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 😉

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 Léttlopi, 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…

 

 

in with the new | embracing 2017

Today I’m writing about my (knitting) goals for the new year! My resolution last year was fun and I learned SO much, but I am embracing 2017 with new purpose.

Knit with intention.
Last year, I resolved to knit one new thing each week. Unfortunately, this meant I was often knitting something without a real reason. The color, fiber, or who I was knitting for didn’t always matter. Sometimes it wasn’t even something I wanted to knit – I was often knitting something just to meet that weekly deadline. I’m left with a pile of things that I don’t love for myself but also don’t know who specifically would like them. I’m happy to have learned something from each knit, but this year, things will be different. Each of my projects will be knit for someone specific, whether for me, a family member, friend, or for charity. Each will be in an appropriate color and fiber, and they’ll all be things I want to knit!

Knit from stash.
I have amassed an embarrassing amount of yarn. It’s taking over my spare room like a bad disease! So, I will knit from my stash – and only from my stash – until it’s whittled down to only a container or two. This will probably be my biggest obstacle because 1. I love yarn and 2. I love to shop. Not a winning combo. I recently learned that Stacy of VeryPink Knits has NO stash. I can’t even wrap my head around that! Her talent is incredible and her videos have rescued me more than a few times. While I’m not sure I could be completely stashless, I know I can make a serious effort to use what I have.

WIP it good.
Focusing on my WIP pile (currently 8 projects) needs to be a priority. If I don’t love it, it’s getting frogged. If I do love it and want to finish it, I will make that a priority.

Focus on my shop.
In 2016, I put my Etsy shop (link) on the backburner in favor of learning more about knitting. This year, I’m turning my attention back to my neglected business. I will hone in on what I want my aesthetic to be and work to achieve my vision for it. I might even add in a little weaving!

Find out, once and for all, if I can be a sock knitter.
There are two reasons I’m not motivated to knit socks. 1. I don’t particularly like knitting them and 2. I hate wearing them. I’m hoping to remedy the former by finding a pattern and needles that I really enjoy. I don’t care for DPNs, so I’m hoping to discover a method I do like! The latter is more difficult to fix, because I usually don’t wear socks in the house (I’m almost never cold inside!) and it seems like a lot of effort to knit a beautiful pair of socks, only to stuff them into boots and head out the door! I adore the Farm Slippers that I knit last month! But knit with worsted weight yarn, they only took about 6 hours a piece. If I can come to terms with wearing handknit socks, I think I’d really like to knit several pairs. I’d love to use the beautiful skein from our trip to San Diego and the two skeins of self-striping sock yarn Nana brought me back from England.

Learn more.
I’ve always loved learning, no matter the subject (except history…) and knitting is no different! Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on my continental knitting skills, but I’d love to really master it this year. Being an ambidextrous knitter is ideal and it really helps me with the fatigue that troubles me when I knit too much! I’d also love to learn how to customize a sweater (make the neckline wider, add/remove shaping, etc.). I just want to keep learnin’!

Happy New Year & Happy Knitting!