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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

Moral of the story: pack more yarn.

This weekend one of Kevin’s best friends is getting married. Kevin is in the wedding and we’ve all come down from Maryland to Tennessee to celebrate. This morning we loaded up fancy dresses and shoes and ties, and kids, and a lot of yarn.

While I waited for Kevin to finish packing his travel entertainment–Dungeon and Dragons books if you’re curious–I tried on my Sunset Highway.

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Whew that’s some rough super early morning lighting! I’m thinking I’m really close on this one. I’m going to add an inch-ish of ribbing and I know that it will grow some when blocked. I knit it a whole lot shorter that called for, but I haven’t paid close attention to my row gauge so my yoke could longer than the pattern intends. When I get home, the body of this sweater is first on the list.

I didn’t bring the sweater on the trip though, it’s a bit unwieldy for travel knitting. What did I bring, you ask? Well, first up, socks:

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I’m so into this fall rainbow. I really wanted to finish these up this weekend, but on the drive down I discovered that I didn’t bring my long circular needles for the heels and toes. I guess I’ll finish the tube part of the knitting and do heels and toes when I get home. Don’t worry though, I brought more knitting.

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This is a fairly new cast on, Dotted Rays. It’s the last item in my 2018 Make Nine and I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I cast it on and knit fairly obsessively on it for two nights. It’s a really fun pattern. The short rows make you just want to knit one more wedge all the time. This is a pattern by Stephen West, who is up there on my list of favorite designers. I love how his designs lend themselves so well to wild and crazy color combinations but look equally as stunning in soft or subtle colors. I’m knitting my Dotted Rays out of Primrose Yarn Co. Sophia in the Dark Cavern colorway.

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Since that isn’t enough, I brought two more projects. These are secret knitting, so I can’t show them but I’m really glad I packed them, or the absent long circular needle would be a much more dire situation. In fact, at the very last minute I grabbed a ball of yarn and needles and tossed it in that fox bag. Whew! It’s never a bad idea to grab one last skein.

I’m really excited to be back down south, we get to see family and friends and celebrate a sweet couple. I think this is going to be a lovely weekend.

Happy {travel} making!

Like bees.

We have been a wee bit busy around our household. Typically we don’t do much in September, leaving that time to get back in the swing of things with the new school year. Such has not been the case this September, though! We’ve had friends over to stay and have taken the first of two trips to Tennessee for the month.

With all of that, I haven’t had a terrible lot of time for making. Lets have a bit of a recap in pictures, shall we? That always helps me get up to speed and back in the swing of things, blog-wise.

First up, I wore my Hollyburn to work! I was a bit nervous, since this is not my usual style, but I loved it.

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Void progress, about halfway through the border.

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Joshua earned his red belt!

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Two weekends ago, some wonderful friends of ours came to stay over Labor Day weekend. It was also the first weekend of college football, so Kevin and I were up early and decked out:

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Of course, it was also September 1, so I cast on my next pair of rainbow socks:

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We headed over to Savage Mill to do a little walking and lunch before game time. We walked through an antique shop and I stumbled across this amazing quilt. Entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted, the craftmanship was excellent. I was tempted to take this beauty home with me, but resisted.

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On Sunday, we got up bright and early and headed down to D.C. for a museum day. We had a blast and even managed a picture of the whole group!

Labor day morning, I was up early for some quiet binding off time with my Void.

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It’s all finished now, but I still haven’t blocked it! That might show you just how we’ve been running around, I’m usually pretty quick on the turn around with blocking.

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School started for the kids, who were very excited to take pictures together in the yard at 7 a.m. Just kidding, there was a lot of groaning involved.

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We had several appointments that week, which afforded me some sock knitting time.

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And then, this last weekend, we took a road trip down to Knoxville to take the kids to their very first Vols game. Once again, we were up bright and early to get our orange on and head to campus for gameday festivities.

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We saw all the sights Kevin wanted to see and the kids even had fun at the game, lightning delay and all! A very good day, indeed.

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On Sunday, I finally slept in late. It was glorious. I resolutely parked my rear end on the couch to indulge in an entire day of football and sock knitting. The socks went better than the game did. I had to cast on a new pair, since I evidently can’t knit a heel while watching Roethlisberger throw a million interceptions.

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On the way home, I put heels in both socks before it was my turn to drive.

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Now we’re home, mostly recovered from all the fun, and I have one completed sock. This yarn, by the way, is Autumnal Equinox by Knitterly Things. The other sock, above, is Petal by Baerenwolle–sadly, she doesn’t dye yarn anymore so no link to be had.

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It’s been a fun month so far. We’re going to a concert and a wedding still yet, so the fun hasn’t stopped. In the meantime, I’m hoping to put some stitches down on my WIPs.

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!

Back to California.

I really like to visit California. For the most part. It’s generally lovely weather, the landscape is vastly different, and it’s dry enough that my hair looks pretty good all the time. On the negative side, I can’t really wear my knits, it’s so very far away, and that same dry weather plays havoc with my skin. So it’s one of those places that I love to visit and love to come home from.

This past week, I headed back across the country for another work trip. This one was a wee bit different, though, since my colleagues and I were attending a conference, rather than putting one on. I didn’t really know what to expect as far as time to myself went, so as any knitter does, I overpacked on knitting.

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In an unprecedented feat of reasonable-ness, I only took two of these projects in the end. I woke up early on Tuesday and headed to the airport, where I immediately procured an iced coffee and set in to work on my socks.

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I boarded the plane and knit until we could put our tray tables down, at which point I felt I could cut in the heel. I used to only do the straight knitting when I was anywhere other home. No heels, no cast ons, maybe maybe maybe a toe. But these days, I feel pretty comfortable with all of it.

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I finished the sock and wove in the last end as we touched down in California.

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In case you’re wondering, this yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sparkle Sock in the Prisma colorway. It’s the July club colorway from the 2017 rainbow of the month club. Anyway, I called an uber for ~1 hour ride from L.A. to Pasadena, and got the sock cast on but forgot about my backseat carsickness and had to stop after that.

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That afternoon, I did some walking around Pasadena, took a nap, and went to a networking event. With the time change, I was pretty pooped after that so I went straight to bed. The next day I slept in a bit and headed to the conference for breakfast. I won’t bore you with all the details, but it was a good day. I scored some fun swag, including a lei from the fine folks of Hawaii:

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In the afternoon, we toured the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses which, among many things, featured some amazing landscaping.

 

On Thursday, I made myself get up early enough for some early morning coffee, knitting, and reading. I finished my book and the cuff of the second sock.

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That day, two pretty cool things happened. The first was that I got to see Bill Nye, The Science Guy, speak. He was very funny and engaging.

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The second was that I found Mer-Pug. I love him. Evidently this is a thing in Norfolk, VA – which is pretty darned awesome.

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We had a closing celebration that night, which was a lot of fun. I don’t often get to dress up and go out on the town, and I enjoyed it a lot. The next morning, I was up at 3:15 a.m. and while waiting for the uber managed to get in some pre-4-am rows in on the sock.

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On the plane, I started a veritable coffee IV and a new book, all while plugging away on the socks.

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By the time the flight was over, I was nearly at the toe and ready to cut in the heel.

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It was still pretty early when I got home yesterday, so I cut in the heel alongside a little more coffee. The coffee was really just to at least keep me awake until it was time to go pick up Joshua.

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It was a great trip, I really liked Pasadena. Dry heat, great food, and roses everywhere. As a wannabe hermit, though, I am glad to be home. I’ve slept in, played games with Joshua and Kevin, gone grocery shopping, and now I’m ready to finish up those socks.

Happy {travel} making!