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,  tried and failed to knit, and then finally finished it? Satisfying doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.

IMG_20181017_082454

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.

IMG_20181016_104455

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.

img_20181017_082503.jpg

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.

IMG_20181016_104551

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!

IMG_20181017_082444

Happy {sweater} knitting!

 

Into the Void.

Well it took a month to knit, two weeks to finally block, and four days to dry. She’s done and she is glorious.

img_20180919_074605

This is Void, a beautiful pattern by Melanie Berg. The pattern is very well written and I can see how so many people enjoyed knitting it. I did follow her note in the pattern to do an extra yarnover after the first stitch of every row, but after the first repeat or so, I started doing a double yarnover. I’m really glad I did. It was tough to get the edge completely straight but I think the extra stretchy cast on edge helped a lot.

img_20180919_074508

I also followed the advice of some other folks who knit the pattern and modified the left leaning twist or cable a bit to make it more even. Details of that modificiation are up on my Ravelry project page. This is number 7 of my make 9 for 2018.

IMG_20180919_081209

I used madelinetosh Longrider DK in the Scout colorway. The patern is written for worsted weight yarn, but the Longrider DK is a pretty plump yarn to me. I think this base is discontinued. I used more yardage than the pattern calls for, I think. The odd thing about this yarn is that there is no weight listed on the ball band. It says 250 yards, but that’s it. A little frustrating, but I’ll overlook it in light of the gorgeous color that is Scout.

img_20180919_075134

This is the lovliest tonal, dusty, dirty, mauvy pink that I’ve seen. Absolute heaven. I cannot wait to bundle up in it this winter! Speaking of bundling up, it’s a heck of a lot of shawl to wrap around yourself. It turned out to be about 8 feet long.

img_20180919_081231.jpg

All told, I’m rather pleased over this one. The color and the texture just sing. I love when knitting turns out so lovely.

IMG_20180919_081259

Happy making!

 

Learning curve.

One of the challenges that I set out for myself for this year was to sew a garment with a zipper. It seemed like a pretty easy challenge, to be honest. Low hanging fruit, one might say. As I mentioned last week, I was right on the cusp of inserting said zipper in my second try at the Hollyburn skirt.

img_20180825_081655.jpg

Well, I finally settled in to insert the zipper this weekend. It went very smoothly. Putting in that zipper was actually pretty simple. Looked nice all sewn in, and everything. I pulled it off the machine, zipped it up… and the waistband didn’t line up. At all. I’ll save you the pain of a long explanation of the 5 hours of insanity that ensued and boil it down to a simple list:

  1. I took out the zipper, re-sewed it. Still out of whack.
  2. I took out the zipper, ripped out the back seam, redid both. Still out of whack.
  3. I took out the zipper, pinned it in again, and noticed that the shape of the two back pieces seemed different. Turns out I had put one back piece in backward.
  4. I ripped out the back seem, part of the waistband, the back panel, and about three miles of serged finishing. Re-sewed it all.
  5. Inserted the zipper. Still out of whack, but not nearly as bad as before. The top of the waistband lines up, so I’m going with it.

img_20180827_1546361286399203.jpg

This is the finished top of the zipper/waistband. You can see how the top of the waistband lines up, but not the bottom. From the best I can tell, things got janky when I did the waistband in the first place. But it’s wearable and cute, and to be honest, I love it.

This is the Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic Patterns, in Kaufman Chambray Union Worn Indigo. I made view B with the belt loops from view A. I cut a straight size 10 and made no modifications. Although, let’s be honest, I don’t know enough about anything to make modifications in garment sewing yet. I do want to point out that all of my frustration has nothing to do with the pattern itself. It is clear and well written, nothing was confusing or over my head. Total user error.

img_20180826_145556.jpg

img_20180826_145607.jpg

This was quite the steep learning curve. This one turned out better than my first attempt, and I hope to solve the waistband issues with the next one. After struggling with the skirt half the weekend, I turned to my ultimate comfort make… socks.

img_20180825_164240_470

And, I finished them. These kind of happened without me noticing. I just needed to work on a project that wouldn’t be frustrating, something I know how to do. So I knit that second sock over the weekend and we have a pair.

img_20180825_162945.jpg

The yarn is Knitterly Things Sparkle Vesper Sock in Misty Mountain Rainbow, the August 2017 rainbow of the month colorway. I did 29 rows of 2×2 rib (one full stripe repeat) and cut in my afterthougth heel at 6.5″ down from cast on edge. For the heel and toe decreases, I used one of the options in the Smooth Operator Socks pattern.

This is pair 8 in my rainbow box of socks, and pair 16 overall for the year. Not too shabby. I really like these socks, the speckly stripes remind me of that hazy look things get in August when it’s just too hot and summer has gone one a bit too long.

img_20180825_163030

Whew. Two finished projects: one extradordinarily frustrating and one amazingly comforting. I love having both possibilities. I’m not planning to start any more socks until September 1, but I do have the replacement fabric from my first Hollyburn attempt. Maybe this one will go even better.

Happy making!

One thing after another.

As July comes to a close, I had a few small goals in mind. I wanted to finish my socks and my Zweig. So far, one of those things has happened. I’ve had a few snafus that have both helped and hindered my knitting.

First, the hindrance. You might know that I tend to drink a lot of coffee. Well, on Tuesday evening I was doing just that. Chugging iced coffee and knitting sleeve cuff ribbing like it was my j-o-b.

img_20180724_185111.jpg

I was moving along at a great pace. Bound off the sleeve and immediately picked up the stitches for the next one and got rolling. I was just starting the first round of cabled x’s when I reached for something and knocked over my iced coffee. It went everywhere. All over my desk, soaked the zweig pattern, in my headphones, under the keyboard, all over me, and yep, you guessed it, all over the zweig. I shrieked in horror.

While Joshua got towels to clean up the desk, I went into triage mode for the sweater. I used paper towels to blot most of the coffee, and moved the live stitches onto some waste yarn. Took out the metal stitch marker for the beginning of round and replaced it with plastic. Into a cold, wool wash sudsy bath went the sweater. I’ve been holding my breath for a few days waiting for it to dry–it’s humid here–and today was the moment of truth.

img_20180728_104546

No coffee stains. Thank wool, no coffee stains. And I’m pleased to report that I’m really digging the post-blocking fit, too.

img_20180728_104728

Now that the sweater crisis is averted, I’m ready to get back to the sleeve. I think there’s a chance I could finish that sleeve by Tuesday. I was not pleased to lose days of sweater knitting to an impromptu bath.

As for snafus that helped my knitting, on Thursday evening I went to see the Eagles and James Taylor. The Eagles have been my favorite band for most of my life so I was incredibly excited. I left as early as possible, thinking I’d take my knitting along to knit in my seat while I waited for the concert to start. Well, I did knit in my seat…

img_20180726_181151.jpg

The seat of the one hour uber ride I had to take when the metro broke down. I turned the heel and just managed to make it to my seat as James Taylor took the stage.

img_20180726_184404.jpg

The concert was amazing, better than I could have ever hoped for. Last night, I settled in for some more sock knitting and Kevin and I got to talking and before I knew it, these sweeet socks were off the needles and in their box.

IMG_20180728_105136

img_20180728_105126.jpg

These socks are pair 7 in my light Box O’ Sox. The yarn was a sock set from Hooker’s Corner in her Twisty Sock base. The main color is Tippy Toes and the contrast is Marina. This yarn was yummy, I adore how the specles knit up so speckly. They look like funfetti cake. I used the colorwork pattern from the Dale socks by Molly Klatt of A Homespun House. I followed my own general recipe though I knit them on 2.25 mm to help keep the colorwork loose. I cast on 60 stitches (my usual is 64 stitches on a 2.0 mm) and did a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. These socks are just perfect in my book, they bring a smile to my face every time I look at them.

img_20180728_105016.jpg

While the sweater dried, I did manage to get some gift knitting done, but now I’m full-sleeve-ahead! Keep your fingers crossed that I can keep my coffee in my glass and my sweater on my lap.

Happy making!

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.

IMG_20180630_084556

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:

img_20180617_085511.jpg

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:

IMG_20180630_090207

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.

IMG_20180630_080915_257

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.

IMG_20180630_075341

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.

IMG_20180630_091839

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!

IMG_20180630_091138

Happy {sock} 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.

 

img_20180621_235302

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.

img_20180622_235957

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.

img_20180623_100127

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.

img_20180623_162649_189

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.

img_20180624_074825

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.

img_20180624_150912_874

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.

img_20180624_183233

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!

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.

img_20180617_091714

img_20180617_084456.jpg

img_20180617_084444.jpg

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.

img_20180617_091646.jpg

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.

img_20180617_084853.jpg

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.

img_20180617_085046.jpg

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.

img_20180617_090128.jpg

img_20180617_090208.jpg

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!