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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Happy {sock} making!

Marion.

I have no words.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Knitcation: sweater edition.

This week, I am creating a long weekend for myself. I’ve got a bit of a personal challenge in mind, so I’m giving myself the time and space for it. By hook or crook, I’ve managed to map out minimal housework, the simplest of meals, and plenty of knitting time.

The challenge you ask? Try to knit a whole sweater. I’ve had the idea of a four-day sweater on my mind since I started swatching for the Beekeeper Cardigan a few weeks ago. I didn’t love that pattern, but the intrigue of challenging myself to channel all of my knitting energy into one big project over a short time has been irresistible.

Now, I know there are limitations to this sort of idea. I don’t know that I can knit a sweater in a long weekend, but I am trying to set myself up for success. So, fingering weight is out, major patterning or colorwork is out, oversized is out. What are we left with? A simple, worsted weight, fitted cardigan. Enter Marion.

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Image copyright Andi Satterlund.

Marion is a top-down, seamless cardigan. Knit in worsted weight yarn with a simple cable down the front, it seems to fit the bill nicely. I purchased my yarn and swatched it right up. I went down two needle sizes to start, and nearly fell over when I was right on gauge on the first swatch. That never happens to me!

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The yarn I’ll be using is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, the yarn called for in the pattern. I wanted something that would really fit into my wardrobe, and work with lots of my clothes and other knit accessories, so I chose the Dove Heather colorway. I’m really loving this soft grey color.

On the subject of really fitting into my wardrobe, as much as I adore the vintage-y feel of the cropped at the waist look, I don’t think it will work with what I currently own. At some point, I would really love to have a trove of dresses that fit that silhouette, but I’m not there yet. With that in mind, I want a less cropped sweater. But that means altering the shaping since the extreme waist shaping for a cropped sweater doesn’t translate well for a longer shape.

I took out my current favorite cardigan and made some measurements to get an idea of how I want this one to fit. I found I’d need to lengthen the body by about 4 inches to have it fall where I’d like. I followed Andi Satterlund’s instructions for lengthening a cropped sweater and calculated my new decreases and increases.

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At this point, I’m all ready to cast on. The yarn is all wound up, I’ve read through the pattern and highlighted my size, and written out my modified shaping instructions. All that’s left to do is cast on, which is happening right after work on Thursday evening. I’m excited to see how much sweater I can knit by the time Sunday evening rolls around.

Happy making!

A small subset.

As you may have seen, I’ve been casting on a lot of new things. I don’t tend to work on that many of them actively, so I’ve been making progress on just a few.

First up, I finished my Selbu Mittens. I knit them in just over a week, but I was by no means committed that whole time. I think they could be a solid weekend knit, they fly! They are a fun, fast knit, even for a colorwork newbie like me.

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These are the Selbu Mittens, by Skeindeer Knits, in Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Egret (natural) and Storm (grey) colorways. They are my fifth finished object in my 2018 make nine. I have several notes about the project:

  • The pattern is written for a DK weight yarn and Chickadee is sport, but she says to adjust the size by adjusting the gauge. Since I’m a loose knitter and my yarn was more fine, I went ahead and went down a couple of needle sizes. My gauge wound up being 7 stitches and 7 rows per inch. It’s not exactly perfectly even all the time, but close.
  • The fit turned out pretty good. I was worried they would block out to be too big, but they didn’t. Blocking mostly just made them look really nice.
  • After reading some recommendations, I knit them on 9″ circulars until the decreases made me switch to magic loop. That worked amazingly!
  • Chickadee made for a great first colorwork yarn – it’s so springy and soft, and just wooly enough to make the colorwork not too slippery. I’d imagine Quince’s other wools would work as well.

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All in all, pattern and yarn were both phenomenal and a fantastic pairing. In other news, we’re into the second colorwork chart on my Zweig. Oh my goodness, y’all, I’m dying. I love this color pairing so very, very much.

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The lace was, honestly, a lovely knit. Every row is lace and every row is different, but the repeats are intuitive and simple enough that once I knit the first repeat I didn’t really need to look again for the rest of the row. And it turns out sooo pretty. My goodness.

The only other project that’s been getting any attention is my June rainbow socks. These are my favorite so far. Two pink stripes! I can’t stand it. I finished them this morning.

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The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle in Sum-sum-summertime, the June 2017 Rainbow of the Month club colorway. They’re my 6th (halfway!) in my rainbow box o’sox. I knit a–much–longer rib on these and I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but I’m digging it now that they’re done.

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So that’s it. Now that the mittens and rainbow socks are finished, I’m really concentrating on the sweater. I’ve still got another pair of socks to knit this month and another sweater I want on the needles, so it’s time to get a wiggle on.

Happy making!

Sharing is caring.

About a month ago, I signed up for the most recent round of Fibreshare. If you are unfamiliar, it’s an international swap for fiber-y crafters. Weaving, spinning, crocheting, and you guessed it… knitting. Sign ups opened up back in May after a particularly stressful week and I decided I could use a little extra joy in my life.

Once we received our partner details, I was off to the races. My partner is a fan of bright colors, stripey sock knitting, and chocolate. A woman after my own heart, in many ways. I had two skeins of yarn in my stash that seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and then I started scouring the internet for the perfect extras. In the end, I also wound up asking Kemper of Junkyarn to help me pick out a skein of her yarn for my partner. She picked the brightly speckled “Leslie” colorway. Perfect.

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After finding the yarn, the extras, the chocolate, the final touch was sewing up a special project bag. The Weebrawbag by Laura Zuckerkuss seemed the perfect thing for a fellow sock knitter. Big enough for a sock project but small enough to take anywhere, it even has pockets for notions! The hardest part was finding fabric. Once I saw this socks on a clothesline pattern, though, I knew.  I also knew that I wanted one too, and if I didn’t make them in tandem, I’d never get around to it. And so, I made two.

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Arne’t they adorable? They are pretty tiny, so I gave my partner’s bag a test run with a skein of yarn:

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Plenty of room! I really enjoyed this project and the finished object is just lovely. The only modification I made was to use fusible fleece instead of the interfacing called for–solely because I purchased the wrong interfacing. If I made this again, I might make the channels wider, they’re a bit tight. Once the bag was complete, I assembled the package.

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I wrapped everything up–tied with yarn, of course–and shipped it out. I’m pleased to report that my partner was happy. All in all, it was incredibly fun to put together a package for another knitter. I don’t really get to put together crafty gifts for others often, and I really enjoyed it.

All in all, I had so much fun putting the package together–including the cute bags. And I get to keep one!

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Happy making!

If at first you don’t succeed.

One of my challenges for this year was to learn to knit colorwork. I love the look of stranded or fair isle knitting and I felt like I was to the point where I could learn a few things in knitting.

I got started with this challenge fairly early in the year, with the Pixel Rise Cowl :

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A little puckery, but the bigger issue was that my colors weren’t very suited to the pattern. All the work I was doing was dissapearing into the speckles. Frustrated, I ripped it all out and took a step back from colorwork for a while. The next foray was the Sunset Highway pullover:

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Really, really puckery. This was my second attempt. Try as I might, I could not get the floats to lay well. I was carrying my yarn in both hands. Normally, I’m an English style knitter, meaning I carry my yarn in my right hand. I really struggled with learning both to knit with my yarn in my lefthand and do it while also knitting with yarn in my right hand. And so I ripped out the project and stepped away from colorwork again.

I considered for quite a while that maybe this wasn’t the year for colorwork. Too frustrating, it’s been a waste of scarce crafting time, just not working out for me.

Fast forward to last weekend. As I scrolled through Instagram, I came across a few posts tagged #howiknitcolorwork showing knitters–fair isle designers, even–using only their right hand and dropping and picking up each color as needed. I was fascinated. I kept going back to those videos and watching them, intrigued.

With that, I decided it was time to try again. I cast on for the Selbu Mittens, a pattern designed to be a first go at colorwork. I worked on them for a while and it was as if a miracle was occurring! It was working! Not horribly slow, which had been my main fear, and I was able to keep my tension loose enough.

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Before I knew it, I’d knit most of a mitten. Oh my goodness, can you even stand it? This was so much fun, I was immediately obsessed with it. I’m knitting these in Quince & Co. Chickadee in Egret (natural, undyed) and Storm (grey).

And then I started thinking about sweaters again… I am still a bit scared of jumping right into to a full colorwork yoke sweater. So I compromised and have now cast on a Zweig, by Caitlyn Hunter. It has to small-ish bands of colorwork in the yoke, and then is just single color everywhere else. I’m just past the first colorwork band now, and holy smokes. It is just so pretty.

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The yarn is Skein Top Draw Sock in Japanese Slipper (teal) and Nice & Knit Sock in Old Bay (pink). I’m digging the combo.

I don’t want to jump the gun, but if I can continue to practice and get better with stranded knitting, the possibilities are endless. There are soooo many beautiful patterns that I’ve dismissed in the past, because I “don’t knit colorwork.” I’m so excited to be finally in the process of changing that.

At the moment, I’m just working on finishing up these {gorgeous} mittens.

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Happy making!