Finished Finlaggan

Pssst, wanna see something cool?

back view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

I finished a sweater! I really can’t believe it. I used to be the knitter who could whip out a sweater in a month. This one took a year and I feel like that was speedy!* This is Finlaggan by Kate Davies. (my project is on Ravelry) It’s impeccably written and fits just like it should.

woman in olive sweater with plant balanced on her head

Don’t mind the uneaven hems, I was paying attention to something else and didn’t straighten them before the shutter snapped. It’s been ages since the last WIP post for this beauty. But that’s because it got so unwieldy as it grew. It’s hard to take pictures of 3/4’s of a sweater on the needles without them all just looking like a lump of fabric posed in different locations.

view of pocket with contrasting color inside

But I whittled away at it all spring. Took a break for most of the summer. And worked on the yoke on and off during the fall. Then in November I started planning my gift-along knitting, finished Willow’s hat, and couldn’t start any of the things I was excited about (because gift-along projects all had to start after 8pm on the first day.)

side view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

So I picked up this sweater and realized I was 6 yoke rows and a shawl collar away from done. I got it all wrapped up before thanksgiving, and then wove in the ends and did the blocking last weekend. Now I have a cozy new sweater! Which is great because winter arrived early and shows no signs of leaving us before spring.

back view of a woman in an olive sweater with cable details

Bring on the sweater weather.

*of course I was knitting other things too. I’m just not able to stick with one big project for that long.

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Snow snow snow

Travelling electric

I’ve been living with solely an electric car for a year now. I consider myself a pioneer, and I’m here to report that it’s not impossible.

People say two things about going electric. They worry about range. And the cars are so small. I could address range. But that’s been done before. Let me address size.

That’s my red 2013 Nissan Leaf next to my mom’s purple Chevy Bolt.

Mom’s got the back seat folded flat (she brought 4 turkeys to thanksgiving) and you can see she’s got two coolers, some rubbermaid tubs, and a whole lot of extra space.

Now the leaf has a smaller trunk. But also I have two Britax car seats in the back (in case you didn’t know, that brand is known to take up a lot of space)

Please note the black rectangle half buried in that photo is a full sized pack n’ play.

I can fit all that in the Leaf. Plus two kids and myself.

Electric cars = bigger on the inside

Gift-along-ing!

Can I show you my recent knitting? (of course I can!)

When the gift-along started at 8pm on the 23rd I cast on for a pair of the Mine slippers.

two feet in slippers

These softies are FAST since they’re knit with a super bulky yarn. Except me being me I decided to use a bulky yarn from my deep stash (it’s a skein of Lopi from someone’s grandmother’s stash. I literally have no idea how old this yarn is)

two skeins of plum purple yarn

And I think my row gauge was way off, because the toes looked far too short. So I added short rows and increases to make them more toe-shaped. Then I added decreases on the soles.

two feet in slippers one showing the sole

I added thrums on the soles too. A thrum is the technical term for wrapping a little bit of unspun fiber around the needle along with the yarn. It makes the insides of these slippers very very soft. I’m hoping to put leather soles on the bottoms too. But I’m already wearing them non-stop so we’ll see if I get around to that…

half a baby sweater on the needles

When the slippers were done I moved on immediately to The New Kid¬†sweater. This cutie will be going to a baby shower on Saturday. That’s assuming I finish it today. Don’t worry. I’m already done with the body. I just have the sleeves and the cable left. Easy-peasey. Right?

2018 Gift Along

I need to tell you all about the 2018 gift-along! I’m tardy, and I apologize! Once again I’m participating in this fabulous event. We kicked off with a 25% sale on a selection of indie designs. If you go to my portfolio you’ll see that bundle right at the top.

collage of knitting patterns with 25% marking

The sale includes some of my best sellers and a selection of the patterns just released individually from my book as well! The sale only goes until the 29th of November. But the gift-along fun will continue through the end of December!

If you’re on Ravelry please swing by and check out the group. We have threads for knit-alongs and crochet-alongs. We have discussions about traditions, favorite recipes, a finished object thread, and chatter! Any design from any participating designer (not just the sale designs) can be used for the -alongs. And there are prizes throughout the event!

More hats

When I finally finished my g’night cap I took those photos with my big fancy camera. As I uploaded them I made a promise to myself that I’d do all my FO photos with that camera, because they’re just so good.

But then I finished a winter bonnet for Willow. And she barely holds still long enough for cell phone snaps.

baby in red bonnet stares left

After that I whipped out a quickie hat in super soft leftovers for a friend. My friend is going through chemo and has no winter hat. That couldn’t be allowed:

woman in colorful hat looking down

I was in a rush to get it into the mail, so I only got cell phone snaps of this one too.

Some promises are too hard to keep.

Garlic

On Monday I took an overgrown garden bed:

And started pulling grass. And roots. And weeds. Then I sorted through last year’s garlic to find the healthiest bulbs that were starting to open:

Now the garden is ready for hibernation, and eventually, spring.

Four rows of garlic, two rows of spinach, and two of parsnips.

Good night seeds, sleep tight!

I got that done just in the nick of time too. Because today my garden bed looks like this:

Welcome winter.

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Snow Moth

Cast Iron, Cast On

Over the weekend I re-released my book! Cast Iron, Cast On was originally published through Cooperative Press. But in 2017 the rights reverted back to Calley and myself, and the book went out of print.

book cover with woman carrying basket of apples

My plan was to make it available again ASAP. But of course life has other ideas. My computer died. And while CP had sent us all the layout files I had no way to edit them without a full computer. And getting the replacement took a back seat to having a baby and dealing with a whole lot of life changes. I finally got my new computer last spring (with the help of a good friend and a pattern sale) and then I needed to find the time to update the layout.

layout in progress

I needed to change the body font, and that meant I needed to put my eyes on every page, check the text box cutoffs, the white space, the overlaps. Everything. It was a much bigger project than I expected. Since I was in there checking the pattern page by page I also updated all errata and other known mistakes. But finally it is done!

You can purchase the whole book as a PDF on Ravelry (link and button above).

An equally exciting second announcement is that the individual knitting patterns are now available as well! If you just want one design you can purchase that through its Ravelry page.

Please be aware that these PDFs are created straight from the book. The most noticeable result will be the page numbers (each single PDF still has the footer information from the full book). Each single PDF stands alone and will contain all directions, photos, charts, keys, and abbreviations you’ll need. It will not include any of the corresponding recipes.

I hope you enjoy these, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes to get them released!

Hat Season

November has finally brought cold weather, and that means it’s hat season! Since I’m a knitter there’s always a basket full of hats by the door. But I do believe the girls deserve new hats in the fall.

This will hopefully be a copy of Anna’s hat. (The sister in Frozen.) Its based off a bonnet pattern and I trimmed it in burgundy and white just like the movie. It’s actually done by now and just needs some braids which will be the ties for this bonnet. Willow (being the little sister) will get the Anna bonnet.

Of course that means an Elsa hat is planning for Windsor. But first I’m distracted by this beauty:

This is the Mira hat from Berroco. I’m knitting my version in a variety of very VERY soft leftovers. Cashmere, silk, merino, alpaca. This hat will be going to live with a friend whose hair is thinning. I can’t let my friends have cold heads!