I Knit Because…

I love it! It’s simple really. I love making with my hands. That’s what knitting is to me, creating with my hands…I know, there are sticks and string and a few “fancy” movements, but its something I make. With my hands.

Got it?

I would hope so. So that brings me to the blog. I enjoy writing here because I like sharing what I’m working on. I like connecting with other knitters. This is a nice, clean place. I don’t share the hard things going on in life, just what I make with my hands.

So I’ve been away. Life is hard. It’s hard to balance the things I want to do, the things I need to do, the things I’m doing…Relatively speaking, my life is wonderful. I am happy, I have the most wonderful partner, all the people I love are healthy…life is just hard in the way of making choices and prioritizing for the future. This should be read as, “this girl has to spend time working on job applications, cover letters, resumes, philosophies of teaching, laundry, general cleaning, working, etc. when she’d like to be knitting.”

I know the future will hold time for knitting, but I’m trying to sneak in as much as I can while I do other things. So my space here has been quiet. And I’m probably 1000 entries behind on my blog roll…I don’t think I’ll have the time, eye sight, or brain space to go all the way back.

Not to fret or worry. Just knit.

Just thought I’d say hello and I will be back. With pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

Until then…

โค
Jenna

 

Advertisements

Sunday Shawls

Remember almost 3 weeks ago when I posted about the shawls I was dying to start?

Well I did.

IMG_1849

And I’m in love. It seems a little crazy to keep knitting all this neckwear, but when it’s the perfect project for a single skein or maybe two lovelies worked together it’s hard to resist…especially when it will be worn and shown off!

I keep thinking how lovely it will be to have these finished. How snuggly they will be. How warm. How beautiful the colors will be…

IMG_1851

I started the Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West using some leftover gray from my 3 Color Cashmere Cowl (that I’m still weaving ends in on, very, very slowly) and some very peaceful looking Mini Mochi I received in a yarn swap last summer/fall.

The pattern is very intuitive, building the crescent shape upon itself. I love crescent shaped shawls. I feel like they are so easy to wear wrapped around shoulders or tied up like a scarf around my ย neck. Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious when I wear them around my neck because the half circle can sort of look like you’re wearing a bib. Not trying to be a baby ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_1850

I powered through the solid section to reach the stripes because I wanted to see the Mini Mochi stripe up. Only problem is when I got there, I felt satisfied enough to put it down and start this.

IMG_1847

It’s “Passe-Partout” in the lovely Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend…remember the gold & dove gray. I also wanted to power through the first two sections of this shawl to see how the colors would really work together.

I’m so pleased with how they look together. Now I just want to work on this so I can wear it. I love golden yellows. I feel like its such a wonderful color all year round. In winter, it brightens up the day without being too loud. In fall, it’s the color of falling leaves. In summer, its the color of evening sunsets. In spring, its the deep color of blooming flowers.

IMG_1848ย Who would have thought golden yellow was so versatile.

I’ve also got one other shawl on the needles…and it’s been there for quite a while. It’s my Cerise Curl.

IMG_1844

I was initially so in love. The yarn with the purple, brown and sparkles. Yes, sparkles. I’m not usually a sparkly girl, hardly wear make-up or high heels, but a little sparkle in my yarn…why not!

I did struggle with the pattern in the beginning. It wasn’t quite as intuitive as the first Curl (Caesious) I made from Hunter Hammersen’s book. But it was gorgeous and open. I am sure I will love the way it blocks out and I love all the different ways to wear the Curls. I just need to power through. I only have like 15 grams of yarn left. Each row takes around 1.5 grams, maybe more…I should be able to knock it out.

IMG_1845

Just thought I’d share some shawls I’m working on…they are great distraction from going into my stash every 5 minutes to start something new…I’m dying to cast on a sweater, rip out Turia, buy some forest green yarn and make SOMETHING (I’m super drawn to this color right now and just want to wear it)…so I thought shawls would be a good distraction.

How terrible that each time I approach my yarn cabinet, I have to think, “No Sudden Movements! Back Away Slowly Before Anything Else Gets Cast On!!” I guess it’s the arrival of September and the promise of autumn.

โค
Jenna

The Bottom of the Rabbit Hole

Monday Musings

Bet you didn’t know there was a bottom to rabbit holes. Usually when one ventures into one, there is nearly never a bottom. My particular rabbit hole is the one that had me “Knitting. All. The. Things.” I’m not saying I don’t want to keep knitting all the things, but I am realizing there is a limit. I only have so many sets of needles and so many hours in the day/night to knit. I do need to sleep and eat and work (occasionally) so I am still a kind person. I do suffer from “hangry-ness” on occasion. That feeling where you are so hungry, you are an unbearably angry person. Plus I am married and do need to pay some attention to my darling husband.

Realizing these limitations, I have decided to stop “queuing” things. At least until I get back from Vogue Knitting Live next weekend. I am in the process of looking through my library on Ravelry as well as my physical library and deciding what projects I want to cast on or at least acquire yarn for, comparing it against my queue. I know I shouldn’t be looking at all that with my numerous WIPs, but the trip is coming up and I can’t go into that Marketplace without a plan!!

Plus, I’ve wrapped up a few projects lately. I bet you’d just love to see them!!! Almost as much as I’d like to show them off ๐Ÿ™‚

First up is that fun little shawl from the Mother Daughter Knit-along. Technically I finished casting off for this about a month ago, but I just pulled it off the blocking boards a few days ago and wove in the ends!!!!

IMG_1474 IMG_1475

Next, I also made the pompoms to go on top of the little Reflector Hats I made for Will & Nora. It’s definitely getting cooler and I wanted to be able to give them so they can wear them!!

IMG_1466

 

I bought a pompom maker from Michael’s a few weeks ago. It’s the version made by Boye. So simple to use! I took two strands of the bulky yarn and wrapped them around and around. A little snipping and a little tying and VIOLA! PomPom!

IMG_1468

Finally. I’ve cast off.

It’s soaking.

IMG_1472

3 needle bind off for the tops of the shoulders.

IMG_1473

I have a whole cake of yarn left. And just a touch of the 2nd cake.

IMG_1471

I’ve just to to lay out my Whispers top and weave in the ends. Then I get to wear it!!!!!!

And go on adventures to Chicago. With my mom! For Yarn!!! And Patterns! And Needles!

I’ll try to get in a WIP Wednesday post and if I’m real good, I will have a few more things finished!!

Until then

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

Whatever, Whatever I Do What I Want.

Monday Musings

Since today is Monday, I thought I’d do a little post about some of the updates here on the blog and where I’d like to go with this in the future. I have a hard time setting firm dates since my working situation and personal inspiration tend to ebb and flow.

One of the first updates is a revamping of the title pictures. Initially they were hand-drawn. I had a very hard time photographing them without shadows. So I’m taking close-ups of some of my beautiful stash and putting the words I need on them using the Paint program. I’m not perfect, but I’m learning ๐Ÿ™‚

Second update is the “Blogs I Read” page that I added to the Menu bar. I have noticed that some of my readers find me from other blogs, namely from comments I leave or that blog’s “blogs I read” little menu. I had a menu of some wordpress hosted blogs that were in my right sidebar, but that wasn’t nearly all the blogs I follow on Bloglovin. Plus, I wanted to return the favor of those who put my blog in their section. I went through my Bloglovin roll and posted links and little blurbs I found from the blogs about pages.

I know it looks like a lot and it is, but remember that not all blogs post everyday. Some only post weekly so it doesn’t completely overwhelm me. Also, some of the designers only post sporadically when they release a design or appear at events. I like to follow them because I get those updates when they happen. If you have a blog and would like to be added to the page, you can leave a comment on this post or on the “Blogs I Read” page in that comments section.

I also added an FO page. I will start adding to this page this week. I thought about doing a WIP page, but that takes a lot to update regularly. If you’d like to check up on my WIPs, you can head to my Ravelry projects page.

Next update involves really being inspired to design something. I’ve been waffling back and forth in my brain about actually starting a design. Here are my hang-ups:
1. I just started really seriously getting in to more complicated knitting about a year ago. My experience with really paying attention to patterns is still new. I keep reading blog and forum posts about keeping the language in the patterns universal and clear so that any knitter can read and understand it. I’m not sure if I’ve knit enough patterns to have this come across in my writing!
2. I hate swatching. And to really see how the yarn will behave for my design, I should swatch. I love to just cast on for a project and go. This does backfire occasionally when I’m a few inches into a project and totally hate the fabric or how it’s knitting up. Then I realize I could have avoided this by simply swatching beforehand.
3. I am just not quite sure where to start. As I type this, I’m realizing I should start with a swatch. So that reason is officially not valid. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think putting some aspects of a design on this blog may help to build my confidence and keep me motivated. In fact, reading all the blogs on knitting and life has been what inspired me to think about designing something myself. I’m thinking a shawl or cowl using these yarns:

IMG_1417

It’s Madeline Tosh Tosh DK in Briar (purple), Saffron (copper), and Parchment (creamy grayish). I know that’s a lot of colors and yummy-ness and yards. But they have been haunting my thoughts!

Speaking of thought-haunting, I’ve been thinking about knitting ALL THE TIME! I know I keep saying this, but it really is the season. And my yarn cabinet is definitely an enabler. Not to mention I did just hop on the podcast bus. So its all I can think about.

Anyway, I’ll give a better update of my projects on WIP Wednesday.

What about you? Have any inspiration updates??

knit-side-and-purl-side

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.

IMG_1380

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

hpky braid

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.

IMG_1381

Naturally since I wound it, I found the pattern that it came with and cast on ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

My Stash is No Good

knittingconfessions

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

Yes, you read that right, my stash is no good. It is totally random. It has no rhyme or reason to it. When I started adding skeins to my stash, I would buy one, maybe two skeins of something beautiful. Mostly, I would buy when I traveled to new cities while coaching volleyball, and I would try to buy something unique that I hadn’t seen before or couldn’t get in Louisiana or Memphis. You know, a good yarn souvenir ๐Ÿ™‚ This resulted in some beautiful things, but just one skein of beautiful.

IMG_1378

Up until May, when I started my blog, this was ideal for my knitting plan: knit accessories. Usually those only require 1 or 2 skeins, perfect for small projects.

Here is the real confession:

Initially, when I started knitting I had no desire to knit garments. Sweaters? nope. Tops? nope. Jackets? nope. Sleeveless tank? nope.

I believe every knitter has a different journey into the knitting world. Everyone has their own taste. I wanted scarves and hats. I wanted mitts and socks. Maybe a headband. I started with small things. Manageable things. Things to cast on and finish that wouldn’t take that long. Truthfully, the thought of sitting down to knit a sweater was insane to me. Sweater knitting involved lots of yarn, costing lots of money and taking lots of time. I could go to the mall and buy one that I liked, would fit, and it would be instant. No waiting. No extra work. I just wanted to make scarves and cowls that you couldn’t find in the stores.

I was not even tempted to knit anything to fit me until I started reading blogs and blogging myself.

Now, I dream of cardigans. I yearn to cast on a pullover. I desire to snuggle up in a hoodie. All of these that I keep seeing on other blogs. My only problem is that my stash is full of 1 and 2 skeins. Not enough for a garment. And I’m on a yarn diet. Until Chicago. Which leads me to my plan.

On this upcoming trip, I want to acquire stash with a plan. Maybe pick out some projects ahead of time and go into the Marketplace to find yarn for that project.

Until then, I’ll bide my time, working on my Whispers top and maybe that Twist vest along with the other 10 things I have cast on already.

IMG_1374ย IMG_1373

What about you? What does your stash look like? Is is all about big projects, little projects or just pretty skeins?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Brandy for my Knitting Confession.