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.

f.o.: rainier pullover.

I really love the Rainier pullover pattern by Kate Gagnon Osborn and this was my first time knitting with the Kelbourne Woolens Scout yarn.

I will say this particular project started out, and finished, so beautifully. I loved the fit and knew it was the perfect Christmas gift to my mum this year; it felt like a sweater design that she would wear nonstop. However, it my haste to speed things along since I finished this a mere day prior to the holiday, I tried to speed up the drying process on my blocking because it just wasn’t getting there fast enough.

Shame on me.

Instead of what I thought was air fluff on my dryer setting (a reasonable way to get damp knits dry), I had it on delicate and lost track of time. Roh roh. This sweater slightly felted. And while it still fits, there is weird puckering in places on the body and I just can’t.stop.seeing.it. And wanted to beat myself up about it. And being so disappointed that at one time, it was perfect, and I had to ruin it.

Before the ill fated trip in the dryer.

My mum still wears it.

This is a note to myself: gift a sweater partially damp on a hanger before trying to speed things up. It will never go as planned.

Consider this one lost to the finish off pride pile. Perhaps I can build up enough gusto to make it again, but for now, I’m still sad and bitter about the whole thing.

Have you ever had this happen to you?

bake: jalapeno cheddar bread.

By now, you know I love baking bread–especially the no knead variety cooked in a dutch oven and steamed perfectly for a crisply outer shell.

Enter my kicked of version of a simple no knead bread. To this dough, I added three generously large jalapenos to the dough, as well as heaping cups of cheddar cheese. This dough is really slack and only requires you to paddle fold it inward towards its center between rises. It’s adorned with jalapeno rings and cheese on top.

This creates a luxeriously airy, light tasting bread with a kick and softness for days because of all that fat from the cheddar. It’s a miracle bread. Eat it plain, you won’t stop. Eat it with soup, you won’t stop. Eat it as the bread for a grilled cheese, you won’t stop.

What other breads should I add to my repertoire?