Better than flowers.

Friday night was date night. I got home and met Kevin before heading back out for supper. As we were heading out, I noticed a big box had arrived. Kevin asked me to bring it in and open it for him while he put his shoes on. I was curious and a bit confused but opened it up and…

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I’ve been going on and on about wanting a serger and he surprised me with one! I still can’t believe it. Besides making me feel ridiculously spoiled, this was so very sweet of Kevin to have thought of me and wanted to do something so nice for me. So sweet. I haven’t had the chance to play with it yet, but I’m planning on firing it up this week.

We had a lovely date night followed by a lazy weekend. I finished two secret making projects and then set my sites on an ongoing WiP: Kevin’s socks. The Saturday night football game was really stressful and that helped me finish the second of the sock tubes.

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After that, it only took me about the first half of Sunday night football to cut in the heels.

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The yarn is The Lemonade Shop Mighty Sock in Tang. I knit them toe up on 2.25 mm (US 1) needles. They were a bit of a trial and error process. I tried a toe up heel flap and gusset, but really really hated doing it, so I decided on my tried-and-true cut in heel. I’ve decided–again–that I hate knitting toe up socks, so now that I know a needle size and stitch count that works, I’ll knit the next pair top down. All the nitty gritty details are on my Ravelry project page.  These are the first pair of socks I’ve knit for Kevin and I’m happy to report they fit and he loves them.

 

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He says they feel great and are really warm, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

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I love this guy.


YoM day 299-300: Shawl knitting

YoM day 301-302: Sock knitting and secrets


Happy making!

A little motivation.

I have felt extraordinarily motivated in my making lately. The plan is–so far–doing an amazing thing. I’m so excited to get to everything that I have planned, I’ve been highly motivated in my knitting. I couldn’t think of anything else until I got this cowl off the needles:

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This is Slipstream by Maria Montzka. I knit it out of Quince & Co. Lark in the Mist colorway. I only needed about 5 grams out of the third skein, I knit 2 full repeats of the pattern. I really loved knitting this. I don’t often knit things that are so lacy, especially not anything that’s overall patterned. It gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities and patience. It also felt good to knit something in a single, solid color. I’m incredibly happy with this finished object.

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This is my first make from my plans with my wardrobe architect project. It’s exciting to get started on that and I can’t wait to get to more of those plans!

I got started on a new hat for Astra. She had two requests: orange and mohair. I am more than happy to knit both. I cast it on last weekend. It’s ridiculously fuzzy and soft and squishy. And quite orange, if I do say so myself.

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I wound up staying up late the other night watching old movies and finished the hat. It’s so squishy and fuzzy, and Astra really likes it. This is Bumble by Tin Can Knits and I held one strand of Knit Picks Swish (100% merino) DK in Clementine together with one strand of Knit Picks Aloft (mohair silk blend) in Koi.

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Since I can’t seem to keep the socks off of my needles, I finally gave in and put some time into my Halloween socks. During the first football game of Sunday, I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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Through my Steelers game and Monday Night Football, I managed to knit to about half way through the gusset. These kind of felt like were just falling off the needles. After the night of finishing the hat, I stayed up the next night and finished the socks!

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These were fun to knit up. They’re knit out of Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in the Flytrap colorway. This was one of the September club colorways. I really never knit anything with black, but I’m digging how these turned out Halloween-y in a not super Halloween-y way. These are my fourteenth pair for my Box O’ Sox.

Whew! It’s not often I have 3 finishes in week but I’ve got so much that I want to get to, I’ve really felt like finishing things. I’ve started in on a bit more secret making (I can’t seem to help myself) and I’ve got yarn on the way for a new shawl. I just know I’m going to want to cast it on immediately.

I don’t really like having tons of projects going at once–I  know you can’t tell with how much I’ve been casting on lately–and I want to be in the mindset to just give myself over to the new shawl. It’s one of the ones I talked about last week–I can’t wait to tell you all about it!


YoM Day 293-294: Cowl knitting – finished Slipstream!

YoM Day 295-296: Sock and hat knitting

YoM Day 297: Hat knitting – finished Astra’s hat!

YoM Day 298: Sock knitting – finished Halloween Socks!


Happy making!

Quickly.

Sometimes, I become enamored. A particular skein of yarn, a swatch of fabric, even a pattern, sometimes I get the thing in my head. When that happens, other projects can fall by the wayside in my quest to make something with the object of my affection. My most recent love affair has been with this yarn:

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This is Underwater Princess on Merino DK by Suburban Stitcher. I purchased this yarn for a brioche project, but I love it so much that I didn’t want another yarn to compete with it.

I thought a hat would be a good project for it. You may recall, I had recently cast on the Fleesensee Hat by Verena Cohrs. I knit almost all of the rib and was looking through some of the project pages for the hat and noticed that a fair number of people were saying the hat knit up too small. I am generally a loose knitter but I have a big head, so I was curious. I pulled some waste yarn through the stitches and tried it on. Too small. Definitely too small.

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I was discouraged about having to rip out inches and inches of twisted rib but I did it. And then I tried to figure out what on earth to do with the yarn. I noticed that the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief only takes one skein of DK weight yarn to make a cute little shawlette. Sold! I had to order needles though, since I couldn’t wait until I finished my Marled Magic to free up my 6 mm needles.

The needles came last Friday night and I had had a really rough evening. To cheer myself up, I cast on the shawl. Since it’s DK and a fairly simple pattern, it started showing progress pretty quickly that night:

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The next morning I knit a few rows on it and then came back to it that Saturday night. I knit and knit, and then woke up and knit on it with my Sunday morning coffee and…

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I bound the thing off before I made lunch. It absolutely flew. I gave the shawl a bath and blocked it fairly aggressively and it came out beautifully.

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It’s a great size for a small shawl. Enough to put over your shoulders or throw around your neck, but not so small that it falls off all the time.

A quick FO like that can be so gratifying, not to mention a great way to satisfy that drive to work with a particular material. It is so fun to go from loving a yarn to wearing a finished piece knit with it.

I’m in a weird place of wanting to cast on a million things–still!–and getting completely addicted to my knits and wanting to finish things. A weekend knit like this shawlette was just the ticket.


YoM Day 286-288: Shawl and sock knitting

YoM Day 289-292: Cowl knitting


Happy making!

Making the making happen.

After all of this thought and consideration, I came to the realization that this is a ginormous project. It will certainly take me a long time to make an entire wardrobe, even though I’m not going to make things like jeans and shoes and purses. This will be multi-year at a minimum, but really since it’s also my hobby, I think it will be ongoing.

As a new sewist, I’m looking at sewing patterns that are on the easier end of the sewing spectrum. Things like simple dresses, skirts, and tops. I have a starter list of sewing patterns that fit the bill:

I’ve made the Moneta in a lovely dark grey, and purchased fabric for everything–except the Blackwood–in a neutral or nearly neutral from my palette:

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I’m hoping this will be a good start towards some basics in my wardrobe. I plan to make these 6 patterns several times, both for practice and to build up the wardrobe staples.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time on Ravelry thinking about what sort of knitted staples I envision. A lacy cowl, a couple of really cozy, big shawls, a cabled hat, an easy wearing triangle shawl. That’s just a start, of course. Knitting is my first love and I could pick out a million patterns. The top of my knitting queue is currently

Ugh, I want to knit all of them right now. I did make a few yarn purchases… Now, if you know me and my stash, you’ll know that solids are really not my M.O. We’re talking wardrobe staples though, so solids and tonals it is. I got in my very first yarn from Quince and Co. this week. This is for the Slipstream Cowl and the Windswept Shawl:

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I was so excited when this package arrived, Kevin came in to see what the yarn looked like. “It’s solid…” was his reaction. It’s definitely a big departure for me! I couldn’t wait to get started so I’ve already cast on a new thing!

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With all of that, I feel like I have a fairly rounded out slate of sewing and knitting. I think it will be a nice little start to the wardrobe once all of this is finished. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s little mini-series about my wardrobe architect project. This has been a fun way to start this journey of thoughtfully planning my making.


Happy making!

What about the yarn?

I have a yarn stash, it’s true. I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty serious stash. I love it and dig through it often. Sometimes looking for yarn for a particular project, sometimes sock yarn, sometimes just looking and petting. I also purchase yarn from time to time…

As I mentioned at the beginning of this little series, I’ve been a sucker for the shiny when it comes to yarn. I love a lot of dyers, I love color, and new and fun combinations always seduce me.  Once I narrowed down my color palette though, I wondered what that meant for the yarn.

I thought and thought.  I decided to pull out all of the yarn that fits the new color palate. It’s not that much, when compared to the whole.

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Once I separated all of that out, I had three categories for what was left:

  1. Yarn that just isn’t me anymore, for various reasons
  2. Sock yarn. This could be anything and everything, but all of it will wind up socks. Eventually.
  3. Yarn I like but doesn’t fit the color palette – there isn’t much of this

I put all of the yarn that just isn’t me for whatever reason up on Ravelry as de-stash. That was easy. The sock yarn was easy, too–it stays–I love to knit socks and will continue to wear any crazy pair.

The yarn I like but that doesn’t fit is more difficult. After a lot of thought, it’s going on Ravelry de-stash too. If someone else really wants it, they should have it. I may still knit with some of it if the mood strikes, that option will still be there.

One big realization for me in all of this is that I don’t intend to stop knitting fun and crazy color combinations. I enjoy those things and I think they can always squeeze into my wardrobe with the jeans and t-shirts, if nothing else. Knits like my Marled Magic or Love Ewe Baby, those are creative, process knits and I love them for reasons other than putting them into my curated wardrobe.

This has really helped with my yarn buying habits. As I mentioned, I feel a strong pull toward the “shiny!” This is evidenced in the overwhelming quantity of single skeins of sock yarn that I own. It’s really helped me think about what I want to purchase and why. I have tons of fun yarn to play with and knit with. But I don’t have very much that checks the boxes for my planned wardrobe.

One of the things I thought about when I was working on my core style, was where being a knitter and maker fits in. Part of that is pretty easy, I would prefer to sew the majority of my clothes. But as far as knitting, how does that fit in? I’ve thought a lot about that. I want to knit some feminine, cozy, simple, and/or classic items in my new found color palate. Tomorrow, we’ll explore how I’m working on making all of that making happen.


Happy making!

Color story.

I love color. I don’t think that’s any secret. From my love of rainbow to my fascination with neon, I love it all.

This last year, though, I’ve noticed that my color choices have been slowly shifting.

Colorful, but much softer. I’ve really felt a strong draw to softer, subtle color.

This shift made me very excited for the next step in my Wardrobe Architect journey… color. After all, color was really what got me started thinking about all of this. I’ve been wondering what my shifting tastes in color mean, if anything. Well, I likely spent the most time of the whole process thinking about color.

The exercises direct you to look through your closet, your stash, and the internet for inspiration. Always keeping in mind my core words–feminine, cozy, simple, classic–I started looking around.

The first place I went is my stash. There are only about a trillion colors there. Most notably a lot of rainbow, minty blues, and pinks from hot to sweet. I looked in my wardrobe, but that’s where some of this whole issue started–nothing cohesive there. So, like I’ve done all along, I went to the internet:

This all just feels feminine and cozy to me. I love the feeling these colors evoke.

My next step would be to put together three palettes. Neutrals, nearly neutrals, and statement colors. For neutrals, I’m kind of across the board. Part of that is because I’ll probably stick to classic brown and black for accessories like shoes and bags. The greys and creams will go into my wardrobe for clothes and accessories.

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The idea of “nearly neutrals” is possibly the most interesting to me. These are colors that you plan to wear as neutrals. I’ve chosen 4 colors that I think I could make work in every season, which is fairly important to me. I plan to make a good number of items in these colors.

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As for my statement colors, I chose these for a few different reasons. I think these colors in different combinations with the nearly neutrals can really evoke different seasons. These are colors I like a lot and I think will give some nice variety and versatility to the neutrals above. I love hot pink and I’ve fallen hard for mint. I don’t wear much true red, but it can be effective in small doses. And on your nails.

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This was so much fun. I love my color palette and the story it creates for me. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what all of this has means for the yarn stash. This gives a whole new meaning to the question, what’s your favorite color?


Happy making!


P.S. mine’s grey

The shape of things.

The next steps in the Wardrobe Architecture series (read my intro to this series here) had me exploring a topic that I know quite well, but rarely follow through on. That topic is silhouette.

I know my silhouette.  No matter my weight, no matter my age, it’s one thing that really hasn’t changed in a good 20 years. I am definitely on the pear side of hourglass.

This causes a fair bit of trouble when shopping, since pants and skirts large enough to accommodate my hips will invariably be too large on my waist. Likewise, dresses can be difficult to find, I’m generally a different size on top and bottom. Add to that my general dislike of skinny jeans and I haven’t been clothes shopping in several years.

During the wardrobe architect process, I thought a lot about the shapes and silhouettes in clothes that make me feel best. I feel a bit of kinship with the a common silhouette from the 1950s. Those fitted tops and wide skirts are just everything.

For dresses, I love that shape. I have always liked wearing wrap dresses and dresses with a fitted bodice and wider skirt. I also like fitted pants and jeans with a trouser leg that helps de-emphasize my hips. With all of that in mind, I created a collage of silhouettes:

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Armed with these outfit shapes, I started combing the internet for patterns that fit these ideas. I mean, the whole idea is become a more informed and intentional maker, after all. I put together a list of patterns that would give me the following shapes:

  • Full or fullish skirt with tailored top
  • Knit, shirt, or wrap dresses – fitted on top with wider skirt
  • Casual t-shirt and jeans
  • Tailored top and slacks
  • Cardigans, both fitted and cozy/casual

I’ve created a Pinterest board of all of the sewing patterns I found. They are for various levels of expertise, so some will definitely come before others. Of course, I also plan to knit a cardigan or two, somewhere down the line.

I went ahead and sewed up the Moneta by Colette Patterns. I still haven’t gotten a picture of myself in it, but boy do I feel like a million bucks in the thing. It’s fitted on top and wider in the skirt and I just adore it. It makes me feel curvy in the best way possible.

And that’s a shape I can live with.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about my favorite subject in making.


Happy making!