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!

Just a few things.

I don’t feel well, but I’m knitting and making and sharing. So here we go for a very brief share. Happy fall and fall alergies, y’all!

On Saturday, I cast on a new hat for Kevin. I am trying to get into the tradition of making Kevin a hat every fall, so here’s this year’s entry. He picked the pattern and the yarn.

On Saturday night and Sunday morning, I appliquéd the 3rd and 4th (bottom two) blocks for my Granny’s Garden Quilt. I really love the way these are coming out. Applique is pretty fun, but I may need to take a look at my thimble situation.

It really was no time until I finished Kevin’s hat. This is the Chapelfield Hat by Kari-Helene Rane, knit up in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Snowbound colorway. I knit the medium size to the pattern exactly. Once it was finished, ends woven in and all, and Kevin tried it on and quietly asked how much trouble it would be to make it just a few rows longer.

Ripping back finished work is never something I relish, but as I told Kevin–my goal is that he wear the hat. If it doesn’t cover his ears like he likes, he won’t wear it, and that’s no fun. So I ripped out back about a fourth of the hat and knit one extra repeat in the first crown shaping section. This added soemthing like a half inch, which was perfect.

And last, but certainly not least, once I was on the Shelter train I didn’t really feel like getting off. I love this yarn. I’ve been wanting to knit a Winter Honey shawl for several years but had just kind of been collecting the yarn for a while. I finally procured my final skein and couldn’t wait another minute. Almost. I decided to swatch for the shawl because I was afraid of the cables making the shawl to tight and small, or of going the other way and having an overly loose fabric. So I swatched.

Well, that was less brief than expected. A wee bit of crafty recap for this Wednesday night and I am back to my new shawl cast on.


Happy making!

The wagon hath run me over.

I’ve really fallen off the wagon with lots of things that bring me joy and it’s time to climb back into the driver’s seat. We’ve got a bit going on over here in my house; work is busy, we’re right in the middle of the birthday gauntlet, and Joshua is finishing eighth grade. I think it’s high time I get back into some good habits.

One of the things I’ve been slacking on is taking care of my body – eating well and getting enough rest. That’s just going to take a whole lot of intention and remembering that the easy eay out (hello Chipotle) doesn’t mean the best result in the run (hello tummyache). My eating habits have left me feeling out of sorts, which makes me not want to sew very much. I was starting to get in a groove, time to get my groove back.

I’ve really noticed missing blogging and sharing my progress on my makes. This feels silly to type, but I’ve been slacking on taking pictures. I enjoy seeing my making documented over time, looking back over what I’ve done, so I want to get back to that.

With all of that said, this isn’t my first reboot-montage, and it’s probably not the last, but let’s take a look at the last month or so…

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I swatched for a new sweater. I swatched with a 3.25 mm (too big) and 2.75 mm (too small) before realizing that I had a 3.00 mm and it worked!

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Joshua turned 14! I made a lemon cake with blackberry buttercream frosting. Joshua declared it the best cake I’ve ever made.

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My brother and SIL came up for Joshua’s birthday and we went strawberry picking. I didn’t preserve a single one. We made strawberry shortcake that night and then flat out ate the rest. Worth it.

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I got obsessed with a book series (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas) and needed something to concentrate on while listening. I wound up binding this quilt (one of the things I need FO pics of)

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The obsession didn’t end after the first quilt, so I got started on another binding. This one’s not done yet, but at least it’s good and started.

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The garden is coming along nicely! See all that lettuce? That’s step one to taking care of my body a little more.

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We seriously have a million tomatoes coming on. I am getting uncontrolably excited.

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New sweater cast on! This will be a Beauty School Top by PoisonGrrls. The yarn is Backyard FiberWorks in Midnight – my sole MD Sheep & Wool purchase this year. In the interest of full disclosure, we were only there for an hour or so.

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The kraut is really getting there. I tasted it last weekend – three weeks in – when Kevin said it stank but it wasn’t funky enough for me. I can never smell it till my nose is in the jar, but Kevin can smell it from a mile away it would seem. He’s not a fan.

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A while back I cast on a pair of Rose City Rollers in some fantastic orange leftovers from Tempting Ewe Yarns, the colorway is Saftayy. Pretty stinking cute. 

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I did finish my Populuxe, but I haven’t taken pictures of it so I hadn’t worn it. I decided to just go ahead and wear it to work on Friday. It turns out I did a terrible job at sewing on the buttons – they’re all loose! – time for a fix and finally some FO pics.

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I got a wild hair and decided to swatch for a No Frills. I can’t wait to show you the swatch, it’s heaven. (top) Lichen & Lace Marsh Mohair in Natural, (bottom) Hue Loco Spun Sock in Pop Sugar

That might not be everything, but I think I hit the highlights. This little photo trail is giving me some inpiration for getting back on the wagons.


Happy making!

Knitcation: sweater edition.

This week, I am creating a long weekend for myself. I’ve got a bit of a personal challenge in mind, so I’m giving myself the time and space for it. By hook or crook, I’ve managed to map out minimal housework, the simplest of meals, and plenty of knitting time.

The challenge you ask? Try to knit a whole sweater. I’ve had the idea of a four-day sweater on my mind since I started swatching for the Beekeeper Cardigan a few weeks ago. I didn’t love that pattern, but the intrigue of challenging myself to channel all of my knitting energy into one big project over a short time has been irresistible.

Now, I know there are limitations to this sort of idea. I don’t know that I can knit a sweater in a long weekend, but I am trying to set myself up for success. So, fingering weight is out, major patterning or colorwork is out, oversized is out. What are we left with? A simple, worsted weight, fitted cardigan. Enter Marion.

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Image copyright Andi Satterlund.

Marion is a top-down, seamless cardigan. Knit in worsted weight yarn with a simple cable down the front, it seems to fit the bill nicely. I purchased my yarn and swatched it right up. I went down two needle sizes to start, and nearly fell over when I was right on gauge on the first swatch. That never happens to me!

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The yarn I’ll be using is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, the yarn called for in the pattern. I wanted something that would really fit into my wardrobe, and work with lots of my clothes and other knit accessories, so I chose the Dove Heather colorway. I’m really loving this soft grey color.

On the subject of really fitting into my wardrobe, as much as I adore the vintage-y feel of the cropped at the waist look, I don’t think it will work with what I currently own. At some point, I would really love to have a trove of dresses that fit that silhouette, but I’m not there yet. With that in mind, I want a less cropped sweater. But that means altering the shaping since the extreme waist shaping for a cropped sweater doesn’t translate well for a longer shape.

I took out my current favorite cardigan and made some measurements to get an idea of how I want this one to fit. I found I’d need to lengthen the body by about 4 inches to have it fall where I’d like. I followed Andi Satterlund’s instructions for lengthening a cropped sweater and calculated my new decreases and increases.

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At this point, I’m all ready to cast on. The yarn is all wound up, I’ve read through the pattern and highlighted my size, and written out my modified shaping instructions. All that’s left to do is cast on, which is happening right after work on Thursday evening. I’m excited to see how much sweater I can knit by the time Sunday evening rolls around.

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!

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!

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!