I don’t want to alarm you, but it is February now and Valentines Day is creeping up on us. There are a lot of people who don’t like Valentine’s Day because they think we should express our love every day and not just on a Holiday. I completely agree. We should express our love to the people that matter to us every day. But why not take a holiday that’s focused on love and use that as an excuse to do something extra special? Go out to dinner. See a movie or a show. Do something nicer than you normally would. Every relationship needs those times when you do more than usual.
Now, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t bring yarn into this discussion (that is why you read my blog…right?). Hunter Hammersen recently released a pattern for the most adorable heart stuffy. The genius of her design is that you can use any yarn and needles you like. If you haven’t made a heart yet, stop what you are doing, get the pattern, and knit one right now! They only take a few hours to knit, and they are so sweet! And the pattern is 10% off with the code SMITTEN through February 14th. Hunter is running a knit along right now, and it is so wonderful to see all sorts of hearts popping up, and especially to see all the people making multiple hearts.
My heart was a great stashbuster. I used aran weight yarn, so it turned out quite large. The cream background yarn was the cable plied BFL from this month’s breed study. The pink is a sample of Miss Babs, and the purple was a handspun sport weight yarn held doubled. I used all the pink up, and had only a few yards left over of my handspun yarns, so I used them to stuff the heart along with some poly-fill and a lavender sachet.
What is your favourite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
My husband was looking for a washcloth the other day. Apparently he was having trouble finding one, because he told me we need more (We used to have piles and piles of washcloths. I don’t know what happened to them…). Instantly I went into knitter mode. Must. Find. the Cotton. Yarn!!
It turns out I had precisely 1 ball of washcloth cotton, and it was only a partial. What a pity. I just had to go buy more yarn. That really broke my heart.
I am really loving the simplicity of garter stitch right now. I have so many plans and projects and thoughts in my head that I need to just slow down and knit one stitch after another. Since I have lots of colours now, maybe I will join the Fringe Association LogAlong bandwagon. Everyone keeps saying how fun and addicting log cabin is. And I do need washcloths….
I love garments with interesting constructions. I think it’s fascinating how many ways people can come up with to do the same thing. I have been knitting the Squircle socks by General Hogbuffer with Knit Picks Felici in Mint Chip. Whoo, is this an interesting construction! Let’s take a look and compare classic sock construction with this sock construction.
This is a regular sock construction. You cast on a number of stitches (64 in my case), join in the round, and knit your leg. The heel flap is worked on half the stitches, then you turn the heel with short rows and/or decreases, pick up stitches along both sides of the heel flap, and decrease for the gusset. The foot is worked even, and the toes are made with decreases every other row.
And this is how the Squircle sock is constructed. You can see how this sock starts just like a normal sock. Everything changes, though, when you knit the thinnest heel flap ever! You then pick up a million stitches and start double gusset decreases while increasing for the heel! Once you’ve finished the heel increases you finish decreasing as for a normal gusset. The foot and toe are done much in the same way as a normal sock, but the toe decreases are graduated instead of being every other row for the whole toe.
One sock down, and one to go.
What is your favourite sock construction?
I feel like a junkie. There are needles all over the place. My yarn storage is a mess. I have so many half-finished projects. But all I want is the next high, the next quick project, the next finished thing.
I am a Project Knitter. I knit (and spin, and sew, and weave…) for the stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the process of crafting. There have been so many times when I went to knitting as a balm for my soul, to soothe and ground me. But there have also been many times when I just wanted a project to be done. I want instant gratification. When a shiny new idea hits me, I want to cast on immediately. I find the yarn and the pattern, and for a while everything is good. But then the project doesn’t get done right away. Maybe I’m busy and don’t have a lot of time to knit. Maybe I decide to read a book. Maybe (gasp) I’m knitting something else. And without realizing it, I put the project down for a week or a month or a year. After a while, I have a small mountain of unfinished things. And they weigh on me, because somewhere in the back of my head I know I need to work on them. Something has to be done.
I am very bad at keeping New Year’s resolutions, but one of my goals this year will be to finish up these lurking projects. The nice thing is they’re already half finished. And think of all the needles I will free up! But all I want to do right now is cast on something new.
What do you do when you have a bad case of startitis?
P.S. The coupon code for my newest pattern is still running. Get the Ribless Hat on Ravelry for 18% off until January 18 with the code HOORAY18
Every year December comes and suddenly none of us can believe how quickly time has gone. Isn’t it funny that we have this same conversation every year when nothing and everything has changed?
In 2017 I finished 21 knitted projects, plus several additional small projects.
I have 9 Works in Progress at this point…one or two of them were started in 2015! Yikes!
I learned a little bit about crochet and finished 2 projects, with one more in progress (the pattern for the shawl on the right will end up being released in Knotions Magazine in March).
I also learned to weave and finished 2 projects with another currently in progress.
This was a good year for spinning – I finished 9 spinning projects in several different weights. Most of my handspun is from combed wool top, but this year I spun my first batts and my first silk. I am so proud of my Rumpelstiltskin yarn. And, yes, I have some spinning in progress as well.
I sewed quite a few garments this year, mostly tops, but the crown of my handsewn garment collection is actually a pair of undergarments – my Watson Bra and Bikini.
Lastly, but certainly not least, this year I launched my own line of knitting patterns. I have published 4 patterns this year: two I published myself, and two were published in Knotions Magazine.
And we can’t forget the gnomes…but they have a whole page all to themselves here.
During the year it is very easy to get bogged down by the details, and it can seem like I’m not accomplishing anything. I think taking a little time for us each to focus on our achievements is healthy and uplifting. So now it’s your turn: What did you do this year?
Whew, is this a busy time of year! I can’t believe the holidays are already upon us! I think they come faster and faster every year.
This year between work and chores and family and travel and baking I’m having a hard time finding time to knit. I have knit 3 rows on a slipper and 6 rounds on a sock this week. Clearly this is not enough knitting. I am off work for the long weekend now, though, and I am looking forward to rectifying the knitting situation.
I hope that your holiday weekend is as full or relaxed as you want it to be and that you can spend it with the people you most want to be with. Happy Christmas, all.
P.S. If you haven’t entered my gnome giveaway yet, you have until Christmas day when I will be choosing a winner.
This Christmas I decided to knit an advent bunting. The patterns are all by Frankie Brown, and my plans are all here.
Part 1 of the knitting is here, and part 2 is here.
It’s been almost a week since I knit an ornament, so I am very much behind. I’m trying to be ok with this, since my health is important and knitting isn’t fun when it hurts.
Day 7: I knit a tiny ship using US 2.5 DPNs. The brown is The Fiber Seed Sprout Seedlings in Ginger, and the cream is Ella Rae Lace Merino in Natural. Frankie instructs the knitter to make an i-cord mast, which you then stuff with a pipe cleaner. I elected to use a tooth pick, and hot glue it to the base of the boat. I also stuffed the boat with a little extra yarn to make it a nice shape.
Day 8: This “paper” chain was fun and easy to make. I cheated and used several weights of yarn for this ornament: the pink is a Wild Iris color from Miss Babs on her Madison (aran weight) base; the purple is Noro Silk Garden; the blue is a cotton/cashmere blend (oh, so lovely!); and the green is KnitPicks Stroll in Rainforest Heather. I love how the colours flow into each other.
Day 9: This tiny pine cone is adorable!!! It is knit in a long strip, then sewn into shape after a picot bind off. So quick. So easy! I might have to make a few dozen more.
How is your Christmas knitting going? Have you knit any Christmas decorations?