TITLE TBA…double scoop; episode 3&4

I think at some point every year we run into a pocket of time that no matter how organized we are we get so busy certain tasks get thrown to the side. I’m talking to you JUNE!! I am still ridiculously busy but thankfully I’m finally starting to slow down. June alone contained helping with 2 work baby showers (1 at the beginning and one at the end) and in between I ran a women’s only 10k, purchased then started and finished a little baby sweater (see shower above…), had a wedding out-of-town to attend during which baby girl began a sleep separation anxiety period (its morphed into something completely different in July; send all the coffee!!) and helping hubby prep for a physical fitness test and daddy daughter weekend… oh AND a full day job work load… and would you believe I still had a little bit of me time? (and holy run on sentence!)  In all its craziness I made it through in one piece.. Moving into July….

The first half of July has brought me 2 FO; and some serious progress on my Masala Shawl. The first of my FO’s are two little baby hats for a friends daughters first birthday both of which I plan to release the written patterns. I’m currently working on the grading for newborn to adult on one of them.  The other has a few bugs to work out but a loose deadline I’m giving myself is to release the pattern by Thanksgiving.  My second FO was my Tecumseh sweater! And it turned out stunning!! I’ll save the deets for a FO post but I’m so excited to begin another sweater; I’ve definitely caught the sweater bug!

Finally I’m so excited to say that I made progress on my Masala Shawl! I had felt so stalled for so long and it feels good to finally see the progress. While it will still take me awhile to finish the last border section it will certainly knit up fast that the large twisted rib section…

While the start of the month brought many FO; the end of July has brought me to some new cast on’s… I have started a second Penguono, this time in a chunkier gauge and in a very different color palette.  I’ve already gotten thru the first set of welts and I’m looking forward to this lighter (in color) and much more oversized version.  Hoping to have some photos up soon.

I also have plans to cast on a Tegna soon because, sweater bug!  but also because I could use a nice light wt sweater in my wardrobe.  All the sweaters I have finished so far really cannot be worn in the summer months and while the yarn I have in mind is not really a “summer yarn” its a perfect match and will be a fun project to balance out my other WIPS.

As always so much knitting, but so little time!

Until next month….

XO

Christine

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FO: tecumsah

And we’re done! Just over about two months from start to finish and I am itching to wear this beauty…. photos just don’t do it justice and furthermore it’s so so soft and squishy…of course it’s the height of summer and well; yeah I’m not going to be able to actually wear this for a bit. I’m going to keep this short and sweet because really the finished knit speaks for itself; and if your looking for a fun sweater to knit up I highly recommend this pattern….. its a very quick knit, easy to read pattern, and easy colorwork for all levels of knitters!  See below for yarn deets…

Pattern: Tecumsah By Caitlin Hunter at Boyland Knitworks

Yarn:Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2017; Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in color Hayloft; and Purl Soho Flax Down in color Kettle Black

TBA TITLE…month 2

so here we are a month later and i still don’t have a good name for these monthly posts.  I guess ill get there one day though right?  May has been a little more eventful than the previous month as I have had the opportunity to have several FO!  Check out my separate posts on my Ural Shawl and Itty Bitty Baby Sweater for all the details. Beyond that I also squeezed in time for two little baby hats which took me all of 3 days and maybe 6-10 hours total to finish. I’m gifting them to a mom-to-be later this week and am so hoping she will like (EDIT: and she did!)

In WIP news the Masala shawl is still several rows away from starting the border section (as usual) and at this rate it’ll be ready to wear by the fall time. Much longer than I anticipated but this past year has been all about learning. I also dove right in and began my Tecumsah about two weeks ago and it is such an easy pattern to follow! The way that the colorwork and the increases are staged keep things interesting. There’s been only one- two hiccups so far where I had to rip back but it’s been worth it to have it done right!

Next up I have another few baby related gifts to complete for new babes and first birthdays. Yarn needs to be purchased for one but I have everything I need for the other. Both need to be completed before the end of June so time wise it’s going to be tight! After those commitments I have a variety of little things I hope to work on:

  • Rewriting a pattern for a friend who wants simplified instructions
  • Starting some basic socks using stash yarn
  • working on another Penguono (because why not!!)
  • Business related things: pattern writing, posting etc
  • AND when I need a change of pace making some hats for another friend for care packages

It looks like it’s going to be a busy summer friends…

A little light on pictures this month but make sure to find me on Instagram at @rubyandanainstitches for any instant knitting updates!

XO,

Christine

FO: the ural shawl

Well I’m at it again, another object is finished and is off my needles!  This was a quick and fulfilling project which pretty much flew off my needles.  All in all I think it was about a month to a month and a half from start to finish.  Personally this was a great project to keep me balanced between my fine gauge WIPS and was an easy one to transport on the subway for my commute.  I was able to utilize yarn that I already had in my stash which is a plus in my book.  I have been trying to reduce stash yarn over the last few months as I cannot really have any extra “stuff” laying around; apartment space for hobbies is incredibly limited!

All that I have left to do is give this baby a nice blocking (the edges curl terribly, especially at the ends) and possibly an added tassel for a little extra personality.  But for now enjoy these photos and project deets:

Pattern: Ural Shawl by Whitney Hayward

Yarn:Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2016; “Odd Offs” from Purl Soho (they were skeins/ colors that I believe didn’t go into final production…I think its the Worsted Twist but not 100% sure and the label is not clear…); and OWool Local in color Cochineal

XO,

Christine

FO: itty bitty sweater

Another week, another finished project!  This one is pretty exciting as I have finished by baby sweater test knit!!  And it fits!  I stayed up much later than normal this past saturday night to weave in all ends as I wanted baby girl to wear it out to brunch for mothers day.  And oh baby did it fit her like a glove!  A little big in all the right places for her to grow into, shorten sleeves that are full length for now, and 3/4 length for when the fall comes around.  I still need to give it a quick bath and block to even out my stockinette and to set the colorwork but I am very pleased with how this piece turned out and ready to take on a new challenge!

Pattern/ Designer: UNDER WRAPS

Yarn:Madelinetosh TOSH SOCK in color Astrid Grey (link to main website, will have to check stockists for where to buy); various l/o yarn from stash for colorwork…

ME-MADE-MAY

Today is May 4th (may the fourth be with you!!; sorry couldn’t help myself, I’m not even a Star Wars fan!) and over the last week or so you cant help but notice people discussing or getting excited over Me Made May.  I’ve certainly seen and heard about this before, along with slow fashion October but until this post I have never spoken of it, let alone shared my thoughts on this movement online/ through social media.

Over the last 3-4 years I’ve made a shift in my personal wardrobe.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when that shift started to occur or the thought popped into my head but it did.  I have slowly become more conscientious as I buy.  To the best of my ability the garments that are purchased in my closet must be 100% NATURAL fibers (silk, cotton, linen, wool, cashmere…etc) and if for whatever reason they cannot be (nylon in socks and underwear for example) the item (like an undergarment) MUST be at least 50% NATURAL fiber…

Why, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with me made may?  well, it more directly applies to me personally.  You see, I work in the fashion industry- I see, very much on a daily basis how much clothing gets put into development, how much is cast aside before it is even seen by a buyer, and then once again half a collection “disappear” before you see it in stores.   I actually have to partially shut down the made by hand part of me when I’m putting a collection into work.  Again, you may ask- WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME MADE MAY?! well ok, yes you have a point, not a LOT… but it means a lot to me.  While the company I work for has a pretty relaxed dress code- I sometimes have to dress “appropriately” (aka- wear my line) for certain meetings- and handmade items unfortunately don’t make the cut.  And most of my handmade items are also my accessories, and there are only so many ways to wear a wool scarf or shawl, and then those don’t really work during the summer months.  So- since I currently need to buy portions of my wardrobe I try to make up for it by buying natural fibers.  And when I can take this a little further I like to try to buy small/ buy conscious clothing.  This bit doesn’t always happen but it is something I do my best to keep in mind.

This year I wont be able to fully take part in the me made may movement BUT any chance I get to throw on one of my self-made pieces you bet I seize that moment!

Happy May to all….

XO

Christine

BRIMMING WITH INSPIRATION.

Lately I have been very inspired to design; almost to the point of bursting with the need to make, create, put pencil to paper….and of course, it has felt as if there is no time to do this.  If housework/ errands were caught up on, baby girl wanted to play (not a bad thing)…. when baby was in bed, well, there was dinner, and dishes and maybe a moment to just take a breath.  And then of course when there wasn’t all those “things” I was at my day job…. Again, not necessarily a bad thing but I have some down time right now… so much in fact that I have caught up on (or I’m waiting until my boss is free for review…eek) my workload and am pretty much trying to look busy.  Naturally for me I find myself thinking of all the things I want to knit, or techniques I want to try, and finally, all the things I WANT TO DESIGN.  I have been wanting to for a very long time now to be writing up some of my own patterns and start to sell them and have never really committed the time to making this happen.  I am more than ever now itching to make my ideas and dreams a reality.  So I am having my pencil go to paper to DRAW.

What’s interesting is for as many ideas I seem to have in mind, it is harder to actually commit them to paper.  Its like those little images I picture in my mind suddenly fly away and I end up with little half thought out projects…Now contrary to what you may think this isn’t a bad thing.  I can use these bits and pieces to sort through what is the overwhelming need to design and actually figure out what is going to work.  What is going to be the fun (but definitely challenging) bit is swatching these designs.  I have a degree and background in women’s wear and as much I have read and dissected and read up on a variety of knitting patterns I have never written one with a mix and blend of stitches where I will need to ensure that they work together.  This does not intimidate me though because it is the beauty of the challenge and I WANT to succeed in this endeavor.  I guess this is really in my favor too- blind commitment maybe?

So my fellow knitters, I welcome your support and your advice and your stories about your own journeys today.  Thank you for letting to open my heart and my mind to you and welcome to my knitting vision.

XO

Christine

TITLE TBA…. episode 1

I spent a good 10 minutes with my hands on the keys trying to decide what these monthly write ups should be called. “Weekly Roundups” has a nice ring to them but now with doing these monthly I can’t seem to come up with something fun and catching….so for now they’re “TITLE TBA”. I know so original….

April brought a mix of old and new…. Projects finished, projects revisited and new ones cast on.  If you did not have to opportunity to catch up on my other posts (or insta!) the big finish this month was my Penguono!!  I wear it AT LEAST 2 x’s every week to work…its all sorts of warm and cozy and I am so SO proud of how it turned out.  To date its one of the most pristine, high quality item i have ever knit.  I also ENJOYED knitting this so i am already looking through my stash to see if i have enough of whites and creams to make another version.  I saw Knit Collage’s take on this recently and LOOOOVE her interpretation!  Creams and tans with subtle pinks throughout and the TEXTURE- ugh, sorry, just dying over here.  As much as i tried to let go while making mine- Knit Collage is making me want to throw even more caution to the wind and make another!

April also allowed for me to finally (but really, FINALLY) get the needles I needed to continue on my way in the pattern I am helping to test knit.  While the designer has been kind enough to not have any completion dates, i am anxious to finish it up to give any pattern notes/ suggestions back to the designer AND allow my baby girl to wear it before she outgrows it!  As much as I thought doing two at a time sleeves would be a great idea I am ironically struggling a bit and haven’t gotten as far as i would like.  I carry around this piece daily and yet can’t seem to sneak in a few little rounds.  I believe i have about 5” left to go before i can join the body and sleeves.

I also spent a little time this month working on my Masala Shawl.  This one has had the slowest growth at all in recent months due to the sheer size.  One round of twist rib can take almost 10 minutes to finish!  I have (still) about 10 rows lift before I can begin the next section.  Would love to finish this up too as it would be great for summer nights out.

And finally, I allowed myself to cast on one new project which is nearing completion!  The Ural Shawl was my DK wt project that I wanted to have in case my finer gauge ones were ones I did not wish to work on.  Sometimes small needles/ stitches just wont satisfy!  This piece gave me the ability to feel as if I was actually completing work instead of feeling like i was going nowhere.   Since my last write-up on it I am headed into the last two little sections and should be finished with it in the next two weeks.  I will certainly get a FO post up as soon as I can with photos of the finished product.

So there we have it!  The first monthly write-up.  Below Ill leave you with the project and yarn detains for those of you interested….

Pattern: Penguono by Steven West

Yarn:  Yarn:  Purl Soho Flax Down in Kettle Black + The Fibre Co Cumbria Fingering in Scafell Pike & Dodd Wood + Lake yarns Alturas in Shell Seeker + OWool Local in Gray Birch + Skeinny Dipping Fingering and Skeinny Dipping DK in Cease and Desist + Baa Ram Ewe Titus in Coal

Pattern:Masala Shawl/ Michele Wang for Quince & CO

Yarn: Owool O-Wash Fingering in color Pearly Mussel

Pattern/ Designer: UNDER WRAPS

Yarn:Madelinetosh TOSH SOCK in color Astrid Grey (link to main website, will have to check stockists for where to buy)

Pattern: Ural Shawl by Whitney Hayward

Yarn:Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2016; “Odd Offs” from Purl Soho (they were skeins/ colors that I believe didn’t go into final production…I think its the Worsted Twist but not 100% sure and the label is not clear…); and OWool Local in color Cochineal

As always…

XO,

Christine

Progress Report…

So it’s been a little over two weeks since I decided to cast on the Ural Shawl by Whitney Hayward. And oh boy is it wonderful!  As I type I am already past the half way point and can picture myself breezing through the remaining decreases in the next couple of days.

At first I was slightly worried about my yarn choices. Not for color but with the texture- all 3 yarns I chose have a slightly different twist (please forgive if my terminology is not quite accurate here; I’m still learning!) and I didn’t know how compatible they would be knitted into one piece. But I am completely satisfied at how they have blended together! What I am interested in seeing is how they act once the whole piece is soaked and blocked.

I’ve also been trying to decide if I want to add some finishing touches…. a little tassel or rope tie at the tips, tassel at the longest point…. or potentially fringe along the bottom edge…. This is all still up for debate in my head…. I want to wait until it is finished and blocked before deciding if any one of these options is necessary. So for the details…..

Pattern:Ural Shawl by Whitney Hayward

Yarn:Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2016; “Odd Offs” from Purl Soho (they were skeins/ colors that I believe didn’t go into final production…I think its the Worsted Twist but not 100% sure and the label is not clear…); and OWool Local in color Cochineal

Next time you see this piece it will be DONE!  Happy Day all…

XO,

Christine

P.S- don’t forget to follow along on insta! @rubyandanainstiches

FO: Penguono!

A few weeks ago I weaved in the last of many ends on this beauty and since then it’s been worn almost every day of the week! I am in complete and total love over how this knit turns out.

I am slightly ashamed that it took me so long to decided to cast it on! It used to look like an intimidating piece but turned out to be simplistic yet genius in its design and construction. I made one change in that the bottom band I did more than the recommended rows and used a whole skein (the only one I actually purchased for this project) as I wanted the sweater to be a bit longer for my tall frame.

I got around to taking a few photos this morning and they honestly don’t do it justice! There is something about Black that doesn’t photograph so well- at least for an amateur photographer like myself & my old iPhone. I am already looking forward to casting on my next sweater! I wonder what it could be…..

Hmm…

XO,

Christine

P.S- I highly recommend blocking- the difference was HUGE- and overall grew about 4″. I didn’t check my final measurements against what was stated in the pattern but it was a game changer for relaxing all of the garter stitch sections…