Tag Archive | knitting

Work is crazy. Let’s buy yarn.

Oh good grief life is crazy right now! Work is Bonkers with a capital B — not bad, just extremely busy. I’m doing my regular job, plus helping with the veterans group I volunteered for, plus helping plan a big event in December. It’s all been keeping my on my toes and wearing me out so I have very little brain power left for anything else. And I don’t really anticipate it calming down until after the holidays so I’m just buckling in and hoping for the best. I’m fully off my antidepressants now, which could have been very bad timing what with stressful work and the winter blues, but so far I seem to be doing pretty well (knock on all the wood!!).

We had a small, quiet Thanksgiving. My brother’s family had the flu so we cooked dinner and took it to my mom’s house and had a quiet evening with just four of us. I enjoyed it but I’m also looking forward to seeing my whole big family for Christmas. The husband and I made our annual pilgrimage to Weston for Black Friday, where I did the usual things: bought Santas for my Santa collection, visited Florilegium for yarn, and took a photo with Father Christmas. Makes for a fun day!

I’ve added a few other skeins to my stash lately too. I ordered the holiday wine mystery yarn box from Chestnut Hills Farm & Fiber a while back and it arrived recently, with gorgeous yarn and some super fun other goodies. And I discovered Naima Bond on Instagram and she was so awesome that I had to buy a couple of skeins from her too.

And in other news, it’s been Grace’s turn to be an expensive dog. She had a growth on her top lip that we were watching, and at first it was very small and the vet said it was a histiocytoma, a benign growth that should resolve itself in about three months. Well, it didn’t. It grew and grew and finally when it looked like a raspberry on her lip, I took her back to the vet. The darn thing had more than doubled in size in six weeks! So she got to go in for a little nip and tuck, and was going to get a dental cleaning while she was under anesthesia. Of course I got a call that she had two cracked molars that needed to be removed. Super. That night was really hard — she kept whining and pacing, despite us giving her as much pain meds as we could. Thankfully she recovered quickly and bounced back to her cheerful happy self within a couple of days. The vet sent the growth off to be biopsied and we should hear back about that next week. Fingers crossed! I won’t show you the growth, but I’ll show you her funny little sneer now.

There’s more I could share but that’s probably enough for now and I want to get some knitting done before I get too tired. Happy Wednesday, friends!

November is zooming

Guys, this is a little crazy: the holidays are coming super fast. The end of the year is coming super fast. Why is November going so quickly? It’s the time of year when workplaces have holiday parties with white elephant gift exchanges. And since I’m a knitter, those gifts usually involve yarn. I’m thinking about a bottle of wine with a cabled wine bottle sweater. Is that a good gift?

I hope so, because I don’t have any other ideas! Okay, I take it back: my other idea is a Yip Yip but I didn’t think of that until I’d already started the wine bottle sweater. In the past, I’ve done a hat/mitts set and a crochet cactus, but those both sounded like too much work this year. Now, the real question is: what kind of wine should I put in the sweater?

Happy Sunday, friends.

FO Friday: Socks!

Today is Veterans Day (THANK YOU, veterans!) and that is a bank holiday, so I have the day off and I’m so grateful for that. While I waited for clue two of my MKAL, I was able to finish a pair of purple shortie socks. Of course now we’ve hit the days with highs of like 37 and shortie socks don’t quite meet my needs, but heck, it’s Missouri. We might get a random warm day next week. I’m pretty sure this leftover ball of yarn was from New Garden Farm, a local indie dyer, but I can’t swear to it.

Yesterday was the launch event for the veterans group at work and my worries were all for naught! Everything went smoothly, all the people were friendly and delightful. Yes, I did bite into what I thought was a chocolate chip cookie only to discover it was raisin, but I recovered and went back for a peanut butter cookie instead. It’s just been such a rewarding feeling being part of such a cool project from almost the beginning, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

Right, off to start clue two! Happy Friday, friends!

Finishing some things

I guess you’ll only see me when I’ve managed to finish something. At least that’s the current trend. There’s a group at work collecting winter gear for kids, and I’ve got four hats done and ready to donate. Okay, almost. They’ve been washed but there’s still a bit of stray dog hair, so I need to use the lint roller on them before bagging them up. It was fun to have an excuse to make some hats and it used up four skeins of acrylic from my stash.

Also, I don’t think I ever told you that I finished my yarn puzzle! This is the Skeins puzzle from Hedgehog Fibres and man it was a hard puzzle for me. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to want to put it together again, so I’m leaning toward sticking it in a frame and hanging it.

I’ve also finished a cowl but it’s got lace and it’s currently having a bath, so that’ll be another post when it’s ready for its glamour shots. My first mystery knitalong started on Friday, so that’ll be my main focus this month. It’s one clue a week and I’m really not sure I’ll be able to keep up with it, especially since I’ve also got two books I’ve got to read for different book clubs, plus I also have to keep up with my weekly shows. We started the new season of White Lotus, we’re watching the new Quantum Leap (and really enjoying it!), and now the new season of the Crown is starting – so basically at this point I need to hope the MKAL is good TV knitting!

Happy Sunday, friends.

Super Shawl Sunday

I have a finished object!! Just in time for the end of the month too! It used seven skeins of yarn from my stash and it is EXACTLY how I envisioned it in my wee brain:

This is my second Rock Candy Mountain shawl and it was just as fast and fun to knit as my first one. I picked out all the yarn in Wisconsin so I knew I’d have enough to knit it as written, and it’s enormous. I used size 6 needles on my first one and size 8s on this one (as the pattern recommended), and honestly if when I make another one, I think I might land in the middle with a 7.

I swear, I cannot recommend this pattern enough. I’m already thinking about how I could do one in fingering weight with all my sparkly purple yarns, with a simple neutral in between! If you’re interested, here are the yarns I used and how much of each one. You’d think all the purples would be the same yardage used but somehow that wasn’t the case.

Gray: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in We’re Not in Kansas Anymore – used 162 yards

Purple 1 (palest): Northern Bee Studio Sturdy Sport in Old Wisteria Tree – used 150 yards

Purple 2: Sun Valley Fibers Superwash DK in Leap of Faith – used 156 yards

Purple 3: Leading Men Fiber Arts Dramaturg DK in Achieve Grapeness (this one was the softest & squishiest!) – used 135 yards

Purple 4: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in Violet Beauregarde – used 152 yards

Purple 5: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in Dancing with the Devil – used 160 yards

Purple 6: Sun Valley Fibers Superwash DK in Plum Crazy – used 165 yards

Happy Sunday, friends, and for those of you in the States, have a safe and happy Halloween tomorrow!

Should I knit or should I frog?

I’ve recently been pondering options for my next sweater and decided I very much liked the navy blue with the pink/purple/indigo sparkly yarn. I found a pattern I quite like called The Librarian Vest (on Rav) and cast on for a swatch, as a proper knitter is supposed to. And it’s a good thing I did too because friends, I have doubts.

I still adore the sparkly yarn, so much so that I worry it is being too much overshadowed by the navy blue. Even though I don’t have pattern in mind for it, I wonder if perhaps I need to save the sparkly skeins for a shawl all by itself.

And the pattern. It’s lovely! I do really like it. But…would I wear it? I’ve never been much of a vest person. I don’t particularly like wearing button-up shirts; I’m always fidgeting with them and just don’t find wovens as comfortable as knits. Would the vest look cute over a long-sleeved tee? Possibly yes, so I will keep it in mind, but maybe not for this yarn combo?

Thankfully, I do have some knitting that I am sure about. A coworker is collecting winter gear for children and I asked if new handknit hats would be acceptable, and she said yes. Hooray, a good excuse to knit some hats and get some acrylic out of my stash! I’ve got one done and one on the needles.

We’re having unseasonably warm temperatures this weekend and I think we’re going to take advantage of it by going on a day trip tomorrow to a nearby college town which has a fabulous downtown area with yes, a yarn store! I hope you all have a lovely weekend too! Happy Saturday, friends.

WIP Wednesday: Socks & Puzzle

Yeah, balancing blogging with a busy full-time job is a little tricky. My brain is tired at night, plus I just want to spend my downtime knitting! I’ve been mostly working on bigger projects but I did manage to finish one sock. Sure, it’s a shortie sock but that’s something!

Can you believe I don’t have any purple shortie socks in my extensive handknit sock collection?? Obviously I need to remedy that ASAP.

Besides knitting, I’ve been trying to do more reading. I’m reading Jason Kander’s memoir for one book group and need to reread Haroun and the Sea of Stories for my other one. Plus I usually have a fluffy novel going too. And I’ve also been trying to work on my yarn puzzle!

This might be the hardest puzzle I’ve ever done. There is so much pink/peach/salmon/orange!! I really need to set up my Ott light to see the pieces better. Because apparently I have old eyes now.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

FO: Autumn Falling Shawl

About a month ago, I received my Autumn mystery yarn box from Chestnut Hills Studio which included a skein of Pumpkin Patch fingering yarn dyed by Laughing Cats Fibers. It was so gorgeous and so perfect for the season that I cast on immediately, and after a couple of distractions, yesterday I blocked the finished shawl.

The pattern is Autumn Falling, which is free on Rav. I did at least three more pattern repeats than it called for, trying to use up as much of the yarn as possible and make it a wearable size. I think it’s perfect. I don’t like warm colors and I never wear orange but for whatever reason, I adore this yarn and this shawl. I might wear all black tomorrow just to be able to wear this!

Also I adore bank holidays especially when it means I get a day off. Happy Monday, friends.

My First MKAL

I have decided to do my first mystery knit-along! I’ve never been tempted before — I typically like knowing what something’s going to look like before I spend hours and hours knitting it. But this time, one of the yarn kits drew me in.

That’s from Miss Babs’ website and oh my gosh isn’t it stunning?? That’s the link to all the sets for this MKAL but of course none of them come close to matching the beauty of this one. Even after seeing this, I thought I’d be able to resist, but I could not stop thinking about it. I thought about just buying the yarn and not doing the MKAL, but I knew it would be more likely that I’d never find a pattern as well-suited to the set as this one (hopefully!) will be.

So what am I knitting? It’s a Winter Wonderland rectangular wrap/shawl with “easy texture and simple lace” and no colorwork or brioche, so fingers crossed it won’t be anything too tricky! I’ve already convinced one knitting friend to play along with me!

Have you done a MKAL before and if so, do you wear the finished item?

And best of all: HAPPY FRIDAY! FINALLY!

Is it Friday yet?

I got so much great feedback to my last post about planning a new sweater! Nothing feels quite right to me yet, so I’ve decided to put that project on hold for now. Those purple/blue sparkly skeins are quite special, so I want to make sure I use them in a project I’ll love. Instead, I cast on a new cowl with some of my yarn from Wisconsin, and it was so addictive that I finished it within a few days.

This is the Fino Shadow Cowl done in five miniskeins from Four Crows Fibers. I adore the yarn, love the pattern — but for some reason I don’t love how it all came out. I did mess up my color sequence at the beginning, when I didn’t read the pattern carefully enough and grabbed yarn A when I was supposed to grab yarn B, and then the whole sequence was off but I didn’t want to frog and start over. It’s pretty, and soft, and squishy … and I just don’t love it. However, I showed it to a friend who does love it so it already has a good home waiting for it! That’s a happy ending.

This has been a weird and hard week. I found out Monday that two people I knew were murdered last weekend. I didn’t know them well, had only emailed each of them a couple of times about two years ago. But they were young — only 24 and 25 — and brilliant and kind and compassionate, and it’s heartbreaking that this happened to them. The world sucks sometimes, or maybe America sucks sometimes. It’s just put me in a funk and all I want to do is knit but that’s not really an option. So, just keep swimming, right?

Happy Wednesday, friends.