in quite a while, but mostly I’ve just been trundling down the body knitting little cable x’s. And so that’s what I decided to do last night. A few more repeats, trying to get close to finished. I knit the body to about 1″ shorter than called for, tried it on and voila! Perfect length. I think I have a short torso. I’ve been shortening everything.

img_20180716_000617.jpg

Anyway, I knit the ribbing and tried two different bind off methods. I wound up with a simple bind off in pattern and I think it looks nice and clean. I got the whole thing bound off and ends woven in before bed. I can’t believe I checked all three boxes! I thought surely something would get left out.

img_20180716_075140.jpg

Sigh. I just adore it. I am so glad I did the texture pattern. It really adds something special to the sweater. Everything about this is magical so far. The pattern is Zweig by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. My main color is Skein Top Draw Sock in Japanese Slippper and the contrast color is Nice & Knit Sock in Old Bay.

IMG_20180716_075253

IMG_20180716_075411

It was difficult to want to take the thing off this morning. But it isn’t destined for cap sleeves, and I’m having so much fun knitting the thing, anyway.

IMG_20180716_075427

Happy making!

Back to California.

I really like to visit California. For the most part. It’s generally lovely weather, the landscape is vastly different, and it’s dry enough that my hair looks pretty good all the time. On the negative side, I can’t really wear my knits, it’s so very far away, and that same dry weather plays havoc with my skin. So it’s one of those places that I love to visit and love to come home from.

This past week, I headed back across the country for another work trip. This one was a wee bit different, though, since my colleagues and I were attending a conference, rather than putting one on. I didn’t really know what to expect as far as time to myself went, so as any knitter does, I overpacked on knitting.

IMG_20180709_185439_470

In an unprecedented feat of reasonable-ness, I only took two of these projects in the end. I woke up early on Tuesday and headed to the airport, where I immediately procured an iced coffee and set in to work on my socks.

IMG_20180710_065814

I boarded the plane and knit until we could put our tray tables down, at which point I felt I could cut in the heel. I used to only do the straight knitting when I was anywhere other home. No heels, no cast ons, maybe maybe maybe a toe. But these days, I feel pretty comfortable with all of it.

IMG_20180710_094205

I finished the sock and wove in the last end as we touched down in California.

img_20180710_131846-e1531580151778.jpg

In case you’re wondering, this yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in the Prisma colorway. It’s the July club colorway from the 2017 rainbow of the month club. Anyway, I called an uber for ~1 hour ride from L.A. to Pasadena, and got the sock cast on but forgot about my backseat carsickness and had to stop after that.

IMG_20180710_114434

That afternoon, I did some walking around Pasadena, took a nap, and went to a networking event. With the time change, I was pretty pooped after that so I went straight to bed. The next day I slept in a bit and headed to the conference for breakfast. I won’t bore you with all the details, but it was a good day. I scored some fun swag, including a lei from the fine folks of Hawaii:

IMG_20180711_170109

In the afternoon, we toured the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses which, among many things, featured some amazing landscaping.

 

On Thursday, I made myself get up early enough for some early morning coffee, knitting, and reading. I finished my book and the cuff of the second sock.

IMG_20180711_070157

That day, two pretty cool things happened. The first was that I got to see Bill Nye, The Science Guy, speak. He was very funny and engaging.

IMG_20180712_153623

The second was that I found Mer-Pug. I love him. Evidently this is a thing in Norfolk, VA – which is pretty darned awesome.

IMG_20180712_103000

We had a closing celebration that night, which was a lot of fun. I don’t often get to dress up and go out on the town, and I enjoyed it a lot. The next morning, I was up at 3:15 a.m. and while waiting for the uber managed to get in some pre-4-am rows in on the sock.

IMG_20180713_034623

On the plane, I started a veritable coffee IV and a new book, all while plugging away on the socks.

IMG_20180713_074646

By the time the flight was over, I was nearly at the toe and ready to cut in the heel.

IMG_20180713_111639

It was still pretty early when I got home yesterday, so I cut in the heel alongside a little more coffee. The coffee was really just to at least keep me awake until it was time to go pick up Joshua.

IMG_20180714_094951

It was a great trip, I really liked Pasadena. Dry heat, great food, and roses everywhere. As a wannabe hermit, though, I am glad to be home. I’ve slept in, played games with Joshua and Kevin, gone grocery shopping, and now I’m ready to finish up those socks.

Happy {travel} making!

On the receiving end.

I posted a while back about Fibreshare, an international fiber artists swap. I joined because I felt I could use an extra dose of joy in my life–and let me tell you, I found joy in spades! I had such a great time preparing the package that I sent, so much fun curating a box of goodness to make another knitter smile.

My partner was lovely from the start. She sent me a few emails, following up with questions that she had. And then one horrid Monday evening, I came home to the sweetest postcard. Just a note to say hi.

IMG_20180604_223903_781

So sweet and thoughtful. Fast forward a few weeks and I check the mail and another sweet note had found it’s way down the east coast to me.

img_20180615_153039.jpg

And then yesterday afternoon, a package arrived. I opened it up to find a letter propped on top of everything.

IMG_20180702_165205

Underneath the note and the pretty pink paper–don’t worry, about five minutes after the above picture, I spilled water all over both note and paper–was a big project bag, filled to the brim with goodies.

IMG_20180702_165356

IMG_20180702_165457

The bag itself, handmade my my partner is big and pink and grey and lined with elephants! My zwieg might have to move into this bag sooner rather than later. Inside, was a plethora of parcels–all wrapped in fabric or handmade bags.

img_20180702_165724

I don’t know what it is, but I loved all the C’s on the tags. See all those cute bags? Once I unwrapped everything, I was left with this stack of precious little sacks–all of them sewed by my partner!

IMG_20180702_173511

I unwrapped it all, reading along in her note about each item she had selected. I really can’t believe how well she got me! I absolutely adore everything, no question.

IMG_20180702_171820

The yarn is so me, it’s even more me than I think I ever could pick out! In the questionnaire, I wrote that I love soft colors and my ravelry profile it says my favorite colors are grey, pink, and mint. Well, my partner went there in spades. She sent me some lovely yarn from Chelsea Luxe, the house yarn of her LYS, Chelsea Yarns.

In a feat of unparalleled mind-reading, she gifted me a skien of Sweet Sparrow Yarns, a local to my partner dyer that I’ve been obsessing over lately. Her colors are everything, and this skein of Snowberry is no exception.  My partner also graced me with a touch of luxury in the form of some handspun angora. It is the softest thing I’ve ever touched.

But what blows my mind is that she sent me two mini skein sets–one that speaks to my bright color loving soul and one that hits right at my current unspoken obsession with golds and browns. How did she know?

Among all of the bits and bobs of preciousness that she sent my way, there was an alpaca magnet (already beloved by everyone and named Tim), handmade stitch markers, buttons, salt water taffy, coffee, and this beautiful little painting:

img_20180702_173706.jpg

I just cannot. I can’t wait to get a frame, I love it. Last but certainly not least, was one final little hand made item from my partner. I’m still in awe of this piece. She cross stitched me some rainbow socks! There were tears.

IMG_20180702_173319

All in all, I’m incredibly touched by the thoughtfulness of this package. I truly love each and every thing, and it is all so special.

IMG_20180702_172105

Fibreshare was a wonderful experience. I got to know some amazing kntiters, and got to share in the giving and receiving of the squishy goodness we all love so much. I would highly recommend giving this swap a try, the people are wonderful and the whole community is lovely. I definitely plan on signing up for the next round and really look forward to it. For now, I’m just going to knit on next pair of rainbow socks and enjoy some of my new treats.

img_20180703_072513.jpg

Happy making {friends and socks}!

Midterm Progress Report.

It’s hard to believe, but the year is at the halfway point. I’ve been thinking a lot about assessment and progress, and about the goals I set for myself six months ago.

I started this year with the idea of challenging myself with my making. I set out six specific challenges and I’ve accomplished two: a knitted garment and a colorwork knit. As for the rest, my sewing mojo has left the building. All I want to do is knit. And that is a-ok by me. One day I’ll get around to those sewing challenges. Probably.

My make nine is plowing right on ahead. We’re halfway through the year? I’m just over halfway through those nine projects. The links for the finished objects will take you to my project pages. The yarn plans have changed for a couple of the others, so we can take a look at those as well.

Madewell — Joji Locatelli

img_20180608_081723

Dotted Rays — Stephen West

Eureka Cowl — Jessica Gore

IMG_20180319_090836

Sunset Highway — Caitlin Hunter

img_20180630_154230

Peepaloo Fields Twist Sock in (l-r) Tide, Bluebird, Delicate, and Hush

Void — Melanie Berg

Selbu Mittens — Skeindeer Knits

img_20180617_091646

Windswept — A Homespun House

IMG_20180508_174449

Coastal Walk — Joji Locatelli

IMG_20180315_072420

Box O’ Sox

IMG_20180630_084556

A bit more on my Box O’ Sox. I’m marking it finished for the make nine since it’s a dozen socks completed. But really, deep down in my heart, I know it’s only halfway done. I’m keeping the good times rolling on the sock train, more about that in a previous post.

In addition to all of that, I’ve got a fair number of other finishes. They look awfully pretty all piled up together:

IMG_20180630_085047

Six months of making, right there. Not pictured are a project bag, a tiny pouch, and a pair of yoga socks that have been gifted.

I feel that my word for 2018, intentional, is really helping me this year. I’m starting to feel like I’m building a wardrobe with my knits, creating garments and accessories that integrate into the style that I aspire to. I’m feeling rather inpsired by my new color palate, and really moving towards that ideal. With my larger projects that’s meant some teal, mint, grey, and a whole lot of mauve:

IMG_20180630_084146

So good. I just love these colors. My favorite accomplishment of the year is taking the plunge into garment knitting. I love knitting sweaters and can’t wait to get to more. Especially if they are mauve, apparently.

I think that’s it for everything I’ve made this year. There was that little bit of sewing and then it’s been a ton of knitting the rest of the time. I’m really excited for the next six months, I cannot wait to see what comes off my needles!

Happy making!

Sock Status.

I like to knit socks. If you don’t know, they have kinda been my thing for a while. I have participated in the Box O’ Sox knitalong–Voolenvine’s knitalong to fill a box with 12 new pairs of socks for yourself in year–for three years now, and my 2018 box is full.

IMG_20180630_084556

Oh my goodness. Can you stand it? I certainly can’t. Way back in January, I decided to knit 2 dozen socks, 2 boxes if you will, half rainbow and half light. I think we’re really onto something. While this box is full, I still have a whole dozen pairs to go!

For the rainbow socks, I’m knitting my way through my 2017 Rainbow of the Month club from Knitterly Things. I’ve completed January through June:

img_20180617_085511.jpg

It just keeps getting better! I love seeing all the rainbows together. As for the light socks, back at the beginning of January I pulled out all the softer, lighter colored yarn I wanted to knit up into socks. Now we’re six pairs in:

IMG_20180630_090207

The beady eyed among you may notice that there are 7 skeins of yarn left. There’s a potential for 2 pairs of birthday socks this year, we’ll just see how that goes. I’m seriously considering saving one skein for next year. We’ll see how the sock mojo moves me.

These last couple of weeks, that sock mojo has been down in the dumps. I pushed myself to finish my last pair of socks, even though I love the yarn and love the socks. But I woke up early this morning to make breakfast for Noah and Madely before they headed up to Connecticut. Perfect time to knit a toe! So they are all done now, pair 12–pair 6 in the light box o’sox.

IMG_20180630_080915_257

I do love these. That creamy base with brown and hot pink speckles. My gosh. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock–the bfl base–in the Teacup colorway. I see now why Teacup is such a coveted colorway. It’s divine.

IMG_20180630_075341

As I said, my sock mojo has been down, but something about getting out all my finished pairs and looking at all the potential in the skeins… has me excited to cast on the next pair. Luckily, July socks are right on deck and ready to get wound up.

IMG_20180630_091839

I mean, how could a sock addict look at all this goodness and not get excited? Here’s to the next six months of socks!

IMG_20180630_091138

Happy {sock} making!

Marion.

I have no words.

IMG_20180629_074608

Well, maybe a few words. This is my Marion, a lovely cardigan pattern by Andi Satterlund. I knit it out of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Worsted in the Dove Heather colorway. I love it. I absolutely love it! I can’t believe how it fits, I can’t believe I knit it in 72 hours, and I can’t believe how much I hate sewing on buttons. Seriously, that wasn’t fun. But back to the good stuff.

IMG_20180629_074706

I used the yarn that the pattern calls for, and I knit the sweater on 4.0 mm (US 6) needles. I got perfect gauge with my swatch, but after knitting the sweater I think I knit it a bit tighter than my swatch–maybe 4.5 stiches/inch versus the recommended 4.25 stitches per inch. I was a bit nervous about the fit, particularly because I made a fair amount of modifications to the waist shaping and length. But it fits like a glove, if I do say so myself.

IMG_20180629_074445

I knit the sweater about 4 inches longer than the pattern. From reading Andi’s blog, I knew that the waist shaping would need quite a bit of modification. I followed her recommendations, and took out several waist decreases, knit plain for a few inches, and then added in some hip increases. It took a bit of finagling to get the math to work out right for the button band, but wasn’t too hard. I’ve written out exactly what I did for the shaping on my project page.

img_20180628_094640

 

The other modifications I made were to use 8 buttons instead of 4, I used german short rows, and I accidentally swapped my m1L and m1R. The backward increases aren’t the end of the world, but hopefully I’ll remember the correct direction next time.

IMG_20180629_074437

This pattern was beautifully written,  easy to follow, and easy to modify. One thing I especially loved is her method for seamless set-in sleeves. It was incredibly easy and intuitive. I think they turned out great.

img_20180628_094710

They yarn is lovely. It’s 100% wool, so it’s not baby soft, but after blocking it softened up considerably. I love the wooly feel of it. The yarn is also very affordable, a great choice for a sweater like this. I’m already planning a sweater for Astra in this yarn for the fall. She wants orange, of course.

img_20180628_094715

I just adore these buttons. I ordered them for the sweater but wasn’t sure they’d work. They are handmade by Natalie of Remembrances Pottery. I think they’re a really sweet touch alongside the cables. Like the whole sweater, they’re not fancy, but just perfectly special.

IMG_20180629_074659

While it’s certainly not sweater weather, I’m having a great time stocking up for the fall. This has been more than a few words, but I would highly recommend this pattern and yarn for anyone looking to knit a fun, quick, affordable, and cute cardigan.

Happy making!

Knitcation: sweater accomplished.

Well, I did it. I knit a sweater over the weekend. To be fair, it was a long weekend. With Kevin and Astra heading out of town, I took the day off on Friday and crafted myself a wee knitcation. Joshua certainly didn’t mind, he was busy with camp, bike riding, and as many video games as he could con me into allowing.

I cast on Thursday evening and really got moving. I didn’t stay up too late but got the back and one of the front pieces finished.

 

img_20180621_235302

I woke up Friday morning to take Joshua to camp and came home and settled in to knit the other front piece. Once that was finished, I discovered that I had missed an increase on the right side and so I ripped back and reknit it correctly. I joined to knit the body and had it going pretty well. By the time I went to bed that night, I was just past the waist decreases.

img_20180622_235957

Since I was lengthening the sweater, I had worked out a lot of math about adjusting the waist shaping. Sometime on Friday night, I decided that it was going to be too tight at my waist and hips, so I re-math-ed on the fly. I decided to do even less waist shaping and no hip increases. At this point, I had mixed feelings about being able to finish by Sunday night. I had thought I would be farther along by this time but Joshua motivated me along. He said that even if I didn’t finish it by Sunday, I’d be really close.  And no matter what, in the end, I’d have a sweater. And that would be awesome. And so on Saturday morning, I pressed on.

img_20180623_100127

As I kept working up the body and trying it on, I decided that maybe it did need a bit of hip shaping. So once again, I re-math-ed. I added in some hip increases and finally bound off the body in the afternoon.

img_20180623_162649_189

I started to get pretty excited about the sweater and picked up the stitches for the first sleeve. Joshua and I watched a movie and I powered on and stayed up a bit too late, but finished the sleeve.

img_20180624_074825

Come Sunday morning, I felt like a rockstar. I just knew that I’d have the sleeve and the button band done by the time we went to the airport at 5. I knit the second sleeve, no problems, maybe even a bit faster than the first. And then I started picking up stitches for the button band. Of course, I had lengthened the sweater considerably, so there were a good deal more stitches to pick up. I also really hate picking up button band stitches–I have to remember to do a selvedge stitch there and save myself some heartache next time. At any rate, I got them picked up and knit the first row of ribbing.

img_20180624_150912_874

At this point, I had 2 hours until time to leave for the airport. I had thought I could power through, but I had not eaten and my hands were just… tired. The sweater got pretty heavy in the end–wrestling it around for ribbing was not exactly quick and easy.  So I took a break. Made myself lunch, scrolled through instagram, relaxed. And as I was relaxing, Kevin texted to say his flight was delayed. Fine, I thought, I’ll knit a row. His flight was delayed a bit more… another row. You see where this is going. When he texted to say they were finally departing, I texted right back to say I had finished the sweater.

img_20180624_183233

I wove in the ends before we headed out to the airport and gave the sweater a bath while Kevin recapped his weekend. It’s still on the blocking mats now, things take forever to dry in our frigid basement. Once it’s done, I’ll post some proper pictures and all the details of my modifications and whatnot. If you’re curious now, feel free to check out my project page.

This was a fun experience. Very challenging, but fun. I definitely spent every free minute knitting for about 72 hours. Fun to do for a weekend, but a little too much even for me. The focus and motivation to work with such dedication on one project was awesome. It feels great to have finished a sweater so quickly. It’s not something I’d focus on all the time–speed sweaters, as Kevin called it–but definitely a fun diversion. And I got a sweater out of it!

All in all, my own personal 4-day sweater challenge was fun. I can see the interest in doing it periodically–maybe next year I’ll take another knitcation and see what I can accomplish.

Happy making!