Do What You Know

You know how when you want to try something new everything seems more difficult to get started or get going. I’ve had this feeling that I wanted to do something new for my 60th blog post (since I missed my 50th) but I’m not sure what to do.

Looking online, people who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary traditionally get diamonds! Sign me up! Not so sure I can afford to run out and buy myself some diamonds for my 60th blog post. Those may need to wait until my actual 60th wedding anniversary πŸ™‚ So I looked at people celebrating their 60th birthday. A common theme for those celebrating their 60th seem to be “do what you want to do.”

That brings me back to doing what I know.

Here are some of the things I’ve been working on, since I haven’t been posting here.

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First up, my Technicolor Socks Take 2 in the Show-off Stranded Socks pattern in the gorgeous Pagewood Farms Denali Sock yarn. Its in the Sky Blue Pink colorway. I’m knitting them on US size 0 Karbonz double points. They are living in my Bird Leg Bags Halloween Bag I received as part of a Halloween order a few years ago from Simply Socks Yarn Co.

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I love the fabric I’m creating. It’s nice and tight. I’m really hoping they will wear well.

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I think I’ve only knit 6 pairs of socks since I’ve been knitting. 2 pairs were in worsted weight as house socks, 1 pair was knit in DK for a baby, and the last 3 pairs were knit in sock yarn. Two of those three were gifts. I’ve only kept 1 pair for myself. I knit them on 2 circulars in a US size 2. Those are a little loose in terms of fabric and by the end of a day of wear, they are quite baggy. These are coming along. Maybe another inch or two on the cuff before I start the heel.

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Since I’ve started the blog in May, I’ve fallen into the knitting rabbit hole. Yes, prior to May, I was knitting. A lot. But since I’ve started blogging and reading blogs, I’ve started to see my knitting in a different way. I’m more aware of all the things on my needles. I’m picking patterns and yarns in a more intentional way. If I don’t like something, I’m ripping it out and trying again. I’m actually attempting garments that fit, not just accessories. And the accessories I am knitting are more intentional. I’m trying to match yarn in terms of its composition with a pattern that will work with it.

Enough about that. On to another WIP!

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The Colorful Cozy Cowl I’ve been working on for Lyndsay is coming along slowly. It’s the Shibui Array Cowl pattern in some scrumptious Malabrigo Rios in the Teal Feather & Liquidambar colorways. Right side & wrong side view here.

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It’s coming along super slowly with all the slipped stitches. I do love the way it looks though. I’m sure it doesn’t help the speed of it when I keep starting new things.

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Like casting on my PostStitch projectΒ for my darling niece Payton. It’s the Wee Envelope pattern in the Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aspen Sport in the Primrose colorway. It’s not a hard knit. In fact, I was just trucking right along. Then I went to join the two yokes for the right sleeve. I picked up the stitches for the back yoke incorrectly.

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So I ripped it back. It’s in timeout. I will not let a baby sweater defeat me! So I picked up the socks. Don’t worry. I’ll try it again today.

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You may also be wondering what happened to my Two Grey Dogs yarn…It’s still in the ball. I’m trying to knock out a few things WIP wise before starting something new….not sure if this has ever stopped me before. I may just be a little chicken when it comes to just trying something new with the yarn.

Anyway, I feel like this post was very me, and thus very appropriate for my 60th post πŸ™‚ What are you working on?

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier DreamsΒ and Gracey is not my name at Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life..

Some WIPs on Wednesday!!

WIP Wednesday

I know! I’m on time! Amazing πŸ™‚

Without further ado, the Works in Progress:

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The Rikke in the gorgeous Malabrigo Rios colorway, Arco Iris. It’s coming along rather quickly. The squishy garter stitch will make for a luxurious hat. And might I add that I LOVE the German Twisted Cast-On used here. It’s stretchy and pretty. Check out the tutorial here.

I’m hoping to have it in the mail by the end of the week.

I know I’ve got countless other things on the needles..check them out here on my Ravelry page.

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Baby Payton’s Wee Envelope is about to hit the needles. I need to get knitting on this one and the ladies of PostStitch are going to be live on Facebook tomorrow to answer questions about this pattern.

I must say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in. There was definitely a pretty good consensus that I should just knit what I’d like to knit. I was reminded that I should be knitting fun. So dog-gonnit it will be fun!

I may have also been tempted by this:

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It has been calling to me. It is Two Grey Dogs Designs Schnauzer Snuggle in the Orange at Sea colorway. It wants to be something. Maybe the Cupido cowl? Maybe an original design…

Anyway, linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams.

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Brain Block

Yep, I’m a little stopped up in my thoughts for posting. I have noticed that I’ve been a bit bouncy in terms of my ideas and projects and goals that I talk about here on the blog. I have found that I bring up things and talk about wanting to do things, then I don’t follow through! Yikes! Not fun. And a little disappointing.

Just a moment though, because I do (sometimes) come back to them. For instance, the Whispers top.

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It was supposed to be a part of the Nice & Knit Summer Sweater Knit Along. By the time I really got knitting on the thing, summer was over. I finished it well after the KAL concluded…so late in fact I was able to use it in the Commuter Knitter Finish Along for this year. If you haven’t wandered over to listen to NDJen04 (on Ravelry) on her podcast, you are missing out! Check her out on iTunes if you are looking for some fun knitting related listening.

I don’t know where I was going there. See what I mean? I’m all over the place.

So I think I need to work on holding myself accountable for all the awesome things I want to start and participate in!!

For instance, I’ve got 3 things I’d like to tackle before the end of the year. Maybe if I tell you about them, you can help hold me accountable. Perhaps I should make a weekly thing to check in. So those things that I want to do.

1. Rikke Hat— I finally caught up with all the blogs I read. While doing so, I came across several posts referencing this post by Anke at Our Little Piece of Heaven. She has a friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. Anke is requesting a few hats knit for her friend to brighten her day. I have the perfect skein of Malabrigo Rios in the Arco Iris colorway and I love the Rikke pattern. The slouch is perfect and so cozy.

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2. Wee Envelope— As I mentioned in my last post, I received my LittleStitch box from PostStitch to make a Wee Envelope for my niece Payton. I went into this in good detail last week.

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3. Turia Sweater/Featherweight Sweater— I want to knit the Turia because it’s been languishing in my stash for some time. It was also the first sweater I saw that I really, really wanted to make. It is in battle with the Featherweight sweater because I did just buy yarn for this at Vogue Knitting Live and Amy Herzog of CustomFit and Hannah Fetig of KnitBot (the designer) are running a KAL on Ravelry. Do you see my dilemma??

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These three things sound doable, but this brings me to my hesitancy to even talk about them much less cast them on. I already have like 10 things on the needles! I don’t like having all these WIPs out there. Languishing. Feeling unloved. Being stagnant.

I look back at my WIPs and I remember loving all those things at some point. I ask myself why I put them down. Then I look at the next thing and think, yep, this is why I put that down, so I could start this! And I want those WIPs to be finished so they can go to their recipients or I can wear them!!

So this is where your thoughts come in. What would you do–finish up the WIPs or just go ahead and cast on the new stuff??

I’m sure I’ll make a decision by Wednesday, but I would love your input!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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Until then,

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

The Technique to Curing the Fiber Event Hangover

technique tuesday

Yes, I am still alive! I’ve been reading all about people with the “Rhinebeck Hangover” and I think that this hungover feeling after attending a large fiber event is a real thing! I have finally (sort of) processed most of what I learned and saw at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago and I want to tell you all about it!

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The first step to wellness is often admitting you have a problem. I, Jenna, have a problem of wanting all the soft, shiny, squishy fiber I can get my hands on. This year’s haul, as opposed to last year’s haul is substantially less. A step in the right direction of creating a stash I want to knit all the things from.

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And here’s why.

I made a list of things I was looking for and I stuck to it (mostly).

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I did not get the yarn for both the sweaters I wanted and a hank of some Merino/Cashmere/Nylon sock yarn may have found its way home with me as well, but I did enjoy the marketplace without feeling overwhelmed.

This was because my mom and I took an initial lap around the two floors to see what all the vendors had and what we were interested in looking more closely at and potentially buying.

We were pulled in by the ladies in the PostStitch booth. Right as we walked up, they had us knit a row on their scarf. Then as we were chatting, the ladies, Amy and Megan shared they are a mother-daughter team that started this cute business. Mom and I could definitely relate. She is the one who got me interested in knitting and taught me how. Anyway, PostStitch is a monthly subscription that sends the recipient a box with the yarn, pattern, needles, and whatever notions would be needed to complete the project. What really drew me in was the LittleStitch project they are doing for this next month…I won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say it is perfect for me being a new auntie πŸ™‚ They had us take a fun selfie in their booth.

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And they sent us on our way with a cute little knitted necklace kit with yarn, needles, and the pattern for Ambah O’Brien’s Petarli necklace.

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Then since it had been an incredibly long day by 7:30pm, we decided to hit the hay. I did do a quick lookover of the cards I collected from booths and make little notes on the marketplace map so I could go back the next day in between classes.

Having a game plan really helped me to make the most of my 45 minute shopping time before my afternoon class. I hit the Yarn Pop booth first for this darling project bag.

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I got the Large Clutch in the Natural Owl pattern. It’s now holding my Oatmeal Shawl. I wanted to thread the yarn through the holes, but since I had already started the colors I couldn’t thread them through. Oh well. This puppy is seeing some great action. I feel like it’s closer to being completed so I’m trying to work on it a little more.

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Next, I hit up the Delicious Yarns booth. I was intrigued by their Sprinkles yarn. They had several samples knit up to show of the “pops” of color would show up in a knitted fabric. I knew that I wanted this for my Featherweight Cardigan. I’m planning to join the CustomFit Featherweight KAL here shortly. So I bought about 1350 yards in the fingering weight of Sprinkles in the Grape colorway.

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Look how cute the tags are!! So clever πŸ™‚

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Then, I lost my mom. She disappeared so I did a quick walk through of the floor I was on and then down to the third floor to look there. I called her a few times, but she didn’t hear it. So I made another walk through on the 4th floor and picked up some sock yarn from Sophie’s Toes Sock Yarn. I had been eyeing a skein of MCN (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) in the Snowy Owl colorway. There was a sock sample knit up and it looked like newsprint. So I wanted it. It’s soooooo squishy and soft.

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I was initially thinking this would be socks, but I do have this pattern for a Snowy Woods Cowl by Michele Bernstein that this may work wonderful for. I will have to swatch a little and give it a try. Michele has some beautiful patterns and she talks about them on her blog here. Definitely a fun one to add to your blogroll.

Finally, I made it over to the Windy Knitty booth because Laura Nelkin was signing copies of her Knockout Knits book. Initially, this book was not on my radar. I had seen it pop up on some blogs and had really liked the Prolix Mitts pattern, but I hadn’t given it a whole lot more thought. Until my Saturday morning class was “Getting Your Lace On” taught by Laura herself! She was a fabulous teacher and had tons of samples knit from her patterns in the book. Seeing her beautiful designs in real life sold me and I knew I’d have to seek out the book. So I did πŸ™‚

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I even got a fun picture for Instagram after class!

Eventually, in this short crazy 45 minute shopping adventure, I did find my mom and helped her to spend a little money too. Then we hurried off to our afternoon class on Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale.

I will have to do a separate post on our classes as it would make this beast entirely too long. We had a blast though on our trip! It’s always so fun to be around so many other people who love fiber as much as we do!!

Until next time.

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna