Stitching Status: Summer 2017 Goals

I just got back from my vacation and I feel so refreshed. It was a much needed break but probably the only trip we’ll really take this summer. There will be some days off here and there but my husband and I want to save money to take a nice trip for our 15th anniversary next year and our 40th birthdays, so I’ve got to set my priorities straight! Less spending, way more saving and to be honest, if you give me weekends all to myself to knit and dig through my stash this summer I’ll be insanely happy. It doesn’t take much for me. I’ve got some ideas of things I want to make and small knitting goals I want to achieve so I thought I’d share them here.

  1. Create more by making my own patterns. I read knitting magazines, buy patterns but in all honesty I’ve started to really enjoy modifying and improvising more and more. All the fundamental knowledge is already out there in books that I own and love, so I just need to explore more. I need to start combining my stitch dictionaries and construction books and use my sketchbooks to draw out what I want and then make it a reality.
  2. Knit a sweater for Jellybean. Beanie does have a knit sweater but I bought it instead of making it. She’s so small that I kind of need to make my own pattern but that also goes along with the first goal!
  3. Try some new things. I really want to tackle colorwork and I feel like now is the time to do it. Plus all those single leftover skeins of yarn can be put to good use, right?!
  4. Knit some socks. Yup, you read that right. I want to knit some socks. I’ve knit a pair before but not in fingering weight. I’ve got a few skeins of fingering weight yarn and some sock patterns in my library. It’s time to see what all the hype is really about.

So those are 4 small things I’m thinking about right now and there are some other bigger things swirling around in my brain too. I just want to do as much as I can with my free time this summer to do creative things.  And with this long holiday weekend ahead I’m hoping to at least cut out the pattern to sew myself a summer dress (despite the cool temps here on the east coast) and spend a lot of time snuggling the dogs and knitting. Anyone else have good weekend plans? Or summer goals?

Sweater Knitting: Picking Colors

I get two questions when it comes to my knitting: how do you knit that much and how do you come up with these color combos? It always tickles me that my knitting output and my color selection are the top questions but I’ve been asked so much recently about how I come up with these color combos I thought I’d talk about my inspiration behind some of my picks and share a few ideas I have for the future as part of my slow going Sweater Knitting Series.
Family Photos 1982
First, I should let you know that I’ve been color obsessed since I can remember. My mother dressed me in color and pattern all the time but at an early age I asked to pick out my clothes and had a strong opinion on what I wanted wear. I picked paint colors, wallpaper and carpet for my childhood bedrooms and my parents gave me a lot of creative freedom to pick what I liked regardless of how much they didn’t agree with my choices. I’m thankful they let me express myself. When it comes to picking color combinations it’s really just about what inspires me, what makes me happy and what I think is just fun. My husband (who has mid-range colorblindness) tells me that I clearly see a very vivid world. I agree with him.
So here’s a prime example of inspiration inspiring a color palette. This is a random picture of a sunrise I took one morning when I was walking the dogs. But within this I see a great color combo that is similar to…
Cracked Pepper Cardigan
My color combo from my Cracked Pepper cardigan! A lot of times I say to myself ‘I really should knit a neutral’ but in the end there’s always a POP of color because I can’t just do a full grey sweater. That isn’t fun to wear. And neon peach surprisingly goes well with lots of other colors. On the color wheel it’s opposite blue so I pair this sweater a lot with varying shades of blue.

Left to right: Lemonade Shop Sparkle DK in Girls Gone Wild, Madelinetosh Neon Peach, Hedgehodge Fibers Merino DK in Pucker and Madelinetosh Torchere

Currently I’ve been using the subtle colors and tones in yarns to create a color palette. This all started with wanting to pair the Madelinetosh Neon Peach with Torchere without really mixing in any neutrals. I’ve been thinking of a bold sweater for fall. Both of these initial yarns have ribbons of pink in them so I’ve added in a Lemonade Shop color pink that picks up the pink in the Neon Peach and a Hedgehodge Fibers color Pucker that pulls together the peach and the deeper pinks of Torchere. Now to ground this out I may actually use black for ribbing/bands since there are some black flecks in the lightest pink yarn but other than that it’s a color explosion of pink and orange. That’s how I come up with a color palette. I just see it in the subtle tones and stripes that vary in the color.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
For me, the more colors and the brighter they are the more I love it. And that’s what really inspired my Saddle Shoulder Striped tee, it was just a lot of happy color. It’s a lot to some but to me this is perfection. Meanwhile others love how subtle the Cosette tee’s colorblocking looks.
Cosette final
This was just based on what colors in the entire palette of Pima 100 could I blend with the pink and purple I already had in my pile of leftovers. The heathered pink and blue make for great transitional colors to make this color spectrum work. But I also see making this top in a neutral like a pale grey or white and adding in a gorgeous green as the pop color. For me color is happiness. I pull at the little flecks of color in a yarn to find that color combo you wouldn’t expect. I use the underlying color to make contrasting color choices. But honestly, for the most part I just try to make it fun. So how do you go about choosing your colors? 

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2017

Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul
This is my third year in a row heading to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and I got what I wanted and didn’t go too far over my budget. I’m a happy camper. So what did I add to my stash?
Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul
My BFF Jess and I went on Sunday and got to the fairgrounds around 9:30am. Our first stop was the Miss Babs booth because last year it was INSANITY to say the least. By 9:45am it was crowded but not insane and I didn’t have to wait in a long line to pay. I picked up these four skeins of Yowza in Spread My Wings, Denim and Rainforest. I really wanted a nice Babs navy blue and this was the last skein of the Denim color so I scooped it up. These three do work well together but don’t bet on them staying together.
Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul
I also tossed in a dk weight skein of the Miss Babs 2017 Maryland Sheep and Wool colorway as well. It was too pretty to resist and will pair well with lots of other yarn in my stash.
Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul<Pairings
I was on the lookout for a great skein of fingering weight yarn to pair with my Neighborhood Fiber Company Fells Point yarn for a So Faded sweater. I hit the jackpot with Yankee Dyer Yarns and their Crazy Monkey Love colorway. Also the ladies in their booth were so sweet and funny and loved color as much as I did.
Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul
I snapped up a single skein of Studio Worsted (my favorite) from Neighborhood Fiber Co from their Artist collection. This is Basquiat, an orange/rust/peach color that I have an idea for and am hoping it will work out the way I have it planned in my head. After that I was really just looking for some buttons and then…
Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul
Knittyandcolor’s Unicorns vs Sharpies caught my eye and I couldn’t walk away. I kept going back to it. And Jessica looked and me and said, “I think that yarn is calling your name.” It was. I kind of want to make a sweater for Jellybean with a matching hat for myself with this color. We shall see what this becomes but no pictures do it just for how vivid and wild it is. I really do love yarn.
Maryland sheep and wool 2017 haul
And finally I made it to the buttons. The top buttons are from the vintage buttons tent. I have a green cardigan I have wanted to make for a while and these green and white buttons will be PERFECTION on it. And clear buttons are always a good staple. The bottom buttons are from one of my favorites, Melissa Jean buttons that I’ve bought buttons from every year. They’re little works of art in a ceramic button and I think they always make a sweater complete.
Sheep & Wool selfie with @jesswonderland and @katfauss #mdsw2017 #marylandsheepandwool
Added bonus, I got to hang out with Jess and we saw our friend Kat of Designs by Marsh Farms and got to talk all things crafty goodness. She likes to call us the Crafty Cartel. LOL Oh and I should note I’m wearing my Mountain High sweater, my Find Your Fade Shawl (I got tons of compliments on it) and the Pointilist Hat and Jessica had on the Boothbay sweater I knit that looked better on her than me. It was super cold yesterday but that’s where knitting comes in handy. Did anyone else go? What did you buy?!