Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

these puppies are going to make a real beautiful sweater sometime soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

A FOOL. I am a knitting fool. Somehow I managed to knit a stitch marker INTO my knitting. I have no idea how I did this feat, but I do know that scissors are going to get me out. Here's hoping that your week goes more successfully than mine started out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FO: Fiona's Slouchy Socks

You might remember these socks from awhile back. I re-purposed yarn that my sister in law gave me last Christmas into a beautiful gift for my sister THIS Christmas.

Loosely basing these off a few other toe up sock patterns I've made before I learned a very important lesson about WRITING DOWN your stitch counts. One sock ended up signifigently larger than the other. Whoops!

I purposfully had left these large so they would be slouchy and cute to wear with boots or sneakers knowning my sister's style. So I left one slightly larger than the other knowing that she would just roll with the punches. Sizing issues aside, I love how the variegated yarn compliments but doesn't match. It was a wonderful yarn to work with and due to the generous skein size I still have a little left to play around with. There might just be a tiny pair of socks in the works to match these grownup ones.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

Just working on a set of mitts. These are destined for my hot little hands.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

FO: Madison Cowl

For Christmas last year I made my sister in law these cute mitts. This year I decided to make the matching cowl. I still had the yarn from the mitts left over so it truly is a matching set. These two are a great lace pattern for a beginner, or for someone who's just not that great at lace patterns ( I'm part of the second camp). They are a great gift to give, partly because they knit up so quickly. I also love how you can customize the fabric buttons.

Sweet and stylish. What more could you ask for.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Summer Knit Along: Week Never

If you were with me over the summer you might remember the Sweatshop of Love knit along that I did. Last time I wrote about it, we were in week four. I had fallen far behind on the Loop Tank Top but was making decent progress on the Makeup Your Mind, and then, I just....stopped. I stopped knitting, I stopped writing.

There were a lot of other things that kept me away from the blog this summer, some good, some not so good, but after I dropped the ball on my knit along a big one was guilt. I felt guilty for not keeping up with it, I felt guilty for starting to write with out addressing it, My guilt kept me from writing about it. It paralyzed me. In the spirit of resolutions for this new year I have dubbed 2012 the year of action. This is a year of doing. Of simply picking up the pen, the mouse, the needle and starting something. These projects have two very different endings.

The Loop has been frogged and returned to it's original form. Wound and ready for...something. I still would like a Loop Tank Top and plan on making one in the future, but I know that this project doesn't need to be completed right away. There are a lot more projects I am itching to work on and if I've learned anything from last year it's that you need to follow your energy and passion where it points you. I'm sure I'll be dying for one of these once the sun starts to peak out a little more and the weather doesn't require multiple jackets.

My Make Up Your Mind however is much further along. Almost done, really! I only have a few inches of laces to finish on the bust and then I need to separate for the arm holes. I plan on throwing this back in the rotation and hopefully you'll see it as a finished project up here soon. It feels good to be letting go of my guilt and worry and starting to replace it with decisions and action.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: Birthday Edition

Yesterday was my birthday and I was a lucky enough girl to get this beautiful skein of Shelter in the mail from my buddy Lauren. I've never worked with this yarn before, but having longingly stared at it through computer screens for the past couple months I'm anxious to find a one-skein project to get started on. Most people don't realize that people who love yarn always love more yarn. This was such a sweet and surprising gift. It seems like I'm getting a lot those around here!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Six days into the new year and most people have written their lists of resolutions. They have looked back on the year that has passed, reflecting on what has happened, perhaps thought about successes, assessed what they would like to differently in the future for those less successful times. This blog is no different. There are many notes that I have scribbled down over post-its on my desk or the pages of my journals and one of them dirrectly relates to my knitting.

You see, earlier this summer I had the idea to knit a sweater for a very special gentleman in my life. I worked, in secret on this sweater waiting, until I could reveal it as the perfect, well thought out, and crafted with care present I envisioned it to be. As I was knitting it, I kept having the nagging feeling that something wasn't right. But I pushed those feelings down and kept blindly following the pattern. I've been known to go rouge on patterns at times, and I was determined to put my head down and follow the pattern to the t. All of this was going fine and dandy until the gentleman opened my gift, and prompltly drowned in my sweater.

You see, I had knit something large enough to fit not one but TWO adults. So, this sweater had to be ripped out and knit over again. I was able to save the sleeves and just rip back the shoulder caps but the entire body was a gonner.  It languished for months until I mustered up the courage to start ripping that sucker out. Over Christmas I recast on. I'm hoping to finish it by end of February hoping that it can see some sweater weather this winter.

In frogging this sweater I started to think about some of the other projects I have that don't work for me. Although I loved knitting The Dollar and Half Cardigan. I've never actually worn it. It was the first sweater I made and there are some changes I would make (like remembering I have the worlds shortest arms EVER and I need to not knit the recommended lengths, ever.) Other sweaters like The February Lady, just really aren't my style anymore. So, I have made an executive decision. I need to be using, and loving the things that are in my life. 2012 is all about making what I have work for me. The February Lady has been frogged for good, and the dollar and half is in the process of being frogged to be re-knit. Sometimes it can be hard to re-do projects, or to let go of them all together but there's no use in keeping them in my life when they aren't working for me. This year is about doing more with what I have and one of the ways to do that is to re-purpose the things that are already in my life. Sometimes that means letting go of things to make space for something new and sometimes it means starting over, and trying again. The best part of re-doing a project is getting to use the experience of making it the first time around. Thanks to Allyson for being my co-model and here's to 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: Presents

By now hopefully everyone has had a chance to celebrate their respective holidays, spend time with their loved ones and open their presents. Most people I have talked to mentioned that they tried to keep their holidays simple or scaled down this year. Whether from saving money, avoiding consumerism or focusing on minimizing the stuff in our lives, simplicity seems to be an abundant theme. I tried to focus this year on making most of the gifts I gave and now that they have been opened I will be able to share them in the coming weeks!

My favorite gift I received this year was handmade as well, and comes with quite a back story. I knit the McCarren Park Cap for myself out of leftover yarn from my Beatnik Sweater. A slouchy hat with a double layer moss stitch brim and two adorable fabric buttons. I even had some extra yarn left over that I planned on making some cute ruffle socks with. I love the idea of having a matched set!

On the first day that I wore this hat I left it on the bus accidentally. Many calls later to the lost and found number of the CTA I finally admitted it to myself that it was gone forever. To add insult to injury I hadn't even taken pictures of it before it was lost to the world.  I had never lost a handmade item before and didn't realize just how devastating it could be to lose something you've made. It was a sad sad few weeks for my head. I even drew a picture of myself wearing it for my empty raverly project page. I just couldn't take the sadness of a blank photo spot.

Fortunately, my sadness was short lived. When Allyson drew my name for The Sweatshop of Love Secret Santa she knew exactly what she was going to make me. The best part of all of this was I had NO IDEA she was making it for me. I was truly surprised and delighted by my secret santa gift. She even managed to put flower buttons I would have picked out for myself.

It's been keeping my head warm since I got it although I haven't needed it much with this lovely warm weather we've been having here in Chicago! I hope that you recived at least one gift that brought you joy and surprise. I'm very excited to start a new year and all of the new and exciting projects it will bring.