FO: What the Fade

Over the summer, I came to realize that I really loved Andrea Mowry’s designs. She was starting a mystery knit-along at the end of August, and I’m all for trying new things at least once, so I joined in. I chose six skeins from the numerous skeins of Plucky feet in my stash, used YouTube to teach myself brioche, and waited for the first clue to fall. She was calling the pattern WTF or What the Fade, which appealed to my fondness for cursing.

The first clue fell at the end of August. The final clue of the shawl fell in early October. I finished my shawl in late November because I’m not a monogamous knitter. That said, I’m completely in love with the finished product.The first clue fell at the end of August. The final clue of the shawl fell in early October. I finished my shawl in late November because I’m not a monogamous knitter. That said, I’m completely in love with the finished product. This knit was a challenge for me. I’d never knit brioche before. The pattern called for two color brioche. I learned on my feet. I’m not sure that was the best method, but I’m glad that I can knit brioche now. It’s a unique skill and a gorgeous fabric. I’ll definitely revisit it.

Pattern here.

Raveled here.

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FO: Flax Light

I suppose that it’s a given that if a yarn dyer that you love creates a colorway that bears your name you must buy a sweater quantity of it. At least, that’s the way that I view it, and I’ve had several knitters of my acquaintance confirm this notion. With that in mind, I bought a sweater quantity of Cecilia on Primo Fingering when the Plucky Knitter launched the color in June of 2016. I bought it with a pattern in mind, and I even wound the four skeins promptly when they arrived at my home. But I didn’t cast on. I had reasons. I was busy. The pattern was complex. But as time wore on, I found my interest in knitting the pattern had waned, and I needed to find a new pattern.

Enter Flax Light. Flax Light is part of Tin Can Knits “The Simple Collection,” which is a collection of ten knitting patterns that are accessible to beginners. They’re simple as the name implies and straight-forward. They’re also classic. I’m not exactly a beginning knitter anymore, but due to some plans that I had for my summer, I wanted a simple sweater project that I could cart around with me to plays and movies and sporting events. Flax Light was perfect for this.

Flax Light also worked perfectly with my goal of creating more lightweight sweaters for myself that I can wear in spring and fall. Because it’s knit on fingering weight, it is ideal for those days when there is a nip in the air but you don’t really need an extra layer yet. I’m looking forward to getting to use it this fall as the school year begins. This should work well both with dress pants and with jeans.

Overall, Flax Light was a great project for me. It flowed smoothly and knit up quickly. I did make some minor modifications to the shoulder and sleeve. First of all, I knit the entire raglan shoulder in garter stitch rather than using the 20 stitch garter tab recommended in the pattern. I don’t love the look of that garter tab, and so I went with the shoulder structure/style used on So Faded, which I really love. I love the look that this creates on the sweater. This garter section is the only deviation from stockinette other than the ribbing at the collar and hems, and I think it adds a fabulous layer of visual interest.

Second, I only cast on half of the recommended stitches at the underarm division. I did this because I wanted to create a more fitted body than that recommended by the pattern. However, doing this meant that I had to add a few increases in the hips to allow for my Italian ass. I love the effect that this has when combined with the drape of Primo Fingering.

I loved the pattern. It was easy to follow (and to adapt when I wanted) and quick to knit up. I’m definitely considering revisiting this pattern again in the future.

Raveled here.

FO: So Faded

In late March, I was sitting a meeting of a local knitting group that I sporadically attend when we began discussing Andrea Mowrey’s Find Your Find pattern. Another group member mentioned that she wasn’t planning on starting one yet because she was waiting until the similar sweater pattern was released.

Now, I thought that the shawl was lovely although I hadn’t started plotting one of my own yet, but the idea of that concept/design on a sweater…now that was right up my alley. I waited patiently (ish) for the pattern to be released, and then when So Faded was released, I started toying with my stash to produce the best combination for a sweater. I have a couple of groupings packaged together in my stash to use to make future So Fadeds.

But I didn’t use stash for this one. Around the time the pattern was released, the Plucky Knitter had a “Mix and Match” update filled with pairings perfect for So Faded, Find Your Fade, and Starting Point. One of the pairings was almost but not quite perfect for me, so I asked Sarah (aka the Plucky Knitter) if she could think of a good sub for the color that just wasn’t me and she gave me two choices. I picked one and bought five skeins of yarn on Plucky Feet. And now…we have my So Faded. From top to bottom: Fondant, SB005, Biscuit, SB001, and Cecilia.

Joy calls this my dessert sweater. It supposedly makes her hungry every time she sees it. Therefore, I knew that we had to take pictures on National Ice Cream Day. Doesn’t it just look like a dessert sweater?

The pattern is very straight-forward. The directions are well-written and easy to follow. I may have been knitting for several years, but I suspect that this would be a good pattern for a more novice knitter. I really enjoyed knitting it, and I’m planning on knitting a few more out of the pairings that I put together out of my stash earlier this year. I think that it could also be quite lovely if one chose to knit it out of only one color as well.

While it’s too warm for it now, this sweater will be perfect for fall and spring. It goes perfectly into the plan that I mentioned in an earlier post to add more lightweight sweaters to my wardrobe. I really like Plucky Feet for this purpose. It’s a sturdy yarn that knits up in a lightweight fabric that is quite delightful. 

Raveled here.

Socks

I was sitting there getting a pedicure and knitting a sock (Yes, I knit while getting a pedicure, but don’t worry; the folks at the nail salon are used to this by now.) when one of the ladies who works there came up to me. “You’re already working on another one? You were working on a pink one when you were here two weeks ago.”

“Two weeks ago?” I returned. “Oh, I finished that one. And then I finished the second one.”

“This is the second one?” I think she couldn’t handle the idea that I’d finished two socks in two weeks. (It’s worth noting that I’d actually been there THREE weeks ago, not two. But that probably wouldn’t comfort her that much. I’d also knit most of the foot of that sock she was talking about while watching a movie a few days after she’d seen me knitting it.)

“No, I finished that on Sunday. This is a new sock.” I showed her the two balls of yarn that I’m using to knit the sock. “I’m striping the pink yarn from those socks with this gray yarn.”

“Cool,” she said. “Stripes, I like it.”


If you only know about my knitting from my blog, you know that I knit mostly sweaters and occasionally blankets and shawls. If you know about my knitting from real life or Instagram, you know about The Socks.

The socks are all more or less the same, a fact that you can discover for yourself if you visit my apartment where you will find the socks scattered haphazardly around. (Madeline, one of my two cats, apparently has some notion that my handknit socks are her children and so she carries them around the apartment [quite lovingly actually] so as to share all of her favorite things with a bunch of…socks.) They’re knit with fingering yarn on size two circular needles. They’re knit top-down starting with about six or seven rows of ribbing, several inches of stockinette, a short-row heel, and a foot knit in plain stockinette. They’re simple socks. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the socks.

But most people who see me knitting them would disagree with you. The socks go almost everywhere with me. See, all of those shawls/sweaters/blankets that I blog about get knit at home, and the socks hang out in my purse. Going to a movie? Perfect! I’ll knit half of a sock while we’re there. Spending most of the day in the car with someone else driving…that’s a great chance to knock out another half of a sock. Getting coffee with a friend? I’ll be able to knock out at least a few rows of a sock. The socks keep my hands busy. And the best part is that there’s a reward at the end. I get a comfortable pair of socks that is perfectly crafted to fit my foot.

If you look at my yarn stash, there are skeins upon skeins (I won’t count them for you, dear blog; neither of us really NEEDS to know how many.) of sock yarn. Sooo many colors…and generally speaking, there’s only one skein of each color. I have many skeins of Plucky Feet by the Plucky Knitter, and most of those will end up being socks someday. Others are going to become sweaters or that Find Your Fade that I need to make; it’s probably (No promises; I have indecision issues going on with my knitting.) going to be on a blue/blue-green spectrum. I like knitting with Feet, and the finished product is great. It wears well, and it’s super comfortable.

I have a couple skeins of Dream in Color’s Smooshy because DIC has these Hamilton-inspired colorways, and that’s so cool. (It is.) I bought a skein of Angelica (see my pink socks at the top? Those are my first pair of Angelica socks! Now I’m making a gray and Angelica striped pair. So. Cool.) and I loved those pink socks, but I knew I’d also need Eliza socks to go with my Angelica socks. So…I put Eliza on my wishlist, waited for it to come back into stock at Eat.Sleep.Knit, and as soon as it was back, I bought the Eliza yarn. And as soon as the Angelica striped socks are done, I get to make myself some blue Eliza socks.

I have a skein of yarn that I bought purely because the example photo on the company website made it look like the yarn was Tiffany blue. I don’t know why, but I love that shade of blue. This wasn’t the first time that I’d bought a skein of sock yarn because it looked like Tiffany blue. It won’t be the last. But when the yarn got here, it was greener than Tiffany blue really is. No matter; it’s a lovely minty green, and I’m hoping that it’ll make excellent socks. (If it doesn’t, that’s okay. Sock yarn also makes great shawls and cowls. Some even makes great sweaters. Case in point: I’m knitting a sweater out of sock yarn right now.)

The point of all this rambling is that I love knitting socks. They’re not as glamorous as blankets or sweaters, but they’re absolutely useful. I love the way that hand-knit socks feel on my feet. They’re warm and cozy. I don’t wear store-bought socks unless absolutely necessary anymore because I prefer hand-knit socks so much. Maybe no one ever sees them. Maybe no one ever knows that I’m wearing a pair of green-yellow socks with my outfit that has no green or yellow in it. Or maybe no one knows that my pinky-swear socks perfectly match my pinky-swear sweater. I know. And to me, that’s all that matters.

Sometimes it’s fun to have a secret…even if that secret is that your socks are in a colorway named after a Founding Father’s wife.

FO: The Idiomatic Stripe Parade

At some point in the past six or eight months, I started thinking that it would be really nice to have more lightweight sweaters-sweaters that I could wear in the spring and fall. Maybe it might even be nice to have something lightweight that I could throw on over a dress on a summer evening or in an overly air conditioned restaurant. Now I could buy such garments, but I wanted more hand-knit garments of that ilk.

Now I had a goodly amount of fingering weight yarn at that time, and I’ve accumulated more since. But I had to decide what to make with them. I had three skeins of Plucky Primo Fingering in Pinky Swear and two skeins of the same in Sprinkles on Top, and I knew that they needed to become something together. Somehow, I found myself led back to Amy Miller‘s fabulous Stripe Parade. I decided to use the knitting directions for Stripe Parade but play with the striping directions. And in my humble opinion, the result was a real winner.

This sweater took a long time (over four months) to knit up. Here’s the thing: It was not just because fingering sweaters take longer than worsted or dk. It was actually largely because I was working on Angostura, Oaxacan Rose, and the Bounce Blanket while I was working on this. I was not making this the focus of my knitting until about the past two weeks. And this baby flew once it got to be the center of attention. So…there will definitely be more fingering sweaters in my future.

This sweater includes numerous modifications. I cast on for the smallest size possible but then knit it to fit a size 36 bust. I wanted to raise the neckline, which I did, and I really like this modification. I’m tentatively planning another revisit to this pattern later this year, and I think that I’ll do this again.

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My real play came with the stripes. The yoke was a time for me to play with stripes, and I didn’t really have a rhyme or reason to what and how I did the striping. Then, after I divided for sleeves, I started a silly but fun pattern. The first stripe in Pinky Swear was 14 rows, then four rows of Sprinkles on Top. Then came 13 rows of Pinky Swear followed by four rows of SOT and then 12 rows of Pinky Swear…do you see the pattern? I kept this up until I had a stripe of four rows of Pinky Swear followed by four rows of SOT. The next row in Pinky Swear was five rows and I began increasing rows of Pinky Swear again. I really like the effect this created, and I want to play with this kind of striping again sometime.

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I have to say that this really is the sweater that I wanted it to be. The sleeves are a little baggier than I’d planned for, but that’s the only thing that I don’t LOVE…and it’s my own fault. The fabric is delightful-soft and light, and it reminds me yet again why I love Primo Fingering as a base. It’s a nice sweater for wearing in my overly air conditioned office. I’m thrilled that I have something that I love so much, and I definitely plan to continue making myself lightweight sweaters for a few months.

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On my third revisit to this pattern, I still really love it. I’m planning to visit it again as I said earlier, and I can’t wait to see what I do with it next.

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Raveled here.

FO: Bounce Blanket

A few months ago, one of my closest friends announced that she was expecting her first child, and I offered to make her a blanket. We talked about a few different elements (colors, patterns, and we agreed that I’d make a maize and blue Bounce blanket. I’d planned for it to be GINORMOUS. As both of the kiddo’s parents can tell you, I don’t do anything by halves. I was going to make the THROW sized blanket.

But then life threw a wrench in my knitting plans. I was supposed to knit the blanket at a leisurely pace while finishing a sweater for me. (The sweater was going to be done first.) Instead, the baby came a bit early, and I had to change my plans. The sweater had to go on the backburner. (Sorry, sweater!)  I wanted to get the blanket done as quickly as possible. I like to get the blanket done before the little one arrives if at all possible.

And…I was going to knit a big blanket. But I chose to make the shorter version of the blanket…admittedly with the width of the larger blanket.And in the end, I’m really pleased with the result. I love the way that this blanket turned out.

The mom, a graduate of the University of Michigan, had asked for maize and blue. Now, this was a hard pairing to find. I really wanted to use Madelinetosh tosh dk because I knew that was a good yarn for this blanket. I also knew that “fathom” from Madelinetosh pretty much is the Michigan blue, but fathom presents a problem. It (like most Madelinetosh) bleeds. So I had to prewash it to prevent the blue from dying the white or the yellow. There was much blue bleeding then. Then I had to play with cold water vinegar blocking to keep the colors form bleeding when I blocked. Again, this worked. No white stripes turned blue. No yellow stripes turned green. The blanket is a success as far as color and yarn go.

The pattern was also a huge success. I’ve seen this pattern around Ravelry for a long time, and I’ve always thought it to be very pretty. But the lace intimidated me. I figured it had to be H-A-R-D. Ha. I was wrong. It was super easy to memorize the lace pattern, and this is probably my quickest knit in a long time. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be revisiting this again.

Overall, this is a huge success. I’m thrilled. And I can’t wait to pass this off to the rightful owners.

Raveled here.

FO: Oaxacan Rose

I’ve recently finished another test knit for Thea Colman, and now that the pattern is published, I’m thrilled to show y’all how gorgeous this sweater is.

Oaxacan Rose is a fairly simple pullover knit almost entirely in seed stitch with a very simple cable motif in the middle of the front. 

I knit my sweater using Malabrigo Twist in the gorgeous colorway “Teal Feather.” I love how the seed stitch works with this yarn. The thickness of the yarn is perfect, and the color is delightful. The detail on the cable is just stunning. Fitting with the general pattern, it’s very simple. The pattern is very simple. It’s not a challenging knit in any way-as long as you know how to knit seed stitch and cable both right and left, it’s an easy pattern to knit.
I’m really glad that I was able to test this for Thea. I really love Malabrigo Twist, and I’d never even heard of it, let alone knit with it before this. But it came highly recommended, and it really lives up to the hype.

The only issue that I have with this sweater is that I finished it in April and the pattern is coming out in May. I won’t get to really appreciate this sweater until next fall. You’ll notice if you look at the pattern versus my sweater that mine is more fitted. I’m generally not much for loose-fitting clothing, so I made my Oaxacan Rose more fitted to better suit my comfort level. 

I love the neckline. It’s simple but classic.

Raveled here.