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WIPs & FOs | plucky edition

You guys have heard of¬†Plucky Knitter, right? If somehow you haven’t, I’m more than happy to introduce you! ūüôā Sarah and Hayley are the mastermind¬†sisters behind this crazy colorful brand. Since I’m so close to my own sister, I totally admire the fact that these two work together so closely (without ripping each other’s hair out)! Anyway, there are several ways to purchase their amazing yarn, and it can get a little complicated. Follow this¬†link¬†to learn all about the process! It’s super helpful to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss an update.

Over the past year or so, I have purchased yarn through several of their blog updates, as well as on the destash thread in their¬†Ravelry group. And I only just realized that apparently I’m on a Plucky kick, with my last 4 FOs and 2 current WIPs all knit with Plucky yarn! They offer a variety of bases, all of which I’ve enjoyed knitting with (though I have my favorites… read on for my thoughts on that)!

First up, I finally finished the gorgeous Winter Honey shawl by Andrea Mowry earlier this month. Although I blocked it a little too aggressively (the cables on the edge opened up way too much), I am completely smitten with it! For this one, I used their 100% Merino base Trusty in the shade Penny Candy; I purchased 3 skeins from a blog update specifically for this pattern. As you can see, this color did not disappoint!

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Trusty is a fabulous base that’s, well, trusty ūüėČ It’s a workhorse yarn that I’ve used before for hats and another shawl. I have no doubt it’d make a great sweater, too!
honey10Trusty is also one of Plucky’s most affordable bases, which is often a consideration for me. I highly recommend checking it out! See my¬†project page¬†for more photos & info.

My next FO is the¬†Duotone Cowl¬†by Orange Flower Yarn. I ordered a skein of Cozy in the colorway Skies of November, a rich medium blue. A few weeks later, I ordered a mystery skein and, as fate would have it, a skein of Cozy showed up! And in a colorway I happened to love (it’s a “One Hit Wonder,” but is very similar to Small Batch 021). It didn’t take me long to find this sweet cowl in my favorites & cast on! It only took me 3 days to finish this baby and I just love it. Cozy, a Merino/Baby Camel blend, worked up really well and is already one of my favorite bases!
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Next are two hats that I’m (surprise, surprise) head over heels for!

Holt¬†by Alicia Plummer knit up in just 2 days and is one of my new favorite hat patterns. I ordered a skein of Loch on Traveler Aran from Reserve and had to cast on ASAP. Since I’d been wanting to knit this hat for a while, it was an easy match! I think this hat would be even better in a “woolier” yarn, but Traveler, a blend of Merino, Silk & Yak, is a dream to work with! It relaxed a bit more than I intended with blocking (I need to work on my aggression apparently!), but Holt is beautifully slouchy & I love the greenish-gray hue of Loch!

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My last recent FO is¬†Chevy¬†by Andrea Mowry, knit for my sister in her favorite color ūüôā

I purchased this skein from a fellow Plucky addict on their destash thread, specifically for the shade of blue – Paris is Always a Good Idea. This one is on the Primo Aran base, which (I must admit) is not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, it’s Merino/Cashmere/Nylon and is great to work with, but the skein I got had a couple of knots and also some inconsistency in color (i.e. some undyed spots throughout). Once it worked up, it wasn’t super obvious, and my sister¬†loves it, which was the whole point!
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I love this pattern, just like everything Andrea does! I’m already diving head first into the stash to knit my own (I’m thinking Traveler Aran for this one too).
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As for WIPs, I currently have two… both Plucky!

Boho Blush¬†by Andrea Mowry is coming along nicely in Oxford 1.0 in Twill, which is a beautiful light grey on this base. I just have 2.5 sections & the fringe to go… I can’t wait to wrap this around me!

I’m also using the leftover Cozy to make my second¬†Rudbeckia Hat¬†(again, by Andrea Mowry!) – I gave the first to my sister, but have wanted my own for a while. It’s working up nicely, though I’m not sure it’s the perfect yarn/pattern match.

I’m always looking to try new Plucky! What’s your favorite base?!

WIPs & FOs | volume one

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’ve been really trying to blog more (even if nobody reads it, hah!) and want to start writing about what’s finished, what’s on me needles, and what’s up next!

I’m calling it “WIPs and FOs,” but I’m actually going to start with an FO – because I’m¬†so relieved to have finished my husband’s sweater! *Cries tears of joy*

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I started¬†Sawyer¬†on January 1, aiming to have it completed for his birthday on the 29th. Well… January 29th came and went sans sweater. Don’t worry, I got him a gift (side note: have you heard of the¬†Teaze? That’s what I got him & he loves it!) but I definitely let myself down. After a year of cranking out something new each week, it was really hard to focus on one thing. I think I went a whole week without knitting on it; it was exhausting. I’ve enjoyed knitting different types of sweaters, but this one was just a beast. It was my first time using a tubular cast on (which I had to do four times), first set in sleeves, first button band… yeah. I was over it. I just want to knit top-down raglans forever. Hah! Just kidding. I’ll eventually knit another seamed sweater, but… I’m not itching to cast on just yet.

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I had a bunch of Cascade 220 on hand for a shawl that never materialized and the color, Japanese Maple, is right up his alley. Yay for not having to buy yarn!

My one big hangup was this: the designer uses a slipped garter selvedge (SGS) instead of a regular stockinette selvedge. Since I haven’t knit that many sweaters, I just went with the pattern.¬†Big mistake. This thing was a total pain to seam! I googled, looked on YouTube, and read through all the projects for the pattern and, yep, there’s no easy way to seam it. I¬†think I ended up using some version of the¬†Bickford Seam¬†and it looks okay, but it could definitely be improved. I learned my lesson and from now on, it’s a stockinette selvedge so I can mattress stitch! (Because mattress stitch is¬†amazing.)

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Anyway! I¬†finally finished it on Valentine’s Day! <3 All in all, it took me a month and a half, which isn’t all that bad, and I think he really likes it!

Another recent FO is¬†Kobuk¬†by Caitlin Hunter. I knit this holding a strand of DK (Brooklyn Tweed Arbor) with a strand of laceweight mohair (Lana Grossa Silkhair) as Caitlin suggests. I love the soft halo that this combo lends to the hat! My super talented friend Katy of¬†Katy Sergent Photography¬†took these photos and, I’ll be honest, I want her to take all my FO photos from now on! She’s awesome!¬†yellowhathike-9606 yellowhathike-9601

This was my first time knitting bobbles and they’re so fun! Mine weren’t quite as defined as I would’ve liked and I’m not sure if it was the yarn or my inexperience. I love the twisted rib and seed stitch “mountains” and… well, everything about this hat! The perfectly fluffy pom is from¬†knitcoastshop¬†on Etsy & it’s just as amazing in person! (More photos on my¬†project page!)

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In WIP news… things are slow going on my¬†Winter Honey¬†shawl, which I started in December. It takes me a good hour to get through 4 rows and I’m maybe halfway finished. Cabling without a cable needle makes things go much faster, but progress is still sluggish. With no deadline, this one could take a couple more months!

My semi-long-term goal (is that a thing?) is to finish up (or frog) all my WIPs and get my needles organized again. I swear, I can’t keep track of needles and cables to save my life. Hopefully those projects will be popping up here as FOs this year!

I’d love to hear what you’re working on or recently finished!

Warmest Wishes,

Andrea

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Not only did I get to test¬†Braddock, a new hat pattern from¬†Christina Danaee¬†of¬†Appalachian Knits, but¬†I also got to hike and hang out with my friend Katy of¬†Katy Sergent Photography! She was trying out a new lens and I was lucky enough to be her guinea pig! The photos my husband so graciously takes for me aren’t too shabby, but these are far superior to my¬†normal FO pics! Thanks again for the incredible¬†photos, Katy!

As irritated as I am that it was 70 degrees in February… I’m so glad I got the opportunity to make this hike and take in¬†some killer views at the end!

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The photos pretty much speak for themselves (i.e. this hat is awesome!), but here are a few thoughts!

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This was my first long-tail tubular cast on in the round and, though mine is¬†not perfect, I think it makes a beautiful edge. It’s definitely worth the extra effort!

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Christina’s sample¬†has a nice¬†folded brim. I knit it as written and blocked pretty aggressively, but, for me, I like it better worn unfolded and slightly slouchy. When folded, it was just a bit short for my personal taste! If I were to knit again and wanted a folded brim, I would do one more repeat of the chart before beginning the decreases.

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Oh, I have to mention the yarn! Oh. my gosh. this yarn. swoon.¬†It’s¬†Magpie Fibers¬†Swanky DK in the colorway Harpoon. Not only is it a pleasure to knit with and wear, but the stitch definition is insane. There’s also plenty of yarn left for a nice pom pom, but I opted to not add one this time (I just love it so much without)! Christina picked the perfect yarn for this hat! It will most definitely not be my last skein. PS – I picked it up in my¬†favorite yarn shop ever¬†Black Mountain Yarn Shop¬†<3

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Being a girl from the Appalachian region myself, I just love what Christina and her friend Jennifer are doing with this collection. I feel like each design is a nod to the beautiful mountains¬†that we call home. This was a quick knit and I would love to make one (or two, or three…) more for friends! Go grab you a copy… I promise you won’t be disappointed!

landslide hat | take two

It’s been a year since I first knit Shannon Cook’s¬†Landslide Hat! The first time around (blogged¬†here), I totally failed by knitting it in worsted weight instead of the required bulky (pictured below).

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Honestly, it shouldn’t have even worked, but it turned out to be not-so-terrible. I remember this being the first knit I ever blocked, ever! And it changed my life ūüėČ

Thankfully, I learned my lesson (that is, double check your yarn weight before you cast on), and decided to knit it again with an appropriate yarn! My husband gave me 4 beautiful skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry for Christmas and I could hardly wait to cast on! I chose the 2 skeins in the colorway Slate for the Landslide Hat and Mitts.

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This time around, it turned out absolutely perfect! I made no mods and it’s a great fit.

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I just love how plump those cables look in Quarry.

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Quick note: This yarn will pull apart in your hands. I didn’t believe what I read about it, but because of its structure, it is really¬†so easy to break. So know if you use this yarn: knit very gently! The resulting fabric is light, airy, and extremely warm.

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I adore this pattern and all of Shannon’s work! I’m looking forward to casting on the Landslide Mitts before spring rolls around!

#sweatergoals | 2017 knit list

Christina of¬†christinadanaee.com recently posted about her¬†year of sweaters¬†and, holy cow, talk about #sweatergoals! It really got me thinking about the sweaters in my library/favorites and which ones I’d like to add to my wardrobe in 2017.

Last year, I knit 2 sweaters, a cardigan, and a t-shirt for myself. They are pictured below: Flax by tincanknits, Wolf River by Melissa Schaschwary, Solana Cardigan by Irina Anikeeva & Pineberry Tee by we are knitters.

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I’ve scoured¬†my¬†queue, leaving only things I both really want to knit this year¬†and already have the yarn for (with a few exceptions).

First up is Sawyer by Julie Hoover for my husband. My goal is to have this one finished by January 29 (in just 6 days, eek!) for his birthday. The front and back are complete, but I’ve still got the sleeves and finishing to go! I’m knitting this with Cascade 220 in the colorway Japanese Maple. It’s gonna look great on him!
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The Harvey Pullover¬†by Hannah Baker caught my eye the first time I saw it. Funny enough, it uses the same stitch as Sawyer! I’m just drawn to the texture of this half-fisherman’s-rib. This will be knit up in¬†Cascade 220 once again, in a beautiful shade of navy. I think this sweater will make an excellent winter staple!
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When Hannah Fetig’s new book¬†Texture¬†hit my doorstep, this is the first garment I was drawn to. The¬†West End Cardigan¬†has an all-over moss stitch texture that screams coziness. And the cabled collar – *swoon*. I immediately ordered a batch of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Moonshadow (a beautiful light grey) to knit this with. This will definitely be a statement piece!
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(side¬†note: writing this is affirming my love of worsted weight… this is not intentional and I should probably branch out. Maybe next year…)

Next up is¬†Mae¬†by Andrea Mowry. This beautiful sweater came out last fall and, with Christmas knitting in high gear, I just didn’t have time to get to it. This would make a great mild-weather piece, which would be perfect for the unseasonable warm January we’ve been having… Winter, where you at?! I have several skeins of¬†Lopi L√©ttlopi, a new yarn for me, and I can’t wait to try it!

Lastly is this¬†Stashbuster Sweater¬†by Rosee Woodland I saw on LoveKnitting’s¬†Instagram¬†just today! Between all these sweaters and the worsted yarn scraps I’ve already acquired, this stashbuster may just be in order by the end of 2017.
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Since I’m knitting from stash, this is a¬†feasible goal for me right now. I’d like to eventually knit some in different weights, but the different shapes here provide nice variety.

Do you have 2017 #sweatergoals?! I’d love to hear what they are! Now back to sleeve island…