FO: Birkin

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At some point early in 2014, I discovered the Plucky Knitter. I was intrigued by her colors and the collection of bases. (And she’s from Michigan!) Somewhere in there, I bought four skeins of her Traveler Sport yarn, which is a wool/silk/yak blend, in vignette, a beautifully deep purple. I’m not sure what I originally intended for it, but it sat in my stash unused for months. Last December, I found it and began looking for the perfect sweater for it. I settled quickly on Amy Miller’s Birkin. In February, I wound the yarn. In March, I cast on, and for about two months, I worked on the body ribbing here and there when I had time. I was working on other projects during that time, and while I liked the yarn, I wasn’t committed yet. When I finally finished my Sazerac in late May, I buckled down on Birkin. It took me a while to finish the sweater, but during the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio Olympics, I finished it. IMG_2465

The pattern is well-written. I like Amy Miller’s patterns because they pull me out of my knitting comfort zone and help me to grow as a knitter. Despite having some new to me to things in the design, the directions were easy for me to follow. I figured out how to do these new things, and now I have new knitting skills.

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I adore the lace pattern. I screwed up a little at one point, but that’s the result of trying to knit a sweater while trying to watch the Tigers play the Yankees AND trying to buy yarn in Comerica Park. (Yes, I have now used the CoPa wi-fi to buy yarn. It was during a Plucky update, and I really wanted a sweater quantity of Primo Fingering in Plucky’s new Cecilia colorway.) Anyway, my screw-up fits with the rest of the design. The lace pattern was easy to memorize, and I love the way that it looks. I’m planning on using it for a cowl later this year. IMG_2472

The yarn was a dream to work with. Traveler sport is a wool/yak/silk blend, and it’s like holding a dream in your hands. I loved it. While it is a little pricier than I prefer, I definitely want to use it again. I loved the way the lace looks. IMG_2479

Aside from my baseball game mistake, the only other modification that I made was an applied i-cord edging on the neckline in place of the recommended ribbing. I was afraid of running out of yarn, and I did this to make sure that I had enough yarn to finish the sweater. I really like the way it came out; I think it adds a little class or elegance to the sweater. IMG_2482

I don’t know how well you can see her, but this picture is your first introduction to my new kitten, Madeline. I’ll blog later about who she is and why she’s in my life. But for now, that’s Miss Madeline. IMG_2494

I’m in love with this sweater. I enjoyed making it, and I love wearing it. And I might need to make myself another one someday soon.IMG_2509

Pattern: Birkin by Amy Miller

Raveled here.

 

FO: Sazerac

If you pay much attention to my knitting posts, you may have heard that I really like the work of a designer named Thea Colman. In February, Thea released a sweater pattern that I knew that I needed to make. It’s name is Sazerac, and it looked like the comfy sort of sweater that I love. Thea had used YOTH Yarns Big Sister, which is DK weight. I’d never heard of YOTH before Thea started referencing them on Instagram and in her Rav posts, but I thought I’d try them out. Thea spoke highly of them, so I sprang for a sweater quantity of Big Sister in Thyme. Thyme is a brilliant blue-green that spoke to my mood back in February. As soon as it arrived, I was in love.

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Sazerac is not a hard knit. The pattern is well-written. If you can follow a chart, the cable chart is really straight forward. To be honest, I had the chart memorized fairly quickly. The reason it took me a little more than three months to finish the sweater is that I was busy and it requires focused attention. The cabling is NOT hard to do or to memorize, but it does require that you focus on the pattern. This is not mindless knitting. This is not a pattern that you can work on while you watch War and Peace or Captain America.

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It is, however, a pattern that is definitely worth the time and the effort. Prior to this sweater, it had been quite a while since I’d made a sweater worked in pieces and seamed together. But this was worth the time. This is a gorgeous piece that I’m thrilled to have in my wardrobe for the winter.

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It’s only about 80 degrees Fahrenheit today. This sweater was only worn for the photo shoot. IMG_3135

Overall, the sweater took me five and a half skeins of Big Sister, which leaves me with a skein and a half leftover. I’m hoping to make myself a cowl for winter with that selvedge. But for now, look at more pictures of the sweater! Aren’t those cables glorious? I’m really thinking that I’ll need to make a baby blanket using this cable pattern some day. Heck, maybe that cowl I’m dreaming up will use that pattern.

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Those cables! All those books…I love books. I think that I need more books.

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Raveled here.

FO: Jackson Creek Cardigan (Again)

A little over a year ago, I knit myself a delightful cardigan using Glenna C’s fabulous Jackson Creek Cardigan pattern. I love that sweater, and I wear it quite regularly-read almost once a week. I knew that I needed another Jackson Creek because I want to wear it so often, and so about six/seven weeks ago, I set to work knitting up another one. I used Tanis Fiber Arts amber label dk weight in the Jean Jacket colorway that Tanis created for the September edition of the TFA 2014 Year in Colour. And the marvelous Tanis graciously dyed a sweater quantity of Jean Jacket for me. And naturally, I had to make it into a Jackson Creek. I finished it on Thursday, and I’m unbelievably happy with the result. The yarn is so comfortable. The fit is divine.IMG_2138I finished it on Thursday, and I’m unbelievably happy with the result. The yarn is so comfortable. The fit is divine. IMG_2139

I did make a few modifications. Like I did previously, I knit the body in one piece to make the process go faster. As you can see above, I did raise the neckline from the original. This was NOT because I got distracted by the West Wing, but rather it was because Michigan winters are cold, and a higher neckline means a warmer me. IMG_2140 IMG_2141 IMG_2143 IMG_2144 IMG_2145 IMG_2147 IMG_2149Simply put, I love this sweater. and I wouldn’t be surprised if I made another at some point.

Raveled here.

 

FO: Lady Sunnyside

About a month or so ago, the good ladies of the Tanis Fiber Arts group over on Ravelry have been (and are still having) a knit-along with Tanis’s new pattern, Lady Sunnyside. I’ve been participating with a Tanis one of a kind color, Ravine, in green label. I finished knitting the sweater and blocked it on Thursday, sewed the buttons on it on Friday, and today I wore it for the first time.

IMG_0355 IMG_0356 IMG_0357 IMG_0358 IMG_0359 IMG_0360 IMG_0361 IMG_0362 IMG_0363Raveled here.

(Photoshoot was taken at East Bay Park in Traverse City, Michigan. All squinting is due to the sun.)

 

Accountability-Round Two

About two years ago, I wrote a post that was titled “Accountability,” and in it I talked about my crafting goals for my first year of teaching. (You can go hunt it down if you’d like. I’ll sit here and wait while you go look for it.)

Well, I made myself another list…about two or three weeks ago. Here you have it…my list. If you can’t read it, well, scroll down a bit, and you’ll see a typed version of the list.
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1. Finish Katie’s sweater ASAP. (I did this…and I mailed her the sweater…and she received it. So I scribbled it out on the list.)

2. Finish A’s blanket by 8/25. I’m working on that. See?

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Scrunched up baby blanket being worked in the round

3. Finish J’s blanket by 9/19 . I’m working on that. You can’t see pictures of that yet.

4. Sea grass tank ASAP…I’ll get there when I get there.

5. Midnight pullover ASAP…see previous comment.

6. Alleghany Morning by Thanksgiving…I’m sure it’ll happen. (Fingers crossed!)

7. Laramidia in stained glass

8. Ultravioleta by late October

9. White cowlneck sweater by Christmas

10. Light pink folded by Christmas-or late January

11. Evelyn cowl to publication by Easter

This is the current status of the Evelyn cowl project. Pattern notes haven't really commenced.

This is the current status of the Evelyn cowl project. Pattern notes haven’t really commenced.

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  This is what happens when Augustus Waters dies. I screw up an entire row of knitting due to crying.

12. Bold move by April

– Make dad a scarf for Christmas. –> Use stash yarn

-Use slate and ballet slipper. (This has no relation to the previous note.)

 

So, dear readers, this is what you SHOULD expect to see coming (on and) off my needles over the next several months. If it’s not happening, yell at me.

And now, before I leave, here’s the cookie cake that one of my coworkers and I got Insomnia Cookie to make us for Harry Potter’s 34th birthday.

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FO: Laramidia Cowl

On Saturday, I finished another summer cowl. This project used the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color May color and pattern. The pattern was Laramidia, a shawl, and I adapted it slightly to turn it into a cowl. The color is mellow, a delightful mix of yellows, greys, and greens/blues. And the yarn is TFA’s red label, which I love ever so much. It’s so soft; it’s like wearing a kitten around your neck.

IMG_2013 IMG_2009 IMG_2011 IMG_2013 IMG_2018 IMG_2019For more details, see my project page here.

 

FO: Suncrest Shawl

While the Winter Olympics have been playing out in Sochi, Russia, I have been participating in the Ravellenic Games-the knitting/crocheting/spinning equivalent of the sporting games.

This year, I only competed for one team and only worked on one project. (I’ve done more in other years, but this year, I chose to be realistic.) My project was Tanis Lavalee’s Suncrest Shawl, and I knit it up using a skein of Tanis’s red label silk/wool/cashmere blend from a One of a Kind Update in her Etsy shop back on Boxing Day. The color was (rightfully) named sugarplum. The finished result is divine. It’s soft and beautiful. And I have a feeling this baby is going to get a lot of use in my wardrobe.

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