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!

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!

A long time coming.

Late last spring, I stopped by the dearest Kemper’s trunk show over at one of my local yarn shops, Knot House Yarns. Kemper is the dyer behind Junkyarn and a super cool human. She helped me pick out yarn for a pattern that I was dying to cast on.

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I drove home, wound up those yarns, and cast on immediately. Of course, I had other things on the needles, so I indulged myself just a bit and then put it down. This would turn out to be the pattern with this project, over and over. I would pick it up and knit a bit on it and put it down to finish up some other project.

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This was the barest beginnings of my Audra Wrap. Now, don’t get me wrong, the pattern is beautiful. The yarn is beautiful. But there was something about the repeating sections that made it seem like it would take forever to knit and, like some fibery self-fulfilling prophecy, forever is just about what it took. It took me a bit over 10 months to finish. But finish it I have and it is glorious.

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This is the Audra Wrap by Ambah O’Brien. The yarn is Junkyarn in Brigitte (peach), Rosemary (purple), and Lady Murasaki (grey mohair). The pattern really is lovely, the stripes are fun and the lace is intuitive and very pretty. The yarn was a dream and I am both happy and sad that I used nearly all of it.

IMG_20190421_084800 This is a completely new to me shape, I haven’t knit anything like it before. I’m really interested to style it and get some good wear out of it.

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It is so long! It almost touches my toes when I hang it over my shoulders. I had a little too much fun just basking in the cozy softness draped all over.

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Now that it’s finished, I am so pleased. I don’t know that I would have chosen these colors together without Kemper’s help – but boy are they perfect! This one was definitely worth the–loooooooong–wait.

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Happy making!

Woolly.

I’ve quite the week for a knitter here in Maryland. Things have taken a turn for the colder, perfect handknit wearing weather that I love and we even managed to make a quick trip over to the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival.

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Alpacas are so soft! And their hum just slays me. I also got the kids to pause for a picture–it’s getting harder all the time. Neither of them like to be in pictures.

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For the first time, I participated a bit in the Get Your Yarn Wishes Granted fun on instagram. My wish was for some shetland or Norwegian wool to try out and a friend of mine came through in a big way! I can’t wait to swatch up these colors, I am digging the palate. This is all Jamieson & Smith jumper weight yarn.

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As if that wasn’t the woolliest Sunday one could imagine, I also decided to cast on a hat:

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This is the beginnings of Kobuk by Boyland Knitworks. The pattern calls for one strand of DK and one strand of mohair, but I just had to knit it in this gorgeous color. I’m holding fingering weight double, using Woolberry Fiber Co.‘s Berry Sock and Berry Mohair in the Hayride colorway. I just cannot stand it. This color is so out of my comfort zone, but I am quite drawn to it lately.

I couldn’t quite get the woollies out of my system, so I wound up rocking quite the outfit at work on Monday. It was my first time wearing my Marion out and I am pleased to say that the woolly-wool of Wool of the Andes didn’t irritate me at all.

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This is Canopy, Marion, and my Hollyburn skirt. I really like this outfit, but I want to get a couple of cropped sweaters going to wear with skirts like this. To that end, I have decided that I need a holiday sweater. A cropped, retro, and very green holiday sweater. So, of course, I ordered some yarn…

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This is Quince & Co. Lark in the Parsley colorway. I’m planning to knit Julgran by Andi Satterlund. My gauge on this swatch–and the one after it–is off, so I had to go down several needle sizes from the pattern. I’m actually planning to–gulp–cast it on on the plane this weekend. I’m flying down to Atlanta for a work trip and I’m hoping to snag some knitting time for this sweater.

Now that the time has changed, it gets harder and harder to take pictures during daylight hours. If only I could just bring all my WIPs and take pictures at work. Alas, I like my job. We’ll just have to make do with a few dark ones. The hat is coming along nicely, I am well into the bobbles. I hope to have this done and ready to wear for our Thanksgiving trip.

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And last but not least, I’ve been making progress on my new cardigan, but I am really not feeling it. It is coming out really big, even though my gauge is correct. I’m seriously considering ripping it out and using the yarn in another sweater.

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We had some really pretty snow yesterday, definitely the earliest snow I’ve seen since moving to Maryland. I think we’re shaping up for a woolly winter!

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Happy making!