f.o. : flying geese woven bracelet.

It only took a year, but this pandemic afforded me the time to buckle down and hold myself accountable to finishing projects I started a long while ago. The Purl Soho Flying Geese beaded loom bracelet was just one of those projects. I started it in earnest back in August 2019 and nearly finished the entire bracelet in a few days time.

And as I often do, I then let it sit and moved on. I didn’t finish it. In the box it lived. And finally, this spring, I just said get this thing off the loom and I did just that. It’s beautiful and it fits me like a glove (smallest size). My only complaints: the buttons are really hard to button; I think I’d do this one again with a different kind of magnetic clasping mechanism to make it easier to get on; and weaving in all those ends when you take it off the bead loom is painstakingly slow. Very, very slow.

I’ve already made a black, gray, and turquoise version for the Doc. It’s all finished and I’ve taken it off the loom. But again, it languishes because I’m sick of weaving in ends (with about half to go). Maybe posting this is the push I need to just…finish.

f.o. : patterned outfit # many.

I wasn’t lying when I said the pandemic gave me a strong desire to add prints to my wardrobe–and time. Time at home. Time with my sewing machine (much needed). I made a bunch of 100 Acts of Sewing pants no. 1 and shirt no. 2 to get me in the clothes making groove (great patterns for beginners with some nice details like bias tape neckline, for example).

This set I sewed up using Cotton + Steel Alexia Abegg Moonrise, which I’ve had laying around for a long while. Any fabric design Alexa does is something I want, and this was a great outfit for those super warm early Fall days. And of course, matching bandana for my bestest friend, Jackie dog (he’s less than thrilled to sit in my lap for photos, however) and mandatory matching mask for safety at work with the kids (pattern is from Gather Here in Cambridge, my favorite shop).

What should I make next? I’m not versed enough in winter sews, which stinks because it makes me less motivated to sit at my machine. But I do have some amazing chambray so I think I’ll try for a pair of chambray pants with pockets.

f.o. : (heavily modified) jupiter crop.

This is my heavily modified Jupiter Crop by Caitlin Hunter. I didn’t want it cropped and I definitely didn’t want it short sleeved (I mean, I just find that to be impractical in New England and if I’m going to the trouble to knit a sweater well… then I’d like to maximize the amount of time I can wear it, especially in the fiber called for in this pattern).

Enter my version of the Jupiter, which is full body and has long sleeves although I used the same yarn and color schematic from the pattern notes. I had to improvise with how to add in the color work so it looked well thought out an even. I repeated and mirror some portions of the charts and combined a bit of the body and sleeve charts to create the longer sleeve.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the look of the finished garment, and I liked my color work plans. The yarn, Retrosaria Vovo, is a dream to work with. The fit? Eh, I don’t love love love the way it feels on me. Maybe I made the body a bit long? Could have benefited from some more shaping? I’m not sure what my issue is with it–it doesn’t look particularly poorly on (this photo was snapped before I finally finished). I’ll take some finished product snaps soon and you can help me decide.

It was a really enjoyable knit to start, but I just got stuck on sleeve island and by then, I was over it. My guess is I will end up gifting this one. Stay tuned.

Here are my project notes.

f.o.: 100 acts of sewing pants and shirt.

The pandemic has accelerated my interest and production of made by me clothing. Let’s just say, I’ve had time. And I decided, even though my wardrobe loves all black all the time, that this pandemic has urged me toward pattern. All the pattern. Patterned top and patterned bottom.

Enter this outfit. The patterns are 100 Acts of Sewing shirt no. 1 and pants no. 1. Not a lot of fuss so really great for beginners and a great base for making modifications. Shirt no. 1 will teach you how to make the best bias tape necklines.

Fabric is Ruby Star Society Alma Field in suede by Alexia Marcelle Abegg. I’m obsessed with her brilliant fabric design work.

Of course, in these dark times, I’ve decided to add additional flare with matching masks; I’ve used Gather Here’s great pattern with a modification for a nose piece made with the closure from a coffee bag (it works great for creating a strong seal). And, no print all over pattern is complete without a matching bandana for girl’s best friend, Jackie. We’ve worn this once to our library and boy was it a hit.

More of these acts to follow. I’ve got a few.

f.o.: ash pullover.

The Ash Pullover by Pam Allen has been on my list for quite awhile–I can’t remember how long it’s been since I bought the Plain and Simple knitting book but it’s been since then. I decided to use a different yarn than the pattern called for–swapping out the Quince and Co. Owl with The Fibre Co. Cumbria that I’d meant to use for a One Sweater and changed my mind at the last minute.

I think this yarn substitute was a great idea; I wanted this to be roomy but also have a bit of structure and the images of the pullover and my knowledge of how much Owl blooms after blocking made me think the Cumbria is a better match for my body. Otherwise, I’d be swimming in this sweater. A little swim is good– too much, and I’m swallowed up.

I decided to knit the smallest size and go down a needle size–this basically gave me gauge. But the neck area is a little tight despite a stretchy bind off. I think once I block it, it will loosen up more. I can get it over my head–I just have to put up a bit of a fight.

I am in love with all the details of this sweater, including the front pockets which I thought wouldn’t be functional but actually are. Three cheers. This project, unfortunately, took me entirely too long. I started knitting it in July in a total frenzy, and then just left in to languish a few weeks. It was the only thing I knit the entire summer. I have all this time off from my job then, and it’s the least likely time I use it to get in some good knitting sessions. Summer knitting and I just don’t mix, I guess. But at least I have this one to show for it.

Here’s my project notes. Snaps of me wearing this sweater soon.

f.o. : ardenwald.

I knit this Ardenwald Hat by Jared Flood in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor back this winter for my colleague. I was really pleased with this knit; plenty of interest but easy to memorize the cable pattern and the stitch definition in this fiber is gorgeous. It’s so soft, but keeps nice shape, and looks great on my colleague’s head. He was grateful.

What small gifts do you like to make for friends and family?

Ravelry notes here.

f.o. : morchella.

The Morchella Cardigan by Whitney Hayward was on my list for awhile and I bought the gorgeous Harrisville Shear yarn back in the winter with this exact project in mind. And then I didn’t knit, for awhile. Finally, this May, I cast on.

I couldn’t be happier with how this one turned out. The Shear is a gorgeous undyed yarn to work with; it has this loft while keeping shape. A dream. The channel rib stitch of this cardigan gave some interest and the button band, while a lengthly part of the process, is gorgeous in the finishing. If you hate seaming button bands, this one might not be for you. I’m so pleased with all the details–this is definitely a great staple cardigan.

I knit this one at the smallest size and went down a needle size because I decided I wanted less ease in my finished garment; I didn’t do a swatch on this one (eek! I got impatient) and so the fit is great–but I could have done with a little bit more oversized. Don’t know if that would have been second size, smaller needles, or smallest size needles called for–if I swatched, I’d know the answer to this. Sometimes, I just can’t be bothered. It’s a habit of mine, and not a great one.

My ravelry notes are here. Do yourself a favor and knit this one.

wip: sunburst afghan.

I’ve been working all spring and summer on the Sunburst Afghan. I bought the kit from Circle of Stitches in Salem, MA as part of a fundraiser they were doing for Unity Farms Sanctuary. This afghan has been on my list for awhile and the yarn purchase had an added benefit of supporting a cause important to me.

I like that I can easily work on some circles when I get an itch. I’ve made a ton. I put together one row to see how it was looking (I’m doing the square joining as I go because that method speaks more to me than joining a whole bunch of squares after the fact).

I don’t know when I will get this done but here’s a snap of some of my color combos. I’m not planning this one out. I’m just choosing from the palette in the kit at random, so there aren’t any specific number of any combinations. I like the spontaneity of it. Ravelry project here. It’s been really nice to pick up a crochet hook since it’s been a neglected craft for me for awhile.

f.o. : weekender sweater.

Andrea Mowry’s Weekender sweater had been on my list to knit for awhile, and I finally got around to it this winter/spring at the start of the pandemic. Everything about this sweater was a joy to knit up–I loved the construction details and it was mindless enough for my distracted mind with just the right details to keep the knitting interesting.

I was initially thinking it would be more boat neck than I tend to like, but the fit isn’t wide at the neck and it turned out to be one of the more cosy, well fitting sweaters I’ve made in awhile. Even though it’s called the weekender, this is polished enough to look great for work but also to jump into when I spend the weekend at home on the couch knitting in my pajamas. Cheers to that.

Here are my ravelry notes on the project. I used Harrisville Designs Nightshades and I just loved this yarn. I’ve got to knit with it again. Definitely a highlight fiber on the year for me. The color way is static, which is the dark indigo with bits of black and white rolling through it. Beauty.

f.o. : rug sweater.

I really loved knitting this Junko Okamoto sweater Rug, even if it came out like a giant blanket sweater thing because it grew beyond belief with blocking even though I did a guage swatch. I ended up shrinking it down a bit in the dryer but I do love the oversized look of it. Definitely one for long, cold winter days here. So no regrets.

This was pandemic knitting at its finest this March. I’ll always have this to remember when I sat on my couch sheltering in place.

My ravelry project notes here, if interested. I knit this one up in Istex Lettilopi in cream and black. Nothing like a good, solid sweater with some quality scratch and itch.