monday, Monday, MONDAY!!

Monday Musings

Yep, you guessed it! It’s Monday and I just wanted to stop by and say hello. We’ve gotten a good amount of snow over the last few days. Maybe about 4-6 inches. No worries though, the city was prepared and the roads were clear! We had a few slippery moments when driving home from my brother-in-law’s house yesterday morning, but we made it all the same.

There is something about this cold weather that just makes me want to curl up with lots of coffee and knit. Sometimes, I will read blogs or watch tv or catch up on audio or video podcasts while I knit. Especially since the things I’m knitting are pretty simple as of right now. I do have one challenging piece to work on.

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It’s my Catkin Shawl I started back in September for a knit-along at Knitorious. I love the yarn. It’s Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the Fig (brownish/purplish) & Thyme (minty green) colorways. I was a little hesitant to use a single ply yarn because they tend not to wear as well for me. I love the stitch definition I’m getting but in the past with singles I find they pill quite a bit. But I couldn’t resist these colors! And it’s been just fantastic to work with 🙂

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I also love the pattern. I love that it is showcasing my yarn so well and I’m enjoying the construction. It’s going to end up being a giant square shape with the “opening” cutting through one of the corners. I think it will be super wearable. I just have to get knitting on it!

You’re probably thinking, Jenna, why don’t you just knock it out if you think you’ll love the end product so much? Well, remember that part about not knitting on it with visual distractions? How am I supposed to catch up on my tv shows or blogs or video podcasts if I’m too busy watching the chart and my knitting? I bet I could do it. I don’t even watch that much tv, just a few episodes of Intervention, First 48, and random weight-loss transformation shows. It’s not like its episodes that are linked up to tell a story each week like a Homeland or Walking Dead or The Good Wife. I watch documentary types. I find them fascinating.

And I’m distracted by my other knits…

Turia

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Technicolor Socks: I bought a scale and started turning my heel!!

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Skinty Stripe Scarf

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I really want to start this Curl, Cerise in some Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Glitter Sock in a OOAK Jewel colorway.

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And that cozy looking 3 Color Cashmere Cowl in my Smooshy & Paradigm.

As I sit here and gaze at my yarn cabinet, I’m getting more ideas!

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And there’s one more shelf below that with 3 sweater quantities on it :/ So much to knit and yet Ravelry still tempts me to buy patterns and indulge in new yarn! I’m a bit weak willed when it comes to this it seems.

Oh well, I guess there are worse things to spend my time and money on.

Are you tempted by any patterns or yarns right now?

Until we speak again (hopefully soon!).

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

WIPs & Plans

WIP Wednesday

Yay! A real WIP Wednesday post! I’m pretty proud of myself as I’ve whittled down my WIPs to just 10. I’ve been working pretty hard on my Whispers sweater (which I will wear to Vogue Knitting Live!) until I finished it. I will be sure to take pictures of me wearing this! I love it!!!

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My needles have been going so fast, they are smokin’!

I’ve been making some good progress on my Twist Vest. I’m hoping to knock it out so I can block it and weave in the ends before we leave on Friday morning.

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I need to do about 6 more inches on the collar portion. I’m hoping it will fit and be long enough when I finally cast off…my needles have been keeping it too tight for me to try on. Cross your fingers!! If not, I’ll just have to rip it out and try again 😦 That is one nice thing about knitting vs. other crafts where you don’t really need to cut anything and it’s all able to be undone.

My Technicolor Take 2 Socks haven’t seen much love since they were cursed for the Cardinals games. I guess now that they’ve lost and the Royals/Giants are facing off in the World Series, I can pull them back out. I am still really liking the yarn and pattern and my Karbonz!!

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I am questioning if they will be too big…I have skinny ankles but long feet so I traditionally make the bigger size. However, my 2 pairs of socks I have made for myself are both pretty slouchy. After reading so many blogs and posts about socks and Socktober, I am inspired to knit myself socks I will love. Ripping may commence if I can try these on 🙂

Not to worry. I have been doing a little unselfish knitting as well. In the name of a few gifts.

First up is my Flurfy Scarf for Jabes. It’s coming along. It takes a little brain power. I’m into the solid section of the 3rd of 4 colors.

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And the Array Cowl for Lyndsay. Taking a while since it has a bunch of slipped stitches. I know initially I was a little hesitant about the color combination, but I’m really liking it in the daylight. I’m not sure that the picture here does it justice.

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And the Skinty Stripe Scarf for Deana. Also taking a while since it is on US size 3 needles.

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On to the planning stage for my super fun trip!!!

Last year, when I went to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago, I rode the Megabus early in the morning, spent about 3 hours in the giant marketplace, spent way too much money buying impulse yarn, took a class on cables from Amy Detjen, had delicious deep-dish pizza with my husband (who was an insane trooper through the whole experience), and took the Megabus back to Louisville that night. I spent roughly 24 hours on this trip and around 12 hours were spent on the Megabus.

I think this is the haul from last year. I tried to pull it all out of my yarn cabinet from memory. I’ve got a couple skeins of sock yarn, a few skeins of some bulky Malabrigo Rasta, some Shibui Cima for a scarf, and some Neighborhood Fiber Company to knit the Monomania sweater. I’m pretty sure I haven’t made anything from my haul last year. What a shame!! Pulling it all out makes me want to cast on something right away, but I’m trying to stay disciplined and finish up what I already have on the needles.

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When I received the email this year about year’s event, I knew I wanted to go back. I also knew that St. Louis had a train that went to Chicago which would be more enjoyable than a bus (public transit is a way better option for me than driving because I can knit on the way there and not worry about driving or paying an outrageous amount to park in Chicago). I also knew that I wanted my mom to go with me. Plus, I knew I wanted to stay overnight and not be rushed. And staying overnight gave us the opportunity to take more classes!!!

This year, I’m looking up patterns I want to buy yarn for and trying to make a list of some unique dyers and companies that I want to look for. Also going to keep on the look out for a few books. I just don’t want to come home with a bunch of random single skeins that I bought in the throws of “ooooooooh that’s so pretty and soft and squishy.” So I’ve made a few lists. I need to finalize these in the next day so I can go in with a solid plan.

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So the lists are coming together…

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Nicole.

 

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 🙂 This resulted in some beautiful things, but just one skein of beautiful.

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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.

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

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Brandy for my Knitting Confession.

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

 

 

 

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

Hello & Happy Saturday!!

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All from St. Louis of course. This has been my first move as a married person and it has certainly been different from any other move I have ever done. My very first move away from my parents’ home where I was for 18 years was to college in Memphis, Tennessee. I loaded up all my clothes, shoes, and linens into my mom’s car for the 6 hour journey. When we arrived, we went and bought anything else I could possibly need moving into a relatively furnished dorm room.

I moved in and out of college housing for the next 6 years, getting a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Then I finally moved into a condo with one of my best friends. That was a challenge because it was my first real place with stairs (I’d avoided them throughout college because I didn’t want to trudge up and down them everyday). My parents, brother, and boyfriend (now husband) really made that move possible. I was lucky enough to stay put there for 2 years while teaching school. Then there was the quick move to Louisville which involved renting a shipping crate, packing it jam full of everything I had acquired and having it hauled by a trucking company, delayed for a week, and finally unloaded by my husband and me into our SECOND floor apartment just a month before our wedding 1,000 miles away.

Thankfully, we made it to this move, with another 2 year lease (yay! no packing for at least that long) with the help of my father-in-law. He’s moved a time or two and was able to really help us pack our truck chock full. We made it the 240 miles with only a broken shelf, 2 broken glasses, a broken plate, and a broken hurricane lamp. Much better success. My only complaint? Yes, we are on the SECOND floor again, with daily stairs 🙂 Ah well, I guess it is better to be making the noise than hearing the noise. And the stairs are in our unit so hopefully my cats can get some exercise and stop being the fattest ones around.

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All of this being said, it is really wonderful to wake up in a new place that already feels like home AND be inspired to write a post. It could have something to do with the Monster cup of coffee I poured myself.

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I have been struggling with time and ideas since we arrived, couple that with our week of no internet and you’ve got a girl who hasn’t been posting and over 200 posts to read in her bloglovin feed!!

You guessed it, it is STASH DIVE SATURDAY!! Since my stash is happily on display in the other room, it was so easy to just swoop in and pick out a skein to highlight. Here is the photo process of deciding.

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Hmmmmm, maybe something on the top shelf?

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No, no. How about the DK/Sport weight shelf?

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Oooooh yes, How about green? I love green.

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And it’s Smooshy!!!!

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It’s Dream in Color’s Smooshy with Cashmere. This may be my only yarn I have with Cashmere…so it must be made into something special. I want it to be something that will be close to my skin since it is so soft. I also love this color, Emerald Darkness, and really want it to be visible. So probably not socks since I don’t have any clear shoes…Maybe a shawl or scarf or cowl? But the catch is that I only have 1 skein…
Ideas:
1. How about this Nautilina Scarf by Sybil R on Ravelry? The colors look fun, and I’m sure I could pair this with another gorgeous yarn from my stash or perhaps break the diet?? Her pattern is available free on her blog, Knitting and so on.
2. Mayhaps The Age of Brass And Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower Yarn on Ravelry? Plus there are some very lovely yarns on the Orange Flower Yarn website that would be amazing in this pattern. Oh the temptation…
3. Maybe I should stop adding patterns to my queue and just look through that? Or the books I have here at home, but where is the fun in that adventure?? Maybe the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Welted Fingerless Gloves (here on Ravelry). These have been in my queue forever and I may even have the pattern somewhere…I bet the softness would be so nice on my hands.
4. Or perhaps Jared Flood‘s Ptarmigan cowl (here on Ravelry). I bet the lace in the round would be beautiful in the green I have. And another doozie that has been in my queue for far too long.

The hard part about looking at all of these beautiful patterns is that I really should not start anything new. I’ve been working almost exclusively on the Midsummer Baby Blanket for my soon-to-be-here niece. I’m literally 4 rows away from starting the 4th color. It’s a little bulky to travel with since I have a big bag full of yarn. I don’t want to leave any of it behind because I’m paranoid that I will run out of a yarn I need RIGHT THEN! Here is the progress.

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I’ve also been working on the Mother-Daughter Knit-along which is the Putney Shawl in my Kentucky Festival purchase 🙂 I love that this project is still very portable and very brainless. And Sis likes it. Here is the progress.

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If you had the Smooshy in your possession, what would you make it?

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Trying to Control the Hoard

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I mean stash…I’ve been reading a few posts about going on a diet…of the yarn buying kind. I’m sure my husband, my wallet, and my movers (we are headed to St. Louis at the end of the month!!) would appreciate a little break from yarn buying. So for today’s Technique Tuesday, I’m going to explore a technique to help me not buy more yarn.

I’m going to browse my stash online or in person every time I feel the pull of the LYS. This would require that I update my stash a little on Ravelry. I have a few skeins I haven’t put into there yet from recent trips and yarn store adventures. I think by checking out my stash whenever I find a new pattern to knit or I just get a hankering to knit something, I can quell my desire to run out for something new.

I think to make this most effective, I need some pretty and accessible yarn storage. It needs to be something that I can look through to see my yarn. I also need to be able to feel it. This is what I’ve got right now:

This one is all my projects in progress with a few new skeins thrown in.IMG_1135

This is some of my purchases in the last year or so.
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This is my some of my original stash. I bought this chest originally to house my stash. I have slowly outgrown my cute chest.
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I know that someone out there has to have some gorgeous yarn storage. I don’t just want bins or boxes, so I went online to find some inspiration. Maybe something like this I found on the Loopy Ewe:
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Or this I found on a post at Rosepath:
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I think my cats would have a field day with this, but like the post  says, “it doubles as wall art!” As does this one from Knits for Life:
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In our new place I’m banking on a closet for my yarn, so maybe something more like this that I found at Trials & Pixelations:
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I like all of these storage ideas because you can really see what you have AND you can feel the yarn! Softness & squishibility are characteristics I definitely take into consideration whenever buying yarn.

However, creating gorgeous storage is going to have to wait because we are moving to St. Louis at the end of the month!! We just got approved for our new place and we are so excited for a change! I love moving into a place and making it my own.

What does your stash storage look like? Do you wish your stash storage was better in any way??

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna