on the needles: All the Sweaters

This year I promised myself I would keep one garment, one sock and one accessory on the needles at a time, to cut back on lingering WIPs. That is a preface to me disclosing that I currently am working on two different sweaters. 🤷‍♀️

This Nurtured sweater you saw in my last on the needles. I finished up sleeve #1, blocked it to make sure I was truly happy with the yarn (I think I am!) and skipped sleeve #2 to work on the body. I thought this was going to be a great idea, because I had JUST knit a sleeve and wanted to move on, but I got to the point that I need to join both sleeves and the body together, and I’ve only got one. So what’s a knitter to do?

Cast on a second sweater of course! I started working on the Knitorious RBG Sweater by Park Williams in Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted, colorway Navy. I have been wanting to cast this one on since she shared the teaser photos before the pattern was even released. This whole time I’ve been super nervous about kitting the colorwork details in, but honestly how will I ever get good at colorwork without actually knitting colorwork?Good news is that I’ve also made it to the point where the body is ready to join the sleeves, bad news is I have no sleeves.

Where are my other WIPs you’re wondering? I finished the cowl I was working on! I’m just waiting for some time off with my sweetie to get photos : ) And my sock is low priority, since I have the privilege to knit solely for pleasure I’m just going with what feels the most exciting to work on.

I’ve also finished Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik! The last few minutes of the book I actually text Seth and told him I was so happy I wanted to cry. This book is that good. Overall you’re in this magical “old country” type fairy tale, where demons are real and a Czar rules the land. But it’s also a story about incredible bad ass women who take charge of their destinies, and prove that “other” carries the same humanity as “your people”. The story telling is brilliant and you really care about the characters because they each have such a perfectly portrayed self.

I’ve already shelved another of her books onto my TBR, but to give my palette a little cleanse I’ve downloaded The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. I have a few friends who have read this title, and am super excited to chat with them about it. : )

Hope you’re wip’in along this week!

xo-LJ

On the needles: Lots of New

This week on the needles I have a ton of newer projects, which makes me feel not very far along on anything. The best part about this spot though is finishing everything all at once and feeling hella accomplished… right?

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First up is this vanilla sock in Nomadic Yarns trusty sock base, colorway Luna Lovegood. I had thought about doing something super fun and interesting with this sock, but I just couldn’t find the motivation to stop knitting a stockinette tube. And with yarn this color and good, do I need anymore interest really? So I popped a little scrap yarn in for an after thought heel and let the heart have what it wants. Hopefully this is soon to be a HO, I think I’m just about to the toe.

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Next is this dragon scale realness, and the first sweater from my make nine grid this year! If you’ve been anywhere on the internet, I’m sure you can recognize this pattern as the Nurtured Sweater by Andrea Mowry. I’m really enjoying this knit so far, but I’m a little nervous about the feel of the yarn I’m using. This is the Patons Classic worsted in Colorway Heathered Moss. They had this colorway up in their clearance section, and I truly can’t turn down an earthy green, so it was a match made for me. But it’s very… rustic? I’ll keep you updated once it’s had a proper bath 😉

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Final project on my needles is from my January Artisan knit crate. Last month they sent two skeins from Three Irish Girls yarn in the Springvale DK, colorways Tomahawk and Shoshone. The yarns complement each other perfectly, and looked so lovely in the accompanying pattern photos. Being a Midwest dweller, bundling up in layers (and layers) of knits is required for MONTHS every year, and I’ve been on a bit of a cowl kick after making and constantly wearing my Land of Sweets Cowl last month. I went ahead and cast on the Ngaawari cowl by Francoise Denoy, the included “beginner” pattern. I really wanted something interesting to look at, but simple enough to veg out with. Which seems to be a knitting theme this month, guess that’s midwinter brain for ya!

I’ve also started a new audiobook to listen to while knitting (and driving, and working honestly). I recently got my sweetie into audiobooks (well really books in general) and when he asked to listen to a book together I was super excited. Add onto that he started it before me and text me that the main character “took her knitting out of her bag and wrapped her shawl around her” and I was OBVIOUSLY sold. The book is Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I’m not too far in, but first impressions are 1. The narration is incredible. 2. The book is loosely based on Rumpelstiltskin and it has a very dark fairy tale vibe so far. I don’t often spring for YA novels, but maybe I have been a little harsh on that judgement because I am completely enjoying this one.

Hope your week is filled with creating things that bring you joy 💕

xo-LJ

round up! January

What a great start to 2019!

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2019 is off to a year of firsts, and I got so much accomplished! In case you missed it:

  • My first shawl: I cast this one on in June 2018…and now its a full shawl beauty!
  • My Christmas Eve Cast on: This cozy cowl has been keeping me warm everyday since cast off.
  • TWO GARMENTS:
    • This chunky raglan: I’ve somehow perfectly balanced warm and cropped, and its fulfilling all my sweater weather needs.
    • Downtown Cardigan:  It’s the perfect pink, it’s garter stitch, and it’s bulky weight. Need I say more?

In addition to knits, I also finished three wonderful audiobooks, and got a new job assignment 120 miles closer to home. Which means more knitting time!! 🙂 How was your January?

xo-LJ

Finished! Land of Sweets Cowl

Do you participate in Christmas Eve Cast ons?

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I cast on this Land of Sweets cowl by Helen Stewart (aka CuriousHandmade) this year for my first ever Christmas Eve tradition! My sweetie and I get so very excited about gifting each other that we can never quite wait for the “official day” (Christmas, birthdays, etc) and we opened our gifts early this year. Which was completely perfect because one of my gifts was a set of interchangeable Lykke needles! OH MY GOODNESS are these needles something special. I had been wanting to cast this cowl on for a long while, so getting to work immediately with my new set was mandatory.

I often hear people refer to process knitting vs product knitting, and I consider myself both! But when I reflect on what I truly love about knitting, I think I have to admit I’m a process knitter. I love how your days get wrapped up and imprinted into your work, how whenever I wear this cowl I think of being warm and cozy watching documentaries and celebrating the holidays. I love the warmth of my new wooden needles, and how luxurious they feel to knit with. Love watching little speckles pop out in lace work, and feeling accomplished when I finish a new to me technique. But oh do I also love this FINISHED cowl!

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The pattern was written for those fun advent calendars that pop up every year, intending for each row to be knit in a new mini skein. I did not get an advent this year (seriously, remind me to get one next year, okay?) but I did have two mini bundles that I had been saving for “something special” with 12 colorways. After consulting with my best friend, we decided the best design choice was to knit to the middle, and then knit backwards to the other end. This way I got to revisit each colorway! The first set was from one of my faves, Woolberry Fiber Co in their Cozy Mornings bundle. This set was an assortment of 5 colors, and makes up the light blue five colors up, the purple seven colors up, and the middle three colors (the tan speckles, green and middle cream speckled). The rest were from Nox Yarn Co, and are minis of her Penny Dreadful line. I dream of having a full skein of each and every colorway in this line. It varies from deep and moody to ethereal, and fully captures the feel of the series it was named after. By the way, did anyone else get sucked into that show?

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This pattern really made me feel like a knitter with a capital K. You see those little lace shells? I made a few mistakes in my pattern repeat AND ACTUALLY RIPPED BACK TO FIX THEM. When making projects for other people I always make sure that I put my best needle forward, and always fix mistakes. But for myself, I am a little more lax and haven’t minded leaving little slip ups in there. With this project I told myself that I deserve the same level of knitting as what I would present to someone I love, and I’m really proud of myself for making that decision. Ya know, because self care, and all that 🙂 This pattern also started a cowl kick, because while I love the look of shawls, cowls are just so practical. Any you recommend getting on my needles ASAP?

-xo LJ

Finished! Downtown Cardigan

This cardigan is what fluffy pink marshmallow dreams are made of.

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I first saw the Downtown Cardigan by Stephanie Jessica Lau (of AllAboutAmi) on her Instagram. It looked perfectly squishy and comfy, and I had to make one of my own. After doing a little bit of digging, I realized she offered the pattern on her website (for free) but also had teamed up with Lion Brand to make kits of the EXACT version that I was already obsessed with. Add on a blogger kit sale, which I feel like Lion Brand runs all the time, and I couldn’t add to cart fast enough.

Here is where I am going to share a little story, that has nothing to do with this lovely pattern, and everything to do with Lion Brand. I ordered this and several other kits on December 9th. My yarn did not show up until January 14th. I emailed, and called Lion Brand about 8 times to come to the conclusion that one of the other kits I had ordered (also by Stephanie 🙂 ) contained a yarn on back order. So, HEADS UP, if you order a kit from Lion, make sure the actual yarn is in stock, because the kit itself will NOT show back order. After several circles I finally got them to change the colorway of the kit, and you’ll soon see a Midtown Cardigan in Antique White on here!

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Anyway, back to this cardigan. The yarn I used is the new Color Made Easy line in the colorway Millennial. This yarn is a bulky 100% acrylic, and the entire line has magnificent, on trend colors. Each skein is 247 yds per 200 grams, making the balls massive! The yarn itself is a very splitty while working up, but it IS acrylic so…what does one expect I guess. I have already thrown this in the washer and dryer, and it has managed beautifully.

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The pattern as I mentioned is available on Stephanie’s site (here) so you can get a quick run down before you make the commitment. Very simple construction, knit entirely flat in pieces (even the sleeves!) and seamed together with a drop shoulder. She outlines a few different ways to pick up and finish the hem, I chose the simple clean option. Overall a very lovely fast knit perfect for weekend snuggles!

-xoLJ

 

Finished! My Beginner Raglan

What a fitting pattern name for MY FIRST SWEATER Y’ALL!

The My Beginner Raglan sweater by Chantal Miyagishima (you may recognize her as Knitatude on Instagram) is a super simple top down raglan style pullover, and is truly a perfect pattern for anyone looking for a quick chunky sweater knit. I can imagine this being instantly gratifying for a more experienced sweater knitter to whip up in a weekend, so much so that I may do just that in the future. But so many sweaters to knit so little time, amirite? This version was knit in Big Twist yarns Natural Blend solid in colorway Aged Brass, which is an 80/20 Acrylic/Wool blend at 98yds a skein. I used two whole skeins and partials of two additional skeins for the sleeves.

I made a few modifications as I was working along, the first being extra rows after the raglan increases to account for my bust. Per Chantal you want this area to hit mid boob, and being the tight knitter that I am, I was only about top boob : ) I also chose to make mine cropped, which I accomplished by trying the thing on every few rounds because I was so very excited.

I don’t know if I would consider this a “mod” but I attached my first sleeve in a way that created an extra knit row, when I should have purled (I think) I truly am uncertain if I just can’t read a pattern or if it wasn’t clear, but I’m betting it was my error because photos of other people’s sweater look great. Anyway, when I finished the ribbing on this first sleeve I realized my error, and turned it into a design choice, mirroring it in the second sleeve. Mostly because I was one super bulky sleeve from sweater completion, and there was no way I was ripping that first sleeve out.

So, I’m a sweater knitter now! Honestly I’ve added about 50 sweaters to my ravelry faves, and have stashed a few sweaters quantity yarns to be ready for any sweater, anytime. I previously thought that knitting sweaters was so labor intensive, and tricked myself into thinking I wouldn’t wear them very often. But then I remembered that was just wishful thinking and it was truly sweater weather 6-8 months of the year here in Michigan. So, welcome to 2019, year of the garment!

-xoLJ

Finished! Free Your Fade Shawl

You know those knits that linger for no fault of their own? That was this shawl for me.

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I started this Free your Fade Shawl by Andrea Mowry (DreaReneeKnits) during 2018: Year of the Sock, after itching to cast something on needles larger than a size 1, but still with my growing fingering weight stash. Fades were EVERYWHERE late 2017, and as familiarity makes the heart grow fonder, I gravitated to making my own. This is such a perfect first shawl project: simple garter stitch and easy to follow eyelet rows growing into a new (to me) picot bind off.

These yarns were very conveniently already in my stash! Seeing them all knit up, the way they flow into one another really impresses me. The first fuchsia yarn is a Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle dye Fingering in the colorway Turkish Delight. This yarn is a very sturdy workhorse type 80/20 (superwash wool/nylon) sock yarn at 357 yds per 100gm skein. My middle fade is by Woolberry Fiber Co, who you will see me talk about on here OFTEN. Everything they dye just speaks to me, and I am so weak for the kits and colorways Bethany and Rhys release. This one came in the ‘How Rude’ sock kit from early last year. I believe she no longer dyes her Simple Sock base, and has switched to something slightly different, but this one was 75/25 (superwash wool/nylon). Finally the deep green is another Knit Picks, in their Stroll Tonal colorway Evergreen. This 75/25 (superwash merino/nylon) base is much softer than the other two, and really blooms well with washing. The tonal shift is more subtle, and stroll comes with slightly more yardage at 462yd per 100gm.

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There isn’t much for me to say on this pattern. At over 2,000 projects on Ravelry I think it’s safe to say you’ve heard it already 🙂 But if you’re here because you’re deciding if you should cast on, I say yes! This pattern is smaller and simpler than some other faded shawls out there (such as Find Your Fade) and is easy to customize and make your own. It’s a great knit to veg out with, but still holds interest with those eyelets and I was super excited about reaching my next color as I knit. And if you’re not a process knitter, but a product knitter, IT’S SO SQUISHY!

So why did it take me so long to finish? Summer happened, and I forgot to pick up my needles I guess. That’s something I’m working to change this year, and I’m hoping this blog will help me with that. 🙂

-xoLJ