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

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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

 

Thoughts about VKLive Classes!!

Thoughful Thursday

So I’m sure after my last post, you are wondering why I didn’t have as much time to shop and buy all the things (other than my stated plan). With the package we purchased included 3 classes and Mom and I wanted to take full advantage of the awesome ladies who were teaching all weekend.

First up when we got there on Friday, we took a Hand-Dyeing Class taught my Rhonda Fargnoli. She seemed very knowledgeable and very into the yarn business. She gave some great tips for where to buy her natural dyes, but I wish we were given more direct instructions on how to prepare and set up our own dyeing at home. Ce la vie.

We did have a good time dyeing our mini-skeins with a few different dyes. There were 5 different colors and one was indigo and one was cochineal. We spent the afternoon dipping and painting and pouring dye all over our mini skeins. Here is Mom at work.

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The room we were in at the Palmer House Hilton had some really, really yellow lighting.

We took them up to the room on styrofoam plates and laid them out to dry.

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When we got home, I rinsed them with some white vinegar and hung them up to dry over the sink.

Now, what to make??? I need a scale so I can know how much of each color I have…maybe I can make a magic ball with these for a big fun project?

The next class I took was Getting Your Lace On taught by the lovely Laura Nelkin. Let me start by saying that I have never knit one of Laura’s patterns. Each time that one of her designs have caught my eye, I go and look it up and notice how complicated it is. This is not a bad thing, but up until about 6 months ago, I stuck to simple knits. Nothing too complicated, nothing I have to count…then I did the Follow Your Arrow KAL (on my own time because KAL time restrictions seem to be terrible for me) and the whole “simple only knitting” flew right out the window.

Laura started off the class by sharing many of her samples with us. She passed around so many lovely things, talked about what Lace knitting actually is and isn’t, and had us cast on 10 stitches.

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And knit a few rows. We played around with some increases and had a very good discussion on what a “yarnover” actually is and should look like (I guess I had not been paying much attention to my knitting in the past). Fun fact: A yarn0ver should in fact be a piece of yarn over the needle, but the leg riding in front of the needle still needs to be the right leg! Amazing. Next time you do a yarnover, check it out.

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We then played around with some decreases. Her instructions were great. She talked about when designers would use each one and which ones were appropriate for double sided lace (eeeeek!). She was incredibly patient and kept us all interested.

We touched on how to read charts for one-sided lace, lace in the round, and two-sided lace. We even hit (quickly) on blocking. The whole 3 hours was jam-packed full of great information. It really made me think about my knitting and gave me the confidence to tackle a few of Laura’s (complicated) designs. She was gracious enough to even do a quick selfie with me after class!!

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Sorry that my quality isn’t great 😦 That’s what I get for using the iPhone I guess. I am definitely a Laura fan after such a great experience. I highly recommend you check out her blog and her new book, Knockout Knits,Β (which is full of info about the techniques used as well as the patterns).

Mom took a class from Amy Detjen about Two-Color Knitting during this time. I will have to get with her about what she thought. I took a class from Amy last year about Cables…also awesome πŸ™‚

PS: I am wearing my Whispers top!

Our next class was in the afternoon. It was Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale. She is the author the books Entrelac and Entrelac 2. Another note about my experience with Entrelac, I had never done this either! Rosemary is a hoot and reminds me of my parents’ German neighbor who is very matter-of-fact. She had us jump right in to try our hand at Entrelac. Throughout the class, she offered great tips on how to pick up stitches and she showed off several of her beautiful designs. I was so busy knitting, I did not have time to take pictures of my progress. Here is my swatch.

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Overall, the classes were definitely worth the time and money we spent at Vogue Knitting Live. Both this year and last, have left me with a great experience. I will say that one thing I will do before taking classes at a big event like this is to do some research about the teacher before hand. Look them up on Ravelry and see what some of their work is like, maybe see if they have been talked about by other knitters who have taken classes from them.

Anyway, definitely something I would do again πŸ™‚ I need to get my needles going so I can cast on something new from Knockout Knits!!!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

 

 

The Technique to Curing the Fiber Event Hangover

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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

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 πŸ™‚

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…

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Nicole.

 

The Bottom of the Rabbit Hole

Monday Musings

Bet you didn’t know there was a bottom to rabbit holes. Usually when one ventures into one, there is nearly never a bottom. My particular rabbit hole is the one that had me “Knitting. All. The. Things.” I’m not saying I don’t want to keep knitting all the things, but I am realizing there is a limit. I only have so many sets of needles and so many hours in the day/night to knit. I do need to sleep and eat and work (occasionally) so I am still a kind person. I do suffer from “hangry-ness” on occasion. That feeling where you are so hungry, you are an unbearably angry person. Plus I am married and do need to pay some attention to my darling husband.

Realizing these limitations, I have decided to stop “queuing” things. At least until I get back from Vogue Knitting Live next weekend. I am in the process of looking through my library on Ravelry as well as my physical library and deciding what projects I want to cast on or at least acquire yarn for, comparing it against my queue. I know I shouldn’t be looking at all that with my numerous WIPs, but the trip is coming up and I can’t go into that Marketplace without a plan!!

Plus, I’ve wrapped up a few projects lately. I bet you’d just love to see them!!! Almost as much as I’d like to show them off πŸ™‚

First up is that fun little shawl from the Mother Daughter Knit-along. Technically I finished casting off for this about a month ago, but I just pulled it off the blocking boards a few days ago and wove in the ends!!!!

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Next, I also made the pompoms to go on top of the little Reflector Hats I made for Will & Nora. It’s definitely getting cooler and I wanted to be able to give them so they can wear them!!

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I bought a pompom maker from Michael’s a few weeks ago. It’s the version made by Boye. So simple to use! I took two strands of the bulky yarn and wrapped them around and around. A little snipping and a little tying and VIOLA! PomPom!

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Finally. I’ve cast off.

It’s soaking.

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3 needle bind off for the tops of the shoulders.

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I have a whole cake of yarn left. And just a touch of the 2nd cake.

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I’ve just to to lay out my Whispers top and weave in the ends. Then I get to wear it!!!!!!

And go on adventures to Chicago. With my mom! For Yarn!!! And Patterns! And Needles!

I’ll try to get in a WIP Wednesday post and if I’m real good, I will have a few more things finished!!

Until then

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

 

WIPs on WIPs on WIPs…

WIP Wednesday

You guessed it! It’s WIP Wednesday. I was worried I wouldn’t have time to do this post because it’s my husband’s 30th birthday!! But I have been wanting to show what I’ve been working on.

First up:

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Since it is Jordan’s 30th birthday, I thought I would try to finish up this scarf for him. I started it back in the spring sometime. It’s made out of Mountain Colors Twizzle in the Harmony Softrock colorway. I’ve used up 1 skein and am a good ways into the second skein, which I bought simply for emergencies…emergency averted πŸ™‚ I’m using Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s One Row Handspun Scarf pattern. I keep having him try it on so it’s long enough. I have about 9 more inches to go πŸ™‚

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You may be asking yourself what this is and why this is the first time you are seeing it. Well, a few weeks ago I saw this pattern for a “fried egg” potholder. At the time, we were trying to buy rugs for our apartment which has all hardwood floors. Lightbulb! I could make a cool rug for the kitchen that looked like a giant fried egg! I used a full-size yellow bed sheet, then 1 queen-size white bed sheet. That wasn’t enough so I bought a king-size. I blew through that. Man, does crochet eat up some yarn! So I bought 2 more king-size bed sheets to cut into strips to finish this thing up. I totally love it and it is really squishy!

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This should look vaguely familiar. It should also look relatively stagnant. It’s the Whispers top I’ve been “working” on. We’ll say working is a loose term here. Mostly it gets shuttled from one place to another for me to knit a round or two on. The stockinette has become boring. But I want to finish it so I can wear it in Chicago at Vogue Knitting Live!

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This should also look vaguely familiar and also stagnant. It’s the back of the Twist Vest. I did a “provisional cast-off” to hold the stitches at the neck and I should be picking up around this to make the sides, armholes, and collar. Instead, it’s been languishing. I think it’s like the Whispers top in that I’m close to switching to another ball of yarn on both projects and I just haven’t picked them back up. I know there is such a thing as “Second Sock Syndrome”…is there a “Starting a Second Ball of Yarn Syndrome” as well???

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And there is this lovely, soft, fuzzy beauty. It’s the HPKY Bias Shawl I started knitting. I’m ignoring a portion of the pattern about only doing a certain number of rows alternating the 2 colors and I did more so I could use up more of the yarn and make a bigger shawl. I hope it is big enough to wrap around my shoulders. I will be sorely disappointed otherwise.

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Finally, here is my Catkin shawl. I’m at the place to start Chart 1 and I had to place markers to mark the quadrants and the chart repeats. I placed said markers only to encounter I have 4 stitches too many. Knowing that to solve this problem will require some brain power, it has been hibernating for about a week. I have been working on brainless things, like the scarf for my husband, instead of sitting down to do a little problem solving. I think I’m just going to “place” those extra stitches where I am supposed Β to do increases on the first row instead of ripping back or doing any sort of decreases. I just need to determine the right place for those and do it.

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Finally, looking out over my landscape of WIPs, I’m feeling like I should be knitting instead of typing! I am also realizing that several of my projects are in a similar place…about halfway. I am not completely sure what my hesitation is. I do enjoy working on them, but I think I would enjoy them as finished pieces more than I like working on them. I also want to start a few new pieces and I’m going to Chicago for the Vogue Knitting show which is sure to be filled with inspiration. All I know is I better get knittin!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Linking up with Tami & Nicole.
You should head over to their pages to see other blogs where people are participating in Tami’s WIP Wednesday & Nicole’s Keep Calm & Craft On.