Stress knitting.

To be honest, I’ve been stressed out lately, and when I’m stressed I tend to knit like a bit of a nutter. Stacy of StressKnits named her podcast and business after her habit of stress-knitting; I definitely know what she’s talking about. There’s a lot going on around here so grab a cup of something delicious and let’s have a bit of a recap.

The first order of business was finishing up some socks.

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I knit down from the ghostie down the toe and then the entire second sock in about a day and a half. I really love this yarn. The colorway is Minty Fresh Graffiti from Casual Fashion Queen, on her Plush Sock base. This is pair number 9 for the year and pair 5 of my light box o’ sox.

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With that, I went back to the stripey rainbow socks. We’re done with one sock tube and cast on to the second. I’m digging the long ribbing I did, but I don’t know if I have the fortitude to do that more often.

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In sweater news, my Madewell is humming right along, I’m down to the bottom hem and then it’s sleeves, ho! I did shorten it by quite a bit, hopefully that works out.

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Ugh, I really do love it. Since we haven’t heard much about it in a while, the pattern is Madewell by Joji Locatelli and I’m knitting it out of the cashmere sock yarn from The Wool Barn. The colorway is Smitten, and I am.

I cast on one new thing this weekend, and I’m trying not to go into full obsession mode. First, the yarn:

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Duck Duck Wool silky singleton base in Sky Cover (grey), Wear Your Mittens (mint), and Single Scoop (cream with pink). I cast on Saturday night:

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I finished the first section of the Baubles Shawl by Andrea Mowry, and then stopped myself. I’m going to go back for the brioche (squee!) after I finish that sweater hem.

While I was gathering up these WIPs, I found something behind my desk bookshelf… It was a project bag. Opened it up and viola! Hat brim:

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I cast on this hat over Christmas vacation and had completely forgotten about it! I don’t think it ever even made it to the blog. The yarn is Junkyarn DK in the Barbie colorway.  I’m really excited to find it though, that pink is killer.

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I’ve got plenty to keep myself busy with this pretty little pile. Happy making!

 

 

Windswept.

I am certainly swept away by this shawl.

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Knitting it was a dream: the rhythm, the texture, the squish. I loved working on it so much that the shawl only spent two weeks on the needles. Now that it’s finished though, the shawl itself is just perfect.

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This Windswept, a pattern by Molly Klatt of A Homespun House. I knit out of Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Peacock colorway. This yarn and pattern are truly a match made in heaven, the yarn shows off the texture so well. I was a bit worried that the color would be too dark and would obscure the stitch pattern, but I think it’s amazing. A bit hard to photograph, but gorgeous color.

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I don’t have much else to say, it’s wonderful. I could knit another, to be honest. I’ve knit Molly’s other shawl pattern, the Whispering Pines, and it’s great as well. She does something special with her designs, they’re beautiful.

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Happy making!

My favorite holiday – part two.

Yesterday, I indulged in a deliciously decadent day of all things sheepy and wooly. The kids and I spent the day at the Maryland Sheep & Festival, having a blast.

To kick things off, I overslept a bit. We managed to get out the door pretty quickly, but the kids were definitely not  sunshine ready when we left.IMG_20180505_080832.jpg

That picture cracks me up. We headed over to the festival and it only took us about 15 minutes to get over there, but once we did, whew! The traffic was pretty terrible. I took us nearly an hour to drive the mile from the interstate to the fairgrounds. Most of that time was spent stopped so I put a row or two on my sock while we waited.

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Once we got there, though, it was so much fun! We walked around and did a bit of shopping for a while, but then we took a nice tour through all the sheep barns.

 

 

We always try to find sheep who like to be petted, they’re so precious and wooly!

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That guy was amazingly soft and loved getting all the attention! Not to be outdone by the sheep, the angora bunnies were in full-on adorable mode and Joshua even got to hold a baby. I nearly fainted from all the cute.

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We walked through the open air barns, when we came across the booth for Sarafina Fiber Art. Truly amazing. There was a humongous felted giraffe:

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And a possum with a scarf:

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After all of that, it was lunch time. We visited the scouts and settled in on the grass for a picnic.

 

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We tooled around a bit more, there were a few vendors I wanted to go back to. Once I was finished with my yarn shopping, the kids were ready for a snack. Go figure, they love some festival food.

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With that, we made our way to the car. We always stop on the way out at the farmer’s market, and this year was no exception. We picked up some cheese to take home and I was thrilled to see a local coffee roaster selling iced coffee. It was really delicious, so I went back for a pound of beans. Can’t wait to dig in to that.

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We made it back to the car just as the rain started to come on. It’s been a quiet afternoon, I’ve been organizing yarn and queuing up all the projects I have planned.

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I am excited that I know exactly what each skein of yarn is going to be. I tried to remember two things, my color scheme and my word of the year–intentional. Those two thoughts helped me think about how the yarn I was looking at could become items that would fit into my wardrobe.

In case you’re curious, I knit about this much while waiting around for various things this weekend:

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I really like this month’s rainbow! I am dying to cast on something new, all of those pretty yarns are just whispering at me from the craft room. At the same time, I want to get a few things finished up. Either way, I’m ready to knit.

Happy making!


I’ll talk about the yarn as I use it, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with the contact form. I am always happy to chat!

My favorite holiday – part one.

If knitting had a holiday, it would be a sheep & wool festival. Full of community, excitement, sheep, and the tools of our trade. For me, it’s the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival–which just so happens to be this weekend. I’ve had a fantastic weekend so far, some me time, some time with the kids, and some major yarn time.

Thursday night I got to thinking that I might have some line-standing time, and it would be nice to have a little sock tube on some 9″ circs for knitting-while-standing ease. I went ahead and cast on my May rainbow socks and knit a whole repeat for the cuff. I usually run out of patience to do that, but I’m pleased with the result.

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Things finally kicked off Friday after work. I headed straight to Needles Up, a pop-up shop in Columbia. It was a really lovely event. Never packed, the crowd control made it a nice experience. The event was very nicely curated with yarn, fiber, bags, sock soap, and charms. I sampled a bit of it all.

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Well, everything except the fiber. I’m so excited about this bag, it’s from Fat Squirrel Fibers and is sweater sized. I thought it was high time my sweaters got their own bag, usually they just have a cubby at my desk.

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Though it was over ninety degrees out, it was chilly inside, so I was able to rock my Half Moon Oracle for the first time. I even got to meet several podcasters and makers that I’ve been following for a long time. Everyone was so sweet! All in all, Needles Up was a blast.

From there, I headed straight to Frederick for a pop-up shop at The Knot House. I had a nice time walking around Frederick before I got in line–I was second!

It was a bit of a madhouse in the Knot House. It was just choc full of gorgeous yarn and knitters ogling it. I got the chance to show Carol, of Swift Yarns, my Half Moon Oracle that I knit out of her yarn. She snapped a fun picture of me putting it on.

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After that, things became a bit of a blur. I had lovely chats with Sandra, of Duck Duck Wool, and Claire, of Autumn and Indigo, and with several knitters while we waited in line. Luckily, the line wasn’t a quarter as long as last year.

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All in all, it was a great day. I made it home just in time for Kevin’s amazing burgers and a quiet night of planning our day over at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Stay tuned for a recap of all the fun we had over there, and happy wooly holiday!


I’ll talk about the yarn as I use it, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with the contact form. I am always happy to chat!

 

Plants, plans, and progress.

I may have started every single blog post in April with some comment about how ready I am for spring to really be here. Well, it’s here, friends. Today is the last day of April, and I think we’re really there.

First of all, I finally planted my wee container garden. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon and my little brother is in town for the evening, so we headed out to the local produce stand and greenhouse to purchase my plants.

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We rearranged the back deck and got it all done. I love it! I have 8 different herbs, a jalapeño, and a tomato. Among the herbs are 10 basil plants… I think Noah was a little aghast at the sheer volume of basil, but we like our basil around here. I have visions of pesto and marinara dancing in my head.

 

Another key spring component is imminent–the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It kicks off this weekend. Feel free to look back at my festival experience from last year, but suffice it to say this is practically a holiday in my house. I’m planning to go to two pop-up shops on Friday, Needles Up and The Knot House, and then take the kids for an all out festival day on Saturday.

I’ve been daydreaming about all of the yarn I’ll squish and what is going to follow me home. I don’t want to come out with single skeins or yarn that I don’t know quite what to do with, though. And so, I’ve been planning. Checking out patterns, scheming on sweaters, dreaming up shawls. I made myself a pretty little information sheet, with yardages on a few key patterns and other things I want to look for.

 

Now, I do not plan on buying yarn for all of this. But I find that when I’m staring at a wall of beautiful yarn, I get overwhelmed if I don’t have any patterns in my mind. And so, the cheat sheet was born. I’m really interested to see how this sheet will compare to the haul by the end of the weekend.

Somehow, thinking of all of these potential projects has gotten me in the mood for doing some major knitting on my other projects. I want them to be pretty far along before the any post festival startitis sets in. I’ve gotten down to the gusset on the next pair of socks:

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This yarn is by Casual Fashion Queen in the Minty Fresh Graffiti colorway. I am digging this colorway and the yarn is that perfect 80/20 squishiness that I adore.

In sweater news, I am now past the waist shaping on my Madewell. I tried it on a few days ago and I’m absolutely in love.

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I really need to reclaim the yarn from my abandoned Boho Blush. I want to use up all the bits and bobs on the body of the sweater and use the last skein for the sleeves and collar.

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My true obsession, however, is my Windswept. I love it so much. I realize that it doesn’t look very different from the last time I showed it, but we’re getting there. It’s honestly been difficult to want to knit anything else, I love it so.

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I’m really happy that the container garden is planted, because frankly, all I want to do is knit and think about knitting. Although, I’ve already been out to check the garden about a half dozen times. Hooray for spring!

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Happy making!

Sometime in April.

I believe spring has sprung. The weather is warming up, we spring cleaned the bedrooms, and a delightfully spring-y colored pair of socks has fallen off of my needles.

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These are my April rainbow socks, pair #4 in my rainbow box o’sox. The yarn is from Kntitterly Things, from the 2017 Rainbow of the Month Club. This is the April colorway, called “Sometime in April.” I love them. They are so pretty and pastel and wonderful.

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I get a fair number of questions about how I knit my socks, so let’s talk details. For stripey socks, I have a pretty standard recipe. I cast on 64 stitches using a 2.00 mm (US 0) needle, either magic loop or a 9″ circular. I will say that if you are new to knitting socks, it might take a bit of experimentation to find a good fit for your foot and leg. I experimented quite a bit before I settled on this needle and stitch count. I know it works for me with pretty much any standard sock yarn (around 400 yards to 100 grams).

As for the actual construction, I knit top them top down, starting with a German Twisted cast on. I knit a 2×2 ribbed cuff, at least 15 rows, maybe more depending on where the stripes fall. I knit a straight sock tube until it measures between 11″ and 13″ from the cast on edge, again depending on the length of the stripe repeat, how the stripes fall, and how I’m feeling about finishing fast. I decrease for the toe and kitchener, then cut in heels a la the Kirbywirby video–check out that video, this method is my favorite for an afterhtough heel. I decrease for the heel identically to the toe, kitchener, and done!

For this pair, I used one of the alternative decrease methods from Susan B. Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks. That pattern is a veritable encyclopedia of sock knitting ideas and methods, I’ve referenced it a lot.

You might know that I love knitting socks, I could write about them all day. I’ll just leave you with one more picture of these beauties and we can get on with things.

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Moving right along, I’ve got a new cast on! I just felt like casting on something new, so I did.  I am enjoying everything about it.

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This is the beginning of my Windswept, a pattern by Molly Klatt of A Homespun House. I have had this pattern in my queue, the yarn in my stash, and the shawl on my mind for quite a while. I was finally enabled by Chelsea, of Legacy Fiber Artz, on her latest Naptime Shortie. I am so glad that I cast this shawl on. I’m knitting it out of Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Peacock colorway, which I purchased last fall at the outset of my wardrobe architect project.

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The combination of the color, the yarn, and the texture pattern is giving me life. I just want to knit this all of the time.

Happy making!

Progress.

Over the last week – week and a half, I have done a few things. One was to go to Columbus for work. It’s a great city to visit for a work trip, by the way. I had a great time.

But before that, last weekend after finishing my half moon oracle shawl, I worked on socks. During D&D I finished one, but then did something crazy… I cast on a different for a different pair of socks.

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That April rainbow was just calling to me. I don’t tend to get second sock syndrome though, so I still went forward with the first pair–even if I knit a stripe or two here and there. I kept knitting on them on my trip, though it felt as if they would never end.

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But, as all socks do if you keep knitting them, they did end at some point. As I do at home, I woke up early on the trip for some coffee and knitting time each morning. One morning, I put the toe in the second sock, and voila!

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Now that they’re home, photographed in my traditional manner, the leftover yarn weighed and logged, and tucked away into my light box o’sox–they are truly finished.

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The main yarn is Oh! Loops on the Ascot base in the Nerds colorway. I did a contrast toe in a mini from Nikki Slipp.

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Once I finished that pair, it was full steam ahead on the rainbow socks. I’m absolutely dying over these. This pastel-rainbow, Easter-eggy goodness is just too much.

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By the time we boarded the plane home, I was ready for the decreases. It’s a 49-minute flight and I had just enough time to knit the toe before we landed.

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Last night, I kitchenered that sucker and wove in the ends. I managed to cast on the second, but didn’t even get through the first round before getting too sleepy to do anything else.

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While I was gone, my sauerkraut kept on krauting. It’s getting nicely hot pink now, but I tasted it and it’s still got a ways to go before it’s ready.

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Before I left for the trip, I did cast on one little thing. My Madewell! I’m down past separating for the sleeves so we’re moving along pretty well.

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All in all, I’m getting some good knitting squeezed in these days. And now that I’ve returned to Maryland, it seems spring is finally starting to take hold. I can’t wait for my next outside project!

Happy making!