What I’m Knitting
I finished the vest, woohoo! I conscripted my son for a photoshoot and actually had a really hard time choosing which of these photos to use to show it off. Sometimes I can’t believe this adorable guy is actually my son and not a retouched Gerber baby, seriously.
I’m really pleased with the way the vest came out! Sizing it will be a little bit of a challenge, since the cable pattern I used on the chest has about a 3.5″ vertical repeat, but I should still be able to offer it in at least 4-5 different baby/child sizes.
Here are the specs on the FO:
Pattern: My own, to be released in the (hopefully) near future!
Yarn: Good for Ewe Claddagh in Leprechaun Green, about 1.5 skeins. I was worried about running out of yarn, because most of the sport-weight vests I found on Ravelry called for 350 yds and up and I only had 328 yds. But somehow I still have a half-skein left. No idea how that happened.
Notes: I’m really in love with this construction. Knitting the cable strip is fun and easy, and it was so portable at this stage that I could just throw it in my purse and go. And since a third of the knitting had been finished, knitting down from the strip and then up for the top felt like they went ridiculously quickly.
What I’m Cooking
I started with some yummy oatmeal raisin muffins for Saturday morning breakfast:
And then some banana french toast, made vegan by using a flaxseed mixture instead of eggs since we don’t usually have eggs in the house. It was delicious! I used this recipe. Totally making this again—I really like that it didn’t have any added sugar but was still nice and sweet from the bananas. We didn’t even need syrup.
On the cookbook challenge, I knocked out another two recipes this week. First up, lentil chipotle burgers! I had never made my own veggie burgers before, so this was kind of a challenge for me. But beyond them being a little crumbly, I did a pretty good job. And even the crumbly ones tasted delicious.
What I’m Reading
I’m on to the last book in the Tiffany Aching series, The Shepherd’s Crown. I have to hurry, because my husband is reading the series too and he’s only one book behind me!
What I’m Knitting
Remember the mystery cabled strip from last week? Here’s the big reveal:
I loved the sideways, pick up stitches construction of my Keelback Hat, so I wanted to try a garment this way. I like it so far! The band is sticking out from the stockinette fabric a bit too far for my taste, but blocking will almost certainly solve that. Just the armhole edgings to go, so I should have an FO to show off next week!
What I’m Cooking
I was busy this week! We went to a Talk Like a Pirate Day party on Saturday (so fun! And if you ever want to see a roomful of grown people squeal, bring a one-year-old to a party in full pirate costume). I made potato boats to fit the theme (vegan, of course) and even managed to make up a few sails. They were a hit!
Chana Saag over rice (yummy!):
Sushi roll salad (not so yummy… actually, I’m counting this as my first real fail from this cookbook. The hubby and I didn’t really like it, and it was SUPER fiddly to make. Think I’ll just stick with real sushi rolls in the future. But hey, at least it’s pretty…)
And roasted red pepper/tomato soup with sweet potato biscuits. My son LOVED the biscuits—I think they’re his new favorite food.
For my Wednesday dinner-for-a-crowd meal, I made quinoa-stuffed peppers. OMG, these were amazing. Somehow the quinoa, black bean, and corn filling with Mexican spices managed to be almost ground-beef like. I’d make these all the time, but it gets a little expensive with the peppers. I’ll have to keep an eye out for sales!
What I’m Reading
I finished the next two books in the Tiffany Aching series, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight. They were so good! This series, unlike so many others, gets better and better with each book. I can’t wait to read the new one, the last in the series.
What I’m Knitting
After finishing the nautical baby sweater (still working on the pattern—and a good name that isn’t already taken!), I wanted to cast on for another baby/child garment. I have enough of this lovely yarn from a local Indiana company (Good for Ewe Yarns) for a vest if I’m frugal with the yarn. After several swatches, I finally hit upon something I like:
What I’m Cooking
The next few recipes up on deck in my cookbook challenge were, again, ones I probably wouldn’t have made without this challenge. First up, blackened tofu (served with cauliflower/potato mash ):
The next recipe was Isa’s veganized, healthified version of her childhood favorite, Hamburger Helper. I think I only had it once or twice at friends’ houses, but I have to say, this tempeh helper did sort of remind me of it!
What I’m Reading
Due to an unpleasant lack of time to read (grrr…), I’m still working on Wintersmith. But I should be done by the end of the weekend!
What I’m Knitting:
I’m still knitting the adult Transposed Hat from last week, unfortunately. I finished the whole thing… and realized it was too long, and I didn’t like the top decreases. So I ripped it out and started again from the beginning of the crown shaping… and then the day job got crazy, so I haven’t had time to finish, sigh.
So to distract you, here’s the last pattern included in my Babe in the Woods collection, the Riparian Vest!
I was going for the knitted equivalent of a puffer vest, and it turned out rather well! It’s knitted in Malabrigo Mecha, same as the cabled hat and scarf set in the collection. The interesting thing was that the skeins of yarn in this colorway were noticeably thicker than the Mostaza (the gold-colored colorway). I ended up using a completely different needle size on each one. Moral of the story? Always check your gauge, even if you’ve used the yarn before.
The vest is sized from 0-6 months to 4-6 years. It’s shown in the 12-18 month size. As you can probably see from these pictures, the vest is a little big for my son, who was wearing 6-9 month clothing when we took the pictures. It’s tough to estimate how big your baby will be when you knit the sample months in advance!
What I’m Cooking:
Lentil, quinoa, and kale stew:
A new recipe that I’ve been wanting to try, tofu stroganoff (it was yummy!). I put it over rice noodles instead of wheat pasta, which was a little weird–next time, I’ll use regular pasta like in the recipe:
What I’m Reading:
Fairly boring here too, I’m afraid. I only managed to get about halfway through Greenglass House (see previously mentioned day job craziness). It’s really good so far, though! I’m looking forward to reading the rest.
I’m running my biggest promotion ever to celebrate my 30th birthday tomorrow: 50% off any self-published pattern in my Ravelry store with the coupon code 50for30. The sale goes through the end of the day tomorrow (US Eastern Time).
Official business out of the way, here’s the FO Friday post for my Madelinetosh Twist DK vest!
We had a blast with the photoshoot. I wanted a fun vibe, since the vest is a little more kooky than some of my pieces. I think it turned out pretty well!
Pattern: My own Creme de Menthe pattern, which will be in testing in the next few weeks and probably released in… late September? Early October?
Yarn: Madelinetosh Twist DK, two skeins of Bluestem Willow and one of Farmhouse White. I can’t say enough good things about this yarn. Squishy, springy, delightful to knit with. It’s only available through the Madelinetosh shop, and I confess I’ve been stalking it a bit for a sweater quantity in a deep green or blue.
Notes: Gosh I love this vest! I decided up front to do 2:1 stripes through the body, which made things very interesting when it went from knitting in the round to flat. But that was perfect–after all that stockinette, the interest of having to read the knitting and push the work from one side of the needle to the other added just the right amount of interest.
I’m writing the pattern with two different sections for that part: first, there will be a little summary for those who have some experience or feel comfortable checking it themselves. Second, there will be a table with row-by-row instructions for those who need a little more hand-holding. This is a new format for me, so I’m interested to see how my testers like it!
The planned stripe effect on the shoulders turned out great, if I do say so myself:
Whew, it’s hard to keep up with blogging when most of your projects are secret! But the last one of those was packaged and sent last week, so hopefully it should be a little more action-packed around here.
First up, I finished the Creme de Menthe vest. No modeled pictures because it’s still blocking, but I’m really happy with the way this one turned out. The alternating stripe concept that was the basis for the whole idea turned out great!
Also, I’ve resurrected the cozy gray sweater! Remember this one?
Last time I mentioned it, this one was on hold due to some disappointing pooling. I pulled it out a few weeks ago to get myself psyched up for the ripping and re-knitting… but to be honest, it didn’t look nearly as bad as I remembered.
I think part of the reason I was so down on it was some pictures taken with crappy indoor lighting. That highlighted the striping effect of the second skein and made the sweater look awful. So we took some better shots–and I love it! I’m working on getting the pattern finalized and getting it into the hands of test-knitters. I’ll probably aim for an October release with this one.
Oh, but it needs a name! I’m calling it “Cozy Gray” in my head, but that isn’t going to fly for the pattern release. You guys were so helpful with my hat pattern a few months ago–any thoughts on this one?
Just a quick little WIP Wednesday post today, mainly because my Creme de Menthe vest looked like this a few days ago:
Sigh. I had a feeling while I was working on the vest last week that it was coming out too big, but I pushed the feeling aside and soldiered on, not wanting to contemplate ripping out and starting over (we all do this, right? Tell me it’s not just me). But when I had about 8-9 inches of fabric, I finally measured, and sure enough–it was almost 2″ too wide. My gauge changed from 5.5 sts/inch in the swatch to 5.25 sts/inch in the vest. Not a big deal if it’s a small piece, but it makes a lot of different over a whole garment.
But oh well. I’ve started again with fewer stitches and have about 3″ done. And I’m still madly in love with the yarn, so it could be a lot worse. :-)
I finished the large design and shipped it off, woohoo! Although I still have a few commissioned accessories I’m working on, with the sweater load off my shoulders, I allowed myself to start a new design.
Here’s the sketch (which I did in about 10 minutes using Adobe Illustrator–I’m getting pretty good with that program, if I do say so myself). I really like the idea of a vest with skinny stripes running perpendicular to each other, so that’s what I’ll be attempting. It’ll either be cute or a mess… but that’s part of the fun of designing, right?
I’m using the Tosh DK Twist I showed off in last week’s post, and man is this stuff lovely. It’s as springy as Tosh Vintage, but lighter weight and softer. I’m an addict after only a few inches:The tank is bottom up, in the round to the armholes and then back and forth. The 2-1 stripe pattern I’m using will necessitate pushing the work back and forth on the circular needles to keep the stripe pattern correct when it’s worked flat, but I tried it on a swatch and it’s actually kind of fun. You have to think about the fabric you’re making on each row, but that helps alleviate the boredom of endless stockinette. :-)
Also: I thought of a name for this design right away, which almost never happens. It shall be Creme de Menthe. Perfect, isn’t it?
Thanks to lightning-fast shipping from Knit Picks, I got my extra skein of Gloss DK this week and finished Concord, too!
I got the pattern for my Concord Vest up for sale yesterday!
It’s my first independent pattern release in months, actually. This is thanks to two secret sweaters for a yarn company, and the hibernating gray sweater. So I’m really pleased to release this pattern out into the wild, just in time for summer knitting. It’s designed in DK weight yarn (Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, to be specific) and is available in bust sizes 27 (30.5, 33.5, 36.25, 39.25 / 42.25, 45, 49.5, 53)”, or 68.5 (77.5, 85, 92, 99.5 / 107.5, 114.5, 125.5, 134.5) cm.
My favorite part about this vest is the interesting construction. Because I wanted a pick-up free sweater–that is, one in which there would be no picking up of stitches–I designed it with the armhole and neck edging knit along with the main piece.
But this created a problem: how would I do the typical underarm shaping without being able to bind off stitches at the beginning of rows? The answer was creative decreasing. By working double and single decreases on both sides of the fabric, I was able to mimic the slope of “traditional” bind-off underarm shaping, while leaving the side pattern intact.
Concord is available for purchase for $5.00 through Ravelry via this link (you do not have to have a Ravelry account to purchase). I hope you all like it as much as I do!
Here’s the official FO Friday post for the new vest! I put it up for testing yesterday and have several people signed up already, woohoo!
Pattern: my own, tentatively scheduled for release mid-May. Oh, and I decided to go with “Concord Grape Vest” as the name. Concord by itself was making me think of the Concorde–not exactly the vibe I’m going for.
Yarn: Cephalopod Yarns Traveller in Finger Lakes, 2 skeins purchased at Rhinebeck last year and about a tenth of a skein from a nice Raveler who destashed to me when it looked like I would definitely run out.
This yarn is delicious. It’s springy and nice to knit with, and the colors… well, those pictures are unretouched. That’s really what the colors look like in person.
I do highly recommend alternating skeins, however. My three skeins were all completely different, to the point where I know I would have had big blotches of color if I hadn’t alternated every two rows.
Notes: Although I usually try to avoid sewing seams, I wanted to knit something a little more portable than my recent projects (gray sweater, I’m looking at you…). A vest in pieces was perfect. And the seams are short enough that it wasn’t too bad. I’m starting to actually like mattress stitch, can you believe it? It’s fun to see the pieces come together like magic.
Knitting the front and back separately helped me concentrate on the slightly unorthodox shaping, too. Since I wanted the armhole and neck edgings to be knit along with the main piece, I couldn’t do any traditional binding off at the beginning of rows–so the whole thing is shaped with double and single decreases, just inside the twisted rib edging. It was challenging to get the right ratios for the curves I wanted (there are sections with double decreases every row, then double decreases every other row, then single decreases, etc.), but I figured it out!
All in all, I’m pretty dang happy with this vest. It came out just like I envisioned it. :-)