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

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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…

cast off, cast on.

There is something absolutely satisfying about weaving in those final ends, then to only pick up a new skein, new set of needles and cast on something brand new.  I know I am by far not the first to say this, and I know many knitters would agree.  However, there is no avoiding that phrase every single time it occurs.

Yesterday was no different…  Last night was not a night I wanted to be knitting fine gauge and impulsively decided to cast on that next DK weight project.  I have a unique (well what I think is unique) problem where im hoarding patterns; while my yarn stash has been satisfyingly cleaned out over the last few months.  And last night the stars aligned between my yarn stash and my overly large pattern collection. Welcome Ural Shawl!  The pattern is by Whitney Hayward and is stunning in its simplicity.  While the sample was knitted in natural colors, I have opted to go for a slightly brighter, warmer palette with a grey as my base and accented with muted maroons and pinks.  I am already into the first slipped stitch pattern and I am finding it a quick knit which is exactly what i needed right now.  See below for a quick my yarn 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…); OWool Local in color…

Be sure to check back soon for my write-up on the finished object and follow insta (@rubyandanainstitches) to see progress photos….

XO,

Christine

WIP: a little mini knitting

Morning!

I am finally continuing on my baby test knit! I was able to head out with the little one over our long Easter weekend to get the proper needles that I have needed for weeks now. As tiny as these stitches are it is surprisingly refreshing to the DK weight yarns I’ve been knitting the last few weeks. So for the last week I’ve been happily knitting my two at a time sleeves hoping to complete them quickly and what do I discover?…. I have a shading issue!! This is surprising to me because 1) it’s one skein; I’m pulling from the center and the outside edge… and 2) this has been tucked away in a basket for some time and not really exposed to daylight so I never expected to have a color issues…

Regardless I am going to continue. As excited and happy as I am to be testing this pattern it’s been hanging around too long and I would like to move onto something new. And to be honest- I may only notice this color issue as I am responsible for color approvals at my full time job which makes me a little sensitive when it comes to color differences (don’t get me started on why wearing all black is now difficult for me!). And really- is my little one going to notice?- no, she won’t…

Happy Friday all….

I’ll be back soon with a write up on my now FO….Penguono!

XO

Christine

A Birthday Wish

To My Sweet Baby Girl on her first Birthday….

It is so so cliche for me to say this but you have forever changed our lives the moment you arrived.  Turned life as we know it on its head and I can’t fully remember what it was like before YOU.

Since then you have amazed us.  Pushed the limits of what I thought it was possible as each month went by.  Sitting up, crawling, those first steps… I cant even begin to imagine what you will impress us with next.

Since then you have shown your personality.  Feisty, free spirited, STRONG.  You are everything a little girl should be and MORE.  You command attention, you are funny and witty.  You are fearless.  You are independent.  I wish you to be all these things always.

I hope in this new year, and every year after, you are still all these things and can always remain true to who you are and who you want to be.

Thank you for making me stronger, vulnerable, and a fiercely protective and more confident woman and mommy. As you get older I hope I can teach you how to be the same as it is SO important.

As it has been from day one, I will always hold you.. hug you, kiss you, snuggle with you for as long as you want whenever you want.  I will listen, I will cry with you, I will laugh with you and I will ALWAYS be there for you.  And if there comes a day you don’t want the hug, the kiss, the snuggles, I will STILL be there for all those when you realize that at some point you will still need your mommy for all these things.

So Happy 1st Birthday my dear sweet Emmy.  Mommy loves you from the bottom of her heart for now and always.

XO

Mommy

a little non-knitting.

Pinterest is a wonderful but very dangerous resource. It can become a dangerous rabbit hole of beautiful ideas which have the potential to be amazing creations or epic failures. I’ve known that fact but rediscovered it when I began to research party ideas for my daughters 1st birthday.

One little detail I didn’t plan on was an idea finding me. In all of the cake smash, unicorn and balloons I found I discovered the beauty of a baby in a FLOWER CROWN. And oh my the beauty of those little crowns….. and all I could think of was my little one with her big baby blue eyes with a little halo of flowers…

So I became determined to make a flower crown. And I was worried, very worried as I have never worked with floral tape and flowers (real or faux; and I’m using faux). This had the opportunity to turn into a very bad Pinterest fail…. BUT IT DIDN’T.

It’s adorable. I’m so proud of it. Now, to get her to wear it….

WEEKLY ROUNDUP; episode 5

The first few times I have done these weekly roundups I have been adamant about writing THROUGHOUT the week and doing a final check before publishing.  This week however has been messy.  My full time job has kept me on my toes as we are heading into crunch-time; and though with my little family I have been given set working hours the days leave me with so much stress I am completely mentally drained when I leave and don’t want to think about writing.  And after there is baby to put to bed and the constant of keeping up with anything home related.  Top it off that for the last week and a half I have been prepping for her first birthday party.   This momma is EXHAUSTED!  All that being said I have squeezed (literally) as much knitting as possible into this crazy schedule of mine because DEADLINES!  So here I am, less than a day before posting, writing up a nice long and lengthy weekly roundup!  Here we goooo!!

I am happy to announce that I have finished the Popcorn Vest and Bonnet; and at just under a week before I need to have baby girl unwrap for her birthday!  Let me just say I am so crazy happy with the results… honestly my best knitted set yet.  Considering how many times I have actually knit this pair, I have made minor revisions each time which have either made the knitting more seamless, literally and figuratively.

This time around instead of BO then sewing together the shoulder seams, then later picking up the back neck for the rib trim; I chose to keep the stitches live.  This way I was able to kitchener the shoulders then easily use the live back neck stitches to seamlessly join with the rib trim.  For some this may seem like a little more work and maybe it was; however one thing I am still mastering as a knitter is picking up stitches, and picking them up evenly and beautifully.  This change allowed me to up the quality of the vest itself; no more worrying if I picked up enough stitches evenly or consistently- they were already live for my working!

I also slipped all edge stitches, giving me nice clean edges to work with at the front edge and armholes.  While I may not have picked up as many stitches as the pattern states, I know that what I did pick up and cast on will be sufficient enough for my daughter to wear.

Pattern:Popcorn Vest & Bonnet by Studio Misha & Puff

Yarn:Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool (Romney, Icelandic, Finn, Texel mix) from 2015 knit with Alchemy Yarns of Transformation Haiku in Fieldstone + rib trim in Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2016 ***

Last weekend I allowed myself the luxury of finishing up the underarms on my Penguono and ohhh I have a knitted thing that looks like a sweater!  It is so exciting!  I still have the neck and bottom bands to do which I keep changing my mind on what yarn I would like to use…I have been determined to not buy any yarns to complete this but am contemplating getting a single skein of Purl Soho Flax Down. This is the yarn I chose to use for the main back panel and something tells me it would be nice to have it repeat but I think I will still try to use what I have.

Project/ Designer:Penguono by Steven West

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

Until next time….

XO.

WEEKLY ROUNDUP; episode 4

So this week I have been focused very closely on making sure I finish my baby girls popcorn vest and bonnet in time for her birthday.  That is fast approaching so I don’t have the luxury of taking my time!  It was a bit of a last-minute decision as I am starting these pieces with a little over 3 weeks before her birthday…. yikes!  To see my initial post on these pieces take a look at A little detour….  Progress is going well and the vest (minus ribbing) will be done by the time this post is up.  The bonnet is a very quick knit and I should have it done in under a week.  The ribbing for the vest (and the little bit on the bonnet) won’t take long either but picking up the appropriate amount of stitches is the bit that takes the longest and is the most frustrating part of the process for me.

Pattern:Popcorn Vest & Bonnet by Studio Misha & Puff

Yarn:Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool (Romney, Icelandic, Finn, Texel mix) from 2015 knit with Alchemy Yarns of Transformation Haiku in Fieldstone + rib trim in Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2016 ***

When I am not working on my popcorn pieces (baby girl is SMART so I work on something else when shes awake and around) I’ve continued progress on my Penguono.  I am now complete with BOTH sleeves and need to finish up  the underarms, collar and bottom band.  Somewhere in the back of my mind the hope is to also have this finished in time for baby girls birthday (or at least her party) for me to wear.  That however is wishful thinking but I will still try!

Project/ Designer:Penguono by Steven West

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

Beyond these two knits I am anxious to get back to work on my two other projects, the Masala Shawl and baby test knit.  But one stitch as a time…..

XO,

Christine

A little detour.

Once again I’ve put some of my current WIPS aside so I can quickly make up a last-minute birthday gift for my little one. I’ve decided to knit her up another Studio Misha & Puff Popcorn Vest and Bonnet.  If you have never heard of either of these patterns, LOOK THEM UP.  seriously.  They are so much fun for a babe!  In fact this is not the first time I have made these patterns but the 4th!

The first set I made was for baby girl before she was born, the next as a thank you gift to a lovely woman for her daughter who offered up her own creative services; and the third was fulfilling a special request of a coworker (who was a little envious of her sister; see thank you gift above!) and wanted her own set for her little girl….

So far I’m loving the combo I’ve WIP’d (see what I did there…) up and cannot wait to finish!  Only 15 days left!  Eek!

Pattern: Popcorn Vest & Bonnet by Studio Misha & Puff

Yarn: Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool (Romney, Icelandic, Finn, Texel mix) from 2015 knit with Alchemy Yarns of Transformation Haiku in Fieldstone + rib trim in Sawkill Farms Worsted; Undyed Wool from 2016 ***

XO

Christine

***I discovered these yarns at Rhinebeck a few years ago and am in LOVE with their yarns.  My haul from this past year (2017) is destined for a shawl that i still need to buy the pattern for…they also have amazing soaps, check them out, seriously; they’re pretty awesome.

WEEKLY ROUNDUP; episode 2

HELLO!!!

I think I am going to truly enjoy writing up these little recaps every week… already it feels as if these recaps are challenging me to come up with a little something new and exciting, along with finishing the “old” and to start-up on something new.

This week my intent had been to make progress on both my test knitting project and my Masala shawl.  Ideally, by the time this roundup is posted I would have finished the body on my test knitting and have moved on to the sleeves.  So here we go!

Over the weekend following my last post I have gained about 2 rows on my Masala; it doesn’t sound like a whole lot but when a row has 500+ stitches and every 2 seconds you’re chasing an almost toddler- 2 rows is a great accomplishment.  At last count I have 19 rows left in this growing beast before beginning the final stretch and border.  Since then I haven’t gotten much farther (see below…) which is OK as I am farther along than I was this time last week.

Last time I spoke about learning to enjoy the idea of slow knitting with this project and I truly have.  However, there are moments when I crave to be done with this section.  As beautiful as slow knitting can be there are times in which it seems to go on forever without end in sight!  Out of all my current projects this one is resigned to be my after work, baby is asleep, I’m done for the night knitting.  So the progress I make on this piece is also dependent on these time restraints.

Project/ Designer:Masala Shawl/ Michele Wang for Quince & CO

Yarn:Owool O-Wash Fingering in color Pearly Mussel

One the flip side, my test knitting project is my travel project.  Easy straightforward stitching and its compactness make it an easy pick for a subway knitting project.  It has been; what- maybe two weeks since I’ve started and I have finished the body up to the armhole!  The sleeves will seem like nothing next considering I have plans to knit them simultaneously- no suffering from “second sock syndrome” here!  Unfortunately I have hit a temporary wall as I do not have a long enough circular needle to do the sleeves two at a time.  So until I can purchase the necessary needle, I am putting this project on hold…

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)

All that being said, I made another impulsive decision and am going to move forward with the Penguono by Steven West (see linked post for last discussion)!  I purchased the pattern earlier this week, pulled out every leftover yarn that I could find and started to figure out what would work together and what wasn’t meant for this project.  (My little girl also managed to get her hands into one of my yarn baskets earlier this week while Daddy wasn’t looking and made a little bit of a mess of a skein; so another good reason to start this sweater and downsize my yarn stash!)

Project/ Designer:Penguono by Steven West

Yarn:  Purl Soho Flax Down in Kettle Black + various remnants (details to be added later as I get to them…)

**FUN FACT; when you drape a blanket over said yarn basket; its like instant camouflage to baby….

Until next week…

XO

Christine

~~All photos are my own unless otherwise listed~~