Seahawks Super Bowl Mittens

I've had this Seahawks-inspired yarn in my stash for over a year now, and with the Super Bowl happening tomorrow I thought there was no better time to finally use it! These mittens are headed to my sister in Boise, Idaho (who needs them much more than I do!) who is the true Seahawks fan in my family. The yarn is Oink Pigments worsted in the colorway "slime time." It's a great mix of gray, navy blue, and neon lime green! This pattern is a freebie from Knitty, "borough." I chose it since I always think crazy variegated yarn looks better in garter or reverse stockinette. It was fun and fast, but the material isn't as thick in the center ribbed portion so it may not be as warm as I like there. The other downfall of this pattern is that knitting garter stitch in the round leaves a visible "seam" that I'm not all that crazy about. But, this works! The pattern is originally designed to be convertible, with a button to secure the top finger flap when wearing them fingerless. I opted to go traditional mitten instead, and just skipped the instructions that tell you to cast off stitches to separate the top flap.

Pattern: Borough (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Oink Pigment yarns in colorway Slime Time (only used about 2/3 skein)
Needles: Size 8 Addi Turbo's
Mods: see above!

another fine tune ....

It's done! Yes, this is my second time knitting Joji's fine tune cowl. But it's such a fantastic pattern, I would not be shocked if I eventually make another! It's garter stitch, it's relaxing, you can play with adding color in non-overwhelming ways, and the short rows make it fun and interesting to knit. Love, love, love all around! This project is only the second time in my knitting life that I've knit something where the main color is .... white! White just terrifies me from a stain perspective. Totally silly, I know. But this colorway, Madtosh's "cosmic wonder dust" has just enough tiny flecks of color to make knitting in white not so intimidating to me. I'm really enjoying these splatter-style colorways right now. They're addicting to knit, since it's a surprise to see what color ends up on your needles next. Similar to my addiction to self-striping yarns--it's fun to see what's coming next. This time I tried a new-to-me base of Madelinetosh yarn, "Dandelion." It's a fingering weight mix of merino and linen. The linen content is low, so it's not scratchy or hurts your hands. I would definitely knit with this base again! The only negative is the yardage is a bit smaller than most fingering weight skeins, coming in at 325 yards instead of the normal 400+ you see from other fingering weight yarns. When I made my first fine tune cowl, I needed just over one skein of Tosh Merino Light (maybe 1.3 skeins?) to finish this cowl. In retrospect, I could have just ended early after the first skein and still would have been able to double-wrap the cowl. But with the low yardage of Dandelion I needed the full two skeins for this project.

Yarn: Main color, Madelinetosh Dandelion in Cosmic Wonder Dust (used two full skeins), Contrast Color stripes: four Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light unicorn tails in colorways Fathom, Neon Peach, Pop Rocks, Edison Bulb, and Button Jar Blue (was able to get up to four stripes from one unicorn tail, with some leftover yarn!)
Needles: size 4 Addi turbo's 
Mods: NONE!

Love Your Library/WIP Wednesday

A day late this week, but still plugging along on the Love Your Library challenge! The flyspeck fox I'm working on as the second project this month for my Love Your Library challenge is sooooo close to being done! Two arms, a tail, and the ears are all that remain. It's one of those projects that feels like I should be done in a nano-second, but the fiddly-ness of working six stitches in the round on DPNs slooooows me down more than I anticipate. I promise to be back on schedule with a Tuesday Love Your Library link up post next Tuesday. Remember, in February your challenge is to get your library of patterns organized!

In other project progress, I'm almost to the heel on my second crazy rainbow sock! I also finished my neon fine tune cowl earlier this week and LOVE it. I'll post about that on Friday!

Today I'm linking up with Tammy's Stitch-Along Wednesday, Ginny for Yarn Along, and Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

one down ...

And one more to go! I was a little skeptical of this heel when knitting it, as it just looks odd when it's not on an actual foot. But it fits great! This is Lara Neel's "thumb-joint" heel (pattern is Fork in the Road, a freebie!). I'll take a better picture of it when I finish the second sock, but it's basically the same kind of decreases you'd use when shaping the top of a hat. I was equally skeptical of doing the exact same shaping to make the toe (it looks similar to a star toe when finished) but that too turned out nicely! (and with the added benefit of not needing to kitchener the toe, if you're like me and dread that part) And if the lack of other photos is any hint, can you tell that these socks have been my sole obsession lately? I guess I'd better finish the second sock so I can get back to my other works-in-progress!

Linking up with Tammy's Stitch-Along Wednesday, Ginny for Yarn Along, Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On & iknead2knit’s Whatcha Workin’ On Wednesday. 

Love Your Library, vol. 3

join me!

First week getting a little off-track ... I blame three-day weekends, which result in marathon scrapbooking sessions (phew! I did catch up on the past year of events, hurrah!) and a certain pair of stripey socks I started last week catching my attention. The fox I started last week does have a head and body ... just need to finish the face, ears, tail, and limbs of course!

So I've been thinking about some blog writing prompts to go along with the challenge this year. Because, let's face it--the only reason why I actually have something to show every Tuesday is because toys are tiny and fast knits! But something I appreciated when I went on my strict yarn diet last year was the chance to slow down and make some observation about my purchasing behaviors. To learn more about my "triggers" if you will. It's always good to understand our patterns and habits I think, especially if you want to change them. So use these monthly themes as another way to make progress on better utilizing that library we all have!

February: Let's Get Organized! Whatever this means for you: putting printed patterns in folders/binders, updating your Ravelry library, organizing your electronic copies of patterns that are stored off-Ravelry. I know I'd use my library more if I had a better record of everything in it.

March: What's in Your Library? Now that you're organized, let's take a closer look at it. How many patterns do you have? What is your library composed of? Books? Magazines? Single pdf's? What is your weakness in terms of acquiring new patterns?

April: Analyze Your Behavior What is your creative process? How do you go about starting a new project? Do you see a pattern you love first, then find yarn? Or vice versa? Think about the order in which you typically begin a project, and how you can do a better job of including your current library into the process. 

May: Time to Purge Do you have patterns you're holding onto even though you know you'll never knit them? Books you never open? Time to do a critical look at our physical and electronic libraries and purge the items we are no longer interested in. (short-time only free patterns, I'm looking at you!)

June: Mix it Up Just for fun, challenge yourself to try something in your library that you're not normally drawn to. A type of project or skill that's out of the norm for you.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Sock it to Me KAL

I know, I know ... you're thinking, "another new project, girl? have some self control!" But, but, but ... it's rainbow! And stripey! And I've been itching to join a KAL! So that's exactly what I've done. I'm joining Kate over at Boston Knitter for her Sock it to Me: Revenge of the Stripes KAL. I'm a sucker for anything stripey, so it really wasn't a big push to motivate me to cast on with this White Birch Fiber Arts skein (colorway: The Full Monty). It's even brighter in person, trust me. I LOVE it. One of my unspoken goals for this year is to knit more socks, so this'll be a good start. The pattern we're knitting is a freebie, Fork in the Road Socks by Lara Neel. It'll be my first time knitting an afterthought heel, and this one has a unique construction that I'm excited to try. Lara calls it her "thumb-joint" heel as you use that measurement to determine the depth ... should be interesting!

humming along

Things are humming along here ... I have new year's caston-itis, so I'm fighting the urge to start more new things as best I can ... LOL.  My fine tune cowl is almost 3/4 done! Only five more wedges to go!

 The shocking-hurt-your-eyes-it's-so-neon varjo-shadow shawl is almost half-way done ...

 And you knew there would be at least one new project with that lead-in, right? Right? Teehee. Realizing my sister's birthday is around the corner, I thought I'd better get going on that. I promised her something warm and pink and initially planned to make a second Funky Frank Loop, but decided to go for a Millwater instead. This is my first time not buying the pattern and figuring it out myself ... feels good to finally be at a point where I trust my skills enough to do that!

Linking up with Tammy's Stitch-Along Wednesday, Ginny for Yarn Along, Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On & iknead2knit’s Whatcha Workin’ On Wednesday. 

Love Your Library, vol. 2

My first Love Your Library challenge finish! The original "baby unicorn" on the right now has a playmate: introducing tiny Twilight Sparkle. Technically, she needs wings to be her "princess" self. But I'm calling her DONE.

Pattern: Undersized Unicorn by Rebecca Danger (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: size 5 Addi's
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love this Wool in Thistle and Purple (less than 50 yards total)
Mods: None except a three-needle bind off instead of grafting the "behind" together.

I'm sticking with the 50 Yards of Fun book for my next Love Your Library project--this time a tiny fox! I'm really enjoying this book. The projects go so fast that it feels like cheating! How's your progress going?

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

sunday's stitches, vol. 2

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor whatever your stitching on

This project alternates between exciting me and overwhelming me--which makes the weekly photos a really helpful thing, as I can see my progress in them and not feel like this will take me f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I just realized that there are twelve remaining colors to stitch up in this project, so if I finish one color a month I can finish this project by the end of the year. Slow but steady wins the race, right?

See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

fast finish: lullington hat

My first finish of 2015! And it was a fun, fast one! My love of garter stitch is well-established--garter in the round? Not so much. That would be my ONLY quibble with this pattern--it calls for garter in the round. But given the aran weight, the rounds go fast and I found it surprisingly tolerable. I won this yarn last December and ooh, it was delicious to knit with! I'll definitely try to use some Posh Yarn again. You'll see this hat pattern again at some point this year ... I have several skeins of Madtosh Chunky that would look fantastic in this pattern.

Pattern: Lullington Hat (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: size 8 Addi's
Yarn: Posh Yarns Sylvia Aran (colorway: Wisteria Lane)
Mods: None! Fantastic pattern!

Linking up with Fresh Off the Needles at Hard Knit Life--see what everyone else has been making!

Love Your Library, vol. 1

So what will be your first project for the Love Your Library challenge? This one is a repeat--the undersized unicorn is one of only two patterns I've previously knit from the 50 Yards of Fun book by Rebecca Danger. But since my daughter is unicorn obsessed, it was hard to say no to her request for a Twilight Sparkle version! Once I finish this, I'll move on to the petite swimmer next. What are you working on? Let us know in the comments and link up below!

But before I go, a little "official business." If you are on Ravelry, or posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, use the tag "loveyourlibrary." And if you're looking for a "group" to chat in about your progress, there are several options on Ravelry:
I have some ideas for prizes, but I need to contemplate how to make entering the contest simple and straightforward first! And coming soon .... some monthly discussion prompts to help us all think about our pattern libraries, how we accumulate them, and how to better utilize them! Stay tuned ....

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

sunday's stitches, vol. 1

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor whatever your stitching on

I'm determined to do more needlepoint in 2015 ... and I realized that I was my most consistent and productive when I posted weekly with my progress. So sunday's stitches is back! I love this kit, and it would be a perfect pillow to go along with the color palette of my cheater string quilt. So this will be my first project to tackle! I stopped mid-way through the light pink, so I'll continue with that color for now.

See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

selfish stitching

Are you like me? I dive head first into a slew of selfish projects the minute my Christmas gift knitting is complete! You may recognize the first project--yup, it's another fine tune cowl! I love the first one so much that I decided to make a more neon version to match the crazy eye-scorching hot pink hat I made recently.

The yarn? More Madtosh of course! The main color is called "cosmic wonder dust," a colorway I'd been coveting throughout my strict yarn diet last year. So this was my reward purchase for making the six month mark! The highlight colors are a bunch of Madtosh "unicorn tail" mini skeins. You're seeing the colorways fathom, neon peach, pop rocks, edison bulb, and button jar blue. This is knitting up faster than the first one and I loooooooove it!

My other selfish project is something a little new for me--a shawl! Normally I shy away from knitting these, as I'm not so great at artfully arranging these things on my shoulders and it's just not my day-to-day style. But lately my office at work has been freezing and I've been wishing I had something there to snuggle into when it gets chilly. This is the very first panel of a a lovely striped pattern called varjo by Veera Valimaki. I'm excited to finally be knitting one of her patterns, as I've admired them for years! The blue is another Madtosh yarn, this time in the Oceana colorway. This yarn is sentimental, as I picked it up in an amazing yarn shop located on the Oregon coast the last time I visited my brother. The neon yellow is a hand-dyed yarn I received in a swap that is a dead ringer for the edison bulb colorway. This one will be bright!

Love Your Library Challenge: 2015 Edition

Are you in? This will be our third (!!) year of attempting to make better use of that library of knitting books and patterns we've been collecting! In an effort to stay better focused, I've decided to focus on four toy pattern books I've had in my stash for ages. Now the rules of the challenge haven't changed--it's still the same challenge to actually use the books, patterns, and magazines we've collected over the years! But I'm doing a little experiment to see if focusing on a smaller subset of my library will make me more successful. Fingers crossed! The other change I'll be adopting this year is posting weekly on my progress--so be sure to visit every Tuesday to see how I'm doing and to show off your own progress! (if you'd like a button to snag for your blog, feel free to snag the "Love Your Library" image on the right)

Now, on to the books! During 2015 I will be knitting out of:

This is going to be fun! Are you joining me in the 2015 Love Your Library challenge? Post a link to your blog below! Welcome aboard!
Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

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 ...