Category Archives: On My Needles

New Year, Old Yarn

I’m not doing any new year’s resolutions this year.  Not for any real reason; mostly because I never can think of a really good resolution.  But, I have been thinking of working on getting my stash down.

I mean, I often (almost always) knit from my stash, but I’ve still managed to end up with a surprising amount of yarn, just sitting there in my studio.  Sure, a lot of it is single skeins, but I’ve got surprisingly large amounts of several yarns, and even some pretty special single skeins.

It seems a shame to leave them just sitting there.

But here’s the issue- I’m completely out of ideas for patterns that I might use for these yarns.  Here’s hoping that one of you have a magical idea to help me use up some of this yarn.

First, I’ve got 360 yards of a super special, sport weight wool-angora blend from Local Color Fiber Studio.  It’s glorious and soft, but looks really crunchy and natural.  I’ve had it for a year or so, and get it out every time I’m looking for a new project.  I still haven’t found just the right pattern for it.  I’m this close to just making a garter triangle scarf, and calling it a day.IMG_2519.JPG

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve got 5 and a half skeins of super soft, super chunky Knit Picks Swish Bulky.  It’s leftover from a sweater I designed earlier this year (keep an eye out!), and I don’t think it’s enough to make a second full-sized sweater.  It’s such a pretty green, though, I really want to use it for something.

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I’ve also got a full sweater quantity of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted, a nice wooly workhorse yarn, in sapphire blue.  I’m currently working on a design in the same yarn, so I could just re-knit the same pattern again in blue, but I think I’d like to do something a little more interesting instead.

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Continuing on the Knit Picks jag, I’ve got a giant bag of Hawthorne, my favorite sock yarn from KP.  This is a tricky one, though.  I’ve got about 10 different colors (that don’t necessarily go together), a handful of full skeins, and a bunch of partial skeins.  I’m currently thinking I might use it to crochet an afghan, but that’s really just because I can’t figure out what else to do with it (apart from knitting one thousand socks).

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I also found these three beautiful, peacock blue skeins of Knitting Notions Classic Merino Bamboo, a sport weight wool-rayon blend that is beautiful and shiny, but almost impossible to photograph.  Between the three skeins, I’ve got almost 1500 yards, which has got to be enough to make something wonderful, but I haven’t been able to figure out what to do with it since I was gifted it several years ago.  Will 2020 be the year of the Peacock yarn?  Time will tell.

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Have you done a deep dive into your stash lately? Find anything good?

And, seriously, if you have any ideas for my yarn, I’d love to hear them!

To the Nth degree

Sometimes I get carried away.  I can throw myself into a project a little too deeply.  Especially when it comes to fixing or cleaning something.

For example, this morning, I had intended to sweep around the back door of our house, and before I knew it, I had the whole kitchen swept, had spot-cleaned a spaghetti stain from last night’s dinner from the wall (thanks kid) and was finishing up a load of dishes.  It’s not a bad thing- my kitchen’s now a lot cleaner.  But, it did take a good half hour to do a chore that I had expected to take about two minutes.  (Though part of that was the kid “helping” with the broom.)

That same thing happened with my socks from last week.  I had finished fixing the little hole in the toe, posted about it, then put them on.

Then, I realized that I really should reinforce that bit of the heel… and the ball of the foot on the other sock was looking a little threadbare… oh and over here was a bit sparse, so it could probably use some help.

Well.

This happened:IMG_2419.JPG

They turned out ridiculous.  (Pro tip: Don’t use pink yarn to darn toes… you’ll think that your toe has busted through your sock every time you look down.)  But, I should be able to get a couple more years’ use out of them now.

Although, I do see a couple spots that could use a little more darning…

Have you ever gotten carried away on a similar project?

Sheep are done with their Jeep!

It’s done it’s done it’s done it’s done!

My Sheep in a Jeep sweater is done in time for our big Midwestern Trip for Thanksgiving!  I’m going to have a very cozy (and dapper) boy.

Fair warning: these pictures are a little silly, because the kid is a little silly, and is incredibly interested in the camera clicking.  Honestly, most of the pictures looked like this:

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Looking for cars:  (You can actually see the knitting in this one, if only the back.  I’m so pleased with how the color work blocked out! I was worried it would be a little pucker-y.)

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Blue Steel:

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This is the face he’s started making when I ask him to “smile.” It’s not a real smile, but I love it very much.  Silly boy.

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Anyway, the verdict is: The sweater fits great, but still has a little growing room.  The floats on the cuffs caught both of his hands as we were getting dressed this morning, which will be something to keep in mind in the future (hopefully they felt up a little).  All together, I’d count it as a success!

 

Sheep (almost) in a Jeep!

Ooh, guys!  My sweater is coming along great!  In fact, I’ve finished the knitting!  Woo hoo!IMG_2192

However, I’ve got two things standing in my way of being completely finished:

1. Ends.  So. Many. Ends.  5 colors, three sections of sweater, plus Kitchener for the underarms and a few other odd ends from sleeves and collar and such. I really don’t want to weave them in.  It seems unfair that you “finish” a project, then have to spend another three hours actually finishing it.  A smarter person would have woven in the ends as they went. Sigh.

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2. I’m a little worried about the floats, especially on the sleeves.  I was really on the fence about adding the color work on the sleeves, but decided to go ahead and do it (which I’m glad about- I think it turned out really cute).  But, those floats are kinda long, and my kid’s fingers are kinda small and prone to getting stuck in small places, so I worry about running into difficulty getting him dressed  The only thing I can hope for at this point is that they felt up a little bit with wear.  Because I’m not undoing and redoing them again.  I refuse.

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But, despite my whining and worrying, I really am pleased with how this sweater is turning out.  It’s probably the cutesiest thing I’ve made for my kid (usually I dress him like a little old man).  And the little radishes/turnips just make me so happy.  It’s funny how fast I can get something done when I really enjoy the project!

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Have you been working on anything particularly fun lately?

Sheep in a Jeep and a Sweater on my Needles

I’m stoked, you guys.  I finished my work knitting (thank god), and that means I finally get to work on the sweater I’ve been thinking about for months now!

That’s right, I’m going to do it!  I’m going to make a Sheep in a Jeep sweater for my kid!

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I dug through my stash and, would you believe, I had all the colors I needed for my design!  (Except for white, which was easy enough to fix.)  I’m using Knit Picks Hawthorne, because it’s sturdy enough to hold up to a one-year-old, it’s machine washable and it’s fine enough that I can do color-work in it without it getting weird.  Also, it’s what I had in my stash, and you know I like knitting from my stash.

I’m kind of winging the pattern, basing it roughly on the measurements of a similar gauged sweater (Christmas in July), but making it a bottom-up, raglan, v-neck, instead of a top-down, yoked, crew-neck.  So basically it’s an entirely different sweater.

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The bottom of the sweater will be brown, with a row of radishes “growing” in the soil, then blue sky above.  I’m kind of on the fence if I want radishes on the sleeves, too.  I don’t know if color-work sleeves are a good idea for a toddler sweater.  But, I’ve got a while before I have to decide.

I’m so excited about this project!  And, if it turns out, I might just turn it into a pattern!

What are you excited about these days?

Big and Little

I’ve finished a project!  Yay!  It’s a pretty cute one, too.

It’s actually a double project.  A family friend who has a little one the same age as my boy, is expecting a baby girl just about any day now. I had some extra yarn and I love an excuse to make a baby sweater.  (Seriously, they’re so fun and fast!) I whipped up a tiny little Flax Light for the little one.  (Can I extol the virtues of this pattern again?  1. It’s well-written and free! 2. It comes in literally all the sizes.  3. It’s reversible!  One less thing to have to fuss with while getting the little guys dressed.)IMG_1927_medium2

I found some matching red yarn in my stash, too.  I thought I’d make a red sweater for the big brother!  How cute would that be? But it turned out I didn’t have nearly enough for a toddler-sized sweater.  Thus, I ended up with a stripey sweater, which, honestly, I like better than if it had been a solid color.  It looks like the kind of sweater a little boy wears as he runs around the neighborhood getting into trouble. IMG_2151

After some whining about weaving in ends, I finished it up, and now the pair are all wrapped up and ready to be delivered.IMG_2156

I know the kids won’t really care about them, but I bet their parents will appreciate them.  And I think they turned out super cute!

Have you been working on any gift knitting lately?

This is just to say

I have knit
the stripes
that are on
the sweater
and which
you are probably
looking forward
to wearing
Forgive me
the ends are unwoven
so annoying
and so many
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I don’t have much exciting to share today, except that I’m making this sweater (another Flax Light) for a friend’s kid. And while it’s turning out super cute, it’s driving me up the wall with all the ends.  Not sure if I’ll finish it in time for their birthday (or ever).
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(If you’re not familiar with the poem “This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams, I’m not having a stroke, I’m making a very funny (?) joke about poetry.)

(I guess I’m just in a weird mood today… or maybe I just need more coffee.)

Done!

I’ve gotta admit- it’s been a while since I enjoyed a pattern this much.  Part of it might be the speed of the knit; a sweater without (much of) a body or sleeves isn’t going to take long.  It might be the simple, yet super effective colorwork.  I’ve yet to see a version of Soldotna that doesn’t work.  And it might be that it’s one of the most flattering sweaters I’ve finished in a long time.

I actually bound off several weeks ago, while we were on vacation up on the Sound.  I even blocked it in the sun, overlooking the water. (Blocking with a view makes the finished project better, right?)IMG_20190814_184940357_HDRI think my favorite part of this sweater is how wearable it is.  Who would have thought? A short-sleeved, cropped sweater? Really?  Past Allison would have laughed at the idea that I would wear something like this.

But, look at it!  It’s great!  (Ollie seems less than impressed, but that might be because I’m not feeding him treats.)IMG_2054I’ve been wearing it over dresses, tank-tops and jeans.  And once it cools down (fall’s right around the corner), I think it’ll be cute over long-sleeved tanks or a nice buttondown.IMG_2000The kid seems like he likes it too. (How cute would a baby one be?!)

Have you finished anything fun recently?

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.