Thursday, March 25, 2021

On Frogging Sweaters in Interweave Knits


One of my favorite things about being a craft writer is connecting with other crafters. One of the topics that seems to spark the most conversation among knitters is making mistakes, so I wasn't surprised when my article On Frogging Finished Sweaters brought dozens of knitters to my inbox.

You might recognize the featured sweater as my Aureus that I wrote about a few months ago. It turns out that plenty of you have been in the same situation, and now we can all feel a little less alone. (Even more important during a pandemic, don't you think?)

The article is in the spring issue of Interweave Knits, so check it out on the back page or read it online using the link above.

To those of you in the same boat, happy frogging!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

This Sweater Made Me Cry

I made this sweater for Alex, and he wore it to work. When he came home at the end of the day, the sweater had stretched out and looked terrible. It was pulling not just in the hem but also in the sleeves and neck. It looked like the entire sweater was melting off him.

I cried.


Pattern: Svenson by Jared Flood
Yarn: KnitPicks City Tweed DK in Avocado

I probably cried more because I was having a stressful week and feeling overwhelmed with several work projects going on at the same time. But I also cried because of all the work and all the money I'd put into this. I mean, look at all those cables! They took a lot of time.

The yarn is soft and wonderful, and it will work well as something else like a shawl or even a blanket. I loved all the details in the pattern, too. It included instructions for little extras like a sloped bind off and a tip for binding off cables so they're not super curly. I definitely want to knit another Brooklyn Tweed pattern at some point.

The irony here is that if you've looked at the spring issue of Interweave Knits, you'll find my piece on frogging sweaters on the back page. I talk about how we shouldn't feel guilty for frogging sweaters. But this isn't guilt I'm feeling right now. I'm going to have to frog this sweater, and I'm really angry about it.

I'm so angry, in fact, that I don't even want to start another sweater.

For now the cable sweater is on the closet shelf, pretending it fits just fine. But soon I'll work up the courage to pick it apart.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Lory Knit Pullover

This was one of my few pandemic knitting projects other than socks. I spent Christmas Eve finishing this up, motivated by the fact that I had just promised Alex another sweater this winter.




Pattern: Lory Pullover by Courtney Spainhower
Yarn: LolaBean Yarn Co. Canary Bean in Give Peas a Chance

This yarn sells out really quickly, so if you see it, you better grab it! While the online store doesn't currently have any, check your LYS or any LYS that has an online presence. They might have it.

I fell in love with this color at Black Mountain Yarn Shop, but they didn't have enough DK weight in stock to make a sweater. I was in love with the color, so Donna recommended I use the same color in sport weight and just go up a size in the pattern. I did a couple of gauge swatches to make sure I was getting the right size, and I had to adjust the pattern a little as I went to make sure the art deco design extended down the body in the right places.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Oak Tree Crochet Yarn Bomb

When the pandemic started, I was determined to bring some happiness outdoors. I also had a lot of acrylic yarn I was trying to use up, and this seemed like a good use for it.

I started out with a general plan, but the yarn bomb I imagined was a lot bigger than this one. The tree trunk was larger than I thought, and I ran out of bright-colored yarn pretty quickly. (I learned from my last yarn bomb that darker colors are not great for yarn bombs, so I didn't use any at all.)


Every now and then I see people walk by and point at the tree. They smile, and I smile. The yarn bomb is also a great landmark for giving directions to our house.

This photo was taken when I first put the yarn bomb up in the spring, and since then it has faded and stretched out quite a bit. I've performed maintenance on it since this, but it still makes me smile when I pull into the driveway.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Dad's Christmas Socks 2020

I've stopped making a lot of handmade holiday gifts, but the one constant is socks for my dad.

In the last few years, he has only asked me to repair one pair, but later I found out that he had thrown away a pair of socks that I made because they had holes. I was very mad, and I almost stopped making socks for him. I talked to him and told him I could fix the socks any time.

This year, I decided that instead of buying a new skein of yarn, I'd use scraps. I worried they'd look scrappy (ha, I know), but I think they're pretty cool.

I haven't been able to give these to him yet because of Covid life, but I look forward to the day when I can!


Pattern: My own, eye of partridge heel and cuff-down rice stitch
Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Hurricane
Manos del Uruguay Alegría in Malvin


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Knit Rizzo Vintage-Style Sweater

 I did a little bit of knitting over the summer, and this is a pattern that I'd had on my list for a while. It seemed perfect for warm weather because it is light and doesn't have big sleeves that would drape over my lap and make me sweaty. I was even able to work on this outside when it was pretty hot.

I still haven't had an opportunity to wear it, but I'm hopeful that spring will bring more outings--even if we are still stuck wearing masks.


Pattern: Rizzo by POISON GRRLS

I made only one modification, and that was to extend the body length. Cropped sweaters are really cute, but I just can't pull them off, and part of the reason is because my bust pulls cropped sweaters up even more. I am not comfortable in them, and in fact I usually end up extending the body length on my regular pullovers, too.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Christmas and ChristmaHanukkah Stockings

For several years now, I've been saying I want to knit stockings for Alex and me. This year, I had zero excuses for not knitting them, and I even started on them back in the summer.

The stocking was always one of my favorite parts of Christmas as a kid. My brother and I had red and white stockings, and Mom added our names with felt letters at the top. They were filled with our favorite candy (Reese's was our #1), and lots of fun little gifts like card games, a CD, and a movie. It was so fun to dump all the contents on the floor and dig through it.

These are going to look so pretty hanging by our fireplace!


Pattern: KAB Christmas Stocking by ChemKnits
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore D.K. in Red, Christmas Green, Blue, and White

Alex loves dinosaurs and bass, so this one was perfect for him. He asked for a blue and white color scheme for Hanukkah colors. This pattern is awesome because it mixes so many different things: stars, Space Invaders, dinosaurs, music.



Pattern: Arlo's Christmas Stocking by Antje Karl (Free pattern!)

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in Christmas Green and White

I wanted something more Scandinavian inspired for my stocking. I'm not a big fan of Christmas red, so I went with a green and white color combo. I really love the back of this pattern. It looks like pretty little icicles.