Friends, you might or might not know this about me, but I have kindof a lot of yarn.
(Greg is laughing like a hyena right now. Stop that Greg. It’s not cute. *cackling continues*)
ANYWAY, interruptions aside, I have a well aged and curated yarn stash at this point. Most of it is single skeins or pairs for accessory projects (shawls and socks mostly, with a few hats and cowls thrown in). I like knitting accessories, because I think that you get the most use out of them provided you live somewhere cold. You can wear the same few scarves every day for the entire winter and no one bats an eye. Also, I’m a wee bit on the impatient side, and I like to have the thrill of the finished thing reasonably often. However, lately I’ve been coveting more lengthy projects, eyeing everyone’s beautiful sweaters and feeling as though I should have a few of my own.. Plus, my Rhinebeck sweaters from the past two years are absolutely my two favorite sweaters. I absolutely ADORE them, and I wear them all the time when it’s cold out. I actually took out my sweater from two years past, and I decided to add a few more inches onto the bottom. I was getting annoyed with it riding up, and so I took destiny into my own hands and unpicked the cast off edge. I’ve added about two inches so far, and I think I’ll add maybe two more. It’s so much better already.
I think that fixing that sweater to make it perfect for me got me to thinking more about handknit sweaters and how superior they are to the purchased kind. So I started rifling through my yarn stash, and pulled out all of the yarn I have in sweater quantities. Surprisingly enough, it’s rather considerable.. I’m going to make a list of my yarn and the plans I have for it (if there are any. My plans are usually pretty loose and changeable.) I like to have yarn in the stash for a while before I knit with it, even if I have a strong idea of what I want it to become when I purchase it. I mull things over, consider them, and see if my idea is perfect in every way. Knitting is far too slow to rush into a project that becomes unsatisfying due to lack of forethought. When I finish something, I want it to be utterly fabulous. I know some of you are shaking your heads at me right now. It’s okay to do things a different way! This is just my style and I know it’s what gives me results I’m happy with, and however you get the results you want is fine for you. You do you, is what I’m saying :P
So, without any further ado, here’s my sweater yarn stash!
This is some Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool and it’s going to be a Millisande, by Ann McCauley. (all photos will be shamelessly lifted from the Ravelry page for each sweater. I did not take these pictures, as you can probably tell by the quality of my yarn photography :P)
I absolutely love this sweater. It might just be the fabulously squishy shawl collar of awesomeness, but that all-over texture is equally amazing. I’m not usually all about cables on the whole sweater, but I’m a total fangirl for everything Brooklyn Tweed. (As you will see from the rest of the list.) I think that in a heathered tan, I could wear this sweater all the time. Plus it would totally look awesome sauce with my new hunter green skinny jeans. It was meant to be. I also love the less fitted silhouette. I have a lot of really fitted sweaters and I love them, but I want to branch out a little bit because looser sweaters look SO COMFY.
The next sweater quantity of yarn I have is *swoon* Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in Seabreeze!
Isn’t it just utterly and insanely beautiful?? It’s going to be a modified version of a Beatnik Sweater by Norah Gaughan.
I had seen Beatnik before and liked it a lot, especially the really cool boatneck. However, I saw this modification by Tanis of Tanis Fiber Arts using some of her yarn in the same color, and I fell in love! I knew that I needed some of this yarn for a sweater, and I would put some of my own favorite cables on it instead of the ones in the pattern. I showed the modified one to Greg and he told me I should make mine exactly the same. I told him that that would make me super unoriginal, to do the same sweater in the same yarn and in the same color, and he countered with the fact that a) her sweater is basically perfect and the cables look much dressier than the ones I was considering and b) they sortof look like scales and so I could pretend to be a tropical fish, and who doesn’t want to do that?? He makes some good points (though he did concede that he was having a hard time picturing the cables I was thinking of using on the sweater). I’ll need to mull this one over for a while longer :P
I love Knit Picks. I like that they provide natural fibers for those of us with pretty tight yarn budgets. The TFA yarn aside (which was a Christmas present from my parents) all of the options on this list are not too terribly pricey. It’s really quite a good deal, and when they do sales, wheeeeee!! (all my sweater quantities are bought on sale, because yeah.) This batch of lovely colorful goodness is going to be a Foxy Sweater by Natalie Moreva. (I love her colorwork, it’s too cute.)
I don’t even really need to say much about this sweater. I love foxes, and it’s just insanely cute. I will never take it off, once I finish it. I mean, seriously. It’s amazing. It’s going to be one of those sweaters where people walk up to you on the street and ask you where you bought it, and then you get to say that you made it and be all smug. (Don’t act like you don’t do that. I’ll know that you are lying.) Seriously though, every knitter needs at least one item like that, because it helps other people value our art form. Knitting isn’t just a craft, it’s a way for people to creatively express themselves, and I wish that more people realized that!
Alright, on to the next yarn! This is also from Knit Picks, but it’s their Palette yarn (which comes in a completely crazy number of colors.)
I love this pale lavender. And I have so much of it because I’m making Oshima by Jared Flood.
Beautiful, isn’t it? I’ve coveted this sweater for a while, but I’m a little afraid of seaming. However, I may be getting over that. I learned how to mattress stitch for my mom’s christmas present, and it turned out quite nicely! I think I may be ready to tackle this sweater soon. Plus, every time I see someone else make one I feel jealous and think about my yarn just waiting for me to turn it into this awesome sweater. It will also take less time than I think, because the lightweight yarn is held double and knit at the gauge of a worsted weight. There’s nothing wrong with that! I also need to learn to brioche.. But it’s so popular now, there must be dozens of tutorials online. I mentioned before that I loved Brooklyn Tweed (that styling tho! The photography is just gorgeous and totally suckers me into thinking that I would be that cool if I had that sweater.)
Next on our list, we have more Wool of the Andes Sport in a beautiful heathered dark green! I just have to point out that Knit Picks knows me. If you discount something so steeply that I can knit myself a sweater for less than twenty-five dollars, I will buy a lot of it. I will be compelled.
I don’t actually know precisely what I’m doing with this. I think I’ll probably end up designing the sweater I want, because I haven’t found the right one yet. I know that I want cables, but not all over, and probably fitted or at least body skimming, and dense for the gauge so it’s nice and cozy. It’ll be a pullover almost certainly, because I prefer them. It’s odd, because I wear cardigans constantly, but I like to snuggle into my sweaters. There are, however, a few exceptions, and I’ve saved them for the end.
Oh, how shocking, more Knit Picks!
This, however, is fancy Knit Picks yarn. It’s their sock weight merino yarn with just a touch of lovely cashmere.. It’s soft like kittens and I love it. It’s going to be a Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig.
Those of you with good memories may recall that I made one of these for my mom for Christmas. I love the pattern, I think it’s very practical and goes with basically everything. I need a black cardigan/shrug that’s a little heavier than my stash of cotton ones I wear to work. It’s also a different shape, and I like that. The Wispy Cardi originally calls for a laceweight knit at about a sport weight gauge, but this is a heavier weight yarn than is required. I labor under the delusion that this will lengthen the life span of the sweater, since it will be knit a little more tightly and thus be more resistant to pilling. In reality, it has cashmere in it, so I have no right to expect anything of the sort. I still love it though. I’m not actually hugely enthused about knitting it, because, hello. Miles and miles of stockinette in black yarn? It’s not exactly going to be thrilling. But I think this will be a “knit while reading” project, which should make it okay.
Last, but most certainly not least, more Knit Picks! It’s the same color in both a worsted and a fingering weight yarn.. (And yes, I totally took advantage of their most recent sale on Palette.)
It’s a lovely dark ruby red, isn’t it? As an aside, I love heathered yarns, or very subtly variegated ones. I think that they add a lot of depth to a piece of knitwear, and it’s somehow more fun to knit than a solid color. It’s going to be another Norah Gaughan sweater (and another entry for Brooklyn Tweed too!) the Marshal sweater.
Don’t you love it??? I totally do. The pattern has you use the lighter weight yarn for the body, and then the heavier weight for Brioche stitch collar, cuffs, and pockets. I think that that is crazy brilliant. (Though if you’re at all familiar with Norah Gaughan’s designs, it’s not in the least surprising. That lady is clearly not thinking like the rest of us, and I like it.) You get a little extra coziness on your extremities, which is always a plus. However, this simply smashing sweater isn’t for everyone. I showed it to Greg, thinking that he would be as enthused about it as I was, and he just said “hmmmmm…” I asked his what his objections were to the sweater, and he said that they weren’t OBJECTIONS per se, but in his opinion, and I quote: “I think that if you wore that, you would look like a lesbian cat lady professor.” he paused for a moment “Not that I’m saying that that’s a bad look.” I laughed and laughed. I’m going to make it anyway. I think that it will be lovely in red, and perhaps he was moreso reacting to the very military-inspired palette of the photos.
So that’s it for the sweater madness friends! If you’ve stuck with me thus far, wow. I’m impressed. This has got to be one of my longest posts ever! I’ve actually reached over two thousand words, which is crazy! Who knew that I had so much to say about sweaters?? I’ve got a few more list-style blog entries percolating up in the old noodle, (Wow that was a weird phrase. But I can’t change it now, it amuses me too much.) and we’ll just have to see how long it takes me to get around to doing another. It’s funny, all of these pictures were taken out in the park by my house, and although quite a few people walked by (and a couple of them were completely unable to hide their curiosity) not ONE PERSON asked me what I was doing. They totally wanted to, but I think they were afraid of the answer. This tickles my funny bone immensely. Until next time!
Knitting friends, I think I’m in love.
But not with some mysterious stranger who has swept me off my feet (he would have to work EXTREMELY HARD to match the awesomeness that is Greg.) No, I’ve fallen in love with beaded knits.
Now I’ve seen them before, and always thought that they looked super snazzy. Adding a little bling to shawls seemed totally awesome. Especially dark colors with that hint of silver glitter like a night sky. Yum! But it seemed super difficult and time-consuming and I was just too intimidated. BUT THEN! My friend Rachel aka allnightknitter, a fellow knitting insomniac, sent me a voucher for Sundara Yarns that she had won in a contest. (aren’t you jealous??) I was THRILLED. I had long coveted the beautiful bright and saturated tonal colorways, but there was no way I could afford yarn that nice. However, with a pretty steep discount, I was able to snag two beautiful skeins of their sport weight merino yarn.
That green!! It has little glorious hints of turquoise too. Just divine. Once I opened the package with the yarn in it, I knew that it needed to be an enormous shawl. And it was so stunningly beautiful that I decided it needed beads. So I went hunting, and I found some that were a perfect match! They’d give a touch of glamorous glitter, but not so much that I would look like I had a bad run-in with the 80’s.
Some of them are even matte rather than sparkly!! They’re very exciting.
I searched endlessly for the perfect shawl pattern, but in the end I decided to do the Holden pattern again, but GIANT this time. I like shawls with a stockinette body and a reasonably easy lace border. I think they look a bit more modern than shawls with lace all over. Also, it was very easy to add beads to the lace, so it was good for a first project. Only mildly intimidating instead of insanely so :P
I knit this shawl while I was working on applications, because I wanted something that was REALLY nice to take the edge off the stress. Then I ran out of beads and couldn’t go get more for a while, so I started my Light and Up shawl, which also gets a lot of action around here. But eventually more beads were obtained, the shawl was finished, and then I had to figure out how to block this monstrosity. (The end result involved two towels on the ground and positioning it diagonally. It’s big.)
But now that I’ve blathered on about it for a significant amount of time, you want to see it, right? I figure I really owe you all pictures, because I wear it all the time. It’s beautiful, and the color fits perfectly into my wardrobe.
And now a closeup so you can actually see the beads I worked so hard on!
They’re really lovely and subtle, but they give it a fantastic weight and drape. I will definitely be using beads again. I already have yarn and beads for the next shawl, but that’s a story for another day. I used the crochet hook method for placing the beads, and I loved it. I most certainly do not have the patience to thread hundreds of beads onto the yarn before casting on the project. That sounds to me like a swift road to crazy town.
I only made a few small mods to the shawl. It’s not totally triangular. For the plain portion in the center, I increased four stitches on every right side row, and two on every wrong side row until I got to the correct stitch count to begin the lace. I find that doing that makes the ends you wrap around your neck longer, and I was worried that since this shawl was going to be a behemoth, the point would drape unattractively down to my crotch when worn in the front (which is really the only way I wear my shawls, so that was a non-starter.) I switched to the regular rate of increase when I got to the lace portion. It makes a subtle but positive difference to the shape of the shawl, and I think it helps it stay on my neck better. I also left off the picot bind off. I started doing it, but it looked strange and chunky in the sport weight yarn. I did a stretchy sewn bindoff in the style of Elizabeth Zimmerman instead. I love the edge this bindoff produces, so I almost always do it if the edge is going to be visible. It’s lovely and I like the scalloped edge just as much without the picots.
One last pic of me wearing it-I promise that I adore this shawl, I just look unhappy because it was far too cold outside when I took this pic. Spring has clearly not sprung in my neck of the woods.
This is how I always wear it, bunched up around my neck, and I love it. It’s huge and cozy! It keeps the chill out when I wear it under a coat, which has happened more often than I’d like lately. I love this project so much!! I didn’t want it to end, and usually I’m a total product knitter. The yarn was just so lovely to work with, and the beads were so much fun, and now I have something that I adore that I get to wear all the time!
I think that’s pretty much it! Until next time knitting friends <3
Hello once again friends! It’s a lovely Easter Sunday, and it makes me think of buds and leaves and new life. This is especially apt, as my dear friend Katica was given a lovely surprise on April Fool’s day. She was expecting a baby in May, but little Ema decided to play a prank on us all. She’s certainly early, but doing well. She has to stay in the hospital until she gains some weight, which is probably for the best because she doesn’t have any clothes that fit! Katica and her husband were quite sensible, and decided to purchase mostly clothes that would fit her a little while after she was born, since a lot of people stock up on newborn clothes that barely get worn. But surprise! She’s only about five pounds, and newborn clothes are too big. I was lucky enough to visit her and her mum in the hospital, and when I saw her tiny perfect self all wrapped up in the bassinet, something inside me just totally snapped. I’m just going to put this right out there. I love babies. I have no interest in having any of my own right now, because for one thing I believe you should have a pretty good handle on caring for yourself before you try to take care of someone else. (I also know myself well enough to know that if I have kids before I reach a certain point in my career, there’s no way I’ll be able to balance the two.) However, that means that I’m extra excited whenever any of my friends gets pregnant. It’s just thrilling to me. I love knitting for babies, I love how quick it is, and I love how adorable babies look in handknits. I love doing it because it’s certainly become less common, and thus it’s more special to the parents. Handknits are heirlooms, and in this world where everything is mass-produced and fast and disposable, they make an especially perfect welcome gift for a baby. That’s a long way of saying that I knit Ema some tiny preemie clothes.
The yarn I used is not machine washable (I know, scandalous) but I don’t think that really matters because these things are going to fit her for all of five minutes. It’s Luna Grey Fiber Arts Terra yarn in the Moss colorway (I think, the ball band is MIA.) It’s a lovely variegated green, which I chose after Greg reminded me that green was the main color in her nursery. I was thinking about doing something purple, but he was totally right to pick green. (Don’t tell him though :P)
The bootees I’ve actually knit before, they are the lovely Chaussons Mignons, and they’re definitely going to be one of my go-to patterns for babies. You knit an odd T shape, and then fold them up, sew some seams, and Voila! Adorable bootees that look like fortune cookies. They knit up super fast, and they are very very cute. I sized them down just a smidge for teensy feet, so they just flew!
The hat is the Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho, and I can say with certainty that she looks like a tiny gnome wearing it. (In the cutest possible way.) They didn’t have a size small enough for her little head, so I had to improvise a bit. It worked out though! Her mom ditched the hospital hat immediately, and now she’s wearing mine! It was stunningly cute, and a guaranteed way to get an entire roomful of adults cooing and making fools of themselves. It was awesome.
The sweater is Olivia’s Wrap Cardigan, but I didn’t knit the sleeves and I cropped it quite a bit. I didn’t want a full-length cardigan, but a cute little bolero. I also sized down the body from the newborn size by using smaller needles. I love how it came out!
The crazy thing is, all of these things took less than one ball of yarn. Insanity! I had a fair bit left too, probably 15-20 grams? Knitting this stuff was crazy fun. I still plan to make a few other things for when she’s bigger, (because her knitting was started but not finished. I wasn’t ready for her to be born!) and after that I’ll try to practice some restraint. We’ll see how that goes. She was born during a very cold spring here in Mass, and I’m thinking that she’ll need some cozy knits to cope with the chill. I need to start thinking about stuff for the other babies on my list though! Hopefully they’ll be born after a full term, but that means that they’re knits won’t be as insanely fast. Until next time friends!
So, I have to admit, I’m starting to get the appeal of hats as perfect quick projects. The instant gratification factor is astounding. I cast on a hat at 11 pm on Sunday, and by 9pm on Monday it was finished and drying after it’s bath. Tuesday I wore it!
So let’s back up. A few years ago I grabbed two skeins of 80% angora and 20% merino at the closing sale of A Good Yarn in Brookline *sniff* It was lovely yarn, but quite fuzzy, and I wasn’t sure what to do with about 200 yards of worsted weight angora. So it sat in my stash looking quite pretty.
I was reading through the archives of Ysolda Teague’s blog (what, you don’t do that with designers you like??) and I came across her Icing Swirl hat. I was smitten. It is just so terribly cute, slouchy and with swirling simple lace that has a lot of visual impact without being at all difficult to do. Now, the yarn weight was all wrong, but it needed a bulky weight and I had two strands of worsted weight.. I figured I could make it work. And I did!! I followed the pattern exactly as written for the larger size, but it was actually going to be too slouchy. So I did some extra decreases in the back (about six?) and slapped some ribbing on there so it would at least try to stay on my head. I did the SSK castoff and let me tell you guys, I LOVE IT. I sized up on needles to get a nice stretchy edge, and it worked a treat. It stays on my head, but slouches and looks super cute. It was fast and delightful and so fun. Also? I played some totally epic yarn chicken and won. This is how much was left when I was done.
No fooling. Maybe four inches left. Now I couldn’t find anyone to take pictures of me, so I took a bunch of selfies. I know that we hate selfies, and they’re silly, and all that jazz, but they’re a knitblogger’s best friend on occasion. So you’re just going to have to deal with it.
I think the hat goes very well with my turquoise skinny jeans and the dragonfly scarf from my mom :) Also, since I didn’t have the presence of mind to snap a pic of the back while I was outside in good light, you get instead a photo from indoors. But it will at least give you the right idea.
Isn’t that little knot in the middle super cute?? I love that little detail.
So a few specs. I knit this with Takhi yarns Jolie, 80% angora/20% merino. This yarn sheds like CRAZY. I think that’s probably why they discontinued it. There’s a light halo of angora over my entire apartment now, alas. However, I thought I’d try to minimize the shedding in the finished project, so when I blocked it I gave it a bath in warm water and agitated it for a good five minutes (just swirling it around I. the water.) I know you’re not supposed to do either of those things, but I did and it totally worked. The finished hat doesn’t shed at all, and I wore it with a black sweater, so believe me, I’d know :P I didn’t want to shrink it, just full it slightly so that the fibers would stick together. I now have something I’m totally happy with, and the agitation brought up an absolutely gorgeous halo.
I needed a happy little palette cleanser after that monkey sweater, and this for the bill perfectly. I love it!! And of course, this is me now.
Friends, I have been a knitting machine lately!! I have quite a few projects awaiting their turn for a photo shoot, as the weather has been singularly uncooperative in the last few weeks. The last you had heard from me, I had ditched all of my projects for a baby sweater.. and I’m happy to tell you that now it’s done! And it is insanely cute. It’s rare (at least for me) to have a project leap fully formed into my brain, and then be knit out of my brain in the exact way that I had imagined it. But, wonder of wonders, that’s exactly what happened with this sweater. I was organizing my yarn leftovers (I’m working on displaying them rather than having untidy half or quarter skeins lying around getting fuzz on them, but more on that later.) (as another aside, am I the only one who has a seemingly infinite amount of lint in their house? It’s got to be at least partially a byproduct of knitting and spinning, but I sweep, dust, and clean, and then MERE MOMENT LATER my entire apartment is once again covered in fuzz.) Wow that was a lot of digressions. Back to my story.
I was trying to organize my leftovers, when I realized that I had a lot of Berocco Ultra Alpaca in a very pleasing color palette. I had been mulling over the idea of a striped raglan cardigan in a baby size, but then I saw these balls of yarn together and I had an Idea.
I knew that the sweater would need wooden animal buttons, and my LYS (Stitch House in Dorchester, lovely store) totally had my back.
They are absurdly, wonderfully perfect. I know that some of you are all like “OMG you can’t give a baby a sweater made from non-superwash wool!” and the truth is, I know he’s going to drool on it, and get food on it, and all those things that small humans do. However, I have previously gifted two washable sweaters to my Aunt Chantal, Colson’s mum, and she refuses to put them in the washing machine anyway. She might as well get proper good wooly sweaters if that’s the case, just in my humble opinion. Dude, she’s got seven kids, and takes the time to handwash his knits. And he wears them all the time!! She mentioned over Christmas that his first sweater seems to resist getting dirty. That’s part of the magic of wool, though that one also has a touch of angora for extra cuddliness. There’s a reason why Colson gets the knits. His mom takes fantastic care of them and loves them, and he’s just about the cutest little nugget imaginable. So after all my blathering, want to see the sweater? Of course you do.
And naturally there must be a closeup of the all-important monkey buttons.
It’s quite a simple top-down raglan. I didn’t work from a pattern, just cast on and knit until things looked right to me. The shape is a pretty simple and classic one, and I got some sizing info for babies off the Internet so I could at least make sure my dimensions weren’t way off.
Now this came out a little big, because I was trying to use up all my yarn. I’m actually totally okay with that though. It’s more like a 2-3 year old size, and it’s a well known and oft-lamented fact that babies grow extremely fast. He will be wearing this in no time, although I wish I could get modeled shots sooner. I’m sure that they will be super cute when they do materialize. Now off to do more baby knitting, my friend Katica from the office is expecting her first on May 4th. You better believe I’ve been making ALL the Star Wars jokes. (For those who don’t get it, “May the Fourth be with you.”) Until next time peeps!
So remember how in my last post I was entirely enthused with my two current projects? I still love them with a deep affection, yet I added ANOTHER project to the rotation, and then knit on it almost exclusively for two weeks. (I’m still using the socks as travelling knitting.) Yup, dropped them for a vision of what could be, like a common trollop (of yarn and fiber only, just FYI.) Maybe I can justify myself by saying that the project isn’t even for ME. My baby cousin Colson is just too cute. I got this picture in am email..
Oh my god. Seriously, look at those cheeks! They’re so squishable! He also totally just chilled on my lap for all of Christmas break. He doesn’t cry, or fuss, or ANYTHING. Best baby ever y’all. So he deserves to be smothered in knitwear. (but not actually smothered. He lives in the MOUNTAINS you guys. It’s chilly there!) I kept kicking around the idea of an adorable striped sweater, in a green/blue/brown/cream color palette.
I also love using up scraps, because seriously, ain’t nobody got space for half balls of yarn in a studio apartment. So I had these Berocco ultra alpaca scraps, and I realized that they were basically the same as the yarn I kept putting in my cart at Knit Picks, with the advantage of being lovely and heathered. So project baby sweater was a go.
I also knew I wanted wood buttons of an animal variety, and Stitch House in Dorchester totally had my back!!
Utterly fabulous. So, consumed with the idea of what this sweater could become, I started knitting away. And peeps? I’m almost done.
This is my own made-up pattern. It’s a simple raglan with a built-in garter button band and slipped stitch selvedge, and it will have garter bands around the neck, cuffs and hem also.
It’s cute now, but once I get those monkey buttons on there it’s going to be over the top. I get a little cramp in my uterus just thinking about it. Baby knits are insanely adorable, I can’t even handle it. And I made this a little big, because that kid is growing like a weed. He’ll be old enough to give me attitude before I know it. *sigh* But he can’t talk yet, so his cuteness is unabated :P
Have a lovely day friends! I’ll see you next time :)
Today I’m going to talk about how much I love both of my current projects. The first one is from handspun yarn, and there’s always something a little extra special about yarn you spun yourself. It’s like getting the perfect present because you picked it out. Not only that, I finally am knitting a Hitchhiker scarf. It’s got over 18,000 projects on Ravelry, and that’s because it’s super crazy bonkers fun. Watching the strips of color emerge is oddly fascinating, in a dorky “I can’t wait to see what color is next!” kind of way. I’m knitting it out of my Malabrigo handspun in the Archangel colorway, which you may recognize if you follow me on Instagram.
The colors are beautiful, and since they change in pretty long repeats, they really lend themselves to the Hitchhiker pattern. Check it out!
Sorry about the lighting in these pics. I’ve been working late a lot, and so I don’t get any natural light for my photos most of the time. At least the days are starting to get noticeably longer now!
Isn’t the yarn knitting up beautifully? I just knit in a gold section and the whole time it made me happy. The whole scarf is making me think of a tropical sunset now, which is great, because there is no color in the world right now. At least not in Boston. I’m having to substitute the color in my knitting for the spring flowers that I really wish would show up. Seriously weather, it’s time to get the memo and start acting like spring.
My second project is not for me, though now that I’m knitting it I sortof wish it was. But alas, it’s for Greg (he generally deserves knitted love though.) I was scrolling through Instagram, when I saw a picture of one of Yarn Enabler’s crazy cool Socks that Look Like Stuff. (Not the official name, but it’s kindof her theme.) She’s got socks that look like No. 2 pencils, strawberries, Superman (with cape!), cupcakes, and a variety of fun and awesome stripy sock yarns (some of which is mine now, MUAHAHAHAHA) Here’s the link to her Etsy shop if you realized that you can no longer live without some of this sock yarn. Which I don’t recommend doing. Do you know that sometimes people who don’t have this yarn die? It’s true. I wouldn’t risk it if I were you.
Anyway, I got a little sidetracked by how nice the yarn is. (It’s super soft! I love it!) I was looking at an Instagram photo of one of her cool socks, and I happened to show it to Greg. He thought it was pretty interesting, but when I mentioned that she dyed watermelon sock yarn, (a green toe with a white stripe, and then the rest of the sock is pink with black flecks for seeds.) he was enthralled. He had to have it. (Greg’s got a thing about watermelons. He tried to steal the watermelon sock yarn I spun ages ago and he doesn’t even know how to knit.) I told him that he had several nice pairs of socks that I had knit him, and that he didn’t wear them terribly often, so I wasn’t going to knit him any more until it seemed like he was getting ample wear out of them. His explanation, however, cracked me up. He said that he couldn’t bring himself to wear them because he didn’t want them to get holes. They were pretty and he loved them, but OMG WHAT IF THEY WORE OUT and then he didn’t have them anymore?? I had to explain to him that that is the point of socks! I’ve made him so many things that won’t wear out, but once you make someone something that’s going to be around for a while you can’t make them another one. He’s got a super cool stuffed Link from Legend of Zelda, a Companion Cube from Portal, Gir from Invader Zim, and a tiny crocheted blue octopus. I can’t really make him any more stuffed animals. Socks are a good token of love simply because they will wear out. And when they do, I can make him another pair. Besides, it’s cold in Boston. He should be wearing the warmest socks that he has! So he promised to wear his handknit socks more and try not to freak out about them getting holes, and I? Well, see for yourself.
I’m almost to the heel :)
So, long blog silence huh?
I have been gone for a long time! It wasn’t really intentional, but I’ve been in the process of hearing back from the schools I applied to in the fall. I’ve gotten hosts of rejection letters, but that’s okay! I only need one of them to say yes. The waiting and the stress don’t do much for your creativity though. I have been knitting, but in more of a medicinal way rather than having tons of new ideas. I do have a few percolating, but they’re still in the primordial ooze of ideas. When they’re ready to come out into the world, you’ll see them, I promise :P
Now, on to the knitting content! I finished this utterly beautiful sweater for my mother. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but it ended up as a “month and a half after Christmas” gift instead. However, it fits, and it looks beautiful on her. Extra awesomely, she loves it!
Doesn’t it look great? It looks brown from far away, but close up it’s actually purple and green and tan. She wears a lot of brown, so it should be a good wardrobe staple for her. It’s a Wispy cardigan, and the yarn is Madelinetosh Prairie. It only took one skein! Wheeee! It took forever to knit. I don’t know why I didn’t immediately see that a laceweight sweater as a Christmas present was a losing game for sure, but my excuse is that my ability to logic was muddled by all my applications.
Now, on to spinning. I was spinning up some Cormo by Cottage on the Hudson, but it royally ticked me off so you don’t get pictures until my rage has abated. I was so excited to spin it, but the fiber was neppy and felted. SO MUCH HATE. I only had two ounces anyway, and I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time with the infuriating fiber. I figured I’d use it for an experiment since I wasn’t invested in how it turned out. I made a traditional 3 ply instead of the chain ply I normally do, and I have to admit that I liked the way it blended the colors. It was mostly green and red, and it came out looking a bit like a tartan, which can’t be a bad thing. It’s soft too, but I haven’t had this much trouble spinning anything since my very first project. Boo hiss. I have some other cormo in my stash, and the prep on that looks JUST FINE. I hate to give a bad review, but I bought this in person at Rhinebeck, and the lady who sold it to me shouldn’t have let me buy it. They were almost out of stock, but that’s no excuse for selling badly prepared fiber. She also assured me that the pin drafted roving would spin up easily. Whatever (liar.) I’m a pretty okay spinner, and this fiber made me doubt my own skills. It turned out okay, but unevenly, and it was super annoying to spin.
So after that I needed a happy palette cleanser. It was Hobbledehoy to the rescue, with a set of batts in the Starship colorway!!
Glorious, non? The colors are brilliant, and the texture contrasts are divine. It’s mostly merino, with stripes of black and turquoise tussah silk, and little blue sparkles throughout. It was crazy fun to spin. I tore it into strips roughly by color so that it wouldn’t get muddy.
And the final result was amazing.
This is actually about 800 yards total, of a sport weight single ply. It’s a little thick and thin, getting down to a laceweight in some spots, so I’m thinking shawl or scarf. I’m absolutely flabbergasted by the yardage. This was four ounces people! I just have to contemplate what pattern would best show off the color variation-I’m picky about yarns with big color contrasts. Input is always welcome! I’m in love with this, and now I’m already on to my next project!
Yum yum. It’s Hey Lady Hey superfine merino in the Laguna colorway. I linked to her new website, but she’s in the process of moving off etsy to her own digs, so check back later if you want to buy things. It’s soft as a newborn kitten, and a dream to spin! (I stayed up far too late last night working on it, that’s how I know.) See you next time friends!
I’m just popping in to share something exciting with you guys! I just released a new free pattern! Yay!
It’s for a fun and quick slouchy hat, and it’s great for using up those thick-and-thin handspun chunky yarns. The simple textured stitch in the pattern is emphasized by yarns that are slightly uneven. Spinners, if you are trying to figure out how to use up some of those early, lumpy bumpy yarns, I have a solution for you! I’ve had this waiting around forever, but it took me a while to actually write up the pattern. (Despite the fact that it’s super simple) Wanna see?
It uses a smidge under 200 yards of aran or chunky weight yarn, and knits up incredibly quickly. Mine went from start to finish in four hours! It would be a total lifesaver around Christmas, just sayin’.
It all started when I spun up a skein of thick-and-thin yarn from some merino/silk fiber I got from Three Waters Farm. It was soft, fluffy, and looked exactly like delicious cotton candy. I knew it wanted to be something to keep me warm in the winter, and eventually I decided to knit myself a cute hat with a giant pom-pom. (I sorta have a thing for pom-poms.)
The inspiration for this hat comes from one of my favorite shows, Adventure Time! It’s full of quirky and imaginative characters, but my favorite has to be Princess Bubblegum. She’s the princess of the Candy Kingdom, and she’s a strong, intelligent ruler who only occasionally gets a little crazy. Even better, she’s a scientist, constantly concocting important things in her lab. (I’m totally jealous of her lab.) She’s not afraid to be a big nerd, but she still manages to do everything in inimitable style. Add to the mix that she always wears pink, and the hat was destined to be named after her.
This pattern is free on Ravelry, (here’s the link!) and I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I do! This hat is beautifully warm, and you can either wear it as a slouchy hat, or fold the ribbing up so you get a double layer of warmth over your ears as well as a more fitted shape.
So far, all of my designs have been inspired by totally badass ladies real and fictional, and I’m really digging the theme. Wonder how long I’ll keep it up… Maybe forever! <3
This baby has been sitting around waiting for a finished object post for a LONG time. During the fall my life sortof exploded, and while I have been wearing it frequently, finding a person to model or take photos and enough daylight that you could actually see it seemed impossible. However, I forced my little brother to take pictures of me wearing it, so here you go :)
This is Caterpillar Green Yarn’s amazing self-striping shawl yarn. That means no weaving in ends, just perfectly even stripes showing up as you knit your triangular shawl. It’s incredible. I used the Boneyard Shawl pattern (free on Ravelry) placing the purl rows so that they would demarcate the colors perfectly. Not only is the idea remarkably clever, the yarn itself is a lovely treat. It’s merino, cashmere, and nylon, and it’s soft and strong at the same time. I adore it, and it’s fabulously warm too. It’s figured largely in my winter coping strategy this year. These are my three favorite colors, all combined beautifully. The shades are perfectly rich and saturated. It also matches my current favorite nail polish!
I have a problem though. I got to try this as a test knitter, but now I want it in every color. Or Peacock and Warm and Fuzzy at the very least. I’m entranced by this yarn. I must have more! However, it’s been sold out basically forever. I think I may have the Yarn Harlot to blame for that. She knit a shawl out of it, and she’s got a LOT of readers. People have gone bonkers for this yarn, and it is seriously impairing my ability to obtain more! I’m not even a big stripes person, and I’m totally obsessed. I may be stacking the deck against me even further by writing about it here.. Which makes me want to not publish it so I can hoard all the yarn for myself. But I won’t. Because that would be wrong.
I’ll finish up with a shot of how I normally wear it. Bunched up around my neck, filling in that gap at the top of my coat. (also I love how it matches my purple coat.)
So, moral of the story. This stuff is awesome. It’s like crack for knitters. (or potato chips, since I don’t think I can knit just one.) You should go buy some, but, you know. Save a skein or two for me.