800

Pardon my French, but holy balls, you guys!  This is my 800th post!

That’s a lot of posts.

That’s a lot of photos and a lot of knitting.  A lot of patterns (both my patterns and other peoples’ patterns), and even a bookI know I say it every time that I reach a milestone of one sort or another, but holy cow, you guys!  Thank you!  It’s insane to me that I’ve been at this for so long, and that people like what I’m saying enough to continue to follow along.

But here’s the thing.  I’m writing this from the past, in preparation for my maternity leave.  I still have my brain more-or-less in tact, and have been (usually) getting enough sleep, and I still have trouble coming up with new ideas for posts from time to time.

So, is there anything that you want to see?   More patterns?  Different patterns?  New tutorials?  More pictures of my dog? (That one’s easy.)Holler at your girl and let me know!  And let’s do another 800 posts! Woo!

An Update About Updates

In Monday‘s post, I mentioned that I was still “writing from the past,”  and I was- I finished the Papaya Sweater (and wrote that post) about three weeks ago.  I also mentioned that “by the time you read this post, I should be less pregnant.”

Well, I’m writing this on Tuesday, and I am not less pregnant.  I didn’t think it was possible, but I am in fact more pregnant.  I am almost a week past my due date, and my kid seems determined to stay put until he finishes high school.

But, by the time you read this, I should have had my baby (for some reason, my doctor seems to think that staying pregnant for the next 18+ years is not a great idea… I can’t imagine why), and I will officially be on parental leave!  Exciting!

But what does that mean for the blog?  It means that I’m going to be cutting down posts to once a week (on Monday mornings).  I’ve already got a nice buffer built up, and should have enough posts to carry me through until the beginning of summer at a once/week schedule.  I’ve also got some plans for easy projects that I can start working on when the little one is sleeping (that’s a totally reasonable thing to expect… right? I’ve heard that babies are totally great at sleeping), so you might get a couple extra posts and updates here and there, outside of the usual once-a-week schedule.Also, if you have questions about anything (via email, or through the comments section), just know my response time is going to be a little slow, but I’ll still try to do my best to check in every couple days.

I’m a little sad to be cutting back on my blog time (and my knitting time!), but I’m so excited to get started on this next big project!  Parenthood is going to be interesting!

Wish me luck!

FINISHED!!!!

I did it!  I kind of didn’t think I ever would, but I’ve proved myself wrong!

I finished the Papaya Sweater!  It only took me six and a half months, but I did it!

Now, before I show you the “finished” pictures, I want to show you this:This is literally all the yarn that was leftover from the original 11 skeins.  I managed to call it perfectly.  I finished binding off, and had about 4 feet of yarn left (plus little bits and bobs from the other parts of the sweater), so I didn’t even have to really play yarn chicken.  So satisfying!

Anyway, you want to see the finished sweater!

It turned out really great!  It’s blocked up nice and drapey and comfy.  The sleeves are the perfect length, and the fabric is a nice medium-thickness, not so thin that it will have trouble keeping me warm, and not so thick that I’ll start sweating the moment I put it on. It’s going to be a perfect transitional piece, which is exactly what you want for Seattle.  Not too warm and not too cold.

(FYI, I’m writing this from the past, so I’m super duper pregnant in these pictures… hopefully as you are reading his, I will be less pregnant.  Fingers crossed!)

Anyway, here she is in all her papaya-y glory:I even love the big plain back- it ended up being a really flattering length on me (not that I really planned it that way- I just stopped knitting when I was about to run out of yarn).  It’s not fancy, but I can see myself wearing it for a really long time.I like that it’s open, without any fastenings, but I could totally see fancying it up with a shawl pin, or maybe adding a button or something, if I decide I need to be able to close it up.Whoo!  It feels great to be done with such a big project!

But, now, I guess I have to figure out what to do next.

Have you finished anything lately?

Yarn Spotlight: Provincial Tweed

I’m almost done with my Papaya Sweater!  I’ve only got one skein left to go!  Woo!

And, since I’ve spent the last month or so finishing off all my WIPs, I think I’m just about ready to start a new project. I can’t wait!  (Though I have very little idea of what I want to do next!)

I’ve got a big bag of some lovely new Knit Picks yarn calling my name.  (Full disclosure, this yarn was a gift to me from my friends at Knit Picks.)

I’ve got 10 skeins of their new tweedy worsted yarn, Provincial Tweed.It’s a surprisingly soft superwash highland wool that comes in a range of jewel-tone-y colors.  Usually highland wool is a little itchier- great for outerwear, but not something you want up against your skin, but they’ve done something with this yarn to make it super smooth and cozy.  Plus, each colorway features a two-toned marled effect (both plies of the yarn are different tones of the same color), which should give anything worked up with this yarn a really nice depth.

And, of course, they’ve added in a healthy dose of Donegal tweed!  I’m always a sucker for  tweed.

The yarn that I have in my stash is the lovely colorway, Frozen Pond, a really nice muted sapphire color with little pops of turmeric and plum tweedy bits.  I’m looking forward to winding up the skeins into balls and knitting up a swatch.  From the feel of the yarn, I think the fabric will be nice and sturdy (though I could be wrong).  I’m currently thinking of doing something with cables or other texture, but I’ll have to see how it knits up.  (Plus, I’m thinking cables might be a bit much for me in the coming weeks…  eep!)

What would you do with this yarn?

She Could Go All The Waaaaaay!

It’s happening, guys!  I think it’s really happening!

I think I might be able to finish my Papaya Sweater!

It’s got sleeves now!Sure, they’re not the slim, fitted sleeves that I had originally envisioned, but that’s OK.  Frankly, there’s no way at this point that I’m going to go back and rip out all that work.  There are worse things than a sweater having slightly oversized sleeves.  And, if I’m being honest, they’re not really “oversized” they’re just not closely fitted.  They’re definitely one of those “mistakes” that only the knitter herself will notice.  (And now, you’ll notice too, since I told you about them.  Oops.)I’ve even got the body to about 13 inches long!  That’s about waist-length on me, so I know I’m getting close!  I’ve got two and a half balls of yarn left, and each ball of yarn adds 3-ish inches of sweater, so I should (assuming I did my estimating/math right) end up with a 20-inch-ish long body on this sweater, which sounds perfect and cozy!Now I just need to find a new TV show to binge-watch as I finish off this bad boy!

Have you made any headway on your big projects lately?

Bears in the Air (Finally!)

I’ve been a little preoccupied, lately (surprise surprise), so it’s taken me a couple weeks to realize that, even though I finished off all my bears at the end of the Olympics, I still hadn’t sent them in.

It doesn’t matter how many bears you finish, they’re not doing anyone any good, if they’re just sitting in a box in my studio.

So, I dug through my stash of old boxes (what?  Don’t you have a stash of old boxes, too?  Am I a weird hoarder?), and found one that was just the right size for me to smoosh in all of my bears.I added a little note, plus shipping and handling to help the bears get where they are needed, and slapped a big old shipping label on the top (complete with poorly-drawn teddy bear faces- there’s a reason I’m a knitter and not an illustrator).  Now, I’m off to the post office!  I feel  a little bad for repeatedly forgetting about these guys, but I’m glad they’re finally on their way!

Have you finished any charity knitting lately?

On My Sleeve

It’s happening!  I’m actually doing it!

The sun is shining a little bit brighter and the birds are singing a little bit louder!

It’s a new era!

The Papaya Sweater has half a sleeve!It’s so exciting to finally be making headway on this project- I’m actually starting to believe that I will finish it at some time in the next decade.

Unfortunately, the sleeve is a little less tapered than I initially envisioned/hoped for.  But, I can’t bring myself to rip out those precious inches of sleeve and re-knit them at a faster rate of decrease.  I’ll just let it go, and hope it’ll block out. After all, that kind of “mistake” is never something that other people notice, it’s something that only the knitter herself picks up on.

Are you making any headway on any of your projects?

Pattern: Socks for Everybody

I’ve got a heck of a surprise for you guys!

It’s big news!  Exciting news!  Guess what?!

I wrote a book!Look at that!  It’s got my name on the cover and everything!

It’s a super-comprehensive “how to knit socks” book!The book is basically one big old recipe for making socks of every possible variety.  You want to make top-down socks with cables? Covered.  Want to make toe-up socks with stripes? No problem. Are you thinking about baby socks with afterthought heels? Done.

Socks For Everybody is a big a la carte instruction book that lets you make any sized socks using any yarn you prefer with any heel/toe/cuff/design combo you want.

I’ve included tons of tutorials detailing how to get through the trickier parts of sock construction (with lots of beautiful pictures to help you on your way), making this book perfect for people who have never quite gotten up the guts to try sock knitting before.Sure, this book is great for people who are new to the amazing world of sock knitting, but it’s also great for experienced sock knitters who are looking for help with designing their own socks.  I’ve included instructions on custom-fitting socks to your feet (and your yarn), as well as tips on picking the right heel/toe combo and design elements.I think this book has the potential to become a great resource for any sock knitter- a book that you can come back to again and again, whenever you need a new, customized pattern for that next pair of socks.I’m super happy with how this book turned out, and I really hope that you guys are as excited about it as I am.

If you want your own copy of Socks for Everybody, head over to Knit Picks.  (Or, if you prefer an e-book, follow this link.)

Inspiration: Spring Showers

Seattle’s trying doggedly to turn the corner into spring over the last few weeks.  It’s been warming up (sorta), and we’ve even been having little spurts of sunny weather.  The daffodils are desperately trying to bloom, and the tulips are struggling to recover after the cold snap and snow we got a few weeks ago.  It’s just about time, too, since tomorrow is the first day of spring!  (At least according to the calendar.)

And, of course, since it’s Seattle, we’ve been having lots and lots (and lots) of spring rain.  We’ve had light drizzles, intermittent showers, and little drips.  It’s poured, we’ve lived with days of low, overcast skies, and steady drenching rain.  In other words- it’s real wet around here.

So let’s celebrate those spring showers (and hopefully the flowers that will soon follow) and look at some lovely, rainy knitting projects.

I really like how the open, drape-y front reminds me of water cascading down a mountain stream.  Plus (and this isn’t rain-related) the interesting short-row construction on the front of this sweater is super cool!

Chance of Showers by Heidi KirrmaierThis lovely lacey scarf is too cute!  The all-over lace pattern is beautiful, and reminds me of a cross between raindrops and snowdrops- perfect for this time of year!

April Showers Scarf by Purl SohoThis is another lovely spring-y cardigan.  I love a sweater with interesting details in unexpected places, and the gorgeous lace panel on the back of this cardigan is just to die for.  I could definitely see myself wearing a sweater like this some time this spring (OK, maybe a little later this spring, it’s still a little chilly).

Rocio by Joji LocatelliHow’s spring progressing in your neck of the woods?

Socks from Mom

I suppose it’s no surprise that my mom is excited about the upcoming addition to our family (the baby that is currently practicing some bizarre combo of karate and gymnastics in my belly).  My kid is going to be the first grandbaby on both my side of the family and my husband’s, so you know he’s already getting plenty of attention.

My mom’s a knitter, and her excitement is being expressed in a way that I think we can all relate to- she’s knitting up a storm!

And her preferred item to knit for babies is socks.  Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of socks.

She brought the baby a big box of hand-knit socks and booties over Thanksgiving, and sent more for Christmas.  She came to visit a couple weeks ago for the baby shower, and brought along even more socks!  I tell you- this baby’s going to have the toastiest feet in Seattle!

I love all the socks, because, well, hand-knit socks are the best!  but there are a couple pairs that I think are particularly lovely.

These rainbow booties are too cute!  I mean, look at that adorable drawstring!And these teensy blue slippers!  Mom thinks they won’t stay on the baby’s feet, but by God, I’m going to try to keep them on.  I mean- look at those pompoms!These white and blue gradient socks are so lovely, I wish I had a matching pair.And these boots are just gorgeous (though I think the baby will have to grow up a little bit before he can fit into them).  I love the contrasting garter stitch soles- how cozy!My mom’s definitely got some mad sock-making skills, if I say so myself.  And my baby’s definitely  a lucky little dude.

Do you have a go-to baby project?