Cruising Along

I’m making headway with my Soldotna Crop, and I have to say, I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out.

I was concerned about the pinkness of the pink and the purpleness of the purple in the yoke.  (It’s really a crazy amount of super bold color-work, and I admit that by the end of it, I was starting to get nervous.)  But, now that I’m chugging along with the body, I really like the contrast between the bold, colorful top and the understated body.  Though, if I’m being honest, I kind of never want to do a “field of dots” sweater ever again. It’s just enough color-work to be a pain, but not enough to be exciting. (It does look nice, though…)

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I took a break from the body last night, and worked up the “sleeves.” I don’t think I’ve ever finished both sleeves on a sweater in one sitting (even a baby sweater).  This was really just an inch or so of ribbing- super simple and satisfying.  Now I think that all sweaters should have short sleeves!

I can’t wait for this thing to be finished and blocked (and those ends to be woven in… ugh).

But then I’ll have to figure out what to wear with it… That’ll be the tricky part.

Knitting Along

Ya’ll, this pattern is fun!  It’s been a minute since I did anything with this much color-work and I’m enjoying it thoroughly.

While last time I made a big deal about following someone else’s pattern and not doing any of my own math, I must admit I cheated a little bit.  I’d heard people complaining about the neck/short row situation on this sweater, so I changed it up a little.  Instead of working 7 rows of ribbing for the collar, I did 5. And instead of doing 5 sets of short rows, I did 3.  I think it’ll do nicely.  No turtleneck here!IMG_1943.JPGAnd I think I’m liking how these colors are playing together for the most part.  There’s still a part of me that’s a little skeptical of the pink-yellow variegated, but I think that’s because it’s just so far outside of the colors I usually pick.  And, I am a little concerned about the contrast between the pink and the gray in the big “arrow” section of the yoke.  (Though, honestly this picture makes it look pretty nice.  It’s a little less clear in real life.)IMG_1936.JPGI’m almost to the end of the yoke, which is both exciting (yay! I’m that much closer to finishing), and a little sad (boo! I’m that much closer to finishing).  It’s a fun little project, and with no sleeves and not much body to knit, it’ll be done before I know it.

What do you think of the colors?  I think I like them, but I’m still on the fence a bit.

 

Starting Something New!

I’m really excited about this one, folks!  I’m starting a new project, which is always fun, but this time there are a few reasons I’m especially pumped:

  1. It’s for me!
  2. It’s not for work!
  3. It’s a pre-existing pattern (no math!).
  4. It’s going to be made from yarn that I bought explicitly for this project.  No stashbusting!
  5. It’s going to be super cute!

That’s right, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and making myself a Soldotna Crop (though I think mine won’t be quite as cropped as the pattern suggests; I’m pretty tall and don’t own any high-waisted jeans).

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I’m using Tosh DK in four colors that I spent wayyy too much time picking out.  madelinetosh is one of my absolute favorite dyers.  I love the subtle variation they get in their semi-solids and the saturated colors in their variegated yarns.  I haven’t actually worked with her DK weight before, but I’m looking forward to it.  It’s a nice dense yarn, and super soft, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be too prone to pilling (or at least that’s what it feels like).IMG_1919

The colors I picked were Undergrowth (a dreamy blue-green for the main color), Raspberry Cordial (a jammy purple with hints of fuchsia), Tern (a soft purple-y gray), and Texas Tulips (an insane (for me) pink/yellow/green variegated that is something that I would never normally have picked, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time… we’ll see how it looks).

It feels kind of decadent to be making a whole sweater for myself, just because I want to, in fancy new yarn that I picked out specifically for this project.  I kind of love it.

(I really hope that pink color ends up working…. it’s very un-me.)

I’m going to go get this yarn wound up right away and start knitting.  Whoo!

When’s the last time you did some selfish knitting?

Pattern: Truly Everyday Socks

Time for another new pattern!  It’s one that’s dear to my heart (or feet). And it’s in Knit Picks’ newest collection: Simply Socks, which is all about those socks you want to knit again and again and wear every day.75339D

These are my Truly Everyday Socks.  If you’re related to me, they’re probably really familiar to you, because I’ve been making them for years and have been given out on more than one Christmas morning.YPxPiMmk
They’re a super-simple top-down sock with 2×2 ribbing at the top, a turned, reinforced heel and nice, neat toe.  I’ve covered the leg and instep with a really simple knit/purl basket-weave pattern that you’ll be able to memorize before you’re even an inch into the first sock. RG62pByRI love these socks.  I’ve made probably a dozen pairs using this basic pattern over the years.  They’re unisex and utilitarian, but not boring (to wear or knit), and could easily be sized up or down.  Plus, they’re a great way to show off that special skein of hand-dyed yarn you’ve got squirreled away.

Head over to Knit Picks and pick up a copy of my Truly Everyday Socks, and make yourself a pair (or twelve).

Pattern: Parkside Throw

I know you’re probably tired of hearing about this gosh dang blanket, but I am so stinking proud of how it turned out that you’re going to have to hear me out once more.  But this time, I promise I’ll make it worth your time.

Because I wrote up the pattern, and here it is for free!

IMG_1902This blanket was so fun to work on (sure it took forever, but It wasn’t the bad kind of forever)!  It’s a simple 2-row repeat (and one of those rows is just knitting), so it’s perfect tv knitting. It’s a great way to really indulge in your favorite worsted/dk yarn (though I highly recommend trying the madelinetosh Farm Twist– it was an absolute delight). IMG_1895 The simple pattern of the blanket lends itself to all manner of interesting stripe combinations.  I like the simple asymmetric scheme I’ve got here, but you could do even stripes all the way up, random stripes with scrap yarn, or maybe a big old rainbow!  How fun would that be?IMG_1848_adjustedAs written, the Parkside Throw is a generously-sized throw blanket, big enough for two to snuggle up with on the couch (or big enough for a single blanket-hog), but the pattern could easily be modified.  Add more pattern repeats for a larger bed-sized blanket, or reduce the number for a baby blanket or lap warmer.

And, if you start now, it’ll be big enough to snuggle up under by the time the weather starts to cool down.

Get the free pattern here!

Parkside Throw Pattern

It’sdoneit’sdoneit’sdone!

I’m so freaking stoked about this!  THE BLANKET IS DONE!!

This is fantastic for 3 reasons:

  1. I’m only about a month late!
  2. I’m DONE and get to start new projects!
  3. It turned out so good!

I mean, look at this bad boy:IMG_1902Glamour shot!IMG_1895I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.  It’s warm and squishy and the colors are freaking gorgeous (and really hard to capture.  The black has undertones of green and navy and ash gray, and the yellow is golden with touches of copper.  So gorgeous). IMG_1859It was actually a really simple pattern (which I have plans of writing up for y’all), just a lot of knitting.  I love that kind of pattern- simple enough for anyone to work up, but with a real impact when it’s done.  Honestly, the hardest part was finding a space big enough (and away from the baby and the dog) to block the dang thing!IMG_1890_adjusted

Phew! Now I think it’s time to make something little.

A New Season, a New Sweater and a New Silhouette

I am *this* close to finishing my brother’s wedding blanket (and only about a month late… so not too bad), which means it’s time for me to start planning my next project.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. I want to make something for myself.  Just about all my knitting for the last year or so has been for work, or for someone else (mostly the kid, so I can’t complain too much).  And, while I like knitting for other people, I feel like it’s time for me to do a little selfish knitting.
  2. I think I want a new sweater.  And not just the same plain pullover I’ve made myself thirty-seven times.  I love a nice plain pullover, but I’m feeling an itch to try something new. Right now I’m thinking about doing some color-work.
  3. I don’t want to design it.  I want to follow someone else’s pattern.  I don’t want to figure out charts or do a whole bunch of math.  I just want to sit down with a tried-and-true pattern and just go to town. I might not even make a swatch. (I know… heresy.)
  4. I want this sweater to be a little trendier and girlier than I usually go.  My usual style is basic, almost unisex, straight-ahead.  I want to do something a little more interesting and fashionable.
  5. And, if this pattern could take less than thirteen years, that would be appreciated.

So, after a long troll through Ravelry, I’ve come up with some ideas, and I need your input to decide what to do. (Though, fair warning, I might decide to do a completely different project and come back here next week with a half-knitted squid or something).

I think I like the idea of making a sweater with a cropped-yet-oversized silhouette.  It seems like it would be flattering.  Or maybe not?  I’m not sure.  It’s very different from what I usually wear, but maybe that’s the point?

This sweater could be knit with long sleeves or without, to make a sleeveless summer sweater.  But maybe it’s too simple?  Other than the silhouette, it’s not that different from my usual knits.  Lots and lots of stockinette.

Aqua by Trin-Annelieaqua_015.jpg

This sweater has a very similar shape- real boxy and simple, but I like the ribbing detail across the shoulder and the color-work at the bottom.

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Speaking of color-work, I’ve been ogling everyone’s Soldotnas.  And I do mean everyone,  there have been more than 2000 of them added to Ravelry.  I really like the color-work yoke (and I do like a yoked sweater), but for some reason the combination of the yoke and the cropped length seems a little less flattering to me than the boxier dropped-shoulder sweaters. But maybe I’m just crazy?

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Or, I could just go along with the cool kids and make myself a Shifty.  I love the color-work/mosaic-knit fabric, and I have an idea for what yarn I’d substitute. (Spincycle is lovely, but I don’t want my sweater to cost three thousand dollars.) I just wonder if this sweater is a little too close to my usual sweater, if I’m trying to make something new.

Shifty by Andrea MowryIMG_1227_medium2

I guess I’ll just have to keep thinking as I finish up the last few rows of that dang wedding blanket.

And no matter what I pick, I guess I’m going to have to get myself some high-waisted jeans or a couple linen dresses to go with my new cropped sweater.

Which sweater do you like best?

Off my needles

Woo!  I finished!

God, it feels good to finish a project.  It’s been a while.  I’ve been working on that dang wedding blanket for my (now married) brother for what feels like a decade, and before that, I was working on a sweater for my husband that I ended up setting aside because I am an insane person who decided that knitting a full-on men’s sweater on US3’s was a good idea.

So, it’s been a minute since I was able to weave in that last end, break out the blocking boards and say “I’m officially done!”

And I’m here to say, “I’m officially done!”  With this baby sweater.IMG_1840

I mean, look at this kid.  He’s looking dapper in his little tweed sweater that’s still a bit big for him, which is great- it should be just about perfect in the fall.  (Don’t mind the fat lip.  He’s trying really hard to learn how to walk, and had a little run-in with gravity the other day.  It looks worse than it is.)

I really enjoyed this pattern- Flax Light is real simple, and a nice quick project that used up a couple leftover skeins of Knit Picks Provinicial Tweed. (It’s marketed as a worsted, but knits up like a sport or a DK, so it was pretty perfect for this pattern.) I love that Tin Can Knits grades all their sweaters from baby to big adult, which means that I can make more Flaxes for the kiddo as he grows up. (And maybe matching ones for my husband and I?  Though, that might be a little much, even for me.)IMG_1823

One thing that was odd, though, was the lack of a front/back in this pattern.  No short rows at the back of the neck or stitches bound off at the front.   It’s the second time I knitted a sweater for the kid that didn’t have a specific front/back.  I wonder if it’s a baby-sweater thing, or something that I just haven’t run into until recently.

Have you finished anything lately?

Not So Magic

I’m cruising along with my little Flax Light.  (It’s a refreshing change from gigantic sweaters and blankets, but it’s a little sad that it’s so much bigger than the kiddo’s other sweaters… Slow down, little dude!)

I worked up the ribbed hem and bound off the body while watching last week’s episode of The Bachelorette.  (Not the show I’m proudest of, but you gotta have something silly to watch from time to time.)  The sweater is turning out so cute!  I love the little shoulders and the neat little hem.  And this color is going to be so flattering on the kid.IMG_1798I still had a half-hour left of my show, so I decided to grab some DPNs and get to work on the sleeves.  But horror of horrors, apparently I don’t have any US6 DPNs.  I’ve got 3 sets of 5’s, 2 sets of 7’s, and just about any other size I could want, but not a 6 in sight.  How does this happen?  I’ve been knitting for more than two thirds of my life. Why don’t I have any 6’s?

But, no fear, I can rally.  I’m a knitter and knitters are nothing if not resourceful.  I pulled out one of my long US6 circulars to start doing magic loop.  Sure, I wasn’t a fan of it years ago when I tried it last, but maybe I’ve matured as a knitter.  Maybe I’m open to other ways of knitting.  Maybe it’s after 9 and JoAnn’s is closed and I have no other choice.IMG_1808Well, I made it about a half an inch before giving up.  Good God, magic loop is annoying.  The more power to you, if that’s what works for you.  I’m glad there are different techniques for different people, but this one is definitely not for me.  I don’t know why, but there is something that just drives me up the wall about wrangling that big old cable, and futzing with moving my stitches back and forth.  Maybe there’s some “flow” thing that I’m just not getting, but at least for now, nope.  Magic loop is definitely not for me.

I guess I’m taking a trip to the craft store this afternoon.

Are there any techniques that you just can’t stand?  Have you ever tried something new  and “noped” right out of there?

New Pattern (s)! Dishcloth Madness!

OK, maybe not madness, per se, but I’ve somehow fallen behind on telling you about my new patterns.  (I know… heresy!)

I’ve got two brand-new, free patterns with Knit Picks that I’d like to share with you.  Technically, they call for Knit Picks’ Dishie yarn, but really, you could use whatever dishcloth cotton you’ve got laying around. (Though, Dishie is actually really nice for washcloths.)

Pattern the first!

It’s the Twined Dishcloth!  Super classy, super classic.  This bad boy would look great in just about anyone’s kitchen.  It’s a great way to practice cables, and/or reading a chart. I love using dishcloths as a low-pressure way to practice new stitches.  I might not want to try a new technique as part of a big old sweater that might not turn out.  But, a dishcloth is going to be useful, even if it doesn’t turn out how I imagine it in my head.Twined Dishcloth

And second, it’s the Mitered Quarters Dishcloth.  Is it mitered? No.  Is it divided into quarters? No.  Am I bad at naming things? Yes.

But, despite the dumb name, it’s a cute little dishcloth- very modern and sleek (or as sleek as a dishcloth ever is).  If the Twined dishcloth is a great way to try working cables, this guy is a great way to try working short rows.  You cast on on the long side of the green section, then work short rows all the way to the tip of the light gray section, then work longer and longer rows until you get to the bottom of the blue section and bind off.  (Trust me, it makes sense once you’re doing it.)  And, it’s a great way to use up those little balls of yarn that are too big to throw away, but too small to really do anything with.Mitered Quarters Dishcloth

I love when I realize that I have a pattern coming out- sharing my patterns with you all is the best, and even better when I suddenly have two to share! I hope you enjoy them, too!

Do you ever make dishcloths?  What’s your favorite dishcloth pattern?