Year of the Sweater

Hello! It’s snowing again. This should not surprise me. It’s March in Ohio.

I spent most of my studio time today preparing knitting for my trip to Oklahoma. Because I am taking four sweaters to knit on for the week. FOUR. The Oa, Midnight Merino Raglan, and two new ones: Cricket Hitofude and Meara XO.

I think we can safely call this The Year of the Sweater.

This is a merino and silk yarn in colorway Cricket for the Hitofude cardigan. This is my spring cardi I wanted to wear with my new tunic. It didn’t take me long to work out what I wanted.

Have you ever seen the Gilmore Girls episode when Lorelei is preparing for her wedding with Luke and all the planning falls together seamlessly so she knew it was meant to be? That’s what happened with this sweater.

If you’ve seen that episode, you know it turns out to be ill fated, but let’s stay positive and assume Cricket will come together seamlessly. The top of the cardigan is begun like a shrug. Have you ever knit a shrug?

Also, are you participating in Make It Yourself March? I am participating on Instagram, and one of the prompts later in the month is “most worn.” In preparation, I photographed myself in this shrug I knit about 10 years ago.

I wear this shrug every winter, most recently over this Mata Traders blouse. It’s knit from Knitpicks alpaca and silk, and the pattern may have been Knitpicks too. I can’t remember.

That first photo is a little goofy, but I never know how to pose myself in photos, so I typically ham it up.

It is also, according to Skeinherder, Malabrigo March. I thought that was the perfect excuse I didn’t need to buy a single skein of Malabrigo in my favorite color, cerulean. (That’s fun to say.) What will I make? I am thinking I will make the perfect beanie. When I know what that means, I will let you know.

Here is my tweedy Fibre Co. Arranmore yarn in colorway Meara. I’m calling the sweater Meara XO because it’s an all over cable pattern with XOs down the center front and back.

The pattern, Staghorn, is from the book A Fine Fleece. I like calling it XO because in The Expanse (and apparently the military) they call the executive officer XO. I secretly want my staff at work to call me XO as a term of endearment. But, as you know, nicknames cannot be forced.

Look at this hank of gradient yarn that turned out to be five different hanks of single color yarn. Boy do I feel stupid. I guess I’ll have to buy another hank of verifiably gradient yarn so I can knit my Bramen Cowl for the first lesson from Year of Techniques. (I copied Quiteayarnblog.) There were so many techniques on the list I didn’t know, I signed right up!

I think I’ll hold off on buying the yarn so I have an excuse to go yarn shopping in OKC when I’m there.

I’m still reknitting the bottom of my Carbeth. I’ve had to rip it out twice. But I think third time’s the charm on this one.

I’ve linked to two other bloggers in this post. I really blog for the community. Thanks for reading my blog and being part of my community!

Slapdash Saturday

I ripped back several inches of the Ohio Star Cowl. As you can see here, my short rows were too steep.

It looks like a sleeve! I will reknit it, decreasing into a more shallow point at the bottom front. Here is a better look at the textured star, which I hope will block out nicely.

And here you can see my math scribbles on a corner of knitters graph paper because I forgot my journal.

Today I started sewing again!

Okay, no actual sewing, but some pattern cutting. I hope to get started tomorrow. I have plenty of fabric to match my plaids, but my goal here is a folksy mismatching of plaid, on the pockets at least.

I also decided I love my red Targhee sweater too much to not be able to throw it on over jeans- with no shirt underneath because it is super soft- which means it needs a handspan of length added to the bottom to cover my hips. I spent a good deal of my time ripping out stitches.

I stopped before ripping out all the ribbing because it was lunch time. I’ll finish tomorrow.

Here’s my swatch for one of the Warm Hands contest designs. I’ve decided to forget about the contest since it may not be happening, and I promised myself I didn’t have to put anything out there this year if I didn’t feel like it. And I’m not feeling like it. Ostrich Sleeves will have to wait.

Today I realized why I cram so much creativity in on the weekend. When I was working as a store manager, I used that part of my brain every day on photography and social media. Now that part of my brain doesn’t get much exercise during the work week, so I’m hitting it hard on the weekend.

After studio time it was Date Saturday. Bob and I went out for Mexican food, saw Green Book, and picked up Ethiopian food to take home for dinner. We ate out twice today! How decadent.

Sunday Studio Time

I was good and completed my swatch for The Oa on the smaller sized needle. I haven’t steamed it yet. I also threw in a row of the green for color C to see how it would show up and I’m really glad I did, because it doesn’t! Show up that is. I also tried some knit 2 of A and C before binding off, just to be sure. Someone who has more experience with colorwork probably would have seen this coming. It’s ok, though. I ordered two balls of black and I’m sure that will work.

This week’s Knitting Season assignment was to write every day with the prompt, “Remember when I…” So I wrote about the time I dyed this silk top blue, spun it into yarn, and knit it into this tam. It’s a little beat up now. I wore it and so did some of the kids, which made me happy. It inspires me. I think I might like to save up and get a spinning wheel again.

I also spent some time working on this design for a colorwork Ohio Star Cowl and beanie.

And the original Ohio Star Bandandit is almost done, but I ran out of yarn! I ordered another 2 ounce hank and am looking forward to blocking it and wearing it. I want to knit another one with more texture work in The Fibre Co Arranmore Light in St. Claire, the bobbly tam yarn.

So it has been a productive week. I guess I am slowly but surely getting closer to reaching my goals.

People ask me how I do all of this on top of a full time job and my very part time work with Haven Herbs, and I can say with certainty it’s because Bob does all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And he does it because he likes it. I do my own laundry and dishes, and clean the bathroom sometimes, but that’s really it. So shout out to Bob! ❤️ Also, I only have one kid still in school and he is super low key. ❤️

And I’m a much happier person when I am knitting. ❤️

ETA: I cut a steeeeeeek!

Nailed it!

Hit the gauge smack on for The Oa and I love these colors! Now I’m supposed to knit it again in a smaller needle size, and I suppose I should do as I’m told, but you know I want to cast on the sweater now.

I am still making good progress on Celtic Myths. It won’t be long before it’s cabled knotwork time!

It’s Saturday and I don’t have to work and I might knit on the couch in my pjs all day.

ETA: My first version of this post was a little snarky. I felt bad about it so I deleted all that nonsense, but if you subscribe to my posts via email you get the original, unfiltered for snark version. Bob calls this “the real Alissa” and saves these posts for posterity.

It was just me grumbling about Instagram fatigue and how I should have artfully strewn flower petals in my knitting photos.

Expand and Contract

This is my new Cascade 220 Sport for The Oa.

A friend and I were talking and she mentioned expansion scares her. Change is challenging for her. Not me, I love change, but lately I’ve been feeling a similar way. I expanded a lot in 2018. But now I’m feeling anxious and like it’s time to shrink back into myself. No more clubs, goals, or new things! Just knit on what you got, girl!

I signed up for FibreShare and it’s really fun, but it’s hard (for me) to know when to stop. I’m new at this, and when I hear what others are doing I think I’m not doing enough! Anyway, I have to ship international priority, and there’s a limit to what I can squeeze into that Tyvec mailer!

Are you a Valentine’s Day celebrator? Here’s a quiz for you, either way. I’ll go first.

1. Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your parents when you were a kid? If so, how did you celebrate?

My mom usually had some kind of Valentine’s Day treat for us when we were kids: candy, cookies, or cupcakes. One year she bought me a little doll I wanted with a pink dress. It was when I was almost too old for dolls, but not quite.

2. Did you give and receive Valentines at your school when you were a kid? If so, what is your happiest memory of it?

We decorated our own mailboxes at my school, and I remember one year I papered mine with aluminum foil. I thought it was really nifty. I also think I gave KISS Valentines one year, and of course I thought that was super cool.

3. What was your favorite Valentine’s Day treat when you were a kid? What about now?

When I was a kid I remember liking those cherry flavored, heart shaped suckers. Now I love chocolate cherry cupcakes and red wine.

4. Do you craft for Valentine’s Day? If so, what do you make?

No. Not anymore. Although I thought about knitting a red scarf this year with that lovely yarn from Karen.

5. Do you have a bad Valentine’s Day memory you would like to share?

I have two but I don’t wish to share them.

6. Do you have any special plans this Valentine’s Day?

No, I will be traveling for work. But I will get some candy for the kids.

I look forward to reading your answers! Please leave them in the comments or a link to your blog if you respond there. ❤️

Yeah, no.

I made a mistake when I bought this yarn for the Oa Hoodie. I probably could get 6 stitches to an inch with a DK, but would I want to wear that fabric? Stranded colorwork? Nope. I knew better. I can only blame myself.

My hope is to go ahead and purchase the yarn from KDD with my club discount and find something else to do with this lovely DK.

ETA: The yarn this pattern calls for is DK, but the pattern itself calls for sport weight. Very confusing! So maybe it’s a DK yarn knit tight at sport gauge? I tend toward loose knitting, so I’m not sure I would be able to get gauge with that yarn even if I tried.

I will be so glad when January is over. This month has really kicked my arse.

Enjoy some pics from my studio.

Cogs are Turning Again!

My new year got derailed by the stomach flu. But I am feeling myself again, and am back at my Knitting Season journal.

I set myself a number of goals for 2019. They include knits to make by other designers, knits to design myself, and a list of challenges.

Look at these cute and tidy pages.

Number one on the challenges list is to salvage yarn from a garment and reknit it into something new. I had imagined finding something at the thrift store, but talking about my magenta Le Smoking made the cogs start turning in the old noggin.

I really like the new Weel Riggit design that we received as part of the Knitting Season Club, but I’m not in a place to purchase a large amount of yarn right now, and I already have two sweaters ready to cast on waiting in the wings.

Then I realized the magenta Le Smoking is knit from aran weight yarn, some old Fingerlakes Soft Wool 3Ply.

Then I started looking around for something I could knit with it in the lice pattern. I don’t have to follow the pattern explicitly. (She uses four colors.) I can just be inspired and make my own pattern with two colors.

Then I realized I was looking at a multi yarn with magenta in it.

Then I realized I have an old wool sweater Bob’s Mom gave to me that has a little magenta in it!

What do you think? There is definitely some mohair in this yarn, but I think that might give the lice stitches a nice halo.

There might also be some acrylic in this, but I gave it the burn test, and it all burned and smelled like hair. So if there is any acrylic, it isn’t much. I guess that glisten could be the mohair.

I took the depiller to it to make it easier to pull out. Does anyone remember/still have one of these? Mine is from when I was still living with my Mom, so it’s from the 1980s!

Also, I might have gotten over treating my journal like it is precious. This is my Ohio Star Cowl design in progress. (Write, knit, rewrite, rip out, reknit.)

Wow, I blogged twice today!

A Crafty Q&A from Karen

Karen, over at nothingbutknit, posted a Q&A! Here are her questions and my answers:

Q. What are your crafty plans for 2019? Are you going to try something new? If you could learn one new thing this year what would it be?

A. My crafty year will consist of knitting, wet felting, sewing, and beading- embroidery on an art piece I have been working on since 2015. Or, rather, an art piece I haven’t worked on since 2015 is what I should say. For something new, I am seriously considering learning macrame jewelry. I ordered two macrame necklaces on Etsy and I have two cabochons (moonstone and labradorite) that I would love to make into pendants or bracelets. I feel like this is something I should learn how to do. Maybe I will also try to knit wire jewelry again, but so far I have not liked the results.

Q. Do you have a special project planned for 2019? Are you going to make something special for yourself or someone else?

A. This year I have a few sewing projects in mind for my wardrobe. A pair of wool, wide legged pants (which I have loved ever since I bought my first pair from the J Peterman Company in the 1980s) a summer dress, and a summer tunic with pockets. I already have the fabric and patterns, and now that I have the space, I can make them! I have sewn the bibs from the Rosie the Riveter pattern twice before, but I have outgrown both pair! This year I’ve decided to grow a bit in maturity and sew the trousers. I purchased the dress pattern in 2012 because I had intended to use it for my wedding dress, but instead opted for another pattern.

Q. I’ve been wondering if you’ve ever donated something you’ve made to charity. Is it something you’d consider doing? Why or why not?

A. I would love to knit for charity, but I have such a long queue of selfish projects, I never get to it. I blogged about that time I knit a Peace Shawl as a silent auction donation, which left me feeling unappreciated. I’ll probably never do that again. But knitting garments for those in need is a very different thing. Maybe next year I’ll set a goal to knit one item for charity. I will never complete my projects planned for 2019 as it is.

img_1786

After blocking, I’m in love with my modified Carbeth even more and am wearing it over my second favorite flannel shirt today! I forgot to mention that I added a few inches to the body. I love this knit so much, I am considering ordering a Carbeth Swan Dance kit in a few months, once I have saved some pennies. That blue is just gorgeous. And although I love the styling of the rolled neckline, it would not flatter me, so I’ll stick with the plain rib.

Also, look how my hand dyed Targhee stripes just like the Manos Maxima on Harald’s sweater! Isn’t that funny? I am now thinking of this as a design element.

img_1785

As you can see, blocking didn’t improve the ease. Maybe it would be better if I didn’t wear it over a flannel shirt? Nevermind, it is so comfortable and wearable, I really don’t care.

Also, my underarm grafting did not turn out as well as I would have liked. Although the kitchener stitching worked out fine, and I even picked up a stitch or two on each end to graft, those loose corners get me every time. I ended up mattress stitching them on either side of the grafting, but it doesn’t look as nice as I want it to. I’m all about making a garment look as good on the inside as it does on the outside unless, of course, it doesn’t work out that way.

Today is my first full day back to work, so here I go!

Hello 2019!

As you can see, I didn’t have any trouble getting into my journal today. I transferred over my goals from my decomposition notebook into a list format with the help of a new stencil. After using said stencil, I’m not quite sure I needed it, but as I now have it, I’ll probably carry on using it.

I finished my Carbeth today. This is pre-blocking. Even so, in full knowledge that this does not have the required ease, I still love it and it is perfect over my favorite flannel shirt. I also chose to skip the rolled neckline, because jowls, and instead matched the ribbing on the hem.

Wow, I never thought it would be so difficult to get one photo of myself I felt was decent enough to post on my blog.

I have a full skein of yarn leftover! Super exciting, because I love this gorgeous red Targhee!

For my next cast on, I’ve decided to start Celtic Myths. I wound my skein of Cheryl Oberle’s Dancing Colours today, and as you can see, the colors are sultry! I am casting on with hopes of wearing it to the Celtic Colours Festival in Nova Scotia in October. Bob and I have a goal to get there and spend some time with his parents.

Bob and I went hiking on Sunday. I say hiking, but it was really wandering around lost in the mud. It was still a beautiful day, as you can see.

I really love the community here on WordPress, and I’m so grateful to have made so many new blogging friends in 2018. Thank you for reading my blog!

Happy New Year!

New Year New Club New Studio Same Me

I’m very excited for the new Kate Davies club. I received this beautiful journal and a bag full of Milarrochy Tweed yarn! I admit I feel intimidated by this gorgeous blank journal. I look forward to starting the club. Until then, I’m afraid to make a mark in it.

I am starting to look around for washi tape and stencils, even though I feel silly since I’ve never used a bullet journal before and have no idea what I’m doing.

I am mostly moved into my new studio, where the above photo was taken, on my new standing desk. As I was moving and sorting I found some old artwork. If it aged well I went ahead and set it out. Why not?

I’m currently knitting away on my holiday red Carbeth. I’ve just started the sleeves.

And here is a photo inspired by skeinherder.

JoJo insists on curling up in my lap while I’m knitting, so I should be allowed to have a little fun, right?

Also, do you remember how Charlie Brown had a kite eating tree? I have a knitting needle eating couch.