Happy new year, friends!
Being inspired really challenges me to grow and develop. 2017 was definitely a year for me to step back and find balance. To assess what inspires me and weed out all the things that caused me overwhelm or stole away time from what mattered. Did I learn a lot! About myself and about how I react to or process things that influence me.
While there is no magic formula, I’ve benefitted from goal setting and actually following through. Looking back at what has worked over the past year, makes me want to do more of the same going forward. For what hasn’t gone to plan, learning how to make it better rather than looking back with regret is key. I’m not one for making resolutions, but I’m definitely keen on making this year a good one.
Here’s to an inspired 2018! I’m celebrating with rainbow bunting 🙂
Do you feel it? That nip in the air. This can only mean PSL season, right? I’m not a huge fan of that particular brew, but a pumpkin-spiced candle is totally my jam.
With the cooler temps, the draw towards wooly things is pretty strong. I don’t need another cardigan, but a handknit cardi? Sign me up! This year I took the plunge and joined the #jojifallkal2017. For my muggle friends, that’s the annual fall knit-along hosted by knitwear designer extraordinaire, Joji Locatelli. I’ve joined with not one, but two projects. Yes, I surprise myself and also, I may have been over ambitious when I signed up. Let’s not dwell on that 🙂
My first project is Old Romance. This sweater is feminine and sweet with the lace detailing in the sleeves. The drape is comfortable and flattering. This pattern is almost seamless although, you graft the sleeves and my grafting skills are pretty iffy so the verdict is still out on that front.
I’m knitting this one in Tosh Merino Light. So soft and cushy. I thought that once I finish the lace panels, this project would become boring but the construction keeps it interesting, which is splendid.
Waiting in the sidelines is my second project for this KAL. Little Boxy for my (not so little) girl. She picked out the yarn from Sweet Fiber Yarns when we went to Knit City. This was her first time at a yarn festival and she loved it all!
Let me just gush for a moment. My daughter learned to knit last year and turns out she’s really good at it. She’s already diving into my stash bins and I’m only too happy to oblige! For this pullover, she picked a yarn base that I love working with, Super Sweet Sock from Sweet Fiber. It’s the blue yarn in this basket of loveliness!! I’m sure she will want to help a lot with getting this pullover done before the deadline.
Sweater weather is here. Bring on the knitting!
Fast forwarding through my camera roll seems to be the only way to play catchup! Because, October is here! As I flipped the calendar to a new month, I realized that so many events and life changes have taken place this year.
Time to pause and reflect and document these memories. After all, the best thing about memories is making them.
Spring… a distant memory
A new chapter begins
I heart you, summer
Flower power, a summer staple
Magical evening light
I’ve got some lovely, cozy things on my needles. I’ll post more about that in a few days!
Isn’t October just perfect?
One evening last week, I was waiting for my daughter to finish Girl Guides and like so many other waiting moms, I popped into the local coffee shop for a drink. I was happy that I’d remembered to grab my knitting before I left the house because knitting and Starbucks are the perfect duo.
Deep in knit mode, I noticed the person sitting at the table next to me staring at my hands with curiosity. I knew a question about what I was doing would be forthcoming. You know, typical questions the muggles ask when they see you knitting in public. Like, was I crocheting or was this knitting? Did my grandma teach me to knit? Do I make all my kids’ sweaters and socks? Don’t I think wool is itchy? If you’re a knitter, I bet you have heard all these before and maybe even a few more. Nope, she didn’t ask me any of that. All she said was, “Glacier?”
My current project on the needles is this lace shawl. The yarn I’m using is Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles. The colorway… wait for it… Glacier!!
Whoa, that lady knows her yarn! We got gabbing about yarny stuff. Turns out she’s from out of town visiting her daughter and like me, she’s a craft addict 🙂
I love the unexpected connections you make with others when you least expect it!
**Linking up at Frontier Dreams for Crafting On**
Uh-huh, I’ve jumped on one. Specifically, the Find Your Fade bandwagon.
I began this project because I had this one skein of yarn that I wanted to use. It was too loud and crazy on its own but paired with others, it sings a beautiful tune!
The search on Ravelry and Instagram began. Who am I kidding, it was mostly the gorgeous renditions on Insta beckoning me. Sold!!
I was casting on before I’d thought this through. Hello, 233 stitches wide and a wingspan of 6 feet! I didn’t dwell on those details.
I’m past the halfway mark and I have every intention of finishing it. But, if I am being totally honest, my interest is waning. As I pack on the rows into this shawl, I’m realizing that the finished piece is going to be nothing short of massive. Will I use it very much? Probably not. But lookit… so purdy!
The color morphing with the delicious Hedgehog Fibres yarn I’m using has me adding a few rows to my Fade each day. I’m at section 8 with 5 more to go. Then I can cast off and clear out some floor space to block this ginormous thing!
I have always loved color. Especially the big, bold, bright ones! My daughter is the same. She embraces color and always picks the bright (sometimes neon) shirt over the neutral one. She’s nine and so this is totally understandable… rainbows, unicorns and all that! I found this incredible skein of sportweight yarn that had these multidimensional colors while still being sort of tonal. I was in love!
I wanted to make something with this yarn before Christmas and it had to be for my color-loving girl. I was flipping through my copy of “Journey”, a knitwear collaboration by designers, Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook, and there it was, a pattern that would be perfect for this yarn.
The Spate fingerless mitts.
I had the pattern and the yarn and then I cast on and did a total number on it! The fingerless mitts in the book are knit in a neutral, worsted weight yarn. I had this colorful, sportweight yarn! I threw caution to the wind, didn’t test gauge and just cast on for the extra small size. I even went down a needle size or two. What a rebel!!
And the end result…
These fingerless mitts turned out the perfect size for my daughter’s hands. I love the texture of the stitch pattern. The thumb opening was modified a bit so that it was snug and I stuck with the same needles throughout.
I finished them just before Christmas and she was delighted to find them under the tree!
She loves them and they have been really useful for her busy little hands doing all.the.things that 9 year olds do when it is still freezing outside.
This picture cracks me up… on that incredibly cold day, after I finished taking pictures of her brother’s hat, I got to her shooting her mitts. At this point, she couldn’t quite feel her finger tips and the whining ensued, “Mama, my fingers… where are they?” Ah, the things we make others do for our craft 😀
Spate (Ravelry notes)
Pattern: Spate by Jane Richmond from “Journey“
Yarn: Tosh Sport in “Cactus Flower”
Needles: Size US 6 / 4 mm
** Linking up with Keep Calm Craft On and Finish It Friday **
It must still be winter because I’m all about the knitting 🙂
Curled up in my knitting spot with soft wool running through my fingers, looping the yarn round and round the needles, creating something squishy and warm. Most definitely a soothing and comforting pastime.
When we had our big snowfall in December, I cast on and finished a hat in a few evenings!
This one to be specific. The Barley hat by the lovely team at Tin Can Knits. It’s a great project that goes super quick on and off the needles.
I knit this as a Christmas present for my son, so there was a bit of a time crunch. Still so very enjoyable. I’d love to make one in a bright color for my daughter with a big, fluffy pompom. However, for this particular hat, it was all about the moody grey yarn.
Love this colorway!
The pattern is written for a worsted weight yarn and my son doesn’t like heavy wool hats, so DK was the obvious choice for this project. I used a skein from my hoarded bin of Tosh DK. The result is this squishy hat, with the perfect slouch factor for my boy. It’s been cold enough this winter for him to actually use it every day. Yesss!
I love projects that practically knit themselves. Barley is one of those. Getting this thing blocked and dry though, took forever! The pattern is sized from baby to Large, so you can make a whole whack of hats in a very short time.
We took these photographs on a freezing cold day and so I knew I had to be double quick 😉 “Mama, are you done picture taking yet? I think I have frost bite!!”
Barley (Ravelry notes)
Pattern: Barley by Tin Can Knits from the “Simple Collection“
Yarn: Tosh DK in “Tern”
Needles: Size US 7, 8 / 4.5, 5 mm
** Linking up at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On **
The days leading up to the holidays are a perfect time for allowing the creative juices to flow. It’s the lull before the whirlwind that is Christmas. There are no chores out in the garden, Thanksgiving is done, the tree is up and daylight savings is in full effect. It’s time to indulge in creativity that warms you inside and out.
Time to bake, to simmer delicious soups, to curl up with a good book, to knit, to drink copious amounts of tea, to indulge in some slow handstitching. The perfect winter creative list.
Slowing things down is so good and necessary. During my pre-Christmas pause, I found a sweet pattern that I had to make. The pattern is from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas called the Jolly Wee Elf. Churchmouse is the most adorable yarn shop ever. Located on Bainbridge Island, it is a must-see if you are ever in the Seattle area, even if you aren’t a knitter.
The unique details in this pattern make such a cute little elf.
I used Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool in a woodland color theme for this little guy. Jamieson & Smith have such an awesome array of colors in their 2 ply jumper weight yarn. I must make him some friends because he looks a little bit lonely all by himself.
It is a great project that you can finish in a really short time and is fantastic to use up little scraps of yarn from your stash. Once I finished his arms following the pattern instructions, it’s like his personality came alive! The pattern gives instructions for two sizes, I made the smaller of the two.
It’s January now. The tree is taken down and the ornaments put away for another year. But I think I’ll let this Jolly Wee Elf hang out with me a little while longer. He is warm in his scarf on the snowdrifts. Yes, we still have snow on the ground!! So very strange for us west coast folk.
Indulging in an evening of creative whimsy with this little elf definitely brought a smile to my face 🙂
Jolly Wee Elf (Ravelry notes)
Pattern: Jolly Wee Elf by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
Yarn: Jamieson & Smith 2 ply in 202, FC38 and FC12
Needles: Size US 2 / 2.75 mm
** Sharing over on Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Friday **
Happy New Year dear friends! I hope your year is filled with plenty of joy, fun and creativity!!
So 2017 is here and it’s time to focus. While 2016 was a year of tremendous growth both personally and for my family, I sort of lost my way in documenting and sharing the joys, accomplishments and struggles. While I try to savor the memories of good times and learn from experiences that were tough, I realize that keeping a record is a great way to reflect and improve. Onward with the new.
Speaking of new experiences, out here on the west coast we’ve gotten used to the grey, moody days that are typical of a Vancouver winter. This is a temperate rainforest after all! But this past December has been a first for us since we moved to Vancouver with all. the. snow!!!
We decided to brave the frigid outdoors and go for a walk on New Years Day. 10 minutes in and we were racing back to the car dreaming of piping hot soup. Now I get what the fuss wind chill is all about. Unless it’s absolutely essential to walk outside, you will find me in hibernation mode!
I’m seriously longing for milder temperatures and dare I say in a loud whisper… rain!
But really, the snow has made this winter feel magical and for the first time ever the Christmas songs we hear on repeat over the holidays have been true. Winter Wonderland? Check and check!
I made a few warm and cozy things over the holidays. They were quick, satisfying projects and kept my fingers toasty 🙂 I’ll share my makes soon.
Here’s to many magical moments this coming year for all of you ✸
I was asked by Yarn Canada to review some Red Heart Scrubby yarn they sent me. I have to confess, I have never knit with Red Heart yarn before let alone, a yarn that looked ‘scratchy’. But, I was ready for the challenge!
As you can see, it says that this yarn is great for dishcloths, right on the ball band. I wanted to test out that claim.
I received three different colored balls of Scrubby and I could knit or crochet a simple square with the different colors to test this yarn. But I wanted something “funner” 🙂 I looked online and found this interesting pattern for a Tawashi.
To make a Tawashi, you knit or crochet a small rectangle on the bias. You do this by decreasing stitches on one end and increasing them on the other end of alternate rows. A parallelogram-shaped piece of knitted fabric is the result. I used a combination of cheerful pink and bright green to knit my first Tawashi. It went rather quickly on the needles.
Next, I used this pattern for a more Christmassy-looking Tawashi.
I thought that this yarn would be really hard on the hands. If it can get tough grease and grit off dirty dishes, it can surely shred ones fingers. But none of that happened and my fingers are intact. The yarn is very different to the touch, I’ll give you that. But it doesn’t feel plasticky at all neither does it have that overpowering chemical smell that tends to accompany some acrylic yarns. I was pleasantly surprised!
Time for the true test. How does it work on getting dirty dishes clean. Pretty good actually! I didn’t have to pre-soak the dishes for ages or use too much elbow grease and they came out looking sparkly clean.
Verdict :: this is a great yarn for dishcloths. A cute little stack of these will be a great addition to a gift basket for a housewarming party or Christmas.
Given that this yarn is textured, a stitch pattern other than garter stitch or stockinette, isn’t going to show up. Also, if you make a mistake while you are knitting/crocheting, chances are no one will see it so just keep soldiering on and don’t attempt to rip out your work. This yarn is definitely fudge-friendly and can hide a multitude of errors 🙂
Celebrate handmade with these cute Tawashi scrubbies!
This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Yarn Canada. Skeins were received for review purposes. Views expressed here are my own.