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!

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!

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

Time flies.

The last few weeks seem to have gone by in a flash. It feels like forever since I’ve been on the blog! We’ve had a great time, I’ve done a lot of knitting and a fair bit of secret making. How about a montage? Just imagine funky 80s music playing as you scroll through the pictures.

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We adopted a kitty! This is Joseph, he’s the sweetest boy.

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Nobody worry – Cosi is still the biggest baby of the family!

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As promised, I put some work into my Audra Wrap  – though I’ve stalled on it again.

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October rainbow socks: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered – Knitterly Things October 2017 Rainbow Club – pair 18 in my box of socks for the year

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Kevin wanted a new hat, so I cast one on for him. I love hat knitting, this chunky weight yarn knit up so fast!

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And a couple of days later, I cast the hat off. This is Lancet, by Jared Flood, a great pattern. I used Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in Lapis. I am happy to report, Kevin loves it.

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Halloween came and went. I had an ear infection, so trick or treating wasn’t my favorite. The zombie goat and the akatsake had a blast though.

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Now that November is here, it’s straight on to the next rainbow.

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I haven’t shown my Dotted Rays too much, mostly because it always just like a blob of grey garter. But it’s finished now, and it’s the prettiest grey garter I’ve seen!

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While Dotted Rays was soaking the other night, I may have snuck in a wee sweater cast on…

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This guy went with me to vote. I even convinced him to wear the sticker (only for this picture).

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Dotted Rays by Stephen West knit out of Primrose Yarn  Co. Sophia in the Dark Cavern colorway. 

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Seriously, this was a fun knit. I loved the construction of the shawl, and this yarn is the softest and makes for the squishiest garter. This is also the last of my Make Nine projects! 

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My little sweater is starting to grow. I’m knitting Empire by Gudren Johnston, in Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Iceberg colorway. I’m a little concerned about my yarn usage, but we shall see.

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I think that’s it. I can’t believe there are three finished objects in this post! I suppose it has been a hot minute. Now I’m all cozy with my dotted rays around my neck–can we talk about the cashmere in this yarn? I am in heaven.

Happy {cozy} making!

 

To-do list.

I’ve got a few things on the needles these days. I’ve really been thinking about my works in progress in terms of what is active, but now that we’re really moving through autumn I’m thinking how nice it would be to have a bunch of empty needles for the new year.

Right now, this is everything I have in progress:

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Well everything but my current socks. Above are my Sunset Highway sweater, Dotted Rays, Audra Wrap, and Baubles, at varying stages of doneness. Sunset Highway is close, only lacking the ribbing on the second sleeve:

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I’ve been working here and there on my Dotted Rays, but it’s still a long way off:

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I’ve barely even started my Audra Wrap, but I love it. The stripes and the floof are really calling my name:

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And then there’s Baubles. I really like this one, but there’s a sticking point with it at the moment. The yarn has a really high silk content and while very luxurious, it’s not very cozy. It makes it feel cool, which sounds weird, but really, it feels cool. I don’t want to change it or anything, but it’s not drawing me in for an autumn knit.

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With all of that, I really want to finish Sunset Highway, Dotted Rays, and Audra by the end of the year. I think I’ll give myself a pass on Baubles until spring, when a fresh and cool feeling knit will really hit the spot.

Of course, that’s not completely everything that I am or will be knitting. While I can neither confirm or deny that there is any holiday knitting happening, I’ll let you guess where some of time is going. And then of course there are socks. I’ve finished the first of my October rainbow socks:

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This is Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, the October 2017 colorway from the Knitterly Things Rainbow of the Month Club. I’ve got these and two more pairs of rainbow socks to finish up this year. I also have a hibernating pair, but who knows when I’ll feel like picking those up.

Writing all of this up, it really feels like a tall order to finish all of this in the next two and a half months. I guess there’s nothing to do but settle in on this rainy afternoon and put some stitches down.

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!

In Which Lessons Are Learned.

Sometimes, a project doesn’t pan out. For me, that is always frustrating but I am trying to learn from my mistakes — especially in sewing, which is where this tale of woe occurs.

Yesterday, I sewed up the Mathilde Blouse by Tilly and the Buttons. I used a really lightweight white voile fabric, intending this to be a wearable muslin to see if I wanted to make more of these. Well, I wound up creating a very un-wearable muslin, but after many deep breaths I am here to tell you that it’s ok.

I have quite the long list of things that I learned. I know this was listed as an intermediate pattern and I’d say that’s right! I’m pretty proud of myself for (more-or-less) learning:

  1. Tucks
  2. French seams
  3. Buttonholes

Unfortuately, I also learned that not all tailor’s chalk washes out. And even on the wrong side, aforementioned tailor’s chalk will show through sheer fabric. So now, here you go, my Mathilde Blouse:

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Pretty cute, huh? I finished everything on it except attaching the buttons–because I was suspicious of the tailor’s chalk. I tried it on, clipping it shut in the back. It’s pretty cute, but really way too sheer for my taste.

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I also think I’d like it in a drapier fabric. My French seams turned out pretty nice, I think. That was a daunting step that turned out to be not too scary once you got going!

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But here’s the real kicker, the thing that makes this a definite unwearable…

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Those little blue dots, among other marks that can be seen on the outside of the top, sunk my little ship. (But my tucks look ok, right?) I think I will make this blouse again sometime in a drapier, more opaque fabric. The style of it is pretty cute. I will definitely be careful with the tailor’s chalk next time!

Happy making!