Tag Archive | knitting

Knitting Magic!

Okay, I bet many of you knitters out there are aware that there’s a new book out from Tanis Gray called Knitting Magic. It’s been available to pre-order for a couple of months and mine finally arrived yesterday!!!

img_6767Guys, it’s SO GOOD. It is full of amazing patterns, some replicas of things from the movies and some pieces inspired by them, but they’re all fantastic. The photography is gorgeous and there are little movie trivia tidbits scattered throughout and I kind of want to make everything!

I think Hedwig might come first, and then I really want to make one of the Hogwarts cardigans, if I can decide whether to do Gryffindor colors or Ravenclaw. Really, there are a lot of patterns I think I’d actually be able to make and wear — I might even learn duplicate stitch so I can do a Weasley pullover! There are also several patterns that are way beyond my current skill level, like that pullover. But those can be my aspirational patterns when I’m ready to level up in my knitting.

Do you have the book too? What pattern do you want to make first?

Knitting Groups FTW

Apologies in advance for a slightly cryptic post, but I promise, the little details aren’t the important part. We have a knitting group at work, and I’ve been going since I started there almost four years ago. It’s mostly the same people, with a few additions and losses as people come and go. But we have a small, regular core of people who meet twice a week and they are some of my favorite people at work. The last few months I’ve been struggling with a situation at work, and it was really affecting my entire mindset. I’d talked with a couple of people individually here and there, but last week I talked with my knitting group friends about it.

When I did, I found out a couple of other people were struggling with things too, and we were able to let each other vent in a safe space. It’s always so nice to find people who will just listen to you, without judgment, and offer sincere thoughts and advice. And they had some good advice, too! The part that hit home was when someone said she’d done a lot of thinking, and she wondered if part of the reason she wasn’t happy was because she didn’t stand up for herself, didn’t ask for what she wanted or needed.

Well! If that didn’t give me a kick in the pants! Yes, there are things outside of my control. But I also can’t always expect things to happen on their own. I need to take some ownership.

So a few days later, after repeating that in my head a few times, I initiated a hard conversation. I was honest and straightforward, even though it was awkward and uncomfortable and I teared up a couple of times. I said what I wasn’t happy with and asked for what I want, and it was the best thing I could have done. There weren’t any immediate changes, but the response was supportive and kind and I have faith that things will be improving over time.

Sometimes it just hits me, how many people I know and love because of knitting. Knitting FIBER people are the best people, I swear.

Boxy Issues

Yesterday I turned on the tennis and settled in with my Boxy fade sweater. I was ready both to split for the sleeves and to start fading in the last color. I knit across the stitches for the front half and hit a roadblock: I needed one row per color, but there wasn’t an easy way to do that when you’re knitting back and forth with two colors of yarn. It works perfectly when you’re going round and round, but I didn’t even think about how it would have to switch to back & forth later. So, I was in a pickle. Now, I’m sure there are smarter knitters than I who have a good answer, but my answer seems to be working for me: I knit one color across, then I knit the other color across. Then I purl color one across, then purl color two across. Whatever works, right?

My second issue is one of color. When I chose my five colors for this fade, I alternated variegated with solid. The first solid was at the bottom and it’s fine. But then I have the second solid up here, separated by variegated/fades, and it’s just this stripe of lavender. I can’t decide if it stands out a lot because I’m looking for it, or because it’s obvious.

img_6752Maybe it will calm down once I get the rest done. I sure hope so because I am NOT interested in frogging 22 miles of stockinette just to switch the order of the last two colors.

And that’s as far as I got yesterday, because of Issue #3: my elbow. I had a bad case of tendinitis several years ago, and every so often it’ll flare up a bit if I’m not careful. Apparently I’ve been doing a lot of knitting during Duncan’s recovery, and they’re longer stretches of knitting, and now I’ve got this pain in my elbow that says “Hey! Time to take a break!” So instead I caught up on some TV and read a book, like a real book with pages and stuff, and that was nice. I’ll give it a couple more days with limited knitting and all should be fine. Maybe switching to my worsted weight cowl will help too, since I hold the bigger needles more loosely than the smaller ones I use for fingering weight. And really, it will work out all right because I’m getting my purple hair refreshed today, so that’ll be about five hours with little to no knitting time!

Enjoy your Sunday, friends!

So THAT’S sleep!

Last night I forced asked the husband to sleep downstairs with Duncan so I could get a much-needed recharge in a real bed where I could move around as needed and not wake up at 4 in the morning. Guys, sleep is good. I still woke up a couple of times throughout the night, but I feel so much better this morning. Imagine what life will be like when I can do this EVERY night!! So let’s look at knitting, shall we? I’ve actually been working on my Boxy Fade the last couple of days and I’m THISCLOSE to being ready to split for sleeves. 496E95E7-21DE-4C9F-B204-5E7D1EB24CB5_1_201_aThis is usually what happens: once I the end is in sight, I get super motivated, and I’ll probably work on this most of the weekend. Because once I get the body done, the sleeves are just like half sleeves anyway and won’t take much time at all. And maybe I can have a new sweater to wear before spring!

I finished the Diamond Purl cowl the other day, when I was supposed to be working on the Fade, and it hasn’t even been blocked but I’ve been wearing it around the house, since we’re in the middle of a stupid cold spurt. It’s quite cozy and toasty, as tall as it is.

One more thing, and then I’ll be done. You could probably tell I was having a hard day yesterday. But after lunch I got my mail and found a sweet, encouraging card, and an unexpected gift, and it was exactly the boost I needed to get through the rest of the afternoon.

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These are the cutest stitch markers I’ve ever seen and I know they were made with affection and sent with kindness and really, nice people are just the best. I’ll be switching out the markers on my current projects this weekend!

I hope you all have a good weekend, however you define that. It feels like a lot of us are struggling right now, so take care of yourself, ask for what you need, and be kind to yourself!

I am not at my best

I’m tired, guys. Like my brain and my body are just…tired. And it means I’m not functioning at my best in any aspect of my life. Nothing’s falling apart, but I’m just getting by at the moment. And that’ll have to be okay for now.

Duncan is three weeks out from surgery and recovering pretty well, but there’s still one spot on his incision that hasn’t closed up, which is why I’m so tired. He either needs to be supervised or coned to be sure he’s not licking it, and since he’s in the cone all day while we’re gone, I can’t in good conscience make him try to sleep with it. I mean, it’s kind of ridiculous for me to be sacrificing my good sleep for his good sleep but that’s how moms roll a lot of the time, right?

The knitting is going fine, when I have the energy to do any of it. I’ll show you some tomorrow but today I wanted to share my newest purchases. I’ve coveted the Cube bags from Thimble & Thread Make for ages. They’re handmade, they come in fun colors with contrasting linings, they’re sturdy canvas, and best of all, they have a lining with snaps so you can put your pins on the bag without your knitting catching on the backs! But they’re from the UK, so I’ve resisted for a long time. Then, they made a PURPLE one. And I’m not buying yarn, which means I’m more susceptible to knitting accessories. So I caved and ordered the large Cube bag, and it arrived two weeks later.

Look at that beauty! I love it. I can’t wait to get it all decorated with some pins; I just have to decide which ones to put on there. And it means I have room for more, should my collection grow.

I did get further distracted while on their site, and since I was paying for international shipping anyway, these little goodies slipped into my cart as well.

The notions pouch has an actual wax seal on the back! And hopefully you can see the detail on the clay Sorting Hat charm, the wee face carved into it. There’s also an R carved on the bottom, since I’m a Ravenclaw.

I’m not sure how this all works into my current yarn diet philosophy, but at least my stash isn’t growing. Do you get tempted by other things when you’re not buying yarn?

Musings on a Monday

If you read my last post, you’ll know I was meant to work on my Faded Boxy yesterday. Why I thought making an oversized sweater in fingering weight yarn was a good idea, I’ll never understand, because it’s taking 84 years just to knit the dang body. I started this sweater over four months ago and I’m finally getting to a point where I can imagine splitting for the sleeves.

908CC117-7E5F-453E-A443-3B519E8A2B1A_1_201_aThis is about 16 inches, and I need 19 before I split. That’s just one color section; I can do that. Or can I? Yesterday I did not work on my Faded Boxy. Instead I cast on a new worsted weight cowl, because those are my jam right now.

8875B99C-4DF8-4BA1-AF48-E0741A8D8748This is the Diamond Purl Cowl in KnitPicks Preciosa, color Tadpole. This is one of my favorite yarns from KnitPicks. It’s soft and fluffy and I love the subtle variations in the color. The pattern is pretty easy, still a comfort project as I sit with Duncan. Now, the question is: as I watch the coverage of the Australian Open today, will I work on the cowl, or the sweater?

And today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 76 today, and he’s been gone almost eight years now. Yes, it’s gotten easier, but I still miss him, and it’s still sharp sometimes.

IMG_5621Not everyone marks these days, the birthdays and death days of people they’ve lost. Maybe they think it prolongs the grieving process. It’s different for everyone but for me, I think of Dad often. I’m going to be sad about it sometimes regardless. And recognizing those days means they’re still important to me, and that Dad’s still a part of our family, even if just in this tiniest of ways. I like having this special day where I remember Dad fondly and with intent, and I allow myself to feel the loss a little bit. So, Happy Birthday, Dad. Wish you were here.

FO: Peyto Lake Cowl

There has been knitting again! I got a full night’s sleep Friday night which felt amazing and restored a lot of energy, both physical & mental/emotional. Long-term sleep deprivation is not fun, and I’m really glad Duncan is almost to the point of being left alone at night without the cone. Anyway, I spent some time hanging with Dunkie yesterday and finished a cowl I haven’t even shown you before.

You know my goal is to work down my stash, so lately I’ve just been poking around and pulling out skeins that call my name, then finding a project for them. This is a skein of Malabrigo Worsted, one of my favorite Malabrigo yarns, in the color Whales Road. (Which I also have in Mecha and the colors look SO different which is weird.) I poked around in Ravelry and settled on the Peyto Lake Cowl, since the water theme kind of went with the blue/purple colors of the yarn. The wavy lace gets a little lost in the color variegations but I don’t mind.

I’m just loving knitting worsted weight cowls again, after so long knitting with fingering weight. I’ve got another one on my needles, but it’s a totally mindless all-stockinette cowl with rolled edges and everything, so I save that for when I don’t want to use any brain cells at all. This yarn is Dark Side of the Moon by Alexandra’s Crafts, in the color Purple Rain. And it’s a merino/SILK blend, yay!

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I’ve got a two days left in my three-day weekend, so I anticipate more knitting in my future. Let’s see if I can motivate myself to work on my Purple Faded Boxy, or if I’ll cast on for another worsted weight cowl. I do have the yarn already picked out and the pattern purchased!