sweaters and more

Despite the lack of posts, things are still thing happening on these fronts. There is a bit of sewing, a lot of sweater making (some big, some small), and a lot of sweater pattern buying – which is ironic given the latest thing going on – word that we are spending some time in the United Arab Emirates over the next year.

On the crafting front, we made our round of handmade teacher gifts, and I’m super happy with how they turned out. We made little bird and garden angel ornaments from the book Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman.030teachergift

On the knitting front. I made a second Alberta vest, this time for my Dad’s birthday. I also managed to squeak out a cardigan for my sister’s new baby…whom I had the pleasure of visiting right after she was born. Its nice to know I am knitting for a girl, and I did a little stash diving to find a cute yarn perfect for the little sunnyside cardi  from Tanis Fiber Arts. I also got to see Mia in the Puerperium Cardigan I made for Christmas, which was fun.

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In the past two months I’ve filled up my queue with sweaters, purchased the patterns and skeins up on skeins of yarn…and managed to finish my very first adult sized just for me sweater. I love the pattern, the color and the concept. I made a stupid judgement call on joining the yarn, and I can see the places in the sweater which bugs me. I also have never knitted with this type of yarn before…and I’m curious to see how it all holds up. They yarn itself is knitted strands – I have not idea what that is called, but it seems to easily snag on things. It worked out okay, but I am not sure I’d use that type of yarn again.

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So, here I sit with a queue full of sweaters and a closet full of wool. Rumor has it I may need a sweater or two for the air conditioning, but more likely…in addition to reorganizing our lives, my favorite pastime may need a major overhaul along with my Ravelry queue and list of favorites. Oy  vey!

So, this little upheaval in conjunction with the enjoyment of summer life in general is part of the reason I’ve been putting this blog (and some crafting) on the way back burner and I anticipate that will continue to be the case…at least until we get settled and figure out how life in the UAE works.

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FO: Guernsey Wrap

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It’s a good thing we’ve had some crazy random spring snow in these parts, because a few weeks ago I finished my Guernsey Wrap. I love this project…the making of it, the pattern, the yarn, the finished product…and I may have to wrap myself in it all summer long – even if I’m a hot sweaty mess. I especially enjoyed working with the Brooklyn Tweed yarn, which was a first for me, and I love how such an amazing pattern can emerge from simply switching between two simple stitches…knits and purls.

My Calla Cami; Finally

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I finally finished up the Calla Cami. The only reason it took so long was that it hibernated for a good long, long while. Once I got working on it again, things went smoothly. I love the stitch pattern. I ended up doing an additional set of the 20 row repeat because I wasn’t at the specified length as indicated by the pattern. That modification worked out perfectly, and now I just need to find the right camisole to wear underneath and a sunny warm day to bust it out! While it is sunny today, it is also snowing…nothing like springtime in Colorado.callacami4

Off my needles: Määrä

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I am so glad I decided to make the Määrä with the variegated yarn I was gifted by my Mom. It is this yarn in the Mesa colorway. The simplicity of the shawl shows off the color beautifully. Despite being simple, there is a little hint of fun with the ruffle edge and picot bind off, and I just love it. I have worn it a lot since it came off the needles, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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I did read in another person’s project notes they left the top edge on scrap yarn instead of binding off, and then picking up the stitches to do the picot edge as per the pattern. I had planned to do that, but when the time came I was out of the house, and didn’t have scrap yarn. I am not a fan of the whole picking up stitches thing, so in hind sight, it would have been better to just be patient, get the scrap yarn and go down that route.

WIPs

Sadly, I haven’t been knitting much, as I have been rather busy with a project for my daughter’s amazing preschool. It has been great fun working on the school’s annual fundraiser (the event is this evening), but a lot of work too. Despite it all, I have been sneaking in a bit of knitting here and there.

I started this lovely Autumn Blush shawl with some pretty alpaca yarn my mom sent me for Christmas…but have abandoned it as I think the “paints” yarn is a bit too busy with the pattern, and part of what I love is seeing the double seed stitch which wasn’t really happening. This is my first go at using variegated yarn, and I’ve been a bit unsure of how best to show off its lovely color. I settled on this here Maraa shawl. I will tackle the Autumn Blush again, but either with the yarn it was designed for, or with some Malabrigo silk merino I have in my stash.

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In the meantime, I am knitting up another gifted item. I received a Brooklyn Tweed Guernsey Wrap kit from my mother in law. I love the pattern, how something so pretty and interesting can develop from simply switching between knits and purl stitches. While this isn’t my first Brooklyn Tweed pattern, this is my first time around using their yarn. I’d have to say I am enjoying working with it, and it looks just perfect in the pattern. It also kind of makes we want to make the Rosebud hat again using their yarn.

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Last fall I had a color and style crush on an image I saw via Pinterest – well specifically the GIANT raspberry colored cowl the gal was wearing in that image…and I kind of cast on in the hopes of making something like it for myself. It has been my having a conversation in the car while driving up to ski knit. I think my rows are tighter, I was using the suggested needles size for the yarn, and if I look at the image it is likely knit up a bit more loosely. Ah well. I am only a little bit into it all, but not feeling overly enthusiastic about working on it, especially since I have other interesting things to be working on.

I have also finally pulled two of my long, long, long hibernating projects out, dusted them off and started a bit of work on them here and there…those two projects would be the Calla Cami and Motif 8. I know…I still have the rest of the motifs to work through so I can get my blanket done! And…as it turns out, this is the perfect time to finish up the Calla Cami so I can wear it and enjoy it this spring (assuming I’ve got the right size going, etc.).

So, there you have it…my knitting round up.

I see a trip to the fabric store in my near future. I have a few things cooking, and I have been feeling the need to change things up a bit.

A Birthday Shrug

shrug2upI was at a local yarn shop with my mother in law a few weeks ago, and she came across this lovely yarn with a pattern at the store for a circle vest. Apparently she has been appreciating the project for some time…and with a little nudging decided to go for it and give the project a try. I got inspired, and thought it might make a great gift for my sister – her birthday was coming up, and she is expecting. I had this vision of her cute belly peeking out from under the big shawl collar, and the sides of the vest flowing down around her sides. I think she should be able to wear it open and hanging, or pinned together right at the chest. At any rate, I decided to give the pattern a go and knitted up this fun circle vest for her birthday. I used four skeins of Cascade 128 and the pattern was kind of interesting. You knit the circle in the round, do a little decreasing and then hold half the stitches on waste yarn, knit up the other half and then join the two sets of live stitches. I was a little concerned when I first finished it, but after a good long soak, and a heavy block it all seemed to come together. I hope it fits. I hope she likes it. And I hope her bump looks as cute as I imagined it would.

Happy Birthday Sista!