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Well, at least it’s done.

OK. So, I finished my “

OK. So, I finally finished my “Quarantine Sweater,” and the best thing I can say about it is that… it’s done.

It might be the least-flattering sweater I’ve ever made. I might even go as far as to say it’s ugly.

I mean, the shape ended up super weird (it’s way too wide, the sleeves are droopy, and the armpits start around my belly button). It’s not even worth taking a flattering picture of myself wearing it… sorry…

The colors are… fine, but I really dislike how some of the sections ended up super-marled (but I suppose that’s what happens when you knit exclusively to use up the random half-skeins of yarn in your stash without a lot of planning), and why did I include that puke-yellow color?

And the fabric itself is… odd (it’s nice and soft and warm, but also the stitches are very open and loose. I much prefer a wooly, structured sweater; this one is altogether too drapey and shapeless).

But, it’s done, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll grow to love it? Or maybe I’ll find a very wide, short friend with very long arms that grow out of their rib cage I can give it to? Or, I wonder what would happen if I tried to felt it? Does alpaca even felt?

Oh well. At least it used up a bunch of yarn.

Have you ever finished a big project, only to hear a great big sad trombone?

,” and the best thing I can say about it is that… it’s finished.

It might be the least-flattering sweater I’ve ever made. I might even go as far as to say it’s ugly.

I mean, the shape ended up weird (it’s way too wide, the sleeves are droopy, and the armpits start around my belly button). It’s not even worth taking a flattering picture of myself wearing it… sorry…

The colors are… fine, but I really dislike how some of the sections ended up super-marled (but I suppose that’s what happens when you knit exclusively to use up the random half-skeins of yarn in your stash without a lot of planning), and why did I include that puke-yellow color?

And the fabric itself is… odd (it’s nice and soft and warm, but also the stitches are very open and loose. I much prefer a wooly, structured sweater; this one is altogether too drapey and shapeless).

But, it’s done, so there’s that. Maybe I’ll grow to love it? Or maybe I’ll find a very wide, short friend with very long arms that grow out of their rib cage I can give it to? Or, I wonder what would happen if I tried to felt it? Does alpaca even felt?

Oh well. At least it used up a bunch of yarn.

Have you ever finished a big project, only to hear a great big sad trombone?

Well, That Just Flew By

Both this knit and the show I was using to knit it up.

That’s right, my Dark knitting is finished, and I love it. (I also love the show, which was amazing. At least Season 1, which is as far as this shawl got me. I’ll have to come up with something new to knit for Season 2).

This shawl was more-or-less the Deep Winter Shawl from Lisa Metzgar (I modified it slightly on accident because I wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t feel like going back and fixing the bits that were wonky). It was a super simple project, a fairly straightforward garter-stitch triangle with big bands of openwork every few inches. It was a pattern easily-memorized with just enough challenge to make it interesting without requiring me to look away from the closed-captions.

I love the finished shape: it’s a slightly-skewed triangle that is really cute and flattering draped around the shoulders, and you know I love me some garter stitch. I even like the dull gray-brown of some stash yarn I was using up. It’s incredibly neutral-y, which means I could see it going with just about any color coat, but there’s enough warmth in the color’s undertones that it looks nice and flattering. (Also: Look at all that hair! My quarantine hair is getting crazy!)

In summary:

Dark is a dang good show.

The Deep Winter Shawl is a dang good shawl.

And I might knit up a second one for Season 2.

Have you got any TV knitting going at the moment?

Obsessed

I have been BUSY. Not knitting or anything that I’m “supposed” to be doing, but I’ve been busy, powering through my quilt.

I guess the secret to actually finishing a quilt is to let it sit for 7 years in your closet, then be stuck in quarantine for months. Who knew?

Anyway, I’ve made major headway. I’ve done (almost) all the quilting, sewing two lines on either side of each two-color seam. It looks really cute, but man, that was a lot of sewing.

And I like sewing.

I really like how the back looks on a hand-quilted blanket. It’s all cozy and wrinkly around all the quilting. It reminds me of my mom, who was always quilting when I was a kid. (Though, she hand-pieced as well as hand-quilted. She’s crazy. But, her quilts were (and still are) beautiful.)

Once the quilting was pretty much done, I trimmed the batting and the backing, and did a rolled hem to finish the edges. It looks great, except for one section where (years ago) I trimmed the backing way too short, or maybe I’m just did a really bad job centering my quilt top on the backing? So, that section has some scrap yellow fabric sewed on. It’s mostly unnoticeable. (Except for me. I notice it, and it bugs me. But do I ever finish a project without it having some element that I want to fix? No.)

There’s just one little spot that really irks me, though… It’s right here:

That’s right, there’s a tiny scissors-cut, right at the edge of the quilt. Why is it there? When did it get there? Did I do it? If I did, what was I thinking?

So many questions, and no way to easily and invisibly fix it. So, I think I’m going to pout about it for a while, then sew on a patch. Ugh.

Well, I’m almost done- I’ve got to finish up one corner of the border, take out the basting, and probably quilt a little square at the center of each block (I’m a little worried about how puffy the centers will get without any more quilting, but I also want this thing to be DONE).

I’m so close, I can taste it.

Hey! I finished something!

Y’all, I think I might have my mojo back.  Or at least partly back.  Or at least it’s back sometimes. Or maybe it was just back for a few afternoons last week.

Either way, I’ve got a brand-new pair of socks, and I’m beyond excited about them.

Right before the “unpleasantness,” my husband and I took a long weekend trip down to Austin- it was lovely, and feels like it was fifteen years ago.  And, as I’ve said before, when I go on a trip, I’ve got to visit the local yarn shop and get a skein (or two) of local sock yarn.  Some people collect shot glasses, some collect tiny spoons.  I collect locally-dyed sock yarn.

We went to Hill Country Weavers and I picked up two lovely skeins of Chasing Rabbits Fiber Company Fern yarn- which is a really lovely, buttery-soft sock yarn.  I got one skein in purple and one in grey/turquoise.  They’re both lovely, and I forgot to take pictures of the skeins before I broke into them.  Oh well.

Anyway, I got impatient and started knitting my purple socks on the airplane ride home.(Remember airplanes?  Those were fun…) I happened to have the ebook of Splendid Soles on my phone (I have a pattern in the collection, so I’d downloaded it at some point for work).  So, I picked a pattern and… Tada!

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The pattern is Textured Lace Socks by Lori Wagner, and I love it.  It was complicated enough to keep me engaged, but logical enough to let me memorize the lace after a couple repeats.   Unfortunately the hand-dyed-ness of the yarn kind of hides the lace pattern (especially in pictures), but it’s so pretty, I kind of don’t mind.

I’ll be honest, I pretty much stopped following the pattern as written once I got to the heel, but that’s because I like to knit my heels and toes in a particular way, so I just did what I usually do, continuing the lace down the top of the foot.

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I couldn’t be happier with them.  And they’re just what I needed this week.  Nothing to make you feel cozy and content like a pair of new socks.

What are you working on to make yourself feel better?

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?

It’sdoneit’sdoneit’sdone!

I’m so freaking stoked about this!  THE BLANKET IS DONE!!

This is fantastic for 3 reasons:

  1. I’m only about a month late!
  2. I’m DONE and get to start new projects!
  3. It turned out so good!

I mean, look at this bad boy:IMG_1902Glamour shot!IMG_1895I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.  It’s warm and squishy and the colors are freaking gorgeous (and really hard to capture.  The black has undertones of green and navy and ash gray, and the yellow is golden with touches of copper.  So gorgeous). IMG_1859It was actually a really simple pattern (which I have plans of writing up for y’all), just a lot of knitting.  I love that kind of pattern- simple enough for anyone to work up, but with a real impact when it’s done.  Honestly, the hardest part was finding a space big enough (and away from the baby and the dog) to block the dang thing!IMG_1890_adjusted

Phew! Now I think it’s time to make something little.

Quick and Finished!

You guys know I’m a big sweater knitter.  I love a great big, weeks- (or months-) long project that I can really sink my teeth into.  And if it’s a pattern that I’m making up as I go along, and documenting the whole thing, even better!

But sometimes, there’s nothing better than finding a great pattern and banging out a project in a little over a week.

This little cowl is one of those projects.

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It’s finished!  And it’s super cute!

It’s not perfect (the decreases are a little weird, and I don’t love how the CO edge pulls a little, compared to the super-stretchy brioche fabric), but I don’t mind.  The pattern was quick to work up, and the finished object is cute and totally wearable.  It was a super fun little knit.  I’m not going to say it was “easy”, but once I got my brain around the whole brioche thing, it was pretty straightforward.

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One thing I really love is how it’s totally reversible!  The big color-blocks on the right side are fun, but I kind of love the way the contrasting colors peek out between the bright blue ribs.  (It’s even prettier, and more glow-y in person!)

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This is definitely a piece that I intend to wear a lot in the future!

Have you finished up any fun, quick projects recently?

FINISHED!!!!

I did it!  I kind of didn’t think I ever would, but I’ve proved myself wrong!

I finished the Papaya Sweater!  It only took me six and a half months, but I did it!

Now, before I show you the “finished” pictures, I want to show you this:This is literally all the yarn that was leftover from the original 11 skeins.  I managed to call it perfectly.  I finished binding off, and had about 4 feet of yarn left (plus little bits and bobs from the other parts of the sweater), so I didn’t even have to really play yarn chicken.  So satisfying!

Anyway, you want to see the finished sweater!

It turned out really great!  It’s blocked up nice and drapey and comfy.  The sleeves are the perfect length, and the fabric is a nice medium-thickness, not so thin that it will have trouble keeping me warm, and not so thick that I’ll start sweating the moment I put it on. It’s going to be a perfect transitional piece, which is exactly what you want for Seattle.  Not too warm and not too cold.

(FYI, I’m writing this from the past, so I’m super duper pregnant in these pictures… hopefully as you are reading his, I will be less pregnant.  Fingers crossed!)

Anyway, here she is in all her papaya-y glory:I even love the big plain back- it ended up being a really flattering length on me (not that I really planned it that way- I just stopped knitting when I was about to run out of yarn).  It’s not fancy, but I can see myself wearing it for a really long time.I like that it’s open, without any fastenings, but I could totally see fancying it up with a shawl pin, or maybe adding a button or something, if I decide I need to be able to close it up.Whoo!  It feels great to be done with such a big project!

But, now, I guess I have to figure out what to do next.

Have you finished anything lately?

15th Street- Finished

I’m on a roll, you guys!  I’ve finished another project!  I don’t know the last time I finished so many projects in so little time.  It’s very satisfying.

My 15th Street Wrap is all wrapped up (if you’ll forgive the pun).It was a super satisfying knit, and the finished project is cozy, squishy and frankly, just kind of fun.  There’s something great about a simple project that ends up being so big and impressive.  Of course, it’s getting a little warm around here to be wearing big wool wraps, but I’m sure it’ll keep until next year.I mean, look at all that seed stitch!  You gotta love that!  (OK, maybe I didn’t love working up the seed stitch, and maybe it could do with a bit of a block, but still!)  There’s nothing cozier and more comfy than seed stitch, in my book.

Even Ollie wanted to get in on the photo shoot!  (I know he looks real grumpy in this picture, but I promise it’s just because he needs a haircut.  He’s a very happy dog with too much facial hair.)

Have you finished any projects lately?

Treasure

Ssh…

I’m going to let you in on a secret!

In the corner of my studio, behind a small bookshelf (that is currently holding a half-dozen half finished projects instead of books), there is a small wooden chest.If you pull that chest out, and open it up, you’ll find something amazing.All the homeless projects I’ve made over the years!I’ve got prototypes, and one-off projects.  Socks  that turned out too small or to big.  Hats that are too warm for Seattle.  I’ve got scarves that I really wanted to knit, but don’t really want to wear and more dishcloths than I could ever use.

(I’d show you everything, but I know I have friends and family who read this blog and might just receive some of these items as gifts in the future…and I’d like to preserve the surprise at least a little bit.)

I don’t usually think about what I’ve got stashed in my secret chest, but it is satisfying to open it up from time to time to see the result of all my hard work.  And, it’s particularly handy when I get invited to a baby shower/birthday party/whatever at the last minute- I can pull out a pair of socks I knit in 2012 and look like I did a heck of a lot more planning than I really did.

Do you have a finished object stash?  Or, is this a symptom of my hoarding tendencies?