crafts · knitting · wedding · yarn


I’ve managed to make it nearly to the armholes on the front of my fitted tank. I’ve heard from several other knitbloggers that the neckline on this pattern is a little rough, so I’m going to try and rework it. I’m adding length to my tank, because I always need extra length in my sweaters. It calls for 11.5″ for the smallest size before the armholes, but I’m going to knit to 13″. I have no real use in my life for shirts that are short.

I also restarted my Montego Bay scarf on size 6 needles. I just really wasn’t happy with the results on size 7s. Apparently I need to start automatically going down two needle sizes (the blue sky tank is also knitted with needles 2 sizes smaller than called for.) I’m much happier now! I do find that the sea silk wants to snag a bit on my needles, but it’s within tolerable limits. I read somewhere that this yarn contains a good amount of tencel, and I can definitely tell (this isn’t bad – I love tencel!)

I recently picked up two yarns from Valley Yarns (WEBs’ house line) to try out.

On the left is Amherst, which is 100% Merino, in the color periwinkle. I bought this to make a short sleeved cabled sweater from a vintage book I have. It’s not the softest merino ever (but it’s not scratchy or anything), but it is very nice and springy feeling. I can’t wait to swatch some cables and see how it looks!

On the right is Colrain (50/50 merino and tencel) in the color steely. I haven’t even swatched with this yarn, and I can already tell you that I love it. The tencel content gives it such a lovely sheen, and the color is just beautiful. I’m going to use this to make Maude Louise, a sweater by Craftster user JeJune (KAL thread here.) It will make a nice neutral addition to my wardrobe. I’m very excited to use this yarn!

I will say though: Valley Yarns needs better color swatches for their yarns badly. I had a really hard time figuring out what color these actually were. The Colrain swatch looked much more blue than it is, and the Amherst swatches are just tiny. I am happy with the colors I got!

I’ve been pretty busy lately with wedding plans. We have most of the main details ironed out, so my current obsession is how to wear my hair for the event. My hair isn’t long, plus I have a giant forehead, so I can’t really put it up. I bought a fascinator from an Etsy seller, but now that I’ve received it I’m not sure… it’s beautiful, but would it look silly on me?

I’m not wearing a veil, so I’m really kind of at a loss here. I do really love the fascinator, but how does one wear such a thing? I suppose I will take it into my hairdresser for an opinion. I love my hairdresser, she is totally anti big wedding hair, so hopefully we can think of something!

crafts · knitting · wedding


The back of the 80s sweater is finished!  Here’s a picture of the design at the top.

Sorry for the focus, my camera doesn’t like late afternoon sunlight.  It took me forever to get through this part because the directions were unclear and maybe had a few mistakes.  I just did what looked right to me, and I’m happy with it!  I put the shoulder stitches on holders to use a three needle bind off later.  That’s one of my favorite tips, because I just hate the way my shoulder seams look otherwise.

I can’t wait to wear this one, so I’m going to hustle to cast on the back.  It’s all stockinette, so it should go much faster.   I’m using the combined knitting method for the ribbing, and I’m super pleased with that.  It does take longer, but it’s so even that it looks machine knit!  I was worried about size, because this sweater claims to be a size 8-10, but I think it’s going to work out.  Sizing was different in the 80s, it seems that I keep wearing smaller and smaller sizes now.

I ended up ripping the shoulderette.  I wasn’t happy with the pooling, so I’m going to make it again with non-variegated sport weight yarn.  I still want to find a use for this ball of yarn, since it’s all wound up and everything.  I’m thinking about Wendy’s “Dream swatch” headband from Knit and Tonic.  I made a swatch so I could practice the pattern, and I’m not sure I’m doing it right.

I like how the yarn looks in this pattern,  and I know the color will look good with my hair.  The problem?  I’m not sure my crossed stiches should be so loose (this is after blocking.)  Those of you who have made this, did you have this problem?  I know there are a few errors up there, so no need to mention those… how did you keep from getting confused on the order of purling after the cross?  Perhaps I am doing something wrong.  This is with size 4 needles.  I do plan on modifying the pattern so that there are fewer crossover rows.

Yesterday I picked up my wedding dress, and I love it!  It’s the one below, only in off white with a dark brown band.  It’s beautiful, although it definitely cinches you in (I can’t eat til the wedding… oh well!)

I tried on lots of different shoe types and decided that I only liked it with ballet flats and tiny kitten heels.  I’m deciding between these shoes:


I’ll have to try both on with the dress before I decide.  I do like the idea of wearing flats…

crafts · fashion · knitting · Life · wedding

80s progress, shoes, and a meme!

I’ve been making decent progress on my 80s sweater, and I’m almost finished with the front piece.

It’s been pretty smooth sailing so far.  The directions for the patterned lines on the top are pretty bad and of the (Rows 3, 5, 14, 56: knit) variety, leading to me ripping once and then writing them out so that it wasn’t so confusing.  But… so far I love it!  The Glace is really not bad to work with once I got used to the qualities of the ribbon yarn.  I like the textured fabric it is producing.

I must be in an 80s mood, because I found these shoes online, and now I must be off to the mall to snag myself some.

Yes, Jelly shoes.  I miss them so!  I must have the blue ones I think, or maybe the clear.

I’m also looking for wedding shoes (tomorrow we pick up my dress) so I’ve been thinking about what I’d like.  My dress is tea length, so everyone will see my shoes.  I like this style a lot.

Of course, I’ve never met a pair of Steve Madden shoes that weren’t horribly uncomfortable.  I really want something vaguely retro and with a round toe.  I could go with sandals if I found the right ones, but definitely no peep toes.  I look horrible in peep toes, and it seems as though every shoe this season has them!

Finally, I’ve been tagged with the 7 things meme a few times in the past day or two, and the 8 things meme once.  I’ll combine them since I think they’re pretty much the same.  I am so bad at these, but I will try!  So… 7 things about me.

1.  I have not voluntarily worn athletic shoes since elementary school.  When I was 10 I talked my cool aunt into buying me a pair of heels, and there’s been no looking back!  I do have some flats this year since they’re in style, and it freaks my friends out when I wear them.

2.  My favorite city I’ve visited is Prague, where I spent a long weekend 2 summers ago.  I’m hoping to take Marc there on our honeymoon (which won’t be for a year)

3. I’m terrified of airplanes, but I love to travel, leading to some rather ugly incidents in airport waiting areas.

4. If I have a daughter I want to name her Anya.  Yes, after the Buffy character.  I know, I am sad.

5. I lived in Indiana for four years, and my experiences there left me with a serious aversion to the state.  I don’t even like driving through it to get other places (sorry to any Hoosiers – I’m sure all hoosier knitters are lovely, it was just a bad time in my life!)

6. I love Basset Hounds.  If I ever get a dog (unlikely; Marc only loves cats) it will be a Basset.  I love their sweet wrinkly faces!

7. I’ve always been very shy.  I hate parties and big groups of noisy people, and usually have to be bribed into attending anything resembling a party.  Yarn works pretty well for that purpose.

8. Someday I would like to run my own voice/piano studio.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my job and the people I work with, and I’m not planning to quit… but someday.

I tag… you, if you haven’t been tagged (and you want to do this meme.)  It’s pretty fun once you get started!

crafts · knitting · Life · wedding

Lazy Saturday

Last night I went shopping with a friend.  It was in fact one of my male friends, and I like shopping with him because he shops the way I do.  I am not a woman who enjoys shopping, which is why I mostly cannot shop with other people – I get tired and bored really easily.  This gives me a problem, because the types of shopping I enjoy (thrift stores and… um… yarn) are leaving me with giant holes in my wardrobe.  Lately I’ve been knitting, or contemplating knitting, lots of tops that will require a tank or camisole underneath, and it occurs to me that I have not bought any new ones in at least 2 years, maybe 3.  And since all of mine seem to have gotten shorter and shorter with every wash, I really can’t wear them to work anymore.  I looked around at Old Navy and Target last night, but I didn’t see much.  I want plain black, white, and brown tank tops, with a built in bra, long enough to touch the back of my pants when I sit but not so long that they cling to my hips and look stupid (apparently this is some sort of trend?)  Formfitting but not tight, if you know what I mean.  I am also cheap, at least when it comes to basic items.  I am completely at a loss.  Any suggestions?  Am I asking too much?  Apparently I was born with the “bargain hunting” gene but not the one that makes you good at finding specific items (last night I ran across an Express store in the mall that was maybe shutting down, and got 5 nice pairs of dress pants for cheap!)

Ok… enough with the griping, now a bit of knitting content!  Here is Berroco’s free pattern of the week:

No, I don’t know what’s up with that bag.  I think I will avoid any pattern that calls for “2 curtain rings” as a notion.  I think the top is cute though.  I don’t care how many people say they’re on their way out, cropped sweaters look good on me, and I will not give them up.  I like this sweater because it looks like a bolero but it’s sewed shut in the middle, meaning no buttons.  I love shopping for buttons, but I am so tired of sewing them on!  I just want them to sit around in my button jar, so that every so often I can take them out and admire their pearly loveliness.

This afternoon I’m going shopping with one of my Bridesmaids for a dress.  None of my bridesmaids live in the same state, so this is quite a feat!

crafts · knitting · wedding · yarn

Wedding crafts and the new IK

I am not a flower person.  I don’t particularly want anything in my house that’s going to die and leave dust everywhere, plus I’m allergic to lots of flowers.  But ever since I got engaged all I hear is “Oh, what colors will your flowers be?”  The problem is, I don’t want flowers, either to carry or decorate with, but I felt like I had to.  I had decided to just do some simple arrangements myself, but then I saw these:

Paper flower kits from Papersource.

I love these!  Some people over on Indiebride have used these.  They recommend getting one kit and then just buying paper for the rest.  After all, I’m crafty, right?  I’m already making all my own stationary products (save the dates, invites, programs, place cards etc) so why not go all the way?  I also want to make myself a shawl for the church.  I like the shawlette in the new Interweave Knits (which I finally got today!) because it looks easy to tie on, and because it isn’t massive (I have no patience for huge lace projects I think.)

My comments on the new Interweave layout?  I like it better.  I agree with the editor, the patterns will be much more usable in this format.  I don’t think it’s much like Vogue at all.  Most of the patterns are lovely (except the apron) and I even like some of the designs I passed earlier, like the bonsai tunic (although I don’t think it would look great on me.)  I am somewhat displeased with the big giant chart for the Swan Lake Cardigan.  I dislike charts intensely, although I do see the point here.  I hate reading backwards, and I hate it when the same symbol means different things on different rows.

I want to make the dollar and a half cardigan right now.  Patternworks is now showing the info for the Soft linen yarn here.   It isn’t in stock yet, but it does exist!   I have a lovely dark blue silk/wool blend that I would like to use up (Elann Highland silk), so I may swatch that.  I won’t be able to wear it in the summer, but lets be honest…. I won’t wear a long sleeved cardi in the summer anyway, and I’m cold all the way through May usually.  I love the cable down raglan still, but I’m not sure on a yarn for that.  It’s made in lovely merino, but I’m thinking a blend would be nicer and more versatile, especially with those lovely 3/4 length sleeves.  I’m even considering a cotton/acrylic blend.  Oh well, plenty of other patterns to try first.  I can’t wait to see some of these sweaters being made in blogland!

crafts · knitting · wedding

Sahara progress report

Sahara is now down to the bottom ribbing. Here it is after I tried it on (the fit is perfect so far!)

I’ve made and ripped the shirt tail hem twice today. Apparently I lack skills at picking up wrapped stitches. I can wrap them fine, but when I pick up the wrap it always looks really loose. After the second time ripping I decided to try the sweater on, and since I like the fit so much I think I’ll just skip the shirttail hem and go to the ribbing. I don’t really like the look of it anyway, and it’s being a pain. I’m going to do the lace without going down a needle size for the bottom hem, and bind off with one size larger. I think this should compensate for the different hem and the lack of ease.

I also printed our “Save the Date” cards today. I love them!

Feel free to check out our wedding website. I know it’s lame, but I just couldn’t come up with much. I hate talking about myself (when it isn’t about knitting!) We also booked our photographer this week. Things are getting there!

crafts · knitting · wedding

A new start

 Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my Wicked.  I’ve worn it twice since it was completed, and gotten compliments that weren’t based on the idea that I made it.  Definitely a success!

I wrote last week that I’d cast on for Ariann.  I’ve only had a little bit of time to work on her since then, but here’s a shot of my progress.

I’m right at the point where you start the waist decreases.  Isn’t the yarn color pretty?  It’s one of the Cascade 220 heathers in (I believe) Shire.  Of course it has to be green!  I’m pretty impressed with Cascade 220.  I’ve never used it before, and I was expecting it to be rough – but I find it to be at an agreeable level of softness.  I’m even going to make my Nantucket Jacket out of a brown heathered shade, having failed to get gauge with the yarn I had planned for it.

Last night we went to a Superbowl party, and since I don’t care at all about football (and I knew there would be two other knitting spouses there) I brought Ariann.  We ended up just talking wedding though.  The host of the party is going to be our DJ, and he was enjoying himself coming up with songs I wouldn’t want played.  I think he’ll do a great job in spite of the teasing, so I just kid!

And how awesome was that Robert Goulet commercial?  I have to confess here of my secret love of the Goulet… much like the Shat he’s a guilty pleasure of mine.  I even saw him the last time he did Camelot.  I love the cheese, and I love anyone who can make fun of themselves that much!

Anyway, the reason why I haven’t progressed too much on Ariann is that I’m second guessing the size decision.  I’m making the size Small, which claims to have finished dimensions of 35.5 inches in the bust.  My actual measurement is 33.5″, so ordinarily I would make the XS, which claims exactly those measurements.  But I’ve seen all over the net (including at the KAL) that Ariann runs really small… and I’ve seen plenty of people who look tiny complaining that the XS is too small for them to button.  I want to button mine like in the modeled photo (I love the belt) so I don’t want negative ease.  Plus my gauge was running a tiny bit small (and I mean a tiny bit) so I’m hoping that it will all even out.  Ah well… I suppose I will forge on, unless anyone has any words of wisdom.

crafts · knitting · wedding · yarn

More wicked

My Wicked is moving along very fast, as it is made with worsted weight yarn, and I’m making the smallest size.

I couldn’t decide which size to make as I was (as always) in between the two smallest.  I decided to go on my theory that I won’t wear baggy sweaters and go for the smaller, since my previous idea of going for the larger was constantly resulting in sweaters I don’t wear.  It’s also easier to block bigger than smaller, so this should be fine.  I tried it on, and the fit is great – Marc even commented that it was a “sexy sweater” which is a new one! My swatch had a tiny bit of shrinkage (like 1/4 of a stitch) so I’m pretty sure I can block that out.  I think I’m going to go for 3/4 length sleeves, as that’s my favorite length.  Although it’s so cold in here today that I’m walking around under a blanket, so maybe an actual warm sweater is a good idea?

I want to hurry up and finish so I can start my Nantucket jacket in this tweedy yarn

Since I’ve made three quick sweaters in a row I think I’m ready to tackle something a bit more time consuming… maybe.  We’ll see – I do love my stockinette!

This afternoon I am going to visit the craft store in an effort to get inspired for the “save the date” cards for our wedding.  I’ve seen some really cute ones online, but we’ll see… a graphical design genius I am not.  We are printing our own invitations (the wedding is going to be in August) and I’ve already picked up the paper for those at Michaels (on sale, with a coupon = less than $40 for all our invites!)

I’m trying hard not to let the wedding planning bug overtake my life.  I was planning on October originally, but we decided it would be easier to plan it during one of my session breaks at work.  I have 3 weeks off in August, and after that not til next December (and Christmas doesn’t work for me, I have too many gigs) so August it is.  I was worried I wouldn’t have time to knit, but in fact I think it’s driven me to knit more, in an attempt to distract myself.  On Friday I’m going dress shopping with Marc’s Mom.  I already have a good idea of what I want – I like this dress, from Siri bridesmaids, in ivory (which I’m pretty sure will be extra… stupid bridal industry)

Or something similar…  I also like the neckline on this dress (well, the jacket)

Basically I don’t want a big dress.  I want tea length and simple, with a portrait (or similar) neckline, a medium full skirt, and absolutely no beads, lace, sequins, or (visible) tulle.  I don’t think this exists in a “wedding” dress, so I’ll be buying bridesmaids or regular evening.

crafts · knitting · Life · wedding

Still knitting…

Thank you so much for all your nice wishes on my engagement – it really made me feel special!

We’re trying to iron out details on a date.  This mostly involves finding a close catholic church that won’t charge a bajillion dollars to rent.  Yes, I work for the church, but I don’t want the wedding at my church because it’s too far out (a good thirty minutes from the Highlands and impossible for out of town guests I think.)  Hopefully we’ll find somewhere soon!

I’ve decided that I want to wear a suit with a little hat and veil… sort of like this or this.   I could also go with a simple knee length sheath and knit a little lacy shrug.  Either way.  I just know that I am not at all a big poofy dress sort of person, especially because I practically work weddings for a living (so I want mine to be different!)  I’m thinking a sort of 1940s or 50s vibe, including hiring some of my friends who have a jazz band to play the reception.  Yes, prepare for all the wedding talk here!

In knitting news, I worked for a solid 3 hours on the Not so Shrunken cardi last night, and I’ve finished the body and one sleeve.

Sorry for the sucky picture, but I simply am incapable of taking pictures of myself.  I lengthened the sleeve by 2 inches because I have super long arms, so they worked out about the same as the called for length.  The raglan depth is probably a bit long (it called for 9.5″, but I should have stopped at 9 or even 8.5″.)  The needle is still on the bottom because I have lots more yarn and was considering lengthening the cardi, but I decided that since I like cropped sweaters it wouldn’t be worth the work for 6 more inches.  So… one more sleeve and the button bands to go!  This has been a super quick knit, and I don’t even feel as though I’ve been slaving away on it.  The yarn for my Jess hasn’t arrived yet, I promise to sew it together when it arrives!

That’s all for now!