Friday, December 29, 2017

Looking Ahead

I try to keep a positive attitude and look to the future.  There's no sense in dwelling on the past or what might have been.  The new year is an especially good time to pause, take stock, wipe the slate clean and plan for the coming months.

Thanks to Juliette Kayyem for #pacetherage.  I've adapted it for my own mantra for these troubling times:  Pace the rage and keep knitting. And so I'm going into the new year fortified with fresh projects.

There's a third one in the mix too.  I'd share that with you, but the yarn is still drying.  What are your projects for the new year?

This week's color inspiration celebrates light.

Happy New Year!  Here's to hope and peace.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Lazy Week

This week is the lull between holidays, and I'm making the most of the quiet time.  The only things on my to-do list are paperwork and 
knitting - although yesterday I think I did more knitting than paperwork.

First up . . . these mitts for my son, Kiko.  He requested them a while ago.  Whenever you can get to them, he said.  These are really pretty quick . . . a sock cuff and leg with fingers attached.  The fingers are a little fiddly, but they're so small that they're done in no time.  I probably spend more time weaving in ends than knitting the fingers.

The other day Kiko dropped off another mitt that had a bit of a snag.

He's careful with his handknits and didn't want to wear this without getting it fixed.  I'll give it a quick mend, and it'll be ready to go.  The temps are frigid this week so I'm even more motivated to get the old and new mitts ready for him.

Apparently spend time on Ravelry is also on my to-do list.  I have more mittens at the top of my queue (see above reference to the temperature) along with a couple other things that I have to cast on right now.  It's a lazy week, but I'm still busy.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Knitting Break

Yesterday I finished my grocery shopping for the holidays.  I don't mind the cooking and the baking.  It's the shopping that does me in. 

Knitting breaks are important.  After I survived the full parking lots, pushy people and long lines, a little knitting time was definitely in order. I also needed to regroup before tackling the cooking, baking and cleaning.

See that worsted weight blue?  While I was knitting around and around on this cuff, I contemplated a new project.  I don't have enough projects on the needles, and I'm plotting to remedy the situation.  

This week's color inspiration is all about the season.

Holiday cheer if you're celebrating this weekend.  May your festivities be merry and bright.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

While the Cookies Are in the Oven . . .

My shows are done for the year, and we celebrated our last December birthday last night.  In theory I could put all my effort into getting ready for the holidays . . . clean the house, decorate the tree, bake some cookies, maybe wrap a gift or two.  Instead I see a window of opportunity for more knitting.

This little project has been rattling around in the back of my mind.  I pulled the yarn a couple weeks ago, and that's as far as I got.  These are the color options, and I need to pick one.

I also need to choose a pattern.  I'll start with that.  To be fair, I'll also pull the cookie recipes.   Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone. Knitting and baking make a good combination . . . knit a few rows while the cookies are in the oven.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Empty Needles

I had a little flurry of finishing the last few days.

Everyday Shawl.

This design features alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette sections that give this shawl texture.

The center line shifts and creates an interesting shape.

I tried to follow the math instructions based on percentages of yarn and hit a bit of a snag, but I was able to work my way out of it.  I like the numbers angle and would do it that way again but would check and double check my numbers first.  For those who aren't so inclined, there are also straight forward instructions that don't require any additional math.

I used a Lillian Gradient Bundle, colorway Sea Glass.  This is a greenish color with a hint of blue . . . almost neutral but not quite.

Since I was on a roll, I also knocked out another Inclination.

I used Norma again.  The colorway is March Sky.  This is my new favorite cowl, and I'll probably cast on another one in the next couple days.  Inclination is an easy, portable project.  The pattern is so simple I can pick it up, and I always know where I am.  If you're still in knitting mode for holiday gifts, check it out.

To wrap it all up, a mitten update from my friend Alice.

Another lovely pair from the Selbuvotter book.

This is one of my favorite color combinations.

It's too bad these mittens aren't my size because they match my current favorite hat.

Friday, December 15, 2017

When the Numbers Are Off

You win some, you lose some.

I lost this one.

This is my Everyday Shawl.  I'm knitting this shawl with a gradient bundle and wanted to use as much of the bundle as possible.  The pattern includes directions for working the shawl based on percentages of yarn total.  I thought this was a foolproof way to make sure all the colors would be equally represented.  I crunched the numbers and cut back on one of the lighter colors so I would be sure to include the darkest color.

My numbers must have been off because I'm closing in on the finish line, and I've run out of the darkest color.  I was working on this in the wee hours last night and resisted the urge to run the numbers again.  It doesn't really matter at this point.  I have the small ball of the lighter color that I had set aside, but I'm not about to rip back.  I have more of the darkest color, and I'll keep going with that instead.  So much for planning and preparation.

I captured this week's color inspiration as the sun was setting on Frog Pond.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sit and Knit

Since a couple self-imposed knitting deadlines are looming large, the top of my to-do list says sit and knit.  Usually I love to see this item on my list, but this time of year it can be challenging to sit let alone knit.

When I can sit, I'm bouncing back and forth with steady progress on these two.

Heads up to you sock knitters out there.  The next round of Yarn Knot Socks starts shipping next month.  This time the installments will include coordinated mini skeins.  Think contrasting heels and toes or maybe a flash of color at the cuff.  Follow the link for all the details.

And now I'm going to sit and knit.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Update

In true Monday fashion, my plans for the day have been sabotaged.
I have to swap knitting for driving, and I'm feeling a bit frustrated that I can't do both at the same time.

Before I head out the door for my chauffeuring duties, I did a quick calendar update through January.  See the right sidebar.

This coming Sunday I'll be at the annual Gather Here Handmade Holiday Market.

This event is taking over Inman Square with vendors in various locations.  I don't know where I'll be setting up shop, but I'll post details as soon as I have more information.

I'll have a selection of hand dyed yarn and bundles. 

One of my current favorites is the Cold Brew Collection, and I'll have bundles available in a variety of colors.  Stay tuned for more event details and stop by if you're in the area.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Like a Rumpled Suit

Snow is headed our way, and I could easily hunker down with my knitting.  Too bad there are other things that require my attention.  We have a birthday celebration this weekend.  At the very least I need to get some groceries.

After my recent cowl bender, I'm working with gradients again.

Everyday Shawl.  Right now this looks and feels like a rumpled suit.  I can't wait to block it, and that's my incentive to keep on knitting.

I found this week's color inspiration in a favorite Mexican restaurant.

Bold, bright and whimsical.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


The cowls keep coming.

Inclination.  Around and around with knits and purls . . . mindless and soothing.

The yarn is Norma, colorway Celestial.  I'm smitten with this new worsted Merino base.  It creates a cozy, squishy fabric.  Sorry it's not on the website yet.  Coming soon.

This project is perfect for on the go and practically knits itself.  Based on Ravelry project notes, I started with four knit rounds and ended with four knit rounds.  Other than that, I followed the pattern as written.

With the holidays right around the corner, Inclination gets my vote for gift knitting.  There's also a bulky weight version if your time is really tight.

This cowl is one of my new favorites . . . I've already wound yarn for another one.

Monday, December 4, 2017

More Cold Brew

Knitting the Cold Brew Hat was so much fun of course I had to make the cowl too.

The Cold Brew Cowl offers more of the same . . . Latvian braid, corrugated ribbing, colorwork and stripes.  The combination of worsted weight and an entertaining design made this cowl fly off my needles. Since I do so much knitting with fingering weight, worsted is my bulky weight equivalent.  Instant gratification.

The yarn is Norma, a superwash Merino, and it creates a squishy, cozy fabric.  I have kits in production in a variety of colors.  This cowl is destined to be a sample, but I'm sure I'll make another one all my own.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Repeat Performance

There are a lot of good patterns out there and only so many knitting hours in a lifetime, but some patterns are worth repeating.  

My second Portland Sequence is off the needles and ready to go.  My first Portland Sequence is a personal favorite and gets a lot of compliments, so I didn't have to think twice about making a second one.

Sequence knitting is almost idiot proof, and this cowl was an easy 
on-the-go project.  I'll miss reaching for it in my bag.

This combination produced cheery pops of color - perfect for dreary winter days.  If you're interested in the yarn (it has cashmere, by the way), this exclusive bundle is from KnitWit.  Contact the shop to see if they still have it in stock. 

Every once in while, I step back and hit reset.  Usually it involves hanging out at the ocean.  During these tumultuous times, I should do it more often.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Blues and grays.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

No Power, No Coffee

First thing this morning the guy from the electric company was at our door.  They had to do some maintenance work outside, and it involved shutting off our electricity.  I tried to pin him down and get a sense of how long we wouldn't have power.  "Not long if everything goes right," he said.  And then he went on to explain that he really didn't know how long it would take but that he'd know more once he started the work.

Well, that threw a big wrench in my morning plans.  He didn't even give me enough time to make more coffee.  

Since everything I had planned to do required electricity, I seized the opportunity to knit instead.  I have several projects already under construction, but I decided to cast on and add another one to the mix.

That's what happens when I don't have enough coffee.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cold Brew Hat

Since my weekend had a distinct knitting focus, I managed to finish something.  

Cold Brew Hat.  I had family in and out all weekend long, but somehow I didn't take advantage of the opportunity to use a live model.

This design has plenty of entertainment value.

There's a little bit of everything . . . Latvian braid, corrugated ribbing, colorwork.  All topped off with some simple stripes.  This hat was done in no time.  Since this was so much fun, I'll have to check out the rest of the Cold Brew Collection.

Friday, November 24, 2017

And Now for the Weekend

Yesterday we had a lovely time with family and friends.  I started cooking first thing in the morning but was a little off schedule trying to pull everything together at the end.  All I needed was four extra hands, and a couple of the kids rose to the occasion.  I didn't even have to beg or bribe for their help.

My reward for a full day of cooking is plenty of leftovers, especially pie. You can guess what I had for breakfast this morning.  I plan to stay out of the kitchen for the rest of the weekend, and that translates into bonus knitting time.

I started this last night.

Latvian braid for the win.  Lovely detail with minimal fuss.

Once again we're participating in Small Business Saturday.  Orders placed between Saturday, November 25 (tomorrow) and Monday, November 27 will receive a 15% discount.  The discount amount will be refunded.  Please note this offer does not include Yarn Knot subscriptions and gift certificates.

Before I get started on my weekend . . . this week's color inspiration.

Yellow cheer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pie Baking Day

Like many of you, I'm scurrying to get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It's not even noon and already I've added several things to today's list.  

Just when I thought the house was looking respectable, this morning the dog left a trail of muddy paw prints all over the place.  As I type this, he's digging through the trash in my office.  It's like having a toddler in the house.  Clearly I need to delegate dog duty to someone.

Today is pie baking day - an annual tradition in our house.  Before I get busy, I'm wrapping up a few last minute work items.

I'm also entertaining the idea of dyeing yarn for a project that's been brewing . . . just three quick pots.  But first more coffee so I don't strangle the dog.  

For tomorrow . . . here's to good food and time spent with family and friends.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Show and Tell

A while ago I loaned my copy of Selbuvotter to my friend Alice.  She has immersed herself in the book, and everyone in the family is getting mittens or gloves for the holiday.  

Alice was passing through town . . . just enough time to grab some yarn and give me a quick update.

I'd seen pictures of work in progress, but it's not the same as seeing the mitts in real life.

These designs provide hours of knitting enjoyment.

The patterns call for fingering weight, and the yarn is Dirty Water DyeWorks.  Half the fun is picking the colors, and Alice has chosen some striking combinations.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have the itch to make some colorwork mittens.

Maybe when I get my book back.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Time to Weigh In

Yesterday I focused all my knitting time on one project.  Sometimes that's the best strategy when I want to achieve noticeable forward progress.

This is Everyday Shawl.  I'm using a gradient bundle so it's a little easier to notice progress or a lack thereof.  When I was planning this project, I decided I wanted to use every bit of yarn.  So far so good.

The pattern also includes instructions on the percentage of yarn required for Part 1.

Before I could keep going, I needed a quick weigh in and a little math. Now I'm good to go.

The house is a mess, and I really need to do some cleaning before the holiday next week.  I convinced myself this winterberry bouquet from the farmers' market would help the situation.  If nothing else, it put me in a festive mood.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Vivid orange.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Duty Calls

Last weekend I got a couple text messages from my son, Kiko. It started with this one on Saturday.

I don't know that I've ever run out of projects, but it's cute he thinks that might actually happen.

Then on Sunday I got this message.

The situation seems dire.  I often knit mitts for Kiko, so he should have a decent collection.  If he needs more than one pair, either he's lost some along the way or they all wore out at the same time.

I saw Kiko briefly on Monday, and we did a quick color consult.

This Lucia Tomato Soup met with his approval.  The temperatures are brisk . . . I'd better get busy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Room for More

Last week I finished one project, and that's made room for more.

Since I have only one active project on the needles, I've started to contemplate options.

Just a simple hat, I thought, but I didn't have a particular pattern in mind.  I got stuck on the color and said so on Instagram.  The feedback leads me to think I should use all three.  It looks like I'm headed to Ravelry to find a pattern.  

Before I do that, here's a quick update on Knitting Weekend.  If you're thinking of taking a class, you might want to get on it.  Early bird registration is open until November 24, but a couple classes are filling quickly.  Don't delay.

Friday, November 10, 2017


This has been one of those weeks, but I'm always looking for the positive.  I didn't make forward progress on many things, but I did finish a sample. 


This was a fun project with plenty of variety.  Simple slip stitches create texture and contrast.

This shawl was close to being finished for a while, so it felt good to wrap it up.

Specklate was outside the box for me.  Usually I use a semi-solid color for lace.  Since the Lillian Sprinkles aren't too busy, I decided to give it a whirl.  The worst that can happen is I have to rip it out.  It's always good to experiment, and I'm happy I did. 

The other color is the popular Lillian Pumice.  Specklate is another good project for playing around with color combinations.

This week's color inspiration is one of my favorite combos.

Browns and blues.