April’s FO’s

How is it May already?
April's FO's
With the semester coming to a close and the normal chaos of life and work I feel like April has zoomed right on by me. Add in travel for my husband, double dog duty by myself and getting bit by the tiniest of ticks the other day (and yes, I’m on precautionary antibiotics for 2 weeks) I’m happy to see April and its showers go away. Bring on May, vacations, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and my 14th wedding anniversary (I think May might be my favorite month). But before we say goodbye to April, let’s talk about what I was able to finish last month. And I noticed a pattern when I was pulling this together. April was all about repeats for me.

  • HATS!!!: I finished not 1, not 2 but 3 of the slouchy beanies this month for guy friends. Travis got 2, a black and a grey one (he’s pictured in the black one in the middle) and Marc got a navy blue one as a thank you for always being an awesome presenter for my class. He was so funny when I gave him the hat last week because he knew I could knit but people only ever think of grandmas and horrible itchy sweaters so when it turned out to be a really nice hat he was super impressed. I still want to make one of these for myself but since it’s fairly warm that may wait until September.
  • Little Women cardigan: This was my version of the Lillian cardigan but for spring and summer. I tried a new to me yarn and fell in love so much I had to find a way to use the leftovers for another sweater.
  • Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee: Um…this top makes me happy in so many ways. A different than my normal construction, big bold stripes, lots of color and Pima cotton make it the perfection summer top.
  • Spring Tee: Since I had enough leftover yarn from the Little Women cardigan I figured if I used big needles I could make myself an easy breezy tunic. I was right!

Now on tap for May…I’ve got some baby knitting to do! I started a dress for my goddaughter a month ago, twisted the 188 stitches when I joined in the round and finally cast it back on and worked on the hem over the weekend. Now I’ve just got 10 inches of stockinette stitch before I can work on my first box pleat. Updates to come. In addition to that I cast on a Cosette tee for myself last night because why not? It’s constructed from cuff
Popped over to @stitchsewshop to get my supplies for #summerofbasics make along! I decided to make the @grainlinestudio Willow tank dress with @riflepaperco fabric. Time to dust off my sewing machine and get to work! #imakemyclothes
And as if I didn’t already have enough that I want to do I’ve decided to join in with the Summer of Basics Make-along. You just have to make a basic item a month, sewn or knit, and basic can be defined in anyway you want. I’m always inspired by what I see people making on Instagram all the time and have been itching to pull my sewing machine back out. In the summer I typically wear sleeveless a line dresses, clogs and a cotton sweater and I thought why not make one for myself? This make-along gives me the perfect excuse. I popped over to the fairly new Stitch Sew Shop in Alexandria (they’re in Fibre Space’s old location around the corner) and I picked up the Grainline Studios Willow tank/dress pattern and some Rifle Paper Co rayon fabric. It’s a gorgeous red-orange floral with bright pink roses. I think my neon pink clogs will be absolute perfection when paired with this dress. The instructions are pretty basic and simple but I may need to do a few test runs first since I haven’t pulled my machine out in about 2 years (I made Cher some blankets…and actually still have fabric to make one more so maybe Jellybean needs a blanket of her own). And if anyone can give me suggestions on how to pre-treat rayon dryclean only fabric I’d appreciate it. I didn’t think about that when I picked the fabric. Oops!

When a Hat Isn’t Just a Hat

I never blogged about this hat last year. I counted it in my 2016 round-up and mentioned it in my March 2016 FO Monthly Round-up.
Ribbed Hat
I didn’t think of it as a major FO but it was made for my ‘little brother’ Travis because he has repeatedly been a guest lecturer for my class. Ten years ago Travis was my graduate assistant when I worked at American University. I left higher ed for a new job in the association world a few months into him working for me but he told me that I was going to be his big sister and I couldn’t get rid of him. Many Thanksgivings together, dinners, happy hours and guest lectures later Travis has solidified himself as a member of my family. He’s the little brother I never knew I needed but love so dearly. So the thing about the hat…he kind of loves it.
Travis and his hat
Every time I see him on Instagram he’s wearing the hat and you guys know whenever someone wears something you make it makes your heart feel good. When I asked him what kind of hat he’d like he sent me a picture of a slouchy ribbed beanie and asked for in a deep red/burgundy shade. I chose the Graham hat pattern (it’s a free one) and used the Mighty Stitch Worsted in Pomegranate so he could wash and dry it without any issue. In January I got a text ‘Can I get this same hat but in black and in gray?‘ Seeing as how he’s my little brother and I ask so much of him and he asks so little of me I said sure, ordered 2 more balls of yarn but just never got the chance to put them on my needles. And then last month he told me he’s moving to NYC for his dream job.
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I quickly picked up the yarn and said I’ve got to get moving. I’m halfway through his gray one. I’m cooking him one last meal on Thursday and I hope to finish it and maybe even a black version too. And every time I pick this hat up I get a wave of sadness at the thought of not meeting him for dinner on a random Tuesday because it’s gorgeous out and we were in his neighborhood. I realize more and more how much knitting is a labor of love for me. I put myself in each stitch. I try to make things with purpose, that I’ve thought of all the details to make sure this knit thing will fit into someone’s life and when they wear it they will think of me. So even though I won’t see Travis as often, I know I’ll still see a little bit of me in his Instagram feed whenever it’s a bit chilly and he needs a hat. It’s kind of like his big sister will always be there to protect him because isn’t that what big sisters are for?

So a hat isn’t always a hat. Sometimes it’s a lot of love. Have a great weekend.

Stitching Status: Bits & Pieces

I’m really happy that it’s Friday. This has been a long week. So I thought I’d share a few things knitting related.
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Currently I’m working on what has to be the softest baby blanket on Earth. A girlfriend of mine is having her second baby in March, a girl this time, and she loves the color combo of lavender and mint. While Knit Picks had Mighty Stitch on sale I picked up some of the bulky weight to whip up a blanket for her. I’m doing alternating blocks of lavender, mint, lavender and then longer blocks of white and then mint, lavender, mint…It’s working out really nicely and I love not having to purl anything. I’m also going to whip up a baby sweater this weekend for another friend’s little boy who will be here in a few weeks!
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Also you can call this the art of peer pressure but I decided to jump in and do a Find Your Fade shawl. Just look at the #findyourfadeshawl hashtag on Instagram and drool over all the lovely shawls. I’m not even a big shawl knitter but I love color possibilities and didn’t want to miss out on the fun. I’m already at my second color, I’m using some stash and some new yarn to give the fade I want (I’m going from highlighter yellow – pictured is madelinetosh Edison Bulb – to a super bright pink with green and blue in the middle). When I get tired with one project I like to have something else small to work on to switch things up and this is a pretty good option.
Steven's Rye Tie
And remember over the holidays I knit 2 Rye ties? Well I finally got a pic of my friend Steven wearing his, isn’t he handsome? He told me he got lots of compliments and that other men at work attempt to take the tie. I didn’t expect men to like the knitted ties as much, who knew they’d be such a popular item?

This weekend should be pretty quiet and low key so I plan to knit and rest. I feel like a cold is coming on and I’m trying my best to not get sick. What plans do you have for the weekend?