Inspired by Sweaters

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I have been knitting and crocheting for years but lately my attitude about what I want to make has been shifting. I have decided that I want to focus on making to making more garments. I recently looked at my past projects on Ravelry and realized I hadn’t had a new sweater in over 2 years and that was a sweater I made myself. I also realized that I have been knitting for years but have only made a few sweaters. I had made mostly hats, scarves and shawls. I started to ask myself, “How many hats and scarves do I need?” It affected me to realize that I had made myself so few garments when I love to knit and crochet so much. Karen Templer wrote this blog post about doing a inventory of her fall wardrobe and it inspired me to do the same. I realized that I could use a few more sweaters in my wardrobe.

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 In the past, I have sometimes been pretty random about what I want to make. I would make something because I thougtht the project was cool or to to learn a new skill. I started realizing that I want to be more intentional about what I make. At the same time that I was thinking about this, I made the Green Gable Pullover and really enoyed making it. I am happy with how it turned out and the success of that project inspired me to make more garments. I also discovered the Me Made May and handmade wardrobe hashtags on Instagram. All the pictures of people showing the clothes they made themselves is inspiring to me. So all this has made me realize that I want to be more intentional about what I make and also what I add to my wardrobe.To be honest, I don’t see myself stopping making hats or scarves. I like making hats and they are a small project where I can try out a new skill. However, I also want to make sure I am also making items I can use in my wardrobe. Right now, I am making myself a wool sweater for colder weather. After I finish that sweater, I want to make a cardigan.

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Slow Fashion October

 

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Lately I have been starting to get interested in slow fashion. I discovered Karen Templer’s blog  on her website and enjoy it. This month is Slow Fashion October. I am just starting to look into this so I decided to participate  in Slow Fashion October to see what I can learn from it. I will be posting a 3 part blog series on how I became more interested in this topic. With this first post, I want to introduce Slow Fashion October and include some links for further reading. The second post will be about how my attitude towards what I want to knit and crochet has been shifting and the third post will be more on how I become interested in slow fashion in general.

 Slow Fashion October is an online event that was started and hosted by Karen Templer of Fringe Association. It is a discussion on the different aspects of slow fashion and how to have a more ethical wardrobe. The discussions revolve around what it means for various people to practice slow fashion. In a nutshell, Slow Fashion is about being more thoughtful and deliberate with your wardrobe. Most clothing today is made in overseas factories that often have bad conditions. Also many clothes today wear out fairly quickly and are not made to last. Slow Fashion is about making choices to get away from that. Some ways to do that are: making your own clothes, buying clothes that are build to last, mending the clothes you have, buying secondhand, buying clothes from sustainable brands, and being more thoughtful about what you choose to buy for your wardrobe.

 You can read about Slow Fashion October on the Fringe Association blog. For this event, Katrina Rodabaugh will be posting an article each week on the blog. You can also follow Slow Fashion October   and Karen Templer on Instagram. Karen Templer will be posting weekly prompts on the Slow Fashion October Instaram account. The first prompt is “who” and asks people to introduce themselves. This weeks prompt is “what.” In other words, what form does slow fashion take in out closets, what actions do we plan to take towards this. There has been a lot of discussion on the slow fashion October hashtag on Instagram and on the Fringe Association blog. I have enjoyed reading the discussions and have already learned some things. I have found out about some book titles I want to read. 

My Fall Project Update

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I wrote a post about the fall projects I wanted to do but since I wrote that, I changed my mind on what I want to make. I  listed some patterns I wanted to do but decided to do other projects first. I finished the Green Gable pullover and enjoyed working on it. Since then, I have started I have started making the Ladies Classic Pullover by Jane Richmond. I had wanted to make it in stripes in 4 different colors but it was harder than I thought to get gauge with 4 different colors. When I did gauge swatches, each color had a slightly different gauge. I realized that I wanted a project that would be a stress reliever and this sweater would be harder to make than I thought and using stripes would make it even harder. So I decided to use some light blue yarn that I bought a clearance a few years ago. I had planned to make a cardigan with that blue yarn but I was never convinced that light blue was a good color for a cardigan for my wardrobe. However, I think this blue would make a very pretty pullover.

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I am also thinking about making this cardigan. I found out that my favorite black cardigan has a hole in it and I am seriously thinking about making one to replace it. I looked through my Ravelry queue and am thinking about making this sweater in black. I was nervous that knitting a sweater using fingering weight black yarn may drive me crazy so I asked for advice on a Ravelry forum. Most people said that the pattern shouldn’t be too difficult if you can do stockinette stitch by touch. I can do stockinette by touch so I decided I really want to do this sweater.

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I am also eyeing this crocheted cardigan. I found this pattern when I was going through old crochet magazines looking for inspiration. I saw this sweater and immediately loved it. It would also fill a gap in my wardrobe. I really want to make this pattern but I would need to order yarn to do this sweater and it would use a lot of yarn. I haven’t decided if I want to go ahead and order yarn and do it or make something using yarn in my stash. In the spirit of using what I have, I am thinking with making this top instead using some Patons Grace that has been in my stash for years.

 

Knitting and Crochet Projects for Halloween

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Halloween is coming up soon so I thought I would post some of my favorite Halloween themed projects that I either want to make or have made.

 Skull Shawl- This shawl has been in my queue for a long time and I really like it. I haven’t made it yet because I don’t have the yarn needed and am trying to use what I have.

 Spider Web Doily- I also like this spider web doily, I am thinking about making this once I finish my blanket or tote bag.

 Pumpkin Spice -I saw this knitted pumpkin pattern on Instagram and am thinking it may be a good use for some orange yarn I have in my yarn stash.

Halloween Bat- I made this bat for a friend who loves to decorate for Halloween and she loved it. It was also fun to make.

 Crochet Skull- I had made myself this crochet skull  years ago and I like to hang it up near my desk during Halloween.

September Stash Bust KAL

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In September, I participated in the September Stash Bust KAL* hosted by Wolf and Faun Knits.  It is a KAL where people encourage each other to make projects that use up unused yarn in our stash.  The aim is to be resourceful, simplify and declutter.  Here is a post that explains the KAL. In this KAL, people have been posting pictures of yarn they want to use up and have asked for advice on how to use it and posted pictures of the projects they are doing to stash bust.   

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When I heard about this KAL, I immediately wanted to join. I like to do projects to use up odd bits of my yarn stash. In the past, I have published a blog post of projects for stash busting that I liked. This summer,  I made this hat out of odd bits of cotton yarn . I don’t like waste so I save even the smallest amounts of yarn leftover from a project. I also think it is a good creative practice to use what you have.

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For the KAL, I made a hat out of some of my small bits of acrylic scrap yarn. The hat is pictured in the top photo. I had been thinking about doing a project like this for a while. This KAL seemed like a good time to do it. I am thinking about making another hat out of my odd bits of worsted weight scrap yarn at some point. I enjoyed this KAL and, I liked looking at each others projects.

*KAL stands for Knit a long

An Update and Current Projects

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I fell out of posting for the last few weeks because I was stressed out and wasn’t feeling well so I wanted to give an update what I have been working on since I published my last blog post. I will start with my knitting and crochet projects. I finished my Green Gable pullover, I just need to block it. I am very happy with how it turned out. The success from this project inspires me to work on more garments. I have already started knitting another sweater. 

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  I am still plugging away on the Herbivore Shawl.I haven’t been working on it that much because I have mainly been working on the sweater I just finished.

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As far as crochet projects, I am still working on my blanket. I am hoping to finish it soon. I am almost done crocheting the squares. This blanket design is a series of diamond shapes within a square. It is pictured above and is achieved by sewing together 4 squares with the same color scheme. I have been making the squares in groups of 4 and then sewing them together as I go. When I finish crocheting the last few squares and sew them together I will need to sew the sets of 4 squares together into one blanket.

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I am also crocheting a tote bag using a pattern called the Lacy V Shopping Bag. I am using a lilac cotton blend yarn I got on clearance and some light blue cotton polyester yarn that is leftover from another project. I may add a section of white using either a dk acrylic or a worsted weight cotton because I am not sure I will have enough of the lilac and blue yarns to finish the bag but I haven’t decided which one I will use yet. 

Fall Knitting and Crochet

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Lately, I have been thinking about what I have been making this summer and what I want to make this fall. As I wrote earlier, it is summer here and the weather has been hot and dry. However in a month and a half it will be fall. Lately I have been inspired to make more garments. I am really enjoying working on the Green Gable. I have realized that for my next project, I need to take into account how long it takes me to make a sweater. I had initially wanted to make a couple of summer tops but I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would. I am thinking I should finish the Green Gable in early fall. I have already been thinking about my next sweater project. Because of time constraints my next sweater will be a fall/ winter weight project. 

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 I saw a post on Instagram where someone made a sweater out of  scrap yarn. It made me realize that I have almost enough skeins of Patons Classic Wool in maroon, grey and beige to make a sweater. I have had this sweater in my Ravelry queue for a while and it recommends the same yarn. For once I have the yarn the pattern recommends. I want to make this sweater with stripes. I may add another color but I haven’t decided yet. I am also thinking about making this cardigan. These two projects will get me to the end of the year at the rate I knit. How about you? are you thinking about fall projects yet? Let me know in the comments. 

Knitting in History

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I like history and I had bookmarked some interesting articles on knitting history. I thought I would share them in this post.

 This is a fascinating article about how during  war time, spies would use knitting as an espionage tool

During World War I, knitting for soldiers was seen as a patriotic duty

 A picture of a shawl that Queen Victoria gave to Harriet Tubman.

 The Suffrage in Stitches project celebrates women’s suffrage history through crochet.

 The Salish Tribe in the Pacific Northwest raised dogs for their fiber

The De-Stress Sweater

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” I knit so I don’t kill people.” This is a common humorous saying among knitters. This week, this saying could be revised to say, “I knit so I don’t completely stress out.” I have have been working on the Green Gable Pullover and it has really helped my stress levels. It is a top down sweater. The pattern has a simple lace panel at the top.Once you get past the lace panel , it is row after row of knit stitch. It has been a long week and I am finding working on knit stitch very soothing.

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 I am enjoying seeing the top take shape. I love seeing a ball of string and some sticks turn into an item.  The picture on the top show my  progress so far. Lately, I have been working on this sweater to the exclusion of other projects. I am thinking it may not take as long as I thought to finish it. I am already thinking about what sweater I want to make next. What about you? What is your favorite pattern to knit to relax or de-stress? Do you prefer simple patterns or more complicated patterns?

Summer Knitting and Crochet

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Do you knit or crochet during the summer? Here in the northern hemisphere it is summer and I thought I would share some thoughts and tips on summer knitting and crochet. I have heard that a lot of people stop knitting during the summer and then take it up again in the fall. Even thought summers where I live can be pretty hot, my knitting and crocheting doesn’t stop during the summer months. For fun I did a survey on Twitter asking if people knitted or crocheted in the summer. I only got 4 responses and all of them knit in the summer. That is a very small sampling but it tells me that at least some people knit and crochet in the summer.

I found this article with advice on summer knitting useful. During summer, I usually end up knitting inside under air conditioning in front of a fan at my desk. Summer is a good time to knit smaller, portable projects. I see people I follow on Instagram take a portable projects to the beach. One summer I made cotton sun hats that I wear when I work in the yard. It is also a good time to use lighter yarns such as cotton and linen. One thing I have found is that my local craft store will often put yarn on clearance in the summer. That is something to keep in mind when you are at the craft store. I have gotten some good deals that way.  Do you knit or crochet in the summer? Let me know in the comments.