Waning summer

I love the long long days of summer. Lovely evening light seems endless. It’s starting to feel more like fall, mostly because all of the schools around me (public and college) are back in session. The time for this Summer Sweater KAL is waning, but I’ve been making decent progress. I took time out for baby socks and big people socks and cast on a whole different sweater, but I’m still working on this lovely Carpino.carpino-3 I’ve long ago memorized the lace repeat. I’ve been working the waist decreases. carpino-2This pattern made me want to make few changes, aside from eliminating a couple of the bust and back increases in the raglan section. It seems like it will be a nice lightweight fall sweater. The September 9th deadline might come and go before this is finished, but I’m glad I’ll have at least an almost-finished sweater come early fall.

The gentle raglan shaping seems like it will be a fine fit and more naturally curved to the shoulder. carpino-4I’ll give you a peek of the Gemini progress soon!

Pink toes

baby feetWe had a couple of cold nights and I immediately wished I had made some baby socks for Charlotte, so I made some. These are some scrappy socks. I used a teeny bit of leftover Colinette Jitterbug in Whirley Fig and some Louet Gems Fingering Weight in Pewter. Working from the toe-up I cast on 12 stitches (6 per side) and increased the toes until I had 32 stitches total. Then I knit for about four inches and then did an inch of ribbing and cast off. These are plain ol’ tube socks so she can wear them through the winter as her feet grow. baby feet-4They fit well, but next time I might make them a smidge wider. I suppose she could also wear them as mittens if needed. baby feet-2Charlotte was 4 months old on the 16th and she’s a pretty happy little lady. Unless she’s looking at me like I’m a weirdo for taking her picture: baby feet-3I haven’t been as responsive to blog comments as I’d like to be and I’m sorry for that. I love reading your comments and greatly appreciate them. I’ve been back at work for 3 weeks and it’s definitely mentally taxing. In my other work life I’m a school based therapist at a school I adore. It is a wonderful job and most of the time but I often leave feeling like my brain has had a big workout all day long, so I’m not as active with responses as I’d like. I will always try my best to get at least one or two blog posts out a week because I love love love doing it. When I started this thing I really didn’t think anyone would read it, and I feel completely chuffed that people do, that I’ve made some friends from doing this, and I’ve also learned from a wonderful and vibrant community of knitters out in the world. I appreciate being part of the conversation.

Socks are good company

Sock projects will always be good company to me. Since I became obsessed with socks about 7 years ago hardly any time has passed between casting off one sock project and starting another (or having several going at once). Whether patterned or simple stockinette they are always good company due to their portability and functionality. I will always wear hand knit socks in the winter. Always. When I pared down my sock drawer I cast off those that were no longer favorites to my mom. She luckily has the same size feet. I think I’m down to about 16 pairs after ridding myself of some of them… summer socksThis yarn was gifted to me from Carina in Germany, simply because we both love Regia. Isn’t that sweet? The yarn is Regia Cotton Summer Smile in the colorway Marigold. It was a joy to knit and watch the happy oranges and pinks change. My favorite bit is the really multicolored part that reminds me of Fruity Pebbles. summer socks-2I did my usual heel flap that wraps around from the bottom of the sole to the back of the heel as I knit the socks from the toe up. When people ask me what sock pattern I’m using or what my favorite sock pattern is, I tell them I like my own! All of my socks are knit in this way, and if you’re wanting a basic one you can look at any of them and just ignore the cable or lace instructions if you want a plain sock. Some are free, some are for sale. Check them out. Experiment. I love this heel because it provides strength and cushion all about the heel.

Cast on some socks this summer and have warm feet in the fall. Favorite sock patterns? I’m always looking for more sock love.

That August heat

The heat and humidity keep creeping up and up lately. I had good intentions to keep focus on Carpino for SSKAL15, and I was doing well. I’m a few more increase rows away from separating the sleeves. But even fingering weight wool was too much the past few days. I had some Knit Picks Cotlin in Surf that was set aside for possible dishcloths or a hand towel, but suddenly it seemed much more important to cast on yet another Gemini (my fourth) to have some cotton and linen in my hands instead of wool. geminiOddly enough, my first Gemini began in nearly the exact same way during the exact same time of year. I guess I have some pretty strong patterns. The yarn for my first Gemini was slated to be cotton napkins, but I decided I had enough and it was pretty enough for a top instead. I started that one on August 8 two years ago. This one I started on August 6. A little freaky, eh?

This time I didn’t have enough stashed so I just ordered a few more skeins. It might not be the same dye lot, but I’m counting on the consistency that will likely come from this being a big company with probably pretty standard dyeing. If it’s not similar enough I guess I can stripe some skeins. I might make 3/4 length sleeves like Jane Richmond’s example to make this more of a transitional piece. I guess I’ll see how hot it is when I get closer to the finish!

Barely begun

My SSKAL15 project is moving slooooowly. Even with all of the lovely comments suggesting Carpino for my swatches, my thoughts were still on Element quite a bit. I didn’t want to use the Cascade Fingering for that, but instead I wanted to tear out this sweater and salvage the beautiful beautiful Socks that Rock yarn for something I would wear more often. Don’t get me wrong, Rocky Coast is a beautiful sweater, but it slips down my shoulders terribly and I made it far too long, and I really am more of a fan of cardigans I can wrap myself in completely. I ripped out half of it, reset the yarn, swatched in the round, blocked my swatches, and thought and thought and thought. Then I flipped a coin.

Sometimes all you need is to actually flip the coin and while it’s in the air you know what you really want. I decided even though the coin toss determined Element in Socks that Rock, my heart said Carpino in Cascade Fingering.

But before that all happened I spent $24 on patterns just to study them. I have Marshall, Carpino, and Element and all the lovely information that goes along with them. Regardless, I finally got going on Carpino and here is where I’m at: carpinoI haven’t memorized the lace yet, even though it’s a simple simple four row repeat, but I’m getting into the rhythm. I wasn’t totally satisfied with either a 35.5″ or a 39″ chest, so I’m splitting the difference and ignoring a couple of increases to end up around 37.75″ or so and I’ve figured out where I’ll be ignoring those increases, so the mental work is mostly done. Now it’s just smooth sailing.

Swatching indecisions!

swatchesShannon’s Summer Sweater Knitalong (SSKAL15) is just around the corner (starting in TWO DAYS)! I had planned to make Marshal out of this Cascade 220 Fingering in Olive Oil. The thing is, I’m not getting that close to gauge and I’m hesitant to go up two needle sizes or more. It seems like that cardigan might need some structure and the fabric might get pretty floppy at that gauge. I swatched on a size US 4 as recommended by the pattern and got 23.5 sts and 36 rows over 4″ on that needle. On a size 5 I got more like 22.5 sts over 4″. I could pick a different size and make the numbers work, as I often do. By this I mean I could use the numbers of a larger size and get close to what I want because of my smaller gauge.

But then I began having doubts about how this sweater might fit into my wardrobe in this color. I pared a lot of things down as we moved. While it’s not quite a capsule wardrobe, something like that is my eventual goal. This color is gorgeous, but I don’t have many other shirts that go with it. I could return the yarn and get something more versatile in color. Or I could knit a pullover instead like Keaton, Carpino, or Element, since a pullover in this color would look fine with jeans or other pants I own and the shirt underneath would be less important. Do you sense some Brooklyn Tweed pattern love going on? I only wish I could afford the Loft yarn to go with it right now, but that would double my sweater price. Maybe I should start knitting fewer sweaters (gasp!) so that I can afford to try a larger variety of yarns. Points to ponder.

I guess I have to keep thinking for now.

Summer days

summer socks-2I have turned the heel on these summer socks. summer socks-3See this page for yarn details. A good portion of these has been knit while snuggling Charlotte as she naps on my chest. I go back to work in a little over a week and as much as I’ll love being back, I’m also going to miss my full days with this kiddo immensely. summer socks