TITLE TBA—-> episode 5!

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…

XO

Christine

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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

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 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~~