Tick tock

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I didn’t get a chance to update last week, perhaps because I didn’t have anything to share! The Spring Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL over at luvinthemommyhood ends on Wednesday – you know, the Wednesday in two days time – and I certainly have some knitting hours ahead of me if I am to finish on time. I’m a few inches into the sleeves, knitting them two at a time. Luckily they are 3/4 and should be reasonably quick. If only I could sit down for more than fifteen minutes. Its hard to remain comfortable for too long with this extra load I have on board these days. I’m not complaining (too much), but I do miss my marathon knitting sessions. Perhaps it’s training for when he/she arrives?!

The perfect combination

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Last week Mister and I managed to sneak away from the hubbub of the farm for a few days – turns out, you give me needles, and he a finishing pole, and we are content for hours on end.
One of the biggest changes for us since last fall is that we are expecting our first baby in July (more on that tomorrow!), and rather than do our usual escape to mountains with our puppies and backpacks, we headed the same direction, just found a cabin and a lake instead (don’t worry, the dogs still came too) – two days in which we had a moment to enjoy ourselves pre-baby, celebrate our wedding anniversary and, well, catch up on some sleep!
Of course, like most knitters before taking a trip, the most important part of my packing was deciding upon which projects to bring with me. Only having two days and nights away I didn’t really need to take many options, but I brought along two WIPs to keep me busy – and really, who just takes one project away with them? The anxiety of finishing it, or running out of yarn, or loosing/breaking a needle and not having another project to work on is just too much. Turns out, however, that I monogomously worked on my Brock Cardigan for the Spring KAL I’m joining in with over at luvinthemommyhood. I got into a serious flow with it, and became addicted to working on it any time I could, which, when you’re in the middle of nowhere with no plans, is a lot! I managed to work up the most part of the body, including the short rows, lake side, and I finished the neat 1×1 ribbing this past weekend.
Naturally at this stage I have tried the cardi on, and, sure its needs a good blocking to get the full affect of the fit, but I’m thinking that a cropped cardigan is NOT the look for a 33 week pregnant body! I love LOVE the colour (could it remind me any more of the blues of the lake and sky?) and the fabric that the alpaca fingering creates is so soft and light, but how it looks on me right now? – I’m not so convinced. But I’m going to be doing a lot of changing in the next few months and I’m happy with the idea that this little knit will be a nice surprise to find in my pile of handknits once my body gets back to a shape that I’m more familiar with!
So this week, which I think is the last week of the KAL, I have sleeves and the icord border around the neckline and fronts to be getting on with… And, my favorite part, a search into my button tin for the perfect finishing touches.

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Momentum

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One week in and I’ve made some progress on my Brock cardigan for luvinthemommyhood’s Spring Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL (try say that quickly!). Once I finally remembered that I had also received the PDF version of the book along with the print version, I printed out the pages required for the pattern and set about dividing the project into 4 week chunks. I rarely do this, but I’d love to finish this cardigan within the casual deadline of the knit a long, and what with a few other projects on the needles I want this knit to be a fun and ‘non thinky’ project. Setting myself weekly goals should keep this guy moving along…. in theory.
The beginning yoke actually required a bit more brain power than I had ready to give, but with the help of stitch markers at every pattern repeat I was able to get into a bit of a flow and it satisfied my love of chart knitting. I was worried in the first inch or so that the loose gauge of this skinny fingering would blur the chevron stitch pattern and get lost in the halo of the alpaca. I even considered pausing and working up a swatch with a size smaller needles and tried to ignore how much math I would have to do to adjust the pattern accordingly. However, like it always seems to be with any stitch pattern or colourwork, another inch in and the full effect of the awesomeness of a simple pattern created of just ‘knit’ and ‘purl’ stitches came through, and I was happy that I had stuck to my guns and continued on.
Chart work is over and I have almost made it, but not quite, to my ‘week 1′ goal of working up until the point of separating for the sleeves. I’m working raglan increases until that point and with around 300 stitches a row, which increase every other, it’s a little slow going. I find most yokes are though, and you feel like it will never end. But, what I also know, is that once I have separated for the sleeves and am rid of their stitches, the stitches left for the body seem so few, and fly along!!
My ‘week 2′ goal is to be done with the body and so I’m hoping my speedy expectations will come true. Whats more is that this pattern is a cropped cardigan, a style I usual steer clear of and have never actually knit. I hoping the 9 3/4″ body will feel like a cheat!
So on I go, knitting along with everyone else in the luvinthemommyhood community. I’ve also decided to use the momentum of this KAL to cast on another spring top, the idea of which began with this swatch….

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Knit (along) with me…us!

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Last spring I took part in my first ever KAL over at luvinthemommyhood. Rather than talk about how I didn’t actually finish my project, I want go on about how much fun I had cruising alongside the great bunch of people in the luvinthemommyhood community! Shannon hosts a handful of KALs spread over the year and the Spring Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL kicks off today! For weeks already the ravelry group has been brimming with ideas and cast on plans, so much so that I’ve changed my mind on which project I’ll work on about eight gazillion times!

I’ve settled with a pattern from the inspiring book by Gudrun Johnston and Quince & CoKnit with Me. I didn’t think twice when I saw the patterns contained in this sweet collection, I had to have it on my shelf. Whilst I adore the chunky cable jacket on the front cover, Ambrosia, it is not a summer knit, and so it is my second favourite pattern in the book I will work on these next few weeks. Brock is a light little cardigan with a delicate chevron pattern wrapping around the yoke. The cropped body has a curved hem, and the sleeves – oh the sleeves – 3/4 length, slightly belled and then gathered at the cuff. My most local yarn store sadly closed at the end of last month, and in the final days I managed to pick up some of the softest Alpaca Wool Fingering from Frog Tree. It’s not my usual colour, but I’m up for something new.

So today we get to cast on – in fact I haven’t even swatched yet – and hopefully have it finished in the next few weeks, ready for summer evenings. I have work to do. Want to join us?

 

Off the needles : Umbrellas

With two days to spare, my project for the Summer Sweater KAL over at luvinthemommyhood is finished – and I LOVE IT!

Over the last three or so months I have slowly but steadily worked on Umbrellas by Joji Locatelli. With superwash merino yarn I bought when I visited England earlier this year, I chugged away at the tiny stitches in between other projects. And I’m so happy with the result. I love the colours, the fit, and how light but super cosy this sweater is! It can easily been worn on top of, or without a t-shirt underneath. The colour work was a great challenge and I now know so much more about weaving neatly behind your stitches, and knitting with one colour held in each hand. The only issue I had, albeit small, was that my initial bind off on the sleeves was a little tight and dug into my arm, so I went back and used the same stretchy bind off I used at the bottom hem. Last night it was just the final touches – buttons. I chose 5 carved wood buttons from my bottomless button tin, which nicely carry on the natural feel. I’m glad too that I decided to knit the sleeves as written. I had intended to work 3/4, or full length sleeves, but I’m happy that I have a sweater that is a little different – I don’t have anything else like this in my closet, and I love it!! ♥

Check out what everyone else has completed over at Shannon’s place – www.luvinthemommyhood.com

I made it!

 

I know I said in yesterday’s post that the work load is becoming easier here on the farm, but, it isn’t so true this week. This week Mister is away and whilst the rest of us work a little bit harder to keep up without him here, there is something else that happens when he is away.

I knit.

No surprise there then – I knit a lot anyway. But when there is no one else bugging me around, and when I’m not eating or sleeping [and I should say showering, but I've been known to even trade that for extra knit time - don't judge] I really knit. And I do a lot of it.
So far I have caught up on a few projects that have been sitting around for too long, most of which were really close to be finished anyway, but there is one of them on which I have made HUGE progress.

I made it to the hem!! I have knit what feels like miles and miles to the bottom of the body of my Umbrellas project for my luvinthemommyhood Summer Sweater KAL! I could write more about my experience in getting there, but I can pretty much sum it up in three words – I just knit.
When I finished up the 20-odd final garter rows I remembered to pull out my newly purchased book by Leslie Ann Bestor titled, Cast On Bind Off, which is a GREAT resource for the perfect beginning and end to any project. I am happy with the elastic bind off I chose as it allows the fabric to sit comfortably, with plenty of ease, on my hips –  honestly, I still can’t quite believe I made it!

Up next? The sleeves. I bought more yarn than the pattern called for in the hopes of knitting the sleeves a little longer than designed. I have a little more than one ball left ~50g, or, ~198yds. Not only do I not have a ton of yarn left to work with, but looking at the projects from other wonderful knitters, and how this knit already looks on me, I’m thinking that I will stick to the pattern and knit them as written. Which means I’m even closer to being finished!

The final thing to decide upon is buttons… and like most of you, I’m sure, I have a great tin I love diving into.

The KAL ends on September 30th, which makes my decision to keep the sleeves short even sweeter as I have to get my knit on and have this knit all wound up and finished in the next week or so. Good job Mister is away for a few more days!!…

Head over to luvinthemommyhood.com to see what everyone else is working on and where there is a great post from Rebecca of Nook about blocking – and let me tell you, I cannot WAIT to block this guy!

Row by row


Living on the CA coastline you usually greet summer mornings with a few long hours of fog. Whilst it will burn off by lunch time I do long for the later part of the year when we will finally be able to wake up to sunshine. Yesterday morning as Mister and I headed out to milk it wasn’t until about 6am that I realised that the sun was already shining! I hurried through my morning chores to spend time soaking it up – in the vegetable garden. Even though it feels like I have neglected the beds for half the summer, the garden is well in its groove of supplying our bellies with the taste of homegrown. As I sat down to work on a new design I swiftly discovered that I hadn’t had enough coffee didn’t have the brain power to work through the next stage in the pattern. I didn’t want to taint the morning sun with knitters frustration so, I quickly found my Umbrellas project and worked a few more rows before the whispers from weeds and slugs got too loud and my hands found themselves busy with garden work.
When an inch takes what seems to feel like 3 hours, the body of my Summer Sweater KAL project is trundling along at a slower pace than I’m used to, but it works well, when the rest of life is going three hundred miles an hour, to adopt a slower speed with my needles.
So I won’t complain.

 

…check out what everyone else is working on for the KAL at luvinthemommyhood.com

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