finish or frog | round one

I posted at the beginning of the year about my goals for the year and one of them was to get all my WIPs under control by either completing them, or ripping them out – I’m calling this finish or frog!

One project I’ve decided to both finish and frog. Last March, I cast on a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks with a gorgeous cake of Candy Skein Tempting Sock (now discontinued) that I got in San Diego in 2016. I finished the sock, but was never really happy with it… it’s actually a bit too small, which is my fault, but I also don’t care for the pattern/colorway combination.

So I’ve decided to start a plain vanilla sock in the same yarn. I cast on 60 stitches, did 2×2 rib (which I usually don’t prefer, but I think it works well for socks) for 20 rounds, then just stockinette for 7 inches or so. I’m also going to try the Fish Lips Kiss Heel for the first time, which I’m excited about! I want to try different ways of knitting socks and am hoping this heel will be a good fit for my foot. And, as a bonus, this will also take care of my “Find out if I can be a sock knitter” resolution! It’s yet to be determined, but I have enjoyed having something mindless to knit while waiting before/after I get my allergy shots. Here’s a not-so-great photo of the beginning of my “shot room sock”!

I’m a little sad about this next project that I’m going to frog, my Yoga Shawl by Andrea Mowry. Andrea is one of my favorite designers and the pattern is wonderful! So this is nothing against her. The thing is, I bought this pattern back in September 2016 before I realized that I really don’t enjoy knitting stockinette flat – that is, I despise long purl rows! It took me starting another, very similarly constructed shawl (see below) to realize why I’m not motivated to knit them! I’m really proud of the progress I made, but after languishing for a year and a half, I think it’s time to frog this one and repurpose the beautiful madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering (also discontinued). It will be hard to let go of all the work, but I think it will be worth it in the end. I have mulled over the idea of knitting this in the round and steeking someday, but for now… it’s time to say goodbye to this WIP!

The last thing I’m frogging right now is 2nd Avenue by Amy Miller. This is another shawl that I really love in theory, but I hate knitting those long purl rows! It’s the one mentioned above that now makes me think before I buy a pattern. Now, I always look at the construction – if it’s tons of purling, it’s not for me! The yarn I’m using, Plucky Feet is too nice to not knit with. Surprisingly, I’m actually considering making some socks with it once I rip it out!

So far, I haven’t finished any of my WIPs from last year, but frogging the ones I don’t love really helps me clear my head!

What have you finished or frogged lately?!

the one with the weaving & the knitting | january roundup

One of my New Year goals is to blog more! I thought it might be fun to write up a monthly roundup of what I’ve started and finished!

Honestly, there’s a lot I can’t share yet – tiny knits for new little ones are consuming my knitting life at the moment. But I’ve still managed to finish a few things between baby things!

First up is Boho Style Mosaic Shawl by Irene Lin. Have you all tried mosaic knitting? I swear it’s like magic. I tried some flat stranded colorwork last year and it’s just not for me. But mosaic knitting doesn’t involve any purling (when knitted flat) or holding two strands of yarn at a time – it’s amazing. So after a laid-back stockinette section with garter ridges, you work three fun mosaic charts, then bind off and add tassels! I enjoyed it so much, I knit it in under a month! Irene’s new cardigan design is also at the top of my knit list! I knit this for the Self Indulgent Knit Along hosted by the Yarniacs on Ravelry, which is such a fun and encouraging group! The trusty Cascade 220 made this project both beautiful and affordable.

Also this month I knit several Garter Ear Flap Hats by Purl Soho. In fact, I think I knit a total of five and had a request for a sixth! I don’t often knit the same thing more than once, let alone six times (I knit my first one last year), so I clearly love this little pattern! I haven’t tried any size except newborn, but as evidenced from a recipient, they seem to fit well! Yarn info can be found in my Ravelry projects!

 

Of the things I can share, that’s all I finished this month! It doesn’t seem like much, but hopefully I’ll make up for it in March when I can spill the beans on all the baby things!

In the meantime, I cast on a selfish hat with gorgeous Plucky yarns! The pattern is called Bean, a freebie from Plucky Knitter Design! It uses one strand of sport weight and one strand of fingering weight held together to knit the brim (shown here). Then you alternate the yarns, creating a stripe effect that can be subtle, like mine, or high-contrast and bold! I ordered a mystery kit and they sent a skein of Nifty (yummy merino/cashmere/nettle fingering) and Primo Sport (a nice, bouncy MCN blend). They rarely disappoint me with their mysteries, and these turquoise blues are no exception!

The other thing I started this month is a woven scarf using these beautiful skeins from Martin’s Lab! I’ve wanted to try this brand for awhile, and finally broke down and ordered 2 skeins of Bouncy Merino and a skein of Silky Mohair, both in the colorway Bilberry Stains. How gorgeous are these?! I love Martin’s story, too, so if you haven’t heard of the brand, you should check it out! The prices are reasonable, even including shipping from the UK, though it did take several weeks to arrive. I’m using my 10″ Cricket loom and can’t wait to finish it up!

By the way… do you weave? Or are you interested in posts about weaving? 

What projects have you been working on? After the holidays, does your crafting pick up, slow down, or stay the same? I’d love to hear! Happy knitting!

new year, new goals

One reason I like to blog is so I can look back at what I’ve done… and what I’ve said I was going to do. I basically laughed out loud reading my 2017 goals because many of my goals for this year are the same. That is, I didn’t achieve most of them. Oops.

So what goals did I achieve last year?
Well, I knit with intention more for sure. Most of my projects had a reason… even if the reason was “I really, really want to make this.” But I don’t feel like I knit a bunch of stuff I won’t wear. I completed around 40 projects, which is not bad considering the volume of my Etsy shop. Speaking of, I focused on my shop more, hit a personal goal of 100 sales online, and had two successful holiday markets! It was my best year yet where my side business is concerned and I couldn’t be more thrilled! And of course, I learned more which each new thing I knit!

Which goals did I not reach?
Knit from stash. Yeah, totally failed at this one. I think I bought more yarn this year than ever before. But I am renewing my resolution to knit from stash in 2018. I’m also going to participate in a Love Your Stash Challenge hosted by Naomi of Naomi Grace Designs with the intention of whittling my yarn down either by knitting or destashing!

 WIP it good. I’m not sure how many of those WIPs I completed, but I have more now than I did then! 2018’s motto: Finish or Frog!

Find out if I can be a sock knitter. Yep, didn’t do this one either. I knit one sock and wasn’t thrilled with the FO, though I didn’t mind the process. So it’s getting ripped and reworked into a vanilla sock. I’d also like to try toe up, two-at-a-time, and the fish lips kiss heel. Maybe this will be the year of socks? …Don’t hold your breath 😉

New goals!
#2018yearofthesweater – I recently posted about this here if you’d like to read, but basically I have a goal of knitting 8 sweaters this year!

All the baby knits – I’ll be renewing my title of “aunt” twice this year (eek!) so I have a ton of baby things on my knit-list. Think tiny hats, booties, maybe some jumpers… I can’t wait to meet my niece & [niece or nephew – it’ll be a surprise] and put them in all the itty bitty knits!

Be (at least kind of) monogamous – This will probably be the hardest one for me. Usually, if there’s a free needle, I find something to fill it. But this year I want to focus on actually finishing things and not just casting on with abandon!

That’s it! I mean… I think that’s enough 🙂 What are your 2018 knitting goals?!

#2018yearofthesweater

For my 2017 #sweatergoals, I resolved to make 5 sweaters. It turns out I only completed one of those and cast on another. Along the way, I got a bit distracted and knit 2 others, for a total of only 3 completed sweaters for 2017. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I knit the things I knit. I honestly think I’d get a lot more wear out of garments than I do out of most accessories. Although hats are my favorite thing to knit, I can’t wear them to work and have more than I need for the winter season. I won’t stop making hats anytime soon – I often need a “palate cleanser” and those fit the bill! But I want to focus more on wearable, everyday handknits. So I’m joining in the #2018yearofthesweater KAL, hosted by skeinyarn on Instagram, with a goal of 8 sweaters. Seven of those will be new cast-ons and one a current WIP. I have the yarn for almost all of them, so no excuses! I really want to expand my handknit wardrobe, learn more about sweater construction, and try new techniques!

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last-minute gift knitting

I know you know this, but we have less than a week until Christmas. I feel like I’m never prepared, but it comes the same time every year, ready or not! Here are some quick knit gift ideas whether you have 6 days or a few hours! I have knit all these patterns and highly recommend them for last-minute gifts!

6 days ’til Christmas
Yesterday marked one week ‘til Christmas Day, so you officially have less than a week to go! But if you can knit an hour or two a day, you could crank out virtually any hat or cowl! If you want to give the gift of luxury, knit up a skein of cashmere into the Crystal Sky Cowl by Sarah Sundermeyer. It is a charted pattern with cables, so expect it to take a little time, but the small size could easily be knit before Santa makes his entrance!

crystal

5 shopping days left
I knit the Grace Infinity Scarf by Ashley McKeever 3 times last holiday season! It’s a little tedious so it may take a few days, but the result is a fabulously squishy brioche infinity scarf that you can wear long or wrap double. This gift was very well received last year and I even kept one of them for myself! It’s also budget-friendly if knit up in the recommended Caron Cakes, which is surprisingly nice for an acrylic blend.

grace

4 days and reality is setting in
Quill by Andrea Mowry is one of my favorite hats to date and it goes pretty quickly in worsted weight yarn! Charted patterns always tend to take a little longer (for me anyway), so give yourself a few days to work this one up!

quill 3
Duotone Cowl by Orange Flower Yarn is an ideal choice if you love stockinette in the round (yay for no purling)! A couple skeins of complimentary DK yarn + a few days = a cozy, doubled cowl that anyone would love!

duotone

3 more days… too late to order online
Maybe you’ve forgotten to get a gift for your fur kids… or am I the only one that give my dogs Christmas gifts? If you’re down for that, cast on Cold Snap Collar by Plucky Knitter Designs. I’ve knit 3 of these and they’re great stashbusters that will keep your best friend warm (and make them look super cute)! The smallest size (pictured) took me just a few hours, but if you have a mastiff, you might want to allow yourself a few days 😉

jb2_medium2

Christmas Eve Eve
We’re getting down to the wire. But don’t panic! I’m here to help. Take Flight mitts by Andrea Mowry have an interesting construction and were a breeze to knit! You can never go wrong with fingerless mitts and with these, you don’t even have to fiddle with a thumb gusset. Grab a fun skein of DK and in just a couple of days, you’ll have a cute, warm gift!

take

Less than 24 hours until Santa arrives…
When it comes to crunch time, stick with something basic and bulky… super bulky is even better! You know when you’re on your way to grandma’s house on Christmas Eve and your mom calls to say your long-lost cousin will be there with gifts for everyone? This is when you’ll be glad you stuck a skein of Rasta in your project bag. A huge bonus for me is that this hat doesn’t even need to be blocked! I knit Nour by Alexandra Alfonso in under an hour, so you may be able to crank one out by the time you get to grandma’s… your cousin will never know!

nour

Happy gift knitting & Merry Christmas!