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

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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

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

WEEKLY ROUNDUP; episode 6

It’s been a while; and I’m late! It’s Saturday night right now and we have had a family full day of brunch and a zoo trip, laughs and non stop running around (baby girl seriously tried to introduce herself to every other kid at the zoo today…🤦🏼‍♀️). In other words… it was a perfectly exhausting day.

In my knitting world I have some very exciting news…. PENGUONO IS FINISHED! I love it, it’s beautiful and strangely I already want to make another even though I have a million other items I also want to make….

Now not a lot of photos as of yet but hope to get a few more to share soon. For now enjoy…

Now some house keeping…. life has picked up for us recently and I’m finding that even though I have time to knit I can’t get that little extra time to do a weekly roundup of my knitting progress…. so I will be moving to MONTHLY roundups. This will allow me the chance to give you a well rounded, well written roundup and then allow for little mini posts throughout the weeks between.

So this weeks post is just for “show”… hoping to give a more proper individual posting for my finished Penguono!

Best,

Christine

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