Suddenly It’s Saturday!

And August…all at the same time! Another one of those weeks where I wake up and wonder where exactly all my time has gone. I guess that’s what happens when you are back to working full time.

Anyway, I had the most wonderful Friday evening. My husband and I picked up pizza, had a few hoppy beers, and had our first real financial planning meeting. I think in all relationships, talking about finances is both incredibly important and very challenging at the same time. We’ve been married for 2 years and we dated for 7 years before that. I would like to think we know each other pretty well, but it seems that finances are not something we delved into during these last 9 years…don’t get me wrong, we have talked money before, but not too personal. Mostly about spending habits and credit card bills.

This meeting was different. We brought goals to the table…all sorts of goals, from financial to retirement to savings even all the way down to where I want to take this blog.

That’s where I’m really heading with this. But it felt so great to talk through everything I don’t want to lose the feeling of it. So I thought I’d bring a little bit here.

I’d like to make a move here with the blog. First off, I’d like to move to my own dot com and take the “wordpress” part out…

I think that would allow for a bit more freedom here and I would be able to host the Friday link up (that I missed yesterday) right on my page. It wouldn’t direct you to an outside page.

I don’t want to change the feel of my blog. I want to keep it about my knitting and little peeks into my everyday life. It feels honest that way without getting too bogged down with the tough things that could be going on. I love that I can come here and be lighthearted or deep or funny or silly or just be.

So in the next 30 days, be on the look out for that shift to a new home. I think I’m ready.

For your patience and willingness to read my thoughts, here’s tasty little morsel of knitting.

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It’s my Catkin Shawl by Carina Spencer…It’s been on the needles since October of last year and I’m 20 rows from the finish πŸ™‚ Just in time to add to my total for stash dash πŸ™‚

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Jenna

Wrapping It Up

Or at least I’ve really been trying to!! Jeez! I’ve been on a crazy bender trying to wrap up as many projects on my needles as possible and I finally caught up reading my backlogged blogroll. I didn’t realize how much I missed while entertaining family. No worries, I’m all caught up and so excited to read all the wonderful posts people have been writing.

I’ve read lots of posts where people are like me, feeling the urge to finish up their projects in preparation of the new year and new projects. I’ve made a good effort, and I’ve waited a few days since the first to really sink my teeth into those new projects.

I thought as a good way to stay accountable and fight the urge to cast everything on I could share a few more of the things I’m trying to finish or frog…

I’ve got 2 pairs of socks going. One I’ve been knitting on for a few days (Squishy Socks) and one I’ve put into hibernation until I can weigh the yarns (Technicolor Socks).

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I’ve also got 3 scarves/wraps going. The first is a lace pattern (Jabes’ Flurfy Scarf) in some Silky Alpaca Lace. The second is a diagonal sparsely striped one (Skinty Stripe Scarf) also in Silky Alpaca Lace. Last is the Never Ending First ProjectΒ with some Artful Yarns Vineyard.

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There is also the Catkin Shawl I started in some tasty MadTosh Light during a KAL at Knitorious. I love this thing and I am excited to have it finished (eventually) but the rows are getting longer and it takes a good deal of attention. Translation: Not suitable for TV watching or conversation knitting and is thus limited in the time I choose to work on it.

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Last project on the needles is that crazy Copper Twist Vest I started so I would have another garment to wear to Vogue Knitting Live back in October. I’m using Inca Gold by Berroco. I started this in a frenzy and it went pretty quickly. I was having some reservations when I picked up the fronts/neck and it looked small. On a great suggestion by a reader, I put the thing on waste yarn and tried it on. Just as I suspected, it’s smaller than I would have liked. I think it could grow a little with blocking but I did not knit a swatch and wash it to find out. Bad knitter. So I’m considering frogging it.

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Or I could finish it and gift it. This is something I think is right up my mother-in-law’s alley style-wise and I think she would like it. I don’t know.

Hopefully I can wrap up some of these by this next week and then I’ll share all the things I want to start πŸ™‚

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 blogΒ 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 πŸ™‚

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 😦

It’s Quiet Here

Agreed. Things have been quiet here on the blogging front. Not to worry, I have been knitting. Mostly watching football or baseball or people at Oktoberfests, but knitting happens with those things.

I’m in a place with my projects where all I need to do is knit (or crochet on the egg). The nice thing is that I’ve been stitching with people. That always makes stitching more enjoyable.

Being around people who are knitting or aren’t just makes me think of all the possible things I could make. I think that’s one of the dangers of knitting. All I can think about is what else I could knit. Is that something that happens to other knitters or creators of any kind?

First off, I’ve been thinking about knitting something for someone very special. I have this beautiful skein of Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in the Doubloon colorway that has been haunting me since I worked at McNeedles for a summer. I picked this up on a trip to St. Louis at Knitorious a few years ago (ironic that this is the store I have frequented since moving here).

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I think I want to knit the Sandpiper Scarf by Celeste Young in the Knits of a Feather book. I picked this up about year ago at Barnes and Noble. I do love feathers and this book has some really cool patterns. I just think the yarn and the pattern would work beautifully together for someone very special.

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about all the odds and ends that I have from past projects. I don’t throw any of them away. As I’ve been listening to and watching some knitting podcasts, people seem to be talking about making blankets with their leftovers. I do think the Bee Keeper’s Quilt is gorgeous, but the thought of knitting all those biddy hexipuffs and then putting them together is very, very off-putting.

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I recently came across this Ten Stitch Blanket pattern by Frankie Brown. I would love to start this with my bag of goodies. Only hesitation is tying up a pair of needles in this.

Finally, the last thought that has been swimming around in my brain is designing my own knitwear. I keep going around, maybe a shawl, or a vest, or a pair of mitts, or a cowl…I’ve been simply sketching things out in my journal and I still haven’t swatched anything yet. But I did have a minor stroke of brilliance (teehee) when I read about this giveaway over on Small Things. I entered and didn’t win, but I did go online and order me a Knit & Crochet Notebook by Mama’s Notebooks.

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I’m really excited to start developing my ideas using this cool notebook. I love that there is plenty of graph paper and room to really play here. I still think I will need to start with swatching, but having this new tool does inspire me to get going.

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I should get back to the knitting before I cast on that scarf…I have way too many WIPs floating around here to start something new.

Does the quiet get your brain going?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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

A Stash Dive on a Steamy Saturday

What a glorious Saturday!!! It’s definitely very warm outside, but the sun is shining and I couldn’t ask for more. Growing up in South Louisiana, I know heat & humidity. Bring it on, St. Louis πŸ™‚

Today is a stash dive day! But before we get to that, let me tell you just a little about our morning adventure. My sister-in-law, Deana and the kiddos, Will & Nora, picked up Jordan and I this morning to go to the Soulard Farmer’s Market. It was huge and buzzing and full of delicious fresh produce. If you find yourself in St. Louis, Missouri, I recommend a trip.

We bought a huge watermelon, peaches, cucumbers to pickle, tomatoes, mangoes, green beans and even some fresh baked bread. The place was so busy and my hands were so full I wasn’t able to snap any photos of the market. But here’s our giant melon!

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On to the stash diving! Today is sort of a cheater day as this is also a highlight of my most recent stash enhancement. Yes, that means that I did break the diet, but it is for a good cause. I was supporting my favorite LYS McNeedles on my Β most recent trip to Louisiana. They did just add on to their shop and it is summer so yarn is not flying off the shelves as quickly as it normally does in the colder times. Plus it’s pretty.

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See!? It’s Alegria by Manos del Uruguay in Columbina. I’ve used this before in my Color Affection Shawl, but this is a new (to me) fun colorway. Pam says it reminds her of Funfetti Cake. I couldn’t agree more.

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Now the question arises, what should this become??
1. maybe some socks? Like moonrivercottager’s Painter’s Palate socks
2. or perhaps a shawl like tracieknits’ Kvothe scarf…I love the dropped stitch design…
3. Or Newdknit’s Fairy Bread Cowl…I even already have this pattern in my queue and it could look super cool in the dotty colors.
4. mayhaps it could be a part of another design by Veera Valimaki (Color Affection) like the Happy Street pattern?

I just have about 4 more projects to finish before I can cast on something new…at least finishing four projects would make me feel better about casting on something new. We shall see. I’m going to continue to try to just pick up the computer 1 time a day to read blogs, play on pinterest, and make a blog post. So far this week it has helped me to knock out my secret project for my swap partner! It is blocking now! I’ll try to send it out Monday so I can post about it next week and share the fun with you guys πŸ™‚

Until then, what would you do with one lovely skein of Alegria??

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Hello & Happy Saturday!!

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All from St. Louis of course. This has been my first move as a married person and it has certainly been different from any other move I have ever done. My very first move away from my parents’ home where I was for 18 years was to college in Memphis, Tennessee. I loaded up all my clothes, shoes, and linens into my mom’s car for the 6 hour journey. When we arrived, we went and bought anything else I could possibly need moving into a relatively furnished dorm room.

I moved in and out of college housing for the next 6 years, getting a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Then I finally moved into a condo with one of my best friends. That was a challenge because it was my first real place with stairs (I’d avoided them throughout college because I didn’t want to trudge up and down them everyday). My parents, brother, and boyfriend (now husband) really made that move possible. I was lucky enough to stay put there for 2 years while teaching school. Then there was the quick move to Louisville which involved renting a shipping crate, packing it jam full of everything I had acquired and having it hauled by a trucking company, delayed for a week, and finally unloaded by my husband and me into our SECOND floor apartment just a month before our wedding 1,000 miles away.

Thankfully, we made it to this move, with another 2 year lease (yay! no packing for at least that long) with the help of my father-in-law. He’s moved a time or two and was able to really help us pack our truck chock full. We made it the 240 miles with only a broken shelf, 2 broken glasses, a broken plate, and a broken hurricane lamp. Much better success. My only complaint? Yes, we are on the SECOND floor again, with daily stairs πŸ™‚ Ah well, I guess it is better to be making the noise than hearing the noise. And the stairs are in our unit so hopefully my cats can get some exercise and stop being the fattest ones around.

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All of this being said, it is really wonderful to wake up in a new place that already feels like home AND be inspired to write a post. It could have something to do with the Monster cup of coffee I poured myself.

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I have been struggling with time and ideas since we arrived, couple that with our week of no internet and you’ve got a girl who hasn’t been posting and over 200 posts to read in her bloglovin feed!!

You guessed it, it is STASH DIVE SATURDAY!! Since my stash is happily on display in the other room, it was so easy to just swoop in and pick out a skein to highlight. Here is the photo process of deciding.

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Hmmmmm, maybe something on the top shelf?

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No, no. How about the DK/Sport weight shelf?

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Oooooh yes, How about green? I love green.

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And it’s Smooshy!!!!

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It’s Dream in Color’s Smooshy with Cashmere. This may be my only yarn I have with Cashmere…so it must be made into something special. I want it to be something that will be close to my skin since it is so soft. I also love this color, Emerald Darkness, and really want it to be visible. So probably not socks since I don’t have any clear shoes…Maybe a shawl or scarf or cowl? But the catch is that I only have 1 skein…
Ideas:
1. How about this Nautilina Scarf by Sybil R on Ravelry? The colors look fun, and I’m sure I could pair this with another gorgeous yarn from my stash or perhaps break the diet?? Her pattern is available free on her blog, Knitting and so on.
2. Mayhaps The Age of Brass And Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower Yarn on Ravelry? Plus there are some very lovely yarns on the Orange Flower Yarn website that would be amazing in this pattern. Oh the temptation…
3. Maybe I should stop adding patterns to my queue and just look through that? Or the books I have here at home, but where is the fun in that adventure?? Maybe the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Welted Fingerless Gloves (here on Ravelry). These have been in my queue forever and I may even have the pattern somewhere…I bet the softness would be so nice on my hands.
4. Or perhaps Jared Flood‘s Ptarmigan cowl (here on Ravelry). I bet the lace in the round would be beautiful in the green I have. And another doozie that has been in my queue for far too long.

The hard part about looking at all of these beautiful patterns is that I really should not start anything new. I’ve been working almost exclusively on the Midsummer Baby Blanket for my soon-to-be-here niece. I’m literally 4 rows away from starting the 4th color. It’s a little bulky to travel with since I have a big bag full of yarn. I don’t want to leave any of it behind because I’m paranoid that I will run out of a yarn I need RIGHT THEN! Here is the progress.

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I’ve also been working on the Mother-Daughter Knit-along which is the Putney Shawl in my Kentucky Festival purchase πŸ™‚ I love that this project is still very portable and very brainless. And Sis likes it. Here is the progress.

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If you had the Smooshy in your possession, what would you make it?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Tall Birds & Slinky Yarn

For this Saturday’s Stash Dive, I decided to highlight my Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in Celadon. It’s a DK weight and comes in at 550 yards. Woah woah woah!! Check out all the yards! The possibilities are endless…

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I did wind this right after I bought it for a specific shawl. Of course the lovely ladies at McNeedles made a Saroyan in this gorgeous yarn which inspired my Mom to make one.

Then I saw the lovely and wanted to make one myself. We all know that I tend to have many a project going and that was no different when I had this inspiration. Therefore, this lovely skein is waiting in the wings of my stash.

Since this gorgeous skein has been waiting so long, I am considering other options for this yarn, but I’m not sold. I just know it will have to be something that needs drape and luster.

Also, today is WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC day!!! I’m planning to grab my needles and yarn and head to Sophie’s Fine Yarn Shoppe in Louisville for some stitchin’! I hope you get out there too and knit it up with friends. If you are looking for an event in your area, you can visit this website to locate one.

I know this is a short post, but hopefully you can relate. The weather is gorgeous, there is a farmer’s market to visit and some knitting to put together to take to WWKIP!! Have a fantastic Saturday!!!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Sundays with Harry

Potter that is. One of my favorite series and I hope you have had the chance to enjoy them as well πŸ™‚ I noticed next to my bed this morning a stack of 3 books from back in the fall when I was reading almost a book a week. This stack was Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, HP & the Goblet of Fire, and HP & the Order of the Phoenix.IMG_0991

I started rereading these back in the summer and got stuck on the Prisoner of Azkaban. I already know about the double crossing rat and I don’t want to see him escape. Again. So I stopped reading and haven’t picked it back up. I distracted myself with other books and series like the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I’ve had many a friend suggest I just skip it, but it doesn’t feel right. I’m very much someone who likes to finish things in their entirety before I can say they are finished.

This brings me to my dive into the stash.
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This gorgeous skein of Striping Sock by Poste Yarn in Bravery. They are the gorgeous colors from Gryffindor. I bought this online from the Simply Socks Yarn Company. There was this gorgeous Halloween color a few years back and to make it so I had enough yarn for free shipping, I snapped up this beaut.IMG_0990

I’m not quite sure what to do with it. Initially I just think socks! I put the yarn into the Rav yarn search and looked at all the projects people have made and I just think socks. Probably just vanilla socks. Or maybe my staple ribbed top simple socks. But I think anything else wouldn’t do the stripes justice.

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Anyway, what would you do with it?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Stash Dive!!!

Since it is Sunday, Mother’s Day, I am a little late in getting this post out. First though, I’d like to wish my mom and all the moms out there a very Happy Mother’s Day πŸ™‚ I am so thankful to have such wonderful moms in my life!

Stash dive you say? Whatever could that be??? Well, it’s a venture into my stash. I know my stash is not as big as some, but I love it. It’s been growing for about 5 years and I do try to venture into the stash before I start a new project to see if I can find something to use first. The problem is my stash is for ME! Whenever I buy yarns that end up in my stash, I buy them because I like them. It’s a very selfish hoard. That may Β be more descriptive than “stash.”

So this Sunday I’m going to highlight a solo skein I’ve had for a while: Jade Sapphire’s Lacey Lamb in Doubloon.

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It’s a lace weight 100% wool yarn. It has 825 yards or 754 meters. I bought this on a trip to St. Louis visiting family. Of course, I had to slip on over to Knitorious just to check it out. They had such a big selection of all types of beautiful yarns. I have only been once and would love to go back! I bought this skein because of the color and the soft, lofty feeling it has. I love all colors, especially rich ones. I have a hard time choosing a favorite and tend go through color phases. I bought this on a sunny kick. I think I also bought some Berroco Pure Pima for this Awesome Shawl in a Mustard color.

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Anyway, the challenge with this lovely Lacey Lamb is what to do with it! So, I turned to Ravelry. Here are my top 5 ideas so far:
1. Knitterjenny’s E t h e r e a l top–I love the light, airiness of this knit. Her post says 1 skein is enough…
2. lismete’s Castello Scarf–The textured pattern on this is wowowowowow! I bet in the Lacey Lamb it’s like a cloud!
3. JuleeQue’s Third Time’s a Charm Stole–The texture on this is gorgeous and I think it would be beautiful in the gold color.
4. yellowbird’s Ready to Go Shawl–The lace pattern is a beautiful texture and it looks easy enough to memorize.
5. Failli’s Bridesmaid Shawl–This looks lovely. I think the stockinette section in this would be a relief to knit after the edging.

In an effort to get this out before the end of the day, I’m going to go ahead and post.Β On a final note, I’m sure you have yarns in your stash you bought for you. I’m curious what draws you to those yarns? When you choose to buy a skein for you, with no project in mind, what are the factors? Color? Fiber? General Flurfy-ness?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna