I Get Carried Away

So… I may have a million things on my needles right now. It’s been forever since I’ve posted, and I’m terribly sorry. I promise I will get better and consistently writing. That’s one of my goals for the fall. I want to get to the point that it’s as instinctual to blog as it is to exercise every day. There just aren’t enough hours, I tell you. Today will be a lightning round of where I’m at with each project, then I’ll give you more in-depth updates as the week goes on. 

Three Tree Town

I ended up frogging this poor little bugger. About halfway through the second chart, I was just not loving the pattern. It wasn’t working for me like it had before. I still love the yarn, though the variegation does make it a challenge. It’s all ripped out and patiently waiting for me to find the perfect pattern for it. I may try and find another Elizabeth Clark pattern for it. Jury’s still out on that. 

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What Wonder

Finished and handed over to the expectant momma just in time for the baby shower. I also received a lovely text from the daddy (also an old friend of mine) saying how much they love it. It is currently folded neatly into the crib, waiting for little Eleanor to arrive. 

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Hartford Sweater

Well, I finished the body and the sleeves, which is terrific. But I botched the seaming. This is likely partially due to the modifications I made while increasing and decreasing, to account for the difference in the width of my gauge. I need to rip out the seams and redo them, but I haven’t yet built up the courage. Needless to say, Mom did not receive it in time for her birthday, but she says as long as she gets it by October, she’s happy. 

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Wool Leaves

The baby blankets are never ending these days. I’ve pulled my first attempt at Wool Leaves out of hiding. I want to finish it in time for my niece’s (actually cousin’s) first birthday party on 20 September. This is entirely doable, because I’m holding the yarn double again and I’m over 3/4 of the way through. I just have to be disciplined enough to actually do it instead of all the fun things I could be doing…

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It’s Thunder

I’ve entered my first knit-a-long! Because I OBVIOUSLY don’t have enough on my plate as is… The lovely and tallented Hanna Maciejewska is hosting a fall KAL. We can choose any one of her patterns to work on in the months of August and September. The deadline is September 30th. So I took this as an excuse to buy more madtosh and cast on her Ink. I’m working it in tosh merino light in the manor colorway. I tell you, pictures do not do it justice. This is my first raglan cardigan, and I am loving it. The only downside is that since it’s fingering weight, it is very slow going. 

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Rambling Woman

Since It’s Thunder is so slow going, I decided I needed a little instant gratification. For most knitters, that would mean a hat or something. Not so with my crazy little brain! I went for another pullover! This one is in worsted though, and it’s very simple. I cast this little guy on last weekend and I am already finished with the hip increases. So it did feel instant and very gratifying. 

The pattern is Seacoast by Joji Locatelli, and it’s yet another Brooklyn Tweed pattern. I used a little variegated tosh vintage in the Crumble colorway for the ballet neck and the rest is in a Cascade’s Red Wine Heather. It’s gorgeous and cozy and I can’t wait to wear it this fall. 

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I Know I’m Sick When I Don’t Even Want to Knit

I’ve hardly accomplished half the things that I wished to accomplish so far this week. My body has been rebelling against me in a big way. I even had to go home ill yesterday. Normally when I call off, I lay in bed and get a fair bit of knitting done. Not so this time around. curled up in bed and immediately fell asleep for FOUR HOURS!!! And then I still slept soundly all night. I don’t like this game.

I picked up a little of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze while I was at the shop on Sunday. I plan on making a light wrap for my grandmother for her birthday, and it will keep me busy until Mom’s yarn comes in. I started on US 13 needles for a super loose gauge, but I hated how it looked, so I ripped it out (not easy in Kidsilk, let me tell you). Then I recast it onto 5s and I like the look a lot more. I’m debating whether or not to throw a little lacework into it. I’m already doing random striping and I don’t want it to look too busy. I might just add a little edging or something.

ImageI did manage to get Wool Leaves on the blocks this morning. It looks so terrific. I am quite proud of this one. I get the feeling that this will be a staple project for me. There will be a lot of babies in my family with one of these. Just saying.

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In other news, the boyfriend is coming over today and may drive me around to look for cars to replace mine that broke down. Might get some work done on the drive.

All the Things! Finished Things!

Welp, I managed to finish Wool Leaves before the yarn I ordered for Mom’s sweater even arrived. It turned out even prettier than I expected. The color is perfect. The yarn is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see how it blocks. That’s on my schedule for tomorrow. Right now it’s about two foot by two foot. I’m hoping to get a little more stretch out of it once it’s soaked. I know it’s for a newborn, but I want it to be large enough to be useful for more than just the first year. Even if it stays small, I am still really pleased with the result.

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Swallowtail just came off the blocks as well and it is looking gorgeous. Rowan Fine Tweed definitely softens a bit after blocking and feels much better next to the skin. I’ll hopefully get a few action shots of it later to show how nicely it drapes around the neck and shoulders. I am in love with that tweedy texture.

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I only have one thing on the needles right now, which feels very strange. It’s that Manos del Uruguay scarf that I was struggling with in my last post. Well, I ripped it back down to the border and started again with Barbara Walker’s seaweed stitch. It’s turning out a lot better than my last attempt. I’ll have to write out the pattern for you all and see what you think. I keep wavering between naming it “Come Rain or Come Shine” after and Ella Fitzgerald song, or “Old Pine” which is a homage to my favorite singer-songwriter, Ben Howard. Oh, or I could call it “Gold Across the River” in reference to Laura Marling’s song “Alas, I Cannot Swim.” We shall see.

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I May Have Underestimated My Own Skills…

So… You know how I thought Wool Leaves would keep me busy for most of the month of June?

I lied…

To myself…

I am over half-way done; four reps out of six to be precise.

To my defense, I am also working on another one of these with more reps in a DK weight. Understandably, that is taking a little bit longer.

But still.

I mean really.

This is borderline crazy. I kind of feel like the Hulk of knitting. I just don’t know my own strength…

I AM GOING TO GET SOOOOOOO MANY THINGS DONE THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!!

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Onward and Upward

After a harrowing six-day work week, I finally got a day off today and made a trip to my LYS for supplies for my next two big projects. I ordered some of Rowan’s Aran Tweed in Dent for a birthday present from my mother and picked up some Spud & Chloë Sweater in Grass.

It is great to have a new big project to start. I finished my Swallowtail Shawl last week and had all weekend to kill. So I picked up my Block of the Month and got caught up on that. Basically Block of the Month is a year-long project where you knit one square foot block of an afghan every month. At the end of the year, you have a nicely sized afghan. At my LYS, Amy writes the pattern every month and gives it free to anyone who buys their material for it from her shop. We all meet on the second Sunday of every month get started on the next month.

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I’m using Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair. Since we’re knitting the blocks in columns of four, I am knitting them in a repeating pattern of three colors; Elderberry, Moss, and Raven. This month was honeycomb stitch, which is a pleasantly mindless motif after all the grief and frustrations of Swallowtail. Cables are my comfort zone. They are the first moderately advanced technique that I learned, and the repetition of CB4, CF4 had a soothing rhythm to it.

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Now that I am once again stocked, I’ve started plugging away at my scheduled pieces. First up is Wool Leaves a new baby that is due to one of my oldest friends. She’s due in September, but the baby shower is at the beginning of July, so I’m trying to get it done by then. Wool Leaves knits up so fast, I don’t think that will be much of a problem. I just started today and I’m already a full rep in. Holding a worsted cotton/wool blend double on US 13 needles makes for a quick knit.

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In fact, I may have time for a little side project for myself. Remember that Manos del Uruguay that I picked up while on vacation? Well, I have a plan for it. I found this lovely etude by the talented String Geekery, who is pretty genius, if you ask me. I think it will transform it into a long, skinny scarf. S.G. was thinking of it as an edging pattern that repeated horizontally, but I want to work it into a vertical pattern. I am trying to work out some variation of Jared Flood’s tubular cast on and slipped stitch edging that I loved so much on Afton. I’ve done the cast on and the broken ribbed border, but my math was wonky and I’m finding it difficult to blend this seamlessly into the etude. I’ll probably have to frog and recrunch the numbers… math… hmpf…

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What’s Next?

I am mere rows away from finishing Swallowtail. All that’s left is the edging and then she’s ready to block. I do love this part of a project, where I can se it unfold in my hands, while simultaneously contemplating what’s next.

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After this, I have a few big projects coming up. I’m making a sweater for my Mom’s birthday in August. We’ve picked out Hartford by Julie Hoover. After seeing how well Swallowtail knit up, I think I will use Rowan’s aran tweed. I love the texture and feel. It’s not too clingy to the skin, which Mom will like. She also really likes the little flecks of color in Swallowtail. I went to my LYS the other day and took a look at Amy’s swatches. I’m leaning towards Dent.

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I also have a few other projects for others coming up. One of my oldest friends in the world is having a baby in September. Her shower is in July and I think I could probably whip together a second Wool Leaves by then. The one I currently have on the needles will have to hibernate for a few weeks while I scurry to finish that. I can’t decide between one solid color, or mixing it up. I could do it in all green or I can mix some dark and light grays into it. Any thoughts?

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Now that I’m doing a lot more work for others, I am going to have to get a lot more single-minded on my projects. I have about one big project due every month from July on. On July 6, Wool Leaves needs to be ready. August 6 is Mom’s Hartford. Sometime in early September is Wool Leaves II. I do have a few little treats coming up for myself as well though… 😉

 

 

The Unforgiving Delicacy of Lace

This one is going to be fairly short, because I have a lot to do today. But, since I haven’t updated you all in a while, I felt I needed to at least post a few thoughts.

First thought: lace is rough. I knew there was a reason I had avoided it for so long. This Swallowtail Shawl is kicking my butt every inch of the way. I got a little mangled in the edging for about two reps, but now I’m back on track again. It doesn’t look too tragic, so I’m just going to leave it. I could spend the rest of the summer frogging and reknitting this stupid thing. At one point you just have to say good enough and keep on knitting. I just finished my first skein and it is beginning to take a coherent form. I can finally say, I’ve grown about an ounce of pride in this thing about halfway through that first skein. Now, only four more to go…

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In other news, I am attempting another pass at a baby blanket for my little cousin. She’ll be a year old in September, and I didn’t finish a blanket for her in time for her birth, so she’s getting one for her first birthday. I chose Jared Flood’s Wool Leaves pattern, which I think is very pretty. I am a tad nervous about the material though. I bought it back before I knew better and it’s Bernat’s Softee Baby. It’s all acrylic and all salmon pink. The mom helped me pick out the color though, so I will struggle through. Hopefully the end result will do justice to the pattern. One of my best friends will be having a baby around the same time, so I’m actually off to the yarn shop to pick out a soft, fluffy cotton for my second pass at this one.

ImageAnd final thought, I happened to drive by the little town where I lived during my undergrad years. The Island Weaver in Winona Lake, IN is a sweet little shop. I only visited it once or twice during my college years, but it was worth stopping in again. The owner is a delightful weaver and she has her shop set up in thirds. The front room is for FOs by various local artists. The middle is full of yarn and pre-dyed and un-dyed roving wool for sale. The final back room is her own studio where she weaves beautiful blankets, scarves and rugs on her various looms. It is an absolute delight and she is super friendly. I picked up three skeins of Manos del Uruguay in the Tanager color way. This is an artisan’s collective of women all over the Uruguayan countryside that spin and dye wool for sale in the US. The proceeds feed directly back to them and help them support their families. The wool has a fun, raw texture and a bit of a thick and thin nature to it. And the colors are just glorious. I think these are going to be made up into a pretty little scarf.

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So much for being brief…