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.

f.o.: ursa sweater.

I’ve had Ursa by Jacqueline Cieslak in my queue for awhile now and finally decided to cast on at the beginning of March. Since this one is knit up in a bulky weight yarn, it goes really quickly.

I decided to follow one of Jacqueline’s sample versions and use Quince and Co. Puffin in the audouin color and I couldn’t be happier. I’m a little worried about how this yarn will handle long term wear–I can already anticipate the pilling but I love the color and the feel nonetheless. Plus, the gleaner is your best friend in combating pills.

My version of the Ursa has a slightly longer version in the body than called for–I wanted a little less crop. I achieved this by creating a little more depth in the yoke/sleeve before separating for the body (an additional 6 rounds), and then an additional 10 rounds of the body before starting the brioche detail at the hem. An aggressive wet block also helped to add some length and width, which makes this comfortable to wear under a collared shirt. I also had to modify the decreasing on the sleeves (hello, short arms here!) but that just meant a few less rows in between each decrease section in the last two sections. The results are perfect.

You can see my project notes here. More snaps of my sweaters here.

f.o.: carrowkeel sweater.

I love this sweater. This is one of the first non-baby sweaters that I have made which has a ton of seaming; I was really nervous about my patience with creating clean, invisible seams, as well as my ability to make sure it fit well at the shoulders without puckering.

And I have to say… success. I feel really excited about the fit of this sweater and the seaming around those key areas. What’s more, I’ve worn it a number of times, which if we know anything about my knitting, is a feat since I tend to knit things and then let then languish in my closet.

Carrowkeel by Kate Gagnon Osborn is knit up in The Fibre Co. Arranmore, which is an incredibly lovely, dense, tweedy yarn I had never worked with before featuring merino, silk, and even a touch of cashmere. I used the same color way as the pattern sample–Glenveagh Castle, which is a rich gray-brown with flecks of tan, white, and black in the tweed.

I even love how it looked before I added the turtleneck portion, which is the last step. It hugs your body in all the right places.

View my project here.

f.o.: doc’s vday socks.

Every year, I make doc socks for Valentines. I’m not big on the holiday–I prefer gifting everyone I love small hand makes (cookies, cards, socks, hats); it’s not about romance for me, it’s about giving and being sweet on everyone you care about. That’s how it always was in my family; my mum cooked a nice meal for the entire family and left sweet treats on our plate and matching jammies for me and my sister. I cherish that about my childhood.

These socks are the simple afterthought heel sock (my favorite!) in TurtlePurl Yarn’s self striping sock in the Air Force One color way. I love the crazy pops of bright red with the blue. So fun!

See my ravelry notes here. For a window into other socks I’ve made for doc, check them out here.

f.o.: skiff hat.

I did finish this Skiff Hat a long while back, but realized I never wore it or even photographed it because it was just a bit too big for my petite head. Enter my partner, the doc, who has a large head. The perfect fit.

I loved this pattern. Knit up using two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Artifact color, this hat is completely gorgeous, the cables and moss stitch shine, and it ended up being a perfect fit… for a big head.

What other cable hats do you love?

See my ravelry notes here.

f.o.: column sweater.

I just love Column by Hiromi Nagasawa. It’s a brilliant design with interesting construction. I knit this up holding two similar colors of Woolfolk–FAR in soft taupe and SNO in 00 + 28.

This is a simple knit and because of the yarn held double, it knits up fast. I definitely plan to make another one.

I did struggle with bind off at the neck. Some knitters say they did less short rows so they could get this over their head–it’s that tight at the neckline. However, I tried several stretchy bind offs until I settled on Stephen’s Stretchy Bind Off. It was the only one that looked clean at the neckline and well finished; the others were sloppy and didn’t take well to the yarn.

However, it really still isn’t quite stretchy enough. I’ve got to really jam this sweater over my head. Stay tuned for another knit up of this, perhaps with yarn that has a bit more give, and maybe less decreases at the neckline.

You can see my ravelry project notes here.

2017-2019: reading sketchbook

Since 2017, I have been keeping a reading sketchbook which I sometimes catalog entries of here. I love that I’ve been doing it. And three years later, I can say I’ve completely filled one whole journal and have added about 10 entries in a new book all together.

Some of the things I track for each book: cover / cover art, length, completion date, how long to complete the book, whether I own it or it’s a library or audio book, loved it or hated it, reading challenge selection, recommendation, and my musings on its content.

Here’s to another three years of reading sketchbooks.