Friday, November 17, 2017

Outlander Socks, Mittens and More Mittens! would work out that Camden has the first pair of Outlander socks, right???  That's a darn shame - something I will need to rectify at some point (maybe in a couple years, aha!).

I don't know WHY I had to make them for her, but it worked out that way - something about not liking the pooling on size 00 needles with 60 or 64 stitches...or maybe I'd tried 000 needles and hadn't like the pooling.  I can't recall at ALL, as I knit them between August and September, but I LOVE them, even though Camden is the one to enjoy them on her feet!

I just knit a vanilla sock, 56 stitches and size 00 needles, using lovely Voolenvine yarn (dyed by Kristin of the Yarngasm podcast!) on the Lush base, which she no longer carries, as she has a new version of MCN, not as high-twist.  The color is her signature Outlander colorway, and it really is so pretty, though the photos don't do it justice, of course.

I am still trying to decide how to fine-tune my sock knitting.  I have gone up from using 000 needles at this point, which is fine, but my row gauge is still pretty tight, though I love the fabric I am getting.  You can see above, also, that I did knit ribbing at the lower cuff/behind the ankle, as I like how it cinches in a bit.  I knit my heel flaps pretty long, but it is a SQUEEZE to get them up over Camden's instep.  Her last three pairs have been this way, and I don't think knitting a mile-long heel flap is the permanent answer, LOL.  They fit great, when on, so, who knows.  She wears a size 1.5 shoe at this point, and she can still squeeze into her awesome green Hue Loco socks and her pink Cyborg's Craft Room socks, though I think we're retiring the pink socks...for the first time, I accidentally machine-washed a sock (because SOME children I know leave their socks all over their beds), and it did shrink up a tiny bit, so, I need to machine-wash the other so they are the same - then squirrel them away.

As for my next two projects, they are just wee pairs of mittens for Camden and Tiberius!  I made sure to use stash scraps or whatnot.  Pictured below is what the purple yarn was used for the first time (and which is now stored away in a bag somewhere, aha).  And below that is Tiberius's Bad Bunny (I didn't use actual Gnome Acres Bad Bunny yarn, but this was close enough, and I again realize I never took any great photos of the poor bunny, as with a certain book report dress).  Anyway, I use the Stars or Stripes mitten pattern, and it has worked well for me so far!  I tend to like cuffs super long, as they are then tucked nicely away under coats and shirts, keeping their wrists warm!  I will say that because of how densely I knit them, Tiberius's pair came out with non-ideal pooling, so, I really should have sized up a needle.  I used 1.5s and 2.5s on his pair - and maybe Camden's, too.  I have a feeling I'll have to re-knit mittens for Tiberius before this winter is out.  At least they're quick!

And...days in the life!
Someone doesn't want to bring a hat or shawl, so, he steals my things...


Jotting down the 12 uses of dragon's blood.  Of course.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas in July, Part Deux: Ready for the Holidays

Making faces at her brother!
Oh, Christmas in July, how you like to torture me!  This sweater is SO great!  I love the design, love the colors - all that, but man!  You'd think I'd learned lessons from the first version for Tiberius....


The pattern is designed by Tanis Lavalee, and she and her husband are the dyers behind the yarn, also - Tanis Fiber Arts.  I used a mix of one of her mini sets for the yoke, and the main body is Sand on the Blue Label Fingering Weight Base.  On a side note, Tanis is awesome and has always been super helpful, whenever I have questions through Ravelry!!!  She and Chris, her husband, also put up a podcast episode here and there!!!

I knew I had a hard time getting a good fit with the tubular cast-on when I did it for last year's sweater, so, I just cast on longtail-style on size 2.5 needles (and moved down to 1s, maybe, for the rest of the ribbing), though I'd planned to knit the sweater on size 1.5 needles.  Also, I had to knit the collar twice, as I'd originally cast on for size 6/8, but I thought the neckband was too snug, so, I moved up to the 8/10.  I got through the colorwork just fine, of course (while watching ALL the Sex and the City!).  I always love to see the new colors pop out!  And I sort of winged it for order of colors, so, they are what they are. 

Then we came to the sleeve separation...knitting past that and finding that OH, NO, it was TOO BIG, just like LAST TIME.  Seriously.  So, I moved down from the size 1.5s (or whatever, as things start to get fuzzy when re-knitting) to 0s....then slogged through that body for a hundred years.  I did end up alternating the body, as I had a bad feeling about how the colorway was going to pool, as the sort of brown tone peeps through the gray.  I then naturally started to stress about running out of yarn, as I did the first time (which is probably because of my tighter row gauge), so, I figured I would do pops of color on the bottom ribbing and the cuffs, which worked out nicely!
Totally longish on her, and I didn't even knit it to the pattern directions!  I hope it fits all over through her 10th year!

But speaking of the sleeves....I totally didn't picture THIS happening:  My 0s were not working for the sleeves.  I tried the sleeve on Camden, and it was SO snug.  I bumped up to size 1s, I think, which was better, but they ARE closer-fitting sleeves, anyway, so, I tried to more gradually decrease, to accommodate for that.  Not sure it worked too well, but she likes the fit!

Overall, lovely pattern....also overall:  WHEW.  I need to not knit a fingering weight sweater for a while, aha, as this was Camden's second this year.  Lucky kid, yo.

But it is SO pretty, and she's had a ton of compliments on it already!!!

For now....days in the life, GIRLS' WEEKEND STYLE!

It was so nice to get out, as I'm usually with the kids...especially so after the last four months, as Matt has worked up in WA, and we see him most weekends.

In Hood River over the first weekend of November, we caused the usual sort of mayhem....almost falling through COMPLETELY shady bunk beds, drinking TOO much inferior hot chocolate (oh, that was just ME), getting kicked out of fancy reserved second floor areas at local breweries, hitting up the swanky Goodwill (no, I found nothing, as is always the case with second-hand shops), belting out some karaoke IN-house...but not actually making it to a karaoke bar (not sure if that had something to do with MY particular song requests) and instead playing pictionary at the Oak St. Pub, tended to by the one and only Napoleon (seriously, not ONE other employee?!).  Absinthe didn't make any fans that night, though a good friend did have a moment and made a few of us realize we miss each other. 

Also on deck, no pun intended, was the lovely barmaid Shannon/Janet.  She served up a lovely mimosa (or so I hear), and we maybe surpassed the hot tub time machine limits.  Our weekend stared off with almost being gassed out (nothing like a weird, barely detectable gas leak to make one woozy!), though we WERE treated to free drinks by the owner of the house ;)  All in all, a great weekend - something which needs to happen more often!

A Book Report Dress: The Perfect School Dress

Let's be honest, folks:  I could have written this post MONTHS ago, when I sewed the Book Report dress, but it sat in my sewing room alllll through the summer, as it was originally a bit big-looking on Camden.  I don't know if growing a whole inch helps, but it totally fits her great now, and she wore it to her one-day-a-week charter school a few weeks ago.  I will always love this pattern so much!  (On a side note, same with the Apple Picking Dress and Jump Rope Dress and Seashore Sundress....well, and the Class Picnic Set, aha!)

This is a pretty straight-forward sew, designed by Oliver and S.  The pockets are crazy easy to do, and it goes together relatively fast.  I think I lengthened the skirt portion - not sure if I did the same with the top or the sleeves, though one would THINK this is something I did, LOL.  You can see my first three versions HERE (which, on another note, I notice I did NOT include photos of the polka dot version in the post, which is why I'd maybe never originally published it - see the note at the top of the post.  I am so wack, and it turns out I had no real photos of it....just one sad photo I just now uploaded).

Because the dress is super roomy, I feel it fits great for a while, as it can always be paired with leggings, and this particular fabric was something I'd been holding onto, NEVER sure which project was worthy of it, aha!  I guess this was it ;)  And I chose the perfect buttons from my stash, but I'm not sure if you can see them super well in the photo below:

That's all she wrote, folks....days in the life of below!

LOLOL at ME!!!!

Her Little Honey gets a LOT of wear!