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?

New Pattern: Olympic Pullover

I know- it’s crazy, but I’ve another new sweater for you!  Exciting!

This one’s feels pretty on the nose for me, as it’s just starting to get cooler out, and I’m dreaming of getting into the thick of fall.  And there’s nothing that says “autumn” to me better than a thick, cabled, over-sized wool sweater.  (Though, honestly, this is really more of a “deep winter” sweater if you’re a normal person, and not a cold-blooded lizard person like me.  My husband tried it on and managed maybe five minutes before he started to overheat.)

It’s the Olympic Pullover!52715220_06.jpgIt’s named after the Olympic Peninsula, the gorgeous part of Washington between the Puget sound and the Pacific Ocean.  It’s full of lush forests, misty coastline and snowy peaks.  (And it’s where Twilight was based, if that gives you an idea.  Though I imagine that people that live over there don’t love that reference.)  It’s the perfect place to traipse around in a woolly cabled pullover.52715220_15.jpgThis sweater is beyond simple- dropped shoulders mean almost no shaping, and everything’s worked in pieces and sewn up, so it would make nice travel knitting.  Plus, the cables look super-complicated, but once you get them established, they’re pretty simple. 52715220_12

You can get a copy of the pattern here, or grab the whole collection (highly recommended- there’s some great sweaters in here!) here.

Pattern: Piper’s Creek Pullover

Woo hoo!  It’s a pattern day!

And this one’s a little out of my usual wheelhouse, because:

  1. It’s a fingering-weight sweater worked on US3’s.  Why? Because I’m a crazy person.
  2. It’s colorwork!  I love how colorwork looks, but all things being equal, I think I’m more of a cables person.  I love a big squishy sweater. (OK, I love making a big cabled sweater.  I’d wear either in a heartbeat.)

Anyway, without further ado, let me introduce the Piper’s Creek Pullover!52724220_09It’s a long-sleeved yoked pullover, made with Palette yarn from Knit Picks (though you could use really any fingering-weight wool).  It uses at least 7 (count em) different colors (great for using up leftover scraps!), but could be easily modified to use as many colors as you have on hand.  I made mine for my husband with a gray background and blue, red and yellow details.  It’s a great unisex sweater, and a fun, simple knit (assuming you don’t mind miles of US3 stockinette).

52724220_13.jpgI will say one thing though- the neck on the sample in these pictures ended up kind of funny, so if you want to make a Piper’s Creek Pullover (which I highly recommend), here’s what I would do to avoid the weird neck.  First, make sure that you’re only doing the number of short rows called for in the pattern, or maybe even reduce the number by one or two, just in case.  Second, make sure to work the colorwork nice and loosely (tight shoulders will make the neck funnel up, like it is in the pictures).  And third, make sure to block the sweater so the neck goes nice and smoothly into the shoulders.  Worst case scenario, if the neck ends up terrible even with all those precautions, you can always rip it out from the top down (or cut it out), pick up your neck stitches and work the neck and collar that you prefer after the sweater’s done.  (Though, that seems like a lot of work…)52724220_14

Want to pick up a copy? Grab the Piper’s Creek Pullover pattern here!  Or get the whole Palette collection here!

Pattern: Unspooled Dishcloth

Are any of you guys sewers (er… sew-ers? Sewists? People who sew)?  Have I got a dishcloth for you!

It’s the Unspooled Dishcloth!  It’s a super-cute dishcloth worked in the shape of a spool of thread.56122220

It’s super simple, and really versatile.  The “spool” part is worked in seed stitch, and the “thread” is worked with garter stitch.  I think this would be a fun way to use up scraps of yarn (rainbow thread!) or a great variegated (variegated thread!), or just use your favorite color.  How cute would a whole set of these be with matching spools, and coordinating thread colors?56122220_3

And best of all, the pattern is free!  Head on over to Knit Picks to pick up your copy!

Sheep in a Jeep!

As a stay at home parent, I spend a lot of my day reading kids books.  And, since my kid’s one and a half, and getting into the “Again! Again!” phase, I’ve been reading the same books over and over again.  Sometimes it’s an absolute chore (I’m looking at you, Follow that Truck!), but sometimes it’s great.  Especially when the book has a nice story, fun rhymes and detailed pictures.  Enter: Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy  Shaw.IMG_1973.JPGIt’s a delightful book about sheep who are remarkably bad at driving.  In 26 pages, they manage to 1. stall out their Jeep on the top of a hill,  2. get their Jeep stuck in a mud puddle, and 3. crash their Jeep against a tree.  It’s all very dramatic.

Anyway, on read-through 1,325, I noticed that one of the sheep has a knitting bag with her, and it goes flying when the car crashes.  She’s got 5 colors of yarn, and a half-finished… something.  Maybe it’s the beginning of a sweater or a scarf, or maybe it’s just a swatch.  Either way, it was super cute colorwork.  IMG_1977I noticed reddish ribbing on the bottom, then a row of… maybe blue and white circles, before a row of white triangles and red circles… and maybe some green on top with black dots? It wasn’t too clear, but I had a little time in my knitting schedule and some of the kid’s crayons to try to chart it out, so away I went.IMG_1981But halfway, through, I realized the red, white and green shapes weren’t just shapes… they were turnips!  (Or maybe radishes? It’s hard to tell the difference.)

I went back through the book to see if I could find another picture of the knitting.  And, wouldn’t you believe it- right on the back, clear as day, there was another view.  And now that I know they’re radishes, I can’t not see them.  Obviously- a row of radishes and a row of green dots.  How didn’t I see it before?IMG_1980Now that I was this far, I had to keep going- And another swatch later, I’ve got a very cute little radish design.  I’d change the colors so the contrast is there, but it’s a good start.IMG_1985Now I’ve just got to decide what to use this for.  Right now, I’m thinking a little pullover for the kiddo.  Maybe with a light blue background “above ground” and a nice chocolate brown heather for the dirt.  I think I might stagger the dots and the radishes,  and the leaves still need a little work, but I like where it’s going.

This whole Sheep in a Jeep project is getting a little out of hand (but maybe that’s fitting, considering the source material…).

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve gotten knitting inspiration from?

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