Gift Knitting

I am a humongous selfish knitter. There I said it and I am not ashamed! I like knitting for myself, there is just something about spending that much money and putting that much time into something that I just hate to give it away. Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love making knitted gifts for my family, especially now since they seem to appreciate it more, but there still nothing like knowing the thing you are working for is staying with you.

This project however is not staying with me though (you might have figured that out with the title),  it is going to a family friend. My friend Barb who is basically like an Aunt to me admires my knit wear, and it just so happens that her daughter do too! You might remember this past Christmas when I talked about a family friend that hired me to make four shawls for her four daughters, that’s Barb (by the way her daughters love the shawls). Well this time Barb asked me to make a cardigan that would be a Birthday gift for her daughter (happily only one daughter this time), and as usual I said yes. She had already decided that she wanted to have me make the Grace because her daughter saw me wearing it and really liked it. Then after much discussion and pining over colors we decided that I was going to make it in tosh light colorway antique lace.  So here it is!

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Luckily her daughter is around the same size as me, just shorter, so I was able to try it on as I went.

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I have already made myself a Grace cardigan so I knew what to expect so it made it a truly easy project. This time though I decided that once I separated the sleeves from the body I would  knit the sleeves just to get them out of the way. I really liked getting the sleeves out of the way, plus it was super nice to not have the weight of the sweater weighing you down when you work on the sleeves.

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I did reinforce the button band like I did for the first grace I made. It still has some kinks to be worked out, but the process was much smoother this time around.

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Overall it was a great knit and once I was finished I was kind of sad to see it go because of all the hard work I put into it and well the color is just lovely. But then I told myself that I am knitting the hitofude in that exact color and I already have a grace in a neutral which made parting with it easier.

Pattern: Grace

Designer: Jane Richmond

Project page: here

Yarn: Tosh merino light

Colorway: Antique lace

End of the Month of WIP’s

Well March has come and gone and boy I am glad it is gone. The month of March was not very kind to me and well the amount of school work was ridiculous, but I know that this month will be worst. Well anyways the month of wip’s was decently productive, I finished 4 projects, 2 sweaters, 1 pair of socks, and a shawl; I still have two shawls, a pair of socks, a sweater left on the needles. I have decided now that I must have at least one but hopefully two of the leftover wip’s done by the end of the following months. Being that the sweater, socks, and one shawl are in the final stretch I don’t think it will be too bad.

So the finished wip’s round-up I guess will start with the one we already talked about, the dissent:

IMG_5018As I stated in the last post this is the dissent shawl by Lisa Mutch, and well I love it.

Now for the socks:

IMG_5034The socks are the Climb socks by Jane Richmond. They were first published in the Journey book, but they are up for individual sale (I do recommend the book though, it is just lovely and the other patterns in the book are beautiful). I think my favorite feature of the socks besides the stripes would have to be the heel. I adore the make-up of this heel, I think what made me like this heel so much was the fact that I didn’t have to worry about the gaping that happens when you turn the heel.

Now the sweaters, first up is the Eastwood Cardigan, and boy is this cardigan fun!

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This cardigan has tons of  fun details and an interesting construction that made working on it a treat! I mean there really isn’t anything bad i can say about this cardigan, I mean it has stripes, it has pockets, and it has a fun triangle pattern on the front panels. The Eastwood Cardigan is an Allyson Dykhuizen design that was published in Holla Knits. The yarn was enjoyable, but just like the Dissent shawl above is also discontinued, but if you are curious the yarn is Sheffield from Valley yarns, it is a merino, angora, silk base.

The final sweater is the Rolling Rock.

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The Rolling Rock is another Thea Coleman design and as usual it did not disappoint. It has all the features that I have come to expect which are: an enjoyable knit, a great and easy to read pattern, and fun design features. I just love this sweater, but I fear that I have ran out of weather to wear it in being that we have been in the upper 60’s and 70’s this week.

The yarn for this pattern was a treat to work with (I actually used the yarn the pattern calls for which is pretty rare for me), it is plucky traveler sport in the colorway November Skies. It is lovely and well this was my first experience with plucky and I was not disappointed. Plucky is pricey, but the quality of the yarn and the colors make it totally worth it. This yarn has a great depth of color to it that I don’t think any picture could do justice.

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Chocolate Stout

Well  my chocolate stout is done and I love this sweater, ever since the cold weather hit it has been my go to. It is just so cozy and big, it’s like wrapping myself in a blanket. I absolutely love it, but if you would have asked me how I felt about it while I was making it, that is not what you would have heard. While I was making it I didn’t really encounter problems because Thea Coleman is an amazing designer and the design was great not a single error, I just got tired of holding it. The sweater just got so heavy and the cables and weight really took a toll on my wrists, and though it was an aran weight project it just took forever. Other than that I really couldn’t complain.

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One thing I did have to do differently was I didn’t do as many rows when it came to the button band section (I did all of the rows for the collar though) because the band would have been a lot wider than called for. I did a yarn substitution because the project called for plucky rustic and though I love plucky I just couldn’t buy it for this particular project. So I used cascade eco colorway coffee and besides the issues with the button band it worked well and I’m happy with it.

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The buttons surprise surprise are from AddVintage and I’m super happy with them yet again. Overall I just love this project I mean it has pockets, it has cables, a wonderful shawl collar, and it is just so roomy and warm. Though while I was making it I was thinking that I will never make an all-over cabled worsted weight sweater or cardigan ever again, but end result are just so wonderful I’m sure I will make more.

When life slows down

So my life has finally slowed down, as I posted last time I have gotten to go out antiquing and have been able to take some much needed me time to knit and relax. This past Monday I finished up my 2nd semester of grad school which has given me a lot of free time, but my nephews baseball season is over. This baseball season was probably the best year my nephew has had, I think in regular season they only last 4 or 5 out of I think around 18 games and tied one of those. Then his tournament team won like 24 out of 28 games and in the 5 tournaments they were in they got three 1st places, one 2nd, and one 3rd (sorry for the proud aunt bragging I am done for now).

After their win in Bridgeport WV, they went undefeated in that tournament and came back to win the championship game 12 to 13 in the 6th inning they were down by 6 in the 4th.

After their win in Bridgeport WV (last tournament they played), they went undefeated in that tournament and came back to win the championship game 12 to 13 in the 6th inning they were down by 6 in the 4th.

My nephew with his plaque and the team trophy. He hit the ball and got on base 9 out of 12 times and got walked 3 times. (Now I am seriously done.)

My nephew with his plaque and the team trophy. He hit the ball and got on base 9 out of 12 times and got walked 3 times. (Now I am seriously done.)

To top off baseball season coming to a close and having a three week break from school the kids I babysit for went on vacation, now I still ended up babysitting for another family, but only 3 days this past week and I could still get some knitting down. So without further ado here is some progress shots of some of my wips.

My grace designed by Jane Richmond, this and the chocolate stout are part of the Summer Sweater KAL through the luvinthemommyhood blog.

My grace designed by Jane Richmond, this and the chocolate stout are part of the Summer Sweater KAL through the luvinthemommyhood blog.

A close up of the Bradbury to show the beautiful lace work.

A close up of the Bradbury to show the beautiful lace work.

My ease designed by Alicia Plum, I'm about two inches away from finishing up the body, but of course the is my reading/homework project so it won't be getting worked on for probably another two or three weeks.

My ease designed by Alicia Plummer, I’m about two inches away from finishing up the body, but of course the is my reading/homework project so it won’t be getting worked on for probably another two or three weeks.

So far I am loving all those projects and yes I still have quite a few others that aren’t present but everything that is on the needles will be finished before January first with the exception of my helix scarf that is the bane of my existence.

In other crafty news my toms shoes started getting a hole in the toe of one of them and since I don’t want to buy a new pair, but also don’t want to wear shoes with a hole in them I gave them a makeover.

20130809-211213.jpgI used this double sided fabric adhesive stuff. You first cut fabric to fit the area that you plan to cover then you put one side of the adhesive down on the shoe then once you have the adhesive stuck where you want it you pull the other the paper part off and then you have an exposed sticky side, with the sticky side exposed now you can place your fabric down carefully to where you want it and smooth it onto your shoe. This the second time I have redid a pair of toms.

This is the first pair I did.

This is the first pair I did.

And this is what the adhesive stuff I use looks like, in case you were wondering.

And this is what the adhesive stuff I use looks like, in case you were wondering.

Something Old and Something New

So today I went antiquing for the first time in about 6 to 8 months, the last times I had went out I wasn’t very successful, but I had a good feeling about this time. And boy was I right! I found so many awesome cute things and spent way too much money, but hey when will I come across stuff like it again?

 

So first up are these awesome pencil sharpeners. Yes I said pencil sharpeners, they work and there are different things on each sharpener that moves like you can crank the clock and move the needle up and down on the sewing machine. They are so cool!

So first up are these awesome pencil sharpeners. Yes I said pencil sharpeners, they work and there are different things on each sharpener that moves like you can crank the clock and move the needle up and down on the sewing machine. They are so cool! Superfluous, but cool nonetheless.

Now this stuff is for jewelry making whenever I feel inspired to put down my knitting needles and design again. I had been looking for small skeleton keys like that for awhile so I couldn't pass that up and then the other things are crystals from chandeliers they are really pretty and all of the stuff will make great charms.

Now this stuff is for jewelry making whenever I feel inspired to put down my knitting needles and design again. I had been looking for small skeleton keys like that for awhile so I couldn’t pass that up and then the other things are crystals from chandeliers they are really pretty and all of the stuff will make great charms.

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Now all of the rest are these are buttons I found, yes I kind of went button crazy, but can you blame me? They are all so unique and different. Now the ones at the very beginning with the green buttons, bronze buttons, and the Celtic looking buttons all came together in one little baggy with this weird little thing pictured below, I’m not quite sure what it is or why it was in there but now I own it too.

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To support the fact that I am going button crazy I will also show you my latest purchase from etsy, but in my defense I bought/went searching for these buttons, for my up and coming soon to be finished within the next two months cardigan/knitting projects. I got them from the etsy shop Add Vintage. I am in love with this shop, they have so many different, pretty,  and interesting antique buttons that are unused/dead stock and they actually know the time period and story behind some of them. I will definitely shop there again for buttons.

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The small ones are for my Grace cardigan and when I get around to making my Georgia cardigan. The brown ones on the end are for either my chocolate stout or pontos and the other ones were just so pretty I figured why not, I wasn’t expecting to find so many interesting ones while antiquing, that usually doesn’t happen. Generally I only find two or three sets of buttons I like while antiquing.

The final purchase of the day is going to eventually be made into a necklace holder like the one seen here on etsy. I bought these two to add to the one I had at home, I only need to find two or three more, which is super exciting.

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Here's the two new ones with the one that I had gotten from an old cabinet at our house.

Here’s the two new ones with the one that I had saved from an old cabinet at our house that was getting a new knob.

And just because I generally always post something about knitting here is a picture of my chocolate stout thus far, it is coming along very nicely! I am pretty much on track for getting everything I want to get finished during the luvinthemommyhoods  summer sweater KAL. Its still not too late to join in and the sponsors for this KAL are amazing!

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Friendship, Knitting, Talking, and Coffee

I don’t know about you, but I think there is nothing more refreshing than a Saturday spent knitting, eating, and talking with one of your closest friends. This past Saturday I drove down to Charleston West Virginia and met with my friend Alicia. She is actually one of the girls who taught me how to knit, and well I knew I needed this weekend, but I didn’t realize how much until I was driving home. Our day started out at the Capital Market in Charleston, it was the first time both of us had ever been there. It was a really fun place and we got to sit and catch up while we waited for the local yarn store to open. Next we went to the Kanawha City Yarn Company, we walked around and stared at the yarn forever. It was one of those times where we had the money to splurge, we had projects in mind, but we just couldn’t find something that stuck out to us. Right when we were about to leave it hit me, I was wanting to buy yarn to make the Grace cardigan from Jane Richmond, well they didn’t have enough of one colorway for it. Then I remembered that I had a skein of madelintosh colorway charcoal that I had purchased from there back in November and they had two other skeins of it so I purchased it and well it’s perfect!

Madelintosh colorway charcoal to make the Grace cardigan

Pretty soon after I picked out the charcoal yarn, Alicia started inquiring about the Strathcona pattern from Jane Richmond. I had first mentioned it to her early on in our shopping because I was planning on making it, and we were both looking at summer project yarn purchases, at first she said she wouldn’t wear a scarf during the summer, but by this point I had her worn down. So she started looking at yarn for that and well she found it and we decided to do a KAL together starting April 1. The yarn we picked out is really cool because it is made from recycled blue jeans, and well Alicia have the same color preferences so we ended up picking the same color.

Kollage Yarns Riveting colorway beach denim.

Kollage Yarns Riveting colorway beach denim.

After we left the yarn store we ate at Graziano’s Pizza which is on Capital st and is absolutely delicious. Then we moved on to Taylor Books, which is a locally owned book store and coffee shop. It has a wonderful environment, great coffee, and comfy seats. We ended up staying there for a good 4 and half to 5 hours just talking about knitting, yarn, school, God, relationships, work, and whatever else came to mind. We both got a lot of knitting done and I personally can’t wait to meet up again. She is just one of those friends who I know we will stay close, and though we may not see or talk to each other for months at a time when we get together it is like we were never a part. I am truly blessed to have a friend like her.

Us in Taylor books with our knitting and handmade project bags from our friend Betsy.

Us in Taylor books with our knitting and handmade project bags from our friend Betsy.

Overall it was a great day and it helped me to relax some. Also the knitting day got me working on my welted cowl as you can see it in the picture above and I actually finished it up last night, so whenever I can get someone to take good pictures of my finished objects on me I will have a post about all of my finished objects.

Also just recently I came across this song and I thought I would share it, I hope you enjoy!

The Good and the Annoying

Well the good thing that happened today is that the mailman/FedEx delivered my new yarn and knitting books today. What makes it even better is the fact that there were two different orders, one from knitpicks and one from webs and they both came today!

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This is the yarn from webs. It is fibranatura and the colorway is wild lime. I got because I plan on making the Gemini  short-sleeved sweater from Jane Richmond this may and the yarn was on sale so I couldn’t help myself.

This is the yarn I got from Knitpicks. It is from there city tweed collection and the colorway colbalt

This is the yarn I got from Knitpicks. It is from there city tweed collection and the colorway colbalt

I got this yarn because I really liked and wanted to make the Emily Raglan by Lacie Lynnae,, this was the yarn it called for, and they also had sales on books so I got free shipping that way.
I got this yarn because I really liked it and wanted to make the Emily Raglan by Lacie Lynnae, knitpicks dk yarn was the yarn it called for, and they also had sales on books so I got free shipping that way.

Now on to the annoying part I decided to be a good little knitter and block all of my most recent finished objects that were for myself. I am really bad about blocking. Like I never do it, unless there is seaming involved or the shape came out really wonky. But I have been reading a lot of blogs and I have been hearing about all of the benefits of blocking which has started me thinking so I decided I would turn over a new leaf with the new year and block all of my projects. So here is what my dinning room looks like since I decided to block tonight. And yes I have worn at least all of these projects at least once already, and some of these are clear from September.

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In this picture starting from the top you can see my rae, my raglan, my welted cowl, my holden shawlette, my bohemian hat, and my lovely leaves slouch hat.

Here's my boyfriend cardigan and a shot of the eucalan soap and t-pins I used.

Here’s my boyfriend cardigan and a shot of the eucalan soap and t-pins I used.

All in all today has been a great day in the world of yarn and knitting for me! I really hope that my raglan dries fast though because it is cold out and I would love to wear it to work tomorrow.