Tag Archives: knitting

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!

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?

New Pattern: Riverbed Hat

This one’s been cooking for a while, and I’m so excited to share it with you! I just love how it turned out!

Introducing: the Riverbed Hat!

It’s a slightly-slouchy, super-cabled, extra-cozy hat, perfect for sipping hot cocoa after a day of apple-picking. The Riverbed Hat is just fancy enough to be a great gift, and gender-neutral enough to be appreciated by everybody in your family. This hat is worked in the round from the bottom up and the cable pattern is fully- charted.

The Riverbed Hat is part of the newest Knit Picks collection, Bakeoven Knits, which features beautiful textural patterns and lots of cables worked in their new High Desert yarn. This yarn is 100% American-grown and spun and really just lovely. I was lucky enough to get a couple skeins to try out a while ago, and it’s really become one of my favorite yarns. It’s squishy and springy and has just enough variation in width to give real depth and character to even the simplest knits.

So head over to Knit Picks and grab yourself a copy of my pattern, or the whole book, or you could really treat yourself and pick out some yarn, too!

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?

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?

In which I do a bunch of math

If you’re a mathphobe, be warned. There’s gonna be a lot of math in this one.

Because I’ve got a pile of yarn and a plan. But not too much of a plan, because obviously that wouldn’t be fun.

So, I’m making a blanket- with a largeish gauge (I’m using US9s) in a lace pattern that I found… somewhere on the internet at some point in the past. I know that’s not great, and I would love to cite the original designer, but I literally have no information, except that it was a charted Japanese stitch pattern, probably from a stitch dictionary. Which one? I have no idea. (If you recognize it, please let me know and I’ll happily share the source.)

Anyway, I worked up a decent-sized swatch, I know I’m going to do this all-over lace pattern with a simple garter border, and I have a big pile of yarn. But how many repeats to cast on?

I could just guess, but that never ends well. Either I end up with a weirdly small blanket or I run out of yarn halfway through a king-size monstrosity. I’m aiming for a nice throw blanket this time. Big enough that the newlyweds can snuggle underneath it, but not so big that they will be celebrating their silver anniversary before it’s done.

I grabbed some tools. A pad and pen (I’m still old-school when it comes to math), a tape measure and my trusty kitchen scale.

First, I weighed the swatch: 30 grams. (I’ve got 12 skeins of 100 grams each, so 1200 grams of wool to work with.)

Then I measured the swatch. The whole blocked swatch was about 7.5x 9 inches, or 67 square inches.

So if 30g=67 square inches, I can do a little math to figure out that I can use my 1200g to work about 2680 square inches.

Then the next question is, If I have 2680 square inches to play with, how wide should the blanket be? In my head, the blanket is about 50 inches square… ish.

So I divided 2680 by 50, leaving me with 53.6. So, if I cast on 50″ across, I’ll have enough yarn for a 53″ long blanket.

Each repeat is about 3″ across, plus an inch and a half for each border, so dividing it out, that will give me 16.16. But, of course I can’t do part of a repeat, so I’ll round down to 16.

So to get my stitch count, I’ve got 6 stitches for the edges, plus 14 x 16 (14 stitches per repeat, 16 repeats), which gives me 230 stitches.

So now I’m off to cast on and cross my fingers that I did my math right!

Something New!

I’ve been on a real “knitting from my stash” kick over the last year. According to my notes in Ravelry, I’ve knit about 20 projects from stashed yarn since quarantine began. I’ve really made the best of a bad situation, and I’ve made some things that I’m really proud of. (Also some things that I’m not proud of, but at least I used up yarn.)

Which is all well and good.

But there’s nothing like getting a big order of brand new yarn in the mail.

And, y’all. What an order!

First, I ordered a big (big!) pile of Simply Wool Bulky in Wilbur. (It’s called Bulky, but really it’s more of a generous worsted or Aran.) It’s a lovely undyed old-school wool, in a nice grayish-tan color that goes with just about anything. This is going to be a big throw blanket with an all-over lace pattern for one of my oldest friends’ wedding this summer. (I don’t think she reads the blog, but if you’re reading this and you’re an old friend of mine and you’re getting married this summer… forget what you just read!) It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to get out there for the wedding, between the baby and the whole “flying on planes during a pandemic” thing, but I want to be there in spirit, so a big blanket it is! (Stay tuned for more details/progress reports. Hopefully.)

And the rest of the yarn is my favorite Provinical Tweed in Salsa Verde and Caramel to make a pair of Weasley-inspired sweaters for a friend’s two little boys. I love this yarn for kids’ clothes. It’s super soft and washes like a dream. They’re going to be so cute!

I’m glad I got the materials for two different projects- it’ll be nice to have a big, satisfying project as well as a couple quick little knits to switch between.

I’ve gotta say, it’s exciting to have a pile of brand new yarn waiting for me!