new pattern | holston shawl

I’m so excited to announce an exciting collaboration with Brim Collections! Brim Collections is the brainchild of Alyssa Latuchie and Amor Esperanza Valdez, two knitter-friends. I have followed Alyssa on Instagram for a long time and adore everything she knits! So when she and Amor launched Brim Collections, I just knew I would love it… and I was right! Their first pattern collection coincided with the launch of their beautiful yarn, called Breakfast (which totally gives me waffles/Parks & Rec/Galentine’s Day vibes)!

I am completely honored to be part of their second collection with my shawl, HolstonThe Holston River flows from my home of East Tennessee to Knoxville, where its confluence with the French Broad River marks the beginning of the Tennessee River. I grew up visiting the river’s dams and reservoirs, among them Boone Lake and Fort Patrick Henry Lake, where the sample photos were taken.

Holston evokes strength, peace, and comfort. The shawl comprises alternating sections of squishy garter, stockinette, and a textured diagonal stitch pattern. Contrasting crochet detail and luscious fringe add a casual and carefree vibe to the shawl – just like a day on the river!

 I’m so thrilled and grateful that Brim and I teamed up to design this piece!

Oh, let’s talk about that yarn! Using Brim Collections’ Breakfast Sport weight, I chose the Earl Grey colorway, which turned out to be the perfect dove grey that I envisioned. It was also important to me to not waste yarn, so this shawl uses nearly exactly two skeins. The fringe and crochet detail were added using the Creme Fraiche colorway. I just love the pop of contrast and drama it adds to the shawl! The 100% Merino wool is bouncy and has great stitch definition. It was truly a dream to work with and I’d love to try more from the line!

Thank you to Alyssa and Amor, who were an absolute pleasure through this process! And a big thanks to my friend Katy Sergent for taking these photos for me last fall!

I hope you all love Holston as much as I do! It is the piece I’m most proud of. Keep an eye out for the rest of Brim Collection’s new patterns, which will be releasing over the next couple of months!

To purchase the pattern, check it out on Ravelry here.
You can find kits in some incredible color combos here! That Sun Baked colorway is calling my name!

Also look out for a pattern giveaway coming soon over on my Instagram page!

xoxo,

Andrea

the one with the best chocolate chip cookies (oh, and some knitting) | may roundup

One very important thing happened in May. I found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Ever. Honestly, it’s not like I’ve tried many. And I have nothing against the one on the back of the chocolate chip bag. But I was really jonesing for some cookies and came across this recipe on my Pinterest board. An hour later, I had seriously perfect chocolate chip cookies. I don’t think I’ll ever even flip that yellow bag over again, these are that good.
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the one where I finished something other than socks | april roundup

I did it! I finished something that isn’t a sock (or a baby knit)! This is Skinner by Melissa LaBarre, knit with madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering in Shadowplay.


Photo courtesy of Katy Sergent

I’m really pleased with this FO, though I wish it was a little longer. It doesn’t quite go over my ears while maintaining that slouchy look. Another repeat would’ve done the trick, but I still really like it! Blocking it on a foam head allowed the lace to open up and also made it big enough to fit around my head (it was a bit small straight off the needles). I knit this as part of the Wool, Needles, Hands Year of Hats KAL.

I also managed to finish two pairs of socks (January & April for Box’o’Sox KAL), so I’m officially caught up for May!

Shot Room Socks


Peach Waffle Socks

I also faded into the 4th of 5 colors on my Find Your Fade! I’m actually quite a bit past this now – on the lace section, but it’s on the backburner while I work on my TTTKAL project!

If you’ve never participated in Shannon Cook’s Tees, Tops & Tanks KAL, you’re missing out! (Pre-KAL chat is live here). It’s basically the most supportive group of knitters, cheering each other on and knitting any garment without full-length sleeves. So fun! I cast on Tegna over the weekend with Miss Babs Tarte, which is a lovely wool/nylon/tencel blend! I gave myself a little head start because this will be my first fingering weight garment!

Lastly, I started my May socks! I’m already past the heel and am really enjoying toe-up! It may be my new favorite!

Other than casting on, frogging, waiting for yarn, starting over, and frogging again (I’m talking about you, Lovella…) that does it for April!

Oh, and my sister had her baby… my adorable niece!! It was so exciting to find out that she’s a girl, and we got to meet her 5 days early! It was a great month!


Here she is in her Garter Ear Flap Hat!! 🙂

What did you start, finish, or frog in April?? I’d love to know!

the one with more baby things & some socks | march roundup

March… in like a lion, out like a lamb. The month started with rain, we had a decent snow, more rain, and Thursday it reached the upper 70s… March is a roller coaster here in Tennessee! I can’t believe I’m talking about weather… who am I??

Anyway… March was busy but overall good. I feel like I hardly finished anything knitting-wise. I tried casting on a few things that didn’t work out, which left me in a bit of a rut. Two things that I had to finish were the Garter Chevron Blanket and Rocket Pop Baby Mitts for my niece Kamryn born this month!

The blanket, pattern by Catherine Anderson, turned out super cute, albeit a bit small. I enjoyed the rhythmic garter stitch pattern during the first ball of Caron Cakes, but by the second I was over it. Not to mention that the dye lots were different, which is my fault for not noticing, but still frustrated me. I didn’t want it to make it much longer since it was only about 24″ wide, so I did only 2.5 “stripes” using the second ball and bound off with the same color I cast on with. I think this had a really cute effect! I also think that, while it isn’t fit for a crib, it’s a nice size for a newborn to snuggle up with! And my sister in law really seemed to like it!

You can see the change in color, but it’s still really cute! And this yarn is super soft and nice for a little baby. I wet blocked it, pinning out the chevron points, but otherwise didn’t stretch it too much.

I also finished Kamryn’s mitts, pattern by Andrea Mowry, using Buckalooview Worsted III, which is a wonderful single ply yarn naturally dyed with Cochineal for the perfect pink! I modified the pattern a bit to match the Garter Ear Flap Hat I knit her last month. I used the needles suggested, but instead of stockinette and color changes, I just did garter for 8 ridges (16 rounds), then decreased as written, keeping the garter intact. I haven’t heard whether they fit her little hands, but I think the set is adorable! (Other mitt pictured over on Instagram!)

My sister in law put the hat on her right after she was born, which totally melted my heart! She’s so cute and I’m glad she has a few things handknit by her auntie! 🙂

The only other things I’ve finished this month are socks! I’m one sleeve away from finishing The Easy Bulky One, but it got a bit warm to knit on a bulky weight sweater! I’ve also melted into the 3rd color of my fade, which I enjoy working on. So here are the two pairs of socks I’ve finished!

Hippity Hop Socks, named after the madelinetosh colorway I used. I actually used the Smooth Operator Socks pattern by Susan B. Anderson and I just don’t like the afterthought heel! Maybe I’m doing something wrong? I’m not sure. But I’ll save that for a sock journal. I think they turned out so cute and they fit pretty well! These are my February socks for my first Box o’ Sox KAL!

Finally, I finished my Old Fashioned Sugar Frost Socks, using the Sugar Frost Socks pattern by Marianne Heikkinen and The Fawn and the Fox yarn. This was my first skein of Lara’s yarn and it won’t be my last! It was simply dreamy. My friend Christine (christine.knits) and I did a swap and she sent me this gorgeous yarn – the Doe base in the colorway Old Fashioned. I enjoyed every stitch! These are my March socks. I have to go back and knit my January sock’s mate, then I’ll be all caught up on my Box o’ Sox!

 

I just bought another 2.25mm needle so I can have two different socks going at once. I’ve already cast on my first April sock! Also I have so much leftover (each pair only uses about 60g for my small feet), so I’m thinking I may whip up several shortie socks. Or scrappy socks! What’s your favorite for leftovers?

OH, and those adorable sock blockers are from AlexWorkshopDesign on Etsy and he did a fabulous job custom making them to accommodate my tiny feet! Shipping was a little slow from the Ukraine, but they are totally worth it!

April will be an exciting month with another baby due! I have some more things to finish up for my sister’s little one, so that should keep me busy for most of the month. Eek! Happy knitting!

 

finally fading + #knitlifesurvey

finally fading!

Guys! I think I’m the last knitter in the world to start a Find Your Fade, but I’ve finally done it! I bought the pattern way back when it was released in December 2016, but I had a hard time finding my perfect fade. During madelinetosh’s annual sale in January, I spotted the Lamplighter Fade set on Tosh Merino Light and snatched it up! It’s only 5 colors, so I’m modifying the pattern a bit to accommodate this and also make it a bit smaller. It’s not turning out as “fade-y” as I was hoping, but I still really like it so far! Here’s what I’ve completed!

 

The colorways don’t have names as far as I can tell, so I can’t list them. Here are the next 3 color I’ll be melting into:

I’m finding this knit to be very meditative, which I’ve needed lately. I have a laundry list of things I want to make, but for some reason I wasn’t feeling anything but this. So I put needles to yarn and I’m really happy I did! You can see my notes and follow my progress on my project page!

#knitlifesurvey

I’m not into watching all the podcasts like a lot of knitters seem to be. Nothing against them, I just get a bit overloaded with content. But I do watch a few, and wool needles hands is one of them! I just love Tayler’s laid back style, the amazing info she gives, and the gorgeous yarn she dyes! Tayler recently did a Knit Life Survey vlog, which I loved, and I really wanted to fill one out myself! So here goes!

  1. What sparked your interest in knitting? My Nana knit beautiful afghans for her 3 grandchildren when we were babies. I used to watch her knit and became fascinated!
  2. How and when did you learn to knit? I was somewhere in the range of 7 to 9 years old when my Nana first handed me a set of (huge, awkward, metal) needles and some acrylic yarn. I knit a few lumpy, hole-riddled squares before putting it down until sometime in college (8 or so years ago), when I picked it back up… the rest is history!
  3. What is your favorite cast on method? Long-tail!
  4. What is your favorite type of knitting design element? Is garter stitch a design element? 😉 Brioche for sure!
  5. What is your favorite project you have ever knit? The sweater I knit my husband because I am so proud of it!
  6. How many projects are in your Ravelry queue? 63, but I try to keep it under 50.
  7. What is your favorite weight of yarn to work with? Worsted!
  8. What was your first knitting project? Some type of scarf, but I don’t remember exactly which one. 
  9. What is the longest time you have had a half-finished project in hibernation? What is it and when did you cast on? Do you still want to finish it? My longest project in hibernation is a tie for my husband. I cast it on in April 2016 and yes, I actually do want to finish it! Maybe for our anniversary in May! Fingers crossed 🙂
  10. What is the largest project you have ever knit? The sweater mentioned above.
  11. What is the worst and just overall bad, didn’t work out thing you ever knit? I don’t finish things that are that bad, but there were some iffy hats back when I started knitting hats (there is no longer evidence! haha)
  12. What is your favorite kind of project to make (socks, sweaters, shawls… etc)? Hats for sure!
  13. What is your favorite type of fiber to work with? Wool. I love BFL and merino most!
  14. Are you a self proclaimed yarn snob? Nope, I don’t mind a little acrylic mixed in. And I’m very conscious that not everyone can afford quality yarns and that’s okay. Knit what you like!
  15. What is your dream knitting retreat or fiber festival to attend? Edin Yarn Fest!
  16. What is the oldest yarn in your stash? Some Noro I bought probably 7-8 years ago.
  17. Are you a gifty knitter or a selfish knitter? Mostly selfish but I love knitting gifts if I want to!
  18. What do you like to watch or listen to while you knit? True crime or knitting podcasts or binge Netflix (Grey’s, Friends, The Office…)
  19. 0Do you prefer wood or metal needles? Metal for socks, wood for everything else!
  20. Is there a pattern or project that you have knit more than one time?  Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho 🙂
  21. Do you have any other hobbies? Yes! Weaving, sewing, cooking, hiking, and I just love making in general.
  22. What is your favorite snack? Chocolate or anything sweet!
  23. What is your favorite color? Grey
  24. Do you have pets? If so tell us about them… Two sweet pups – Molly & Louise! They’re both mutts from the shelter. Yin and Yang. We love them!
  25. Last but not least……coffee or tea? Both! I love a good latte or a cup of English breakfast tea with lots of milk & sugar. Also sweet tea, cause I’m from the South 😉