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

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~~

WEEKLY ROUNDUP; episode 1

Every Friday I will end the week with a roundup of all that I have been working on.  You can enjoy pictures of yummy squishy goodness and I will be able to hold myself accountable for making these postings a little more regular.  In addition, this will hopefully motivate me to be more productive on those knits I just cannot seem to finish!

First up this week!…

There are 3 WIP’s I am actively working on at this moment.  They include a simple hat for my hubby; a sweet little test knit for a fellow Insta-knitter, and my own indulgence the Masala Shawl by Michelle Wang for Quince & Co.

As I was working on this post throughout the week I have had to make regular updates here regarding my first WIP.  It’s now finished!  It is the “Hat to Match” pattern from Purl Soho which I modified to use Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter.  I have actually made a few of these for myself as it is a quick knit (in Shelter that is…) for a nice handknit staple.  The original pattern/ yarn written in Purl’s pattern I have also made which is one of my absolute favorites as well.

Unfortunately I unknowingly was playing Yarn Chicken and ended up about 1 yard short; with 3-4 rows left in the whole hat!  Thankfully I got a lovely assist from another color in my stash and I now know that 1 skein of Brooklyn Tweed is just a little short on yardage for a slouchy “man” hat.

Project/ Designer:Hat to Match (modified)/ Purl Soho

Yarn:Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in color Pumpernickel with an assist from Cast Iron

My second WIP I am actually going to keep most details under wraps as I am  testing this pattern.  BUT so far it is a very enjoyable knit.  The end product is a baby sweater with fairisle/ colorwork detail and it is one I am very excited about finishing.  When the opportunity came up for test knitters I jumped on board as this piece is getting me to test my skills as a knitter.  I have only ever made 1 sweater which was an extend shoulder and made in 2 pieces- needless to say there is a reason you will probably never see photos!- and the only baby sweater that I have ever made was a little vest- conveniently avoiding all those pesky fit issues.  I have wanted to start sweater knitting for a while but have always lacked a bit of the courage I felt I needed to begin.  Having the opportunity to test knit this pattern has forced me to step outside my comfort zone and take the plunge!  Colorwork has also been on my “to-do” list so this is accomplishing many of the techniques I have been wanting to learn; all while conveniently not committing to an adult size garment.  That and who doesn’t love a baby knit… and then I get to let my baby girl wear next fall so it truly is a 360 win!

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)

Finally for this first weekly round-up… the Masala Shawl….. Oh…Emmmm….Geeeeeeee- I LOVE this pattern, head over heals love it.  This pattern came to me via a Quince & Co email promoting the Spice collect a few months ago and it was one of those moments where you knew it was fate, I was destined to knit and add this shawl to my ever-growing collection!  So pattern purchased and yarn located at Rhinebeck this past October.

I’m currently about 2/3 of the way done with this shawl but I have finally hit a point where it has grown so big it feels like forever before I get through a row or two.  This was a great subway knit project but will have to be left at home as it is now too much to comfortably carry and knit on the train.  It has also lovingly become a project I associate with the new book Slow Knitting by Hannah Thiessen.  I remind myself to slow down and enjoy the journey of creating this shawl for my wardrobe.  ( And as an aside….If my memory is correct I even met the designer at her store in Brooklyn; Gauge & Tension, before it closed its doors a while back…)

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

Yarn: Owool O-Wash Fingering in color Pearly Mussel

That is all for this week!- hope to see you again next Friday…

 

XO

Christine.

 

PS: The link to Slow Knitting will take you to a big box store; if and when you can I would encourage to shop small and local!  I’ve noticed most LYS do carry or could certainly order so ask around if you do not want to order direct from link! 🙂