Veleta

Way back in March, I received some lovely yarn in the mail and an equally pretty pattern.

img_2464Louet’s pattern collections always contain such pretty ideas and their 2016 Spring Collection is no exception. Designed by the fantastic Susanna IC, Veleta is a simple sleeveless top knit in Louet’s wonderful Euroflax Sport.

Both the front & back of this pattern are worked identically and it’s really an excellent ‘autopilot’ knit.

img_2590I did a very large portion of this knitting while supervising my kiddos during our little waterpark adventure in March.

img_2778The non-waterpark portions of this knit were mostly just little breaks here and there throughout my day.

Before I get to the FO, I want to talk just a bit about my experience knitting with linen. One question I heard a number of times from other knitters during the course of knitting this project was concerning their stitches being too uneven when working in linen. It’s totally understandable because wool has that natural spring and energy. Stitches kind of just even themselves out a fair bit while we knit with wool. Linen is different. Linen really doesn’t have that spring and your stitches will sometimes kind of look wonky and you may be compelled to try to even things out ‘manually.’ I’m here to say that barring major, major discrepancies you really don’t need to do so.

Note my somewhat uneven stitches while knitting.

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And my nice even stitches after it’s been through the wash.

stitch detailI did nothing beyond run it through the delicate cycle in my washing machine & lay it flat to dry and my stitches looks nice and neat now.

Another question I got was how to handle the actual knitting with linen. Without the bounce and elasticity of wool, it can be easy to tax your hands when knitting with linen. I’m here to say, just relax. Relax your wrists & your hands and embrace the character of this wonderul yarn. It’ll be a joy when you do!

OK, I digress. On to the FO!

img_2971I really enjoyed the simple lace edge as much (or more) than the stockinette sections. Alas, I have a lot of pictures that look like this — my beautiful top folded and draping beautifully. I’ve had it finished for a couple weeks now, but couldn’t bring myself to model it in the chilly weather we’ve been having. Finally, yesterday I had my chance. I cornered my son and got those proper FO photos.

outtakeJust kidding! In case it isn’t obvious, this is an outtake. I discovered on this ‘photo shoot’ that if I make a lot of funny faces and do a bunch of weird poses that it makes my son laugh. Thank goodness for digital photography.

side view on 2Oh hey! Now I don’t look like I’m in pain. Isn’t the top cute?

front onI love it, I really do!

flatIt’s just such a simple, pretty piece to throw on over a camisole.

edge detailAnd again, I just love this detail.

I’ve machine washed it twice now and it’s nice and soft and drapey and it will only continue to become more soft and drapey with each wash.  I do so love Euroflax Sport — it’s great to work with & seriously washes up so nicely. And now I’ve got this fabulous top in a super comfy yarn to layer with this summer. Veleta is truly a little piece of summery perfection!

One of Those Weeks

Hiya, my friends! I feel a little bit like this is the first time I’ve really sat down in a week.

[Insert deep breath here]

You see, once a year my husband attends a conference for work that takes place at an indoor waterpark and it just so happens that his company is very awesome about allowing families to tag along. As you can imagine, there are a lot of happy kids when conference time rolls around. Our kids, who are used to camping, inclement weather, and the occasional basic hotel, view those couple days at the waterpark/resort as amazingly extravagant. They talk about it constantly and plan out the order in which they’ll visit the attractions weeks in advance. I’m not really a waterpark enthusiast, but as a mum I really appreciate that we can go as I’m not sure we would if not for this opportunity and it’s such a fun time for the kids.

¬†While I love swimming, I pretty much get motion sick just looking at a swing set let alone riding in a raft down a twisty-turny water slide, so I mostly observe and keep an eye on the kids. Both are strong swimmers, but I stay poolside and keep watch. Of course it isn’t lost on me that this is excellent knitting time for someone who sports the moniker ‘Knitting Sarah’. Since the waterpark is warm and I needed something simple that would allow me to keep an eye on the kiddos, just before we left I chose to cast-on and begin work on my Veleta from Louet’s Spring Collection 2016 which happens to be in the best fiber for warm temps — linen!

img_2571Yes! Another chance to work with the fantastic Euroflax Sport — oh, how I love this yarn! And this pattern is fantastic in that it’s largely stockinette with just a little lacey border and both front and back are worked identically. Simple knitting and a lovely addition to my wardrobe — just perfect!

After an entire day at the waterpark both kids were exhausted in the very best way…

img_2588This one looked like this well into the morning, easily 2 hours beyond her normal waking hour. Knowing they were tuckered, we switched gears on day two to a somewhat low-key indoor amusement park. Despite sleeping in and having a slow morning, both kids kind of walked around like little zombies and, of course, refused to admit they were tired. So I let them move at their pace and I kept knitting.

img_2590When it came time to pick up Mr. Knitting Sarah at the end of his meetings, I’d knocked out a little over 10inches of the front of my Veleta — not too shabby! Thanks to down time during school and a couple movies over the last few evenings, I’m getting tantalizingly close to the lace portion of this side. Knowing I’m close to a change in my knitting is always such good motivation for me.

As for spinning, with my wheel back in good working order I did not waste any time finishing the singles for my combo spin. And then, because I simply couldn’t resist and I had a couple hours into which I could sneak some spinning after school and while I continued to make my way through the laundry, I got a little start on my March Top of the Month from Three Waters Farm.

img_2595This is ‘Spring Spirit’ on a 100% Falkland base. I’m trying out a new-to-me method of dividing up the colors for this spin. A very talented spinner in the TWF Ravelry group made the most incredible boomerang last month and I just had to try her method. First, I divided my braid into its three color repeats. Then, the first repeat I split in half, the second in thirds, and the third in sixths. And then I’ll n-ply it so that you kind of have accelerating stripes. I’m not sure I’ll knit it into a boomerang — I have some other ideas I might light to try, but we’ll see how it turns out.

In between my swimming, zombie indoor amusement parking, knitting, spinning, and Mount Laundry tackling, we also made a day’s detour up to my parents house to recover Moose who’d spent a few days at Club Grandma & Grandpa.

img_2560He’s still sleeping off the excitement.

The kiddos and I also made a trip to a friend’s house who recently acquired a spinning wheel and needed a little help troubleshooting her process. I haven’t done much hands-on spinning with others, but I’m very eager to lend a hand when I can. It was — I think — a very productive day. We were able to take my dear friend through her paces and iron out the places she was having some problems. And — most excitingly — we managed to take two skeins of yarn she’d made that she didn’t think could be saved, add a little twist, and make some honest-to-goodness lovely yarn out of them. I’m absurdly excited to be able to tag along with her on her journey as she learns to spin. I truly enjoy the whole process of seeing a crafter’s evolution. It’s something I really miss about teaching craft and it’s an absolute honor and treat to be able to play even a little part in my friend’s journey.

And today, Sunday, I will boldly attempt to take a few deep breaths and get back on track with our normal routine. Tidying and laundry and exercise and healthy eating are all on my to-do list today. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll squeeze in a little time for some spinning, too…

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