cook | spicy linguine with clams.

I love making linguine with clams–and I like to change it up; sometimes a red sauce, sometimes a white wine one.

This one was made with some leftover tomato sauce I had in the freezer and needed to use up. I added white wine, garlic, spicy red pepper flakes, parm, and a little basil before simmering the clams in it all.

It’s a super quick way to use up leftover sauce and easily transform it. It will be exciting that get back into cooking mode once the weather turns. That’s the only great thing about losing those summer days—new dishes.

knit | julie hoover sweater club #2.

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I’ve had this incredible Julie Hoover sweater club box awaiting me for months. I purchased back in early spring and have yet to crack it and start it because I’ve been disciplined in trying to get more laborious Christmas gifts out of the way early.

What’s more, my knitting tends to drop off in summer–part of it is the weather and part of it is I have 8 weeks of vacation where all I want to do is read as many books as I possibly can get in during that times, which leaves little room for other handiwork.

And so, this fall, I’m finally going to tackle this one. The pattern is Jesper and I’m knitting in in this gorgeous natural tan. I love it.

Has anyone participated in a Sweater club? Did you fear casting on because you didn’t want to ruin that highly coveted and beautifully boxed pattern?

knit | scrappy sweaters.

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I always have a ton of odds and ends from various projects–little bits of really nice yarns that I can’t bear to throw out and don’t know what to do with because the leftovers aren’t quite enough for a hat or other small accessory.

I decided to use all my fancy bits of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage and Malabrigo Yarn Rios for some scrappy, striped sweaters for my three nephews; they love bright colors and figured it was a way to get really nice, superwash merino wool garments on them!

I’m using Tin Can Knit’s Flax Sweater pattern because its so great for stripes and the garter details on the sleeves gives it a bit of interest and is a little less boring to knit than a straight stockinette stitch. Also, I’d never used this pattern before and it’s been on my list forever. Every knitter needs a few Flax sweaters in their life, right?

Here is my 3 year old nephew’s sweater in progress–he loves pink and I thought this bright pop of tosh in espadrilles would be much appreciated by him. His little brothers features blues and coppers and grays, and the oldest boy’s will be greens and maybe orange. I love how these are coming out. I tested out my color stories in my knitting journal to see if I’d like the way they looked. It’s a great way to visualize before you knit.

You can see more snaps of my knitting journal here.

How do you use up the rest of your yarn?

knit | notch hem tank.

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Another tank top? In linen yarn? Why, yes! It’s summer, after all. This is Purl Soho’s Notched Hem Tank and I love it.

I knit this using Quince and Co. sparrow in the new salt and pepper marle color way called rille. And it’s a dream. I love the details on the side of the tank that create some visual interest and contrasting texture. Plus, it’s a perfect fit.

I haven’t actually worn it anywhere yet despite finishing it in April, but now that we are finally in the throws of summer weather, I should break it out.

You can read my project notes here. And check out more photos of the tank here.

knit | kai tank.

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I’m on a linen yarn kick and I love making tank tops. This summer seemed to take forever to get here; and so while I begged for warmer skies this spring, I knit up a Kai Tank top using Quince and Co. kestrel linen yarn in the graphite color way.

The only modifications I made was to not do the color block contrasting color at the bottom and I ripped out the neck edging because for some reason, I couldn’t get the tank top over my head with it! I made size two and my gauge was spot on–so I don’t know why my edge was so tight and didn’t work. Luckily, I think it’s ok without it.

This is the second linen tank I’ve made this year–both bottom up designs with nice split hems, which I think are really flattering. You can get more details about my project here.

sew | willow tank.

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I’m a terrible sewer. I don’t know why it doesn’t come easy for me, at all. But, it doesn’t. It’s still important to work on things that don’t come easy; to hone a new skill, to keep trying.

And so, I recently finished this Willow Tank from Grainline Studio. It’s a beginner pattern–a very basic tank with some nice darting at the bust. It was my first time making darts.

I think it came out pretty nicely and only took one day to complete, but it was still a struggle for me. Next up, a skirt in the same pattern to make it a lovely matching outfit. But, I’ve been avoiding since it is so hard for me. Maybe I’ll have a skirt by the end of summer.

knit | let’s dress crazy birthday socks.

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I always knit some birthday socks for the doc because he loves them so much. These ones are my favorite, The After Thought Heel Socks, and they fit like a dream.

Knit up with Quaere Fibre self-striping sock yarn in the Let’s Dress Crazy colorway. I love this small batch fiber–I’ve used more than one color way and they always come out smashing even when knitting something simple like stockinette stitch.

Check out more of my socks. Here’s another pair knit in Quaere.

tracking journal | knitting + makes.

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I’ve been tracking the days I make something (a new recipe in the kitchen, a textile art, beaded jewelry) and the days I knit, so I can gain perspective on how much I actually do create in a given year.

It’s been a fruitful process because when I’m feeling like I haven’t been creative, I can go back to this book and see that I’ve been more creative than I realized. Maybe some day, I’ll be able to categorize what I make on those days, too.

I love how much impact this has–I can see I was making more than knitting in May, and that in June, I’ve picked up my needles again.

Do you track your makes?

make | peyote stitch earrings.

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I’ve been obsessively making these 3D peyote stitch triangle earrings for a few weeks now. I’m in love with the statement they make and the endless color combinations.

I also tried my hand at turning one into a large pendant that can fit through a chain around your neck and gifted it to my mum for Mother’s Day. I think she liked it and it’s end result makes me want to try my hand at another one.

Should I list some of these in my shop? Would you buy a pair?

cook | niçoise porch life.

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Salad niçoise is one of my go-to’s for back porch summer dinners, especially with guests. I like that guests can mix and match–add anything to their salad they like, and leave off stuff they don’t care for. It’s a win win.

And now that we’ve finally got back porch weather, bring on those entree salads. What are some of your go-tos?

block print | mini circles.

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I haven’t been block printing at all this year. It was a real craze of mine last winter and spring and I don’t know why, but it took a backseat, mostly to reading. I’ve had quite the year of books. It made me feel like I was in my early 20s again, when I absorbed two extremely fat classics a week. For years, I was consumed by reading young adult authors to make me better at my job as a school librarian—and while I still get a ton of those in (to continue to be good at my job), I found that the summer between two jobs and a 2017 reading challenge really found me reading for me again.

And so, the other week, I found myself taking a stab again at small prints–each of these circles is its own individual block. In general, I’m pleased with the pattern, but would like my cuts to be a little more refined.

What should I print this on?