Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kindling AKA My First Shawl

Today I'm going to share one of my favorite knits from this past winter. My first ever shawl.

It's the Kindling pattern by Leila Raabe from one of the Brooklyn Tweed Wool People collections. I've never knit a shawl before because, to be frank, I've never been sure I would get very much use out of a shawl. I had noticed, over the past few years, quite a few textured shawls making their way into my Ravelry favorites. So what pushed me over the edge to cast on?

1. It was cold. A lot. I decided that even if I didn't care for it as an "outside the house" garment, I would surely appreciate it as a "not freezing to death on the couch or in the bed" piece.

2. A quick perusal of my stash revealed enough Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering in this Limestone colorway to get the job done. I don't know how many years I've had this yarn. And here, I'll just say it, I'm one of those people who gets anxiety about stash without purpose. Stash with no plans is not how I roll. So you can imagine my delight that I would get to scratch a textured shawl itch without having to go out to explicitly buy yarn for a clothing item that might never see the light of day.

But oh. Oh ho ho ho. Turns out I've been waiting my whole life to wear a shawl and I just never knew it. I wear it all the freakin' time. I wear it like an oversized cowl and it's delightfully comforting and warm.

And if it gets too cold, boom, I'm rocking it granny style.

And if I ever have a moment of sublime joy that can only be expressed by stretching out one arm to let my shawl catch the breeze as I stand before a stone wall?* I've got that covered too.

*That's totally a thing right?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Fine Line Between Draping and Delusion

Remember when I said that I was in the midst of a knitting disaster? Yeah. I really wasn't joking.

I aspire for all my clothing to resemble a bell - or a Christmas tree. 
I checked my gauge. I even blocked my gauge swatch. I think what got me was a combination of knitting a size too big and the pattern increasing needle sizes to create a "gentle A-line shape". I also especially appreciate how I randomly stopped knitting a good three inches before my torso ends. My thinking was that after blocking and wearing, the yarn over bits would stretch and I didn't want it to end up too long. I think we can all agree that this top is not too long. I fully believe what was actually occurring was that my subconscious was leaps ahead of me and screaming, "This will not fit. Let's just end this so we have less to rip out later." 

And please, can we just not discuss why I, having tried the thing on, actually picked up and knit a few rows of the sleeve?*

P.S. I checked the gauge on the thing - it was different than my original, good girl, following all the knitting rules gauge swatch. 

Have I failed at knitting a sweater...
or succeeded at knitting the most impressive, and accurate gauge swatch?
 *Why? Really, just why?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mother of Dragon... Socks

This week, instead of a project that I finished over winter, I'm sharing one I finished last week - House Targaryen Socks. Super happy fun time bonus - it's a free pattern on Ravelry.
Cushy Textured Socks are the best.  It is known.

These were a great knit. They make a nice cushy texture and are simple enough that you don't need a pattern in front of you to work on them.  In fact, while I love me some Game of Thrones as much as the next person, the texture and ease of knitting was the real reason I picked this pattern.

I'm really pleased with how these turned out - perhaps more so since I've been hit with a knitting disaster on a different project. I've knit the entire body and part of one sleeve of a fingering weight linen sweater about 8 inches too big. I haven't built up the intestinal fortitude to start ripping yet. Maybe I'll take pictures to show the magnificence of my delusion that it would magically fit. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Seduced by Collections

Last summer I turned 32 and my lovely daughter picked out a ball of sock yarn for me. She was very, very proud of her gift and even drew a picture of a ball of yarn to accompany it. Unsurprisingly, the ball she picked was a cacophony of purples and pinks with just a splash of red. * The yarn is Berroco Sox in the Colorway 1476 Humberside. 

32nd Birthday Socks 

My very first pair of socks were out of a different colorway of this same yarn. I knit them too loosely so they are ever so slightly floppy, but I will say this - even at a loose gauge, they are still wearing like iron. I took the leftovers of that ball and made shorter socks on smaller needle and that pair is still going as well. Here's the thing though, for making two pairs of that other colorway, I was never a super huge fan of them. There were, in fact, grumblings about "looking like a Cosby sweater".  And while the yarn wears well it makes neither the softest, nor the absolute warmest socks. So you can imagine my trepidation casting these on.

Leggings make legs look lumpy. 
I don't know if it's the fact that they remind me of my daughter, or that they are bright and were knit in February, but I kind of love these. They even have sparked new interest in my older pairs. I think maybe it's the pull of collection. One thing is just a thing. More than one of similar things - bam - you now have yourself a collection.

Curated Collection of Cosby Socks : 2014

And now I pretty much feel obliged to get all the colorways and make myself a glorious hideous/beautiful collection of Cosby Sweater Socks.

*I will note that now her favorite colors are "pink, purple, golden, light blue, and even though it is not a color, rainbow". 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day! Now Go Wash Some Dishes.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there. I woke up to a lovely handmade banner hanging from our living room window. I also received a clay thumbprint necklace from my daughter - which I got on Friday because she just couldn't wait to give it to me. Good stuff.

I've been busy working on my own Mother's Day project during the week. My Mom has talked about Swedish dish cloths for a while now. They are super cute - but somehow, giving dish cloths for Mother's Day seems kind of lame.

Of course that didn't stop me from doing it.

In fact, I added a commemorative card.

Card in progress.

Happy Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

May is for Mending

Over the winter, I noticed a problem. Most of my hand knit socks decided to develop holes and thin spots. This took quite a bit of planning on their part as it's not like I knit all of them at once - at least then it would make sense that they would wear thin at the same time. In any case, I've decided that May is officially the month that I will get to mending and reinforcing them.*

During the winter I decided that clearly the necessary course of action would be to knit myself more socks. These are out of the now discontinued** Knit Pick Felici yarn in the Botany colorway. This was from the Way Back Stash and I'm kind of surprised that I picked out this colorway. I think I was seduced by the aqua. 
Botany Socks. Modeled in the "please ignore the ill fit" pose.
I did a forethought heel that, apparently, I needed to think about a little more because it hits under my heel instead of at it. Oops. In any case they are warm and bright and, most importantly, don't have holes at the heel.

*Fact - Alliteration with months makes projects get done faster and better.
** Boo.