New Techniques

To start off 2016 I decided it was time for me to knit a Hiro cardigan. I have loved these from day 1. Thanks to the annual sale at my LYS I was able to pick up the needed materials for a good price. It took me a long time to decide on colors, but I came away with a selection I am excited about.

The new thing with this project is twofold. First, I am knitting the sleeves two at a time. This is saving me having to slog through them separately and I keep telling myself it is like one giant sleeve instead. I will say managing the colorwork was a bit tedious as I had a tangled mess for most of it. Since finishing that section on the sleeves, using one color and two balls of yarn, the sleeves are zooming along nicely.

  
The other thing on this project that will be a first is steeking! I used my swatch as a test and loved how my sewing machine made quick work of it. I had previously tried a crochet steek on a coffee cozy, but wasn’t impressed. Also, I am using a superwash wool for this sweater and since there will be no felting, I like the piece of mind of the extra insurance.

  

I have been getting work on the sleeves here and there and I am nearly done with the increases. After that I plan to cast on the body and am hoping it zooms along as well.

Until next time…

-AMU

2015 in a Nutshell

During 2015 there was a lot of crafting happening even if it wasn’t being blogged about. I just hit a point last year where the choice was sleep or blog. I bet you can guess which I chose. I am sorry for disappearing and not leaving a trace. For those of you that follow me on Instagram, I was posting pretty regurally there on my crafting and life happenings.

Overview of Projects

41 Total Knitting Projects

26 Baby Projects (for both my baby and others)

  • 10 Hats (3 that didn’t fit my baby AT ALL because I had no idea the size of a baby’s head)
  • 3 Blankets (Pop!, Log Cabin, and Baby Spud’s)
  • 3 Sweaters (Prairie Fire, Snowflake, and a Baby Vertebrae)
  • 3 Socks/Booties (2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of booties)
  • 1 bandana cowl for Baby Spud

  
Surprisingly enough, there were actually non-baby items knitted too!

  • 5 Pairs of socks (4 for me, 1 for a gift)
  • 6 washcloths (I believe there are at least 2 more that are uncounted…)
  • 2 Christmas Stockings (one for Clapton, one for Baby Spud)
  • 2 Scarves
  • 2 Shawls (1 longtime WIP)
  • 1 Cowl
  • 2 Pairs of mittens/fingerless mitts
  • 2 Adult Hats
  • 1 Stuffed Monkey

  
  
There was a tiny bit of spinning, but I’m not even sure what it was. I think it was plying something I spun in 2014. So the wheel has set abandoned for nearly a year. Hoping that will change here in the coming months. I’ve been inspired by a lot of projects I’ve seen on Instagram and Ravelry.

I didn’t really have any goals set for 2015. I think the main thing on my mind was bringing my kiddo into the world safely (that’s a post for another day). So overall I feel the year was still a great one. I knit a good portion of projects from stash, and only added in what was needed.

I ended the year with 6 projects carried over as WIPs. A scarf, socks, an advent calendar, a shawl, a sweater, and a pair of colorwork mitts. 

Looking forward to things in 2016!

-AMU

Adventures in Sewing

Since it is nearing summer, and I am ever growing, I needed some new clothes for warmer days. I kept seeing lovely maxi style skirts in the store, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend $30-40 on one. It seems maternity wear just doesn’t go on sale….ever. Unless it is the completely wrong season (found many a bulky sweater on sale!)

I was poking around on Pinterest (black hole of a site) and found a couple DIY tutorials on how to make your own maxi skirt. The advertised DIY seemed pretty straightforward, only required 1.5 yards of fabric, and took about an hour to make. (Too good to be true I know!)

Anyways, I printed it off and set off to Jo-Anns for some jersey knit fabric. 

 

Supplies Gathered

I picked up 2 different colors of fabric. A solid black and a pretty stripey one. I figured I could make 2 skirts. The black was for practicing because if it went bad, that fabric only cost me $10. The other was $16. I had dug out the sewing machine and dusted it off (it hadn’t seen sunlight in a year or more).

 

In the middle of pinning

 Soon I was off pinning, cutting, sewing and cursing. Seems said tutorial left out a few details here and there. They really didn’t have good instructions for idiots beginners like me in there. Realized at some point I should have done things with the wrong sides out and the right sides in. So I had to separate and repin the whole body of the skirt. Jersey knit fabric is really slippery and stretchy and doesn’t want to cooperate much. But I managed.
 

Finished skirt

Not bad for a first take really. I tried it on. Discovered the waist was too big, and the darn thing was see through! I wasn’t really going for that kind of look so I tossed it begrudginly to the side while shouting some select words. 

A few days later I decided maybe I should go back and get more fabric and just line the thing. I had worked out in my head in the wee hours of the morning how to make the waist band fit better, and a few other modifications  I felt it needed based on the arbitrary measurements the original DIY pattern suggested. 

I found myself at Jo-Anns yet again that week (it’s not a real crafting project till you’ve been there at least 2 times in a week is it?)
I decided when I would line it to go ahead and make it reversible. Why not? I’d get 2 skirts in one and it wouldn’t be that much harder.

 

Finished skirt take #2

So after spending some serious time with the seam ripper, and cutting the new fabric out, I sewed everything together and voila! A reversible skirt that really fit well. The double layer creates a really comfy skirt too. I could live in this thing!

I’m glad I challenged myself with this project. And it definitely took longer than the 1 hour mentioned in the tutorial. I think total with mistakes about 4-5 hours. The next wil probably take half that becuase I won’t be spending forever ripping out (knock on wood!) and I have my mods already made so I won’t be creating them on the fly. 

 

Modifications being made

 I will have to go back and get some more lining fabric for the 2nd skirt. Not sure if I will make it reversible or not. I’m definitely pleased with the results and I know that once baby gets here, I can take them in a bit on the sides and they should work fine then too! 

Until next time…

-AMU

 

Doctor Who Craze

I have been casting on an absurd amount of projects lately. Not sure why. I think I’m starting to fear I will never knit again once the kiddo arrives. I know this is bogus, but sometimes pregnancy causes you to think irrationally (doh!).

First up is a new pair of socks in a lovely colorway called T.A.R.D.I.S. It is a self-striping colorway from Fibernymph Dyeworks. I picked it up last summer at the Zombie Knitpocalypse. I’m using the Socks on a Plane pattern and absolutely loving the result. 

 

Socks on a T.A.R.D.I.S

The other project that landed on the needles is a pair of fingerless mitts by SpillyJane called Police Box. I’ve been itching to do some colorwork lately so these are hitting the spot. 

 

I’m into the colorwork portion of these now and absolutely loving them. I think I am ready for the new season to start soon.

Until next time…

-AMU 

 

Rock Island Shawl

A couple weeks ago I decided to revive the Rock Island Shawl I cast on last year around April or May when I had the urge to knit some complicated lace. As usual something more interesting came along and the shawl got put aside. After discovering it while organizing WIPs I decided this would make a great project to work on this spring.

 

Rock Island Shawl Border

When I got it out it appeared that I had stopped about 30 repeats into a 71 repeat lace edging. See, this shawl is knit from the edging and then you decrease to make the triangle. But you have to knit the border first and pick up along that border.

So I started shooting for doing about 5 repeats of the lace pattern each time I sat down to work on it. In about 2 weeks I had the whole border done. 

I’m now past picking up the stitches along the border and into the body of the shawl. I’m just about to start the Rock Island Lace motif that makes up a nice chunk of this project. 

 

I’m really loving this project. I expect it will be a fairly long term knit for me, but for now I’m enjoying the progress being made.

The yarn is Malabrigo Silkpaca Lace, which is a dream to knit with. Super shiny, super soft, and very airy. 

Until next time…

-AMU

What’s Cooking: Fish Tacos

Lately Ryan and I have been enjoying watching Good Eats on Netflix. It has definitely challeneged us to try some new recipes for dinner here lately. One of the recent ones we did were Alton Brown’s Fish Tacos

Now we chose to not make our own tortillas. I figured the rest of the recipe offered enough challenge for one evening without tossing that in the mix, however I do think I will try it out in the future.

Fish being tossed in the marinade

I was slightly concerned at the amount of cilantro in this recipe as it is an herb/flavor I pretty much loathe. I will say that the end result was well above my expectations. I think the other flavors mixed well and let the cilantro not be center of attention.

We made the crema like the recipe called for, but I am fairly certain we put a few more chipotle peppers into it than Alton suggested. (We like our peppers!) I have to say it was a delightful garnish to the tacos.

Finished taco before I inhaled it

These are definitely on the menu again at our house. In fact, I’m fairly certain we will be having them this week!

I have been enjoying cooking some new things in our house, and all in all most of the things have been relatively easy to whip up.

Stay tuned for more food blog posts from me.

-AMU 

Socks Off, Socks On

Like many of my other blogging friends (Shells & Introverted Knitter) I usually have some socks on the needles. I finished the Long Lost Socks I posted about a few weeks ago. 

I am rather pleased with the end result, if I don’t looks too closely. See when you have socks languishing about for a year or more, your gauge has probably changed since you originally knit on them. It wasn’t really apparent until I got to the foot and there is a pattern on the top. One is slightly longer on the foot than the other. 

Harvest Dew out of Dancing Dog Dyeworks

Oh well, for the most part it isn’t noticeable and truthfully that part of my sock is usually stuffed in a shoe. (And yes, they already have dog fur on them!)

So it was time to put more socks on the needles! I would up this lovely skein of Fibernymph Dyeworks that I got at last summer’s Zombie Knitpocalypse retreat. It is called TARDIS and it is a self- striping yarn. A little bit of sparkle too!

 

I am knitting up the pattern, Socks on a Plane. Simple stockinette sock with a bit of cable on the side. 

Socks on a Plane in Fibernyph Dyeworks

These will pretty much live in my purse and get worked on at lunch, in the car, and while waiting in line.  

Until next time…

-AMU