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).
Lavender Blueberry waffle socks. I think I restarted these socks at least three times. The yarn was so fine (perhaps from being caked up for so long, or from the nature of this yarn base, or both), so my normal stitch count and needle weren't a good match to create a fabric I liked or a sock that fit. The blueberry waffle pattern (free) however, is well-fitting, fun and intuitive to knit, and has just the right amount of stretch. I'm glad to see that these are done. More details can be found on my Ravelry page.
DK self-patterning socks, knit with yarn that I bought from a yarn shop in Holland, Michigan, when my SIL and I and the boys went up there for the Tulip festival. This yarn was rather "toothy," but nice to work with and it knit up so fast. I worked on these in the weeks surrounding the loss of my MIL, since chunkier socks are comfort knitting for me. The pattern sequence isn't an exact match from sock to sock, but they almost match, and the finished socks are so cozy. More details can be found on my Ravelry page.
I enjoyed the self-patterning yarn so much, I wanted to use up every last bit. I weighed my leftovers and some worsted weight stash yarn, and cast on shorter socks. These were so fun to knit and I think they turned out so cute. I didn't expect to pattern match these either, but the yarn just worked out just so. More details can be found on my Ravelry project page.
I have a few people in my life who greatly enjoy and regularly (even daily!) wear fingerless mitts that I've made in the past. I've knit this pattern– the Align mitts by Courtney Spainhower– at least eight times now, I believe, and I'm still impressed with the fit and the ease of knitting them, as well as how little yarn they require.
I made a pair of lavender fingerless gloves for my mom to give to a friend of her's, and then I made a blue/green variegated pair, accented with some blue yarn for my Grandma Donna as a birthday gift. A certain toddler toted them around the house for a few days before I mailed them out, particularly enjoying folding them and stacking the four mitts together.
- Morrison socks – These are my newest cast on and they are so much fun. This pattern was on my to-knit list for the last few years, and last summer I finally found a great match of yarn and pattern with some tweedy yarn on a big sale at my local yarn store. I'm viewing them as a sort of Christmas socks, since the red color is so cheery and the blend of merino wool/alpaca/nylon/angora/silk is very cozy. I'm about halfway done with the leg of the second sock. I'm also knitting the cables without a cable needle (first time trying this!) and find that process to be surprisingly smooth.
- self-drafted marled cowl – this has seen a little knitting time in the last few months. Still working on it here and there, but it's not my primary project at the moment.
- Towns sweater for Nicholas – My goal for July was to finish the body of his sweater and I did! I've also finished the collar and I'm nearing the end of the first sleeve. I'd love to finish the entire sweater by early September, if possible, so Nicholas can wear it as often as he likes in cooler and colder weather. He's tried it on several times and the fit seems good, especially with the modifications I'm making (and taking notes on). I tend to get stuck on garment projects when I have to commit to a fit-related section (ie decide that the length is good and move on to the yoke, etc), so this was set aside for awhile, but now I have regained momentum.
Knitting, general thoughts & plans
Summer Sock Camp is still ongoing, so I'd like to knit at least one more pair of socks by the end of August, if possible. And it's the time of year when I begin to seriously plan out gift knitting for Christmas. It's several months away, but seeing as I knit at least a few Christmas gifts each year, I want to get a head start. I have a few ideas already, so I just need to determine what to start first, after I finish Nicholas' sweater and the red, cabled socks.
There are a few other patterns I'm eyeing for future knitting at some point:
- Ozetta/Hayley Smedley: Comfort socks or Camp socks, both knit in lettlopi and look like the coziest cold-weather socks.
- Urban Adventure by Sari Nordlund: a colorwork pullover, perhaps knit in the suggested yarn and even the suggested colors. I crave colorwork every once in awhile, and I love the finished look of this sweater.
- Kled cowl: a ribbed cowl, might work well with a black and white speckled yarn I've had in stash for awhile.
- Cabled cowl: knit in a beautiful and semi-local yarn from my dear friend, Maeve.
- Hibernation house socks: I have a few skeins of suri alpaca yarn in my stash that would be perfect for these, paired with a fingering weight yarn. They look so, so cozy.
A new cover for our SnuggleMe organic. I love the colors and the aesthetic of the brand's colors, but honestly, the covers are not anything too complicated, and while I wanted a second one, I decided I could make one for no cost and little effort. I had some jersey fabric in my stash that I've had for at least eight years. I used some of it to sew my very first t-shirt, and it's a nice, neutral color. I traced the original cover, accounting for seam allowances, cut my three pieces out, and serged them together. Rather than hemming the pieces on the opening side, I cut the fabric pieces in a way to utilize the existing hem.
It was a very easy project, and now we have two covers, so Finn can always have a cozy spot to be set down intermittently throughout the day, or in the evenings when he's not sleeping in my lap.
I glanced through some of my sewing books and came across a pattern and instructions for an ironing board cover for a table top board. My ironing board cover had seen better days and was rather water stained, and since this project only required a yard of fabric, so I knew I already had all the supplies. I worked on it while Finn slept in the carrier and Cooper played with my sewing notions and ran around the basement, so it was rather chaotic, but this is one way to express a creative outlet with young kids! It was a rather easy project, but I'm very pleased with a more polished cover.
Before fall arrives, I would like to modify my orange Klein dress into a skirt. The bodice of the dress is so oversized (by design), but it makes it less comfortable and rather gape-y when I wear it. Skirts, on the other hand, are endlessly wearable for me, and I'd rather take a seam ripper to it and end up with something I'll reach for. I'll just need to figure out how to gracefully add an elastic waistband casing.
And while I do find it incredibly helpful to brainstorm creative plans, in writing, I find that a lot of my sewing projects are spontaneous. I'll see something on instagram, or I'll find a need or a gap in our home that could be remedied with a little sewing. The improv with sewing keeps it fresh for me.
These days, amidst the pace of life with littles, I'm thrilled to spend a few moments making with my hands, something that fills me up and brings me joy.
It's been just about a month and a half since my last creative check in. A lot has happened in that time, most notably the arrival of our newest family member. In a flurry of last minute nesting, I finished a few projects, and in the wake of postpartum life and Nicholas home on parental leave, I've finished (and modified, more on that below) a couple more items. Completion of things will naturally be slower, of course, since our hands are more full these days, but I wanted to document and share what I've been working on.
As part of the nesting of late pregnancy, I find myself eager to wrap up a few projects, and work on some to get them into a place where they don't require a lot of mental energy. I know my making time will be reduced and will look wildly different in these coming months, but I want to have a few things "on the go," so to speak, so I can knit a few stitches here and there, should the opportunity arise. And, before baby boy's arrival, I wanted to share some recently finished projects, as well as what I'm currently working on.
Each year, I like to loosely outline creative goals or desires for the coming year, including bookmarking specific patterns or mentioning materials (yarn or fabric) that I'd like to use. I always keep in mind that my creative plans or whims will likely migrate somewhat, but taking a moment to think through projects at the start of a year (sort of) makes me excited feel refreshed in my making. Also, I find that I'm less impulsive in my purchases when I have a plan to actually use materials from my stash.