Author: Christina B

#yarnlovechallenge Time!

#yarnlovechallenge Time!

Hello! I am excited to let you know that for the 3rd year in a row, Mary Heather and I will be hosting the #yarnlovechallenge this February.

Participating is easy! Post a photo on Instagram inspired by the daily prompt, and tag it with #yarnlovechallenge and #yarnlovechallenge2019. Using the tags makes it easy for others to find you and your posts, and we repost some of our favorites on the yarnlovechallenge Instagram account. It’s fine if you don’t post everyday, just join us when you can!

I really hope you’ll join in this year!

FO Friday: Snowshoe Hat Cowl

FO Friday: Snowshoe Hat Cowl

Pattern: Snowshoe by Amy Miller for the cowl, the hat I improvised based on the cowl pattern

Yarn: Foxhill Farm Cormo Silk DK in Natural

Needles: US8 (5.0mm)

Size: 58” long and 9.25” wide

Ravelry Link: the cowl and the hat

Started: March 8, 2018

Completed: September 8, 2018

I love matchies. I love matching mom and daughter sweaters. I love matching kid and doll clothes. So it is no surprise that I love a matching hat and cowl set. What is surprising is how few of them I had in my wardrobe, so I set out to fix that with these accessories.

I fell in love with the Snowshoe cowl pattern as soon as I saw it – a big reversible cable and garter stitch are what my knitting dreams are made of. I went shopping specifically for this pattern at Rhinebeck 2015 and came home quite happily with 2 skeins of Foxhill Farms Cormo Silk. It is a luscious yarn, soft and drapey and such a gorgeous natural shade. I looked a little bit for matching hat patterns, but quickly decided I’d rather make up my own based on the Snowshoe pattern so they’d match perfectly. I’m so pleased I did, I adore how they go together.

Are you the kind of maker who loves a neutral matching set, or do you love the opportunity to show off lots of different colors and textures at once?

2019 Plans

Hello! At the start of 2018 I didn’t want to set any goals or make any plans. I was living with a lot of unknowns and wanted to avoid adding self-made responsibilities to my plate. As 2019 dawns I have answers to many of those questions and they make me want to approach this year differently. I try to keep this space devoted to my crafting, but I’m going to briefly share an update on my health, as it’s the motivation behind all of this. I have chronic colorectal cancer, which means that my at least with current medical treatments my disease cannot be cured. I’m going to be doing chemo every other week for the foreseeable future. There’s a rhythm to the cycle, and I’m ready to have some goals to work towards, wherever I may be each day.

Reading

I love crafting books, and I’ve amassed a huge collection of unread ones. This year I’d like to get through all my unread paper books, most of which are craft books. You can see the list of all these books on the associated Goodreads shelf here. I’ll be sharing some of my favorites on the blog, starting with Kate Davies’ Handywoman later this month.

Sewing

Thanks to a night of sleeplessness earlier this week, I went through my entire pattern and fabric stashes and set up an exciting queue for myself. Sewing has been hard for me the past year – between pain and exhaustion it has seemed out of reach to accomplish the physical tasks involved in getting projects going. With the mental work of this queue done, I am ready to tackle my fear and go for these projects. At a sewing weekend later this month I’m hoping to add some much-needed knits to my closet with a new dress and a couple new tops. My goals for the year include a jumpsuit and pants, both firsts for me.

Knitting

My knitting was side-lined last year when I developed carpal tunnel (Listen to your bodies, y’all! Don’t push through pain!). I took 2 months off entirely, and since then have been working on it in PT. I can do some knitting know and hope to increase my stamina in the coming months. For the Ravelry Project Challenge I set a goal of 6 projects – definitely on the list are a bunch of boxy cropped sweaters and I’d also like to knit up some accessories with some kits and other perfectly matched skeins in my stash.

Blogging

To make sure I hit new year’s blog post bingo, I have to include that I would like to blog more regularly this year 🙃. But truly, it is one of my goals to get back to weekly posting. I’d like to include more writing about crafting, and not just my personal projects. If you have something you’d like to hear my thoughts on, you can tell me in the comments below or email me from the contact section!

Looking forward to another year with you, dear readers! And, if you do want to keep up with my health, you can read about that on my cancer blog at bearingthewait.com.

Fireside Cardigan

Fireside Cardigan

Pattern: Fireside Cardigan by Kate Oates

Yarn: Windham by Jill Draper (colors weren’t labeled)

Needles: US6 (4.0mm)

Size: Newborn

Ravelry Link: ta-da!

Started: December 1, 2017

Completed: January 2, 2018

When one of your best friends is pregnant you want to send as much love as you can. When that friend lives in another city you have to be crafty in finding ways to send your affection. I knew I couldn’t be there in person to snuggle Mary Heather’s baby, so I decided some special knitwear was the next best thing.

I started with yarn, selecting my favorite – Jill Draper’s Windham. I think merino is generally overrated, but this one is so bouncy and just pleasant to feel in your hands as you work. Jill is a mutual friend of Mary Heather and I, so adding some more friend-love to the gift was a bonus. I selected a mixed color bundle at Rhinebeck; I was so excited by all these yellows and the chance to make a bright baby knit.

Choosing a pattern worked out similarly – Mary Heather and I both love garter stitch, babies in shawl collars are adorable, and Kate Oates, the designer, is another friend of ours. I was short on white yarn for the collar so it’s a little sad, I wish I had had a bit more to beef it up with. I love the detail of the knit stitch column at the sides, like you can see in the photo above. The pattern is written for a solid and I just picked a random number of rows to knit to make the stripes. The other modification I made was to reduce the number of sleeve decreases because they looked tiny.

The best of knitting a love-filled sweater for your best friend’s baby is that you get pictures of said baby in said sweater. It was thrilling to see sweet Adisa grow into (and eventually out of!) the sweater. I’m mostly a selfish knitter, but this baby/mom pair is quite knitworthy. Have you made a beloved project for a friend far away? Tell me about it below!

Eliza Hamilton Costume

Eliza Hamilton Costume

 Pattern: purchased shirt with embellishments and skirt

Fabric: shirt and skirt are cotton, trim is unlabeled

Started: October 26, 2018

Completed: October 27, 2018

Y’all, this is the worst thing I have ever sewed. When my daughter decided she wanted to be Eliza Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton’s wife) for Halloween I knew it was time to sew my first costume and was psyched to pore over pictures and plan. But when it came time to sew I had so little energy and time and just had to dig deep and make it happen at the last minute. I want to show you all the issues with this dress. The skirt is backwards and also needs more volume. The neckline is a mess. The hem flips up. The buttons don’t line up. But the second I presented it to my daughter she swooned: “it’s so beautiful!” As soon as she put it on she carried herself tall, clearly feeling so beautiful and proud.

My daughter’s love for the dress makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t look like what I imagined and it feels like a flop. I was embarrassed to say yes when adults asked if I made it. But my daughter loves it and feels like a founding mother and can’t wait to keep playing Hamilton around the house. She feels special that she has a mom that can make her things. So do I want to focus on the ways I feel like I failed or on the joy I brought my favorite 7 year old? Am I going to tell her that no, this dress isn’t amazing, it’s full of flaws?  

She felt great and had a blast Trick or Treating, so I can’t call this anything but a success. 

Rhinebeck Recap 2018

Rhinebeck, the knitter’s shorthand for the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival, is one of my favorite weekends of the year. This was my 5th year going and it is nice to be a veteran – I felt no urgency to see everything, and knew that however I spent my time I would see beautiful things. First up I will share the classic Rhinebeck blog post content – my haul.

I brought home (the big stuff):

  • Here, the new book of designs from Jill Draper (all in her new yarn, Kingston)

  • Amy Herzog’s Ultimate Sweater Book because I love her and I love this kind of book

  • The Secret Lives of Color – I was sold when I saw that the edge of each page is the color it is discussing!

  • Mending Matters – A must for any slow fashion enthusiast’s library

  • When Your Lion Needs A Bath – the author wrote the nicest inscription for my daughter ❤

  • 4 skeins of Jill Draper’s Kingston yarn

  • 1 skein of a new Lornas Laces yarn

  • a tub of Long Island Livestock Co Body Butter – I’m having some chemo side effects in my fingers and lanolin-rich moisturizers are supposed to help

  • a much better faux pom pom than the one I brought with me

Seriously, check out this pom pom glow up!

And here’s a close-up of the little stuff:

  • a pen topped with a llama with googly eyes, a present for my daughter

  • a tiny pair of scissors that I plan to keep in my purse

  • a pain of earrings from Jennie the Potter

  • a tube of 9 different embroidery needles

  • 3 enamel pins from Shelli Can – the outer 2 were from her Rhinebeck set and the middle one is for Pom Pom (and happens to be holographic!)

While I clearly enjoy the shopping, that’s not my favorite part of Rhinebeck. The weekend is so special to me because it is a chance to connect with the fiber arts community. The Ravelry meet up on Saturday is the biggest one I can remember for a long time, and it was one where different groups mingled on the hill. It felt like we all were ready for some connection.

The other thing I really enjoyed this weekend was the chance to speak with some of the business owners there – farmers and dyers and shop owners and designers and editors – and celebrate their niches in the industry and their successes. It delights me to see their ideas come to life and supporting them.

As always, I’m already looking forward to next year’s Rhinebeck.

FO Friday: Ninilchik Swoncho

FO Friday: Ninilchik Swoncho

Pattern: Ninilchik Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter

Yarn: The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Craggy Tweed in Pukuni, Elk Antler, Paul Newman and Napi

Needles: US6 (4.0mm) & US 4 (3.5mm)

Size: 1

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: January 4, 2018

Completed: September 5, 2018

When I first saw the Ninilchik Swoncho (sweater/poncho) pattern last year I remember thinking that kind of colorwork design is so not my style – I wore simpler designs. But I found myself continuing to visit the page. To look at different color combinations. Then the designer of the pattern and the dyer of the suggested yarn came to my LYS for a weekend. I tried on the sample and it was all over, I immediately began picking out colors from the trunk show. I went late in the weekend and my options were limited, but I could not be happier with the color combination I ended up with. I do wish I had switched the white and the tan in the colorwork but it doesn’t detract from my heart-eyes feelings about this FO.

I adore the shape and fit of this sweater. It feels good to move around in, the low sleeves are not in any way restricting. I expect that this will become my new woolen to throw on when I head out for school pick up, keeping me warm during after school play. I also love how this fits in perfectly with the style I have been cultivating for myself recently. I can lift my arms and get a more cropped shape. And the ease makes me feel good about the space that I take up. It feels like the warning displays and coloration of the animal kingdom – I am big and brightly colored, do you want to mess with this poisonous giant?

I want to hear about the clothes that make you feel badass like this – handmade or not. Share in the comments below!