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?

Should it stay or should it go?

OK, so.

First, a positive thing: I’ve managed to make a lot of headway on my crochet sweater this week! Something that I haven’t been able to do in… a while. I’ve finished one sleeve and almost finished the second. All that’s left is a few more inches of Right Sleeve, a cuff, and a neck.

Then, a negative thing: I have literally no idea if I like this sweater. Like, at all. Even a little bit. It’s wild. I go back and forth on it hour by hour, minute by minute. One second I think, “Wow! This is a cute, trendy style with a silhouette that I haven’t tried before! I love how it looks! And the bobbles?! So kitschy and cute!” And then literally the next I think “Ugh! Why would I even think that something like this would look good on me? And bobbles? Honestly, what was even going through my head when I picked up my yarn?”

It’s a real rollercoaster up in here.

So, I’m going to let you guys help me decide: Do I like this sweater, or is it immediately going in the Goodwill pile for someone better at clothes than me? Do I need to wear it with something other than jeans? Am I going to have to think about *gasp* fashion? Is it just the wrong size for me? Would I have to re-crochet it to make it fit better?

(Also, posing/taking pictures of myself is wildly difficult, so sorry for the… underwhelming photos.)

I think I’m at least going to have to raise or lower the cuffs- right now they’re somewhere between 3/4-length and full-length, which is not the most flattering on me. Right now I’m leaning toward shorter…

And I’m definitely going to add on the neckband before I make any rash decisions. I feel like that’s going to really change how this sweater sits.

But it really is anybody’s guess if this sweater is going to make it into my sweater rotation.

Keep your fingers crossed, and let me know what you think!

Spring!

It’s definitely spring around here! I can tell because:

  1. My kid won’t stop talking about his birthday.
  2. I’m dying to get out and start planting the garden.
  3. I’m constantly sneezing.

What’s an allergy-ridden, indoor kid to do when the weather turns? Oh that’s right. Knit! (Or at least daydream about knitting.)

If I had infinite time and energy, I’d definitely make myself a lovely new spring sweater. Shall we window-shop through Ravelry together?

Rift by Jacqueline Cieslak

Such a stylish-yet-comfy silhouette. I love the subtle shoulder and hem details, and the slightly-textured yarn she chose for the samples. Can you imagine it in a cotton-wool blend? Or better yet: a nubbly slik? Ugh. To die for.

Felix Cardigan by Amy Christoffers

Or what about this darling little number? Can you imagine a more perfect springtime cardigan? I love the sweet little shoulder details. Plus the wool+mohair combo? Perfection!

Dustland Sweater by Stephen West

If I’m being honest, it’s still pretty chilly around here (despite what I want to believe), so maybe this is the best way to go. A lovely, textured pullover in a fantastic spring color. I usually like to switch up the colors of sweaters I make, but honestly, I can’t imagine this in a better color. That electric lime might just be exactly what I need in my wardrobe.

If you could magically knit up a sweater right now, what would you make?

Slow and Steady(ish)

I know I keep saying “Wow! Crochet is so fast!” And it is. But that’s only when I actually sit down and do it.

Which is why, even though crochet is super fast, compared to knitting, I’ve only gotten… about an inch and a half more put on my sweater since the last time I talked to you about it… weeks ago.

It’s a combination of things. I’ve been super busy with the kids (the big one is being very Four and need lots of help with big feelings, and the little one has decided that 5:00 is a great time to get up in the morning). I’ve got a new project in the works with Knit Picks that I can’t talk to you about… yet. And, when I actually have a little time to myself I’m more likely to sit down and want to scroll on my phone than actually do work (even if it’s fun “work”).

All that’s to say, when I do work on it, this sweater is going quick. I just haven’t been actually working on it. Fingers crossed something will change soon and I’ll get a little more bandwidth to finish it up… I’m so close!

Do you have any projects wasting away in your to-be-knit pile?

Spring Cleaning

I like to keep a pretty tidy house. I do laundry every week. I keep the sink more or less free of dirty dishes. Most of my kids’ toys are stashed in bins. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I try to stay fairly clean.

To that end, I say I thoroughly hand-wash all my knitwear at least once a year. And that I wash the sweaters in heavy rotation more frequently than that.

But, if I’m honest, I’m not even close to that.

In fact, I just sat down the other day and tried to remember the last time I did a thorough cleanout of my sweaters. And I couldn’t remember.

Certainly before my baby was born (1+ year ago). And definitely before Covid hit (2 years ago). Maybe after my big kid was born (4 years ago)? But you could tell me that it was even before that.

Whenever it was, one thing is clear. My sweaters are gross and I need to wash them.

So, I hopped online and bought the biggest bottle of wool wash I could find and went to town. The basement has smelled like grapefruit soap and damp wool for weeks and the dehumidifier is working overtime. My pile of clean sweaters is growing and my pile of “to be washed” is shrinking.

Anyway. This is a reminder that you should probably wash your sweaters.

(Unless you’re a functional grownup who already remembers to do laundry.)

When is the last time you laundered your knits?

New Pattern(s): Stitch Your State!

It’s new pattern day, but this time it’s a little different.

A few months ago I was approached by Knit Picks to help them with a collaboration with the Craft Yarn Council’s “Great Yarn Challenge” and Warm Up America. They had written the instructions on how to make a “state blanket”, but they needed someone to actually write out the charts.

And you know me. I love a good challenge, so I said “Sure!”

The idea is that you can use the charts to make your favorite states in your favorite style- filled in with intarsia, outlined with stranded knitting, or even embroidered! They’re easily adaptable to knitting or crochet, being a little more/less elaborate.

You’re more than welcome to keep your squares and make your own special blanket (maybe featuring all the places you’ve visited, or where all your cousins are living, or who knows!) But, if you want to participate in the Warm Up America part of the challenge, you can mail your finished squares in, and volunteers will assemble them with squares from all over the country to donate to people in need. What a fantastic idea!

This was a super fun project to help with, and I’m super excited to see what everyone comes up with!

Grab the pattern here!

Progress!

Woo! I’m tempted to declare that I’m almost done, but I think that might be a foolhardy thing to say. Even if I’m not “almost done”, I am at least a bit closer to being finished. I’ve completed the front and back pieces, which feels pretty significant.

And, I need help!

I’m supposed to seam up the shoulders and the sides, then pick up (or whatever you call it with crochet) stitches around the arm openings for the sleeves. Simple, right? Well, it’s been a minute since I did seaming on a crochet project.

I started with the shoulders, which seemed easier. I matched up the tops of the front and back and did single-crochets through both layers. The join was nice and neat-practically seamless (and difficult to photograph clearly).

No problem.

The issue is with the sides. Because it’s essentially a double-crochet fabric, there are big gaps all over the place. I’m afraid that if I sew/crochet into the holes, it’ll just accentuate them. But, if I sew through the stitches, I’m afraid it won’t be sturdy enough.

It’s a conundrum. And, probably something that could easily be solved by googling, but I don’t have the energy to do that right now. So, instead, I’m hoping that one of you guys have a brilliant idea.

How do you like to seam up crochet (or knit) projects?

A tale of two (one) sweater(s)

I’m of two minds about this sweater. But what’s new?

First, I’m excited about how fast it’s going, which isn’t usually the case at this point in the process. Most of the time when I’m three-quarters of the way in, I’m very frustrated and not seeing much progress. I’m just not used to how fast crochet is. I had a 2-hour Zoom meeting last night, and managed to get through 4 repeats- almost 6 inches of sweater! (I know it doesn’t look like I’m going that fast compared to last week, but that’s mostly because I bought myself a paint-by-number kit that’s taking up most of my attention. I have no regrets.) And, I even like the way the fabric is turning out. I think it’s going to be cute- I love the bobbles (even if they’re a pain to make).

However, I’m real skeptical that this is going to be a cute sweater. It’s just so… rectangular. To be fair, it is a style that I’m not too familiar with (drop shoulder, cropped, oversized sweaters aren’t usually my bag), so maybe this is how it’s supposed to look. Maybe it’ll turn out amazing after I seam it up and put it on, and I’ll never want to take it off. But right now I don’t have a lot of faith in the finished sweater.

Either way, I guess I’ll just keep trucking along and trust the process. I like the finished picture in the pattern- fingers crossed that it turns out that cute!

When’s the last time you were skeptical of a pattern halfway through?