Erie Hat

FO: Erie Hat

Pattern: Erie Hat
Yarn: Stone Wool Romney + Merino (Quartz 03)
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Another simple ribbed hat in another yarn from Stone Wool.

I followed the pattern with three minor exceptions: I did a long tail tubular cast on; I didn’t begin the decreases until I had knit 8″; and after the final decrease round, I did one additional round of k2tog.

I’d like to think that I’ll block this before I wear it, except that I’ll probably wear it tonight.

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Pom Pom It!

FO: Pom Pom It!

Pattern: Pom Pom It!
Yarn: Stone Wool Cormo Worsted (Tobacco 03)
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I had every intention of blocking this, but then it briefly got quite cold, and this cozy hat was the first thing I grabbed. I wore it on my bicycle, I wore it while I worked, and then I stopped caring whether it was blocked. Maybe in the spring.

I’ve knit myself a lot of hats, but I can never seem to knit one that I like on my own head. But this one — I like it. I skipped the pom pom, because I’ve realized that, while I like poms, they make it harder to stuff hats in coat pockets and overstuffed bags. I also skipped the twisted rib, because I was feeling lazy and I had already done a non-twisted tubular cast on. (I actually think twisted rib looks a lot nicer than regular rib.)

Really, you don’t need a pattern to knit something like this, but knowing a number of stitches to cast on using which needles and what weight of yarn is useful. And I appreciate that Stephen West is giving this information out for free.

Arboreal

WIP: Arboreal

If this pattern combined with these colors doesn’t say #fallknits, I don’t know what does.

I cast on my Arboreal sweater on Thursday morning, which is actually my Sunday, and I finished the yoke chart on actual Sunday morning (my Wednesday) before I headed off to work. The chart is rather easy to follow, but I can also be very single-minded about certain projects and tasks, so I just kind of plowed through it. And with the brief short row section complete, I can now mindlessly knit through the body and sleeves.

Initially I wasn’t going to start this sweater yet. There’s a Lopi sweater I was going make first, but then I saw a hat that I want to make with leftovers of this lovely Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. But that means I need leftover yarn. Which means I need to knit this sweater.

So here I am: knitting this sweater.

Pattern: Arboreal
Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (Parkin, Coal)
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Milliken

FO: Milliken

Pattern: Milliken
Yarn: Mountain Meadow Wool Sheridan (Prairie)
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This is one of the first yarns I purchased, once I decided that I was going to start wearing colors. Sure, I have a couple of stranded sweaters that aren’t black, but now I’m wearing blue jeans and non-black work pants and earth-toned flannels. (Plus my standard black tee, as some things do not change.) All of this is a lot of color by my standards, and I like it. And it means that’s a wide variety of yarns that are available to me now, like naturally dyed yarns or American and British wools that often don’t come in black.

So when I saw that Heritage Woolery would be closing its doors in December, I jumped at the opportunity to buy a generously discounted pile of 100% American-made yarn in non-black colors. The “Prairie” colorway, slightly more olive green than the pictures show, of this Mountain Meadow bulky yarn was especially attractive to me, and I purchased a vest-quantity of it.

Milliken

Initially, my plans were to knit a different Elizabeth Smith-designed vest, but the Quince & Co. “Arctic” collection was published not long after I made my yarn purchase, and I really like the simple design of Milliken. This is actually the third pattern I’ve knit by Elizabeth Smith, so there’s definitely something about her designs that speak to me.

The vest is intended to have 9″ positive ease, but that’s a lot of ease — too much, I thought. So I knit the 40″ size, which, after blocking, was in fact 40″ wide. I added an inch or two to the body, because there are few things I dislike more than feeling like I’m pulling on the hem of a sweater all day, because it’s too short. In retrospect, I could have made this longer, but since it’s a thick fabric, I might end up being happy with this length when I’m riding my bicycle.

The only big change that I made to the pattern was to extend the slipped stitch and garter motif into the cowl neck. I also shortened the collar, because an abundance of fabric around the neck will definitely become too warm on my bike.

Very pleased with how this turned out, and it looks like I might be able to wear it tomorrow, as the weather report is currently predicting a high of 37°F and a low of 26°F. (Maybe it’s also time to shut my bedroom windows.) That’s definitely cozy woolen vest weather.

Gable

FO: Gable Sweater

Pattern: Gable
Yarn: unknown fingering, 100% animal fiber
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So, it’s been awhile. I had a pretty horrible summer, and a lot of things in my life changed. And it got so bad that I stopped knitting. Then I moved. And now I have a different job with normalish hours, which leaves me time to knit, which I resumed doing in earnest in September. I’ve actually finished a few projects since the end of July: Find Your Fade, my Palmyre shawl, an Overskyet shawl, my Coloring cardigan, and finally the Gull Island henley, which still needs to be blocked and will likely end up in a post here.

But today, I’m sharing my recently completed Gable.

Gable

A couple notes about the pattern: the sweater is constructed from the bottom up, but I’ve never enjoyed knitting sweaters that way. I’ve done it. And when I cast on for Gable, I had actually just finished Gull Island, also bottom-up. So I was kind of bottom-up’ed out. Instead, I decided to knit Gable from the top down, basically reversing all of the instructions until I completed the yoke, at which point I could knit the body on auto-pilot.

This worked really well for me. I’m incredibly pleased with my decision, because I’d probably still be working on this if I had started with the body and sleeves separately followed by the yoke. I might have also had issues with the fit, because I’m part of the #noswatchclub. I did have to shorten the yoke to fit my measurements.

Gable

As far as the yarn goes, it was gifted to me last November by a friend, who had had it in her stash for years. The labels are long gone, but the bleach test revealed that it was 100% animal fiber. It feels like wool. Very scratchy wool. I don’t think it’ll ever be a next-to-skin garment, but I’m quite looking forward to wearing it as an outer layer. It seems like it would be a durable fabric.

Anyway, I do believe that “I’m back.” I missed knitting, and I’m glad that I’m doing it again. Another recent change is I decided to stop wearing all black all the time, which has opened up entirely new yarns and designs to me. It’s very exciting, and I have some sweaters in my queue that I’m really looking forward to working on this winter. But more on that later.

WIP Summary: July 2017

July was a rough month. I spent it in a deep, dark depression. I would think, “this must be the bottom,” and then it would get deeper and darker. And it turns out that I can’t knit down here in the deep and the dark. So I did very little knitting this month.

But “very little” does not equal “none at all.” I knitted in fits and spurts, in 15-30 minutes increments while watching the Tour de France highlights when I got home from work. It never felt particularly productive, but I somehow managed to finish my Find Your Fade and my second Palmyre shawl. I wove in the ends, I blocked both shawls, but I never took pictures. I’m sure that I will eventually, but it’s not a priority right now.

My Coloring cardigan and Gull Island henley are still very much untouched. Things are beginning to look up, and while I’ve started thinking about knitting again, I’m still having difficulty focusing. I’d like to finish these two projects soon, but sometimes there’s no rushing these things.

Hopefully August will be better.

FO: Cameo Flower

Cameo Flower
Pattern: Cameo Flower
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo (Archangel)
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I finished knitting the Cameo Flower shawl on Saturday after making a trip to my LYS to pick up a third hank of Arroyo. It was much more purple than the first two, but really, none of my hanks matched, so I just went with it, and I think it isn’t very obvious.

Cameo Flower

This was a nice project. I cast on for it rather impulsively back in May and breezed through the body repeats pretty quickly. The charted sections seemed to take a lot longer, but I think that’s just because I set this aside to work on other projects. The lace is, in fact, very easy to keep track of and went pretty quickly once I dedicated some time to this shawl.

Because of a recent turn of events in my life, this has become kind of a sad project for me. I never really put much thought into how an FO can embody or reflect the moments and circumstances in which it was created. Some knitters talk about how they can look at a sweater and remember where they were and how they were feeling and stuff like that. I’ve never felt like that before. But some things have changed between when I cast on this shawl and when I bound off, and while I took pictures of it this morning, I found myself thinking about those changes and remembering the moments I worked on this — where I was, what was going on — and I realized how very heavy this FO makes my heart. So I guess I understand now what those other knitters are talking about.