Distractions

One thing about fewer blog posts:  You hear fewer complaints.  I never have enough time.  I always want to get more done.  I always have more inspiration and ideas to try.

Just because my inner  mantra is ‘I never have enough time’ doesn’t really make it true.  I certainly want more time but I still manage to get a lot done with the time I have.   Of course, I want more knitting time.  Of course, I want to get more done.

The reality is…I am highly prone to distractions.  D’oh.  Yes, it’s true.  Distractions are just so fun though.  Especially when it comes to snarky cross stitch!

This week it’s Valentines for that truly special someone.

snarky valentines

Or perhaps, for that “special” someone.  LOLOLOLOLOLOL.  I just can’t get enough.

I’ve started a new 2020 Cross Stitch gallery…check it out here!

It includes gems like this one that went to live with my nephew…

2019-12-18_21-15-35_926

You can find the Valentine’s day pieces, along with lots of other snark in my Etsy shop…Click Here! I’ve put a bunch of older stock on sale too, so get it while you can!

 

Another Blogiversary!

Time marches on!  Unbelievably, another year has passed.  It’s Bob Marley’s birthday again.  It’s my Mom’s birthday again and it’s yet another blogiversary (5 years!! woo!)  So many happenings for one, otherwise, nondescript day.

Despite my absence here, my needles are still on the go! I have a couple fun finishes to share!

Like Mom’s birthday knit!  She sent me some very skinny cashmere for Christmas.  Thread weight maybe?  Even using size 0 needles, I had to double up the skinny cashmere and add a third strand from my stash to get a reasonable gauge!  It was was worth it though!  Yes, triple stranded on size 0 needles and yet look at that drape!  The fabric here is just perfect!

2020-01-25_12-17-14_626

I love the marled look, the lightweight fabric and the fun color blocking.  I worked this hat top down, which really helped me design on the go so I didn’t even need a pattern.  I cast on without a real plan and just let the hat tell me what to do.  For example, I ran out of that pink strand of cashmere.  I didn’t lose at yarn chicken.  It was just the hat telling me what it wanted.  The color blocking was meant to be!

Best part:  it even fits right!  Woo! (Details Here:  itty bitty stitches project page)

Then, there’s this beast of an FO:

starflake

Westknits 2019 MKAL, The Starflake!  I love it.  It took forever and spent a lot of time being ignored but once I bound off, it didn’t take long to weave the ends and block it.  I used two yarns both MCNs, (Yoth Little Brother and Sun Valley Fibers fingering weight) so the softness can’t be beat!   And the shape is very wearable.  It situates itself nicely around the shoulders with the tips creating anchors in the front so it’s no-fuss.  I really like that.

I love it.  I was hesitant to join this year’s MKAL but I’m glad I got talked into it!  This is a great shawl.  Westknits really are the best knits!

Way back during Clue 1, I cast on a second version as well.  I’m mid-brioche section on that one.  I can tell I’m going to love #2 even more!  I’ve got a sweater I really want to finish first though.  And I’m working on my first pair of baby longies for my nephew.  and I want to knit a bunch of hats for a trip to Tahoe next month.  And I’ve got a couple other shawls on the needles too.

I’ve got plenty of WIPs to get into shape!  That story will never change…so much knitting, never enough time!  And so, with that, I’m getting back to my needles!  Stay tuned for a Stitches West update…it’s only two weeks away!   I’m going to attempt a second year in a row of no buying yarn?!?!

 

 

Happy Halloween!

IMG_6610Happy Halloween from Baby Freddy Krueger!

Hello Friends!  Long time no talk, eh?  My nephew dressed as Freddy Krueger in a little sweater I made him, was too good not to share!  I’ve tried to post a couple times recently but after having such a long absence, I needed something worthy of a triumphant return.  This fits the bill.  Big time!  He’s the cutest little Freddy Krueger ever!

If you’ve been a long time reader, you might remember when I knit this sweater a couple years ago…The Baby Freddy.  I knit it well before I knew I was getting a nephew.  I hit the knitter’s jackpot though…it just happened to fit him perfectly in time for Halloween!  Wooo!

IMG_6614

I worked up a quick crochet hat when I saw the sweater fit so perfectly and now, he’s auntie’s little serial killer!  LOL.   The cutest little Freddy Krueger ever.  I might be biased…I think he’s cute even when he’s not wearing my hand knits.

I’ve already started thinking about next fall…maybe a little Dude sweater or a Ferris Bueller sweater vest?  I’m all about the baby sweater cosplay!

Before I get to that though, I’m doing a little knitting for myself.  It’s WestKnits fall MKAL time.  I really like this year’s design.  I’ve got two versions on the needles currently.  This means you should be hearing from me again soon.  It’s been slow going but I’m looking forward to making some good progress this weekend!

I’m loving the solid green & grey but I’m really looking forward to the brioche section with the speckled version!  Stay tuned for progress, hopefully it won’t take four months this time :)


 

I’ve got a commercial!

IMG_6362

Long time readers will recall this project from last spring.

Sadly, my friend’s bike was stolen.  Thieves stink.  But, it inspired my friend to make a little tribute video/commercial of the project with footage she took during our consultations and fittings!

Check it out…

 

It’s great, right?  Someday maybe it’ll even run on the local access cable channel…a girl can dream!  Bwahahahahahahaha.


 

All the Shawls

I’m taking a little shawl breather before I start the next round of sweaters!  Finished one for mom, finished one for me and the next one is on the needles already!

2019-05-25_11-21-36_095

First up, the Corona Shawl, a free crochet pattern from Universal Yarns.  I had fun with this one, despite never really getting  accustomed to the pattern.  Unlike the knitting I do, there were lots of different stitches and the patterning changed nearly every row.  This has definitely given me the confidence to crochet more complicated shawls but I will be looking for charted designs in the future.

I took lots of detail pictures with future crocheters in mind.  In the absence of charts, having Ravelry’s database of photos was incredibly helpful.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala.  It’s surprisingly nice for highly affordable acrylic.  The softness is great and the colors are super.  My one complaint though…I wish I could block it.  I’m missing the crispness I could give all these details in a nice, natural wool.  That said, I’m glad it’s crochet and not knit.  I don’t think knit lace would be as forgiving without a blocking.  Ultimately, I think I lucked into this pattern and yarn combo being a winner!  And, as my dentist says, it’s better to be lucky than good!

My second shawl finish is another scrappy, striped Dotted Rays.  Yes, another Dotted Rays.  The first six are not enough.  A 7th was necessary.  I’ll still be saying the same thing when it’s the 10th, the 15th and even the 20th.  I love this pattern.

IMG_4279

It works with any & every yarn.  It’s easily committed to memory.  It’s got about a million options for customization.  It’s easy to wear.  And now I’ve got one for every day of the week!

I wasted no time casting on my next shawl.  Another Stephen West, this time his newly release, Spring Cleaning Shawl.  It’s got all my favorite components, garter stitch, short row wedges and lots of options for yarn customization!

IMG_4359

I’m going fade with this one…starting off with this light color that will eventually fade from the light green with bits of yellow into the blue you see at the i-cord edge.  I’ve got new project excitement at the moment so progress should be quick!  This pattern has modular construction…I think that’ll help it along too.  Fingers crossed because I’m excited about this one! These colors are swoon-worthy!

Spoiler Alert

Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling the Avengers or the latest episode of Game of Thrones.  I’m only spoiling Mother’s Day.  Not to worry though, Mom doesn’t believe in spoilers (I checked) and besides, it’s a surprise whenever you find out.

April and my temporary knitting stoppage have come to an end!  Whoo-hoo!  Except, I still haven’t picked up my knitting needles.  The big surprise…I’m crocheting!

The pattern is a freebie from Universal Yarns called the Corona Shawl.   I picked this pattern because Mom likes lacy things and crocheting lace is so much easier than knitting lace.

IMG_4158

That said, I do have one complaint…there’s no chart.  In my mind, crochet charts are akin to knitting stitch maps.  Diagrams that show you how the stitches interact with each other from one row to the next.  Without it, I spent a lot of time looking at project photos to make sure I was getting things in the right places.   I do love that we have a resource like Ravelry to turn to.  All the people who upload project pics were a big help to me.  Three Cheers for Ravelry!  Still though, I wish designers embraced the chart more.

IMG_4157

There is another surprising element to this project…the yarn is acrylic, and I sorta like it.  It’s Lion Brand Mandala and it’s not your grandma’s acrylic.  It’s a nice and soft…perfect for baby things that need to be sturdy and washable.

So, SURPRISE MOM!  Your Mother’s Day package is going to be late and acrylic.  lol.

After that, I’ll be getting back to the knitting…I have plenty of projects lined up, as always.   Here’s one last cross stitch from April too…

IMG_4152

Thanks, Diane, for leaving your suggestion in the comments on my last post!  I loved your suggestion and was working on it as I heard the news about Peter Mayhew!  May the Force be with him!


 

 

Overdue Update

Well, Heeeeeelllo!

It’s been a while.  I’ve been busy.  Work, eh?  Takes up all the best hours of the day!  Never fear though…there has still been knitting!  No time to talk about knitting but still time for knitting!  I’ve finished up a bunch of projects too!

Like my Striped Esjan!  It’s awesome.  I’m glad I finally made one!  It’s inspired me to put more holes in my knitting for years now!   The ends aren’t woven and it’s not blocked yet but that has not stopped me from wearing it.  It’s an older WestKnits design.  The big swiss cheese holes have always attracted me to this shawl.  All the increases to create those holes resulted in nearly 1200 stitches in the final rows!  The bind off took an entire day but I’m super stoked to have finished it.  It’s fun to wear.

There’s also my latest nephew knit!  Another sweater for the little man…it’s just a top down raglan with a few stripes for interest.  Hopefully he’ll get plenty of cozy time from it!

The kid is growing like a weed so I had to knit this yarn up quick before he outgrew the 3 skeins I bought!  The yarn is from Swan’s Island’s ecowash collection.  Don’t be fooled by that convenient name, that also sounds like it might be better for the environment than superwash.  This yarn, while listed as washable, is not machine dryable which, for me, negates the whole purpose of being washable.  It behaves like superwash, in that it grows upon washing.  So…poooooooooh.  I should have read the label closer.  As much as I dislike superwash, it’s the way to go for kids clothes.

It’s gonna be a while before I start the next nephew sweater.  It’s going to be a Mini Sunset Highway for his first birthday.  It’s going to be incredibly adorable.  I can’t wait to see him wear it.   But for now it’s on the backburner.  I’m shelving all knitting until May.  That sounds drastic but…

IMG_3505

I’ve been accepted into another street fair, the Bayview Mercantile, April 28th, in San Francisco, at All Good Pizza in the Bayview neighborhood.  Let’s face it, they had me at pizza!  So, no knitting for the next couple weeks while I prep some new cross stitch hoops for the event!

IMG_3639

Luckily, it’s kind of addictive and I’m not upset at this self-imposed ban on knitting.  I have cross stitch ideas faster than I can stitch them so a month long cross stitch binge is just what I need!   My crafty Mom is getting in on the action too..she sent me a big package full of hand dyed aida to stitch on!  The colors are so fun!  I especially love the rainbow stripes!

I love a good pop culture reference.  I still have lots of song lyrics, movie quotes and of course, Game of Thrones quotes on the drawing board…I’m curious about what you’d like to see too!  Leave your suggestions in the comments!