The Wool Keeps Me Warm

WIP Wednesday The end of a beautiful year is upon us. In 2014, I had some wonderful adventures. I started a blog! I didn’t realize how awesome it would be to dive into the knitting blogosphere! I’ve read some awesome blogs (hop over to my Blogs I Read page for more…in fact I have a few to add) and had the opportunity to connect with some great people through the internet. I’ve been inspired to tackle all the knits. I’ve been encouraged when things aren’t quite going the way I want. And I’ve felt a huge sense of belonging to such a fantastic group of people. I knit my first garment(s)! Earlier this year, I blindly knit a top as a shop sample for McNeedles. I followed the directions and knit stockinette for miles. My only complaint? I couldn’t try it on because it was the smallest size! skinny lady After I finished that bad boy up, I came across several posts on blogs talking about a “Summer Sweater Knit-Along.” I had to play along! I bought yarn, swatched, and then it hibernated. I was inundated with trying to finish baby blankets and didn’t even cast on the crazy “summer sweater” until August? Not to mention I didn’t finish those million rounds of stockinette until October. But I love my Whispers top and look forward to wearing it more in the spring! IMG_1511 I moved to an awesome city!ย St. Louis has been magnificent! We are closer to family and have gotten to go to some awesome Cardinals baseball games and drink some of the tastiest beer. I was blessed with a new niece! Payton in Stocking Cap My brother graduated college! IMG_1605 And I’ve knitted my fingers off! I think I’ve finished like 35 projects this year! I’ve managed to whittle down my current WIPs to 8 and I’m nearly done with the Array Cowl. array I can say that I’m incredibly grateful for such an awesome year and I’m definitely looking forward to the new year! I’ve got some fun new things I want to talk about in the upcoming year and maybe a few changes to the look of the blog. So Happy New Year to you and yours!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking with Tammy for her Stitch Along Wednesday & Ginny for Yarn Along & Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

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Still Knitting…

holiday cheer

I know it has been a day or two, maybe a week. I went on an epic journey, consisting of a drive lasting a total of 28 hours and taking approximately 3 days. My amazing grandmother, Freddie, joined me for a good portion of the adventure to go see my brother, Jacob (adorable baby niece Payton’s dad) graduate from college! So so so proud!!

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Jacob & Freddie ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jacob and the most beautiful little lady in the world ๐Ÿ™‚

It was so nice to be with family so close to the holidays. Sadly, I won’t be making that trip again for the holiday, but we will be celebrating here in St. Louis.

Don’t worry, I’ve been knitting and finishing things!!

First up, my mom sewed the buttons on that darling sweater. I asked her to help me since they are placed a little close to the mouth of the baby wearing it and I wasn’t going to be the reason for my dear niece to eat a cherry button.

 

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It’s officially finished and it fits!!

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Second up, I finished the Black Hat turned Balaclava

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Only I’m not sure the recipient would use it. Bah!

I also finished up the Tweedy Honeycomb Toque for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, Shayna.ย I know I was uncertain about it as it was coming along, but I LOVE IT!!!

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The pompom just makes it! It’s definitely loosening up…I was very concerned initially because my floats were a wee bit tight.

I’ve put a few things in hibernation.

Array Cowl

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Skinty Stripe Scarf

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Technicolor Socks

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Never fear, I am still working on my #MEalong (from A Playful Day) Settler Shawl by Libby from Truly Myrtle…Woah! Talk about link-tastic ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted to participate in the #Grinchalong with the Knitmore Girls, but I was also technically knitting gift :(, but they may or may not have necessarily been for Christmas. Oh well, missed that boat.

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Anyway, I’m absolutely loving the way this thing is working up! I just got to the cool border stitches and I just feel so cool knitting it! And the colors. And the yarn. And. And. And!

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It’s for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I will try to keep this little corner updated, but I’m not making any promises. With short day light and lots of family time, I will probably spend more time unplugged than usual ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time! Happy Knitting!

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v’s & bumps, (or knits & purls)

Jenna

 

I Swear I Swore Off Gift Knitting…

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How come even when I have this whole idea about gift knitting that has been in place for several knitting years I have somehow managed to rack up at least 4 gifts I want to finish in the next few weeks????

After my first Christmas as a knitter and the crazy notion that I could knit everyone something then, and failing miserably at that challenge…so much so that 5 years later, I STILL have yarn and projects queued up from that holiday, I made the pledge that I would not knit for the holidays. Instead, knitworthy folks would receive birthday presents. Even those time lines would stretch out, I would present people with their gifts days, weeks, and months late.

So instead of following my own rule of no holiday knitting, I have been ย swept up in the gift knitting that seem to be sweeping blogs and podcasts and all the knitting groups I knit with. And let’s face it, every time I come across a pattern I think would be perfect for someone, I queue it and if I’m feeling particularly weak, I pull yarn out of my stash to cast on…and if I don’t have the yarn, I go to the store. I know.

It’s a good thing I’m not on a yarn diet. And I’m relatively weak willed when it comes to yarn and knitting and gifts for people who I think would love them.

So let this serve as a reality check. I CAN’T CAST ANYTHING ELSE ON!!! At least until I finish something. Anything. Let’s check in. Here are the gifts I began…

A hat for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend. We were talking over Thanksgiving while I was knitting on the next project and I offered to knit up something he had in mind. After a little pattern searching I came across the Tweedy Honeycomb Toque by Kent Turman. It’s free on Rav and I figured I could tweak it by adding an additional color into the “comb” part.

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I’m using some Berroco Vintage Chunky and I’m stranding the colors behind…only problem is that its a little tight and the second color is really, really popping forward. I was hoping it would have fallen back more. And I probably should have made a better effort to keep my floats loose. I’ve already ripped once, I may have to do it again…here’s a link to my Rav page.

Next up the the black hat for my other brother-in-law I told you guys about last week, the Jacques Cousteau Hat. Well, I did a little ripping there and rethinking. While I don’t want to change the rib or the hat decreases, I wanted the piece to be more versatile. Enter this version of a Balaclava by Jacki Kelly and I tweaked my original.

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It’s ready for the bind off for the eye slit. This thing is not too far from being finished. I’m using Universal Yarn’s Deluxe DK Superwash in Ebony. It’s not as pure a black as I’ve seen, but the details do disappear when in the wrong light.

I’ve also got two other projects that I started a while ago and want to finish those up. Like the Array Cowl I started. I ran into a road block with this project. It was about a week ago. And I was knitting away and I kept hearing a creaking sound. I check the joins in my interchangable needles, everything was still screwed in tight. Then, “pop” the cable popped out of the join. I need to send them in ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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So I bought some more needles and got it switched over. Its just a little tedious with all the slipped stitches but it is nice and mindless and I love the colors!

Another project that I’ve had on the needles for far too long is a scarf for my sister-in-law.

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This was featured in a few early blog posts as the Skinty Stripe Scarf. It’s Purl Soho’s Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf. I saw this featured on their blog and new it would be perfect for my sister-in-law. Only hang up? It’s laceweight yarn on US Size 3 needles.

But I did finish up some baby socks to go with Payton’s Wee Envelope Sweater. I knit these in one day!!

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That hasn’t totally stopped me from working on things for myself…like my Settler Shawl

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And there is the predicament of these socks. I’ll tell you about later this week…

And I may be pondering casting on a Rikke hat for myself out of some lovely Malabrigo Rios and my Turia Sweater…I even wound the yarn because I have zero self-control. I can at least take a little comfort in at least not casting on yet. That’s not to say that I don’t have needles and patterns at the ready.

Don’t worry, I’m not just thinking about me for future knits, I have yarn to make Payton another sweater and my other niece Nora has requested a scarf in her “colors.” How can I say no?

Plus I’m thinking about frogging a few things.

Bah! Humbug!

(not really, I love the holidays!!)

What about you? Have you given in to the gift knitting bug??

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 projectย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ What are you working on?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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…

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Nicole.

 

Truthfully, it’s not Tuesday

WIP Wednesday

What’s new. I’m a day late and a dollar short.

You know another cliche could apply here. The best laid plans of mice and men…

I could go on.

So let’s be real. I can’t really contain myself. I planned not to cast on anything new until I finished 4, yes FOUR projects on my WIP list, but I did. I cast on an Array Cowl for my (hopefully-future-sister-in-law) Lyndsay. I love the colors. And I couldn’t take my curse socks to the game last night and risk a loss! (I took them to 2 games before and the Cards lost both) So I spent last night at the game casting on the 320 stitches and get going on this awesome project.

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I’m using Malabrigo Rios in Teal Feather and Liquidambar. I was hoping the Liquidambar wouldn’t be too muted. I have a skein of Arco Iris on hand just in case I get a few more inches in and don’t like it.

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I’ve also been working on my (cursed) socks. If you remember, I started these on those tiny 9-inch US 0 needles. I really tried with those. Truly I did. But every time I would knit on them for longer than 5 minutes, my hands would ache! I initially thought it was the stitch pattern I was using, passing a yarn over over 2 stitches can cause a little stress on the hands doing the knitting.

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So I switched to some delicious Knitter’s Pride Karbonz DPNs. They are so smooth and wonderful it almost makes me forget how much I don’t love working on DPNs. I digress. The only problem is I like doing socks 2 at a time so I don’t get second sock syndrome and things end up being the same size like the length of the cuff or the heel or the toe or whatever. If I only work on 1 sock at a time, who can guarantee that they will be the same?? I may pick up another set of these, but they were a little pricey. I’ll knit a few more inches and see if I’m really, really in love with them enough to buy another set. Or maybe I can just do one sock at a time. It seems to work for the Yarn Harlot ๐Ÿ™‚

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How cute is this project bag? I found it in my stash and thought it would be a fun new home for the cursed socks.

Also, I’m not really breaking the rules too bad in terms of starting a new project since I did finish something…what you ask???

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It’s Jordan’s scarf!! I finished it on Friday the 3rd…just 2 days late ๐Ÿ™‚ Sis is standing guard. I love the way this turned out! It’s definitely long enough to wrap around comfortably or double and pull the ends through. I am hoping that with a cold winter it will get a lot of wear. I still need to block it.

I also went by the library here and got a card. Something about fall makes me want to read too! I picked up Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips. I’m only a few pages in and enjoying it.

That’s really all that is being “actively” worked on. Mostly in the last few days. Except I worked on Whispers. And tonight is my class at Knitorious for the Catkin shawl. I did do an inch or so of the first chart, so that’s growing. Plus I need to finish up the Twist vest so I can wear it to Vogue Knitting Live!! That is only 15 days away!!!!!!!

I feel like I have knitting project attention deficit disorder. It doesn’t help that I am knee-deep in blog posts to catch up on reading and podcasts to catch up listening to! If I’m not careful, the sheer number can overwhelm me!! I do love knowing what is going on out there in the knitting world and it does keep me inspired to keep knitting.

Anyone else get a little behind/overwhelmed by all the wonderful blogs out there about knitting???

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Tami, Nicole, and Ginny.