So as seen in the photos in my Stitches post, I finished the Rayures cowl from the kit I got at Nine Rubies.  People, at the risk of sounding like Rosanne Rosanna Danna, I thought I was gonna die.  It’s just simple stockinette but that’s the problem — it’s endless stockinette.  On teeny tiny needs.  (I bumped up to a size four from my original size two but still…)  The end result is pretty — very pretty, as evidenced by many compliments I received at Stitches — but what a PITA.  Like the Cedar scarf, it almost wasn’t worth it.  What a slog.  It didn’t help that I chose to make it longer than the pattern called for because I wanted to end up with as few leftovers as possible.  The good news is I followed up that project with a quick, clever, beautiful little project from Botanical Knits, the Oak Trail hat:

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I used Madeline Tosh Vintage in the Thyme color way and size 5 & 6 needles.  In contrast to the cowl, I enjoyed this knit a lot.  I’ll be gifting this to my son’s advisor at the end of the year.  It’ll look super cute on her.

Meanwhile, I finished the charm square quilt I made for my son.  I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out.  I am still a totally sucky quilter, but I am improving.  In this quilt, I used a fusible batting for the first time.  (I think I bought it by accident but I figured it was worth a try.)  I have fewer wrinkles and puckers but that may just be because I’m getting better so the jury is still out on that method.

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I also tried invisible thread (my world almost came to a standstill when I learned there was such a thing!) for machine-knitting the binding to the back side.  OMG — it looks so totally terrible.

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Even in that blurry photo, you can clearly see what I mean.  UGH!  I may still use invisible thread for bindings in the future but I think I have to stick with hand-sewing the back side.  My hand-sewing is bad but not as bad as that hot mess.  I’ve already started a second charm square quilt  — this one, for my daughter.  We’ll see if it turns out any better.

As for Stitches, my purchases were minimal but I love what I got: a pair of square needles to try, some skin stuff from the Barmaids (which I’ve long heard advertised on the Knitmore Girls podcast — the stuff is awesome!), some buttons for the Entangled Vines cardigan from Botanical Knits (next in my queue) and, finally, an awesome pattern: the Grown-Up Hoodie.  I would never have looked twice at the pattern online but I tried on a sample of the actual cardigan at Stitches and it is SO CUTE. I can’t wait to knit it.  With those cool pockets, it reminds me of the Farmer’s Market Cardigan, which I have long coveted, but far easier to knit.

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