Since my last creativity check in, in late July, I've been rather prolific, in both knitting and sewing. As the weather gets cooler, I do find that I'm switching gears to more cool-weather projects. I'm eager to finish up some remaining warmer-weather works-in-progress. As ever, the seasonal change brings a fresh push of creativity and inspiration.
Our local yarn store closed, which is was so disappointing. I will miss having a yarn shop less than fifteen minutes from our house, and the joy of easily picking out yarn in person with Cooper (or Finn) for projects for them. I did purchase some yarn from their closing sale, and knit a few projects with some of those purchases so far. I've also knit with some yarn that's been in my yarn collection for some time, and in both cases, it feels good to give yarn a purpose.
Neon socks for Cooper
Cooper picked out this yarn at our local yarn store, and while these aren't usually "my colors," per say, I'm happy to knit him socks in colors he choose. I also purchased yarn for a sweater for him (mentioned below, in my "Upcoming Projects" section), and that is indeed a neutral.
I used the stitch pattern from the Blueberry Waffle socks pattern (free), and the numbers from the Tin Can Knits Rye Light pattern (also free) for a child size. I quickly realized that while that stitch count was fine for the leg, it was far too large for Cooper's ankle and foot, so I decreased down to a smaller number of stitches for the foot, making sure to equally redistribute them before working the toe. They fit him great! More details and exact counts can be found on my Ravelry page.
Birch Musselburgh hat
Another completed project of mine is my fourth Musselburgh hat. I love this pattern. It's not boring, and after the crown increases for the first half, it's just miles of stockinette stitch and the perfect movie or travel knitting. This one is knit out of a skein of DK-weight yarn from Stress Knits in the colorway "birch." I had it for a few years, just waiting for the right project, and this was it. I didn't have quite enough of the main color for the entire hat, and since it is double thick, I finished the lining and second crown with scrap DK weight yarn, since it will never be seen. I haven't worn it yet, since I finished it in August, but we are rapidly approaching hat season here. More details can be found on my Ravelry project page.
Self-patterning late-summer socks
With some bamboo- and wool-blend sock yarn, I knit a fun pair of self-striping socks. The colors in this yarn felt like "late summer" to me. Honestly, I didn't notice a large difference in the feel of the yarn, compared to a more standard wool and nylon sock yarn, despite the bamboo. But I will have to see how they wear. I knit these vanilla socks without heavily referencing any pattern, but I did use a heel calculator (linked on my ravelry project page, along with all other numbers and details). And since I'm trying to pay more attention to how my vanilla socks fit my feet, I notice that they are often a bit loose in the foot. So this time, I cast-on 64 stitches for the leg, but decreased down to 60 stitches for the foot, and I do notice that the fit is better, for me. More sock fitting adjustments TBD.
Baby hat and socks
For a friend who is having a baby soon, I knit a Silverfox bonnet in a beige wool and silk blend yarn. This pattern was very fun to knit with all the beautiful texture. More details on my ravelry page. I also knit a pair of Perfect Newborn socks, in a light pink, and more details for those are on that project page. This sock pattern has been a go-to for years now! They turn out so sweet.
I also finished my Corran cardigan, and since it was a larger project, I deemed it deserving of its own blog post with more photos and details!
And while this isn't a full project, I did want to mention something, in favor of altering past projects to make them more wearable. I knit a pair of Crunkled socks a few years ago. I loved the stitch pattern for the entire sock, but I did not love the fit of the included "Umbrella toe." I only wore them once or twice, since the toes felt too narrow for my liking. So this week, I cut the toes off the socks, ripped back to before the first toe decrease, placed stitches on my needles, and re-knit my favorite standard rounded toe (I nearly always use the instructions from the Late Night Socks, a great free pattern) with some leftover contrast sock yarn. And now they fit perfectly and will be worn, as they should.
And seeing as I'm still trying to gradually build up my crochet skill set, thanks to my friend Kathleen, I finished a sweet little crochet pumpkin! I used some orange Paton's Classic Wool Worsted, aptly named "pumpkin," and topped it with a cinnamon stick, following this pattern, approximately. So fun!
Apart from the above projects (phew!), I've finished three knitted Christmas gifts that I will postpone mentioning here for now.
Knitting and crochet, in progress
I have two knitting and one crochet project currently on-the-go. And I do feel like the former are both in a place where I'm about to speed to the finish line, but I'm not yet there.
Pink Slightly Sassy V pullover sweater
This is yet another cast-on as a result of the closing sale of my local yarn shop. I had been eyeing the Slightly Sassy V pattern for awhile, and I was excited to try a compound raglan sweater (meaning the raglan increase rates vary to produce a better fitting sweater). The raglan increases involved a lot of keeping track of different increase rates, and even increasing on both the RS and WS, but the designer includes an incredibly helpful worksheet, so I could check them off as I went. I have finished the body at this point, and I'm about halfway finished with the first sleeve. After the second sleeve, I will likely wet block the sweater and then completed the i-cord neckline. I'm telling myself I'm mostly there! Knitting a fingering weight sweater is a slow process, that's for sure. But I am very excited to wear this sweater, once it's completed. I'm picturing it being a three- or four-season sweater, on account of the weight and yarn content. More details about my yarn and needles, etc., can be found on my Ravelry page.
And my other project is yet another gift knit– a pair of socks for Nicholas – so I'll keep those under wraps for the time being, as well.
Knitting, upcoming projects
At this point, the vast majority of my planned gift knitting for Christmas is done, however, I do tend to add things onto my gift knits list, so we will see. I have some more plans for non-Christmas knits as well:
- a Storm sweater Junior by PetiteKnit in some beautiful British DK wool for Cooper. He loves when I knit for him and I'm looking forward to some texture and a new-to-me sweater construction on a smaller scale.
- An Ollie's Classic Crew sweater for Finn out of Purl Soho Good wool in the color "Freshwater blue." This will be my first full sweater for him.
- Another pair of Crunkled socks, or another textured sock, like one of these, or I'm imagining the Heel Toe Do Si Do socks in a softly speckled yarn. I have a few skeins of autumnal looking sock yarns that I would love to use.
- Another Sophie Scarf. I wear my previous one so much and the pattern is the perfect blend of a process and product knit. I have a heathered grey wool blend I would use for it.
- And as a P.S., I am very excited to flip through this pattern book that just came out!
Of course, those are just the projects that I have in mind at this moment, but there are always new sources of inspiration! I love that there is flexibility in creativity.
Sewing, recently finished
My first finished project is a big one, for me. I really loved the Fringe Supply Co online store when it was in business. I have a Field bag, made in their signature heavyweight canvas, and I really enjoy it. After the shop closed, Karen Templer worked with Grainline Studio to create patterns (and kits!) with the same, original materials. And my parents gave me one of those kits for the Town Bag, in the color "toffee." I had to gear up to sew this a bit, since it was my first experience sewing with heavier weight canvas. I ordered a denim needle for my machine, and cleaned my machine and oiled it (needed maintenance that was likely overdue, anyway), and queued up the Sew-a-long video series on YouTube.
Through several little sessions, I completed the Town bag, with the guidance of the YouTube videos. Honestly, I can't stress this enough – there are so many incredible sew-a-long series (many of which are free) and it is like attending a class. I learned new techniques, namely: sewing a bar tack and the method for a completely different and clever boxed bottom construction. I opted to omit the rivets, since they required a few different tools that I didn't want to invest in at this time, and the pattern gives instructions for an alternative way to reinforce the straps. And when the bag was done, I felt surprised at how professional it looked and excited. I've been using it non-stop for a sweater project, but it's large enough to hold a tools pouch, a sock or other small project, and extra balls of yarn. I highly recommend the pattern and accompanying sew-a-long. And the kit was great! I only needed to purchase thread and a denim needle.
I also recently finished an Orchards Dress, which had been on my "to-sew" list for some time. I wrote a separate blog post about it, along with some details about my birthday weekend.
I sewed a plaid drawstring project bag for myself, since I saw this cotton quilting fabric at Hobby Lobby and it felt like "fall" to me, at once. I followed Erica Arndt's Drawstring Squishy bag with pocket tutorial on YouTube. I think this is the fifth time I've used her tutorial and it's clear and helpful and the completed bags are some of my very favorites to house my knitting projects. The inside of the bag is lined in a beige cotton/linen blend, which I also used for the handle.
Lastly, I sewed a zippered project bag for a crafty friend. I used Noodlehead's free tutorial for an Open-wide Zippered Pouch, following instructions for a medium size. I did "swap" the vertical dimensions of the fabrics, in an effort to highlight the top fabric more. For reference, this size is ideal for a one-skein project.
Future sewing plans:
After the success of my Orchards dress, I looked through some fabric I have in my collection and measured it out, in hopes of pairing each amount of yardage with a pattern. It was fun! And it felt good to envision each fabric as a finished project. So far, I'm just brainstorming, but these patterns caught my eye:
- Matcha top by Sew Liberated (I prefer the long-sleeved view)
- Estuary skirt by Sew Liberated
- And I've recently purchased a few seasonal (read: Christmas!) fabrics that I would love to sew up into small projects. Definitely a project bag or two, perhaps some bags to gift? We shall see! I think I will hold off on the overtly Christmas-themed making until at least early November.
- Speaking of Christmas, I have been browsing winter- and Christmas-themed embroidery patterns on etsy, like this Chickadee, this tree, or this Christmas sampler. All so sweet
- I (still) can't get the idea of sewing a squeeze pouch (tutorial by Bookhou) out of my head. They look so fun!
My goodness, I think that's enough for now, especially if you've made it to the end of this massive post. I suppose I should try to write these monthly, especially in making-heavy seasons. As ever, thanks for following along!
My birthday was at the end of September, and I typically like to reflect on my life (at whatever age I am) each year on my birthday. We don't have extravagent birthday celebrations, but with each birthday in our family, we try to make the day feel special and celebratory and fun. And this year, my birthday was just that.
Several weeks ago, I finished a new cardigan! This project was the first time I've done an all over lace pattern, as well as the first time I've made a drop shoulder construction cardigan.
Today, the air felt different. Cooler and more crisp. Filled with anitcipation. The last several weeks since my last "life lately" post, have been filled with a lot of summery fun and they've felt full. I might be getting ahead of myself, since it was in the upper eighties this past weekend, but decidedly, I love the shift that comes with slightly cooler weather. Nevertheless, here are some things we've been up to in recent weeks: