TGIF

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Yes, that’s a little throw back to my childhood. We would sit down as a family and watch the TGIF Line up on TV as a family. Cheesy, but fun πŸ™‚

This week in St. Louis, the temperatures have felt like fall. For instance, we opened all our windows yesterday and the thermostat in our house read 65 last night before I went to bed. I’m wearing a cozy sweatshirt and PJ pants, not to mention my awesome Christmas socks!

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I’ve been reading all over blogs and Ravelry about knitting season. This change in the weather has definitely prompted a desire to knit everything, even more than I was feeling. Now instead of just knitting on my WIPs, I am scanning my yarn cabinet, Ravelry queue, and my physical library to pair up yarns from my cabinet to knit things. Any things. Just something to put around me and keep my warm. Forget knitting for other people, I’m feeling selfish and very, very motivated.

Plus it helps that I’ve finished a few things. Let me show you those!!

First up, the MariGOLD Slouch hat!! I even blocked the thing!

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I love the color. I love the cables. My only reservation is that it’s big. Like big! Lots of slouch. I know that’s the point, but I’m not quite convinced. It’s still drying, so when it’s done, I will take some live action photos of it on an actual head.

I also cast on and finished a Little Red Riding Hood cape for a dear friend’s little one. She contacted me when I was home visiting my new niece and helping my mom organize her stash. I found this darling pattern, Capuchon, hurried over to Michael’s to pick up some fun, hard-wearing, kid-friendly yarn in the Red Heart Shimmer, then went home to raid my mom’s needles and cast that bad boy on.

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The pattern is written to start at the neck with a provisional cast-on, then knit the cape down, come back pick up the neck stitches to work the hood. I decided I didn’t want to do that, so I cast-on from the bottom up, did a little math and away I went. It has this adorable raspberry stitch border along the bottom.

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It was easier to do than I thought. I held the yarn double and knit it on US 10s. I did a 3 needle bind off at the top of the hood. I used a bowl to steam block this thing on. I wanted to even out my stitches and help the borders lie flat.

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Overall, I love the thing. Super easy to knit. I used a satin ribbon that I threaded through the fabric around the neck. I didn’t want to do anything permanent.

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I’m mostly impressed that it fit πŸ™‚

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It’s just too adorable. I made pretty thorough notes on my project page in case you want to knit one from the bottom up too…I only made the notes for the 12 months size. Should be a good starting point though if you want to do a bigger size.

You may have also noticed that I blocked these two items. Aren’t you impressed? Especially after my Knitting Confession a few Mondays ago about it. It really does make a difference. I have another awesome blocked object to show you. I guess we could count this as a FO as well on this lovely Friday.

It’s my Follow Your Arrow Shawl. I know I’ve posted about it a lot. I love it and blocking the lace made a huge, HUGE difference. Before:

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After:

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She is beautiful. I can’t wait to wear her.

Have you finished anything lately??

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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These are my confessions…

MONDAY musing 2

So I’ve been reading Brandy’s blog, Stitched Up in Toronto and she started this fun link up about knitting confessions. I thought since it’s Monday, I’d join in! From Brandy’s post:

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Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.”

Here we go!

I don’t block my finished projects. With the exception of the Gefn fingerless mitts (after I read this post by the YarnHarlot and felt inspired)

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I sent as a gift and my Citron shawl (which is a little small for my broad shoulders).

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This is insane. Especially now that I’m undertaking my first garment that is supposed to fit me, my Whispers sweater. I even knit a gauge swatch because the yarn was not what the pattern called for and I ended up going down a needle size, but I didn’t block the swatch, I just went with it.

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I’ve got 74 projects on my Ravelry page, and I know I’ve done a few more that I didn’t document and I don’t block. I find it tedious. I don’t feel like I have a place to properly soak the objects. I don’t even know how to pin out lace, nor do I have the proper things for that like wire & pins. I have some basic mats that I bought to just pseudo-pin the Citron shawl on it (with safety pins!). I know that it is fantastic for the wool or fiber just to clean it up and give it back its bounce. Or even to even out the stitches. Or any of the numerous benefits of blocking a finished object.

All of the projects in my possession (I could find since the move) that I’ve knit.

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All the ones I didn’t block πŸ™‚

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If you want some more reasons to actually block, just read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s post I referenced earlier. Or all the other knitting blogs and such out there.

In fairness, I am planning to block the lace Follow Your Arrow Shawl so that the lace will show.

Maybe this could serve as a confession & a resolution. I really think I could benefit from taking up blocking πŸ™‚

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Thoughts about Tuesdays…

I realize this is different from the usual Technique Tuesday, but I couldn’t resist since I missed my Monday Musing but have had some blogging and knitting thoughts bubbling around in my brain. I think it’s important to decide what to let out and what to keep in. I’ve seen a quote wandering around Pinterest lately that has resonated with me on that regard.
quote about saying things

Mayhaps this shows a little maturity on my part. To think about things before saying them, whether they are true or relevant or necessary to be said. I often think some of the things in my brain are true and/or relevant, but the last thought about it being necessary often helps me to control the word vomit.

As for today’s thoughts about the fiber arts blogging world (AKA knit blogosphere), I’m still so amazed at all the people out there who blog! I love reading posts about their patterns and yarns and families. Some of my favorites are about deciding on new projects, how they got through the tough parts of a project, and finally, their finished projects. I certainly am living vicariously through all of you who post about finishing things!!

I feel like I’m always working on something, but the finishing doesn’t come. This is reason #1 I have yet to participate in a FO Friday, but have no problems posting on WIP Wednesday. This has caused me to take a step back and look at what I really have cast-on at the moment. What types of things are holding up my needles and project bags?

First off, I have a darling niece who will soon enter this world and I am working on this awesome slipped stitch blanket (Midsummer Baby Blanket) on size 7 needles and it’s taking a while. I do love that it feels/looks like I’m doing some super intense colorwork (kind of) but it’s really just a slipped stitch pattern.

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This is my first project like this and it’s super fun. It’s just that the blanket is a little big and not moving super fast. This could also have something to do with me spending more time unpacking, playing with my kitties, ogling my yarn storage or just reading blogs than actually sitting down to knit on the thing. I did accomplish quite a bit yesterday when I really focused on just knitting and not reaching for my computer to browse.

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I’m about 10 color stripes into the 4th color. I’ve got about 5 more color stripes to go in the teal then I’ll be on my last color, a super fun, bright coral.

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Since joining the blogging world, I’ve been much more active on Ravelry, especially in the forums section. I even joined a summer yarn swap, Yarn Bliss. Being so caught up in our move and knitting for my niece, I didn’t realize how quickly the deadline was approaching. I logged on today and got a nice little reminder that our packages need to be sent out by August 1!!

This means that since I want to include a hand-knit item I need to get stitchin! My lovely new yarn storage (that I’m obsessed with) came in very handy as inspiration.

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I was able to go through some of my physical pattern library (thanks to Stephanie at Woolythyme‘s post on her Library vs. Ravelry) and found the perfect pattern. I even looked back through my stash and found the perfect skein that I think will fit her preferred colors and the pattern…OH JEEZ I’M PUMPED!!!! I’m not going to mention the pattern or the yarn because I’m not sure if my swap partner is reading this πŸ™‚

Another fun thing about this yarn swap? I get to buy some new yarn…to send to my partner!! Does that mean I’m breaking my yarn diet? I sure hope not since I’m not buying the yarn for me, but for a friend as a gift. It will give me a good excuse to check out some of the shops in my new town. I’ve been scoping them out using KnitMap. It’s a neat little website that will usually show you most of the crafting stores in the area you choose. I would recommend calling the shops before you make a visit as I’ve been to a shop that was closed down completely and another that the website had incorrect hours listed for it.

Have you ever participated in a yarn swap?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna