The Knit Nest

I’m not sure how the rest of you guys operate out there, but when I have some quality time to knit, I tend to create a Knit Nest. The perfect place to nestle in and just get those needles clicking.

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I spread out. I’ve got projects everywhere. My laptop is within reach. My husband’s iPad is within reach. The remote is within reach…everything you could really need for a night of knitting.

I know there has been some blog silence this past week. This is mostly due to all the knitting I’ve been doing. I am trying to spend more time knitting than online. When I find that I have limited time to do either one or the other, I try to actually knit :)

Since today is Sunday, I also wanted to share a little stash dive.

Let’s check out this awesome braid I got a Rainbow Fibres in Germantown, Tennessee a few years ago. It is by Hand Painted Knitting Yarns (or HPKY) and is their Rome yarn. It’s Alpaca, Nylon & Merino. So it’s not technically a braid in the spinning sense, but it is 5 skeins looped together looking like a braid.

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It is super soft and has a nice little halo from the Alpaca. I was feeling so inspired, I sad down and wound the 5 skeins by hand. It. Was. Awesome!! It turned into these nice little yarn balls.

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Naturally since I wound it, I found the pattern that it came with and cast on :) It’s the HPKY Bias Shawl. I’m excited to have something so beautiful and warm for the upcoming winter. It’s an easy garter stitch knit. Perfect for football and baseball watching.

I’m loving the little fuzzy halo. The stitches are not incredibly defined, but it should be a cozy winter knit. I’m hoping it will be long enough to wrap around my shoulders.

Still holding onto my “knit-all-the-things” feeling, especially with the cool weather returning today.

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

My Stash is No Good

knittingconfessions

Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.

Yes, you read that right, my stash is no good. It is totally random. It has no rhyme or reason to it. When I started adding skeins to my stash, I would buy one, maybe two skeins of something beautiful. Mostly, I would buy when I traveled to new cities while coaching volleyball, and I would try to buy something unique that I hadn’t seen before or couldn’t get in Louisiana or Memphis. You know, a good yarn souvenir :) This resulted in some beautiful things, but just one skein of beautiful.

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Up until May, when I started my blog, this was ideal for my knitting plan: knit accessories. Usually those only require 1 or 2 skeins, perfect for small projects.

Here is the real confession:

Initially, when I started knitting I had no desire to knit garments. Sweaters? nope. Tops? nope. Jackets? nope. Sleeveless tank? nope.

I believe every knitter has a different journey into the knitting world. Everyone has their own taste. I wanted scarves and hats. I wanted mitts and socks. Maybe a headband. I started with small things. Manageable things. Things to cast on and finish that wouldn’t take that long. Truthfully, the thought of sitting down to knit a sweater was insane to me. Sweater knitting involved lots of yarn, costing lots of money and taking lots of time. I could go to the mall and buy one that I liked, would fit, and it would be instant. No waiting. No extra work. I just wanted to make scarves and cowls that you couldn’t find in the stores.

I was not even tempted to knit anything to fit me until I started reading blogs and blogging myself.

Now, I dream of cardigans. I yearn to cast on a pullover. I desire to snuggle up in a hoodie. All of these that I keep seeing on other blogs. My only problem is that my stash is full of 1 and 2 skeins. Not enough for a garment. And I’m on a yarn diet. Until Chicago. Which leads me to my plan.

On this upcoming trip, I want to acquire stash with a plan. Maybe pick out some projects ahead of time and go into the Marketplace to find yarn for that project.

Until then, I’ll bide my time, working on my Whispers top and maybe that Twist vest along with the other 10 things I have cast on already.

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What about you? What does your stash look like? Is is all about big projects, little projects or just pretty skeins?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Brandy for my Knitting Confession.

Can’t. Fight. It…

The feeling of wanting to KNIT ALL THE THINGS!! Every time I walk past my yarn cabinet, I want to pull something out. What’s worse? I’ve had my ball winder & swift set up at my table since Thursday when I wound my yarn for a teachable KAL at Knitorious (it is the Catkin shawl in some gorgeous Madeline Tosh Merino Lite!!).

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So I’m giving up the fight. I’m going to go into my cabinet and tell you about a pretty…

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It’s Berroco’s Inca Gold. In this deep brown-ish color.

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I want it to become the Malabrigo Twist Vest. I have the booklet and I want to knit all the things in it.

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I did knit the Rasta Cowl, but I lost it.

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After lots of wine at a winery with friends. I called the winery after and they didn’t have it. I even called the cab driver with no luck. I can only hope that whoever found the lovely has enjoyed my Smoldering Cowl as much as I did.

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I even have another skein of this exact Rasta I picked up at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago last year so I could knit another one. It’s on my list or at least in my queue :)

There are several things I would like to knit from this book like the OXO Cable Pullover & the Scalloped Shawl.

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Also, on the news front, I am going back on a yarn diet until the end of October. I would try to last longer, but my mom and I booked train tickets, 3 classes, and a room to attend the Vogue Knitting Live Show in Chicago this year! I’m very excited and just knowing how much yarn I bought last year when I was there, I think holding off for 6 weeks would be smart so I can maximize my stash enhancement opportunity at the show this year.

Back to the stash dive. I think I will cast this project on in the next day or so. I’ve got one maybe two projects that are close to being finished and I can justify starting something else.

I can’t be the only one fighting the urge to knit absolutely everything! What is calling to you?? Anyone else going to any fun knitting shows this fall?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

TGIF

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Yes, that’s a little throw back to my childhood. We would sit down as a family and watch the TGIF Line up on TV as a family. Cheesy, but fun :)

This week in St. Louis, the temperatures have felt like fall. For instance, we opened all our windows yesterday and the thermostat in our house read 65 last night before I went to bed. I’m wearing a cozy sweatshirt and PJ pants, not to mention my awesome Christmas socks!

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I’ve been reading all over blogs and Ravelry about knitting season. This change in the weather has definitely prompted a desire to knit everything, even more than I was feeling. Now instead of just knitting on my WIPs, I am scanning my yarn cabinet, Ravelry queue, and my physical library to pair up yarns from my cabinet to knit things. Any things. Just something to put around me and keep my warm. Forget knitting for other people, I’m feeling selfish and very, very motivated.

Plus it helps that I’ve finished a few things. Let me show you those!!

First up, the MariGOLD Slouch hat!! I even blocked the thing!

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I love the color. I love the cables. My only reservation is that it’s big. Like big! Lots of slouch. I know that’s the point, but I’m not quite convinced. It’s still drying, so when it’s done, I will take some live action photos of it on an actual head.

I also cast on and finished a Little Red Riding Hood cape for a dear friend’s little one. She contacted me when I was home visiting my new niece and helping my mom organize her stash. I found this darling pattern, Capuchon, hurried over to Michael’s to pick up some fun, hard-wearing, kid-friendly yarn in the Red Heart Shimmer, then went home to raid my mom’s needles and cast that bad boy on.

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The pattern is written to start at the neck with a provisional cast-on, then knit the cape down, come back pick up the neck stitches to work the hood. I decided I didn’t want to do that, so I cast-on from the bottom up, did a little math and away I went. It has this adorable raspberry stitch border along the bottom.

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It was easier to do than I thought. I held the yarn double and knit it on US 10s. I did a 3 needle bind off at the top of the hood. I used a bowl to steam block this thing on. I wanted to even out my stitches and help the borders lie flat.

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Overall, I love the thing. Super easy to knit. I used a satin ribbon that I threaded through the fabric around the neck. I didn’t want to do anything permanent.

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I’m mostly impressed that it fit :)

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It’s just too adorable. I made pretty thorough notes on my project page in case you want to knit one from the bottom up too…I only made the notes for the 12 months size. Should be a good starting point though if you want to do a bigger size.

You may have also noticed that I blocked these two items. Aren’t you impressed? Especially after my Knitting Confession a few Mondays ago about it. It really does make a difference. I have another awesome blocked object to show you. I guess we could count this as a FO as well on this lovely Friday.

It’s my Follow Your Arrow Shawl. I know I’ve posted about it a lot. I love it and blocking the lace made a huge, HUGE difference. Before:

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After:

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She is beautiful. I can’t wait to wear her.

Have you finished anything lately??

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

I just love it. That’s all.

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Every time I pick up my needles, I just love it. I am still feeling the KNIT ALL THE THINGS bug! I just want to knit them all. Just is my favorite word today. It also helps that I love knitted items. I can’t keep my eyes off Ravelry and other blogs and I just want to cast on. Everything. 

I think that is not a bad thing. For one, it can help me support my local yarn shops I’ve been exploring here in St. Louis. I truly love the whole experience of going into a yarn shop; the stroking of the yarn, the ooooohing and aaaaaahing over the samples, and the general camaraderie of the people shopping and the people working. It’s like nothing else. If I could pull all the yarn off the shelves and pile it up and jump in like a pile of leaves and not get kicked out/banned for life, I would do it to every shop I ever walk into. So here is my one little pitch for LYS…

SHOP AT THEM!!!! DON’T JUST ORDER YOUR YARN ONLINE!! I know sometimes you can save money…but save the online ordering for an Etsy shop or if you are somewhere you can’t get yarn. If you can, GO INTO THE SHOPS! PET THE YARN! BASK IN THE RICH COLORS! SWAP STORIES WITH THE WORKERS & THE CUSTOMERS! ENJOY THE COMMUNITY! 

Alright! *steps off soapbox* 

On to the Works in Progress that are currently adorning my needles :)

First up: Whispers…This top is really coming along. I started the decreases for the waist shaping. I just adore the Rowan Fine Art I’m using. The color is just perfect. I should be knitting on this more so I can wear it. 

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Next: Sunny Topper. I love the happy golden color and the cables are a cinch. I love that it’s on size 8s and just flying. I think I’ve got maybe 2 more cable repeats before the decreases start!

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And: Cat Tails. I caved and started something new. Well, it was really because I signed up for a class/KAL at Knitorious here in St. Louis. I picked out some gorgeous Madeline Tosh Merino Light to knit up the Catkin Shawl by Carina Spencer. 

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I think that about wraps up my active WIPs for now…who knows, maybe by next Wednesday, I’ll have something else I’m working on…

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,
Jenna

Linking up with Tami & Nicole.

I Must Confess

That my loneliness
Is killing me noooooowwww
Don’t you know I still believe
That you will be here
And give me a sign
Hit me baby one more time

Britney Spears is timeless, right? This brings me to my topic today, another Knitting Confession :)

knittingconfessions

Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.

Gauge swatch? What gauge swatch…That’s right. I don’t knit them. I’ve knit one gauge swatch in all my knitting adventures. It was the little guy for the Whispers top.

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I didn’t even block it. But I knit it. Since I was creating a project that was supposed to fit me.

Otherwise, I just cast on and go. It has bitten me in the buns a few times which had me ripping out and restarting my project a time or two. Most recently, that was the Midsummer Baby Blanket. I cast on and started that project 3 separate times with differing needles and a different number of cast on stitches until I finally found one I liked for the width and the stitch definition. Maybe I did a little extra knitting, but I truly didn’t mind.

I think the part of me that doesn’t knit gauge swatch is the forest type of person. You know what I mean? There are tree people and forest people, meaning people who live in the details and people who see the whole picture. I have a hard time seeing all the little details, but I can see how the big thing is going to turn out and fit together. The gauge swatch seems like such a tiny detail that is too minute for the big picture.

I will say that knitting the swatch for the sweater was valuable. I knit one swatch on size 7 needles and didn’t like the fabric. So I knit another on size 6 needles. I measured that and noted that I would need more stitches to get the measurements for the top, so I went up a size on the pattern.

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It is coming along…I’m about to start a little shaping :)

Do you knit gauge swatches or just wing it?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Brandy at Stitched Up in Toronto.

You know what I am?

A Slacker. That’s what I am…on the blogging front, but not on the knitting front! Since I haven’t been writing here, I have been knitting my little fingers to the bone. Along with traveling, and I even picked a book back up! I know, scandalous!

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In case you’ve noticed it is not Friday, but I have avoided the stash dive this week because I need to work on the projects I have and the stash dive gets my fingers itching to start something new :)

First, let me tell you a little about my trip. First I got to meet my niece! Payton Elizabeth. So. Stinkin’. Cute!!!

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And She looked so good in my blanket :)

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I got to hold her and love on her.

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And here is my brother the proud papa!

 

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They went to the doctor on Tuesday just before her 2 week old mark and she’s already surpassed her birth weight. She is a healthy little eater and did I mention she’s cute!!??!!

The visit wasn’t all baby holding, I did help my favorite knitting bud get her stash and projects onto Ravelry. My mom was pretty inspired that I keep my Ravelry page updated with my yarns and projects (speaking of, I have a few skeins to add) that she wanted my help to sort her projects and get them into an organized system. I almost convinced her to get her own yarn cabinet, but she doesn’t have any where to put it. yet.

I helped her take pictures of her projects. This should look familiar

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It’s the Momma Daughter KAL, but my Mom’s version. Here’s the link to her project.

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She is coming along. My mom also had some really cool projects started. 23 total that she considered WIPs even though there were like 5 or 6 that weren’t started but had the yarn and pattern paired together. I don’t know how she has resisted starting those, but she has. It was fun playing with her yarn! And I know she loves having it organized.

Here are a few more of her project pictures. If you’d like to see more of what my mom is working on, head on over to her rav project page here.

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Have you helped someone else get organized with their yarn before?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

 

 

Let’s Be Honest

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It’s late. It’s Wednesday. I failed once again to get good, natural light photos of my WIPs. And I am still feeling the KNIT ALL THE THINGS bug! It is taking a good amount of self control not to walk over to my cabinet, pull out some yarn, wind it, and just cast on to knit. It doesn’t help that my hands have been aching from golf and knitting so I’ve been spending a lot of time on Ravelry and reading up on blogs. My queue has grown (Libby’s Settler Shawl pattern just launched on her blog Truly Myrtle…and I have just the yarn to cast this on, and I’m sure I could come up with some needles…do I really need to justify this????)

And I’m traveling tomorrow to go see my NEW BABY NIECE!!!! She will receive her Midsummer Baby Blanket in person…You know what this means, right? Airplane knitting time! So now I really need to pick out which projects are going with me. Plus I’ll be with my Mom who is the best knitting buddy. So I need to bring projects to just work on. Can’t I just pack up my whole cabinet and bring it? I don’t think I need clothes, I can just pack a whole bag of yarn. That’s not crazy, right?

How about an update?

Truly I’ve only been knitting on these projects:

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My Whispers Top is coming along. I know it seems to be going slow, but it is the easiest to do while reading blogs or watching TV or in a group :) I just love the Rowan Fine Art I’m using for this.

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These socks are a little tougher…those are on the US Size 0 needles that are only 9 inches long…my hands tend to hurt some when I’m working on these, and passing the yarnover over the 2 stitches makes it a little tight. I’m thinking about ripping back to the ribbing and going 1×1 rib all the way down…or maybe rip it all the way back and work a little 2×2 or 3×1 rib for the cuff. I’m going to keep trying because I love the stranded look that the pattern uses to highlight the yarn (Pagewood Farm Denali Hand-Dyed Sock!!!)

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Then there is this awesome hat…the MariGOLD Slouch. Just a fun knit with some cables and worsted weight yarn and US size 8 needles are just flying. I’m in love with it and have a hard time putting it down. I’m still wondering if I should keep this or end up gifting it. I don’t like to just knit stuff and then determine who to give it to, I like to knit with a recipient in mind. We shall see!\

So I totally feel like I should pull out the rest of the goods from my WIP trunk. Maybe these can travel with me on my adventure.

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Remember the Tumbling Bunny? I do :) Only down side? I don’t know what I did with the pattern and my flight is tomorrow morning at 7:30am…

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And there is Jordan’s Cozy Man Scarf…it’s gotten some love over the last few days trying for a little mindless knitting and easy on my hands. I took one photo with the flash and one without. Neither really capture the true colors, but the Mountain Colors Twizzle is magnificent.

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And here we are with the Momma Daughter Knitalong. It has been temporarily put on hold since I picked up all the edge stitches. This is because I may be a little further along than my mom. I’m trying to wait so I picked up the Man Scarf and started the socks and and and and keep staring at my yarn cabinet and pairing them up with my Ravelry queue in my mind, over and over.

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Oh yeah, then there’s Jabe’s Flurfy Scarf. This hasn’t come out of the bin in a while. Maybe not since the time I met up with a group here in STL. It’s been hibernating.

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Finally, the Skinty Stripe Scarf that has also been in hibernation. I worked on it in mid-June for a little road trip to Omaha. I do love it.

So this evidence suggests that I should NOT cast on anything new and just drag most of it on the plane with me so I can have something to fiddle with as I fly. Thoughts?

Have you been bitten by the KNIT ALL THE THINGS bug??

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Tami & Nicole.

These are my confessions…

MONDAY musing 2

So I’ve been reading Brandy’s blog, Stitched Up in Toronto and she started this fun link up about knitting confessions. I thought since it’s Monday, I’d join in! From Brandy’s post:

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Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.”

Here we go!

I don’t block my finished projects. With the exception of the Gefn fingerless mitts (after I read this post by the YarnHarlot and felt inspired)

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I sent as a gift and my Citron shawl (which is a little small for my broad shoulders).

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This is insane. Especially now that I’m undertaking my first garment that is supposed to fit me, my Whispers sweater. I even knit a gauge swatch because the yarn was not what the pattern called for and I ended up going down a needle size, but I didn’t block the swatch, I just went with it.

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I’ve got 74 projects on my Ravelry page, and I know I’ve done a few more that I didn’t document and I don’t block. I find it tedious. I don’t feel like I have a place to properly soak the objects. I don’t even know how to pin out lace, nor do I have the proper things for that like wire & pins. I have some basic mats that I bought to just pseudo-pin the Citron shawl on it (with safety pins!). I know that it is fantastic for the wool or fiber just to clean it up and give it back its bounce. Or even to even out the stitches. Or any of the numerous benefits of blocking a finished object.

All of the projects in my possession (I could find since the move) that I’ve knit.

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All the ones I didn’t block :)

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If you want some more reasons to actually block, just read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s post I referenced earlier. Or all the other knitting blogs and such out there.

In fairness, I am planning to block the lace Follow Your Arrow Shawl so that the lace will show.

Maybe this could serve as a confession & a resolution. I really think I could benefit from taking up blocking :)

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Itching Fingers to CAST ON!!!!

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Do you have those days where you just want to cast on something new? Ok, how about a week? Yes? That’s where I am. My fingers are literally itching to start knitting something new. Since I finished my baby blanket and the Follow Your Arrow shawl, I can’t stop combing Ravelry.

So far, I’ve whipped up 2 hats. One for my niece Nora and one for my nephew Will. I saw this yarn at Hearthstone Knits here in St. Louis. It’s Schachenmayr Lumio. So cool that it has a reflector strand running through it and the yarn is so bright and fun!!!

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I cast on 36 stitches on size US 13, did a little 2×2 ribbing with an improvised pattern. I like the swirl in the pink and I was going for zigzags in the blue.

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They just need a few finishing touches, like ends woven in and a pompom on top!

Whispers is coming along. S.L.O.W.L.Y. I guess that’s what happens when you are working with sock weight yarn on size US 6 needles…250 stitches. Stockinette. For 7 inches. It’s a fantastic mindless knit.

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Did I mention my fingers were itching?? And Ravelry is tempting me? So are all the other blogs I read…

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And then there is the WIP trunk…

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I did work on Jordan’s Cozy Warm Man scarf some that has been hibernating for a while. I really love the Mountain Colors.

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Maybe if I just cast on the Technicolor Socks I frogged a while ago from the needles I wasn’t in love with…I did get a fun new pattern to try them with called the Show-Off Stranded Socks. I’m trying them on the size US 0 needles that are only 9 inches in diameter for the Technicolor Socks Take 2.

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And I love this Marigold Slouch pattern. I really want to start it…I already have the yarn and the pattern is free. Maybe if I just wind it up into a ball, I can start that too?

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Also, I realized this is a WIP Wednesday post and it’s Thursday…whoooooops :)

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

PS. Linking up with Tami at Tami’s Ami’s & Nicole at Frontier Dreams!