Finished: Silver Moon Beret

You know what's nice about having a relatively small yarn stash and limited needles?  It makes me stick to a plan!  I last posted the knitting queue I intended to follow after my jaw surgery and I've been a good little knitter and have done exactly what I said I would.

I spent the first week and a half working on my Atlantic Cowl and finished it before moving on.  (I haven't taken "proper" photos of it yet because my face is still swollen and I'm too self-conscious to put that out there but, you can see my notes and a folded photo on Ravelry.)

Next, I continued working on the beret I shared in my last WIP post.  I finished it a few days ago and wore it during the my next venture out.  Luckily, since it sits on the back of my head, photos weren't a problem :P

Silver Moon 1

So, right, details:
This is my first Alana Dakos pattern and I have to say, I'm impressed.  Mind you, I've really only worked with free patterns previously but, this one was so clear and easy to follow.  Being a beginner, some of the stitches were new to me but, they were all well explained and it was so fun watching what they created.  The ssk really tickled me, I'll admit.  I'd done ktog before but, not ssk and didn't see the connection by just doing it. Then, I enjoyed watching the two stitches form opposite sides of the design as I went along.  The design itself is so pretty, somewhat dainty and lacy without being too delicate.  And since there are no cables, it makes a good and rewarding challenge for a newbie knitter (just watch those yarn overs - I dropped 4).

Silver Moon 3

I did make one change to the original pattern, both to make it easier and for personal preference - I omitted the bobbles and simply replaced each of them with k1 which worked perfectly.  I thought about replacing the bobble-looking i-cord at the end too but, decided it would look more finished than a hole at the top and it was a good opportunity to learn something new. Fortunately, it's an easy way to finish a hat and I do like it.

I should also note, the hat is unblocked in all of these photos. I didn't get a change to block it before Brandon saw it and he liked the texture of the natural finish.  I may block it someday to show off the design a little better but, for now, I like it as is.

Silver Moon 5

The yarn is a nice Egyptian cotton dk by Sublime Yarns, which I picked up during that store closing sale last month.  It was a bit large for the pattern but, I was eagar to start the project (this was the only pattern I bought during that sale and it was all too tempting).  I think the dk worked out fine enough because 1. it's a beret so perfect gauge isn't important and 2. I'm a tight knitter so that generally makes my gauge a bit small anyway (though I didn't swatch for this one).  Ignoring gauge, I'd say the yarn was a nice choice for this pattern.  It's so smooth and has such a lovely sheen which keeps it from looking "cheap" and shows off all of the stitches.  It is a bit heavy but, I expect that's normal of choosing cotton over wool and it still wears very well.

Silver Moon 8Silver Moon 7

Silver Moon 2

Now, to continue my "good-knitter" streak, I'm working on Thicket, from Alana's new book Botanical Knits 2, just as I planned.

What are you working? Do you have a favorite knitting pattern designer? Do you always block your projects? (Should I?)

Happy stitching! x

Planning: A Recovery Queue

Ok, I've no idea how to start this post so, I'm just going to jump in.  I'm getting braces this year and, for me, that apparently requires surgery. I won't go into it because 1. you probably don't want the details and 2. I know details can make some people queasy.  The import bit at the moment (read: the part that relates to stitching) is that I'm going to be pretty much out-of-commission for at least two solid weeks and it'll be baby steps from there.

So, it's a good thing I've started knitting again because, I know even if my machine is repaired in a timely manner, I'm not going to be able to use her for any time in March.  Being the uber-planner that I am, I'm developing my "recovery queue" now so I can make sure I have all the supplies I need before I go in for surgery.  (When I wanted to start my current project, I discovered I did not own the right needles.  That is not something I want to discover when I'm in no state to go anywhere.)

Here's what I'm thinking for far:
(Click the photos for details.)

I"ll start with my new Swan's Island bulky merino, from the closing sale, to whip up an easy but pretty cowl.  A long cowl is what I had in mind when I bought the yarn, the pattern was written for this exact yarn, and I think a simple pattern using large needles will be perfect when my head hurts too much to see or count small stitches.

Swan's Island Atlantic CowlSwan's Island Merino Bulky

Next, if I haven't yet finished my Cloudy Day Beret, I'll probably work on that since the pattern will be familiar. (I'm expecting it will be done though. I'm slow but, the surgery is still a week away.)

Cloudy Day Beret by Alana DakosSublime Egyptian Cotton DK Yarn

Then, if I've been able to pre-order Botanical Knits 2, I'd like to start on Thicket, in a pretty blush-pink Alpaca/Silk blend.  I don't expect to want to tackle anything too complex or large-scale while recovering and I know this will be an easy-to-read pattern with very nice results.

Botanical Knits 2 ThicketBlue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk

If I don't have the book by that point, I'm going to kick myself for leaving Autumn Vines at the shop :-P.  Or maybe I will get really brave and try the only sweater for which I have yarn in the stash (thanks to a livingsocial coupon!).

Ginny's Cardigan source:knitting dailySwans Island Organic Washable

Nah, maybe I'll just stick to a felted pincushion :-P.

Really, it may be over-ambitious to think I'm going to be well enough to finish more than one project but, I'm hopeful.  

What projects do you have in the pipeline?  Have you ever knit your way to recovery?  Any tips?

Happy stitching! x

WIP: Two Skirts and a Beret

I declared in January that I had my sojo back so, where are all the pretty garments I'm supposed to be churning out!?  Uh yeah, that hasn't been happening.  It is, however, much to my disappointment and, generally, not due to a lack of motivation.

My trusty li'l Brother decided it didn't want to be trusty anymore so, work basically stopped.  Then, a great deal came up on my (realistic) dream machine so, we sped right over thinking all would be solved.  That bubble burst with the very first stitch.  Something's wrong with my pretty new machine causing very wonky buttonholes and the motor has seized twice.  So, she'll be headed in for repairs before I've even thought of a name for her. :(

I technically did finish my lovely wool #SewGreenDecember skirt but, a series of events has prevented it from making it's online debut as well (save for Instagram, seen below). Hopefully, the issues will be resolved and we can take photos tomorrow.

My current sewing wip is a rayon black-and-white puppytooth "skater" skirt.  I went against my better judgement and cut the fabric as directed, resulting in a bias pattern at CF and CB so, I'm torn about how this one will turn out.  This is also the garment my new machine seized on so... yeah.

Fortunately/Unfortunately, a lovely local yarn shop hosted a 50% off closing sale while I was feeling disappointed about my machine situation so, now I have a shiny new knitting WIP too (figuratively and literally since it's Egyptian cotton):

It's Cloudy Day by Alana Dakos, my new favorite pattern designer.  I've had Coastal Knits for some time, though I've yet to brave enough to make anything from it (her Rustling Leaves Beret has been on the top of my swoon list for a year!), then, by coincidence I bought Cloudy Day at the shop sale. Once I realized they were the same designer, I went through the rest of her patterns and am now dying! to get my hands on her book Botanical Knits (but, you know, budgets...) and have my fingers crossed that I'm able to pre-order Botanical Knits 2 as a birthday gift.

Anyway, I'm loving both the pattern and the yarn so far.  My tension needs work but, I'm pushing on because it's so fun watching the design emerge!  I'm fairly certain I'm going to love this hat, newbie stitching and all.

What are you working on?

Happy stitching! x