One year later…

…Or close enough anyway.

Hello hello hello, everyone! It’s been entirely too long since I’ve updated. I’ve had so much going on this past year. Unfortunately a lot of it bad, which is why I’ve taken this unintentional, but sorely needed hiatus. Most things have been taken care of now, so I think I’m ready to jump back into blogging!

Today I want to share a project from my Christmas gift frenzy last year. I spent the last 6 months of 2018 (and a few months of 2019!) making gifts for all of T’s family and for some of our friends. I thought it’d be nice to share them a little at a time over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with my favorite gift project of 2018: Ravenclaw Quidditch Gloves by Jolene Meurer!

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As you can see, I opted for Slytherin colors over the original Ravenclaw as the person I gifted these to prefers Slytherin. Do not be alarmed! I’ve already bought the yarn necessary for knitting a Ravenclaw pair for myself. 😉

These gloves were supposed to be just a quick project, but I had to make some major alterations to get them to fit and look right. I followed the directions as written in the pattern the first time and ended up scrapping that glove entirely. It was way too small, and the glove pulled awkwardly toward the thumb, making them uncomfortable to wear.

For those of you who may want to make gloves closer to what I made, I’ve listed my alterations/choices below!

  • Knit Chart B at least 5 times. If you want a longer glove than in my pictures, 6 times should be adequate. (The pattern recommends 4 – 5, but 4 is so short that it will ride up onto your palms. Or it did for me.)
  • After knitting Chart D/C, knit Chart B once more.
  • When working the thumb portion, I slipped the 9 sts onto a scrap piece of yarn and followed the chart until the next round. When I reached the thumb gap in the next round, I CO 9 sts and continued according to pattern for the rows afterwards.

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The main thing that helped with the fit of the glove was including Chart B between Chart C/D and Chart A. The weird pulling in the thumb seemed to be caused by the shortness between the top ribbing and the thumb hole. Even if you don’t follow any of the other alterations, I would highly recommend that one.

Also, it’s probably just a lack of understanding on my part, but I didn’t know what she meant with her instructions for the thumb holes. I ended up substituting my own method that made sense for me. If anyone else decides to make these gloves and understands what she was going for, leave me a comment and teach me your ways! 😀

I’ll definitely be back to post the version that I’m making for myself. I’m thinking I’ll go for the film version blue/silver, and I’ll make the stripes a bit larger! Until then, I’ll be back soon to share more 2018 holiday projects!

Thanks for reading! xx

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You spin me right round

With all the talk of the Tour de Fleece lately, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my spinning adventures. I wrote an entry quite a while back sharing my experience with building a DIY spindle. I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so I went to Knit Picks and grabbed a pack of their Bare Wool of the Andes roving.

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My first spinning attempts were awful. I ended up with a blobby, unusable mess that couldn’t have been salvaged even if I wanted to try. I was a little discouraged so I shoved my roving and spindle into the back of the closet. I knew I’d eventually be bitten by the bug and want to try again so I let myself forget about it for a few months. Sure enough, I saw some handspun yarn on Instagram and that was the inspiration I needed to break out the roving and spindle again. The thing that amazed me the most with this second attempt was that, despite not working on it for months, it was actually okay! I guess the months of letting the spinning knowledge stew in my brain really helped? (Does that even make sense?)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my first spinning attempt. (I threw it away to run away from the failure, ha ha!) The second attempt was definitely better though! It was thicker than I wanted, sure, but it was more consistent. Once I got the hang of it, all I wanted to do was keep spinning. In fact, I spun half of what I had before I even noticed!

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Eventually, I went online and bought a new spindle. I suspect that my little DIY spindle isn’t balanced very well so I wanted to try something that was professionally made. It was a little overwhelming looking at all of the spindles available, but I finally decided on a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. I liked that I had the option of spinning high or low whorl, and it had good ratings. I used up the last half of my roving the first day it arrived, and it was my best spin yet, though it wasn’t great by any means. But you know what, that’s fine. It was just cool to know that I’m capable of getting better at this after that terrifying first attempt.

My latest goal is to try plying my little pile of singles into a finished yarn. I’m also wanting to give dyeing a try so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on that. I think my first attempt will be dip dyeing, but I’m really excited at the prospect of handpainted yarn. It’ll be a while before I’m feeling confident enough to try that, but until then, I’m going to have a lot of fun spinning my own special yarns.

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Close up of my latest spin

I’ll definitely be back to talk about my plying and dyeing attempts, but until then feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever tried handspinning or dyeing your own yarn. I’d love to hear any stories you have about your first attempts.

See you next time! ❤

Find me on Ravelry!

I’ve been using Ravelry since I started knitting back in 2014, and it’s seriously been a lifesaver. If you haven’t heard of it, Ravelry is a website for people who are into fiber arts. You can log your yarn stash, find patterns, make a list of future projects, keep track of your current or past projects, and connect with other yarny people. It’s really been so helpful for me to have a resource like that to keep track of all these things. I really recommend it. </fangirling>

So why are we talking about Ravelry? I hear you ask. Let me get straight to the point.
In the past few years since I started this blog, I haven’t publicly shared my Ravelry account. I wasn’t hiding it or anything, and several clever readers were able to find me quite easily, but I just hadn’t thought about sharing it. Until today.

So that’s it. I just wanted to share my links with fellow Ravelry users. If you want to check out my current and past projects or my library, feel free to visit my profile page and don’t be afraid to add me, if you’d like! 🙂

For those of you interested in my patterns, you can find my designer page too! I’m actually working on two new patterns right now. One of them will hopefully go up within the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that.

I’ll also be adding some links in the sidebar somewhere so anyone can find me whenever they need to.

Thanks for reading this rather pointless entry. I promise I’ll have something better to talk about next week. 😉

FO: Cropped sweater

I’m so thrilled to say that I finally finished my first sweater! I made a WIP post about this in May, but I actually cast on this baby way back in February. I went into it knowing that it would take me a while before I could wear my finished project. Sure enough, a little under 5 months later, I found myself finally blocking it and getting ready to put it all together. To be honest, I expected it to take longer than 5 months. It was a large project, and I’m not a very fast knitter. Luckily the pattern called for worsted weight yarn on very large needles so it really flew by!

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This project was also the first time that I used mattress stitch. The pattern was worked in four pieces so some seaming was necessary. Having a little bit of experience in sewing and making clothing really helped me here. I was able to set in the sleeves with no issue, and all of edges matched up!

And have I mentioned how much I love the colors in this yarn? The green and blues are so eye-catching, but the grey really helps tone them down so they don’t overwhelm.

I used Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron. Two skeins was enough for the whole project with a large portion left over. I’m thinking about making some accessories to go with it. Maybe a hat with a faux fur pom pom? I’ve been wanting an excuse to buy some pom poms, ha ha!

All in all, I’m super happy with my new sweater. I can’t wait to wear it this fall. I was burning up just wearing it for a few minutes for pictures, but it’s going to be so cozy and comfortable when the weather is nice and cool in October. It’ll be great! ❤

IMG_3550I’m already looking forward to making another sweater. I have so many wonderful patterns in my library on Ravelry. I think the hardest part will be deciding which to try next. I definitely want to attempt knitting one in one piece. No weaving in ends!

tl;dr

Pattern: Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui
Yarn: Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron

WIP: First ever sweater

IT’S HAPPENING!

Next to socks, the project that I’ve been looking forward to the most since I started knitting has definitely been a sweater. I absolutely love bundling up in a nice, squishy sweater. And what could be better than wearing one that’s handknit!?

I wanted to start with a complicated pattern like the Jamestown pullover I mentioned in this post waaaaay back in 2016, but once the time came, I decided it’d be better if I used a simpler pattern until I figured out the basics. Enter Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui!

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I’ve finished the body of the sweater, and I’m more than halfway through the first sleeve now! In this pattern, the body is worked in two panels, front and back, and each sleeve is knit separate from the body and attached later. I know there are ways to make sweaters with no seams, but I thought that making each part of the sweater first and sewing them together would be a good way to help me understand the structure of a sweater before I try more complicated patterns.

One of my favorite things about this project is the yarn I chose. I loved working with Caron Cakes yarn in my Stitch Sampler Shawl, so I grabbed two skeins of Caron’s Big Cakes for my sweater project. The colorway is Pistachio Macaron, and it’s working up so nice!

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I knew that this was the perfect colorway for my project as soon as I saw it. It has all of my favorite colors, and I really love the way that it’s speckled throughout, especially in the grey sections! It’s also super soft, and since this pattern is knit on large needles, it has wonderful drape~

This yarn is also self-striping so when I worked the front panel of the body, I just let the yarn do its thing, but when I worked the back panel, I matched the stripes myself. It required a little bit of extra work, but I’m very happy with how it’s working out. I’m doing the same thing with the sleeves so hopefully it looks nice. -fingers crossed-

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Besides this, I have two other projects on my needles at the moment. This one has had my complete attention though. I can’t wait to finish it up, sew it together, and show it off! It’s too hot to wear it much now, but once fall comes around, I’m never going to take it off.

 

tl;dr

Yarn: Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron
Pattern: Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui