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!

Make nine.

If you have stopped by this blog before, you may know that I sometimes set up making goals for myself. I don’t always follow through (I’m looking at you, light socks) but when I do accomplish a goal, it feels awfully nice.

Back in February, I jumped on the #makenine bandwagon. I put a lot of thought into my plans, wanting some staples, a few sweaters, and to dip my toe into colorwork.

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I picked out all of the yarn, though my plans changed a bit mid-way through. The final yarn selections were these:

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Now here we are nine months later :

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I’ve talked about all these projects a bunch so I’ll just list them now:

  1. Madewell by Joji Locatelli in The Wool Barn
  2. Dotted Rays by Stephen West in Primrose Yarn Co.
  3. Box O’ Sox in various
  4. Eureka Cowl by Jessica Gore in Brooklyn Tweed
  5. Sunset Highway by Boyland Knitworks in Peepaloo Fields
  6. Void by Melanie Berg in MadelineTosh
  7. Selbu Mittens by Skeindeer Knits in Quince & Co.
  8. Windswept by Molly Klatt in Quince & Co.
  9. Coastal Walk by Joji Locatelli in Tusken Knits

I love them all. I’ve already worn a few of them a bunch–pretty good considering I knit the bulk of these projects in the warmer months. I worried a bit that I was biting off more than I could chew, especially with sweaters and colorwork mixed in.

I’ve been thinking about this make nine project and whether I will revisit it next year. While I really enjoyed it this year, and I’m glad I followed through with all of these knits, I don’t think I’m going to participate again in 2019.

I’ve typed out about seven different explanations but it really just boils down to this: I don’t want to set up big year long goals for myself next year. I want to knit what I feel like, when I feel like it. My making goals next year are likely to be quite vague and loosey-goosey. Things like “up my skirt game” and “knit tons of sweaters” will likely factor in heavily.

At any rate, while I’m not planning to do it again – it was a fun goal this year! There is something really satisfying about turning a grid of designs and ideas into a grid of my own finished objects!

Happy making {nine}!

Sunset Highway.

Finishing a sweater is always a satisfying feeling. For that matter, finishing anything at all is satisfying to me. But when it’s a sweater that I loved from the moment it came out, but thought I couldn’t knit,Ā  tried and failed to knit, and then finally finished it? Satisfying doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.

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My Sunset Highway is finished. I love it so much! It is so soft and cozy and comfy. I love the colors, the fit, and the overall look.

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As for the details, let’s get to it. This is Sunset Highway, by Caitlin Hunter. I used all Peepaloo Fields yarn, in the Twist Sock base:

  • Main Color (speckled yellowy cream) – Hush
  • Contrast Color 1 (deep teal) – Tide
  • Contrast Color 2 (speckled light blue) – Bluebird
  • Contrast Color 3 (speckled pink) – Delicate

One note, I absolutely adore this yarn. This isn’t my first all Peepaloo big project and won’t be my last. Her colors and speckles are just phenomenal. I used a fair bit less yarn than expected–because of fit adjustments detailed below–and am really excited to have plenty of leftovers.

I knit the sweater with considerably less positive ease than called for. The suggested positive ease is 5-9″ and I knit the small for somewhere around 3″ positive ease. All gauge and knitting details are on my project page. I also shortened it by quite a bit, around 5″. My torso is pretty short and I think this length suits me well–especially considering the sweater is more fitted than the pattern intends.

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I really like how it fits, it’s so cozy and comfy. Not overly boxy for me and not too fitted either. Like baby bear’s porridge, this is just right.

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Overall, I’m rather chuffed with myself. I started this baby twice in a row and then gave it up. I honestly thought I wouldn’t ever knit it, and yet here we are! I’m glad I persevered and didn’t completely give up on it.

This is number eight in my Make 9 for this year, by the way. Moving right along with my 2018 goals. At the beginning of the year, I had wanted to knit a garment and knit a colorwork motif and now–bam!–here they are together in one lovely sweater!

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Happy {sweater} knitting!

 

A little bit of everything.

Tomorrow morning, Joshua and I are getting up at the crack of dawn and heading to North Carolina. A few days ago, it was my mom’s birthday and we are going to go and celebrate. She has graced the blog before, my sweet little mama, Joshua’s ShiShi:

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IĀ  can’t wait to see her! Since we’re leaving tomorrow morning, I thought I’d do a little recap of the current state of affairs.

This weekend, I’m most likely just going to take my socks, I don’t expect to get much knitting done among all of the hugging and celebrating. The socks are coming along, though–one is finished and I’m down past the colorwork on the second:

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So cute! I think my colorwork is improving, my tension seems more even. This makes me excited to knit all the colorwork!

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In sweater news, I’m definitely marooned on sleeve island. I thought it was going quickly, but I got out the tape measure last night and that changed my mind. I need to knit the sleeve to around 11-12″ and we’re only down to about 7. Sigh.

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My knitting in the round tension is slightly tighter at small circumferences–sleeve versus sweater body, for instance–and so it’s taking me more pattern repeats than expected. They do breeze by pretty well on the 9 inch circulars, though, so the situation is not all together bleak.

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On an entirely different note, my friend and coworker Holly recently travelled to Europe. She found these mittens in a market in Estonia and brought them back for me! They are so cool. I don’t know if I can stand to wear them–they are too precious–but they are currently hanging on my craft room wall where I can admire them anytime.

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Finally, we haven’t had a garden update in quite a while! In general, the container garden is going off like gangbusters. I did have a devastating setback when some villainous wildlife ate my jalepeno plant, but I trimmed it back and it’s chugging along. We’ve been making pesto, enjoying fresh dill in tuna salad, and having fresh herbs in salad dressing–quite a lot.

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After my California trip there were lots of flowers to pinch off–they make a great addition to, well, everything. The star of the garden, however, has been the tomato. We started getting tomatoes about a month ago and have picked a few every few days since. They are small, so we’ve had them mostly in salads or sliced on burgers.

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The tomatoes are delicious! So sweet and flavorful. I went out to the garden last night and noticed that the plant itself is really growing! Seems like everyone is getting taller than me these days.

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I suppose that’s enough rambling for a Friday evening. We’re heading out pre 5 a.m.–don’t tell Joshua yet!–so I’m going to head to bed fairly early. I’ve got a really exciting collaboration to share next week, so I’ll see you then!

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!