Fast knits, and other stories

Earlier this year, I set a goal to knit more from my stash. The awful global pandemic is helping me achieve this goal. There were no fibre festivals, I’ve limited my online yarn shopping, and even though yarn shops are slowly and carefully reopening in southern Ontario, I haven’t felt the urge to get out and buy. I’m looking at what I have on hand, skeins and part skeins, maybe reevaluating if yarn can be better used and frogging underloved items, and I’ve been making a dent in the stash.

Finished in about a week, I’ve made yet another crop top. This time, I used cotton that has been in the stash for several years – one was a left over ball from my braidsmaid shawl, and one was a full skein, which I over-purchased when making a gift for a friend’s baby. Jessie Maed’s crop patterns are frequent additions to Ravelry’s Hot Right Now page, and she’s offering her
Summer Secret Crop
 for free during the pandemic. Another knitter used striping on her crop to use two colours, and with her project as inspiration, I used the Fibonacci Fade technique to fade my grey to teal. Ideally, I would have loved a little more length, because, despite my current trend of knitting crop tops, I am not super comfortable wearing them, or better said, I’d be more comfortable once I can find pants, dresses, or skirts better suited for this style and my body type. Regardless, I found a skirt in my closet that suited this crop top, and I got a few pics.

All said, I was happy with this pattern. Jessie Maed’s patterns are very well known for being size inclusive. It gave two options for yarn weight (fingering or DK) and gave two styles for the crop top (fitted with waist shaping, which I made, or no shaping for a boxier fit). I was really happy to use up this yarn that’s been lingering in the stash, and being acrylic and cotton, it was quite pleasant to work with while the weather was hot and humid last week!

And, once again, I frogged an underloved project, this time my
Paige Cable Beanie Hat
, and the yarn got recycled into a different cabled hat, using the pattern Jason’s Cashmere Hat. I never liked this finish of the Paige Cable hat, always feeling too small for my head. All I’m missing with the new cabled hat is a pompom to top it off, but seeing as we’re about the enter the hottest months of the year, I’m not in any rush to add the final flourish.

I’ve been working (SLOWLY) away at two pairs of socks and a shawl. And, I’m resisting the urge to frog another shawl that I’m just not loving. Actually, the shawl itself I adore. It’s my Rose Garden Shawl, which is just a pretty, pretty shawl. But, as I realized when I made the choice to frog my Pendant Purls Shawl, I don’t love this crescent/stole-esque shape. I don’t wear them nearly as much as others, and I bet this blue/black yarn could be better loved if it became something else. If I can settle on something to make with it, it’ll definitely get ripped out, however, I know I’m procrastinating until that day when something else calls to me, not-so-secretly dreading ripping back this lovely shawl. Because really, what good is a pretty piece if it never gets love outside my closet?

Finished Object Friday – Berry Skies

Last weekend, I was able to enjoy a four day weekend. Mind, I stayed in my house all by myself, and I didn’t get to visit family at all over the weekend, a first for Easter and it hit kinda hard. I did get a LOVELY front porch visit from my best friend, and thank all things merino for telephones and FaceTime.

Knowing it was four days of uninterrupted nothingness, I bought myself two patterns I had been eyeing on Ravelry, one of which was Berry Skies by Martina Behm. It’s an awesome asymmetrical cowl using a variety of fingering sock yarn.  Could this cowl be ticking any more of my knitting love boxes? (Please have read that with the intended Chandler Bing infliction…)

I had yarn in mind – three variations of orange Log House Cottage yarn.  I realized because I’m terrible at knitting math I needed one more skein to make my life easy, and I was SO grateful that one of my LYSs was doing curb-side pick up on Good Friday.

I cast on last Thursday after signing off from working from home, and yesterday I was wearing the finished cowl. I think this is a reflection of both how quickly this garter project came together and just how much knitting I got done through the weekend.

Everything about this was fun – fun project, fun yarn, fun construction, and the easy garter construction meant it was easy to work on while watching TV or reading.

Le Pouf is Le Finished, and other adventures

I am so happy with my latest cardigan, the Le Pouf by Beata Jezek. Using fingering yarn held double, it really did knit up quickly, but the stress with this project, oh man! The pattern is free and all in all a good pattern, but, it is a faded pattern and it does not advise exactly when to fade. My kitchen scales and I got very well acquainted while I was working on this sweater, fearful that I would run out of yarn as I was working on it.  Four of the skeins I used for this project I purchased from Knitter’s Frolics in years past, so buying more would be very, very challenging.

I kept my project notes on Ravelry full of detail, because as I was working on my sweater, other’s notes were very helpful for me. Hopefully mine may be of some use to knitters working on this sweater in the future. I will say, this pattern was a great way to use skeins of sock yarn that have been kicking around a stash for some time! Try it out, play with different colour combos!

On Saturday, while my cardigan sat drying, a few friends of mine and I went to Burlington to the latest yarn launch for The Blue Brick. My one friend in particular absolutely adores this dyer, and really, can you blame her? The Blue Brick’s yarns are all dyed inspired by photographs she takes, and they are typically tonal or ombre and simply stunning to see.

I’ve been working on the Samwise Cowl, designed by Shireen Nadir of Blue Brick, using her Luxe DK in Moscovy I bought back in the summer.  The fade is very subtle but it is indeed fading into the blue!

At the yarn launch on Saturday, I was good to my bank account and my stash (which I’ve resolved to be very choosy about adding to) and I bought one of the shawl cuffs she made; I’m in love.

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As part of the launch, there were door prizes, four given away in total. A few guests who left early gave my friends and I their tickets, so I had three for the afternoon; I was off by one number for the second draw, and off by two on the third.  The final draw was a sweater’s quantity of yarn, an ombre DK sweater kit. This time, it was my number that was pulled! The day before was pretty low for me, so to have February start with good friends and winning yarn, it was a much needed pick-me-up. I am beyond thankful for this generous prize and cannot wait to start a sweater that will hopefully be worthy of this beautiful yarn.

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Finished Object Friday

Just after the new year, I finished my first project of 2020!

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Pattern: A Cropped Sweater for Winter by Andi Satterlund
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Avalon (main colour), and Cascade Yarns Luna (contrast)

The cotton has a nice weight, although I don’t know if I would make another structured sweater with cotton as it wears differently though the day than wool tends to. The sweater pattern was free (yay!) with excellent photos assisting in places where the written instructions were a little confusing.

Was able to use three and a half skeins from my stash (yay!) while the contrast colour was generously supplied from the stash of my friend Victoria! Forever grateful to her!