Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Selfish Sweater Knit Along

I'm back today with my Anouk Cardigan that I knit for the Untangling Knots "Selfish Sweater KAL" that runs through until this Sunday.

Knitting at a hockey tourney -
I thought I'd get lots done during the six game/eight hour day,
but alas eventually my fingers got too frozen to knit.  
Like many of Andi Satterlund's designs, Anouk is a sweet cropped cardi.  It features full length long sleeves and an squishy garter stitch band on the body and sleeves as well as for the button band along with a garter stitch motif at the back neckline and around the waist.  It's an easy knit - so don't judge it on the fact it took me ages to get done (I started way back on Boxing Day!).

I had knit the body of Anouk very quickly, then realized as I was finishing up the diamond motif at the waist I had mucked up the motif at the neckline.  After humming and hawing and trying to convince myself to just leave it, call it a design feature and move on, I ripped it all out and re-started. I knew that even if not one other single person on earth noticed the mistake, I would know it was there and would, as a result, never wear the cardigan.  And who wants to go to all the trouble of knitting something that's never going to see the light of day? Not me!!

Re-knitting it seemed to take a very long time.  I think once you're knitting something the second time around the motivation gets lost a bit and the enthusiasm lags.  Once the body was finally done I tackled the sleeves.  Full length sleeves.  I hate knitting sleeves.  If the body took a long time to knit the sleeves seemed unbearably longer.  I almost packed the whole thing in at one point.  I was just tired of knitting it.  Not the pattern's fault - just me.  I wasn't in love with the wool I was using - an old de-stash purchase I'd made a couple of years ago of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash and I think that made it worse.

Late night knitting, wondering if I'll ever finish it.
I'm glad I didn't give up though.  I'm pretty happy with the end result.  Still not loving the Lamb's Pride, but it's slowly growing on me.  I don't currently really have any dresses to wear with the cardi - I'm in the process of rectifying that but it's not been without it's challenges as well... More on that another day.
Button, button, who's got the button?  My Anouk cardi! That's who!!
The most boring buttons on the face of the earth,
but they were the only ones remotely suitable at Fabricland.

There's not much else I can say about this cardigan - I think I'm still feeling a bit grouchy towards it for taking so long to be knit to be honest.  I had envisioned having it done in no time especially given the mindless stockinette and garter stitch.  To tell you the truth though?  I personally think lace is quicker to knit.  It keeps you on your toes, keeps you interested and just seems to move along much faster.

Now I'm off to wield my mighty stitch ripper and do battle with my Emery Dress I'm currently trying to make.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

First Sewing Project for 2016!

It's been pretty quiet here on the blog lately.  We've had a bit of a change in things around home lately which has left little time for things like blogging.  Almost a month ago, my MIL had a bit of a bad spell with her health and wound up in hospital.  She needed more care than was available to her upon her release so we invited her to move in with us.  We're all adjusting well to the new routine - she's been here a week and a half now with us - and settling in, but moving and settling takes time, especially since she lived in the same home for over four decades.  I'm very happy to say she's doing wonderfully well and getting stronger every day!  And as the business of moving gets wrapped up, I'm finding a bit more time for things like sewing and writing.  So here we go with my first sewn project of 2016!

I've actually had this finished for about a week now, but trying to get any photos of it that are fit to be seen by the rest of the world has been challenging.  I do not know what it is about the Julia Cardigan* from Mouse House Creations, but the whole reason I never ever blogged about my first one a few years ago was that I simply could not get a photo in which I didn't look like either a lunatic or an escaped convict and this one has proved to be the same.  You'd laugh if you saw the photos, but I'm afraid my ego can't quite handle it to share them with you.

So to that end, I've decided that, "You get what you get and you don't get upset" so the little boys always say in a sing song voice (usually right before they get terribly upset over what they get - the wrong colour of cup, a perceived difference in amount of cake... you know.  Things that can become tragic in the eyes of a five and six year old).   Seriously though.  Over a dozen photos and only one ok, but doesn't really show how great the cardi actually is.  So you'll just have to trust me on it.

I LOVE the Julia Cardigan.  It's really easy to sew and easy to throw on when you need an extra layer to keep the chilly air at bay.  I chose to do the double collar, just because I feel it looks a little more polished.  I shortened the sleeves by about the width of the cuff because they were longer on me than their current length with the cuff before I had sewed the cuff on. I didn't want to have to constantly be shoving my sleeves up or rolling them up.  I think I perhaps went a touch shorter than necessary, but they're still long enough to be cozy.

For my first one a few years ago (the unblogged although much loved one), I had used a lightweight blend knit.  It held up well, but a few weeks ago as I took it out of the wash I realized I could see little dots of light showing through the back of it.  Upon further inspection I noticed that light was a result of several tiny holes in the fabric.  Whether a matter of kitty claws getting it, or just plain over use, it was clearly time for a new one.  For this new one I chose a really soft sweater knit.  Again it's lightweight so it has a great drape to it, but it has great recovery, no itch to it and to top it off was on sale at Fabricland for a song when I bought it!

I'm seriously considering making a cap sleeve version for when the weather warms up in the spring.  I think it would definitely get a lot of use!  My only conundrum is figuring out what fabric to use and what colour!  Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Finished Project for the New Year

My first finished project for 2016 was inspired by an "incident" last Monday.  Some of you may have already heard of the incident, but for those of you that haven't, let me just leave this Facebook status of mine here for your amusement...
Well, it's clear I won't win any style awards this morning... After cheerily chatting away to loads of people this morning I got back in the truck and noticed my toque perched crazily on my head making me look either drunk or deranged. Fabulous. Note to self: check mirror before leaving privacy of own vehicle. Also make self a new hat that has less potential for weirdness. Lol
Oh yes.  I'm a style maven I tell you! ha ha! I'm sorry there isn't photographic evidence of the incident - I was far to mortified to do much more than immediately slink drive away from the school as quickly as possible.

So to that end I set to work choosing a new hat pattern.  Being that I'm well on my way to becoming  Dr. Seuss's Bartholomew Cubbins with his 500 hats (according to my Ravelry project pages I've knit 46 hats since joining the site in 2008 - only mine are different, haven't all been for myself and no royalty is being offended by them so far as I know), I had a hard time choosing a pattern.  I narrowed down the list and put it to a poll in two of my Ravelry groups and the clear forerunner ended up being Tin Can Knit's Sitka Spruce.  Fair enough.  It is a lovely pattern, I had it in my library from their 12 Days of Christmas pattern freebies in December, and I certainly had enough choices in worsted weight in my stash to easily make it.  Also, I really like how Tin Can Knits patterns are written. So a new hat, in a new style for a new year.

Getting started!  I do love twisted rib!
All was good.  I selected my yarn, a unknown colour way of Cascade 220 that I don't even remember now why I bought or what I might have used some of it for in the past.  Then I printed off the pattern, grabbed some needles and was merrily on my way.  The twisted rib brim took no time at all and I was eager to start the chart.

Car knitting - never leave home without it!
The chart however might as well have been microscopic for these aging eyeballs.  Panic, disappointment, annoyance and a temptation to give up right there and then ensued.  But then (BF)G calmly suggested I enlarge the chart.  (Why didn't I think of that?!?) So I did by about eleventy billion percent.  Then I colour coded all the stitches in the chart,  grabbed a handful of stitch markers to mark each pattern repeat and I was off to the races.  It was a very soothing knit, truth be told.  The twisted stitches were simple and the chart itself was pretty intuitive for me.  I relaxed into it and had my new hat off the needles and blocking within three days.

Blocking on a dinner plate 

This morning I decided to brave the -35C windchill and I put my hat on to head outside for a  few modelled shots of it.  Apparently, it was not dry.  Within a minute of being out the door there was frost clinging to the fuzzy fibres of the hat.

Frosty morning
I have decided that this colour is impossible to photograph.  It's closest to the colour of the first photo in real life.  Whatever the colour, I'm pretty happy with it and hope that it behaves itself well in public unlike it's predecessor, my purple Snow Squall that was my first project last new years.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Craftiness 2015 - The Round Up

Well, here we are.  That time between Christmas and New Year's where I can sit back, relax for a few minutes and take a bit of a break from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  Christmas was a lovely day for us, with everyone home bright and early in the morning for opening gifts and then having a huge brunch before they had to head off to their various Christmas dinner plans.  (although not as bright and early as the little boys felt they should have been here of course - they were up just after 5am this year, so had to wait a wee bit for the older ones to arrive)

Once again this year, I felt like I didn't get as many projects done as I had hoped.  Things went a bit crazy busy around here in the late fall, which set me back considerably, so there were a few things that got left off the list.  I'm not going to tell you about them though, because I'm saving those particular projects for next Christmas instead.   The silly thing is, last January I decided I was going to be super ahead of the game and start making projects then in order to avoid the "It's the week before Christmas, and oh my goodness I need to make sixteen bajillion gifts" panic.  I made precisely one project and then promptly forgot about my resolution.  Let me tell you, I thought I was still sitting smug and pretty until life got busy and then boy oh boy I regretted not following through on that "ahead of the game craftiness".  This coming year, I'm going to really try to do things ahead of time.  hahahahahahahahahahaha.  I know.  I know.  I live in a world built on delusion. ;)

Anyways onto the fun stuff!

The little boys set to work a few weeks ago making some new wall art for the holidays.  We did this last year and it was such a fun project we thought we'd try it again!  I think we'll try and keep up the tradition for at least a few years.  I envision down the road, years from now when the little boys are grown how precious it will be to have their teeny tiny hand and footprints hanging on our wall every Christmas!  They also did some art at school as gifts for us.

The top two are the ones we did at home, the "mistletoes" are Baby Boy's and the tree, Little Man's.
For my craftiness, I'll kick off (see what I did there?  ha ha!) with some hand knit socks I knit for my beautiful girls - G and Nick's lovely girlfriend, A.

These were my "ahead of the game project", Piccolo Mondo Anitco socks
I have no idea why I took a picture of just one. G does indeed have a pair of them!

A pair of Water for the Elephants for A to commemorate her trip
to Cambodia where she rode an elephant!
Next we'll move onto the knits for the "big boys" - J, N and G's boyfriend, B.

This one was for J - a Lansbury cowl, modelled by the handsome Baby Boy

And for B - Little Man is modeling the ever popular Oats pattern by Tin Can Knits
N's Wooly Bear Freestyle Cap almost didn't make it on time...
I cast off and wove in the ends at 3:30am Christmas morning! 
Of course no holiday crafting would be complete without some fingerless gloves in the project list (or so it would seem given my lists for the last few years!)

The first pair are "Leaves" for A, then the remaining four pairs were teacher's gifts
from top to bottom: Clary Mitts, Give em the Slip, Diamond Hand Wristwarmers and Magic Loop Mitts
That wraps up the knitting, so lets move along to the sewing!

The girls both wear scarves all the time, so I made them each a cozy flannel and lace infinity scarf
(my own pattern)

Earlier in the fall my nephew, who had requested "footie pjs" last Christmas, told me he'd outgrown his pair from last year and would really love a new pair.  I found out my niece also needed a new pair - not surprising since I think I sewed her pair almost two years ago!  So of course I obliged and they wore their cozy new jam jams home from the family Christmas Eve party.

The kids will be cozy warm this winter for sure!
Pattern is Kwik Sew #2704
Every Christmas I make the little boys a new pair of matching pjs for Christmas Eve.  I love surprising them with them, but this year I was really worried I was going to run out of time.  I even looked at some pjs at the store but held off buying them in hopes I could miraculously get the mama made ones done despite the time crunch.   Somehow I did manage to get a pair started for each of them on the 22nd of December and finished them up late the next night (Ack!!!! Moment of panic ensued when I found absolutely no buttons in the button jar to match.  How is that even possible!?!  Thank goodness I had snaps that would work!).  Taking a photo of two overly excited, overly tired little boys proved to be quite the challenge, so this is about the best view you get!

Wearing their new Batman pjs!
Pattern is a vintage Simplicity #6427
(How can it be vintage?!?! It's c.1974, which means its YOUNGER than me!)
The last project I sewed for Christmas this year just about did me in.  It's nothing untoward with the pattern, it was that I was tired and somehow between that and checking out my topstitching and just plain old not paying attention, partway through the back seams I sewed through my finger.  Bonus points go to me for not dripping blood on any fabric, but holy doodle that hurt like a son of a gun.  I've not had a "sewing through a digit" incident in almost 30 years and it's one I'd rather not repeat EVER again, thank you very much.  I almost gave up right there and then.  I also then had issue with the pockets and the zipper facing - not injury inducing, just pulling out my hair type issues.  The end result was worth the heart ache and hassle though, but I really felt it could've been a better experience.

G in her Greenstyle Creations Sundance Jacket
There were also a few other crafty projects for the holidays!

Some festive mugs done with Sharpie Oil Paint pens
for G and B to sip their mulled wine from
Every year since my kids were born I have given them a new ornament for Christmas.  I always tried to stick with a matching theme, which was significantly easier when there were only three of them.  Now that there's five plus the older one's significant others trying to find a matching theme became quite a challenge, so a few years ago I started making the ornaments instead.  This year's ended up getting done just under the wire - mostly because I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do.

Indecision.  It'll be my undoing some day.

Anyways - I finally made a decision and dashed outside shortly before we had to leave for the city on Christmas Eve and cut my branches.  Then at 11pm when we got home my wonderful husband carved the tops and drilled the holes for me while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, doing some hand sewing on G's jacket, wrapping presents, and putting presents under the tree and doing other miscellaneous odd jobs on my to-do list, then I set to work with some acrylic paints and an oil paint sharpie.  Sometime just after midnight I had seven cute little Santa ornaments ready to go!

Ho ho ho!

The little boys had two very special gifts that they had me help them make this year as well.  It was very hard for them to keep them secret and they were pretty much bursting by the time they were finally able to present them to Daddy on Christmas morning.

First up was a mug for him to use at work on his coffee breaks - I think this is likely going to become yet another tradition as they did one for him last year too and they're already talking about next year's mug.

Various views of the Daddy's new coffee mug
They also made him a new painted t-shirt.  I'm a bit worried that I didn't put enough fabric medium into the acrylic paints because it faded a whole lot when I washed it, but hopefully the initial fading is as much as it's going to do, because they really did work hard on their shirt and I'd hate for it not to last!

So that's it for the Christmas craftiness this year, but  I do have another project to show you that I just made as a birthday gift for my little niece.  I used pajama fleece and shimmery stretch satin for this  and it was a really fun project - fairly quick to make and low stress.  She was really pleased with it too I think, putting it on as soon as she opened it.  It's from Rissa's Mermaid/Fish Tail Lounge Sack pattern from The Plucky Butterfly Designs and I can definitely see making more of these in the future!  Unfortunately all the pictures I took of the little lady wearing her mermaid tail turned out blurry and out of focus.

As we approach the new year I'm going to work on some easy, relaxing projects.  I've got an Andi Satterlund cardigan, Anouk, on the needles for her latest knit along on Ravelry.  I've also got a Paprika Patterns Zircon Sweater on the sewing table that I'd planned to have done a few weeks ago and didn't manage to get done due to a bit of a fabric choice mishap.  And then?  I'm going to start on the those gifts for next Christmas.  (go ahead and laugh, we all know how likely it is that I'll actually follow through on that plan... LOL)

I hope you've all had a peaceful holiday season,  with whatever holiday or tradition you celebrate and that your New Year is full of happiness, good health and wonderful adventures!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

You Know Dasher and Dancer...

... and Prancer and Vixen.  You know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.  But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all, Rachel the Red Nosed Reindeer...

I'm really excited to be over at the Scientific Seamstress Blog today, where I'll be talking about how I've had some festive fun with their latest pattern, Rachel Reindeer!  I hope you'll stop by and visit me there!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Irena Top

Early this morning I told you about my Liana Stretch Jeans, and now I'm back because I want to tell you about another great pattern I was fortunate enough to test for Kennis of Itch to Stitch a few weeks ago!

This is the Irena* top!  It's just been released today and is on sale right now - there's also an extra savings for Cyber Monday today - you can check out the details on the Itch to Stitch site!

Irena is a deep V, cozy sweater. It calls for 75% stretch fabric and for this version, I used a really soft sweater knit that I was able to get on sale at Fabricland in the city.  It's longer length makes it perfect  for wearing over skinny jeans or leggings too.

The only tricky part of this quick to sew top is the corners of the neckline (I'm not sure if you can see I have a teeny pucker on the one corner - but unpicking stitches on this fabric was a beast so I decided I can live with it!).  No need to worry though.  Kennis walks you through the process in her thorough instructions and the rest of the sweater is really straight forward and easy!

I am also going to show you my second version - bear in mind though this was before the pattern was tweaked a bit, so it's not quite the same as the final version, but I love it so much and wear it so often I thought I'd show you anyways.  For this one I chose a sweatshirt fleece with only 25% stretch.  I meant to size up a bit to accommodate for the lack of stretch in my fabric, but completely forgot.  It's a bit more fitted than the intended design of the pattern, but it's warm and comfy and I can get in and out of it without needing the jaws of life to extricate me so it's all good! Ha ha!

I'm not sure why the bust is pulling in the photo.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't do that in real life.  Must be the way I'm standing or something.

I won't show you version one - although I should in the manner of a cautionary tale.  When choosing fabrics, you really need to pay attention to not only the stretch a fabric has, but the recovery.  If you'll remember from my earlier post today, I had this particular problem with my jeans as well.  Recovery really does make all the difference in a project.  For my first version of Irena, I carefully chose a lightweight jersey out of my stash with 75% stretch.  I felt it might be a bit too drapey as I was sewing it up, but in for a penny, in for a pound, right?  I think my jersey was a bit light to start with for a top like this, but that combined with the lack of recovery and oh my! Incredible growing top!  Laying flat on the table it measured correctly, put it on and it sagged to great lengths.  Yikes!!!

So lesson learned.  Choose fabric wisely.  (One would think I'd have learned this lesson and have it firmly cemented in my brain at this point, but apparently I simply refuse to believe certain facts of life.)

Anyways, two outta three ain't bad, so they say, and I do have two great tops that are in regular rotation in my wardrobe - at this point I'm pretty sure that people are starting to assume I only own two tops in my entire wardrobe, I wear them so often.  And of course I have the one that I'll probably take off some length of to accommodate the drape (I've used the term loosely here - this fabric goes beyond common drape!) and it'll make a great, soft and cozy lounge around the house type top. Waste not, want not and all that!

You can find the newly released Irena Top for sale over at the Itch-to-Stitch website!

Muppet Flail Arms! : or Liana

Strange title for a post?  Not really.  Imagine if you will a happy muppet-y flailing of arms.  I'll give you a minute...  Ok.  Got that image in your mind?  Good!  That's pretty much me right now!

Why you ask?  Because I've made myself a pair of jeans.  Yes.  I made jeans.  And I survived!!!!  Ok, ok.  I know I'm late to the party by about a year.  Every other sewing blogger/bloggess out there has made a pair of jeans.  But being late to the party has not diminished my excitement in the least.

I decided last winter that I was going to make a pair of jeans for myself.  So I bought a pattern. Then I bought denim.  Then I pre-washed the denim...  And then I completely lost all courage for making jeans.  Seriously.  I was completely terrified of the prospect of it.  Could not even contemplate being successful at it, such was my intimidation.

With my "good time gal" crappy Walmart Singer, there was absolutely no way I could make jeans anyways.  That machine had fits at anything heavier than two layers of quilt cotton.  But then I started shopping around for a new machine in the spring and I specifically chose a work horse 40-something year old Pfaff off of Kijiji with the notion that I could make jeans with a machine like that.  The first thing I did when I got that baby set up on my sewing table was try sewing denim (for research purposes it sewed through a whopping six layers of denim like it was butter).  But I was still way too intimidated by jeans.  Oh jeans how you scare me so.  There's just so many areas that they can go rogue on you, really.

Then one of my fave designers, Kennis Wong, of Itch-to-Stitch - you may recall I already have a slight obsession with her Idyllwild* tee going on - put out the call for testers for her new Liana Stretch Jeans pattern. Liana comes with three different leg options - skinny, straight and bootcut and uses denim with 25% stretch.  I jumped at the chance without even giving it a second thought.  I knew that the combination of Kennis' pattern making and instructions and the motivation of having a deadline was exactly what I needed to tackle jeans head on.  And I was right.

And actually?  They're not really that scary after all!  I had a bit of a fitting conundrum that was causing me one heck of an unflattering rear view - but thanks to Kennis, with her wisdom and advice, I was able to sort out that I just needed to do a bit of tweaking of the pattern for my shape and what a difference!

Yikes!!  Lets get those wrinkles going, going, GONE!!!!
For your amusement here's a little collage I put together to show the before, in progress and final tweaking I did for the derrière.  Yikes! Try not to laugh too hard at those huge smiley butt wrinkles.    It's amazing what 3/8" of tweaking can accomplish!

I love that this denim has a subtle stripe to it!
Also topstitching.  Love how it turned out!
I was worried about the topstitching.  I thought it might be a bit of a nightmare switching back and forth from thread to thread as needed, not to mention when using such a contrasting thread any little blunder is going to be so painfully obvious, but in the end it wasn't bad. You never have to change the bobbin thread, so it's pretty quick and painless really and actually it turns out I kind of like topstitching.  My trick for keeping my double lines nice and even was to do the edge stitching and then align my right edge of my presser foot (which conveniently - thank you Pfaff of the past - happens to be a lovely, perfect 1/4") along the edge of the edge stitching and voila!  There's also the built in benefit with topstitching that you get to have the rights to "ooh and ahhh" at your own handiwork every time you finish a section of it.

This is how I feel about taking photos of myself.  LOL
Also what the heck wind?!?  Could you give me two seconds between gusts?  Please?!?

At least this one is pretty normal.  LOL!  These are the straight leg version of Liana.
Something is obviously fascinating on the ground...

Did that camera timer go or not yet?!?
So there you have it!  Jeans.  Just like that.  Sewing didn't even take that long all things considered.  I set the timer the other morning for two hours and got the backs and the fronts all done.  A couple more hours for basting and fitting and modifying for my body shape, and then another hour and a half or so for hemming and the waistband and I was done.  Incredible!

I'll show you the first pair I made of Liana too - because while they're not the best fit, they're not really that bad. I think with some tweaking I can still make them work, but I had a couple issues with them.  First off my denim had really poor recovery.  Like a pair of jeans from Old Navy, I can wear them for about five minutes and then they start to sag in a sorry way.  So keep that in mind if you're making your own pair.  The percentage of stretch is very important for sizing, but ultimately so is the recovery.  (make sure that fabric bounces right on back to where it started from or prepare for some disappointment) I also panicked about sizing and made them a size too big.  Ooops a daisy!  Should have thought that one through better!  But this pair taught me so much about the construction of jeans and really helped me to overcome the intimidation.  They were a great practice pair and the fabric I used for the pockets? What seamstress wouldn't smile at it?

Pockets for my first pair
And since I'm showing off pockets -
here's the second pair making use of what I had left over from my "Bluebirds of Happiness" dress 

Again what is so interesting on the ground?!?!  LOL

Not bad looking until they stretch out and don't want to go back!
(Remember good recovery = happiness!)
So are you ready to take the plunge and try making your own jeans?  I highly recommend it!  Liana is a great pattern to start your adventure in jeans making with - Kennis walks you through each step in the illustrated instructions - and if you're an experienced jeans sewist, I think you'll really enjoy these! Having the opportunity to be a tester and getting in on this pattern at the ground level, so to speak, I know that she put a lot of work into creating a great pattern that will work for a really wide range of sizes! You can find the newly released Liana Stretch Jeans pattern over at Itch-to-Stitch.  Kennis is hosting a sew along for Liana and also has a great sale going on right now until December 6th!!

I'll be back later on today to tell you about another great new pattern from Kennis that I was lucky enough to test!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Well, talk about getting things done just under the wire!  I finally sewed the last two buttons on my new cardi and blocked it.  The knit along ends tomorrow!   Phew.  Made it!

The cardigan in question is Penelope, another great design from Andi Satterlund, that was the project for the Untangling Knots Group fall knit along.  It is, like all of Andi's patterns, an easy to knit pattern.  I imagined I would have finished it a couple of weeks ago, because it is very simple and straight forward.  It is a full length cardi, so I anticipated a bit more time on the needles, than a cropped cardi would take, but I didn't imagine it would take more than a month.

I didn't have any crazy issues with it, like I did with my Sunshower cardi I knit in the summer - I don't know if you remember my adventures that led me completely astray multiple times (ahem.  all user error, of course, the pattern is great).  I had no problems except much to my dismay, my knitting mojo seemed to get up and leave this fall.

I have no idea where it's gone.   (If you spot it somewhere along your travels could you please send it back to me?  I've got loads of projects lined up to do for the holidays and no "Umph" to get them done.  Or really started for that matter.)

Where oh where has my mojo gone?  Oh where oh where could it be?????

Anyways, all that being said, I did finish on time for the KAL deadline, and I did end up with a cardi that I really love.  I knit this one straight from the pattern with no modifications what so ever and the fit is perfect for what I wanted!

This one is knit in some stash yarn I had.  Sirdar's Country Style DK - a wool/acrylic blend was used for the contrast and Universal Yarns Dolce Merino, which is a merino/microfibre blend for the main colour.   I'm hoping that the Dolce Merino holds up alright.  It seems like it could have a tendency towards pilling.  Both yarns are super soft though and well, stash yarns fit the budget quite nicely of course!

I think the only thing that my Penelope is missing is a new skirt to go with it!  I'll have to think on that.  Oh.  And a new pair of shoes.  (Those will definitely have to wait though.  LOL).