last minute knitted gifts.

I can’t max poetic enough on Joelle Hoverson’s More Last Minute Knitted Gifts book, which I’ve had for years and am currently using for Leah’s Lovely Cardigan.

Every pattern in this book is gorgeous, and I love how she breaks it down into the amount of hours a gift will take to knit. It helps to understand the “investment” ahead of time, because let’s face it, that matters.

The other day, while working on my cardigan, I thumbed through the book again and came across her 1 hour baby socks. They were so cute, I just had to knit a pair to match a sweater vest I recently knit for an impending bundle.

If you are in need of a really quick knit with gorgeous results, get this book.

stash & plotting.

There’s nothing better than a yarn delivery. Last week, I received three amazing skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in the chris gray, lucky penny, and shadow colorways for some baby gifts. This yarn is so gorgeous it might be my new favorite, even though I used it to knit my French Braid Cardigan last year to much admiration.

I also scooped up six skeins of my go-to (and most often used) worsted weight yarn, Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, in the espadrilles colorway. Now, I don’t normally wear pink, but the light socket brightness of this particular color way just drew me in; its really unique and I wanted to hip my wardrobe a bit. I haven’t nailed down the exact sweater pattern for this particular yarn yet, but I’m edging toward either Yellow Brick Road, the Effortless Cardigan, or Perkins Cove (I saw it knit in worsted weight yarn by Fringe Association and gushed).

I’m leaning towards Yellow Brick because I think this shocking pink really deserves a bit of lace detail.

Ideas? Thoughts? Feedback please? Any other suggestions for what sweater I should knit with the tosh? Your favorites? What would make this color way shine?

labor day leah.

Getting back to finishing Leah’s Lovely Cardigan this labor day. Meant finishing the body, reserving stitches for the underarms, and finally casting on for sleeves.

I see the end of this project in sight; its only been since 2011. I’m glad that I finally decided to get back to it instead of starting a new project this week.

It’s a beautiful pattern, easy to execute, and this Alchemy Yarn is a damn dream. I bought this Alchemy Juniper from Purl Soho back when I started the cardigan in ’11–I’m pretty sure they no longer make this particular fingering weight line; its a shame because its buttery soft and a gorgeous color to boot.

Apparently, I like the “vintage jade” colorway a lot, as evidenced by my matching sunnies.

dune.

I knit the Dune infinity scarf for my mum’s birthday this year. She’s worn it a whole pile of times, but I finally got a snap of it this weekend.

Knit up in the second size (regular loop), I used two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage yarn in the nassau blue colorway. This is a fun knit because its got a nice combination of cabling and moss stich to keep you interested, but not so complicated that you can’t get it done in a few days.

 

saco stripes.

I finally finished my Saco Stripes tank top, knit up in Quince and Co.’s delicious linen yarn, sparrow, in the sans color way for the main and pigeon for the stripes.

A few mods:

I didn’t pick up stitches and bind off around neckline and sleeve line, because when I did, it actually looked sloppier. Figured I’d block it out after seaming one more time, maybe try again, or maybe just leave it. My picking up of stitches for finishing can sometimes be a mess, especially with linen yarn, which shows every imperfection. Perhaps I might consider an i-cord edging? Do you think it looks terrible without this finish?

I also decided to leave the bottoms of the side seams open, for ease of fit around the hips. Plus, I asked a few people if they liked it with open side bottoms, and they agreed it gave an even more professional finish. I like how it hangs as a result.

This project was a great primer for practicing my terrible mattress stitch skills. I often avoid seamed knitting; I hate finishing and I’m not strong at it. But, I realize, if I want to improve my knitting skills, I’ve got to try it out. Since this had only a few seams, it made the project manageable and good practice. It was also a test to line up striping with seaming and I think I was downright successful. So cheers to that; I will definitely not be so afraid of seaming from here on out and continue to challenge myself. Perhaps I’ll take a seaming course.

All in all, I love the results of my first knitted tank top. It may be a little long for my short body. If its ill fitting or I don’t see myself wearing it often, I will gift it to my much taller, longer sister. It would look great on her.

leah’s lovely cardigan.

At least three years back, I started this brilliant cardigan–a match to the one my friend r.r. had recently completed. The yarn is to die for and all was going swimmingly, but for some reason I put it down with nearly the entire body to the yoke complete and never picked it back up. There it has sat…until now.

I’ve decided, since I recently completed all projects on needles, that I’d head back to this one. This is the only one awaiting a finish, and so, finish I will.

And surprisingly, despite how old the project is, I’m really excited about it.

Do you have really old projects on needles? Do you ever go back to them and finish?

millet granola.

I decided to try my hand at making homemade millet granola. I used this recipe (mostly) but my dried fruits included cherries and apricots (because I am an apricot nut) instead of just dried cranberries.

My oil choice was also butter, simply because I like its salty taste and it browns up in the oven beautifully. I will definitely make this again and have already gifted a bunch out to friends. The only difference I’d make next time around is I’d used flaked unsweetened coconut instead of shredded and I might consider slivered almonds to whole ones I loosely chopped up. I’d also use a bit less millet than the recipe called for; I felt my millet to oat ratio wasn’t quite right.