Braided Cable Wedding Cover-Up

In case all the posts referring to wedding stress haven’t tipped you off, I got married! On November 1. In Maine. In a strapless, tea-length dress.

Did I mention the wedding was in November? In Maine?

I realized pretty quickly after I bought my dress that bare shoulders weren’t going to cut it, and I started knitting Jami Brynildson’s Braided Cable Hug in a soft, fuzzy blend of ivory yarns to wear over the dress in case I got cold.

The cables came together fairly quickly, given that I’d never done anything more complicated than stockinette before (total time: approximately one and a half seasons of Witches of East End). From there, the pattern instructed:

With RS facing, graft the ends together using a darning needle, taking special care to match up cables and maintain a neat RS fabric.

Furious Googling and Ravelry forum combing for “seam together cables” and “sew cables together knitting” revealed that a) the correct term is “grafting”; b) in order to do so, I should have used something called a “provisional cast on” (whoops); and c) grafting together cables is apparently WAY HARD. Also, contrary to the pattern instructions, one should block before grafting, rather than after. So: I blocked it on my new fancy foam blocking mat and hoped for the best.

Blocking: really hoping I did this the right way.

Between researching cable seaming and blocking, I also moved, and by the time I got back around to the project, I had kind of given up on “maintain[ing] a neat RS fabric.” Sorry, Jami Brynildson. Instead, I seamed the two edges together in an extremely obvious line and decided I’d wear that part at the back. Done.

After a few rounds of ribbing at the neckline, it was time to rock and roll. Witness, me looking very chilly (and excited) sans cover-up:


And much warmer, once properly attired:


From the back, you can see the seam (which has migrated slightly to the right):

back view

After I looked at the pictures, I kind of regretted adding an extra half row of cable—the pattern as written includes three rows of 12-stitch cable, and I added a 6-stitch cable row at the top to mimic a photograph I’d seen on a wedding site. I like the way this looks, but the cover-up ended up coming down below my elbows, which gave the whole ensemble a bit of an awkward penguin look. The piece was big enough that I could move my arms freely, but I think it would have looked more elegant if it had ended just above my elbows.

Now that the wedding’s over, I’m not sure when I’ll wear this again—the length makes it a bit too cumbersome for daily wear, and the style isn’t quite office appropriate for me. That said, it’s so soft and cuddly that I can see myself tossing it on over leggings and long tee for lazy winter days at home.

Readers, such as you are (is anyone still out there?)—have any of you ever tried this so-called “provisional cast on”? Have you ever grafted cables together? Any pointers?

The Wedding Quilts

I’ve been rather quiet here since this summer, which I attributed to wedding planning stress and an unexpected, last-minute move. Those things happened, but they didn’t stop me from making things—the real reason I’ve been so quiet is that my maker energies have almost all been focused on a massive, secret project: the wedding quilts.

When Mr. Jones and I got engaged, we knew immediately that we wanted to give something to our families that would reflect how loved and supported we’ve felt not only in our relationship but throughout our lives. We decided to each take on a project: he would hand-carve and wood burn a series of walking sticks, and I would make quilts. Five of them.

Aside from a couple of cryptic Instagram posts, I managed to stay mostly silent about the project. Now that the wedding’s over and the quilts have been gifted, though, I can finally blog about them!

Mr. Jones and I picked out the pattern together: we chose Purl Bee’s Crossroads Quilt as the base.

Purl Bee Crossroads Quilt

We then tweaked it a bit so that instead of using a print fabric for the “crossroads” overlap bits, we wove the two narrow stripe colors in and out.

Crossroads Quilt: Woven

We decided on white and red for our stripes, then chose five different shades of blue and gray (one for each recipient) for the backgrounds. (Breaking out the Kona Color Card to match our photoshopped pattern to actual fabric: so awesome.)

Wedding Quilts

Once we ordered the fabric, we went into production mode: we washed and ironed all of the quilt top fabric at once, which involved…a lot of ironing. I spent a couple of nights cutting everything up, and then I taught Mr. Jones how to press open seams so we could tag-team the piecing process. Photos here are lacking; please accept this photo of Margot instead.


We finished the piecing just before the move and picked up the quilting stage once we had settled into the new place. No photos of this, aside from the mountain of double fold bias tape I made one weekend:

bias tape mountain

I took an embroidery class in mid-September, then made custom labels for each quilt with our initials, the initials of the recipient, and our wedding logo (I never thought I’d be the kind of person to have a wedding logo, either. I know.).

Four long months of secret-keeping and blog silence later, we had wedding quilts.

Wedding Quilts!

Flax sweater, bit by bit

I can’t believe we’re already a third of the way through September. I went to see my family and flew home to a new apartment, a new academic year, and a to-do list—technically, at least four competing simultaneous to-do lists—miles and miles long. (Relatedly: Mr. Jones and I went to Home Depot four times this weekend. Four times. FOUR. TIMES.) I still haven’t caught my breath, and I’m pretty sure it’ll be 2015 before I know it.

Still: I managed to carve out a tiny bit of time for myself—in the Detroit airport, of all places—last week to make a thing: the ribbed collar of the Flax sweater.

Flax sweater: collar

I bought the recommending knitting needles, but there was no way my cast on stitches were making it all the way around the cable I was using, so I ended up teaching myself how to make a Magic Loop. Bonus skill acquisition!

Once all the boxes are unpacked and the art is hung on the walls and the apartment feels a bit more like home (fingers crossed!), I’m hoping to find a few more minutes here and there to keep working on this. So far it feels like it will be the perfect thing to wear in New England in the fall—neat, warm, a bit scratchy, but good for the soul.

Biting off more than I can chew

Mr. Jones and I have packed up our belongings and are currently surrounded by boxes as we wait for next weekend’s move—one he’ll be gallantly undertaking solo, as I have a prior commitment/am skipping town to go hang out with my family.

My sewing machine and knitting needles went into boxes earlier this week, along with the mostly finished wedding shawl I’ve been working on. Turns out this “making things” thing is quite the addiction: today I broke down and headed to Gather Here to buy yarn for a sweater.


Because what I need right now, on top of the move and the trip to Kansas and wedding planning and the 85 DIY projects that come along with that, is to try my hand at a brand new, gigantic knitting project. (Though honestly, it is sort of what I need—I’m finding myself antsy at the end of the day, my hands empty (everything is packed!) and my brain spinning. Turns out knitting is great for keeping me just occupied enough that I can relax. You, too?)

Around noon today I looked around and realized that everything that can be packed was packed, and I had nothing to do. Solution: get on Ravelry and find something to add to my to-do list. Clearly.

I stumbled across Flax, one of eight free patterns in The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits. Flax is a pullover sweater, knitted from the top down, mostly in stockinette. Assuming I can figure out how to separate out the sleeves, this should be an easy, mostly mindless project to keep my hands busy when my brain has short circuited from responsibility overload.

Did I mention it’s pretty? It’s very pretty.

gauge swatch

(Please ignore the safety pins; proper pins are already in moving boxes.)