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!

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!

After the thrill is gone.

Sometimes it feels so good to really get so into a knit that you can’t think about anything else. You just want to get back to it, just one more row, one more repeat. That’s how I felt about Winter Honey. I just could not stop knitting it.

And once I started really obsessively working on this shawl, in no time it was finished. This is Winter Honey by Andrea Mowry. I knit it in the called-for yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, in the Hayloft colorway.

Now, I like to finish things. Really, I do. I love the feeling of binding off those last few stitches, weaving in the ends, pulling it off the blocking mats. But to be honest, I was a little sad when this one came to an end.

The thought of an all over (seriously) cabled shawl was a bit daunting, but the rhythm of this shawl was so enjoyable. This may be my favorite process knit to date.  That’s to say nothing about how much I love this big squishy, cozy, piece. It feels like a sheepy hug.

Once I finished this shawl, I dove right in to two new projects. One, Hawksbill, I thought was going to get me back in that must-knit groove. I cast it on and got the sleeves separated last weekend and then… well, I just kind of petered out. I’ve knit on it a bit here and there, but really it’s a DK weight sweater and should be going pretty quick.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like this yarn–Cozy Color Works merino DK in Rag Doll–and I think it’s going to be a lovely addition to my wardrobe. It’s just not calling to me. With Hawksbill firmly on the needles, I cast on something small, thinking I needed a bit of texture in my life.

This is Gully by Jared Flood. It’s a brioche cowl, knit flat and then seemed. I’ll be honest, the texture of the brioche and the yarn–Brooklyn Tweed Vale in the Cobbler colorway- is heaven. It really is beautiful. But laceweight brioche does not exactly fly off the needles. I also found a mistake last night, and being a fairly novice brioche knitter, I just ripped back to before the mistake. So there’s that.

I feel like I’m just in a weird place right now. I think I would be fine if I hadn’t just come off of such a fantastic process knit. It makes other things seem a bit dull in comparison. Maybe I’ll start something new to continue this cast-on party I seem to have started. I’ve still got holiday makes on the brain, so that’s another creative avenue I can try.

In the meantime, I’ll just bask in the afterglow of my new shawl. Maybe I should knit another one…


Happy making!

Can’t put it down.

As I mentioned when last we spoke, I cast on a new shawl. I have honestly not thought about much else since. Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve though about a lot of things, but I haven’t knit much else.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of joining a friend for the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. We had, quite honestly, the best time. It was a great festival, lots of variety and lovely vendors and wasn’t too crowded. The lunch lines were it bit much in the hot sun, but the brisket was worth it. We topped the day off with an iced coffee before heading home. I picked up a beautiful fair-trade basket, several projects worth of yarn, and the cutest sheep mug I’ve ever seen.

As you will see, the cats are big fans of the basket. All of the yarn is from dyers I hadn’t ever heard of, which is very exciting. I’ll talk about each yarn as I knit it. I got home from the festival and settled in for our d&d game and got right back to my shawl. That honeycomb cable stitch is addictive.

I usually try my best to knit cables without a cable needle when it’s a 1×1 or 2×2 cross like this. I learned the trick when I knit my Zweig pullover. I still feel like my cables on that are a bit sloppy, so I’ve tried other methods since. I have finally found the trick! It’s the method used in the Beeswax hat pattern and is outlined on this website. I promise this will have you flying through 1×1 cables!

One of my purchases at the festival was yarn for a DK weight t-shirt. One of the first booths we stopped at had a gorgeous sample knit up and at the end of the day, I still couldn’t stop thinking about it. On Sunday I took my only break from the shawl to date, and swatched for the sweater.

I had thought that I would cast it on this week, but nothing has been able to tear me away from the shawl. I only have a few rows and the bind-off left and I am finishing it tonight! The border is 2×2 cables which slow me down a bit, but with I’m still plowing ahead with no cable needle. The contrast between the body and the border cables is spot on though, I just can’t stop squishing it.

Another obligatory cat+basket picture, every time I get it out, they are all over it!

Once this baby is off the needles, I am committed to at least starting one holiday gift. I also want to get that sweater on the needles and maybe cast on a new cowl… My hands have been busy with only one thing, but mind has been wandering to a million other makes! Perhaps a bit of startitis is warranted this weekend.


Happy making!

Yarn chicken.

Yarn chicken is not a game I play often. I had a rousing match with a skein of yarn recently — and lost. I didn’t realize we were even playing until I was almost out of wool.

The project that served for the playing field was my Lumen. I recently was quite inspired to pick it up again and moved fairly quickly. One evening, I became quite excited that I was on the last lace repeat before the border. For some reason, wool knows, I decided to weigh my yarn.

I had worked out how much of the shawl I had left to knit–thanks to this handy, dandy triangle shawl calculater–and discovered that having 30% of the shawl left, not including bind off, and 28% of the yarn left was just probably not going to work. Anything could happen, but I was spooked. I just knew I’d run out on the bind off or some madness.

So, I did what any knitter might do, I pulled the needles out and ripped back the last lace repeat. I figured that I could omit the last repeat and just go straight to the border. But the shawl looked teeny and I do not want a teeny triangle shawl. I put it away and decided to do a bit of sewing.

I thought about the shawl though, not wishing to have another stalled and failed project. I decided to go through my yarn stash and see if anything matched or would coordinate. No luck. I went online to see if I could purchase another skein of the yarn. No luck. And then, I happend to see my color cards. I went through all of them before landing on the Quince and Co. wool line.

Shell looked pretty darn good. Not perfect, but pretty close. I ordered a skein and went back to knitting Lumen. When the yarn arrived, it seemed about as close as I was going to get to a dupe.

And so, I knit Lumen until I had one gram of yarn left and then added in the Quince. I wound up using 10 grams of the Quince, so I certainly needed something it. It is, of course, not a perfect match, but I’m at a “finished is better than perfect point” with my knitting these days.

It’s all finished now, and really quite lovely. I wanted a soft pinky mauve triangle shawl and I got exactly that. Just for a recap, this is Lumen by Sivia Harding for Brooklyn Tweed. The yarn is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk Light in Powder Puff, finished off with Quince and Co. Finch in Shell. My only modification was to use Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off instead of the recommended method. Turns out when a Brooklyn Tweed pattern says something is tedious, they aren’t messing around.

I do like it very much. I think it will be a lovely addition to my cool weather wardrobe. I am also very glad that I didn’t give in to the yarn chicken loss and rip the whole thing back. I suppose that while I lost the match, I won the game in the end.


Happy making!

Into the Void.

Well it took a month to knit, two weeks to finally block, and four days to dry. She’s done and she is glorious.

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This is Void, a beautiful pattern by Melanie Berg. The pattern is very well written and I can see how so many people enjoyed knitting it. I did follow her note in the pattern to do an extra yarnover after the first stitch of every row, but after the first repeat or so, I started doing a double yarnover. I’m really glad I did. It was tough to get the edge completely straight but I think the extra stretchy cast on edge helped a lot.

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I also followed the advice of some other folks who knit the pattern and modified the left leaning twist or cable a bit to make it more even. Details of that modificiation are up on my Ravelry project page. This is number 7 of my make 9 for 2018.

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I used madelinetosh Longrider DK in the Scout colorway. The patern is written for worsted weight yarn, but the Longrider DK is a pretty plump yarn to me. I think this base is discontinued. I used more yardage than the pattern calls for, I think. The odd thing about this yarn is that there is no weight listed on the ball band. It says 250 yards, but that’s it. A little frustrating, but I’ll overlook it in light of the gorgeous color that is Scout.

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This is the lovliest tonal, dusty, dirty, mauvy pink that I’ve seen. Absolute heaven. I cannot wait to bundle up in it this winter! Speaking of bundling up, it’s a heck of a lot of shawl to wrap around yourself. It turned out to be about 8 feet long.

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All told, I’m rather pleased over this one. The color and the texture just sing. I love when knitting turns out so lovely.

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Happy making!

 

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!