how ease-y is too ease-y?

After toiling on my NaKniSweMo project, I figured it was safe to actually try this thing on to see how the project was coming.

My first response seeing myself in a mirror in this thing was 'ugh, I look like a bag of sausages under a knit tarp'. Alright, I don't exactly have stellar self esteem here, but really--how big and comfy is too big and comfy for a sweater?

This is a really really comfortable garment to wear and all, but with these wizard sleeves and the waist-decreases that didn't seem to amount to very much at all on my figure, I'm beginning to think there's more to sweater sizing than, idk, carelessly matching the bust measurement in the pattern and just going for it.

Expecting some positive-ease to my sweater, I thought it was safe to do just that and get enough yarn for the Large size. 45" can work well with my 42" bust, but the waist on this thing is 37" (I'm something like a 32), explaining clearly why my sweater feels like a blanket with sleeves.

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So where can I comfortably sit on the scale between snuggly and actually flattering? I can opt for a noble path of (UGH) unraveling this entire thing and casting on a medium size (39" but..I guess I can mod it)?

Or just finish this project that I'm itching to see done, wear comfortably (even if it's not a thousand percent form-fitting and flattering), and enjoy a size down on my next sweater project?
I'm pretty sure I can pull off a cute oversized-sweater + leggings sort of get-up anyway, but I also have this pressing feeling that the Good-Knitter-And-Someday-Maybe-Designer thing to do is to stop whining and just tink and redo the whole thing. Just to learn some weird important lesson about achieving "perfect results" in knitting, buddhist sand mandala style.

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There's still a tiny bit of time left before my self-imposed deadline arrives. I think we all already know what the answer's gonna be.

bummer!

If anybody out there needed a reason why some people prefer metal for their smaller size needles, here it is. Poor needles didn't last more than a month. Rest in Pieces.

wip: nakniswemo2016, slide + knitpicks stash acquisition!

Happy November! I recently made a big yarn purchase from Knitpicks for this special winter month, and now that they've arrived, I can finally show you. But first, a sock WIP update--

The Slide socks by Cookie A are a dream to knit up. I had seen a lot of her designs around ravelry and on various blogs and have wondered why her work has been so popular (besides the gorgeous designs, that is). If this pattern is enough to go by, she's got a way of making simple knitting stitches and conventions into impressive designs, and of explaining them clearly and flawlessly for even an uncertain beginner to comfortably follow along. I might have to queue up those ever-popular Monkey Socks sometime soon.
As for the Zen Garden yarn--it's easily the softest sock yarn I've had the privilege of working with to date, but I think the colorway shifts too aggressively for the purpose of this design. I'll likely keep knitting it, but another go at this project with a softly solid MadelineTosh might be in order in the future.

I'm participating in NaKniSweMo for a second year! This year's choice is Ease, a gorgeous pattern that has been sitting in my queue for a long time. I chose Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes Superwash in Mineral Heather, which looks even better in person.
The colors are faaar more accurate in this photo than in the previous.
I'm happy to know that it's not nearly as rough for me as commenters on the Ravelry yarn profile complained. It feels great in my hands, and I expect it to soften up even more after its first post-bind-off soak. Full disclosure, though: I didn't swatch at all for this. We'll see whether I get out of this in one piece or end up cursing all the way back to the yarn winder after frogging an entire sweater. Living on the EDGE.
This lovely but kinda garish set of Brava Sport is another new addition. I bit the bait hard and shelled out the ~whopping (not) $25 for a Rainbow Hue Shift kit from Knitpicks. This is gonna be my first afghan project (well, one that isn't a sausage project anyway).
Suffice it to say I got bitten by the knitting bug this fall/winter and I'm happily letting myself head where the line leads me, even if it means breaking my Big Rule of WIP Monogamy. See you all soon with photos of these projects!

wip: slide & perfect fit short socks

After completing the Garden TAATs, I made it my mission this Socktober to cast-on two projects: an ankle sock scrapbusting project series, and a more involved sock project from my queue.

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I've made it an idle goal for a long time to own only hand made socks a long time ago (with the exception of Muji's adorable recycled yarn ones), but it hurt my soul to go running or working out with precious merino cabled ones. The solution presented itself the moment I took a detailed inventory of my Ravelry stash. Working on these toe-ups with the help of ArtDesign1's pattern, I intend to find a straightforward and fun method that will comfortably fit. I've enjoyed the nostalgia of knitting up yarns from past projects, and am excited to see how they clash together (though my current one looks pretty deliberate in color scheme).

As for the second list item, I went for Slide by Cookie A. Those socks look absolutely gorgeous and will definitely give this product knitter something to chew on and learn some patience. With these cooling(?!) southern California months, I've really been chomping on the bit for more wool and more FOs, so here's to slowing down and taking it one stitch at a time.

This post is part of Ginny Sheller's Yarn-Along. Click on the image above and share what you're working on!

places : toronto, ontario

With just my iPhone in tow (tried to travel light), I spent a rushed three days exploring Toronto on foot. Naturally I had to ask Yelp where the nearest LYS's were.





First stop was Yarns Untangled. This small shop is gorgeously lit and incredibly well curated, I wanted to bring every one of their skeins home.


I took this yarn lust as an opportunity to manage my stash. I took a good look at the entries in my Ravelry stash section, and carefully assigned the relevant ones to projects on my queue. Once that was done, I had the conscience-clearing parameters needed to make my special souvenir yarn purchase -- it's gonna have to be a skein of super soft fingering wool for the Slide socks by Cookie A.

My choice of yarn is Zen Garden Serenity 20, in a OOAK colorway. (Photos of these stash-quisitions were taken at R2, with a fantastic Spanish Latte).

My next stop was Romni Wools, which was an overwhelming experience. The first floor was absolutely brimming with yarn of all weights and colors!

I chose a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Sequoia colorway, entirely for sentimental reasons--for Nick and my first year, we visited the Sequoia National Park and had a fantastic and unforgettable experience. This was the perfect yarn to commemorate that experience and I had to get it, even if it betrayed my personal mission to grab local yarns while 'abroad'. Photos from that trip are coming soon for sure.

This skein's perfect and accurate hue is going to become a pair of How Come That Blood socks. With the gorgeous tree-knot like motif, making this match was a no-brainer. I also grabbed a circular needle, so I could get started on this pair on the flight back home, as well as to be able to have two magic loop projects going on at the same time. I'm glad I made that choice.

I also paid Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs a visit, and met its kind and quirky owner! His store was currently in the middle of a move about 6 doors west of the original location, with big plans to become a knit café! I refrained from taking any photos yet because of the hard work underway, but am entirely excited to drop by when I next come to Toronto. The world needs more knit cafe's. If you're in the area, do let me know how it turns out!

wip : garden TAATS + teamlab

My garden TAAT socks are moving very slowly as usual! I cast on in May on our way to Silicon Valley, with the grand expectation of completion before our return to Los Angeles 4 days later. When there's a lot to see up there, sitting down long enough to knit a pair of socks is too tall an order to complete, no matter how long you're expecting to be in transit.

Lesson learned (and due to be re-learned).

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Now, I'd be thrilled if these socks were finished in time for a brand new Socktober project. As of this moment, I'm past the heel turn and on the cuff, so with a good book and a heat pack for hand soreness, I just might make it.

Speaking of the quick trip to the bay area, here's a tiny sample of what all was photographed there. The experience at the Teamlab exhibit was absolutely magical.

See you next time, and let me know what your plans are for Soctober and NaKniSweMo.

places : solvang, santa barbara

Nick and I decided to celebrate our 6-month weekend by making a two-hour drive over to Solvang, CA. I took on navigating and shotgun-knitting responsibilities for the ride. An absolute burden, I know.

Coming along with me were my Two-at-a-time Toe-Ups on the magic loop bought while on my stop in Ashland, Oregon. (I regret not properly documenting that awesome little LYS adventure!) It's awesome to not have to worry about a tiny DPN falling right out of my project and falling into the crumb-filled crevice between the seats! Seriously people, if you are a victim of stopping mid-project to fish through crap for your lost DPNs, learn magic loop. It just might change your life.

I've only been to Solvang once in the last decade or so, but distinctly remembering getting to feed ostriches. So when I saw this big obnoxious OSTRICHLAND! sign, we had to stop to feed those god awfully ugly yet fascinating living dinosaurs. The feeding bowl + dust pan combination is a little high-tech for my tastes, but I did my best to grasp that we were living in an advanced age.

Anyway. Solvang! Big beautiful horses! Delicious food! Walking!

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And, wait, did I just hear you say there were yarn shops here? Fuck all else, let's go there.


Village Spinning and Weaving would be number one of two that I knew of in Solvang. The moment I smelled that wool I knew I was home.

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Despite the cosy space of this particular shop, there was quite a nice selection of yarns at Village Spinning and Weaving. I was most impressed by the gorgeously cushy skeins of local undyed alpaca offered by the shop itself. Next time I come around here it's in my plan to get at least a sweater quantity's worth of the stuff. Those colors are what I'm all about for garments.

Because of my recent interest in my very own Operation: Sock Drawer, I had only an interest this trip to acquire nice fingering weight stuff.

Wildfoote is a very new line to me, so I opted for a pair of skeins in each of these two lovely muted colors here. I promised Nick that I would make one of these into a pair of socks for him, but I haven't decided which color to reserve for myself (or, let's be honest, whether or not these both will just end up as selfish knits).

I also learned about the wealth of locally sourced alpaca available here. Here was a gorgeous palette of undyed sweater quantities just calling my name. Some even had the name of the animal sheared for the skein. These I will have to come back for when I make the room in my stash bin.

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The next shop that I insisted we visit was Rasmussens, which on the first floor features gifts and toys, but offered fabrics and crafts supplies upstairs.

The modest space was put to good use--everywhere I turned there were gorgeous linens and colorful yarns, as well as many vintage pattern books and magazines.

I was dead-set on whatever sock yarns there were on offer, and came across a little basket right in the center of a glass display labelled SALE. I think two out of these three were discontinued. They're gonna make great additions to my future collection of self striping/scrap ankle socks.

After those two yarn-shops were checked off my list of must-see places, we just strolled around until we were tired. The day ended with lounging on a beach in Santa Barbara to watch the sun set.

fo : zwerger nillas

FO Zwerger Nillas This has been a long-overdue post but here are my Zwerger Nillas all finished. I mostly worked through this pair while on the holiday road-trip to Washington with Nick and it's been a relaxing, if at times boring project to have had at hand.

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pattern : Zwerger Nillas by Susan B. Anderson
yarn : Zwerger Garn Opal Ladies & Gentlemen in Significant
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 9.5

I revisited Susan B. Anderson's very trusty (and free!) cuff-down sock pattern for this one. I think I'll memorise the pattern after just one more future sock project. As always it is an absolute pleasure to allow a self-striping yarn express itself in such a minimal sock pattern. I believe in hand-knit socks relating to each other as siblings rather than twins, and the look of this sock yarn all knit up holds up really well as evidence for my conviction.

The yarn is Zwerger's Opal (hence the very creative name), an unfortunately discontinued yarn I bought as a souvenir from the cozy Ippikin in Much Wenlock. Holding these socks take me back to my walk in the rain to that little shop and how much warmth was felt through their lively conversation and helpfulness. Thanks again, Lesley for being such a fantastic host!

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To finally have these finished is to be able to fully commit to seeing these naughty Rhubarb socks see their end on my needles. Expect a post soon announcing their long-awaited status as an FO.

wip: rhubarb + another stash acquisition

GD is a joy to see progress and all, but it's past the point of being really hot and cumbersome now, so I've been gravitating hard toward this nice and portable kindle-friendly sock project.

The Rhubarb socks are slowly growing, I'm pretty sure I'll hit the 75% mark by the end of this coming week. I'm aching to get these off the needles and on my feet already. Metal or plastic needles might help lower the frustration level of this project, but I have this entirely irrational need to finish these socks with the same needles with which they were stared. That way it'll know who's the boss, right?

Oh, and about that new Regia skein! A good knitter friend and I were driving over to a café for some sketching and she reminded me that A Major Knitwork was just a block up from where we were that very second. We just had to check it out. I saw that particular skein in those particular colors, and just needed to see those become a part of my sock drawer. Me and this yarn? We're meant to be. That's all to really say on the matter.

wip: GD


GD is very slowly, but very surely growing. It's shaping up to be a charmingly ugly piece, and I'm just itching to see it become my indestructible go-to-way of keeping warm. Hopefully this hardworking set of 5.5mm circulars doesn't give out before that day comes.

About 10 months ago I created a thread in the Scrap Happy! Group on Ravelry asking fellow knitters if there are any worsted-weight yarn scraps they wouldn't mind parting with. Willygal, Bigbadbrenda, and Sugarmagknowya very, very kindly delivered! I can't thank them enough! Here I have the what's left of the yarn they donated, all tied together and wound into cakes.
10 months later, GD is measuring up to right about 44 inches (~118cm), meaning it's a little bit less than half the length of my bed. Here's to 50 more inches of double-thick stockinette scrap knitting.