Independence Upd(y)a(y)te

Well, it’s been just about exactly 3 months since I decided to try to climb out from under my pile of unfinished things. Let’s see how I’m doing so far:


1  Life-long Blanket: Progress! Yay! Read about it here. I need about 25 more squares and maybe 6 or 8 triangles to reach my next goal of squaring it all off. Hit me up if you wanna swap some minis.

2 Secret Project #1: DONE! BOOM! Yay me. Details to come.

(3 was done between starting the list and writing the post, so I don’t get any additional credit, but I’d like to just take a minute and enjoy that “I finished a thing!” feeling.)

4 Francis Revisited Revised: Have not touched. Will soon. Maybe.

5 Conference Call Socks: The too small/just right/too small/do I knit these again? pair. Still undecided but not feeling too excited about getting back to them.

6 Secret Project # 2: No progress. I have another thing I have to do first before I can work on this, so who knows if/when this will make an appearance.

(7 Mittens maybe? Maybe not? Sitting in a giant tangle somewhere.)

8 Scrappy Scarf: No progress, but looking at it again when I was organizing all my current projects to store in my NEW OTTOMAN YOU GUYS I GOT A NEW COUCH IT’S SO GREAT AND LURVE IT!!!!  I looked at this again and realized I really really really love it, so it might still come to be someday.

9 Ugly Knee Socks: Think I’m gonna rip these and use the yarn for blanket/scarf/trading purposes.

10 Secret Project #3: Got over the hurdle that’s had this on hold for like a year. Still haven’t reached the finish line, but I can see it now.

11 Muriwai the Third: Gotten a few more rounds done, but nothing worth photographing.

12 Worsted Weight Scrap Blanket: No progress. I haven’t been knitting any worsted weight projects, hence no new worsted weight scraps.

13 & 14 Mismatched 2-at-a-time Socks: I see 2 options for these. Give up and call them a pair finally, or knit the 2nd ones toe-up so there’s something different about them and maybe that will be excitement enough to make me want to do it?

15 Kiemurakukkaset: No progress. But it’s getting cold, so I should get on that. And make a matching hat.

16 Nether Garments: No progress, but again, it’s getting cold, so…

17 Stripey Sweater: I need to finish breaking up all that Noro into its component stripes, and I just haven’t felt like it yet. If anybody wants to come over and cut up yarn for an evening, lemme know.

18 Former Sweater, Future Pillow: PROGRESS! Got about half the back done. Yay! I’m using this as counter-knitting when my hands get tired of socks.

19 Gray & Yellow Shawl: Progress! Partway through the first (of I’m thinking 4) section.

20 Myrtle: Nothing. No swatch. Not even thinking about it.

21 Gray & Teal Scarf: Was only in the planning stages. I’ve swatched a bit and can’t get my idea clear between my brain and my hands. This one might just get crossed off.

22 Problem Socks: I have them all in the same place, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

23 Mending: DONE!

24 & 25 Mystery Projects 4 & 5: One started, measured, ripped, and restarted. One thought about but that’s about it.

26 Then-current Year of Socks Socks: Very close to done but then I had a lot of school reading and a short sock that would necessitate paying attention to the cast on, heel, decreases, and toe all in such close succession just didn’t work. I set them aside for the next pair and am almost done with them. Really I need one good evening off from homework and they’d both be done.

27 Wild Card: It’s in the ottoman. But leaving that space open for knitting something else and then you’re online one night with a friend who’s sending you all these shawl kit links and you’re kind of like wouldn’t it be great to do a knit-along together on the same shawl and then next thing you know you’re poking around Jimmy Beans’s Madelintosh stock, and, well,




The blue & brown are already on their way to being Loop for the knit-along. The speckles & pink are probably gonna be Double Dutch. Also Jimmy Beans winds up to 3 skeins of yarn for free and whatever part of my brain is like “yes, I will buy $45 more in yarn to avoid a $4 shipping charge” somehow couldn’t get me that extra $3 to wind the fourth one. I don’t even know, you guys.

Anyway, Loop and I are very happy together so far, but I’ll get back to the list soon.

No, for real.

I promise.



Filed under buying yarn, knitting

Blanket at the Halfway Mark

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 5.12.21 PM

Actually a little past halfway. I looked at my spreadsheet the other day (do you keep a spreadsheet for your blanket? I find it very helpful for knowing how many hundreds of thousands of stitches are in your blanket, if that’s the kind of information you find SUPER COOL and not INSURMOUNTABLY DAUNTING) and saw that I was at about 46% and thought it would be fun to gather up some notes to post here when I hit 50%. In the midst of all that I recounted and realized I had somehow missed recording something like 70 squares and was now overdue for the halfway-mark celebration post I had only just decided to write.

So, let’s talk about the blanket.

I’m doing the Shelly Kang one, with the centered double decrease and the squares arranged like diamonds and the jagged instead of squared-off edges.

It took me 11 days from when I queued it to when I had to cast it on.

This is the first picture I took of it:





I’m filling in the sides with triangles made roughly according to this post.



I love them.

I’m slipping the first stitch of every row and knitting the last stitch through the back loop. I had a question about how that all works a while back and decided to make a video rather than trying to use my words. The question got answered before I got the video posted, but lately I’m really fascinated by all the different ways people knit — how they hold the yarn, what their fingers are doing, etc. — so I figured I’d post it here in case that sort of thing interests you as well.


It’s here if you click it. I’m sure I could learn how to embed it but why learn something new?


I’m writing this on Sunday 8/28; it has been 2,352 days since I cast on.

That’s an average of 87 stitches, or not even 3 full rows of a square, per day.

If I had knit 1 square a day until all the squares were done, and then 2 triangles a day until all the triangles were done, and then the 4 corner squares in 1 day, I would have finished on February 9, 2012.

It takes me between 20 minutes and a half-hour to knit a square, which means I could have knit at least a few rows of a square just now while doing all this unnecessary math.

I first wrote about it in this post.

Here is, I think, every picture I have posted specifically of the blanket on the blog since then.

I have posted lots more pictures of it in the background of other things and lots of pictures of swaps I’ve made to feed it and also all the endless yarn-end tangles I have dealt with lo these 2,354 (it’s Tuesday now) days.

It weighs 830 grams, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to weigh it much longer without buying a bigger scale.

It is 54.5″ wide by 41.5″ at its shortest point and 48″ at its longest.

It’s so big now that it takes my husband and the actual outdoors to capture it all.



It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made.

I can’t wait until it’s done.

So I can immediately start a second one.



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Surprisingly On Track

I’m still plugging away on my Independence Yay! list, I promise. I actually finished the second-oldest (secret) item on the list, but I can’t show you yet. I wanted to move right on to one of the other secret projects, but that one requires some rethinking and redoing and paying attention, so I wanted to hold off for the weekend. It’s starting to feel a little chilly here in the mornings and I had a hankering for some squishy garter stitch slippers (in doubled fingering weight so they would count towards my ’15-’16:17 list instead, of course) so that’s what I did instead.


I bought this yarn last year on one of those really terrible “this is a really terrible day, so I’m going to buy a bunch of yarn” days. It did its job of cheering me up, but I’ve had a hard time seeing the red and black one as socks. I also haven’t had any other ideas about what to do with it. Thursday night when I was looking for something quick to knit, though, I could totally see it as squishy slippers.



It did not disappoint. But the best part is that when I went to find the yarn in my queue to record this on Ravelry (I had the full list of 17 yarns for the year queued up in order), it turns out this was actually the next yarn on my list. Totally without meaning to, I got myself back on track for my year of socks. Aside from the fact that this is #6 out of what should be 15 pairs by now. But other than that, I’m totally on track.


Pattern: JMCO 8 sts/needle, garter stitch in the round working the toe increases on the knit rounds, increase to 32 sts total, W&T short-row heel without knitting the wraps, elastic bind-off
Yarn: Vice Paradigm, color Hard Hearted Hannah, 64 g
3.75 mm/US 5 bamboo DPNs
20 sts & 40 rows in garter stitch over 4″  


Filed under knitting

Some Kind of “Oh, Darn” Pun for a Title

My friends, today I approach you with excellent news. I have achieved a thing! One entire item knocked off my Independence Yay plan! Yay! I present to you some freshly darned socks, knocking #23 off my list. That leaves 26 to go, so at my current rate of 1 every 47 days, I should be done with the list in…3 years…4 months…you know what, how about a picture?



This is some old knitting I’ve fixed up here, let me tell you. The one on top was knit in 2012, the first pair of my first year-long attempt (and failure) to knit a pair every 3 weeks. The yarn itself is 100% cormo 2-ply sport weight I bought at the 2010 NH Sheep & Wool and dyed with food coloring. I made them for squishy bed socks but I still wore them around the house enough to wear a hole in one of the heels some time in the last…Idunno, few years maybe since I put them in the mending pile. I never really had a plan for the leftovers, so I had plenty to patch them up with.


The pink ones are my favoritest pair of socks ever in my favoritest sock yarn ever, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select. These date back even further than the stripey bed socks, even further than the blog, all the way to 2009, and also to the second-ever square in my sock yarn blanket:



Slight side-track to talk about this picture:

1) I knew this numbering would not last long given the scope of this thing, but it was pretty fun to keep track for a while.

2) The socks I knit with 1, 2 & 3 — these socks, these socks, these socks — have outlasted the socks I knit with 5, 6 — both DIC Smooshy — 4 & 8 — both KP Gloss — by YEARS. Granted #1 — Berroco Sox — may have lasted so long because they were mostly unwearable around the house until I fixed them, but the other two pairs have had regular wear, in shoes and around the house, for years, and #2 — Patons Kroy — still hasn’t gotten one hole or even a thinning spot.

3) 7, 9 & 10 were never socks so I can’t talk about how well they wear. Well, 10 was socks, almost. Sort of. It’s probably socks by now for all I know. 10 is Cascade Heritage, which is a beautiful yarn to look at and pet, and I am always drawn to it in yarn stores before I notice the label, and a long time ago I knit one sock out of it and it almost killed me, and I sold the finished sock and the rest of the yarn to someone on Ravelry ages and ages ago and kept back a few grams for this square and every single stitch of it was a misery I don’t really have accurate words for. You guys, I really really hate knitting with that yarn. It’s splitty and it feels like cotton and it sticks to bamboo needles way too much and oooohhhhhh it makes me angry and it all comes back to me every time I look at this square but it’s also so so so pretty that I still like having it in my blanket.

Anywho, back to the pink socks. The soles started to wear through in spots a year or two ago now, and I tucked them away the instant I noticed so they wouldn’t be completely ruined. I will never be ready to say goodbye to these socks, and I would rather have them sitting unused in a bag enjoying their retirement and at least not gaining any new holes than continue asking them to sacrifice their beautiful selves bit by bit for my comfort. I made a mental note to finally learn darning but then I was always knitting new socks and these never felt too urgent when I wasn’t staring directly at them. Eventually I got off my ass and learned. By then I had used up the rest of the leftovers in swaps, but luckily I appreciate some visible mending. All of which is to say the gray heels are actually my second go at darning these.



Now that they’ve been resurrected (twice), I’m assigning these officially and exclusively to bed sock/lazing about duty while also vowing to keep mending them until there’s nothing left for the mending to grab onto, at which point I will probably cut the cuffs off and knit them new feet I love them that much.


Filed under knitting

Not gonna lie, I was kind of hoping to get out of this one.

Yesterday morning I went to grab a shirt for work off the drying rack and noticed my husband had hung up these socks too. I was a little “aw dang, I must’ve tossed those in with the regular wash” and figured they were probably shrunk but didn’t think much of it. All my shirts were all still pretty damp (WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THE MIDWEST WAS SO HUMID?????) and that was the much more urgent issue. I grabbed the purple shirt I wasn’t overly excited about from my last Stitch Fix box and put it in the dryer on low for about 10 minutes.

The shirt’s a polyester/rayon blend. Now, I know. I know that rayon isn’t meant for the dryer. But most of my work stuff is of the hang/lay flat to dry variety, and I’ve gone years and years before with most of my clothes being of that same variety, and I’ve found that most of it can stand a little dryer time here and there, especially after several wearings and washes. And this was on low. For barely 10 minutes. Basically, this was the safest risk I could take. Also I have another polyester/rayon blend shirt that recently accidentally went through an entire dryer cycle on high and came out just fine.

Here is an artist’s rendering of how not-fine this thing came out of the dryer:





It lost an entire foot of length. The width is still fine, and I can’t explain that, but now I have a super comfy crop top to sleep in. I had to wear a damp shirt to work and let the car a/c dry it on the way, but at least I avoided a lower belly sunburn and some weird looks around the office.

After all that, I was pretty convinced my laundry luck was just bad right now and I was for sure going to find those socks were ruined once I got home and could finally try them on. And once I had that thought, I realized it was kind of a welcome thought. My sock project has not been going very well, despite what I assure you are pure intentions, and I’ve had a hard time getting moving on my finish-all-the-things project too. The thought of these socks falling off the list due to an accident that was beyond my control (well, I mean, yes, I could have actually put them where they belonged instead of in the regular laundry basket, but let’s not dwell on particulars) felt like…absolution.

No such bad luck, though.






The thing about ruining socks in the washing machine is it doesn’t work if the yarn is superwash, even if you entirely forget that the yarn is superwash while you are fantasizing about how great it would be if they got ruined in the washing machine. They came out a little fuzzier than after a normal hand-wash, but they still very much fit and they still very much need mates. I could, I suppose, just let it go and say they are an intentionally mis-matched pair, but the thing is I don’t really like the orange and gray yarn knit up all that much and wouldn’t so much miss having a pair of them, while I love love love the brighter, fruity colored one and definitely want a full pair. I could just knit another fruity one and call it a day, but then I’ll have this one sock I don’t even like kicking around and making me feel weird.

So, I know what I have to do. You know what I have to do. Two more ankle socks, knit at the same time, just like the first ones. This shouldn’t feel daunting; they are ankle socks! They should only take me a couple evenings! I can do this! I know I can do this! You know I can do this!

I bet we both also know I’m gonna work on the sock blanket for a while first, though.


Filed under knitting, life stuff

Sometimes I write about food.

Have I told you that? It’s true. Here. See for yourself.

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Filed under cooking

Who needs filters?

And so, another Stitch Fix review (that referral link gets me a $25 credit if you use it to sign up, FYI). The last one until September, actually, because WE ARE GOING TO FIX UP THE SHINY BLUE CAVE ROOM!!!!! and we need the extra cash in August. Soon, my friends. Soon I shall have a big, white, light-filled space where I can take pictures that don’t look like I’ve applied some “blurry photo your grampa took in 1952 and then left in the sun” filter to them. This is good news for me, good news for my knitting that never gets to look pretty enough on the blog, just great news all around until I realize how much sanding it’s going to take. But let’s not talk about that part now.

You can read about my first two Stitch Fix boxes here (that one explains how the whole thing works too) and here.

Yet again, my stylist, Jenny, sent some stuff that was very me and heard my feedback and requests. There were some great things in this fix and some not-great things and also some personal timing problems that prevented me from getting everything I loved.

Let’s break it down:


Liverpool Harper Printed Bootcut Pant in Dark Grey, size 8P, $88

In my note for this fix I asked for some new work pants, preferably in gray or tan. These are gray and bootcut and I was a little excited when I saw the description in my checkout screen (I have found that “cheating” really helps me be prepared for how much I might spend before the paycheck comes in and needs to be allocated, and it turns out I don’t actually want to be completely surprised by these boxes). My first impression was that these had an overall pattern to them and I really think I might be a solids person? Like, I am letting myself be totally open to knew things so that I can figure out if I even like clothes in the first place, but something in me really protests the idea of any kind of patterning that isn’t stripes. I don’t know what that is, but I know it felt weird about these pants. Maybe it was that these felt distinct and I’m very used to owning very plain things because when you can only ever afford one or two of a particular type of clothing, you try to make them as plain as possible so people don’t really notice you’re wearing the same thing every other day? This is a question I’ll have to sort out is my point, but not just yet since these nowhere near fit me anyway.

In my profile, I specified no petite sizes. I am short (5’1″) but I find petites are either way too small in all directions or they fit lengthwise but assume I’m significantly wider than I am. I have loved the 2 pairs of fairly short pants so far in my last 2 fixes, though, so I can see why Jenny chose a petite size for these pants. Just 2 problems: one, despite my adoration for the Margaret M cropped pants and the ankle-length jeans I can wear with sandals and that stay totally out of my way, at the end of the day, I really like a longer length for pants, especially if I’m going to wear them with heels; and two, these are the kind of pants that have a zipper, a button, and a pair of those little hook dealies, and if I really really really tried I could get the button done and then that allowed me to get the zipper almost all the way up as long as I didn’t move or breathe, but there was no way those hooks were happening unless I was flat on my back and exhaling fully.



The shoes tho!

Franco Sarto Ingall Snake Heel Pump in Dark Purple, size 7, $89

Holy jesus, these shoes are fantastic. Definitely purple but so dark they’re almost black, a significantly high heel, and I really liked the snakeskin texture on the heel. These were an absolute definite yes, totally the most me thing that I’ve gotten in a fix so far, but then when we really sat down and looked at the bills for the week and the empty fridge and how often I’ve been buying lunches because I wasn’t planning for leftovers with dinner lately, I just couldn’t do it. Hy-Vee got my extra $89 this week and these went back in their little bag but also onto my Christmas list.



Market & Spruce Bri Knit Cardigan in Teal Green, size L, $48

I wear cardigans all the time, and we know how I feel about this color from my last fix so I might have squealed a little when I took this out of the box. The cut & length were good, but the sleeves were very tight around the biceps — like, I could only wear this with a tank because there was no extra space for a sleeve — and the shoulder seam was very lumpy and kind of stuck out right at the edge of my shoulder.






Pixley Darcy Weave Jersey T-Shirt Dress in Green, size L, $48

So, here’s a thing that’s been happening to me lately. Twice in the last year or so I have been just minding my own goddamn business trying to buy some practical item at a store, and a cashier has pointed straight at my stomach and asked what I am going to name it. I do my best to make it as awkward as I can for them, because even if I were pregnant this would still be none of their actual business, but it’s not really the kind of interaction I crave from strangers. This dress is cute and the ruffly thing it has going on is interesting, but if I want to keep these 2 isolated incidents from turning into a real trend, this is not the dress for me.

From the front it’s kind of ok. It gives an almost hourglassy effect. I’m not a huge fan of short sleeves, but they’re not necessarily a dealbreaker.




This is a dealbreaker tho:



Not all of that is even me! Several of those folds are the dress itself. But unless I paint “several of these folds are the dress itself” across the dress itself — and even then — I don’t think this is going to do anything to stop the nosy strangers. I will say it was an interesting dress to try on on the anniversary of my Essure confirmation x-ray, tho.


So, not the best box so far. But we do have one small triumph.


Loveapella Delany V Neck Knit Top in Dark Purple, size L, $48

I didn’t love this when I tried it on. Dark purple is definitely my color, but this particular dark purple was a little too jewel toned, maybe a little too burgundy. I don’t like warm tones. I’m a very cold person. Or something. The fit was great, the cut was great, the fabric was super light but not in that weird clingy way where it just wants to form a bond with your skin and you spend the whole day trying to escape its clutches. But I kind of thought “meh” and tossed it back in the box.

Then the next morning I went to get ready for work and there was not a single shirt that was clean that I could bring myself to put on. It’s been in the high 80s and 90s here with just absurd humidity levels and we have no air conditioning, and every shirt I was faced with that morning might just as well have been a winter coat. Then I remembered how wonderfully floaty and gauzy and still work appropriate this was. And I thought about how the Margaret M pants from my first fix have that great barely-there sort of feeling even on a hot day even though they’re black. And I thought about the shiny sandals I sort of got from my second fix and, well:



100% Stitch Fix outfit achievement unlocked


I tell you, I was very nearly comfortable the entire day. It was nice.


I had a $25 credit from a friend signing up, so after that came off and tax went in I paid like $26 and change. Not my most exciting experience with Stitch Fix so far, but since I’m not going to be able to get another box until mid-September, maybe hitting kind of a low note is good since I won’t be pining away the next 2 months.



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We Have Got To Paint This Room Soon

It’s Stitch Fix time again!!! Oh, man, I could get used to this. What if I just keep getting clothes sent to my house every so often forever and I never have to go to Kohl’s again? I’m almost afraid to think about it.

If you missed my last post, you can check out how Stitch Fix works & my review of my first fix here. You can check them out for yourself and sign up here through my referral link. (I get a $25 credit if you do. And you’d get my eternal love & admiration. It’s probably a fair trade.)

The good news this week is that I found one time of day when I can get an almost-decent picture in the shiny blue room. The bad news is I found it on Saturday when it was sunny and took most of these pictures on Sunday when it was raining. We’ve been putting off fixing up anything around here until we have a solid plan, and we haven’t been painting because we know we have to redo the ceilings, but I maybe have reached my fuck it point because not only can I not get a good picture, I can actually even barely see myself in the mirror. (Yes, I could move the mirror, but every bedroom — all actual 4 of them! — is painted a color this dark.)

Anyways there are worse problems to have, so let’s just talk about clothes for a bit.

In my feedback on my last fix, I noted that the style of the shirts I got was pretty spot-on but the fit was just not right. I asked for longer tops with a looser fit this time. For my second fix, I got the same stylist (Jenny! She’s great!) as last time and she noted that she made a point of including longer shirts in stretchier fabric. I think one of my favorite things about this whole thing might turn out to be the little personalized note you get from your stylist. The whole thing feels so personalized anyway, but that extra touch of someone explaining why they picked what they did really makes you feel noticed and acknowledged, I think.

When I pulled everything out of the box, I was super pumped about the jeans and one of the tops, thought the sandals were pretty cute, and wasn’t quite sure about the other two tops. I decided to try the tops on in ascending order of how excited I was about them, so that if there were to be disappointments they would hopefully come earlier and I’d end the whole thing on a happier note.

So, here’s what I got:

Dear John Kyleigh Straight Leg Jean in Navy, size 8, $78

41Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse in Green, size L, $58


One thing I mentioned in my style profile is that I have a really hard time with button-downs and don’t really wear them anymore. All my upper body proportions, but especially my shoulders and upper arms, seem to be off from how a person is meant to fit into a button-down shirt. It ends up being a choice — I can either move my arms or look like I have a torso and not some shapeless void hovering over my legs. Jenny said she picked this top because the cut is a little more generous and she thought if I wore it unbuttoned over a camisole it might be a good fit. Sadly, no. It’s a really gorgeous color and feels like a perfect light summer work top, and just standing there like this I think it looks great. It still gives me pretty much every problem a button-down can, though.


Problem #1: The Arm Lift/Breast Shelf Situation.

If I go like this…



…it stays there.



This may not seem likely to come up very often, because how often do you do jumping-jack arms really, but trust that this happens if I lift my arms just enough to take a sip of coffee too.

Problem #2: The Gappy-Chest Conundrum.




Problem #3: HULK SMASH Shoulders



Oh, the pulling! Any position but anatomical position and my circulation becomes threatened.

This was definitely a more generous cut than other button-downs I’ve worn, but I still needed help taking it off because I thought I was gonna bust the seams. Perfect fit and length everywhere but the shoulders and chest, though, so I have to say I’m super impressed with Jenny’s ability to pick out clothes for someone she’s never met or even seen a picture of (though I did add a link to my Stitch Fix tag to my note for next time, so, hi, Jenny, if you see this!).


OK, but these jeans, tho. Remember last time how I was saying about the black pants that it was like I didn’t even have to think about them while I wore them? I don’t know about you, but I typically have to do a lot of thinking about my pants. Are they so long I’m walking on them? Are they riding down while I sit and need a good hike when I stand back up? Should I change before I eat so that there’s room for food? Etc. But these jeans! Perfect fit, perfect rise, perfect length. I have walked around the house in them all day and not stepped on them once! Actually, let’s back up: I have worn these around the house all day! I pretty much never wear non-jammies/sweats/yoga clothes inside, largely because jeans just are never comfortable enough to curl up on the couch and/or eat in, and that’s just about my whole weekend and every evening right there. But these might as well be pajamas, that is how comfortable they are. I have curled up on the couch and eaten food in them and everything. Get yourself into these pants, you guys–or, well, buy a pair, I mean. You need them.


Papermoon Wigan Shoulder Zip Short Sleeve Knit Top in Light Pink, size L, $44


I liked so much about this shirt. It has (working) zippers on the shoulders, which I wasn’t quite sure whether I liked, but once I had it on I didn’t feel like they affected the look of the shirt or how it fit. This one was actually pretty perfect for me, and even though I wasn’t sure about the zippers and I don’t wear short sleeves too often, I pretty much always wear a cardigan at work, so those factors wouldn’t even really be a big deal. I did have a sneaking suspicion that having a piece of metal on my shoulder while the sun beats down on my car window on my drive to work mightn’t be the greatest idea, though it would probably give me a cool scar.


Laila Jayde Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top in Turquoise, size L, $58


Before I do anything new I tend to read up on it a bunch. So, I’ve spent a good month at this point reading Stitch Fix reviews and getting a feel for what people like/don’t like about the service as well as some of the trends or pieces it seems everyone gets at some point. And I do want to get the most of this experience, so I try to add a bunch of things to my Pinterest board that I’m pretty certain I would like wearing and keep any notes about things I don’t want to wear in my style profile. But I don’t really feel like I have much of a personal style at this point and I’m definitely staying open to trying whatever I get sent. So, while I did add some NOs to my profile based off some of the things that seem like Stitch Fix staples that I know for sure I won’t wear (for example: everyone seems to get a jean jacket at some point, and they all seem to love them, but I have worn a lot of jean jackets in my day and I can for sure tell you they are not for me), I also made a point of not putting in any preferences beyond that. Like, if there’s something I’m not sure I’d care to wear, I don’t say a word about it, because I really do want to try new things before I just decide to feel a way about them. All of which is to say, Stitch Fix seems to carry a lot of dolman sleeve tops and I’ve never worn a dolman sleeve before but always kind of figured they’d be not the best cut for me and I never thought they looked very comfortable. I guess I kind of assumed you’d feel like your arms were tied to your hips?

But I have got to tell you, I pulled this shirt out of the box and I almost cried a little it looked so perfect. And then I put it on and sent up a little request to the universe that Jenny has something really fantastic happen to her this week because she deserves it. Oh, people. It fits perfectly. It’s roomy but not voluminous; I think how it’s fitted at the hips helps with that. It hits my hips EXACTLY where I like a shirt to. The color is fantastic. The color is the color I painted my dream hutch. I match my hutch now! It looks great with these jeans and I’m betting it’ll pair nicely with the Margaret M pants from last time too. I was so excited to wear it to work tomorrow that I couldn’t wait and wore it today so now I have to do more laundry and maybe I’ll get to wear it to work on Tuesday.

So, yay for this shirt and yay for being open to new things! I’m not rethinking the jean jackets, tho.


Let’s talk about Stitch Fix math for a second. You pay your $20 styling fee upfront and then that’s deducted from whatever you decide to buy out of that fix (or you lose the $20 if you don’t keep anything). If you decide to keep everything, you get 25% off, which can easily be more than one entire item costs depending on what sort of price range you request for your items. The jeans and the turquoise top were definitely buys for me and they came to $136 combined, which went down to $111 with my styling fee and an additional $5 credit I had from a friend signing up through my referral link. The green top was a definite no, but the top with the shoulder zips I could have gone either way on. So, this last item ended up being really crucial in my decision making.


Steve Madden Sharin Beaded Sandal in Blush, size 7, $80


Agains, I’m not sure these are something I would have picked out for myself, but I love how they manage to be neutral and shiny at the same time. Shoes are one of the only things clothing-related I have ever enjoyed shopping for, so, even though a big part of signing up for Stitch Fix was about letting someone else pick things out for me and being open to getting stuff that I would never think to grab for myself, I wasn’t expecting that element on the shoe side of things. But twice now I’ve gotten shoes that I thought “that’s cute, but probably not really my thing,” until I put them on and then I LOVED them.

I was wondering if these would feel flimsy at first, but I wore them around the house a bit on Saturday and they were actually really comfortable and they stayed put really well. The ankle laces are just long enough to knot securely without trailing behind you and getting dirty. What really had me sold on them was when I realized I had nail polish that matched them perfectly. I don’t have a ton that I can wear these with right now, and that’s something that usually holds me back, but I had to remind myself that I’m intentionally building a wardrobe here and if my first two fixes are any indication it won’t be long before I have a bunch of stuff I love and surely some of it will go with these sandals.

So, the sandals were $80, which would bring my total to $191. This was a little over my budget for this fix and I would have had to move some other things around. It wouldn’t have been great, but I’m trying to relax about money a bit and prioritize myself these days, so I probably could have made it work if I really needed to. I liked the shoulder zip top well enough, but at $236 for all 4 items I would definitely be out of my budget. The thing about Stitch Fix math though is that at this point it actually makes sense to buy all 5 things. The total for all 5 would have been $206. I would have ended up with the green shirt that didn’t fit, but I probably could sell it. So at this point I knew I wanted the sandals and just had to decide whether I wanted to spring for the extra $15 and get the shoulder zip top, even if I still couldn’t shake the feeling I’d end up with the shoulder equivalent of when you put on your jeans too soon out of the drier every time I wore it on a sunny day.

This was a really tough choice to make! In the end, I decided to look around and see if the sandals were available for less anywhere else and let that be what made my decision for me, whether I just ended up buying them for less or getting a price match from Stitch Fix. (I googled everything, actually, and I did last time too, but it would have taken some amazing like $3 sale price to get me to send back the jeans and top and wait for them to come again from somewhere else once I had them in my hands.) I found these, which are identical except for the back…heel…part…thingy (there must be a word for that?) is a strap instead of the full-coverage of the ones I had. They were $40 and then Retail Me Not got me another $10 off and there was free shipping, so there was really no question at that point. I liked the ones I had, but that slight design difference wasn’t worth $50 to me. So, the Shoebuy ones are on their way and the Stitch Fix ones are back in their little bag and waiting in their prepaid envelope with the other two tops to return home tomorrow. Buying the Shoebuy pair also brought me down below my original budget while still getting everything I really wanted, so I’m still just beyond excited about how this is working out. I’ve got my next fix scheduled for the 20th — which means probably the 21st, given how FedEx has been behaving lately — and I requested some work pants in gray or tan but nothing special beyond that, since I didn’t really feel like there were any major issues in this box that needed to be addressed.

So, in conclusion: STITCH FIIIIIIIIIIIIX!!!!! Seriously.


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Independence Yay!

OK, this is it. Time to declare myself free of that weird crafting guilt you get when too many unfinished things pile up for too long. This is going to feel good. Let’s do this thing. I give you the Official List of Allowable Knitting for the Foreseeable Future, in Approximate Order of On-the-Needles Time:


1 Life-Long Blanket

No, I don’t expect to finish this, but I am giving myself a milestone to reach; I want to fill in the pretty jagged top so that’s squared off again and fill in all the side triangles (I have the bottom done & one side complete up as far as I’ve knit rows of squares, so the triangle part of the goal is pretty doable).




2 Secret Project #1

Almost exactly 6 years old, more than half done (though I need to recheck my gauge and see if I even can continue from where I left off or if I have to start over).


3 Giant Oceania Shawl

This one was still in progress when I started typing up this list last night, but honestly once I pulled it out to take pictures I just had that oh god so sick of this feeling I’ve been getting lately, and, well, here:


It’s really hard to get accurate colors in the spare room. Why those walls? Why?

Pattern: Triangular Shawl Recipe #2: Increasing Triangular Shawl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Oceania, color Java
Needles: 5.5 mm/US 9 KP Harmony interchangeables for the body of the shawl, then it sat on the cord with stoppers for at least the last 3 years, judging by the date on my last Ravelry notes, and then yesterday I just grabbed 2 tips that looked big enough to bind off with but I honestly don’t know what size
Started: 8/18/10
Finished: 7/3/16

When I started this, the plan was to have a giant blanket-sized shawl to keep me warm at work. It took longer to knit than it took that job to lay me off, though, and it’s just kind of been languishing forever since then. Seeing that this only took 130 g out of 400 and it was this big has me convinced I made the right decision and I never would have knit a giant shawl out of this. Also I just knit the giant shawl of my dreams and I don’t feel the need for another one. I found a friend who will give it a good home and I think we shall all be happier for it.


4 Francis Revisited Revised


And Buddy just needs to play with her ends.

And Buddy just needs to play with her ends.


5 Conference Call Socks

Started September 2011; have been nothing but trouble since. The first sock was too small. Then I reknit it and it fit perfectly. Yesterday:


Maybe I’m done with these? Maybe I give them one more chance? Maybe I try to get the same size on the second one and find someone who’s like half a shoe-size smaller than me? Maybe I don’t have to knit this list in order so I have some time to decide.


6 Secret project #2

Started in 2013; high chance this won’t get done; best not to get into too much detail.



(There should be a pair of mittens here but I remember some horrible yarn tangles and I’m not sure if I know where one of the yarns that I need even is right now and also the hat & scarf they were supposed to match have had some stain misfortune befall them, so I’m gonna keep a place for them but not get my hopes up.)


8 Scrappy Scarf

Fingering weight leftovers from the sock yarn blanket. I like this but I don’t know how much, really. This one might get ripped out.



9 Ugly Knee Socks

When last we saw them:


I tried this one on yesterday to see how the fit was, and everything but the heel was great. I think my recent short-row-heel revelation extends to afterthought heels. Since I didn’t love the yarn anyway, I haven’t decided what to do with these. If I decide to finish, I’ll probably cut the foot off just above the heel and add a contrasting heel flap and then redo the foot. I just have to decide how much I care or how much I would wear these. My original plan was to wear them in my boots on the farm but that’s less useful to me right now. Idunno. But I’ll report back.


10 Secret project # 2

I can finish this. I CAN finish this. I can FINISH THIS!!!! And then you can see it.


11 Muriwai the Third

Big blob of green cotton. Nothing to see here.


12 Worsted Weight Scrap Blanket

I don’t think I ever showed you this! It’s fun.


I’m just sort of taking leftovers and knitting 20-stitch-wide garter stitch strips. For one strip, I’m alternating 2 colors and changing one of them out every 20 ridges. For the other, I’m splitting it down the middleand knitting until each color runs out. Not sure what I’ll do with the next ones. I think this will be like a 24″x36″ lap blanket maybe?


13 & 14 Mismatched 2-at-a-time Socks

Haven’t started the second socks yet, but you can see that I intend to, since I actually know where both the yarns are.


When they’re done, they’ll look just like this but on the other feet:


Also then they won’t have to be mismatched anymore if I don’t want them to be.


15 Kiemurakukkaset

These don’t need much! Just the thumbs (with conductive thread) and a good blocking. Watch this take the longest of everything on the list.



Holy dang these are fun, you guys.



So…that takes care of everything with a Ravelry project page. But that doesn’t take care of everything.

In less of any kind of order, here is what remains:


17 This is a sweater. I swear.



18 This used to be a sweater.



Back before the blog, I knit a Buttony.


While I was super excited to knit an actual garment, I think that face I’m making there pretty accurately sums up how I have tended to feel about the thing since. Like, sure, I’m kinda smiling but I’m not like smiling smiling. It’s nice. It’s OK. It’s lived in a box for 8.5 years.

It’s gonna be a pillow now. Probably a pillow with buttons tho ’cause dang I love those buttons.



19 Gray & Yellow Shawl in unphotographable yarn


20 Myrtle, which I am finally ready to swatch after like 5 years of thinking about it–in unphotographable yarn


21 Gray & Teal Scarf in yarn I am too lazy to photograph right now but would probably look fine if I did


22 Big Pile of Socks With Problems That I Should Really Fix



23 Mending


Not much in this category, thankfully.


24 & 25 Mystery Projects 3 & 4



26 My Current Year-of-Socks Socks


Hey, so if anybody’s having trouble getting in the right mood to knit short socks, let me recommend Iowa in July with no air conditioning. Let me also note that is the ONLY situation for which I can recommend Iowa in July with no air conditioning. Any time I think about socks lately all I can think is well there’s no point covering up too much of my legs, given that they’re about to melt off anyways.

27 Wild Card


This meets neither of my “on the needles or significantly along in the planning stage” criteria and I don’t even care. I bought this on WWKIP day to celebrate my local store’s 20% off sale. I have no idea what it’s going to be yet but I’m putting it on this list in case something comes to me.


OK, folks, I…think that’s it? Like, I really really believe this is everything. I don’t see how there could be more.




Filed under knitting

Make, Mend, Modify

Tomorrow I declare independence from all my works in progress. Aside from my ’15-’16:17 queue, whatever is on my needles — or significantly along in the planning or prep process, let’s say — when I get up tomorrow is the only allowable knitting until all of it is done. (I’ll wait while you finish laughing. Yes, we all know how well this is going to turn out. For the moment, let’s just pretend. A fantasy is nice in summer.) So, I’m spending today getting organized and casting on a bunch of new things just to be safe, and I’ll report in tomorrow with the full list.

I have been finishing things already tho!


Pattern: none, just my usual approach (64 sts, cuff-down, 2×2 ribbing and stockinette, flap & gusset heel)
Yarn: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock, color Barnyard by Nora (there’s a story about the barnyard, the pigs —  pink — the barn — red — but I don’t really remember it anymore; it was nice when the lady who sold me the yarn told it tho)
Needles: 2 mm/US 0 Karbonz DPNs
Started: 4/20/16
Finished: 6/23/16

These were my first entry in the Grocery Girls’ Second Socks of Summer KAL. You’d think short socks would be easy enough to plow through, and yet I totally needed the KAL motivation to get these done. (We’ll talk about the rest of my planned entries tomorrow. There are either 2 or 4 depending on how I decide to live my life between now and then.)

Also, these are #5/17 for my current year of socks. That didn’t seem too bad to me, considering the rough start I got off to, until I checked the math and realized it’s been 39 weeks since October 1 and I should be at 13/17 by now. I swear, one of these years I’ll complete a “year of” project.

Also also, these weren’t even next in the queue. They were kind of an accident but it all worked out for the best. A few months ago I was looking for a new swift on Etsy. (I went with one from this shop and I’m really liking it.) I wasn’t sure what size skeins I needed it to be able to handle, and this was the first skein I grabbed to measure. It was still on the coffee table when the swift arrived, so it was the first one wound. Then it was still there when I finished my last socks, so it was the next one cast on. I’m really happy these jumped to the front of the line, though, because this is the same yarn as the Daughter of the Regiment kit, and after pushing myself through the end of that sock, it was so nice to have a good experience with that yarn.

In fact, these made me so happy with the yarn, that it brought up some ideas about how to use the leftovers from Only Child of the Regiment.

I made these socks — very quickly! — in 2009. I think they were my 3rd pair ever? They were so early in my sock knitting career that they were actually the first ever square in my blanket.




But they’ve never been quite long enough. They stretch over my toes something awful. If I wear them, I wear them in shoes, but I don’t wear them often. I’ve always sort of meant to fix them somehow but never really felt like it. But then I was thinking about how much I actually like the FlockSock and realized the gray was actually kind of perfect, and, well.





Pattern: cuff-down, 2×2 ribbing and stockinette, flap & gusset heel, from back in the days when I used to knit 60-stitch socks
Yarn: Berroco Sox, color 1435, and Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock, which is such a perfect fit with those blues and grays I just couldn’t be happier
Needles: 2.25 mm/US 1 originally (goddamn my gauge has changed; I would never think of knitting this yarn on 2/25 mm these days; I’d probably go down to 1.75, actually), 2 mm/US 0 to knit the new the toes
Started: February 2009
Finished: March 2009 originally; June 2016 for realskies

I might still have just one more use for this yarn too, actually. I was thinking how the solid gray is pretty close to the gray in the multicolor socks, and then I was thinking how nice gray and pink are together, and then I remembered that I have some mending on tomorrow’s list.




Filed under knitting