emPower People Cowl

With no socks to distract me, I finished my purple emPower People cowl yesterday. And I know we’re supposed to block ALL of our knitting but I’m not blocking this, so there! I absolutely love the squish of unblocked garter stitch and I’m going to wear this one as is until it absolutely needs a wash.

AED422B3-7FE5-4D19-9C7D-AB17134533C3_1_201_aThe pattern was extremely simple and has such a lovely shape and drape. I wasn’t sure how it would be seamed until I got to the end and discovered that yes, I had two short, straight sections that were designed to be sewn together. So clever!

D3E26D06-D62E-4E8A-BE69-AFE5AF0E0058The yarn is Ritual Dyes Priestess DK in the color Belladonna and OMG it is heavenly! I’d never used their yarn before and this one was so soft and squishy. If I didn’t know it was 100% merino, I’d have guessed it had a bit of cashmere in it. I’ll definitely be wanting to get more of their yarns in the future. Look at those subtle color variations!

D6D95A2F-A8F0-46D7-9EDC-4CAED2A40E69As soon as the weather cools off a bit, you know I’ll be wearing the heck out of this … I mean, as soon as we’re all safe to be out and about. And I think I want a pin to go on it too, maybe just “Vote”. Has anybody seen a good pin for this cowl?

Sock It To Me Monday

Another pair of Christmas in July socks got finished this weekend. It helped that I only needed to make one sock, the mate to the one knit last December, and it helped that it was all stockinette so I could just knit around and around. Saturday I knit while reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid on my iPad — it was super good and I finished it all in one day. Yesterday I knit while watching Alice in Wonderland (the Johnny Depp version). Allergies are kicking my butt at the moment, so familiar movies and easy knitting are my jam.

Look at these socks: they match! Like, the stripes match! And that was pure luck, because I never try to do that. I didn’t even look at the yarn when I was starting the second sock; I just picked up the end and cast on. I’m quite tickled with them. And now they’ll get put away for a few months and I’ll forget about them until around November and be tickled with them all over again.

This means I have zero socks on my needles. I’m working on my emPower People cowl for now, and when that’s done my goal is to finish my Stargazer Shawl, but I don’t know if I can be sock-free that long. We’ll see.

And here’s something happy for Monday: remember the fingerless gloves that I finished in a hurry for the nephew? He seemed delighted with them and I was told the next day that he said “I love my gloves so much and I’m so happy she knitted them for me.” And he wore them to church despite the hot and humid Midwestern summer weather. See what I mean? Totally knitworthy!

FO Friday: Socks

I have two Finished Objects to share today — technically four, actually — because I finished two pairs of socks today!

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One the left are Vanilla Latte socks in Orange Jellyfish Dream yarn, color Intergalactic Planetary. And the right are obviously my Christmas in July socks, also in the Vanilla Latte pattern, with West Yorkshire Spinners’ Fairy Lights. Both pairs are slightly mis-matched in size but not enough to bother me, certainly not right now. But now I’m out of socks to knit and it’s also only July 10 so I cast on the second sock of a pair of Christmas socks I started last December. These are all stockinette so it should be a speedy project.

While knitting, I’ve recently binged Pick of the Litter, Little Voice, and Lenox Hill. And I’ve read and loved The Authenticity Project, Friends & Strangers, and The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. What are you streaming lately that you love?

I almost forgot!

Note: I am trying to use non-Ravelry links whenever possible. All Rav links will be noted.

Last month, I wrote about some Nature Spun Worsted that I reviewed for Brown Sheep Co. and one of the projects I made with it were fingerless gloves for a nephew. I chose the Maize Mitts from TinCanKnits and did the child size, since the nephew is 7, and it came out looking TINY. I didn’t want to knit a second mitt if it wasn’t going to fit, so I took it with me to a little birthday party we had and asked him to try it on. He loved it, said it was perfect, and I said I’d make a second, thinking it could wait until winter and his birthday or Christmas. Well, a couple of weeks later, we had another birthday party, and he asked if I’d brought his gloves. Friends, be glad you didn’t see the look on his face when I said I hadn’t made the second one yet. I felt like a terrible aunt and promised I’d have it done before the next birthday. Yesterday it hit me: we are celebrating a birthday on Saturday. I NEEDED to have two fingerless gloves for him. All other knitting was promptly set aside. Thank goodness he has small hands!

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I can see, and you can probably see too, that these two gloves are not precisely the same size. I don’t know why that is, and honestly I don’t really give a damn, because I’m pretty sure the nephew will NOT see that detail. And as snug as the first glove was, I’m also pretty sure he’ll outgrow these quickly and I’ll be making another pair around Christmastime anyway. There are some people for whom I will knit anything, and this nephew is definitely one of them. (I mean, honestly, pretty much any of my family and close friends fall into this category. I just like knitting for people who appreciate it.)

Now that that’s done, I’m returning to my safety knitting of Christmas socks and the emPower People purple cowl. Today’s not a great day so far: I didn’t sleep well last night, I’ve got anxiety bubbling up inside, and seeing anything on the news just makes things worse today. I was going to exercise but needed a second cup of tea to help wake myself up and now my timing is off, because I actually have something scheduled today: my knitting group has our virtual meeting at noon and I’d really like to have a shower before that happens. I do have something to look forward to: I’m seeing a friend tonight, one I haven’t seen in almost four months. (Wait, four? *counts on fingers* good grief it really has been that long!) There will be masks and distancing and as many precautions as we can take, but I have begun to miss seeing the people I love in person and really need a win. So, happy Thursday, friends. Take care of yourself.

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emPower People

There’s a new initiative I found on Instagram called emPower People. The website describes it as a “craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters of all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights.” Right now they are encouraging people to make a purple bandana/cowl that you can wear when you attend gatherings, protest, march, and vote. There are free patterns to knit, crochet, or sew that you can download directly from the website. The project was founded by four crafters, with several others contributing. I chose to participate with the free knit pattern designed by Casapinka. Luckily, I had plenty of purple yarn to choose from, including the perfect Priestess DK weight from Ritual Dyes in a color called Belladonna.

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This is a simple, soothing pattern with lots of garter stitch and I expect it will fly off my needles. So far it’s even better than socks!

 

Sock It To Me Monday

Apparently it was a three-day weekend for a lot of people, but it didn’t feel much different for me. The husband spent his extra day off in his workshop, and I puttered around making masks and knitting. We’ve seen family pretty recently and didn’t have any plans for gatherings, so it was a very quiet holiday, and I’m okay with that. I finished one Christmas in July sock and am ready to start the gusset on the second now.

96A4CCDF-2D55-49A3-9289-23F7B1586ED4I also did another fast project, a drawer liner out of leftover sock yarn. I’d made a little one before, for my Kaweco pens, but this is a full-sized version for the drawer. It has the purl ridges to keep pens separate, but I’m going to make one more that’s all stockinette. They’re fast and fun and I love using up the sock yarn.

Happy Monday, friends. Here’s hoping we can all find a bit of happy this week.

WIP Wednesday

It is July! And I finished some projects last month! That means I got to cast on two new projects yesterday. They’re both KALs and both should be done by the end of the month. One is a Christmas in July sock KAL that Mildly Granola suggested, and I pulled out my West Yorkshire Spinners yarn in Fairy Lights for that, along with solid red for the cuffs, heels and toes. I’m doing my favorite simple pattern so they can be my mindless fun/travel knitting.

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My other new project is a shawl KAL with Under the Olive Tree Knits. Jem released a free one-skein pattern called Stargazer, and it was perfect for a skein of yarn that I’d pulled out of my stash recently, wanting to knit it. You can find download options on her website.

B547B90E-4827-4694-A346-F1AFE89FED9EMy yarn is Andromeda sock yarn in a fabulous color called I Love You Berry Much and I do love it berry much indeed! The pattern is a fun mix of stockinette and simple lace, and I can tell already it’ll be addictive.

We’ve had a slew of birthdays in our family the last few weeks and have started doing some small social-distanced gatherings. As hard as it is not to hug my nephews and nieces, it’s so nice to get to see my people again. And yesterday was the boy’s birthday: he’s 17 now! How did that happen?? He’ll be a senior this year and it just doesn’t seem possible. He also joined me for a rare live music performance. Our town has always done a community summer band and the girl participates every year. This year they only did one concert, with the musicians spaced six feet apart, and streamed it live on Facebook. Family members were allowed to come, so the boy and I took our chairs and our masks and enjoyed the music in the summer night. I’ve missed live music so much; this was a treat.

I’m not sure what we’ll do when the weather doesn’t allow us to gather outside anymore, but I guess we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far!

FO: Lydian Cowl

For my fourth and final FO of June (it felt like more, honestly), today I’ll share my Lydian cowl. This yarn is Delicious Yarns Frosting Worsted in Boysenberry and it’s quite yummy. So soft and squishy, and great drape both before and after blocking. It started out as a different cowl but got frogged halfway through, and it was a bit splitty after that, but I’ll take the blame for that. I still loved knitting with it and I think I’ll love wearing it … when it’s not 90 degrees outside!

B6547D3B-B810-4760-89C5-05A9E54D9844_1_201_aThis was my first time knitting something using charts, rather than written instructions, and it wasn’t terrible. It helped that I didn’t have to memorize too many symbols, and I wasn’t tracking hundreds of stitches.

I love that main panel that almost hints at cables but isn’t, and I love the back that’s lacy but not a boring simple lace. However, I had a heck of a time with this pattern and I don’t know why. I kept getting to the end of the round and being one stitch off, and then I’d have to tink back. It wasn’t the pattern’s fault; it’s not complicated and it was well-written and clear. I think my brain was just struggling with keeping track of so many things going on. Maybe I’m better off sticking with simpler patterns right now!

028B8335-C9B2-4C3C-AB66-C91559CB70C3You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.

The designer is also on Create2Thrive but this pattern isn’t, though maybe it will be added soon. I haven’t done anything with that site yet but I did sign up for an account on LoveCrafts and you can find me as bonnyknits. It’s not bad, but so far it doesn’t quite offer everything I love about Ravelry, so I’m still tinkering and pondering. Have you found any other great fiber community sites?

FO: Olive Pink shawl

Yes, it’s Monday and that’s supposed to be sock day here in Blogville, but weird monogamous knitter me doesn’t have any sock progress to share. I finished my Olive Pink shawl on Saturday morning, blocked it that day, and yesterday took it out for a photo shoot. It was a challenge because it is so BIG.

4B30C783-12CA-4886-821F-C4A75A6725A6This isn’t even the whole thing. From tip to tip, this baby is over eight feet long. I have no idea how that happened, except, you know, gauge. If you don’t count the angled ends, it’s about 70″ long, which is much closer to the pattern’s 73″ length. Also, I used less of Color B and more of Color C than the pattern said I would, and again, no idea. Whatever. That’s kind of what I love about this pattern: it works really well with “whatever”. I made some mistakes? Whatever. I added an extra two rows to that section? Whatever. I did the final border wrong for the first two rows? Whatever. It’s all good!

F380335C-1B98-4D4E-9A7D-013983651758_1_201_aBecause it doesn’t really matter! There are so many patterns and textures and colors that no one knows what it’s “supposed” to look like, and no one is going to look closely to try to find mistakes. And if anyone where to do that, that would be weird and I don’t really care what they think anyway.

This was a fun pattern to knit, at least for the first 75% of it. By section 16, I was getting a little tired of it, but it was fun to use so many colors and stitches. The yarn is SoLo from LoloDidIt and I really like it. It’s 100% and has a little bit of a halo, which was only a problem when I was knitting with two colors and the yarns would get wound around each other and stick together. But it’s super soft, doesn’t bleed, and blocks out beautifully.

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The original pattern was a collaboration between Casapinka and Lolabean Yarn Co. and you can find it here on Ravelry. Note: I do have Classic Ravelry turned on. (Side note: I’d had NuRav on since they switched and it didn’t bother me, though Rav’s reaction, or lack thereof, to all the issues others were having bothered me a lot. This morning I turned on Classic Rav before adding the link here, and it was like a sigh of relief. I hadn’t realized how much I preferred the look of the original!)

With this done, I’m off to finish an almost-complete cowl now. Hope you’re all staying mostly well and happy!

Happy Mail

Here’s the thing: when you only knit on one project, and it’s a bigger project, that means you don’t have interesting progress to report on your blog all the time. So it is with me and my Olive Pink shawl. I am on the last section, with just the border after that, and I know I will finish this weekend. But rather than share another photo of that, instead I’ll share my happy mail from yesterday.

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This beautiful set, called Stained Glass Menagerie, is from Show Me Yarn, a Missouri dyer whose yarn I love. They’ve done these collaborations with Willow Island before, with matching yarn and bag, and I just couldn’t resist this one. I needed those bright colors in my life.