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august is almost over and i’m blogging to present one last FO before the month officially ends.
pattern: juno regina from knitty
yarn: sundara fingering silky merino in winter sky – 1 skein plus another 25 grams from a second skein
needles: US 4 bryspun flex circulars
mods/comments: i made just one modification to the pattern. rather than knitting in one length from end to end, i knit the first half two times and the grafted the two halves together. this worked out really well to create a perfectly symmetrical scarf and the graft is not noticeable at all after blocking.
i do love everything about this FO. the pattern is really well written and beautiful. it had interesting lace bits and long mindless knitting too. the yarn. i cannot say enough good things about sundara’s fingering silky merino. it is absolutely luscious. it feels and looks amazing, and i can’t wait to knit a full sweater out of it. this colorway, winter sky, was originally a winter shipment from the season’s club, but is now offered as part of the permanent collection.
i guess this wraps up my august race to the finish. i’m very happy with the results. i finished three of the four projects that had been hanging on for just too long. it feels good to have them complete and i can move on to fall knitting with little guilt. the final project, my moon dance stole, isn’t finished quite yet. i did make some good progress on it though and i expect i’ll be posting it as an FO within the next couple of weeks.
now with a holiday weekend ahead (yay!) i can plan my next set of projects.
recently, i’ve been switching over to more natural and handmade beauty products and i thought i would review a couple things i’m really in love with right now.
the first is shave bars. i initially sought out shave bars because i’m always trying to find ways to cut the excess packaging out of my life. the metal canisters with plastic lids, then often again shrink wrapped in plastic, seem like more packaging than necessary for what they are. i did a quick search for “shave bars” on etsy and found bunches of options. i’ve tried two:
the one on the right is a shave bar from seller gudonyatoo! and on the left is a shave bar from spa therapy. both of them include kaolin clay for a nice, smooth shave. they both smell absolutely delicious, the spa therapy cherry almond smells sooooo yummy. i like them both and have been going back and forth between the two, however, i think i like the gudonyatoo shave soap just a tiny bit more. the bars are bigger and i think they create a more “slippery” lather, which i personally like.
the other beauty product switch i’ve made is the move to handmade deodorant. i was a little apprehensive about this one at first, all the handmade/natural deodorants i’ve found are deodorant only, not antiperspirant. good because they don’t have aluminum and other strange things that actually block sweating, but then…you are sweating. not something that i’m very fond of. but, i was willing to give it a try.
same two etsy sellers: vegan deodorant stick from spa therapy and stinky no more vegetable deodorant from gudonyatoo. i’ve been so pleasantly surprised with how these have worked out. not only do they smell amazing, but i honestly don’t notice any difference at all from regular antiperspirant/deodorant. a super hot trip to los angeles, what little heat we’ve had in seattle, as well as my usual pilates and running have been no match for these deodorants. again, i do like one a bit more than the other. the spa therapy, imo, lasts a bit longer and is available in scents that are more appealing to me. the scent thing is obviously personal, but i like the sweet, dessert scents offered by spa therapy. my favorite so far has been the lemon meringue scent, yummy!
i’ve bought a bunch of other products from both sellers, and i’ll probably post about them later when i’ve used them a bit more. in the meantime, if you have a handmade beauty product you like, please leave the link in comments. i’d love to try out some new things.
after what seemed like days and days of finished, the apres surf hoodie is finally done!
Pattern: Apres Surf Hoodie from Sprint 08 Interweave Knits
Yarn: 9 balls RYC Cashcotton 4-ply in Peppermint
Needles: US 4 Addi Circ for the body; US 3 Addi Circ for the hood
Mods/Comments: i fiddled with the sizing a little bit as i wanted just a little bit of positive ease and i am between sizes. other than that, pretty much stuck w/ the pattern.
in hindsight, i wish that i had gone a little narrower in the shoulders as the seams fall down a little bit more than i had hoped. i think i could have avoided this problem to some extent if i had done a larger gauge swatch (damn that swatching!). the finished pieces grew much, much more after blocking than my swatch. i’m guessing that the larger expanse of lace in the front and back just opened up more than my small 5″ swatch.
other than that, i am super happy with the final project. i really wanted something to slip on in the summer evenings when we are hanging out on the back deck and the temperature starts to drop. this will be absolutely perfect for that purpose, so comfy and cozy!
i absolutely love the ryc cashcotton too. it is ridiculously soft and easy on the hands.
what most of the world considers normal summer temperatures, like 80 or 90 degrees, we in seattle call a “heat wave.” it has been fairly hot this week and as the warm days have gone on and on, our house has gotten hotter and hotter with each passing moment. knitting has almost been impossible as my hands are constantly sweating, which fucks up my gauge and makes knitting generally uncomfortable. this is messing with my race to the finish in a big way. i can, however, report that i have actually factually completed one of my projects…
Candied Cowl (Ravel It)
Pattern: None – made it up
Yarn: Sundara Sock in Candied Chrome
Needles: US 2 16″ Addi circ
of course, i finished the easiest of the projects. i love the way it turned out and i’m sure i’ll get a lot of wear out of it come fall and winter. it was a great use of the variegated yarn, which i always find difficult to deal with. i haven’t blocked it yet or taken photos with it on an actual human, but i’ll get around to that sooner or later.
the apres surf hoodie is in pretty good shape too. knitting is done and i’ve been working on the seaming a little bit each day.
my seams look fabulous, if i do say so myself. you can’t even see them! i’m really proud of how they are turning out this time around. even the set in sleeves are looking pretty good, something i’ve struggled with a fair bit. a year or so ago, i took susanna hansson’s “finishing for the finicky” class at so much yarn in seattle. i highly recommend the class to anyone who struggles with finishing or seaming. it is wonderful. susanna has many great tricks and tips. in addition to seaming, the japanese short rows she teaches are amazing. anyway, the last thing i have to do on apres surf is take out the provision cast ons and do the applied i-cord to bind of at the waist and sleeves. the weather is supposed to cool down tomorrow, so hopefully i’ll have an FO soon.
i’ve finally given in to what seems to be a natural progression for knitters these days. spinning! yesterday, i took a drop spindling class. we spent most of the 2.5 hour class practicing drafting and using the drop spindle. and, finally, and the end we learned how to ply.
holy crap am i horrible at this or what?
the phrase “think and thin” does not even begin to describe my first attempt. it varies wildly between lace weight and a bulky, chunky weight the size of which i’ve never seen in any yarn store.
i had a really hard time consistently drafting. when i would pull from the roving i felt that i’d get nothing, nothing then suddenly it would snap. so, i’d end up w/ a big thick chunk followed by a super thin bit and i often broke right off the the roving. it was almost unbearably frustrating. and yes, i thought at several times “why would anyone do this when you can just buy beautiful yarn.”
nonetheless, by the end of class i was intrigued enough to buy a few ounces of roving. i might not even get around to playing with it until i finish up all my curent wips. we’ll see…
i have recently been a little bit overwhelmed by my number of WIPs. many great projects in the works, but nothing has been completed for quite a while. over on ravelry, a bunch of people are participating in “ravelympics.” [side note: cutesy knitting words make me want to stuff a ball of peace fleece down someone’s throat. i adore all the girls on the sundara boards, but i think the sundara stash needs to be confiscating from anyone who uses the word “sundarians” to describe sundara yarn fans. it reminds me too much of pearl jam fans who call other fans the “jamily.” barf!] anyway, the point of the ravelypics is to start and finish a project during the 17 day course of the olympics. it got me thinking about setting a silly knitting goal for myself to help me really get things done.
so, for the month of august, i’ll be racing to finish a number of wips that have been languishing.
1. the much maligned apres surf hoodie. [side note 2: dumb name. why not just call it the after surf hoodie? does that one french word make it somehow cooler? i guess i’m really pissy about words that bother me today.] i’ve talked enough about this knit. all i have is to finish a sleeve cap, sew up the seams, and block. should be easy.
2. the candied cowl. mindless tv knitting. 3-6 inches to go depending on how long i decide to make it. also easily completed by the end of the month.
3. seattle sky juno. i have not yet blogged about this particular project. i started it before i started up on the blog again, and i haven’t really worked on it much since. the yarn, sundara yarn’s fingering silky merino in the winter sky colourway, is absolutely too die for. the perfect yarn for this project and i think the FO is going to be spectacular. i’m a little more than half way done and i’m reasonably comfortable saying this one will be done by the end of the month too.
4. moon dance stole. here’s were it gets a little hairy, people. i would really love to get this lovely stole completed by the end of the month, but i have a really hard time working with lace weight yarn for any time period longer than, say, 15 minutes. so, i get bored after about two rows and want to move along to something else. however, i’m going to try my damnedest to get it done. i will absolutely not cast on for anything new in august unless all four of these projects have been completed. nothing like torturing myself through a knitting project.
wish me luck!
p.s. i gave up coffee as of this morning. lack of proper caffination may be the cause of my crabbiness about “ravelympics” “sundarians” “jamily” and “apres.” 😉