Monthly Archives: January 2023

New Favorite

I just love the feeling of making a new project and immediately knowing that that item is going to be a favorite for years. It’s been a minute since I finished a project on such a high note, and I’ve gotta say, it feels good to experience this again.

I finished my alpaca hat this week- I didn’t even wait to block it before popping it on my head and going about my day. It’s soft, warm and cozy, but still feels fancy. I made the brim super long, so I have options about how I can wear it. I can fold it up higher for warmer days, and wear it right down over my ears when it’s chilly. I love the dark, chocolate brown and the simplicity of the design. It’s an incredibly simple hat, and in its simplicity, it’s ultra-versatile.

In fact, I’m considering writing it up as a pattern. Would that be something you’d be interested in?

Of course, I still can’t take a non-awkward picture of myself to save my life, so this one will have to do.

Have you been really pleased with any of your recent projects?

Buying yarn

I have been thinking about why I’ve been so uninspired by my knitting recently, and what I can do to help turn that around in the new year. And I realized something. I haven’t bought any new yarn since Covid started- almost 3 years ago. I bought a little new yarn when I made the stocking for my little kid (before he was born, 2 years ago). And I bought an extra skein to add to my big kid’s stashbusting sweater this summer. But that’s it. And I ordered them online.

All that’s to say, I was looking at my dwindling stash and I found what I thought was enough yarn for a sweater for my little kid- 1 whole and 2 half-skeins of Berroco Vintage, which made me decide to make a Ben sweater for my little guy. It’s one of my favorite sweaters- I made one for my husband right after we got married years ago, and since then it’s “mysteriously” ended up in my wardrobe. Funny how that happens.

I did a little swatch on smaller-than-called-for needles and measured a bit of the gauge, then ripped it out- I knew I was going to need every last inch if I wanted to make my 2-year-old an entire sweater. I did a bunch of math, and sketched out a simplified, toddler-sized version of the Ben sweater.

I was just about ready to cast on, when I realized two things: 1. There’s no way I have enough yarn for even a toddler sweater- it’s less than 200g, with both colors combined. Maybe enough for a newborn sweater, but not enough for my “robust” 2-year-old. And 2. I want to buy some new yarn!

So I called over my little guy and asked him what color he wanted, to which he of course said “Geen!” (Green is literally the only color he knows, luckily he looks great in green.) And I ordered myself some new yarn! I picked out “Okra,” this cheerful heathered “geen” colorway.

Now I get to wait impatiently for the yarn to come in the mail and I get to start working on my little guy’s sweater. I’m so excited!

What’s the last yarn that you’ve bought for yourself?

Alone

You guys. I’m all alone in the house! It’s amazing. It’s so quiet. I’ve got a new knitting project and a plan to put on a TV show (that isn’t Paw Patrol).

It’s been a while since I was all alone in the house. Between me being a stay-at-home parent and my husband working from home, plus two little kids who aren’t in school yet, time alone is a rarity.

And if time alone is rare enough, time without the kids when I’m awake enough to actually work on something is rarer still. If I’m being honest, I usually pass out in front of the TV or zone out, scrolling Instagram as soon as the kids are down.

All that’s to say, it’s no wonder I haven’t been that excited about knitting for the last little bit. But today it changes! If only for a couple hours.

I’ve busted out my fanciest skein of yarn from my stash and started working on a top-down watch cap so I can use every last inch. It’s a chocolate-brown single-source alpaca that I bought more than ten years ago from a local alpaca farm, which has since gone out of business. But, if I remember correctly, the alpaca that it came from was named Electra, and she was very cute. It’s so soft, and so warm- such a luxurious yarn that I’ve never been able to bring myself to work on it. Which is a shame! Why have fancy yarn if you’re not going to use it?

Anyway, I’m going to head out. I’ve got a true crime documentary calling my name, and some coffee to drink while it’s still hot.

What do you like to knit when you’re treating yourself?

Big Mending

I guess I’m on a mending streak here. My dad was in town a few weeks ago, and he brought his favorite sweater with him. (Hi Dad!) Halfway through the visit he showed me the elbows on his sweater, and they were… disreputable. But, that’s what happens when you wear a sweater every day for years. (Even if you put leather elbow patches on it.)

Elbow 1- Bad.

Elbow 2- Very bad.

He asked me if it was fixable, and I said yes, of course! But after a little investigating I realized that even if I was very careful, the holes/runs were so big that no matter what I did, wouldn’t be invisible. But Dad said that he didn’t mind, and in fact, he asked me to use bright red yarn to fix it! I love a little bit of visible mending, so I got to work.

I used a crochet hook to fix the bigger runs (again, not perfectly- the sweater was commercially made, so I didn’t have the ability to completely match the knitted pattern), then brought in the red yarn.

I picked up stitches along the bottom edge of the holes, and started working back and forth in stockinette stitch. Every RS row, I picked up a stitch from the sweater at the beginning and end of the row (and sometimes in the middle, too), and worked a K2tog with the red and the gray yarns.

The K2togs allowed me to attach the patches as I was knitting them, so there wasn’t any sewing! And, as a bonus, it let me increase and decrease the size of the patches to pretty precisely cover the thin parts of the sweater.

Is it perfect? Not exactly. But I do love the cozy charm of a well-worn and well-patched sweater. And Dad will (hopefully!) get to keep wearing his sweater for years to come.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve mended?