Friday, August 17, 2018

More Green

This weekend is move-in for the college, which means town is very full and very busy. I'm planning on holing up in my apartment and not leaving unless I absolutely have to. My best friend just sent me the codes for the digital copies of movies she recently bought that I haven't seen yet, so I'm looking forward to a movie marathon and some serious knit time.

My green sweater hasn't been a good lunchtime project this week, since it's getting so large and I needed to check the sleeve math a couple of times, so I've been keeping a new sample in my purse. My friend sent me this yarn during a destash, and it's perfect for a double-layered cowl I've had floating around my head for a few months. Right now it's just endless knitting in the round, but once I reach the halfway point I'll be able to start the fun stuff.

What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sweatering Along

I made some decent progress on this sweater over the weekend. I'm on the first sleeve now, and I should be able to get the second sleeve started before the weekend. I also finished all the math for the pattern, so I'm hoping to actually start writing the pattern this week.

Today is the first day of Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL, and I'm hoping to finish this sweater as well as the orange Finn I started back in the spring. I'm not worried about finishing this one, since it's been going so quickly so far, but Finn has just over half a body and full-length sleeves, so I'm not sure if I'll get that one finished by the end of the KAL. Either way, it's always a fun group to knit along with, and even if I don't get both sweaters finished, I'll be well on my way to having some new knits ready before it gets too cold out.

Monday, August 13, 2018

OAL 2018 Finished Photos!

The OAL has been over for almost two weeks, and I only JUST got FO pics! I had such a blast this year, and I'm beyond thrilled to have finally finished both projects within the time frame. I love my sweater and my dress, and I'm definitely going to be wearing them both a lot.

Up first, the dress. This is New Look 6392, view A, in an astronaut-print quilting cotton I found at the thrift store this spring. I used bias tape instead of the neck and armhole binding in the pattern because after trying out the written binding on the neckline I didn't love it.

Part of that might be due to the fact that the neckline is too wide on me- the upper chest and upper back are a smidge too big, and I didn't fix it before hand. I have an idea to try out some pleats along the neckline  to bring it in some so it fits a little better, but it's really only noticeable to me and my sewist friends.

I also modified the dress to have a side zip. The pattern calls for a back zip, but I am single and not flexible enough to do a back zip on my own, so, it had to move. I'm pleased with how the zipper looks, given that I had no clue what I was doing and I pretty much just made it up as I go along (am I supposed to use a special foot for a zipper? I feel like I probably am.).

My sweater is Hetty, which was my sweater for last year's OAL as well, but this year I kept the length as written. After finishing my hip-length Hetty last year, I knew right away that this pattern was a winner for me and that I needed a cropped version too.

I also did some fooling around with gauge to knit this out of a lighter weight yarn than the pattern called for, and I'm really pleased with how the finished cardigan came out. It still doesn't have buttons, but that's not keeping me from wearing it. I'll be going through the city next month on my way to NCFF, and I'm planning on stopping to look for buttons then.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Body Grows

The body of this sweater is moving along quickly now, and I'll be able to start the sleeves this weekend. I've just completed the fourth set of hip increases out of six, and there's just about five more inches left on the body.

Generally, I like to start writing my sweater patterns once the body is finished and the first sleeve cap is shaped. Before that I work off of a spreadsheet, but once I know I'm not going to be making any significant changes to the design, I feel free to start putting all my spreadsheet information into an actual written pattern.

What I'm really struggling with now is that I have NO CLUE what to name this sweater. Usually by now if I don't have a name, I at least have some idea of a direction to go while looking for one. Right now, I have nothing, so I'm probably going to spend the next few days trying to think of something.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Making Up

I am almost caught up to where I was before I had to rip back on this sweater, and it feels good to be seeing it take shape. This week I've been dogsitting for my parents, so I've been knitting on this quite a bit instead of bringing a bunch of projects to their house, and the monogamous knitting time is paying off. 

It's been interesting, being back in my parents' house for an extended period again. I love my apartment, but it's been so great to go out back and see butterflies in their garden and hear the squirrels chattering in the walnut trees. It's a bit late in the season for this year, but next year I plan to get a planter to go by my back door and a bird feeder to go in front of the living room so I can see more wildlife around my apartment.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Knitting Backwards

As part of my current round of WIP wrangling, I pulled out a sweater sample I started back in the spring and set aside because I didn't want to do the armscye math. Having just finished two shawl samples back to back, I really liked the idea of digging into a sweater project again. I did the math, and after a marathon of knitting on Saturday and another few hours on Sunday, I was almost finished with the waist decreases.

But something felt a little off. I get in the habit of counting my stitches, not as a way to keep track of them, but just as something to keep my mind busy, and I kept getting really high numbers for the front of the sweater. So I actually counted them, for real, and I had over twenty extra stitches. And then I realized that I'd made a terrible, terrible mistake when I'd cast on the front neck.

It turns out 29 and 29 and 39 do not, in fact, add up to 77. And all those extra stitches aren't something I can just hide away. So, rrrrrip. I'm enormously frustrated, and this sweater is the last thing I want to look at right now. It's been ages since I've had to rip back like this, and I'm SO ANGRY. But I don't want this sweater to get the best of me, and I'm going to fix it and carry on. After I have a little cry about it, of course.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, August 3, 2018

WIP Evaluation

It feels like the summer has completely flown by. This year I'm finding myself in a real "get things finished" mood. Having just finished the OAL and Bubblegum Spice, something in me is craving the satisfaction of getting things off the needles. 

Mottled Daydream is currently my second-oldest active WIP, having been cast on in May of 2015. And, honestly, this project is even older than that. Way back in 2014 I tried knitting this shawl twice with a different yarn, but it never quite worked, so I set the pattern aside until I found this yarn in my stash. This shawl has been sitting in a basket for years, and I recently dug it out to bring along on a night out with friends, and it was the perfect thing to work on. I have no clue why I let it languish in a basket forever.

I'd love to get this finished soon. I really love this pattern, and the yarn is so soft, I'd love to be able to tuck it up against my neck this fall. It's certainly not going to be finished quickly, but maybe a marathon stockinette project is just what I need right now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Finished: Cowl

Community theater is done for the summer, but it always holds a special place in my knitting life. Knitting during play rehearsals can be tricky - it needs to be something that won't get finished too quickly, but I also need to be able to put it down in the middle of a row if I need to.

Recently my good friend Annika released Olympic Boulevard, and I immediately wanted to cast on. So I downloaded the pattern to my phone, grabbed a skein of yarn from my stash, and headed over to play rehearsal. But as I sat winding the yarn into a ball, I realized that what I thought was a variegated skein was actually a self-striping gradient! I love a gradient, but I hate letting any of the color progression go to waste, so I knew a hat wasn't going to work. HOWEVER, if I knit a cowl, I could keep going until all the gradient had been knit up! So that's what I did.

This is just a stockinette tube with eight rounds of k1p1 ribbing at the bottom and the top. I'm really pleased with how it came out, and I absolutely love the gradient with the darker stripes in it. I still need to dig around in my stash for a better yarn for Olympic Boulevard, but, knowing my stash, I'm sure I'll find something.

Ravelry Page: Cowl
Pattern: from my head
Yarn: ModeKnit Yarn ModeWerk DK "Night Cirus"

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, July 30, 2018

New Pattern: Bubblegum Spice

Happy Monday!

Bubblegum Spice is the perfect extra layer by a campfire on a cool summer night or tucked up against your neck under your winter coat.

Ideal for showing off your favorite hand-dyed yarns, Bubblegum Spice is worked from the center top down with edge and center increases on every RS row. The chevron lace body transitions to a diamond border.

As always, the pattern includes both charts and written instructions.

Bubblegum Spice is available on Ravelry now, and is $1 off this week!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Playing Catch-Up

Oh man, it's been FOREVER since I've visited with you all! The past week and a half has been absolutely crazy, but I'm finally starting to get back into my regular routine. Last week was tech week for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and we just finished production on Monday night.

The Sunday of tech week I woke up and immediately knew that I had strep (again!). I stayed in bed most of the day and went into the clinic that afternoon for a strep test. The Rapid Group A culture came back negative, but I tend to get Group B strep a lot, and I know what it feels like in my throat, so I called in sick to work for Monday and started waiting for the 48-hour culture results. We didn't get the confirmation until Wednesday morning, so I didn't go to work at all last week, and I missed the first three nights of tech week. Thursday night was a little bit crazy, as I hadn't been at rehearsal for four days and it was the night before opening, but everything went great.

Joseph was amazing. It's such a fun show, and we had great audiences for every performance. As much as I enjoyed the show (and community theater in general!), I'm ready to return to my regular, quiet schedule.

Since I was sick for most of last week, I didn't get as much knitting done as I'd have liked to, but I did manage to finally finish a pair of socks for my mum at the bar after performances! These have been on the needles for two years, and it's about time I finally finished them. I'm definitely not knitting socks like I used to, but I really did enjoy working on these, and I'm glad I was finally able to give them to my mum.

Pattern: my own sock recipe
Yarn: Schachenmayr Regia Design Line by Arne & Carlos 4-f├Ądig "3761 Iris"

Friday, July 13, 2018

Numbers on a Friday

1. Play rehearsals continue apace.

2. I am so very tired. I am immensely looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. And I'm exceedingly grateful that I only have to work at the library two days next week.

3. My apartment is a mess. I haven't done dishes since last weekend.

4. Related, there was a GIANT house centipede in the kitchen sink this morning and I about died.

5. I really, really hope that I actually managed to drown it and it's not amassing an army in the pipes to come up through the drain and kill me later.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Knit One, Rehearse Two

I'm still trucking along on this shawl sample, and I'm now about halfway through the final repeat of the first chart. The rows are getting just long enough that I'm only managing to knit three at a time during my lunch breaks, but I'm still having so much fun knitting this that I don't really mind the pace.

Play rehearsals have reached a peak, and we're officially in the busiest two weeks of the year for me. I have just one evening off between now and the end of the run, and rehearsals are going later and later. The show is coming together great, but it is definitely exhausting! Fortunately, I wised up a few years back and now I'm always sure to take the week of play production off from the library, so I only have one more week at this breakneck pace before I can slow down during the days.

Friday, July 6, 2018


I've been making pretty good progress on my Hetty. I'm almost ready to start the bottom ribbing on the body, and with three and a half weeks left in the OAL, I'm feeling pretty good about my chances of finishing. I still haven't started my sewn garment, and that's probably the only thing that's making me nervous.

The bobbin casing in my sewing machine broke a couple weeks before I moved, so I ordered a new one along with some things I needed for my new apartment, and now I have no clue where it ended up. I feel like I've looked everywhere, but I haven't done a real, methodical search yet. Hopefully I'll find it this weekend. Either way, my goal is to get my fabric ironed, my pattern traced, and my pieces cut out by the end of the weekend.

I'm planning a pretty quiet, restorative weekend. We're heading into the final two weeks of play rehearsals, so after tomorrow I'll have just one day without rehearsal or performances until the 24th. I am going to be taking several days off work during performances, which always helps me stay sane, but this is still the busiest part of my year!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Thinking Pink

The grey cocoon sample that I've been working on for the past couple months got finished, and it's a disaster. There's some discrepancy between the swatch and the finished project, and the whole thing's a mess, and it's sitting in time out right now. So I decided to pull out my trusty pink shawl.

This has been hibernating for a while, but it is still an absolute delight to knit, and I think I'm just ten rows away from the border. This yarn is so soft, and the color is fantastic, and after a couple months of All Linen All the Time, it just feels GOOD to be working with wool again.

Over the weekend I managed to catch some kind of crud that's apparently been going around. I've been eating lots of spicy food to try and flush it out, but it's proving to be kind of stubborn. I have long play rehearsals tonight and tomorrow, but then I have the rest of the week off, so as long as I can make it through the next two days in one piece I'll be able to rest up the rest of the week.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, June 29, 2018

Onto the Body

Man, it's amazing how much knitting I can get done when all my time isn't spent unpacking boxes? I joined the fronts and back of my Hetty for the OAL this week, and I just started the waist decreases.

There was a part of me that was worried about knitting Hetty again this year. I don't frequently knit patterns more than once, but I really wanted a cropped version of this sweater. Fortunately enough time has passed that the knitting feels fresh and fun. I'm also knitting a different size this time - the yarn I decided to use this year is DK instead of worsted, so I did some gauge math and I'm knitting two sizes up to get something that will fit me well.

Play rehearsals continue to go well. We're at the halfway point now, having just finished the third week of rehearsals and being three weeks away from opening. It's been some long nights, but it'll all be worth it in the end, and I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend in the meantime!

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Other Side

Oh man, it feels really good to be on this side of the move. I'm not quite 100% set up yet, but I'm pretty close, and I'm really loving my new apartment so far. I still need a couple more bookshelves for my living room and another shelf and a large table for my studio, and I'm still feeling out my kitchen space to see where I want to keep things. None of my art is hung up yet, and all my jewelry is tangled up in a flowerpot waiting for me to figure out where in my bedroom it'll go, but everything is unpacked and as close to the right spot as I can get it right now, and I'm really pleased with it.

Probably not too surprisingly, I didn't get much knitting done last week, and, in fact, I misplaced most of my active WIPs during the move. It took me two days to find my OAL project underneath a pile of stuff on my counter, but once I finally unearthed it, I made quick work of the rest of the upper back and the start of the right front.

In a perfect world, I'd be coming up on the halfway point of my OAL projects, but that is clearly not the case. This week I'm back to my regular schedule, so I should be able to start banging out the rest of this sweater, and I'll probably make my dress a weekend project sometime in July.

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

OAL Sweaters and Play Practice and Moving, Oh My!

Oh, look! I have part of a sweater back! What a refreshing change! I've been working on my Hetty for the OAL at music rehearsals for the summer musical, and it's pretty much the perfect project for that. Of course, it helps that it's still small and in the beginning stages and that I've knit it before.

I had a bit of a mishap on Monday night- I realized that after the first repeat, I'd been shortening the repeats by two rows, so I had to rip out a few dozen rows. I'm almost back to the point I was at before that happened now, and it's been smooth sailing since then.

My week is kind of a wreck right now, with play rehearsals every night and my move coming up on Friday. I'm probably not going to be posting on Friday or all of next week while I deal with moving and unpacking, but I promise lots of photos once everything's done!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Almost Ready

I have my swatch done for my OAL sweater, and I'm just about ready to cast on. I haven't really been getting much knitting done the past couple weeks, and I probably won't be getting too much done until after the move, but I'm hoping to get this sweater started, at least.

Tomorrow is the first night of the Shakespeare Festival. This year they're doing Richard III, and while my whole family is going with some friends on Saturday night, I've decided to go to the Thursday and Friday showings too. It's always a great show, and I need a break from packing, and sitting in the park is a perfect opportunity to bring along some knitting!

I haven't been reading too much lately, but I'm almost halfway through Beneath the Sugar Sky right now. It's an Interlibrary Loan book, and I need to get it finished soon. I already requested a renewal on it, but the new due date is creeping up on me!

My moving sale is still going on!

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, June 4, 2018

OAL 2018 Time

The Outfit Along started on Friday, and I'm so excited! Last year I managed a sweater, but not the dress. This year I am more hopeful, and I have quite a bit more sewing experience now. Of course, moving in the middle of the  OAL is going to throw a wrench in things, but I'm going to just forge ahead and see what happens.

For my sweater this year I'm making Hetty again. I love my full-length Hetty that I made for the OAL last year, but ever since I finished that one I've wanted a cropped one as well. I had this yarn in my stash, and it seemed to be a perfect match. I'm hoping to get my swatch done and cast on the back today.

Since I'm moving in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, I'm having a little sale to celebrate. All my patterns are currently 25% off on Ravelry with code MOVING.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, June 1, 2018

Me-Made May 2018 Roundup!

I finally participated in Me-Made May this year, after several years of wanting to. I didn't get photos every day, and I missed two or three days, but overall I'm really pleased with how I did! I definitely need to sew more, and I figured out a few more knits that I feel are lacking from my closet- I definitely need more light cocoons, some more linen tanks, and another Ella, probably in black. Did you all participate?


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The End of a KAL, the Midpoint of a Project

The TTTKAL ended yesterday, and I didn't manage to finish a single project. It's kind of a bummer, because I really like meeting arbitrary and meaningless deadlines, but I know I've got a lot going on right now, and it might have been unreasonable to think I could finish a fingering-weight top in a month. The group forum was, as always, a complete delight, and I'm definitely looking forward to Shannon's next KAL.

I'm hoping to get this cocoon finished and the pattern written soon- within the next two weeks. I'm moving to my new place two weeks from Friday, and I'd really like to have this finished before my whole life gets upended. I'm already besotted by this, and I want to finish so I can enjoy wearing it all summer.