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

Get it Together Aunt Jenna!

I feel like I kept saying this to myself all week last week. A little perspective here: I’m 28, married for almost 2 years, I am generally responsible for myself and my two cats and occasionally my husband…yes, I did teach 5th grade for two years, I substitute taught kids as young as 3rd grade, I’ve coached volleyball for 10 years…

However, I do not have children myself. My two spoiled rotten kitties are a bit needy at times, but they are pretty self-sufficient. This last week, I cared for my 3 yearold nephew and 4 yearold niece…breakfast, lunch, dinner, bathtime, bedtime…it was up to me.

I have a new appreciation for parents. I have never been more exhausted before in my whole life, this includes 4 years of college volleyball (hello preseason with 3-a-day practices), student teaching while still running spring volleyball practices and coaching a club team, teaching school while also coaching club volleyball and school softball and planning a wedding…those things were hard, I had moments where I thought I would just quit, sit down in the dirt and quit, but I didn’t. I knew that all of those things had an ending. I knew I would make it if I just kept plugging away.

All of this to say that being a pseudo-parent for a week was much more exhausting. Not just physically (waking up at 6am to small people in my face, picking children up and down, cooking, cleaning, bathtime, bedtime), but mentally and emotionally. I had no idea how tough it is to mentally do battle with yourself over what a 3 and 4 yearold may or may not understand, how tough it is emotionally to not have an adult conversation with anyone for 6-10 hours in a day…

So to all the parents out there, especially the ones who do it on their own, thank you and I owe you mad respect.

All of this to say that even though I finally posted 2 posts in a week before Friday, I missed my Freshly Finished Friday post! I realized it at 8:45am Friday morning when I was hauling the two kids to Sky Zone (trampoline park) to jump at Toddler Time (it was raining so no outside/pool time). I was running through my mental list, trying to determine what I was forgetting when I realized I left you guys hanging. 😦

Anyway, I have been knitting, but not on any of the WIPs I’ve mentioned before. I started a pair of worsted weight tube socks for my 4 yearold niece. On Sunday of last week, she noticed I was knitting myself a pair of socks (these Bootstrap socks) and asked if I would make her a pair. Of course I said yes, when I finish these…I think I even have the perfect yarn. (It’s supposed to Zebra stripe with the teal as the background and orange as the stripey bits)

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Well, what do you know when I had them over to my house on that Tuesday for a bit, she beelined for my stash cabinet and was immediately struck by this:

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It’s Cascade Yarns Pacific in the color 517 (Circus). I grabbed some US 4 DPNs and told her I would start them soon.

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When we arrived back at their house for the evening, she may or may not have demanded that I start them immediately and then asked me every 10 minutes if they were finished and while simultaneously requesting they go all the way up to her knees.

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For the rest of the week, any time I was sitting anywhere she requested I work on her sock. As of Sunday night this week (6/21) I have finished one sock and started the next. (link to Rav page here)

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It’s a good thing these are worsted weight 🙂

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm & Craft On.

Anything been slowing your knitting roll?


Jenna

Must. Weigh. Yarn!

holiday cheer

So the predicament I’m in with my socks. Thanks to all those wonderful bloggers and podcasters out there who whip up socks like its goin out of style, I have been really looking forward to finishing up and wearing my Technicolor Socks.

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Enter the predicament.

I want the cuffs to be nice and long and I want minimal leftover yarn. And I want the socks to fit. So I’m not sure how much longer I can continue with the cuffs before turning the heel and have enough yarn to do the foot the correct length.

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I’ve got 450 yards of yarn and I split the yarn into two (seemingly) equal balls when I frogged these the first time. The problem here is that they are seemingly equal. I don’t have a scale and couldn’t weigh them. And I don’t feel comfortable taking these into a LYS since I bought the yarn on a trip to Tucson a few years ago. I did buy the Karbonz needles at a store here. Maybe that counts??

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I’m hoping that determining the weight of the socks knit so far and the remaining yarn will help me determine how much longer I can make my cuff before turning the heel and working the foot. Do any of you have an idea about how to determine this based on the weight??

Until I weigh the yarn, I guess these will have to hibernate. Does this give me freedom to cast on another pair?

I’ve got some 6-ply Regia Adventure or some Indulgence 6-ply that would be beautiful on some US size 2’s…

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What would you do?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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 🙂 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 project 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 🙂 What are you working on?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

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

Sundays with Harry

Potter that is. One of my favorite series and I hope you have had the chance to enjoy them as well 🙂 I noticed next to my bed this morning a stack of 3 books from back in the fall when I was reading almost a book a week. This stack was Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, HP & the Goblet of Fire, and HP & the Order of the Phoenix.IMG_0991

I started rereading these back in the summer and got stuck on the Prisoner of Azkaban. I already know about the double crossing rat and I don’t want to see him escape. Again. So I stopped reading and haven’t picked it back up. I distracted myself with other books and series like the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I’ve had many a friend suggest I just skip it, but it doesn’t feel right. I’m very much someone who likes to finish things in their entirety before I can say they are finished.

This brings me to my dive into the stash.
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This gorgeous skein of Striping Sock by Poste Yarn in Bravery. They are the gorgeous colors from Gryffindor. I bought this online from the Simply Socks Yarn Company. There was this gorgeous Halloween color a few years back and to make it so I had enough yarn for free shipping, I snapped up this beaut.IMG_0990

I’m not quite sure what to do with it. Initially I just think socks! I put the yarn into the Rav yarn search and looked at all the projects people have made and I just think socks. Probably just vanilla socks. Or maybe my staple ribbed top simple socks. But I think anything else wouldn’t do the stripes justice.

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Anyway, what would you do with it?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna