My very first sweater.

I can’t believe it’s done. It felt like I was knitting it forever. Like an ocean of stockinette and sleeves were all that I did for a very long time. Hindsight is 20/20 though, and now I know that it wasn’t quite so dire as all that.

From swatching to wearing was exactly six weeks. Not terrible. But I remind myself that it was not all I did. In that six week span, I completed eight other projects. Kind of crazy to think that I worked on that many other things while I had the sweater on the needles. I also continued to feed the kids and keep up my responsibilities during this time, which strikes me as an accomplishment itself. As my dad always said, “think about what you’d accomplish if you really buckled down.”

I’ve talked about the sweater a fair bit over the last few weeks, it’s been kind of a constant hum on the blog:

 

And then, magically, last weekend, I finished it. I wove in the ends and tried it on before throwing it in a nice, sudsy bath and laying it out on the blocking mats.

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I’ve been a bit worried as it was drying that it was blocking out a bit too oversized. It’s superwash, so I could throw it in the washer but once I put it on I fell in love.

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I was so excited to put it on this morning and wear it. Today I wore a sweater that I made! I roped my sweet friend, Holly, into taking a few pictures of me in it. By the way, she took these pictures with her phone and in about 3 seconds and they came out so cute! I definitely want to hire her for real pictures. She’s an incredibly talented photographer — check her out at hollycroftphotography.com

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Overall, I’m in love with this sweater. It’s the perfect relaxed, snuggly, rainy day sweater. For the details, this is Puntilla by Joji Locatelli. It’s a great first sweater–this is my first–her instructions are very clear and easy to follow. The yarn is O-Wool O-Wash Fingering in the Watermill colorway. I purchased it at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last year. I used almost 3 skeins in the sweater, a bit more than that if you include swatching. This yarn is a dream, I highly recommend it.

I knit the sweater on 3.5mm/US 4 needles. When I swatched with those I got

  • Before blocking – row gauge: 30 st = 3 7/8” – stitch gauge: 24 st = 4”
  • After blocking – row gauge: 30 st = 3 1/2” stitch gauge: 22 1/4 st = 4″

My gauge was a bit off what was called for, so I calculated that knitting a medium would give me a body circumference of 45″. Measuring the sweater today, it’s exactly 45″. Crazy. I’ve got a bit more about my swatching, my measurements, and determining size on my project page. On another note, this the first in my list of challenges for 2018 to get crossed off — a garment!

The moral of the story is that I love my first sweater. I can’t wait to knit more, but this one is definitely keeping me warm in the mean time.

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Happy {sweater} making!

More than I thought.

I am tired and work is stressful, so I will be brief this evening. I finished my February Rainbow socks, and I like them more than I thought I would. This skein was my least favorite of the lot. Not to say that I didn’t like it, it just wasn’t my favorite. As I knit it though, some magic in that chartreuse stripe took hold and I really enjoyed the rainbow that these knit up into.

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I’m really digging the matching stripes with slightly miss-matched heels.

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They’re pretty fun. The yarn is from Knitterly Things, on her sparkle base. It’s the February 2017 rainbow club yarn called “The Way It Goes.”

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The March colorway is “Rainbows After Rain” and I’m really looking forward to it. In the meantime, I’ve cast on my next pair of light socks. I could knit Baerenwolle socks forever.

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That’s all I’ve got for today. Well, one more thing… I finished the sweater. More on that later.

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Happy Making!

Candygram

I’ve been feeling a little like I’m not getting anywhere on anything. I think this feeling comes from working so hard and so monogamously on one project that still isn’t finished.

That one project is my Puntilla. Sometimes I wonder at the wisdom of a fingering weight, over-sized sweater for a first sweater, but hey, it’s simple and I love it. When last we spoke, I believe I bemoaned the endless stockinette that seemed my fortress and prison. After I wrote that, I immediately cast on for a Coastal Walk shawl:

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And that’s how far I got before I thought, let’s at least try on the sweater:

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The novelty of actually trying on a knitted garment really got to me. I thought I could at least make a bit more progress and then I became utterly obsessed. I didn’t knit a single other thing until I bound off the ribbing:

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Oh my goodness, can you stand it? The color is divine and it’s so soft. I’ve cast on a sleeve and am slowly working on that now. This weekend I’ve been deep into rainbow sock territory. I’m past the heel point in the second sock now:

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Sunday afternoon, I was looking around the internet and stumbled across a couple of quilt patterns that I just couldn’t say no to. The first of these is the Candygram Mini Quilt by Heidi Staples:

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Now, when I say mini, I mean mini. This little cutie finished at 4″ x 12″. It took me a couple of hours–my kind of instant gratification. I can’t wait to get it up on my wall! I used scraps for the top and decided on a sort of incongruous lemur print for the back.

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The second in this bit of mini mania is the 4-Patch Heart Mini Quilt by Amanda Niederhauser. I have the fabric she used in stash and that pink and red and green seems just perfect. I’ve got it cut out, half square triangles made, four-patches done–we’re ready to assemble.

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I think this one will go together fairly quickly. The pattern calls for half a jelly roll, but I’m using a charm pack that I cut up. By the way, both of those patterns are free tutorials and really easy to make. I’m looking forward to freshening up my sewing corner wall with some new minis. It’s definitely been a while!

I’m ready to get the sweater and socks off the needles, but it’s nice to look back over the last week and see that I have been moving forward with my projects. Not to mention casting on/cutting up new ones!


Happy making!

Late to the party.

I think I am perpetually figuring out the fun of the hip stuff after the fact. I tend to get into the hip, trendy projects far after they are the talk of the town. Case in point, I’m just now coming around to the whole “make nine” craze.

This is really a new year’s planning type thing, so of course I’m getting around to it in February. The idea is that you choose nine projects–knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, or a combination–to make in the coming year. I wasn’t really going to join in, until I realized that my ravelry queue already had eight projects. Add in my sock plans and bam! a ready made #makenine was born.

Since I’m already a month into the year, I decided not to include anything other than socks that has been started already. Without further ado, my make nine:

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Photos copyright designers as linked below.

  1. Madewell — Joji Locatelli
  2. Dotted Rays — Stephen West
  3. Box O’ Sox
  4. Eureka Cowl — Jessica Gore
  5. Sunset Highway — Caitlin Hunter
  6. Void — Melanie Berg
  7. Selbu Mittens — Skeindeer Knits
  8. Windswept — A Homespun House
  9. Coastal Walk — Joji Locatelli

I even have all of the yarn lined up–all current stash except the mitten yarn:

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I’ll talk more about all the yarns and patterns as I start each project. I’m really excited about all of these projects. They all fulfill a bit of my wardrobe architect goals, all are within my new color palate–well, except the rainbow socks, but there can never be enough rainbow socks in my life.

I’m thinking about casting on something new today, I’m currently drowning in a sea of fingering weight stockinette. I won’t show the sweater again, as it largely looks the same no matter how many rows I put into it. My February rainbow socks are part of this stockinette jungle, though they are gorgeous and fun to knit:

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The most likely candidate for a Sunday afternoon cast-on-party is Coastal Walk by Joji Locatelli. DK weight with a bit of lace to keep things interesting sounds lovely at the moment. And the yarn is absolutely calling to me. I’ve been knitting quite a bit in the blue-green/mint family lately and this mauve-y pink is just a siren song:

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So, here’s to stockinette seas, Sunday starts, and suddenly succumbing. I may always be late to the party, but I sure am excited to be here.


Happy making!

Canopy.

Prepare yourself: gushing ahead.

I finished my Canopy.

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This is a pattern by Melody Hoffman. I knit it out of baa ram ewe Titus in the Brambley Baths colorway. The yarn is a Wensleydale, Alpaca, BFL  blend that is dreamy to the extreme. I’ve said it before, but it is the perfect blend of rustic and delicate, so woolly and luxurious. I purchased the yarn on a trip to Denver last fall. I cannot recommend this yarn or the pattern any more. I am utterly entranced.

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It’s the perfect size, and I fancy the color is rather nice on me. I took selfies with it all day yesterday:

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Apologies for the barrage of pictures, but I couldn’t just pick a few. This shawl fits so nicely with my wardrobe architect project. The color is right in line with my palette–I’m really digging the muted, murky blue-green. The lace and stockinette panels with the soft points of the border are just the epitome of feminine and cozy.

I think I’ll just go snuggle the shawl and tell it how great it is.

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Happy making!

No mercy.

Watch out around here. No quarter shall be given, no mercy to be had. If you aren’t doing it for me, your days are numbered.

I’ve been talking a fair bit about intention and planning, and my eye is becoming more and more critical. I mentioned that I plan on frogging my Boho Blush shawl a few weeks ago. Well, the wrath has extended to the wee beginnings of the Love Ewe Baby shawl that I cast on back in the fall:

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While I certainly love this combo, I felt the siren song of the project I had originally wanted to knit with this lovely yarn from Swift Yarns. I had wanted to knit an Oracle Shawl, but just wasn’t quite sold on a full pi shawl. Kristen, the designer, mentioned on her podcast that she was designing an a half-pi version, but I didn’t have the patience to wait. So I cast on something else.

But now, with my ever more critical eye, I knew that I would rather be knitting the Half Moon Oracle. My Snowmelt has made me warm up to half circle shawls and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. And so I got it on my needles:

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Yes, that’s brioche and lace. Need I say more? Since this wasn’t enough, I also decided this weekend was the time to try some colorwork. I wanted to cast on the Pixel Rise Cowl by Kemper Wray. I picked out some pretty pastel yarn:

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I cast on and started to find an ok rhythm. It definitely feels fiddly and unnatural, but I was able to knit through about half of the cowl with no problems. Until I took a closer look.

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And then, I took an even closer look.

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You can’t really see the colorwork. At least, I can’t. I mean, maybe you can a little, if you look really close and know what you’re looking for. But it seems that my pretty and soft speckled yarns are awfully close to each other. It’s mostly looking striped. And so, I’m going to frog it. No regrets, lesson learned, and a bit of practice gained with stranded knitting. At least it looks like the puckering got better as I went along.

I’m enjoying being ruthless with my projects. I’m trying not to fall into the trap of thinking about the lost time that I spent working on things, the sunken cost fallacy is a sticky trap. Knitting is never really lost time, it’s all enjoyable. But I do intend to spend my future knitting time on projects that I love.

Lest anyone think that I’m all hatefulness and frogging over here, I do have a few other things that I’m loving at the moment. I’m still working on my Puntilla. I’ve joined the two front pieces and I’m now knitting in the round! It’s going slowly, but that knit knit knit is so soothing.

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I also managed to finish up my second tiny dresden plate. I think I may quilt it and get it up on my wall in the next week or so. It’s so pretty, I want to look at it all the time!

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One last thing, a little spoiler for you. I finished a thing and I love it.

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More on that later. At any rate, I hope that your making is bringing you joy.