All Baby Blankets All the Time!

So since last we spoke, I was casting off the beautiful Akimbo blanket for a friend…I learned have also learned that there will be 5 new little ones by the time January gets here. So now it’s all baby blankets all the time!!

My sister-in-law is due first in October. I’m still deciding on what to knit for her little one. They are not going to find out if they are having a boy or a girl so I need to do something gender neutral and fun to knit. Here are the patterns I’m thinking about:

The Garter Rib Baby Blanket by Orange Flower Yarn
The Baby Shane Blanket by Tanis Lavallee
The Walt Painted Chevron Baby Blanket by Danielle Romanetti

But for now, I went ahead and cast on an Autumnal Equinox Blanket. I’m using some Lion Brand Yarn Ice Cream Big Scoop in the Lemon Swirl Colorway. I added my hand in for scale…there are 1117 yards of DK weight yarn here!!

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The construction is really cool. I started by casting on in a corner and increasing on one side to create a triangle. After I knit the first triangle, I will pick up along the hypotenuse and knit another triangle. I’m interested to see how the striping will develop.

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Also, its a free pattern on Ravelry.

After these two I’ve got to figure out what to knit for a set of twins due in December and another baby due in January. Hopefully my needles will feel speedy 🙂

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm & Craft On and Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along.


Jenna

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One Giant Cast-Off Done, One in the Works

I am so thrilled to be back here!! I’m finishing up my online class…this is my last week! I’ve found a teaching job that I’ll start in August…YAHOO! 6th, 7th, & 8th grade math with a couple religion classes as well. I will be busy! But back where I need to be 🙂

Until then, I’m trying not to melt in this heat! The hard part is wanting to knit all the things, but I can’t bear to sit under them while I do so. I guess it’s very lucky that I cast-off this monster the other night!

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It’s my Inside Out blanket for my friend Krista’s first baby girl 🙂 It’s really Stephen West’s Akimbo Blanket pattern. I knit it out of Berroco’s Weekend yarn in 6 different colors. I followed the pattern for the most part until I got to the border. I just repeated each color twice.

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Now for all the ends to weave in!

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Then it just needs a good soak and it can go on its way to keep baby Palmer warm…just in time for summer!!

I also uncovered my Foggy Sunset shawl…also a Stephen West pattern, but this time it’s his Daybreak Shawl. I’m using some leftover Vice Yarns and the lovely, slow-changing Mini Mochi by Crystal Palace Yarns. I received this in a yarn swap I participated in a couple summers ago. It’s so soft and the color changes are so beautiful.

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I have no idea how many stitches I’ve got left on here, but I know I need to knit one more row then I can cast-off. Wish me luck!

Then I’ll have to go dive into the other WIPS I’ve got…even though there are 4 more babies on the way that all need something from my needles!!


Jenna

Days of Doubt

Let me start first with a little knitting…

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The blanket is passing the halfway point…I’m not sure how many more stripes I’ll put on.

And I started an Antler Toque for a friend’s dad who was recently diagnosed with Lymph node cancer and has started chemo. He’s nervous to lose his hair and I though a hat made out of some soft Inca Gold would be a cozy gift.

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The cables are fun…just crossing 2 stitches by 2 stitches and great practice for cabling without a cable needle…I used this tutorial on Ysolda’s blog. Easier with pointy needles for sure 🙂

When I knit, my brain seems to slip into a meditative state…rolling thoughts over, good or bad and here is where I’ve landed lately.

Funny how these days of doubt come in waves. I’ve wrestled a bit with actually writing about something beyond just knitting. And this is the internet. Do I really want to go there?

Maybe I’ll just dip my toe a bit. Doubt. Something I think everyone wrestles with. I think it’s part of being human. Lives ebb and flow as does happiness, productivity, and doubt. I like to think of these things all as different colored liquids in a big jar…being sloshed around and as one rises the others may fall a bit. For instance when happiness and productivity wane, doubt has a tendency to bubble up to the top.

When it bubbles too high and the thoughts reach the conscious part of my brain and leak from my lips, it’s devastating. No one wants to hear that little mean voice I hear about how I can’t do one thing or I’m not good enough to do another. Part of the process of pushing the doubt back to the bottom is acknowledging it. Then I have to form a plan of action to really sink it back down. Remind myself that I can do something when I put the work in…tackling the task.

At least that’s what I tell myself. I think in the last couple of years, even when I make a plan and start to work the plan, I lose the oomph to finish and the doubt returns more quickly and with even more of a punch…”see, you can’t do this.”

So here is where I rest. On the cusp of formulating a plan to tackle a thought of “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t do this” and “I’m not supposed to be this.” The plan is going to involve some accountability and effort…and not just half way. That’s scary. Putting all of it into it and what if…what if it doesn’t work out? Then here we are again with a little more of a sting…

I think this is part of being human. Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think, how you deal…


Jenna

Birthday Adventures…

Yes, I had a birthday. Almost a month ago! Time was getting away from me and I was trying to get back to posting…it was January 11. I had a wonderful Monday that week…turning 29 and all. Then I traveled to Memphis the following weekend to see some friends, spend time with my Mom, and check out a yarn store I’ve been dying to see!!

First up, let me just say that my weekend was fabulous! I miss my friends in Memphis so much and I miss my mom even more! It was so great to spend time with them…I am a little disappointed to say that I don’t think we snapped one picture of the group!

Enough of that…I know you’re really here for the yarn store part 🙂 About a year before I moved to Louisville (maybe 2012-ish) I learned there was a yarn store down in Oxford, Mississippi…steps from the Ole Miss campus. I put it on my radar and thought, I should try to get down there before I move…fast-forward to 2016 and the thousands (ok, maybe only like 20 or so) of trips I’ve made back to Memphis and I still hadn’t made the time to check out the shop.

So on Saturday, January 16, after a lovely, leisurely morning with lots of coffee and lots of catching up, I loaded up my Mom in the car and we zipped down the Oxford. It didn’t take us long before we were cruising around the town, amazed by how big the Ole Miss campus is (I went to a college with roughly 2000 other students…) and we were met by the little shop, tucked up in front of a strip mall, next to a Pizza Hut. I neglected to take a picture of the shop, but when I tell you it was an unexpected gem…just imagine it 🙂

Or you can visit them here, on the web. I was delighted, enchanted, inspired when I walked in…filled with beautiful yarns, carefully curated for the knitter in a warmer climate…not to mention being a flagship store for Quince & Co…my first time seeing them in real life…and I couldn’t decide what to make! So I walked out of the yarn shop…without YARN!!! I was/am trying to stay faithful to the Chevron Baby Blanket

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and the Hammerhavn Sock Test Knit

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I know. But I did buy myself a little birthday gift.

It’s a Curly Girl Mug. I love the saying about the cowboy boots…I’m going to have to pull mine out more often. I used to wear mine all the time, then I just stopped.

It was a fun weekend and I’m super happy I was able to visit a shop I’d never been too…

They even offer free shipping! When I’m ready for my Quince & Co project, I know who I’ll be calling! I’ve been staying monogamous with the blanket and the socks…

I guess working on two projects at once isn’t monogamous…but it feels that way since I’m not putting any rows on the other 5 WIPs I’ve got on the needles for me…

That baby is coming! A month away! And the Test knit deadline is right around then too! I’d better get back to it!


Jenna

Um, Tuesday?

Yes! It’s Tuesday! I’ve made it to the second day in the work week, it’s before 6:00am here in St. Louis, Missouri and I’ve been marinating on what to post about for a while…when I say “a while” it’s more like 4 days or so.

This weekend was beautiful! Saturday, our temperatures got up into the 60s. We cleaned the house…like real cleaning. I was sweeping in the kitchen and my husband made a comment about getting some dust off the bottom of the wall by the stove. I moved the broom a little ways up the wall and knocked it down. Then I started looking at the stove…we’ve been in this place about a year and a half and I don’t know if I’ve ever moved the stove. It looked a little yuck and I could see a part of a pretzel sticking out from under one corner so Jordan pulled out the drawer and we walked the stove out of it’s corner only to uncover a 2 hour project. I swept, I scrubbed, I rinsed, I scrubbed, I mopped, I scrubbed…you get the picture.


I don’t think that thing had been moved since before we moved in as we found a spoon and a tupperware lid back there that we’ve never owned. Oh well, I guess that’s what you get with rentals…I eyed the fridge, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up another 2 hours. Instead we went downstairs and washed cars. Yes, in January.

After that, all I wanted to do was post up on the couch and knit! I’ve been staying focused on my two deadline knits.

First up the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot. Talk about a potato chip knit! The pattern is pretty intuitive and I’ve put in a few markers so I can count less…in fact I was zipping right along, getting ready to change colors when I counted one of the sections and I had something like 7 or 8 stitches too many…I neglected to do the double decrease some 8 rows back more than once…I thought about dropping down to fix it like with a cable, but I decided there would be too much extra yarn in the rows the error was on and the 8 or so rows above the “oversight”…so I ripped it back, used some size 6 needles to pick it all back up and got going again.


I made it out of the dark purple in a little over an afternoon’s worth of knitting, making up the progress I had taken out. I thought about leaving it, but the blanket would have had a weird overall shape I think, fanning out a bit. I don’t mind leaving a single stitch mistake in a bigger project like this, but 8 stitches too many? I’m not sure it wouldn’t have gone unnoticed. Besides, the lines running up the decrease section looked weird.

Enough about that one…I’m still working on the Hammerhavn Sock by Pia Juulsen. It’s a test knit for her and I’ve got til early March. She’s given the ok to gush about the project and share a bit with you guys!


I’m using some Lorna’s Laces Solemate in the Satsuma colorway. I keep wanting to call it Shepherd Sock in the Tangerine colorway 🙂 I knew it was named after some citrus! Pia has written a gorgeous pattern. The cables wind down the leg and while I do have to pay attention to my knitting, the rounds go quickly and it’s easy to see where your next cabled stitch will fall in the pattern. I don’t feel very dependent on the chart any longer and I’ve just finished the second repeat on the leg.


It’s been excellent practice cabling without using a cable needle as these are only 1×1 stitch crossings. I think that’s what you’d call it, but I’m only swapping the order of 1 stitch with another stitch so dropping one off to the front or back is not intimidating. If it were 5 or more, I’d be pulling out the cable needle for sure.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough and I made need to go get in the shower so I can be at work on time…I wish I had the whole day to lounge and knit and talk with you guys, but I’m not sure my co-workers would appreciate being shorthanded 🙂

Until next time…linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On.


Jenna

A Country Boy & his Bandana

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I finally made it to my first Thirsty Thursday post!!!! When I was coming up with an idea for my blog, I wanted to mix in my love of beer with my love of knitting. At first thought, this could be very dangerous. I know that I have dropped a stitch or miscounted for a pattern after a few beers. Thankfully, the mishaps aren’t too big and I can fix them without too much stress.

This brings me to the post. I wanted to highlight some of the small, local breweries I visited and pair them with a pattern or yarn or both. In an ideal world, I would have this project in progress, but we all know that since I’ve got a few too many things on the needles and others jockeying for an opportunity to be cast on, I’m not sure it would be in the best interest of my sanity to actually cast these things on.

Remember back to when Jordan and I went to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Fest? Well to balance out the overwhelmingly yarny afternoon, we visited Country Boy Brewing in Lexington, Kentucky. We stopped by their taproom located at 436 Chair Avenue in Lexington.

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Here’s what the website says about their taproom and I’m not sure I can say it better:
          “Country Boy Brewing and Taproom is located near the University of Kentucky and is only a short 10 minute walk from the world-famous Rupp Arena. The Taproom features 24 taps, with always at least half of the list made up of beers brewed on site. The rest of the taps are featured great guest beers from across the nation. No food is served in the taproom, but often food trucks can be found in the lot out front. Of course, you are welcome to bring any food in the taproom with you, or order it and have it delivered while you enjoy several cold ones on site.The taproom is inviting and comfortable–So why not come in, grab a beer, and stay a while. You’ll be glad you did.”

There was a food truck outside the taproom, but we weren’t hungry. Instead we just had beer. Here is a look at their tap list while we were there:

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There were 2 boards flanking the bar, but I only got 1 good picture. Jordan and I tried 2 different beers each while we were there. I really enjoyed the Ghost (in the foreground). It’s a German Gose style beer. Here’s what the brewery has to say about it:

     “A Wheat beer brewed with Sea Salt and Coriander, Ghost is Country Boy’s take on the classic German Gose. Slightly tart and extremely refreshing, this beer has a habit of vanishing into thin air…”

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I like the Ghost. It was easy to drink and quite smooth. I didn’t think the “tart” factor was overpowering but certainly refreshing as a wheat beer is on a warm day.

In the background is Cliff Jumper IPA that Jordan ordered. It had a delicious hoppy bite with a pungent aroma. A wonderful IPA if you like that sort of thing which we do 🙂 If you come across their beers wherever you are, it’s certainly worth a try and a great way to support a local brewery.

In the spirit of Country Boy, I propose a knit bandana. In the spirit of beer, how about a simple knit bandana. I’ve had my eye on this pattern for the Bandana Cowl from the Purl Bee.

I love that Erin, the pattern author, suggests several different yarns to use for this cowl right on the pattern page! The pattern looks easy and since it’s knit on US size 10 needles. There is some counting on the short rows. And I love that the Swan’s Island Bulky this is knit in is only 130-yards. Makes me feel like I may have something in my stash to make this or an excuse to buy more (which is completely contrary to my last post)!!

Another idea would be this Springtime Bandana also from the Purl Bee. It looks light and airy, perfect for summer. The pattern seems less complicated but does involve holding 2 yarns together.

Finally, there is this beauty that is way more complicated, but fits the bill for a cool bandana. It’s the Houndstooth Bandana from O-Wool designed by Jocelyn J. Tunney. It’s a paid pattern located at O-Wool.com. I love the colors and the houndstooth colorwork. I would definitely not undertake this while enjoying alcoholic beverages as it may result in a completely new pattern. You should visit the site. She’s got some beautiful yarns and patterns. Thank you Ravelry for enabling me to find more designers and yarn companies with each search .

Maybe in the next few months I can cast on one of these, but for now, I need to stick to knitting down my current WIPs.

I try to stick to plain old garter or stockinette when I’m in need of a brainless moment. Right now, my brainless, no look knit is this baby blanket for my future neice. It’s coming along and I’ve made it to a color change!!!!

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What is your favorite simple knit to work on while you aren’t necessarily paying attention, enjoying a delicious adult beverage, or just need a brainless knit to keep your fingers busy?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

PS. Sis & Brother wanted to say HI!!

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