Fly-By Friday

This week flew by, along with all the time I thought I’d have to take/post photos and write blog posts. So today you get a little mish-mash of things that I’ve meant to tell you. And I’m borrowing photos from my Instagram account, so my apologies for any repeats!

Woolen Diversions

Wee armholes!

My Overdyed Cypress #NaKniSweMo project is coming along nicely, pictured are the wee little armhole increases. They seem hilariously itty bitty at only 5 stitches wide, although I’m sure that’s appropriate for a vest and it will all make more sense with the ribbing added.

Woolen Diversions

Rockin’ it — even in a bathroom mirror selfie.

I’m totally in love with the Sweet Codex Shawl that I recently finished. I’ve been wearing it nonstop. It’s the perfect mix of casual and elegant and I think everybody needs a nice, neutral accessory. Check out more lovely shawls on Instagram with the #fallshawlstyle tag.

Woolen Diversions

Food for thought (see what I did there?!)

As you might notice by looking at older posts or projects, I’ve lost some weight over the past year. I began an Ideal Protein diet and weaned off of it a month before my wedding. Since I’ve been off that diet, I’ve been struggling just to maintain my weight loss (let alone lose the rest I need to reach my goal). I think the Paleo diet and Whole30 concepts are super intriguing, though, and are quite similar to the way I ate on the Ideal Protein diet (mostly veggies, lots of protein, no dairy, no grains, no beans, no added sugar) and aligns with the rules that Michael Pollan smartly suggests, while relying on actual food instead of replacing some meals with protein ‘packets’ (yeah, Ideal Protein was a fun several months). So far, I adore the books shown above and think there’s a really great intro to the whole idea (and lots of resources) on The Clothes Make The Girl blog.

Woolen Diversions

Singles of frustration.

Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that I might be outgrowing my spinning wheel. It spins longwools beautifully and is great for plying, but I’ve recently revisited a long-abandoned project using very soft, very fine Merino wool — and it’s been a gigantic pain in the ass. The Babe uses Irish (bobbin-lead) tension so it has very strong take-up which means that it’s essentially ripping the yarn out of my hands before the single gets enough twist. So I’m left with an unevenly drafted, underspun, and fragile single that is driving me bonkers. I’ve spent lots of time researching wheels this week and will chat about them soon, but for now, what wheel do you use, and why do you love it?

Over 100 completed orders, wahoo!

In exciting news, we’ve surpassed our 100th order over at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe! Thank you for all your support, and remember that the free lotion bar sample deal is still going strong this month!

Woolen Diversions

Rust-to-gold gradient!

Finally, this last photo is just to remind you that color gradients are everywhere, and fall is fabulous. Have a happy Friday, and check out Libby’s #shareallthethings post! There’s a great knitting pattern deal in there.

WIPWed #72: Steady On

Magical things are happening around here: after just 5 days of dedicated knitting, I have about 20% of my #NaKniSweMo sweater finished already!

Woolen Diversions

BMFA Twisted, overdyed. Click for project page.

Guys, if I’d known that sweater knitting could feel so effortless, I would’ve jumped in ages ago! I had always viewed sweaters as these huge, complex undertakings that would seem like never-ending endeavors. And perhaps some sweaters do feel that way, but not this one, and I think these are some reasons why:

  • It’s knit in pieces, just a back and a front, so rows are relatively short.
  • There’s no waist shaping, so once you get going you can power through without worry until the armholes.
  • There is minimal armhole shaping: some increasing, some more knitting, and then some binding off (I think, haven’t gotten that far yet).
  • The stitch pattern is supremely simple, but still interesting, switching between stockinette and 1×1 rib every couple of rows.

In short, this little vest-y pullover is ticking all my buttons right now, and I’m loving it.

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VG Zaftig, colorways Russian Sage and Kiss of Cabernet. Click for project page.

My Lucy Hat is off the needles and in the process of blocking, and I already adore it. Ends need to be woven in and the brim needs to be turned up, but those will just take a few moments once dry. Hopefully I can get some modeled shots for Friday, the hat is super cute on.

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Inglenook Batts. Click for handspun project page.

The only thing I’ve done besides the sweater (and sneaking in the finish of the Lucy Hat) is spin a bit on my Russian spindle. I’m still loving the way these batts are working up. I hope you like looking at that photo above because this project is going to look very similar for quite some time (support spindling makes for very fine singles = very long spinning projects).

What have you been up to this week? Do you find that sweater or accessory patterns with certain characteristics work better for you than others?

Progress All Around

After what has been a frustrating few weeks, I felt like I made some real progress on things this weekend in both life and knitting. I hunkered down and took care of business on Saturday, before drawing the line and allowing myself to have some fun and visit with some friends in Boston. Lots of passenger-seat-driving means lots of knitting time occurred, and I made good headway on my NaKniSweMo project:

Overdyed Cypress. Click for project page.

After all my bragging about how surprisingly well the tubular cast on went even while less-than-sober, I realized at the transition from ribbing to pattern stitch that I had used the wrong size needle for the ribbing section! I was supposed to begin the cast on with US 4 needles and then transition to US 5 for the bulk of the ribbing before switching to US 8 for the main pattern. In stead, I used US 4 all the way through the ribbing. I think I’ll do a little swatch with 5’s later to see how much a difference this will make for my gauge, but unless it’s a drastic difference, I’m not ripping back. If anything, I could just knit the ribbing of the front piece on larger needles to compensate for lack of stretch in the back… right?

Haphazard, caveat-ed progress it might be, but progress nonetheless!

IS #80: NaKniSweMo, For Real!

If you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), you might have heard of NaKniSweMo which is the knitterly equivalent. The goal is to knit an entire sweater, start to finish, during the month of November. According to this ancient post on the KnitGrrl blog, it needs to be a sweater of 50,000 stitches (like the novel length requirement). You can check out the Ravelry group here. And this year, for the first time ever, I’m joining in!

Copyright Brooklyn Tweed / Jared Flood. Click for pattern page.

I’ve finally begun the Cypress vest I swatched for a few weeks ago with my overdyed yarn. I’m actually rather surprised at how well the cast on went. After working ridiculously late last night and coming home to ALL THE HALLOWEEN CANDY BEING GONE ALREADY (the horror!) and too late to see a single tiny person dressed up like something fierce, I consoled myself with a couple of seasonal bourbon drinks that I had found on the internet. Turns out that hot buttered bourbon is rather horrifying, no matter how lovely the bloggers make it sound. So the Fiasco made me some sort of pumpkin spice liquor drink instead while we played a board game into the wee hours. He conked out and I decided that a post-midnight sweater cast on with a belly full of bourbon and pepita brittle would be an EXCELLENT IDEA.

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Overdyed Crypress. Click for project page.

I guess the sugar high and alcohol buzz canceled each other out, because the tubular cast on (which I’d never done before and still don’t really understand, it was like magic) went swimmingly and I’m already a couple of inches into the ribbing! I’m actually not sure if this sweater will fulfill the 50,000 stitch requirement, I’m still too fuzzy-headed to do the math, but considering it will be my first completed sweater ever, I think just finishing it during the month of November will be achievement enough for me.

Are you planning to join in with #NaKniSweMo this month? Is there another KAL happening that’s been inspiring you, lately? Share with us!

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