The Hard Knit Life

The Hard Part:

So I’ve been waiting to write. It’s harder to come back the further you get from the last post…funny though, because I keep working on projects or come across an Instagram post full of inspiration or catch little windows of time to listen to a podcast and I think about how I want to be writing on the blog and connecting will all the wonderful people I worked so hard to connect with over the last 18 months.

I’m going to take about 4 lines here and just acknowledge my excuses: I’ve been working too many hours, I haven’t had time to blog, when I have time I just want to sit and knit, I am trying to spend more time with my husband, I’m trying to spend less time in front of a screen…yada yada yada.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, even here 🙂 So enough with those, lets just move forward.

The Knit Part:

I spent the time from finishing the Skinty Stripe Scarf until shortly after my birthday only working on selfish knitting. Yes, you read that right, the Skinty Stripe Scarf is done! It’s living life in a happy new home. My sister-in-law loves it! And it is just her style.

When I was able to free myself from one of my oldest WIPs, I thought I’d take the time to try and finish up my other WIPs which all happen to be on the needles for me. I finished up My Autumn Shawl (Passe-Partout) out of Manos Silk Blend. The stitch definition on this single ply yarn is dreamy. I can’t wait to wear it!


I say finished, but I really mean I finished the knitting. Not the end weaving or the blocking.

I put in a bunch of rows on my Foggy Sunset (Daybreak) shawl. I’m about 3 more stripes away from starting the border. But it will have to wait. Sorry for the serious needle squenching.

I volunteered to test knit a pair of socks (Hammerhavn) designed by Pia Juulsen. She used to blog at nogetuldent.dk and now she’s on her own site, P. S. Juulsen. She’s a new mom. a loving wife and a knitter extraordinaire! I’m not sure how much I can say about the socks so I’ll just show you a minor tidbit. I’m using some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Tangerine colorway…this photo is a bid washed out…the orange is brighter, almost a peachy orange.


The Life Part:

You guessed it, I’m still working at the law firm. However, we are approaching hiring season within a lot of the private schools and my Tennessee teaching license will be expiring in August so I have a little bit to do on that front if I ever want to get back into the classroom.

And I do. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get going! I’ve always thought of myself as a taskmaster…in that I like to get things done. I make lists and find immense pleasure in being able to cross things off the list. Ironically, I’ve also got a pretty hefty dose of self-doubt & avoidance mixed in…meaning if I don’t really think I can accomplish something, instead of trying & failing (a very healthy way to learn!) I avoid the task, keep it of the list…keep it hidden.

I recently received some very heartfelt advice from a friend’s mom. She told me to put those things on the list and just do them. I know I’ve heard this from all of the people I love for the last few years, but maybe it was just the right timing.

Here’s to being back and off to a great start this new year!!

Can’t wait to catch up and reconnect! I’ll be perusing the blogosphere to catch up, but if you’d like to connect please leave a comment, even if it’s just a link to your space so I can know what’s going on with you!


Jenna

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Hat Distractions…

Oh My Goodness…I’m still going on the sweater, but I keep getting swept up into hats.

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Tiny hats. Medium hats. No large hats, but large shawls.

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All of these things go quickly and are nice little fixes to my “WANT TO FINISH” all the knits all the time.

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So I’ve put some rows on my Passe-Partout out of Manos Silk Blend. What a lovely single ply yarn…the pattern is the perfect mix of texture & stockinette. Keeps me interested, shows off the yarn and on size 9s…it’s flying! Maybe I can buckle down here shortly and end up with something perfectly snuggly before the weather gets snowy.

The tiny hat I started and completed on Saturday. I wanted to start it for a Gateway Knitters meeting I attended. The group has been working on baby knits for Nurses for Newborns…of course I’m behind the happenings since I haven’t been to a meeting since spring, but I wanted to try and contribute. I didn’t finish the Barley at the meeting but I was at the place to start the decreases by the end of the meeting. I wrapped it up waiting on dinner at my niece, Nora’s house. She’s 5 and loves to “help” me knit. We did a bit together, and I had her thread the last stitches thru with the darning needle. Then she wanted to sew…I guess I need to come up with some sewing cards for her…hello Christmas present idea!!

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So of course, she wanted one too! I started another Barley right then…but it’s looking small. And I’m not so sure I will have enough yarn to finish her size. This one may become another charity knit.

I can’t leave my darling Nora with cold ears so I dug out some lovely Berroco Vintage in this sweet purple to start, what I thought was another Barley. As I got going, I realized I am not so sure I want to make another one just yet…that got me thinking about what to do. I tinkered with color work or a swirly pattern, then I came across the Who? pattern by Sara Amoroso. The tiny owl cable would be so cute…now I need to find buttons/beads for eyes.

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That’s what my needles are busy with as I take a “short” break from Turia…don’t worry I’m not ready to give her up. I can’t want to! I want to wear it!

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm & Craft On and Ginny at Small Things at Yarn Along and Beth at iknead2knit for Whatcha Working On Wednesday and Tammy at Life & Yarn for Stitch Along Wednesday. Click on over and see what everyone is working on 🙂


Jenna

First Day of Wool Season

I mean fall. It’s the first day of fall today. Let’s be honest, this translates to the first day you feel the strong desire to touch all the wool, wear all the wool, knit with all the wool…

At least I do! Actually, my office is so cold at work, I’ve been wearing wool socks almost every day. And I feel like I need more wool…so I’ve started a lot of things. Let me show you…

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Those are my knobby ankles poking out of my first pair of toe up socks! They are the Strie Socks from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture.

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I love the textured stitch pattern. It’s so lovely with the variegated Zitron Trekking XXL.

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And those are cuffs of the sleeves for my Turia Sweater! I bit the bullet and I’m just going to finish it. I’m going to trust the pattern, trust my measurements and just knit it!

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Plus I just keep thinking about how awesome its going to be to wear the thing and I can’t wear it if I don’t knit it! Right?

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And if you remember these are the Bootstrap Socks from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. I started these back in March on my trip back from Utah, did a little ripping, did a little reknitting and even did a little Kitchener stitching already on these babies…

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Good thing the Mountain Colors Crazyfoot is up to the challenge…so much twist, so much energy! I think these are going to have a nice long foot life ahead, if I can ever get number one off the needles and get number two on there 🙂

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And my lovely “Passe Partout” shawl…coming along. Truthfully, I haven’t hardly touched this in at least a week. Not because I don’t love it, but you’ve seen all the ones before this and you’ll see the ones after…it’s hard to budget my limited knitting time!

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The Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend is a dream to work with, and the stitch definition!!! The singles are workin’ hard to look so good.

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And this is a new cast-on…it’s the Fish Hat (Dead of Alive). My cute nephew William loves fish and his birthday is approaching, so what better than a hat that looks like a fish!!

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I’m using odds and ends from other projects and I’m looking forward to seeing it develop…hopefully in the next couple weeks since his birthday is fast approaching!

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The last one…my Daybreak. I love the subtle color changes in the Mini Mochi…and it’s lovely that it’s not too stark a contrast from the gray main color.

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I keep thinking this one will be so nice to wear and go with so many things…then I remember I wear so much gray, hopefully it won’t just blend in!!

Anyway, Linking up on this lovely Wednesday with some fantastic folks. Click over to check it out!!
Tammy at Life & Yarn for Stitch Along Wednesday
Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along
Beth at iknead2knit for Whatcha Workin On Wednesday
Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm & Craft On

Please share what you’re working on!!

Jenna

Sunday Shawls

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

Well I did.

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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…

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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  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 🙂

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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.

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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_1848 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.

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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.

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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.


Jenna

Weekends are Most Needed

This back to work thing has really, really made me appreciate my time at home on the weekend. My husband went out of town and I had the house to myself. I swept, mopped, dusted, vacuumed, laundered, cooked, drank tasty beer, and of course, knit a good bit while watching the Cardinals play baseball!

I’m sure you’d all love to see my cleaner house, but I’ll spare you. I’m sure you can look at your own lovely homes and see the freshly swept floors and the stacks of freshly laundered towels…but what you can’t see is my lovely projects.

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This is all the yarn I have left…last time we spoke, I was still trying to bind off my Catkin shawl. Fantastic news! I’ve finished it, but I’m trying to decide if I should save it for this coming Friday so I actually have something to show for myself. I believe I will wait 🙂

So since I did finish something, I felt like I could start something new…or maybe a few new things 🙂

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I’ve been dying to knit Stephen West’s Daybreak since I participated in a swap last summer. During that swap, I received the most beautiful Mini Mochi by Crystal Palace Yarns. It’s in these beautiful muted purples, blues, and greens with long color changes…I just know that it will look fantastic in the Daybreak pattern. I’ve held off this long to cast on and I can’t wait any longer!

And I may have wound up some yarn for this lovely Passe-partout in some Manos Silk Blend. The golden color, 300x, has been in my stash from 2012 when I visited my friend Brenna in Tuscon and picked it up at The Tuscon Yarn Company…and the soft gray is Dove I picked up yesterday at Knitorious…I’ve been keeping an eye out for about a year for the perfect shade to complement my golden yellow since I didn’t feel I had enough yardage to really make a big enough piece to wear. When I stumbled upon the Dove, I knew it had to come home with me.

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Anyway, here’s to a wonderful week ahead full of work, volleyball, and (hopefully) lots of knitting! Any new plans you have for knitting?


Jenna