A lost blog post?

I wrote this post back on February 29, right before I left for Denver. I appartenly never hit publish, but I hate to lose all this chatter, so here you go!

At this time last week, I had three (knitting) works in progress. Today, I have six. Things just… happened this week. And no, I am in no way thinking about casting on something else. At all.

First things first, the three wips. One is my Sizzle Pop; surprise! I haven’t gotten much done on it. Last week I had just cast on and knit the cuff of a new pair of patterned socks. They’re chugging along, if a bit slowly. I’m enjoying the texture and rhythm though, so I’m not bothered.

And the third is my oldest WIP, which is surprising since it’s a hat. I usually knit hats pretty quickly, but, well, I’ve been distracted. The hat is adorable though and that’s why it’s earned a trip to Denver today. I’m heading out on a work trip and I think it will be my plane knitting in hopes of some serious progress. The hat is Skiff by Jared Flood, I’m knitting it up in Quince & Co. Lark in the Petal colorway.

Something just came over me last weekend and I wanted a bit of floof in my life. I waffled for a quite a while and finally cast on a cowl with a bit of mohair. I’m not too far, but this is Calan Mai by Voolenvine. I couldn’t resist the reference to one of my favorite book series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m knitting it up in yarn from A Homespun House, the mohair is Winter’s Kiss and the other strand is Snowy Woods.

With all the patterning, brioching, and cabling I was doing, I thought it high time that I cast on a pair of vanilla socks. Taking the first cake that caught my eye out of all my caked up sock yarn, I pulled out this old old old skein of Prim from Hey Lady Hey, a now retired yarn dyer.

I’m to the heel flap of the sock but the beady eyed among you may notice that’s a pretty short leg for me. I’m having a hard time pushing through this one and I think I know why. For years now, I have exclusively knit socks on 80/20 merino/nylon yarn. That and stellina yarn have been pretty much it. I shunned 75/25 a long time ago. I had thought maybe I was past that feeling but here we are. I think it just doesn’t do it for me. I do knit 75/25 into other things just fine, but for socks? No, thank you.

I decided to pull out an 80/20 skein to compare. So plump and round! It’s crazy that it makes that much difference but it feels so much better. I’m willing to admit that may be all in my head, but knit what you want, right?

The yarn I cast on is a pretty little self-striping number called Magical Girl, by Gynx Yarns – another retired dyer. These are also going to Denver, gotta have something easy and mindless on a work trip.

So that’s it, all my works in progress. Most are pretty far from the finished object stage, but for some reason I’m already thinking about a few new projects. One is another hat, which is not getting started until Skiff. The other is a brioche and lace shawl that I don’t know if I will have enough willpower to resist after this trip.

I waffle between wanting to clear off all of my needles and wanting to cast on a million things so it’s easy to pick up and just work on anything. Clearly we’re in the cast on a million things phase at the moment. I’m feeling lately like wips are opportunities. I’ve got stockinette socks, patterned socks, cables, brioche, and floof and I dig it.


Happy making!

Once you get through the ribbing.

I’ve often felt that once I get through the ribbing of a sock, it’s practically done. The rest it just seems to fly by. I don’t hate ribbing, but I don’t really love it so it is always nice to get through it on anything. I’ve recently realized that brioche feels a whole like ribbing: yarn forward, yarn back and all that jazz.

So, once I finished Marley, I looked around at my WIPs and realized I had created a little slice of ribbing hell. My first order of business was to finish up my other brioche project, Gully.

This is a pattern by Jared Flood, knit in Brooklyn Tweed Vale in the Cobbler colorway. I love the finished object, but knitting laceweight brioche flat is a bit of a slog. The texture of the yarn is a dream for the squishy brioche though so it was definitely worth it.

Once I finished the cowl, I was really down to it on ribbing. Two second socks to start and a massive hat brim to finish. I set myself a goal to finish all the ribbing on one big Sunday rib-a-thon.

It took me a hot minute, but I got it done. From there, it’s always so easy to pick up the socks and knit on them throughout the week. I woke up last Saturday and assesed my sock situation.

With last weekend being a long one for us here in the states, I set myself a new goal of finishing both pairs over that weekend. I’m not really sure how but I finished them both that day!

I just love love love this pair. I knew after seeing this yarn that I’d have to knit it up, being the avid rainbow lover that I am. Add to that the Beatles reference in the name and I was a goner. This is All Together Now, from Gauge Dye Works.

The other pair are knit out of Patons Kroy in the Mexicala Stripes colorway. I don’t love the pattern but they’re a bright and cheerful pair of socks. I knit these to have another pair of hardwearing utility socks and that’s just what they are.

Once I finished those socks, I realized I was in danger of getting to the end of February without finishing a Christmas project. I thought that if I started a pair of socks, I could likely finish them over the next couple of weeks. And so I cast on another pair of socks last Sunday, intending to at least get through the ribbing.

By the time I went to bed that night, I had knit most of the darned sock already. This sweet yarn is from A Homespun House, in the Whobilation colorway. Not wanting to burn out, I decided to cast on a new large project. I spent a great deal of time playing in my stash, scrolling throuh Ravelry and Instagram.

I finally decided on a pattern I’ve had in my libary for quite a while and with some help from Kevin, chose a yarn pairing that is a bit out of my usual comfort zone.

I started Sizzle Pop, a shawl pattern by Lesley Anne Robinson. I know, I know, it’s brioche. I just can’t seem to stop myself. I’m using Mood Ring by Hey Sister Yarn Co. for the background (grey) and Tough Titty by Stitch Together Studio for th emain color (pink).

I am really enjoying this one, but it does require quite a bit of focus and pattern reading. So that pushed me back into the arms of the Christmas socks and before I knew it, I found myself kitchenering up the second sock last night.

Who knew I had this much sock mojo left? Finishing three pairs of socks in a week had me looking at my stash yet again this morning. One thing that bugs me is all the caked up yarn I’ve got hanging around from projects that stalled out for various reasons. I’d like to get it all knit up, but that’s a big undertaking. So I pulled out a subset: sock yarn:

That’s 10 skeins of sock yarn that were caked up for various projects (mostly not socks) and then abandoned for some reason or another. I’m going to make these my next 10 pairs of socks, excluding Christmas socks. I already got started, casting on the cuff of the first pair:

The yarn is from Skein, in the Early Morning Mist colorway. I originally cast this on for a Spindrift shawl over Christmas a few years ago. I never picked it up again and frogged it last year during my WIP Wipeout. The catch with this pair of socks is that I’m (gasp!) using a pattern. The whole thing will essentially be ribbed. Who am I?

I might need to go cast on something garter just for a bit of sanity, but who knows. Maybe I don’t dislike ribbing as much as I thought.


Happy making!

Marley.

Back in the fall, I had the idea that I wanted a big, brioche shawl in a neutral-ish color. I wound up at the Shennendoah Fiber Festival with a friend and we found the yarn. Low contrast, pink and cream, neutral enough, speckled in the best way… just perfect. I snapped it up and with encouragement from another dear friend cast it on a few weeks later.

I really enjoyed knitting it, but other things got in the way. Holiday knitting, traveling, and that nagging feeling that this shawl was going to take forever. After a couple of months, I was only about fifteen percent in.

I’ll be honest, it may have been particularly slow because I spent a lot of time just looking at it. This was one of those times when I was utterly entranced by two colors paired together. The speckles and variation in the colorways really is everything. But alas, I put it away again.

And then… as I mentioned in my last post, something just clicked. I was obsessively listening to a book series and I just flat out put some stitches down. It took me about two weeks once I really got going and…

Here she is in all her squishy glory. The shawl turned out to be massive; it’s well over six feet across the top. I was looking for a brioche schlanket, and friends, this is it.

This is Marley by Andrea Mowry, knit in 29 Bridges Studio Sock Single. I used Coral Reef (cream) for the main color and Sugar Cookie (pink) for the contrast color.

I knit it exactly to pattern. It’s a pretty simple pattern, easy to memorize and very well written. I can’t stop gushing! It’s just so stinking pretty.


Happy making!

(Mostly) Never before seen WIPS!

Well, now that it’s been three weeks I suppose we’re do for a bit of an update. I’ve been all over the place. Between the new sewing room, kicking off the year of Christmas, and a healthy audiobook obsession – I’m been doing quite a bit of making.

I am reasonably confident that the only active WIP that has even made a blog appearance is my Happy Christmas Quilt, so let’s do a montage. The current state of affairs of my crafting is as follows:

I cast these socks on over our holiday trip. My goal was a pair of utility socks, I love Patons Kroy yarn for hard wearing socks. I’m not in love with the color combination (Mexicali Stripes), but the socks will do their job.

I made Kevin a pair of pijama pants last year out of this flannel and he asked if I had enough left over to make him a pillow for the couch. I barely did, but I think it turned out cute.

I finally started these gorgeous socks this month. This is Gauge Dyeworks in the colorway All Together Now. I had some yarn management woes and a great deal of indecision with what color I wanted to start with, but they are kniting up quite nicely. This yarn is a plump dream to knit with, by the way.

I finished all the blocks for my Happy Christmas Quilt and here it is all laid out. I’ve since sewn all the rows up and just need to sew them together. For the beady eyed among you, yes, I fixed the mistake in the border before sewing. Thank goodness! I am in love with this one.

I made the top for a tree skirt, too. I’ve been talking about making a tree skirt for years and have, unsurprisingly, put off purchasing one because of that. So we have gone without a tree skirt for a long time. No more! This is a jelly roll pattern, which I thought would make it very easy, but the bias seams got me in the worst way. That was tough.

Since I started my year of Christmas with a quilt and a tree skirt that may as well be a full quilt, I thought it would be nice to get a bit of instant gratification. Enter the mug rug. I love making mug rugs and micro minis. They’re like snack sized quilts. This one included a paper pieced tree, which was a new skill to me. It was pretty easy and quite fun. I love the result! This is a free pattern from ThreadBare Creations and I used scraps from the Happy Christmas quilt and a bit of random stash.

The mug rug is my first project and the January entry in my year of Christmas. I think we’re off to a good start!

In the last few weeks, I’ve been obsessed with a couple of audiobook triologies. Nothing makes me quite so dedicated to a long knitting project as something compelling to listen to. Enter Marley. I cast it on in October, but hadn’t made much progress until about 10 days ago. Now I’m now only a few rows until the finish.

I’m still only halfway through the current amazing trilogy, so I decided to start another long project. This is not my first try at crochet, but it’s definitely the farthest I’ve ever come. I’m really enjoying the rhythym of it.

So that’s it. Quite a bit of variety these days. I’ve got some non-holiday ideas for the sewing room, we’ll see when I get to them. I’m also hoping I’ll be back very soon with a finished shawl and maybe even a finished quilt top.


Happy making!

Hawksbill.

One of the first booths we stopped in at the Shennendoah Valley Fiber Festival was Cozy Color Works. I had never heard of this dyer, but they had the softest yarn and some of the best samples. I haven’t paid too much attention to samples before, but I found them inspiring this go round.

My friend and I were both taken in by a sweet and simple t-shirt sample. In a DK weight it seemed like a great wardrobe staple. After we walked around the whole festival, I still had that t-shirt on my mind.

I cast on a week later and knit this little beauty up in a bit over two weeks. This is Hawksbill by Christina Danaee. Overall, I’m satisfied with the pattern but I made several modifications. To be honest, looking at the pattern pictures I don’t think I would have been drawn to the it without seeing that sample. I think it’s the pocket that pust me off, but patch pockets are easily omitted.

I reversed the decreases and increases as they were written in the pattern. I prefer decreases to “lean in” and increases to “lean out” so I went with that. I also made significant modifcations to the bottom. I really thougth I would like the curved hem, but once I knit the back panel I realized I was wrong. Just wasn’t the look I was going for over my rear. I ripped back and did about a quarter of the called for short rows and I’m much happier with the length and fit now.

The yarn is beautiful. This is Cozy Color Works Merino DK in the Rag Doll colorway. It’s a creamy natural color with navy speckles and a hint of a purple-y burgundy. It reminds me of blueberry muffin mix, when the blueberries break as you stir and you get subtle smudges of purple. I am excited to add this to my wardrobe, it pretty much goes with every handknit shawl I own.

I am thrilled to have a simple, go-with-everything, handknit t-shirt – just like I envisioned thanks to that sample knit!


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!

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!