When did Wednesday get here??

Thoughful Thursday

Really? I am really, really struggling with trying to remember what day it is…and I’m getting inspired by all the awesome posts I’ve been reading and the weather is cold. Like real cold. It’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit here with 20 mph winds…a perfect opportunity to wrap up in my knits.

Also it’s Thursday. I didn’t even know it was Wednesday and now it’s Thursday?? I know that it’s been pretty quiet here. I was traveling. My husband and I went down to Louisiana for a wedding between two of our college friends. Then, while we were down there, we stopped over and spent some time with my parents and my brother and my darling new baby niece 🙂 Did I mention she is the cutest??

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Anyway, it’s been quiet because when I post, I sit down and do it on the day I’m going to post. Sometimes I make notes ahead of time about what I think I want to talk about, but usually I just wing it. I know some very organized bloggers out there take the time to set up posts to publish when they are out of town. I am not quite there yet.

Truthfully, I have missed posting, but I have also missed reading posts from others. When we got back in town Tuesday, I did spend some time trying to catch up on posts and podcasts. I still have a ton to read and I spent a good amount of time yesterday doing the same. I don’t generally like to sit down and post unless I’m caught up on all my reading, but if I don’t go ahead and post I’m afraid it won’t happen for a few more days, and I got this awesome package in the mail that I just HAVE to talk about. So I made some popcorn and poured a coke over some ice just to get my brain going.

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You know how something happens in your life, and you, being a knitter, feel the urge to knit something for the happening, and you search all over Ravelry to find the perfect pattern and you scour your stash and you (slightly) obsess over the whole process until you have something on the needles? Yes? Well that happens to me quite often. I feel like all sorts of life events call for special hand-knits, hand knits, handknits? I don’t know, I like the hyphen. My most recent life event was the birth of my first niece.

When I learned I would be an aunt, I searched for the perfect pattern and yarn to make the best blanket for her. That’s my normal, go-to baby project for people I really like who are procreating and give me lots of notice 🙂 Otherwise, they get hats. So for Payton, I knit this slipped stitch baby blanket in mercerized cotton. I know I’ve blogged a good deal about it.

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I absolutely love the way it turned out. And to make life even better? Payton uses it all the time! How do I know? I get pictures of her and I see it in the background or wrapped around her or underneath her…it’s being used. My brother even called to ask how to wash the thing. That’s a positive sign 🙂

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After she was born, I went to see her and hand deliver the blanket. That’s when it hit me. My normal, go-to baby gift just wasn’t going to be enough for me. She’s so adorable and deserves all the hand-knits I can whip up before she outgrows the small amount of yarn it would take to knit said hand-knits in a reasonable amount of time. This is when the Ravelry scouring search of suitable baby knits commenced. I was thinking socks and a hat…that just didn’t seem like enough.

So I’m going to gift those to our neighbors who also happen to have a darling 3 month old baby girl who hasn’t received any of my hand-knit love 🙂 I have been toying around with the idea for a sweater for a while. When I was on my Ravelry hunt, I came across Ysolda Teague’s pattern Wee Envelope.

I didn’t purchase it right away, but the little things has been marinating in my mind for a while. I thought about finding yarn for it while I was at VKL, but decided to wait and buy from a local shop so if I got stuck with the pattern, I could go in for help. I even talked to my mom about the pattern and how we both wanted to knit sweaters for Payton…see what new babies do???

Enter fate.

On the Friday night of VKL, my mom and I were taking our laps in the Marketplace. Our brains were swimming with all the lovely colors, soft skeins, and gorgeous finished projects that adorned all the booths. Then we stumbled upon PostStitch. My mom was the one who truly reeled us in. She wanted to knit a row on their scarf.

The lovely ladies, Amy & Megan, are a mother-daughter team who came up with a great idea to deliver knitting projects with all the fixin’s right to your front door. We all got to talking and Megan showed me the LittleStitch kit for this month.

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It is the Wee Envelope pattern, knit in some super squishy Aspen by Luna Grey Fiber Arts. Included? The most adorable and ironic buttons.

Cherries. Ironic? It is my maiden name, and sweet baby niece, Payton Elizabeth Cherry.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. It was my only purchase Friday night because I couldn’t pass it up. To celebrate, Mom and I took a fun selfie in their booth.

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And it was on my doorstep when we got home from the airport on Tuesday. Just in time for NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month).

I think I need to wind some yarn and get going 🙂

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Until then,

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

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You know what I am?

A Slacker. That’s what I am…on the blogging front, but not on the knitting front! Since I haven’t been writing here, I have been knitting my little fingers to the bone. Along with traveling, and I even picked a book back up! I know, scandalous!

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In case you’ve noticed it is not Friday, but I have avoided the stash dive this week because I need to work on the projects I have and the stash dive gets my fingers itching to start something new 🙂

First, let me tell you a little about my trip. First I got to meet my niece! Payton Elizabeth. So. Stinkin’. Cute!!!

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And She looked so good in my blanket 🙂

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I got to hold her and love on her.

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And here is my brother the proud papa!

 

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They went to the doctor on Tuesday just before her 2 week old mark and she’s already surpassed her birth weight. She is a healthy little eater and did I mention she’s cute!!??!!

The visit wasn’t all baby holding, I did help my favorite knitting bud get her stash and projects onto Ravelry. My mom was pretty inspired that I keep my Ravelry page updated with my yarns and projects (speaking of, I have a few skeins to add) that she wanted my help to sort her projects and get them into an organized system. I almost convinced her to get her own yarn cabinet, but she doesn’t have any where to put it. yet.

I helped her take pictures of her projects. This should look familiar

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It’s the Momma Daughter KAL, but my Mom’s version. Here’s the link to her project.

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She is coming along. My mom also had some really cool projects started. 23 total that she considered WIPs even though there were like 5 or 6 that weren’t started but had the yarn and pattern paired together. I don’t know how she has resisted starting those, but she has. It was fun playing with her yarn! And I know she loves having it organized.

Here are a few more of her project pictures. If you’d like to see more of what my mom is working on, head on over to her rav project page here.

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Have you helped someone else get organized with their yarn before?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

 

 

Let’s Be Honest

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It’s late. It’s Wednesday. I failed once again to get good, natural light photos of my WIPs. And I am still feeling the KNIT ALL THE THINGS bug! It is taking a good amount of self control not to walk over to my cabinet, pull out some yarn, wind it, and just cast on to knit. It doesn’t help that my hands have been aching from golf and knitting so I’ve been spending a lot of time on Ravelry and reading up on blogs. My queue has grown (Libby’s Settler Shawl pattern just launched on her blog Truly Myrtle…and I have just the yarn to cast this on, and I’m sure I could come up with some needles…do I really need to justify this????)

And I’m traveling tomorrow to go see my NEW BABY NIECE!!!! She will receive her Midsummer Baby Blanket in person…You know what this means, right? Airplane knitting time! So now I really need to pick out which projects are going with me. Plus I’ll be with my Mom who is the best knitting buddy. So I need to bring projects to just work on. Can’t I just pack up my whole cabinet and bring it? I don’t think I need clothes, I can just pack a whole bag of yarn. That’s not crazy, right?

How about an update?

Truly I’ve only been knitting on these projects:

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My Whispers Top is coming along. I know it seems to be going slow, but it is the easiest to do while reading blogs or watching TV or in a group 🙂 I just love the Rowan Fine Art I’m using for this.

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These socks are a little tougher…those are on the US Size 0 needles that are only 9 inches long…my hands tend to hurt some when I’m working on these, and passing the yarnover over the 2 stitches makes it a little tight. I’m thinking about ripping back to the ribbing and going 1×1 rib all the way down…or maybe rip it all the way back and work a little 2×2 or 3×1 rib for the cuff. I’m going to keep trying because I love the stranded look that the pattern uses to highlight the yarn (Pagewood Farm Denali Hand-Dyed Sock!!!)

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Then there is this awesome hat…the MariGOLD Slouch. Just a fun knit with some cables and worsted weight yarn and US size 8 needles are just flying. I’m in love with it and have a hard time putting it down. I’m still wondering if I should keep this or end up gifting it. I don’t like to just knit stuff and then determine who to give it to, I like to knit with a recipient in mind. We shall see!\

So I totally feel like I should pull out the rest of the goods from my WIP trunk. Maybe these can travel with me on my adventure.

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Remember the Tumbling Bunny? I do 🙂 Only down side? I don’t know what I did with the pattern and my flight is tomorrow morning at 7:30am…

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And there is Jordan’s Cozy Man Scarf…it’s gotten some love over the last few days trying for a little mindless knitting and easy on my hands. I took one photo with the flash and one without. Neither really capture the true colors, but the Mountain Colors Twizzle is magnificent.

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And here we are with the Momma Daughter Knitalong. It has been temporarily put on hold since I picked up all the edge stitches. This is because I may be a little further along than my mom. I’m trying to wait so I picked up the Man Scarf and started the socks and and and and keep staring at my yarn cabinet and pairing them up with my Ravelry queue in my mind, over and over.

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Oh yeah, then there’s Jabe’s Flurfy Scarf. This hasn’t come out of the bin in a while. Maybe not since the time I met up with a group here in STL. It’s been hibernating.

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Finally, the Skinty Stripe Scarf that has also been in hibernation. I worked on it in mid-June for a little road trip to Omaha. I do love it.

So this evidence suggests that I should NOT cast on anything new and just drag most of it on the plane with me so I can have something to fiddle with as I fly. Thoughts?

Have you been bitten by the KNIT ALL THE THINGS bug??

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Tami & Nicole.

Blankets & Mitts & Swaps, OH MY :)

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Yes, it’s a Free-For-All Friday and I’ve got a few fun things to post…Maybe something along Sillylittlelady’s post from today: FFFO* Friday 🙂 I’ve been keeping up with her journey on her gorgeous orange sweater and it’s a beautiful finished project. While browsing my bloglovin feed this morning, I came across several FO Friday posts and I’m feeling inspired…

You guessed it (if you read Wednesday’s post) I finished up the Midsummer Baby Blanket for my soon-to-arrive niece!!!! Check it out!!

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I love the colors.

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I love the texture.

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I’ve even weaved in all the ends.

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Now I just need to block this. It’s cotton and little out of whack. I’m hoping a good blocking will even it all out.

I also managed to finish up my Yarn Bliss Super Secret Swap project. It was a pair of the Gefn Mitts by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich. I had the pattern in a Knitscene Accessories 2014 magazine. I actually bought this magazine at Sophie’s a while back to knit this shawl in a gray and yellow. Mayhaps I can start that soon…Anyway, back to the awesome swap project and package I sent:

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The mitts in the blocking bath:

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Here they are, well at least one of them on my hand since I had to model and take pictures.

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I loved that I didn’t need to knit separate mitts for the right and left hands, I just knit the same one twice.

And finally the whole package I sent:

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My swap partner Heather loves greens and blues hence the Manos Lace I thought she may be able to do the Dreambird shawl she’s been wanting to do. She likes caramel in her coffee so I included some for her. And some stitch markers. Who doesn’t need those 🙂

What have you finished lately? Would you want to be involved in a yarn swap?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

Hip, Hip-Hop, Hip-hopa-blog-omus?

MONDAY musing 2

It’s another musing Monday. During the midst of the move at the beginning of the month, I was nominated by Bonnie at Windy Wonderings for a blog hop about the creative process. So here goes 🙂

What am I working on?
Currently, I’m finishing up my Midsummer Baby Blanket. I’ve got 3 rows of the main color to work and then it’s just the weaving in of the ends and the blocking.

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Also, my WIP trunk is holding onto several scarves and shawls for myself and my friends. Those items either missed the deadline or didn’t have one. A majority of those items were cast on in between projects with deadlines as I was searching for inspiration.

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How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Um, it’s made my me? I’m not a writer or a designer so I don’t really have an answer to this question. I like to think that my blog is my little creative outlet. I try to include a good amount of pictures in my posts. I also try to be realistic about what sort of projects I can accomplish. I even throw in a good bit about being Jenna and living life beyond my needles 🙂 I’m not so sure that that separates me from other knit-bloggers, in fact, it may just link us all together a bit more. I find that I enjoy reading about people’s lives with a little knitting, sewing, crocheting, spinning, whatever fiber craft mixed in.

Why do I write/create what I do?
I knit because I can’t draw and I can’t sit still without something in my hands. It also helps me to be social since I can knit and still talk with other people. Other activities like games on my phone and browsing blogs or Ravelry aren’t really suitable to do when you are trying to interact with others.

I write about my life because I like to. I find being a little personal on my blog has allowed me to connect with others who blog. It helps me to feel more human on such a big, technological platform. Plus who doesn’t love seeing a cute picture of my kitties?

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How does my writing/creating process work?
Usually when I’m searching for something to knit, I start with Ravelry or at my Local Yarn Store. I’ve been trying to look into my own stash of patterns and yarn before going out to spend more money. My blog has helped in some ways because my weekend posts are “stash dive” posts to highlight yarn I already have. In fact, my latest project (which is a secret I can reveal on Friday) came from my stash: yarn & pattern! Definitely a perk for seeing my stash in my cabinet.

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As far as my writing process? I usually sit down to write with a few ideas floating around in my head. I tend to wing it a bit and take pictures of what I need. Sometimes, I’ve got ideas ahead of time and take pictures as things are happening then write about them later. That’s way more rare than sometimes.

That was fun 🙂 I wanted to hear from some of the bloggers I enjoy reading. Here are my nominations:

Heather at Nearly There

Brandy at Stitched Up Toronto

Sally at SoKnitSome

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Fish Lips & New WIPs

I keep running through my brain what I am going to post about. I even am finding myself wishing I had written sooner, but I can’t go back in time and fill in my posts. I want this to be a nice, neat little thing, and like most other things, I get distracted and can’t keep the ball in the air. Ah well.

So for today, as it IS Wednesday, how about an update on my WIPs? Sounds fantastic!!

The Midsummer Baby Blanket is almost finished and my niece should be here in about 3 weeks!!

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In fact, I’ve only got about 7 more of the last color to go, but I had to put it down.

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Because it’s almost August 1!!! And I have to send my yarn bliss swap package by then! I’ve been knitting furiously on a project for this since I realized last week that it was just around the corner…Here is a sneak peek. I promise as soon as I send the package I’ll post about what I made & what I sent…I just don’t want to ruin the surprise and I know all of you yarn-lovers out there can appreciate some reverse stockinette & Madeline Tosh Merino Light!

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I don’t want to post any more about the project in case my swap partner is tuning in to these posts!!

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But I am working on these non-stop and I’m really loving the yarn…oh Madeline Tosh why are you so amazing??

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I haven’t touched my other WIPs in the wings for a while now. They are just quietly waiting in my newly dubbed WIP trunk.

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Yes, even the Mother-Daughter Knitalong is in the trunk.

Good news, I did get to visit my mother and father and brother and his girlfriend last week! We took a spontaneous trip to Louisiana. I was able to stop by my favorite shop, McNeedles. You should check out Maria’s blog post about their new construction here. And if you are ever in the area, you must stop by!!

We were also able to go fishing last Friday down in the Gulf. Jordan and my parents and I had a wonderful time! We even beat out most of the rain and were able to catch some fish. I did catch the biggest, a Jack Crevalle that we threw back. Such a fun fight and I didn’t break the rod as the fish led me round and round the boat.

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Mom, Jordan, Dad & I with just some of the fish we caught.

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Ellie had to jump in this one too!

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All the fish we caught: some speckled trout and my dad landed a big Redfish.

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What a great trip!!

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

PS. Linking up with Tami & Nicole.

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 🙂

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