I'm progressing on my Paint Brush Hat, which is now well into the colorwork.

Paintbrush Hat

And, my Sjølingstadkofta sweater is also breezing right along.  I'm a bit further along than in the photo, below. I've finished the collar ribbing and the portion of the collar that is knit flat, and have now joined in the round and added stitches for the steek that is in my future.  I'm knitting on new-to-me needles that my LYS recommended, Hiya Hiya Sharps, and although I didn't like them at first, we are now BFF. They make immaculate increases and wrap & turns (especially when it comes to lifting the wraps to hide them, which I do this way).


Packing for travel is always a huge challenge for me.  I'll sacrifice just about anything to get my yoga mat and my knitting into my small rollaboard and carry on bag.  But, my current three works in progress all contain multiple, large balls of yarn.  The hat has five, and they are all still huge at the point.  I can manage just two along with me for the sweater, as it's fingering weight and they'll last.  And my Grannie Annie has four balls of yarn, although at this point, they're all about 1/3 of their original size.


I've been negotiating with myself over who comes along with me this week.  I've got too very long flights.  I'm frankly a bit nervous about running into trouble with Sjølingstadkofta, so I don't want to travel with just one project.  I think Grannie Annie, which takes up less room, likely gets to come along, while I leave the hat at home.  I hate to do that as it's a wonderful pattern and I could finish it on this trip, but it's just too large at this point.  Hopefully I can knit a bit more of it at home and take it along to The Plucky Knitter's retreat, Glamping, at the end of the month.


Cats Knit Sleeves

I am getting so much knitting help from the kittens.  First this from Wingus:


And then more help from his brother Dingus:


Despite their ahem, attentions, which have caused me to weave in a few extra ends thanks to sharp kitten teeth, I've managed to pick up stitches and start both sleeves on Vodka Lemonade.  It's slow going because I'm alternating skeins, but ever so worth it.  


Here's hoping to a bit of progress over the long weekend.  I'm really looking forward to wearing this one!


New Yarn: The Plucky Knitter’s Cachet

Cachet is The Plucky Knitter's brand new 100% cashmere yarn.  Although it's listed at an aran weight, it knits up in the worsted range for me, with 18 stitches/26 rows to four inches on size 6 needles.


It knits up like a dream: a soft cloud of stockinette.  And, the gauge is perfect for some of the patterns in my queue I'm longing to knit the most, including Carol Feller's Portulaca, Thea Coleman's new sweater, Rye, and Mailin and Monte Rosa, both by Isabel Kraemer .  Decisions, decisions.

I'm also going to swatch this yarn a couple of needle sizes down to see what the fabric looks like.  Originally, I planned to knit Alana Dakos Cabled Leaf Pullover in this yarn.  Since its gauge is 20 stitches/26 rows, it seems like that might be doable.

I know it's obvious, after years and years of being a polyamorous knitter who carried a torch for a lot of  different brands of yarn, when I discovered Plucky last year, I fell deeply in love with the wonderful custom spun, hand-dyed yarns they produce.  All of the yarns I've used so far, from Snug Bulky, to Bello Worsted, to Cashmere Sport, to Primo Aran, to Crew, to Scholar, have made me really happy.  Each new project makes me think I've found my favorite yarn of all time.  And truly, they are all my favorites.  I adore this yarn, and the new heavy weight Cachet cashmere is like knitting with a dream.  If you haven't discovered Plucky yet, it's worth the effort.  Although the yarn is sold in an unusual fashion, there is lots of advice for newbies here and a very nice group of helpful knitters on the Ravelry group.  You'll be glad you took the time to figure it out!



New Year’s Knitting

I wanted to catch you all up on the knitting I have planned for the month of January.  I've joined The Plucky Knitter WIP Wrangling KAL, the goal being to finish Plucky projects that were started before the new year during the month of January.


I started Olivia at the end of November, but promptly set her aside to get some final holiday knitting done.  Fisherman's Rib has been slow going for me, but I really like its plump, cushy effect. I'm hoping to spend some quality time with Olivia and conquer the short row technique necessary to finish her off this month.

Because I'm like this as a knitter, I hit a Cast-On-All-The-Things streak the last two weeks in December and set up a number of other projects to include in the KAL:

  • I'm knitting a second Nevermind Hat in Plucky Snug.  This one is for me.


  • Vodka Lemonade is a sweater I've wanted to do forever.  I've cast on in Plucky Crew — a cotton/merino blend.  Although there is about zero chance I'll finish this in January, I'm hoping to get a good start.


  • I'm in love with Paddle Mitts and am doing mine in Plucky Scholar.  The stripes on the hands will be in a different weight Plucky yarn, but I'm optimistic that it will all work out.


  • Some of my precious Plucky cashmere is going to become a Lina Hat.  I'm not overjoyed with my cable cast on, but I've decided to assess it tomorrow and rip it out for a fresh start if it sucks as bad as I think it does seems to need a little help.


Wish me luck, ok?  January is always a busy month at work for me, so this may be my knitting for several months, rather than just January.  I'm really happy to have it all on my needles and ready to carry with me for delays and lines.

Finally, a sad note to the start of the year.  Longtime blog readers (that would be you, Mom), know that we have four cats.  Our beloved black cat Squirt, the oldest of our cats, passed away peacefully but suddenly.  I'm going to miss his affectionate nature and loving support for my knitting — he enjoyed the holidays and was especially fond of having me sit on the couch for hours at a time and bat balls of yarn around for his pleasure.  I'm going to miss him a lot, but am really glad he sat for one last family photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.



An Update on Antler

I love Antler.


I am easily amused and still new enough to the sweater construction of knitting the sleeves, then knitting the body, and then knitting them together in one massive all-the-way-around row during which, magically, the sleeves align leaving you with just a few stitches in the underarm to graft together at the end of the knitting, that I find the whole process enchanting.  And I love cabling, even these simple little cables. They are delightful as they blossom in the yoke with repeats all around.

As for the nitty gritty basics of this sweater, I am surprisingly in love with the baby camel yarn, which has a hairy aura and is very soft.  I'm hoping to have enough left over to do a sweet little hat.  This is my first knit on my new Darn Pretty knitting needles.  I will rave about these needles at length, in the future.

The actual color of othe yarn is darker than in the picture above.  This one is more accurate and shows the darker accents (low lights?) in the yarn as they appear in the WIP.


I can't wait to finish it and send it on to the new mom who it is intended for, with lots of no-rinse wool wash included in the package.  This sweater is in the 1-2 year size, which is generous, and here in the south, it's heavy enough to be outerwear for at least the fall and perhaps on into winter.



I Have Sleeves

I don't knit a lot of sweaters, so everytime I do, I tend to see something new.

Modern Garden is no exception.  In this sweater, you knit the sleeves from the bottom row up to about chest high.  Then, you knit them into the body of the sweater, keeping up with the patterning on the sleeves and in the yoke (and remembering to place your buttonholes, which has been an issue for me on this one) and complete the sweater.

The sleeves are bulky and I'm knitting them on  DPNs, instead of magic loop because I don't have an additional circular needle in this size.  They were a little too cumbersome to take along with me on vacation, so I put the sweater aside and worked on hats while I was away.

Modern garden sleeves

But I picked the sweater back up last night and am working on sleeves.  The first one is ready to incorporate into the yoke and my hope is to have the second one there tonight so I can put everything together and move on to the yoke next week.

And, a reminder.  We are starting a Knit Along on the Elliebelly Group on Ravelry on April 15.  You're welcome to join us — you can knit with any yarn you choose and there is no official date you have to finish by.  We would love to have you, whether you are a new knitter or a more experienced one.