Me-Made-May Week 2

Another roundup of my Instagram dump:

Clockwise from upper left:

  • Day 8: Willamette Shirt. One of my favoritest makes. Perfect marriage of collar and pullover. Yay.
  • Day 9: Wiksten Tova Tunic. While wearing this I remembered this pattern doubles as a dress and that I have the perfect fabric for one. I cut it out last night and am hoping I’ll find matching thread in the tin.
  • Day 10: Sleeveless Matcha Top. Photo features Nova. This shirt makes me happy.
  • Day 11: Short-sleeved Archer Button-Up. Not my most successful make. A bit big, a bit too granny-like even for me, someone who likes pink and florals and handknits and thought she was all about granny-style until that one time when I was 36 and at the drugstore with my kiddos and a woman looked at me very closely before asking if my daughter was my grandbaby.
  • Day 12: Bohemian Tee. It’s knit! But this is a rare case when you may be forgiven for calling it crochet. It’s a bit sneaky like that.
  • Day 13: Alice Top. My first me-make. I’ve worn and washed this so much it’s threadbare and showing its age. I still love it. It might not be suitable for work anymore, though.
  • Day 14: Sugar Pop Top. I don’t wear this one as often as I should. Lovely fabric. A bit of pooching occurs under the collar across the top of my bust. Perhaps the fabric isn’t sturdy enough or maybe I inadvertently pulled the fabric slightly out of shape while sewing. I like the idea of peter pan collars, but I don’t reach for them. This top went beautifully with my gray suit which was a happy surprise. That’s the suit I forgot the zipper was broken on and I sewed it shut for the 1.5 hours I needed the suit. Sewing for the win!

Socks, I Mean a Hat

Stash Rule-of-Thumb #967:
Fingering-weight yarn is great stash because you only need 1 skein (2 tops) to make a pair a pair socks and you can always justify a skein or 20 (or more) of sock yarn on hand.

The Problem: This long-ago-stashed skein of sock yarn, when I held it, told me it didn’t want to be socks. Its seacell content begged to be worn somewhere north of the ankles. Its tonal coloring lent it to a wider array of possible projects. My first thought was Multnomah, but I didn’t have enough yardage. Also that thing about how I haven’t successfully made a habit out of wearing shawls, nor has anybody else I know for gifting purposes.

The Solution: A hat, then.

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In which I discover that it’s practically impossible to take a picture of myself in a hat. I love my perfectly centered arm extension, though. It’s like I planned it that way.
Pattern: Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure
Yarn: Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Vintage
Mods: Cast on 8 fewer stitches & skipped 1st set of decreases accordingly
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I have mixed feelings about the pooling. Why yes, that is my sleeveless Matcha

 

I could feign irony or sarcasm that I finished a hat in time for the season’s first 90-degree temps, but I knew that this make was unseasonal when I started it. Instead I’ll pat myself on the back that I finished it instead of letting it languish until midway through next winter.

Knitters DNA

Handspun never felt like “stash” to me, probably because it’s a finished object in and of itself.

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Also, it’s so so so pretty.

But it is stash, stash almost too precious to be used. No more! I’m sticking with my recent philosophical pivot to use the things I have instead of letting them molder… by turning them into objects that will surely molder.

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Pattern: Knitters’ DNA by Martina Behm
Yarn: Handspun
Roving: Frabjous Fibers Hand-Dyed Blue Faced Lecester in #118 Tea, Toast & Cake
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A not-so-great photo for scale

I love the variation in handspun – it’s why I make it! – and then I’m not quite sure what to do with it because of that variation. Happily, I’m in a stage where simple patterns mean comfort knitting, not boring knitting, and this mental space lends itself well to finally using some of these special skeins I’ve been hoarding for too long.

But I still don’t know how to effectively wear a shawl. Any tips? Give in to it and just be a person who wears shawls? Will I feel less silly with practice?

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A Welcome

We have a new baby in Hubs’ extended family. His family is small and this is very big, very welcome news. This baby lives far too from us in a Texan climate I don’t understand which confused my usual sensibility to knit. Do Texan babies even need sweaters? No matter, she’s getting one anyways. Even if it is 84 degrees today (I checked). Perhaps it will be useful in chilly overly air-conditioned restaurants? IMG_8044.JPG

Pattern: February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Mod: Omitted the lace pattern
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Hummingbird

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Leave it to a knitter to pack a sweater, a summer outfit, and sunglasses in these same box as if they all belong together.

Velour Socksuit

I call the knitting I carry around with me my “travel knitting,” but these socks have really been places.

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Local dyer, ooh-la-la
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Iowa
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Dentist
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St. Louis: knitting present, but not pictured. You didn’t really want another picture of knitting on the dashboard of my car, did you?
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Finished socks!
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Afterthought heel to preserve stripe pattern

Waverling

I am a product of my time and have found myself falling for the minimalist zeitgeist. For me this has manifested more in feeling intense guilt over owning the things I have and less in purging or consuming those things. I know I’ve gone on and on about the moth(s) and how assessing, freezing, baking, sorting, and handling of all my yarny things has made me think again about what I’m doing with them and why I have them. But wait, here’s more blathering on the subject!

I have a box of handspun yarn that’s too precious to knit with. It’s a big box. And there’s a basket, too, if I’m being honest, and it’s a big basket. I’m not a good spinner, I don’t really know what I’m doing, but it’s mine and I made it and it’s gorgeous. It’s also inconsistent and yardage is guesswork and most of it is variegated which complicates pattern selection and what if I didn’t use every last bit of it? What if I made a thing that turned out not so precious as my yarn had been? What if I make a thing and *gasp* don’t use it?

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Well… f*ck it. I took this beautiful, unlabeled ball of really astonishingly soft handspun and improvised a cowl. It was maybe 200 yards, maybe less, of approximately aran-weight yarn. I cast on with only an idea of a plan, something big enough without being too big, with movement but to so much that it would read as patterned, and this is what came off the needles:

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The pattern, briefly:

Waverling
Gauge = 15 across & 22 high over 4″. I used US #9 needles.

  • CO 100; or, make it smaller or bigger by casting on fewer or more in multiples of 10
  • Purl 1 row
  • Knit 1 row
  • Purl 1 row
  • Stitch pattern (repeat until it’s long enough or until you think you’ll run out of yarn):
    • Knit 4 rows
    • (C4B, k6), repeat to end of row
    • Knit 4 rows
    • (K4, C6B), repeat to end of row
  • Knit 3 rows
  • Purl 1 row
  • Knit 1 row
  • Bind off purl-wise (I used the stretchy bind off).

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That’s all there is to it! Easy-peasy.

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Use It or Lose It

There’s nothing like a moth scare to make you reassess all the knitted things you have piling up in the corner. I like to make things! But I don’t necessarily like to wear the things I make, which is how I ended up with a stack of shawls. Or I make more of a thing than is personally useful, which is how I ended up with a lot of socks. Or something turns out not as I had hoped, which is how I ended up with an otherwise perfectly fine baby sweater that looks like Halloween vomited.

I also found a couple dishtowels I made probably 10 years ago, give or take. All they needed were a couple ends woven in and buttons. I think I never bothered because they’re so boring and sort of homely. The Sugar ‘n Cream is surely unappetizing to moths and therefore safe, but why not finish and use the things? Better that than storing it.IMG_7747.JPG

Pattern: Mitered Hanging Towel
Yarn: Sugar ‘n Cream Cotton

It’s a charming pattern worked up in uncharming colorways that I had on hand for whatever misguided purpose. Ah, well, no matter, they’ll be stained before the week’s out and hanging towels are so handy for little hands.