Getting There

So we knit and knit and knit, but sometimes the things stay on the needles! I can’t understand why even after all the stitches (I think) I put onto these lovely Technicolor Socks, I still feel like I’m a few rows from actually starting the toe decreases on the right sock!! I think the left sock is ready.

 

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Maybe I’ll blame it on my long toes. Or on the US 0 needles.

Maybe I shouldn’t blame them at all. It’s so nice to have a mindless knitting project to cart around in my purse that’s not huge (here’s looking at you Turia)

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or doesn’t need a book to travel with it (Bootstrap Socks that are ready for the heel)

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or doesn’t need to be really looked at every stitch (Curl #2 Cerise)

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or isn’t turning out like I think I want (Colour Change Scarf)

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or isn’t a general pain in the bum (Skinty Stripe Scarf) with a kitty supervisor

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or doesn’t need a chart, pencil, row counter and complete silence (Catkin Shawl)…

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That’s all the current WIPs and most of them are not travel worthy…maybe I should just finish these socks and turn the heel on the Bootstrap Socks so I can have more things to travel with and some empty needles?

Or the alternative…

I could start something new! Maybe keep it in line with my Love Your Library Challenge and work on a Curl or another pair of socks from Sock Architecture? I could go and check out all the lovelies at Keep Calm & Craft On for inspiration…

What would you do in this situation, keep your nose down and finish or venture into the stash for something fresh and new?


Jenna

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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

Needles Clicking

WIP Wednesday

Since Monday, I’ve been knitting almost exclusively on my Turia sweater. I really, really want to be able to wear it soon and it’s just miles of stockinette stitch so I can read or watch anything while I’m working on it. I’m about to start working the 3rd round of decreases for the very subtle waist shaping.

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I’m trying a little tip/trick I think I heard while listening to the knit.fm podcast with Hannah Fettig interviewing Amy Herzog on Episode 10. I was listening to this while driving on one of my epic trips, maybe the December one? I enjoy the knit.fm podcast though. It’s meaty. Lots of information and Hannah tends to have some really fantastic and knowledgeable guests to interview. Be warned, there is no fluff here unlike a lighter listen like the Knitmore Girls (also full of great information but a bit more lighthearted with segments like “When Knitting Attacks!!”).

Anyway, the tip I thought I remembered hearing was to do the waist shaping in the middle of rounds/rows instead of on the edges. I just went back and scanned the show notes from the episode to learn that Amy suggests doing the shaping in the back of the sweater. Oh well, we shall see how this one turns out and if it even makes a difference. Like I said, the shaping is very, very subtle. I’m alright with this since the piece is supposed to be relaxed.

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In other news, remember I was talking about knitting the next Curl, Cerise, by Hunter Hammersen for my next cast on? Maybe? Well, I initially thought I wanted to use the Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Glitter Sock in the OOAK Jewel colorway.

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But then, as I also mentioned, my yarn cabinet has been staring at me. I remembered I had some of this.

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It’s Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk DK in the Coral Sea colorway. I’ve had these 4 balls in my stash for a good amount of time. I bought them at McNeedles before I moved away to teach school in 2011. And I’ve got 480 yards of this as opposed to the 400 yards I’ve got of the sock yarn. And it’s DK. I think it may make a bigger Curl and could be a really great, versatile weight since it is a bamboo/wool/silk blend.

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What do you think? Should I stick with the Serenity Glitter Sock or go with the Panda Silk DK?

Linking up with these lovelies!
Emily for Love Your Library
Tammy for her Stitch Along Wednesday
Ginny for Yarn Along
Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On
Beth for Whatcha Workin’ On Wednesday

Until Friday for our Freshly Finished post!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

monday, Monday, MONDAY!!

Monday Musings

Yep, you guessed it! It’s Monday and I just wanted to stop by and say hello. We’ve gotten a good amount of snow over the last few days. Maybe about 4-6 inches. No worries though, the city was prepared and the roads were clear! We had a few slippery moments when driving home from my brother-in-law’s house yesterday morning, but we made it all the same.

There is something about this cold weather that just makes me want to curl up with lots of coffee and knit. Sometimes, I will read blogs or watch tv or catch up on audio or video podcasts while I knit. Especially since the things I’m knitting are pretty simple as of right now. I do have one challenging piece to work on.

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It’s my Catkin Shawl I started back in September for a knit-along at Knitorious. I love the yarn. It’s Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the Fig (brownish/purplish) & Thyme (minty green) colorways. I was a little hesitant to use a single ply yarn because they tend not to wear as well for me. I love the stitch definition I’m getting but in the past with singles I find they pill quite a bit. But I couldn’t resist these colors! And it’s been just fantastic to work with 🙂

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I also love the pattern. I love that it is showcasing my yarn so well and I’m enjoying the construction. It’s going to end up being a giant square shape with the “opening” cutting through one of the corners. I think it will be super wearable. I just have to get knitting on it!

You’re probably thinking, Jenna, why don’t you just knock it out if you think you’ll love the end product so much? Well, remember that part about not knitting on it with visual distractions? How am I supposed to catch up on my tv shows or blogs or video podcasts if I’m too busy watching the chart and my knitting? I bet I could do it. I don’t even watch that much tv, just a few episodes of Intervention, First 48, and random weight-loss transformation shows. It’s not like its episodes that are linked up to tell a story each week like a Homeland or Walking Dead or The Good Wife. I watch documentary types. I find them fascinating.

And I’m distracted by my other knits…

Turia

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Technicolor Socks: I bought a scale and started turning my heel!!

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Skinty Stripe Scarf

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I really want to start this Curl, Cerise in some Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Glitter Sock in a OOAK Jewel colorway.

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And that cozy looking 3 Color Cashmere Cowl in my Smooshy & Paradigm.

As I sit here and gaze at my yarn cabinet, I’m getting more ideas!

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And there’s one more shelf below that with 3 sweater quantities on it :/ So much to knit and yet Ravelry still tempts me to buy patterns and indulge in new yarn! I’m a bit weak willed when it comes to this it seems.

Oh well, I guess there are worse things to spend my time and money on.

Are you tempted by any patterns or yarns right now?

Until we speak again (hopefully soon!).

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Running Behind

WIP Wednesday

Technically, I’m not really behind on anything except maybe housework and reading my blog roll. It’s funny how just taking a few weekend trips really racks up the backlog on those two things!

But I have made some progress on my Squishy Socks.

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They are coming right along. I’m knitting just the basic sock pattern from a Paton’s book using some Regia Adventure 6-ply on US size 2 needles. I have had a few little snags…like when I started my toe decreases too soon because I really want to wear them!! Just a little ripping back and I’m back to knitting the foot a little longer.

And my first Curl from Hunter Hammersen’s new book.

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It’s Caesious. I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport. It’s 100% Merino in the Montrose colorway. I picked it up back in December when I was visiting Louisiana for my brother’s graduation. I love the colors, a grayish blue, almost cornflower blue, a light brown and a springy yellow. I love how it is growing so quickly and I don’t have to count! Yahoo!! And it means I’m Loving my Library 🙂

Last project getting some love is this Manly Scarf for my friend Sam.

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A moment of confession: You haven’t seen this yet, mostly because I’m a little embarrassed I bought yarn for this after the new year. Let me justify. After our fist trip to Memphis for my birthday, my husband’s friend Sam admired my husband’s Cozy Warm Man scarf I finished for him back in October. He was saying just how much he would love to have one so I had to make him one. I’m using some Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in a dark brown held with some Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Addiction in the River Bank Grass green colorway on US size 7. And technically I didn’t buy the yarn, my husband did 🙂

Linking up with some great people:
Emily for Love Your Library
Tammy for her Stitch Along Wednesday
Ginny for Yarn Along
Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On
iknead2knit’s Whatcha Workin’ On Wednesday

See you again soon!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Terribly Troublesome Tuesday

My day began pretty early for a day off. Our sectional we ordered the weekend after Thanksgiving was delivered this morning at 7:00AM. I got the call yesterday that they would be here between 7-10AM, and I figured we probably see them somewhere around 10 or 11. WRONG!! At 6:40 I got a call from the delivery guys saying they were 20 minutes away. My husband and I sprung into the action, moving our futon to another room so we would have space. I even vacuumed 🙂

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It looks fantastic!! Except…

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They couldn’t get the end-piece which is a chaise (sp?) up the stairs and around the corner 😦 So we are going to have to pay a “re-stocking” fee but they will at least exchange it for a different piece that will fit. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long to get that one in, but who knows since we wanted a custom fabric that would hold up to the cats.

On a happier note, I did celebrate my birthday on Sunday, January 11. I had a wonderful time in Memphis, spending it with my husband and some friends. And what’s a birthday without a little funfetti cake?

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I also wanted to give you guys a little update on the charity hats I knit. They needed buttons for the band. I found these cute little yellow flowers at Michael’s and sewed them on during the drive to Memphis.

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Last thought for today is about the Love Your Library challenge going on with Emily at Snapdragon Crafts. I’ve been gearing up to tackle Curls by Hunter Hammersen for this challenge. I was trying to wait until the 15th when the start of her KAL in the Violently Domestic group, then I checked in over there yesterday and it’s already started!! Ah well. Plus they are also doing an informal KAL in the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin group too! I wound the yarn, I’ve got the needles (I think) picked out and I just need to start!!

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Then, I was looking around on boards and going with the theme of a KAL and using my library, I found the First Quarter KAL over in the Laura Nelkin group. I was really excited about Laura’s designs after I took her class at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago this year. I bought her book, Knockout Knits and she signed it 🙂 So I’ll be starting the Prolix Mitts in some lovely Noro Silk Garden Lite I found in  my stash.

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Last but certainly not least going with the theme, once again 🙂 is to fit my Squishy Socks in with a heel from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. My husband got me this book for Christmas and every time I pick it up just to browse, I’m intrigued and inspired by all the great info Lara has in the book. I’m not sure which heel I will use yet, but I’m almost to that point so I guess I need to decide!! Plus this can count towards Operation Sock Drawer hosted by the Knitmore Girls & inspired by Susan B. Anderson’s sock drawer picture.

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Anyway, all in all, not a bad Tuesday, just one with some fun challenges at an early hour. The best part? There is plenty of room on this couch for me, the kitties and the knitting 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about the Love Your Library challenge, (<– click the link) head over to Snapdragon Crafts and read about what Emily has been up to 🙂

Until next time,

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

It’s Already January

Monday Musings

I have no idea where the time went. I feel like I was just having a swim at the neighborhood pool and that has been almost 4 months ago! Like I said last post, I’ve been zooming around the knitting blogosphere and I have been inundated with posts of reflection on last year and posts of hope for the year to come. I’ve also said in a previous post, back in the fall, that my time of renewal seems to happen in the fall. I guess being a student for so many years and then a teacher really did make August feel like the start of a new journey every time.

You should also know that I’ve read more goals and resolution type posts than I can count. It’s got me thinking. I’m not usually one for resolutions because I tend to only last about a week. But I am also usually very affected by the world around me.

Yes, I meant to say affected. I am a people pleaser by nature and can often find myself moved by the words, thoughts, and actions of other people. Not to say I am a doormat or a sponge, but I tend to be very empathetic to people and their life stories and situations. All of this self-diagnosis to tell you that You, the blogging community, has spoken and I have been swayed into thinking about some resolutions or goals or inspirations or what-have-you for 2015.

First, you may have already noticed, but I’m going to be changing things around here some on the blog. By reading so many wonderful sites and really starting to find my voice here, I find that I want my page to be a bit more reflective of me and a little less generic. In the last two months, I have really started to analyze the way I present my thoughts here. Initially when I started this journey, I wasn’t quite sure where to start and so I set up some general daily guidelines to help get me going. I’ve fallen away from these somewhat, but I think for the better. I still get into the WIP Wednesday posts, but that’s about it. I’m trying to be more authentic.

In the complete and utter opposite direction is the next change I’d like to implement here. From perusing so many sites, I have noticed a lack of a Friday Finished Objects link up. I think this is due to my own narrow scope of the blogs I follow coupled with my newness to the community. I then came across this post by Tammy on her blog. She writes:
“So, when Tami (of Tami’s Amis) stopped posting WIP Wednesday and FO Friday in September, many of us were at a loss.  So I figured I’d do a link party and then Chrisknits also was doing one (and I found another one)…and we decided to split it…I’d do Wednesday and she’d do Fridays…well there has not been much interest….I did get in touch with Tami and tell her we were doing them and she said she didn’t know when she would ever get back to them and kind of gave her blessing…”

The FO Friday post has been discontinued and I volunteered to host a link up party here. In the interest of keeping it fun and fitting in with my style, I’ve given it a new little title: Fresh Off The Needles. I’m working on a cute little graphic/header and the first one should go live on Friday, January 9th.

I was really hoping to figure out a way to post the links with thumbnails directly into the post, but the widget isn’t supported on my free wordpress site. Maybe upgrading to a paid for web name is in my future, but we shall see. I hope you will join us with whatever projects are Fresh Off The Needles and over at Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life for Tammy’s Stitch-Along Wednesday posts.

Next challenge is to partake in the Love Your Library Challenge hosted by Emily at Snapdragon Crafts. This year, I’d like to make just as much of an effort to knit the patterns I already have with the yarn I already have…it’s a stash extravaganza. I also like the idea of focusing on one book or collection of books. I’m planning to tackle Hunter Hammersen’s Curls (there’s a KAL in Hunter’s group and Susie of the Prairie Girls and Sarah of In A Sknit are knitting their way through the book too!).

First up, Caesious in some lovely Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in the Montrose colorway.

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Ok and my last yarn-y, new year thing: KNIT. FROM. STASH. EXCLUSIVELY. (unless people start having babies and I don’t have the right yarn to make their bundle of joy something perfectly snuggly). Had to build in that little disclaimer 🙂

So, here is to changes in the new year and going on an epic yarn diet!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna