Pop- Life Cardigan no. 2

I wear my Pop-Life Cardigan I made almost 5 years ago almost everyday in the summer!  I throw it on over my jammies in the morning and wear it over tank tops and dresses in the afternoon.  These last couple of years, the Pop-Life Cardigan has become the summer version of my Slouchy Cardigan which serves the same purpose in the winter.  

This summer, while Libby was home, she mentioned how much she loved it and would love if I could make her one.  I was IN!  
To me, it's that easy breezy sweater that just feels good.  Sort of like that favorite pair of blue jeans.  And it's all due to the yarn!
I made a few modifications for this Pop-Life and I plan on continuing these mods on the next couple I make.  Yes.  I have two more in the wings.  Maybe three.  That's how much I love this sweater.

Yarn:  Billie Jean  in Washed Out Denim
Needles:  US 8/US 11
Size:  Here's the thing.  When I purchased this pattern 5 years ago it was a One Size.  I noticed on Ravelry that there are now different sizes.  I have an email out to Wool and the Gang asking what this One Size is equivalent to in their new sizing.  I"ll keep you posted.

Modifications and Helpful Tips:
• Use bamboo needles.
• This size takes 5 balls of Billie Jean cotton.
• If the yarn is twisted too tightly, re roll it by hand into a ball.  This helps take out the twist and makes the yarn much softer! 
FRONT:
• Knit the fronts and the sleeves simultaneously.
• To achieve this length, knit 18 rows of rib and then knit 62 rows for the fronts before the neck increases.
BACK:
• Knit the back in one piece by joining the fronts after you cast on the stitches for the neck.
• To achieve this length for back, knit 68 more rows (including the increase for neck rows) for a total of 130 rows and then knit the 18 rows of rib on back piece.
SLEEVES:
• Knit the sleeves simultaneously.
• Sleeves are NOT knit in reverse stockinette.
• Knit rib on sleeves for 18 rows.  Then knit 40 rows before binding off.  The increases end after 56 stitches omitting 2 of the increase for a total of 4 stitches.
FRONT BAND:
• Front band is 200 stitches by picking up 1 stitch in every row.
• When binding off band, decrease by knitting 2 together along neck edge while binding off.  (Neck edge = where you cast on the 12 stitches along neck.
FINISHING:
• Fold your sweater to match the front rib to the bottom rib and seam the ribs together at the sides. 
• Continue up side seam for a few inches. 
• Fold sleeve together and match the center stitch of sleeve to the center stitch of shoulder.  Start here seaming sleeve to body of sweater.

LOVE

I just can't say enough about LOVE. It most certainly is what makes the world go around.  Love is everywhere.  You truly don't have to look very far.  

It's in my sister's visit.  The way she lights up a room.  It's in a Friday evening and the way we choose to celebrate life. 
It's in a fancy cocktail and how it matches a sweater.   It's in the joy in our voices.  
It's in the way I knit sweaters.  One after the other.  
It's in the air in September and the smell of basil.

It's in the Motive Mitts and the heart is a reminder to remember YOU are LOVE.  
Because we all need to be reminded at times.  

Please enjoy this pattern for free for rest of the month.  Because you really don't need to look very far when wearing these.  Just in the palm of your hand.  

Enter code lovetoyoufriend (love to you friend) at checkout to receive your pattern

hanne flakenberg ballerina

Well, I can't even believe that today is August 31.  How did August fly by so quickly?  This morning, I looked at my calendar in such disbelief.  Where did the days go?  

{Charlie left on the 1st, I got new contacts, I swam a lot, I knit with friends, I worked, I celebrated a 7 year anniversary, I had friends over for lunch, I baked cookies, I bought peaches from the peach truck, I peeled a lot of peaches, I helped pack, drive and move Andrew into his new college apartment, I spent a few days loving on my Mom, I celebrated a bride, and I worked A LOT on THIS Ballerina and finished it!}

I am not underestimating the amount of time spent on this sweater.  I spent many moments with this draped on my legs and boy was I happy.  
Each section is like it's own little project.  My goal for the beginning of the week.  For the weekend.  For the evening.  
This is a project that keeps things moving.  That never gets boring.  
It's a project that becomes a piece of clothing that will be worn many times.  
I truly can't say enough about how much I love these sweaters.  

Pattern:  Ballerina by Hanne Falkenberg  Kit no. 19 substituting the Apricot for a Pistachio.  
Size: S/M
Needles:  US 3
Start: 7.1.21
Finish: 8.18.21
Notes: This is my 4th Hanne Falkenberg and I am wondering if it will be my last. (My others are here and here.)  Wouldn't this be fabulous in a solid color, too?  (Hello, black.)
If you decide to make this, remember to read ahead within each section.  Don't confuse yourself by going beyond the section but ABSOLUTELY read ahead within each section.  Also, try not to get overwhelmed by looking too far ahead.  
There are always a few things you are doing in each section so I recommend writing it down and keeping good notes while progressing.  I also like to use the little stitch "pins" to keep count of increases and decreases.  If you make this, enjoy the process, because the finish object is definitely worth it!

august

I absolutely adore the month of August.  Although, it always rolls around a little too quickly.  This year was no exception.   

Ahhhhh, August.  It's the month we took our family vacation when I was a child.  It's the month my first child was born. (Oh wait, that's September, but I was very pregnant in August!๐Ÿ˜.) It's the warmest month of the year.  It's the month I dream about wearing hand knit sweaters.  It's the month to wear sundresses.  It's the month to buy school supplies.  It's the month I want to knit all things.  It's the month the tomatoes and corn taste the best.  
Nothing better than sitting outside with my knitting in my hands eating freshly picked veggies and herbs complimentary of my husband.  I added onions, black olives, oil and vinegar complementary of Trader Joes.  

Going to try to savor these sweet days.  

slope

Well, I finished this knit at the end of June and kept forgetting to talk about it.  Not sure why, as it has been on rotation in my wardrobe since then!  I've worn it with these black joggers, and I've worn it with both white and blue jeans.  Also, under a jean jacket.  

 
It truly has been a great layering piece.  
The yarn was a bit thin.  As my friend Linda put it, it was like working with dental floss.  I had a few places where the yarn had twigs or something stuck to it. (Ha.  Hence the name "twig".)  I noticed it after I knit it and tried to pull them out.  That did not go well.  I decided to leave it instead of ripping it out.  It doesn't bother me now.  

 Pattern:  Slope by Shibui Knits
Yarn:   4 skeins Shibui Twig in Caffeine 
Needle:  US 3
Size:  S
Start date:  6.3.21
Finish date:  6.27.21
Modifications:  Did not do the German Cast on.  I was a bit too impatient for that.  I also shortened my high low effect that the pattern called for.  To do so, I did my wrap and turns with 5 stitches left before the wrap instead of the 3 stitches the pattern calls for.   The pattern calls for a cropped version and a long version.  This is right in between both.  In doing so, I started my decreases at 1.5" then decreased every 12th round.  

THEA

It's my latest WIP and the jury is still out.
I usually know if I'm going to like something, but this feels a little different.  The yarn feels heavy and the fabric feels thick.  I'm wondering if the drape will be what I thought it would.  I like the color although I keep wondering what I will wear it with.  I have one pair of pants that might work.  
I'm going to forge ahead and see if I can get this finished and blocked and make it work.  If not, it will head to the frog pond.  
I really want a few summer handknits in my wardrobe.  I'm just not sure I chose the right yarn for this pattern.  And now I am dreaming about making this or this.  
So little time.  
 

episode 17

Hiya Friends!
I know I wrote all about the Simple Stripes sweater but if you want to hear me talk about it, I uploaded a video over on YouTube.  I talked about a few other things as well.  A few tips were also thrown in.  

My Worsted weight Linen Quill just arrived so I'm off to wind it and hopefully get started.

Happy July!  

 

whispers cardigan

This truly was a breeze to make.  I think it took a week from start to finish.  And, it was one of those projects that I picked up and knit here and there.  We were traveling, so I didn't have that chunk of time I usually have in a day.  
I dug into my button stash and choose navy buttons to match the navy romper.   (I love all the colors it comes in!)  I think an outfit is always a nice gift for a new mama.  
As I mentioned, I think this pattern is best suited with a solid yarn so that the lace detail can shine.  It pretty much gets lost in the speckles.  Live and learn.  I still think it is a sweet sweater and can't wait to give it to the precious girl!

Yarn:  KnitCrate 
Needles:  US size 4 
Size:  12-18 months

may knitcrate

I have been remiss about showing my KnitCrate's but had to get back on schedule with this amazing delivery.

This yarn is pure YUMMINESS! 
Audine Wools Chill is a unbelievably soft worsted weight blend.  Each yummy skein contains just a touch of cashmere you just can't miss in each squeeze.  Pared with 90% Suri Alpaca that makes this blend just perfect. Honestly feels like 100% Cashmere.  Each crate came with 2 skeins, 150 yards each. Each Skein retails for $32.00 and the crate cost is $29.99 per month.  I'd say that's a significant savings!  
I received the color "Water's Like Me, It's Lazy".  It's the most gorgeous deep blue.  Mmmmm.  I'm truly in love with it.  As always, it includes a pattern for knitters and crocheters.  I may actually make the cowl pattern that came with it, although my first pick for yummy skeins like this is always a new pair of TOAST mitts.  Hmmmm.  Decisions, decisions.

Yarn: Audine Wools, Chill
Knit Pattern:  Fallen Cowl by Kacey Herlihy
Crochet Pattern:  Arcade Slouch Hat by Ashlea Konecey

My KnitCrate deliveries truly make me so happy.  If you are interested in a surprise bit of happy, arriving once a month, you can sign up for KnitCrate here.  Remember to use code FKW20 to receive 20% off your first order.  

summer knits

Wednesday's WIP on Thursday. ๐Ÿ˜Š
It's actually just becoming a WIP today!  I couldn't be more excited to cast on for something new.  
I have a few things on the needles but needed something light and summery.  My friend, Kim, mentioned this pattern and I thought it was the perfect summer project. 

I was so happy to pop over to my local yarn shop and not only pick up my yarn but my cute new bag, also.   I purchased it for myself for Mother's Day. ๐Ÿคฉ It's made of washable craft fabric that's light but sturdy enough to stand upright.  I adore it!  (Thanks for showing me yours, Christine!)   The bag and handles are sold separately and it was fun attaching the handles.  I attached my handles incorrectly but I quite like it this way. I can't wait to transport it around the house and on my small excursions!

Pattern:  Slope
Yarn:  Shibui Twig

whispers


I adore making baby items.  My go to sweater is the Barbie Lou,  however,  my friend Kim, mentioned this pattern and I figured I would give it a go.  I have a lot of stash yarn (thanks for my Knitcrates!) that I am trying to use and thought I would branch out and try a new pattern.  

We headed out to Bozeman, Montana to see my son Charlie this week and I decided to pack this cute project.  I thought this yarn would be perfect for a baby girl.  A super wash merino with a bit of tinsel will be perfect for the mama.  It feels amazing and the colors are sweet.  Yet,  I'm not sure the yarn is the best choice for this pattern.  A solid would definitely show the details of the pattern a lot better.  Nevertheless, I'm sticking with it since it's all I packed!


As always, if you are interested in ordering a Knitcrate use the code FKW20 to receive 20% off your first Knitcrate.  

simple stripes sweater

I know some people that don't like stripes. However, I am in the other camp and I LOVE stripes!  And knitting stripes couldn't be more fun because you never get bored.  The next stripe is right around the corner!   

I originally fell in love with Andrea Mowrey's sweater called STRIPES! I bought the pattern and knew at some point I would make that sweater.  It was in my queue and on my mind.  Then, Gina (from SkeinCocaine) posted her striped sweater and I instantly knew I loved her color choice.  I headed to her site to purchase the mini's that she perfectly named the Perfect Pallet.  Thank goodness I talked about making a striped sweater on my Podcast, and thank goodness Gina was watching and left me a message explaining that I should make the Simple Stripes Sweater by Suviknits not the STRIPES! sweater.  The Simple Stripes sweater calls for fingering weight yarn which is the weight of the Perfect Pallet minis.  The Stripes sweater calls for a sport weight yarn.   She sure saved me a lot of time and headaches not having to adjust the gauge.   

After seeing the Simple Stripes pattern, I realized this style is a little better for my body.  It's a little less boxy and a little longer.  I also love this neckline.  
I knit 13 rounds in each color for the body, but didn't have enough yarn to knit 13 rounds per sleeve, so I knit 10 rounds instead.  I'm not that fussy so that is not a bother for me, but I do know that may really bother someone else!   It also made my sleeves shorter.  I adore 3/4 sleeves so this was perfect.  

 Pattern:  Simple Stripes by SuviKnits
Yarn:  Perfect Pallet Minis by SkeinCocaine
Needles:  US 4
Size: M 

yarn as art

For today's WIP, I'd like to mention a project that was on my mind for a few months.  I guess it was a mental WIP that accelerated into a FO in about 30 minutes.  

The materials sat on the floor for the entire time.  I'm serious.  I don't know what kept me from diving into this project.  Fear of messing up?  I don't think that's possible.  
I had this blank wall in my corner of the office that needed something desperately.  My friend, Christina, had the most fabulous idea.  You see, Christina isn't a knitter, but she is an artist.  And she just happens to love yarn.  I mean, really love yarn.  The colors, the texture, the feel of it in her hands.  She thinks a skein of yarn is is a work of art in itself.  And, it truly is.  
One day, Christina brought over these wood plate racks from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Ours was going out of business.  (I found similar ones here.) 
Christina also purchased this Velcro tape and explained her vision.  "Attach these to the back of the plate racks, attach the plate rack to the wall, display that gorgeous yarn.  Hang them horizontal.  Hang them vertical.  Attach your skeins.  Attach your cakes.  Attach balls.  Just play and have fun." 
I measured the wall and tried to lay it out on the floor so that I could come up with a little bit of a plan.  In the end, I just dove in feet first.  It was easier that way.  (You can see the time lapse video of this over on Instagram.)

I couldn't be more pleased with the result.  I mean it's a wall of pure happiness. For the first few days, I would just head back to the office whenever I thought of it.  Just to get some happy.
And the best thing?  I can change it out with the season.  Autumnal colors in the fall.  Shades of red and green for the holidays.  A wall of white in the winter.  The possibilities are endless.  And If I ever get tired of all of it?  I won't even need to repair holes because there aren't any nails in the wall.  
My friend, Christina, is a genius!  ๐Ÿงก

wip wednesday

So, I was going to get on a blogging schedule and post my WIP's every Wednesdays. Here I am Thursday morning.  Ha!  However, that is my plan.  I hope to get on a better schedule in this space that I still love so much even after all these years.  

I'm sitting here with a big glass of my morning water, about to attempt some more latte art, staring at my beautiful wall of yarn. (More on that later.)
Of course, I'd rather be knitting on this delicious striped sweater that gets more fun with each color.

 That's the thing about stripes.  Each color feels like a new beginning.  Like something was checked off my list and I am able to accomplish something new all in the same moment.  

I plan on finishing the last stripe of the body today and will gladly start the sleeves.  

and the winners are...

The winners of the two Hanne Falkenberg kits were finally chosen!  (Giveaway was on Episode 15 of AFTKW podcast.)
Episode 16  of AFTKW podcast is up where I told you all about how I entered the winners and my husband was there to actually do the drawing.  Plus there is a little behind the scenes if you would like to take a look!  

 Congrats to Susan and Carole!  

lightweight hipster

Wow. I can't believe it's May. Happy May, Friends! April flew by for me... How about you?

I finished one project in April.  And I do adore it.  
We traveled and I actually finished it on the airplane.  
Then, I had a new wardrobe staple to keep me warm on cool nights.
If you have made the original Hipster, this one is complementary.  
Yarn:  Swanky sock by Magpie Yarns in Cinder
Modifications:  I decided I wanted to incorporate a neon pink yarn that I had in my stash.  To do this I knit one row and then bound off.  I used the same yarn for the tassels.  If I ever get tired of the pink, I can take it out easily.  
 

forcing forsythia

Forcing Forsythia.  Sounds like the name of a book.  Heck, maybe it is.  I just love saying that.  And I must say, I am more excited than ever about Spring this year.  
Bringing in the Forsythia always means Spring is HERE!
We celebrated Easter a few days early this year in order to celebrate with the kids who were in town.
Although we wished we had more kids home, we will always take what we can get!

 I stink at decorating cut out cookies.  And truly would rather be knitting instead of decorating.  However, I sent these in a few care packages and must say they were received with a smile.  And this recipe is a keeper.  
Happy Spring!

half + half triangles wrap

It felt good to knit this.  And, it felt great to finish this.
It was one of those knits that went on and on.
And one of those knits that I miss working on already.  
It truly is one of those knits that give you a bang for your buck.  Soothing garter stitch is a joy to include in my day.  I can work on it and not give it much thought so that my attention can be 95% somewhere else.  
Garter stitch is good for carrying on a conversation or for watching tv or for enjoying a glass of wine.  Practically the perfect knit.  

So many different combinations to knit.  And so many different combinations to wear.  I'm thinking this will be a classic knit that I will wear A LOT!  Sort of like these Frye boots I have had for about 16 years!  (WHAT?!) More on those later.  
{Scarlett and Lucille}

I truly can't decide which color combination to choose for my next one.  


 And of course I talked about it on my latest podcast.  Head over if you want to hear about it.  (There is also a little giveaway going on over there.)

Pattern:  Half + Half Triangles Wrap, Size Large 

Yarn:  Purl Soho Linen Quill   3 skeins Heirloom white, 3 skeins Dark Denim 

***Modification:  I applied a Slip 3 edge.  Check out the video here.  

how to slip 3 along a garter edge

diy

Hi!  I put together a little video demonstrating how I slip the last 3 stitches on my Half+Half Triangles wrap.  This can be used on ANY of your garter stitch projects.  
 
The technique creates a much neater finish and I believe a more finished look.

I also demonstrate how I ALWAYS join a new ball of yarn.  If you just start knitting with a new ball then please go watch.  This technique will become your new favorite!

Enjoy!  

mont blanc cardigan

Do you ever feel like you think you should have more time?  Ya, meeeeee toooo!  
I don't think I have ever made a sweater for anyone other than my kids.  And you probably can guess the reasons.  Kids are easy to knit for because size isn't really a huge issue.  And neither is style.  But, knitting for a friend is a tricky business.  How will it fit?  How about the style?  Will it be worn?  Will the recipient like the color, yarn, feel?  SO many things to consider! 
However, I knew this sweater would be perfect for my friend, Michelle.  Although I have it styled over a dress (she owns the same dress) I thought it would be perfect for her "morning" sweater.  You know, the one you throw on with your jammies.  We always say how crazy our morning outfits are and this will be a perfect compliment to those outfits!
I must say, this felt great on.  The weight is heavy but not too heavy.   And, I love having my arms free.  I'm pretty sure she will, too.  

Size:  M/L
Needles US 15

my girl knits!

Back in January, over Christmas break, my Libby decided it was time for her to KNIT! It was just music to my ears.  She had found a sweater through instagram and text the link to me.  It took me to Ravelry where I was thinking oh my goodness my daughter has been perusing RAVELRY!  I then told her I would gladly make her this sweater when she replied "do you think I can knit that?".  Oh my.  I just about dropped my phone.  
The pattern calls for Lion Brand's Thick and Quick so we immediately jumped in the car (and I mean IMMEDIATELY... before she changed her mind, ha!) and headed to Joann Fabrics.  I filled her hands with 3 different size needles and 4 skeins of Lion Brand Thick and Quick and we made our purchase and headed home as fast as we could.                      We nestled in for the afternoon and I gave her a quick lesson on what she had learned when she was about 8 years old.  It truly came back to her like riding a bike.  Over the course of the next few days, Libby learned how to increase R and L and how to fix her mistakes.  (I purposely dropped stitches so she could learn how to repair them.)
This is Libby's first hand knit sweater and she adores it!  I couldn't be more proud.  
We even had to stop on the way to the airport for more yarn so that she could knit on the airplane.   
If you are looking for a sweater for a new knitter this is an awesome first sweater.  And it knits up rather quickly so the knitter feels accomplished.  Win WIN!

Pattern:  Moosonee 
Yarn:  Lion Brand Thick and Quick, 4 balls, Rouge
Needles:  US 13, 15 and 19
Size:  S/M