What I’ve been up to

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Since finishing my daughter’s green vest, I’ve been working on a few projects, and I’m currently waiting for a lesson I recorded to upload to Panopto, so what better time to update the knitting blog?

Makin' more masks.

Of course, one of the projects I’ve been up to hasn’t been knitting-related at all – I’ve made us some more masks! This pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s going to end any time soon, so I wanted us to each have a few more masks so that we’re not needing to do laundry quite so often. My daughter in particular needed enough to get through 5 straight days of mask-wearing, because she’s now attending a day camp at the science museum and is wearing a mask 100% of the time other than during lunch. (I’m *quite* nervous about this, as it’s the highest risk thing we’ve done since this whole thing started, but they have very good safety policies and COVID rates are pretty low in our county, and M was desperate to do something outside of our house and it’s definitely easier to get work done without her here…but still, it’s nervewracking, and I hope we stay safe.)

I’ve also been working on a Ravelston sweater for myself. When I saw the pattern, I fell madly in love with the almost luminescent blue-grey color worn by one of the models, and when I was given a gift certificate as a “thank you” for sharing my post about being bi on Ysolda’s website, I picked up enough of that exact yarn to make a Ravelston of my own.

Future Ravelston

I’m not *quite* following the pattern, though, because I decided that I wanted 1×1 rib, but wanted a split hem, too, so I sort of combined the two bottom-hem options.

My next sweater: a Ravelston in Hillesvåg Sølje

I’m really enjoying knitting with the Hillesvåg Sølje; it’s pleasantly wooly and I feel like the color just glows!

Ravelston Progress

I’m now just starting the waist increases. I’m most excited about the prospect of knitting the sleeves, because I know that Ysolda has a special technique for knitting short-row sleeve caps for top-down sleeves, and I’m excited to learn it (and then maybe apply it to some of my own design ideas!). And I think this sweater will be a lovely addition to my wardrobe.

I love this grey-blue color.

My other knit project hasn’t been so successful. I’ve had this Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in my stash for…gosh, something like a dozen years? And I thought it might be nice as a summer top. I really enjoy the top-down patterns from Åsa Tricosa, so decided I’d knit up a Caesura V. The first problem, though, is that while Silky Wool is listed as a DK-weight yarn, in my hands, it behaves much more like a light sport weight, so getting 20sts/in was just not going to happen without creating a fabric that was WAY more open and loosey-goosey than I like. Ok, no problem, I can do math! My gauge was more like 24sts/in, which meant I’d need to knit a few sizes up. So that’s what I did.

Need to rip and reknit this one after doing better gauge math!

But what I forgot (in fairness, my brain is super scattered right now!) is that it’s not just *stitch* gauge that matters – it’s also row gauge. And while the stitch counts in the larger size give me an appropriate width for the tank, the armholes end up too short, because they’re not proportionately that much deeper for the larger size. So I need to rip and reknit after having done the math that will tell me how many rows I need to add to the pattern in the spots where modification is possible. But at least now I have a really solid understanding of how it all goes together (it’s very clever!), so if I can ever muster up the energy to do the math properly, maybe I’ll be able to knit a nice tank top.

So anyway, that’s what I’m up to. Just chipping away at the old stash, while also knitting stuff from newer yarn, and figuring out how to live in the midst of a pandemic that my country is failing miserably at managing.

Masks masks masks

A sparkly green vest for M!

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I finished M’s vest yesterday, and she loves it!

Sparkly green vest!

Pattern: from my brain
Yarn: Rowan Soft Lux from over a decade ago in “Gigli”
Needles: Size 7
Time to knit: 9 days :)

The weather right now is brutally hot, but M gamely suited up in a long-sleeved shirt to model her new sparkly green vest outside!

Sparkly Green Vest!

The design is basically the same as the red vest I made for M a few years ago, and the same as the sweater (whose sleeves I still need to reknit) that I made for myself last month. It might become a pattern someday, with a few more tweaks – for example, I think the top of the pocket looks a bit too narrow on this, and would like to try creating a twist or something to tighten up the spot where the split neck comes together. But in any case, she loves it, and especially loves the pocket!

Kangaroo Pocket
Kangaroo Pocket!!

As might be obvious from the photos, we finally got our hair cut yesterday for the first time since February. We’re both much happier not having hair on our necks with the temperatures in the upper 90s!

Sparkly Green Vest (and a new haircut)

This probably won’t get much wear until much later in the year, but she’s happy with it and I’m glad I was able to put some of my deep-stash yarn to good use!

Sparkly Green Vest!

Now to figure out what’s next on the needles…gotta keep these hands busy!

knitting for, and with, my kid!

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One exciting thing to witness during this time of being stuck at home together has been my kid’s burgeoning interest in knitting. She’s discovered that she can knit while listening to podcasts, just like mama!

Sitting in her “nook”, knitting while listening to a podcast. My heart!!

And all of that knitting has had some pretty big results – she finished her first project!

She finished her first project!

She turned the “scarf” she started knitting at age 4 into a cowl! There are some…unintended holes and stitch-count changes, but I still think it looks fantastic, and she’s so proud!

P1010011

For her next project, she decided to cast on for a blanket for her doll, and I taught her how to do 1-ridge stripes in garter stitch.

Her next project: a doll blanket

I really like the design she’s creating, with a big band of the lighter green on either end, and the skinny stripes in the middle:

Her new project: a doll blanket of her own design.

M’s also gotten me to knit for her doll (whose name is “Sparkles”). She’s been begging for me to knit her doll a hat to match the one I made for her, and the other day while cleaning with her, I found the ball of leftovers from her hat. My child is not known for her patience, so within a few minutes, I’d cast on for a top-down, 1×1 rib hat:

Kiddo asked me to make a hat for her doll out of the leftovers from the hat I made for her.

And since it was such a tiny project, within an hour or so, I was able to bind off with i-cord (because I thought that would keep the bottom hem from getting stretched out with repeated wear) and then I was finished!

She has a hat!

Sparkles looks great with their hat whether paired with short hair or long hair!


Doll hat (with long hair)

M said I made her dream come true :)

Happy kiddo with her be-hatted doll.

I haven’t just been knitting for M’s doll – I’ve also been knitting for M! She “inherited” my old desk when we moved into our new house, and in one of the drawers was some Rowan Soft Lux in a sparkly green color. This is DEEP stash – I think I got it something like a dozen years ago? When she saw it, she asked if could use it to make her another one of the garter-yoked, kangaroo-pocketed vests I’ve been making for her, so of course I said YES! I was excited to try out my “knit the i-cord first, then pick up stitches” approach for the neckline cast-on again with a different yarn, and I’m happy to say it worked out great!

Being silly with a knit-in-progress for my kid

(I had a little too much fun taking pictures of the yoke before I joined everything together for the body!)

Being silly with my kid's sweater-in-progress

It’s fitting really well so far!

Looking good so far!

I’ve got a little ways to go before I create the line of purled stitches for the top of the pocket, but I’m really excited to test out the new approach to knitting the bottom hem & pocket that I figured out for my own grown-up, long-sleeve version of this design! She wants to keep hers sleeveless, so we’ll be able to show off both variations.

My favorite kid, trying on her vest-in-progress.

I love my little knitter!!