Ridgeline

So this time I have an older FO for you.

Not because I don't love it, but because A) I wasn't sure it was actually done and B) it was immediately stolen.

Originally I intended to have this Ridgeline set feature an orange pompom on the hat, but ultimately I think I am leaving it off. Pasha loves it and will actually wear it without a fight or try to pull it off, which is kind of a big deal when we're talking about toddlers.

All three colors are Twist FIber Studio in her Cumbria DK which I fished out of her 50% off bin at SAFF (I cannot for the life of me remember the colorway names right now). At the time I was a little skeptical (I knit the mitts first), but ultimately I like the My Little Pony pallet I ended up with. They match absolutely nothing in his wardrobe, but look exactly like what I think of when I imagine a precocious toddler. Especially since I can't get him to hold still for long enough to do more than throw the hat on, which means it stands up at all sorts of fun angles. The mitts themselves are actually too big ( knit the toddler size), but he wanted to put them on for photos anyway.

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This is the first project I've knit that requires using three colors in one row. I didn't notice this when I first looked at the chart, so by the time I realized and started to feel a little concerned I already had momentum on my side. It's not perfect, but I think they look alright. And I enjoyed the knit enough that I am contemplating a matching hat for Stormy and am keeping it in mind for future gifts.

Ironically it was cold when I started this project (which seriously only took me a weekend), but then the weather warmed up and Pasha stashed them in various parts of the house. It was 60 plus degrees yesterday, but as I write this Wednesday night we are having some sort of wintery mix. Maybe if I keep thinking about these and wishing hard enough I can get us some snow? Of course, then I probably need to get this kid to start wearing pants.

Sweater Weather Socks

I've had a bit of an obsession lately

It's funny, because I've been so garment and shawl focused for so long that I wasn't even sure I should keep buying the yarn, but I've become addicted to sock knitting.

Sweater Weather Socks, Tabitha Gandee

Sweater Weather Socks, Tabitha Gandee

Most people equate sock knitting with warmer weather. No one wants to knit a large woolly when they are sweating by the pool (yes, here in the South we do knit by the pool). But for some reason my sock mojo has been for naught in the past year. I have a few single socks that I knit when Pasha was born and I was able to knit while holding him. But with the exception of my mom's socks they have been conspicuously absent from the rotation. Until now.

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I cast these on the week before Thanksgiving and had them finished and on my feet within two weeks (I did some other knitting in the middle there). As soon as I saw the pattern go live I knew I had the perfect yarn -- Woolen Boon in Buffy. I had intended this yarn to be a hat when we went to see Garbage and Blondie, but the jerks at security wouldn't let me take my needles in, so it had languished in a project bag for a few months. I paired it with a vintage Junkyarn mini skein (I say vintage because I got it when she first started dying and I have no idea what she called the colorway). I'm in love with the way the cuff looks with just a hint of pink in the cast-on.

Of course it wouldn't be a Faith sock without some modifications. I knit the leg a little shorter than called for because I prefer a shorter sock. I have runner's calves (without having run in quite a while other than to stop Pasha from pulling the tv over on his head), so I would need a bit of an increase at the top for longer socks. I then subbed in my favorite short-row heel for the one called for. I used to worry that short row heels are not as hard-wearing, but I have so many socks in my drawer at this point that the only ones getting constant wear are my shorties.

I also reduced the stitch count for the foot. The pattern calls for a larger stitch count on the leg to accomodate the cables, but I wanted to be sure it had more ease for the rest of my foot, so I decreased down to my standard 56 stitches. Ironic because as soon as I finished knitting them my feet started swelling (yay pregnancy) and I could do with a little less ease. However, I pulled out my oft-neglected sock blockers and the result is a much more comfortable fit.

Would I recommend this sock pattern? Heck yes! I might have another planned though it will be a while before I am able to wrangle a cable needle again (typically I cable sans cable needle, but on such a fine gauge with a toddler running about I decided not to chance it). The temperature has dropped enough that I am reaching for a pair of socks every day, so expect to see more sock wips soon!

Stepping Back In

*poke poke* Is anyone still here?

Oh guys, my life has been a true study of inertia lately. Or entropy, depending on your view (and here I thought I'd never use that class on Newton I foolishly took my last semester of university). Trying to find time to sit down and write devolved to trying to find time to explain to you why I needed to find time which devolved into trying to find the motivation to come back and tell you about why I needed to explain about finding time. Basically I went into a writing death spiral where I seemed incapable of actually sitting at my laptop.

Or, to put it another way, I am almost 30 weeks pregnant and I have an eighteen month old. 

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But ultimately I found that though I missed you, if I had to choose between creating things and writing about the things I created, I needed to do the creating. I spend so much time explaining things and keeping my brain engaged in what is going on around me (not my natural state), that I've craved time to just sit and knit, or sew, or just doze on the couch if I'm honest. We hosted Thanksgiving this year, which was lovely but required way more extroverting than I do on a regular basis.

And beyond even all of that is the fact that several of my current WIPs involve something I said I wasn't going to do this year -- online yarn purchasing.

L-R: Makers Haven, Suburban Stitcher, Stress Knits, Gracelynn Wool

L-R: Makers Haven, Suburban Stitcher, Stress Knits, Gracelynn Wool

I know, I know. I made it until September only buying yarn in physical shops or festivals and knitting in large part from stash. But then everyone started releasing their monthly clubs for October, my birthday month, and my resolve shattered. I got four clubs for my birthday, and that was supposed to be it, but it seems once the floodgates open there is no closing them. I've been a lot more restrained since, but there has definitely been a little more purchasindg in the month since.

But the good news is I am already putting it to good use, so that's a win of sorts. Right? Right.

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Family Photo Sweaters

We finally got around to taking our family photos last weekend.

It was a surprisingly gorgeous Saturday morning at our local park and the first day that was truly cool enough to pull off a little bit of knitwear. Which is good because otherwise I don't see how I could have gotten the boys to both wear their sweaters.

All photos in this post were taken by the amazing Nevada of Nevada Marie Photography. If you live in our area and need a family photographer, please give her a look. She is amazing.

All photos in this post were taken by the amazing Nevada of Nevada Marie Photography. If you live in our area and need a family photographer, please give her a look. She is amazing.

The keen eyed among you may notice that I'm wearing an old FO, so let's just get that out of the way right now. I knit myself a new Chuck a few months ago in a larger size, anticipating the growth that comes from being pregnant. But that growth has yet to show up in my bust, so the sweater is a bit too loose to pull off in my current condition. I look like a bag lady. So I pulled out my original Chuck knit in Quince and Co Lark.

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You've also heard about Chris' Brighton Pullover and appending drama in great detail, so I'll just say, doesn't he look smashing? For a guy who doesn't wear sweaters he should really wear sweaters! ::hint hint::

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But it was Pasha, of course, who stole the show. I'm super proud of how his Caribou turned out. I knit it in Malabrigo Rios, which I picked up at Warm N Fuzzy the last time I stopped in. I bought three skeins thinking he'd need the 18 month size, but after taking his measurements the 12 month worked out perfectly. So I have an extra skein should I suddenly fall ill and decide that Stormy needs a matching sweater. It was a very engaging knit, though completely manageable with a toddler. I alternated skeins throughout the body, which made it a bit more fiddly, but not on the sleeves so that I would not break into my last skein.

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Pasha has worn this a lot since picture day. He has actually brought it to me more than once so that I can put it on him (this kid is definitely proving to be knitworthy). Because of all the wear it got covered in crumbs and dirt, so I put it aside to wash. Somehow it went from my knitwear wash pile and ended up back in his regular laundry where I did not catch it until after it went through a warm water wash and tumble dry with the rest of his clothes. And you know what? It came out just fine. I don't have any photos to show you because he immediately ran off after I tried it back on him, but trust me. I'm pretty sure Rios will be my go-to toddler yarn for the foreseeable future.

Do you knit sweaters for family photos or another event? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

A Bit of Distraction

I've been a bit distracted lately.

I have yet to cast on Pasha's Ridgeline set even though it's getting quite cold around here for little hands and ears to run about without any woolly layers. I'm woefully behind on knitting the sweaters that I want for myself. And let's not even talk about Stormy's serious lack of knitwear. There is a pile of yarn on our table that keeps being moved from end to end depending on who is eating but never seems to get wound or cast on.

But, I feel I have a good excuse. You see, I've been sewing up a storm for the littles. Last week I finally broke out the walking foot for my machine and some knit fabric and sewed Pasha a pair of Maxaloones by Max and Meena. He's between sizes right now and finding pants that are not buttoned is absurdly hard. Toddlers who can't even use words don't need complicated pants! Jean buttons are not comfortable for anyone, let alone someone who is wearing a diaper all the time.

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Ok, rant over. Anyway. I sewed them up on Sunday while the boys watched a football game and he loved them. The pattern calls for a contrasting fabric circle on the bum, but I don't necessarily like the look for my kid, so I left it out and sewed a simpler version. I was so smitten with them that I sewed a second pair the following night.

Can you tell someone got a haircut this week?

Can you tell someone got a haircut this week?

I've made several things for Pasha since starting to master my sewing machine and this is the first time he genuinely seems to care about something I've made. My personal theory is that he is starting to have just a hint of an opinion about his clothes (he is only 1 after all), and like most of us he prefers comfort when possible. I made him three pairs before I turned my attention to his brother who, after all, will be born when it is still super cold and be in need of nice mommy-made clothes as well.

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I might have gone a wee bit overboard. Pictured here are the Maxaloones, Bringing Home Baby Hat, and Dribble Lips Bandanna Bib, all from Max and Meena's pattern line. I have plans to make matching mitts as well because why not. 

The great thing about sewing is that it takes pretty much all of my brain as opposed to knitting which I can do while multi-tasking. This isn't a bad thing, but when I need a mom break sewing has become my go-to. And kid/baby projects are so fast! I have plans to make a few more things for Pasha, but most of my sewing will probably shift over to Stormy projects for a while with a few detours into cousin sewing because yes, my sister is pregnant so yes, I will torture them with matching outfits until they are old enough to protest. Because I may be the cool aunt, but I'm also the sewing mom and that's what we do.