Progress.

Over the last week – week and a half, I have done a few things. One was to go to Columbus for work. It’s a great city to visit for a work trip, by the way. I had a great time.

But before that, last weekend after finishing my half moon oracle shawl, I worked on socks. During D&D I finished one, but then did something crazy… I cast on a different for a different pair of socks.

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That April rainbow was just calling to me. I don’t tend to get second sock syndrome though, so I still went forward with the first pair–even if I knit a stripe or two here and there. I kept knitting on them on my trip, though it felt as if they would never end.

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But, as all socks do if you keep knitting them, they did end at some point. As I do at home, I woke up early on the trip for some coffee and knitting time each morning. One morning, I put the toe in the second sock, and voila!

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Now that they’re home, photographed in my traditional manner, the leftover yarn weighed and logged, and tucked away into my light box o’sox–they are truly finished.

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The main yarn is Oh! Loops on the Ascot base in the Nerds colorway. I did a contrast toe in a mini from Nikki Slipp.

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Once I finished that pair, it was full steam ahead on the rainbow socks. I’m absolutely dying over these. This pastel-rainbow, Easter-eggy goodness is just too much.

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By the time we boarded the plane home, I was ready for the decreases. It’s a 49-minute flight and I had just enough time to knit the toe before we landed.

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Last night, I kitchenered that sucker and wove in the ends. I managed to cast on the second, but didn’t even get through the first round before getting too sleepy to do anything else.

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While I was gone, my sauerkraut kept on krauting. It’s getting nicely hot pink now, but I tasted it and it’s still got a ways to go before it’s ready.

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Before I left for the trip, I did cast on one little thing. My Madewell! I’m down past separating for the sleeves so we’re moving along pretty well.

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All in all, I’m getting some good knitting squeezed in these days. And now that I’ve returned to Maryland, it seems spring is finally starting to take hold. I can’t wait for my next outside project!

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!

Spring Break

This past weekend, Joshua and I took a road trip back home to visit with our family for his spring break. Very little actual knitting occurred, but that’s ok. We had the loveliest long weekend. Fair warning, lots of gushing and fun pictures ahead.

Kevin and Astra were going to visit some of their family, so the plan was to leave as soon as we dropped them off at the airport. Before heading out, there was coffee and selfies–Joshua had to show that he’s taller than me.

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We got out the door by 4:30 a.m., dropped Kevin and Astra off at the airport and headed straight to my mom’s.

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We picked her up and whisked her away to my brother’s house. The day before, Mom had texted me asking if I could teach her to knit socks and if so, did I have any yarn. Well, we all know that I have some yarn, so I set out to make her a sock knitting kit.

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All the things needed to knit a pair of socks. If you’re curious, she wound up knitting with the HiyaHiya’s–a woman after my own heart. She’s already a knitter, so we were really learning sock construction and knitting magic loop.

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She’s now done with the ribbing, and after much discussion will be proceeding to knit a sock tube. The plan is that when I’m down for Joshua’s birthday in May, we’ll learn about cutting in a heel.

I did a wee bit of sock knitting, by the fire:

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Late at night, with Hendrix the kitty:

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And even on a mini road trip we took, more on that here:

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All in all, I managed to just knit the heel and gusset over the course of the trip:

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I’ll be honest, some mornings, the most fulfilling thing to do was wake up early for a fireside cup of coffee in my pj’s and a little chat with Judge and Crystal:

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Joshua spent a fair bit of his time learning and practicing guitar with Uncle Judge:

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Seeing that just squeezes my little heart. I found a bit of my own inspiration, in the form of seedlings:

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Judge and Crystal’s tomatoes sprouted while we were there. On our first night, this little hexie landscape was bare dirt and a few days later… plants! After a lot of brainstorming with Crystal, looking in their gardening books, and encouragement from Judge, I’ve decided to try a back porch herb garden once again. Maybe with some lettuce. And tomatoes…

We’re back home now, and I’m just teeming with ideas. As spring is springing, I’m thinking about my potential herb garden, canning, fermenting, and general “putting up.” Not to mention itching to get back to my knitting and cast on a new sweater.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. Other things of note included an impromptu Easter party and egg hunt and I even snuck out to Johnson City to see my best friends! Joshua and I had a great time on the drive there and back again, and it filled my heart to get to visit with friends and family. Joshua even brought a (borrowed) souvenir home for a bit more practice.

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Happy making {music}!

 

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!

Cut your losses.

This week has been a study in patience. We had a lovely snowstorm here in Maryland, which meant a fair bit of time working in a house full of kids. In my free time, I started, ripped back, started again, and frogged a sweater.

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The sweater in question is my Sunset Highway pullover. When last we spoke, I had discovered that I had made an error and was planning to start over, which I did. I worked and worked on it and thought it was going fairly well.

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I love the colors, the mint and grey are perfection. A few rows past this, though, and I was getting increasingly suspicious of my floats. The floats in the mint yarn–carried in my left hand–were actually pretty good. The floats in the grey–carried in my right hand–were looking far too tight. I popped the yoke onto some waste yarn and sure enough, it was a puckery mess.

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And so, I decided that it’s time to frog. I don’t want to put all that time and yarn into something I’m not happy with. Probably time, also, to practice colorwork on a smaller project. I think some mittens are in my future.

For now though, I am really in the mood to knit a sweater. Perhaps something a bit simpler, single color. The other sweater in my make nine is the Madewell by Joji Locatelli. It’s a lovely, simple cardigan, knit top-down with raglan sleeves.

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The swatch is beautiful, if a little on the big side. I’m thinking about trying out a needle size down to see what the fabric is like. You know me, I apparently like to swatch 100 times.

Miraculously, with all this sweater knitting and unknitting, I’m still making progress on my socks. They’re humming right along–only a foot and a toe to go!

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I’m surprisingly happy to have decided to frog the Sunset Highway again. It was beginning to stress me out. Last night I was thinking that maybe colorwork isn’t for me and considering revising my make nine. But I used to be bad at knitting socks and I had never knit a sweater at all before a month ago and maybe I just need to practice.

Letting the sweater go with the resolution to get a bit of practice under my belt and revisit it felt good.  Cutting my losses and starting a new sweater that I feel more confident was just what I needed.

Happy making!

Arbitrary Goals.

I was watching the Stranded Podcast this weekend and the host, Amy, said something that really struck a chord with me.

I love setting arbitrary goals for myself!

I really love setting arbitrary goals in my making. The kind of goals that feel great to achieve but have no real or major consequences if you fail. You just revise and move on.

On Friday evening at supper, I remarked that my weekend goals were to a) finish the Eureka Cowl, b) finish the sock I had  going, and c) cast on my sweater. Kevin said that seemed like an awfully tall order. I said I planned to do an awfully lot of knitting over the weekend.

First up, I finished the cowl.

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This is the Eureka Cowl, by Jessica Gore. I knit it out of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the postcard colorway. I absolutely adore the yarn and the pattern, I can’t wait to wear this one. I was very gentle in the blocking, but I may need to pin out that point next time. This little cowl is a great shape, it looks like you’re wearing a triangle shawl bandana style, but with a simple back that fits well.

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That’s one weekend goal down. Speaking of goals (arbitrary or not), this is also another of my Make Nine projects for the year. And with the addition of mauve to my color palate, it’s definitely a simple and cozy addition to my wardrobe architect project.

The next order of business was that sock. My sock mojo has not been running very high, so I made a plan to knit down to the heel on Saturday so that I could just run with the foot during D&D on Sunday. Luckily, D&D was very intense and my stress knitting enabled me to finish the sock late Sunday night.

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That leaves the sweater cast on. I was derailed in my sweater plans with the need of swatching again. This left me some time do something else so as I mentioned the other day, I finished the next brioche section on my Half Moon Oracle.

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This really is squishy and lovely. On to last night. I decided to go ahead and at least cast on the sweater. It went so quickly that I dove into the colorwork, head first.

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I love the yarn and the colors so much! This wasn’t quite the weekend, but hey, it was arbitrary anyway, right?

I have, of course, now discovered that I did the short rows wrong. I’m ripping out the whole thing and starting over from scratch. I’m really not very pleased with the cast on I used–long tail–and may go up a needle size for the ribbing. I also think this a great opportunity to do a better job with the colorwork, it’s a bit puckery and I want to work on that. Chalk it up to experience, right?

All in all, I’ll call it a success. I’ve now managed to cast on the second sock and do the frogging on the sweater. Now to come up with my next set of arbitrary goals.

Happy making!

Weekend WIP Roundup

It’s been quite a while since we had a proper WIP roundup. I don’t really have very much on the needles at them moment, which is a miracle in and of itself. I’m feeling a bit lazy this fine Sunday afternoon, so let’s just look at some pretty WIPs.

First up, my New Year’s Eve Socks:

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Bubbly, Nomadic Yarns

I have no motivation to finish these. I love them and the yarn, but I am constantly distracted by my other stripey socks. This is the latest rainbow iteration:

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Rainbows after Rain, Knitterly Things

My sock mojo is actually pretty low at the moment. I want to cast on all the sweaters and shawls and other big projects. I’ve gotten started by doing a little swatching for my next big cast on, Sunset Highway:

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Half Naked, Baerenwolle

I went up a needle size and am a quarter stitch off per inch. I think I’m just going to go down a pattern size and go with it. While the swatch dried I picked back up a languising WIP. My Half Moon Oracle, which, holy smokes, I am in love! I’m kind of feeling like putting a lot of work into this beauty:

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Princess Bride, Marilyn, Tropical Vintage, Swift Yarns

I really want to finish everything and cast on all new things tomorrow. Or maybe just cast on new things tomorrow. I did have a finish yesterday, it’s blocking now…

I think I’ll make a cup of coffee and at least finish the brioche section on the Oracle. That will give me some time to figure out what to knit next.

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Happy making!