Me Made May

Well, I did it. I managed to fulfill my pledge to wear at least one me made item (not counting sweaters) each week in May. I really enjoyed it and it did what I had hoped: pushed me to wear my makes for more than just pictures! The only outfit I didn’t get a picture of was when I went strawberry picking. Here’s everything else:

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Hollyburn Skirt 2 with Populuxe and Colorfield

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Rita Blouse 2 + Hollyburn Skirt 2, with Crumb

I’ve just realized as I’m linking all of these posts that I never blogged about my second Rita Blouse! I’m planning a bit of a catch up post for the last month of making, so I’ll add the details in there.

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Rita Blouse 2 with Crumb

I have to say that this is not too shabby seeing as that is only 1 dress, 2 tops, 2 skirts, and a couple of cardigans. Pretty good little mix and match into ye ole wardrobe. Looking back at these pictures, I  think they really show my new, hopeful style. They don’t look awkward, out of place, or forced, which is what I worry about most often.

This really makes me want to sew some more! That’s a great outcome, so thanks Me Made May!


Happy making!

 

Ambition.

Sometimes I like to set myself some arbitrary goals. Most of the time, rather ambitious ones. Saturday night, I was laying in bed thinking about the coming day. I thought about making a bit of a ridiculous to-do list and seeing if I could do it. I came up with a somewhat realistic, but really quite ambitious list:

  • Repot plants
  • Hem skirt
  • Start sauerkraut
  • Bike shopping
  • Finish sleeve
  • Procure groceries

Not on the list were call my mom, spend a bit of time with the kids, and catch Game of Thrones with Kevin. Cosi and I were up pretty early to have some coffee.

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I got started with a bit of knitting and my mom called. We wished each other a mutual happy mother’s day and chit chatted about gardening and life and motherhood.

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This picture was from last summer when I visited her, but I just had to share. After we got off the phone I managed to finish the second sleeve of my Populuxe 2:

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Looking at my list, 2 of them required leaving the house with Joshua in tow. This was at about 8 in the morning, so I knew I had several hours before I’d see the whites of his eyes. The plants needed some rocks to arrive so that left the skirt and the kraut. Well, the skirt was daunting so kraut came up first.

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I made a batch of Ava’s Hot Pink Kraut from the book Ferment Your Vegetables. It’s my very favorite and I think I’m just going to have to start a batch once a month for the rest of my life. I need it always.

Finally, I braved the teenager’s room to wake him for his early birthday shopping. At 5’10” he has fully outgrown his old bike. We had been poking around on the web and really just needed to go in and give the thing a test but he loved it and now we’re the pround owners of a bike with 28″ tires. This should be the last bike I purchase for him while he lives at home. Fingers crossed. We hit the grocery store on the way home and bam! my rocks had arrived. I had three succulents to repot:

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Clockwise from top: Jenna the Jade (Crassula ovata), a brand new unnamed baby (Haworthiopsis attenuata), and George (Echeveria, maybe Perle von Numberg). I purchased George 2 years ago when I first moved to a window cubicle at work. Jenna was gifted to me shortly after as just a wee leaf poking out of some dirt. I purchased the haworthiopsis on Friday. After some very careful work, we’re looking a wee bit happier. img_20190512_150125

Everybody is now back at work, awaiting watering day tomorrow. The plants safely tucked away out of cat’s reach, I finally dragged myself down to the sewing room to hem the circle skirt. I marked it and serged the raw edge to trim off excess. I had hung it to allow any bias stretching to occur and it had certainly stretched out! There was 2-3″ of excess in places! After what seemed like forever – as a full circle, that hem is about 164″ – I finished the hem and my to-do list.

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I even managed to sit down to eat with the family and watch GoT with Kevin. All in all it was a pretty productive Sunday. It felt good to get all of that done. Mostly they were just lingering projects that I never seemed to want to start. Sometimes being a little ridiculous with your to-do list can pay off.

The motivation wave has been riding high. I haven’t had much time, but I’m almost finished with the second button band. A neckband is all that’s left and I’ll have a shiny new pink sweater!

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Happy {ambitious} making!

Confidence.

I’ve been thinking about my style, wardrobe, and making for quite a while now. I think back to the Wardrobe Architect project I did a few years ago.  It is hard to believe that was a few years ago but like with so many things, here we are. I’d like to revisit that project, evaluate and update to where I am now. At the core of all of this, has been a drive to move toward a new style.

I have been working, this year in particular, towards the beginnings of a new wardrobe. I have a few makes under my belt and I’m starting to feel more comfortable with knitting fitted sweaters and making skirts and dresses. My biggest hurdle now is wearing them.

You wouldn’t think that it would be so difficult, but I make excuses to myself and fall back to my old standard uniform nearly every day. Some of that is understandable, I don’t have enough me-made clothes to support wearing them all the time, but really it’s a comfort blanket. I’m used to seeing myself a certain way and while I have goals for how I want to look – that doesn’t mean I’m used to it by a long stretch.

Enter Me Made May. This is a personal challenge started by Zoe of the sewing blog “So Zo, What do you know?” – that is about encouraging sewists to wear their makes. Bam! That’s exactly what I need. I thought and thought and thought and came up with my pledge for Me Made May 2019:

I, Cortney, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each week during May 2019. Sweaters don’t count!

My hope is that by wearing a garment I’ve sewn at least once a week, it will help to normalize this new style to me. At the very least I hope it starts the process. Don’t get me wrong – I love my makes and really feel pretty incredible in them. It’s having the confidence to show that new and different side of me to the rest of the world. We’re starting out with baby steps. Once a week.

Last week, we traveled down to Tennessee for a wedding – more on that later – and after we arrived went out to dinner with Kevin’s parents and two best friends. I opted for my chambray Hollyburn and one of my Ritas:

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Sorry as these will likely all be awkward selfies. I actually loved this outfit. It was my first time wearing the Rita without a sweater over it and I was a little nervous as it’s quite fitted, but I really liked this look. Today, it was a bit nippier than the last few days here in Maryland so I took advantage of the oppprotunity to rock my Populuxe Cardigan again, paired with my navy Hollyburn:

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Oh and since it’s freezing in my office, I topped everything off with my Color Field Shawl. I do love this outfit. The navy skirt is proving pretty darn versatile, which is just perfect! Once I got home I took a proper outfit photo, which is nice since I never took real FO pictures of my Populuxe on my person.

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After hiding for years in business casual black slacks and cardigans, it feels like such a departure to wear such a figure hugging sweater. But I feel good in it, so the confidence may be starting to grow.


Happy making!

Work in progress.

I have posted mostly about finished objects recently. Looking back, I believe all of my posts this year have included some finish of some sort. Well, not today! With all of those finishes, it stands to reason that I had to start a few things.

After I finished the knitting on my Crumb, I got to swatching my next sweater. I’m knitting up another Populuxe in a dreamy soft pink. The yarn is Lavendar Lune Yarn Co. MCN DK in the Grannies Panties colorway.

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I am almost down to the ribbing now and I think the fit will be spot on! I can’t wait to add this to my cropped sweater collection.

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I’ve been pretty monogamous with the sweater, so not much else to report on the knitting front. I have done a little bit of sewing lately. I’ve sewed up two projects but neither have been finished. The first is my very first circle skirt. It’s been complete save for the hem for almost two weeks. This is first up on my sewing queue. It’s too stinking pretty not to finish.

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I used the Full Circle Skirt Pattern from Sew Over It with some gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. rayon challis. Very easy to put together, actually. Hemming is just intimidating on that long full circle circumference.

The next item on my sewing to-do list is fix and finish my Swirl Dress. The pattern is from Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses, Gertie’s latest book. I found this cotton shirting at Joann’s a few weeks ago.

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The problem is that the bodice just doesn’t fit me. I didn’t make a muslin and I finished all the insides before trying it on, both epic rookie mistakes. Take a look at the back!

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I tried pinning darts into the back bodice to do an afterthought swayback adjustment but it just isn’t enough. I’m kind of thinking that I should have gone down a whole size in the bodice and graded out the waist. Don’t worry, I’ll be making a muslin to check this time!

My last work in progress for today is a bit on the longer term investment side. I got up early Saturday morning this past weekend and got my garden planted!

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I planted nine sweet basil plants all in a row on the railing:

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We’ve got a bunch more tomato plants this year. I’m trying out planting some early lettuces in the same planters, so we’ll see how that shakes out.

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Last but not least, my herb garden. With the expanded tomato garden this year, I pared down the herbs. Clockwise from top left: Parsley, rosemary, oregano, and thyme.

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It was so nice to get outside and work on my garden. The plants just feel like they hold so much promise in the spring. The thought of fresh green herbs and juicy tomatoes is such a happy one. Kevin has even been grilling quite a bit on our happy little porch.

Sometimes I get bogged down in wanting to have finish every project quickly. It’s nice to to take a minute to reflect on what is in progress.


Happy making!

Button, button, who’s got the button?

You know, I really hate sewing on buttons. Or at least, I think I do. I put it off  for a month on my Populuxe and last week I found myself doing the same thing on my latest cardigan. I finally realized this isn’t going to work, I love cardigans and have plans for a bunch more so me and buttons are going to need to come to terms.

Sunday morning before we went to the airport to pick up Kevin and Astra, I had a few hours and thought that I should just bite the bullet and get those buttons put on. And you know what? It took me about 20 minutes. The first step really is the hardest I guess. But now they are on and my cardigan is finished and I kind of really love it.

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This Crumb by Andi Satterlund. I knit it in Quince and Co. Lark in the Peacock colorway. I knit a shawl last spring in this color and I have absolutely worn it more than any other shawl I own. The color really goes with everything in my wardrobe. I did particularly knit this sweater at this time to go with the dress I recently made. I’m pretty smitten over this combo.

 

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Let’s talk fit for a minute. I was nervous that this would be too small, but I’m pretty pleased. The pattern worked out well to the measurements. For reference, I knit a size small–that’s a 33.5″ bust according to the pattern. I’m a 36″ so that’s 2.5 inches of positive ease. I think it gives a nice fitted look without looking tight.

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I am considering shortening the next sweater by a bit, but I’m not sure. You can see from the back that it definitely extends down past my waist. I’ll have to see how I feel about that after a bit of wear.

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Overall, I am really happy with it. The color, the fit, the sweet scallop lace detail. Lovely.

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In a bit of adjacent news, I finally got some good pictures of my new dress! I can’t wait to wear it now that spring has seemd to fianlly decided to make Maryland home. Well, that having a smashing new cardi to wear to the chilly office. Totally allthat time I spent sewing on those stinking buttons.

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Happy making!

Populuxe.

Way back before our holiday trip, I swatched a little swatch. I knew that when we got home it would be the new year and I’d be ready for something fresh and new on my needles. So I wound up some yarn and got to it.

Once we arrived back home, I wasted no time and cast on my shiny new sweater. I started Populuxe, an adorable cardigan by Andi Satterlund. The yarn is from Sweet Sparrow Yarns, in her tweed DK in the Butterbeer colorway. I zoomed right along and before I knew it I was down past the sleeve join and ready to try it on.

I tried it on and… it was too big. Obviously several inches of positive ease through the bust, and that’s before adding a buttonband! I tried to reason with myself that maybe it would fit with the sleeves, but even Kevin said it looked like it would be too big. I frantically checked my stitch counts over and over until I happened to check the needle size and my swatch notes.

Back in December, I had swatched with a 3.50 mm, 3.25 mm, and 3.00 mm – and promptly figured out that the 3.00 mm was the right choice. So, of course, when I cast on in January – I pulled out the 3.25. You wouldn’t think a quarter millimeter would make such a difference, but it was definitely not going to give me the fitted look I was going for. So I frogged.

Just looking at that makes me sad. It took a while to pull it out and wind the balls up. I was alternating skeins and you knit the top in three parts so…

I had lots of little bits to work with. I’ll admit, it took me a hot minute to get back to knitting it. But once I got going on it, it went pretty fast. The pattern is beautifully written and a cropped DK sweater isn’t a ton of kniting.

I finished it in good order and then dithered on buttons for around a month. I finally ordered some and they arrived and I had ordered 6 and not 8. After that, I just bit the bullet and went to JoAnn’s and found something suitable. I do not like sewing buttons on anything, but I got it done.

And now, I have a finished cardigan.

I love this sweet little sweater. The tweed yarn gives it such character, and those starburst details are precious. I really adore this pattern. The finished sweater fits like a glove.

I even wore it with my Hollyburn skirt! I love a good me-made outfit. I’ll admit it took me a bit to work up to wearing it buttoned up. This is much more the style I want, but certainly not the style I’m used to.

I am so glad that I took the time to frog and re-knit it. It is everything I hoped it would be and I may or may not have purchased yarn for a second one. But before I get to another Populuxe, I’ve got another Andi Satterlund pattern on my needles. I just can’t get enough!

Now I’ve got to go try this one on… cross your fingers that I am using the right needles. Just kidding, I hope.


Happy making!

Thank you to everyone who so kindly commented on my last post. Your words warmed this little maker’s heart. ❤️

Madewell.

All done. To say that I love it would be an understatement. I’m only sad that it’s 85 F and June rather than 48 F and October. I cannot wait to be oh-so-cozy in this sweet sweater.

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This is Madewell by Joji Locatelli. This is my fourth make nine finish! The pattern is a dream. This was my first adult cardigan, and first raglan style sweater. Joji makes it easy. The yarn is The Wool Barn Cashmere Sock in the Smitten colorway. It is the softest, plumpest, and prettiest. The color is just purely perfect.

The knitty gritty is as follows. I knit this sweater on a 3.25 mm (US 3) at about 6 stitches/inch, while the recommended gauge is 5.75 stitches/inch. All of my details, yarn usage, mods, everything is on my project page. I knit the large since my gauge was bit off. I think I should have knit the medium. I also should have paid better attention to row gauge. The length of the body and the arms blocked out much longer than expected. I pretty much have to cuff the sleeves.

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All of that said, I do love it. It is incredibly cozy and snuggly.

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Happy {sweater} knitting!

 

New year, new challenge(s), new socks.

With 2018 fresh and new, I’ve been thinking about what the new year would mean to me. Last year, I embarked on a wonderful journey, my year of making, and I started this blog to chronicle that journey. Now that it’s over, I find that I don’t want to stop. I want to continue making every day. I find that I am wanting just a bit more.

I am intrigued more and more at the the idea of challenging myself in my making. I want to grow as a maker. Growth would certainly mean different things for my different crafts. For sewing, I want to learn simple things, like grading patterns or inserting zippers. Quilting is a bit more complicated, I’d like to take the next step with the longarm or get a bit more adventurous with my pattern choices. With sewing and quilting, I am still such a beginner that there is a lot of room to grow.

Knitting, however, is another story. I want to do everything! Garments, cables, colorwork, you name it and I am probably interested in it. I think I’m a good knitter, but a pretty vanilla knitter. I knit a lot of simple projects and I’m ready to change that. Perhaps not altogether–you’ll need to pry my vanilla socks from my cold and lifeless hands–but a bit.

In thinking about the best way to challenge myself, I thought about what made my year of making work. I think the big things were that it was a simple and easily definable challenge–and it was realistic.

To that end, I’ve come up with 6 challenges for myself for 2018. I’m not planning to put a timeline to any of these, I will most likely be working on a few of them at the same time. In no particular order–and with planned projects or inspiration pictures–my 6 challenges are:

A knit that incorporates fair isle

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Image courtesy Kemper Wray

A cabled shawl a la Winter Honey by Andrea Mowry

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Image courtesy Andrea Mowry

A knitted garment – finally

An English paper pieced mini quilt

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Image courtesy Sew and So

A whole cloth quilt for experimenting on the longarm

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Image courtesy A Few Scraps

A skirt with a zipper – it makes me smile how simple this one is

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Image courtesy Colette Designs

I would love to cross each of these challenges off by the end of the year. I do have a few other goals in mind as well. I want to continue on with my Wardrobe Architect project, and part of that means being intentional with my fabric, yarn, and pattern choices for the above projects. I’ve got a few languishing projects from before the gift-making extravaganza that I want to wrap up before any other big cast ons:

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Boho Blush, on hiatus since sometime in mid November

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Love Ewe Baby, barely started on and on hold since mid October

And if all of that isn’t enough to get me started, I have sock plans. I want to participate in the Box O’ Sox knitalong again, and knit myself 12 pairs of socks. This year, I want to have a specially curated box full of soft colors. I’ve been leaning more and more towards softer, less saturated colors recently and I think a light box o’ sox is just what’s in order. I pulled out all the yarns that I want to knit up into socks:

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That lineup slays me! I can’t wait to see that picture turned into a box of squishy socks. My birthday and halloween socks are even included in the list! I’m casting on my first pair today:

I’m enjoying a day off at home with Kevin and the kids and a little bit of making. A nice cozy start to 2018 with lots of looking forward to this fresh new year.

Happy making!

Year of Making: 2017.

On the first day of this year, I decided to commit to one small thing: “put energy into a making project every day.”

At first, that meant a conscious decision to sit down with a project every day. Sometimes it meant sleepily knitting a few rows before bed so that I would keep my commitment. As I went on, it became easier and easier. As I got more in the habit of doing something everyday, I found myself reaching for my projects more and more.

I’ve kept track of what I’ve worked on in a spreadsheet. I’ve been more than a little curious to see how the numbers would shake out. It’s no surprise that I spent 342 of the last 365 days knitting. I tend to reach for my knitting more than anything else. On 266 of those days, I worked on socks. I love knitting socks so it’s not much of a surprise that three quarters of my knitting days involved socks.

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I finished my box of socks a few months ago, but that didn’t stop me from continuing on. I’ve finished five more pairs of socks for myself since then. I love the look of them all laid out. This last pair was knit on Christmas vacation, so it hasn’t made it home to meet it’s new sock drawer mates.

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When I wasn’t knitting on socks, I knit up shawls, hats, mitts, and even a tiny owl for my mom. I’ve spent a significant bit of time cross stitching, quilting and sewing. There were even a few days of canning, fermenting, and crochet thrown in. Looking back it feels like a productive year:

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There is something about looking at a year’s worth of creating, thinking about how my hands knit every stitch, cut all the fabric, pitted every cherry. More than just the products of my hands though, my makes all feel like teeny time capsules, moments of my life molded into something tangible. Knitting socks at the beach with my family, figuring out how to sew my very first garment, picking cherries with Joshua.

Writing about everything has really crystallized that notion that there is a story in each of my makes. I love thinking about that and having the blog to look back at all of it.

Now that my year of making is coming to a close, I don’t believe I’m finished with it. I’m not sure that I will keep track of things daily like I have been, but that idea of putting “energy into a making project every day” still rings true for me. It’s exciting to think about a future full of years of making.

At any rate, I’ll be right here tomorrow, the first day of the new year, spending a bit of my day creating something.


Happy making!

A little motivation.

I have felt extraordinarily motivated in my making lately. The plan is–so far–doing an amazing thing. I’m so excited to get to everything that I have planned, I’ve been highly motivated in my knitting. I couldn’t think of anything else until I got this cowl off the needles:

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This is Slipstream by Maria Montzka. I knit it out of Quince & Co. Lark in the Mist colorway. I only needed about 5 grams out of the third skein, I knit 2 full repeats of the pattern. I really loved knitting this. I don’t often knit things that are so lacy, especially not anything that’s overall patterned. It gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities and patience. It also felt good to knit something in a single, solid color. I’m incredibly happy with this finished object.

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This is my first make from my plans with my wardrobe architect project. It’s exciting to get started on that and I can’t wait to get to more of those plans!

I got started on a new hat for Astra. She had two requests: orange and mohair. I am more than happy to knit both. I cast it on last weekend. It’s ridiculously fuzzy and soft and squishy. And quite orange, if I do say so myself.

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I wound up staying up late the other night watching old movies and finished the hat. It’s so squishy and fuzzy, and Astra really likes it. This is Bumble by Tin Can Knits and I held one strand of Knit Picks Swish (100% merino) DK in Clementine together with one strand of Knit Picks Aloft (mohair silk blend) in Koi.

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Since I can’t seem to keep the socks off of my needles, I finally gave in and put some time into my Halloween socks. During the first football game of Sunday, I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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Through my Steelers game and Monday Night Football, I managed to knit to about half way through the gusset. These kind of felt like were just falling off the needles. After the night of finishing the hat, I stayed up the next night and finished the socks!

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These were fun to knit up. They’re knit out of Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in the Flytrap colorway. This was one of the September club colorways. I really never knit anything with black, but I’m digging how these turned out Halloween-y in a not super Halloween-y way. These are my fourteenth pair for my Box O’ Sox.

Whew! It’s not often I have 3 finishes in week but I’ve got so much that I want to get to, I’ve really felt like finishing things. I’ve started in on a bit more secret making (I can’t seem to help myself) and I’ve got yarn on the way for a new shawl. I just know I’m going to want to cast it on immediately.

I don’t really like having tons of projects going at once–I  know you can’t tell with how much I’ve been casting on lately–and I want to be in the mindset to just give myself over to the new shawl. It’s one of the ones I talked about last week–I can’t wait to tell you all about it!


YoM Day 293-294: Cowl knitting – finished Slipstream!

YoM Day 295-296: Sock and hat knitting

YoM Day 297: Hat knitting – finished Astra’s hat!

YoM Day 298: Sock knitting – finished Halloween Socks!


Happy making!