Creativity check and finished projects, late May 2023
I've been fairly prolific (by my own standards) lately in terms of sewing and knitting and I figured it was time to share some of them! With spring and summery weather, I always feel a shift in terms of my creativity. I still want to knit with wool, but I see myself drawn a bit more towards color or lighter tones and printed fabric. I'll share below what I've been up to!
I finished my "Golden hour socks," thus named for the colorway name for the sock set from LegacyFiberArtz. This yarn felt especially fun and springy. I finished them up while my family was visiting, and my mom commented on them, so I decided to give them to her. I knit these on magic loop, US 1 32" circular needles. I followed the Cyril Socks pattern, a pattern I've used many times, but this time I omitted the cable twists, since this was a busier yarn. I used to be adamantly opposed to magic loop, but I do find I knit socks rather quickly with this method, even if I notice my tension is overall slightly less even (thank goodness for blocking). For more details, my ravelry project page is here.
Immediately after that, I cast on a pair of ribbed, DK weight self-patterning yarn socks, with a Regia yarn I bought at a yarn store in Traverse City on our Michigan trip last fall. These knit up so quickly, even after I had to reknit the entire foot of the second sock when I realized I didn't have the correct stitch count after the gusset decreases. I include more details about how I knit these on my ravelry project page, but I followed a free, basic DK-weight sock pattern and used US 3 9" circular needles.
I also recently finished knitting another Musselburgh hat that will be an upcoming gift. I've knit a few Musselburgh hats at this point, and I just really enjoy this pattern. The construction is unique in that you cast on for it top down, knit a very long tube, then decrease for the second crown. The result is a long tube that folds in on itself and results in a very cozy, double-layer hat with a foldable brim.
At some point in the last year, I realized that I really enjoy having a small-ish project that isn't too small of a gauge that is just round after round of stockinette. I knit on this a lot in the evenings if Cooper needed someone to lay with him while he fell asleep, or if Nicholas and I were watching something together. Not to mention – the finished product makes such a wearable hat.
I knew from the beginning that I didn't have enough of my main color yarn, but I chose some leftover DK weight yarn to use for the hat liner. Had I thought about it more, I would have cast on with my main color and knit until it ran out, then supplemented with leftovers (note to self, do this next time). However, I cast on with leftovers, knit until I thought I had enough yarn left of my main color for the crown, playing yarn chicken. Then, the hat wasn't long enough, so I unraveled a join between colors, picked up stitches, added length, and then grafted the two "crowns" back together. And I actually did this twice, since I needed to add even more length. It worked, sure, but it was entirely unnecessary if I had just cast on with my main color and then knit as long as I needed to with scraps. I'm not sure if that makes sense? But future Andrea might appreciate having all that written out. Nonetheless, I'm very pleased with the hat and happy that I don't need to do any more "hat surgery." For more details, here is my Ravelry page.
At this moment, I only have one project that I'm working on: a neutral, self-patterning pair of vanilla socks. I've had this yarn in stash for quite awhile and decided it was time to knit with it, and I would like to knit more neutral socks for myself, since I do enjoy wearing neutrals. I've been playing around with my sock gauge some, and noticing which pairs of socks wear best. I think I do prefer the fabric on US 0s if I'm using a thinner fingering weight yarn (such as a 75/25 merino/nylon) and a US 1 if I'm using a "plumper" blend of 80/20 merino/nylon. That said, this yarn is a 75/25 blend, so I dove in with US size 0 needles, even though it means more knitting/more time. To compensate for a more compact gauge, I CO an extra four stitches. And these fit perfectly. Just cast on the second sock in time for the annual Summer Sock Camp make-a-long, which started today! For more details on these socks, here is a link to my Ravelry page.
Knitting, general thoughts and plans
I mentioned that the vanilla socks are my only work in progress, and that's true! I swatched for a Corran cardigan, and told myself I could cast on for that after I at least finished the first sock of my vanilla pair. I didn't want to stall out on those. And the pattern (a lacy piece, knit with worsted weight yarn) should be a nice contrast to knitting plain socks on tiny needles. I don't typically gravitate toward this lilac color (it is, in fact, an exact color match to our lilacs in the backyard), and indeed I expected it to be more pink. But I'm going to knit this cardigan in the lilac color and try to wear it! It's good to try new things sometimes.
Beyond that, as I mentioned above, it's the start of the annual Summer Sock Camp make-a-long, which is basically a fun knit-a-long where you knit socks alongside other knitters or crocheters and share in the progress and camaraderie.
I've found more and more tiny pockets of time for knitting as the boys are playing with each other more. And with a small, portable project (like socks!) I get in a few stitches at the library, or at the table as I play alongside Cooper with felt balls (see cover photo) or while sitting on the deck as the boys play in the backyard. Little stitches here and there add up to completed projects!
And a few other projects I'd like to cast on soon are:
- a cardigan with my other sweater's quantity of Purl Soho GoodWool
- scrappy socks, knit with leftovers from my above DK-weight socks
- another pair of gift socks
I'm really enjoying the the rhythm of one to two projects at a time, so I think I will stick with that, and see what sounds most fun to cast on next.
Several years ago, when we lived in Texas, I sewed myself a Kline dress. I loved the look of the dress, but I found it somewhat hard to wear, since it was so loose (by design). For a long time, I kept meaning to modify it to a skirt. And I finally did it! I used a seam ripper to separate the bodice from the skirt. Then, I cut a strip of the leftover fabric and use 1.5" elastic to make an elastic casing that I based to the skirt (I had to regather the skirt with two lines of basting stitches). And then after I was sure on the placement of everything, I serged the pieces together. And I'm really happy with it! Perfect for hot days.
On a whim, I batched sewed some tiny fabric bins. These are so satisfying to make and I find them very helpful to holding loose threads or fabric clips or other little notions. At this point, I've probably made seven or eight of them, and the finish is so fun and they come together quickly. I gave the dark blue floral one to my mom as part of her mother's day gift. I used the free tutorial from Sotak Handmade (highly recommend all her patterns and tutorials).
And lastly, I sewed myself a whimsical sock-size project bag. I really enjoy a certain project bag that has a taller shape that I got as a gift from a shop on etsy, so I took some measurements and sewed this one. I used a lighter weight interfacing for this, and I actually prefer the feel of it. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and I'd love to make another in this size and shape.
Future sewing plans
- Orchards Dress. Yes, this is still on my short list, I just need to be brave and cut it out. If I'm worried about fit (I am, since I don't sew a lot of garments) I should just make a muslin.
- a skirt, maybe the Mave skirt by True Bias, I love that silhouette, and I think I have enough of a very fun striped fabric in stash. Maybe this could be a confidence-boosting garment project.
And I think that's enough for now! After all, I really want to finish typing this so I can knit on my socks some more before bed.
Creativity check and finished projects, spring 2023
Spring is here! And with it, I find myself wanting to start all kinds of new projects, but I've been holding onto some self control and trying to wrap up my current projects, somewhat successfully. Since my last check-in, I've finished a few knitting and sewing projects, made progress on some current projects, and made plans for upcoming projects.
Creative goals for 2023
At the beginning of each year, I like to make a rough outline of some creative plans. I know that these tentative plans will invariably change, but I like to have a starting point when I look ahead to projects, especially in terms of using yarn or materials already in my stash.
Creativity check, August 2022
It's been some time since I wrote a post about my creative projects, and since a lot of my creative energy has gone to smaller projects like socks and accessories, I've been rather prolific (for me, anyway).