Four sweaters behind me, four thousand more to go.

I’ll just come right out and say it. I love knitting sweaters. I don’t know where they’ve been all my life. I think that I want to have a sweater on my needles at all times. There are so many beautiful patterns out there! At the beginning of the year, I had knit zero sweaters. I’m now up to four. Four! Yes, that means that I finished a sweater.

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Zweig is almost dry and then we’ll be ready for some pictures and I’ll call it done. I knit the whole second sleeve on Saturday and Sunday, it just seemed to fly. Since I can’t seem to stop myself, on Sunday morning–before finishing the sleeve–I swatched for the next sweater. It’s nice and warm here in Maryland, so the swatch was dry by the time the Zweig was taking a bath. I immediately wound up my yarn and cast on a new sweater.

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This is my third (yes, there was a first and second) attempt at the Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. The yarn is all from Peepaloo Fields on her simple sock base, the 75/25 merino nylon. Left to right, Hush, Delicate, Blue Bird, and Tide. I’m so excited about this one I can’t stand it. I really love the deep teal and how it’s working with the paler blue.

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I could be farther into the yoke of the sweater, but last night I got a bit distracted. I’ve been planning to knit Void by Melanie Berg for quite a while and something just came over me last night. I cast it on and knit two repeats before bed. I woke up this morning and knit another half repeat before Joshua came and made me get up to go to work.

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I feel an addiction coming on strong. This yarn is the absolute perfect pink and so round and bouncy it is heaven flowing through your fingers. The yarn is MadelineTosh Longrider DK in the Scout colorway. I believe this base is discontinued, I purchased the yarn on a ravelry destash. The Longrider DK is a fairly heavy DK which works well since this pattern calls for worsted. This yarn has tried to be a cardigan and a pullover but I think it is perfect for this shawl. The stitch definition on those little cables is divine!

In other news, I’m starting to feel the sewing bug coming on. In particular, I’ve been thinking about sewing up some camis to go underneath all of these sweaters. I’ve also got a bit of an outfit in mind for the fall. I purchased this yarn first, then found the fabric and I think they are a match made in heaven. I’m going to sew a Hollyburn Skirt and knit a Mount Pleasant top to go with it.

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Cloud 9 Sweet Nothings poplin and Woolberry Fiber Co. in “Hayride”

And finally, I’ve wound up the yarn for my August socks. I’m over the moon about my soon to be birthday cast on! I’ve been saving this pretty pink skein of Tilting Planet for a year, just waiting. The colorway is Cosmic Cake. Perfect. The other pair will, of course, be rainbow socks. I’m digging this murky, speckly rainbow.

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I think that’s it. I’m taking the day off for my birthday on Thursday and I think I will just veg out and knit on my birthday socks. As one does.

Happy making!

One thing after another.

As July comes to a close, I had a few small goals in mind. I wanted to finish my socks and my Zweig. So far, one of those things has happened. I’ve had a few snafus that have both helped and hindered my knitting.

First, the hindrance. You might know that I tend to drink a lot of coffee. Well, on Tuesday evening I was doing just that. Chugging iced coffee and knitting sleeve cuff ribbing like it was my j-o-b.

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I was moving along at a great pace. Bound off the sleeve and immediately picked up the stitches for the next one and got rolling. I was just starting the first round of cabled x’s when I reached for something and knocked over my iced coffee. It went everywhere. All over my desk, soaked the zweig pattern, in my headphones, under the keyboard, all over me, and yep, you guessed it, all over the zweig. I shrieked in horror.

While Joshua got towels to clean up the desk, I went into triage mode for the sweater. I used paper towels to blot most of the coffee, and moved the live stitches onto some waste yarn. Took out the metal stitch marker for the beginning of round and replaced it with plastic. Into a cold, wool wash sudsy bath went the sweater. I’ve been holding my breath for a few days waiting for it to dry–it’s humid here–and today was the moment of truth.

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No coffee stains. Thank wool, no coffee stains. And I’m pleased to report that I’m really digging the post-blocking fit, too.

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Now that the sweater crisis is averted, I’m ready to get back to the sleeve. I think there’s a chance I could finish that sleeve by Tuesday. I was not pleased to lose days of sweater knitting to an impromptu bath.

As for snafus that helped my knitting, on Thursday evening I went to see the Eagles and James Taylor. The Eagles have been my favorite band for most of my life so I was incredibly excited. I left as early as possible, thinking I’d take my knitting along to knit in my seat while I waited for the concert to start. Well, I did knit in my seat…

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The seat of the one hour uber ride I had to take when the metro broke down. I turned the heel and just managed to make it to my seat as James Taylor took the stage.

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The concert was amazing, better than I could have ever hoped for. Last night, I settled in for some more sock knitting and Kevin and I got to talking and before I knew it, these sweeet socks were off the needles and in their box.

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These socks are pair 7 in my light Box O’ Sox. The yarn was a sock set from Hooker’s Corner in her Twisty Sock base. The main color is Tippy Toes and the contrast is Marina. This yarn was yummy, I adore how the specles knit up so speckly. They look like funfetti cake. I used the colorwork pattern from the Dale socks by Molly Klatt of A Homespun House. I followed my own general recipe though I knit them on 2.25 mm to help keep the colorwork loose. I cast on 60 stitches (my usual is 64 stitches on a 2.0 mm) and did a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. These socks are just perfect in my book, they bring a smile to my face every time I look at them.

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While the sweater dried, I did manage to get some gift knitting done, but now I’m full-sleeve-ahead! Keep your fingers crossed that I can keep my coffee in my glass and my sweater on my lap.

Happy making!

A little bit of everything.

Tomorrow morning, Joshua and I are getting up at the crack of dawn and heading to North Carolina. A few days ago, it was my mom’s birthday and we are going to go and celebrate. She has graced the blog before, my sweet little mama, Joshua’s ShiShi:

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I  can’t wait to see her! Since we’re leaving tomorrow morning, I thought I’d do a little recap of the current state of affairs.

This weekend, I’m most likely just going to take my socks, I don’t expect to get much knitting done among all of the hugging and celebrating. The socks are coming along, though–one is finished and I’m down past the colorwork on the second:

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So cute! I think my colorwork is improving, my tension seems more even. This makes me excited to knit all the colorwork!

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In sweater news, I’m definitely marooned on sleeve island. I thought it was going quickly, but I got out the tape measure last night and that changed my mind. I need to knit the sleeve to around 11-12″ and we’re only down to about 7. Sigh.

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My knitting in the round tension is slightly tighter at small circumferences–sleeve versus sweater body, for instance–and so it’s taking me more pattern repeats than expected. They do breeze by pretty well on the 9 inch circulars, though, so the situation is not all together bleak.

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On an entirely different note, my friend and coworker Holly recently travelled to Europe. She found these mittens in a market in Estonia and brought them back for me! They are so cool. I don’t know if I can stand to wear them–they are too precious–but they are currently hanging on my craft room wall where I can admire them anytime.

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Finally, we haven’t had a garden update in quite a while! In general, the container garden is going off like gangbusters. I did have a devastating setback when some villainous wildlife ate my jalepeno plant, but I trimmed it back and it’s chugging along. We’ve been making pesto, enjoying fresh dill in tuna salad, and having fresh herbs in salad dressing–quite a lot.

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After my California trip there were lots of flowers to pinch off–they make a great addition to, well, everything. The star of the garden, however, has been the tomato. We started getting tomatoes about a month ago and have picked a few every few days since. They are small, so we’ve had them mostly in salads or sliced on burgers.

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The tomatoes are delicious! So sweet and flavorful. I went out to the garden last night and noticed that the plant itself is really growing! Seems like everyone is getting taller than me these days.

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I suppose that’s enough rambling for a Friday evening. We’re heading out pre 5 a.m.–don’t tell Joshua yet!–so I’m going to head to bed fairly early. I’ve got a really exciting collaboration to share next week, so I’ll see you then!

Happy making!

Definitely not all three.

As I made my Sunday morning coffee this weeekend, I thought about what knitting I wanted get done. Actively on the needles were my Zweig and my July rainbow socks. I knew that I wanted to finish the socks first thing, but where to go after that?

I have, of course, another pair of July socks just waiting to be cast on and that sweater has been calling my name. I really want to be done with both before the end of the month. August is my birthday month and this year I want to cast on birthday socks and a birthday sweater. However, finishing socks, casting on socks, and finishing the body of a sweater is a tall order, even for a Sunday. I decided I’d have to pick a couple.

Over that first cup of Sunday morning coffee, I finished up the July rainbow socks. These socks have been good travel companions. but it felt good to get them wrapped up.

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This is the 13th pair in my Box O’ Sox and the 7th pair of rainbow socks for the year. The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in Prisma, the July colorway from the 2017 rainbow of the month club.

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So pretty and summery. I’m starting to get really excited to see how the fall rainbows knit up, but we still have August to knit. Moving right along, I opted for casting on the next pair of socks. I’d rather keep the sock train going. We’ll be traveling over my birthday so the birthday socks will be first on the docket in August, anyway.

My July light socks came with a contrast mini. I wasn’t really feeling like doing heels, toes and cuffs, or even just heels and toes. I tend to just do contrast toes and don’t even do that very often. However, with my new found love of colorwork, I had an idea. What about adding a little contrast in on the leg?

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Oh. My. Goodness. This, this I cannot stand. I took the heart motif from Dale by Molly Klatt of a Homespun House. I’m not following the rest of the pattern, but those hearts! I love the teal with the speckles, these are so much fun! The yarn was a sock set from Hooker’s Corner in the Tippy Toes colorway.

With those cast on, I turned to my sweater. I don’t think I’ve shown it on the blog in quite a while, but mostly I’ve just been trundling down the body knitting little cable x’s. And so that’s what I decided to do last night. A few more repeats, trying to get close to finished. I knit the body to about 1″ shorter than called for, tried it on and voila! Perfect length. I think I have a short torso. I’ve been shortening everything.

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Anyway, I knit the ribbing and tried two different bind off methods. I wound up with a simple bind off in pattern and I think it looks nice and clean. I got the whole thing bound off and ends woven in before bed. I can’t believe I checked all three boxes! I thought surely something would get left out.

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Sigh. I just adore it. I am so glad I did the texture pattern. It really adds something special to the sweater. Everything about this is magical so far. The pattern is Zweig by Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. My main color is Skein Top Draw Sock in Japanese Slippper and the contrast color is Nice & Knit Sock in Old Bay.

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It was difficult to want to take the thing off this morning. But it isn’t destined for cap sleeves, and I’m having so much fun knitting the thing, anyway.

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Happy making!

Knitcation: sweater accomplished.

Well, I did it. I knit a sweater over the weekend. To be fair, it was a long weekend. With Kevin and Astra heading out of town, I took the day off on Friday and crafted myself a wee knitcation. Joshua certainly didn’t mind, he was busy with camp, bike riding, and as many video games as he could con me into allowing.

I cast on Thursday evening and really got moving. I didn’t stay up too late but got the back and one of the front pieces finished.

 

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I woke up Friday morning to take Joshua to camp and came home and settled in to knit the other front piece. Once that was finished, I discovered that I had missed an increase on the right side and so I ripped back and reknit it correctly. I joined to knit the body and had it going pretty well. By the time I went to bed that night, I was just past the waist decreases.

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Since I was lengthening the sweater, I had worked out a lot of math about adjusting the waist shaping. Sometime on Friday night, I decided that it was going to be too tight at my waist and hips, so I re-math-ed on the fly. I decided to do even less waist shaping and no hip increases. At this point, I had mixed feelings about being able to finish by Sunday night. I had thought I would be farther along by this time but Joshua motivated me along. He said that even if I didn’t finish it by Sunday, I’d be really close.  And no matter what, in the end, I’d have a sweater. And that would be awesome. And so on Saturday morning, I pressed on.

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As I kept working up the body and trying it on, I decided that maybe it did need a bit of hip shaping. So once again, I re-math-ed. I added in some hip increases and finally bound off the body in the afternoon.

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I started to get pretty excited about the sweater and picked up the stitches for the first sleeve. Joshua and I watched a movie and I powered on and stayed up a bit too late, but finished the sleeve.

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Come Sunday morning, I felt like a rockstar. I just knew that I’d have the sleeve and the button band done by the time we went to the airport at 5. I knit the second sleeve, no problems, maybe even a bit faster than the first. And then I started picking up stitches for the button band. Of course, I had lengthened the sweater considerably, so there were a good deal more stitches to pick up. I also really hate picking up button band stitches–I have to remember to do a selvedge stitch there and save myself some heartache next time. At any rate, I got them picked up and knit the first row of ribbing.

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At this point, I had 2 hours until time to leave for the airport. I had thought I could power through, but I had not eaten and my hands were just… tired. The sweater got pretty heavy in the end–wrestling it around for ribbing was not exactly quick and easy.  So I took a break. Made myself lunch, scrolled through instagram, relaxed. And as I was relaxing, Kevin texted to say his flight was delayed. Fine, I thought, I’ll knit a row. His flight was delayed a bit more… another row. You see where this is going. When he texted to say they were finally departing, I texted right back to say I had finished the sweater.

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I wove in the ends before we headed out to the airport and gave the sweater a bath while Kevin recapped his weekend. It’s still on the blocking mats now, things take forever to dry in our frigid basement. Once it’s done, I’ll post some proper pictures and all the details of my modifications and whatnot. If you’re curious now, feel free to check out my project page.

This was a fun experience. Very challenging, but fun. I definitely spent every free minute knitting for about 72 hours. Fun to do for a weekend, but a little too much even for me. The focus and motivation to work with such dedication on one project was awesome. It feels great to have finished a sweater so quickly. It’s not something I’d focus on all the time–speed sweaters, as Kevin called it–but definitely a fun diversion. And I got a sweater out of it!

All in all, my own personal 4-day sweater challenge was fun. I can see the interest in doing it periodically–maybe next year I’ll take another knitcation and see what I can accomplish.

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!

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!