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!

The waiting is the hardest part.

Since I’ve been home from our spring break trip, I’ve been itching for my favorite parts of spring and summer. Fresh veggies, farmer’s markets, canning… you get the gist. All the way home, I expected it to be time to get planting and time to hit up the farmer’s markets. Maryland is hot, right? Surely the produce stand would be teeming with plants ready to come home with me.

Of course, none of this was the case. It is chilly and early spring-y, the last frost is still a week away, and our county farmer’s markets don’t start till May. After this news, I spent a bit of time planning out my prosective container garden but it would seem that there are only so many ways one can make lists of plants. And so, I finished up the last ten rows and bound off my Half Moon Oracle shawl.

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Ugh, it’s so pretty. The shawl is blocking now, and I can’t wait to wear it.

With that done, I still had some time on my hands this week. To occupy myself, I thought I’d clean up the kitchen to get ready for the canning. I started and had a difficult time stopping. I won’t bore you with all the details but even the freezer got cleaned out. I reorganized my canning accoutremont and have some pretty cabinets and clean jars all ready to go.

With all of that finished, I still felt like preserving something. Anything. And so I turned to sauerkraut. A quick pick up of some cabbage and I was ready to go. My favorite kraut from last year was a recipe from Ferment Your Vegetables, Ava’s Hot Pink Kraut.

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I shredded my cabbage and salted it, and started working it.

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After some elbow grease, time, and more elbow grease, it was ready to start packing.

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To pack the would-be kraut into the jar, you need to really tamp it down. As you’re going along it kind of looks like there is no way it will all fit. To help get the job done, I use a “Pickle Packer” and I love it. It really makes the job easier.

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Once all the cabbage was in, I added the weight:

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And finally, the airlock.

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And now, we wait. That seems to be my destiny around here. Wait for warmer weather, wait for the shawl, wait for the kraut. At least I have a sock to knit.

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Happy making!

And then there was one.

I’m not generally a strictly monogamous knitter but I also tend to not have oodles of projects on the needles, either. I tend to have a few projects and some socks at all times. This evening, I find myself with one and only one work-in-progress.

This solitude comes after a weekend of furious sock knitting. I’ve gotten into a lovely habit of getting up before anyone else and enjoying my morning coffee by the big window in our living room:

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This is becoming my favorite spot in the house. I worked like a mad woman on that sock and, even with getting all my errands done, finished it by lunch on Saturday.

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The yarn is Rainbows after Rain by Knitterly Things and was the March 2017 rainbow club colorway. For some reason, I knit these with a Fish Lips Kiss heel–something I haven’t done in ages. I like the heel itself, but for stripey socks I think I prefer the look of an afterthought heel.

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After these were done, I put a little work into my Half Moon Oracle, and that was my Sunday morning knit:

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I’m really enjoying this knit. The yarn, the textures, the color–it’s all lovely.

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I’ve now finished the sixth section and am ready to increase to–gulp!–582 stitches. That will be the last section and the border and then we’ll be binding off. I needed a break from the long rows last night though, so I broke out my New Year’s socks. These guys haven’t seen much love, but I put some time into them last night and then finished them up this morning in the very wee hours.

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This was pre-6 a.m. and I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been trying to commit to getting up when I wake up and taking advantage of that extra little bit of morning time. Today, that paid off!

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This is Bubbly by Nomadic Yarns. The base is her Brit Sock – a lovely and plump BFL/nylon blend. I got distracted by other fancies and they took almost three months to finish, but they are so pretty.

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With this finish, I only have the shawl on the needles. It’s a very strange feeling, only one project going. I really want to finish the shawl and have a fresh, new start to some projects. I’ve got my Madewell sweater swatched for and ready to cast on, plus some needle ajacent socks.

For now, Cosi and I are just going to snuggle up and knit the next loooong row.

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Happy making!