Cast On: Arya Shawl

I have been knitting for at least two weeks now and I haven’t even shown you my Arya Shawl that was my self indulgent cast on for Christmas Eve! Christmas was a lot of work this year and so I found myself in my childhood home at 10 pm on Christmas Eve having just played Santa.

The fire was roaring and The Woolslayers had just dropped a new episode on YouTube. In hindsight knowing how Christmas morning turned out…I should have been sleeping. But I pulled out my project and poured myself a glass of wine. I knit for a full hour and fifteen minutes and enjoyed the hell out of every minute.

I managed to get the first chart done in one sitting. I’m using my Chubbs and Squeak DK from my visit to Twisted in Portland. It really is a joy to work with so far. And I honestly had to sit down and really learn the centered double decrease. I have never truly worked it correctly until now. The pattern is amazingly detailed and while it took me a few tries I managed to get on board.

I couldn’t help but take one last photo before bed in front of the tree. It was the calm before the storm and I am continually glad I have knitting. I’m pretty sure I would be a basket case by now without it. I’ll try to get my act in gear and take updated photos of this project. I have worked through several charts and have added the second color in by now.

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Wool and Waves

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep knitting the Annapurna Scarf. It was just too much purling and too many times of getting off my stitch count and not lining up with the pattern. I ripped that baby out before I even got to the first color change. Life is too short to force yourself to knit something!

I did another Ravelry dive. I think now I have like 10 or 12 advent mini patterns floating around in my favorites. I settled on Wool and Waves by Casapinka.  It’s garter stitch and some eyelets and so much more satisfying to work on.

Now mine will not look like the pattern. I am not fussing around with striping my colors. I am just working my quasi-fade and using the stitch patterns. So I will hopefully end up with the same shape but a very different color effect. I have worked mostly through the first mini skein. And for some reason I can’t explain the whole shebang is still living in the large cardboard box it came in…I just can’t be bothered I guess.

PS. I’m still in LOVE with the project bag it came with!

Happy Knitting

Cast On: Annapurna Scarf

It’s the day after Christmas and I’m blogging from an over crowded mini van on its way back to post-christmas reality. I’m finally casting on my Cornbread and Honey advent minis project. Jellybean is watching a movie and PB is snoozing (for now) so here goes nothing! Come along with me and let’s see what I can accomplish today.

I’ve already seen all 12 minis but here is the first one! It’s a gorgeous tonal purplish pink. I put on some knitting podcasts with my headphones and hand wound my yarn. I’m casting on Annapurna by Aspenknits. This pattern is specifically designed for 12 or 24 advent type mini skeins.

I’m back! The three hour car ride is complete and the kiddos are asleep in bed after a terrible sugar crash. I managed to knit half? of the first color section. It’s a pretty wide scarf so between the purling and number of stitches this is taking me a bit to make progress.

For now, I’m off to bed. It’s back to reality tomorrow with work and daycare. This momma is happy and tired. I hope everyone else is re-entering from Christmas safely and slowly!

Happy Knitting!!

Preparing For Christmas Eve

Christmas is almost upon us and I am once again preparing my family’s Christmas eve boxes! Mostly I get everyone in the family a new set of pajamas and special treat for Christmas eve. I like being able to open an early present. So I wanted to give you a sneak peak inside mine. (My box includes a special Christmas Eve cast on!)

I have a brand spanking new pair of Christmas pajamas, a bottle of wine, and brand new knitting project to start. This year I chose the Arya Shawl by Ambah O’Brien. It’s a two color shawl worked up in DK weight. And I just so happen to have those two coordinating skeins of Chubbs and Squeak in tweed DK from my Portland trip. It seemed just like kismet. Now I just have to wait for Santa to get here!!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Bullseye Vanilla Socks

My sock needles have been conspicuously empty. I was in need of a simple vanilla project for some travel/meeting knitting so I went rummaging in my stash. I have had this Biscotte Yarns Bis-sock self-striping wound up for way too long. But it was ready to go so I pulled my size 0 needles out and hit the road.

I did manage to do the figure 8 cast on and get some of the toe increases established before leaving the house. I much prefer if this had been been to the “round and round” stage but I’m sure I can manage. The yarn is a pretty thin light fingering with a three ply structure. It has a mix of nylon and merino but I still plan on knitting this at pretty tight gauge to make the socks as hard wearing as possible.

I’m not mad at the speckled sections of this self-striping yarn. I’m interested to see how this next solid/tonal section works out!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: The Weekender

Okay, here is my second birthday day cast on. I finally cast on the Malabrigo Rios in the Fresco y Seco color that I wound up in my last winding frenzy. I cast on the Weekender by Drea Renee Knits aka Andrea Mowry.

This sweater had a split hem and the front and back is cast on separately. I started the front hem and you guys….I learned the Tubular Cast On. It did take me a lot longer to slow down and learn this. I watched at least three YouTube videos and painstakingly did the first set-up TWICE.

It’s definitely not perfect but I can see how it makes a nice clean edge that seems to come out of now where. I’m hopeful that my second hem is a little neater. I need to work on keeping my gauge consistent across and slipping the correct stitches.

I’m excited to get this sweater going in the round so I can have a nice zen project that can just work endlessly in circles. Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Faded Party Top

On my actual birthday back in November I used my personal day to stay home and just introvert and knit. It was glorious and I cast on not one but TWO sweaters that day. So I’m going to give you a peak at the first one.

This is going to be the Party Top by AbbyeKnits in my stash of Moonstone Dyeworks Merino DK. I have started with Wild Honey color for the color and the first section of the fade.

I took my measurements and cast on a 40 inch bust size to allow for 2 inches of negative ease on my 42 inch bust. I even put the project in my birthday present knitting bag my family got me from Tanneicasey. With all my travel in November and Thanksgiving chaos I’m not sure I ever showed that to you all.

The bag holds my pattern, yarn and supplies nicely. And this fade even looks lovely just sitting in the bag! I didn’t get very far for two reasons and the first is that twisted rib takes forever for me as I’m a thrower.

And the second reason is that I realized I probably need to gauge swatch if I am going to make a successful sweater. I have two skeins of the Hard Cider so I think I will work from the outside of one ball to make and wash a swatch for gauge. This is a cropped fitted sweater so I best not take any chances…even though I’d rather just be making the sweater.

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Sherwood Forest Wrap

I might be getting close to the number of time I can mention my birthday trip to Portland before you guys quit this blog so I’m just going to talk about one last thing. I honestly spent more time pre-planning my yarn and travel projects than I did the rest of my suitcase. Which led to some interesting outfit choices during the trip, but I have no regrets!

I was SURE I had settled on casting on a new Sockhead Slouch in some lovely rainbow and grey sock yarn from the Wichita Woolery I got last Winter Woolfest. I had caked it up and pulled the needles and pattern all into a project bag ready to hit the airport. And then literally at the 11th hour I changed my mind. At 10 pm the night before my 4:30 am wake up call I decided to cast on a whole different project, a huge rectangular wrap.

I pulled the skein of Trampoline from KnitCircus in the Sherwood Forest colorway off my shelf where it had been staring at me and I cast on the Pride Wrap by Nicole Tavares. Its a rectangle wrap designed for a 150 gram gradient, which is what my skein was. I literally got the 200 stitches cast on and I worked one row before closing up my suitcase.


I knit on the airplane a little but A LOT just lounging around my friends house. She got me some amazing socks as a birthday present and I thought they paired nicely with my knitting. And I decided to call my wrap the “Sherwood Forest Wrap” after my yarn color instead of the pattern name. I think it has a nice ring to it.

I managed to work the first garter section and start the stockinette section. It takes me awhile to work across a row and back with the large number of stitches so I didn’t make what looks like a big chunk of work. But it was several hours worth for sure!

I was also a little disappointed because the pattern is a paid for pattern (and not an inexpensive amount either) and it has a pretty big booboo in one section of the directions. I am guessing this was not tech edited and I emailed the designer to politely point out my issue. I love this project and I’m not going to give it up. But I’ll see what kind of response I get from the designer before I pass any judgement.

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Four Season Hat

It was so satisfying finishing my Modified Barley that was made in worsted weight yarn that I decided to put another worsted weight hat back on my needles. I pulled the KnitCircus Ringmaster skein that I got in their grab bag mystery sale. I still had my needles out from the last hat so I cast on 96 stitches and started working 2×2 ribbing in the round.

Well, I didn’t “just” start knitting. This skein of yarn was a prototype for their Four Seasons colorway and it had knots. I found four knots to be exact. So as I hand wound the ball I snipped the knots and used a Russian join to reattach the yarn to itself. My joins aren’t perfect but they will be smoother than the knots!

I pulled out my woolly hand knits and re-loaded my drawers for the Fall. I think I’m good for hats for myself. So this knit will probably go in the the charity or gift pile. It’s sort of machine washable so I feel comfortable setting it free into the world!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Modified Barley

I recently attended an annual conference for one of the professional organizations I belong to. It was two solid days hanging out in ballrooms listening to speakers. I have been knitting a lot on large sweaters lately and didn’t have a ton of “grab and go” knitting available to me. I had to do some stash diving and get something going just for “travel” knitting.

The night before the conference I hand wound a skein of worsted weight yarn and grabbed a set of interchangeable needles. This was a recent purchase of Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash in the Lipstick colorway. I managed to establish the ribbing before walking into the first day of lectures. And then I quietly knit in my lap or under the table and this was my progress at the end of two days! I used the basic stitch count and sizing of the Barley hat from Tin Can Knits and just omitted the garter section.

It’s kind of hard to see squished up under the conference table but that is two inches of ribbing and about five inches of hat. I had a new-ish coworker with me and she was duly impressed. I think just a few more evening of knitting time and I will have a hat for my gift stash!

I also attended Schmancy cocktail event on the first night. I couldn’t help but snag a photo of the most grown up thing I have done in a dozen fortnights. I got to enjoy a good glass of red coupled with tasty hor’dourves in a proper bar. And no one wiped their cocktail sauce on me or threw asparagus chunks at me. It was non-mom heaven!!

Happy Knitting!!