Update on Operation Sock Drawer 2017 and Other Projects

Hello!  I hope everyone’s had a good February!  I’ve been super busy so far this semester.  I may have over-committed a bit and signed up for too many classes, but I think I’ll be able to balance everything!  I also had a very successful doctor’s appointment on Friday.  All my blood work came out great, and a huge improvement over my levels from the summer.  I’m definitely feeling better too.

I’ve finished my January and February socks already!

I started a pair of Rumpelstiltskin socks that’ll be my March socks, but I haven’t gotten very far in them yet.  I’m doing them in a really pretty bright pink, Knit Picks Hawthorne (do I use anything else?) in Parkrose.

In much more exciting news, I finally finished my Colorblock Sweater!  I started it more than a year ago, got about 85% of it done, and then promptly forgot about it at the bottom of my WIP pile.  I dug it out and finished off the body and final sleeve last week!

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The yarn is Berroco Lustra, which has since been discontinued (that’s how I know I’ve been ignoring it for too long!).  I wouldn’t use this for a sweater again since it sheds.  It also splits a lot and I don’t know how sturdy it will wear.  Despite this, I’m very excited and I’ve been wearing it a ton.

I also have a TON of yarn left over, so I’ll be churning out a bunch of quick hats to get rid of it all.

I’ve also been doing a little work on my Laurel cardigan, just a few rows here and there, but I really need to dig in and make some progress on this project.  I’d really like to get it done before the end of the semester, but I’ve been so slow on it that I don’t know if that’ll happen.  It’s just easier to work on a small, portable sock than a huge, heavy sweater-jacket.

Finally, I’ve been working on an asymmetrical shawl called Chasing Blizzard.  It’s a pretty new pattern and I’m enjoying it a lot!  I’m using two skeins of Artyarns Ensemble Light, which is by leaps and bounds the most expensive yarn I’ve ever bought, but it’s so, so soft and warm.

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This photo definitely isn’t 100% true to color, but it’s close!

What have you guys been working on?  If you’ve had any New Year’s Resolutions, have you been able to keep them?  Do you have any fun plans for the next week or two?

Snowman Says “Hello 2017!”

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Time just runs away from me during the holidays but now that it’s finally over I can actually take a minute to sit down and write.

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The snowman above isn’t mine unfortunately.  I found him on campus a few weeks ago after our first big snow, so snowman credits go to whoever built him.  He’s got plastic forks for arms, paper napkins for his scarf, craisin eyes, and a french fry nose.  No one ever said college students weren’t resourceful!  I thought he was just too cute not to share.

I had a lovely Christmas with my family.  We had my stepsisters and brother-in-law over for Christmas Eve dinner but Christmas Day was just the four of us (my mom, my stepdad, my brother, and me).  We went to church in the morning, opened gifts in the afternoon, and demolished a canard à l’orange for dinner!  My stepdad has a fascinating cookbook of obscure Sicilian recipes so we also had a pasta dish with a cocoa powder, cinnamon, and pork tomato sauce.  It sounds strange but it’s delicious, very warm and flavorful.  A few days later, my brother and I had dinner and exchanged gifts with our dad, who had gone on vacation over Christmas itself.

Shockingly, I only got one skein of yarn this year.  I’m actually really glad I didn’t get more since I’m still working through last year’s yarn gifts (more on that further down the post).   My aunt, uncle, and cousin got me the yarn for the Maya Hat and Mitts from the Fall 2016 issue of Knitscene, as well as a copy of the magazine.  It looks like it’ll be an interesting knit since it’s done as stranded knitting working from either side of a ball of gradient yarn.

I also *drumroll please* won a skein of yarn as well as a free pattern from Allison O’Mahoney in a giveaway by Of Grace and Stitches here on WordPress!  I have yet to decide what to make with it, so into the stash it goes.  Please excuse the blurry and strange photo!  I haven’t had any good light for photography in weeks, since I’m at work during all daylight hours.

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Mostly, I’ve been working on a pair of socks that I’ve dubbed my “Finals Socks,” which I started during final exams.  The pattern is Cadence Socks on Ravelry!  I’m really enjoying how they’ve worked up and the pattern is quite intuitive and easy to memorize.  I’m well into the foot of the second sock, so those will be an FO sooner rather than later.  The fabric is great, stretchy but firm, which I like around my legs and feet.  The yarn is KnitPicks Hawthorne in Compass.

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I cast on a Rudbeckia hat by Andrea Mowry earlier this week and I’ve been getting through it like a fiend.  I’m almost at the crown decreases already.  I’ve modified the pattern to use fingering weight yarn and size 4 needles by simply increasing the number of stitches and the number of repeats of each section.  The main color (purple and blue) is Hawthorne in Fremont, while the brown contrasting color is Hawthorne in St. Johns that I had left over from a pair of socks I knit my brother for his birthday this summer.

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Clearly, I enjoy KP Hawthorne fingering yarn.  I actually got a ton of it for Christmas last year (my mom bought one of the samplers and some singles) and I purchased a few skeins myself.  It’s got a nice tight twist and a nylon blend, which makes it very sturdy for socks, and it comes in a ton of colors with good yardage.

I’m realizing that this is kind of a long rambling post but I’m still trying to get my head screwed on straight post-holidays.  I hope everyone had a good holiday season and let’s wish for a successful 2017!  Does anyone have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Welcome to November!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  It’s one of my all-time favorite holidays.  Who doesn’t love getting all dressed up in a costume, hanging out with friends, and eating as much candy as you can shove in your face?  Or maybe that’s just me…

Anyway, last night my knitting and crocheting club had a great Halloween meeting.  We all showed up in our costumes, knitted and crocheted and sewed, and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  It’s such a great experience to be able to sit with people my age, who have the same interests as me, and just have a great time.  I took a picture of us all, aren’t we cute?

I’ve been working on my Laurel Cardigan, but I’ve just been so caught up in midterms that I’ve barely made any progress.  I did finish the first top section and am mostly done with the second sleeve.

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I’m getting really excited about wearing this piece!  The color is great, a little darker and richer than the photo shows, and the moss stitch is so, so squishy and satisfying.  I have a feeling I’ll end up knitting this again in a few other colors.  Maybe charcoal gray, or a navy tweed?

 

Midterm Madness (but I still make time to knit!)

This week, I’ve been studying, knitting, sleeping, studying, knitting, sleeping…  I think you get the idea!  I’m about halfway through the semester already (it is totally wild that we’re at midterms), and I feel like I’ve been spending all my time studying lately.

I’ve made good progress on my Laurel Cardigan and I’m almost done with the top right portion, so that’s almost a third of the way done!  I’m planning on taking some pictures of the gorgeous cables and moss stitch in the natural light tomorrow.

In other crafterly news, my school’s needlework club (of which I am the president!) is finally getting started for the semester!  Unlike huge clubs, we don’t have a permanent room and need to be assigned a new one every year.  We’ve been held up for a few months in trying to get a room assignment for the semester.  There’s a lot of new people in the student government and things have been moving slooooowly.  Sigh.  Well, late is better than never, I suppose.

Anyway, I’ve been making up some posters for the club and I cannot wait to start hanging them up all over campus.  I really think this is the year we get our club off the ground!  All over campus I meet crafters who had no idea we even existed.  Wish us luck!

Thank Goodness It’s Fall

I hope everyone else is as excited as I am that it’s finally getting chillier!  All of my favorite clothes seem to be cool weather appropriate, plus knitting when it’s crisp out just feels right.  I always seem to get much more knitting done in the fall.

This past spring, I had a coupon to Michael’s craft store (no surprise there) and impulsively bought a sweater quantity of Lion’s Brand Heartland in Joshua Tree, despite the fact that the temperatures were swiftly rising and my stash was growing like an infection (again, no surprise).

I’ve been waiting since then for the perfect pattern for this yarn and I’ve finally found it in the Laurel cardigan!  This pattern came out with the latest issue of Knitty, which is an amazing online knitting magazine full of amazing patterns, if you’re not already familiar with it.  Here’s a link to the pattern.

What immediately drew me to this pattern was obviously the way it looks.  I love oversized, coat-style cardigans like this one, and I’m a huge fan of the nubbly texture from the moss stitch. I also like how the waistband is curved so that the hem is lower in the back than in the front.  I have a shorter torso so I hate it when sweaters go down too far in the front, but I still want coverage in the back.

Once I started reading through the pattern, I was really intrigued by the construction method.  To knit it, I had to cast on for the wrist of the sleeve and knit the sleeve back and forth.  Once I got to the shoulder, I cast on stitches for the front and back right top.  After I finish the right side, I’ll repeat going the opposite direction for the left side, and then everything is sewn together.  From there, stitches are picked up and knit from the waistband down to the bottom hem.

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The only modification I’ve made so far is to the sleeve.  I cast on 41 stitches, which is the stitch count for the small size, but did an extra increase row so that I can do the body in the medium size.  I have a larger bust so I think this is the best way to have the cardigan fit in both the arms and the chest.

One other thing that I’m loving about this pattern is how quickly I’m powering through it.  I started it on Monday evening (it’s now Saturday) and I’m already through a full skein of yarn (out of about five and a half total, according to the yardage estimates in the pattern).  I’m a college student with little free time, so that’s pretty impressive to me.

Once I’ve gotten a bit further into the body portion, I’ll try to take some nicer photos!  At least in this one you can see the gorgeous color of the yarn and texture of the moss stitch.  I think this cardigan will look great with the outfit I have on right now, actually, which is a grape-purple shirt and jeans.

Have a great weekend, and happy knitting!