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.

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.

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.

The Rock Island Saga Comes to an End

The Rock Island Shawl is off my needles, can you believe it!?! I received the supplies to do the blocking (thank you Joni), and hope to tackle that, snap some photos and wear it proudly this next week.

What a production!

And yet, once I got it sorted out it wasn’t to bad.

My Rock Island was like child birth…a 9 month production that at times was painful and tiring, but yielded something quite gorgeous that I am sure will bring me joy. And much like having children, I can imagine a day when the “pain” will recede from memory, and the idea of doing it all over again may sound like an appealing idea. Perhaps one day I will tackle the second colorway I ambitiously purchased when I first decided to tackle the project.

And…as my friend Katie said when learning of my Rock Island’s finished status…It is time to block it and rock it!

WooHoo.

in this neck of the woods…

Despite the lack of posts, and not participating in africankelli’s September sew along, I have been working on a few things. We have been adjusting to the school schedule thing again, and getting back into the swing of catching early buses, getting homework done and the fun of fall soccer.

On the knitting front, I’ve am slowly plugging away on the Calla Cami, which is going well. I just haven’t focused on it as much as I could. Sadly, I can’t quite say the same thing for the rock island. I made a stab at the starting rock island chart, but ended up with some mistakes and ripped it back to the garter section. I forgot to place a lifeline before starting, and wont be making that mistake again! Soon I will tackle the chart again. I’ve blown it up so I can see it better, marked it up so that the SSK are all highlighted green, and I just know that this time I’ll have better luck! I need to devise a better system of keeping track of the 17 – 6 stitch repeats on either side of the center section. Any suggestions? Oh, and perhaps an isolation chamber might help too.

However, I find it is always important to give oneself some success while struggling, so to help manage my frustration, I banged out another one of Katie’s lovely patterns and had fun doing it.  How can you go wrong…big needles, big yarn, a fun braided cable with a quick turn around! I can almost get excited about the first frost that killed all that remained of our garden, as it means its about time to wear warm woolly knits!


On to sewing…I finished up two projects. The first was a modification to the messenger bag I posted on earlier. This time around the purpose was to be a holder for my daughter’s LeapPad which she received for her birthday. I decided to add some padding to the body of the bag, a pocket for the USB cord, some slots to hold the game cartridges and a pouch for the charger. I also whipped up a sleeve for the device itself. She feels pretty fancy, and enjoys carting her whole set up around.

The second project was a new baby doll wardrobe for our friends’ daughters birthday. I found an awesome pattern over on this blog, reduced it a bit since our dolls were 12 inches and then went to town. I made a few tops, two skirts, a pair of pants and a fleece jacket. Sadly, I didn’t do much in the way of photos – but the feedback is that baby Sara, and her mama are quite pleased with all the new clothing.

So, there you have it, that is what is happening in this neck of the woods. I am looking forward to getting back on track with projects and posting.

Hallelujah…I’ve Made Progress

So, as it turns out what my Rock Island shawl and I really needed was a long weekend in West Palm Beach. A few days with two of my buds was great for me, and the flights there are back were awesome for my Rock Island! Flying without the fam in tow means knitting, coffee, books…in short a whole different luxurious traveling experience. I knocked out most of the edging on the plane (woot, woot), and finished it up on the drive to camping with family this weekend. While camping I picked up all my stitches and finished the first small garter section. Now it’s on to the rock island lace section…I’m feeling optimistic, I’ve got my rock island mojo back!

west palm fun

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rock island progress

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camping fun with a motif 7 cameo

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