What’s a Girl to do?

What’s a girl to do when the dress she finds for graduation doesn’t quite meet the dress code of the Catholic school she attends?  #catholicschoolproblem

Mom the knitter swoops in to the rescue!

It is school policy that shoulders need to be covered for school events and Masses.  Since the dress almost but doesn’t quite cover her shoulders, we needed a little something.  Graduation was June 5… which can mean very hot or quite cool in this neck of the woods.  We are never quite sure what Mother Nature will bring, but since this child tends to run on the warm side, we figured we would err on the side of warm weather.  After all, we didn’t want her overheated as she sang the psalm!

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There were a couple of other requirements from Mom and daughter:

  1.  A little lace would be nice, but not completely necessary.
  2. Since I had the correct color of red worsted weight in my stash, I would prefer a pattern in worsted.  The plus to this is that it would go very quickly.
  3. It needed to be approved by the graduate.
  4. It should be found in Ravelry for free or in one of my many knitting books.  After a lengthy and involved Ravelry search in consultation with the soon to be graduate, I found the Evening Shrug pattern.

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It is knit in two pieces and kitchenered down the center. The sleeves are meant to be longer, but we really only wanted something that barely covered her shoulders.  My concern was whether she would be able to get it on and off if it didn’t have long enough arms.  Would there be enough stretch that she could get it on without dislocating her arms?

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The verdict is yes!  We did a lot of trying on as we went.  I added just a tiny bit of width to the garment and gave it a nice gentle block to make sure the lace sleeves popped.  And since several people commented on her sweater, the graduate was very pleased with how it turned out.

I am thinking I might do another one of these in white as it would be so versatile!  One of the wonderful things about my girls getting older is all three of us would be able to wear these.  But first, I have class samples to finish!  Hopefully now that summer is really here (at least the calendar says it’s June) I can buckle down and get some serious knitting done.  One of my favorite parts of summer is throwing something on the grill for dinner (=very few dishes to wash), sitting by a campfire or just sitting outdoors in the evening, and knitting.  Speaking of, I think I’m off to do just that now!

Dash & Burn

So, summer happened.  It was glorious, it was hot, it. was. busy.  And somehow in the midst of summer I said I was going to do this thing called Stash Dash where you try to knit a 5K, a 7K or a 10K’s worth of yarn.  I totally bombed this one folks.  For no real apparent reason other than I just did.  Here’s a round-up of what I did get finished.  2016-08-21 14.37.45-1

A stripy cowl of mostly my own invention.  I used 393 yds of fingering weight yarn for this.  It’s a little bit of Hazel Knits yellow with Poste Yarn in the gray and black stripes.  This was a simple easy project that took forever for me to commit to kitchenering shut.   I just wasn’t sure I was done with it.  And that model, isn’t she adorable?  She’s a lucky girl to have skin that nice! And a nice girl to pose in a cowl on one of our over 85 degree days.

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Stripy soccer socks.  This is a basic toe up sock pattern.  I cast on 10 stitches with Judy’s Magic Cast on and went from there.  These don’t fit quite as well as the wee one (who’s not so wee any more) would like, so I’ll be adding in an after thought heel later on.  But they were finished by the end of stash dash and therefore count. I should have known better than to only increase to 56 stitches when her feet were almost the same size as mine.  When I was knitting these during last summer’s soccer games, it felt like they were long enough to be knee length socks.  Alas, my kids kept growing.  Have I mentioned she’s not so wee anymore?  She’s surpassed Grandma in height and is creeping up on me!  460 yds.

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More tube socks.  This one is from the Tube Socks for Kids pattern.  This and the toddler socks below use a precious skein on Lollipop Yarn.  The two pairs used up almost all of a skein.  360 yds.  2016-07-02 18.17.10

For those of you that are keeping count, that’s 1,313 yds or 1200 meters.  It’s a far cry from a 5K.

There are lots of other projects that I knit on this summer, but you’ll get to see more of those later.  As soon as Stash Dash ended I got a burst of finishing energy.  I just wanted to finish all the knits.  Sigh.  Maybe it has something to do with the return to at least some 73 degree days?

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

So I sort of won Stash Dash.  I say sort of because I finished over 4,000 yds of knitting.  Which is more than enough to qualify for the 3K.  However, since I was up knitting until midnight on the day of the finish, I did not post everything to Ravelry.  Which means that in the eyes of the Stash Dash Commissioner, it wasn’t really finished.

I’m really ok with this.  I don’t need any prizes.  All I need is the satisfaction of getting things cleared off the needles (and your comments telling me how cool everything is).

Hygge Baby Cardigan – 294 yds – DONE
Hygge baby

Lettuce Pullover – 1880 yds

Haruni Shawl – 440 yds

Solaris Cardigan – 1680 yds DONE Solaris

Hitch Pullover – 1120 yds DONE  – this is the most current photo I have of it.  I’ll post more once  it’s been bathed and is photo ready.  stashdash2015-2

Wabi-sabi – 924 yds

Zephyr Cardigan – 1200 yds

Remnant Love – 850 yds

Marin – 385 yds

2nd Zick Zack – 831 yds

BLT Scarf – 346 yds – DONE

Lydia Cowl – 200 yds – DONE Lydia Cowl

Lydia Cowl Longer & Better – 380 yds – DONE – again, photos of this to come as I get it bathed and beautiful. 

Ponchini – 330 yds – DONE  ponchini

The grand total planned yardage = 10,150
Finished yardage = 4350

 

Whew!  That’s a lot of knitting.  Now, had I actually stuck to the plan I think I could have made it to the 5K goal.  The problem was I kept getting distracted by new and shiny projects.  While knitting is knitting, knitting 380 yds on a sweater to finish it would give me better meterage than knitting a brand new project.  Oh well.  Que sera sera and all that.

Now I’m feeling a bit of a let down after the rush to get projects finished.  I’m debating about finding another KAL to work on or just doing my own thing for a bit.  I’ll keep you updated on what I decide.

In the meantime, I found out that both my girls like wearing tube socks (ick!) so I might have to make some.

 

A Cardigan Built for Two

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true.  I’m half crazy over the love of you……

…You’ll look sweet.

Cuddled up neat.

In a cardigan knit for two.

Really?  Those aren’t the original lyrics?

As you might remember, my girls have sort of a love hate relationship with my knitting.  They love receiving the knits, but hate the time I spend knitting.  When I brought my Solaris sweater out of hibernation to knit, I realized just how big the fronts are when they’re spread out.  I mentioned to Lily that this was a cardigan made for cuddling.  The fronts are large enough that I can spread them around the two of us.  All of a sudden, whenever there was a cool wind blowing, Lily asked me when the sweater would be finished.

Well stick a fork in it, because this sweater is DONE!

It’s actually been done for awhile now, but somehow summer arrived.  With summer came a visit from family, a play that Addie was in and a LOT of walking outside.  It just hasn’t been sweater weather.  So the sweater got blocked and put away until a cooler night.

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So I can either post this somewhat crummy iPhone photo of us snuggled up in the sweater, or I can wait until the weather cools down enough.

Pattern:  Solaris by Berroco Design Team

Yarn:  Rowan Lima

Modifications:  I used the Executive Knitter’s variation on this pattern.  Basically I did a border of k1 p1 then knit in stockinette instead of the pattern stitch throughout.

Yardage:  roughly 1680 as I wrote 14 skeins in my Ravelry Project page, and I think I used almost all of the skeins.

 

This, along with a Lydia Cowl that I finished on Sunday, brings me to my Stash Dash total of 2174 yds.  I think I’ll make it to the 3K finish line, but I’m not sure that I can eek out a 5K finish.  The summer has just been way too nice to not spend a lot of time outside enjoying it.

Synonymous in my World

I asked Adam which pattern he liked better, the chevrons or the stripes.  He looked at me blankly and replied, “those are synonymous in my world.”

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Hmmm… guess I’m on my own with this one.  I bought this Pepperberry Knits yarn at Yarnover in April.  The colorway is Beachcomber.  It’s 100% cashmere sport weight and it is super squishy and yummy.  The question I was asking Adam (to be fair I had visual aids) was which cowl I should knit from these options.

In the end, I decided to knit the 12th Man Cowl.

FYI:  If you’re planning on knitting this pattern, don’t wind your ball into a center pull ball.  You’ll do the same forehead smack I did last night.

You might ask, “Jess, is this on the plan you made for winning Stash Dash?”

The answer my friends, is a resounding no.  It’s not on the plan.  It’s 200 yds of indulgence knitting which will count towards Stash Dash but won’t get me to the finish line quickly the way a 1500 yd sweater does.  I have a craving for soft and squishy and simple right now.  Oh simple stockinette stitch, you make my heart sing.  At least right now you do.

Since we were talking about Stash Dash, here’s the run down on my project status.

The Plan:

Lettuce Pullover – 1880 yds

Haruni Shawl – 440 yds

Solaris Cardigan – 1560 yds  DONE

Hitch Pullover – 1120 yds ONE SLEEVE AND COLLAR LEFT

Wabi-sabi – 924 yds

Zephyr Cardigan – 1200 yds

Remnant Love – 850 yds

Marin – 385 yds

2nd Zick Zack – 831 yds ABOUT HALF DONE

The grand total yardage = 9190 yds.

Off Plan:

12th Man Cowl – 200 yds.

Sweet shawlette pattern gifted to me from the fabulous Diane – 330 yds

Edited to add:  Hygge Baby Sweater – 294 yds.

With a month and a half of Stash Dash left to go, I’d better get moving!

Mwa-ha-ha!

 

 

2015-06-07 21.22.58Mwa-ha-ha!  (That’s my evil laugh)  I will win Stash Dash!

I am one sleeve away from having a finished Solaris Cardigan.  That’s it.  One sleeve.  Well yes, one sleeve and a lot of seeming.  Yes, I know in this picture it looks as though I am one sleeve and a half of a front away from a finished cardigan, however that front is done.

Mwa-ha-ha!

I am really (probably unreasonably) excited that as the temperatures get into the 70’s and 80’s that I will have a finished cardigan to wear.  I know, I’m crazy, my kids tell me that all the time.  It’s really more about the fact that I will have a finished cardigan in time for fall.  And that I will use this sweater to help me win Stash Dash.

 

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It’s a pretty sweater too.  And it matches my rug.  Oh my goodness, look at how that front drapes.

I’ve decided that having this little beauty in my living room is sort of like having art.  No one in my house even batted an eye that the girl came back up from downstairs and is wearing a partial cardigan.  Is that weird?

It’s so close to being done.  Nothing could possibly go wrong now! (This would be the point in any movie where the scary scissor wielding demon comes in).

 

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I’m going to knit very very quickly so that I don’t run out of yarn for seeming.  After all, we all know that in order to win a game of yarn chicken, you need to knit fast before the yarn runs out.

Gauge, My Nemesis

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Oh Baby that’s a big sweater!

The Hygge Baby Cardigan is finished.  Ends are woven in, buttons are sewn on, photographs have been taken.  Done.  That’s 294 yds of Stash Dash completed for those of you who are keeping track.

Just one problem.  I’m pretty sure this 6 month size baby cardigan can fit a 5 year old.  Some of you long time readers might ask, “Jess, did you do a gauge swatch?”

Nope.

Rooky Mistake!

The knitting was going so well.  The sweater was so pretty as I was knitting it!  Everything went so effortlessly.  Right up until I blocked it and it grew (no kidding) 300%.  OK, OK, maybe I thought it was more of a 12 month size right up until I blocked it.  I mean, it did seem a tad bit big.

After blocking, I even tried it on Lily to see just how big it was.

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Now Lily is a size 7 – mostly because she has long and legs – but can also fit into size 6 tops.  While trying this sweater on, she put in an order for a white version for herself!  Lily feels it has a certain Star Wars-esquee quality to it with the buttons along the side.  But back to the green sweater.

Somewhat nervously, I put the sweater in the dryer to see if that would help the problem.  Malabrigo Rios is machine washable, so I wasn’t sure how well this would work.  Turns out, it worked like a charm!  The hand of the fabric is squishy and soft.  The sweater came out definitely smaller than it had been.  I think it’s still probably a 12 month size, but that is certainly better than a size 5.  A word to wise, despite the superwash label, don’t put Malabrigo Rios in the dryer unless you want it to shrink.

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What I’m Knitting:

I pulled out my Solaris cardigan out of hibernation and started working on that.   It’s got a very interesting construction.  You make the arms, a small short back, and a very long piece that acts as the fronts and goes around the back of the neck.  All I have left to do is 1/3 of the long piece and one sleeve.

I’m also still plugging away at the sleeve of the Hitch.

Stash Dash Update:

For those of you who are keeping a scorecard at home

Hygge Baby sweater – 294 yds.  – DONE

Solaris Cardigan – 1400-1500 yds.

Hitch Cardigan – 1120 yds.

I hope everyone is plugging away at their own projects.  It’s not too late to join Stash Dash.  You don’t need to have a bunch of projects on the needles to play along.  You can just knit new projects from stash yarn.

The shrunken sweater.
The shrunken sweater.