Four sweaters behind me, four thousand more to go.

I’ll just come right out and say it. I love knitting sweaters. I don’t know where they’ve been all my life. I think that I want to have a sweater on my needles at all times. There are so many beautiful patterns out there! At the beginning of the year, I had knit zero sweaters. I’m now up to four. Four! Yes, that means that I finished a sweater.

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Zweig is almost dry and then we’ll be ready for some pictures and I’ll call it done. I knit the whole second sleeve on Saturday and Sunday, it just seemed to fly. Since I can’t seem to stop myself, on Sunday morning–before finishing the sleeve–I swatched for the next sweater. It’s nice and warm here in Maryland, so the swatch was dry by the time the Zweig was taking a bath. I immediately wound up my yarn and cast on a new sweater.

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This is my third (yes, there was a first and second) attempt at the Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. The yarn is all from Peepaloo Fields on her simple sock base, the 75/25 merino nylon. Left to right, Hush, Delicate, Blue Bird, and Tide. I’m so excited about this one I can’t stand it. I really love the deep teal and how it’s working with the paler blue.

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I could be farther into the yoke of the sweater, but last night I got a bit distracted. I’ve been planning to knit Void by Melanie Berg for quite a while and something just came over me last night. I cast it on and knit two repeats before bed. I woke up this morning and knit another half repeat before Joshua came and made me get up to go to work.

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I feel an addiction coming on strong. This yarn is the absolute perfect pink and so round and bouncy it is heaven flowing through your fingers. The yarn is MadelineTosh Longrider DK in the Scout colorway. I believe this base is discontinued, I purchased the yarn on a ravelry destash. The Longrider DK is a fairly heavy DK which works well since this pattern calls for worsted. This yarn has tried to be a cardigan and a pullover but I think it is perfect for this shawl. The stitch definition on those little cables is divine!

In other news, I’m starting to feel the sewing bug coming on. In particular, I’ve been thinking about sewing up some camis to go underneath all of these sweaters. I’ve also got a bit of an outfit in mind for the fall. I purchased this yarn first, then found the fabric and I think they are a match made in heaven. I’m going to sew a Hollyburn Skirt and knit a Mount Pleasant top to go with it.

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Cloud 9 Sweet Nothings poplin and Woolberry Fiber Co. in “Hayride”

And finally, I’ve wound up the yarn for my August socks. I’m over the moon about my soon to be birthday cast on! I’ve been saving this pretty pink skein of Tilting Planet for a year, just waiting. The colorway is Cosmic Cake. Perfect. The other pair will, of course, be rainbow socks. I’m digging this murky, speckly rainbow.

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I think that’s it. I’m taking the day off for my birthday on Thursday and I think I will just veg out and knit on my birthday socks. As one does.

Happy making!

Midterm Progress Report.

It’s hard to believe, but the year is at the halfway point. I’ve been thinking a lot about assessment and progress, and about the goals I set for myself six months ago.

I started this year with the idea of challenging myself with my making. I set out six specific challenges and I’ve accomplished two: a knitted garment and a colorwork knit. As for the rest, my sewing mojo has left the building. All I want to do is knit. And that is a-ok by me. One day I’ll get around to those sewing challenges. Probably.

My make nine is plowing right on ahead. We’re halfway through the year? I’m just over halfway through those nine projects. The links for the finished objects will take you to my project pages. The yarn plans have changed for a couple of the others, so we can take a look at those as well.

Madewell — Joji Locatelli

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Dotted Rays — Stephen West

Eureka Cowl — Jessica Gore

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Sunset Highway — Caitlin Hunter

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Peepaloo Fields Twist Sock in (l-r) Tide, Bluebird, Delicate, and Hush

Void — Melanie Berg

Selbu Mittens — Skeindeer Knits

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Windswept — A Homespun House

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Coastal Walk — Joji Locatelli

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Box O’ Sox

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A bit more on my Box O’ Sox. I’m marking it finished for the make nine since it’s a dozen socks completed. But really, deep down in my heart, I know it’s only halfway done. I’m keeping the good times rolling on the sock train, more about that in a previous post.

In addition to all of that, I’ve got a fair number of other finishes. They look awfully pretty all piled up together:

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Six months of making, right there. Not pictured are a project bag, a tiny pouch, and a pair of yoga socks that have been gifted.

I feel that my word for 2018, intentional, is really helping me this year. I’m starting to feel like I’m building a wardrobe with my knits, creating garments and accessories that integrate into the style that I aspire to. I’m feeling rather inpsired by my new color palate, and really moving towards that ideal. With my larger projects that’s meant some teal, mint, grey, and a whole lot of mauve:

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So good. I just love these colors. My favorite accomplishment of the year is taking the plunge into garment knitting. I love knitting sweaters and can’t wait to get to more. Especially if they are mauve, apparently.

I think that’s it for everything I’ve made this year. There was that little bit of sewing and then it’s been a ton of knitting the rest of the time. I’m really excited for the next six months, I cannot wait to see what comes off my needles!

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!

Prepared.

Today, I hop on a plane for Los Angeles. I’m heading to a conference my organization puts on and it’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for us. I’ve been preparing for this since sometime in July and I think I’m ready. I hope I’m ready, it’s certainly too late now.

In my crafting life, trip preparations haven’t been going on nearly so long. I did attempt to make myself a new notions pouch for the trip. I’m not sure what comes over me before a work trip, but this isn’t the first pre-trip bag I’ve worked on. I’ve made a project bag and a notions pouch on the eve (or day of) other flights! Life kept happening this week though, and I didn’t quite get it done.

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The pattern is the Quilted Notions Pouch by Retro Mama. It’s a paid for pattern, but it is so worth it. I love how it’s going and can’t wait to finish it.

I’m taking three projects for this trip. Socks, for the airplane, of course. On a long flight, I like something compact so that my elbows aren’t flapping around everywhere. I went ahead and cast on the first pair of socks. I always like to get the next sock’s ribbing done as soon as possible after I finish a sock, it helps me stay motivated. Though I rarely have a problem with second sock syndrome, I like to keep the sock train moving.

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This is Boombox, on Twist Sock by Hedgehog Fibres. I picked this one out of my light box o’ sox, since it felt appropriately Los Angeles colored to me. I meant to just cast on the ribbing, but we played DND last night and I just couldn’t put them down.

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Since I have 11 hours of flight time, not to mention airport time, cab time, waiting time, etc… I’m bringing the next pair of socks to cast on too, just in case. This is the March colorway in my Knitterly Things 2017 Rainbow Club, the colorway is called Rainbows After Rain. I can’t wait to get to that pink stripe!

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For a little flavor, and so that I hopefully won’t run out of knitting, I’m bringing along my Coastal Walk, too. I am just obsessed with knitting it, the lace was so intuitive and pretty! I’m with the body of the shawl and ready to move on to the border, so in my mind it’s practically finished.

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For tradition’s sake–and definitely not because I love seeing all my bags set out–here’s all the knitting I’m packing for the trip. Fingers crossed for at least one FO out of the lot.

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With that, I’m ready to head out to the airport. I feel prepared, work-wise and with my making, so let’s get to it! I hope your Saturday is lovely, I’ll just be knitting my way across the country.

Happy making!

 

Candygram

I’ve been feeling a little like I’m not getting anywhere on anything. I think this feeling comes from working so hard and so monogamously on one project that still isn’t finished.

That one project is my Puntilla. Sometimes I wonder at the wisdom of a fingering weight, over-sized sweater for a first sweater, but hey, it’s simple and I love it. When last we spoke, I believe I bemoaned the endless stockinette that seemed my fortress and prison. After I wrote that, I immediately cast on for a Coastal Walk shawl:

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And that’s how far I got before I thought, let’s at least try on the sweater:

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The novelty of actually trying on a knitted garment really got to me. I thought I could at least make a bit more progress and then I became utterly obsessed. I didn’t knit a single other thing until I bound off the ribbing:

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Oh my goodness, can you stand it? The color is divine and it’s so soft. I’ve cast on a sleeve and am slowly working on that now. This weekend I’ve been deep into rainbow sock territory. I’m past the heel point in the second sock now:

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Sunday afternoon, I was looking around the internet and stumbled across a couple of quilt patterns that I just couldn’t say no to. The first of these is the Candygram Mini Quilt by Heidi Staples:

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Now, when I say mini, I mean mini. This little cutie finished at 4″ x 12″. It took me a couple of hours–my kind of instant gratification. I can’t wait to get it up on my wall! I used scraps for the top and decided on a sort of incongruous lemur print for the back.

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The second in this bit of mini mania is the 4-Patch Heart Mini Quilt by Amanda Niederhauser. I have the fabric she used in stash and that pink and red and green seems just perfect. I’ve got it cut out, half square triangles made, four-patches done–we’re ready to assemble.

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I think this one will go together fairly quickly. The pattern calls for half a jelly roll, but I’m using a charm pack that I cut up. By the way, both of those patterns are free tutorials and really easy to make. I’m looking forward to freshening up my sewing corner wall with some new minis. It’s definitely been a while!

I’m ready to get the sweater and socks off the needles, but it’s nice to look back over the last week and see that I have been moving forward with my projects. Not to mention casting on/cutting up new ones!


Happy making!

No mercy.

Watch out around here. No quarter shall be given, no mercy to be had. If you aren’t doing it for me, your days are numbered.

I’ve been talking a fair bit about intention and planning, and my eye is becoming more and more critical. I mentioned that I plan on frogging my Boho Blush shawl a few weeks ago. Well, the wrath has extended to the wee beginnings of the Love Ewe Baby shawl that I cast on back in the fall:

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While I certainly love this combo, I felt the siren song of the project I had originally wanted to knit with this lovely yarn from Swift Yarns. I had wanted to knit an Oracle Shawl, but just wasn’t quite sold on a full pi shawl. Kristen, the designer, mentioned on her podcast that she was designing an a half-pi version, but I didn’t have the patience to wait. So I cast on something else.

But now, with my ever more critical eye, I knew that I would rather be knitting the Half Moon Oracle. My Snowmelt has made me warm up to half circle shawls and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. And so I got it on my needles:

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Yes, that’s brioche and lace. Need I say more? Since this wasn’t enough, I also decided this weekend was the time to try some colorwork. I wanted to cast on the Pixel Rise Cowl by Kemper Wray. I picked out some pretty pastel yarn:

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I cast on and started to find an ok rhythm. It definitely feels fiddly and unnatural, but I was able to knit through about half of the cowl with no problems. Until I took a closer look.

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And then, I took an even closer look.

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You can’t really see the colorwork. At least, I can’t. I mean, maybe you can a little, if you look really close and know what you’re looking for. But it seems that my pretty and soft speckled yarns are awfully close to each other. It’s mostly looking striped. And so, I’m going to frog it. No regrets, lesson learned, and a bit of practice gained with stranded knitting. At least it looks like the puckering got better as I went along.

I’m enjoying being ruthless with my projects. I’m trying not to fall into the trap of thinking about the lost time that I spent working on things, the sunken cost fallacy is a sticky trap. Knitting is never really lost time, it’s all enjoyable. But I do intend to spend my future knitting time on projects that I love.

Lest anyone think that I’m all hatefulness and frogging over here, I do have a few other things that I’m loving at the moment. I’m still working on my Puntilla. I’ve joined the two front pieces and I’m now knitting in the round! It’s going slowly, but that knit knit knit is so soothing.

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I also managed to finish up my second tiny dresden plate. I think I may quilt it and get it up on my wall in the next week or so. It’s so pretty, I want to look at it all the time!

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One last thing, a little spoiler for you. I finished a thing and I love it.

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More on that later. At any rate, I hope that your making is bringing you joy.

 

At least it’s a pretty rabbit hole.

Tiny things. Pretty things. Tiny, pretty things. I am a woman possessed by the small and the cute and the sweet at the moment. I don’t believe my sewing mojo has ever been quite so strong.

I happened upon a few new folks to follow on Instagram–check out bobbypinbandit and cloudtori but beware the amazinginess–and the rabbit hole of inspiration has turned out to be deep. It started with a simple sewing kit.

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Look at that ridiculous squirrel. I love him.

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This included my very first appliqué and very first attempt at fussy cutting:

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The pattern is Strippy Sewing Kit from the book Scrap Happy Sewing by Kim Kruzich of the Retro Mama blog. It turned out so cute! I love all the little details. I do not, apparently, love bias  binding–nor does it love me–but perhaps with practice we’ll come to an understanding.

Another foray on Instagram–I get bored waiting for the coffee pot to boil–led me to the #tinydresdenparty. I don’t like to use this phrase lightly, but I can’t even. So many variations, so many sweet makes! I had to get in on the fun. I wanted to make a really sweet, pastel dresden.

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This is my first effort. I appliquéd it down and then made the circle for the center. And then I discovered the circle is too small.

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It just won’t cover all the raw edges. This was a big disappointment, but not to worry, I’ve got more of this fabric on the way–there are so many cute little animals in this print! Undaunted, I set out to make another tiny dresden. I cut the blades from different strawberry fabrics:

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The start to this one looks better, I think, a bit more even. I also used a ring from a mason jar to cut the template and fabric, so I knew it would fit. I think this one is going to be a mug rug when it’s finished.

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I love it so. These are incredibly fun to make, and not nearly as fiddly as I expected. I used a great tutorial on making these tiny dresden plates, she explains everything and there are templates for cutting, as well. I’m not done yet, I have ideas to make tons more.

In other news, I haven’t exactly been neglecting my knitting. The sweater is coming along, I’m only a couple of inches from joining  the front and back and (finally) getting to the knit in the round part. Right now, it looks like a shapeless mass of fabric:

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I’m over halfway on my Canopy shawl now, and I adore how it’s turning out. I had doubts about the pattern and the yarn, but now I think the combination is a match made in heaven.

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And finally, I procured some new shelves and separated out the stashes. It’s so nice to have everything laid out and easy to see and reach.

It really is an inspiring space. Every day, I can’t wait to get in there and get a little sewing done before retiring to my knitting. I am riding this creative high as far as it will take me, and at least at the end I will have mug rug or two.


 

Happy making!