On the WIP Side – 4.24.2020

As always, I hope you are still all staying safe, happy and sane. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during this tumultuous time. I’m happy to distract you with some fun crafty projects. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

Same picture. I made progress, but this is good enough…

Total: 5 WIPs (3 active)
Knitting:
3 projects – 1 shawl, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
1 project
Finished: 1 project
2020 Total Finished: 12

Sam’s Hat – DONE!
Pattern: Sam’s Hat / Tidal Yarns
Yarn: Tidal Yarns / Worsted / Multiple Colors
Needles: Size 3 and 5
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 4/12/2020
Cast off goal: 4/19/2020
Cast off date: 4/19/2020 (basically)

I finished this hat! Woohoo. Like I mentioned last week, it went very quickly. Over the weekend, I finished up the crown and (mostly) cast the hat off. Well, technically, it’s still on the needle, but here’s what happened. I only have one tapestry needle, for some reason. I use it for my business and so it lives on my work table instead of in my notions pouch. Do you see where this is going? Instead of getting up to get the needle, I’ve yet to sew the end through the last few stitches on the needle to tie up the top of the hat. Oh well. It’s mostly done.

Drachenfels Shawl
Pattern: Drachenfels / Melanie Berg
Yarn: Suburban Stitcher / Single Sock / Darkest Hour, Clementine and Sweet Adeline
Needles: Size 4 Needles
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/18/2020
Cast off goal: None

I really haven’t made much progress on this one, so just look back at last week’s photo. I really haven’t been setting aside my quiet time in the morning, which means I’m not working on this project. I’m still hoping to start using the third color soon.

Honey Bee Dance Socks
Pattern: Honey Bee Dance Socks / Helen Stewart / Curious Handmade
Yarn: One Twisted Tree / Prime / Rare Woman Claire
Needles: Size 0 DPNs
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/29/2020
Cast off goal: 4/19/2020

Sock 2 is also done. Again, I’m repeating pictures. That’s the story of the week.

I am basically finished with these socks. I have about 10 rows left on the cuff and hope to finish it tomorrow as it’s getting pretty late already tonight. I’ve been continuing to work on these sock as I watch tv or dyeing. Slowly, but surely the socks are getting. I’m sorry there’s not been much in this post, but I hope to have some exciting projects coming soon. I haven’t really had much crafting time, but I find it good to keep up with the progress posts. Read on for some upcoming projects.

Other
1. Spinning – Did not spin
2. Northeasterly – I made a bit of progress as I work on this before bed.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
A few projects are coming up. I’m going to probably cast on a Stephen West pattern, Painting Bricks out of my new Neon Unicorn gradient. I’m pretty excited about this and I hope to cast it on soon. I do need to dye the yarn for it and I’ve been very busy on the dyeing front.

I also plan on casting on a colorwork sweater out of the Rauma yarn in my stash.

I also plan on casting on this upcoming epic project, but I need to plan the yarn for it still. Keep staying tuned.

Shop
The virtual trunk show with my local yarn shop, A Knit Sheep, is up on my Youtube channel. Check out the video by clicking here. You can shop for the yarn here. The yarn will be posted there until May 2nd! Watch the video now to see how you can enter to win a mini skein gradient set of Neon Unicorn or patterns.

You can win this mini skein set!

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

My new spring colors are live and happening so check out my shop update post.

Virtual Trunk Show TODAY at 2pm ET & Neon Unicorn

Today is the day! At 2pm ET I am cohosting a virtual trunk show with my local yarn store, A Knit Sheep. I’m both excited and terrified all at once. If you can’t make the live show, this show will be recorded and posted on YouTube for 2 weeks. We will have fun giveaways that you’ll want to tune in for early on. We’ll also be chatting and answering questions as they come up. I will of course be showing you some yarn and I hope you find something you like!

Zoom Meeting ID: 431 238 558

Shop at aknitsheep.com and click on the image for the trunk show. Once 2pm hits, all of the items will appear!

I will be offering some of my new spring colorways, fan favorites and awesome gradient sets. I’m launching my new BFL Sock base and my newest colorway Neon Unicorn, pictured below! Check out this post for more details.

I want to keep this short, but make sure you tune in! I’d love to meet you.

On the WIP Side – 4.16.2020

As always, I hope you are still all staying safe, happy and sane. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during this tumultuous time. I’m happy to distract you with some fun crafty projects. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

Total: 6 WIPs (3 active)
Knitting:
4 projects – 1 shawl, 1 pair of socks, 1 hat and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
1 project
Finished: 0 projects
2020 Total Finished: 11

Drachenfels Shawl
Pattern: Drachenfels / Melanie Berg
Yarn: Suburban Stitcher / Single Sock / Darkest Hour, Clementine and Sweet Adeline
Needles: Size 4 Needles
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/18/2020
Cast off goal: None

I made it to the stripes! I was really excited about this. I do think this is where knitting monogamously moves projects along. I find that I like to get to the next section soon, which makes me work on that project more. If I had many projects going with less time to work on each, the next section might feel that much further away.

This project has been helping me get back into reading. While I was in that “I just want to be at the stripes” phase, I told myself I could only work on it while I was reading. So instead of turning the TV on after work one day, I grabbed my book and read for an entire hour. I’m not sure when the last time that happened was, but it was just so nice and relaxing. I really enjoyed it. So now, I do stripes for a whole long time and someday will add in the third color. Stay tuned!

Honey Bee Dance Socks
Pattern: Honey Bee Dance Socks / Helen Stewart / Curious Handmade
Yarn: One Twisted Tree / Prime / Rare Woman Claire
Needles: Size 0 DPNs
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/29/2020
Cast off goal: 4/19/2020

Sock 1 is done

I finished sock 1! I ended up doing a 1×1 twisted rib on sock 1 for reasons that I’ll explain why I highlight this project. I finished it while I was on a work chat with some coworkers and so I immediately cast on the second sock. However, I ended up putting it aside last Sunday afternoon for the next project that you’ll see on this post. The good news is that I did come back to the sock and am very close to the heel. I plan to finish up this sock over the weekend because I’m ready to move on from it. Again, I think this is where knitting with a few projects is really great. You get to finish and move on. You can tell I’m still not in a sock place and yet I seem to always cast another pair on. What’s with that?

Sam’s Hat – NEW!
Pattern: Sam’s Hat / Tidal Yarns
Yarn: Tidal Yarns / Worsted / Multiple Colors
Needles: Size 3 and 5
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 4/12/2020
Cast off goal: 4/19/2020

Just about at the crown

Yup, a new cast on. Like I said, I cast off the first sock and then decided to do a little palate cleanser. I had this yarn all kitted up from a festival I went to last April. The yarn is beautiful hand dyed yarn in a great woolen yarn. It is not superwash, but it is soft and the hat itself is coming out really nice. If you see Tidal Yarns at a festival, you should definitely stop by and browse and buy everything.

She had a lot of different mini skeins all set up and you could pick and choose the different colors you wanted. Like usual, I went with the sample. I didnt take a picture of the sample though and so I might have knitted the hat in the wrong order, but I love it all the same.

It’s a basic chevron hat but the color changes make this hat go quick. That combined with worsted weight yarn and sitting on my butt for like 5 hours means that all of the progress you see in that picture was in 1 go. That includes ripping out a color because I decided to switch the order of it. It really went quick but I also really sat on my butt for a while. I was burnt out and this quick project really helped me feel better. I have a couple of rounds to go before I knit the crown and I could have finished it in that sitting. I decided not to knit a hat in one go though and switched back to the socks. It’ll get done this weekend too!

Other
1. Spinning – Did not spin
2. Northeasterly – I did not knit on this, but I did pick out new colors. Progress?

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
An epic project. Stay tuned. Still happening. Still stay tuned.

Shop
The shop is gearing up for the virtual trunk show THIS SATURDAY. You can find details in the facebook event, just search for agirlandherwool Trunk Show. You can also find details on my latest blog post as well as on aknitsheep.com. If the live event isn’t your thing, just check out the video once it is posted on YouTube.

Check out all my fun gradients!

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

My new spring colors are live and happening so check out my shop update post.

Virtual Trunk Show – Sat, April 18th at 2pm ET

Originally, my shop, agirlandherwool, was supposed to have a trunk show at my local yarn shop, A Knit Sheep Yarns as part of the NJ Wool Walk in early April. Due to Covid-19 and health concerns, the event was cancelled, which I’m extremely grateful for. I 100% support all efforts we are all making to help this pandemic leave as little long term effect on our world as possible. I hope you all are safe, healthy and working with everyone in however way you can as an individual to contribute to the cause.

That being said, Lisa at A Knit Sheep and I have been working hard to bring you all a virtual trunk show! There’s no need to go without beautiful yarn during this tumultuous time. It works even better if you are not local to NJ and still want to participate. Consider this your formal invitation!

During the show, we will be presenting the yarn, samples and offering giveaways. Browse through this look book to get an idea of what will be offered.

New Base Alert – BFL Sock

During this event, I will be launching my brand new base – BFL Sock. You guys, you are going to love this yarn. It is a true fingering weight base (400 yards/100g) that is composed of 80% superwash BFL and 20% nylon. It is a high twist, 2 ply base and man is it sturdy. The yarn is still extremely soft, but it will make a great sock yarn that will last for a good long time. Check out my 2 Color Sock post if you want to read about how I used it in a recent project. For the entire length of the trunk show, you will only be able to buy this base through A Knit Sheep Yarn’s online shop.

New Colorway Alert – Neon Unicorn

Neon Unicorn will also be launched at this event. I have a new gradient set and a skein in this colorway. I promise you will love this. I’m obsessed and leave a skein of it on my desk here so I can just stare at it all day. I’ll be showing what it looks like on my Instagram account later this week so go follow me there specifically to see this colorway.

The live event will be held on April 18th at 2pm ET through a zoom meeting. Can’t make it? No worries! The show will be posted to YouTube for an additional 2 weeks! You’ll be able to shop for yarn that entire time. During the live event, we will keep the chat open so you can ask questions, interact and have fun while I show you all the yarn. I can guarantee I will make a fool of myself at least once. Maybe let’s start a pool on how many times?

I’d love to have you participate in the live show so stayed tuned for an invitation to the Zoom meeting. If you’ve never used Zoom, you don’t even need an account to participate. You’ll just need to download Zoom onto your computer or phone, then just type in the meeting ID. It’s easy! If you have any questions, head to the contact me page on this site and send me a note. I’ll do my best to help you out!

Make sure you are subscribed to receive notifications of when I post here on the blog. You’ll see more details pop up throughout the week. Subscription button right here–

FO Friday – Two Color Socks

I’m so excited to show off these Two Color Socks. They were really fun to work up and I’m excited to have them as new shop samples! As always, here are the fun details first:
Pattern: Two Color Socks / Joji Locatelli
Yarn: agirlandherwool / BFL Sock base / Pebbles in the River and Love at First Sight
Needles: Size 0
Cast on: 3/9/2020
Cast off: 3/28/2020
The pattern page on Ravelry can be found here.

I’m really happy I made these socks for a few reasons.
1. Pebbles in the River and Love at First Sight is one of my favorite pairings of colorways in my shop. I’ve been wanting to knit with them as a pair for a while and I’m so glad I finally have.
2. The new BFL sock base is such a good sock base. It’s so sturdy but still very soft. I can’t wait to knit more with it.
3. I have had my eye on this pattern since the day I saw Joji post about it. I’ve loved them for that long and it’s such a fun sock pattern. If you haven’t knit a textured sock pattern yet, consider these. It’s very simple patterns, but it comes out looking so good. I think the two colors are also a good twist that adds fun without being overly complicated.

I knit these socks exactly as written other than using a Size 0 needle instead of a Size 1 needle. I mention it here often, but I knit loosely and so I always need to go down a needle size. Since it’s for a shop sample, I like to keep the pattern as is so that people don’t expect to get one pattern out of it and end up with something different. I did knit the smallest size, which is still a bit large for me. I knew if I used a Size 1 needle, it would just be out of control.

Here are all the things I would have changed about this pattern if it weren’t a sample:
1. I would have knit them toe up. For the texture patterns in this sock, it would have come out identically to how they look now. For some of my textured socks, the pattern is actually upside down, which never bothers me.
2. I would have used a fish lips kiss heel. I just love that heel better than a lot of other heels. This pattern uses a heel flap and gusset. I just don’t like the look of it so much. I might have mentioned it here on the blog before, but it reminds me of an old school baby onesie with a butt flap. I also just don’t like knitting the flap, picking up stitches and remembering to decrease to a certain point. Just not my thing.
3. I would have used 52 stitches instead of 56.
4. I might have taken away a repeat or two of the lace because these socks came out a bit taller than I usually knit.
5. I would have made two matching socks instead of opposite colors on the second sock.

That’s not so much right? It still would have been the same pattern at heart. It’s mostly just about making sure I get a fit that works for me.

Overall, I’d definitely knit these again. I would definitely look to use smaller skeins for them and even consider it for some of the leftovers I plan on using this year.

Check out the pattern on Ravelry. If you like this pairing of yarn, check them out in my shop. I’ve set up a coupon code for these colors and my blog readers. Use code “BLOGREADERTWOCOLOR” at checkout for 15% off these colors. The code will work for one week only, until April 16th, 2020. It is available for Pebbles in the River and Love at First Sight as individual skeins or in their pairing. Let me know if you have any questions!

On the WIP Side – 4.8.2020

As always, I hope you are still all staying safe, happy and sane. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during this tumultuous time. I’m happy to distract you with some fun crafty projects. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

Staying monogamous

Total: 5 WIPs (4 active)
Knitting:
3 projects – 1 shawl, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
1 project
Finished: 0 projects
2020 Total Finished: 11

Drachenfels Shawl
Pattern: Drachenfels / Melanie Berg
Yarn: Suburban Stitcher / Single Sock / Darkest Hour, Clementine and Sweet Adeline
Needles: Size 4 Needles
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/18/2020
Cast off goal: None

This is still my reading project. I’ve been really great about giving myself 30 minutes to myself in the morning where I just sip a cup of coffee, read and work on this shawl. It’s a slow going shawl because I really am mostly just knitting on it for that 30 minutes, but it’s just what I need for that time. I’m really glad that I’m enjoying reading again and will start to look for more time as well. I’m still mostly knitting with the dark blue and should finish up this first section soon. I’ll then move onto some striping and include the 3rd colorway soon.

Honey Bee Dance Socks – NEW!
Pattern: Honey Bee Dance Socks / Helen Stewart / Curious Handmade
Yarn: One Twisted Tree / Prime / Rare Woman Claire
Needles: Size 0 DPNs
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/29/2020
Cast off goal: None

Loving the texture

This was definitely not on my recent radar, but I have had these socks planned for a while. You’ll know that I”m trying to use up skeins in my stash and this yarn has been around for YEARS. I originally got this yarn as part of a Christmas gift and I used other skeins to make a Riley Rose Shawl. I never used this skein and so I’ve been wanting to cast on a textured pattern with it.

I purchased the Handmade Sock Society from Curious Handmade back in 2018. It was the first season of it. If you haven’t seen these collections, go check them out. I think she’s in the midst of releasing the 3rd season of them. You receive a mystery pattern once every other month (this is how it worked for the first year, so I can’t say if it is still like this) for an entire year. So far, I’ve knit 3 of the patterns and so I’m excited to have cast on the 4th. If you don’t know Helen’s patterns, check them out. They are also so beautiful. If I could only knit one designer’s patterns for the rest of my life, she’d be up there on that list. She also writes out her patterns with percentage completion trackers, which is nice.

I needed a new cast on after all of my finished objects last week. I’ve been talking a lot about casting on different sweaters, but I just needed to get going on something. That’s one thing I love about sock yarn, you really can just grab, wind and go. I’ve been on the search for a really complex project (stay tuned for more details on that!) and so I decided to do a patterned sock instead of a vanilla sock. I really am still not in a sock place although it does seem like I cast one on every time I cast one off. They’re just so easy to cast on!

If you look closely at the pattern, there’s a cabled column on either side of the honey bee design. At some point, those were unaligned, meaning that I was cabling them on offset rows. Normally I really wouldn’t care, but it looked like it was just one inch back. I decided to just fix it, but then of course when I ripped back it wasn’t where I thought it was. Turns out, the mistake was before I turned for the heel, which suddenly felt like a lot more to rip back. At that point, the mistake still really didn’t bother me, but once I ripped back an inch for no good reason, I decided I needed to just go back and fix it. So I did and now I’m back up well past where I was. I’m finishing the last repeat of the pattern and then will do the cuff. Then it’s onto sock 2!

I think before I cast on sock 2, I’ll be knitting a charity project first. I think that’s dangerous, but we’ll see. I really don’t want too many WIPs going at once though, so I might switch off for now.

Other
1. Spinning – I did spin a bit, but not worth showing
2. Northeasterly – I knit a bunch on this and have completed another set of colors. Check out my YouTube channel to see it! I’ll post an update here when I finish another column.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
An epic project. Stay tuned.

Shop
The shop is full of lots of fun ready to ship skeins. Check it out here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

My new spring colors were released on Monday so check out my shop update post.
Also – check out my last FO Friday post for a discount on Strawberry Shortcake and Mint Chip.

On sale for blog readers only!

Shop Update – 4.6.2020 at 8pm ET

Hi everyone! It’s been a few weeks since I had a formal shop update. I’ll be introducing some of my spring colorways tomorrow, Monday, April 6th at 8pm ET. Are you ready for spring? It’s definitely here in this area. I hope these springy colors brighten up your day! Keep reading below to see what will go into the shop. You can also see a vlog about it on my YouTube channel, agirlandherwool.

Spring Rainbow Set!
Spring Rainbow

Spring Rainbow
My newest gradient set is a spring rainbow! I love the light pastel tones in this rainbow and it’s sure to brighten up any project. Each skein is a different color of the rainbow with the same color speckled on it. You can order the set in any size skeins, but all 10 skeins will be the same sizes.
I also have a spring rainbow colorway. This is also a light pastel color with all of the rainbow colors speckled all over it. It’s so much fun and screams spring. If you love a lot of color that’s not completely in your face, this is the right color for you.

Speckled Orchid
Speckled Orchid is definitely going to become a favorite. It has a deep green and bright pinks that totally remind me of beautiful orchids. It also has some gray in there too. When I dyed up this color, I imagined myself immersed in a garden with beautiful stone walls. It’s amazing how the colors are able to bring you to some of those magical places. I hope you enjoy it too!

Speckled Orchid

Orange Sorbet
Orange sorbet is a cross between an orange creamsicle and a tropical sunset. It reminds me of both. The base is a pale orange with pinks, yellows, red and blue speckles. It is definitely all about spring and dreams of the upcoming summer season.

The shop will be updated at 8pm ET on Monday, April 6th. There are already some ready to ship skeins available and always any size skeins (and any quantity) always available. I hope to see you there!

Again, for a full run down, check out my vlog on YouTube.

What I’m Doing with Yarn Leftovers

I can’t imagine any fiber artist out there that doesn’t have leftovers in there stash. Am I wrong?

I think a lot of people set out to use up their leftovers or knit from stash as a way to alleviate guilt in buying yarn. I want to say flat out here, I full on encourage buying yarn. In fact, it’s the main driver in what I’m about to talk about.

I’m a minimalist in a way that I don’t hoard, I’m just fine with donating and throwing away items and I’m really cautious about all of my purchases. I really can’t stand ‘stuff.’ It stresses me out way too much and I love an empty clean look over a cluttered ‘homey’ feel.

Over time, I’ve acquired a stash, but it’s probably not the type that you are thinking of. I don’t purchase yarn on a whim and really plan my projects out ahead of time. I try not to buy anything without a purpose and this applies to my yarn purchases as well. The stash that I have is due to all the leftovers I have with the projects that I have worked on over time. This really helped drive me to open up my Etsy shop, where you choose the size of your skein. I only use about half of a skein of yarn to make a pair of socks. This means that I have a half skein for every pair of socks that I’ve knit. That number is not small.

The Stash.
Most of this is leftovers

I have a giant tote bag where I throw all of my sock leftovers in. In 2020, I set out to use up a lot of these balls of yarn. I’m not kidding myself, there’s no way I would ever be able to knit all of it up, but I’d love to make some sort of dent. I’ve decided that I’m using the leftovers to knit up all kinds of charity projects.

Sock leftovers

I’ve already started on this and so below is a picture of a pair of socks I made out of Hedgehog Fibres in the Shiver colorway. This is one of the first pairs of socks I have ever made, which means that these leftovers have moved around with me a lot. It was time to turn it into something else. With the leftovers, I started a crochet scrap blanket and I knit a Newborn Vertebrae sweater and a preemie hat.

My plans for the leftovers go like this:
1. Pull a ball of yarn out of the tote bag. (This is easier said than done. That bag is a giant tangle of yarn.)
2. Crochet a stripe (there and back) into my Neat Ripple blanket.
3. Figure out how much yarn is left and decide what to make next.
4. Use the yarn to its entirety.

Yarn purchased from a pair of socks turned into a sweater, hat and part of a scrap blanket

The items that are knit after the scrap blanket will be charity items. I’ll be honest, if I have a birthday or baby shower coming up that one of these items would be good for, they might also be used for that. However, for the most part, it will be charity items.

I know there are lots of preemie hat patterns out there, which is an amazing idea because you can make a hat out of a small quantity of yarn. I’d love to hear other great ideas for patterns that are good to donate but also have lots of sizes so that you can make something based on what you have left. Let me know what you think and I’ll be keeping you all up to date throughout the year. I may devote one FO Friday of the month to these projects.

FO Friday – Little Thun Sweater

If you need a quick baby knit, this is the pattern for you! As always, here are the fun details first:
Pattern:Little Thun / Emily Franck aka The Blue Mouse
Yarn: agirlandherwool / DK base / Strawberry Shortcake and Mint Chip
Needles: Size 5 (body) and Size 4 (hem)
Cast on: 2/23/2020
Cast off: 3/1/2020
The pattern page on Ravelry can be found here.

Again, I started this project to be a shop sample because I had an upcoming trunk show and wanted to show some knits in my DK base. This pairing has been popular in the shop and I thought the two colors would be fun to use for a baby knit. I decided to knit this pattern because I primarily wanted something to show off the colorways and also to be a quick knit. I think that when I pick shop samples, it’s important to think through that people might want to knit exactly what you are showing and that means making sure I have different level of difficulties in the projects. The other projects I have to show have a lot of patterns in them and so having a simply stockinette sweater seemed like a great idea. This pattern is available in multiple children sizes and there is even an adult version as well.

This was another quick knit, but I do want to talk through a couple of things that happened while I was working on it. First would be the color changes for the stripes in the body. Keeping in mind that I was knitting this pattern for a sample, I wanted to make sure it looked nice. Maybe that sounds weird, like I wouldn’t have wanted it to look nice if it were meant to be worn, but let’s be real. A kid’s sweater doesn’t have to be perfect. Really, none of our handknits do. In any case, I was knitting the stripes and the beginning of the round is on the back of the sweater. I’m more used to it being in the side right under the armpit. It was starting to bug me that the color changes would be in a more obvious spot and so instead of creating a seam where I was carrying the yarn, I decided to cut the ends and weave them in. I figured that would be a better way to do it. It actually made it messier though because of the holes left behind when you switch yarns. I know I could have done this better, especially when weaving in the ends, but I didn’t and it’ll be fine. After blocking, it’s noticeable to me, but I think the sweater does its job of showing these colorways.

When I knit the arms, I just carried each color through the stripes and allowed for a seam to show. It’s underneath the arms though, so to me it’s fine. If I were to knit it again, I would move the beginning of the round to the side of the sweater and just carry them down and not care about the seam. For all I know, the pattern did have that direction in there and I missed it.

The other issue I had is that at first, I didn’t go down a needle size for the hems. I mostly chose not to out of laziness (I would have had to go to another room to get the needle, sheesh) and quickly regretted it. I felt like the larger hem looked sloppier and again, this was to be a shop sample and I wanted it to look nice. I ended up ripping back the hem and reknitting it at a sit and stitch. It sounds worse than it was, because remember, this is a 12 month old size sweater. It really wasn’t that much knitting to redo. I also went down a needle size for the cuffs and it looks very cute and neat.

Overall, I’m sure I’ll reknit this pattern again. It’s a simple raglan and if you didn’t do the striping, it would be very straightforward. The stripes do add that bit of helping along in terms of feeling like you make progress.

I spent a lot of time before knitting the pattern deciding which color to use at the main color. Strawberry Shortcake is a variegated and speckled yarn, which means it’s busier than Mint Chip, which is more of a semi-solid. I kept going back and forth about which one would be better to highlight as the stripes. In the end, I went with my gut and I love the combination as it is. I bet if I did it the other way, I’d be saying the same thing. I don’t think you can go wrong either way if you do have one more colorful yarn than the other. It’s without a doubt a good pattern to play with color on.

The other fun bit of information is that the name is pronounced “Toon” not “Th-un.” When I was telling my sit and stitch group about the pattern, they were looking at me like I was crazy. I headed to the pattern to see the story behind the name and learned the correct pronunciation.

Check out the pattern on Ravelry. If you like this pairing of yarn, check them out in my shop. I’ve set up a coupon code for these colors and my blog readers. Use code “BLOGREADERTHUN” at checkout for 15% off these colors. The code will work for one week only, until April 10th, 2020. It is available for Strawberry Shortcake and Mint Chip as individual skeins or in their pairing. Let me know if you have any questions!

On the WIP Side – 4.1.2020

Still hanging in there? Finding more time to craft or is everything completely turned upside down. Just know I’m thinking about everyone and hope you are all safe, healthy and happy. I’ve definitely been productive so I’m excited to fill you in on all of the projects. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

Total: 4 WIPs (4 active)
Knitting:
2 projects – 1 shawl and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
1 project
Finished: 4 projects (I know, right?)
2020 Total Finished: 11

2 Color Socks – DONE
Pattern: 2 Color Socks / Joji Locatelli
Yarn: agirlandherwool / base coming soon 🙂 / Pebbles in the River and Love at First Sight
Needles: Size 0 DPNs
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/9/2020
Cast off goal: 3/31/2020
Cast off: 3/28/2020

I rarely take a lazy weekend. Between my full time job, the shop, chores and life, I don’t necessarily ever have time to ‘binge’ on much. However, I did just that this weekend. My husband says I was still very productive, but I took the afternoons off and just knit. What this means is that I finished my 2nd Two Color Sock! I think on Saturday morning, I had just finished the heel flap and turn. I’m not sure if I was still doing gusset decreases, but you get the point. By the end of the night, that sock was complete, even the ends were all woven in. I actually have them soaking so that I can block them and take better pictures soon. Look out for them on an upcoming FO Friday post.

Escarpment Cowl – DONE
Pattern: Escarpment Cowl / Shireen Nadir
Yarn: Juniper Moon Farms in Cumulus Dappled / Colorway TBD
Needles: Size 7
Cast on: 1/26/2020
Cast off goal: None
Cast off: 3/29/2020

I attended my shop’s sit and stitch on Sunday – virtually, of course – and was able to finish up this cowl. It has traditionally been my sit and stitch project and after the two hours were up, I had just a few rows left. After sitting in front of the computer screen for 2 hours, I wanted to go for a walk and while I waited for my husband to be ready, I finished it up! I have to say, I’m pretty happy with this project. It’s a yarn I probably wouldn’t normally have leaned towards (cotton and thicker), but I’m so glad I purchased it and made this cowl. It’s a cute bandana style cowl, with just a little bit of knitting to connect it in the back. It’ll make a great spring/fall accessory. Again – stay tuned for a more in depth look at this project on an upcoming Friday. I would recommend both the pattern and the yarn.

Charity Preemie Hats: Hat 1 & Hat 2: DONE
Pattern: Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat / Greg Cohoon / KnittingDaddy
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Prints / Philadelphia and Hedgehog Fibres / Shiver
Needles: Size 3 (cascade) and Size 2 (HHF)
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/29/2020
Cast off goal: 3/30/2020

If you’ve been reading this blog this year, you probably know that I am trying to knit up a lot of my leftovers. I will be doing a longer post about this on Saturday both here and on my YouTube channel. For skeins that I have used in the past, I’m trying to knit charity projects out of the leftovers. I had about 8 grams left of both the Cascade Heritage and the Hedgehog Fibres yarn and so I decided to knit some preemie hats. For those who don’t know, preemie hats are often knit out of leftovers because they do not take much yarn and it really means a lot for people in the NICU with their babies. I recommend checking out the pattern I used. It has a really lovely story about Greg’s premature baby and how he turned to knitting.

My plan is to donate these to a local hospital to help keep the babies warm and also bring a smile to their family’s faces. If you have suggestions about how to find a hospital in need, please let me know!

These hats took about an hour each. They really go quickly and are a fun little hat to make while watching an episode of something. I’m so happy I finally used up two skeins of yarn and have those leftovers out of the bag. I’ll do a charity recap as well to show you just how much I was able to get out of each skein.

Making preemie hats is something I want to keep up with. I was able to make the size Medium (for a ‘preemie’) out of 8 grams. For the cascade hat, I used size 3 needles, which is what the pattern called for. For the hedgehog fibres one, I went down to a 2 because the yarn is so thin. I want the hat to provide warmth for the babies and so I wanted a denser gauge than I would have gotten with the 3s. I wasn’t too concerned about gauge because the hat will find the right head and no baby is the same. Even lining it up perfectly to the measurements in the pattern doesn’t mean it’s the right size for all babies.

The pattern tells you to use DPNs, which I didn’t have in a size 3 so I knit them both magic loop. I then used stitch markers to mark where the DPNs would go, which was important for the crown decreases. Otherwise, very straightforward and an easy knit.

There’s a small and a large size as well, where the small is for micro preemies and the large is for newborn sizes. Keep in mind that babies can be in the NICU even at full size.

Let me know if you have favorite charity hat patterns that you use! This one is great and I will definitely be able to memorize it, but I’d also love to have some more in my back pocket.

Drachenfels Shawl
Pattern: Drachenfels / Melanie Berg
Yarn: Suburban Stitcher / Single Sock / Darkest Hour, Clementine and Sweet Adeline
Needles: Size 4 Needles
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 3/18/2020
Cast off goal: None

THe Drachenfels shawl has certainly been a fun knit. I LOVE the colors I chose and even though I’m only using colors A and B (dark navy and the coral) they look SO GOOD TOGETHER. Navy and pink is my all time FAVORITE color pairing and seeing these two colors together brings me more joy than anything else right now. I’m not kidding. I don’t think I’ll ever want to cast this off unless all I do is knit navy and coral together for the rest of my life.

Ok. Well. That was something.

I might have mentioned this last week, but this pattern has become my reading project. I’m hoping to use it as a way to help me get back into reading and so far that is working really well. I’ve been having a quiet reading/knitting/coffee morning to wake up for about 30 minutes before doing anything else. I also found time to work on it and read while waiting for my husband to wrap up work last Friday. I find that the garter stitches makes it really easy to read while working on it.

At this point, I’ve finished so many WIPs that this is the only one I have to work on besides my Northeasterly blanket. That means that I did cheat and knit on it a bit while NOT reading, but what can I do? One of my goals for the day is to find a new project to work on. But, that’s a story for another post.

I really don’t have too much to say on this though. The yarn is soft, I obviously love the colors and the pattern itself is in cruise control at the moment. I did have a row or two of slipped stitches, but otherwise, it’s just increasing the rows and rows of garter stitch. If you don’t know the pattern, check it out! It’s a garter stitch shawl with three colors and there’s some striping in there. Overall, it will be an easy knit, but a fun squishy shawl to wear.

PS – if you do follow my Youtube channel, you would have seen all the nonsense I went through picking out the right needle size. I’m loving knitting it with Size 4 needles.

Spinning
Fiber: Created by Elsie B/ BFL and Seacell / Niagara Falls (OOAK)
General Plan: Fractal Spin / 2 ply
Spin on: (is there a term for this??) Sometime in early 2019.
Cast off goal: Before I die??

I spun again this week and am still working my way through the first half of the braid. I’m definitely getting faster in that I can get through more during my 15 min increments. I’m hopeful that I will finish this braid before the end of the quarantine??? Maybe that’s not saying much?

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.
2. Northeasterly. Not completely inactive because I have knit on a few colors. I’ll plan to show an update soon.

What’s Next?
I’ve stalled on my shiftalong hat by Andrea Mowry planning because I’m not sure which color to use for the main color. TBD.
I’ve been talking a big game about casting on a Sock Arms sweater. I think this will also be on hold for now. It’s mostly stockinette and I’d like to keep that off the needles until I finish the Drachenfels shawl. I’m contemplating what will be next, but I think I want something complicated. Any suggestions? Let me know!!

Shop
The shop is full of lots of fun ready to ship skeins. Check it out here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.
There will be a lot of fun announcements coming soon. Keep an eye out for the details.