Friday, April 21, 2017

Oops, I Cast On Again


My Corrine is moving along nicely, even though I managed to get...distracted. I've had a skein of SRK On Your Toes Bamboo in my stash for ages, and I've never been quite sure what to do with it. This week I had the thought that I just might be able to squeeze a crop top from one skein, and I promptly did some math to figure out knitting Zinone at a slightly larger gauge.

So now it would appear that I've saddled myself with two yarn chicken projects, because of course the On Your Toes is discontinued as well (I keep imagining that someday there won't be any discontinued yarns in my stash, but I know that is but a false hope).

I always get super into knitting warm-weather tops, so I'm sure I'll accidentally cast on quite a few more over the next few months. I have tons of patterns and yarns lined up for lighter knits, and I'd definitely love to make a dent in my stash and queue before the cold weather sets back in and it's all sweaters all the time for this girl.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm Not Sure if it's Going to Be Enough


As I was trying to take today's picture, I realized that black is the absolute worst color for blog photographs. I apologize for this, but hopefully we shouldn't be stuck with black WIP photos for too long, because Corrine is really zooming along. I've finished the back piece, and the front shouldn't take more than a couple of days, and then I'll be at the fun lace side panels.

I am getting nervous about my yardage- the back ended up using just over two of my seven balls. I'm already planning on making my sleeves shorter than the sample's, but I'd still like for them to be around elbow-length. Of course I'm using discontinued yarn, and of course there's none listed on Ravelry as trade/sell, so I've got to work it out with what I've got.

I also started my best friend's wedding present over the weekend as well- the wedding is less than two months away now, but her thing is so pleasant that it's going quickly, despite the fact that I'm only actively knitting it sporadically. I plan to keep doing so throughout the TTTKAL, and then I'll devote myself to banging out the rest of the wedding present.

Monday, April 17, 2017

TTTKAL-ing


Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend- the state ended up giving us Friday off, which was just what I needed. We had a couple of good thunderstorms, including ten minutes of the biggest hail I've ever seen in this part of the country. We did some garden prep, watched movies, and I knit a lot, so it was pretty much a perfect weekend.

I finished my Drift Crop Top on Friday night, and I need to get pictures for you all, because it is exactly what I hoped for. I'm so pleased. My attention is now turned to Corrine, and I'm loving knitting this up. I wear a lot of black, but I haven't actually knit much (any?) black things, so when I found this bag of yarn at the thrift store I was thrilled. It's a bamboo-soy blend, and is about the slinkiest thing I've ever knit with.

I have just enough yarn, so I might end up shortening the sleeves a little bit- we'll have to see how the body goes. I have several more summer knits I want to do this year, so I definitely want to get this one finished during the KAL. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as the summer 2016 Holla Knits collection dropped, and I know I'm going to love wearing it!

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

TTTKAL Time!


Just as I was starting to wonder when it was going to be time for the TTTKAL, Shannon announced the dates, and I'm so pumped! I did this KAL last year for the first time, and it really is a ton of fun. I love me some warm-weather knitted tops, and this KAL is the perfect excuse for me to take some time to pound some out as well as check out everyone else's projects and see some patterns that I may have missed before.

I'm entering with Drift, which is pretty close to being done- it just needs a few more inches on the body and whatever I decide to do for sleeves- and I've also cast on a Corrine (which might need to be restarted because I didn't swatch because the back piece starts out small enough to count as a swatch), and I have yarn ready for Route 1 if I have time. Last year I finished two tops for this KAL, while also working on my Nusa and Que Sera, so I think I might be able to get all these tops done. I'm also really looking forward to pounding out some stuff just for me once I'm finished with Chaverim.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Cropping Along


After some back and forth, I decided to just bring my Drift Crop Top along to this weekend's show choir competition, and I'm really glad I did. The plain stockinette ended up being just what I needed, especially once  the room got really crowded and loud. We ended up taking home the state championship for our division, which is super exciting and well-deserved. Our choir and band work really hard and put on a great show, so it's great to see that paying off for them.

My Chaverim sample is almost done- I have just the cuff of the second sleeve left, which should only take a couple of evenings to finish- and I have most of a first draft of the pattern written, so I'm really pleased with where that's sitting. I have a long weekend coming up, so hopefully I'll be able to get the sweater finished and the pattern ready for tech editing by next week!

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Second Sleeving


The second sleeve of my Chaverim sample is coming along nicely, and I'm starting to think about some summer knits. The TTTKAL is coming up soon, and I definitely want to knit something for that, but I also have another big project looming as soon as Chaverim is off the needles.

My best best friend is getting married in just over two months, and I need to get started on her wedding present. Longtime readers know that I knit all my friends a white lace table runner for their weddings, and I feel like I'm starting to tempt fate by not having started this one yet. I do have all the yarn wound and the pattern picked out and printed, but I have not yet cast on, and I'd been planning on holding off on starting it until I was finished with Chaverim.

This weekend is the final Show Choir weekend, and this competition's six hours away, so I might pack the wedding gift for car knitting, but we'll have to see how I'm feeling about the state of the Chaverim sample. Since finishing that first cuff I'm even more in love with this sweater than I was before, and I can't wait to have everything finished so I can start wearing it everywhere!

Monday, April 3, 2017

And There's a Sleeve


This weekend was all about catching up on stuff, and while I'm not quite where I want to be, I'm definitely more caught up than I was last week. I got the first sleeve of Chaverim finished, and I am so pleased with it. This is really the most fun part of the sweater, and I'm just absolutely tickled with how it turned out. I wanted the cuff to look like a huge stack of friendship bracelets, and I think that's exactly what it looks like.

The second sleeve is moving along nicely- I picked up the stitches last night before bed and managed to knit an inch or so before I passed out. I'm hoping to get the sweater totally done this week, but we'll have to see how that works out. The cuffs are a bit fiddly and time consuming with the color changes, but it's so worth it, even if it makes the sweater not very portable for the final stages. I didn't manage to get a pattern draft written before my vacation the other week, so that's my goal for this weekend.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, March 31, 2017

WIP: Guernsey Wrap


I brought one other project with me when I went to visit my friends last weekend- longtime readers might remember that these friends brought me back some gorgeous Donegal Tweed from their trip to Ireland a couple years ago. It's been sitting in my stash since  then while I tried to figure out what exactly to make with it. I finally decided that it would be perfect as a Guernsey Wrap, and I cast on the day before I left.

I was a bit nervous working with this at first- it's a single ply, and a bit thick and thin, and it broke several times during the cast on. Fortunately, that seems to have been a result of my propensity for tight cast-ons, and I haven't had any issue with it since then.

I've made it through two repeats of the first chart so far, and I'm loving it so much. We're definitely coming to the part of the year when I won't need a big cozy wrap, but I'm still super excited to have this great memento of my friends' trip!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I'm Back!


Hello, friends! I am back and I had an amazing time in the cities. My friends and I watched cheesy 90's movies, did arts and crafts, ate pizza, went to the Arboretum, and all sorts of other shenanigans. It was a really great trip, and I got quite a bit of new knitting done.

I brought two new projects with me, so I'd have an easier one and a more challenging one. This is my easier project: a crop top version of Drift. As soon as I got past the yoke on my first Drift, I knew I wanted a short sleeved and cropped version. I mentally assigned this yarn to it pretty quickly-it's Colinette Jitterbug, and I had a skein and a half sitting in my stash waiting for destiny. The half skein is quite a bit darker than this full skein, so once I get to the stockinette part I'm going to start alternating them so I don't end up with a big colorblock.

I have about two more repeats in the yoke left on this, and once I get to the underarms it will go really quickly. Every year at the end of winter I start craving more warm-weather knits, so it'll be nice to have this ready for summer. Since I'm back home now, my little Drift Crop Top will have to get put on the back burner while I finish Chaverim, but it's such a charming little knit that I hope to be back to work on it very soon.

Linking up with KCCO

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Prepping for Go


Hi friends! I leave tomorrow for my vacation to the cities, so  there won't be posts on Friday or Monday, but I'll be back in a week with tales of adventure and hopefully a nice pile of bus knitting.

I've been keeping on with the first sleeve on Chaverim, and it's going more quickly than I anticipated, which is always refreshing. I'm almost to the bit where it gets really fun, so that will be waiting for me when I get back. As will a new ball winder, hopefully- I ordered it yesterday, and hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on out and I'll have a pattern ready for you all in April.

I'm still in the middle of Pandemic, but I decided to bring a few poetry books on vacation with me- firstly, because they're a bit lighter and easier to carry than a hardcover, and secondly because I have more than a couple dozen poetry books out from the library right now and I need to get some returned. Someday I'll learn how to show restraint in the library, but apparently it's not going to be any time soon.

Monday, March 20, 2017

On to a Sleeve


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was very busy- I almost feel like I need another one! Fortunately, I have a short week this week because I'll be visiting my friends in the cities, and I'm really looking forward to that.

I finished the collar of my Chaverim on Friday night, and realized that I hadn't calculated the sleeves yet, so I ended up leaving it home on Saturday and bringing along a couple of other projects to work on in the car and during the show choir showcase. It was a nice break, and I'm hoping to get this sleeve half done before I leave in a few days. I'm going to need to wind one more skein of this yarn to finish the sleeves, but that will have to wait for now. Sadly, I dropped a picture frame on my ball winder a few days ago and broke it, and I think it's not repairable, so I have to order a new one. I'm hoping it will be waiting for me when I get back from my vacation and I can get back to work.

Linking up with KCCO



Friday, March 17, 2017

Cephalopods!



Hey, look! I crocheted a thing! My octopus is finished and it has eyes and I am absolutely thrilled with how it came out. It still doesn't have a name- I've been calling it Octopus for the time being, and I'm afraid it's going to stick (I have a stuffed tortoise that I've been calling Turtle for eight years now), but I haven't completely given up on finding a good name.

I crocheted this following Leah's Realistic Crochet Octopus pattern to go with her Realistic Squid sample that I adopted. Now, crochet and I have a tenuous relationship. Crochet generally makes me say some very unkind and vile words (this coming from a girl who got called out for her language by a bartender) and I usually only do it when I really want the FO and can't figure out a way to get it otherwise.

This pattern is the first crochet pattern I have ever read that did not make me cuss once when I was crocheting it. I did not think one unkind thought towards Leah or towards the project itself. It is so clearly written and approachable that I actually enjoyed every part of it. I didn't even know it was possible to enjoy crocheting, but here we are.


Ravelry Page: Octopus
Pattern: Realistic Crochet Octopus by Leah Coccari-Swift

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yarn Along


It's a good thing that the collar only needs five more rounds, because I'm running out of ways to photograph a white blob, and I'm sure you're all sick of looking at it. The good news is, I have a real, honest-to-goodness FO to share on Friday, and I'll have tons of knitting time this weekend, so hopefully the next time you see Chaverim it'll be looking pretty different.

I'm still trucking along on the tidying front, and it's really starting to wear on me. My room looks like a herd of cocaine-fueled rock-star-wannabe frat boys went on a rampage. But at least my closet is somewhat organized. I'm also using this cleaning bender as an opportunity to check my stash for wee beasties, which probably wasn't the best idea.

I'm still reading Pandemic, but I've got some poetry books lined up for car reading this weekend too. I have way too many library books checked out right now, and I really ought to get some finished and returned. I'm hoping that Sunday can be a lazy day and I can get some reading done, but there's just too many books and not enough hours in the day!

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, March 13, 2017

Adding a Collar


Well, my Chaverim sample is looking a bit different, isn't it? I finished the body Friday evening, and picked up stitches all around for the collar. I'm a little more than halfway through the collar now, and hopefully I'll get the first sleeve started in a couple days. This next weekend is a show choir weekend, so I'll have eight hours in the car and several more hours in an auditorium to crank out some serious sleeve action.

I didn't quite manage to get everything done I'd hoped to this weekend, but I caught up on six loads of laundry, reorganized my bookshelves, organized my fabric stash, and made coffeecake without over-baking it, so I'm calling the weekend a success. I still have a bunch of tidying and cleaning to do, but I'm hoping to get short bursts done over the next couple of weeks. My goal is to have my space totally clean and organized and reset and ready to go before the spring cleaning bug hits, so then I can focus on other things around the house.

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sweater Progress and Weekend Plans


My Chaverim sample is coming along nicely- I've got ten more stockinette body rows, then I'll pick up stitches all around to do the bottom hem and neckbands in the round. Then it's on to sleevesville. I'm getting a little nervous about finishing before my arbitrary self-imposed deadline- I'm leaving to see my friends in just under two weeks, and I'm still on the body- but whatever I manage to finish before I go won't be waiting for me when I get back, so it's not like there's much at stake here.

This weekend's going to be a nice relaxing one- the next month gets kind of crazy, so I'm looking forward to doing some tidying and some baking and lots of knitting. I also started a new book this week that I'd like to finish- Pandemic, by Sonia Shah. I'd been trying to read a novel for the past few weeks and finally made it a third of the way through before realizing that I wasn't ever going to get invested or interested in it enough to make it through the next 400 pages. It's been a while since I've had to quit a book like that, but I'm zooming through this one- it's equal parts interesting and terrifying, and right up my alley.

If I'm really clever and responsible, I'll take the time to pound out a first draft of this pattern this weekend. If I don't get a draft out before I leave this to go visit my friends for a few days, it'll be so much harder to get the pattern writing gears cranking when I get back. Also, like I said, the next month's worth of weekends gets pretty busy, so if I don't do it now, I don't know when I'll get the chance to sit down and get this part done.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day to all of the magnificent, hardworking, passionate women out there! Today I decided to give a shout out to some of my favorite women around the knitting blog circuit-our community has so many incredible women in it (especially since this is such a women-heavy industry) and I definitely don't give everyone the number of shout outs they deserve!

Brandy @ brandyvdesigns.com- What's not to love? She designs gorgeous, gorgeous things, dyes incredible, playful yarns, and is a doctor (not that kind of doctor)! She even started the dyeing part of her business, Long Dog Yarns, while she was in the final stages of her PhD! I mean, if I had a tenth of the drive and time-management ability Brandy does, I can't even imagine.

Leah @ rubysubmarine.blogspot.com- Leah is a fantastic designer-some of my favorite finished objects come from her patterns-and she also has the distinct honor of writing the only crochet pattern that doesn't make me swear up a storm.

Teresa @ canaryknits.com- Teresa is Leah's partner in crime the Great Northern book, and she's a fierce designer as well. She is a crop top queen, and she's spending this year reseraching and analyzing sizing standards as part of her Knit Petite Project to help all knitters figure out their fit pitfalls and make garments that accomodate their bodies.

Cory @ blog.indieknits.com- Cory is one of the best pattern writers I've ever come across, and she is a genius at bringing dozens of sources of inspiration together into one carefully edited pattern. She also really knows how to have fun with clothes and fashion, and it was her blog that encouraged me to explore my own love of style and fashion more.

Heather @ thingsimakeplusrocks.blogspot.com- When I first met Heather in the blogosphere, she was a geologist, sewer, knitter, crocheter, and all around badass. Now she's all those things and she owns a yarn store. I don't know how she finds enough hours in the day to run a successful brick and mortar shop and sew and craft, but she does, and seeing a new post pop up or getting a message from her always puts a smile on my face.

Joan of Dark @ joanofdark.com- Joan was one of the first online knitters I ran into back in college, and she's a constant source of inspiration. She's funny, she's smart, she has amazing adorable animals, she runs a coffee shop, does roller derby and aerial lyra, and still finds time to write knitting books! Her blog and patterns really inspired me to be creative and have fun with knitting, and her general outlook on life constantly motivates me to try new things and find the things I'm really passionate about.

Holly @ sillylittlelady.wordpress.com- Holly has been my tech editor for two years now, and every day I'm thankful for her. She is better at math than I could ever hope to be, on top of just being one of the nicest people I know and an amazing designer. She's also got a crasy amount of drive-on top of designing and tech editing, she's also a realtor and avid rock climber, and her adventures always make me want to pack up and hike through a national park for a week or two.

I hope you all have a fantastic International Women's Day, and that you all have a chance to appreciate and thank some of the fantastic women in your life!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Weekending


Yup, the sweater body is growing. I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of nine inches past the underarm, out of eighteen total, and I'm  trying to keep my momentum up. I definitely needed my little crochet break this weekend, and as soon as I get eyes for him (or her), my new octopus friend will make their blog debut.

Anemone's birthday was this weekend, so I got to make a spectacular series of kitchen disasters in preparation of her birthday brunch. You know in paper towel commercials, when people don't put the lid on the mixer and stuff flies everywhere? Yeah, I did that. Flour, sugar, eggs, and butter everywhere. I was still finding spots a day later. And then I made a repeat performance the next morning while making the frosting. Powdered sugar everywhere.

But it was good to see Anemone, and we had delicious brunch and cakes, so it was all worth it. To round off the weekend, yesterday evening my mum and I made strawberry jam and I managed to not splash and burn myself horrifically, so that's nice. Although I did drop a cookie sheet on my foot and bruised it, but that's way more preferable to burning your skin off with boiling sugar, so I'll take it.

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn Along

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday I'm...Crocheting?


I know, I know. I'm a knitter. I have, at best, a tenuous relationship with crochet. I have called crochet by some very rude names, and I have used some very rude words in its presence. What on earth could move me, someone who gets so stressed out by crochet, to break out the hook?

Well, it's cephalopods.

A few weeks ago when Leah was destashing some of her old samples, I brought Mr. Squidly Big Squid into my life and home. And he's a good little buddy. But perhaps a little lonely. Cephalopods are really special, magnificent creatures, and I noticed Mr. Big Squid feeling a little out of place among Kevin the Unicorn and Turtle the Tortoise.

I've had this yarn sitting in my stash for a while, and I've been struggling with what to use it for. Sometime last week, the idea popped into my head to hold all three strands together and make a giant octopus buddy for Squidly, and last night I sat down and began doing exactly that. So far I have the head and mantle finished, and I'm about halfway done the first tentacle, so sometime this weekend my cephalopod collection will increase by one and Mr. Squidly Big Squid will have a buddy.

This pattern is beautiful so far. I haven't had any trouble following it, despite being an anti-crocheter (I did have to ask Google how to do a magic ring and an invisible decrease, but that was it), and looking ahead, there's a great photo tutorial for sewing all the octopus pieces together. So if you're into cepholopods as much as I am, Leah's crochet patterns for Squid and Octopus are the way to go!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Pattern: Brizo


Happy March! I have a new pattern out today, and I'm really thrilled with it.

Brizo is all about keeping the ocean sun and wind in the coldest, greyest days of winter. Large gauge seashell lace plays up the spirit of the beach while super bulky yarn keeps the winter chill at bay. Drape it once or wrap it twice, Brizo's got your back until beach weather returns.


I have such a love for large gauge lace-to me it's just the right mixture of pretty and funky, traditional and trendy. We all need a little brightness and cheer in the middle of winter, and a great beachy (but cozy!) cowl has been just the ticket for me.

Brizo is worked flat and grafted, and the lace pattern is both charted and written out. It's available in my Ravelry Store now.


Also, since it's Malabrigo March, all my patterns are 25% off with the code "malmarch17" The code is good all month long, and it works on all my individual patterns (including Brizo!) as well as the ebook for Granite


Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Growing Sweater


I hope you all had a good weekend! I was home with strep, which sucked, but it gave me an excuse to stay in bed all weekend and read and watch Hulu. I didn't get very much knitting done, but I've been carrying my Chaverim sample around as lunch knitting and I'm five or six inches past the underarms now.

I've joined the second ball of yarn, and everything's still going pretty smoothly. Sadly, there's not too much that's interesting about a fingering weight stockinette sweater body. I probably knit a couple thousand stitches on this over the weekend, and it doesn't really look much different than it did on Friday. C'est la vie. I'm hoping that by tracking my progress here, I'll be more motivated to make substantial progress so I don't have a ton of posts that say "I know it looks just like it did last week, but I promise there are 3,000 more stitches on there!"

Once I get through the body there's some fun stuff  that I'm really looking forward to, but I'm not going to spill too many details yet. As much as I might want to complain about knitting a mile of fingering weight stockinette, it's going to be so worth it, and I can't wait for the finished project. I've got just under four weeks left before my self-imposed deadline, and I bet I can still make it!

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, February 24, 2017

Two More Finished Projects


Happy Friday! I have TWO finished objects to share with you today! The first is my Wainthropp from the SSKAL, and I am completely in love. I managed to bind off a couple days before the deadline, and since then it's been blocked and worn to work. I'm super pleased with it, and I'm sure it's going to go in regular rotation.


I had originally planned to try to lengthen the body a little bit, but I ended up knitting the body exactly as written. I did shorten the sleeves- I usually push my sleeves up anyway, and this makes it more of a three-season sweater. I also wasn't quite paying attention when I did my buttonholes, so I have an extra one up at the top. I decided to use a contrasting button in the top spot, and I think it looks perfectly fine.


Ravelry Page: Wainthropp
Pattern: Wainthropp by Andi Satterlund
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed "25453 Prussian Heather"


Up next is my Cairn hat. I've been wanting to knit this hat since Cory's F/W 2015 collection came out, and I found this yarn in one of my favorite thrift stores sometime last year and knew that it was meant to be. And it's been sitting at the top of my to-knit pile for approximately forever until I finally decided to just knit it this month.


This was such an enjoyable knit. I love the little textured stacks and the eyelet cables. It's just as charming as I hoped it'd be, and it's definitely going to get a lot of wear. I have the yarn to knit Wayward from this collection as well, and while it's been sitting in my to-knit pile for ages as well, I'm definitely going to have to cast on for it soon. Cairn was just so engaging and enjoyable (and I know I say that about all of Cory's patterns, but by golly it's true).


Ravelry Page: Cairn
Pattern: Cairn by Cory Ellen Boberg

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FO: Amazing Technicolor Dream CYOA


Hello friends! Turns out a long weekend was just what I needed, and I did finally get caught up on FO pictures! Today is all about my Amazing Technicolor Dream CYOA/CYOA of Many Colors. Last fall I came across an old knit that just wasn't working for me. I originally planned trying to make it a more wearable cardigan, but you guys helped me come to the conclusion that this yarn really needed to be a pullover. And boy, were we all right.


Look at this. It's perfect. It's a focal piece, it's not overwhelming. It fits so well, nothing about it says "I have no clue what I'm doing." The sleeves are perfect.  The length is perfect. The neckline is perfect. I can wear it with jeans, leggings, or skirts, tucked or untucked. It is exactly the crazy multi-colored top that I needed in my wardrobe.


I'm so glad I finally found this yarn's true purpose. I actually knit my first sweater ever with this yarn, and two frogging's later I finally have just what I want. The silk content in the yarn makes this just a little nicer than my average cotton top, and I love how the colors all play together.


This time around I did alternate skeins every two rounds to help avoid pooling, and I'm so glad I did. I knit a smaller size of this tee than I did for my silver cropped version, because I wanted a more tailored look, and it's spot on. I'm really so thrilled with this, and I'm so glad I finally managed to overcome all my challenges and hesitations with this yarn to make something I really love!


Pattern: Choose Your Own Adventure Tee by Allyson Dykhuizen 
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton & Silk Hand Paint "Elements"

Linking up with Yarn Along

Friday, February 17, 2017

WIP: Father Cables


I haven't been working on my Father Cables much since I cast on Chaverim, but I pulled it out last night after I got (almost) caught up on cleaning (haha nope) as a little palate cleanser, and I'm almost ready to swap the circular out for DPNs.

I really love how this is working up so much, and the cables are a blast. This should just need another hour or so (or less) and a blocking before it's done. I'm hoping to finally catch up on FO pictures this weekend-apparently I have two sweaters, a hat, and the nearly-finished Father Cables to be photographed. So, sorry for not ever showing you guys any actual finished projects, Imma get right on that. Hopefully.

In other news, I think I'm getting sick. I'm pretty sure it's just a cold (dear god, I really hope it's just a cold), but I've had this gross cough all week and it's not going away, so I might just be staying in this weekend (barring a quick trip to the yard to take FO pictures). Clearly a few days of playing with yarn and reading and streaming old seasons of ANTM is just what I need right now.

Linking up with KCCO

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Invisible Knitting


I made some more progress on my new sweater (it's going to be called Chaverim, which is way shorter than "my new sweater," so I'm probably gonna refer to it by it's name from here on out).

"But Kat," I can hear you say, "isn't that much smaller than it was on Monday?"

Yes, friends, it is. I made it through most of the upper back before deciding that I wanted something a little different, and I ripped out and started again. It's a fact of life. I frog so you don't have to.

It's not a big change or anything, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I really wanted this to feel like it did in my head, and that meant ripping out and starting over. I'm much happier with my new plan, and I'm looking forward to working on this throughout show choir season.

Otherwise there's not too much going on here. Yesterday morning I was home with some blood sugar issues, so I got to spend half of my Valentine's Day cuddled with the dogs, which is probably the best possible way to spend Valentine's Day. (Seriously though, dogs are the best valentines. They love cuddling and you don't have to share your chocolate with them.)

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn Along

Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Sweater Hits the Needles


This weekend I finished up my Wainthropp, and it is blocking as we speak, so I cast on for a new sweater design. I had originally planned this for last year, but then Finn took forever and I got sick and it just ended up being not the right time for it after all.

This is going to be a summer sweater (which means nothing to me, since I get so hot and never wear sweaters in the summer unless I'm in my freezing cold office) and it's inspired by my years at summer camp. I loved camp so much, even though I was one of those shitty campers who whined and complained during the whole four-hour hike, but I really loved arts and crafts (surprise!), and that's kind of where this sweater stems from. But more on that later.

I'm a little more than halfway done with the upper back now. Most of this is going to be straightforward stockinette, which is perfect for this time of year because it's show choir season! I need something simple to carry around and work on in the car and in dark auditoriums, and it's gotta be something I can shove in my purse halfway through a row, and this sweater ticks all those boxes.

I'm back to working on my 10-stitch blanket in the evening, which means this sweater is lunch and purse knitting, and I'm hoping to get it finished before the end of March. I'm going up to the cities to see my best friends at the end of March, and I'd love to have this done before I go and not have to come home to an almost-finished sweater!

Friday, February 10, 2017

On Bodies, Part the Third

Apparently I talk a lot about bodies now. But I've been thinking about bodies again this week, and I realized I had more to say, so here goes.

I'm sure many of you saw Lady Gaga's incredible halftime show at Superbowl LI. It was a phenomenal performance, by one of the most talented and hardworking performers of our time, and for part of the performance Lady Gaga's un-photoshopped belly was on display. And there were some reactions to that online, and there were people saying that her belly didn't look so great, that she looked "flabby." Lady Gaga's own response to these comments is beautiful, but these comments reached farther than one person, and many people were left wondering, "If Lady Gaga is fat/flabby, what does that make me?"

I'm a member of a fitness group on Facebook, and several members started an #allbelliesarebeautiful hashtag in the group. Since I didn't see many larger bellies shared, I decided to share my belly and I was blown away with the response-my belly picture had the second-most reactions and responses out of any picture in our group. One thing that multiple people commented on was how happy and joyful I looked-I think for most people, this is one of the first times they've seen someone their size or shape post a picture of their stomachs and be openly thrilled with their appearance.

I've been open before about how I used to not love my body, and that for years I actively fought against the idea that my body was beautiful. What I haven't explicitly shared was that I struggled with disordered eating for over half my life. Starting somewhere between fourth and sixth grades, my relationship with food and my body became very damaged and unhealthy, and I let it continue that way for years. When I was diagnosed with diabetes at 18, I allowed that to justify my eating disorder, and when I was diagnosed with coeliac disease at 20 I used that as another excuse for my problems with eating.

I'm not going to go into too many details, because that's not the point of  this post, but it was only around age 23 or 24 that I was able to openly admit how bad my eating disorder was and how much anxiety I actually had around food.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to consider myself "cured" of my eating disorder. The most I can say now is that I'm in recovery. I targeted the mental aspect with a counselor and I have a great nutritionist who knows my history and works with me to understand my concerns and goals. I'm better than I was, but every day it's tempting to fall back into old habits. When I'm tired and stressed it's easy to forget that my body can only do the things it can when I take the best care of it possible. It's easy to push food to the side as distractions from whatever else I'm doing.

What I see time and time again is that people desperately want to love their bodies and they fall into the trap of thinking "I could love myself if I lost 5 pounds," or "I'd be beautiful if I was just one inch smaller." But what I hear from the responses to my belly picture and to all the belly pictures people shared is "I want to feel as beautiful and love myself as much as that person does."

What I've experienced in my life is that goals like those above keep moving just out of reach-I have a better relationship with my body and I am happier with how I look now than when I was 50 pounds lighter. And I'll reiterate that what I find the most helpful is looking at what your body can do, and how its size and shape impact that. My body knows what balance it wants to maintain to be its healthiest, strongest self, and it'll keep on just fine as long as I take good care of it-exercise when I feel sedentary, stretch when I feel tight, eat when I feel hungry, sleep when I feel tired.

Every time I get ready to hit "publish" on another bodies post, I ask myself why I do this. Bodies and body image are hard things to talk about. And as much as I feel comfortable about having a larger body and how I learned to love it, I can't speak to much thinner people. Certain things remain the same-that you should trust your body to know what's best for it, and give your body what it needs when it needs it, but I've never had people wonder if I was unhealthily skinny, and I've never dealt with some of the medical problems that plague my thin friends.

Ultimately I really do believe in body positivity and self-love. And I think most people can benefit from seeing as many people as possible say things like "I learned to love my body without changing my size at all," and "I got a new piercing/tattoo and it helped me feel ownership over my body." And I think that we in the crafting community have to be so aware of our bodies, especially when making garments, that it can exacerbate negative feelings. So, here's a friendly reminder that it's possible and okay to love your body exactly as it is, that your body is an amazing thing and does so much for you, and you deserve to feel beautiful and strong and you deserve to love yourself.


**I feel it's important to note that I am not anti-weight loss. There are dozens of reasons why people pursue weight loss, either through diet or exercise or surgery, and that is a conversation for you and your doctor only. But I do strongly feel that your own feelings of self-love and self-worth should never be dependent on your body weight/shape/size, and that is what I'm trying to combat here.**

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Selfish Sweatering Update


Happy Wednesday! Yesterday I was greeted at home by a Knit Picks box, and I'm back to work on my Wainthropp. I've finished the first sleeve and both button bands, and I've started picking up for the collar. Then it's just second sleeve island until I'm done!

I'm feeling pretty good about just squeezing this in by the KAL deadline. My knitting group is getting together Friday to try a new pub in town, and I should be able to bang out quite a bit of sleeve there. I already have my buttons picked out and set aside, so with any luck this sweater will be mostly done this weekend!

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, February 6, 2017

Hat Break


I hope you all had a good weekend! In the midst of all my sweater and blanket knitting, I was having a real hankering for a small quick project. I've had two hats in my queue for ages-Cairn and Father Cables. Over the weekend I knit up Cairn, which was just as delightful as I expected, and when that didn't quite satisfy my quick-knit-itch, I cast on for Father Cables.

I got this yarn last fall at NCFF-it's from my friend Daria of Cloud 9 Fiberworks, and it's a one-off colorway called "She's a Firecracker." I loved the bright oranges and pinks, and when I got it I knew it needed to be something textured and cabley. What I didn't realize until I started winding it up is that this skein is a whopping 145g, which means I should have enough left over for some kind of fingerless mitts too. I love the colors in this yarn so much, I definitely want as many ways to wear it as possible.

I'm still waiting for the rest of the yarn for my Wainthropp to arrive-hopefully it'll be here Wednesday or Thursday, which is still cutting it a bit too close to the KAL deadline. I'm starting to come to terms with missing that deadline in favor of having a sweater I'll love, and I'm okay with that!

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Sweater, Some Books, and a Weekend of Plans


I've been working on my Wainthropp again this week. I've ordered two more balls of yarn, and they shipped on Wednesday, so hopefully they'll arrive here and I'll be able to finish this before the KAL ends on the 14th. If not, I'll be okay, I just need to keep the momentum going through that second sleeve and the rest of the button bands.

I've also been reading a lot this week. I just finished When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain, which was a fun quick read, and now I'm working through The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America. This one's a bit heavier, but it's really interesting. I've always been interested in end of life care and how we approach death, and so far this book is a really good, thoughtful exploration of that.

I've got a couple of fun things this weekend-tonight I'm grabbing dinner with some work friends, tomorrow I'll finally be able to make it to knit group (I only manage to go every few meetings, but I'm really looking forward to it this week), and tomorrow night is my town's annual Dolly Disco, which is a Dolly Parton-themed roller disco to benefit the Imagination Library. Y'all, my town is actually the coolest. I'm also hoping to catch up on some design work-I've let myself really get out of the swing of that, and I have a couple of patterns to write up.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

An Art Break


Yesterday I had to go to the city for an appointment, and I decided to go look at the art galleries in one of the cultural centers. I feel that it's important to take breaks to notice and appreciate beautiful and thought-provoking things, and yesterday I desperately needed a break from some of the things going on in my country and the world.

The biggest show that was currently on display was Gone West by T.L. Solien. I hadn't been familiar with Solien's work before, but this show was gorgeous-I want to go back and look at some of these again! Two of my favorites (although it's hard to pick favorites) were "Composition in Black and White" and "Water Lilies."

There were a few other smaller galleries open, and it felt wonderful to just be around art for a while. It felt like a breath of fresh air, and I know it was good for me to step away for a little bit. Because I spent the whole day in the city, I didn't get much knitting done yesterday, but I did get the rest of the yarn for my 10-stitch blanket and buttons for my Wainthropp, and hopefully today I'll get some good progress made on both of those.

Monday, January 30, 2017

One Sweater Done, Another One Going


For those of you following along at home, I did finish my Amazing Technicolor Dream CYOA on Friday, exactly two weeks after casting on, and I am thrilled with it. True to form, I completely neglected to take pictures of it over the weekend, so hopefully there'll be some sun after work this week so I don't have to wait until next weekend to get photos.

Since then, I've picked up my SSKAL Wainthropp again, and I've started the bottom ribbing. I originally thought I'd have enough yarn for elbow-length sleeves, but it's starting to look much closer than that. I'm pretty sure I'll need to order another ball of yarn, which means I'll probably miss the KAL deadline, but these things happen. I'm super excited for this sweater, and I'm so glad I decided to jump into this KAL, so it's still a win for me.

Friday, January 27, 2017

So Close


For a brief moment last night, my Amazing Technicolor Dream CYOA wasn't on the needles. I finished the second sleeve, and it was, for all appearances, done.

Clearly, that's not the case anymore.

As I was nearing the end of the second sleeve yesterday, I considered how much yarn I had left, and I decided that I wanted to extend the body by another two inches. My plan for this top was to have a slightly polished sweatshirt kind of look, and I'd really like it to be more hip length since I still have yarn left.

It can be difficult to be so close to being finished with something and decide to rip back part, but I'm really going to like the extra length more. Don't get me wrong-I would have worn it with the shorter body, and I'm sure I would have loved it, but since I still have yarn, why short change myself?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Snowstorms in Technicolor


We're in the middle of a snowstorm right now, which makes knitting and watching murder shows sound more appealing than anything else. Yesterday I went home sick, which made Mystic happy, and then later on I managed to very gracefully fall on my bum after brushing the car off (this is about as far into winter as I've ever managed without falling). It's still snowing, but it's slowed down quite a bit, and hopefully town will be back to normal soon.

I've been working steadily on my Amazing Technicolor Dream CYOA, and I have the first sleeve done and a good start on the second. I've got it in my head to wear this to an audition this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to bang it out in the next couple days. It's coming along exactly as I imagined so far-I'm knitting this one smaller than my cropped version for a more fitted look, and I'm doing three-quarter length tapered sleeves. With any luck, I'll have a new top this week (and my first FO of 2017!).

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, January 23, 2017

After the March

What a weekend! I'm sure it was very full for many of you as well. My Saturday was pretty much taken up with my town's sister march-we had over 500 marchers in my little town, and over 3,000 more in the city an hour north of us. I was exhausted afterward and ended up needing a three hour nap, but it was worth it to see people of all ages and backgrounds come together.

I don't really have words for how it felt to see so many people come together. Nearly every one of my blog and Instagram friends were at some kind of march over the weekend, and I feel so grateful to be a part of such an active and passionate community. It's been humbling and awe-inspiring to see the numbers and the pictures from marches all over the world, and I feel truly grateful to have been a part of it. This is only the beginning, though, and the organizers for my town are already working on the next steps.


Friday, January 20, 2017

1.20.2017

Today is a difficult day for me. I don't know what the next four years are going to bring, and I don't know what the world is going to look like at the end of them. I'm scared.

I'm holding on to our community here. I'm holding on to beauty, and creating, and making my voice heard. I'm holding onto the goodness and generosity I see in people, I'm holding onto my friends.

Today I'll cry. Tomorrow I'll march. And after that, I'll keep staying informed and making my voice heard. I believe that We the People can hold our government accountable. And I believe that all of us can make the world kinder and more generous.

Give freely. Love deeply. Remember that none of us are alone.

Resistance, peace, and compassion.

x

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Selfish Sweatering


My Wainthropp is a bit of a tangle right now, which is making it difficult to carry around. I'm still using this as my lunch knitting, but it takes a few more minutes for me to get it all sorted to start working on. I'm about a repeat away from the body ribbing as written, but I want to see if I can squeeze in another inch or so. Therefore I've started a sleeve while  the body stitches are all still live and attached to their own ball.

I'm almost done the sleeve cap shaping on this first sleeve. I'm not doing full length sleeves on this one-I'm planning for the sleeves to be just over elbow-length. I originally planned to do both sleeves, then finish the body, but now I'm thinking it'll be much easier to finish the first sleeve, weigh the remnants from the sleeve ball, and set enough yarn for the second sleeve aside while I finish the body. That'll split up sleeve island a bit and make this whole project a bit easier to carry around.

This KAL goes through February 14, so I'm not too worried about running out of time. I'm really loving how this is coming together, and I'm excited to get it finished so I can start some other sweaters I have planned for this year.

Linking up with  Yarn Along

Monday, January 16, 2017

A CYOA of Many Colors


So...you know how I said I wanted to just work on my blankets in the evenings? That lasted a hot minute. I'm still dedicated to getting those done, but Friday night I cast on a new top. I frogged my old Amie cardigan, and I'd been planning on waiting a bit to cast on, but then the yarn just looked so pretty and all of a sudden I'd gone and cast on.

I'm using the Choose Your Own Adventure Tee pattern-I'm planning on doing the tee-length body with shaping, and I'm hoping for around 3/4 length sleeves. I'm already loving this so much more than the cardigans I knit with this yarn, and I'm already having fun planning outfits for it.

I separated the body and sleeves last night, and I still have 2 of my 3 skeins left, so I should be fine in terms of yardage. I'd love to get this done in the next couple weeks, but I do still have my blankets to work on and my Selfish Sweater KAL Wainthropp to finish, so we'll see what happens.

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, January 13, 2017

Blanket WIPdown


I'm not normally one to feel bad about the state of my WIP pile, but there are a couple of long-languishing projects that I want to get done over January and February: my two big blanket projects.

My original Blanket is a 10-stitch blanket that I started my junior year of college. Six years ago. Originally my plan had been to make a queen-sized multi-color monstrosity, but I've refined that plan a bit. Now I just want a nice throw-sized nap blanket. I've been working on this one in the evenings to try and use up the yarn that I have for it. I've determined that I want another 2 balls for it, and I'll buy those when I go to the yarn store in a few weeks, so I'd like to be done with the current ball before then.

My other blanket is my Garter Squish, which has only been on the needles for two years. But it's taking up a lot of room in my stash/WIP storage, and I'd like to get it done. I have all the yarn for it, and I remember it knitting up quickly as long as I actually worked on it. Sadly, I only knit like four rows on this last winter, so it's been abandoned for a while.

My plan is to make these my dedicated evening blankets until they're done. It's perfect blanket knitting weather, and both of these knit up really easily and pretty quickly as long as I'm working on them. I'm optimistic that I can finish them both by the end of winter, and then I won't have them hanging over me anymore.