Look at this cute beret (Rav link)! I made it over the weekend, and I was so excited about it that we went out for pics before I blocked it. I have been thinking about a beret for a long while now, and when Ritual Dyes featured the Best Beret pattern in their newsletter, I immediately put down everything on my to-do list to make it.
This is the beret I have been dreaming of. I raided my scraps to use see if I had anything suitable, and found some mystery white wool, held it with white mohair, and got started. I really like the construction of this hat, the icord start makes it so easy to get the fit right. Even though I have a tiny head, I ended up making the larger size.
I suspected I was going to run out of white yarn, but just decided to wing it, and I figured I could do a little colorblock-action if I had to. Spoiler alert: I ran out of yarn. I found some leftover gray Zelana Performa from our trip to New Zealand, and I really love how it looks with the white! The natural halo of the possum compliments the mohair so perfectly.
What a cheerful little hat to get through the winter!
I just finished my Christmas sweater with some serious time to spare! I haven’t knit a fingering-weight sweater since the Twigs, which was the biggest beast of a sweater to finish ever. This is Stasis from Leila Raven. I’ve wanted to make it for oh-so-long, and I love how it turned out. I did the same mods as many others by adjusting the post-colorwork rounds for a less-high neck.
I decided to finish the neckline with red and green stripes since I omitted the waist colorwork. I knit the entire first round of each color change to avoid the “icky dots” that normally happen with color striping.
The pattern has you knit the sleeves first, which I really liked because 1. you make progress much more quickly than if you start with the body, and 2. the first sleeve can count as your swatch! I noticed that the colorwork looked sorta bad at the sleeve BOR, so when I got to the yoke, I started the “next” row’s colorwork a stitch or two (if the color change was very close to BOR) before the end of the previous row, rather than the end of the upcoming row so there was less of a noticeable shift. IMO the yoke BOR looks much better than the sleeves. I’m pretty happy with it.
I could not have timed knitting this sweater better for travel, I had juuust joined the sleeves to the body before a work trip to Indonesia. On the trip, I finished the colorwork and yoke so I only had the neck ribbing left to do when I got home. I already am dreaming of another more neutral version of this sweater to wear all year round. It fits perfectly, I love it so much!
It was pretty chilly and windy when we took these pics, so I was pretty ready to put my coat back on by the end of things:
My friends have welcomed lots of little ones into our world over the past year! I’ve made a few gifts and have accumulated a stockpile of photos, so I think its time to post about these cute projects.
First, the Teddy Bear Sweater. I saw Lizzie knit this awhile ago and I just thought it was so cute that I had to make one, too. The pattern was pretty bare bones, but that little face really makes this feel so special. I sized it up to what I hope is a 3-6 month size, but its really hard to know how big to make things, its sort of just a wild guess.
I also made this pretty big (and pretty cool!) octopus. I remember knitting the tentacles on the train and got some pretty weird looks from strangers. If you ever had “second sock syndrome,” try knitting 8 of these bad boys. Luckily the yarn weight makes them go quickly. I love him, though!!!
Here are some baby socks from Purl Soho, and hats with a pattern I made up. These ended up being sized perfectly for a newborn head!!! What are the odds!?
And last, but not least, I just sent this set away to California for a baby who hasn’t been born yet! I hope he likes them.
I breezed through most of this Kahlua cardigan but have stalled pretty badly right before crossing the finish line. The ribbing on this sweater is giving me so much grief. I’ve tried it two times and it did not look right, so I frogged. I brought it with me on a weekend trip to visit my sister and planned to give it another try en route. It didn’t work out, but I decided to put it on and start wearing it anyway. I am curious if fellow knitters have a “THAT GARTER EDGE IS GIVING ME ANXIETY” sort of a reaction, but it looks fine to me.
We watched The Art of the Steal forever ago, and had been telling my sister to watch it for awhile. After finally seeing it, we “celebrated” by visiting the Barnes Foundation to see Dr. Albert Barnes’ amazing collection of art arranged “just the way he would have wanted.” For anyone not familiar with the situation, his art was posthumously “stolen” and is now controlled by the group of people he detested most. ANYWAY, this is all setup to tell you that we were leaving the museum and saw the most beautiful wintry ivy wall, and we had a mini photoshoot. The light was so great, I barely edited these photos.
Some musings about the cardigan now. The instructions have you do both sleeves before the body, and I may have found a permanent new order of events when knitting a seamless sweater. The sleeves went so quickly, and gave me motivation to get through the body, so thank you for the idea, Thea!! I highly recommend the pattern, its very clever in its construction and has details that make it feel so special. While knitting, my k1 columns were very wiggly and uneven, but it all came out with blocking. I kirchner stitched the back neck seam and the underarms to make for a less obvious join. Its not seamless, though, because its purl ribbing joined with knit stitches, but it looks nicer than a 3-needle bind off or mattress stitch. More details of my saga on ravelry. Also wanted to give Call Your Girlfriend a shout-out! I just found out about this show and knitted to several back-episodes over the past few weeks. I am now a loyal listener and when a new episode comes out, it shoots to the top of my “Play Next” queue.
I used Quince and Co’s Owl in Tyto, and its very very warm and cozy. I love it! Now, on to the ribbing!! Third time’s a charm.
I went to my first Rhinebeck this past fall. I was so overwhelmed by the enormous selection of yarn that I did not buy very much. I focused on absorbing the good vibes, learning about the different breeds of sheep and ogling all of the beautiful knitwear. I did end up purchasing 2 skeins of Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery. The bright Blue Lake color sang to me in the booth, and I decided to buy 2 skeins. I am trying to purchase yarn and fabric more mindfully, but at the same time I wanted some wool to commemorate my first Rhinebeck.
This wool has become a hat! I used Emily Greene’s Link pattern from Brooklyn Tweed, and I love it. I am not usually the fastest knitter, but once I got past the ribbing I couldn’t stop knitting– I think I finished the cabling in 3 days. I topped it off with a pom! I do not have a pom-pom maker, instead I used the 2 cardboard C’s technique. Easy, free and fast!
As I was making it, I wondered how I would incorporate this bright color into my existing cold weather gear rotation. At this point, I remembered my long-neglected Endpaper mitts, languishing in the back of my closet, unworn for years. The bright blue I used for the colorwork would match-but-not-match exactly the way I like. The one problem was I did not like how the gloves had stretched out at the finger ribbing. I wore them to my knitting meetup to try to get over it, and complained about this issue. The group wisely suggested I rip out the ribbing and redo it. Duh! I made the ribbing longer so I could double it over for extra warmth, and to hopefully cause less stretching out.
I am very happy that in making my new hat, I have resurrected my gloves. What a great February pick me up!
The Twigs is done!!!!!! I love it, and I’m never taking it off (Rav link). I love how swingy and comfy it is. The neck is a little bit weird and baggy, but I do not care enough to do anything about it. This was a long journey to finished, and when I was in the 400-stitches per round section of the lower body, it was very difficult to press on, but I did it. 🙂
I broke a personal record last month when I knitted a sweater start to finish in 15 days! I am not sure what exactly came over me but I worked on it during every free moment over those 2 weeks. This is the Carbeth Cardigan, which I’ve been eyeing up for months on Ravelry. I made the second size using worsted weight Purl Soho Good Wool held double. The yarn weight definitely contributed to my speed to the finish, but I am still so surprised and proud of myself. The sad part is I haven’t been able to wear it! Its been so hot here, but today we had some relief with a 70 degree day, so I put it on and Jacob snapped some lovely photos.
I got the buttons at Pacific Trimming in the Garment District. I can’t wait till it gets cooler and I can start to jughz this cardigan into my wardrobe! I have been wanting a basic cardigan like this for ever.
I highly recommend this pattern, the instructions are very good and the finishing techniques are just lovely, the sweater is beautiful inside and out, I especially love the foldover collar and the button bands.
I made the Rocquaine sweater (rav link) from PomPom Quarterly’s Fall 2016 collection. I wanted to make something a little out of my comfort zone– it has a semi-cropped fit, and I had never made a gansey before. It seemed like a great learning project. This went very quickly, and I love how BT’s Arbor knits up, very spongy and light. I haven’t knit with BT yarns before, but it seems like this is a heavier yarn for them than the rest! I will have to give Shelter a try soon.
I messed up a little bit on the front gansey panel, I didn’t start the rig and furrow motif soon enough, so it starts a little late. Its very unnoticeable, though, so I am okay with it. I like the texture so much!
Jacob is killin’ it with the photos!
On another note, I made my mom and sister some mitered-cornerEssex linen napkins for Christmas. After making 16 napkins, I have discovered a trick to help make a more professional finish. At first, after sewing the miters and pressing, I had so much excess fabric in the middle of each side, and couldn’t figure out where I went wrong. After going back to double-check my measurements, I found that pressing from the middle of each side before pressing the corners made a huge difference and eliminated the excess ease. I think the miters can be deceiving when pressing them first, and they can throw a lot of slack to the long sides instead of sucking some up themselves. After adopting this method, sewing the hem became a breeze. Anyway, totally recommend these napkins, I love them and the fabric is perfect for an everyday napkin. I might make some more for me!
Bonus: Jacob snapped a pic of the silver dollar patch after some rain. I love how moody this is.
I had some leftover linen from Joann’s and I decided to use it to make a trial Dove top. I really would like to make the bell sleeve version, I just haven’t found enough of the right fabric yet. The shape of the top is very “modern” and its loose in a way that makes me feel like I am trying with my outfit. I took a page out of Elizabeth Suzann’s book and am considering linen a year-round fabric, instead of just for summer, and I am trying to embrace the wrinkles.
Totally embracing the wrinkles here.
I used some leftover Liberty of London for the facings, and I used the beautiful selvedge edges where I could, like in the center front seam. Why are linen selvedges always so whimsical?
While we were on our family beach walk, I found some awesome silver dollar plants growing in the brush. I snuck in to get some.
The cowl is based on Purl Soho’s Salt and Pepper cowl. I sort of just followed the spirit of the cowl, the idea of two yarns, alternating rows, and using one yarn for the ribbing. I used some hand spun alpaca yarn from my friend’s mom’s farm, and the white is some luxurious cashmere I’ve been saving. I made a pair of mittens from the alpaca last year, and I wanted this to match them. In the past, I think I’ve gone crazy with colors, and want to make more neutrals so I don’t look so wacky when I wear my hand knits.
Yay for family beach walks!
Thank you to Jacob for taking these beautiful pics!
Jacob picked out some Zealana possum-blend (60% merino, 30% possum, 10% silk) yarn on our honeymoon to New Zealand, and I finally got some pictures of him wearing the cowl I made with it, since its been SOOO COLD!
First, some background on possum yarn. Possums in New Zealand are not like the ones here. As a non-native species they are an invasive predator to NZ’s birds. The short of it: New Zealand has a very unique avian population due to its remote location and lack of native mammals. Birds evolved in a very wild way here because they had no natural predators. The most widely known example of this is the Kiwi. Because the possum is killing off their already-endangered birds, NZ is curbing the population of possums wherever possible, and in the process has discovered that their fur makes wonderfully warm yarn. We had to see for ourselves, so I bought some yarn to make a cowl for Jacob. It has a distinct halo when knitted up that you can sorta see here:
I used the Lodgepole cowl pattern, because I wanted to do some colorwork, and I wanted it to be masculine enough so Jacob would happily wear it. I used bamboo DPN’s for this, and I really do not like them at all, for the record. But I think I have two-handed colorwork down now, so maybe I should try a colorwork sweater! HA! I eliminated one of the repeats to make a more snug cowl, and I added a split in the bottom ribbing to curb opportunities for the wind to sneak in to his neck while riding a bike. He has been using it this week since its become suddenly bone-chilling cold. He loves it, and it fits very snugly.
oops! you can see where my 2×2 ribbing didn’t line up because I eliminated a pattern repeat!