The Mountains Are Calling

The Mountains Are Calling

Picture heavy post! Knitting photos near the bottom!

Last week Jonathan and I went on our one year anniversary trip! We decided to take advantage of our anniversary’s proximity to Labor Day and delay our trip until September. Thursday night, after work, we jumped in the car and drove west as long as we could (three hours!) That made the remaining six hours to Boulder, Colorado much more enjoyable. We’d heard a lot of people mention how boring the drive from KC to Boulder was; I’m not sure what they were talking about though.

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I find windmills facinating

We loved the entire drive! It was amazing to see all of the farm land, cattle, and windmills going on and on for miles. The most delightful part of the drive was undoubtedly the sunflowers. Kansas is the sunflower state, after all. We had to take advantage of the fields of flowers along the interstate.

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Is it illegal to stop on the interstate like this? 

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Of course, the interstate sunflowers had nothing on the flowers alongside the “Welcome to Colorado” sign. This was one of the most breathtaking views of our entire trip, and we’d only just arrived!

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While we were driving, I pulled out my unfinished NaKniSweMo from last year. I figured that the mountains in fall would be a great opportunity to wear the sweater for the first time! I managed to finish steeking the sweater before hitting the road, and the entire drive up was spent weaving in ends, knitting on a border, and sewing on buttons. Phew.

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On the second day of our trip, we decided to do a day hike up the FlatIrons to the Royal Arch. What was supposed to be a two hour morning hike turned into a four hour, five and a half mile, strenuous hike at extreme elevation (my sweet husband didn’t check the map). It was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done before, but Jon and I stuck it out together! We took hundreds of photos and drank two liters of water while going up, up, up. Near the end, I started to wonder if the view at the top could possibly be worth the pain, but we pushed on anyways!

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So close to the top!

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Top of the arch, I’m sitting inside of it. Yes, those are knitting needles in my hand. 

Sadly, by the time we made it to the top of the mountain, storm clouds were rolling in, we were starving, and the sun was setting. We had no time for photos so we rushed down (which was surprisingly more emotionally trying than going up) and finished off our night with a fancy dinner and lots of drinks.

The next day, we decided to drive back up the trail and do some laid back sightseeing. I was pretty exhausted, but the pictures were so so worth it. I present my Oranje sweater!

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The Knitimg_2538

This was my first ever fair isle project. I go big, right? This yummy sweater is knit on a US6 with sport weight yarn. I used Debbie Bliss’ Fine Donegal which is technically a fingering weight yarn. However, the single ply wool is rather heavy and I managed to hit the same gauge on the sweater as if I’d used a true sport weight. img_2537

I’ll be upfront, this sweater has some of flaws to it. The armpits have little give to them, so when I lift my arms, the whole sweater comes with me. And seeing as this was my first time working fair isle, the yoke is a tad snug. I’m re-blocking the sweater and am going to re-seam the armpits again in hopes of having a bit more give. I think this will ultimately be a success. I have faith since the first time I blocked the sweater (before steeking which I highly recommend) it went from frumpy to fabulous. The collar could also probably stand to be blocked a little higher as well. img_2536

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I really love the brown button border of this sweater, but honestly, it’s a little finicky. It takes a day and a half for me to button this up proper, and the mass of buttons leads to gapping (though this could possibly be remedied with blocking). The fair isle often doesn’t line up if my buttons are askew-as you can see in the photo above. A part of me wishes I’d been patient and waited to get home to put in a zipper, but I wanted this to be done so so badly! And I love the brown highlights too much to not have them.

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Tucking my floats

Overall, I adore this sweater. The flaws in it are small fish compared to the amount of effort and time I put into this. I learned a lot while knitting this, like how to “tuck my floats” on the yoke so that there’s not a mass of loose strands inside the sweater waiting to be snagged. I did my first steek (you can check out the video here on my instagram) and I learned how to do a proper steek column so that you aren’t terrified while cutting!!! After hiking up a mountain, I feel safe in saying that this is an epic sweater that is worthy of the Dutch knitting traditions Ann Weaver based the design on. I would totes heard sheep while wearing this sweater, up a mountain even.

I’m so glad that I decided at the last minute to finish it on the car ride to Boulder. This will be a wardrobe stable for my first winter in KC. For me, this represents a new benchmark in my knitting. I learned so much while making this. I was so careful to get gauge and make size adjustments as needed so my effort wouldn’t be wasted. This makes my old work feel like child’s play, and I think I’ve finally kicked down the door to “a knitted wardrobe” instead of just lacey accessories, sorry Darling Emma. I’m ready to take my knitting to the next level. I still have a painful amount to learn (like seriously how to get more ease into these armpits). But I’m happy to learn from my mistakes and enjoy the journey, but right now, I’m just gonna wear my sweater and feel baller.

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Yes, It IS your grandmother’s knitting.

Cloud Escape

I decided to really get into winter knitting this year. I usually only manage one or two sweaters every winter, and I don’t have a chance to enjoy them for more than a few weeks before it’s time to pack them away. This is due to me being so dead set on doing Christmas presents for *everyone* and their mom. Like, actually. It’s always so stressful and I’ve done it four times in a row now. I think this year I’m going to take a break. I’ve decided to do no more than four presents. There shall be store bought scarves and coupons all around this year! And Walgreen’s Christmas cards, soooo many cards. This year, I deserve Escape.

IMG_2322.JPGIn the beginning of August, I cast on for this beauty. An oversized, split side, bi-color sweater. The yarn was a total impulse buy. I walked into my LYS in Arkansas and the yarn was nestled together on the shelf *screaming at me* to take it home. Before I even knew what was happening, I was handing over my credit card and signing my name in blood.

IMG_2323The yarn is, of course, more Dream in Color. I think they should sponsor me. This time I’m using the Jilly Cashmere. I love the halo that the yarn has while also holding sharp stitch definition. The blue, ‘Forget Me’, is to die for. Actually impossible to forget (see what I did there?)I love how it has splashes of brown and green in it. I only have one skein of the ‘Brownie’ brown, so I’m a little nervous about having enough to do full sleeves, I hope that them being tight, clingy sleeves will mean I can make a little yarn go a long way. If not,some stripe work might be in order. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m officially ready for Fall to touch down.

IMG_2325Also, Jon and I have welcomed a new member into our family. A little ball of fluffy kitten that relentlessly plays and mews at us all day. Kora. I’m totally in love. I mean, look at these paws


Look at that tail


Look at that FACE


A deep and insatiable affection has been stirred up in me, and I can’t get over this kitten. She loves to crawl all over me, and cuddle, and play, and basically all the things Luna is too cool for. Don’t worry, Luna is happy, and adjusting well to the newcomer. I think she appreciates that I no longer harass her for photos. And I think she likes keeping Kora in place with head bops and swats.

 Expect to see much more of this little kitten, and if you (like me) can’t get enough of her, follow my Instagram for endless pictures!

Until next time, daydream on my lovelies!

(Just one more picture)

A Brief NaKniSweMo Post

NaBloPoMo November 2015

The finger cramps are setting in already, tsk tsk tsk. Despite my impending tendentious , the Oranje cardigan is coming along pretty well. I’ve completed the waist decreases and am nearly halfway through the increases. After this comes about eight more inches of stockinette stitch. Then I get to put the body aside and work on my sleeves! I’m pretty excited about that. I can’t wait to get to the yoke and watch how the brown and cream pop! But of course, I’m really enjoying the sweater body. I’m totally in love with the periwinkle blue yarn. I can already tell that November is going to be heavy on Christmas knitting and commissions. I’m already looking forward to the New Year when I’ll say no to knitting requests for a couple of months!

A brief #nakniswemo2015 post on my blog! Link in profile! #knitblogger #nablopomo2015 #knittersofinstagram

A post shared by Morgan DeAndrea (@daydreamknits) on

How about you? Is Holiday knitting getting in the way of you NaKniSweMo?