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the one with more baby things & some socks | march roundup

March… in like a lion, out like a lamb. The month started with rain, we had a decent snow, more rain, and Thursday it reached the upper 70s… March is a roller coaster here in Tennessee! I can’t believe I’m talking about weather… who am I??

Anyway… March was busy but overall good. I feel like I hardly finished anything knitting-wise. I tried casting on a few things that didn’t work out, which left me in a bit of a rut. Two things that I had to finish were the Garter Chevron Blanket and Rocket Pop Baby Mitts for my niece Kamryn born this month!

The blanket, pattern by Catherine Anderson, turned out super cute, albeit a bit small. I enjoyed the rhythmic garter stitch pattern during the first ball of Caron Cakes, but by the second I was over it. Not to mention that the dye lots were different, which is my fault for not noticing, but still frustrated me. I didn’t want it to make it much longer since it was only about 24″ wide, so I did only 2.5 “stripes” using the second ball and bound off with the same color I cast on with. I think this had a really cute effect! I also think that, while it isn’t fit for a crib, it’s a nice size for a newborn to snuggle up with! And my sister in law really seemed to like it!

You can see the change in color, but it’s still really cute! And this yarn is super soft and nice for a little baby. I wet blocked it, pinning out the chevron points, but otherwise didn’t stretch it too much.

I also finished Kamryn’s mitts, pattern by Andrea Mowry, using Buckalooview Worsted III, which is a wonderful single ply yarn naturally dyed with Cochineal for the perfect pink! I modified the pattern a bit to match the Garter Ear Flap Hat I knit her last month. I used the needles suggested, but instead of stockinette and color changes, I just did garter for 8 ridges (16 rounds), then decreased as written, keeping the garter intact. I haven’t heard whether they fit her little hands, but I think the set is adorable! (Other mitt pictured over on Instagram!)

My sister in law put the hat on her right after she was born, which totally melted my heart! She’s so cute and I’m glad she has a few things handknit by her auntie! 🙂

The only other things I’ve finished this month are socks! I’m one sleeve away from finishing The Easy Bulky One, but it got a bit warm to knit on a bulky weight sweater! I’ve also melted into the 3rd color of my fade, which I enjoy working on. So here are the two pairs of socks I’ve finished!

Hippity Hop Socks, named after the madelinetosh colorway I used. I actually used the Smooth Operator Socks pattern by Susan B. Anderson and I just don’t like the afterthought heel! Maybe I’m doing something wrong? I’m not sure. But I’ll save that for a sock journal. I think they turned out so cute and they fit pretty well! These are my February socks for my first Box o’ Sox KAL!

Finally, I finished my Old Fashioned Sugar Frost Socks, using the Sugar Frost Socks pattern by Marianne Heikkinen and The Fawn and the Fox yarn. This was my first skein of Lara’s yarn and it won’t be my last! It was simply dreamy. My friend Christine (christine.knits) and I did a swap and she sent me this gorgeous yarn – the Doe base in the colorway Old Fashioned. I enjoyed every stitch! These are my March socks. I have to go back and knit my January sock’s mate, then I’ll be all caught up on my Box o’ Sox!

 

I just bought another 2.25mm needle so I can have two different socks going at once. I’ve already cast on my first April sock! Also I have so much leftover (each pair only uses about 60g for my small feet), so I’m thinking I may whip up several shortie socks. Or scrappy socks! What’s your favorite for leftovers?

OH, and those adorable sock blockers are from AlexWorkshopDesign on Etsy and he did a fabulous job custom making them to accommodate my tiny feet! Shipping was a little slow from the Ukraine, but they are totally worth it!

April will be an exciting month with another baby due! I have some more things to finish up for my sister’s little one, so that should keep me busy for most of the month. Eek! Happy knitting!

 

finally fading + #knitlifesurvey

finally fading!

Guys! I think I’m the last knitter in the world to start a Find Your Fade, but I’ve finally done it! I bought the pattern way back when it was released in December 2016, but I had a hard time finding my perfect fade. During madelinetosh’s annual sale in January, I spotted the Lamplighter Fade set on Tosh Merino Light and snatched it up! It’s only 5 colors, so I’m modifying the pattern a bit to accommodate this and also make it a bit smaller. It’s not turning out as “fade-y” as I was hoping, but I still really like it so far! Here’s what I’ve completed!

 

The colorways don’t have names as far as I can tell, so I can’t list them. Here are the next 3 color I’ll be melting into:

I’m finding this knit to be very meditative, which I’ve needed lately. I have a laundry list of things I want to make, but for some reason I wasn’t feeling anything but this. So I put needles to yarn and I’m really happy I did! You can see my notes and follow my progress on my project page!

#knitlifesurvey

I’m not into watching all the podcasts like a lot of knitters seem to be. Nothing against them, I just get a bit overloaded with content. But I do watch a few, and wool needles hands is one of them! I just love Tayler’s laid back style, the amazing info she gives, and the gorgeous yarn she dyes! Tayler recently did a Knit Life Survey vlog, which I loved, and I really wanted to fill one out myself! So here goes!

  1. What sparked your interest in knitting? My Nana knit beautiful afghans for her 3 grandchildren when we were babies. I used to watch her knit and became fascinated!
  2. How and when did you learn to knit? I was somewhere in the range of 7 to 9 years old when my Nana first handed me a set of (huge, awkward, metal) needles and some acrylic yarn. I knit a few lumpy, hole-riddled squares before putting it down until sometime in college (8 or so years ago), when I picked it back up… the rest is history!
  3. What is your favorite cast on method? Long-tail!
  4. What is your favorite type of knitting design element? Is garter stitch a design element? 😉 Brioche for sure!
  5. What is your favorite project you have ever knit? The sweater I knit my husband because I am so proud of it!
  6. How many projects are in your Ravelry queue? 63, but I try to keep it under 50.
  7. What is your favorite weight of yarn to work with? Worsted!
  8. What was your first knitting project? Some type of scarf, but I don’t remember exactly which one. 
  9. What is the longest time you have had a half-finished project in hibernation? What is it and when did you cast on? Do you still want to finish it? My longest project in hibernation is a tie for my husband. I cast it on in April 2016 and yes, I actually do want to finish it! Maybe for our anniversary in May! Fingers crossed 🙂
  10. What is the largest project you have ever knit? The sweater mentioned above.
  11. What is the worst and just overall bad, didn’t work out thing you ever knit? I don’t finish things that are that bad, but there were some iffy hats back when I started knitting hats (there is no longer evidence! haha)
  12. What is your favorite kind of project to make (socks, sweaters, shawls… etc)? Hats for sure!
  13. What is your favorite type of fiber to work with? Wool. I love BFL and merino most!
  14. Are you a self proclaimed yarn snob? Nope, I don’t mind a little acrylic mixed in. And I’m very conscious that not everyone can afford quality yarns and that’s okay. Knit what you like!
  15. What is your dream knitting retreat or fiber festival to attend? Edin Yarn Fest!
  16. What is the oldest yarn in your stash? Some Noro I bought probably 7-8 years ago.
  17. Are you a gifty knitter or a selfish knitter? Mostly selfish but I love knitting gifts if I want to!
  18. What do you like to watch or listen to while you knit? True crime or knitting podcasts or binge Netflix (Grey’s, Friends, The Office…)
  19. 0Do you prefer wood or metal needles? Metal for socks, wood for everything else!
  20. Is there a pattern or project that you have knit more than one time?  Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho 🙂
  21. Do you have any other hobbies? Yes! Weaving, sewing, cooking, hiking, and I just love making in general.
  22. What is your favorite snack? Chocolate or anything sweet!
  23. What is your favorite color? Grey
  24. Do you have pets? If so tell us about them… Two sweet pups – Molly & Louise! They’re both mutts from the shelter. Yin and Yang. We love them!
  25. Last but not least……coffee or tea? Both! I love a good latte or a cup of English breakfast tea with lots of milk & sugar. Also sweet tea, cause I’m from the South 😉 

the one with all the baby things | february roundup

I don’t know about y’all, but February flew by for me! Of course it’s the shortest month of the year, but this particular one felt like the shortest month of my life. Between planning a baby shower for my sister, sewing some valances, and being in a general rut, I didn’t get a whole lot of knitting accomplished last month.

But, now that I’ve gifted my sister the baby things, I can finally share them! First I want to share a few photos from the shower – I hope you don’t mind! I don’t share much personal stuff here, but this shower came together so nicely and I really want to show you! She’s not finding out whether it’s a boy or girl, so we really had fun with a green, gold, black & white/jungle theme!

  

Okay now for the knits 😉

I’m hoping to get a better photo of the blanket in use, but for now, here is the Colorblock Bias Blanket by Purl Soho. I knit this with Caron Cakes in the colorway Jellyroll. I can’t know for sure (because, you know, I haven’t had a baby), but I think this yarn will hold up well with use. It’s supposed to be square, but, as you can see, my tension must have been a bit different when increasing vs. decreasing. I used almost 2 full skeins and actually came very close to running out of yarn. I ended up ripping back a few rows at the end and decreasing more frequently so as not to run out. In the end, I think it turned out really cute and very squishy! Most importantly, I think my sister loves it. I highly recommend the pattern, though the color changes bother me to the point that I’m not sure I’d use this yarn again for it.

 

The next thing I knit for little bun (as I affectionately call my niece/nephew) is the Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly van Niekerk! I’d had this skein of madelinetosh Tosh DK in stash for a long time and this was the perfect project for it! The Sliverleaf colorway made the cutest gender-neutral garment for a little one. The photo isn’t great, but I can’t wait to see it on the baby! Mods (which can be found here) include joining in the round after the underarm to make a pullover, a split him, and short sleeves. This was such a fun, quick little knit! I hate adding buttons, so I don’t know that I’d ever do the cardigan, but I think a pullover may be more practical for a newborn anyway.

I also gifted her the Garter Earflap Hat I showed in my January round up (project page) using some Toil and Trouble yarn she got me in 2016 during a trip to Salem!

 Another Garter Earflap Hat went off to my Canadian friend Christine (christine.knits on Instagram) for her little boy due soon! I just love it knit up in the Flock Fibre Studio that Christine sent me – so sweet!

As for non-baby knits, I managed to finish my Bean by Plucky Knitter Designs! I thought it was really cute, but ultimately decided not to keep it. I still have plenty of the yarn left to make myself something else 🙂 You can see details here.

 

The only other thing of note was starting The Easy Bulky One by Joji Locatelli… my first Joji pattern! I’m really excited for an oversized, bulky pullover. A month in, I’m only about 8 inches into the body, but could finish it super fast if I put my mind to it! Maybe that will be my weekend project… I’d love to get this off the needles before the weather warms up too much to wear it. Here’s my progress from awhile ago:

I’m using KnitPicks Simply Wool Bulky, which is similar to Cascade Eco Wool; I really enjoy knitting with it! Oh, and my bag is from the fabulous Kristina Birch Grove… I just love her bags and this one holds my WIP and entire sweater’s quantity of bulky wool!

It doesn’t seem like much progress because, frankly, it’s not. I’ve lost a bit of my knitting mojo, and all I want to knit are socks! But I’m hoping to make progress on my sweater and finish up a few more baby things (two babies due between March and April!)… I better get knitting!

finish or frog | round one

I posted at the beginning of the year about my goals for the year and one of them was to get all my WIPs under control by either completing them, or ripping them out – I’m calling this finish or frog!

One project I’ve decided to both finish and frog. Last March, I cast on a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks with a gorgeous cake of Candy Skein Tempting Sock (now discontinued) that I got in San Diego in 2016. I finished the sock, but was never really happy with it… it’s actually a bit too small, which is my fault, but I also don’t care for the pattern/colorway combination.

So I’ve decided to start a plain vanilla sock in the same yarn. I cast on 60 stitches, did 2×2 rib (which I usually don’t prefer, but I think it works well for socks) for 20 rounds, then just stockinette for 7 inches or so. I’m also going to try the Fish Lips Kiss Heel for the first time, which I’m excited about! I want to try different ways of knitting socks and am hoping this heel will be a good fit for my foot. And, as a bonus, this will also take care of my “Find out if I can be a sock knitter” resolution! It’s yet to be determined, but I have enjoyed having something mindless to knit while waiting before/after I get my allergy shots. Here’s a not-so-great photo of the beginning of my “shot room sock”!

I’m a little sad about this next project that I’m going to frog, my Yoga Shawl by Andrea Mowry. Andrea is one of my favorite designers and the pattern is wonderful! So this is nothing against her. The thing is, I bought this pattern back in September 2016 before I realized that I really don’t enjoy knitting stockinette flat – that is, I despise long purl rows! It took me starting another, very similarly constructed shawl (see below) to realize why I’m not motivated to knit them! I’m really proud of the progress I made, but after languishing for a year and a half, I think it’s time to frog this one and repurpose the beautiful madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering (also discontinued). It will be hard to let go of all the work, but I think it will be worth it in the end. I have mulled over the idea of knitting this in the round and steeking someday, but for now… it’s time to say goodbye to this WIP!

The last thing I’m frogging right now is 2nd Avenue by Amy Miller. This is another shawl that I really love in theory, but I hate knitting those long purl rows! It’s the one mentioned above that now makes me think before I buy a pattern. Now, I always look at the construction – if it’s tons of purling, it’s not for me! The yarn I’m using, Plucky Feet is too nice to not knit with. Surprisingly, I’m actually considering making some socks with it once I rip it out!

So far, I haven’t finished any of my WIPs from last year, but frogging the ones I don’t love really helps me clear my head!

What have you finished or frogged lately?!

new year, new goals

One reason I like to blog is so I can look back at what I’ve done… and what I’ve said I was going to do. I basically laughed out loud reading my 2017 goals because many of my goals for this year are the same. That is, I didn’t achieve most of them. Oops.

So what goals did I achieve last year?
Well, I knit with intention more for sure. Most of my projects had a reason… even if the reason was “I really, really want to make this.” But I don’t feel like I knit a bunch of stuff I won’t wear. I completed around 40 projects, which is not bad considering the volume of my Etsy shop. Speaking of, I focused on my shop more, hit a personal goal of 100 sales online, and had two successful holiday markets! It was my best year yet where my side business is concerned and I couldn’t be more thrilled! And of course, I learned more which each new thing I knit!

Which goals did I not reach?
Knit from stash. Yeah, totally failed at this one. I think I bought more yarn this year than ever before. But I am renewing my resolution to knit from stash in 2018. I’m also going to participate in a Love Your Stash Challenge hosted by Naomi of Naomi Grace Designs with the intention of whittling my yarn down either by knitting or destashing!

 WIP it good. I’m not sure how many of those WIPs I completed, but I have more now than I did then! 2018’s motto: Finish or Frog!

Find out if I can be a sock knitter. Yep, didn’t do this one either. I knit one sock and wasn’t thrilled with the FO, though I didn’t mind the process. So it’s getting ripped and reworked into a vanilla sock. I’d also like to try toe up, two-at-a-time, and the fish lips kiss heel. Maybe this will be the year of socks? …Don’t hold your breath 😉

New goals!
#2018yearofthesweater – I recently posted about this here if you’d like to read, but basically I have a goal of knitting 8 sweaters this year!

All the baby knits – I’ll be renewing my title of “aunt” twice this year (eek!) so I have a ton of baby things on my knit-list. Think tiny hats, booties, maybe some jumpers… I can’t wait to meet my niece & [niece or nephew – it’ll be a surprise] and put them in all the itty bitty knits!

Be (at least kind of) monogamous – This will probably be the hardest one for me. Usually, if there’s a free needle, I find something to fill it. But this year I want to focus on actually finishing things and not just casting on with abandon!

That’s it! I mean… I think that’s enough 🙂 What are your 2018 knitting goals?!