Perhaps a clean slate is in order.

Every once in a while, I am looking for a clean slate. Not necessarily because I’m tired of my projects or don’t like them, but just ready to start something fresh. I’m in one of those moods today. I’ve got a bunch of things on the needles, but I’m trying to focus on a three at a time, a sweater, shawl, and something small.

I finished up the something small a few days ago and it inspired me. That something small was the first pair of socks I’ve knit this year!

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This is quite a departure for me, I believe I was up to 6 or 7 pairs by this time last year. But I’m focusing on other things this year, so I’m just not cranking out socks like that, which is just fine. These were pure pleasure to knit, the stripes were just mesmerizing. That gold is gorgeous! The main yarn is Tiny Human Knits in the Cumberbund colorway. I debated for a while over the contrast heel, but finally settled on Peepaloo Fields in the Tide colorway – leftovers from my Sunset Highway. I love them.

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This got me thinking. I leave for a work trip on Friday, and when I come back it will be spring break. Spring break means a fair bit of quiet crafting time around here, so I’d really like to be cracking into something fresh and new. With that, I took stock. Of the projects I’m focusing on, I’ve got a sweater, a shawl, and a sew that need finishing off.

The sweater:

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My Crumb, which only lacks sleeves at this point. Worsted weight sleeves can go pretty fast, so I’m hopeful here. This could even go on the plane and get finished up on the trip.

The shawl:

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This monstrosity is a) beautiful b) my Audra Wrap and c) taller than me. I am on the final stripe section, so it’s all garter from here on out. I am starting to get excited that this giant thing will be bound off on only 144 stitches. That’s pretty sick.

And last, but not least, the sew:

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This terrible night shot of an in progress make is my Rita Blouse. I’ve got nothing left but to finish off the elastic and hem it. It’s a bit tight in the bust and arms though, so I am going to try adding some length to the neckline elastic to see if that helps. If not, I’ll probably need to go up a size either in bust or all-over size for the next one.

I do feel like this is a bit of a tall order for a short week in which I have to get every member of my household ready for a trip, but hey, sometimes arbitrary goals are a fun motivator.


Happy making!

Dressmaking 101

For quite a while,  I’ve been itching to try my hand at dressmaking. I made myself a knit dress a few years ago, but that just didn’t click for me.

Enter B5748. This is a reprinted vintage dress pattern from the 1960s. I have loved it ever since I realized that most of Andi Satterlund’s dresses were a version of this pattern. I purchased the pattern on a sale and have had it looking at me since last summer. For some reason I recently decided to give it a go. I had fabric and yarn that were meant to go together and the sweater was cast on, so the dress had to follow soon. I started by making a muslin of the bodice:

 

I noticed some gaping in the back shoulders and a fair bit of extra fabric above my bust. After some thought and tinkering, I decided to lower the bust darts a smidge and take out a bit of the top back shoulder strap. I’m not sure if that was the best method for taking care of the gappy shoulders, but that’s what I did. The re-worked muslin fit much better.

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Not perfect, but definitely workable. With that, I got rolling. Now, as this was my very first fitted (very little ease in the bust) and one of only a handful of garments I’ve sewn, I was a little nervous about the brief instructions in the pattern. They really don’t go over the top with helping you out. That’s probably ok for some people, but I wanted someone to hold my hand.

Enter Gertie. In my pattern stash, I have a copy of the Night and Day Dress by Charm Patterns. One of the versions is a fairly similar style, so I tried out a muslin of that bodice as well.

 

Much worse! I think I straight up cut the wrong size. Certainly the bust is way too large, but the back is so tight! There is work to be done there. With all of that, I decided to go ahead with b5748 but use the pattern instructions from the Gertie pattern. That worked like a charm!

I wound up making a few modifications to the dress in the end. I switched from a side zip to a lapped zipper in the center back. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this one. The lapped zipper turned out fine, though I could use some practice. But the top of the zipper pulls a bit, and I wonder if that would just work better at the side.

Much as I wanted a full circle skirt, with the 44″  wide fabric and directional print it was not meant to be. I didn’t want flowers laying over on their sides! I wound up self-drafting a gathered skirt, more or less with success. I added pockets as well, because, well, pockets, damnit.

With all of that said, let’s take a look! I’m pretty stinking proud of this one.

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This fabric is by Anna Maria Horner – I was inspired to use this thanks to a remarkably similar the exact same dress on Andi Satterlund’s blog. It’s 100% cotton and sturdy and soft and lovely. This is one project where the inside is nearly as pretty as the outside:

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Gertie’s instructions really made a difference in how the finished product turned out.

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I love the neatness! I kind of can’t believe I made this. All-told this wasn’t too bad of a project. I think it was a good starter dress. It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok. I can’t wait to dive in and make another dress!

Pardon the nighttime photos and not-so-lovely set-up. I need to step up my outfit photography if I’m going to be making dresses!

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Truth be told, this dress makes me feel like a million bucks. I’m not sure if I’ll go straight for another b5748 or try to get a Night and Day bodice that works, but this style is hitting on all cylinders for me. Now to get cranking on a closet full!


Happy making!

 

 

 

 

I don’t know what it is, but I like it.

I have been firmly in the “grey is my favorite color” camp for a million years. But lately, I’ve been thinking about how Astra so easily revises her favorite colors. Orange has been a long-standing fave but that key second favorite spot rotates in and out, I think it’s green right now.

So what is my second favorite color? What is even my favorite color? Do I have one? Does it matter? At any rate, I have been drawn to obssessed with mustardy colors lately. I knit my sisiter-in-law a mustard cowl for Christmas, because she loves mustard. At first I thought this was a case of a color I’d never wear, but then… I knit a hat.

That’s my Kobuk, and it’s a pretty tame shade of brown? mustard? I’m not actually sure. So then I though I’d turn it up a notch and knit a sweater.

That’s Populuxe, in a gorgeous tweed gold? brown? mustard? Still not sure. I just know that I love this little sweater. Finally, in my fibreshare package was a beautiful skein of (I’m pretty sure) mustard yarn. I knit it into a shawl in about 7 seconds.

This is Spindrift by Helen Steward of Curious Handmade. I knit one of these in 8 days a couple of years ago and have loved it ever since. This baby was on my needles for exactly one week. I could not put it down!

That color is just perfect. The yarn is merino/silk/yak from Happy Hank Co. in the English Mustard colorway. The silk gives it a gorgeous sheen and that yak is just buttery soft. I wore it the other day and it feels amazing.

I’ve kind of fancied that I can’t wear this color, but I think maybe that’s a tad bit silly. But whether I shouldt or not, I’m wearing it. I just can’t get enough. And somehow it goes with all the mauve and teal and other colors in my wardrobe.

At this point, I’ve amassed quite the little collection of mustardy (browny/goldy/greeny) yarns. It would seem that I’m not really sure what the color actually is, but I just know I love it.


Happy {mustard} making!

Populuxe.

Way back before our holiday trip, I swatched a little swatch. I knew that when we got home it would be the new year and I’d be ready for something fresh and new on my needles. So I wound up some yarn and got to it.

Once we arrived back home, I wasted no time and cast on my shiny new sweater. I started Populuxe, an adorable cardigan by Andi Satterlund. The yarn is from Sweet Sparrow Yarns, in her tweed DK in the Butterbeer colorway. I zoomed right along and before I knew it I was down past the sleeve join and ready to try it on.

I tried it on and… it was too big. Obviously several inches of positive ease through the bust, and that’s before adding a buttonband! I tried to reason with myself that maybe it would fit with the sleeves, but even Kevin said it looked like it would be too big. I frantically checked my stitch counts over and over until I happened to check the needle size and my swatch notes.

Back in December, I had swatched with a 3.50 mm, 3.25 mm, and 3.00 mm – and promptly figured out that the 3.00 mm was the right choice. So, of course, when I cast on in January – I pulled out the 3.25. You wouldn’t think a quarter millimeter would make such a difference, but it was definitely not going to give me the fitted look I was going for. So I frogged.

Just looking at that makes me sad. It took a while to pull it out and wind the balls up. I was alternating skeins and you knit the top in three parts so…

I had lots of little bits to work with. I’ll admit, it took me a hot minute to get back to knitting it. But once I got going on it, it went pretty fast. The pattern is beautifully written and a cropped DK sweater isn’t a ton of kniting.

I finished it in good order and then dithered on buttons for around a month. I finally ordered some and they arrived and I had ordered 6 and not 8. After that, I just bit the bullet and went to JoAnn’s and found something suitable. I do not like sewing buttons on anything, but I got it done.

And now, I have a finished cardigan.

I love this sweet little sweater. The tweed yarn gives it such character, and those starburst details are precious. I really adore this pattern. The finished sweater fits like a glove.

I even wore it with my Hollyburn skirt! I love a good me-made outfit. I’ll admit it took me a bit to work up to wearing it buttoned up. This is much more the style I want, but certainly not the style I’m used to.

I am so glad that I took the time to frog and re-knit it. It is everything I hoped it would be and I may or may not have purchased yarn for a second one. But before I get to another Populuxe, I’ve got another Andi Satterlund pattern on my needles. I just can’t get enough!

Now I’ve got to go try this one on… cross your fingers that I am using the right needles. Just kidding, I hope.


Happy making!

Thank you to everyone who so kindly commented on my last post. Your words warmed this little maker’s heart. ❤️

Hello darlin, nice to see you

It’s been a long time…

It has been a hot minute hasn’t it? Suffice it to say that I’ve not felt like blogging for several reasons and have no idea how much I’ll feel like it moving forward. But we’re here today, so let’s recap.

I have been quite non-prolific over the last few months. A lot of that is that I’ve been working on lots (for me) of larger projects and a lot of that is that I’ve just had less time. Since we last spoke, I’ve finished two knits. The first is a sweater for Astra:

This is Flax by Tin Can Knits. I knit it out of Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin. The pattern is very simple, it would make a great first sweater. I will say that I’m not over the moon about the neckline, if I knit another for Astra I’d cast on fewer stitches there to bring it in a bit.

I also finally finished up my navy Hollyburn skirt! This one had been waiting for a zip for months, but it’s done and in my closet now.

I’ll confess I haven’t even worn it yet – partly because it’s been so cold and partly because I feel like I don’t have much to wear with it. So, to get something to wear with it, I cast on a new sweater. I finished all the knitting and blocked it a month ago, but I just ordered buttons this week. I’m sewing those on this weekend!

This is Populuxe by Andi Satterlund. I knit it out of Sweet Sparrow Yarns in the Butterbeer colorway. It was heaven to knit, which is good, because I knit a fair bit of it twice! I’ll tell that story once this beauty is properly buttoned and finally complete.

In other news, I’ve been plugging away at my Audra Wrap. It’s nearly half way finished but I don’t take many pictures of it since the sections all look the same.

Over the last couple of months I cast on a few other things, a new sweater:

This is Damejakka Lopa and I am pretty stinking proud of that colorwork. I’m using some of the Rauma FinulPT2 that Kevin got me for Christmas. I’ve been moving a little slow on it now, but I’m in no rush. It’s pretty pleasant to work on the flea stitches now. I also cast on a Lumen out of some Jill Draper Makes that I picked up at Maryland Sheep & Wool last spring. I zoomed at first, but the lace has some p3tog that really slow it down and make my hands a bit sore. I haven’t picked it up in a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, I found that I was not knitting all that much. Work has been pretty stressful so I was coming home all brain-fried and frazzled. I couldn’t wrap my head around lace or colorwork or anything. After a bit, I realized that I was really missing vanilla socks. I hadn’t cast on any the whole year but I finally broke down and boy, did it feel good.

These have been wonderfully comforting and easy on my mind. Not to mention they are gorgeous! Speaking of gorgeous, I participated in Fibreshare again this spring. My partner really hit the nail on the head with what she sent, I don’t know if I could love it more.

She had posted a teaser to her insta-stories saying that I would die over that far right hand skein – she couldn’t have been more right. It is the absolute perfect shade of greeeny-goldy mustard and I love it. It is a merino/silk/yak blend by Happy Hank and the color is English Mustard. I could not stop myself and within 24 hours of opening the package, I cast that sucker on.

I cast on for another Spindrift Shawl. It’s been a bit less than a week and I am almost finished with it. I cannot wait to have this color in my shawl collection! And the yarn is buttery soft. It’s been an amazing knit and very difficult to put down.

I think that pretty much sums up my crafting for the year so far. In addition to all of that, this week I’ve started a muslin (read, practice version) of a new dress that I’ve been dreaming about for months and months. I think I might be ready to cut out the real fabric pretty soon.

With all of that, I suppose I have been keeping my hands busy. I’ve felt that my crafty productivity is really low these days. I am trying not to compare myself to last year, but sometimes that’s tough. I hope that finishing that cardigan and getting it in my wardrobe, finally breaking out my new skirt, and maybe having a new dress to wear will help me feel the fruits of my labors a bit more.

That and writing. It has felt good to sit down and write this evening. I love to talk about making, talk about yarn and patterns and my sewing woes. I was nervous to get back into it, but this has brought me a great deal of joy tonight. And that is what this making hobby is all about.


Happy making, darlin!

Wrapping Up.

As one might imagine, a lot of things can happen in a month. Particularly if that month is December. I am sitting here at Kevin’s parents house on the last day of the year, having a cup of coffee in my bear mug and thinking over the last month and the last year. First, let’s do a quick (not so quick) photo montage of December.

At the beginning of the month, I went to California. On the plane ride, I finished this shawl. Color Field by Kemper Wray, knit in Primrose Yarn Co. Jasper DK in Hermione (light pink) and Maple Leaf (green).
I took Joshua out to a special breakfast as a congrats for working so hard and being recommended for honors classes for high school next year. Captain Crunch french toast is amazing, by the way.
I finished my last pair of Rainbow Socks. This is Fireside Hearth Song on Vesper Sparkle Sock by Knitterly Things.
With that, all 12 pairs of rainbow socks are complete! This is the 2017 Rainbow of the Month club by Knitterly Things. So rainbowy and stripey and wonderful.
And so, my 2018 box o’ sox is complete. 20 pairs of socks all ready to go for the new year.
Since we travel so long for the holidays, we celebrate Christmas a bit early at our house. This year, we made homemade hot chocolate that turned out amazing.
Every year, my brother and SIL send out a special card that they design and print. This year, we got to witness the entire process. So much work goes into them, but they are so beautiful.
We spent Christmas at mom’s cabin and we got some very rare and precious knitting time.
My mom knitted us all into little birds! They are ridiculously cute.
The birds: Me, Kevin, Judge, Crystal, Noah, and Madelyn
This was all of my holiday making for this year. I knit a Stillwater Cardigan for mom, Eureka Cowls for Crystal and Madelyn, socks for Noah and Kevin’s mom, and made a Strathcona Tee for Judge. I started back in July so it was pretty low pressure. I am very pleased with how it all came out. I have some super knitworthy people in my life.
In the holiday madness, I cast on a patterned sock! Whitethorn Socks by Lindsey Fowler.
Over the visit, we had a family D&D night complete with a cheese ball and a benevolent gold dragon. Many thanks to Kevin for DMing the madness!
Now we are all back in Tennessee and even managed to catch a UT basketball game. Go Vols!
A while back, Astra asked for an orange sweater – so I cast on an orange sweater.
And finally, because I had to have something mindless, I cast on a Spindrift Shawl.

These are just some of the highlights. Overall, it has been an amazing trip full of love and light. We head home tomorrow on the first day of a fresh new year. I am ready for 2019. There have been ups and downs this past year, but to be perfectly honest the downs were some of the hardest yet. I am ready to greet a new year tomorrow, full of possibility.

I hope that you all are finishing your year out with joy.

Happy making.

Maybe I have been knitting.

Last week, I was busy. Work trip right into Thanksgiving. Around here, I call it the gauntlet. Last year on this particular work trip, I got a lot of knitting done. Not so this time. 

Things started off pretty well. I had been thinking I’d knit myself a holiday sweater so I cast it on in the airport. I got a few rows in before time to board. I was planning to knit it on the plane, but I was middle seat between two not so teeny dudes. We landed in Atlanta, set up the booth, and I got to my hotel in time to watch some football and finish up a sock.

My days and evenings were quite busy with work, but I managed to get up early enough to have some coffee and knitting time on my Kobuk hat. I really wanted to finish it on the trip. 

Finding knitting time was tough, but the wait in the airport and the flight was enough to get the hat finished. I came home, wove in the ends on the hat, upacked and then immediately re-packed my suitcase. We left early in the morning, headed to North Carolina. 

I did a little knitting on the car ride down, but I also discovered that I had forgotten Joshua’s medicine. Bit of a logistics mess to get a prescription called in to an out of town pharmacy on the day before Thanksgiving, but we did it.

We wound up renting a house with my brothers and going to my future SIL’s family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was truly a lovely time. We had so much fun and just being together is always enough to warm my heart. I didn’t do any knitting, but who cares when you’re surrounded by these amazing people.

Over the weekend, I finished my socks, finally got some hat pictures, and slept a lot. Noah and Madelyn stopped through on their way back north, and after getting them on the road I slept a wee bit more. I was tired.

The socks are off the needles and I am one pair closer to my full dozen rainbow socks for the year. This is the November 2017 Rainbow of the Month club colorway from Knitterly Things, called Golden Hour Harvest. I really like how these turned out. My sock mojo is a little low these days, so it’s good to finish up a pair.

And then, there’s the hat.

This is Kobuk, a lovely pattern by Caitlin Hunter. It’s written for a DK weight yarn held together with a strand of mohair lace. For mine, I held fingering weight double with the mohair and it worked quite well. I think it made the bobbles a little bit more fussy, but nothing terrible. The yarn is from Woolberry Fiber Co.: Berry Sock and Berry Mohair, both in the Hayride colorway. I love love love this color. I have been skeptical of how it would look on me, but I think it works. Either way, I’m obsessed.

I love everything about it. The mohair makes it so soft and warm, and the pattern is stunning. The color, well, I can’t get enough. 

I really have been feeling like I’m not knitting much at all. Surprising then, that I’ve finished two projects in the last week. I did a little bit of frogging recently and then nothing else was appealing to me last night. So I cast on something new, like you do.

Just a wee start, more on this beauty later.

Happy making!