Wrapping up.

My knitting drive is at quite the high at the moment. I’m getting a lot of peace and joy out of my knitting, both the process and the products.

After my last blog post, I was inspired to get some things finished up. First on the docket was that hat. As I mentioned, I cast it on on Christmas vacation and then sort of, well, forgot about it. Upon re-discovery, I remembered how amazing the yarn is and so I knit a few repeats on Sunday morning.

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After this though, I was so entranced that I just finished the whole stinkin’ hat. It knit up like lightning, and I recalled how great this pattern is.

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This is Olive and Jack by Sarah Stevens. I knit another one back in December. For this version, I knit to the length specified in the pattern and I like it a lot. Not too slouchy, not too short, really just right. The yarn is Junkyarn DK in the Barbie colorway.

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In other news, I have recently become intrigued with the Beekeeper Cardigan. This is a knitalong where the idea is to knit an entire sweater in 4 days. 4 days! I was curious, to be sure. I have a DK sweater quantity on hand that would fit the bill for the pattern so I caked up a skein and waited for the swatching info to come out on Monday.

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I knit the swatch, washed it, blocked it, and… I’m not a fan. The pattern just doesn’t really appeal to me. I found myself waffling about it, but then finally buttoned up my resolve. My goal for this year is to be intentional with what I do, what I make. Knitting a sweater in a pattern I’m meh over doesn’t really follow that spirit. And so, I won’t be knitting this sweater. I do adore the yarn though. It’s a great mauve. This is Madeline Tosh Longrider DK in the Scout colorway. It will become something beautiful at some point, and I’m looking forward to figuring out what it should be.

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Once I finished the swatch, I set my sights on socks. This pair have really been my waiting socks, keeping me company through a lot of time when I might have gone bonkers. Such was the case yesterday, more waiting with my socks:

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I finished the toe in the waiting room and came home to cut in the heels:

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With that, I was done with these pretties:

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These are my May rainbow socks, pair #5 in my rainbow box o’ sox and the 11th pair of socks finished this year. The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in the Time and Tide colorway–the May edition of the 2017 Rainbow of the Month Club.

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They are pretty fun, if I do say so. That chartreuse stripe again, love it!

Now that I’ve got these two projects off the needles and that swatch out of my head, I’m ready to get back to my Madewell. I’ve got a cuff, a sleeve, and a button band to go. My goal is to get that wrapped up by the end of May. That’s eight whole days. We’ve got family coming into town for a major birthday, but I still think I can do it. Wish me luck!

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Happy making!

 

Stress knitting.

To be honest, I’ve been stressed out lately, and when I’m stressed I tend to knit like a bit of a nutter. Stacy of StressKnits named her podcast and business after her habit of stress-knitting; I definitely know what she’s talking about. There’s a lot going on around here so grab a cup of something delicious and let’s have a bit of a recap.

The first order of business was finishing up some socks.

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I knit down from the ghostie down the toe and then the entire second sock in about a day and a half. I really love this yarn. The colorway is Minty Fresh Graffiti from Casual Fashion Queen, on her Plush Sock base. This is pair number 9 for the year and pair 5 of my light box o’ sox.

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With that, I went back to the stripey rainbow socks. We’re done with one sock tube and cast on to the second. I’m digging the long ribbing I did, but I don’t know if I have the fortitude to do that more often.

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In sweater news, my Madewell is humming right along, I’m down to the bottom hem and then it’s sleeves, ho! I did shorten it by quite a bit, hopefully that works out.

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Ugh, I really do love it. Since we haven’t heard much about it in a while, the pattern is Madewell by Joji Locatelli and I’m knitting it out of the cashmere sock yarn from The Wool Barn. The colorway is Smitten, and I am.

I cast on one new thing this weekend, and I’m trying not to go into full obsession mode. First, the yarn:

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Duck Duck Wool silky singleton base in Sky Cover (grey), Wear Your Mittens (mint), and Single Scoop (cream with pink). I cast on Saturday night:

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I finished the first section of the Baubles Shawl by Andrea Mowry, and then stopped myself. I’m going to go back for the brioche (squee!) after I finish that sweater hem.

While I was gathering up these WIPs, I found something behind my desk bookshelf… It was a project bag. Opened it up and viola! Hat brim:

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I cast on this hat over Christmas vacation and had completely forgotten about it! I don’t think it ever even made it to the blog. The yarn is Junkyarn DK in the Barbie colorway.  I’m really excited to find it though, that pink is killer.

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I’ve got plenty to keep myself busy with this pretty little pile. Happy making!

 

 

Windswept.

I am certainly swept away by this shawl.

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Knitting it was a dream: the rhythm, the texture, the squish. I loved working on it so much that the shawl only spent two weeks on the needles. Now that it’s finished though, the shawl itself is just perfect.

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This Windswept, a pattern by Molly Klatt of A Homespun House. I knit out of Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Peacock colorway. This yarn and pattern are truly a match made in heaven, the yarn shows off the texture so well. I was a bit worried that the color would be too dark and would obscure the stitch pattern, but I think it’s amazing. A bit hard to photograph, but gorgeous color.

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I don’t have much else to say, it’s wonderful. I could knit another, to be honest. I’ve knit Molly’s other shawl pattern, the Whispering Pines, and it’s great as well. She does something special with her designs, they’re beautiful.

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Happy making!

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!

Progress.

Over the last week – week and a half, I have done a few things. One was to go to Columbus for work. It’s a great city to visit for a work trip, by the way. I had a great time.

But before that, last weekend after finishing my half moon oracle shawl, I worked on socks. During D&D I finished one, but then did something crazy… I cast on a different for a different pair of socks.

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That April rainbow was just calling to me. I don’t tend to get second sock syndrome though, so I still went forward with the first pair–even if I knit a stripe or two here and there. I kept knitting on them on my trip, though it felt as if they would never end.

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But, as all socks do if you keep knitting them, they did end at some point. As I do at home, I woke up early on the trip for some coffee and knitting time each morning. One morning, I put the toe in the second sock, and voila!

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Now that they’re home, photographed in my traditional manner, the leftover yarn weighed and logged, and tucked away into my light box o’sox–they are truly finished.

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The main yarn is Oh! Loops on the Ascot base in the Nerds colorway. I did a contrast toe in a mini from Nikki Slipp.

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Once I finished that pair, it was full steam ahead on the rainbow socks. I’m absolutely dying over these. This pastel-rainbow, Easter-eggy goodness is just too much.

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By the time we boarded the plane home, I was ready for the decreases. It’s a 49-minute flight and I had just enough time to knit the toe before we landed.

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Last night, I kitchenered that sucker and wove in the ends. I managed to cast on the second, but didn’t even get through the first round before getting too sleepy to do anything else.

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While I was gone, my sauerkraut kept on krauting. It’s getting nicely hot pink now, but I tasted it and it’s still got a ways to go before it’s ready.

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Before I left for the trip, I did cast on one little thing. My Madewell! I’m down past separating for the sleeves so we’re moving along pretty well.

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All in all, I’m getting some good knitting squeezed in these days. And now that I’ve returned to Maryland, it seems spring is finally starting to take hold. I can’t wait for my next outside project!

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!

The waiting is the hardest part.

Since I’ve been home from our spring break trip, I’ve been itching for my favorite parts of spring and summer. Fresh veggies, farmer’s markets, canning… you get the gist. All the way home, I expected it to be time to get planting and time to hit up the farmer’s markets. Maryland is hot, right? Surely the produce stand would be teeming with plants ready to come home with me.

Of course, none of this was the case. It is chilly and early spring-y, the last frost is still a week away, and our county farmer’s markets don’t start till May. After this news, I spent a bit of time planning out my prosective container garden but it would seem that there are only so many ways one can make lists of plants. And so, I finished up the last ten rows and bound off my Half Moon Oracle shawl.

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Ugh, it’s so pretty. The shawl is blocking now, and I can’t wait to wear it.

With that done, I still had some time on my hands this week. To occupy myself, I thought I’d clean up the kitchen to get ready for the canning. I started and had a difficult time stopping. I won’t bore you with all the details but even the freezer got cleaned out. I reorganized my canning accoutremont and have some pretty cabinets and clean jars all ready to go.

With all of that finished, I still felt like preserving something. Anything. And so I turned to sauerkraut. A quick pick up of some cabbage and I was ready to go. My favorite kraut from last year was a recipe from Ferment Your Vegetables, Ava’s Hot Pink Kraut.

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I shredded my cabbage and salted it, and started working it.

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After some elbow grease, time, and more elbow grease, it was ready to start packing.

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To pack the would-be kraut into the jar, you need to really tamp it down. As you’re going along it kind of looks like there is no way it will all fit. To help get the job done, I use a “Pickle Packer” and I love it. It really makes the job easier.

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Once all the cabbage was in, I added the weight:

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And finally, the airlock.

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And now, we wait. That seems to be my destiny around here. Wait for warmer weather, wait for the shawl, wait for the kraut. At least I have a sock to knit.

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Happy making!