If I had a pair of Hermoine's Everyday Socks for every day of the year, I would still have too few. These are WONDERFUL. Of course, the Malabrigo only contributes to their appeal...Certainly, wearing these is the closest comprable earthly experience to that of an angel walking on clouds. Make some and try it out, if you don't believe me.
Pattern: Hermoine's Everyday Sock (Ravelry)by Erica Lueder
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock: color173 Stonechat
Needles: Addi Lace 2.75mm
Notes: I knit explicitly specific to pattern. I'm still having a difficult time compreheding the remarkable difference a 20row cuff makes in practical wearability. It's too fantastically logical. The lightly textured pattern is simple and mindless, yet charming, and, for me, this month, a refreshing mental reprieve. These knit QUICK! 3 days quick (if you're speed knitting). Aside from expressing more adoration for the pattern, I have no further notes.
Last Day of the Month, we meet again. While you are a worthy opponent (especially in February... and, I may have a bit more work to complete), I do believe I will defeat you. After all, I was able to knock the ball out of the park on my February sweater! Less than 28 days for a full-on, full body colorwork jumper.
I'm not even going to attempt pretending that this was leisure knitting. I hustled. I ocassionally had headaches from being cross-eyed for extended periods of time. I sacrificed perfection for completion*. I have no regrets.
Pattern: Platte River (Ravelry) by Kristen Jensen
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport: 4balls color 106 Lavendar Cliffs and 4 balls color 205Regal Purple
Needles: Addi Lace 2.75mm and Addi Lace 3mm
Notes: Truly, the colorwork aspect of this sweater was very simple. While the pattern calls for sizes 2.25mm and 2.75mm needles to obtain gauge, I decided to bump-up sizes to account for and counter my own typically tight tension. Retrospectively, two sizes up would have yeilded a better fitting garment. During knitting, the body of my sweater measured roughly 24 inches at the widest point!! I was able to wet block... nearly to gauge**. I knit an additional two inches length through the mid section, for two reasons: 1.) I was afraid I was going to lose length during blocking. 2.) I hate things that are too short (or long, really). As a result, I used ALL my main color yarn and have few yards of contrast color remaining. I chose to not purl the side "seam" stitches at either side point. Rather, I used stitch markers and decreased accordingly. Also, I found I needed to decrease on all rounds of the neckband in order to have a narrower neck opening (I'm apparently not broad shouldered enough for the original instructions). After wearing my Platte River for an afternoon, I've decided I am going to whip stitch the first rows of my sleeves under to counter curling/rolling, as they are insubordinate.
A little less that perfect. A little snug. A little tweaking necessary. But, a successful venture none the less! I will absolutely wear this sweater again (and again)***
Did you kick-ass this month?
*I screwed up my first pattern repeat. It's difficult to tell, especially in these photos.
**I know I should swatch in order to avoid this type of disaster, but I can't convince myself to waste the time and/or energy to do so
***As long as I don't get fat.
There are 28 days in the month of February. Today is February 24th. SOOOOOOO, in order to completely catch up with myself and be back on track for March, I have 4 days to turn this ...
...into these. And, as it is presently mid-evening, techinically, my deadline is reduced to 3days and some change. It's probably best if we don't talk about the sweater and/or sewing situations at this point. I need to make and drink large quantities of coffee.
February is keeping us on our toes. We started the month with record setting snow and storms, and now, just over half way through, we're enjoying 60+ degree temperatures. It's odd walking by monstrous piles of snow while it's warm enough to be outside without a coat. I know it isn't going to last. It's too good to be true. Spring, so soon? Not in Chicago. The weather man is already threatening snow into next week.
Disappointed. Yes. A lot. Silver lining? I may actually have the opportunity to wear my February sweater before next winter! I've been diligently working on my February sweater since Feb1. The "great hand carving disaster of 2011" set me back a couple days worth of progress, but I think I'm on track for a photo finish.
I felt like it was time to knit a raglan pullover. I don't wear many, but the few I own, I love. To keep things interesting, I decided to toss some stranded color-work in the mix for this month. I'm really counting on some serious growth with blocking because right now, my sweater looks TEENY TINY even though I went up needle sizes. The colors are not very accurate in the above photo; in reality, lilac and royal purple best describe the hues. For the first time, ever, I am using precisely the yarn the pattern calls for.
I'm just going to have to play this one out. It, sadly, might be my first frog.
It took me a needlessly long time to muster the "want" to photograph my January sewing project. Which, you may recall, was this dress. Sorry about that. I realize I have a HELLA lot of catching up to do if I'm going to get everything squeezed into February, so I can be back on track for March.
I achieved my mini goal and got the pattern cut before heading out of town for the weekend (Jan 22)... This is where things took a wild turn. While I was gone, my pattern envelop, assembly instructions enclosed, dissapeared! (Now, I'm not pointing any fingers, but for the record, a certain somebody stayed home while I was out; that same certain somebody haphazardly cleared my craft table for use at his LAN party while I was away; the pattern envelop has yet to resurface. You can draw your own conclusions.)
After wasting two days taking everything off the bookshelves and replacing everything onto the bookeshelves, I scrambled and came up with a contigency plan. Instead of tossing in the towel, I decided to re-visit a project I'd scrapped a while back.
The wikia vintage pattern database describes it: Juniors' and Misses' One-Piece Dress with Two Skirts: "Simple to Make". Dress has slightly lowered neckline, short kimono sleeves and left side zipper. Bodice front fastens with one button. V. 1 skirt has soft pleats at waistline. Belt is self or purchased. V. 2 has very short kimono sleeves, top-stitching detail, slim skirt with soft pleats at front waistline and self fabric sash.
I originally intended to sew this project way back last year. It was already cut, partially assembled and ready to rock. Happenstance, really.
I finally succumbed to indoor photography, as natural light is a sparse commodity at this point. Not the clearest shots, but you get the jist.
I didn't do a lining. I regret it. The fabric is some sort of synthetic micro fiber, I loved working with it, but it's relatively heavy and doesn't have a lot of body or volume. I think my dress would benefit from a moderate pettiskirt to help the skirt drape further away from the body.
The hem is hand sewn and time consuming. If it didn't require abundant energy, I'd probably go back and whack another couple/few inches from the skirt (I shortened 6 inches prior to pinning!) Just-below-the-knee is my least favorite dress length on my towering "5'2 form.
Aside from length, the finished product fits beautifully. I altered out four inches through the center line on each side of the bust before pinning. This worked remarkably well; however, it's a bit snug coming over the shoulders during dressing. I probably should have done a tapered decrease to give myself a little more ease. .
Kimono sleeves may be my new favorite element to sew; they're RIDICULOUSLY easy!
As seemingly negative as my commentary on this project may come across, I am happy, overall, with the dress. I'll definitely wear it out of the house. I'd like to sew this pattern again with all the mods specified above; maybe in a crepe or some type of print??
As for this dress. It's back in line for February. My valentine tracked down another copy of the pattern on Ebay, and gave it to me last week (THANK YOU INTERNET!). He's pretty awesome.
Today, I logged into Ravelry and found a message in my inbox requesting to use one of my FO photos of the Amber I knit as a feature photo on the project page! Maybe this happens to other knitters all the time, but it's a first for me! And, I'm pretty flattered and pleased!
If you have a ravelry account, you can find out how to knit your own Amber here.
The perfect pairing for a plate of spaghetti.
I tend to keep it as simple in the kitchen as possible on work nights. Who wants to come home and work after working a full day? Not this girl.
Tonight I used this recipe to toss together some delish vegetarian meatballs to top our pasta. It was my first time using the recipe. It's really minimal and super simple! Prep is short, but they do require forty minutes in the oven.
Both Mike and I agree that these are surprisingly... meaty. Freakishly so. Had I not personally prepared them, I would have been suspicious enough to stop eating; Mike, an omnivore, concurred. In between bites.
Mike has already put in a request for a "do again". I also think these would be incredible as an appetizer if prepared in a miniature form served on toothpicks.
Have you tried any new recipes lately?
Did you notice the disappearing act I pulled in the middle of my snow day Wednesday? I was eagerly abitious to get everything I'd planned accomplished. Too eager, perhaps. The connection between my brain and sense of reason short circuited while I was in the kitchen. The result: FIVE AND A HALF HOURS in the emergency room and eight stitches down the center of my hand.
Needless to say, I didn't get around to photographing my January sewing project.
I managed to avoid severing any tendons. I also missed the major blood vessels in my wrist! And, after two days of rest, I can knit with ease, if a bit slower than I'm accostomed. This show is going on! As per usual, I'll be playing catch-up with myself. New Years Resolutions considered, some things never change.
My snow day is... almost over. I had enormous expectations for the day. I'm not sure how I thought I was going to get my whole house cleaned, bake a million cookies, and photograph my FO's all before the sun dipped down below the horizon (all after sleeping until nearly noon). Hmmm. Oh, ambition. My best frienemy.
Not to be defeated, I did get dressed and downstairs for some FO photos!
Notes: This pattern definitely keeps knitting interesting, which is good, because this is a pretty intensive undertaking. Between the different patterning and the interesting shaping there's little time to feel bored. I absolutely adore the collar. I love the drape. And I love the versatility of this project. My Oblique is not without flaw, in fact, I noticed several pattern mistakes as I was piecing it together, but, I still LOVE the end product. This cardigan is coZy! The sizing in the pattern is REMARKABLY accurate! I knit the small. In haste, I decided to steam block over wet blocking, and I feel it fits perfectly.
A note on the yarn: I will absolutely be buying sweater quantities of Fisherman's Wool again. This wool is exactly what I would want in a sweater wool. It's got great body and texture, and it knits into a beautifully defined fabric. Most notable, it's friendly to the budget at roughly $20 for 1000 yds.
I need to re-do my inside button to eliminate the small pucker I created on the front of my sweater, but otherwise, this one is DONE!
After finishing with school, I thought I'd never see another snow day. Hooray for being wrong! We were pummeled with the white stuff last night. We ventured out at noon today for a potty break, and this is what we found.
Now that we've finished sleeping in, I think I'll take advantage of the remaining daylight hours and photograph my FINISHED January projects! First a shower is in order and some Sunday style breakfast. See you all soon!