On The Needles: Spring ’17

Hello everyone! It’s been a while, huh? Turns out law school isn’t exactly conducive to regular blogging. Who would have thought? In all seriousness though, these past few weeks have been over-whelming to me for a myriad of reasons. I still feel like I’m trying to find my footing in this new semester, and getting this blog running more smoothly is definitely a part of that.

This week, I thought that I would share with you all what I’ve currently got on my needles, kicking off what I hope will be a regular quarterly check-in. I thought I would get things going with spring, embracing the symbology of growth, and new beginnings.

(And yes, I know that technically there’s still a month or so to go here in the Northern hemisphere before its officially spring, but a girl can dream!)

So, without further ado, here are the projects I’ve got on my needles as of spring 2017!

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The Polwarth Pullover: If you follow me on instagram, you’ve probably noticed that its been nothing but yellow the past couple of weeks. That’s all thanks to this baby, my take on the Polwarth design by Ysolda Teague. I’ve been fascinated by this pattern since I first saw it. It caught my eye at a time when I had become enamored of pullovers with triangle details at the neckline. I had been toying with the idea of designing a pullover with a triangle detail myself, but when I saw this design, I knew I didn’t have to. I actually purchased the yarn for this sweater – Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Hayloft – late last spring, but only recently cast on as I realized I need a few more pullovers in my Portland closet. Plus, the yellow is so rich, it really brightens up these grey, rainy days.

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The Løs Pullover: While the sweater above is trundling right along, this one I’ve been taking my time with. I expect that this will feature heavily in my wardrobe next fall/winter, and make several appearances on my instagram this spring and summer. The reason I’m taking my time with Løs is that the textural pattern is extremely complex. I don’t typically knit things where I need to have the chart open in front of me the entire time I’m knitting, so this has been relatively slow-going for me. However, all’s the better in my opinion, because this baby is a honey to knit on! The pattern is thoroughly engrossing, and the yarn – Woolfolk Far in color 08 – is a knitter’s dream! I’ve raved about this yarn before, and will likely continue to rave about it until the day I die. The chainette weave of Far takes to the stitch pattern in Løs so perfectly! This yarn and pattern were truly made for each other, so I don’t really mind taking my time.

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The Anna Vest: I’m a little late to the party with my Anna vest, but better late than never, I say! Last year, when everyone was making these beauties for Karen Templer’s knit-a-long, I watched in awe as all the FOs rolled in. I knew I wanted to make one for myself, but it had to be absolutely right. When I was moving this summer, one of the things I did was go through all my yarn. When I came upon 5 skeins of Quince and Co. Owl in Buru tucked into my stash, I realized the right yarn had been under my nose the entire time. I’m extremely close to being done with this one, and I’m hoping it will become a staple in my wardrobe this spring.

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The Ed Sweater: What more can I say about this that hasn’t already been said? I’ve still got guy on my needles, working on making it into the promised sweater for my man. But who knows, maybe by the time I put together my On the Needles: Summer ’17 post, this will be completely, and thoroughly finished.

What about you? Do you have anything exciting at your needles right now? Let me know in the comments below!

Marathons vs. Sprints

Wow! It has been a while since I’ve updated here! Don’t let anyone fool you, blogging is hard! Not only do you have to have something to say, but you also need to have the time, energy, and proper style in which to say it. And while I’ve had a lot to say, time and energy have not been on my side these past few weeks. I have been busy choosing a law school to attend, beginning to plan my move, working four days a week, and of course, knitting constantly through it all!

Last month, I had posted a roundup of all my current projects on the needles. Some of those projects, like my grey Vianne, have made it off the needles and into my wardrobe, but several others remain unfinished. And what’s more, my inspiration to work on them comes and goes. I have been struggling with that recently. As someone who revels in order and organization, it frustrates me that I can’t seem to keep my number of projects on the needles down to two or three. I want to be able to finish things before casting on something new, but as anyone who keeps a close eye on my instagram knows, I frequently fall victim to the impulse cast on, and end up completing something new while old projects languish.

In order to help resolve this issue for myself, I have started to think of my projects as either marathons or sprints. Marathons are projects that end up taking a long time to finish. Whether its because they require a lot of work or desire to work on them comes and goes, these kinds of projects can take us months or even years to finish. They are in the background ofnour lives, worked on slowly and deliberately until they are, at last, finished.

Sprints, unlike marathons, are projects that take practically no time to knit up. They are cast on, and knit through at a break neck speed, taking only a few weeks or months to complete. Sometimes these are planned projects that are just too enticing to put down, and sometimes they are unplanned, and simply impossible to say no to.

Both marathon and sprint projects occupy my needles, and while I will work to my finish my long term knits, I won’t feel guilty casting on newer, quicker ones in the meantime.

Anybody else have any long term projects on the needles or struggle with casting on a new project before finishing current ones? Share about it in the comments!

 

Progress Report: March ’16

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Ah, March! There is so much to love about the third month of the year! Spring is just around the corner, flowers are blooming, the air is warming, birds are starting to sing. The beginning of any month is a great time to take stock, but to me, the start of March always feels like an especially ripe time for self-reflection. So, in that spirit, I am using the start of this month to begin a new series called Progress Report, in which I’m going to take the time to check in with myself about projects that I currently have in progress. By taking the time at the beginning of each month to do a check in, I’m hoping to encourage myself to finish the projects that I have started, really zero-in on the sorts of projects that I like to do, and keep track of what I have done for future record. And with that, let’s dive into March!

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Leonie: Last month, I started yet another Leonie. I made 3 of these last summer, and with spring already looming large in Northern California, I felt compelled to start something out of anything other than wool. This is one of the very few patterns that I have made multiple times, and I imagine I will make it many times more. It is super easy to wear, and provides opportunities for lots of fun yarn combos! This particular version is combining Habu Cotton Gima, and Shibui Twig.

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Vianne: I started this a couple of weeks ago as part of a project I undertook at the beginning of the year to shore up the sweater holes in my wardrobe. Along with two pullovers and another cardigan, I started on Vianne to create something I found myself reaching for, but not finding. I’m super excited to have this one off the needles!

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Ashland: I cast on my Ashland last fall, out of love of colorwork, and the desire to tackle some of the new techniques (steeking) that this project presented. I stopped working on it when I needed to wind a new skein of yarn that I never actually got around to winding. Since then, I have acquired a swift and ball-winder set-up of my very own, so its time to pick this cutie back up!

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Top-Down for Ed: Out of all the projects in this month’s Progress Report, this is absolutely the piece that has been in development for the longest amount of time. I started this as a present for my boyfriend’s 21st birthday, and he will be turning 23 next month. I have had some up’s and down’s with the piece! If I’m being honest, the biggest challenge that I have run into with this sweater is lack of interest. Maybe its selfish, but I always have a harder time getting excited about things I’m knitting for other people. Outside of that, this sweater is being knit on MadelineTosh Merino Light on size 3’s, so it has been slow-going. On top of this, there was a set-back last October when, almost ready to bind off, Ed and I decided that the fit wasn’t quite right, meaning I would have to rip back most of the body. However, I am determined to get this one finished! Ed has been incredibly patient with me through this process, and he is so excited to wear it.

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Nell: I got the pattern and fabric for this in January, and am finally sitting down today to cut out the pieces for my Nell shirt. This will be my first ever, grown-up sewing project. I must admit, I have been putting it off because I am massively intimidated by the machine. As a knitter, I am much more comfortable with doing things with my hands, and giving control over to the sewing machine is rather frightening for me. But sewing has been something I’ve been meaning to conquer for years now, and I am ready to dive in!

I’m looking forward to seeing where I am with all of these next month!