My Summer Crochet and Knitting Projects

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Since summer is here, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to make this summer. I am currently working on the Featherweight Cardigan, a blanket and this crocheted tank top pattern. The tank top uses yarn I have had for years I have been trying to figure out how to use the yarn since I used it to make a scarf and had to unravel it several years ago. I am excited about this project; I think it is cute top and I am happy to find a good use for this yarn. I am also still working on the Featherweight Cardigan. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the month but I am not sure that will happen. I don’t have a set time that I want to finish the blanket. I started it as a fun project to do while I listened to podcasts. It is also a stash buster. I am OK if this takes a long time to complete.

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Once I finish the Featherweight Cardigan, I have been thinking about making the Zinone top by Andi Satterlund. I have wanted to make it since it was first published. I think that it will be a good addition to my wardrobe and be fun to make. I could use some summer weight dressy tops. However, it is on my mind that I will be starting this top around July and may not finish this top until early fall. During this time, I could cast on a sweater and have a sweater ready for fall. On the other hand, I love this pattern and I want to work on things that make me happy. I haven’t made up my mind what I am going to do about this.

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In addition to the Zinone, I also love this lace top. I am not sure if I will get around to making it this summer. I am thinking about starting this in the fall, It is a lightweight top but I think this could be a good piece to layer with a sweater or blazer. I also want to make a lace scarf but I am not sure when I will get around to it or if I will have the time to do a lace project this summer.

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Product vs Process Knitting

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The cardigan I just finished got me thinking about product vs process knitting. Product knitting is when you knit because you want to use the finished object. A process knitter likes the process and isn’t necessarily knitting to use the finished project. I have realized that up until now, I have been more of a process knitter. Until recently, I would pick projects based on how much fun they would be or what skill I wanted to learn. Often it would be a thought process of, “I just finished a piece and now what do I want to do?” Or I would pick a project so I could learn a specific skill. When I started to read Karen Templers blog more and the handmade wardrobe hashtag, I started to want to be more deliberate about what I chose to make. I was inspired to make pieces I could use in my wardrobe. At the time I was so inspired by the pictures of people wearing the pretty garments that they made and being thoughtful about what they wanted to add to their wardrobe and I wanted the same thing.

I saw another side to all this when I recently finished making The Belcarra Cardigan. The piece was frustrating and it was a struggle to keep doing it. It took a lot longer than I thought to make it and I had to unravel and redo it several times before I got a good start. I almost put this sweater on hold because it was taking so long and spring was coming . It was frustrating to be still working on this sweater I had hoped to wear this past winter. I ended up pushing through and finishing it. I knew it would bother me to have an unfinished project hanging around until next fall. I also persevered because I wanted that sweater in my wardrobe.

During the process of making this sweater, I lost some enthusiasm for making garments on a regular basis. Not too long before, I had been so inspired by making more garments but my frustrations with this project dampened my enthusiasm. I read somewhere that the pieces that end up being wardrobe staples are often very boring to make. I can definitely see how that can happen. I realized that it can be draining to plug through a frustrating process because you want the finished object.

I had been moving towards being more of a product knitter but I realized I also needed to make sure I was working on projects that are fun. I realized that the pieces I do because “wouldn’t hat be cool!” keep things fun and alive. I made a log cabin scarf because I really wanted to do a log cabin project. At the time, I certainly didn’t need another scarf or another project. I want to make a lace scarf out of light green yarn because I like doing lace knitting. Moving forward, I still want to make useful garments but I am realizing that I need to make sure that I leave room to be spontaneous and have fun with my projects. I am also thinking that the next time I am frustrated with a project, I will give myself permission to frog it and put it on hold.

Projects I Finished

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During the time when I was wasn’t posting regularly, I finished a few projects and wanted to give you an update. To be honest, I hesitated to write this post. Part of me was concerned about posting a, “What I have been working on” post after I wrote a long post saying that I want to write about more than that. However, I feel funny not posting what I have been doing. Plus I enjoy reading other people’s blog posts about their projects and the thoughts behind it. So, here is a what I have finished lately.

 Grey Cable Scarf

I started this project back in December. I had looked at my scarves and hats and decided that I could use a grey scarf with a textured stitch pattern. I fnally finished it on March 20. I like cables and saw a lot of cable scarf patterns on Ravelry that I loved. I also wanted to knit a cable scarf because I had tried to make a cable scarf the previous year and it didn’t work out and I wanted to try again. I enjoyed working on this scarf but it took me longer than I thought it would to finish it. Since it is now spring, I now have a scarf for next winter.

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 Basketweave Hat

I had made an identical hat years go. This winter, I lost it when I went to run errands. I upset me when I lost the hat. I decided to make another one because I liked the hat. I had also made a matching scarf that didn’t go with many of my other hats. I almost didn’t make the hat because it felt like an obligation, as in I should make this because I lost the other one. However, once I started making it I enjoyed working on it and really like this pattern. I recommend it if you are looking for a hat to knit.

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 Log Cabin Scarf

I did this as part of the Log Cabin knit a long that Mason Dixon Knitting and Karen Templer hosted. When I heard about this knit a long, I wasn’t looking to start another project. At the time, I was already working on a scarf and two sweaters. But I had recently watched a tutorial of log cabin knitting and really wanted to try it. I found out about this knit a long right after I watched the tutorial and I decided to go for it. I used yarn leftover from a blanket I made plus some other odd yarns in my stash that fit the color scheme. I enjoyed working on it. It is a habit forming technique and a great way to use up scrap yarn in a creative way. This scarf came out a lot longer than I thought but that should be good for days when the temperature is freezing. When fall comes closer, I may try making a log cabin type hat to match.

Me Made May

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One of the big reasons I have become interested in handmade wardrobe and slow fashion is Me Made May. I found about it from Andi Sattterlund. She is a knit designer who also sews. She has consistently posted outfit photos for Me Made May for a few years. From her posts, I started following the Me Made May hashtag and the handmade wardrobe hashtag on Instagram. I found the posts of people wearing clothes they made inspiring and made me want to focus on making more garments for myself.

 Me Made May is a popular online challenge that starts every year on May 1 and lasts all month. The idea of Me Made May is to challenge participants to wear handmade items every day. It was started by Zoe of  the So Zo blog. Here is an FAQ about Me Made May. Many people who participate will wear an outfit every day  that contains something they made and photograph it. I am not planing to actively participate this year but I will be checking out the hashtag. I encourage you to check it you have any interest in making your own clothes by knitting, crochet, or sewing.

Some Thoughts on Sweater Knitting and Finances

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Some of the Yarn I bought when it was on sale

 In the past I had hesitated to make sweater because of the cost of buying a sweaters worth of yarn at one time. However, I am realizing that you can make a sweater that you couldn’t buy for the price of the yarn. I showed my mom a sweater I made and she would tell me that you can’t buy a sweater like that. When you think about it, she is right, I don’t know where anyone would be able to buy a handmade sweater that is made to your measurements. I looked around and realized that a nice wool sweater can very, expensive and hard to find. For example, I looked at my dad’s LL Bean catalog and a wool sweater from LL Bean is anywhere from 70 dollars on up.

I recently went to the mall and I saw a sweater at a chain store. It was acrylic, made in China and it cost 60 dollars. For 60 dollars you can buy the yarn to make one that is much nicer and that is made with natural fibers. For 50 dollars I bought yarn for 2 sweaters from Knitpicks when they had a sale. I also looked at the sweaters I had bought and they are all cotton. I looked around the stores at the mall and I didn’t see any wool sweaters for sale. Mind you this is in the fall in a cold climate. All this made me realize that  a lot of stores don’t sell wool sweaters for a reasonable price.  

If you know where to look, wool to make sweaters doesn’t have to be expensive. The sweater I recently made was made from yarn I got on clearance at JoAnnes for about 3 dollars each. I used 5 skeins of yarn to make the sweater so the yarn cost me 15 dollars. On the other side of this,  I think that if you can reasonably afford it don’t be afraid to spend a little extra to make the sweater you want out o f the yarn you really want to use. If you live on a tight budget, you can also find yarn that is affordable and with some work end up with a sweater that is nicer than a lot of the sweaters you could find at the mall.

My Knitting and Crochet Goals for 2018

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I am a little late with this but I thought I would post some of my goals for my 2018 projects.

 1: Stash bust

I have a lot of odd bits of yarn I have collected over the years. Some of it is leftovver from other projects. Some of it is yarn I bought on impulse and some of it friends gave me. I would like to use up some of the odd bits of yarn I have. I did some stash busting projects in 2017 and want to continue this year.

 2: Keep making garments

I want to continue to make garments I can use in my wardrobe and be more thoughtful about what I decide to make. 

 3 Learn to make socks.

I  went through my wardrobe and could use some new socks at some point. I have realized that making socks could be a way for me to make things I can really use that may be fun. Before I started looking into handmade wardrobe stuff, I mainly thought of sock knitting as a knitting technique to learn instead of making socks to wear. I am not sure why I thought this. I have already bookmarked some sock patterns that people recommended that are supposed to be good for beginners.

 5: Get my crochet mojo back

I feel like I have been knitting more than I have been crocheting lately. I have been more inspired by knitting projects lately. I would like to get some of my crochet mojo back. I have been thinking about making another blanket. After that, I am not sure what crochet projects excite me. I need to read more about crochet and see what would be fun to learn and make.

My Finished Sweater

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This past weekend I finished this sweater. I put my log cabin project aside to finish it. I wanted to finish by the end of January so I would have time to wear it before the weather got warmer. I was nervous about doing the sleeves and neckline. I had to pick up stitches to do both and I hadn’t done either technique before. I was especially nervous about the neckline. It was 88 stitches on double pointed needles and I was nervous I would have a bunch of dropped stitches. Thanks to some YouTube tutorial they turned out fine. I am so happy with how it turned out. I have already worn it even though I still need to block it. It is a much needed addition to my wardrobe.

Handmade Wardrobe Update

 

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The sweater I am currently making

In the past year or so, I have written about my growing interest in slow fashion and making my own clothes. I wanted to give you an update. This past fall, I had gone over my wardrobe and made a list of sweaters I could use for my wardrobe. I had made a list of sweaters I wanted to make over the next several months. I am thinking I may change my mind on what I want to do next. At this point, I am realizing I need to make sure my plans have some flexibility.

 

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My stash buster and stress relief project

 I still want to make sure I am making items I can wear and use. However, I am realizing that I also like to make smaller items to try new techniques and make things for fun. A few times I knitted hats to use up odd bits of yarn and because I was stressed out and I wanted something smaller to knit for stress relief. I also started a log cabin project because I really wanted to play with the technique. I am also realizing that if I want to make items to wear for a specific season, I may need to start making the items before I need to wear them. It took longer than I thought to make this pullover. Partly because I got distracted by Christmas knitting and log cabin. 

 

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The project that inspired me to make more garments

As I get closer to finishing the sweater I am currently working on, I am having second thoughts on what I want to make next. I had planned to make a dark grey cardigan but I may make another pullover instead. I have enjoyed working on the pullover I am making. I have learned new techniques and realized that I would like to make more pullovers in different styles so I can learn how they are made. I could also use another pullover . I also tell myself that I already bought the yarn to make this cardigan and could really use this cardigan in my wardrobe. I may end up making the cardigan because I think I will be making it well into spring when the weather gets warmer and it will be a lighter weight cardigan. Plus I think I could get a lot of wear out of this once I finish it. How about you? Do you have any plans for garments you want to make? Let me know in the comments

Log Cabin Knitting Resources

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If you ever wanted to try log cabin knitting, this is a good time to start. Both Fringe Association and Mason Dixon Knitting have posted a lot of resources about the technique for the Fringe and Friends Knitalong. Even if you decide to not participate in this, the articles listed here have a lot of valuable information. I have enjoyed working on a log cabin project and have already started planning other log cabin projects to do in the future. Here is a list of the resources I have found on log cabin knitting.

 1: Very Pink Knits log cabin tutorial 

I have posted this tutorial a couple of times already but it is worth posting again. I watched this tutorial months ago and several times since and I have found it so helpful

 2: Links on the Fringe associations website

Karen Templer has posted a series of articles on log cabin. Here is a list of the articles she wrote. In this list are articles on inspiration, planning, how to crochet log cabin and weaving in ends.

3: Mason Dixon Knitting

Mason Dixon knitting has also posted some useful links here and here are articles they wrote on how to log cabin. Plus they published this book on the technique.

 

 

My Current Projects

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Since I recently wrote about the log cabin project I am doing, I thought I would give you an update on my other knitting and crochet projects. With the pullover pictured above, I am done with the body and the first sleeve. I just need to finish the 2nd sleeve and neckline. I have tried it on a few times and it fits well. I want to finish this soon because I want to wear it. I got distracted by making Christmas presents and log cabin knitting but I am back to working on it. 

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I haven’t made much progress on this cardigan. I  had also put this aside to work on Christmas presents. I had a hard time getting a good start on this sweater. I kept getting the stitch pattern off and had to rip it back several times. I have been frustrated with this. I would have given up already if I didn’t want this cardigan in my wardrobe so badly. I finally got to a point where I was able to get a good start on it. I am hoping I can start making more progress.

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I also started knitting a cable scarf. I looked my scarves and and realized that I could use a textured grey scarf. I saw some patterns on Ravelry I really liked but ended up making up my own pattern. I had to swatch 4 times but I finally found a stitch pattern I like.