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}!

Time flies.

The last few weeks seem to have gone by in a flash. It feels like forever since I’ve been on the blog! We’ve had a great time, I’ve done a lot of knitting and a fair bit of secret making. How about a montage? Just imagine funky 80s music playing as you scroll through the pictures.

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We adopted a kitty! This is Joseph, he’s the sweetest boy.

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Nobody worry – Cosi is still the biggest baby of the family!

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As promised, I put some work into my Audra Wrap  – though I’ve stalled on it again.

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October rainbow socks: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered – Knitterly Things October 2017 Rainbow Club – pair 18 in my box of socks for the year

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Kevin wanted a new hat, so I cast one on for him. I love hat knitting, this chunky weight yarn knit up so fast!

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And a couple of days later, I cast the hat off. This is Lancet, by Jared Flood, a great pattern. I used Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in Lapis. I am happy to report, Kevin loves it.

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Halloween came and went. I had an ear infection, so trick or treating wasn’t my favorite. The zombie goat and the akatsake had a blast though.

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Now that November is here, it’s straight on to the next rainbow.

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I haven’t shown my Dotted Rays too much, mostly because it always just like a blob of grey garter. But it’s finished now, and it’s the prettiest grey garter I’ve seen!

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While Dotted Rays was soaking the other night, I may have snuck in a wee sweater cast on…

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This guy went with me to vote. I even convinced him to wear the sticker (only for this picture).

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Dotted Rays by Stephen West knit out of Primrose Yarn  Co. Sophia in the Dark Cavern colorway. 

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Seriously, this was a fun knit. I loved the construction of the shawl, and this yarn is the softest and makes for the squishiest garter. This is also the last of my Make Nine projects! 

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My little sweater is starting to grow. I’m knitting Empire by Gudren Johnston, in Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Iceberg colorway. I’m a little concerned about my yarn usage, but we shall see.

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I think that’s it. I can’t believe there are three finished objects in this post! I suppose it has been a hot minute. Now I’m all cozy with my dotted rays around my neck–can we talk about the cashmere in this yarn? I am in heaven.

Happy {cozy} making!

 

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.

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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!

 

To-do list.

I’ve got a few things on the needles these days. I’ve really been thinking about my works in progress in terms of what is active, but now that we’re really moving through autumn I’m thinking how nice it would be to have a bunch of empty needles for the new year.

Right now, this is everything I have in progress:

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Well everything but my current socks. Above are my Sunset Highway sweater, Dotted Rays, Audra Wrap, and Baubles, at varying stages of doneness. Sunset Highway is close, only lacking the ribbing on the second sleeve:

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I’ve been working here and there on my Dotted Rays, but it’s still a long way off:

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I’ve barely even started my Audra Wrap, but I love it. The stripes and the floof are really calling my name:

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And then there’s Baubles. I really like this one, but there’s a sticking point with it at the moment. The yarn has a really high silk content and while very luxurious, it’s not very cozy. It makes it feel cool, which sounds weird, but really, it feels cool. I don’t want to change it or anything, but it’s not drawing me in for an autumn knit.

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With all of that, I really want to finish Sunset Highway, Dotted Rays, and Audra by the end of the year. I think I’ll give myself a pass on Baubles until spring, when a fresh and cool feeling knit will really hit the spot.

Of course, that’s not completely everything that I am or will be knitting. While I can neither confirm or deny that there is any holiday knitting happening, I’ll let you guess where some of time is going. And then of course there are socks. I’ve finished the first of my October rainbow socks:

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This is Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, the October 2017 colorway from the Knitterly Things Rainbow of the Month Club. I’ve got these and two more pairs of rainbow socks to finish up this year. I also have a hibernating pair, but who knows when I’ll feel like picking those up.

Writing all of this up, it really feels like a tall order to finish all of this in the next two and a half months. I guess there’s nothing to do but settle in on this rainy afternoon and put some stitches down.

Happy making!

Moral of the story: pack more yarn.

This weekend one of Kevin’s best friends is getting married. Kevin is in the wedding and we’ve all come down from Maryland to Tennessee to celebrate. This morning we loaded up fancy dresses and shoes and ties, and kids, and a lot of yarn.

While I waited for Kevin to finish packing his travel entertainment–Dungeon and Dragons books if you’re curious–I tried on my Sunset Highway.

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Whew that’s some rough super early morning lighting! I’m thinking I’m really close on this one. I’m going to add an inch-ish of ribbing and I know that it will grow some when blocked. I knit it a whole lot shorter that called for, but I haven’t paid close attention to my row gauge so my yoke could longer than the pattern intends. When I get home, the body of this sweater is first on the list.

I didn’t bring the sweater on the trip though, it’s a bit unwieldy for travel knitting. What did I bring, you ask? Well, first up, socks:

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I’m so into this fall rainbow. I really wanted to finish these up this weekend, but on the drive down I discovered that I didn’t bring my long circular needles for the heels and toes. I guess I’ll finish the tube part of the knitting and do heels and toes when I get home. Don’t worry though, I brought more knitting.

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This is a fairly new cast on, Dotted Rays. It’s the last item in my 2018 Make Nine and I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I cast it on and knit fairly obsessively on it for two nights. It’s a really fun pattern. The short rows make you just want to knit one more wedge all the time. This is a pattern by Stephen West, who is up there on my list of favorite designers. I love how his designs lend themselves so well to wild and crazy color combinations but look equally as stunning in soft or subtle colors. I’m knitting my Dotted Rays out of Primrose Yarn Co. Sophia in the Dark Cavern colorway.

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Since that isn’t enough, I brought two more projects. These are secret knitting, so I can’t show them but I’m really glad I packed them, or the absent long circular needle would be a much more dire situation. In fact, at the very last minute I grabbed a ball of yarn and needles and tossed it in that fox bag. Whew! It’s never a bad idea to grab one last skein.

I’m really excited to be back down south, we get to see family and friends and celebrate a sweet couple. I think this is going to be a lovely weekend.

Happy {travel} making!

Killing me softly.

Socks. I talk of them often. A self proclaimed sock addict, I have a pair on my needles at all times. But lately, I find these oh-so-light-and-portable projects are weighing me down.

You may recall at the beginning of the year, I set out to knit two pairs of socks every month. One rainbow and one light colored. Well, I have faithfully kept up to that, I’ve knit two pairs every month. Now that I find myself staring down the fall and the end of the year, I find myself looking longingly at other projects.

I’ve got holiday gifts on my mind, a new hat for Kevin, and this year I’ve promised Astra a sweater! Of course sweater knitting for myself is a high priority. I pulled out my Sunset Highway and have been giving it a bit of love the few days.

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I’m about 3″ into the 11″ or 12″ I’ll need for the body of the sweater. I’m actually kind of looking forward to the sleeves for this one, since there’s a bit of colorwork to be had. Of course, I can’t forget the swatch for my next cardigan, I pet it every day.

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And in yet more sweater news, I caked up yarn to swatch for a new top, Mount Pleasant. This is Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Hayride colorway:

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It’s dreamy and I really want to have this top for the fall before it’s too cold, but I was deterred by having no 3.5 mm needles free and the thought of these socks:

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Every time I’ve picked up these socks this week, I’ve been bummed out. It’s a little bizarre, the yarn is so pretty and squishy and I love how it’s working up. But really, I want to be working on other things. My sock committments are really dragging on me at this point. I think I will compromise with myself and finish out the rainbow socks for the year and just pick up on other socks as I feel like it.

On the one hand, I feel a bit disappointed in myself that I’m giving up. But on the other hand, I knit because it brings me joy. If something makes me sad or bummed, why am I working on it? Do you ever set goals for your making and then feel down about not reaching them, or giving them up for something else?

With the decision to set these socks aside, I feel lighter. I am excited for all the other knitting I can finish in the time I would have devoted to those other 6.5 pairs. So little time and so many projects.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!