Archives

WIP Wednesday: Blankets

I really want a knitted blanket, like a good-sized blanket. Not bed-size, but big enough to snuggle under on the couch.

On a related note, I have a LOT of sock yarn scraps. I’m kind of a sock-knitting fiend, and each pair uses a little more than half an average skein. Yes, I could make shorties from the leftovers, and I have done that. But I also have a LOT of socks. You see where I’m going here, I’m sure. And I’m guessing your brain (if you’re a knitter) immediately went to “You should make one of those square-a-day sock yarn blankets!” Great idea!

Yup, I started one of those over a year ago. I do love it, but I don’t have the willpower to make myself actually knit a square a day and each time I set it aside for a couple of months, I have to look up how to knit the square. Plus, the squares use little scraps, and I have big balls … of leftover sock yarn. (heehee) The other thing is a Cottagecore Throw I started a few months ago. This one is worsted weight, but I could start another one with fingering weight. But again, I don’t work on it regularly and then have to remind myself of the pattern. Plus it’s crochet, not knitted.

So I’m going to start a third blanket project. Because I’m crazy. I’m going to do a Garter Scrappy Blanket, except that pattern calls for a size 6 needle which seems like it would make a blanket that’s more loosey-goosey than what I want. I’m not sure what needle size I’ll use. Maybe a 3? I bought 47″ and 60″ cords for my interchangeable needles, and I’m guessing I’ll use the 60 because like I said, I want a good-size blanket. Here’s the yarn balls I’ve collected so far, housed in my lovely new project bag.

Now I just need to figure out how many to cast on. I typically prefer the long-tail cast-on but I’m thinking about one that allows for some flexibility and doesn’t make me try to guess how much yarn I’ll need. What cast-on would you use?

Sock It To Me Monday

September started off as “buy all the yarn”, moved into “cast on all the things”, and has now morphed into “finish as much as you can!” Yesterday I finished and blocked two projects, and it felt so good that I decided to see what else I could finish by month’s end. Realistically, that was just the second DK-weight sock that was sitting at the heel.

These super-squishy socks are Desert Panda Fiber Arts Sturdy DK in the color My Favorite Leggings. I’m still new enough to DK socks that I don’t know how many yards a full sock takes, so I knit shorties to be safe. Of course now I have almost half a skein left, so maybe I need to knit shorties for someone with small feet?

Today was also a very happy mail day for me. I’d been coveting the hot pink Joji bag that she did for Ewe & Me’s 10th anniversary, so when she announced she had some in a seconds sale, I was all over that. I got a good discount for a gorgeous bag with one tiny dark spot on the back side.

I’m starting to think I need to unfollow Joji & Co, to be honest. It’s becoming a problem!

Happy Monday, friends.

Rock Candy Mountain, Take 2

You may remember that I recently finished a fabulous rainbow shawl called Rock Candy Mountain. And if you remember that, you may also remember that I wanted to knit a purple version. Getting the yarn for that was my primary goal at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, and I’m happy to report that I was successful, with much credit given to my knitters who helped me pick colors!

Although I was kind of hoping to get the yarn all from one dyer, that wasn’t an option. They are at least all DK weight…okay, except for one sport but that’s close enough. I got the gray and two purples from Hook & Shuttle, two purples from Sun Valley Fibers, one purple from Leading Men Fiber Arts, and the lightest purple from Northern Bee Studio.

I was so excited that I got started while we were in Wisconsin, and I got the first wedge done. But the Leading Men had to be ordered so I set this project aside while I waited for it. Now it’s here and the yarn is all wound and I am ready to GO … as soon as I finish this one quick hat, I mean.

Happy Sunday, friends.

It’s a small world, after all

The other day, I showed you some yarn that I was thinking about using for a gift for a guy friend. I decided to go forward with it, so I pulled up my all-time favorite fingerless glove pattern, Mmmalabrigo Mitts, and cast on. As I knit, I realized I’ve probably made a dozen pair of these mitts over the last several years, which made me wonder how old the pattern was. I looked at the blog archive, saw the pattern was from 2008 and the most recent, and final, post was 2016. When I clicked on that, the post was about how quiet she’s been on the blog because of all the yarn, and if you were interested, you could check out her website.

Guys. Guess what the yarn business was? YES! It was Destination Yarn, the SAME yarn I pulled out of my (very full) stash to make these mitts! What are the odds?? Slim, I tell you.

Once I’d made the connection, there were other things on the page that should have clued me in, but I’ve looked at this post so many times over the years that I go immediately to the pattern and ignore everything else. And of course, that connection sealed the deal on this project — they had to be made, even if I decide they’re not right for the intended person. I’ve got one mitt done and the other cast on. Gotta love small Aran weight projects!

Happy Saturday, friends.

What have I done now

Welp, I did a thing. I think it’s a good thing but it’s also a new and different thing which means it’s a nervous-making thing for me. My company has what they call Employee Resource Groups, which are designed to offer community, support, and resources to different groups. There’s one for LGBTQ people, one for multicultural groups, one for women, and one for young professionals. Allies are welcome of course, and the groups are a great way to build connections throughout the company with people you might never meet otherwise.

Anyway, there’s a new one being established for veterans. I was interviewing the people in charge for a newsletter article, and I was just so moved and impressed by how they spoke about their motivations and desire to help this community. My dad was a veteran, though he rarely spoke about it, but I’ve never really been committed to help the cause before. But I know this group needed support, and support with things I could provide as a communications professional, and apparently I like to offer help when it’s needed. So yeah, yesterday I emailed them and let them know to count me in if they needed help. I meet next week to talk to one of them about possibly being the Communications Committee co-chair, or whatever role is best suited for my experience and skills. It won’t be a huge time commitment, but I’ll be meeting with lots of new people and just stepping into unfamiliar territory. I’m hoping it’ll be a good growth opportunity for me as I get to know more people with a much different perspective! Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and been glad you did? I hope so!

In yarn-related news, after I got my autumn mystery box from Chestnut Hills Farm & Fiber, I saw that Marilee got both colors of yarn and the other one was just as gorgeous as the one I got! I reached out to Alissa and managed to snag two skeins of Pickety Witch and I’m quite delighted I did.

Happy Friday, friends!

You Give Good Glove(s)

Okay, so you know how I’ve been knitting Christmas gifts with yarn from stash? I made a hat and fingerless gloves, and last night I blocked another set of fingerless gloves.

These are the Felicity Mitts and despite following the pattern precisely, or so I thought, they are not exactly the same length. I’m hoping blocking will mostly take care of that. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and simple enough to knit, although I’d never grafted two ends of icord before and I’m not sure I did a great job.

Anyway! Now I want to knit something for a guy friend I don’t know super well. He dresses pretty conservatively, but often wears fun, quirky socks, so there’s definitely a playful undertone there. He doesn’t strike me as a hat person, so my other quick go-to gift project is fingerless gloves. I dug through my stash and so far this is the only yarn that seems right.

I like the pops of red, but I want to keep them as subtle as possible. I’m thinking about holding the yarn double, to mix up the speckles and variegation. It should make an Aran weight and I’d use a very simple pattern, like this one, to balance out the yarn.

What do you think? Without knowing this person, do you think these would make a good somewhat generic guy gift?

Sock It To Me Monday

It is Monday and I have two completed socks to share with you!

Okay, yes, you’re right — they’re not matching socks, but it’s still sock progress. The left is Uneek zebra yarn from Urth, and the right is a DK from Desert Panda Fiberarts. It’s much richer and deeper than it looks in this photo. I’ll try to do a better job when I finish the pair!

Happy Monday, friends. I wish it was still the weekend!

Autumn Yarn Mystery Box

Yesterday was a Happy Mail Day — I got my Autumn mystery box from Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber! I ordered a while back and honestly had forgotten what the inspiration was (it was a photo of hay bales and pumpkins on a truck), so this whole box was a delightful surprise.

Guys, LOOK at that yarn! It’s stunning. I’m not usually a big fan of orange but for some reason I find this skein absolutely gorgeous. It’s dyed by Laughing Cat Fibers and it’s non-superwash, which sometimes I find not quite as soft but not this time. This feels so good and I’m already so inspired to cast on a little shawl that the yarn is already wound! I’ve chosen a pattern called Autumn Falling, which is free on Rav, and yes I will be casting on as soon as this blog post is done.

But there was more in the box! An adorable pumpkin sticker, a stitch marker necklace with sparkly coffin stitch markers dangling from a half-moon (from Gloomy Erina) , some pumpkin spice coffee, and a pumpkin spice latte lip balm which has a subtle fragrance and feels really nice.

This box had such good autumn vibes. Now if only our weather would cooperate! Happy Saturday, friends.

FO Friday: Fingerless Gloves

I haven’t just been buying yarn willy-nilly — I’ve also been knitting a bit! Recently I finished another Christmas gift.

These are for a very stylish male friend, so I’m hoping they’re classic and elegant enough. The elegant mostly comes from the yarn, which is a marvelous silk and merino blend from JulieSpins. Seriously, these mitts feel so good. I’m glad I have over half a skein left so I can make some for myself!

The pattern is called Pioneer Gloves and I’d share the link but Rav is currently down so I’m afraid you’ll have to do the extra step on your own. I do think it’s a free pattern, if that helps!

Happy Friday, friends.

World Enough and Time

Oh goodness. Today’s an overwhelm day, apparently. I spent a long weekend in Wisconsin with knitting friends, and it was a wonderful weekend and I got lots of beautiful yarn. But last night I logged it all in the spreadsheet and added it to the stash shelves, and wow I have a lot of yarn. I need to knit more of it! But I need to wind more to knit more! And I also want to write a blog post! And I want to finish reading the book for my book group, plus read the books I got for my birthday. Add that to my actual job stuff and suddenly I feel like I don’t have time for all the things I want/need to do. So! My solution to that: Make a list and just begin, one thing at a time. Bird by bird, as the wise Anne Lamott once said. Hence, blog post.

There were eight of us who convened in Wisconsin, partly for the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival but also partly just to be together. There were two I’d never met in person who I love even more now, and the others I was delighted to see again. We had one big AirBnB so we spent a lot of time hanging out knitting, but we split into smaller groups for different excursions. It was just GOOD to be together. They even put together a little birthday party for me one night, with cupcakes and the most thoughtful gifts. I’m a lucky lucky girl.

I got to pet sheep and go to a bookstore and a yarn store (The Sow’s Ear is SO GOOD!!) and the yarn I came home with is amazing. It’s a good thing we don’t do this very often! Some things were gifts though — I got a specially-dyed skein of yarn plus a gorgeous project bag from Chestnut Hills Farm & Fiber that I adore.

So yeah, good weekend. But after five days of togetherness, I was ready to recharge with a little solitude. I’ve got two projects in mind to cast on, so hopefully tonight I’ll be able to tackle the “wind yarn” item from my list.