Tag: knitting

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!

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!

FO Friday: Riley Tee

FO Friday: Riley Tee

Pattern: Riley by Amy Christoffers

Yarn: Berroco Corsica in Cork and Conch

Needles: US5 (3.75mm) & US 3 (3.25mm)

Size: 3

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: June 16, 2018

Completed: August 10, 2018

I lost my mind over the Summer 2018 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, it is all striped patterns and there are so many gorgeous summer knits in there. I knew I would make more than one project from the issue and chose Riley to start with. I love the log cabin construction – how it makes a really beautiful sleeve shape and has the visual interest of stripes going in different directions.

I made some modifications to the pattern – I shortened it by 6.25” and raised the neckline 1.5”. I shortened it because I wanted a cropped silhouette. I wish I had knit it an inch or two longer, so it fell over the button of my pants rather than above it. It’s knit in cotton so I might try drying it hanging the next time I wash it to see if it stretches and lengthens a bit, but I have a feeling the log cabin construction is going to keep it pretty stable. I like where the neckline ended up.

Overall I really love how it turned out, though; I feel so cool in this silhouette. I talked earlier this year about how my style has changed and this piece makes me feel like I am really finding a new look that works for me and that I love.

FO Friday: Golidlocks 2.0

FO Friday: Golidlocks 2.0

Pattern: Goldilocks by Justyna Lorkowska

Yarn: Anzula Cloud in Taffy

Needles: US 3 (3.25mm) & US 2 (3mm)

Size: 5

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: March 20, 2018

Completed: May 29, 2018

Four years ago I knit my daughter a dress. I had some yarn leftover, so I whipped up a matching version for her lovey. Thus began a long career of making matching versions of all of Marlowe’s dresses for her best stuffed friend, Monkey. This pink dress was particularly beloved and was still an integral part of Monkey’s wardrobe after Marlowe outgrew hers. Soon my daughter began asking for a new pink dress, tears welling in her eyes as she told me how sad it made her that she couldn’t match anymore. So of course I agreed to knit her an even larger light fingering weight dress and called my LYS to order two skeins of the same colorway.

This version of Goldilocks came out longer than I meant, but it means she will be able to wear it for a very long time. While it was a labor of love to knit this second dress, I love this pattern and wasn’t sad to make it again. It has the perfect amount of detail and then the stockinette lets the pretty details stand out.

In this picture you can see the one issue I had with the pattern – I think I picked up too many stitches around the sleeve when adding that last bit of garter stitch and it flares a bit.

Marlowe loves her new dress and her ability to match Monkey again and I feel like a pretty awesome Mom for providing her with that joy. Have you ever made something because you were, ahem, pressured into it? Did it go as well as this project? Let me know below!

FO Friday: Macoun Cardigan

 ©Water Oak Studio
©Water Oak Studio

Pattern: Macoun by Glenna C

Yarn: Sincere Sheep Bannock in Cumulus

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) & US 4 (3.5mm)

Size: 38 (with mods)

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: March 3, 2017

Completed: October 21, 2017

 ©Water Oak Studio
©Water Oak Studio

The cabled shawl collar cardigan is a knitting classic – there are 600 patterns currently on Ravelry that meet those criteria. The moment I saw Macoun, I knew that it was my cabled shawl collar cardigan. The silhouette and the shapes of the cables and everything were simply perfect.

 ©Water Oak Studio
©Water Oak Studio

It was a beautifully written pattern, but I did make a few modifications. I have short arms and I prefer bracelet length sleeves, so I removed 2.5″ of length from the sleeves. I cast on the the sleeves the size up so that the sleeves were the correct circumference at my wrist, and then did fewer decreases so I got to the correct stitch count for my size by the sleeve cap.

I knit a size 38 for everything except the shoulders, where I decreased down to the width for the next smaller size, 36. As you can see in the picture above, it doesn’t solve the problem that I often have of sleeves hanging too low on my shoulder. It’s something I need to experiment with more on my cardigans.

Finally, I added 3 additional waist decreases on the back (and compensated the increases to put the stitches back). By the time I cast off and blocked the back I realized it was a mistake, and knit the fronts as written. It would definitely be better with the original amount of waist ease.

 ©Water Oak Studio
©Water Oak Studio

While there are ways I can be picky about fit, I love this garment. As expected, I wear this cardigan all the time. It is the perfect cardigan to toss on for a chilly morning in my office, or throw on top of nearly anything in my wardrobe. I tend to wear it open, it’s how I prefer to style my cardigans, and I love that it looks great that way.

Have you ever seen a pattern and known it was exactly the one for you? Did your love at first sight last? Let me know!

Style

Recently on Instagram there was the fantastic hashtag #myfirsthandknitsweater. It was so fun – seeing the knits that were so trendy 10 years ago, how many people used to take headless photos because we were scared to put our faces online, the pride that comes with the first handknit sweater milestone. My favorite part, though, was seeing how my friends’ style has changed since they were beginning knitters.

Lately I have been feeling bummed around clothing due to a medical device I now wear. I work hard making the clothes in my closet and they used to make me feel so good, but now they make me feel self-conscious about this device I prefer to conceal (and honestly, some of them cause the device to malfunction). I don’t want to have to change my style to accomodate my illness. So it was helpful to me to see this hashtag and remember that there are so many reasons that all of us change our style over time. I looked back at my catalog of FOs and found some comparisons to remind myself of the ways other life changes have effected my wardrobe.

 

On the left is one of my favorite outfits from 2009 – my Vintage Pink Cardigan with a camisole, skirt and red high heels. On the right is one of my favorite outfits currently – my Macoun over an Ebony tunic and jeans. In 2009 I worked in an office and had to dress business casual every day. Now I work from home and call it a win when I wear pants with buttons. I calculated perfect bust darts for the older sweater and it looked great buttoned up, but I have since learned I only like to knit wide front cardigans because I want to be able to wear them unbuttoned, too.

On the left is my favorite lacy-back from 2010, my Myrtle. I loved the close-fitting cardigan with floral lace, perfect to wear over tank tops to keep my shoulders covered in the office. In 2016 I loved the geometric lace and loose fit of my Delineate (blogged here). I used to focus on creating clothing that highlighted my hourglass figure, and now in addition to preferring more ease, I am drawn to clothing that seems fun to wear and don’t think about whether it meets the rules for what I am “allowed” to wear based on my body shape.

Seeing all this doesn’t make it any better that getting dressed is hard everyday. It doesn’t fix my dilemma about not knowing what to make next because I am still learning what I like to wear now. But it feels more like an opportunity to experiment, and less like yet another thing cancer has taken from me. How do you feel about your style over time? Have you had to adapt your style due to changes in your life?

TBT: Citron Shawl

TBT: Citron Shawl

Pattern: Citron by Hilary Smith Callis

Yarn: my handspun

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm)

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: December 15, 2009

Completed: December 19, 2009

I remember distinctly when this pattern came out. I was immediately obsessed and cast on the very next day. Mine was one of the first completed projects, done 5 days after it was released. I was excited to use a beloved skein of handspun, and I loved the look of the finished project. And in the 8 years since then it has mostly sat in a drawer.

This one is easy to post-mortem, I know exactly the mistakes I made.

1. I made a poor yarn substitution. I think the skein I used suits the pattern well in terms of color and hand. But it is 25% smaller than the suggested yarn and ultimately this shawl is just too small. It’s a half circle shape and there isn’t enough fabric to keep it wrapped around me.

2. I don’t enjoy wearing shawls. I think this is a particularly hard shape to wear, but I just never feel right with this on. It takes up a ton of attention to manage and I prefer an effortless accessory.

This is another one I should let go of, despite how pretty I think it is. I want to have room in my drawer for pieces that will really get worn.

Have you ever rushed to complete a FO only? Was it magical or did it fall flat? Let me know!

FO Friday: Little Girl Winter Gear

FO Friday: Little Girl Winter Gear

Hat

Pattern: Top This! Hat by DMC

Yarn: DMC Top This in Butterfly

Needles: US 9 (5.5mm)

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: January 30, 2017

Completed: February 4, 2017

Mittens

Pattern: Dulaan Easy-On Mittens by Julia Farwell-Clay

Yarn: BFL/Silk handspun from a friend

Needles: US 8 (5.0mm)

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: December 12, 2016

Completed: December 13, 2016

It will hit 90 degrees here this week, so it seems like a good time to post about the winter gear I made for my daughter this past winter. They’re not really matching, but they still feel like a coordinating set to me (for the rare days when she needs this much gear!).

The hat came from a Top This! set my MIL gave me for Christmas. Marlowe immediately fell in love and couldn’t wait for me to cast on her hat. It took a couple tries to end up with a version we liked. The pattern as written was much too big for her head, and she had a strong preference for the shinny and fuzzy yarn over the variegated. So I ended up splitting the yarn by type and making it into a new ball using Russian joins. I cast on way fewer stitches than the pattern called for and knit until it was Marlowe sized. She loves that fuzzy butterfly pom pom so very much.

The gloves are a tested favorite in this house. Each year I knit them in a heavier weight yarn to size up for her current hand size. They came out a little bit shallow this year – I wish I had done more ribbing and stockinette before starting the thumb. I’ve made a note of it for next year!

I love that my daughter grows enough to need new winter gear every year. They’re fun projects to knock out, and I love collaborating with her to make something to fit her style each time. Do you have any projects you make again year after year?