Still Knitting…

holiday cheer

I know it has been a day or two, maybe a week. I went on an epic journey, consisting of a drive lasting a total of 28 hours and taking approximately 3 days. My amazing grandmother, Freddie, joined me for a good portion of the adventure to go see my brother, Jacob (adorable baby niece Payton’s dad) graduate from college! So so so proud!!

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Jacob & Freddie πŸ™‚

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Jacob and the most beautiful little lady in the world πŸ™‚

It was so nice to be with family so close to the holidays. Sadly, I won’t be making that trip again for the holiday, but we will be celebrating here in St. Louis.

Don’t worry, I’ve been knitting and finishing things!!

First up, my mom sewed the buttons on that darling sweater. I asked her to help me since they are placed a little close to the mouth of the baby wearing it and I wasn’t going to be the reason for my dear niece to eat a cherry button.

 

buttons on sweater

It’s officially finished and it fits!!

paytons sweater fits

Second up, I finished the Black Hat turned Balaclava

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Only I’m not sure the recipient would use it. Bah!

I also finished up the Tweedy Honeycomb Toque for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, Shayna.Β I know I was uncertain about it as it was coming along, but I LOVE IT!!!

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The pompom just makes it! It’s definitely loosening up…I was very concerned initially because my floats were a wee bit tight.

I’ve put a few things in hibernation.

Array Cowl

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Skinty Stripe Scarf

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Technicolor Socks

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Never fear, I am still working on my #MEalong (from A Playful Day) Settler Shawl by Libby from Truly Myrtle…Woah! Talk about link-tastic πŸ™‚ I wanted to participate in the #Grinchalong with the Knitmore Girls, but I was also technically knitting gift :(, but they may or may not have necessarily been for Christmas. Oh well, missed that boat.

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Anyway, I’m absolutely loving the way this thing is working up! I just got to the cool border stitches and I just feel so cool knitting it! And the colors. And the yarn. And. And. And!

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It’s for me. πŸ™‚

I will try to keep this little corner updated, but I’m not making any promises. With short day light and lots of family time, I will probably spend more time unplugged than usual πŸ™‚

Until next time! Happy Knitting!

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps, (or knits & purls)

Jenna

 

I Swear I Swore Off Gift Knitting…

holiday cheer

How come even when I have this whole idea about gift knitting that has been in place for several knitting years I have somehow managed to rack up at least 4 gifts I want to finish in the next few weeks????

After my first Christmas as a knitter and the crazy notion that I could knit everyone something then, and failing miserably at that challenge…so much so that 5 years later, I STILL have yarn and projects queued up from that holiday, I made the pledge that I would not knit for the holidays. Instead, knitworthy folks would receive birthday presents. Even those time lines would stretch out, I would present people with their gifts days, weeks, and months late.

So instead of following my own rule of no holiday knitting, I have been Β swept up in the gift knitting that seem to be sweeping blogs and podcasts and all the knitting groups I knit with. And let’s face it, every time I come across a pattern I think would be perfect for someone, I queue it and if I’m feeling particularly weak, I pull yarn out of my stash to cast on…and if I don’t have the yarn, I go to the store. I know.

It’s a good thing I’m not on a yarn diet. And I’m relatively weak willed when it comes to yarn and knitting and gifts for people who I think would love them.

So let this serve as a reality check. I CAN’T CAST ANYTHING ELSE ON!!! At least until I finish something. Anything. Let’s check in. Here are the gifts I began…

A hat for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend. We were talking over Thanksgiving while I was knitting on the next project and I offered to knit up something he had in mind. After a little pattern searching I came across the Tweedy Honeycomb Toque by Kent Turman. It’s free on Rav and I figured I could tweak it by adding an additional color into the “comb” part.

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I’m using some Berroco Vintage Chunky and I’m stranding the colors behind…only problem is that its a little tight and the second color is really, really popping forward. I was hoping it would have fallen back more. And I probably should have made a better effort to keep my floats loose. I’ve already ripped once, I may have to do it again…here’s a link to my Rav page.

Next up the the black hat for my other brother-in-law I told you guys about last week, the Jacques Cousteau Hat. Well, I did a little ripping there and rethinking. While I don’t want to change the rib or the hat decreases, I wanted the piece to be more versatile. Enter this version of a Balaclava by Jacki Kelly and I tweaked my original.

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It’s ready for the bind off for the eye slit. This thing is not too far from being finished. I’m using Universal Yarn’s Deluxe DK Superwash in Ebony. It’s not as pure a black as I’ve seen, but the details do disappear when in the wrong light.

I’ve also got two other projects that I started a while ago and want to finish those up. Like the Array Cowl I started. I ran into a road block with this project. It was about a week ago. And I was knitting away and I kept hearing a creaking sound. I check the joins in my interchangable needles, everything was still screwed in tight. Then, “pop” the cable popped out of the join. I need to send them in 😦

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So I bought some more needles and got it switched over. Its just a little tedious with all the slipped stitches but it is nice and mindless and I love the colors!

Another project that I’ve had on the needles for far too long is a scarf for my sister-in-law.

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This was featured in a few early blog posts as the Skinty Stripe Scarf. It’s Purl Soho’s Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf. I saw this featured on their blog and new it would be perfect for my sister-in-law. Only hang up? It’s laceweight yarn on US Size 3 needles.

But I did finish up some baby socks to go with Payton’s Wee Envelope Sweater. I knit these in one day!!

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That hasn’t totally stopped me from working on things for myself…like my Settler Shawl

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And there is the predicament of these socks. I’ll tell you about later this week…

And I may be pondering casting on a Rikke hat for myself out of some lovely Malabrigo Rios and my Turia Sweater…I even wound the yarn because I have zero self-control. I can at least take a little comfort in at least not casting on yet. That’s not to say that I don’t have needles and patterns at the ready.

Don’t worry, I’m not just thinking about me for future knits, I have yarn to make Payton another sweater and my other niece Nora has requested a scarf in her “colors.” How can I say no?

Plus I’m thinking about frogging a few things.

Bah! Humbug!

(not really, I love the holidays!!)

What about you? Have you given in to the gift knitting bug??

knit-side-and-purl-side

v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Giving Thanks

Monday Musings

The previous stretch of Blog Silence brought to you by the Season of Thanksgiving!

I had at least one small intention to post last Wednesday before the holiday here in America but that quickly fell apart as my day slipped away. I was thawing a turkey, making cornbread for the cornbread dressing, and being generally lazy πŸ™‚ Thursday turned out to be wonderful! I didn’t burn or dry out the turkey and it was my first one! My husband and I stayed in St. Louis and spent time with his brothers and his mom. It was just so nice to be around family. I enjoyed it so much that even though my husband had to work, I spent time with everyone anyway.

I have always been one to enjoy my family. My parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and now nieces and nephews, and in-laws are all fantastic people! Since I was a kid, my favorite part about any holiday was getting to see everyone and spend time together. We traveled a lot when I was a kid because my parents do not live near their parents or brothers and sisters. We would load up the car and go πŸ™‚ I can probably count on one hand the number of times we stayed put for a holiday!

This holiday was different because I did not have to travel any great distance but was still able to spend it with some pretty great people! It certainly made me miss spending time with my parents and brother and grands and aunts and uncles and cousins, but this was a great holiday πŸ™‚

On to the yarn.

So here in the US there is usually a huge shopping day following Thanksgiving on Thursday. It’s Black Friday and all the businesses here go nuts. It’s gotten so bad that some businesses are opening on Thanksgiving day, calling employees in from time with family just to make a buck. I was an employee who worked last year on Thanksgiving. Every time a customer would come in, I would have to fight the urge to berate them for leaving time with their family to come have a cup of coffee. Maybe because that is where I wanted to be?? So before you spend your money at a business open on a holiday, think of the employees. By supporting those businesses on those days, you are saying it is more important to spend money on that day than to spend time with your family.

Oh that was a fun tangent. I was supposed to tell you in there that I went over to Knitorious Friday and bought yarn. Then I went to Hearthstone Knits on Saturday and bought yarn.

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Really, the yarn.

You’ll be happy to know that I have pretty much finished up the adorable pink Wee Envelope sweater for Payton.

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It’s been blocked. I’ve woven in the ends.

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The only thing missing are the cute buttons! I can’t quite bring myself to sew them on! Ridiculous! And I have so much extra yarn…those might need to be socks for her. DK socks go so fast!

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I pretty much considered the thing finished because I bought more yarn to make her another sweater. This time maybe a cardigan. I’m thinking the Baby SophisticateΒ by Linden DownΒ in some fluffy Plymouth Encore Dynamo. It’s an Aran weight 75/25 Acrylic Wool Blend and I’ve got 400 yds. I saw the cutest sample cardi knit up in it at the shop and had to make one for little bit.

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I just love the colors. They are so subtle.

It has been super cold here. Like real, real cold. My niece and nephew have already worn their fluff hats in the snow. I noticed that their dad could use a cozy hat, too. So what did I do? Cast one on. I wanted to make him something that he could wear to work. So I chose….

black!

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I know, I must be nuts. I keep wondering that myself. I try to just get in a rhythm where I don’t have to look down and see what stitch is next. It’s the Jacques Cousteau hat. I modified it just a touch so that the brim could be worn double for extra warmth. I even reversed the ribbing and started knitting the other way so the brim rib and the hat rib would line up. I know, nutty.

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Last but not least in terms of active, fun things I’m working on…the Settler Shawl in my Two Grey Dogs yarn. (that link takes you to their etsy shop where they are having a Cyber Monday sale…)

I love it.

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It makes me so happy. Whenever I want to drop kick the black hat, I just set it down and pick this up. I’m loving the crescent shape!!

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I think that is all for now. I’ll stop in Wednesday with some fun thoughts. This is truly the season of giving and people have been very generous in both words and patterns πŸ™‚

knit-side-and-purl-side

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 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