Tag Archive | sweater

Talking About Myself

You know, I’m starting to wonder if my trouble with blogging doesn’t come down to the simple belief that the wide world of the internet couldn’t possibly be interested in what I’m up to. That’s not all of it – partly I also have trouble taking good pictures, and I don’t like to do a post without good-quality photos to go with it. But there’s a lot of wisdom in the “learn by doing” approach, so let’s see if I can make something of that!

When last we spoke, I had shown you my completed Fly Away Home lace shawlette, and was contemplating buying a sewing machine. I had a few WIPs, but most noteworthy among them was my Vivian sweater by Ysolda Teague, from Twist Collective. I’ve hit the approximate 50% mark based on yardage called for, and at last photograph the sweater looked like this:

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Not too bad, in my opinion. It’s languished a bit in favor of a couple other things, but I’m saving the other WIPs for another post. Right now, I want to tell you about what I’ve accomplished! For one thing, I did indeed buy a sewing machine. I checked the bank account where I’ve been squirreling away sewing machine money as well as the tax refund for this year, and was able to get a lovely Pfaff machine that was a bit nicer than I expected would be in the budget. A penny saved is indeed a penny earned, and they add up! It may be a little silly, but I decided he needed a name, and have been calling him Otto. We’re just getting to know each other, but we managed to turn out a lovely little shoe bag from a fun chicken fabric I found on sale at Joann Fabrics¬†using this pattern.

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I also may have brought home a couple of yards of a nice purple linen that’s intended for a Pavlova skirt from Cake Patterns. I’m not officially entering the sewalong and I don’t intend to make the top right now, but a purple linen circle skirt with a cute and functional pocket seems just the ticket for the upcoming spring and summer, and a 30 minute a day commitment with detailed tutorials sounds just right for my skill level. Hopefully it will go well!

I also whipped up a quick hat for a fun swap I was in on Ravelry, but most of my time has gone into WIPs. On the needles now, besides the Vivian sweater, I have two different pairs of mitts, each with one mitt completed (one with simple cables for me, the other man-sized colorwork mitts for a gift), a pair of socks on which I’ve just turned the first heel, a pair of spats, and my poor neglected entrelac cowl. We’ll see if I can finish something on that list before I make it back here!

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WIP Wednesday

You may call it a bandwagon, but I say there’s nothing like a classic. Therefore I’d like to present: WIP Wednesday!

First up is my entrelac cowl.¬† I took a class at my LYS, Stitches with Style, in order to learn entrelac, and let me tell you, I heartily advise learning this technique from a knowledgeable teacher. Entrelac on the needles just looks wrong, even when it’s right, and the weird back-and-forthiness of it would have been challenging to puzzle out on my own from written directions.

Of course, with the help of a good teacher, like many other things in knitting, it’s quite easy once you know what you’re doing. The secret – after figuring out the weird construction – is learning to knit backwards. Otherwise, you’re turning your work every six stitches, and I think I’d go crazy. Knowing how to knit backwards is also, I’m told, a godsend when working stranded colorwork on a flat piece.

The yarn is Classic Elite Liberty Wool. Entrelac is great for showing off dramatic color-changing yarns!

Then there’s my Vivian sweater, from Twist Collective. I have one and a half sleeves knit as well as a good chunk of the back, but unfortunately the only photo I have to show you still looks like this:

Maybe next week I’ll have a new photo! I’m absolutely in love with it, seed stitch and all. It’s designed by the incomparable Ysolda Teague, and I’m using Cascade Eco+ in a stunning colorway called Purple Jewel Heather. My goal for 2013 is to knit more sweaters! I hope to never have another storebought sweater if I can help it.

Last up is just a seed of an idea, but I’m beyond thrilled about it. I don’t want to say too much at the moment, but for right now, it looks like this:

Knitting Madness

After one false start (two weeks of gorgeous cool sunny weather followed by several days of disgusting hot 98% humidity horror), fall has finally arrived in a cold, grey, rainy kind of way. While I wish we could have enjoyed crisp sunny 70 degree heaven a little longer, this kind of autumn does have its compensations – namely, a roaring fire, snuggly kitty companionship, and an overwhelming urge to knit everything in sight. Very fortunate, since I have a mountain of things to knit before the holiday gift-giving season arrives. Although I don’t think I’m going to meet my goal of having a knit gift for every member of the family this year, I have a few done already and I should be able to knock out at least two more.

For as much knitting as I’ve been doing lately, I feel like I have disappointingly little to show for it. The sweater I cast on for myself is still only one sleeve and a tiny start of the body, despite being bulky weight yarn and completely simple. I still can’t find the time to figure out the last couple rows of my Damson shawl, and I haven’t knit a square for my sheep blanket in months. I absolutely must cast on a Christmas/Hogswatch stocking for my long-suffering housemate, and I have one other Christmas present to knit before the end of the month. At Rhinebeck I’ll be purchasing another sweater’s worth of yarn for the Harry Potter movie weekend I’ve planned. I had wanted to knit myself a pair of socks, too, but that will have to wait, I’m afraid.

I did finish a Christmas gift in just a few days this month, and a baby sweater for a couple of dear friends. The pattern is Willie, by Pamela Wynne, and the yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Honey, Lumberjack, and Hazelnut. Buttons are from forbeadintreasures on Etsy.

I just adore this pattern for my dog-loving friends, especially with those buttons! It’s a quick knit and I found it to be great for learning intarsia. I just hope it fits properly – since I know less than nothing about babies, I just have to follow the pattern and hope it’ll fit comfortably for as long as possible.

We’re gearing up for fall and winter around the rest of our bare-bones homestead, too. The young roosters are getting big enough to start butchering, and the earliest hatch of pullets are starting to lay. The ducks are laying too, at a much better rate than I would have expected from Muscovies. We only kept two females, but most days we are getting an egg from each of them. We’ll be winterizing the barn soon to make sure the birds keep nice and warm. The herbs will be coming inside soon, as I try to overwinter as many as possible. I can’t believe we’ve been here over a year already, but starting the garden cycle over again is making it feel real at last!

I’ve also been delving into baking more yeast breads since it’s gotten cool enough to have the oven going. I have a go-to recipe for dinner rolls, and I have a decent rosemary bread that I make; it’s not crusty like I’d prefer, but the flavor and crumb texture is to die for. I’d like to nail down a recipe for sandwich bread and a crusty Italian-style bread I can use when I make garlic bread this winter, if possible.