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: Ease

After I finished Recoleta, I wanted to a quick and easy project. Worsted weight, stockinette-something comfortable and straightforward; I didn’t want to have to spend hours looking at charts. I just wanted to knit and see progress quickly.

A few years back, I had queued Alicia Plummer’s Ease. Ease is pretty much exactly what I was looking for-stockinette, top down, worsted weight. I had a sweater quantity of the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Worsted in a gorgeous gray-purple called French laundry. Looking at it, I knew that it was meant to be Ease. It just made sense that this color would be Ease.

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So after finishing Recoleta, I started on Ease. It took me exactly four weeks, but I made it. It is simple and gorgeous. The color really was meant to be Ease. The yarn, the color, and the pattern suit each other very well.

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I did have a few issues with the pattern. From reading over others’ project pages, I determined that I wasn’t going to get gauge with the recommended size 10 needles. Instead, I went with size 8 needles for the stockinette, size 6 for all ribbing, and size 7 for the neckline. I’m pleased with the resulting fabric; I made the right decision.

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The sweater is loose-fitting, and that works. The fabric of the primo worsted is soft and squishy; it keeps me warm on a chilly day. It’s something that I can wear when it’s cold or I don’t need to impress anyone. It’s a Saturday sweater, and everyone’s wardrobe needs a Saturday sweater.

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Raveled here.

FO: Recoleta

As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy knitting projects that challenge me and force me to grow as a knitter. My most recent finished object is one such project. For a while, I’d been lusting over Joji Locatelli’s Recoleta pattern.

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Then I came across the Cold as Ice colorway from the Plucky Knitter, and I knew that I needed to own a sweater in that color. As a few of my friends commented, it is a very Cecilia color. So last winter, I bought a sweater quantity of Cold as Ice and began pondering what to use it for.

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The more that I thought about it and talked with various friends about it, the more that I knew that this yarn was destined to be Recoleta. I cast on in October and finished it a few days before Christmas. The sweater is beautiful. The yarn is smooshy and glorious. The color and the lace blend majestically. I adore this sweater. img_0252

So why was this pattern a challenge? The lace. The back is one chart, the front is another. And you work the front chart from right to left on one side and from left to right on the other. That was a challenge for me. I never managed to memorize the whole thing, which meant that I could never work on the project without the charts-and those were on my computer. Regardless, I love it, and I’m looking forward to wearing it often this winter. img_0253

Raveled here.

If you’re wondering, this is the necklace I’m wearing in the pictures. I love it, I just gifted one to a friend, and I’d recommend the shop to anyone.

FO: Stripe Parade for Laura

It was my beloved C.S. Lewis who once said, “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…'” A few years ago, I became friends with a young woman with whom I share many common interests. We share (among many other things) a love of fashion and creating clothing. She sews; I knit.

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So when she asked me to knit her a sweater, I jumped on the opportunity. This is someone who I knew would I appreciate what I knit for her. She’s always admiring my knitting. She likes to look at my patterns and feel my yarn. She once took the yarn from my Birkin to pet-and then her mother took it and started petting it. She’s knitworthy.

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We agreed on a pattern-Stripe Parade, one of my favorites. She picked out the colors she wanted, and I bought the yarn. Then, I knit the sweater.

Man, that sweater traveled while I was knitting. It went to several baseball games. It saw Bridget Jones’s Baby three times. (What can I say? It has the hots for Colin Firth.) It went to Canada and saw three plays. (It really likes Sondheim musicals; Arthur Miller plays make it cry.) It went to Canada a second time and learned that I get really cranky during the last day of the baseball regular season.

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And then, I finished it early in a day of Poldark binge watching. I blocked it. And last night, I gave it to Laura. Okay, first I let several of our friends touch it, and I got a lot of praise for it. But the best compliment of all? I gave it to Laura and she immediately went to the bathroom to put it on.

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I think she likes it. She definitely looks good in it.

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Raveled here.