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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

So, I Started Another Sweater. Wasn't Going to Do That.

After finishing Eyre, I had kind of decided to just work on other things (non-sweater things) for the month of June and then start my next sweater in July for the ESK Q3 KAL.  That plan lasted about 10 minutes when I found the Jih pullover and realized it was perfect!  I've been trying to knit from stash this year and one thing I have in my stash is laceweight yarn.  This is great, but I'm not doing very much with laceweight at the moment so it's just sitting there.  The Jih pullover uses two strands of laceweight held together.  You essentially get a fingering weight yarn and theoretically I could use any pattern for fingering weight and just substitute with two strands of laceweight, but the idea had never occurred to me.
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Once the lightbulb thing happened, I went stash diving and found two laceweight yarns that would work together.  On the left is Malabrigo Lace in Jewel Blue (100% Merino) and on the right is Solstice Yarns Annwn in Avalon (it's an Alpaca and Silk blend).
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The colors are blending together nicely, but the best part is the way this feels.  The knitted fabric is so light and soft and it's just going to be wonderful to wear.  I think it will be a super light pullover, but also soft and warm.
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As you can see, it's a top down, raglan sleeved pullover and I've already separated the sleeve stitches.  There are two edging options in the pattern: a contrast hem (using just one of the colors of laceweight) and a twisted ribbing.  I'm actually playing with the idea of using a narrow crochet edging using just the Jewel Blue.  I'm wanting a more delicate edging because the knitted fabric is so light and soft.  I have plenty of time to figure out what I'm going to do though.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Finished Eyre

Eyre 
I finished knitting my Eyre pullover and it's all blocked and completely finished!  I knit it in Dream In Color Smooshy With Cashmere in Magic Orchid.  I followed the pattern pretty closely.  The only changes I made were to knit the back a couple of inches longer than the pattern said to and to knit the sleeves at 3/4 length instead of full length.
Eyre
The change to the back length was easy to deal with since there's meant to be a little vent at the hem when you seam the front and back together.
Eyre
I love the finished pullover and while it seemed to take forever to knit (it really shouldn't have taken as long as it did, I spent long stretches of time just ignoring it), I can't wait for Fall to roll around so I can wear it!

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Almost There!

Eyre 
I've finished both sleeves for my Eyre pullover!  I have to weave in ends on the second sleeve, knit the neckband, and block the whole thing one last time and it's finished!  According to my Ravelry project page, I started this sweater January 1.  I can't remember the last time it took me this long to knit a sweater!  I will have it completed by the end of the month though.

Usually when I finish a project I cast on for another project like it right then.  I haven't decided yet if I'm going to cast on for another sweater right away.  The third quarter KAL for ESK is for a sweater, and you get the bonus star for completing the whole thing in two weeks.  I'm going to give it a try and I've got a worsted weight, top down, raglan cardigan all picked out for my project.   I can't start it until July, but that gives me one month to knit another sweater in the meantime.  On the other hand, I can knit the Q3 KAL sweater anytime between July and the end of September, and while September isn't a good idea with school starting, that still leaves me any two week block of time in July or August.  So clearly it isn't crucial that I be ready to knit a sweater right as the sun rises on July 1.  I could also put whatever sweater I'm knitting on hold while I knit the Q3 sweater because it's basically a knitting sprint anyway - I won't be knitting much else during that time.

Obviously, I have some decisions to make.  I will figure things out this weekend and you'll find out next week!

If you're here in the US, Happy Memorial Day.  If you or your family members served in our armed forces, THANK YOU! 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spinning!

Aguas merino 
So here's something you haven't seen in a while - spinning!  I started this well over a year ago, possibly almost two years ago (the exact date is in my spinning notebook which is in the other room).  The fiber is Malabrigo Nube in Aguas.  I have eight ounces of it total.  My original plan was to spin the eight ounces of this, plus spin eight ounces each of two more colors/fibers (for a total of 24 ounces) and then make a three ply yarn - one ply of each fiber - which would be enough for a sweater.  As I was spinning this (my first bobbin), I realized I wasn't entirely sure that I still wanted to do that.  It occurred to me that I could instead spin three bobbins of the Aguas, ply those together and still have eight ounces of spun yarn in the end.  A bit of playing with the scale and some re-sorting of fiber and I was ready to go.

What you see here is the first third of my fiber.  I should get a heavy fingering weight or light sport weight yarn when this is all finished.  On the other hand, merino tends to fluff up quite a bit, so it's possible that it could be bigger.  Can you tell that I didn't sample?  Yeah, bad spinner. 

I can't remember the last time I really did any spinning and I really need to practice more.  I need to get back into the habit and be more consistent. 

I also should note that for whatever reason, Max feels that when I spin, he should be sitting on my lap (preferably on the fiber).  Never mind the treadling, that doesn't seem to bother him, he'll just curl up and go to sleep.  Since Max isn't much of a lap cat, I've been doing what I can to keep him happy!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Meandering Along

Meandering shawl 
I've gotten a few more back and forth switches on my Meandering Shawl finished.  It's too big to stretch out fully on the needles at this point and it kind of looks like a sleeve in the photo, but you're looking at the center spine of the shawl in this photo.

I think I've definitely gotten a handle on the brioche stitch (both purling and knitting in brioche) at this point and it's also going faster.  Of course the rows are getting longer too, so my times probably balance out in the end.  It also doesn't help that I periodically have to spread it out and admire the way the sparkle fluff yarn and the singles yarn are playing together.  The fabric of the brioche knitting itself is just so squeezably fluffy too!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This Weekend...

Welter 
This weekend's hat trick wasn't a hat at all - I made a cowl!  This is the Welter cowl.  I knit it in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi (60% Wool, 20% Silk, 20% Yak) in Grimm Green.  This was my first time using this yarn and it's lovely.  It's not a superwash yarn, but it's very, very soft while still having some structure and body.  I would definitely use this again.

The pattern was straight forward and easy to knit.  I cast on, knit the cowl and bound off all on Saturday.  It was a great little project that gave me a quick finished object and let me test drive a new-to-me yarn.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

A Sleeve is Born!

Eyre 
I've been working on the first sleeve of my Eyre pullover.  The pattern has long sleeves, but I've decided to make 3/4 sleeves for my own sweater.  I haven't measured yet, but I think I'm just about there.  I'll have to double check before I get too much farther.

These are knit from the top down after picking up stitches around the armscye, and while I like the way sleeves like this fit, I utterly despise working the short rows of the sleeve cap.  That, to me is the ultimate knitting torture.  Thankfully, it doesn't last too long and if I start them early enough, I can plow through the back and forth sleeve cap short row silliness in one day.  Then I switch to my 9-inch circulars and proceed with the round and round section of the sleeves.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Hat I Can Neither Spell Nor Pronounce

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I finished my hat!  It's a slouchy hat, so since the whole thing is held on only by the ribbed band, I had to be very careful blocking it.  I did get it blocked though and it does stay on properly, so now I have two hats.

The pattern is Pelagia Noctiluca from the Knitters Curiosity Cabinet, Volume 3.  Apparently the name is something from the octopus or squid families (I'm not looking at the book right now, but I seem to recall a picture of some sort of octopus looking character sitting by this pattern.)  Maybe using the Ink colorway was fitting?  The yarn is Madelinetosh Pashmina.  It was a well written pattern and the lace was easy to knit.  I worked four repeats of the main chart and I think I got just the right amount of slouch on my hat.

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Made Another Dress!

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Yesterday I cut out a simple knit dress and since I had some time before dinner, I started sewing it together.  By dinner time it was all sewn up and hemmed!  The pattern is McCall's 6886.  I used the shortest length, the scoop neckline, and the short sleeves.  (There are two longer lengths; a crew neck and a v-neck; and both 3/4 length and full length sleeves plus a sleeveless option that can all be mixed and matched.)  It's made in a cotton/spandex (95%/5%) knit from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I have a store bought dress that's very similar to this design so I chose my size based on those measurements. I sewed it completely on my serger and hemmed the neck, sleeves, and lower edge with the coverstitch machine.

I think this will be great for Summer with a cute pair of sandals.  I'll probably make another one or two because while it looks pulled together, this kind of dress feels like pajamas!

Tomorrow there will not be a dress.  There will be something else.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Made A Dress!

Moneta dress 
Over the weekend I cut out and made this dress!  The pattern is the Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns and I made it in a rayon jersey knit (super soft!).  I made the 3/4 sleeve version (which actually hits at the elbow, but the pattern calls it 3/4 sleeve) because the dark floral looked more fall and winter to me than summer.  I think the narrow sleeve will also work well if I throw a cardigan over the dress also.  I hate having bunchy sleeves inside my cardigans, but I don't think I'll have a problem with this dress.
Moneta dress
I love the way the dress came out!  I made the Small size with no adjustments or alterations and it fits perfectly.  I will definitely be making a few more of these.  Did I mention the dress has pockets?  It does!
Moneta dress
I was also able to use my new coverstitch machine to hem the dress (neck, sleeves, and lower hem).  It was my first time using it and it worked really well!  I love how professional it makes those hems look.  I hope to be sewing a lot more knits now that I have it, in fact I might be cutting some things out later today!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Apparently I'm Knitting Hats This Year


I cast on for another hat over the weekend.  I have no explanation for this except that I had more leftover yarn and it was pretty.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Pashmina (mmmmmmm, I know) in Ink, probably leftover from my Dexter Cardigan.  The pattern is Pelagia Noctiluca Hat from The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume III.  (Just in case you were curious, I absolutely had to look up how to spell that name for the blog post.)

I started with an almost full skein and two partial bits of skeins.  I will still have yarn left when I finish this, but hopefully this will put a dent in it.  I'm probably about halfway through at this point and I should get this finished before too much longer.

Tomorrow you can see why I haven't finished it yet!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Some Sewing

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I've got a few finished sewing projects to share today!  I made some tech doo-dads and a box bag for my brother-in-law who will be traveling again soon.  From top left to right, these are the Annex Double Zip Box Bag from Sew Sweetness (I made the Medium size), Cord Keepers, and a Circle Zip Earbud Pouch from Dog Under My Desk.  The box bag is a paid pattern, but the other two are free tutorials.  I loved the idea of a box bag with two compartments and while there's a lot going on when you're sewing it, the directions are clear and putting it together went smoothly.  The other two projects were definitely easy and just used tiny bits of the leftover fabrics I had after cutting the box bag.  (I started with a fat quarter of each of the three prints I used.  Each side of the box bag is lined in something different.)
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Here's an action shot of the Cord Keepers (you can see the lining fabric) and the Earbud Pouch.  Mickael has already asked for an Earbud Pouch of his own, and I will definitely be making more box bags.  Also, I can see the cord wraps being really useful for travel.

These were all fun to sew and I hope they'll be useful.  I'll definitely be making more of these, so if you're on my Christmas list and want any or all of these, feel free to let me know!

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Back and Forth and Back Again

Meandering shawl 
I've worked another section on my Meandering Shawl and it's getting bigger!  I'm also getting faster with the brioche stitches and things are making more sense to me.  There's still a lot to go, and until I get to the lower edging, it's just a lot of back and forth on the center spine (so I'm sorry if it makes for boring blogging, but I'm learning a new stitch).
Meandering shawl
Here's a shot of the other side, the light side.
Meandering shawl
Also, on an unrelated note, this is what it looks like when you sew with a big dog.  Particularly if the big dog thinks he's teacup sized.  Have a great weekend!  Hopefully I'll have some finished sewing projects to show next week!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eyre

Eyre 
I have blocked Eyre and sewn the side seams.  I also wove in all the ends I had so far, which cleaned up the whole thing.  The lace back section is longer than the front and to be honest, I can't remember if I planned it or not (it's not that way in the pattern).  Either way, I'm fine with it.
Eyre
There is a split hem (that is in the pattern), so the longer back does work with it.  If the side seams went all the way down, it might look funny.
Eyre
Here's a back view of the lace, if you're curious.  I'm now ready to pick up and knit the sleeves and then all I'll have is the neck band to finish the sweater.  I'm thinking about making 3/4 length sleeves but I haven't officially decided yet.  With the lace back and light weight it just doesn't seem like a sweater that needs long sleeves, you know, for survival purposes in the Texas winters and all.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

A Hat Fell Off My Needles This Weekend

Passerine hat 
So this happened.  When this pattern was first released (Passerine Hat), I thought it was beautiful.  I also noticed that it would use small amounts of fingering weight yarn.  I happened to have leftovers of fingering weight yarn (funny how that happens), so I put a note with these leftovers so I could remember what I wanted to use them for.  This past weekend I was looking for something small to work on while my Eyre pullover blocked and when I needed a break from brioche.  This hat was the perfect little palate cleanser!

I cast on Saturday afternoon and finished up Sunday evening.  I blocked it yesterday and I just love it.  The yarn is Malabrigo Mechita in Natural and English Rose, leftover from a striped pullover I made a while back (2015?).  This yarn is super soft and I love all the colors of pinks in the English Rose.  It makes such pretty birds.

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Monday, May 08, 2017

We're Beginning to Meander!

Meandering shawl 
I worked some more on my Meandering shawl over the weekend and the center spine is starting to "meander" back and forth now!  I think I'm getting a bit faster with my Brioche stitches, but I have to pay attention.  When I start getting tired and my mind wanders, that's when I make stupid mistakes and I don't really understand brioche knitting well enough to correct things without just tinking back to where the mistake happens.  This is not a project for the end of a long day!  On the other hand, I'm starting to understand what I'm looking for when I make each stitch, which is helping me catch mistakes sooner.  I'm hoping to have a pretty good handle on brioche by the time I finish this project because my next brioche project will be bigger and more involved.
Meandering shawl
Also, here is sparkle vision, so you can see the sparkly bits in the Kidsilk Night!

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Friday, May 05, 2017

Getting There!

image 
I've finished the knitting on the body of my Eyre pullover.  The back was partially blocked when I was trying to measure the lace section, but most of it isn't blocked yet.  There is a ribbed edge at the lower front, but it's rolling right now so you can't see it.  I will be blocking the whole thing this weekend (and trying to keep Logan from laying on it and "helping").  Then I will seam the front and back together at the sides before I start the sleeves.

The sleeves are picked up and knit from the top down, so once I finish those, there won't be anymore seaming.  There's a narrow neckband, but I haven't decided if I'll do it before or after the sleeves.  I'll make that decision later.
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In completely non-knitting related news we had a nature sighting yesterday.  Mickael startled this little guy out of wherever he was hiding when he (Mickael) went to mow the backyard.  The little bunny squished himself into the gap between the house foundation and the patio and tried to become invisible.  Those are standard size bricks he's next to - he would absolutely fit in a teacup.  He stayed there for several hours (long enough that I took him a small bowl of water and some carrots), but when I took Logan out (leashed) at bedtime, the little guy had gone home and we saw his mom in the yard.  I'm guessing they had quite a discussion last night.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Something Very New

When I knit the Westknits MKAL shawl earlier this Spring, I got to work brioche stitch for the first time and I loved it!  I loved it so much that I immediately decided that I needed to brioche all the things!  I might have even purchased two gradient sets from Miss Babs to make a Rose Gold.  Since my only experience with brioche was the little bit on the mystery shawl and I had never done two color brioche, I decided it might be smart to try it on a smaller project first.  Let me introduce you to my smaller project!
Meandering Shawl
This is the start of the Meandering Shawl from the 10th anniversary book (also e-book) from Loop of London.  I went stash diving and found a single skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Undergrowth (I love this color) and some Rowan Kidsilk Night in color 607 (I'm sure there's a better color name for this, but I'm having no luck finding the color name for 607 and the yarn was only made for a little while and then discontinued -why?  Why, Rowan, why?).  Kidsilk Night is Kidsilk Haze with sparkle.  I also have some plain Kidsilk Haze in off white that I thought about using, but then I realized that when faced with a choice of sparkles or no sparkles, the only rational choice was to use the sparkles!
Meandering Shawl
So I'm off and running, or sort of, on my first two color brioche shawl!  Fun fact about brioche?  It's reversible!

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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Marching Onward

Eyre 
The stockinette is continuing along on the front of my Eyre pullover.  I'm only a few inches from finishing the front and that's my goal for the week - finish the front, block this thing and sew the side seams on the body.  I hope to start sleeves next week!

I know it's got to be psychological, but I feel like working in the round is faster than working the back and front separately.  Something about knowing I have to sew the side seams makes this whole thing feel very slow.  Honestly though, when I look at the actual time I've spent knitting this pullover, it's really gone pretty quickly.  I've just ignored it for several weeks at a time while I worked on something else.  (Probably because I'm months away from being about to wear it, so there really is no hurry.)

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Monday, May 01, 2017

Finished!

Isobel's Antique Lace 
I finished my Isobel's Antique Lace shawl over the weekend!  The edging wasn't any harder than the rest of the shawl and I didn't have to learn any new stitches after all.  I did the top edging a little differently than the pattern called for.  My version has smaller loops.
Isobel's Antique Lace
The yarn is Nerd Girl Yarns Winning in the colorway Different Sizes of Infinity.  I ended up using 1000 yards total for this shawl.  I used a 4.5mm hook for most of it, but switched to a 3.75mm hook for the picot row of the edging.  I then went down to a 3.5mm hook for the last row of the top edging.  Once it was finished and the ends woven in, I threw it in the washing machine and laid it out flat to dry to block it (the yarn says to use the washer and dryer both to clean it).  It grew quite a bit, so I'm thinking of washing it again and tossing it in the dryer to see if that snaps it back a little smaller.
Isobel's Antique Lace
I loved making this shawl and it went really quickly.  I also really enjoyed the yarn and will definitely use it again at some point!

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