Last, Now, Next
Hey, hi. What have you been making lately? What are you planning to make next?
Let’s catch up.
My favorite recent knit is the Ritual Shawl by Marceline Smith. Marce’s podcast, Hey BrownBerry, has been one of my favorites for a while, so I was so excited to get the chance to test knit this shawl for her. It’s a top-down triangle, mostly stockinette shawl with some pops of garter ridge and eyelets for texture. The border is knitted perpendicular to the shawl and joined to the body as you go. That was a new technique for me, and I’m definitely on board with only having to cast off a dozen or so stitches to finish an almost 300 stitch border. Details on yarn, needles, and gauge are on my Ravelry project page.
I worked on this shawl very close to exclusively to make sure I hit the testing deadline. Powering through through like that made me want to finish some more stuff, which is great because I never want for unfinished stuff. I’ve also been joining in a make-along at the Hey BrownBerry Ravelry group (I find Marce very inspiring) that’s focused on digging out old stuff that’s been waiting too long to be fixed and getting it done. And then also the entire winter’s worth of snow that fell here just in February has finally started receding from my yard just slightly, and I can see that I might still have a garden under there. All of which is to say that this was next on my list:
Not the unfinished room, which is also currently and constantly next on my list, but the sweater. Just about exactly 3 years ago — which I only know because it conveniently showed up in my fb memories a few days after I pulled this back out into the light — I impulsively cast on a top-down raglan v-neck pullover in Patons Classic Wool and Noro Kureyon which I had hanging around from a recently abandoned blanket project. The idea was to cut the Kureyon up into its individual stripes and alternate with the Patons. The body worked up pretty quickly but, unsurprisingly for an unplanned and un-swatched-for project without a pattern — it turned out quite a bit wider and shorter than I wanted, and then I also didn’t have enough Kureyon to match the stripes on the sleeves. It has been sitting around with the sleeves on waste yarn and me not wanting to finish or unravel it since. But it honestly doesn’t make an awful vest, at least for something like keeping warm-ish but maintaining some arm movement during early/late season gardening. It took an afternoon to pick up stitches around the neckline, work a few rows of ribbing and bind off, then pick up and immediately bind off the sleeve stitches, and weave in the ends, and now I have a fairly useful garment and one more item off my List of Lingering Knitting Guilt.
And then there’s Turtle Dove. In Woolfolk Luft. This yarn is amazing and I want to knit everything out of it even though that would be entirely inappropriate for most things. Luft (as I understand, at least) is a cotton mesh tube filled with merino fiber. So, it’s not a plied yarn, and even though it has cotton and wool and is listed as a bulky yarn, it weighs almost nothing. The construction made it so this yarn did not split at all, even with my Knit Picks Harmony tips which are pretty pointy. Turtle Dove is a sort of raglan/dolman hybrid with a turtleneck, a split hem, and a lot of positive ease called for in the pattern. I aimed for slightly less ease because I wasn’t sure I had enough yarn and then ended up with even less because my gauge was on the tight side. But it fits beautifully and my only regrets are that it is now probably going to stay way too warm to wear this until next winter and also that there’s no smooth way to take a sweater selfie with the delay feature on my iPhone camera. I tried a lot, I really did, and the best I ended up with were “oh my I’m so bored of this” and “accidental serious face”.
Anyway. I hope you like them.
Now I’m back to knitting my Cathedral Grove cardigan in Peace Fleece Worsted, because I guess since I won’t need a heavy wool sweater again for 9 or so months, it’s natural that that’s all I’d want to work on.
In sewing news, I’m still chipping away at my quilt redo. I try to add a new segment that’s the full width or height each time I work on it, though of course I assume that will be less and less possible as it gets closer and closer to queen size. Beyond that there is still no real plan. Every time I sit down to work on it, I take the first idea that pops into my head and just do that. Today I will make log cabin squares. Or, today I will just sew bits together and cut them into a clean shape and then put a border on them. Today it was today I will make half-square triangles.
Now, here’s where my past self threatened to show up and start some shit. Because she is still in there somewhere, and honestly not all that deep, and after ripping and re-sewing this piece twice she was just about screaming at me to stop and do something entirely different so we could pretend like this thing — which is clearly too hard! — never happened. I mean my god those seams aren’t entirely lined up and at perfect angles with the perfect little points and this is already the first time I’ve ever done it so how can I ever expect to be perfect????? But I do like to think I am advancing in life as she is withdrawing into the past, so I took a breath and a break and I asked a sewing friend for some perspective and we decided it was best for me to just keep on and see these blocks through.
Which I did, and by the end they were mostly lining up just fine. So, I got slightly more over an issue and a bit more skilled at sewing, and nothing hurt and my head didn’t fall off!
Actually no — I did stab myself in the finger with my seam ripper, which did hurt quite a bit.
Up next I’m going to try tackling a pair of Hudson Pants in the gray knit at the bottom of that stack in the first image above. I am part terrified and part looking forward to all the things that could go wrong with that.
reading, listening, watching
One thing I want to do in this new space is document what I’m taking in media-wise from time to time. I think that will mostly take the form of simple lists rather than, say, reviews. But I think this stuff has some impact on what I’m making, or at least my mindset when I’m making, so I wanted to have a record of that alongside my crafting posts.
Reading: Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Listening: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, audiobook read by the author
I work a desk job that is very well suited for listening to something while I work. I struggle to listen to music and prefer audiobooks or podcasts. My favorite thing is to find a new-to-me podcast that has a big back catalog and marathon it over a few (or more) workdays. The latest two I’ve been working through like this are Kate O’Sullivan’s A Playful Day/Conversations from our Days and Courage & Spice by Sas Petherick.
My husband and I are also working through the entirety of Sawbones by Sydnee and Justin McElroy a few episodes at a time in the evenings.
Watching: Just finished the latest seasons of Vera and Queer Eye. Also working on a Parks & Recreation rewatch with my husband. I need a new British detective and also some way to watch the current season of Gardener’s World.