Hand Knit Love

Payton in Stocking Cap

How can one be so concerned at the ripe old age of 3 months?? Especially when your head is so toasty warm? I’m not sure :) but I do know that this baby girl is loving my hand knits and will continue to receive them until she is old enough to object…and even then I’m not making any promises. Plus babies are so stinkin’ cute in Stocking Caps…it’s my new favorite!

Speaking of baby knits, how about that darling Wee Envelope I’ve been knitting away on?

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The Luna Grey Aspen Sport has such a nice squish factor. It’s 100% Superwash Merino and has a nice, tight twist to it. I’m not usually one to love knitting pink for baby girls, but this is such a lovely shade called Primrose. And the darn thing is literally flying off my needles even though it is on US 4s!! Just another 2 inches or so on the body and I’m done! Just have to sew on buttons, block, and weave in the ends :)

I’ve also been a bit pre-occupied by the Two Grey Dogs Schnauzer Snuggle that I wanted to design a crescent shaped shawl with, but was thoroughly, mentally blocked on. I’ve been lusting after the Truly Myrtle Settler Shawl since she released the design on her blog back in August. After my miserable fail at the designing process on Friday, I was “flipping” through my queue’d shawls and ran across the Settler Shawl and a light bulb went off. It was the crescent shape I desired for a shawl and the details were sleek enough to look good in the slightly variegated Orange at Sea colorway I wanted to use.

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So I did the only reasonable thing I could do besides go insane…

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I cast on!!

 

I am LOVING the way this is knitting up so far! The shawl is growing nicely into a long, thin crescent shape and the yarn has such a nice spring with the Merino content while the silk content is giving it a nice sheen and I’m hoping for a good amount of drape. I’m a little nervous about blocking it…I don’t want to lose the squish in the garter stitch but I think the lace-y, openwork border will need a good wet block to show up. We shall see.

I know I have other things I should/could be working on, but my beautiful stash display is tempting me! So much so that I may be ready for my first, actual, long-sleeved, yoked sweater!

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Meet Turia. I talked about her back when I first started the blog and really addressed my own form of Sweater-phobia! I’m no longer feeling the apprehension and impending doom when I think about starting a sweater to fit me. It may have to do with the fact that my Whispers top fits me.

I’ve got the yarn for her. I’ve got the pattern. And I’ve got the needles. Now, I even have the courage to wind her up and cast her on. Wish me luck!! I’d like to wait until I at least finish up the Wee Envelope before I wind this yarn…we shall see!

Until we meet again :)

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

PS. Sorry the photos are a bit dark…it is getting dark here so much earlier AND it was rainy and dreary all day :(

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Free-for-all

You remember this book from childhood right? From very early on, we are taught to take notice of the visual world around us. Humans are quite the visual species. In fact, I’m sure there is some crazy statistic I could insert here to make it seem like people are heavily influenced by the things they see. Instead, I’m just going to rely on your brains to either confirm or deny this.

Regardless, I’m visual. I look around in my real world and my online world for information. I could just be driving to the grocery store or cruising around Ravelry for the next thing(s) I’d like to knit. What appeals to me? What stands out? Interesting things. I like to see things that are out of the ordinary.

I like geometric shapes. I see them in stitches, especially the repeating shapes in fences or floors or leaves or flowers or bedspreads. I am often struck by super rich colors. Blues that you can fall into or golden yellows that make you feel warm.

Since immersing myself in the knitting world in May, I find that I’m looking at the everyday world searching for knits. I want to see knitting patterns in a trellis design or colors in the produce section at the grocery store. I may be obsessed.

But I am also not an original. Some many knitters and designers are out there translating the everyday into knits. I so admire this! I queue patterns often because of their beautiful geometric or natural designs that I feel like I’ve seen in the world recently. Pair that with the picture of the sample knit in some saturated color and I’m plopping that into my Ravelry purchase basket faster than the sun can set this winter! Sometimes, I feel like these designers are living my life and seeing what I’m seeing and making them into beautiful knit wear.

For instance the beautiful Onward Shawl by Shannon Cook of the VeryShannon blog is something I’m super drawn to. I love the geometric arrow shapes and feel like I’ve seen that recently on a trip (somewhere but I can’t remember where). Maybe they are just around me like on my knitting bag.

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And the Ambrosia Cardigan by Gudrun Johnston. The gorgeous traveling stitches in the yoke of this remind me of my old bedspread. Plus one of the samples is knit in this gorgeous golden yellow. Can you feel the warmth??

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Not to mention the Clinquant by Lisa Mutch of Northboundknitting. It’s like concrete on a well-loved playground where kids drag their dirty feet through the mud before running over to play four square.

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What did I tell ya, texture, texture & color, and color…get me everytime!!

I didn’t realize how tough it is represent the world in knitwear until I tried to do it myself. I’ve got a few ideas bouncing around in my brain, ready to show up in yarn.

So I pulled out some yarn, a notebook, needles, stitch markers, old notes I’d made and cast on. I knit a few inches. It’s not what I’m thinking it should be. Rip. I cast on again. This time with a garter tab. Potential…but it’s growing too slow and too pointy. I don’t want pointy. Rip. At this point I chickened out.

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I flew to Ravelry. I searched shawls I have in my library. Nothing to help there. I searched shawls in the pattern search. Free. Crescent. Not that circular…I find a few helpful ideas, like a set-up row (doh!) and then I start to question.

Where does my idea begin and another person’s end? If I use a general shawl recipe for the garter/stockinette body, can I claim it as my own work if I mix up the border? How will I make the border design grow proportionally to the increases in the crescent? Should I start this from the top or the bottom?

If I start from the top, how will I know how many stitches I need to start my patterned portion? Wait, didn’t I read something somewhere about Pi increases? Crap. And if I start from the bottom, do I really want to cast on ALL those stitches?

Long story short, designers: you amaze me! How do you combat this in your brain? Is this a fear thing? Am I just afraid to cast-on and go for it?

Maybe. Probably. I don’t want it to be wrong. And by wrong, I mean I want it to look like what I think it should look like in my head.

Here is the problem with that: there are times, in my knitting life and my real life, where I am following the directions for something and thinking, “no way is this going to turn out like the picture!! how is this part going to do that?? maybe I should just toss this or rip this and start over…” But usually something inside my brain also fights back and says, “NO! JUST KEEP GOING!!!”

And usually, it turns out just as the chef or designer or Siri intended it to. I just have to trust and keep going.

Is that how this designing process is going to work?

I am going to put my money on NO since I’m the one calling the shots. I guess we shall see.

Until then, my Two Grey Dogs Schnauzer Snuggle awaits.

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knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Do What You Know

You know how when you want to try something new everything seems more difficult to get started or get going. I’ve had this feeling that I wanted to do something new for my 60th blog post (since I missed my 50th) but I’m not sure what to do.

Looking online, people who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary traditionally get diamonds! Sign me up! Not so sure I can afford to run out and buy myself some diamonds for my 60th blog post. Those may need to wait until my actual 60th wedding anniversary :) So I looked at people celebrating their 60th birthday. A common theme for those celebrating their 60th seem to be “do what you want to do.”

That brings me back to doing what I know.

Here are some of the things I’ve been working on, since I haven’t been posting here.

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First up, my Technicolor Socks Take 2 in the Show-off Stranded Socks pattern in the gorgeous Pagewood Farms Denali Sock yarn. Its in the Sky Blue Pink colorway. I’m knitting them on US size 0 Karbonz double points. They are living in my Bird Leg Bags Halloween Bag I received as part of a Halloween order a few years ago from Simply Socks Yarn Co.

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I love the fabric I’m creating. It’s nice and tight. I’m really hoping they will wear well.

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I think I’ve only knit 6 pairs of socks since I’ve been knitting. 2 pairs were in worsted weight as house socks, 1 pair was knit in DK for a baby, and the last 3 pairs were knit in sock yarn. Two of those three were gifts. I’ve only kept 1 pair for myself. I knit them on 2 circulars in a US size 2. Those are a little loose in terms of fabric and by the end of a day of wear, they are quite baggy. These are coming along. Maybe another inch or two on the cuff before I start the heel.

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Since I’ve started the blog in May, I’ve fallen into the knitting rabbit hole. Yes, prior to May, I was knitting. A lot. But since I’ve started blogging and reading blogs, I’ve started to see my knitting in a different way. I’m more aware of all the things on my needles. I’m picking patterns and yarns in a more intentional way. If I don’t like something, I’m ripping it out and trying again. I’m actually attempting garments that fit, not just accessories. And the accessories I am knitting are more intentional. I’m trying to match yarn in terms of its composition with a pattern that will work with it.

Enough about that. On to another WIP!

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The Colorful Cozy Cowl I’ve been working on for Lyndsay is coming along slowly. It’s the Shibui Array Cowl pattern in some scrumptious Malabrigo Rios in the Teal Feather & Liquidambar colorways. Right side & wrong side view here.

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It’s coming along super slowly with all the slipped stitches. I do love the way it looks though. I’m sure it doesn’t help the speed of it when I keep starting new things.

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Like casting on my PostStitch project for my darling niece Payton. It’s the Wee Envelope pattern in the Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aspen Sport in the Primrose colorway. It’s not a hard knit. In fact, I was just trucking right along. Then I went to join the two yokes for the right sleeve. I picked up the stitches for the back yoke incorrectly.

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So I ripped it back. It’s in timeout. I will not let a baby sweater defeat me! So I picked up the socks. Don’t worry. I’ll try it again today.

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You may also be wondering what happened to my Two Grey Dogs yarn…It’s still in the ball. I’m trying to knock out a few things WIP wise before starting something new….not sure if this has ever stopped me before. I may just be a little chicken when it comes to just trying something new with the yarn.

Anyway, I feel like this post was very me, and thus very appropriate for my 60th post :) What are you working on?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams and Gracey is not my name at Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life..

Princess Bride & a Few Knit-Alongs…

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Call me crazy, but I have never seen the Princess Bride. Until today, as I type, I’m watching it. I DVR’d it a few days ago and thought I should watch it. It’s so stinkin’ cute!! For all my love of awkward love stories, I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it!

Onto the real topic of Free-For-All Friday…KALs!! Ravelry, Instagram, Blogs, and Podcasts are all alight with Knit-Alongs for EVERYTHING!!! It’s got to be the holidays, but there are some really fun things going on out there. First up, how about the awesome

INDIE DESIGN GIFT-ALONG

There are 298 indie designers participating. It runs for 2 months, starting yesterday November 13 at 8pm EST and running through December 31 at midnight EST. Right now, they are running a little 25% off on their patterns from yesterday until Friday November 21 at 11:59pm EST. You can check out the group here on Ravelry. You knit, you post, you gift, and you win. Things. Nice things. If nothing else, it will open your eyes to some great new designers.

Here are a few of the ones I’m definitely scoping out.
Heidi Atwood-Reeves–I’m all about her Cedar Lake Cadigan. I was turned on to this designer by A Playful Day podcaster greentrianglegirl…maybe another few months and when I finish the Wee Envelope (that I still need to cast on!).
Alicia Plummer– A link to her GAL bundle. The DownEast sweater, Coalesce shawl, White Leaf Cowl, Birchbark sweater, Salted sweater, postgrad cardigan…Need I say more?
Bristol Ivy– A link to her GAL bundle. The Earl Grey Mitts, Stria cardigan, Triangulate Cowl, Windrow Cowl, Wainwright sweater…I could go on.
Megan Williams– A link to her GAL bundle. She’s Megan of the Stockinette Zombies podcast. And her Cool Clavicle Cover is making the WIP rounds on several podcasts. Definitely on my list :)
Sarah Burghardt Abram– A link to her GAL bundle. I’m loving the Stricken shawl, Foxversation Piece hat, Much Ado Shawl, Wicker Park shawl…Beautiful!
Gretchen Ronnevik– A link to her GAL bundle. I want to knit the Clarity Cardigan and the Madame Phelps Shawl has caught my eye as well.
ambah– A link to her GAL bundle. Oh those, mirri mitts, Magine shawl, Kalimna shawl…
Shannon Cook– A link to her GAL bundle. This is Shannon from the Very Shannon blog. I’ve been stalking her new collection, Seasonless…I want to knit her Onward shawl, Downton cowl, Laylow shawl, Antrorse sweater…
Jenny Faifel– A link to her GAL bundle. The Lucky no 7 cowl, her loopdigan, and the sleeveless in Vancouver. Beautiful…

I don’t want to keep you here all night looking at their Gift-Along Bundles…I’m sure you can do that yourself by making your way over to the Ravelry group. These are just a few of the designers that I’ve been eyeing for a while. I can’t think of a better way to explore some of the excellent independent designers out there!!

I know I said I wanted to talk about all the cool KALs out there, but I decided this one is enough to keep you going.

On second thought, if you aren’t in the mood for gift knitting, the lovely ladies over at the Knitmore Girls podcast, Jasmin & Gigi, are hosting a Grinch-Along. There are only two rules:
1.) It can’t be holiday gift knitting.
2.) It has to bring you joy.

What sounds better than that…I think several “Jenna” projects are in order…

IMG_1522Like perhaps these socks that I’ve been knitting forever…My lovely Technicolor Socks Take 2. It’s the Show-off Stranded Socks pattern by Anne Campbell in this gorgeous Pagewood Farm Denali in the Sky Blue Pink colorway. I’ve got them on some Karbonz. Dreamy US size 0 DPNs…

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I finished the Rikke hat for Anke’s friend…Now I need to put it in the mail on Monday :)

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Selfie!! I had to try it on because it looked huge!!

Lastly, you may be asking yourself, what happened to that delectable yarn she showed us on Wednesday?? You know, the Two Grey Dogs??

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I decided to wind this one by hand. You know, to get acquainted properly with it.

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Here we are about half-way in…

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And I finished. It’s the cutest little (not really, 420 yds!!) ball of yarn! I think I’m going to cast it on. I am feeling the design bug.

Are you getting involved in any fun knit-alongs or craft-alongs? Are you totally wrapped up in gift knitting?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Some WIPs on Wednesday!!

WIP Wednesday

I know! I’m on time! Amazing :)

Without further ado, the Works in Progress:

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The Rikke in the gorgeous Malabrigo Rios colorway, Arco Iris. It’s coming along rather quickly. The squishy garter stitch will make for a luxurious hat. And might I add that I LOVE the German Twisted Cast-On used here. It’s stretchy and pretty. Check out the tutorial here.

I’m hoping to have it in the mail by the end of the week.

I know I’ve got countless other things on the needles..check them out here on my Ravelry page.

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Baby Payton’s Wee Envelope is about to hit the needles. I need to get knitting on this one and the ladies of PostStitch are going to be live on Facebook tomorrow to answer questions about this pattern.

I must say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in. There was definitely a pretty good consensus that I should just knit what I’d like to knit. I was reminded that I should be knitting fun. So dog-gonnit it will be fun!

I may have also been tempted by this:

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It has been calling to me. It is Two Grey Dogs Designs Schnauzer Snuggle in the Orange at Sea colorway. It wants to be something. Maybe the Cupido cowl? Maybe an original design…

Anyway, linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams.

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Brain Block

Yep, I’m a little stopped up in my thoughts for posting. I have noticed that I’ve been a bit bouncy in terms of my ideas and projects and goals that I talk about here on the blog. I have found that I bring up things and talk about wanting to do things, then I don’t follow through! Yikes! Not fun. And a little disappointing.

Just a moment though, because I do (sometimes) come back to them. For instance, the Whispers top.

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It was supposed to be a part of the Nice & Knit Summer Sweater Knit Along. By the time I really got knitting on the thing, summer was over. I finished it well after the KAL concluded…so late in fact I was able to use it in the Commuter Knitter Finish Along for this year. If you haven’t wandered over to listen to NDJen04 (on Ravelry) on her podcast, you are missing out! Check her out on iTunes if you are looking for some fun knitting related listening.

I don’t know where I was going there. See what I mean? I’m all over the place.

So I think I need to work on holding myself accountable for all the awesome things I want to start and participate in!!

For instance, I’ve got 3 things I’d like to tackle before the end of the year. Maybe if I tell you about them, you can help hold me accountable. Perhaps I should make a weekly thing to check in. So those things that I want to do.

1. Rikke Hat– I finally caught up with all the blogs I read. While doing so, I came across several posts referencing this post by Anke at Our Little Piece of Heaven. She has a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. Anke is requesting a few hats knit for her friend to brighten her day. I have the perfect skein of Malabrigo Rios in the Arco Iris colorway and I love the Rikke pattern. The slouch is perfect and so cozy.

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2. Wee Envelope– As I mentioned in my last post, I received my LittleStitch box from PostStitch to make a Wee Envelope for my niece Payton. I went into this in good detail last week.

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3. Turia Sweater/Featherweight Sweater– I want to knit the Turia because it’s been languishing in my stash for some time. It was also the first sweater I saw that I really, really wanted to make. It is in battle with the Featherweight sweater because I did just buy yarn for this at Vogue Knitting Live and Amy Herzog of CustomFit and Hannah Fetig of KnitBot (the designer) are running a KAL on Ravelry. Do you see my dilemma??

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These three things sound doable, but this brings me to my hesitancy to even talk about them much less cast them on. I already have like 10 things on the needles! I don’t like having all these WIPs out there. Languishing. Feeling unloved. Being stagnant.

I look back at my WIPs and I remember loving all those things at some point. I ask myself why I put them down. Then I look at the next thing and think, yep, this is why I put that down, so I could start this! And I want those WIPs to be finished so they can go to their recipients or I can wear them!!

So this is where your thoughts come in. What would you do–finish up the WIPs or just go ahead and cast on the new stuff??

I’m sure I’ll make a decision by Wednesday, but I would love your input!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

When did Wednesday get here??

Thoughful Thursday

Really? I am really, really struggling with trying to remember what day it is…and I’m getting inspired by all the awesome posts I’ve been reading and the weather is cold. Like real cold. It’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit here with 20 mph winds…a perfect opportunity to wrap up in my knits.

Also it’s Thursday. I didn’t even know it was Wednesday and now it’s Thursday?? I know that it’s been pretty quiet here. I was traveling. My husband and I went down to Louisiana for a wedding between two of our college friends. Then, while we were down there, we stopped over and spent some time with my parents and my brother and my darling new baby niece :) Did I mention she is the cutest??

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Anyway, it’s been quiet because when I post, I sit down and do it on the day I’m going to post. Sometimes I make notes ahead of time about what I think I want to talk about, but usually I just wing it. I know some very organized bloggers out there take the time to set up posts to publish when they are out of town. I am not quite there yet.

Truthfully, I have missed posting, but I have also missed reading posts from others. When we got back in town Tuesday, I did spend some time trying to catch up on posts and podcasts. I still have a ton to read and I spent a good amount of time yesterday doing the same. I don’t generally like to sit down and post unless I’m caught up on all my reading, but if I don’t go ahead and post I’m afraid it won’t happen for a few more days, and I got this awesome package in the mail that I just HAVE to talk about. So I made some popcorn and poured a coke over some ice just to get my brain going.

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You know how something happens in your life, and you, being a knitter, feel the urge to knit something for the happening, and you search all over Ravelry to find the perfect pattern and you scour your stash and you (slightly) obsess over the whole process until you have something on the needles? Yes? Well that happens to me quite often. I feel like all sorts of life events call for special hand-knits, hand knits, handknits? I don’t know, I like the hyphen. My most recent life event was the birth of my first niece.

When I learned I would be an aunt, I searched for the perfect pattern and yarn to make the best blanket for her. That’s my normal, go-to baby project for people I really like who are procreating and give me lots of notice :) Otherwise, they get hats. So for Payton, I knit this slipped stitch baby blanket in mercerized cotton. I know I’ve blogged a good deal about it.

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I absolutely love the way it turned out. And to make life even better? Payton uses it all the time! How do I know? I get pictures of her and I see it in the background or wrapped around her or underneath her…it’s being used. My brother even called to ask how to wash the thing. That’s a positive sign :)

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After she was born, I went to see her and hand deliver the blanket. That’s when it hit me. My normal, go-to baby gift just wasn’t going to be enough for me. She’s so adorable and deserves all the hand-knits I can whip up before she outgrows the small amount of yarn it would take to knit said hand-knits in a reasonable amount of time. This is when the Ravelry scouring search of suitable baby knits commenced. I was thinking socks and a hat…that just didn’t seem like enough.

So I’m going to gift those to our neighbors who also happen to have a darling 3 month old baby girl who hasn’t received any of my hand-knit love :) I have been toying around with the idea for a sweater for a while. When I was on my Ravelry hunt, I came across Ysolda Teague’s pattern Wee Envelope.

I didn’t purchase it right away, but the little things has been marinating in my mind for a while. I thought about finding yarn for it while I was at VKL, but decided to wait and buy from a local shop so if I got stuck with the pattern, I could go in for help. I even talked to my mom about the pattern and how we both wanted to knit sweaters for Payton…see what new babies do???

Enter fate.

On the Friday night of VKL, my mom and I were taking our laps in the Marketplace. Our brains were swimming with all the lovely colors, soft skeins, and gorgeous finished projects that adorned all the booths. Then we stumbled upon PostStitch. My mom was the one who truly reeled us in. She wanted to knit a row on their scarf.

The lovely ladies, Amy & Megan, are a mother-daughter team who came up with a great idea to deliver knitting projects with all the fixin’s right to your front door. We all got to talking and Megan showed me the LittleStitch kit for this month.

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It is the Wee Envelope pattern, knit in some super squishy Aspen by Luna Grey Fiber Arts. Included? The most adorable and ironic buttons.

Cherries. Ironic? It is my maiden name, and sweet baby niece, Payton Elizabeth Cherry.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. It was my only purchase Friday night because I couldn’t pass it up. To celebrate, Mom and I took a fun selfie in their booth.

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And it was on my doorstep when we got home from the airport on Tuesday. Just in time for NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month).

I think I need to wind some yarn and get going :)

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Until then,

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

Thoughts about VKLive Classes!!

Thoughful Thursday

So I’m sure after my last post, you are wondering why I didn’t have as much time to shop and buy all the things (other than my stated plan). With the package we purchased included 3 classes and Mom and I wanted to take full advantage of the awesome ladies who were teaching all weekend.

First up when we got there on Friday, we took a Hand-Dyeing Class taught my Rhonda Fargnoli. She seemed very knowledgeable and very into the yarn business. She gave some great tips for where to buy her natural dyes, but I wish we were given more direct instructions on how to prepare and set up our own dyeing at home. Ce la vie.

We did have a good time dyeing our mini-skeins with a few different dyes. There were 5 different colors and one was indigo and one was cochineal. We spent the afternoon dipping and painting and pouring dye all over our mini skeins. Here is Mom at work.

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The room we were in at the Palmer House Hilton had some really, really yellow lighting.

We took them up to the room on styrofoam plates and laid them out to dry.

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When we got home, I rinsed them with some white vinegar and hung them up to dry over the sink.

Now, what to make??? I need a scale so I can know how much of each color I have…maybe I can make a magic ball with these for a big fun project?

The next class I took was Getting Your Lace On taught by the lovely Laura Nelkin. Let me start by saying that I have never knit one of Laura’s patterns. Each time that one of her designs have caught my eye, I go and look it up and notice how complicated it is. This is not a bad thing, but up until about 6 months ago, I stuck to simple knits. Nothing too complicated, nothing I have to count…then I did the Follow Your Arrow KAL (on my own time because KAL time restrictions seem to be terrible for me) and the whole “simple only knitting” flew right out the window.

Laura started off the class by sharing many of her samples with us. She passed around so many lovely things, talked about what Lace knitting actually is and isn’t, and had us cast on 10 stitches.

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And knit a few rows. We played around with some increases and had a very good discussion on what a “yarnover” actually is and should look like (I guess I had not been paying much attention to my knitting in the past). Fun fact: A yarn0ver should in fact be a piece of yarn over the needle, but the leg riding in front of the needle still needs to be the right leg! Amazing. Next time you do a yarnover, check it out.

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We then played around with some decreases. Her instructions were great. She talked about when designers would use each one and which ones were appropriate for double sided lace (eeeeek!). She was incredibly patient and kept us all interested.

We touched on how to read charts for one-sided lace, lace in the round, and two-sided lace. We even hit (quickly) on blocking. The whole 3 hours was jam-packed full of great information. It really made me think about my knitting and gave me the confidence to tackle a few of Laura’s (complicated) designs. She was gracious enough to even do a quick selfie with me after class!!

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Sorry that my quality isn’t great :( That’s what I get for using the iPhone I guess. I am definitely a Laura fan after such a great experience. I highly recommend you check out her blog and her new book, Knockout Knits, (which is full of info about the techniques used as well as the patterns).

Mom took a class from Amy Detjen about Two-Color Knitting during this time. I will have to get with her about what she thought. I took a class from Amy last year about Cables…also awesome :)

PS: I am wearing my Whispers top!

Our next class was in the afternoon. It was Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale. She is the author the books Entrelac and Entrelac 2. Another note about my experience with Entrelac, I had never done this either! Rosemary is a hoot and reminds me of my parents’ German neighbor who is very matter-of-fact. She had us jump right in to try our hand at Entrelac. Throughout the class, she offered great tips on how to pick up stitches and she showed off several of her beautiful designs. I was so busy knitting, I did not have time to take pictures of my progress. Here is my swatch.

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Overall, the classes were definitely worth the time and money we spent at Vogue Knitting Live. Both this year and last, have left me with a great experience. I will say that one thing I will do before taking classes at a big event like this is to do some research about the teacher before hand. Look them up on Ravelry and see what some of their work is like, maybe see if they have been talked about by other knitters who have taken classes from them.

Anyway, definitely something I would do again :) I need to get my needles going so I can cast on something new from Knockout Knits!!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

 

 

The Technique to Curing the Fiber Event Hangover

technique tuesday

Yes, I am still alive! I’ve been reading all about people with the “Rhinebeck Hangover” and I think that this hungover feeling after attending a large fiber event is a real thing! I have finally (sort of) processed most of what I learned and saw at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago and I want to tell you all about it!

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The first step to wellness is often admitting you have a problem. I, Jenna, have a problem of wanting all the soft, shiny, squishy fiber I can get my hands on. This year’s haul, as opposed to last year’s haul is substantially less. A step in the right direction of creating a stash I want to knit all the things from.

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And here’s why.

I made a list of things I was looking for and I stuck to it (mostly).

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I did not get the yarn for both the sweaters I wanted and a hank of some Merino/Cashmere/Nylon sock yarn may have found its way home with me as well, but I did enjoy the marketplace without feeling overwhelmed.

This was because my mom and I took an initial lap around the two floors to see what all the vendors had and what we were interested in looking more closely at and potentially buying.

We were pulled in by the ladies in the PostStitch booth. Right as we walked up, they had us knit a row on their scarf. Then as we were chatting, the ladies, Amy and Megan shared they are a mother-daughter team that started this cute business. Mom and I could definitely relate. She is the one who got me interested in knitting and taught me how. Anyway, PostStitch is a monthly subscription that sends the recipient a box with the yarn, pattern, needles, and whatever notions would be needed to complete the project. What really drew me in was the LittleStitch project they are doing for this next month…I won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say it is perfect for me being a new auntie :) They had us take a fun selfie in their booth.

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And they sent us on our way with a cute little knitted necklace kit with yarn, needles, and the pattern for Ambah O’Brien’s Petarli necklace.

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Then since it had been an incredibly long day by 7:30pm, we decided to hit the hay. I did do a quick lookover of the cards I collected from booths and make little notes on the marketplace map so I could go back the next day in between classes.

Having a game plan really helped me to make the most of my 45 minute shopping time before my afternoon class. I hit the Yarn Pop booth first for this darling project bag.

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I got the Large Clutch in the Natural Owl pattern. It’s now holding my Oatmeal Shawl. I wanted to thread the yarn through the holes, but since I had already started the colors I couldn’t thread them through. Oh well. This puppy is seeing some great action. I feel like it’s closer to being completed so I’m trying to work on it a little more.

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Next, I hit up the Delicious Yarns booth. I was intrigued by their Sprinkles yarn. They had several samples knit up to show of the “pops” of color would show up in a knitted fabric. I knew that I wanted this for my Featherweight Cardigan. I’m planning to join the CustomFit Featherweight KAL here shortly. So I bought about 1350 yards in the fingering weight of Sprinkles in the Grape colorway.

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Look how cute the tags are!! So clever :)

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Then, I lost my mom. She disappeared so I did a quick walk through of the floor I was on and then down to the third floor to look there. I called her a few times, but she didn’t hear it. So I made another walk through on the 4th floor and picked up some sock yarn from Sophie’s Toes Sock Yarn. I had been eyeing a skein of MCN (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) in the Snowy Owl colorway. There was a sock sample knit up and it looked like newsprint. So I wanted it. It’s soooooo squishy and soft.

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I was initially thinking this would be socks, but I do have this pattern for a Snowy Woods Cowl by Michele Bernstein that this may work wonderful for. I will have to swatch a little and give it a try. Michele has some beautiful patterns and she talks about them on her blog here. Definitely a fun one to add to your blogroll.

Finally, I made it over to the Windy Knitty booth because Laura Nelkin was signing copies of her Knockout Knits book. Initially, this book was not on my radar. I had seen it pop up on some blogs and had really liked the Prolix Mitts pattern, but I hadn’t given it a whole lot more thought. Until my Saturday morning class was “Getting Your Lace On” taught by Laura herself! She was a fabulous teacher and had tons of samples knit from her patterns in the book. Seeing her beautiful designs in real life sold me and I knew I’d have to seek out the book. So I did :)

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I even got a fun picture for Instagram after class!

Eventually, in this short crazy 45 minute shopping adventure, I did find my mom and helped her to spend a little money too. Then we hurried off to our afternoon class on Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale.

I will have to do a separate post on our classes as it would make this beast entirely too long. We had a blast though on our trip! It’s always so fun to be around so many other people who love fiber as much as we do!!

Until next time.

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

WIPs & Plans

WIP Wednesday

Yay! A real WIP Wednesday post! I’m pretty proud of myself as I’ve whittled down my WIPs to just 10. I’ve been working pretty hard on my Whispers sweater (which I will wear to Vogue Knitting Live!) until I finished it. I will be sure to take pictures of me wearing this! I love it!!!

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My needles have been going so fast, they are smokin’!

I’ve been making some good progress on my Twist Vest. I’m hoping to knock it out so I can block it and weave in the ends before we leave on Friday morning.

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I need to do about 6 more inches on the collar portion. I’m hoping it will fit and be long enough when I finally cast off…my needles have been keeping it too tight for me to try on. Cross your fingers!! If not, I’ll just have to rip it out and try again :( That is one nice thing about knitting vs. other crafts where you don’t really need to cut anything and it’s all able to be undone.

My Technicolor Take 2 Socks haven’t seen much love since they were cursed for the Cardinals games. I guess now that they’ve lost and the Royals/Giants are facing off in the World Series, I can pull them back out. I am still really liking the yarn and pattern and my Karbonz!!

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I am questioning if they will be too big…I have skinny ankles but long feet so I traditionally make the bigger size. However, my 2 pairs of socks I have made for myself are both pretty slouchy. After reading so many blogs and posts about socks and Socktober, I am inspired to knit myself socks I will love. Ripping may commence if I can try these on :)

Not to worry. I have been doing a little unselfish knitting as well. In the name of a few gifts.

First up is my Flurfy Scarf for Jabes. It’s coming along. It takes a little brain power. I’m into the solid section of the 3rd of 4 colors.

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And the Array Cowl for Lyndsay. Taking a while since it has a bunch of slipped stitches. I know initially I was a little hesitant about the color combination, but I’m really liking it in the daylight. I’m not sure that the picture here does it justice.

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And the Skinty Stripe Scarf for Deana. Also taking a while since it is on US size 3 needles.

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On to the planning stage for my super fun trip!!!

Last year, when I went to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago, I rode the Megabus early in the morning, spent about 3 hours in the giant marketplace, spent way too much money buying impulse yarn, took a class on cables from Amy Detjen, had delicious deep-dish pizza with my husband (who was an insane trooper through the whole experience), and took the Megabus back to Louisville that night. I spent roughly 24 hours on this trip and around 12 hours were spent on the Megabus.

I think this is the haul from last year. I tried to pull it all out of my yarn cabinet from memory. I’ve got a couple skeins of sock yarn, a few skeins of some bulky Malabrigo Rasta, some Shibui Cima for a scarf, and some Neighborhood Fiber Company to knit the Monomania sweater. I’m pretty sure I haven’t made anything from my haul last year. What a shame!! Pulling it all out makes me want to cast on something right away, but I’m trying to stay disciplined and finish up what I already have on the needles.

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When I received the email this year about year’s event, I knew I wanted to go back. I also knew that St. Louis had a train that went to Chicago which would be more enjoyable than a bus (public transit is a way better option for me than driving because I can knit on the way there and not worry about driving or paying an outrageous amount to park in Chicago). I also knew that I wanted my mom to go with me. Plus, I knew I wanted to stay overnight and not be rushed. And staying overnight gave us the opportunity to take more classes!!!

This year, I’m looking up patterns I want to buy yarn for and trying to make a list of some unique dyers and companies that I want to look for. Also going to keep on the look out for a few books. I just don’t want to come home with a bunch of random single skeins that I bought in the throws of “ooooooooh that’s so pretty and soft and squishy.” So I’ve made a few lists. I need to finalize these in the next day so I can go in with a solid plan.

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So the lists are coming together…

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Nicole.