Planning For 2020

I’m a planner. I’m a color coding fool. I like to keep my thoughts and plans on paper. I get a thrill from making a list and crossing things off the list as they get done. In past years for my work life I have kept a planner that helped me from going insane or forgetting things. I think it has made me a better employee and project manager.

So this year I decided to add one for my personal life. So why wouldn’t it be knitting themed?? I did a lot of research on the internet and settled on The Knitters Planner after I saw how much Megan of the Stockinette Zombies used hers.

It was an investment for sure. There were many other options that would have been more inexpensive. But this one has space for personal tracking, knitting features and a few adds on to help my day to day crazy.

I’m only a few weeks in but I have been tracking my meal planning, downloading all of my to-dos onto paper so my brain has more space and just getting inspired for my 2020 knitting plans. I’m definitely not a full blown bullet journaler, with a full time job and two tiny humans I just don’t have the minutes in the day. And I may not get to all my goals and have to give myself some grace. But for right now I feel energized and more in control of my chaos.

What do you do to corral your chaos?

Over It

This cold and flu season has been brutal, I’m over it! My cough from before Christmas just held on and held on until I gave up and went to urgent care. After an hour and half wait I got a very tired but kind physician assistant who promptly diagnosed me with acute bronchitis. So I was sent on my way with a Z-pac, steroids and instructions to hydrate and rest.

But the good news is that I had my knitting and my ear buds to keep me company and I didn’t so much mind the wait. I listened to an entire podcast and started the ribbing on my Bullseye Vanilla socks. I had completed most of the foot watching Frozen 2 with Jellybean so I was jazzed to see I was at the cuff. I still need to go back and add the afterthought heel. But first…..medication and hot tea!

Happy Knitting!!

Wool and Waves Progress

Since re-configuring the order of my Cornbread and Honey mini skeins I have been encouraged to pick up my Wool and Waves more. I have now added in the second mini skein. I did make the executive decision to not finish the first full mini and to add the second mini at a strategic place in the pattern. I might save a little from each mini to add to my memory blanket…who knows! I also chose to fade in the color ala Andrea Mowry so that this first color change wouldn’t be so stark.

I did make one sobering realization after adding the second mini. Since I was adapting the pattern to fit my needs I hadn’t really read the pattern in detail. I am pretty sure after a more careful examination that this pattern calls for yarn held double. And I’m only using one strand so the yardage the pattern calls for might be wildly different from how I’m using it. Meaning, I possibly wont’ get through all my colors.

The shawl is still very pretty and I have decided to roll with it. I’m already adapting the pattern anyway I will just see where my yardage takes me and I will figure it out when I get there!

Happy Knitting!!

Teal Torch Knits 12 Days of Christmas

Man….January is getting away from me!  I opened a box on my office desk at home and saw the beauty that was my Teal Torch Knits 12 days of Christmas advent. I haven’t been able to put it away since opening the last box because I just love it so much!

This was my second “advent” calendar of 12 minis. I didn’t have the budget on hand this summer to buy a full 24 skein advent from any one dyer but I did manager to sleuth out two 12 skeins advents for less than price of a full one. And boy did this one not disappoint!I keep smelling the soak and having to hid the stitch marker from my children.

Teal Torch Knits dyed their 12 day advent to be a rainbow. And not just any rainbow but a rainbow with speckles!! I have zero ideas what to knit with this one. Someone recommended the Fuss Free Festival Shawl by Louise Tillbrook. But I think I need more time to marinate on this choice.

Any good pattern suggestions from out there in blog land?

Ladders….Not The Good Kind

I have continued to pick up my Weekender and knit a few rounds at least a couple times the past week. This is good knitting for movie night with the husband because I only have to pay attention to two spots and they have stitch markers. I am now just beyond four inches done for the body. But once again that little knitter in the back of my brain was jumping up and down trying to get me to notice something…

I am getting pretty significant ladders on the other side of my slip stitch detail. Like I can see my fingers through them when I pull at the work. I am pretty sure this has something to do with my tension and I am working the slipped stitch.

Now the really big question is….how much does this bother me? You can’t really see it when the knit just hangs. But I feel like I could adjust my technique and correct for this. Am I really ready to rip back four inches of sweater body? I think I need to sleep on this one…

 

Twist Shorties

My dad is a Christmas fanatic. It’s like HIS holiday and he is about the closest thing to a real life Santa as I have met. He is pretty much in charge of our family Christmas. But this year he needed a little help. He and mom have had a lot of medical appointments all winter and then they were out of town for 10 day in California. So he let me take the reigns of Christmas shopping because there was no way he could be done before Christmas.

And I did a knitter proud. I have been wanting the ChiaoGoo shorties in the sock needles for over a year. I have seen them all over the blogs and YouTube podcasts and they looked right up my alley. I knit a lot of socks and hats and it would nice to have interchangeable to fit whatever my gauge needs are. So I went stalking the internet for a set…and I found a sale! I found HelloWeCraft on Etsy was having a sale before Christmas where the sets were 20% off and FREE SHIPPING!

So I managed to snag both the sock set and the regular set without breaking my budget. There weren’t very many left and I might have cart jacked someone. Sorry not sorry! I thus far taken them out to play with all the parts but haven’t actually used them yet. But just look at what they came with!!

I’m thinking I will use the larger needles as a carrot to finish my Weekender so I can use the small circumference to knit my sleeves without needing double points!

Did Santa bring you anything knitting related?

P.S. Santa brought my dad a new pellet grill after his 20 year old gas grill tried to burn down his porch. So Dad had a pretty good Christmas too 🙂

I Almost Forgot LMFA!

You guys…I almost forgot to tell you about something totally last minute and totally crazy I did before Christmas. I ended up needing to drive into Kansas City from Topeka to help out a friend on December 20th. I was off work anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. Well…I was scrolling Instagram earlier that morning and saw the Leading Man Fiber Arts was doing a trunk show at The Studio (a LYS) in Kansas City. A quick consultation of a map told me that I would less than 15 minutes away from my friend’s place.  So I went!

I had never been to the shop before and I was excited to meet Steve and Andy from LMFA. I watch the podcast and so I tried to hold in my inner fan girl. Well it was AMAZING. The shop had snacks, champagne cocktails and a beautiful setup. I had a wonderful conversation with Andy about their yarn and knitting in general. And I might have fallen down hard with my wallet in their yarn racks.

I picked up (from left to right):

  • Three Show Stopper mini skeins (fingering weight) in Mary’s Jam, It’s Cold Outside, and Bend & Snap
  • A Soliliquay skein (fingering weight)  in Koi Pond – this skein is over 650 yard and 100% BFL
  • A Box Office skein (100% merino in worsted) in He Will Have His Revenge
  • A Callback skein (100% merino in sport weight) in The Great Sweater Debate

I know the BFL will be at least one pair of socks. And the worsted and sport weight skeins will be hats or accessories to go with my new navy winter coat. And the minis will likely head straight for my memory blanket.

All in all I got to meet some really cool knitters, fan girl over some awesome dyers and kind of have some self care time before the hectic holidays. It was kind of perfect. 10 out of 10 would do it again!

Happy Knitting!!

Weekender Progress

I took my Weekender along with me on holiday travels. It got a fair bit of activity on it before the Arya Shawl took over my brain. I think now I have roughly three to four inches of body knit so far. That is decent progress considering last we spoke about this one I had only just connected the ribbing in the round.

Being as I’m working with Malabrigo, I am alternating skeins using a helical method. It can get kind of tangled and I have to stop every inch or so and untwist my working yarns. But I’m pretty sure that says more about my knitting skills rather than the method. With small humans in my house I have to pick up and put down my projects A LOT.

Everyone once in awhile I flip my project over to look at the “right” side. Thank goodness Andrea Mowry designed this to be worked inside out. This knitter could not purl that many stitches in the round! But I do find myself admiring the slip stitch detail on the front and back.

I do admit that I’m a little concerned that A) this Kansas winter won’t stay cold enough for long enough for me to need a worsted weight sweater and B) I won’t actually finish this till spring at this rate…oh well!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Arya Shawl

I have been knitting for at least two weeks now and I haven’t even shown you my Arya Shawl that was my self indulgent cast on for Christmas Eve! Christmas was a lot of work this year and so I found myself in my childhood home at 10 pm on Christmas Eve having just played Santa.

The fire was roaring and The Woolslayers had just dropped a new episode on YouTube. In hindsight knowing how Christmas morning turned out…I should have been sleeping. But I pulled out my project and poured myself a glass of wine. I knit for a full hour and fifteen minutes and enjoyed the hell out of every minute.

I managed to get the first chart done in one sitting. I’m using my Chubbs and Squeak DK from my visit to Twisted in Portland. It really is a joy to work with so far. And I honestly had to sit down and really learn the centered double decrease. I have never truly worked it correctly until now. The pattern is amazingly detailed and while it took me a few tries I managed to get on board.

I couldn’t help but take one last photo before bed in front of the tree. It was the calm before the storm and I am continually glad I have knitting. I’m pretty sure I would be a basket case by now without it. I’ll try to get my act in gear and take updated photos of this project. I have worked through several charts and have added the second color in by now.

Happy Knitting!!

Advent Reconfigured

I kind of hit stopping point on my Wool and Waves shawl. I just found myself staring at the minis as they dyer had ordered them. Something was niggling away at the back of my brain that made me not want to pick up this project. I will also note that my knitting mojo has kind of taken a hit post-holidays. I think between festivities and three rounds of the stomach virus through my house….this girl is just tired.

But I digress, pictured below is the order the dyer intended. I just don’t like the brown speckled skein in 8th position. And I think the two blue/teal skeins before it should be reversed. It was at this point that I realized I’m the boss of my own knitting and I can do as I darn well please.

So I reorganized like this…..

I think the colors achieve the fade much more like I really want. Each mini has an aspect of the skein before and after it. And I feel like I’m reengaged with this project and ready to knit more. Time will tell…..I’m also addicted to my Christmas Eve cast on. There’s only so many minutes this working momma has to knit in a given day so it’s hard choices all around.

Happy Knitting!!