29 October 2014

Travel and progress

Last weekend was hectic and exciting between a visit from my best friend and a visit to the Asheville, North Carolina area for the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. I have passed up the chance to go to SAFF the past two years, but this year I went and I am certainly glad I did!

I had the opportunity to meet some new people there, especially some dedicated farmers. I also ran into some people I know, including Liz (Carolina Knits). I spent a lot of time with the alpacas because they are the cutest, someone even brought a little baby! I wish I had taken the time to take more photos, but it was an overwhelming event!


I have been trying to finish some of my older WIPs lately, including my Nymphalidea, which is looking very nice. The colors are starting to grow on me, even though they are unconventional.


I have also been crocheting quite a bit, including starting on this Kitty Nest. I am hoping that it will be large enough for kitty to fit in, she is a very big kitty! I'm using some t-shirt yarn I made last month. I didn't think I would like the process, but it was quick and fun to do! 


You may recognize this yarn, it was a part of a blanket that is no more. I loved how it was looking, but I did not like how the resulting fabric felt, I doubted the ability of it to stay together over time. So I ripped it all out and went for the tried and true granny square style. So far it is looking very nice and I am happy with my decision.


What have you been working on? Have you changed your mind about a pattern recently?

20 October 2014

The joy of handspun socks.

I have a little travel tradition, whenever I know I'm going to be on the road, I cast on socks. They are the ideal travel project: compact, simple, easy to set down, and always fun to work on. My recent trip to Massachusetts was no exception, the night before I cast on these socks and a week later I finished them up.


The pattern is another from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up, the book I learned the technique of toe up socks from. I love coming back to this book for sock patterns again and again. This pattern was Mock Cable Socks, and it was perfect for travel because the pattern was simple but entertaining.


The yarn used for these socks was some handspun I finished a few years ago. I do not remember the specifics of the dyer or fiber type (likely because I failed to share it here when I finished it!). But it was a sweet gift from Lisa (Wickedly Artsy). The yarn itself was perfect for socks and the resulting socks feel like they'll be sturdy and warm for years to come.


I just find it so satisfying to knit up a project in my own handspun. The resulting product is just that much more special.

14 October 2014

Seasonal Accessories

I've been going through a phase, one defined by an obsession with cables and bulky yarns.

I have been wanting to knit a Chunky Cowl for a while now. I love how bulky yarns are continuing to be a fashionable staple for the Fall and Winter. Last December I found some Malabrigo that would be perfectly suited for a cowl and my mother also had some US 15 needles on hand, so this project worked out great!


I couldn't find a pattern that I liked, so I just cast on with a general idea of what I wanted. It worked out pretty well ending up perfect in size with a little bit of ease. Malabrigo Yarn Chunky was a dream to work with, I love the stitch definition I get with it and how super soft it knits up. I definitely want to make myself a bulky sweater with it soon!

Swirling Gauntlets were just one of those quick knits, we are all guilty of this kind of project at one point or another. Evelyn puts it best, sometimes you just need a palate cleanser, something small and satisfying.


The pattern is Swirling Gauntlets by Susanna IC, the cabling is simple but fun. I knitted these in Rowan Felted Tweed dk, one of my favorite yarns for its texture and colorways. The soft halo of this yarn envelops the cabled detail a little, but I actually find myself liking that aspect.

Now I can add these two knits to my ever expanding accessories collection! I'm definitely looking forward to wearing them both.

11 October 2014

Weekend favorites


I always enjoy reading Myrtle's (Truly Myrtle) Share All Things Friday (I think we all do!), because some of the things I love most are things I've discovered from others (like knitting!). I'd like to try to take the weekends here on my blog to do something similar. 

-- I'm starting up an old tradition again, where I go to the local Indie theater to see a film I'm interested in, because I adore film and this has been a fantastic year for it. This weekend I'm going to go see Starred Up, a British film that I keep hearing about from critics. I'm thrilled that it is showing here because this particular theater does not show many international films.

-- I completely missed the boat on Spinzilla, I have just been so wrapped up in work and other things. But I have really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful things that people have been spinning! Especially some of what Alicia (Woolen Diversions) has been working on. I have been spinning a little, but it has actually been for production rather than leisure. I have been learning a lot from the experience!


-- I have tons of finished projects to show you all; however, first I must have a serious blocking and photography session. Does anyone else have a serious backlog of projects like this?

-- Last night I tried A Beautiful Mess' recipe for Honey Roasted Veggies Gnocchi and it turned out to be amazing! I'm definitely going to be making it again when it gets cooler. 

-- Speaking of food, did you know that the idea that MSG (monosodium glutamate) is bad for your health is a myth that scientists have largely debunked? I certainly didn't until I listened to this episode of Science Friday!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please do share anything interesting you have tried, learned, or heard about!

09 October 2014

Too many things to knit with so little time

I've been going through a challenging time in my life lately. It's been one of those inevitable periods where everything feels frustrating and difficult. I often reflect on how working with wool has provided me with the calm and focus I've needed to continue through several taxing life experiences. I've heard this sentiment from many other knitters and crocheters, that the simple rhythm of their work has helped them through loss, injury, and various other challenges. I find that fact incredibly inspiring, it connects us as a community in a profound way.

I feel as though each of my projects have been dragging on in a sense, I forget that they are each fairly large and ambitious. I've been fighting the temptation to cast on a hat for quick satisfaction.

Nymphalidea has been such a joy to work on, I've really been able to get into a comfortable rhythm with this project. The pattern is super easy to memorize and the construction is very different from the traditional shawl design. If you are like me and find shawls tedious, you'll probably find this pattern a nice change in pace. I'm not sure how I like the colors together yet.

Antique yarn blanket is reaching the point where one circular needle is not enough to contain it. I really wish I could convey the lovely smell of this yarn too, it is akin to the scent of an old book.
Antique wool yarn, unknown producer

Guston for the boyfriend is almost finished, I've knitted all of the body, except for the back of the yoke, and finished the sleeves (painfully knitted flat rather than in the round). I simply adore Rowan Pure Wool, you'll never find me knitting with any other 100% wool option again, it is a joy.

Lastly, I want to share two things that have brightened my life recently:

The Irish film Frank, the trailer is not a fantastic representation of what this film has to offer, but I thought it was deep, creative, and easy to become immersed in. It is also definitely worth seeing in theaters.

If you haven't checked out maria_levine on Instagram yet, you must! She posts several times each day with gorgeous yarns and inspired cabled hats and gloves. She also has the sweetest kitties.

I hope you are all well and creating beautiful things every day!