9.28.2014

Aidez, the Third

Some patterns are meant to be knit over and over (and in this case, over).


For me, Aidez is one of those patterns. It's free, fun to make, and knits up quick. Plus, the end result is so incredibly comfy and warm. Of the three I've made, this is my favorite. I made it for my mom, and did a few things similar to the one I knitted for myself, but with a few changes. For starters, I didn't knit the whole things in 3 days. I worked the starting numbers for the XS, but didn't do the decreases, which had me end up and the arm shaping with the numbers for the small. I figured with a sweater that's oversized, waist shaping just wasn't necessary. I really wish I had done that on mine. Omitting those decreases really made it fit well below the waist. I knitted the sleeves as is for the size small, and used mattress stitch throughout for seaming. This one is for my mom, but I knew she wouldn't be interested in me taking a bunch of photos of her, so that's why I'm modeling. She's about the same size as me, except a little taller, and it really fits her perfectly.


This one was made in part of Shannon's annual Summer Sweater KAL, and finished just in time! Really, I finished a couple days after the original deadline, but she granted an extension, so I was able to take my time with the second sleeve, and final seams.

I can't say enough good things about this KAL that Shannon puts on. I don't do a great job of being very active in the forums, but it's a great way to follow along with everyone's sweater progress, and I always know if I run in to a problem with the pattern I'm making, or have any questions, there's an amazing support group just waiting - full of knowledge and wisdom.




I'm really considering knitting another one of these using these same mods for myself. One can never have too many cozy, oversized sweaters!

(ps - just a few days left until we cast on for our October Affection KAL!)

9.26.2014

Snapshots

 Happy Friday! I've totally immersed myself in all things Autumn this week!

Here are a few snapshots from my week, brought to you by my iPhone, and Instagram.


knitting, pumpkin spice chai tea, and my autumnal socks
 a vase full of dahlias from a coworker

 evening light on the Blue Ridge Parkway

 first sleeve of Aidez finished - one to go!

this beer is my new favorite pumpkin beer


beautiful morning light

Enjoy your weekend! 

9.24.2014

October Affection

Since finishing my New Girl and nearing the end of my Aidez (one sleeve to go!), I've started thinking about my next project.  Initially, I wanted to start a sweater with the Eco+ I recently acquired, but decided to stick to something smaller while I still have my tights on the needles. They're growing, slowly, but I have a self-imposed deadline for finishing, and I don't want to get too distracted.

Then, totally randomly, I posted this photo on Instagram:
A photo of my beloved Color Affection shawl I knitted a couple of years ago. This sparked a conversation between Ariane of Falling Stitches (she's just switched over to wordpress, and I love the look of her new site! All her older blog posts can still be found here, until it all gets switched over) and myself, where it was ultimately decided that we were going to do a Color Affection KAL!

This is going to be the perfect project to accompany me while I finish my tights. Relaxing stripes of beautiful garter stitch, which when finished will make a squishy, comfy shawl. I can attest that my current Color Affection gets lots of use (I'm wearing it right now!), and it's so comfortable and warm. I can't wait to have another one! And? We want you to join us!


The details:

No rules here, really! Just have fun, and finish with a beautiful shawl! We are planning a cast on date of October 1, which gives you a few days to get your yarn, needles, and the pattern.

Share your progress on Instagram (my account, and Ariane's account) and social media with the hashtag #octoberaffection. It'll be a fun, easy way to follow along with everyone's progress.

And that's it!

I love these types of KALs because it's like having a virtual knitting group. I don't have many (or any?) real life friends that knit, and haven't gotten the guts to go any of my LYS's knit nights, so these really hit the spot for me.

I spent so much time picking yarn out of my stash for this, and had a really hard time deciding! But with help from Jake, and knowing I wanted something really Autumn colored, I finally decided!


From left to right is: Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Sock in Spanish Coin; Cascade Heritage Sock in Cinnamon; and Cascade again in Wine.

I spent my morning before work staring at my skeins, wishing I could sit on the porch and enjoy the Autumn chill while knitting.


All in good time, my lovely skeins.

So, are you in?? Come knit with us!

9.19.2014

Snapshots

Happy Friday! Can you believe it's the last Friday of summer? I'm ready and waiting with open arms to embrace everything fall.

Here are a few snapshots of the last few weeks, brought to you by my iPhone, and Instagram.
 

 the cosmos are intensely luminescent at dusk

fozzie fluff



Jake built me a table! It will hold so many plants!


foggy morning on the homestead


new root table for our house, handcrafted by Jake's dad!


it's mum season!

 homegrown okra

Have a great weekend!

9.16.2014

Jen & Jess Do New Girl, The End

It's done! My no-pressure KAL with my virtual friend Jesse was a blast. I loved the idea of knitting something, knowing another person is knitting the exact same thing at the exact same time. Plus, it was extremely helpful to talk through a lot of the changes we made to the pattern, instead of having to think it through by myself, or try to explain it to Jake (sweet, sweet man... he always listens and is extremely supportive, but I can see his eyes glaze over a bit when I start talking about knitting).


I am so, so happy with this skirt. Everything about it is wonderful - the fit, the yarn, the colors, and the style. I never thought I'd be one to go for the high-waisted style, but it seems to flatter my short stature.


I ended up making a few mods - some are obvious, such as leaving the daisy stitch off the pockets, but some aren't as obvious and I feel really make this a more flattering fit on me. The pattern calls for doubling the amount of stitches after the waistband, but Jesse and I both decided to do just half the increases for a more fitted look. I think, on my body, doubling the number of stitches would have just made my hips look huge.


Just like everyone's Ravelry projects warned, pre-elastic, the waist of this thing was enormous. I'm pretty sure I could have fit two of me in it. It was pretty amazing the transformation the skirt took after sewing in the elastic. I sewed the ends of the elastic together about 3 inches smaller than my waist, which I think really helps with the fit.



{More photos on my Ravelry page}

Jesse and I both used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport weight. I really enjoyed knitting with it. It's perfectly sheepy, without being really scratchy, not to mention the affordability - the cost of this skirt was less than $20. And, since I cut out half of the increases, I still have over a skein of the main color left, and about half a skein of the contrast color.

The perfect fall skirt, just in time for fall!

9.05.2014

Snapshots - Stash Enhancement Edition

I don't know if you guys have noticed, but there seem to have been quite a few online yarn sales as of late. I don't know if it's to get people pumped up for fall & winter, but I've tried to take advantage when I can. My yarn stash is already fairly sizable, but it's filled with a lot of special single skeins, and not a whole lot of sweaters quantities. So when I stumble upon a sale where I can stash away a few sweaters worth of yarn for a fraction of the normal price, I jump on it.

First up, I managed to score these two skeins of Cascade Eco+ for 60% off the normal retail price. I've only used this yarn once, but I really enjoyed knitting with it. I used it for the first Aidez I ever made in 2012. I recently saw the sweater, and the yarn has held up so well, with almost no pilling. The problem is, I can't decide what to knit with this!


The color is so perfect - it screams autumn, and will be a nice bright beam of color during winter. I've had Idlewood in my library for years, and this could be the perfect yarn for it. I would want it to be long sleeved (or at least three quarter sleeved), and I'm afraid I would run out of yarn. I've also been drooling over Lila for a couple of months. I feel like this yarn is destine to become a sweater that's super cozy, and gets basically lived in, which keeps bringing me back to Lila. I'm also thinking about just swatching, and doing a top down raglan to fit my body, but I'm totally open to any other suggestions!

Next up are two sweaters worth of Ella Rae worsted that I grabbed from Webs while they were having a big sale. This yarn is pretty affordable as it is, but I got it for about half price. I'm a little disappointed in the color on the left. It looked a lot more grey on the website, but ended up being very similar in color to the blue.


One of these, not sure which yet, will become an Oshima. Even though the pattern calls for two strands of fingering weight held together, I'm pretty sure I can use a worsted weight and get gauge - a quick glimpse through the projects on Ravelry proved that I wasn't the only one who thought this could be done. The other color may be used to make Phinney, which I've also loved for a few years. I've already got the pattern booklet (same booklet as Vashon!), so it's high on the list of possibilities.

There's something so exciting to me about new yarn - almost like a blank slate! It helps give me some motivation to finish my other projects so I can dive in to these. After I finish my Aidez and my New Girl, I'll likely cast on with the Eco+ - as soon as I can figure out what to make with it! 

Happy Friday!

9.03.2014

Car Knitting

I hope you all (here in the US, anyway) enjoyed a nice long weekend and Labor day. We headed up to Virginia to see Jake's family, so I tried to take advantage of the car time to catch up on some knitting.

Thanks to car knitting, I'm now at the point in my New Girl skirt where I'm ready to start the daisy stitch edging. Somehow I misread the pattern, and knitted about an inch too much of the contrasting color, but ultimately decided to leave it. A little extra length never hurt anyone. 


I'm really loving these two colors together. The main color is a great brown/grey combo, and one can never go wrong with a heathered orange. I'm a bit nervous because the waist seems huge, even though most of the projects on Ravelry say not to worry because installing the elastic takes care of that. It's hard not to worry though, but I'm trying to trust the pattern.

I also got to work a bit on my tights. There's not really much to report on them at this moment. They're all ribbing. They're pretty boring. They are, however, going fairly quickly when I have time to work on them, so I have faith that I'll be able to finish them this fall. I'm a bit further along than in this photo - the tights are above my knees now. And even though there's only one showing in this photo, I'm knitting them two at a time.


Isn't car knitting just the best?