What about the yarn?

I have a yarn stash, it’s true. I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty serious stash. I love it and dig through it often. Sometimes looking for yarn for a particular project, sometimes sock yarn, sometimes just looking and petting. I also purchase yarn from time to time…

As I mentioned at the beginning of this little series, I’ve been a sucker for the shiny when it comes to yarn. I love a lot of dyers, I love color, and new and fun combinations always seduce me.  Once I narrowed down my color palette though, I wondered what that meant for the yarn.

I thought and thought.  I decided to pull out all of the yarn that fits the new color palate. It’s not that much, when compared to the whole.

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Once I separated all of that out, I had three categories for what was left:

  1. Yarn that just isn’t me anymore, for various reasons
  2. Sock yarn. This could be anything and everything, but all of it will wind up socks. Eventually.
  3. Yarn I like but doesn’t fit the color palette – there isn’t much of this

I put all of the yarn that just isn’t me for whatever reason up on Ravelry as de-stash. That was easy. The sock yarn was easy, too–it stays–I love to knit socks and will continue to wear any crazy pair.

The yarn I like but that doesn’t fit is more difficult. After a lot of thought, it’s going on Ravelry de-stash too. If someone else really wants it, they should have it. I may still knit with some of it if the mood strikes, that option will still be there.

One big realization for me in all of this is that I don’t intend to stop knitting fun and crazy color combinations. I enjoy those things and I think they can always squeeze into my wardrobe with the jeans and t-shirts, if nothing else. Knits like my Marled Magic or Love Ewe Baby, those are creative, process knits and I love them for reasons other than putting them into my curated wardrobe.

This has really helped with my yarn buying habits. As I mentioned, I feel a strong pull toward the “shiny!” This is evidenced in the overwhelming quantity of single skeins of sock yarn that I own. It’s really helped me think about what I want to purchase and why. I have tons of fun yarn to play with and knit with. But I don’t have very much that checks the boxes for my planned wardrobe.

One of the things I thought about when I was working on my core style, was where being a knitter and maker fits in. Part of that is pretty easy, I would prefer to sew the majority of my clothes. But as far as knitting, how does that fit in? I’ve thought a lot about that. I want to knit some feminine, cozy, simple, and/or classic items in my new found color palate. Tomorrow, we’ll explore how I’m working on making all of that making happen.


Happy making!

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Color story.

I love color. I don’t think that’s any secret. From my love of rainbow to my fascination with neon, I love it all.

This last year, though, I’ve noticed that my color choices have been slowly shifting.

Colorful, but much softer. I’ve really felt a strong draw to softer, subtle color.

This shift made me very excited for the next step in my Wardrobe Architect journey… color. After all, color was really what got me started thinking about all of this. I’ve been wondering what my shifting tastes in color mean, if anything. Well, I likely spent the most time of the whole process thinking about color.

The exercises direct you to look through your closet, your stash, and the internet for inspiration. Always keeping in mind my core words–feminine, cozy, simple, classic–I started looking around.

The first place I went is my stash. There are only about a trillion colors there. Most notably a lot of rainbow, minty blues, and pinks from hot to sweet. I looked in my wardrobe, but that’s where some of this whole issue started–nothing cohesive there. So, like I’ve done all along, I went to the internet:

This all just feels feminine and cozy to me. I love the feeling these colors evoke.

My next step would be to put together three palettes. Neutrals, nearly neutrals, and statement colors. For neutrals, I’m kind of across the board. Part of that is because I’ll probably stick to classic brown and black for accessories like shoes and bags. The greys and creams will go into my wardrobe for clothes and accessories.

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The idea of “nearly neutrals” is possibly the most interesting to me. These are colors that you plan to wear as neutrals. I’ve chosen 4 colors that I think I could make work in every season, which is fairly important to me. I plan to make a good number of items in these colors.

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As for my statement colors, I chose these for a few different reasons. I think these colors in different combinations with the nearly neutrals can really evoke different seasons. These are colors I like a lot and I think will give some nice variety and versatility to the neutrals above. I love hot pink and I’ve fallen hard for mint. I don’t wear much true red, but it can be effective in small doses. And on your nails.

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This was so much fun. I love my color palette and the story it creates for me. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what all of this has means for the yarn stash. This gives a whole new meaning to the question, what’s your favorite color?


Happy making!


P.S. mine’s grey

Speaking of catching up.

It seems like ages since I wrote a regular ol’ blog post. You know the kind, where I just chatter along about the things I’ve been working on? Well buckle up and grab a cup of something hot and tasty, this is going to be a long one.

Let’s start with the dresses. I made two dresses out of that dark grey cotton jersey, one for Astra and one for me. They actually came together pretty quickly and are adorable, if you ask me. Astra and I agree, they’re awfully comfy, too. Astra’s dress was the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop and mine is the Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns.

 

I think I’ll have to make myself another dozen Monetas. It’s incredibly comfortable and figure-flattering. I’m a fan.

In the sock world, I’ve got a bit going on. Still working on Kevin’s socks, but I’ve got one nearly done. I tried a few things for a toe-up heel and then finally decided to stick with what I like, which is a cut-in afterthought heel. So, I have one sock tube done. I cast on the second toe so that I would be ready for football this weekend:

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On the road trip to the anniversary party, I was determined to finally finish my Hedgehog socks. They had been on the needles since August! I finished them in the car on the way down, but had left the mate at home.

Now that we’re home the pair is finally together. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway. I’ll say it again, I love this base! I can’t wait to knit up some more socks in this squishy BFL.

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Thankfully, I brought another skein of yarn on the trip. Back in August I subscribed to the Hedgehog Fibres sock club. I’ve been dreaming of subscribing for nearly forever and I finally just went ahead and signed up. I received my first shipment a few weeks ago:

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I’m absolutely dying over the lighter skein, Iceberg. That pale blue and speckles slays me. The darker skein, Flytrap, is waaaay out of my comfort zone. Something struck me about it though, it seems perfect for Halloween socks. So I skeined it up and took it with me, thinking it would be a great October cast on. I managed to knit the entire cuff of the sock during Kevin’s turn at driving:

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Since then, I’ve turned the heel and finished the gusset on the first sock. I think they are perfectly spooky and fun!

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In other news, I finished the big seed stitch section and started section 7 on my Marled Magic shawl. It’s gigantic and amazing.

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I’ve had some pretty itchy fingers lately, I want to cast on everything! I cast on the Fleesensee hat:

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I was really enjoying this one, and the yarn is heart-breakingly pretty. It’s Suburban Stitcher DK in the Underwater Princess colorway. However, it was too small by quite a bit, so I’ve ripped it out. The yarn is now going to go to an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, if my needles ever get here.

Since that certainly wasn’t enough, I also cast on the Love Ewe Baby shawl. This is my first foray into two-color brioche and I am completely besotted. It is so squishy and soft and pretty!

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Right side.

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Wrong side, even though nothing about this is wrong!

I’m using Swift Yarns in the Swift Simple base, a 100% Merino singles base.  My colorways are Princess Bride (soft pink) and Tropical Vintage (speckle). I’ll add in some Marilyn (hot pink) when the time comes.

I think that’s everything I’ve been working on. I have the knitting bug something awful. There have even been a few days crisp enough to break out some wool!

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I’ve also been on a major planning bender. I’ve got a fun, big project in the works. I’m considering doing a bit of a series on it for the blog but we’ll see if I can tear myself away from the knitting long enough to write it up. I’ve done a bit of organizing lately, but more about that another day. For now, I’ll just leave you with a picture of a cat who loves yarn.

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YoM day 272-285: Quilting; sewing; sock, hat, and shawl knitting – a bit of everything!


Happy making!

Scattered.

Over the last week or so, I’ve been dabbling. A little of this, a little of that. Some secrets, some projects that I can shout from the rooftops.

I’ve been working on my 13th pair of socks. They’re on the back burner for a few other things at the moment, but I’ve knit one and am nearly to the heel of the second. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres, Twist Sock, in Down By the River. Twist is the BFL base, and I’m in love with it for socks.

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In a little over a month, we’ll travel to North Carolina for my little brother’s 10th anniversary party. I’m very excited and so of course, I’m knitting a shawl to wear. I’m also planning to make a dress to match, but more on that once the details are flushed out. The shawl is Rising Dawn by Stephen West and I am shamelessly copying someone’s else’s idea and using the Sunday Morning colorway by Gauge Dyeworks. I can’t wait to get to that clay color!

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I had a flurry on Saturday night where I decided to get all of my projects back in working condition. I had dropped a stitch in the above Rising Dawn shawl, decided to change out the mohair color on the next section of my Marled Magic, and had a couple of mini quilts on the brain but no idea where to start. I made a cup of coffee and ripped back to the offending stitch, pulled out the whole section with the mohair, and did a fabric pull for the minis.

It did the trick. I had been in a bit of a funk, not wanting to pick up any project where I wasn’t raring to go. Doing all the troubleshooting in one fell swoop made me feel free to pick up anything and everything on Sunday morning. I started with the Marled Magic, because it’s just too fun to put new yarns in. I’m now holding a strand of Hedgehog Fibres in Fly with a strand of Ito Sensai in Silver and striping in other colors.

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Last in knitting news, but certainly not least, I did something I’ve never done before. I cast on a sock for Kevin. I’m knitting it toe up so that I can try it on him as I go and I went up from my usual 2.0 mm needles to a 2.25 mm. The yarn is from The Lemonade Shop in the Tang colorway.

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I also got a teensy start on the new mystery stitch-a-long from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, The Black Hat Society. I love their patterns, so cute! I’ve never finished one, though I have several. This one came as a kit. The fabric is beautiful but not super easy to stitch on. I love the start of this pattern, can’t wait to get a little more stitched than hats. Maybe I could even finish this clue before the next one comes out on the 15th…

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I also worked on one of my mini quilts, but it’s for a swap so I can’t show it just yet. It’s nice to have projects that I enjoy working on so much. It feels a little scattered because I’m usually a bit more monogamous but, I’m having a good time with each of them in their own way.


YoM Day 238: Sock and shawl knitting and cross-stitching

YoM  Day 239- 246: Sock and shawl knitting

YoM Day 247: Sock knitting and sewing

YoM Day 248-249: Sock and shawl knitting


Happy making!

Box O’ Sox.

It’s here. It’s finished. It’s beautiful.

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Of course, I’m talking about my box of socks. I love the idea of knitting a dozen pair of socks a year and the Box O’ Sox KAL is the perfect motivation. I completed my box last year in October, I think. I didn’t consciously try to finish faster this year, but somehow I speed up on the sock output every year.

To celebrate, I thought I’d go back and talk about each pair in turn. Starting with pair #1: I knit these in 9 days at the beginning of the year, mostly while on a work trip. I have almost ordered this yarn again several times because I love it so much.

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“Goldfish” – The Lemonade Shop

Pair #2: I love these so much. The yellow accents just work perfectly with the main color. The yellow is a little out of my usual comfort zone so that’s fun. These were my first cut in heel, which turned out to be an awesome technique

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“Day Drinking” – SuperCraftyGirl, contrast is “Zest” – Yarn Ink

Pair #3 were my Rainbowalong socks for 2017. I adore this colorway. It was gifted to me by my sweet friend Angela, who owns a yarn shop in the U.K. These make me think of her which is awesome.

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“Summer Skies, Rainbow Brite” – Moth and the Squid

Pair #4 were another fun deviation from my normal color palate. The skein didn’t look like it but these knit up into the prettiest autumnal rainbow. I like that little contrast toe, too.

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“Rainbow Brite” – Tempting Ewe Yarns, contrast is “Orange Fizz” – Countess Ablaze

Pair #5 is another pair that I could order the yarn again. I love this sweet pink! This base is one of my favorites. One thing I learned this year is that I highly prefer 80/20 Merino Nylon for socks. I’ve nearly quit using 75/25 blends for socks.

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“Sweet, Sweet Candy” – The Lemonade Shop

Pair #6 were the first in my revival socks. I knit the first sock last year and it was incredibly small. So I knit myself a whole extra 2 socks. I find it awesome that I can get that much out of one skein. This neon is amazing.

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“Milky Way” – Knitty and Color

Pair #7 is my first pair with Baerenwolle yarn, but it won’t be my last. They almost feel like sport weight socks, the yarn is so plump and squishy. I love it.

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“Crush” – Baerenwolle

Pair #8 were my second revival socks pair. I started out not really into it, but wound up loving them. And that’s two pairs with yellow contrast! Who would have thought?

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Unknown colorways – both by Marigold Jen

Pair #9 just sung to me. My favorite colors are grey and pink and this is the best combo of the two I’ve seen.

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“Purr” – Peepaloo Fields

Pair #10 were a pair I started in March for St. Patrick’s Day but got distracted from them They’re a Corriedale blend which is fun and different, it feels squishy and sturdy at the same time. I finished these up in July.

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“Experiment 078” – Lamby Toes

Pair #11 were knit from a skein of yarn I won. I had never heard of the dyer before I entered the contest, but I was instantly seduced by the speckles. I cast these on nearly immediately after receiving the yarn and they were my first pair of birthday socks.

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“Sprinkles on Top” – Wee Chickadee Woolery

Pair #12 were my second pair of birthday socks. I knit them on vacation and I love that that memory is knit into them. The colors are just so sweet that I can’t stand it.

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“Sprinkle” – Peepaloo Fields

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My Box O’ Sox has been quite the journey. I really learned what to look for in a sock yarn that I will enjoy and that will produce consistent results for my gauge. I learned how to cut in afterthought heels. I learned that I like my cuffs 5″ instead of 6″. I love that I figured out all of those things. I can’t wait to figure out what next year’s box brings.


YoM Day 237: Sock knitting. Of course.


Happy making!

Life and socks.

I keep thinking, I should write a blog post soon. And then something else happens and I just don’t write. It’s been nice to take a bit of a break, I’ve been a trifle inactive on social media as well. But I do miss writing and sharing. This blog has really helped me coalesce my thoughts and intentions through the simple act of writing things down. I like that.

All that has been happening has been lovely. Since we last spoke, we’ve done some celebrating with my family, had a weekend trip with some friends, and had my favorite newly engaged couple up to visit. Today, let’s look back in pictures and in socks, and I’ll resume regular posts soon. Probably.

While visiting my family we had cake for my birthday:

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They put all 34 candles on it.

I got to visit with my two best friends in the whole wide world for a few precious hours. We were so taken up with each other that we didn’t get a picture together!

We left from my hometown to take a trip with one of the aforementioned besties and another mutual friend. And all of our families. 6 grown-ups and 6 kids stuffed our cabin full, but it was so nice to spend time with everyone. One night, the kids and dads made supper so I stole a few moments of knitting on the back porch.

 

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Second sock with a view.

On our last day, we took all the kids to an adventure park. It was a fantastic idea! Kids had fun and we loved watching them.

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photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

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photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

 

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photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

If you’re noticing a trend, the photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com part, well we were lucky enough that one of our six adults is an excellent photographer!

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Our whole group! photo courtesy J Gouge Photography – jeremygouge.com

After we made it home, I managed to finish up my second pair of birthday socks which also happened to be my vacation socks. They are pair 12 for the year! My Box O’ Sox is finished, but we can talk more about that on another day.

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Peepaloo Fields on Sensible Sock in the Sprinkle Colorway

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I cast on another pair almost immediately. I can’t really stand not to have socks on the needles. This is Hedgehog Fibres, Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway:

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When I got back to work after vacation, my favorite intern of all time had gone back home. She really is awesome and I hope to connect with her in the future. She left me the coolest birthday present:

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Etched mirror, her artistic interpretation of quasicrystals. Physics is cool!

That weekend, my brother, his fiancé, and her little brother came to visit. P.S. He proposed to her and our family couldn’t be happier. I’m ecstatic that we get to keep her. While they were here we went for a nice walk and picnic at the bay. We had a blast.

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Chesapeake Bay

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Impromptu D&D game while supper was cooking

On Monday, as you may have heard, there was an eclipse. We only got 82% coverage here in Maryland, but we celebrated in style.

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Beyond that, I have continued to work on the secret projects. I’m almost done with them! I’ve kept my sanity by continuing to work on socks and the first one is coming along nicely.

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I think that’s it for the last couple of weeks. I’m getting excited to be done with the secret stuff and move on to new things. I feel a bout of startitis coming on–my Ravelry queue is teaming with ideas and my sewing room is bursting with potential!


YoM day 221-236: Sock knitting and secrets!


Happy making!

Giant Family Road Trip, phase 1: Tennessee

We’re on a bit of a tour to see friends and family back home. Phase 1 included two destinations in Tennessee. Road trip day 1 was the longest car ride planned of the trip so we switched off driving duties. I knit during my time off:

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Birthday socks, pair 2: Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields

Our, first stop was to see Kevin’s best friends. They are the other 3/5 of our Dungeons and Dragons group, which we usually play online via Skype. Friday night, we got to stay with them and were up late playing in person! It was a great time and we woke up Saturday morning to play some more. If you’re curious, we defeated the necromancer.

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The next stop has been to see Kevin’s parents. We had a gorgeous sunny day yesterday, and Kevin’s mom suggested a hike up to some falls in the area.

She even took a picture of all four of us together, something that almost never happens.

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Of course, things deteriorated pretty quickly with these jokers:

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Other than that we’ve mostly been spending time together, talking and eating their good cooking. It’s been a great visit, I feel lucky that spending time with Kevin’s family feels like home to me too.

Of course, I’ve been knitting when I’m sitting. I finished the first sock and cast on the second:

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I adore this color. It is so soft and sweet, just like sprinkles! I’ve also been using a newish project bag that I made, which went a teensy bit wrong.

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Nice and wrinkly from travel.

It looks a little funky because I boxed the bottom way too aggressively. Must remember to think more carefully about that the next time. The other issue with it is that it’s a wee bit too small. I wanted a little, single skein, sock sack. This one is a little snug on a wound up ball of yarn, though. It’s been tough to pull the yarn from the outside (which I do) until about now, when the second sock is done.

It’s super cute and still 100% usable, so I’m using it. Next time we’ll go up in width and box the bottom a bit more sensibly. Making is always a learning process.


YoM day 219: you guessed it, socks!


Happy making!