March is wrapping up and roaring on out. But wait, it roared in – where are the warmer spring days and sunshine? Even this morning I’ve seen rain, snow and sleet! Let’s focus on the new and different then, shall we? I am going to give spinning a try again. I have a drop spindle (two actually – a beautiful one my husband bought me from etsy ages ago, and one from the Louet Learn to Spin Kit), the “From Fluff to Stuff” Craftsy Class is in my library, and I’m further motivated by the Spring Training that Louet & the Woolery are doing over on Ravelry! The first part of the Spring Training is “stash declaration” – I do not have much at all in the way of fiber stash, just what came with the kit. So, here’s my starting point:
Between the kit, the class, books, and the Ravelry groups, I should be good to go right? Do you spin on a spindle? Do you have tips / tricks / favorite tutorials / advice for a new spinner?
It feels like a long time since I have finished anything. Just in time for the return of the colder weather, I finished the knitting on a Sockhead Hat. I loved working with this yarn, Peppino, from The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze. This project (knit with a variegated yarn) also fits the bill for the recent quarterly challenge from the Loopy Ewe. I have given this hat a test run this week when I really didn’t want to bother doing anything with my hair. It was cozy and comfy, I’m just not sure if it’s the right style for me. Maybe I’m not hipster enough. This hat looks super cute on my daughter, so I think I would consider making this hat again for a kid. However, now that’s done, and I’m looking at a rainy, hopefully laid back weekend and I’ll probably get more wear out of it than I think!
I finished Stitches last week and enjoyed it, though I was left wanting a bit more. Lucky for me, my mom brought Help, Thanks, Wow to borrow (which I gave to her at Christmas). I have yet to start it; maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a few pages today. I’ve also been reading class material on website development, which will help me at work. And I’m finally going to be taking nutmegknitter to it’s very own dot-com! Exciting stuff!
In the last week I have knit on my March Socks and a crochet scarf. The heels are turned on the socks, so now it’s a matter of deciding how tall I want the legs to be. There is a strong temptation to make these socks shortie-style just to be done with them. On the other hand, the yarn is an MCN blend and I don’t want to stop knitting with it. The crochet scarf is a challenge project for Team Stitchosaurs and the eatsleepknit Yarn Marathon.
It has been a long while since I joined any sort of yarn club or bought any themed kits, but I did treat myself last week. From the Stockinette Zombies podcast I learned about Little Skein on etsy, when she did a custom kit focused around the Extra Yarn book. This latest kit is focused on the children’s book “I Love You as Much”. We used to read this to my daughter and she would act out the parts with her dad (adorable!) and we’ve been reading it to my son and when I tell him I love him to the moon and back when I put him to bed, he replies with “and across the river”. So I stalked the update and purchased it. I have to say, I am completely sold and would buy any other kit that Anne creates. The are on par with the kits I had bought in the past from WoolGirl. Not only is the bag well made, but everything in the kit so nicely fits the theme – the yarn, the pattern, the stitch markers, the candy…. I love it! I am already putting the bag to good use and it is holding a new project, bunny-themed of course. I have one leg done, but I think holding the yarn doubled was not a smart choice as the fabric is too stiff. So I don’t really have much to show you there.
This week I picked up Stitches, by Anne Lamott. I was first introduced to her writing freshman year of college with Bird by Bird, a book that I think of often and really should reread. (I think it was a social justice class. I also read Amazing Grace in that class which was phenomenal.) I can’t quite put my finger on why I like her style, but I do. Have you read her work? This book takes a look at how we deal when life gets all out of whack – the big awful events, the daily frustrations, and everything inbetween. It’s not light, with references to things like Sandy Hook and sick children, but I’m able to enjoy a few words here and there.
(thank you pinterest, for allowing me another method in which to catch all the quotes that catch me!)
I’ve been knitting on my March socks, and though they may be plain vanilla socks, they are a merino-cashmere-nylon blend and stripey and it’s nice to be in a world where such a wonderful thing also exists! I’m on to the stockinette section of my sockhead hat. No modifications, I’m knitting to the pattern, so I’ve still got quite a ways to go on that. It is soothing and I love love love this speckling in the yarn – the pops of magenta here and navy there make me take notice of the beauty of the stitches again and again. Also, this yarn would be so awesome as a HeartCat I think!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t care for the green beer and bagels on St. Patrick’s Day. Also, I’m not sure who has been giving my 6 year old ideas, but she keeps asking what will happen when “The Leprechaun” comes. Will he take our green things? Um. I have never once brought up leprechauns and I tread lightly on fairy mischief. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t been poking around pinterest looking at leprechaun traps, but maybe the moms of her friends do? It’s possible, I guess. I do have a St. Patrick’s themed board, but I haven’t done much with it. She hasn’t been able to convey what she knows about them either – I don’t know if she’s expecting trickery a la the elf on the shelf or presents like Santa?
I will be keeping my St. Patrick’s Day low key, maybe a Guiness and a corned beef sandwich.
This week the WIP that held my attention the most is that of the Mighty Violet.
My niece had her second open heart surgery in 6 months. She’ll be 7 months old next week. I went up to wait out the day with her parents on Wednesday. It was super long day, and thankfully (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, all those good luck things you do) surgery went well and as planned and her recovery is moving along equally well. I’m hoping to visit again next week. As you can imagine, there was much knitting that day. I brought projects that were auto-pilot knitting: March’s Personal Sock Club and Sockhead hat. I’ll share photos of the knitting WIPs later, right now I’ve got the Mighty Ultra Violet on my mind and I’d rather look at her.
Hooray for getting things finished! I’m now in a weird lull – I have many WIPs that are not calling to me, and other projects I want to start but that requires the effort of gathering all the supplies. Hopefully sharing the latest finished items will get that mojo moving in the right direction!
First off, a new HeartCat amineko (the first one took a walkabout and was lost in the mail). Part of the reason I enjoy making these is how different each one is, even though I follow the same pattern and they are made with a similar intention. When I finished attaching the pieces of this one, I thought he could use a bowtie. And then I couldn’t get that idea out of my head. My gals at knittting agreed, a bowtie was the way to go. I used felt and a touch of white glue, so he’s still very kid safe. Another project for the marathon-of-warmth!
Next, what would have been a true Ravellenic Sweater success, had I started at the beginning of the Ravellenics, not half a week later. Still, a sweater made in under 2 weeks (sportweight! long sleeves!) is a success for me. The Beach Street Park sweater was a great pattern and I am considering making one for me. I adjusted the pattern a bit due to my gauge, so following a combination of numbers for the XS and M size resulted in a room sweater for the intended person (Zoe of the Good Karma Farm family, on the left), but also fit me with less ease (my selfie is not seamed or blocked, but you get the idea)
And then there were socks! These awesome stripey socks are my February Personal Sock club socks for the Stitch Addiction KAL. I really love them and their eye-searing Peep yellow and Peep pink. I am noticing a few things though – like, they fit and I’ll wear them, but I notice the toes skew a little bit when I wear them (maybe I need to find a toe that better fits my foot?) and do you see the slight rolls on the top of the foot? I think maybe they are slightly too big? My go-to for sock knitting has been US2 / 2.75mm so maybe I need to go down a size? Interesting. I don’t notice it when I’m wearing them (I have them on right now!) but it catches my eye in the photos.
Have you been happy with your FOs lately?
I didn’t get the chance to post last week because I was simply too busy keeping track of all my irons in the fire. I think I have a good handle on things, but still have to deal with the distractions like everyone does. Anyway, Hello March! It’s another Wednesday, so what am I working on?
My Peeps Socks – the February Personal Sock Club. I turned the heel over the weekend with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I worked my way through it much more quickly this time and still enjoyed it. Now that I’m on to the leg, I am finding that I don’t understand why anyone who makes toe-up socks makes a them with a leg at all because the temptation to just be done is strong? My usual go-to with socks is top-down and I like my socks to be 4-5″ before I start the heel. I am doing this on these as well, but man – once you get an inch past the heel I could have done the ribbing and been done with that! I will be working the cuff on these today and tomorrow and expect that they will be finished for Friday, yay! My daughter did pick out a bag for the March Personal Sock Club and it contains Canon Hand Dyes Self Striping, but I want to finish these first before casting those on. I feel way more confident about making toe-up socks two-at-a-time now!
I gave in to the temptation of the Loopy Ewe a few weeks back. I also had a credit burning a hole in my digital wallet. I picked two skeins of The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze Peppino in Grey Granite. My intention is to make a sockhead hat with it and enter it into this quarter’s challenge. A sockhead hat was never really on my radar, but I feel like lately I have seen a bunch across the different podcasts and I just want one. Should be good auto-pilot knitting. I have a lion’s mane of hair so I hope it looks ok. My dad used to tell me I looked good in hats, and I’ve heard similar things when I wear a baseball cap, but I can’t seem to find the right knit hat.
I finished up two knit-for-hire / sample knitting projects and they were sent on their way. One I’ll share on Friday, the other is under wraps for a bit until the pattern is released. Other things I’m working on? I’ve gone down a rabbit hole in thinking about stuff for my blog and sample knitting. I finished up my search engine course and have signed up to take a Google Analytics course, so I’m down that rabbit hole to improve my skills in that arena. There’s still 4-6 projects on assorted needles, only 1 of which I’ll be giving any attention to in the next few days, but that’s another post. How have you been?