A sweater? In the summer?
Well, in the summer it’ll be on the needles. The idea is it’ll be ready to wear by the fall, when the weather calls for it. And check out my yarn! I think it’s the perfect colour for fall. Reminds me of kicking my way through the crunchy, fallen leaves. Shown here are my five lovely skeins of Knit Picks’ Swish Tonal in Foliage (a colourway that’s now discontinued; thankfully I was able to catch it on sale on its way out). Dreamy.
I’m planning to knit mine up with two inches of negative ease, so it’ll fit more snugly than the one shown above (which is knit with zero ease). What this means for me is knitting a size down from my actual measurements. But in the spirit of tweaking this sweater’s fit to be as close to exactly what I want as possible, I’m going to follow a tip I snagged from Jane herself and knit the body and sleeve lengths for my own (actual) size to accommodate my gangly arms and long torso. And guys? I even swatched properly (and blocked my swatch, I’m that serious) for this thing. I am the most on the ball I’ve ever been about getting the right fit. I’m not wasting my money and time on a garment like this only to end up with something that only fits ‘okay’ in the end. No no. Enough of that nonsense. This one will fit right and it will be glorious. Mantra.
I cast on the other day and have already made a bunch of progress! Thank you to CrazyBaby for going to bed pretty early the last couple of nights.
And for the ‘KAL’ part: I’m knitting this as part of luvinthemommyhood‘s Summer Sweater Knit Along! I’m really looking forward to having this sweater on my needles over the summer and ending up with (hopefully, probably, LIKELY!) a wonderfully fitting and cozy sweater just in time for fall. And it’s orange! It’s orange. Eff yes! Orange sweater for me!
Feels like time to do a wee update about some of the newer goodies I’ve put up for sale in my shop! I’ve expanded into selling a couple of new items in the realm of baby accessories. Not sure if this will be a permanent section of my shop, as baby accessories and stitch markers don’t generally go together. I mean, for people like me, sure. I knit and have a baby. But for most folks, mixing these things might cause potential customers to be a bit thrown off by the random assortment of things for sale. Of course this thinking all delves well into the ‘defining your brand’ thing, which probably requires more brain cells than I currently have to offer. There are countless articles online about being successful on Etsy. I’ve read none of them. I’m almost certainly doing it all wrong.
Embracing my ignorance, and since my shop is currently still such small potatoes, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a whirl and see what ends up happening. If it’s a bust, I can take down the listings and stay firmly in the knitting realm. No skin off my back. (There must be a knitterly version of that saying… No stitches off my needles?)
So, check it. Here’s what’s new at astitchinlime on Etsy:
Terry strap covers: Perfect for teething, drooly babies!
I’m hoping to contribute a few knitted items to the shop eventually, as well. Knitting items to sell can be tricky since it’s not a very cost-effective craft. You end up spending many hours and many dollars (yarn dollars, oh the yarn dollars) creating something that you have to charge a small fortune for to make it worth your time. Maybe there is a little easy item out there that might strike my knit-to-sell fancy. I’m thinking something like these awesome Mug Hugs by Rebecca of Nook. Or a few winter hats? What would you like to see in my shop?
It’s done! I finished! The morning of the last day of the KAL I was furiously seaming and weaving in ends on my Liesl tank. You can’t get much more last-minute than that. But that’s totally how I roll — always has been. I suppose I am rather productive in a bit of a time crunch.
And verdict: I love it.
It’s funny, I realized recently that I’m more of a process knitter than a product knitter — meaning that I enjoy the making of something more than the end result so much. Well, at least this has been true of the garments I’ve made for myself so far. But I sometimes wonder whether it’s simply that I’m knitting the wrong size, or with the wrong yarn, or choosing my pattern unwisely. I am still relatively new to this knitting thing (only a couple years in, here), so I probably have lots to learn. Especially about patience. And swatching properly. And choosing appropriate fibre. And blocking. And how to get the proper fit I’m looking for. Sigh. So okay, that is a lot.
But hey, this one worked out pretty well, finished-product-wise. I wore it all day today and it was great!
But back to this KAL thing. Shannon over at luvinthemommyhood posted her big reveal about the prizes to be won for those KALers lucky enough to have their names drawn. And as I mentioned before, I am one of the KAL sponsors! The astitchinlime Etsy shop, where I sell my handmade stitch markers, is donating one set of markers to each of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place KAL winners. So fun, right? I can’t wait to see who wins and which set they each choose!
Which set would you choose?
(More options for the indecisive at astitchinlime.etsy.com)
Make sure to check out Shannon’s awesome other sponsors to see what loot awaits the lucky three prize winners! I’m so flattered to be listed among the other KAL sponsors, who are delivering some seriously wonderful goods. Truth.
Folks, it’s KAL time again. Luvinthemommyhood is hosting another wonderful knit-along (KAL) called the “Tops, Tanks and Tees KAL” and I am all. over. that. Reason being is that I’ve got a lovely tank I’m working on and this is just the push I need to get’er done. My tank’s name is Liesl. She is very pretty. And she is only about 30% done! See see?
Okay, this is quite possibly the worst ‘in progress’ photo of all time, but you get the idea. Liesl is knit from the bottom-up and I’ve gotten to a point where I’m just past the pockets and headed North. As I’m ever so slowly decreasing my number of stitches, I’m hopeful that it will start to knit up a wee bit faster and I might have a hope in hell of getting it done for the May 23rd KAL deadline. Right. Because my costar in this photo will totally let me just sit on my ass and knit for hours. Uh huh. I should probably be knitting right now…
Anyway. Here’s another terrible photo for your eyeballs.
My cast-on edge is totally loose and wonky, but my hope is that blocking will set that right. It damn well better. I’m knitting this up in Katia Linen and I think it’ll make a really nice airy summer top. One more motivator to get it done before summer comes and goes.
Here’s an extra fun fact about this KAL: I’m one of the sponsors! That means I’m donating some of my crafty wares to be used as prizes for the approximately three bozillion folks participating in the KAL (okay, it only feels like that many because of all the Chatty Cathies on the luvinthemommyhood Ravelry group who are simply amazing and talented and impossible to keep track of being that they post almost nonstop). But I won’t spoil the prize surprise since Shannon hasn’t announced them yet. I’ll let her do the honours near the end of the KAL. But how cool is that? I feel like a proper internet crafter type being included in the KAL in this way. I was so honoured when Shannon asked me to sponsor the KAL and I’m super excited for the big prize draw at the end! Won’t you come join us and get a chance to win some cool swag in the meantime? There’s still time!
My mother-in-law is often passing things on to me that she can’t use. Happily, since she’s also a knitter, this means that sometimes yummy bits of yarn come my way out of the blue! I know, seriously, I’m a lucky gal. So here’s what I did with some of her leftovers. This hat was knit up out of many little odds and ends of Noro Furin that she had leftover from a project. And there literally were about 6 or 7 separate bits of it, some of them tiny balls that only had enough yardage to cover about a row or two! But I hacked ‘em all together, I did. Thankfully, the Noro is such a chunky/wonky/multicoloured yarn that my knots just blend right in. And they’re not even big knots to begin with, since I am forever hooked on Jane Richmond‘s magical, nearly-invisible knot for joining yarn. Seriously, you need to check thisout, folks. It will change your (knitting) life!
Right, the hat. The pattern is called Capucine by Adela Illichmanova. It’s basically constructed like a bonnet, but then you add some fun fluff like pom-poms and tassels to make it less Little House on the Prairie and more hipster whimsy. Check it:
As I was rapidly running out of my Noro bits, I padded out the pom-pom and tassels with some leftover white Bernat Baby Coordinates Chunky (that I had hanging about ever since I knit my second Bazan shrug). My only complaint with the giant pom-pom would be that it’s rather heavy and weighs the hat down a bit. Since the hat sort of just sits on your head rather than hanging on via any kind of ribbing/elasticized part, the heavy pom-pom slowly pulls it back and down off my head. But only a bit. I may cut the pom-pom down, even though I enjoy its oversizedness, to make the hat more wearable. We’ll see.
Truthfully, this hat is a bit on the funky side for me, so I think I’ll need to be in the right mood to sport it out and about. But is is pretty fun, and I love the colours. I enjoyed knitting it, too! I followed Hoppipolla’s modifications to the pattern to accommodate this yarn, and thankfully the sizing worked out perfectly (the hat apparently runs small even with the correct yarn, so I had my doubts). It was pretty quick and satisfying. Must be why I enjoy knitting hats so much, even though I’m starting to collect a hat graveyard in my front hall closet… hats that are enthusiastically knit and then only rarely worn. What the heck, me? Gotta stop doing that.
Maybe this fun and funky number will get me outta my hat-wearing slump.
Who’s got messy hair, no make-up on, and knit another Shannon cowl for her sister-in-law’s birthday? This moi.
I picked green to match her green eyes. She’s a knitter also, so appreciates the hand-made variety of gifts. I also gave her a set of my rainbow stitch markers. Sorry — we gave her these things. My husband and I did. He totally helped. Right. Oh well, you can’t blame me for taking the opportunity to knit/craft for someone who gets it like she does. She seemed really pleased with her loot!
Probably should have snapped a pic of her wearing it the other day instead of making this post all me me me, what with it being her birthday and all…
Happy birthday, J! I’m glad you were born, and that you’re a part of my very crafty family. <3
My mama friends on Ravelry organized another swap this spring, and I sent a couple of handmade goodies off as a part of my package destined for Emily (and her daughter, M) in Connecticut. Wanna see?
Goodie the first:
A hand-sewn (and more or less improvised) sock project bag with a divider to separate working yarn. Emily knits two socks at a time, like a boss, so needs to keep her two balls of yarn from tangling up. She mentioned she could use something like this, and I figured I could make it happen for her. I loosely based the bag’s construction on the hobo bag I sewed ages ago from Lula Louise’s shoulder bag tutorial, but had to figure out how to incorporate a divider between the two halves. Let me tell you: I am not very spatially adept. This required many inside-out and upside-down steps that hurt my brain. But it basically turned out well! Pretty proud of myself for not accidentally sewing the wrong side of the fabric to the outside. Or to my own hand. (Just kidding. Or am I? I’m pretty tired these days…)
Goodie the second:
My son, A, modeling M’s red ears hat. The hat was hard to part with after this display of cuteness!
A hand-knit baby hat for her daughter, M. The pattern is called All Ears, and is available for free on Ravelry. The hat is very simple and fast to knit, and would make a great baby gift for any expecting/new mama. Or any older baby. Or maybe with some adjustments, any adult. Anyway, I just so happen to have the perfect yarn leftover from a recent project to make another one for A to keep! It’s fate, right? Fate.
I mean come on.
Goodie the third:
A set of small stitch markers, that I (HEADSLAP!) did not get a photo of before sending off! Whaaaaat? But it’s okay. They kinda looked like this:
Except not. They had blue loops and four had blue beads with the one contrast marker sporting a fuchsia bead. So kind of the inverse colour scheme of this set? You can use your imagination. You will have to! So there.
The rest of the loot:
In the un-hand-made camp, I also sent Emily some tea, lip balm, two books, pacifiers, a silly badge, a baby music CD, some sock yarn, two pairs of BabyLegs legwarmers, and chocolates. Here’s a shot of the stash she took when she opened it:
And here are some pictures of her daughter, M, enjoying her goodies:
Nom nom nom!
And nom some more!
I had so much fun putting her package together and including fun items for both mama and babe. I got so wrapped up in getting it all together that I kept forgetting that I’m also expecting a package someday very soon! I can’t wait to see what my swap partner has cooked up for me. I already feel spoiled just thinking of the mystery goodies coming my way.
Well, I’ve gotten a little stitch-marker-happy these last couple of weeks. I’ve upped my game a bit and invested in some satin cording to make these puppies look a bit more professional than my first set did. It’s been fun refining my technique as I’ve been putting these sets together, and I’m getting faster and more skilled when making them. I also invested in a set of round-nose pliers recently and they’ve helped immensely. Way better than regular needle-nose pliers. Who knew!?
I’ve made most of these while squinting in the dim light over my dining room table after the baby’s asleep for the night. That, or if he’s awake, I’ve poked and prodded at them in a very piecemeal fashion over the course of several hours, hoping my cat won’t try to eat them while I’m distracted with the baby. Multitasking: I has it!
Here’s a gander at the result of my efforts:
So what’s even more fun? Finally, after much wringing of hands, I decided to set up shop and sell these puppies on Etsy! That’s right, astitchinlime has now got a virtual storefront! This is a big step for me and, I’ll admit, it overwhelmed me pretty instantaneously. But I did it, and even if no one buys a single thing from my shop, I really have had fun setting it all up and making (and photographing!) the stitch markers.
I plan on expanding the shop to sell other items sometime in the future, but for now these stitch markers are a small, achievable craft and I can get my head around making several sets. And I feel comfortable selling them since they’re entirely my own creation — I didn’t use a tutorial or pattern to make them (unlike the vast majority of my knitting, for example), so I have no copyright anxiety or morally grey feelings about selling them, and can just enjoy giving it a whirl.