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!

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!

Wrapping up.

My knitting drive is at quite the high at the moment. I’m getting a lot of peace and joy out of my knitting, both the process and the products.

After my last blog post, I was inspired to get some things finished up. First on the docket was that hat. As I mentioned, I cast it on on Christmas vacation and then sort of, well, forgot about it. Upon re-discovery, I remembered how amazing the yarn is and so I knit a few repeats on Sunday morning.

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After this though, I was so entranced that I just finished the whole stinkin’ hat. It knit up like lightning, and I recalled how great this pattern is.

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This is Olive and Jack by Sarah Stevens. I knit another one back in December. For this version, I knit to the length specified in the pattern and I like it a lot. Not too slouchy, not too short, really just right. The yarn is Junkyarn DK in the Barbie colorway.

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In other news, I have recently become intrigued with the Beekeeper Cardigan. This is a knitalong where the idea is to knit an entire sweater in 4 days. 4 days! I was curious, to be sure. I have a DK sweater quantity on hand that would fit the bill for the pattern so I caked up a skein and waited for the swatching info to come out on Monday.

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I knit the swatch, washed it, blocked it, and… I’m not a fan. The pattern just doesn’t really appeal to me. I found myself waffling about it, but then finally buttoned up my resolve. My goal for this year is to be intentional with what I do, what I make. Knitting a sweater in a pattern I’m meh over doesn’t really follow that spirit. And so, I won’t be knitting this sweater. I do adore the yarn though. It’s a great mauve. This is Madeline Tosh Longrider DK in the Scout colorway. It will become something beautiful at some point, and I’m looking forward to figuring out what it should be.

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Once I finished the swatch, I set my sights on socks. This pair have really been my waiting socks, keeping me company through a lot of time when I might have gone bonkers. Such was the case yesterday, more waiting with my socks:

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I finished the toe in the waiting room and came home to cut in the heels:

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With that, I was done with these pretties:

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These are my May rainbow socks, pair #5 in my rainbow box o’ sox and the 11th pair of socks finished this year. The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in the Time and Tide colorway–the May edition of the 2017 Rainbow of the Month Club.

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They are pretty fun, if I do say so. That chartreuse stripe again, love it!

Now that I’ve got these two projects off the needles and that swatch out of my head, I’m ready to get back to my Madewell. I’ve got a cuff, a sleeve, and a button band to go. My goal is to get that wrapped up by the end of May. That’s eight whole days. We’ve got family coming into town for a major birthday, but I still think I can do it. Wish me luck!

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Happy making!

 

Stress knitting.

To be honest, I’ve been stressed out lately, and when I’m stressed I tend to knit like a bit of a nutter. Stacy of StressKnits named her podcast and business after her habit of stress-knitting; I definitely know what she’s talking about. There’s a lot going on around here so grab a cup of something delicious and let’s have a bit of a recap.

The first order of business was finishing up some socks.

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I knit down from the ghostie down the toe and then the entire second sock in about a day and a half. I really love this yarn. The colorway is Minty Fresh Graffiti from Casual Fashion Queen, on her Plush Sock base. This is pair number 9 for the year and pair 5 of my light box o’ sox.

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With that, I went back to the stripey rainbow socks. We’re done with one sock tube and cast on to the second. I’m digging the long ribbing I did, but I don’t know if I have the fortitude to do that more often.

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In sweater news, my Madewell is humming right along, I’m down to the bottom hem and then it’s sleeves, ho! I did shorten it by quite a bit, hopefully that works out.

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Ugh, I really do love it. Since we haven’t heard much about it in a while, the pattern is Madewell by Joji Locatelli and I’m knitting it out of the cashmere sock yarn from The Wool Barn. The colorway is Smitten, and I am.

I cast on one new thing this weekend, and I’m trying not to go into full obsession mode. First, the yarn:

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Duck Duck Wool silky singleton base in Sky Cover (grey), Wear Your Mittens (mint), and Single Scoop (cream with pink). I cast on Saturday night:

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I finished the first section of the Baubles Shawl by Andrea Mowry, and then stopped myself. I’m going to go back for the brioche (squee!) after I finish that sweater hem.

While I was gathering up these WIPs, I found something behind my desk bookshelf… It was a project bag. Opened it up and viola! Hat brim:

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I cast on this hat over Christmas vacation and had completely forgotten about it! I don’t think it ever even made it to the blog. The yarn is Junkyarn DK in the Barbie colorway.  I’m really excited to find it though, that pink is killer.

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I’ve got plenty to keep myself busy with this pretty little pile. Happy making!

 

 

My favorite holiday – part two.

Yesterday, I indulged in a deliciously decadent day of all things sheepy and wooly. The kids and I spent the day at the Maryland Sheep & Festival, having a blast.

To kick things off, I overslept a bit. We managed to get out the door pretty quickly, but the kids were definitely not  sunshine ready when we left.IMG_20180505_080832.jpg

That picture cracks me up. We headed over to the festival and it only took us about 15 minutes to get over there, but once we did, whew! The traffic was pretty terrible. I took us nearly an hour to drive the mile from the interstate to the fairgrounds. Most of that time was spent stopped so I put a row or two on my sock while we waited.

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Once we got there, though, it was so much fun! We walked around and did a bit of shopping for a while, but then we took a nice tour through all the sheep barns.

 

 

We always try to find sheep who like to be petted, they’re so precious and wooly!

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That guy was amazingly soft and loved getting all the attention! Not to be outdone by the sheep, the angora bunnies were in full-on adorable mode and Joshua even got to hold a baby. I nearly fainted from all the cute.

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We walked through the open air barns, when we came across the booth for Sarafina Fiber Art. Truly amazing. There was a humongous felted giraffe:

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And a possum with a scarf:

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After all of that, it was lunch time. We visited the scouts and settled in on the grass for a picnic.

 

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We tooled around a bit more, there were a few vendors I wanted to go back to. Once I was finished with my yarn shopping, the kids were ready for a snack. Go figure, they love some festival food.

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With that, we made our way to the car. We always stop on the way out at the farmer’s market, and this year was no exception. We picked up some cheese to take home and I was thrilled to see a local coffee roaster selling iced coffee. It was really delicious, so I went back for a pound of beans. Can’t wait to dig in to that.

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We made it back to the car just as the rain started to come on. It’s been a quiet afternoon, I’ve been organizing yarn and queuing up all the projects I have planned.

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I am excited that I know exactly what each skein of yarn is going to be. I tried to remember two things, my color scheme and my word of the year–intentional. Those two thoughts helped me think about how the yarn I was looking at could become items that would fit into my wardrobe.

In case you’re curious, I knit about this much while waiting around for various things this weekend:

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I really like this month’s rainbow! I am dying to cast on something new, all of those pretty yarns are just whispering at me from the craft room. At the same time, I want to get a few things finished up. Either way, I’m ready to knit.

Happy making!


I’ll talk about the yarn as I use it, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with the contact form. I am always happy to chat!