Springtime Exploration

After a slight creative slump, I’m feeling like my old self. I’m going to attribute it to this: my Exploration Station, a Stephen West pattern. His patterns always stand out, don’t they?

I can tell you this is a totally enjoyable knit, and using the fun, wild colors just makes it better. It’s a Stephen West so you might as well go all out! Plus these bright and happy colors make think of Spring! I’m using 1) Gnomeacres in Mint Chocolate Chip 2) Malabrigo Sock in Light of Love (pink) 3) Colinette Jitterbug in Paintbox (the white with speckles) and 4) Ella Rae Lace Merino in 126 (gray). I’ve just finished the short row section and will be moving onto the Brioche next… not sure how that is going to go but I’ll let you know! I’ve never knit brioche before.

All the little yarn cakes fit perfectly in my SockSack. This is the medium size. It’s doing a good job of keeping everything untangled.

So you see the pink and mint in my shawl? Pink and mint is my new obsession. It has spilled into my fabric purchases as well. I bought fabric last week and I cannot WAIT to start sewing it into my Noodlehead Cargo Duffle.

I picked two prints from the Tokyo Train Ride collection produced by Cotton + Steel, who as a newbie to sewing can I saw WOW. Cotton + Steel fabrics are so up my alley. Very much my aesthetic. The white is from the Maker series by Art Gallery Fabrics, which I’m quickly finding is another favorite. The train print is 100% the loveliest fabric I’ve ever seen. I’ve never been so infatuated with a print. Hopefully I do it justice when I go to sew the bag – fingers crossed!

Gosh, so much to share… I also finished my Fluid. It is so cute in the Nomadic Yarns Glitterbomb. It doesn’t look the best on me (my hair is at a weird length right now for hats) but by the time I need it again it should be fine. Fluid was such a fun and rhythmic knit, I want to make many more.

I have some other projects to share, but I think that is enough for today!

Hopefully it’s starting to look and feel like Spring by you! The bradford pears have exploded overnight, and we’ve traded snow for rain showers and warm breezes. It’s lovely.

New Girl

Hello everyone! Just wanted to check in with you all here as we hit mid-week. I’m feeling chatty today…

I started my new job this week. It’s going… well? I have to admit, I *hate* this part of working, being the new person. Blah! Everyone has been super welcoming and helpful, but I was so comfy at my old job and knew the answers to pretty much any question anyone could throw my way. Not here! My husband is telling me to chill out, and I know I need to, but meanwhile I’m going to be working HARD to be the girl with all the answers again.

The weather has been snowy and cold here, and I was inspired to go ahead and start a new cross stitch project, as you can see! I’m making the Christmas Celebration Sampler by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I’m about 75% done with the border, the hardest part! I can’t wait to start stitching the adorable squares. I’m using a pretty sparkly linen… took me awhile to get used to stitching on it though! The glittery threads played tricks on my eyes.

Last week was exciting – the owner of my LYS texted me and asked me about knitting shop samples, trading for store credit! I headed over and received the materials for my first project, and I’m well into knitting it because it’s an addictive project. I’m making Sonnensegel, which is a freebie. I think this pattern is so versatile, you could use lace, all fingering weight, handspun, anything! And there’s no counting of stitches, just rows, so it’s super simple to keep track of. I’ll try to take a photo this week to share with you guys, it’s so pretty.

Also, I’ve found my dream yarn.

I saw this yarn from Nomadic Yarns on Etsy and gasped loudly and wouldn’t shut up about it. I normally don’t bore my husband with too many details about my knitting life but this I had to show him right away. I added it to my favorites and kept on for days about how gorgeous it was until my husband was like Just buy it already! I’m so glad I did. I immediately knew this skein (superwash DK in the Glitterbomb colorway) would be a hat, and even more specifically, a Fluid. I’ve already cast on, pics of that soon! (I was a lazy photographer this week, can you tell?) :D

And lastly…

+ I’m laying out my plans to sew the Cargo Duffle by Noodlehead. I said I wanted to sew more this year, and this is going to be my first project back at my sewing machine. I’ve already picked out my materials, can’t wait!!
+ I’m super, super sad this goooorgeous yarn bowl is not readily available.
+ I keep listening to Washed Out because it makes me feel like it’s summer in the middle of this winter funk.
+ If you haven’t already, you should check out the Yarn in my Coffee podcast. It’s wonderful.

Happy mid week!

Slow Pace

Deep into February and we’ve finally gotten some snow around here. My children were excited to miss some school, and I was home sick as well so we were able to enjoy some quality time together at a slow pace.

The pace of life can really get me down sometimes, it always feels like a rush, wake up earlier than your body wants to, rush around, rush kids to school, rush to work…work all day…hurry home to start dinner, make sure kiddos have done their reading, sign school papers and folders, hurry into the shower kiddos!, bedtime routine, early to bed so that early morning wake up call isn’t such a rude awakening, and I’m staying up as late as possible to squeeze in knitting and blog reading and whatever-the-heck I want to do, only to start all over the next day.

Needless to say, when the pace slows, I’m at my happiest. I live for summer break! That string of days filled with couch snuggles and naps and reading comics with the kids and building Legos filled my heart to the brim.

I know my crafting pace is super slow these days. Some evenings I may only knit two rows. But they are two super joyful rows. I follow the pace of what I’m feeling in that moment, and if it’s only a row, that’s ok.

I’m starting a new job in March. I’m beyond thrilled – this job will not only be a promotion for me, but it will cut my work day down from 9 hours to 7. I think it is going to help with the pace of things. I’m really looking forward to this next season of life.

What do you do when the pace of life feels too fast? Any tips that help you unwind?

Now some randomness…

+ I’m obsessed with orange juice. I can’t drink enough of it all of the sudden.
+ I think the blog needs a face lift. Haven’t even started to think of how though…
+ Sewing! I haven’t unpacked my sewing machine yet, but I can’t wait to set up a little dedicated space for that. I would really like to build on my sewing skills this year.
+ I’m thinking a new cross stitch project needs to begin – maybe in early spring. I’ve got floss, patterns, and linen for multiple projects ready to go, I just need to decide which first and get started.
+ I have INTERNET at home now!! Whee!
+ Coffee – after years of taking it with cream and sugar, I woke up one morning and it tasted horrible to me. I drink it black only now. Does that make me an official grown-up?

And last but certainly not least, my super handy husband built me a yarn/craft cabinet! I have all my yarn on display now and it’s making me so happy! I’m still shuffling the shelves around and trying to get it just the way I want, but it’s so pretty to look at.

Here’s to a happy, and slow, weekend!

Checking In

Hi everyone. How have you been? I’m still here, I promise! I’m still knitting. Our family moved into a new place in January, so there have been a lot of life changes recently. One of those being I have no INTERNET at home! Working hard to resolve that, but until then I have to blog in other places.

I’ve started a new cardigan for my youngest daughter. It’s another Granny’s Favourite. This may just be my favorite little girl’s pattern I’ve come across. The yoke is just so sweet and my oldest daughter has loved wearing hers. The pattern comes in a huge range of sizes, so it’s one you can knit over and over again. I’m using a lovely shade of Madelinetosh DK, Fragrant. It lives up to its name, as the stitches flow through my hands I can only think of rosebuds and Spring. So enjoyable to knit.

Socks are always happening, as you know. These are a marathon knit for my husband. Men’s socks on size 0… it does drag on a little bit. But he loves a tight gauge in his socks, so I’m willing to do it for him. He chose the bright shade of Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in the Golden Pear colorway. The fun yarn takes away from the slow drag a little.

I’ve also finished a pair of socks for myself. Simple stockinette with handspun merino. There’s something about 100% wool socks vs. the superwash or nylon blends… they hold so much more warmth! With it being below freezing here, I’m reaching for my warmest socks. I may have to phase “nylon” and “superwash” out of the equation.

I have a few other things on the needles, but those can wait. I mostly wanted to check in with everyone… what are you knitting? Are you knee-deep in snow where you are? The snow here is merely a gentle snow-globe dusting.

I’ll check in when I can! XO

Out with the Old

Hi everyone! How are things in your neck of the woods? I’m currently enjoying an extended vacation. Or should I say, staycation. Enjoying time at home with my kids and not working! I’ve been doing a ton of knitting during my break. It’s been wonderful. Allow me to share:

Finally, the bunnies are done! I started these over a year ago (oops) and just recently got the motivation to power through and finish them. They only needed tails, dresses, and assembly. While the finished product is cute and I am pretty much happy with them, I don’t see me knitting these again! So much work for a stuffed animal. One modification I did make was to knit many of the pieces in the round… the pattern calls for you to knit everything flat and seam… wasn’t gonna happen. I’m glad I made that change. The faces are a little funky, but oh well. My girls think they are fantastic, and they were the audience I was trying to please!

I also finished my third pair of Zombie Vixen mitts. These are for a coworker friend of mine. I plan on making one more pair of this pattern and then I’m going to need a break from it, beautiful as it may be. I made this pair with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed – not my favorite for garments as I’ve said but it’s great for accessories.

Now the WIPs…

I started a pair of Christmas socks a couple days before Christmas. I feel a new tradition coming on, new Christmas socks every year! I’m using Lynai Yarns sock in Peppermint Twist. I can’t recommend her yarn enough, it’s so pretty!

And lastly, I’m back on a Mitered Crosses kick. We’ll see how long my streak lasts this time. I’m 10 squares in so far, and I’m guessing I have maybe 20 more to go. Maybe before 2016 is here I will have a blanket? Who knows. They are fun to knit so when I get on a kick to make them I go full force!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Did Santa bring you anything yarny?