The fall crocuses have started to appear and that means I’ve got sweaters on the brain. Having finished up a vest in less than two weeks, I’m keeping my garment-knitting momentum up by diving directly into a sweater project. Some friends of mine knit Holiday sweaters last year and I just didn’t have the time or foresight to plan ahead. Not this year!
I’ve swatched for Colourful Winter Sports Outfit by Susan Crawford in some sport-weight yarn from my stash. The pattern calls for a fingering-weight yarn so I did a nice big swatch in my yarn and worked out the math for my size. Due to the difference in gauge and needle size my sweater is moving along at a nice clip and I’ll definitely have it done by the holidays. Maybe I should knit two?
The Mild Weather Issue of Stranded Magazine launched last Thursday and I’m so proud of our second issue! Fall is my favorite time of year and I love planning projects for the cooler months. Sitting down with a hot cup of herbal tea, new knitting projects on my needles, and something good to watch on tv is just about a perfect evening in my book. The Mild Weather Issue has sweaters and accessories, tutorials, articles, and a recipe. You can take a look on Ravelry if you want to see all the patterns together. This issue is an homage to the Pacific Northwest, my home of almost 15 years (I can’t really believe that!).
My design contribution to the issue is Tupshin. Tupshin is a pair of wool socks knit from the cuff down with classic sock construction. What makes knitting these socks fun is the wee bit of colorwork at the top of the leg, which is great for practicing colorwork techniques, and the simple eyelet lace pattern, which is great if you’re new to knitting lace. Tupshin is inspired by the look of traditional hiking socks with their contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes. They’re a lovely little knit and a great project if you want to expand your knitting repertoire to include stranded knitting or lace.
The world is a stressful place these days. When things get tough, I take to knitting to help my thoughts run their course and to de-stress. I started this Rainbow Hap at the beginning of June when a friend of mine gifted me the remains of her stash (she had really good taste in yarn). After I sorted out all the partial balls and did a wee bit of untangling I realized I had quite a gorgeous rainbow of yarn.
The gray yarn in the center is a skein of BMFA STR in one of the Spirit colorways from my stash. The Rainbow Hap is based on Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel, a traditional Shetland-style shawl. I used every last inch of the gray yarn for the center square and am slowly working my way through the rainbow of yarn and ignoring the stripe sequences listed in the pattern. This is simple knitting at its finest: garter stitch with a little pattern to memorize, lovely yarn, and size US 8 needles.
We just returned from family vacation this afternoon and I was able to squeeze in non-secret knitting time! June went by so quickly that I didn’t really have much to share on the blog that wasn’t super secret. I’m working slowly and steadily on Zinone by Andi Satterlund as part of the OAL. The yarn is Quince & Co Sparrow, a fingering-weight linen yarn, that is great for summer garments. I used a smaller needle than called for in order to get the gauge for the lace portion, but I forgot to bring my larger needle on vacation so I could start the stockinette; hence the scrap yarn in the picture. If I can get the fronts and back joined to work in the round I should be in fine form to finish the OAL on time…maybe.
The last two weeks of Me Made May fall into two categories for me: socks and other stuff. From the top: Fireweeds in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, Vanilla socks in Canon Hand Dyes, Vanilla socks in Regia, Vanilla socks in GothSocks, Vanilla Socks in Lorna’s Laces, Cadence in Miss Babys Yummy 2-ply, Tobias in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock.
Here’s the other stuff from top to bottom: Simplicity 1880, Audrey in Unst in Rowan Felted Tweed and my Ginger jeans, a cardigan I designed in Malabrigo Arroyo, Kitty Sorbetto by Colette, Pretty Me in Neighborhood Fiber Co and an Emery dress, Butterick B5526 and my Ginger jeans, New Look 6223. Phew!
Comparing last Me Made May to this one I can certainly tell I’ve been sewing a lot more and I don’t think that’ll change. I really love making and wearing all of my handmade clothes!
Here we are, already in the midst of week three of Me Made May, and I’m finally getting last week’s outfits posted.
Day 8: Pretty Me by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne in Neighborhood Fiber Company in Del Rey. I absolutely love this cardigan and the color goes surprisingly well with a number of items in my wardrobe. I wore this outfit to Mother’s Day breakfast, where I ate the heck out of some espresso mascarpone french toast.
Day 9: A rather terrible photo of one of my favorite outfits! The dress is New Look 6223 in a plaid cotton blend (it has very slight stretch) and Tambourine by Julia Farwell-Clay. My cardigan is made from Miss Babs Yowza! Whatta Skein in what should be known as THE BEST ORANGE EVER but in reality is called French Marigold.
Day 10: A Sorbetto top in a cool rayon print featuring leaping dear and running horses.
Day 11: I swathed my neck in Lilli Pilli knit in three rogue colors of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock that I picked up on my birthday last year.
Day 12: New Look 6587 as a 2-in-1 dress. I need another one! The top of the dress is a polka dot shirting and the skirt is a linen blend. I absolutely love that the skirt is a slightly heavier weight fabric than the top, so I get the nice, breezy lightness of shirting and a good drape and swing that comes from the linen (very good for breezy days).
Day 13: I wore my Ginger jeans but I didn’t want to wear any knit items because I got my hair done at the salon and am in constant fear of getting hair dye on my knit sweaters. Doesn’t my hair look boss, though? Pretty fierce.
Day 14: I cozied up at home for most of the day in my knit Glynis socks by Cookie A. The yarn is Pagewood Farm Yukon and I knit the socks in 2010!
Are you participating in Me Made May? I participated last year but I didn’t really have enough sewn clothing to really fill out the whole month. I’ve worked hard to add projects to my wardrobe that I actually wear since last MMMay and this month I’m really excited to share them!
Day 1: Ginger jeans by Closet Case Files. My first pair of jeans and I wear them ALL the time! Jeans were a big mental hurdle for me sewing-wise and I can’t wait to make another pair. I’m also wearing self-striping socks from Canon Hand Dyes.
Day 2: Zebra Catarina by Seamwork Magazine. My fabric is a poly crepe and I really need to make another Catarina with wider straps and in some kind of nice, drapey natural fiber for summer.
Day 3: Simplicity 1364 with a simple ponte pencil skirt based loosely on Delia Creates hack. My top is a knit fabric, but the pattern calls for a a woven. I removed the darts, back closure, and a touch of width from the pattern to make a boatneck, sleeveless shell. My skirt is pretty plain; black ponte pencil skirt that is pretty much a tube with negative ease through the length.
Day 4: Brooklyn by Seamwork Magazine. I love this skirt! The fabric is a lightweight Pendleton wool suiting that I picked up in the sale room at Stonemountain & Daughter last year (they still had at least one bolt when I was there a few weeks ago). I plan on making a ton of these with and without the box pleat in the front.
Day 5: Simplicity 2255 with a stand-up collar and no sleeves. I really like this button up shirt even though I need to take time and do a full bust adjustment on the next one. Stand up collars aren’t very common in RTW but I like them quite a bit, and the print reads retro 80s to me because of the geometric pattern.
Day 6: Ginger jeans again and my very favorite knit cardigan, the Acer Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. Acer is the cardigan that made me a Sweater Knitter. Amy Christoffers has a pretty and classic design stance and I’m a huge fan of her patterns. If you’re an advanced beginner or intermediate knitter with some projects under your knitting belt you can definitely follow one of her patterns.
Day 7: Butterick B5526 in a plaid cotton gauze. This shirt is in heavy rotation! It’s super comfy to wear and goes with a lot of things in my wardrobe. There’s no option for plain, short sleeves in the pattern so I ended up cutting a longer sleeve, removing quite a bit of width, and adjusting the length once the sleeve was set-in. It’s a winner.
Projects seem to be sticking with me for long periods of time, lately. It used to be that a hat would be around for a day or two, a shawl for a week or two, a sweater for about a month. Timelines move and shift according to the rest of my life and there haven’t been a lot of “quick knits” in a while due to high work volume. Last weekend I cast on for Volga and it’s moving right along!
It helps that I attended a knitting retreat and had oodles of time to knit this one project. Volga is a shawl/cowl hybrid that I purchased during the giftalong sale in 2015 because I was intrigued by the shape and construction – think of it as a shawl with extended sides that are sewn together.
I’m using Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Smolder that I picked up at Knit Fit! a couple years ago. The pattern calls for 700 yards of fingering weight yarn and the simple combination of stockinette and mesh lace is just right for social knitting.
Last weekend I went on my knitting group’s annual retreat to Port Townsend. This is the 7th year I’ve made this trip and I think it was one of the most relaxing retreats we’ve had.
One of the highlights of the trip is breakfast at Hudson Point Cafe. I go every morning, promptly at 8am, to beat the rush and get some time apart from the larger group of folks. I tend to get overwhelmed by lots of socialization so a smaller group of early risers is a good way for me to ease into the day. Also, everything on the menu is really delicious and they have great coffee.
Port Townsend is filled with Victorian architecture and quirky buildings. It’s definitely a tourist town during the warmer months but I still enjoy walking around and looking at all the brick buildings, old advertisements, and murals. I also find color inspiration pretty much everywhere I go!
Funny, I didn’t take one single picture of my knitting all weekend but I finished a pair of socks and started a prototype for a shawl I’ve had in mind. I made a conscious decision to leave my phone in my tote bag all weekend unless I was going out of our retreat house and that’s probably why I have so few pictures. Maximum relaxation, minimum technological interruptions and I’m not even sorry about it.
On another note, I’m getting ready for a second knitting retreat in California next weekend and I couldn’t be more ready for some solid 70 degree weather (I promise to take more pictures!).
A couple of weeks ago a friend asked if I’d like to be her plus one for a KEXP live in-studio performance. That would be a big huge YES! We saw Shearwater perform and they ended their set with a David Bowie song. Afterward, we went on a tour of the new digs at Seattle Center. I gave a little squeal of delight at the music library.
I was also pretty tickled by the artwork on the floor. Since I’m obsessed with colorwork patterns I take inspiration where I find it, like the floor.
This last Thursday night I ventured out way past my bedtime to attend the TacocaT record release party. The show was sold out (apparently Bernie Sanders introducing them as “the TacocaT band” sold some tickets). I also want to add that a motorcycle gang showed up to drink in the bar adjacent to the show floor and they looked pretty confused by girls in sparkle tops and boys in rompers. Maybe they’re really into pro-feminist music lyrics?
I’ll be honest, I like TacocaT but I LOVE Mommy Long Legs. They’ve got an i-don’t-care vibe that I find very appealing and makes me feel like I’m 23 again (ha). Their songs are completely irreverent and full of humor and get stuck in my head like nobody’s business.
That’s what’s happening on my mixtape lately. Whatcha listening to?