It has been quite a long time since I have written! It was be a big understatement if I also never said that the last few months have been busy…. And I mean BUSY. For the sake of my sanity and health I decided to not write at all in the last few months as to relieve a bit of my own workload and stress. Even my knitting has taken a bit of a backseat to the holiday season! I hope to be able to give my readers a little more attention in this New Year; or at least establish a more consistent writing/ posting pattern.
There is so much I want to share with you on what I have been doing the last few months of 2018; and all the plans I have set in motion for 2019! So please, don’t leave me yet! More articles to come in the next few weeks….
Happy New Year to all….
GUYS…. OMG its finished!!! I am so so happy with how this little number turned out! I have been so smitten with my own Tecumsah– which I plan on wearing to Rhinebeck this year- that I decided my little one needed her own. I am by no means that mom who loves to go all matchy matchy with her daughter (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s just not for me!) BUT I cannot deny that I love the Tecumsah pattern so much that I absolutely needed another reason to knit it again.
Most of what I have chosen to knit lately has been out of my stash- so knowing I had just enough left over yarn from my sweater to make one for baby girl was one of the driving factors in proceeding with this sweater. If i had to make changes to accommodate the yardage I had left I was willing to do so. Ultimately, I had to do this. The mustard color yarn I used for the “+” portion I knew I would certainly only have enough for 1 full section. So, i decided to ONLY do 1 full repeat of colorwork at the yoke. This also meant that the most difficult (and critical!) part of grading down the pattern could be done at the neckline and after that i could worry less about the numbers lining up for additional colorwork rows. This also checked off the box of having a matching look for my daughter and I without being identical. The other variation that I did I shortened the sleeves a bit and gave the body a little more swing. The body was a bit of a mistake as I actually had not intended to increase as much as I did but it turned out to be a happy mistake as it gives this a little more character!
Overall, if you cannot already tell I am extremely happy with the way this sweater turned out. It was a wonderful teaching lesson in working out the math needed to complete a top down sweater and I look forward to taking what I have learned from “writing” my own pattern and applying it to some of my own silhouettes and work. One of the best ways to figure out the process is to work backwards from an existing one; it helps let you see what needs to be done from the start to reach that finished object.
Pattern: Tecumsah by Caitlin Hunter; Boylandknitworks
Yarn: Sawkill Farms worsted; Brooklyn Tweed Shelter; Pur Soho Flax Down
All the best
Hi Again! So as I have completely seemed to skip over August that is just what we are going to do… It was a month that was certainly filled with knitting, a long birthday weekend turned into time spent totally under the weather, and lots of work.
September has been just as full but definitely a different speed. My husband and I got the opportunity to have a date DAY (I know, a whole day!) to celebrate our anniversary (big thanks to my MIL) toddler free which was the perfect way to start off the month. Now while my day job has still be stressful, I have been able to make progress on a few of my ongoing knit projects. My second Penguono has half of a front body, and August saw the start of my Tegna sweater which is more than halfway done. For a very small gauge that also has lace work, this is actually a very quick knit! I am almost done with the front body then all I have is sleeves and any finishing touches. I hope to take the time to write-up a finished object post in the near future.
I slowed down my Tegna progress though as I realized that if I wanted my little one to have her own Rhinebeck sweater next month that I had to get started on one immediately. And I have! In fact I’m just over a week into this and I’m over half way done. I finished up the body this past weekend and all i have to two little sleeves! And in a US6 with its little body, the whole sweater knits up in no time. This is one I definitely want to take some time of to write a FO post as I modified the adult pattern for a 2T. It was such a fascinating process for me this time around and because of this I feel ready to continue taking on new concepts and knitting challenges.
As per usual my lovely Masala shawl is still hanging out, no farther along than I was back in July… My goal to have this finished within a year may not happen so at this point I’ll aim to have it completed before the new year.
And with the end of the year fast approaching I have of course started plotting a Christmas knit list; which truly is a wish list as with my hectic life I may not get to all that I would love to gift away…. BUT one can try. So until next month…
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….
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
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!
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
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…
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….
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.