The best laid plans.

A little over a month ago I wrote how excited I was for NaKniSweMo and I presented you with my grand plan for my November sweater.  Let’s just say…

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other… -Robert Frost

 

Just after I wrote the weather turned cold. I evaluated my wardrobe, and looked at what was slated as trendy this fall (not that I’m a trendy girl – often I’m more of a “what not to wear”) and changed my mind.

I had this beautiful handspun yarn from this year’s Tour de Fleece and I really wanted to make something from it. I envisioned a tunic with three quarter sleeves. Simple, to be worn over chocolate brown leggings with boots. Something fun and a little stylish and comfy.

So I thought about it. And I reviewed my pattern library. And I swatched.

And I thought some more.  I decided it would be a bit of a Frankensweater – I’d use the cast on and upper shaping from my Mary Jane. I started there on November first and things went swimmingly.

I got to where I separated for the sleeves and started on the body. And I was stumped. How did I want to shape it? I could do standard waist shaping. I could try and mess around with bust darts.  I was overrun with choices and I couldn’t handle the pressure. So instead I went back up top and did the sleeves next.

Aaaaah. Perfect. But then it was back to the same decisions about the infernal body. Ultimately I went with some gathering under the bust, and a small ribbed panel in the small of my back which shaped the garment nicely.

But all of this deciding and hemming and hawing takes time. (As does trying to figure out what to do with the collar – I’ve been there and done that and ripped it out three times already!)

So as of last night I was here:

Still needed: 6-8 more inches on the body. Something around the neck (please excuse the sports bra).  My lovely and fashionable other half suggested a big cozy cowl neck. I have the yarn for it, so I think I’m going to take his advice.  The real question: will I finish by November 30? I guess we’ll find out!

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Things I never thought I’d do.

Live outside of town, in a state when I can pull over on my commute home and take pictures of fiber animals at sunset.

There are BABIES!

Spectacular.

Every year I wait for that one magical fall week when the whole world is beautiful and everywhere there’s color. This week is that spectacular week and I’ve been so taken aback by the beauty around me that I’ve had to stop on the way to work several times this week just to try and capture a little bit of this fabulous view.  The photos don’t do it justice – some things aren’t meant to be captured, but I love trying anyway.

Fall crafting.

I don’t know about you but as soon as the temperature drops I go into KNIT ALL THE THINGS mode. The mornings have been in the 30s this week and all I can thinking about is tights, skirts, sweaters, boots… warm wooly things.

The first thing I wanted was a big warm cozy shawl. I purchased a skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina (cashmere mmmm!) and spun some merino and a yak merino blend and I was off to the races. I knit Fifty Shades of Any Colour by Susan Ashcroft.

I ended up with a shawl measuring almost 68″ across and 20″ deep. It’s so warm and soft I can’t stop reaching for it each day.

I’ve had a few things on the spinning wheel, but the one I’m happiest with is some Southern Cross Fiber Texel.  I’d never spun Texel before. It’s definitely not a soft wool – it’s more rustic and crisp – but it drafted beautifully and it has such a luster and shine to it!

Finally I wove a quick houndstooth scarf on my loom. I was pleasantly surprised that the Knitpicks Stroll I used is not only durable (merino/nylon blend) but really soft. And I think the green/grey combo adds a modern twist on a fashion classic.

Both the handspun yarn and handwoven scarf are now available in my shop!

Now if you’ll excuse me there are a couple of handknit afghans on my couch that I’m longing to crawl under and get warm.

Do you NaKniSweMo?

As you may remember, I’ve been participating in NaKniSweMo for a while now. In a nutshell, NaKniSweMo is the brainchild of Shannon Oakey of Knitgrrl. She reasoned that the writers have National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, so the knitters should have National Knit a Sweater Month (NaKniSweMo).  The rules are simple: pick a sweater that has 10,000+ stitches and knit it in the month of November.

I participated last year and 2010. I participated in 2011 as well but I don’t seem to have an entry for it.

So what’s on tap for this year?

I’m planning to knit Jurisfiction by Glenna C.  I’ve been eying this pattern for a while because I LOVE the cables and it looks like such a cozy fall knit.

Photo by Glenna C.

This looks just like the kind of sweater I’d want to wear snuggled inside on a winter day up close to the fire. How fitting that I’m will be knitting the sweater in Madelinetosh Vintage in the Firewood Colorway:

My good friend Ana also designed cute Ravatars for this year.

I was also super lucky that she made me my own pirated one!

The only thing I haven’t gotten yet are buttons. I’m thinking maybe brown leather buttons to give this a grandfather cardigan kind of feel. What do you think?

Now I just need to wait for November 1st to cast on!

Imaginary Internet Points.

Some of my local knitting friends and I decided that we wanted to join the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. Basically this is a group that organizes itself around the model of Hogwarts. Each “term” is 3 months. You sign up to play, and you get sorted into a house for the term. Each month there are tons of “classes” to choose from: each has a prompt to knit some kind of themed project. When you finish the project and post the details you get points.  At the end of the “term” the House with the most points wins the Cup!

Yes this is all terribly contrived, but I can’t believe how the presence of imaginary internet points has motivated me to get cracking on my knitting projects.  I’ve been crafting what I want to, and writing little stories about the items to ensure that they fit the prompt. (as opposed to deciding what to knit based solely upon the prompts)  I can’t show you everything I’ve crafted this month because many are gifts, but I can share a few.

The first is a hat that I knit to look like the hat that Hermione wears in The Deathly Hallows. When I first saw the movie I immediately came home and looked for patterns. As is the case with knits featured on TV and in films, there is no official pattern, but there are several that look similar to what I wanted. I chose to knit the Trinity Hat.  I had 2 skeins of Knit Picks Capra, a merino cashmere yarn that I was saving for a good project and this was it!

Another class prompt was to craft something in metallic colors, like the metal in your cauldrons.  I already had a skein of handspun beautiful fall colors that I hoped to weave into a scarf for the craft sale. This weekend I pulled out the loom and I wasn’t disappointed. Copper kettles anyone?

This scarf is now available in the shop!

The final project I can show you is some handspun that I spun up for a shawl to be knit in October. I had already selected this skein and I submitted it to the Apothecary (potions) class as inspired by a beautiful array of glass bottles I might find in an apothecary.  This is Maude & Me fibers (currently on hiatus while moving) in a soft merino:

The rest of my projects for this month’s imaginary internet points have to remain a secret for now but I’ll reveal them later on. Now I’m off to finish up the last few projects of the month before October 1st kicks off a new round of classes and projects!

Sweet Audrey.

I’ve been quiet on the blog as of late because I’ve been crafting in a whirl for the holidays.

The weekend of November 22-23, the Kansas City Fiber Guild and the Weavers Guild of Kansas City are holding their annual Creative Hand Sale featuring crafts from artisans all over the Kansas City area. I’ll be including some of my handspun and handwoven items in that show!

I’ve also been crafting for Christmas. I don’t know if I’ve ever started this early, but I had ambitious plans this year and I’m glad I got a head start.

However, I do have a little something I can show you. Two weeks ago one of my sister’s best friends had her first child, a beautiful baby girl that she and her husband named Audrey. I wanted to send a little something special.  So I scrolled through Ravelry patterns and found a sweet little sweater pattern that I had wanted to knit forever. It worked up quickly in worsted weight and I delved into my very shallow crochet skills for a little embellishment. The purple is Dream in Color Classy in Visual Purple and the rose is some Cascade 220 Superwash that I had over-dyed in Kool-aid.  I hope they enjoy it!

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