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:

img_20181013_090218

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:

img_20181013_090511.jpg

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

img_20181013_085459

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

img_20181013_085230

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.

img_20181013_085554.jpg

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:

img_20181013_085051.jpg

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.

IMG_20180927_073101

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:

img_20180923_170525.jpg

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.

img_20180923_170615.jpg

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.

img_20180927_172546.jpg

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:

img_20180923_100910.jpg

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.

img_20180923_100735

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!

img_20180923_100930.jpg

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

img_20180923_100919

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!

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!

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.

IMG_20180830_074820

Void progress, about halfway through the border.

IMG_20180831_180213_013

Joshua earned his red belt!

IMG_20180831_185845 2

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:

IMG_20180901_100115_449

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

IMG_20180901_172853_748

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.

IMG_20180901_120103

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.

IMG_20180903_075106

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.

IMG_20180903_103356

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.

IMG_20180904_161948_361

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

IMG_20180905_152117

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.

IMG_20180908_214536_131

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.

IMG_20180908_115440

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.

img_20180909_145024_814

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

IMG_20180910_101930_226

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.

img_20180913_170411.jpg

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!

 

Back in the saddle.

When I was around 10 or 11, my cousins got a go-cart. Judge and I were eager to try it out and being the oldest and bossiest, I went first. I promptly slammed my foot on the peddle and ran the go-cart straight into a tree. With a busted chin and bruised ego, I swore I’d never ride another go-cart. My dad told me in no uncertain terms that I was, in fact, getting back on the go-cart. He told me that if you fall off of a horse, you get right back in the saddle and show yourself and the horse who’s boss.

Fast forward a decade and I had a major car accident. I was in various hospitals for a while and eventually came home and went to stay with my dad for a while. I had not driven a car for over a month, not since the accident. I was so afraid to drive again, but my dad once again told me, back in the saddle you go. I managed to live through the harrowing 3 mile drive to my aunts and I’m happy to tell you, I’m still driving to this day.

1916389_1174680690637_3097788_n

Fast forward another decade plus and I am happily not wrecking any vehicles. But still, I’ve been balking at the idea of getting my serger back out. The last (and only) time I used it, it didn’t go very well. Well, I finally dredged up my dad’s advice and got the serger out this weekend. I’ve eased into things with some practice and have now been doing a bit of finishing. Finishing what, you may ask. Garments!

My first try at getting back into garment sewing and using a serger to finish raw edges:

img_20180819_125629_839

img_20180819_124202.jpg

Not too bad! It was slow going, but I made it work, more or less. This is the Ogden Cami, by True Bias patterns. The fabric is some Art Gallery quilting cotton I had lying around. This fabric is far from ideal with very little drape–I wanted something stable and sturdy and easy to work with for this first try.

This is a great little pattern, pretty easy to do with some new techniques for me. After whipping this one up on Sunday morning, I thought I’d have a go at another Ogden in drapier fabric Sunday afternoon. And voila!

img_20180819_172452

This is some “silky chiffon” from Joanns that I found on sale. It’s definitely drapier, so it was good practice. I’m not completely convinced of the fit. I think you can see that it pulls across my back a bit and the front seems pretty voluminous.

I wore this one to work today. I’m still undecided about the fit. Maybe the fabric is still not drapey enough? I don’t know if I should try to adjust the pattern or look for something else. After making these two tops, I thought I’d step it up to a bigger project. Enter the Hollyburn Skirt, by Sewaholic. I had some navy poplin that I had purchased just to give this skirt a try. This pattern has a lot of finishing involved, so I kept going with serging seams to finish them. They were looking pretty snazzy, if I do say so.

img_20180820_103027.jpg

On the very last seam before installing the zipper, the worst happened. I caught a bit of the skirt fabric in the serger… and it serged.

img_20180820_103050.jpg

The kids find this hole in the seat of my skirt much funnier than I do. I was so frustrated. I had to take a step back from sewing. It’s scary to think of trying again and ruining something else. So I did the safe thing. I worked on a sock. With the serger safely in the craft room, I knit on. But in my mind I could hear my dad telling me to show it who’s in charge. And so, with trepidation, I cut out another skirt and got to work. I’m pleased to say that it’s going even better than the first skirt, serged seams and all.

img_20180821_174548.jpg

img_20180821_174605.jpg

This will be hopefully by my first finished Hollyburn. I can’t wait to get it done!

I’m proud of myself for sticking with it.  I’ve got no issues with go-carts and cars these days and I’m happy to add sergers to the list.


Happy making!

Birthday socks and other pretties.

As must happen every year, my birthday has passed. It was a good one though, and I’ve got some lovely yarny goodness to show for it.

First up, I finished my birthday socks last night.

IMG_20180809_065235

This yarn is Tilting Planet Apollo Sock–an amaszingly squishy 75/25 base–in the Cosmic Cake colorway. These are my eighth pair in my light box of socks, and my fifteenth box o sox pair overall. I don’t have very much more to say about them, but they’re beautiful so let’s look at them a bit.

IMG_20180809_065040

IMG_20180809_065434

IMG_20180809_065344

Cosi’s toes are cuter, but the socks don’t fit on him. In other birthday news, I received a few wooly gifts in the mail this week. One from Kevin and one from me. The gift I gave myself was a complete surprise, I had ordered the Hey Sister Yarn Co. August club colorways. I had no idea what would be arriving in the mail, other than one “color” and one “neutral” club colorway. Boy, was I pleasantly thrilled to open up these pretties!

IMG_20180808_093956

The neutral club color (left) is Taupe Frost and the color club color (right) is Lucid. They are both so pretty and I love how well they go together. I see a two color shawl in my future. As for what Kevin treated me to… he really treated me to a birthday afternoon of yarn shopping from the shop of my choice. I chose Quince & Co. and I’m glad I did.

IMG_20180808_094406

I’m in love with this color palette! In this mix are a hat, cowl, mittens, and a cardigan! Ever since I knit my Windswept, I’ve been itching to make a sweater out of Chickadee, Quince’s sport base. Well, Kevin helped me choose the color and it’s happening! I wound up a skein as soon as I got off work and got right to swatching.

IMG_20180809_064223

I’m planning to knit Empire, a cardigan by Gudren Johnston. I’m trying to resist the urge to cast it on tonight. Luckily, my Sunset Highway is doing a pretty good job of keeping me occupied. I’m nearing the end of the first contrast color.

img_20180809_064752

That’s it for me, this year’s birthday is tucked away with those pretty pink socks. I’ll bring it out next year and we’ll see how things look with another year on them.

Happy making!