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!

Maybe I have been knitting.

Last week, I was busy. Work trip right into Thanksgiving. Around here, I call it the gauntlet. Last year on this particular work trip, I got a lot of knitting done. Not so this time. 

Things started off pretty well. I had been thinking I’d knit myself a holiday sweater so I cast it on in the airport. I got a few rows in before time to board. I was planning to knit it on the plane, but I was middle seat between two not so teeny dudes. We landed in Atlanta, set up the booth, and I got to my hotel in time to watch some football and finish up a sock.

My days and evenings were quite busy with work, but I managed to get up early enough to have some coffee and knitting time on my Kobuk hat. I really wanted to finish it on the trip. 

Finding knitting time was tough, but the wait in the airport and the flight was enough to get the hat finished. I came home, wove in the ends on the hat, upacked and then immediately re-packed my suitcase. We left early in the morning, headed to North Carolina. 

I did a little knitting on the car ride down, but I also discovered that I had forgotten Joshua’s medicine. Bit of a logistics mess to get a prescription called in to an out of town pharmacy on the day before Thanksgiving, but we did it.

We wound up renting a house with my brothers and going to my future SIL’s family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was truly a lovely time. We had so much fun and just being together is always enough to warm my heart. I didn’t do any knitting, but who cares when you’re surrounded by these amazing people.

Over the weekend, I finished my socks, finally got some hat pictures, and slept a lot. Noah and Madelyn stopped through on their way back north, and after getting them on the road I slept a wee bit more. I was tired.

The socks are off the needles and I am one pair closer to my full dozen rainbow socks for the year. This is the November 2017 Rainbow of the Month club colorway from Knitterly Things, called Golden Hour Harvest. I really like how these turned out. My sock mojo is a little low these days, so it’s good to finish up a pair.

And then, there’s the hat.

This is Kobuk, a lovely pattern by Caitlin Hunter. It’s written for a DK weight yarn held together with a strand of mohair lace. For mine, I held fingering weight double with the mohair and it worked quite well. I think it made the bobbles a little bit more fussy, but nothing terrible. The yarn is from Woolberry Fiber Co.: Berry Sock and Berry Mohair, both in the Hayride colorway. I love love love this color. I have been skeptical of how it would look on me, but I think it works. Either way, I’m obsessed.

I love everything about it. The mohair makes it so soft and warm, and the pattern is stunning. The color, well, I can’t get enough. 

I really have been feeling like I’m not knitting much at all. Surprising then, that I’ve finished two projects in the last week. I did a little bit of frogging recently and then nothing else was appealing to me last night. So I cast on something new, like you do.

Just a wee start, more on this beauty later.

Happy making!

Woolly.

I’ve quite the week for a knitter here in Maryland. Things have taken a turn for the colder, perfect handknit wearing weather that I love and we even managed to make a quick trip over to the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival.

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Alpacas are so soft! And their hum just slays me. I also got the kids to pause for a picture–it’s getting harder all the time. Neither of them like to be in pictures.

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For the first time, I participated a bit in the Get Your Yarn Wishes Granted fun on instagram. My wish was for some shetland or Norwegian wool to try out and a friend of mine came through in a big way! I can’t wait to swatch up these colors, I am digging the palate. This is all Jamieson & Smith jumper weight yarn.

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As if that wasn’t the woolliest Sunday one could imagine, I also decided to cast on a hat:

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This is the beginnings of Kobuk by Boyland Knitworks. The pattern calls for one strand of DK and one strand of mohair, but I just had to knit it in this gorgeous color. I’m holding fingering weight double, using Woolberry Fiber Co.‘s Berry Sock and Berry Mohair in the Hayride colorway. I just cannot stand it. This color is so out of my comfort zone, but I am quite drawn to it lately.

I couldn’t quite get the woollies out of my system, so I wound up rocking quite the outfit at work on Monday. It was my first time wearing my Marion out and I am pleased to say that the woolly-wool of Wool of the Andes didn’t irritate me at all.

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This is Canopy, Marion, and my Hollyburn skirt. I really like this outfit, but I want to get a couple of cropped sweaters going to wear with skirts like this. To that end, I have decided that I need a holiday sweater. A cropped, retro, and very green holiday sweater. So, of course, I ordered some yarn…

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This is Quince & Co. Lark in the Parsley colorway. I’m planning to knit Julgran by Andi Satterlund. My gauge on this swatch–and the one after it–is off, so I had to go down several needle sizes from the pattern. I’m actually planning to–gulp–cast it on on the plane this weekend. I’m flying down to Atlanta for a work trip and I’m hoping to snag some knitting time for this sweater.

Now that the time has changed, it gets harder and harder to take pictures during daylight hours. If only I could just bring all my WIPs and take pictures at work. Alas, I like my job. We’ll just have to make do with a few dark ones. The hat is coming along nicely, I am well into the bobbles. I hope to have this done and ready to wear for our Thanksgiving trip.

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And last but not least, I’ve been making progress on my new cardigan, but I am really not feeling it. It is coming out really big, even though my gauge is correct. I’m seriously considering ripping it out and using the yarn in another sweater.

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We had some really pretty snow yesterday, definitely the earliest snow I’ve seen since moving to Maryland. I think we’re shaping up for a woolly winter!

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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!