We're nearing the end of May, or as the knitting/sewing/making world refers to it, Me May May, which is a wonderful ode to handmade wardrobes. I figured that now was the best time to devote a moment to one of my semi-recently finished handmade garments, the Arctic Cardigan. I've mentioned it several times on the blog, but it deserves its own post.
For all the knitting and crafting I do, most of it is accessory- and gift-focused. I truly have only three handmade garments to show for it. I love my Anna Vest, but I have some difficulty combining it into an ensemble here in Austin. I like it layered over sleeveless tops, but the fabric is a bit too heavy for most Austin weather. But I plan to get more creative with cooler-weather dressing when that weather comes back around. My other garment is my Lila Sweater, which I love even more than the day I first tried it on. It was my first successful sweater, after all, and it's the grey pullover seen in the last picture in this post. With the addition of the Arctic cardigan, I now have a nice trio of neutral, nearly endlessly layer-able garments. And I'm pleased with that. I am working, slowly but surely, on a fourth garment, my May cardigan which certainly will be wearable year-round, even in Texas.
This cardigan taught me some new skills including top-down sweater construction and seamed sleeves. And it reinforced other skills such as mattress stitch, buttonholes, sizing/planning, etc. I've tried it with several outfit combinations and I'm quite pleased with how well it integrates with my existing wardrobe, and I just adore the little stand-up neckline.
This satisfaction with finished garments is due, in part I believe, to me getting better at choosing patterns that will work well for me. A little over two years ago, I wrote this in my post about my finished Lila sweater, and I still think it holds true, for all three (soon to be four) garments:
I've realized that fit (tailored, but not fitted), color (generally neutrals), and style (simple, classic, not too many busy details) are the determining factors for a successful and gratifying knitted project.
Pattern: Arctic Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in sandstone. It's lofty, woolly, it smells so good, and it blocks beautifully. I was happy to buy it on sale at my LYS.
Needles: Size 9 Lykke circular needles. I sized down two needle sizes, which was odd for me
* for more information, you can visit my Ravelry project page
And, because my Lila deserves a little love during Me May Made, here she is, paired with the exact same outfit, making me feel all kinds of cozy.
P.S.—I spent my morning awkwardly juggling a self-timing camera, a coffee mug, a myriad of my (usually odd) facial expressions, and the utilization of a broom (for focus) to take these photos. All of that process looked as absurd as you might think, you can just ask Nicholas, who witnessed bits of it while he was working from home. ;)
I love baking. I truly do. The difference between a bad afternoon and a good one can be as simple as a baked good. I love the slow process, the premonition of preheating the oven, sometimes playing around with different flavors. My favorites are your typical "home bakes," nothing couture. Cakes, cookies, brownies, etc., are all my go-to baked goods to make in my own kitchen.
Some projects come along at just the right moment, and this shawl is one of them. After several rather hectic months, I wanted to get back into the rhythm of knitting, but wanted a fun, low-pressure, but still creatively inspiring project. I love knitting socks, but I wanted to knit something with more colorplay and this shawl was just the thing.
It's that time of the year when typically, as a born-and-raised Northerner, I'd be yearning for spring. That yearning isn't quite so pronounced here in Austin, but nonetheless, February is a month of almosts. Winter is almost over, spring is almost here, etc. And so it has been timely for me to indulge in a few self-care practices (and treats) while we're living in the almosts.