Sweets and my sweetheart.

I have to tell you, I am having the most lovely spring break with my son. Our trip to Denver was a work weekend for me–and a pretty stressful one, at that–but having Joshua along was the perfect spot of sunshine.

We flew out on Friday morning. This was Joshua’s first flight and he reports that while takeoff was really exciting, the other 3.5 hours was less so. He played Smash Bros. and I finished the first sweater sleeve before we landed.

Once we got on the ground, it was a bit of go, go, go. Joshua was a huge help, carrying and moving and lifting. Having a strong teenager around can be pretty nice. We had supper with my coworkers that evening and went to bed pretty early. As per usual, I was up early for some pre-conference coffee and knitting.

img_20190413_073419.jpg

After a morning of work, I took my lunch break to take Joshua to eat. It was such a treat all weekend to get to take my breaks with him.

IMG_20190413_113450

That evening, we took a walk and got some supper and found this little shop called Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. No surprise, Joshua wanted to check it out. It smelled amazing! We picked up a few Saturday evening treats and headed back to the hotel.

img_20190413_211227

Sunday was my big day, but I did manage to catch up with Joshua a few times. I had an evening event so a few of my coworkers took Joshua out for dinner and laser tag. From all accounts, they had a blast. I met up with them at the hotel restaurant afterward.

IMG_2361

The next morning Joshua and I got up early to pack and hit up VooDoo doughnuts for breakfast. I had gone to the original VooDoo a few years ago and Joshua is ever interested in sweets so it was a must. IMG_20190415_073423

img_20190415_081842.jpg

The doughnuts were pretty amazing. With that, we went down to the conference and helped out a bit and then got a ride out to the airport.

img_20190415_143906.jpg

I had, of course, not done very much knitting over the weekend. I wasn’t really thinking that I would be able to finish the sleeve before we landed, but somehow, I knit and knit and knit, and voila! I did it. I took a picture as we landed, but it’s pretty blurry so I will spare you. Once we got settled in, I wove in the ends and set to blocking her.

img_20190416_205144.jpg

I can’t wait for this sweater to dry. I really feel like it will fit into my wardrobe so nicely!

All in all, we had a great time. I got to spend a lot of time with Joshua, which doesn’t always happen these days. He starts high school this fall–gulp!–and time is really starting to feel short. I am so happy that I was able to bring him along with me. It was a pretty sweet trip, and I’m not just talking about the doughnuts.


Happy making!

Two out of three ain’t bad.

At the beginning of the week, I set out to try to finish three projects. Well, I’m here to tell you that it didn’t happen. On the bright side though, I finished two, I swatched for a new sweater, and I can knit sleeves on the plane.

img_20190412_071942

My first finish of the week was the Audra Wrap. She’s not had her ends woven in or been blocked, and only partly because I’ve got to figure out exactly where to block a shawl that’s biggger than me. I got Astra to take a picture of it as soon as I finished it – she had to stand quite a ways away.

img_20190409_193839

My second finish (on the same night, no less) is my first but definitely not last Rita Blouse. Rita is a pattern by Gertie of Charm Patterns. I made it from the scraps of a top I made a few years ago. Looking at that post, I definitely feel like my sewing skills have improved!

IMG_20190411_181023

This adorable pattern was extraordinarily well written. I was really intimidated but Gertie’s instructions really guide you through the process. The top is gathered and the lower bodice quite fitted. I cut a straight 6c and I think that was mostly the right call. When I first tried it on, I felt that the arms and shoulders were quite tight. I wound up adding abut 3 inches of elastic to the neckline and 1.5 inches to the armholes. That made a big difference.

IMG_20190411_180934

I still think it might pull a little bit under the side bust and up to the armpit, but I’m not really sure what to do about that. This was my very first invisible zipper and I think it was mostly successful. Like I said, Gertie’s instructions are very helpful.

IMG_20190411_180923

The back is a tad puffy in the gathered part, so I may shorten it a bit in the next version. And if you’re wondering, there will definitely be a next version. I am in love with this little top! Overall it took me a bit over one evening to make. That was with several mistakes and looking up youtube tutorials on invisible zippers, so not bad at all.

IMG_20190411_180940

The unfinished sweater I was working on has definitely seen progress. It now has both button bands and a neck band, and a sleeve well on it’s way.

img_20190412_071902

For the button holes, I was inspired by Amy Beth of The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast to try out one row button holes. I think they look so neat and tidy! I folled Amy Beth’s tutorial and it worked perfectly. I’m only taking this sweater on the plane today, so I’m hoping this baby will be finished by the time Joshua and I are back home.

The other night, after finishing the wrap and the top, my hands were pretty tired but my mind was a buzzing with motivation. I decided to pull down some of my fabric and some yarn and gauge how I’m doing on the whole wardrobe potential thing. I kind of had this sinking feeling that I had a bunch of fabric that wouldn’t pair with any of the sweaters I want to knit. I was pleasantly surprised.

This is what I came up with. Some of these will be mix and match but these were the standout pairings in my mind. This also helped me figure out which are going to be cardigans and which are going to be pullovers. I’ll talk about the yarns and fabrics as I plan to use them, but first up is this set:

img_20190407_222908

The yarn is Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Hayride colorway and the fabric is a rayon challis Rifle Paper Co. from Cotton + Steel. The fabric is destined to become a circle skirt and the yarn will be a Beauty School from Poison Grrls. It is just the cutest little retro fitted top and I can’t wait to knit it up. I swatched this week in the hopes that I’ll be coming home with a finished sweater ready to cast on this one.

img_20190411_162908

I think that’s it for now. Joshua and I are about to hop on the plane to Denver – he’s travelling with me for a work trip to kick off his spring break. It’s just a weekend trip, but I’m excited to have him along. He’s fantastic company even if he will cost me a fortune in food. Now, to get to this sweater sleeve!


Happy making!

Perhaps a clean slate is in order.

Every once in a while, I am looking for a clean slate. Not necessarily because I’m tired of my projects or don’t like them, but just ready to start something fresh. I’m in one of those moods today. I’ve got a bunch of things on the needles, but I’m trying to focus on a three at a time, a sweater, shawl, and something small.

I finished up the something small a few days ago and it inspired me. That something small was the first pair of socks I’ve knit this year!

img_20190404_170901

This is quite a departure for me, I believe I was up to 6 or 7 pairs by this time last year. But I’m focusing on other things this year, so I’m just not cranking out socks like that, which is just fine. These were pure pleasure to knit, the stripes were just mesmerizing. That gold is gorgeous! The main yarn is Tiny Human Knits in the Cumberbund colorway. I debated for a while over the contrast heel, but finally settled on Peepaloo Fields in the Tide colorway – leftovers from my Sunset Highway. I love them.

img_20190404_170952.jpg

This got me thinking. I leave for a work trip on Friday, and when I come back it will be spring break. Spring break means a fair bit of quiet crafting time around here, so I’d really like to be cracking into something fresh and new. With that, I took stock. Of the projects I’m focusing on, I’ve got a sweater, a shawl, and a sew that need finishing off.

The sweater:

img_20190407_164742

My Crumb, which only lacks sleeves at this point. Worsted weight sleeves can go pretty fast, so I’m hopeful here. This could even go on the plane and get finished up on the trip.

The shawl:

img_20190407_164910

This monstrosity is a) beautiful b) my Audra Wrap and c) taller than me. I am on the final stripe section, so it’s all garter from here on out. I am starting to get excited that this giant thing will be bound off on only 144 stitches. That’s pretty sick.

And last, but not least, the sew:

img_20190402_232425

This terrible night shot of an in progress make is my Rita Blouse. I’ve got nothing left but to finish off the elastic and hem it. It’s a bit tight in the bust and arms though, so I am going to try adding some length to the neckline elastic to see if that helps. If not, I’ll probably need to go up a size either in bust or all-over size for the next one.

I do feel like this is a bit of a tall order for a short week in which I have to get every member of my household ready for a trip, but hey, sometimes arbitrary goals are a fun motivator.


Happy making!

Populuxe.

Way back before our holiday trip, I swatched a little swatch. I knew that when we got home it would be the new year and I’d be ready for something fresh and new on my needles. So I wound up some yarn and got to it.

Once we arrived back home, I wasted no time and cast on my shiny new sweater. I started Populuxe, an adorable cardigan by Andi Satterlund. The yarn is from Sweet Sparrow Yarns, in her tweed DK in the Butterbeer colorway. I zoomed right along and before I knew it I was down past the sleeve join and ready to try it on.

I tried it on and… it was too big. Obviously several inches of positive ease through the bust, and that’s before adding a buttonband! I tried to reason with myself that maybe it would fit with the sleeves, but even Kevin said it looked like it would be too big. I frantically checked my stitch counts over and over until I happened to check the needle size and my swatch notes.

Back in December, I had swatched with a 3.50 mm, 3.25 mm, and 3.00 mm – and promptly figured out that the 3.00 mm was the right choice. So, of course, when I cast on in January – I pulled out the 3.25. You wouldn’t think a quarter millimeter would make such a difference, but it was definitely not going to give me the fitted look I was going for. So I frogged.

Just looking at that makes me sad. It took a while to pull it out and wind the balls up. I was alternating skeins and you knit the top in three parts so…

I had lots of little bits to work with. I’ll admit, it took me a hot minute to get back to knitting it. But once I got going on it, it went pretty fast. The pattern is beautifully written and a cropped DK sweater isn’t a ton of kniting.

I finished it in good order and then dithered on buttons for around a month. I finally ordered some and they arrived and I had ordered 6 and not 8. After that, I just bit the bullet and went to JoAnn’s and found something suitable. I do not like sewing buttons on anything, but I got it done.

And now, I have a finished cardigan.

I love this sweet little sweater. The tweed yarn gives it such character, and those starburst details are precious. I really adore this pattern. The finished sweater fits like a glove.

I even wore it with my Hollyburn skirt! I love a good me-made outfit. I’ll admit it took me a bit to work up to wearing it buttoned up. This is much more the style I want, but certainly not the style I’m used to.

I am so glad that I took the time to frog and re-knit it. It is everything I hoped it would be and I may or may not have purchased yarn for a second one. But before I get to another Populuxe, I’ve got another Andi Satterlund pattern on my needles. I just can’t get enough!

Now I’ve got to go try this one on… cross your fingers that I am using the right needles. Just kidding, I hope.


Happy making!

Thank you to everyone who so kindly commented on my last post. Your words warmed this little maker’s heart. ❤️

Hello darlin, nice to see you

It’s been a long time…

It has been a hot minute hasn’t it? Suffice it to say that I’ve not felt like blogging for several reasons and have no idea how much I’ll feel like it moving forward. But we’re here today, so let’s recap.

I have been quite non-prolific over the last few months. A lot of that is that I’ve been working on lots (for me) of larger projects and a lot of that is that I’ve just had less time. Since we last spoke, I’ve finished two knits. The first is a sweater for Astra:

This is Flax by Tin Can Knits. I knit it out of Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin. The pattern is very simple, it would make a great first sweater. I will say that I’m not over the moon about the neckline, if I knit another for Astra I’d cast on fewer stitches there to bring it in a bit.

I also finally finished up my navy Hollyburn skirt! This one had been waiting for a zip for months, but it’s done and in my closet now.

I’ll confess I haven’t even worn it yet – partly because it’s been so cold and partly because I feel like I don’t have much to wear with it. So, to get something to wear with it, I cast on a new sweater. I finished all the knitting and blocked it a month ago, but I just ordered buttons this week. I’m sewing those on this weekend!

This is Populuxe by Andi Satterlund. I knit it out of Sweet Sparrow Yarns in the Butterbeer colorway. It was heaven to knit, which is good, because I knit a fair bit of it twice! I’ll tell that story once this beauty is properly buttoned and finally complete.

In other news, I’ve been plugging away at my Audra Wrap. It’s nearly half way finished but I don’t take many pictures of it since the sections all look the same.

Over the last couple of months I cast on a few other things, a new sweater:

This is Damejakka Lopa and I am pretty stinking proud of that colorwork. I’m using some of the Rauma FinulPT2 that Kevin got me for Christmas. I’ve been moving a little slow on it now, but I’m in no rush. It’s pretty pleasant to work on the flea stitches now. I also cast on a Lumen out of some Jill Draper Makes that I picked up at Maryland Sheep & Wool last spring. I zoomed at first, but the lace has some p3tog that really slow it down and make my hands a bit sore. I haven’t picked it up in a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, I found that I was not knitting all that much. Work has been pretty stressful so I was coming home all brain-fried and frazzled. I couldn’t wrap my head around lace or colorwork or anything. After a bit, I realized that I was really missing vanilla socks. I hadn’t cast on any the whole year but I finally broke down and boy, did it feel good.

These have been wonderfully comforting and easy on my mind. Not to mention they are gorgeous! Speaking of gorgeous, I participated in Fibreshare again this spring. My partner really hit the nail on the head with what she sent, I don’t know if I could love it more.

She had posted a teaser to her insta-stories saying that I would die over that far right hand skein – she couldn’t have been more right. It is the absolute perfect shade of greeeny-goldy mustard and I love it. It is a merino/silk/yak blend by Happy Hank and the color is English Mustard. I could not stop myself and within 24 hours of opening the package, I cast that sucker on.

I cast on for another Spindrift Shawl. It’s been a bit less than a week and I am almost finished with it. I cannot wait to have this color in my shawl collection! And the yarn is buttery soft. It’s been an amazing knit and very difficult to put down.

I think that pretty much sums up my crafting for the year so far. In addition to all of that, this week I’ve started a muslin (read, practice version) of a new dress that I’ve been dreaming about for months and months. I think I might be ready to cut out the real fabric pretty soon.

With all of that, I suppose I have been keeping my hands busy. I’ve felt that my crafty productivity is really low these days. I am trying not to compare myself to last year, but sometimes that’s tough. I hope that finishing that cardigan and getting it in my wardrobe, finally breaking out my new skirt, and maybe having a new dress to wear will help me feel the fruits of my labors a bit more.

That and writing. It has felt good to sit down and write this evening. I love to talk about making, talk about yarn and patterns and my sewing woes. I was nervous to get back into it, but this has brought me a great deal of joy tonight. And that is what this making hobby is all about.


Happy making, darlin!

Wrapping Up.

As one might imagine, a lot of things can happen in a month. Particularly if that month is December. I am sitting here at Kevin’s parents house on the last day of the year, having a cup of coffee in my bear mug and thinking over the last month and the last year. First, let’s do a quick (not so quick) photo montage of December.

At the beginning of the month, I went to California. On the plane ride, I finished this shawl. Color Field by Kemper Wray, knit in Primrose Yarn Co. Jasper DK in Hermione (light pink) and Maple Leaf (green).
I took Joshua out to a special breakfast as a congrats for working so hard and being recommended for honors classes for high school next year. Captain Crunch french toast is amazing, by the way.
I finished my last pair of Rainbow Socks. This is Fireside Hearth Song on Vesper Sparkle Sock by Knitterly Things.
With that, all 12 pairs of rainbow socks are complete! This is the 2017 Rainbow of the Month club by Knitterly Things. So rainbowy and stripey and wonderful.
And so, my 2018 box o’ sox is complete. 20 pairs of socks all ready to go for the new year.
Since we travel so long for the holidays, we celebrate Christmas a bit early at our house. This year, we made homemade hot chocolate that turned out amazing.
Every year, my brother and SIL send out a special card that they design and print. This year, we got to witness the entire process. So much work goes into them, but they are so beautiful.
We spent Christmas at mom’s cabin and we got some very rare and precious knitting time.
My mom knitted us all into little birds! They are ridiculously cute.
The birds: Me, Kevin, Judge, Crystal, Noah, and Madelyn
This was all of my holiday making for this year. I knit a Stillwater Cardigan for mom, Eureka Cowls for Crystal and Madelyn, socks for Noah and Kevin’s mom, and made a Strathcona Tee for Judge. I started back in July so it was pretty low pressure. I am very pleased with how it all came out. I have some super knitworthy people in my life.
In the holiday madness, I cast on a patterned sock! Whitethorn Socks by Lindsey Fowler.
Over the visit, we had a family D&D night complete with a cheese ball and a benevolent gold dragon. Many thanks to Kevin for DMing the madness!
Now we are all back in Tennessee and even managed to catch a UT basketball game. Go Vols!
A while back, Astra asked for an orange sweater – so I cast on an orange sweater.
And finally, because I had to have something mindless, I cast on a Spindrift Shawl.

These are just some of the highlights. Overall, it has been an amazing trip full of love and light. We head home tomorrow on the first day of a fresh new year. I am ready for 2019. There have been ups and downs this past year, but to be perfectly honest the downs were some of the hardest yet. I am ready to greet a new year tomorrow, full of possibility.

I hope that you all are finishing your year out with joy.

Happy making.

Killing me softly.

Socks. I talk of them often. A self proclaimed sock addict, I have a pair on my needles at all times. But lately, I find these oh-so-light-and-portable projects are weighing me down.

You may recall at the beginning of the year, I set out to knit two pairs of socks every month. One rainbow and one light colored. Well, I have faithfully kept up to that, I’ve knit two pairs every month. Now that I find myself staring down the fall and the end of the year, I find myself looking longingly at other projects.

I’ve got holiday gifts on my mind, a new hat for Kevin, and this year I’ve promised Astra a sweater! Of course sweater knitting for myself is a high priority. I pulled out my Sunset Highway and have been giving it a bit of love the few days.

img_20180914_181232_532

I’m about 3″ into the 11″ or 12″ I’ll need for the body of the sweater. I’m actually kind of looking forward to the sleeves for this one, since there’s a bit of colorwork to be had. Of course, I can’t forget the swatch for my next cardigan, I pet it every day.

img_20180914_180337.jpg

And in yet more sweater news, I caked up yarn to swatch for a new top, Mount Pleasant. This is Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Hayride colorway:

img_20180914_180309.jpg

It’s dreamy and I really want to have this top for the fall before it’s too cold, but I was deterred by having no 3.5 mm needles free and the thought of these socks:

img_20180914_180236.jpg

Every time I’ve picked up these socks this week, I’ve been bummed out. It’s a little bizarre, the yarn is so pretty and squishy and I love how it’s working up. But really, I want to be working on other things. My sock committments are really dragging on me at this point. I think I will compromise with myself and finish out the rainbow socks for the year and just pick up on other socks as I feel like it.

On the one hand, I feel a bit disappointed in myself that I’m giving up. But on the other hand, I knit because it brings me joy. If something makes me sad or bummed, why am I working on it? Do you ever set goals for your making and then feel down about not reaching them, or giving them up for something else?

With the decision to set these socks aside, I feel lighter. I am excited for all the other knitting I can finish in the time I would have devoted to those other 6.5 pairs. So little time and so many projects.

Happy making!