Stitching Status: Weekend Weaving

Saturday mornings start early in my house. Since I walk my dogs Monday thru Friday before 7am, they expect the same on Saturdays and Sundays too. Fortunately, my husband typically takes the weekend shift early morning walks but while he walks them I get up and make us lattes and then settle in to knit and watch the latest episode of the Great British Baking Show. I’m obsessed with it. I’m not even a big baker but it’s such a good fun show and I learn a lot.
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This Saturday I was working on the hair for the doll I’m making. It’s insane how many strands of hair go on dolls and you want them to be secure so they don’t all slide out when they’re put in the washing machine! And Cher was supervising…and napping while I worked.
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I should’ve counted how many strands I wove in but I didn’t. I just wanted to get it done so that I could give her a haircut. I wasn’t one of those kids who cut their doll’s hair growing up so I was so nervous. I even contemplated taking her to the hair dresser with me this week and asking my stylist to cut it for me (she’s such an artist).
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In the end she ended up with a choppy bob with layers and a nice part of the left. And now she just needs a dress! I’ve put her back down to work on the sleeves for my cousin’s hoodie since I can whip up a doll dress in about 2 hours. I finished the body on my cousin’s sweater up to the armpits and want to at least get the sleeves connected by Tuesday. Fingers crossed!

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Stitching Status: Lots of Pieces

Happy Friday! I’m currently working on a couple of things right now that are taking up a lot of my time and brain power. I realize that once August hits, I typically spend a lot of time preparing for school to start: emailing possible speakers, reworking my syllabus, updating PowerPoints and even rereading my text book. And since that’s mainly my weekend and evening work I have to get in as much fun as I can before that all starts. So we’re thinking of popping up to Chicago to visit my cousin. And if I go to Chicago that means I have to bring her something I knit, I feel like it’s an unspoken rule.
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I decided on the Lucia Hoodie from the Madder Anthology 2: Simple Pleasures. This will be the 7th time I’ve made a project from this book. SEVEN. I really do love this book of patterns. So far I’ve made Lila Top Down (and I photographed it while I was in Chicago), Lila Winter (for Safia), Lillian (once for Safia and once for myself), Liv and Louise Top Down. Now of course I don’t just stick with a simple solid color palette like in the pictures. I’m going bold and fun.
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You work this pattern from the bottom up and create pockets. So for the bottom garter I’m using a hot pink, the pockets and a little garter ridge I’m inserting are in teal and then the main body of the sweater is in Safia’s favorite shade of purple. All of these are with the Lion Brand Heartland yarn that works up into a nice soft garment (I used the teal for my Lila Top Down and the tweed version for my Mountain High ) and it will be easy for her to care for and not have to worry about air drying. Plus since it’s always kind of chilly in Chicago she can wear this piece all year round and I think she’ll appreciate that I’m making her a hoodie to hold up again that wind. I love the cute little pockets and I’m about 10 inches into the 14 1/2 inches for the body already. I’ll be taking a break from the body to work on the sleeves this weekend and I intend on doing them two at a time on a long needle so they’re both the same. In addition to seeing Safia, I have a long time internet friend whose daughter I’m making a doll for to give to her in person.
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I ordered the almond colorway of the Knit Picks Bravo Sport that I used for Maddie’s doll to match her skin tone and I’m adding in black hair and cutting it into a cute bob cut like her daughter. I just love making something that can resemble a little girl. Working on these small projects is so fun but adding in the hair is the most tedious task out of the entire project. You have to do lots of strands and you want to make sure it’s secure so it holds up to washes but it’s totally worth all the work. I’ve got super colorful yarn with peach, purple and turquoise to make a dress and tie in all the colors on the body. I love creating stuff like this.
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And finally I’m working on a Yards of Happiness podcast. Thanks for the feedback in comments and via Instagram! I’m going to play around with the equipment I have and see if I can pull together a video podcast because if we’re talking about knitting and yarn I think you want to actually SEE what I’m talking about. Plus it may give me a chance to show what I’m working on while I’m in progress. I don’t know where all I will make it available or how often I’ll do it but I’m going to give it a shot and see how it goes because, why not?

So that’s everything that’s got me busy, what are you working on?

FO: The Pink Professor

I’ve been using the Summer of Basics Makealong to propel my fall knitting for myself forward. Unfortunately I’ve been a little too excited about my knitting to sew up my dress but I will get there…eventually. In the meantime, how about another finished knit? The Pink Professor is off my needles, blocked and ready to become a wardrobe staple this year. And funny fact, although I am an adjunct professor I hardly ever wear a wool sweater in my classroom because it’s insanely hot. I’ll die of a heat stroke, so I typically teach in light layers.
The Pink Professor
And now on to the details…first I have to say that I love a lot of yarn but Madelinetosh is by far a favorite brand. Her colors are just out of this world and speak to me. Whenever she has a sale or I have the opportunity to get a sweater quantity at a discount (yarn.com is a particularly favorite site of mine) I jump at the chance. Knitting with good quality yarn makes such a difference and it makes you want to pick your needles up and knit on forever.
Pink Professor progress
These are the last stages of the sweater since I posted about my process on sweater knitting. I moved quickly with this one just because it was such great yarn to work with.
The Pink Professor
I’m working on understanding short row shaping more and I figured the only way I could truly learn is to incorporate it in things I knit so I did it with a shawl collar this time. I’ve done it before but always find my collars don’t fold as well as I want, they’re just not as thick  and deep (like how well the collar flips on my Royally Striped cardigan) as I always hope they’ll be when I’m finished. But it does look good on when it isn’t flipped down so I don’t mind the finished project but that just means I have to keep on testing and learning to get exactly what I want.
The Pink Professor
I also decided to add a faux seam detail to the sweater. It was such a simple and plain cardigan that I was trying to add little bits of detail here and there and this was simple a garter stitch stripe that runs down the side seam.
The Pink Professor
And once it was finished and blocked I really felt like it needed something else, so I added in an afterthought pocket. I had originally planned to make a pocket and then said no once I finished. But then I realized I only used 5 skeins of the 7 I had (just 1,000 yards) and used them up almost completely. And then I thought well I’ve got the yarn left…so I wound up another ball and whipped up two small pockets to add to the front. I tried to place them in the same spot on both ends and felt like I could’ve added them slightly further back but also didn’t want to get to close to the seam. Either way it’s nice to have something to throw my phone into or my hands into on a particularly chilly day. Pockets are always a good choice, right?
Pink Professor planning
The other thing I’m super proud of is that I sketched this out and essentially made what I sketched. I wanted something with a bit of ease, super simple in structure and shape and with pockets. I’m always amazed that I can sketch something out and then make it a reality.
The Pink Professor
That’s the thing about knitting that I love so much, I can actually make clothes with my two hands. And I’ve finally gotten better at reading my swatch to determine length and ease so my sleeves hit me in just the right place! Sometimes they can be a bit short or way too long. I have enough ease in this to wear something underneath and it’s not too fitted in the sleeves, I wanted to make sure I had room to layer under this. I am super proud and when I make things like this with great success I just want to make more and more…and so I will. And on another note…I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a video podcast, to show more of my knitting and things in progress and talk about yarns and stuff that I just don’t do here. Would you be interested? Would you watch? Let me know so I can make a decision on what to do next!