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

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Dotted Rays — Stephen West

Eureka Cowl — Jessica Gore

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Sunset Highway — Caitlin Hunter

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

Void — Melanie Berg

Selbu Mittens — Skeindeer Knits

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Windswept — A Homespun House

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Coastal Walk — Joji Locatelli

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Box O’ Sox

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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:

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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:

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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!

Madewell.

All done. To say that I love it would be an understatement. I’m only sad that it’s 85 F and June rather than 48 F and October. I cannot wait to be oh-so-cozy in this sweet sweater.

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This is Madewell by Joji Locatelli. This is my fourth make nine finish! The pattern is a dream. This was my first adult cardigan, and first raglan style sweater. Joji makes it easy. The yarn is The Wool Barn Cashmere Sock in the Smitten colorway. It is the softest, plumpest, and prettiest. The color is just purely perfect.

The knitty gritty is as follows. I knit this sweater on a 3.25 mm (US 3) at about 6 stitches/inch, while the recommended gauge is 5.75 stitches/inch. All of my details, yarn usage, mods, everything is on my project page. I knit the large since my gauge was bit off. I think I should have knit the medium. I also should have paid better attention to row gauge. The length of the body and the arms blocked out much longer than expected. I pretty much have to cuff the sleeves.

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All of that said, I do love it. It is incredibly cozy and snuggly.

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Happy {sweater} knitting!

 

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!

Arbitrary Goals.

I was watching the Stranded Podcast this weekend and the host, Amy, said something that really struck a chord with me.

I love setting arbitrary goals for myself!

I really love setting arbitrary goals in my making. The kind of goals that feel great to achieve but have no real or major consequences if you fail. You just revise and move on.

On Friday evening at supper, I remarked that my weekend goals were to a) finish the Eureka Cowl, b) finish the sock I had  going, and c) cast on my sweater. Kevin said that seemed like an awfully tall order. I said I planned to do an awfully lot of knitting over the weekend.

First up, I finished the cowl.

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This is the Eureka Cowl, by Jessica Gore. I knit it out of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the postcard colorway. I absolutely adore the yarn and the pattern, I can’t wait to wear this one. I was very gentle in the blocking, but I may need to pin out that point next time. This little cowl is a great shape, it looks like you’re wearing a triangle shawl bandana style, but with a simple back that fits well.

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That’s one weekend goal down. Speaking of goals (arbitrary or not), this is also another of my Make Nine projects for the year. And with the addition of mauve to my color palate, it’s definitely a simple and cozy addition to my wardrobe architect project.

The next order of business was that sock. My sock mojo has not been running very high, so I made a plan to knit down to the heel on Saturday so that I could just run with the foot during D&D on Sunday. Luckily, D&D was very intense and my stress knitting enabled me to finish the sock late Sunday night.

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That leaves the sweater cast on. I was derailed in my sweater plans with the need of swatching again. This left me some time do something else so as I mentioned the other day, I finished the next brioche section on my Half Moon Oracle.

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This really is squishy and lovely. On to last night. I decided to go ahead and at least cast on the sweater. It went so quickly that I dove into the colorwork, head first.

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I love the yarn and the colors so much! This wasn’t quite the weekend, but hey, it was arbitrary anyway, right?

I have, of course, now discovered that I did the short rows wrong. I’m ripping out the whole thing and starting over from scratch. I’m really not very pleased with the cast on I used–long tail–and may go up a needle size for the ribbing. I also think this a great opportunity to do a better job with the colorwork, it’s a bit puckery and I want to work on that. Chalk it up to experience, right?

All in all, I’ll call it a success. I’ve now managed to cast on the second sock and do the frogging on the sweater. Now to come up with my next set of arbitrary goals.

Happy making!

Did someone say mauve?

I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what color mauve is. Pink? Purple? Grey? Taupe? The answer to all those questions seems to be yes. Whatever color it is, I am into it.

I think–I hope–it’s a good color for me. In my wardrobe architect project I selected blush and peach and coral and hot pink, but I believe we’re going to need to officially add mauve to the mix. Mauve seems the embodiment of feminine and cozy. I am full steam ahead into some delightfully mauve-y goodness.

The first order of business is my Coastal Walk. It’s all finished and lovely.

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It was a fairly quick knit. I puttered about on it here and there, working up the lace section. The garter border, which comprises about half of the shawl, only took me about a day of knitting to finish. The pattern is Coastal Walk, by Joji Locatelli. As usual, her patterns are impeccably written, easy to follow, and a joy to work up. My only modification was to stop after 3 full garter rows at the end of the border. I was afraid of running out of yarn, but I probably could have gotten another row or two done.

Regardless, I am incredibly pleased. As I’ve mentioned, this is a great knit. The lace is easy to knit but beautiful and the texture of a DK weight shawl is unbeatable. The yarn is listed as a sport weight, but I feel like it’s closer to a light DK. This is Traipse Sport from Tuskenknits–I don’t believe she carries the base anymore. The colorway is Belle Starr and is utterly perfect. The subtle tonality, the soft and sweet speckles–gorgeous.

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Coastal Walk

 

After I finished this shawl and my socks and cast on the next pair of socks, I needed something else. Something new and exciting and fun. Something that won’t take forever since I have two trips coming in the next month. Something like a cowl.

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Enter the Eureka Cowl, a pattern by Jessica Gore. I saw this cowl knit up on Inside Number 23 and just knew that I would need to cast it on as soon as possible. I managed to snag a bit of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter off of Ravelry destash, this is the Postcard colorway. I had a lot of motivation to knit this cowl in this yarn. Firstly, it’s beautiful. The yarn and pattern combination are just stellar. Second, I wanted to try out Shelter with a low investment project. I’m eyeing several quite large projects with this yarn which will be a big commitment in the yarn budget. I wanted to make sure I love the yarn before I go down that path. The good news is, I do love it so far. It’s positively gorgeous.

By the way, Coastal Walk and the Eureka Cowl are two of my Make Nine projects for the year. It feels good to really be moving on my goals.

In other mauve news… it’s leaking into my ready to wear wardrobe too.

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#workselfie

I’ve got a mauve sweater planned for this year as well, but it will probably be a bit before I start that. I’m dying to cast on the Sunset Highway. At this point, I think I’ll live through it’s lack of mauve.

Happy making!

Prepared.

Today, I hop on a plane for Los Angeles. I’m heading to a conference my organization puts on and it’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for us. I’ve been preparing for this since sometime in July and I think I’m ready. I hope I’m ready, it’s certainly too late now.

In my crafting life, trip preparations haven’t been going on nearly so long. I did attempt to make myself a new notions pouch for the trip. I’m not sure what comes over me before a work trip, but this isn’t the first pre-trip bag I’ve worked on. I’ve made a project bag and a notions pouch on the eve (or day of) other flights! Life kept happening this week though, and I didn’t quite get it done.

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The pattern is the Quilted Notions Pouch by Retro Mama. It’s a paid for pattern, but it is so worth it. I love how it’s going and can’t wait to finish it.

I’m taking three projects for this trip. Socks, for the airplane, of course. On a long flight, I like something compact so that my elbows aren’t flapping around everywhere. I went ahead and cast on the first pair of socks. I always like to get the next sock’s ribbing done as soon as possible after I finish a sock, it helps me stay motivated. Though I rarely have a problem with second sock syndrome, I like to keep the sock train moving.

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This is Boombox, on Twist Sock by Hedgehog Fibres. I picked this one out of my light box o’ sox, since it felt appropriately Los Angeles colored to me. I meant to just cast on the ribbing, but we played DND last night and I just couldn’t put them down.

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Since I have 11 hours of flight time, not to mention airport time, cab time, waiting time, etc… I’m bringing the next pair of socks to cast on too, just in case. This is the March colorway in my Knitterly Things 2017 Rainbow Club, the colorway is called Rainbows After Rain. I can’t wait to get to that pink stripe!

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For a little flavor, and so that I hopefully won’t run out of knitting, I’m bringing along my Coastal Walk, too. I am just obsessed with knitting it, the lace was so intuitive and pretty! I’m with the body of the shawl and ready to move on to the border, so in my mind it’s practically finished.

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For tradition’s sake–and definitely not because I love seeing all my bags set out–here’s all the knitting I’m packing for the trip. Fingers crossed for at least one FO out of the lot.

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With that, I’m ready to head out to the airport. I feel prepared, work-wise and with my making, so let’s get to it! I hope your Saturday is lovely, I’ll just be knitting my way across the country.

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!