A small subset.

As you may have seen, I’ve been casting on a lot of new things. I don’t tend to work on that many of them actively, so I’ve been making progress on just a few.

First up, I finished my Selbu Mittens. I knit them in just over a week, but I was by no means committed that whole time. I think they could be a solid weekend knit, they fly! They are a fun, fast knit, even for a colorwork newbie like me.

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These are the Selbu Mittens, by Skeindeer Knits, in Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Egret (natural) and Storm (grey) colorways. They are my fifth finished object in my 2018 make nine. I have several notes about the project:

  • The pattern is written for a DK weight yarn and Chickadee is sport, but she says to adjust the size by adjusting the gauge. Since I’m a loose knitter and my yarn was more fine, I went ahead and went down a couple of needle sizes. My gauge wound up being 7 stitches and 7 rows per inch. It’s not exactly perfectly even all the time, but close.
  • The fit turned out pretty good. I was worried they would block out to be too big, but they didn’t. Blocking mostly just made them look really nice.
  • After reading some recommendations, I knit them on 9″ circulars until the decreases made me switch to magic loop. That worked amazingly!
  • Chickadee made for a great first colorwork yarn – it’s so springy and soft, and just wooly enough to make the colorwork not too slippery. I’d imagine Quince’s other wools would work as well.

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All in all, pattern and yarn were both phenomenal and a fantastic pairing. In other news, we’re into the second colorwork chart on my Zweig. Oh my goodness, y’all, I’m dying. I love this color pairing so very, very much.

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The lace was, honestly, a lovely knit. Every row is lace and every row is different, but the repeats are intuitive and simple enough that once I knit the first repeat I didn’t really need to look again for the rest of the row. And it turns out sooo pretty. My goodness.

The only other project that’s been getting any attention is my June rainbow socks. These are my favorite so far. Two pink stripes! I can’t stand it. I finished them this morning.

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The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle in Sum-sum-summertime, the June 2017 Rainbow of the Month club colorway. They’re my 6th (halfway!) in my rainbow box o’sox. I knit a–much–longer rib on these and I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but I’m digging it now that they’re done.

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So that’s it. Now that the mittens and rainbow socks are finished, I’m really concentrating on the sweater. I’ve still got another pair of socks to knit this month and another sweater I want on the needles, so it’s time to get a wiggle on.

Happy making!

Sharing is caring.

About a month ago, I signed up for the most recent round of Fibreshare. If you are unfamiliar, it’s an international swap for fiber-y crafters. Weaving, spinning, crocheting, and you guessed it… knitting. Sign ups opened up back in May after a particularly stressful week and I decided I could use a little extra joy in my life.

Once we received our partner details, I was off to the races. My partner is a fan of bright colors, stripey sock knitting, and chocolate. A woman after my own heart, in many ways. I had two skeins of yarn in my stash that seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and then I started scouring the internet for the perfect extras. In the end, I also wound up asking Kemper of Junkyarn to help me pick out a skein of her yarn for my partner. She picked the brightly speckled “Leslie” colorway. Perfect.

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After finding the yarn, the extras, the chocolate, the final touch was sewing up a special project bag. The Weebrawbag by Laura Zuckerkuss seemed the perfect thing for a fellow sock knitter. Big enough for a sock project but small enough to take anywhere, it even has pockets for notions! The hardest part was finding fabric. Once I saw this socks on a clothesline pattern, though, I knew.  I also knew that I wanted one too, and if I didn’t make them in tandem, I’d never get around to it. And so, I made two.

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Arne’t they adorable? They are pretty tiny, so I gave my partner’s bag a test run with a skein of yarn:

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Plenty of room! I really enjoyed this project and the finished object is just lovely. The only modification I made was to use fusible fleece instead of the interfacing called for–solely because I purchased the wrong interfacing. If I made this again, I might make the channels wider, they’re a bit tight. Once the bag was complete, I assembled the package.

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I wrapped everything up–tied with yarn, of course–and shipped it out. I’m pleased to report that my partner was happy. All in all, it was incredibly fun to put together a package for another knitter. I don’t really get to put together crafty gifts for others often, and I really enjoyed it.

All in all, I had so much fun putting the package together–including the cute bags. And I get to keep one!

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Happy making!

If at first you don’t succeed.

One of my challenges for this year was to learn to knit colorwork. I love the look of stranded or fair isle knitting and I felt like I was to the point where I could learn a few things in knitting.

I got started with this challenge fairly early in the year, with the Pixel Rise Cowl :

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A little puckery, but the bigger issue was that my colors weren’t very suited to the pattern. All the work I was doing was dissapearing into the speckles. Frustrated, I ripped it all out and took a step back from colorwork for a while. The next foray was the Sunset Highway pullover:

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Really, really puckery. This was my second attempt. Try as I might, I could not get the floats to lay well. I was carrying my yarn in both hands. Normally, I’m an English style knitter, meaning I carry my yarn in my right hand. I really struggled with learning both to knit with my yarn in my lefthand and do it while also knitting with yarn in my right hand. And so I ripped out the project and stepped away from colorwork again.

I considered for quite a while that maybe this wasn’t the year for colorwork. Too frustrating, it’s been a waste of scarce crafting time, just not working out for me.

Fast forward to last weekend. As I scrolled through Instagram, I came across a few posts tagged #howiknitcolorwork showing knitters–fair isle designers, even–using only their right hand and dropping and picking up each color as needed. I was fascinated. I kept going back to those videos and watching them, intrigued.

With that, I decided it was time to try again. I cast on for the Selbu Mittens, a pattern designed to be a first go at colorwork. I worked on them for a while and it was as if a miracle was occurring! It was working! Not horribly slow, which had been my main fear, and I was able to keep my tension loose enough.

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Before I knew it, I’d knit most of a mitten. Oh my goodness, can you even stand it? This was so much fun, I was immediately obsessed with it. I’m knitting these in Quince & Co. Chickadee in Egret (natural, undyed) and Storm (grey).

And then I started thinking about sweaters again… I am still a bit scared of jumping right into to a full colorwork yoke sweater. So I compromised and have now cast on a Zweig, by Caitlyn Hunter. It has to small-ish bands of colorwork in the yoke, and then is just single color everywhere else. I’m just past the first colorwork band now, and holy smokes. It is just so pretty.

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The yarn is Skein Top Draw Sock in Japanese Slipper (teal) and Nice & Knit Sock in Old Bay (pink). I’m digging the combo.

I don’t want to jump the gun, but if I can continue to practice and get better with stranded knitting, the possibilities are endless. There are soooo many beautiful patterns that I’ve dismissed in the past, because I “don’t knit colorwork.” I’m so excited to be finally in the process of changing that.

At the moment, I’m just working on finishing up these {gorgeous} mittens.

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Happy making!

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!

 

Super Secret Socks.

I’ve been knitting a pair of socks under top secret conditions for a month. Why the spy-level stealth? One simple reason. They were for Kevin.

Kevin and I hang out most of the time. We’re both introverted and like to do our own thing a good bit of the time, but we like to do it near each other. And so, he generally sees everything I knit at some point. Surprising him with a hand knit was going to be a challenge. But I wanted to surprise him with a new pair of socks.

I picked out the yarn at Maryland Sheep and Wool, a lovely and sturdy BFL sock yarn from Marigold Jen. The colorway is called Sherlock.

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In order to knit them in secret, I knit these socks only before 8:30 a.m. each day. Kevin sleeps a bit later than I do usually, so I just used that time to my advantage. I wound up the yarn and cast them on the day after the festival. I decided on a Blueberry Waffle sock, to make them extra cozy. The going was slow, but I made progress over the mornings. I had fun taking a picture every day as I worked on them:

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I finished them on Sunday and gave them to him tonight for his birthday. They fit.

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He was really surprised that I could knit anything without him knowing. Mission accomplished!

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Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Happy {secret} making, everyone else!

Go with it.

I’ve sat down to write this post a dozen times over the last few days. I’m feeling a bit scatterbrained with my making and can’t really seem to synthesize all that’s happening into anything coherent. Let’s come at this from a different angle. The current state of affairs, in pictures:

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Joshua assures me that our latest breakfast bar is the best so far. Jammy Baked Oatmeal from Food in Jars.

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I don’t eat the cupcakes, but I bake the cupcakes. Recipe from The Kitchn.

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For about 30 seconds, this was the only project on my needles. I managed to brioche the brioche.

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June rainbow socks are on the move. I think I knit the cuff too long. Le sigh.

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I went to The Knot House for a Junkyarn trunk show. This dude stepped right into my awkward selfie and then I was too excited once inside to take any more pictures.

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Junkyarn haul. (l-r) Lady Murasaki (mohair), Rosemary, Brigitte, and Amalthea. Not pictured, I might have picked up a little something for my FibreShare partner, too.

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That yarn never even saw the stash before I wound it up. Also – cilantro flowers are pretty.

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I only just cast it on, but I really couldn’t resist casting it on. Audra Wrap by Ambah O’Brian.

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With the Madewell blocking, I finally got back to my swatching plans. And then I swatched something else, too.

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Tomatoes!

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Swapped destash yarn for sock cranking and received this–nearly 8 feet long–sock snake back this week. Afterthought everything, here we come.

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It’s time to make pesto, again.

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I finished the secret make, but can’t show that–so here is a gratuitous mohair floof shot.

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The Beekeeper Socks have been frogged and the Cyril Socks cast on.

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I’m casting on some more colorwork as soon as I can get to it, wish me luck.

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Sweater swatches!

Happy making!

Like molasses.

Things seem to be moving along at a snails pace here. Sometimes that happens, it feels like I’m knitting and knitting and knitting but the progress seems slow. I’ve got a secret make that feels like it’s been on the needles for forever, one day I’ll be able to show that one off. If I ever get to the bind off, that is.

I’ve also had a fair bit of knitting that I ripped out. Below, notice the two skeins not attached to my sweater. The top was destined for a pair of socks, the bottom for a sweater swatch.

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I cast on the swatch first. The yarn is that beautiful Madtosh that I’ve already swatched with once. I’m thinking now that it will be a Kirigami by Gudrun Johnston. I finished the stockinette portion of the swatch, and got out a ruler to do a gauge check. Too big. The gauge was too big. Since, in my experience, wool rarely shrinks when blocked, I pulled the whole thing out. Just ripped it right back. We’ll return to that swatch on smaller needles soon.

After that frustration, I thought I’d cast on a pair of socks. I’ve been dying to knit up the Beekeeper Socks by Jenn Emerson. Even purchased that lovely skein of Legacy Fiber Artz–Macaron colorway–to knit them in. Well, I cast those on, got through the ribbing and started on the cables. Frustration ensued. I’m teaching myself to cable without a cable needle, and the stitches just seemed to slip apart like water. The yarn has a healthy dose of cashmere–and is some of the softest MCN to grace my needles–and that seemed to not be the best choice for learning a new technique that involves letting your stitches freely slip off the needles. So I ripped the whole thing out.

I went straight to my stash and pulled out some good ole’ sticky BFL. Hedgehog Fibres Twish Sock in the Teacup colorway to be exact. I cast it on, finished the ribbing, and got to cabling. I’m happy to report that it is going much more smoothly.

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That wee cuff represents hours and hours of knitting. Ah well, at least yarn, project, and needle are all working together to make me happy. The Legacy Fiber Artz yarn might just have to become a cowl or something–it’s so soft! Speaking of soft, my sweater is still going.

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I left sleeve island last night and now have only the massive collar to go. I picked up 323 stitches and have 20-something rows of ribbing to go.  Forget sleeve island, I think I’m lost in collar canyon.

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Hopefully the sweater and the secret will both get bound off this weekend. I need to get back to swatching!

Happy making!