Category Archives: On My Needles

Finished (with the first bit)

I DID IT! I finished a sweater! It’s the first sweater I’ve finished in… a while.

Yes, it’s a kid’s sweater, but still. It’s so cute and so soft and it’s going to be so appreciated by the recipient (or at least I’ll pretend it will be… the recipient is 3, and probably couldn’t care less about clothes, but still.)

I’ve roped our sleepy dog Ollie into modeling for me:

He’s a good sport.

I haven’t blocked it yet, and I’m going to wait until the little brother sweater is done, too, before adding the duplicate-stitch letters on the front and back. (They’re going to be a set of matching Weasley-inspired sweaters, so cute!)

Now that I’m in a good mood, and on a roll (and, shockingly, both kids are asleep at the same time), I’m going to go wind up the yarn for the baby version and get knitting! I’m so excited!

What’s the last sweater you’ve knit?

Nearly There!

I’ve somehow made it out of the black hole/vortex of doom that was keeping me from finishing the body of my sweater. It’s plenty long enough (and will probably end up being way too long once it’s blocked), and I’ve even cruised my way through the first sleeve. It’s looking great!

(I marked a couple stitches at the bottom to help center the duplicate stitch I’m planning on adding after it’s done… that’s why there’s a couple little markers down by the waist.)

But speaking of being cursed, I can’t get a decent picture of this sweater to save my life. It’s so cute, but it’s proving impossible to get a picture of the whole sweater, in focus, and with an accurate color. The above picture shows my progress pretty well, but the colors are all washed out and beige-y.

This picture is closer to the real color. It’s a lovely, warm two-toned moss-green with little tweedy bits in goldenrod and violet. Frankly, It’s colors I wouldn’t have put together, but it makes for a lovely little sweater, perfect for tromping around in the woods.

(And, yes, I know I could take a photography class or learn photoshop… but what’s the fun in that?)

What have you been working on recently?

Black Magic

I swear my knitting’s been cursed or something.

(Or, maybe I’m just bad at measuring. But that couldn’t possibly be it.)

I’ve been cruising through my latest Flax Light. I used up one skein and added in another. This is my usual go-to baby sweater, but this one is for an older kid, so admittedly this one is taking longer than usual. But still, I was making plenty of headway.

So much so, that last night I pulled out the tape measure to check my progress.

The body should be 9″. I could have sworn that when I sat down to start knitting, it was at 8.5″.

After a couple episodes of Treehouse Masters (which is a delightful show, if you ever need something fun and silly to watch), I’d worked probably a half dozen rows. I measured again, sure that I’d be switching to my smaller needles for the next row.

8. Inches. Eight.

WHAT? How is that even possible? I had added rows. How could it be shorter?!

I angrily worked a few more rows and called it a night.

I pulled it out this morning to take pictures and write this post and, well. You can see for yourself:

What black magic is this? Who has hexed my sweater? Will it ever grow any longer, or has it been cursed to always be just a little too short?

(Or will I get frustrated, knit a bunch of rows tonight, then go and measure it again, and it will be 3″ too long? That’s also a possibility.)

Type A-

I’m Type A. Maybe even Type A+, if you will. If there’s extra credit, I want it. If I say I’m going to do something (even if I’m the only one who cares), I will do it. I don’t half-ass things. Basically ever.

I’m not going to lie, there are some upsides about being this way- I’m a very competent person. I don’t (usually) forget things or miss deadlines. I’m always checking things off my various to-do lists. I’m self-driven and self-motivated. All good things.

On the other hand, I’m also always functioning with at least a low simmer of anxiety. If I miss a deadline (hello gigantic wool blanket I decided to make in the middle of summer), I get real stressed out and down on myself. You get it.

I’m doing my best to start being a little easier on myself. Maybe I don’t have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Maybe I can start half-assing things and being a little looser on deadlines. Sure, there are some things that can’t be half-assed, but there are definitely some things that can.

For example, this Flax Light sweater was intended to be the first half of a pair of Weasley-style sweaters for a friend of mine. It was intended to be a “welcome baby” gift for the big brother and his little brother.

The little brother is now 5 months old, and I’m barely halfway into the first sweater.

But, you know what? It’s fine! She wasn’t expecting the sweaters, and it’s too hot for the kids to be wearing them anyway. I’ll just size-up the baby sweater and they’ll be done by the fall (probably). And if they’re not… oh well!

Done and Done!

You guys! I think my mojo is back! (Or at least kinda back.) I’ve finished my little blue socks and I love them.

Did they take longer than I expected? Yes. Did they turn out nothing like I had intended? Absolutely. But am I pleased with how they turned out? Totally!

I think I really like this length. I usually (always) make socks with legs that are about twice this tall, but I kind of love how they turned out. They took quite a bit less yarn (so I didn’t have to play yarn chicken!) and were a much quicker knit. I think they’ll be a great fall sock, for when I don’t necessarily want a big, thick “middle of winter” sock, but I still want to pull out something soft and cozy.

Now I just have to wait for it to cool off enough to wear them!

What finished projects are you excited about lately?

Halfway there, and picking up speed!

You guys! I think I might have my mojo back! I’m beyond happy with this new sock!

It’s so cute and girly, exactly what I want to wear right now, but also different enough from the other socks in my sock drawer. I’m just tickled.

I mean, just look at it! It hasn’t even been blocked yet, and it’s adorable! (And also look at my garden! Everything’s growing like crazy- the squash are coming in like gangbusters and the cosmos are just about the prettiest flowers I’ve ever seen.)

In fact, I’m so pleased with these socks, I’m considering writing them up and publishing the pattern. It’s been a minute since I’ve self-published anything, and I think it might be time.

Gosh it’s a great feeling when your favorite activity starts to get fun again!

What are you feeling excited about lately?

Keeping it Chill

I’m keeping the pressure off, and I’m making headway… slowly. In the last week (when previous versions of me would have already finished an entire pair of socks), I’ve turned a single heel.

That’s right. I have taken a whole week to make a heel on a sock. Something I’ve done a million times and usually will take me no more than an episode (or maybe two) of whatever crime documentary I’m watching. I can’t even say I was using that time to make the sock leg longer, because, I didn’t add any length at all to the leg since the last time I told you about it. I could probably count the number of times I’ve made socks this short on one hand.

But, you know what, I’m kind of digging this length. It’s cute! I like the zig-zag pattern, too. I think it could be nice as an embellishment on the top of a long sock, or even a repeating pattern down the length of a sock. Who knows, maybe this’ll end up as a self-published pattern with options on the length. It’s been a minute since I’ve written up a pattern just for myself.

And, after all that grumping about how slow this sock is going, I just want to pause for a second and say: I love a slip-stitch heel. It’s so cute. It’s sturdy and attractive. I’ve seen people checkerboard the slips, which is nice enough, but I really like the faux-ribbing that happens when you stack them up. It’s definitely my favorite sock heel.

Are you working on anything currently?

The Lowest of Low Pressure

The last few weeks have been rough, but I think I’m slowly getting back in the saddle.

I considered a few very cute little toys to make, and thought about making some Barbie clothes. (Do I own a Barbie? No. Has my kid ever shown even the slightest interest in dolls? No. Do I want to make Barbie clothes anyway? Kinda.) I almost picked up something from my “To Be Knit” pile, but decided against it, since that’s what I’m “supposed” to be doing.

But, instead of trying something new, I knew I needed something easy, comforting and quick. And when I need a project that’s easy, comforting and quick, I can’t help but break out my sock yarn.

I found a mostly-full skein of this nice tonal sky blue. Is it enough for a pair of socks? Eh. Probably not. But whatever. I’ve got more of this yarn in different colors, so I might end up with fraternal twin socks, and that’s fine. This project is all about being the lowest of low-pressure knits.

I cast on my usual 60 sts, worked a 1×1 rib for… a while. Then did my best guess at replicating an old favorite pair of socks I made years ago. When I was a few rows in, it became clear that I was not even close to replicating those socks, so I kinda… just kept going. I added a second zig-zag row and had planned to keep the leg going to my usual calf-length, but… I kinda don’t want to.

I think the leg on this sock might be done. Or maybe I’ll add another couple rows of stockinette. Like I said before, these are low-pressure socks.

I’ll keep working on these, a few rows (or a few stitches) at a time, until I get back in my groove. It’s slow-going, but I can tell I’m starting to get my momentum back.

What do you like to work on when you’ve lost your knitting mojo?

H.O.T.

You know what my favorite thing to do is? Knit. You know what I’ve not been feeling like doing? Knit.

It’s hot. Like, hot hot. As I type this, my backyard thermometer says it’s 90 degrees. This is Seattle, so we are not prepared for this. We don’t have air conditioning. And it’s supposed to get even hotter over the next few days.

We’re pretty much melting. Nobody’s sleeping. It’s rough.

We’re hiding in the shade in the morning, hoping for a breeze, and sneaking away to the basement in the afternoon when even the shade is too much to take.

I did manage to get a few minutes of knitting time to myself out on the back porch this morning before the sun got too hot, which was lovely. But I gotta say, there’s nothing that’s less-compatible with 90+ temperatures than a big, cozy, warm, wool blanket.

Needless to say, this isn’t getting done before the wedding. Oh well. Maybe it’ll be a first anniversary gift?

What do you do when it gets too hot for knitting?

In Love

OK, I know this is just the honeymoon period.

I know I’m only 1.5 skeins into a 12 skein project.

I know I will inevitably hate myself for starting this knit.

But, man, I love how this blanket is turning out. I love the feel of the eco wool yarn. I love the way the little lace “petals” grow and shrink as I knit them. I love how complicated the cable crosses are. (I actually use 2 cable needles for some of them. There’s probably an easier way to do them, but I can’t figure it out.) It’s a nice width, and I’m pretty sure my math will turn out to be right, and it’ll be the perfect size for a nice sofa throw.

In fact, I love this blanket so much, I’m going go grab my knitting and take advantage of the fact that both of the kids are sleeping (which I’m sure I’ve jinxed by typing that out).

What projects are you loving right now?