f.o.: bouquet sweater.

This sweater took me six months to finish. While I put it down for quite awhile, it still was so slow going with the color work, especially because its designed with the floats on the outside so getting your tension right is key.

I’m really pleased with the final result. I had a happy accident, which also made this knit even slower than it should have–for some reason, in my rush and not having the pattern in front of me, I interpreted the instructions to indicate knitting all of chart 2 and then all of chart 3 across the entire body, when in reality the instructions indicated to knit chart 2 across the front stitches of the body and chart 3 across the back stitches.

As a result, I ran out of yarn with about 10 rows of chart 3 to go–which until I realized my error was deeply frustrating since I bought a kit from A Verb for Keeping Warm and even went down a needle size to get gauge. Alas, my error.

I was already blocking this sweater when I noticed my error, and figured I’d try it on again once fully dried to see if I should rip back and redo the bottom as the pattern indicated. However, I was so pleased with the length and fit after blocking, that I decided this was a happy accident and as a result was likely to be a sweater I’d actually wear again and again in the coldest months here in Boston.

The details are: Bouquet Sweater by Junko Okamoto, knit up (one size only) using A Verb For Keeping Warm’s Horizon in Quill for the main color and Hops for the contrasting color. This is the exact same combination in Junko’s original pattern details and I’m so pleased with it. I bought the kit here.

Have you ever had a happy accident with your knitting? Tell me about it. More snaps of this sweater soon. You can read my project notes on ravelry.

f.o.: the doc’s flax sweater.

I’ve knit quite a few Flax Sweaters by Tin Can Knits through the years–most notably the scrappy ones I made for my nephews to use up bits of my stash last winter. I love the fit, the ease of the design, and the ability to knit mindlessly in public, whilst watching t.v., and on.

And so, I decided to knit doc his first sweater. Sure, I’ve made him countless pairs of socks and a few new hats every season. He’s got a number of scarves, and I even knit him a gnome once. But never a sweater. I was worried about getting the fit right; his proportions are so much bigger than my own and he’s quite tall with a broad chest.

But, Owool was having a massive moving sale and I snagged the requisite number of skeins for a sweater sized project to fit a big guy like doc. This was my first time knitting with this particular brand of yarn and it knits up like a dream.

In the end, I did have to make some minor adjustments. The body fit great but the sleeves were a bit long after blocking and bunched awkwardly on doc. So I ripped them back, removed about 4 inches, and reknit the ribbing at the cuff for a perfect fit. This, I realize, is an important part of the process of creating garments that actually feet great on and you know you will wear again and again. I have to constantly remind myself that most knitters have to rip something back–and that’s a good thing, not a failure.

This Flax Sweater was knit up using O Wool O-Wash Worsted (an organic super wash merino wool) in the Brown Bear color way, which is slightly black, slightly forest green, slightly brown. I love it.

More importantly, the doc loves it and wore it out on Saturday in all its glory. It’s given me the bug–I’d like to knit him another sweater this winter. Any suggestions for a great pattern? I’m thinking Grettir (but I still want to knit one for myself first), Atlas, or something without color work like Ranger. Patterns, please?!

You can read my notes here.

f.o. : ripple crop top.

For some reason, this Ripple Crop Top by Jessie Mae Martinson took me forever to complete. I cast on during an epic August camping road trip through the Southwest the doc and I took, and didn’t manage to finish it until the start of October.

I did keep putting it down, but it felt like the back of this piece took ages. That being said, I loved this pattern. It was written beautifully and seeing so many amazing Ripple Crops in my social media feed pushed me to finish it.

I think I chose the wrong yarn. Let me expound. I had several skeins of Quince and Co. Tern in the dusk color way kicking around in my stash; I had meant to use it for Birdie by Bristol Ivy that I thought I’d wear to a wedding, then my outfit shifted and I never did cast on. Since I was in need of a certain amount of fingering weight yardage and I didn’t want to shop for new materials, the Tern was the perfect stash yarn waiting in the wings.

But I think my Ripple would have been more successful if I used a sock yarn that had a little less give and drape. This bloomed quite a bit with blocking. Its a gentle fiber and I think it doesn’t have enough structure to create some well placed negative ease. Instead, it’s all ease, and on my petite frame (I did knit the smallest size and went down two needle sizes because I seem to be a very loose knitter in the round), I just feel like I’m lost in the garment. It doesn’t highlight my body in great ways like it did in all those inspirational snaps I saw.

This is a good reminder that stash busting is a tricky endeavor; that you have to be super intentional with material selection. It also has me thinking about how I might repurpose fiber if I end up not knitting something it was intended to be. How do you manage this? I’m getting to a point where I’m almost never shopping for yarn without a pattern in mind, and I’m trying to cast on for a project with said yarn immediately after purchase, to avoid some of this growing stash.

That being said, I’m also looking for tips on how to fix my generally loose tension in the round. Whenever I knit something, I do go down needle sizes, but my gauge swatch isn’t indicative of what happens when I knit fast, get going, and am working on the body. My row gauge always ends up being off and my sweaters end up looking like dresses occasionally (since I’m hovering just under 5 feet tall). Would metal needles rectify some of this? Does anyone else have this problem? Send advice my way, please!

My Ripple Crop looks so beautiful just hanging here. I wish it looked this beautiful on.

f.o. : newspaper print roku hat.

When you live in New England, you can never own too many hats, right?

This is my mantra every fall, as the cooler climes start to head in and I begin to think about updating my knits. Of course, I always make my own hats and scarves. My needles have been no stranger to the Roku Hat. It’s one of my favorites. I like that it can be worn high, it can be folded over, and is the perfect compliment to my always present stash of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.

This one is knit up using just shy of two skeins BT Shelter in the newsprint color way that I’ve had in my stash for some years now (man do I love a stash busting project). I think this hat will end up being a staple of my winter wardrobe this year.

What are some other great hats to knit up? Suggestions please!

f.o.: little stripes sweater.

48721633043_020e1a7cd5_c

I’ve made one of these Purl Soho Little Baby Sweater tshirt style sweaters before for a colleague with an impending new babe. I like it; it’s super fast to knit up but looks like it takes a whole lot longer, and it’s fun, mindless knitting.

Plus, I can imagine how cute the little ones look in this, and it can be worn in winter over longer garments or worn in summer as added warmth in colder climes (like air conditioning!).

I had a hard time deciding on buttons for this one and kept going back and forth between the daisies I ultimately chose and a plain mustard matte button. I knew the baby was going to be a girl and this added some cuteness and dimension, but then I thought about the wearability of it for future kids. In the end, I obviously risked it with the idea that anyone can wear anything of course and if a little babe of any gender can’t wear flowers, who can?

Knit up in Knit Picks Palette yarn I had laying around in my stash in Coriander Heather for the main and Custard for the contrasting yellow. A great stash busting project at a super low cost that only required buying some buttons (which I picked up at the amazing Gather Here in Cambridge).

 

read: from the pages of my reading journal.

48859207527_7296d18381_c

There have been a bunch of books before, and a few after. But this one by Tillie Walden I was able to read in one day, and it really moved me.

I’ve loved some of her others, but not as much as this one. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

How do you keep track of what you’ve read? What are you reading right now that’s moving you? I’m always taking suggestions.

You can see more snaps from my reading journal here. I like to write up each book I’ve read and do some interpretive drawing of cover art (sometimes pretty terribly).

 

travel : UTAZ 2019.

48584260731_6487a5279d_c

The doc and I went on a pretty epic camping trip through the southwest this summer–that had us visiting family in Phoenix, Lake Powell, onto Durango CO, Silverton CO, Moab UT, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, a nail biting drive on the Moki Dugway, a stop at Monument Valley, and then a few days of luxury at the end.

It was the best trip.

Here I am working on my Ripple Crop Top in Quince and Co. tern on the drive. I didn’t do as much knitting as I hoped, but I was too busy camping, hiking, swimming, and looking at those amazing vistas out the window.

Many more snaps from our trip here.

make: quick fridge pickle.

48290255312_b7afd65540_c

To know me is to know I love all things pickle. But not sweet pickle. This is a quick refrigerator pickle from Smitten Kitchen and I can’t say enough about it. Easy, delicious, a necessary staple in my house.

You can tweak the recipe to suit your needs–I didn’t have any fresh dill, so these are just lightly pickled and salty.

Enjoy with everything.

wip: snoqualmie cardigan.

48290139791_e053777176_c

This sweater is quite the labor of love. I keep picking it up and putting it down, which is why it’s taking me so long (more than 6 months! but I’ve made a bunch of stuff in between).

46252479065_c2d26b6323_c

The Snoqualmie has been on my list for quite some time. I know I will cherish this when its complete (so long as I’m happy with my seaming and the overall fit). I’m knitting mine up in a different fiber than called for–Quince and Co. Osprey in the Audouin color way. It’s gorgeous and the drape so far really holds up the cables well.

48722391206_f5806ea7b1_z

I followed an amazing modification for a drop front pocket on either front panel and I’m loving the construction of it so far. I’m hoping I didn’t create too much bulk in the front and I won’t love the way it falls on me when I’m finished, but fingers crossed.

46949786141_83e326ccba_c

This entire project has been a lovely process. I’ve learned some new techniques, for sure, and this is my first sweater with entirely all over cable. I’m really pleased, so far, with the results. That’s probably because I swatched this one real good.

It’s been resting while I work on a Ripple Crop Top and a Bouquet Sweater, but my goal is to have this finished by the end of October.

f.o. : socks, on the dock, for doc.

48584051196_a91ab56a10_c

One of the most satisfying parts of my knitting process is when I get to gift the result of my labor to someone who really, deeply appreciates the item not only as something functional they can wear and keep warm in, but because I made it, for them, with them in mind.

This is how the doc always is when I make him things. From the moment I met him and gifted him his first pair of hand knit socks, he’s worn them whenever they are clean. In the desert. In 110 degrees. That guy, he wore my wool socks. Actually, the first pair were a breathable bamboo.

But I digress.

Whenever I make him a pair, he wears the shit out of them. He wears them when his toes have popped through from overwear. And then he asks me to consider darning them (I haven’t yet found my darning train… help me get there. I can’t envision myself fixing them. What do you do about this?).

48584285977_75627756ab_c

This pair I worked on most of spring and into summer. I picked them up only when I needed mindless stockinette. I can make these in my sleep, almost. I’ve got his size down perfectly; a perfect project for when I am busy.

These are worked on in Quaere Fiber (a favorite of mine for socks!) in the Bright Side color way. I adore them. He’s wearing them on the dock, the first truly foggy, cold day we had at the end of a perfect summer. A classic after thought heel and he says this particular fiber feels great on his feet and stands the test of his hard wear and tear.

a statement.

B8B67203-553D-42B4-924A-DFDF5BBE492D

You probably follow me on social media, and have seen me post this statement there. But in the event you don’t, and given the lens of this blog, I figured it made sense to include it here, in full.

Please let me know your thoughts and thank you for continuing in this fruitful dialogue amongst our makers in our making community. It’s good, and important, work. And we all have to do it. Not one; not some; but all.

In recent days, I’ve seen @makingzine’s latest issue, desert no. 7, celebrated again and again through social media. I wanted, too, to celebrate; after all, the desert is a place, in some ways, I call home, and the pattern and design of this magazine I subscribe to has always been anticipated with excitement.

As an indigenous person in the United States with extended family living on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico and a partner who is Navajo, the glaring omission of Natives in the latest issue of the magazine isn’t just about our recent conversations in the fiber community relating to inclusivity and diversity of makers and their makes; it’s about a longstanding belief in this country that Native peoples no longer exist–that we are in the past, that we are long gone. This erasure does deep harm; and in an issue that celebrates the place from which many indigenous people still reside and create some of the most profound fiber art, is deeply harmful. It’s harmful to me, personally, as a fiber enthusiast; and it’s harmful to how their readers see and view the desert.

There are countless examples, even here on social media, of my fellow indigenous fiber artists creating and celebrating their work. There are artists who raise churro, shear, spin, dye, and weave some of the world’s most intricate, and beautiful, rugs. They use every bit of the desert landscape and they share it with a wider audience on this platform we so love and use to engage with other fiber enthusiasts. You chose not to see them, to engage them, or to celebrate them. It’s erasure.

I reached out to Making privately to ask why the glaring omission; I did get a response that indicated some action plan and some details around the issue going to print before the conversations erupted around diversity in our knitting community.

But my question to Making is this: Natives have been on that desert land for centuries. Did you need a conversation through Instagram to realize that? Did you know, when you took those photos of patterns for that issue, that you all were walking on Native land? Or were you seeing that place through a lens to which you’ve been systematically taught: as a new discovery, with you and your experience at the center, negating the existence and connection of the people who are originally tied to the land you visited?

I sat on their response for a week to process my feelings and await their public response. I expected a statement around why they omitted indigenous voices and how they will do better moving forward. An acknowledgement. And it never came. What came is repost after repost from customers celebrating the issue. This felt like a misstep to me greater than the initial omission.

Let’s face it: I’m used to indigenous people being left out. Erased. I’m sick of being used to it.

So now, I tell you: celebrate the artists in this issue. Celebrate the beautiful things that come out of creating. But don’t celebrate this quiet response; this set of excuses. Celebrate any recognition of the gaping hole. And for folks who make mistakes? It’s ok. Lean into those; and don’t seek absolution through prayer hands emojis while asking others who are pointing these issues out to find understanding and patience in your inaction.

yarn: harrisville nightshades.

47166527071_b2554f167f_c

Calling the hive mind! Tons of folks are obsessing over Harrisville Designs new line, Night Shades, and I am indeed one of them. I recently scored 5 skeins (a sweaters quantity, approximately) in the static color way, which has little flecks of white in the dark tones. I’m in love.

But now, what to make with it? I keep going back and forth but I’m looking for a sweater pattern that calls for DK weight yarn and isn’t tunic style (I don’t have enough for that!). Any ideas?

I thought about a pattern from the Night Shades collection by Whitney Hayward–the sable pullover in particular–but I just don’t know.

Help.