feels like deja vu

I kind of feel like I'm in a holding pattern this month. Since I'm picking up the same projects over and over again, yet not knitting enough to make much progress, it feels like a constant state of deja vu. I keep thinking I'm forgetting some project I should be writing about .... nope, just too little knitting time this month to get these finished! My second garter squish is thisclose to being done though. I'm in the homestretch on that one! And after finishing the rainbow rothko mitts I cast on immediately to make another set to use up the leftovers from my yarn club kit. I'm calling these my "reverse Rothko's" since the original pattern colors are in reverse order. Going more simplistic with these ones too, omitting the beginning and ending contrast stripe.

Love Your Library, vol. 13

So earlier this month I eased back into my Love Your Library challenge by knitting a pattern I'd been gifted earlier this year (my slip-zag cowl). This week I'm finally back into the swing of things with a pattern that truly qualifies for the challenge, being purchased last year. This is a repeater for me--I've knit this pattern before, and when I did it was for a knitting swap partner and I swore I'd knit it again. Now is the time! The pattern is Riverbank, and it is easy, fun, and makes a fabulous cowl. I'm using MadTosh Merino DK for the first time (colorway: firewood). It feels like butter and I love this colorway!

What are you working on this week for your personal challenge? As the craziness of spring winds down, I'm looking forward to summer and time to re-focus on this challenge!

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Love Your Library, vol. 12

I thought this week would be a good time to address this month's prompt:

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.

When I was seriously yarn dieting, I had an "a-ha" moment that made me realize why my stash was growing and growing and growing, and why I was neglecting the amazing yarn I'd already purchased. And that realization was that my creative process was backward. Well, maybe not backward, but ordered such that my current stash of yarns was acknowledged last (if at all). Here's how my creative process used to work:
  1. Browse the interwebz, read knitting magazines/blogs/websites, look at Ravelry's hot right now pattern page .... see something AMAZING! Decide that I MUST MAKE IT NOW!!
  2. Look at the pattern's yarn requirements. Go directly to one of several of my favorite online knitting stores and daydream about making the project with various different yarn options they have in stock.
  3. Fall in love with a yarn I see online and decide I HAVE TO DO THIS PROJECT with THIS YARN. Yes, MUST.
  4. Purchase said yarn.
  5. Purchase said pattern.
  6. If I'm lucky, cast on right away. If stars are aligned, actually knit until I finish the project. (this almost never happens)
  7. Reality: Realize that I have ____ number of ______ I need to make with an upcoming deadline. Decide my beautiful MUST MAKE project needs to patiently wait until my obligation knitting is done.
  8. Time passes. Repeat process with new shiny patterns. Dig through stash two (or more) years later and remember the beautiful MUST HAVE project I'd planned. Feel guilty. 
  9. Rinse and repeat.
So basically, once I purchased yarn I either cast on right away, or it would enter the black hole of guilt. I was NEVER looking in my stash to see if I already had yarn that would work for the current shiny project I was attracted to, partially because that wasn't my process and also because that yarn was "dibbed" by another pattern already. When I did my strict zero-yarn purchases diet for six months last year, it forced me to turn my process upside down. I was afraid that the thrill would be gone--it is super exciting to browse and daydream and purchase something EXCITING NEW! Luckily, I was wrong. I discovered that it was just as thrilling to find the PERFECT PATTERN for yarn I already have, and I still felt that thrill I got from purchasing new yarn. So here's what I try to do now:
  1. Dig through stash on a more regular basis. Discover a PRECIOUS skein of something AMAZING. Decide that I'm not going to wait a second longer to knit with it.
  2. Hop on Ravelry and look up said yarn. Look at what projects other people make with it.
  3. Fall in love with a project idea. Purchase pattern.
  4. Hopefully cast on ASAP.
So what's missing from this process??? My library. I need to add "search my library first" step in there, and I will have hit the perfect trifecta of using stash yarn, using library patterns, and eliminating any crafting-related guilt forever. Teehee. Right? 

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mitt mania

My fingerless mitten mania continues. After I weighed my finished Rothko mitts, I was shocked to realize that they only used 48 grams of sock yarn. And then my mind started churning, since I have a tiny stash of sock leftovers that are right around 35-40ish grams ... and with a little creative color combining, that means I have the materials for many great pairs of mitts! So these use the same pattern as the Rothko mitts, but with the exception of me knitting them with a scale on hand to make sure I left an equal amount of yarn leftover for the second mitt. The yarn you may recognize as leftovers from both my rainbow socks and my grapevine crosshatch lace socks from several years ago. These were gifted to one of my knitting circle friends who is getting married and moving away and all kinds of exciting life changes. And yes, I already have another pair of these on the needles. I'm using up the rest of the fibre space club kit, just reversing the color order this time!

The second garter squish blanket is still growing, too. I'm about half-way done at this point. Still loving it, even though it looks soooo different than the first one I made! I'm quickly learning that when I'm tired and crazy busy, I find endless garter stitch and knitting stockinette in the round to be really, really soothing. As in, I totally crave it soothing. I have some socks that are in progress, but I keep finding myself reaching for this in progress garter squish blanket or casting on for yet another pair of fingerless mittens. It just feels soooo good to work on both right now. My unofficial goal is to finish this before the end of May, since I know that once the humidity really hits here my desire to work with a blanket will be zilch!

Love Your Library, vol. 11

Finally, a finish!! Too bad it's a pattern I acquired this year, so technically not a qualifier for this challenge, but then again--a success that I knit it within the same calendar year of acquiring it, correct? Ay yi yi.

Pattern: Slip-zag (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: size 10 Addi turbo's (one size larger than the pattern calls for)
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in Apricot and Fuschia
Mods: I used an entire skein of fuschia, so that required me to stop the pattern earlier than called for on the Apricot-dominant side (used approximately 2/3 of the Apricot skein). Honestly, I love it even better this way. I like a good 1/3-2/3 division, I believe we learned this design principle as "the rule of 3s" in my old photography classes! This yarn is sooo buttery soft, it's just heavenly as a cowl and next to your skin! I was able to triple wrap this if I really needed to protect my neck from the cold, so this is a generous double-wrap.

How's your month going? I've temporarily lost the toy mojo I started this year with. That's okay, I'm sure it will return eventually!

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it's groooowing!

Look at this baby grow! Still obsessed with this project. It is just so addicting to see how fast it takes to move on to a new skein and color combination! I was worried it would be slower, since I went down a needle size this time (decided that the garter loops were a bit too loose on the first one, so went down to size 13 needles). Nope!

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 ...