Category Archives: On My Needles

Off My Needles

I did it! Finally! I honestly didn’t know if it was going to happen.

I finally finished my socks.

That’s right. They’re done. I’ve Kitchener-ed the toes and woven in the tails. True, I haven’t blocked them yet, but frankly, I may never do that. We’ll see. They’re still wearable as-is.

I really like how they turned out, and I enjoyed dipping my toes back in the sock-water (ha!). It’s been nice to go back to my roots. I didn’t start knitting with socks, of course, but they were my first real love. I went on a tear for several years, basically knitting nothing but socks. Now, all my socks from those days are worn out and holey. Maybe it’s time to get back on that sock horse. (If that’s a thing.)

What was your first knitting love? Do you ever go back?

Sisters, not twins

One thing that I like about knitting (more than crochet or painting or other mediums (media?)) is that I can get super exact about it. I know that I can exactly replicate a pattern, or make two sleeves precisely the same, or knit a pair of socks that 100% match.

Well, mostly. If I’m paying attention. Which I wasn’t doing when I started the second sock of this pair.

Oops.

But, honestly, it’s really just a “me” mistake. It’s hard to notice even in this picture, when I know what to look for and am looking straight at it. (The stripe pattern is a few rows off… truly not a big deal, but I just noticed it and now it’s the only thing I can think about.)

Sure, it’ll bug me every time I put these socks on, but I’m the only one who will notice. After all, what’s a few rows in the grand scheme of things?

Or maybe I should just rip it back and try again?

No. That would be ridiculous.

Or would it?

What’s the silliest “mistake” you went back and corrected?

Oh, hi socks!

Y’all. I realize this is kind of a dumb thing for me to say. After all, I literally wrote the book on it. But…

Socks are fun?!

Like, I don’t know what I’ve been doing. I just 100% forgot that I can knit socks. I’ve been so sweater-focused for so long, that I totally forgot that socks were even a thing. What’s with that? Is it mom-brain? Is it quarantine brain? Am I jus a ding-a-ling?

But anyway. Turns out that socks are fun. Even super vanilla ones like these. Who knew?

I’m really enjoying this project. It feels so satisfying to zip down a sock, especially with the self-striping yarn. I enjoyed the fiddly heel, and don’t even get me started about how the stripes lined up with kitchener-ing up the toe. So satisfying.

Now I’m itching to get the second one going! Can’t wait to see my new socks all finished.

Have you ever forgotten that you enjoy a certain project?

And Something Else Different

I’ve *technically* finished my crochet sweater, but I just am not sure about it. Maybe the sleeves need to be shorter… or longer? Or maybe it’s just not the sweater for me. I don’t know. But either way, it’s in time out for a minute. I’ll show it to you later, don’t worry.

Anyway, I was looking for something else to work on. Something simple and brightly colored and something that is sure to be successful. I dug around and found, in the bottom of my WIP box, this just-started sock. It’s just a regular-degular sock in Felici from a couple years ago. I could make it in my sleep, which makes it easy to pick back up again.

It was about three inches long when I found it, and now I’m fully around the heel. It’s funny though, I truly don’t know when I started it. Last year? Maybe. Longer? Could be.

But, I suppose that’s the good thing about knitting, you can put it down and pick it up again months (or even years) later.

What’s the longest you’ve had a project in hibernation before you started working on it again?

A *Little* Something Different

I think it will come as a surprise to exactly zero of you that I am a crafter. If it has to do with paint or glue or cardboard or fabric or yarn, I’m there, and I’m 100% in. And, as a crafter, I’m always looking for excuses to get making.

So, when my kid started getting invited to birthday parties this year (now that we can have in-person parties), I’ve been using it as an excuse to get out the craft supplies. And this time, I really think I outdid myself.

(This is by no means meant as a dig against non-crafty moms. This is truly just something I like doing, and after all, my kid can only play with so many cardboard houses and stuffed animals.)

It’s small.

And cute.

And, I love it so much!

I used Little Cotton Rabbits’ Free Teeny Tiny Knitted Toys and Itty Bitty Dress patterns to make this truly tiny bunny (she’s only about 2 inches tall, including her ears). I added a soft flannel mattress, a little pillow, and a teeny li’l quilt (which I’m probably going to cut down even smaller, because for some reason I’m being really “type A” about this project). And if I find the time, I might make a teeny little bedtime book, too, but we’ll see.

I really love how she turned out. Nothing like a bit of super-teeny, super-fiddly knitting to really start appreciating my chunky crochet project.

What’s the last thing you made as a gift?

Still going

Not much to report yet on my sweater, except that it’s still going… I’m at the bit I was worried about last week, the super super long rounds around the chest. I’m so close to splitting for the arms, but still it’s killing me. It takes me close to a half hour to do one round (assuming I’m paying attention and not spacing out and scrolling Instagram instead). But, soon, I should be to the body, and that should fly by by comparison.

Hopefully.

I’ve gotten all five colors into the sweater now, so the next thing will be to decide what to do about stripe order. My initial plan was to do the stripes at random, but now I’m second-guessing myself. Maybe I keep the red-gray-brown-green-cream order, repeating it down the body? But will that make it look like a rugby shirt from 2002? Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure.

At least I’ve got plenty of time to decide before I reach the next stripe. I’ve got four more rows… at least 2 hours of buckle-down knitting time. HA!

What would you do? Random stripes or a repeating pattern?

I DID NOT THINK THIS THROUGH

Or, rather, I did think it through, I just don’t like the answer.

So, it’s my sweater from last week. I like it. The design is going to be solid (at least it is in my head). The yarn is nice and soft. It’s fun to knit stripes.

But here’s the thing: This is a not-small adult sweater being knit on US5s. When I finish the raglan increases (knitting around the chest and shoulders, just before I split for arms), I’m going to have more than 400 stitches on my needle. That’s more than I had when I was making my big blanket. Ridiculous. It’s going to take forever.

Here’s what happened: I’ve used this yarn before, and while Swish is a super soft yarn (superwash merino), it’s really not hard-wearing. I’ve used it for sweaters before and they end up pilled about fifteen minutes after you try them on for the first time. I’m hoping to combat that by going down a needle size or two. So here we are with US5s (4s on the cuffs). I think it’s the right decision in the long term, but, man. It’s going to be a heck of a slog.

But, honestly, there’s something to be said for just miles and miles of stockinette. Nothing’s more meditative. Right? …Right??

Have you ever miscalculated about how much work a project was going to be?

Another day, another stashbuster

Now that my big project is done, it’s time to start fresh- and by fresh, I mean “with stuff that I already have in the basement”.

I’ve been itching to make myself another sweater- a simple pullover this time. I’ve basically been living in a uniform this winter (overalls, tank top and pullover), and I’ve only got so many pullovers (and they’ve all seen better days, if I’m being honest. The “nice” one has paint on the cuff from when I painted the basement last fall).

So, I dug around in the basement and found a bunch of KnitPick’s Swish DK from a pattern I was working on earlier this winter (keep an eye out for it next year some time). It’s a sweater’s worth of yarn in five colors that go pretty well together. (Do the colors look a little more Christmassy than I’d like? Yes they do. Do I care? Eh, not really.)

I’ve only got a couple skeins of each color, so it seems I’m making a stripy sweater, with cuffs and collar in cream (since I have extra of that). I’m planning on a raglan V-neck (a sweater I can almost work from memory, once I reference Ann Budd for the starting stitch counts).

I’m excited to get moving (and more excited to have it done- I want a new sweater!)

Have you started any new projects lately?

It’s… FINALLY… Finished

I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, but the wedding blanket is finally, finally finished.

I made it through 10 of the 12 skeins of Simply Wool Bulky, but couldn’t keep going. The blanket was just so big and heavy, I couldn’t keep going. It’ll make for a fantastic snuggling, but it’s not the most fun to knit on (my poor arms would ache any time I worked more than a row or two). So, I finally gave up, bound off and declared it done.

I even blocked it! That’s how done it is! I soaked it in the sink and spread it out in the basement (where the children and dog can’t get to it) on a clean drop cloth. (I know… such a fancy setup.) And, lucky for me, it’s been super dry here, so it blocked in just a couple days.

The blanket ended up roughly square, which is fine with me. I just love how it turned out. I even took it out into the snow for a few glamor shots.

It’s taken me 9 months since I received the yarn, and I’m only 7 moths late for my friend’s summer wedding. But, dang it, I finished this thing. And that’s what matters.

Now let’s see how long it takes me to get it in the mail…

Have you finished any big projects lately?

And Done!

I have hemmed and hawed about these eyeballs for longer than was strictly necessary. But, hey, that’s just how I roll. I do love to overanalyze.

I had gotten myself a brand new tube of black puffy paint, and tried it out on more scrap fabric, with similar results as the pearlescent blue paint. Both dried halfway between lumpy and smooth, but the black at least didn’t show every single little bump the way the blue did.

I went back and forth about the eyes for several days, afraid to pull the trigger on the puffy paint eyes, but not wanting to do anything else. Then, Saturday night in a fit of either confidence or frustration with my own commitment issues, I went ahead and just did it. I just did the eyeballs in a minute.

And… I like them! I mean, they’re obviously not as perfect as safety eyes would be, but they’re functional and cute, and I’m sure they’ll last for a long time. Plus they were so easy and fast.

I don’t think they’re the best eyes ever, but for stuffies for my kids, they’ll work great.

And I got them done before Christmas! Now, if only I could finish the last couple inches of that ding dang wedding blanket…

Are you finishing up any holiday knitting this week?

(Also, I just realized I forgot to add mouths… oh well. They’re mouthless butterflies, I guess…)