Photo of hand knit socksPhoto of hand knit socksI developed a formula that lets me knit socks with a custom fit. My feet are long and skinny with very high arches, and I need ankle and calf shaping too. I experimented until I found a method that works, and has the added benefit of being easily memorizable. I’m also making use of the Fleegle Heel, which is not only easy to knit (no gusset holes!), but also easy to remember without having to constantly look at a pattern.

Now that the engineering is complete, I have been knitting a lot of socks! I collected data on how long, on average, it took me to complete each major section (toe, foot, gusset, heel, leg and ribbing) and learned that I can finish a pair of socks a week as long as I knit during my commute to and from work. They are such good little traveling projects, and after last year’s many sweaters, I am enjoying the instant gratification aspect too.

Wanda Nell Cardigan

This is the Wanda Nell Cardigan, pattern by Jen Hagan. I executed it in Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, a cotton, hemp and modal blend. My goal for this project was to create a cropped cardigan that I could wear over lighter layers in the summertime, especially when the air conditioning makes things especially chilly. You can’t really tell from the picture, but the pattern has these great figure-flattering vertical darts in the front and back. This is the project I worked on in the hospital on the day of my mother’s kidney transplant surgery, so it has a sort of special meaning for me. I got a lot of knitting done that day, almost all the annoying yoke part with all those raglan increase that make for an almost interminable row. I was glad to have it with me, because we got there at 5:45am! It was nice to be able to have something to fill up all that waiting time with productivity.

One of the major challenges in this project was finding an appropriate button that worked with the lightness of the garment and didn’t pull the buttonband funny. I had wanted to use wooden buttons, but they proved too heavy, so I used wood-looking plastic ones instead. I don’t like them nearly as much as the tagua nut buttons I had picked out, but from far away you can’t really tell.

I want to make a second one of these and add just a touch more length to the body without losing the cropped shape of the garment. I have some Rowan Lenpur Linen in stash that I think might work.

Brooks Top Cardi

I’m still in search of the perfect buttons for the Brooks Top Cardi, which I knit in Nashua Creative Focus Linen. There is a lot going on in this pattern, from the patterned button band to the deep ribbing, angled vertical waist and bust shaping, eyelets and latticework. I love the way this cropped sweater gives a nod to the classic 1950s silhouette, nipped in at the waistline.

This was an enjoyable knit because there was enough happening to keep it interesting. It wasn’t so challenging as to be frustrating, but it switched up enough along the way that it wasn’t a total slog. This will make a great summer cardigan for those days when the AC is making it just a bit too shivery indoors.

Sidelines Top
I knit the Sidelines Top by Lou Schiela in Gedifra Cotton/Merino, a nice yarn with beautiful stitch definition that made me swear and cuss at how splitty it was (seriously it has like a million plies). The result was worth it though! More »

Margot sweater

Margot looks much worse on the hanger than it does on the wearer. This was a stash-busting project, but a different worsted with a bit more heft to it than Misti Alpaca worsted would have worked better. More »

Pretty Thing cashmere neckwarmer
This is Pretty Thing by the Yarn Harlot, executed in Joseph Galler Pashmina. I bought the yarn years ago and have hoarded it until now. A quick, tactile, pleasing project for instant gratification as I slog along on Margot.

Hat Collage

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s pattern for a tam o’shanter in Knitting Without Tears got me through the very end of graduate school. I knit them compulsively and I still may not be finished. In addition to the three below, I also knit two more which have found good homes. One was to match a sweater I made years ago for my mom. Except the beanie, these are made of handspun yarn whose origin was fiber from dyers on etsy. These hats were a study in color and texture. Manchvegas, from Zarzuelas Fibers (the subtle colored one), is a 2-ply Falkland wool that I spun lofty and full of air. This resulted in a soft, squishy DK weight yarn which I held double to make a warm hat. Slouchy and drapey Manchvegas is by far my favorite one of these. The bullseye-looking one is in a colorway called Agamemnon, a Polwarth wool from Sheepish Creations. I knit it at DK weight so it is lighter and softer. The bright-colored one is a gift from my friend Cyd–she sent it to me after her travels to a fiber fair. It was my first attempt at N-ply, which ended up sort of overtwisted (I’m still learning!)┬áinto a heavy worsted weight yarn that will wear like iron. The overtwist gives a sort of felted or velour look to the finished fabric. The beanie I just love. It’s made out of Noro leftovers. I knit it top-down and custom fit it to my head. I may never take it off.