chevron crazy

I have been chevron crazy for a long time now. So needless to say, I was pretty happy when chevrons suddenly became cool and just about everywhere. Somehow, I haven't knit any. So I thought this happy, cheerful self-striping yarn (String Theory Colorworks in the Muon colorway) would be perfect for remedying that situation! This is the chevron delight infinity scarf pattern (another freebie!) and it's been a fun, fast, brainless knit so far! I'm about 2/3 through my first of two skeins. Loving it!

color moods

Girls Just Want to Have Fun, by Your Mom Knits

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of a sudden color mood? For years my first and true love was blue in all its shades--but primarily turquoise and sky/ocean hued blues. But when I was a kid, purple was my favorite. And lately, I'm feeling its siren call again. Along with pink. Unadulterated, shocking fuchsia shades of pink. But in the past year, orange has snuck in somehow. And lately, melon. This skein above perfectly encapsulates the colorways that are making me swoon right now. I have one skein that I will knit sometime soon, but haven't decided on a pattern yet. Too pretty for socks, where the colorway will be hidden! What color mood are you in right now?

what a fine tune

It's done! It's done! It's done! And I LOVE it! A very quick block made this grow in length, and opened the lacy contrast color panels right up. Sooooo soft and squishy. I can't wait for cooler temps and the right weather to actually wear this!

Remember how I was debating keeping the brown in my palette? Well, it turns out that each "tea cake" didn't stretch as far as I thought it would. I had estimated I could get three contrast stripes from each tea cake--wrong! Only two, it turns out. So that pretty much forced my hand and pushed me to add more browns to the mix than I initially anticipated. I'm not regretting it one bit, though. Adding the browns pushed me a little colorwise, but ended up adding so much more depth and contrast to the cowl. I am so in love with how this project turned out! You can find a sequential list of the colorways I used in the order they appear on my Ravelry project page.

Pattern: fine tune cowl
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Astrid Grey (1.33 skeins! One skein got me through 3/4 pattern repeats, or 12 wedges) and approximately half of a Jimmy Bean's Wool tosh tea cake sampler set (colorway: Lemon Ginger)
Needles: Size 4 Addi Turbo's
Mods: None!

(sorry, a bit blurry, but I wanted to show more of the color pairings)

a quick hat

While my fine tune cowl is blocking (woot! woot!) I knit up a pattern that should be very recognizable to long-time readers of this blog. Yup, this is my fifth (you read that right--fifth!) lowbrow hat! If you recall, I kind of went crazy making these back in February. This one will be a celebratory gift for my sister back in Washington, who just got a new job!

Pattern: Lowbrow Hat (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Nightbloom, 1 skein = 165 yards)
Needles: Size 5 and Size 7 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables
Modifications: None! My love of this pattern hasn't faded one bit.

blocking is magic, part two

I neglected to take "before" photos this time, unfortunately! But without blocking, the "points" looked more like floppy "waves." I have to admit, I'm finding blocking so much fun that I can't believe I knitted this long without regularly doing it! I don't think I'll suddenly start blocking socks or hats--but if it has any lacy element, I'm not afraid to block it anymore!

Pattern: Cassis Shawlette (a freebie! link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Candy Skein Yummy Fingering (colorway: grape soda, used approx. 3/4 of the skein)
Needles: Size 4 Knit Picks Harmony
Mods: None! This was super fast and fun to knit! You knit the lace chevron edging first, and then pick up and knit short rows to fill in the crescent shape of the shawlette. So far this is one of my favorite shawlette construction methods--the short rows really zip along! And it's garter stitch, so it makes for really relaxing knitting. I would knit this pattern again in a heartbeat! This marks my first 350 yards toward my 5k Stash Dash challenge this summer--guess I'd better get knitting, huh?

going public

Remember how I realized I needed to be a bit more serious about yarn dieting in my mid-year review? Yup, it's happening. For reals. You'll notice a new counter on my right-hand column ... a cold sheeping counter (cold sheep = no yarn purchases). I'm hoping if I have it publicly posted I'll be less apt to make an impulse purchase and need to re-set it .... my immediate goal is to not purchase new yarn this summer, which feels really doable. Especially given all the yarn and projects I have planned already! To further motivate myself, I'm joining in with the Knit Girlls summer 5k Stash Dash. Try to knit 5k between May 23 and August 7! Yeah, that feels a little nutso but you can count previous WIP toward your total. So if I finally finish a fingering weight sweater I have in progress, this would be a pretty realistic goal. Hence, the tracker for this new goal. Guess I'd better get knitting!

blocking is magic

Blocking is magic. Seriously. My evidence?



Pattern: Riverbank by Melissa Thompson
Yarn: String Theory Merino DK in the Radiant Orchid colorway (1.25 skeins)
Needles: Size 4 and size 6 Addi Turbo's
Mods: Knit twisted rib instead of traditional K1P1 ribbing, ended with one inch of twisted rib.

I loooooove this pattern. Relaxing. Easy. Fast! And after blocking, it's the perfect length, with the perfect drape. I started this on a Thursday and was done with the knitting by the end of the weekend. Now that's my kind of project! This was my first time knitting with String Theory yarn, and it was fabulous. I will definitely use their yarn again! This is one of several secret swap projects I knit up in May. You'll see them appear here on the blog once they've been received. The recipient was thrilled with this, which made me happy! I highly recommend this pattern for quick gift knitting.

staying in tune

It's growing! Still loving it! I'm just past the half-way point now--this patterns knits up surprisingly fast for being a fingering weight cowl!

mid-year review

amazing yarn bombing in Brooklyn

While I'm feeling reflective, I thought I'd sit down and see how I'm doing in terms of achieving the resolutions I set back in January.

To review, my knitting goals in 2014 are:
  • Goal #1: Knit down my stash. 
Status: Okay. To date, I've finished 20 projects this year (holy cow! I didn't realize that!). And 14 of those were using yarn I purchased prior to this year. Unfortunately, my rate of purchasing yarn is not keeping up with how fast I am knitting it. So I really need to commit myself to some serious yarn dieting for the rest of this year to truly reduce my stash to a size I am more comfortable with. I'm realizing that I might need to force myself to enter my stash on Ravelry so I can better understand what I have when I'm browsing patterns I'm considering ... I've avoided it prior to now, since that would mean forcing myself to acknowledge how large my stash really is (yup, in denial!). So my goals are to finally document my stash, make some plans for it that excite me (like my summer plans I discussed yesterday), and formally start a "cold sheep" yarn diet today (zero yarn purchases). I have some AMAZING yarn that I'll never knit if I let myself get more!

  • Goal #2: Finish, frog, or otherwise eliminate my current WIPs.
I forced myself to publicly list my WIPs earlier this year. Sadly, I've only eliminated one item from that list so far, #11 my vanilla latte socks. This month I commit to frogging at least one of these projects!

This one depends on how strict I am with myself. If I only count patterns purchased prior to this year, then I've completed eight projects that utilized patterns from my library this year. Four of those patterns were from PDF files, and four were from actual books. The remaining projects utilized either free patterns or patterns I purchased this year. I haven't knit anything from one of my (many) magazine subscriptions yet this year, so that would be a good goal to devote myself to for the remainder of the year.

Thank goodness we still have a little more than half a year left!

summer planning

While the official start of summer may be 20 or so days away, for all intents and purposes is has been summer for at least a couple of weeks here already in Mississippi (once the temperature consistently pushes 90 for an entire week, spring is over for me!). So I've got planning on the brain. I love summer. I love the long stretches of uncommitted time. It feels so full of possibility, full of promise. So much time to make beautiful things! Then August comes before I know it and it's over. And I'm disappointed because I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I expected to. So this year I'm trying to be more purposeful, more strategic with my time.

I've noticed that I've been feeling very cowl-crazy for quite some time now. I have nine cowl patterns in my library, already purchased or gifted to me, that I want to make for me. I have to admit, that feels really crazy and selfish just typing that. But last winter showed me that I'm woefully lacking in winter gear, and I could really use cowls/hats/mittens for myself. And I have this crazy idea (ahem, more like rationalization) that it would be really fun to knit up different coordinated (but not necessarily matching) cowl/mitten/hat combinations. I want to wear what I make, but also not look like a crazy lady! My fine tune cowl has been constructed with the intention of matching it with the citrus lowbrow hat I made for myself back in February. Since I'm using MadTosh yarn in both projects, coordinating has come easily there. But next I'll need mitts ... for this "set" I have two projects in mind ....

A stranded pair of mittens using these skeins of MadTosh Merino Light (Robin's Red Breast and Citrus) from Charlene Schurch's Mostly Mittens book. Right now I'm leaning toward pattern 17:

And a pair of thrummed mittens from this kit I purchased from this seller on Etsy.

I've never really discussed my obsession with chevrons on the blog before, but I love zig zags. I have some self-striping skeins of String Theory Colorworks in the Muon colorway that would be perfect to finally make myself a chevron cowl using this free pattern. And to really go over the top, I'll make a pair of chevron mitts as well....

I purchased a second Joji Locatelli cowl pattern several months ago, called "something in the air" that I think will be perfect for my two skeins of JulieSpins MCN DK in Peony:

To coordinate, I might make a set of Nalu fingerless mitts (free pattern!) using some String Theory Merino DK in Radiant Orchid (I need to put these skeins together to see if they really work together ... these pictures are from the dyer's websites, and as pictured they don't look like they "coordinate" that well ... we'll see):

I also have some lovely skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock that have been gifted to me, and I want to use my skein in the Sea Glass colorway first:

I'm thinking the sallah cowl (another freebie, published in Knitty!) would show off this yarn best. Either that or use this skeins for mitts ... come to think of it, this skein might go well with the Socks that Rock Twisted I have in the "buttah" colorway, which is slated to become a cabled love and happiness cowl:

And finally, I want to finish the dateline cowl I cast on for last month, which is a lovely navy-blue purple. I haven't dug through my stash to identify potential candidates to create a coordinating set of mittens and/or hat for that cowl yet.

Now can you see what I mean by being cowl crazy? There is no way I will make all of these sets this summer, but I'll be content finishing at least one set. A girl can dream, right?

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...