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:


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.



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.


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.


Finished: The Honey Cowl

Started: My Cookie A Sock Club Socks

Love them both!

Here’s my Seedling hat:

I used Madeline Tosh Vintage (color “jade”) and size 3 needles.  Expertly written pattern but all that purling was a P.I.T.A.!!!!

Meanwhile, I’m still working on my quilt and my granny squares, which I still love, love, love!

Ugh!  You will not believe what happened.  As I was casting off my 2nd Oak Grove Mitt, I realized something had gone horribly wrong.  Can you see in this photo of the mitts blocking?

Um, yeah.  The mitt on the right does not have a leaf stem.  That’s because I *stupidly* read “rows 1-8” as “row 1” (only) on that second mitt.  So although both mitts look fine individually, they don’t match.  Arrgggh!  This is especially irritating because I purchased extra fancy yarn for these mitts because I was planning to donate them to my kids’ school auction.  But there’s no way I’m donating mis-matching mitts.   And because I’d been knitting those suckers on super-small size 1 needles — and I was really ready to be done — I am not re-knitting a third mitt.  No way.   I’m such a loser!  Fortunately, my sister said she’d like to have them so they won’t go to waste.  (And frankly, when they’re worn, you can barely notice the difference between the mitts.)  But that was two weeks of knitting down the drain because I now have to knit something *else* to donate to the auction.  I bought the Seedling hat pattern at Stitches, along with some Madeline Tosh Vintage so that’ll be the new donation.  But, arrrggghhh!

I was itching to knit with Madeline Tosh again so I picked up the leftovers from my Aegean Mitts and whipped up some booties.

This is a simple and quick pattern.  But because I wasn’t paying super close attention to right side/wrong side, I got a funky stockinette line at the toe (see that?).  So I gave them to my daughter, who was begging for them for her American Girl doll.  When I handed them over, she raced upstairs and dressed her doll in everything I’d ever made for her, as seen below (AG doll was insecure about the bad hair day she was having and insisted on a headless shot):

That’s a poncho, a sweater, some PJ bottoms and the booties.  Come to think of it, she forgot the head scarf — that would have helped with the bad hair day!

Okay, so I had this cute idea for a photo of my completed Aegean Mitts : me, wearing the mitts, reading the magazine containing the pattern.  These mitts are cute, really cute.  But these photos turned out just plain blah.  Instead of showing off these adorable mitts, they simply showed I need a manicure.  But whatever — you get the idea…

How in the world do people like Never Not Knitting and A Friend to Knit With pull off all those gorgeously styled photos for every project?!  I usually finish my knits late at night, when there’s bad lighting and I am looking like nothing except tired and droopy!  Maybe I need more patience in photographing my FOs.  In any event, I am very pleased with this project — it was quick and simple.  The Madeline Tosh is delicious — I will definitely be knitting with this yarn again.

I decided to make the Aegean mitts with my Madeline Tosh worsted.  Here’s a progress shot:

As much as I wanted to participate in the cowl craze, I realized that olive color would look better on my hands than near my face.  I am pleasantly surprised at how nicely and quickly this pattern is coming along.  (The zig-zag cable looks much nicer when it’s stretched out on the hand.)  And that Madeline Tosh?  Holy smokes — it is lovely!