Market Dress!

Market Dress!

market dress-15

I have a new dress pattern! It’s called Market Dress and I’m so happy with the result. It’s available for a limited time for 25% off on my Ravelry page. Just use the code HAPPYSUMMER in your cart to apply the discount. This pattern uses Dishie by KnitPicks, a very hardwearing worsted weight cotton yarn with high twist, perfect for children’s garments. Right now it’s on sale and even the largest size (6yr) can be made for $12 in yarn costs. The pattern includes sizes for ages 3 months through age 6.

market dress-11

We visit the farmer’s market in our town almost every Saturday morning. It’s a family ritual that I look forward to every weekend, and I often bound out of bed and demand everyone get ready so we can go before the heat becomes intolerable. We get delicious produce, flowers, and sometimes Zooey talks us into muffin and popsicle purchases if she’s being especially persuasive. We listen to local musicians, wander through the beautiful garden on the town square, and inevitably run into many of our friends. What’s not to love? The love of being at the farmer’s market was the inspiration for this dress. I wanted the girls to have something they could wear in hot summer months that could withstand serious play. market dress-19I’m also thrilled to have made a dress that Zooey asks to wear. She was eagerly awaiting the day I let her wear it, since I finished her dress first. I made her wait until I had Charlotte’s done too and could take pictures of them both in the dresses. We were up and at the market shortly after 7am on this day and the light was perfect. market dress-21This dress is knit in once piece from the bottom up and has a chevron detail to add some extra fun. It’s appropriate for the adventurous beginner and beyond, requiring just a little knowledge of shaping. market dress-13Though I didn’t get a picture of this, the 12 month size is actually big enough that Zooey can wear it as a tank top, so I feel confident that these pieces will be with the girls for some time. In the fall and winter they would be lovely layered over some leggings and a long-sleeved top. market dress-9 Zooey could not stop twirling in her dress. I love it. I’m so happy to make clothes that excite my kiddos.

Go check out the pattern page or .


Socks never go out of style

matt socksSocks never go out of fashion because winter is inevitable, and unlike items made for expandable body parts, socks will usually always fit. Despite their unfailing utility, socks are also often a background project for me, taking the main stage when I’m tired of thinking, or I need something to keep me company on a walk, in the movie theater, or during a meeting when I need to keep my hands busy to focus. As soon as I finish one pair I cast another on almost immediately. Socks are the unsung heroes of the knitting world.

matt socks-3These are simple stockinette for the foot, made from the toe-up and using a heel flap that goes across the bottom of the heel and wraps around the back of the heel, as shown in the top picture. I finished with 1×1 ribbing for the cuff. If you’re looking for a pattern that incorporates this kind of sock heel, see my Girl with the Purled Toes or read more about it in my tutorialmatt socks-2The yarn was sent to me from Germany by Carina, so it feels like an extra special pair of socks. It’s Schachenmayr Regia Strata Color in the colorway Kiwi. Frequent readers know that I’m a bit Regia obsessed. The yarn has a 10 year guarantee on the label. That’s very appealing when socks are an item that have a finite life span. I have Regia socks I’ve been wearing since 2006, so I think their guarantee is pretty legit. I especially try to make Matt socks in durable yarn since he has fewer pairs than me (higher rotation in the wearing) and he’s pretty hard on his socks. Sometimes I feel I should make him more pairs, but I’m so in love with my sock stash it’s very hard to part with socks for others. I try to buy some sock yarn specifically for him to help myself be more generous when knitting socks, but it’s very rare that I don’t fall head over heels for a project intended for someone else.

I’m very excited to say that I have a new pattern coming soon! I am finalizing the photo edits and pattern organization. I was without my computer for most of July, so the process has been slower than anticipated, but I can’t wait to share the results. Stay tuned for more.

A bit of lace

talavera-4I’m so pleased to be finished with this project, and I got it to come out just the way I wanted. While Talavera was beautiful just as it was written, I made a few modifications to suit my needs. I love the original neckline, but I wanted it to be more open for summer wear. I also wanted a bit more of a sleeve and some extra body length. The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering in Teal and I used barely over 3 hanks of it. talavera-2This pattern is well written and the lace is very enjoyable to knit. The repeat becomes natural after a few times. It wasn’t something I didn’t have to look at well enough to read, but it did become rhythmic and natural, and had rest rows (a solid knit or purl row) between the active rows.

It took me awhile to decide on the neckline. I hemmed and hawed and eventually decided that I would replicate the neckline from Waterlily since that worked well with lace. I began the neckline decreases after the third repeat of the lace pattern on the sleeve. I think a slightly deeper neckline would have also suited me. I could have started the neck after the second repeat as well, but I like the way it turned out nonetheless.

talaveraI wanted the sleeves to be a bit wider, so instead of following instructions for sleeve increases, I decided to just cast on enough extra stitches for an extra lace repeat when it was time to add sleeve stitches. My sleeves ended up with 33 stitches across after I followed the neck decreases. I really like the way this part came out.

As for length, I did 13 repeats of the lace pattern before dividing for front and back. After blocking (oh, magical blocking!) this came out to be a 15.5″ length. I think even one repeat longer would have been fine, but this is a nice length to work with a variety of clothing items. talavera-3Best of all, for this photo shoot, Zooey was a fantastic helper. She was a stand in when I needed to focus the shot, and she worked the remote for me for most of the time so I could avoid the remote in hand pictures I often end up with when I take photos alone.

I’m thrilled to have this piece finished! I’ve already cast on a new top for myself, and I’ll post more about that soon!

Excuse the wrinkles

This top has been finished and blocked for some time now, but it’s been hard to find the time to get some photographs. It’s been a hectic week with a sick and cranky 1 yr old. These could be better, but I’m trying to let go of perfectionistic tendencies, so here’s today’s result. notched hemI made a few modifications to the Notched Hem Top pattern. I made the back about an inch and a half longer than the front. There is plenty of sloping after the back short rows, so I don’t know if I would repeat that action if I make another. I also started with the 40″ size at the bottom and reduced to the 37″ size by adding in extra decreases. notched hem-2The yarn is Juniper Moon Farm in Zooey. The color is Sloop. This is a wonderfully soft yarn. notched hem-4I made the neckline deeper and wider than the pattern specified. I didn’t take notes. I just winged it as I went along, and I like how it turned out. I wanted a bit more open neck to keep things cooler since this is such a long piece. notched hem-3One side of the front and of the back is looser. I think this is due to the nature of the slipped stitch on the knit sides vs. the purl sides. If I could do it over I would use an edge stitch that makes both sides a bit firmer for consistency. It doesn’t really bother me, but it’s a detail I’d pay attention to next time.

Now I will wear the heck out of it! I’ve finally decided how I will do the neckline of Talavera, so that’s getting some much needed love. I also needed another Whispers and deemed it the perfect project for the Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Saffron, so that will be in the works soon as well!

Silken spring sweater

My latest Featherweight Cardigan is complete! featherweight-2The yarn is Speck silk, by The Loom, color 11. I used about 6.5 balls of the yarn. I made the body to about 13″ total and the sleeves that long as well. featherweightThis is a wonderfully light piece. Though it’s my third time to knit this pattern, this is the first time I did stockinette stitch at the collar, and I really enjoy the way it rolls. featherweight-3This is a very easy knit to execute. I think it would be a fabulous first sweater project for beginners that want to dip their toe into sweater knitting. The pattern is well written, but also very easy to customize if you want more length or different stitch patterns as accents. featherweight-4I am so very often drawn to boring soothing stockinette projects, most of the time because that’s also what I want to wear. This style and color will fit into my wardrobe handily.

My work hours and family hours have kept me from the blogosphere much more than I want to be and I nearly forgot about one of my favorite knitalongs that’s going on right now! The Tops, Tanks, and Tees Knitalong by Shannon started at the end of April and continues through mid-May. I made myself finish this cardigan before casting on a project for it, but I have something on the needles and I will report back more about it soon! If you feel like making some summer tops, join in!

A power shawl

I think this might be my favorite shawl ever. Ever. It was a relaxing knit, but the best part is the perfection in its drape. Say hello to Ashburnashburn-9
Many Ravelers have cut out some of the repeats, citing how large the shawl is. It is very long from end to end, but I think it works out tremendously well that way. If you want a nice collar of a shawl, you can have it. If you want it wrapped about the shoulders, it’s long enough to stay without slipping. I was a bit of a bad girl and didn’t block this, but it’s nearly all garter stitch and looks pretty neat. If it was lace I’d make myself do it. It came off of the needles last night and I paraded around in it until I finally had to go to bed. I strongly considered cuddling with it.ashburn-7I considered dropping a few of the end repeats just because I wanted it on my person that very minute, but I held out and made it as the pattern specified. And I couldn’t be happier. ashburn-6The yarns are Malabrigo Sock in Terracotta (the orange), The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze Peppino in Lake of Bays (the speckled one), and Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Aventurine (the turquoise). I think the Hazel Knits was the most captivating to me and I want a million more things made out of that exact color. ashburn-8This is definitely a power shawl. Is there such a thing?! I feel bold and amazing with this on. My heart is nearly broken that it’s far too hot today to wear it, but I’m hopeful that cooler mornings might let me wear it for a bit in the coming week.

Now I should return to my Featherweight cardigan with full force, since it has a chance to be worn this season.

All of the colors of Spring

marin-3The Marin shawl in Rhichard Devrieze Peppino (color: Flowers) is finished. This feels like the perfect thing for spring. The weather has been mostly lovely here with cooler mornings that require longer sleeves and some afternoons that don’t. Having a cadre of colorful shawls is handy for adding a bit of light warmth that can easily be removed if the weather warms. marinThis was a fairly quick project, finished in a little over a week. This is my second Marin and this time I didn’t run out of yarn. I used a size 5 needle, rather than a 4 like last time. I like the slightly looser drape of this version. It stays around my neck more easily than it’s sibling, with less fussing. marin-4The colors make me happy. As an added bonus, this piece will work with many outfits. marin-2I didn’t make any mods to this pattern, aside from adjusting to a size 5 needle to get gauge. Now I’m on to the next shawl. More soon.