Let the Knitting Begin…

I made it to the break! YES!!! It’s been a wonderful few days off and I’m looking forward to the next week…I’ve got a conference to attend here in St. Louis…the NCEA, National Catholic Educational Association is having it’s annual conference in St. Louis and my principal signed us all up. It’s a great opportunity for some professional development…I’ve got some more hours to get before the year is up, but I do wish I had a real, full spring break that is unbroken. Oh well, perhaps next year!

I have been knitting a good bit! The Harvest Cardigan from TinCan Knits for my niece. I read the directions and I need 13 inches from underarm to the place to start the border on the bottom. Then I need to do sleeves…

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Nora’s birthday is in July…I should have this finished before then, but I’d like to give it to her then. I’m saying a prayer with each stitch that it will fit her!

I’m also near the end of these socks…they are the Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel. I did have one sock finished, but it was a little snug so I pulled back to toe…now I need to knit a few more rounds on both socks before beginning the toe.

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Then the question is, what next? I thought about revisiting my Turia sweater…remember I knit the thing, attached the sleeves and decided to try it on…only to learn it was going to be too short 😦 So on Friday, I ripped the thing out all the way…except for the sleeves and resolved to knit the thing top-down…in theory, I’m just going to work the pattern backwards. That should work…right?

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On a different note, I’m contemplating a change. I keep seeing myself in pictures or the mirror and I don’t recognize myself. My picture of myself in my head does not match what I’m seeing. I’ve been trying, some of the time, to get to the gym. I always feel great after I go, just a matter of getting there. But I think I need a diet overhaul…I’m thinking of trying the Whole30.

Off to knit on this glorious Easter Sunday


Jenna

The Hard Knit Life

The Hard Part:

So I’ve been waiting to write. It’s harder to come back the further you get from the last post…funny though, because I keep working on projects or come across an Instagram post full of inspiration or catch little windows of time to listen to a podcast and I think about how I want to be writing on the blog and connecting will all the wonderful people I worked so hard to connect with over the last 18 months.

I’m going to take about 4 lines here and just acknowledge my excuses: I’ve been working too many hours, I haven’t had time to blog, when I have time I just want to sit and knit, I am trying to spend more time with my husband, I’m trying to spend less time in front of a screen…yada yada yada.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, even here 🙂 So enough with those, lets just move forward.

The Knit Part:

I spent the time from finishing the Skinty Stripe Scarf until shortly after my birthday only working on selfish knitting. Yes, you read that right, the Skinty Stripe Scarf is done! It’s living life in a happy new home. My sister-in-law loves it! And it is just her style.

When I was able to free myself from one of my oldest WIPs, I thought I’d take the time to try and finish up my other WIPs which all happen to be on the needles for me. I finished up My Autumn Shawl (Passe-Partout) out of Manos Silk Blend. The stitch definition on this single ply yarn is dreamy. I can’t wait to wear it!


I say finished, but I really mean I finished the knitting. Not the end weaving or the blocking.

I put in a bunch of rows on my Foggy Sunset (Daybreak) shawl. I’m about 3 more stripes away from starting the border. But it will have to wait. Sorry for the serious needle squenching.

I volunteered to test knit a pair of socks (Hammerhavn) designed by Pia Juulsen. She used to blog at nogetuldent.dk and now she’s on her own site, P. S. Juulsen. She’s a new mom. a loving wife and a knitter extraordinaire! I’m not sure how much I can say about the socks so I’ll just show you a minor tidbit. I’m using some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Tangerine colorway…this photo is a bid washed out…the orange is brighter, almost a peachy orange.


The Life Part:

You guessed it, I’m still working at the law firm. However, we are approaching hiring season within a lot of the private schools and my Tennessee teaching license will be expiring in August so I have a little bit to do on that front if I ever want to get back into the classroom.

And I do. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get going! I’ve always thought of myself as a taskmaster…in that I like to get things done. I make lists and find immense pleasure in being able to cross things off the list. Ironically, I’ve also got a pretty hefty dose of self-doubt & avoidance mixed in…meaning if I don’t really think I can accomplish something, instead of trying & failing (a very healthy way to learn!) I avoid the task, keep it of the list…keep it hidden.

I recently received some very heartfelt advice from a friend’s mom. She told me to put those things on the list and just do them. I know I’ve heard this from all of the people I love for the last few years, but maybe it was just the right timing.

Here’s to being back and off to a great start this new year!!

Can’t wait to catch up and reconnect! I’ll be perusing the blogosphere to catch up, but if you’d like to connect please leave a comment, even if it’s just a link to your space so I can know what’s going on with you!


Jenna

Na-Kni-Swe-Mo

Wow, it’s already November…and I am not quite sure how we got here so quickly!! I still feel like we were just beginning August…fall has just flown by! We have arrived in November and one of the coolest months of the year in the creative community.

The title of this post, NaKniSweMo means National Knit a Sweater Month…and it’s just like it sounds. People all over the knitting world take on the fun challenge of starting and completing a sweater in a month’s time.

The concept is modeled after NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month where people attempt to write a novel in a month. I think it would be a heck of a challenge, but also incredibly motivating…what a deadline! It helps people just to sit down and WRITE! No matter what…just sit down and put in the time to write. I don’t have the desire to write a novel, but the idea of the sweater knitting is certainly enticing.

This will be my first year to participate in the event and I’m pumped…however I’m not going to “start & finish” a sweater in November…I thought it could be a great way to finish up my languishing Turia sweater. Each time I get on Ravelry and see the sad, unfinished project page, I’m reminded a) how I want to wear it b) how I want to finish it!! So I need to dig it out and get going!

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I’m also feeling like I’m not prepared to start a brand new sweater…yes I have yarn and the pattern, but I’d have to go diving for needles. Plus there’s the issue of swatching to determine if I even have the right needles to get gauge.

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Work I’m not ready to do, so I’ll just go with the obvious choice. I mean, I’ve already started the sleeves 🙂

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Are you participating in NaKniSweMo??

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Jenna

Sunday Shawls

Remember almost 3 weeks ago when I posted about the shawls I was dying to start?

Well I did.

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And I’m in love. It seems a little crazy to keep knitting all this neckwear, but when it’s the perfect project for a single skein or maybe two lovelies worked together it’s hard to resist…especially when it will be worn and shown off!

I keep thinking how lovely it will be to have these finished. How snuggly they will be. How warm. How beautiful the colors will be…

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I started the Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West using some leftover gray from my 3 Color Cashmere Cowl (that I’m still weaving ends in on, very, very slowly) and some very peaceful looking Mini Mochi I received in a yarn swap last summer/fall.

The pattern is very intuitive, building the crescent shape upon itself. I love crescent shaped shawls. I feel like they are so easy to wear wrapped around shoulders or tied up like a scarf around my  neck. Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious when I wear them around my neck because the half circle can sort of look like you’re wearing a bib. Not trying to be a baby 🙂

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I powered through the solid section to reach the stripes because I wanted to see the Mini Mochi stripe up. Only problem is when I got there, I felt satisfied enough to put it down and start this.

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It’s “Passe-Partout” in the lovely Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend…remember the gold & dove gray. I also wanted to power through the first two sections of this shawl to see how the colors would really work together.

I’m so pleased with how they look together. Now I just want to work on this so I can wear it. I love golden yellows. I feel like its such a wonderful color all year round. In winter, it brightens up the day without being too loud. In fall, it’s the color of falling leaves. In summer, its the color of evening sunsets. In spring, its the deep color of blooming flowers.

IMG_1848 Who would have thought golden yellow was so versatile.

I’ve also got one other shawl on the needles…and it’s been there for quite a while. It’s my Cerise Curl.

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I was initially so in love. The yarn with the purple, brown and sparkles. Yes, sparkles. I’m not usually a sparkly girl, hardly wear make-up or high heels, but a little sparkle in my yarn…why not!

I did struggle with the pattern in the beginning. It wasn’t quite as intuitive as the first Curl (Caesious) I made from Hunter Hammersen’s book. But it was gorgeous and open. I am sure I will love the way it blocks out and I love all the different ways to wear the Curls. I just need to power through. I only have like 15 grams of yarn left. Each row takes around 1.5 grams, maybe more…I should be able to knock it out.

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Just thought I’d share some shawls I’m working on…they are great distraction from going into my stash every 5 minutes to start something new…I’m dying to cast on a sweater, rip out Turia, buy some forest green yarn and make SOMETHING (I’m super drawn to this color right now and just want to wear it)…so I thought shawls would be a good distraction.

How terrible that each time I approach my yarn cabinet, I have to think, “No Sudden Movements! Back Away Slowly Before Anything Else Gets Cast On!!” I guess it’s the arrival of September and the promise of autumn.


Jenna

Weekends are Most Needed

This back to work thing has really, really made me appreciate my time at home on the weekend. My husband went out of town and I had the house to myself. I swept, mopped, dusted, vacuumed, laundered, cooked, drank tasty beer, and of course, knit a good bit while watching the Cardinals play baseball!

I’m sure you’d all love to see my cleaner house, but I’ll spare you. I’m sure you can look at your own lovely homes and see the freshly swept floors and the stacks of freshly laundered towels…but what you can’t see is my lovely projects.

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This is all the yarn I have left…last time we spoke, I was still trying to bind off my Catkin shawl. Fantastic news! I’ve finished it, but I’m trying to decide if I should save it for this coming Friday so I actually have something to show for myself. I believe I will wait 🙂

So since I did finish something, I felt like I could start something new…or maybe a few new things 🙂

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I’ve been dying to knit Stephen West’s Daybreak since I participated in a swap last summer. During that swap, I received the most beautiful Mini Mochi by Crystal Palace Yarns. It’s in these beautiful muted purples, blues, and greens with long color changes…I just know that it will look fantastic in the Daybreak pattern. I’ve held off this long to cast on and I can’t wait any longer!

And I may have wound up some yarn for this lovely Passe-partout in some Manos Silk Blend. The golden color, 300x, has been in my stash from 2012 when I visited my friend Brenna in Tuscon and picked it up at The Tuscon Yarn Company…and the soft gray is Dove I picked up yesterday at Knitorious…I’ve been keeping an eye out for about a year for the perfect shade to complement my golden yellow since I didn’t feel I had enough yardage to really make a big enough piece to wear. When I stumbled upon the Dove, I knew it had to come home with me.

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Anyway, here’s to a wonderful week ahead full of work, volleyball, and (hopefully) lots of knitting! Any new plans you have for knitting?


Jenna

Happy Mother’s Day

I’m back! I really haven’t been gone, but I sort of have. My mom came to visit last week and we headed down to Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri. We stayed at the Big Cedar Lodge…so beautiful.

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We went fishing for Smallmouth Bass on Friday. I didn’t reel one in, but mom and Jordan did. Here’s the only proof I have…

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Mom caught the biggest one 🙂 it was great to spend time with her and really catch up. So the blog suffered a bit. And I’ve missed reading everyone’s posts too. I thought it would be perfect to jump back in on Mother’s Day after spending so much time with my mom.

I went for a wonderful walk and saw these beauties…

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Truly all those April showers have brought these lovely flowers. I’ll see what I can do about getting back in the groove, especially with the Freshly Finished Friday link up!


Jenna

Dropping the Ball

I have definitely dropped the proverbial ball on Friday’s link up 😦 Let me stop and say Happy Easter!

Back to what I was saying…Thursday afternoon & evening was simply glorious. I spent some really wonderful quality time with my husband. We ran an errand or two and ended up at Four Hands Brewery in downtown St. Louis. We sampled some really delightful brews and had some wonderful conversation. I’d been missing it. We ended up meeting up with a friend for dinner and by the time we got home, just fell into bed. We slept in a bit on Friday, went to Good Friday Mass, had dinner, spent some quality time together again and with some family before I realized it was Friday and I’d missed the boat here.

Here’s to getting back on the wagon for next week. I am disappointed that it happened but there are worse things. I am hoping you guys were able to find some other wonderful Friday posts out there and check out everyone’s finishes.

I’ve been catching up some posts and came across one that I’d like to take part in.

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

{Sunday’s heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This comes from the Wooly Moss Roots blog where Taryn takes the time to reflect each Sunday. Those are her words above and if you click on her blog title, it will take you to her page and the link up she has 🙂

Today I’m grateful for:

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…seeing these darlings on a walk today, bluebells maybe?

…being married to a wonderful man.

…living in the same city as family.

…catching up with my mom 🙂

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…finding these two getting along so well.

…playing in the kitchen to make something tasty.

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…knitting on my Curl, Cerise out of some lovely Zen Yarn Garden in a one of a kind Jewel colorway.

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…being able to wear my hand knit Squishy Socks with my fun mary janes to church today.

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…appreciating how fingerless mitts keep my fingers just the right temperature while still allowing me to enjoy my mango manicure 🙂

…folding clean laundry.

…enjoying the Cards vs Cubs opening day game!!

…breathing.

You can click the link here to see what others are grateful for this glorious day.

Jenna