Just Because

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   I love it when I get an idea for something and I have no idea where the inspiration came from.  The elements of this project came together organically, and I just went with it, not overthinking it.  Knitting doesn’t always have to play by the rules!  I wanted a project where I could improvise, be free to play and experiment.  Black, white, and neon all over seemed like a good idea.  And mixing up the heels, cuffs and toes?  Well, that just felt whimsical and sometimes that’s just the thing.

These socks were my purse and on-the-go knitting for the past couple of months.  They came together bit by bit in cars, restaurants, shops, and at home when anything else seemed like too much trouble.  Stitch by stitch, row by row they grew without me really even trying.  The yarn was just such a pleasure to work with, and I was so amused with thinking about what color to use next.

Both of these yarns are from Knitted Wit, a dyer whose color sense is rich, multifaceted, and a bit whimsical.  You can get more details over on my Ravelry page.

That’s two pairs of socks this year!  I’m tempted to cast on another pair to have as my portable knitting. What are your go-to simple sock patterns?

Yarn Along :: Love & Linen


I raced through Eleanor & Park and loved it! Needing to stay in the vein of keeping my reading simple and not too dark, I checked the library for a book I keep hearing great things about. Imagine my delight when I found a copy of The Rosie Project straight away! Bonus: it came up as a 14-day checkout, but wasn’t marked as such. So the librarian gave it to me as a regular check out. It’s these simple, nerdy things that can really make my day!

My knitting has been cruising right along. I’ve mainly been working on True Friend, and and about to start the ribbing at the hem.  If you follow me on Instagram, you can check out how it looked a couple days ago!  My socks have also seen some love and aren’t far from being finished.

So with two project close to the end, it’s time to start something new, right?  A fresh project is on the needles for the Stash Spring KAL.   I cast on Togue Pond (twice, actually. Pro tip: read the pattern before you cast on!).  The linen is lovely to work with.  It’s smooth and a bit silky while still being crisp.  I’m looking forward to wearing this top!

Knitting: Togue Pond by Pam Allen in Quince & Co. Kestrel {Ravelry notes here}

Reading: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

So what’s on your nightstand and needles this week?

On the needles : Spring update

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It’s full on Spring in Oregon now.  The crocus and daffodils have come and gone, the tulips have peaked, and now we’re eagerly anticipating the first unfurling of a peony bud.  With the help of a friend, I’ve recently prepared our raised garden beds for planting.  We’ve already got broccoli starts happily nestled in their new homes, and the pea seeds G planted last month are rapidly growing.

My knitting has also been growing quite quickly.  I’ve kept it to two projects for the past month or so, and it’s remarkable to see them grow at a steady pace.  Especially since they’re both in fingering weight yarn!

I’ve always loved color and pattern, and am not one to shy away from either in my knitting.  And yet this year something has inspired me to work a bit more in neutrals, especially when it comes to garments.  This will give me some new pieces that I can mix and match with all the store bought color and pattern in my wardrobe.

IMG_1447IMG_1314So when perusing the stash for options for True Friend, a newish sweater pattern by Veera Välimäki, I was drawn to the many shades of grey I’ve been stashing.  These hand-dyed yarns have so many lovely transitions between light and dark, I think they work really well together. {Ravelry notes here}

This pattern has a bit of an unusual construction, but it’s simple at the same time.  Which makes this the perfect knit for my still slightly baby-fogged brain!  The stripes make up the body and sleeves at the same time, with every other row adding stitches.  I’m well over 600 stitches per round now!  The end of this section is in sight, which is thrilling.

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That is my at-home knitting.  When I’m out and about, I have this pair of socks tucked into my bag.  Neutral black and white that I’m popping with neon accents on the cuff, heel and toe.  I’m loving knitting with the Victory Sock by Knitted Wit. It’s soft and sturdy, with just the right amount of sproing! for socks.  I’m about halfway down the foot of the second sock, so these will be off the needles very soon.  Time to start thinking about my next on-the-go project!

{as much as I’m absolutely loving knitting with all this grey and black, I think it’s time to cast on a new project with some color…}

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Speaking of next projects, I just cast on for the Stash Spring Linen knit along.  In the spirit of working with neutrals, I chose this sumptuous silver grey linen by Quince & Co (colorway Porpoise).  Togue Pond is a sleeveless top with a high-low hem and some subtle shaping details that make it very special.  I’m looking forward to working with a new to me yarn on huge needles (10.5, whoa)!

What’s on your needles this Spring?

Also, I can’t seem to stop taking pictures of my knitting with cups of coffee and tea. If you’re often stitching with a cup of something nearby, consider sharing over on Instagram with the hashtag #knitsandsips.  I’d love to see what you’re making and drinking!

Yarn Along :: Easy is Good

Leisure time is pretty unpredictable with a newborn around the house. Some days he sleeps the day away and not only do I enjoy luxuries like a shower and taking my time to eat, I get to knit.

You know me: I need to knit like I need to sleep in order to feel somewhat balanced. Right now the time and my mental energy are such that simple, easy projects are perfection.

Stockinette and garter stitch are the daily specials. Projects thatI can pick up and work on for a stitch, a row, or an inch at a time and toss in the knitting basket in a hurry. To that end I have some simple socks and a top that needs 12 inches of stockinette stitch on the needles. Easy, simple, knitting perfection for this season in my life.

Same goes for reading! What’s the equivalent of a stockinette sock? How about a space adventure? This is the story of Mark Watney and what happens when he’s mistaken for dead and left behind on Mars by his crew. He’s a funny & persistent protagonist, and there are some interesting moral issues to contemplate. But mostly it’s an easy, adventurous read. Again, perfect for right now.

How about you? What are you knitting & reading this week?

Knitting: A Nice Ribbed Sock in Victory Sock by Knitted Wit and True Friend by Veera Valimaki in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Sock.  You can view my project details on Ravelry where I can be found as PeacefulKnitter. 

Reading: The Martian by Andy Weir

 

The Mystery is Solved

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DSC_0639Pattern: Follow Your Arrow 2 by Ysolda Teague // Yarn: Hazels Knits Artisan Sock in Ruby Love & Sarsparilla // Read my Ravelry Notes here.

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Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was struck with a case of startitis.  I had stopped daily work at the shop, and was enjoying some much-needed rest before meeting our baby.  And what’s a knitter to do with a stretch of free time but cast on all the things?!

I was drawn into the idea of Ysolda’s mystery shawl knit-along as a way to help pass the time as I waited to go into labor.  A clue would be released each week, and my goal was to finish that clue before the next one was released or before the baby arrived, whichever happened first.

I’m pleased to say that I was able to keep up with the clues through week 4 of 5! These clues were challenging to me, with interesting charts and new stitch patterns.  It was fun and kind of fraught choosing between 2 patterns each week; it’s hard to make a choice without knowing where you’re going sometimes!  One clue would build upon the previous and before long I had a substantial shawl on the needles.

I deliberately chose the more textured clues each week, with garter or reverse stockinette stitch, to tie the clues together in my solid yarn.  This was after stalking the spoiler threads in the knit-along group on Ravelry, of course!

I knew going into the project that I wouldn’t have enough of the gorgeous red yarn.  Hoping there would be an opportunity to incorporate some leftover charcoal grey yarn, I forged ahead.  I ended up saving it for the border, which meant it was also at the biggest part of the shawl. So of course I ran out!  I ended up knitting the last row and binding off in another, lighter grey leftover yarn.  I’m not sold on the color combo, but I am pleased with how all the clues came together.  I’m also not thrilled with the size; I would like it to be a bit wider. But, these are things you have to give up control over to a certain extent when knitting blind!

Overall, this was a perfect distraction for me.  And I’m happy to say that I made it through 4 clues before going into labor, and was able to finish the final clue within a couple of weeks of it coming out.  Newborns sleep a lot, which is great news for this knitter!

Now back to some of the other things I’ve cast on since…

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Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into what I’m knitting (and finishing)!

These Moments

 


We were all exhausted. Fussy baby. A cough and sniffles. Longing for a shower, a nap, a break.

So when she asked me to play, I had to take a deep breath and challenge myself to say Yes. It would have been easy to say Not right now or Maybe later. 

I’m glad I chose Yes and got to connect with this amazing girl. We had a great chat about My Little Pony, hairbrushing, yoga, and so much more. My hope is that these moments remind her that it’s not all about the baby (even though it feels that way much of the time right now). That we want to hear what she has to say, that we care about who she is and what she’s interested in. That we will always have time for her.

Yes. These are the moments that matter most.

Look Who’s Here!

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We welcomed Calvin Cedar into our family on February 6th, 2015.  The build up to his birth was long and somewhat stressful, but once he decided he was ready things went quickly. Calvin was born at home in what was one of the most beautiful, empowering experiences of my life.  Our midwives are my new heroes; I have so much respect for their knowledge, experience, and compassionate care.

We have been tucked safely in the new baby bubble for almost 2 weeks now and are so in love. Sleep deprived and desperately in need of a shower, but very happy indeed.

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Big Sister Georgia is also doing well. She didn’t want to get too close too fast to this new alien baby in our home, and we didn’t push her.  She would cautiously approach him, ask a question or comment on his smell, and be gone.  We’d read a story or share a snack in bed with the sleeping baby, and she’d steal looks here and there.  After a week she was ready to hold him, and hasn’t wanted to stop since!

I’m thrilled that you’re here in our arms, Calvin. Welcome to the family.