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!

Go with it.

I’ve sat down to write this post a dozen times over the last few days. I’m feeling a bit scatterbrained with my making and can’t really seem to synthesize all that’s happening into anything coherent. Let’s come at this from a different angle. The current state of affairs, in pictures:

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Joshua assures me that our latest breakfast bar is the best so far. Jammy Baked Oatmeal from Food in Jars.

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I don’t eat the cupcakes, but I bake the cupcakes. Recipe from The Kitchn.

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For about 30 seconds, this was the only project on my needles. I managed to brioche the brioche.

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June rainbow socks are on the move. I think I knit the cuff too long. Le sigh.

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I went to The Knot House for a Junkyarn trunk show. This dude stepped right into my awkward selfie and then I was too excited once inside to take any more pictures.

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Junkyarn haul. (l-r) Lady Murasaki (mohair), Rosemary, Brigitte, and Amalthea. Not pictured, I might have picked up a little something for my FibreShare partner, too.

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That yarn never even saw the stash before I wound it up. Also – cilantro flowers are pretty.

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I only just cast it on, but I really couldn’t resist casting it on. Audra Wrap by Ambah O’Brian.

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With the Madewell blocking, I finally got back to my swatching plans. And then I swatched something else, too.

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Tomatoes!

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Swapped destash yarn for sock cranking and received this–nearly 8 feet long–sock snake back this week. Afterthought everything, here we come.

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It’s time to make pesto, again.

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I finished the secret make, but can’t show that–so here is a gratuitous mohair floof shot.

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The Beekeeper Socks have been frogged and the Cyril Socks cast on.

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I’m casting on some more colorwork as soon as I can get to it, wish me luck.

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Sweater swatches!

Happy making!

My favorite holiday – part two.

Yesterday, I indulged in a deliciously decadent day of all things sheepy and wooly. The kids and I spent the day at the Maryland Sheep & Festival, having a blast.

To kick things off, I overslept a bit. We managed to get out the door pretty quickly, but the kids were definitely not  sunshine ready when we left.IMG_20180505_080832.jpg

That picture cracks me up. We headed over to the festival and it only took us about 15 minutes to get over there, but once we did, whew! The traffic was pretty terrible. I took us nearly an hour to drive the mile from the interstate to the fairgrounds. Most of that time was spent stopped so I put a row or two on my sock while we waited.

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Once we got there, though, it was so much fun! We walked around and did a bit of shopping for a while, but then we took a nice tour through all the sheep barns.

 

 

We always try to find sheep who like to be petted, they’re so precious and wooly!

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That guy was amazingly soft and loved getting all the attention! Not to be outdone by the sheep, the angora bunnies were in full-on adorable mode and Joshua even got to hold a baby. I nearly fainted from all the cute.

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We walked through the open air barns, when we came across the booth for Sarafina Fiber Art. Truly amazing. There was a humongous felted giraffe:

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And a possum with a scarf:

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After all of that, it was lunch time. We visited the scouts and settled in on the grass for a picnic.

 

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We tooled around a bit more, there were a few vendors I wanted to go back to. Once I was finished with my yarn shopping, the kids were ready for a snack. Go figure, they love some festival food.

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With that, we made our way to the car. We always stop on the way out at the farmer’s market, and this year was no exception. We picked up some cheese to take home and I was thrilled to see a local coffee roaster selling iced coffee. It was really delicious, so I went back for a pound of beans. Can’t wait to dig in to that.

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We made it back to the car just as the rain started to come on. It’s been a quiet afternoon, I’ve been organizing yarn and queuing up all the projects I have planned.

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I am excited that I know exactly what each skein of yarn is going to be. I tried to remember two things, my color scheme and my word of the year–intentional. Those two thoughts helped me think about how the yarn I was looking at could become items that would fit into my wardrobe.

In case you’re curious, I knit about this much while waiting around for various things this weekend:

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I really like this month’s rainbow! I am dying to cast on something new, all of those pretty yarns are just whispering at me from the craft room. At the same time, I want to get a few things finished up. Either way, I’m ready to knit.

Happy making!


I’ll talk about the yarn as I use it, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with the contact form. I am always happy to chat!

My favorite holiday – part one.

If knitting had a holiday, it would be a sheep & wool festival. Full of community, excitement, sheep, and the tools of our trade. For me, it’s the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival–which just so happens to be this weekend. I’ve had a fantastic weekend so far, some me time, some time with the kids, and some major yarn time.

Thursday night I got to thinking that I might have some line-standing time, and it would be nice to have a little sock tube on some 9″ circs for knitting-while-standing ease. I went ahead and cast on my May rainbow socks and knit a whole repeat for the cuff. I usually run out of patience to do that, but I’m pleased with the result.

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Things finally kicked off Friday after work. I headed straight to Needles Up, a pop-up shop in Columbia. It was a really lovely event. Never packed, the crowd control made it a nice experience. The event was very nicely curated with yarn, fiber, bags, sock soap, and charms. I sampled a bit of it all.

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Well, everything except the fiber. I’m so excited about this bag, it’s from Fat Squirrel Fibers and is sweater sized. I thought it was high time my sweaters got their own bag, usually they just have a cubby at my desk.

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Though it was over ninety degrees out, it was chilly inside, so I was able to rock my Half Moon Oracle for the first time. I even got to meet several podcasters and makers that I’ve been following for a long time. Everyone was so sweet! All in all, Needles Up was a blast.

From there, I headed straight to Frederick for a pop-up shop at The Knot House. I had a nice time walking around Frederick before I got in line–I was second!

It was a bit of a madhouse in the Knot House. It was just choc full of gorgeous yarn and knitters ogling it. I got the chance to show Carol, of Swift Yarns, my Half Moon Oracle that I knit out of her yarn. She snapped a fun picture of me putting it on.

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After that, things became a bit of a blur. I had lovely chats with Sandra, of Duck Duck Wool, and Claire, of Autumn and Indigo, and with several knitters while we waited in line. Luckily, the line wasn’t a quarter as long as last year.

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All in all, it was a great day. I made it home just in time for Kevin’s amazing burgers and a quiet night of planning our day over at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Stay tuned for a recap of all the fun we had over there, and happy wooly holiday!


I’ll talk about the yarn as I use it, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with the contact form. I am always happy to chat!

 

Plants, plans, and progress.

I may have started every single blog post in April with some comment about how ready I am for spring to really be here. Well, it’s here, friends. Today is the last day of April, and I think we’re really there.

First of all, I finally planted my wee container garden. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon and my little brother is in town for the evening, so we headed out to the local produce stand and greenhouse to purchase my plants.

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We rearranged the back deck and got it all done. I love it! I have 8 different herbs, a jalapeño, and a tomato. Among the herbs are 10 basil plants… I think Noah was a little aghast at the sheer volume of basil, but we like our basil around here. I have visions of pesto and marinara dancing in my head.

 

Another key spring component is imminent–the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It kicks off this weekend. Feel free to look back at my festival experience from last year, but suffice it to say this is practically a holiday in my house. I’m planning to go to two pop-up shops on Friday, Needles Up and The Knot House, and then take the kids for an all out festival day on Saturday.

I’ve been daydreaming about all of the yarn I’ll squish and what is going to follow me home. I don’t want to come out with single skeins or yarn that I don’t know quite what to do with, though. And so, I’ve been planning. Checking out patterns, scheming on sweaters, dreaming up shawls. I made myself a pretty little information sheet, with yardages on a few key patterns and other things I want to look for.

 

Now, I do not plan on buying yarn for all of this. But I find that when I’m staring at a wall of beautiful yarn, I get overwhelmed if I don’t have any patterns in my mind. And so, the cheat sheet was born. I’m really interested to see how this sheet will compare to the haul by the end of the weekend.

Somehow, thinking of all of these potential projects has gotten me in the mood for doing some major knitting on my other projects. I want them to be pretty far along before the any post festival startitis sets in. I’ve gotten down to the gusset on the next pair of socks:

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This yarn is by Casual Fashion Queen in the Minty Fresh Graffiti colorway. I am digging this colorway and the yarn is that perfect 80/20 squishiness that I adore.

In sweater news, I am now past the waist shaping on my Madewell. I tried it on a few days ago and I’m absolutely in love.

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I really need to reclaim the yarn from my abandoned Boho Blush. I want to use up all the bits and bobs on the body of the sweater and use the last skein for the sleeves and collar.

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My true obsession, however, is my Windswept. I love it so much. I realize that it doesn’t look very different from the last time I showed it, but we’re getting there. It’s honestly been difficult to want to knit anything else, I love it so.

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I’m really happy that the container garden is planted, because frankly, all I want to do is knit and think about knitting. Although, I’ve already been out to check the garden about a half dozen times. Hooray for spring!

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Happy making!

Half Moon Oracle

Let’s have a wee story. Last year, on the eve of Maryland Sheep & Wool, I went to a pop-up shop at The Knot House. There, I met the lovely Carol, dyer behind Swift Yarns, and promptly fell in love with her yarn.

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I picked out a soft pink to make a single skein, lacy something, and a hot pink and a speckle for a two color shawl. As Carol took the picture above, she told me that she thought those three would look great together. Internally, I scoffed a bit. I knew these were destined for separate projects, that the three together just wouldn’t work for me.

And yet. That though of all three of them together stuck with me. I tried to follow my first instinct but nothing seemed to strike a chord. And then, the Half Moon Oracle was slated to be released. Beautiful and perfect for three colors with a bit of contrast. I had a hard time waiting for it though, and cast on something else in the meantime. But that didn’t stick either.

I kept coming back to these three colors in a Half Moon Oracle. And so I did it. I ripped back the first project, and cast the new one on, knit on it slowly, a section here and there until full on obsession hit about two weeks ago.

 

I finished it Friday and wove in the ends and blocked it on Saturday. It blocked out ginormous. I don’t often talk about blocking but what a magical step. From this:

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To this!

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I used blocking wires along the top and then pinned out the edge as suggested in the pattern. I was pretty aggressive with the lace, too. The shape could be a bit more circular on the edge, but I don’t think you can tell when it’s on. Oh my heavens. I don’t think it can be stood. I think this is the brightest and most fun shawl that I own. I was a little worried that the hot pink would be too much, but who am I kidding? That hot pink is everything.

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Pattern:  Half Moon Oracle by Kristen Lehrer

Yarn: Swift Yarns, Swift Simple – 100% Superwash Merino single ply

  • Color A – Tropical Vintage (speckle)
  • Color B – Marilyn (hot pink)
  • Color C – Princess Bride (soft pink)

I am absolutely smitten. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow. This was also my first foray into knitting with singles and I am looking forward to getting my hands on more! I can’t wait to wear this beauty out, it’s such a happy shawl!

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Spoiler alert, in a few weeks I’ll be visiting the pop-up shop again and plan to make another stop over at the Swift Yarn wall. I can’t wait to see what color combination I definitely won’t knit this year!

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Happy Making!

Socks, socks, and more socks.

Well, I have two finished objects for the first week of the new year. Both cast on and off in 2018, both are socks. I wish we were all a little more surprised, but who am I kidding?

You may recall that on New Year’s Day I cast on a new pair of socks. The first sock knit up so quickly I had whiplash:

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Honestly, I knit all but the toe on New Year’s day! The next day after work I finished the sock and Noah came to stay. He told me he had a request for a birthday gift–his birthday is in a few weeks. Of course, I couldn’t say no. He wanted a pair of yoga socks to help keep his ankles warm while he practices this winter. I dug out a pretty blue skein of yarn and cast it on.

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I started with 44 stitches, decided that looked too big. Pulled back and cast on 36. Way too small. Back to 44. Nope, definitely too big. 40. 40 was the way to go. From there on it was a lot of trial and error, as I was just making up things as I went. Once I got the first one done, though, the second flew:

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I used worsted weight yarn and a 3.5 mm (US 4) needle. I cast on 40 stitches but, as demonstrated, your mileage may vary. I wrote down notes about what exactly I did on my project page. The yarn is Fading Tardis by June Pryce Fiber Arts. I think they turned out pretty nicely, hopefully they keep his ankles nice and toasty.

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I also managed to put a little dent in my New Year’s Eve socks–but I’m in no rush on these pretties:

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Since I can’t seem to put the socks down, I’ve finished the New Year’s day socks. I just couldn’t seem to stop. I did think about stopping when I started the heel only to discover I had dropped a stitch right after the cuff and had to rip out the whole leg. I almost put them away. But I powered through and now I’ve got my first pair of the year done!

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So pretty. This pink and green with speckles is killer. The yarn is also my first mohair sock yarn and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing how these wear. The yarn is Pistachio Rose Frosting by Nox Yarn on her Flora Sock base.

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In other news, I don’t think I’ve really talked about it here but I joined the Knitterly Things Rainbow of the Month club last year. So each month, I received a super fun skein of rainbow, self-striping sock yarn. I haven’t knit any of them, but I think now might be the time. Once I got the final installment, I lined them all up to take a picture of them together:

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Oh my goodness. I was, admittedly, a little skeptical of how varied and interesting 12 skeins of rainbow stripes could be–but boy did Julia prove me wrong. They are all so different and beautiful. Seeing them all lined up got me thinking… what if I knit them up over the course of this year? I don’t know if I can really keep up 2 pairs of socks a month, but I can certainly try, right? I think I’ll cast on January tonight:

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This is “True Colors” and I think it’s a great way to kick off! If you’re curious, I got the club on the sparkle base. Can you even imagine 12 pairs of sparkly rainbow socks all in a row? I cannot. By the way, sign ups for 2018 are still going on. It’s definitely a lot of fun.

I’ll probably pick up something other than socks at some point soon. Probably. Maybe after I finish the cuff of the rainbow pair. Maybe.


Happy making!