What’s new?

Well, now that we’re approaching spring (I won’t say it’s here yet, it snowed yesterday!), it’s time for some new starts and some updates!

I’ve got a few projects on the go right now. Recently, Mr. Snips and I traveled to Sedona, Arizona for a little winter sunshine and relaxation, and I took two knitting projects with me.

Sedona

One is this super simple striped cowl. I bought these two skeins of yarn (Mrs. Crosby Carpet Bag in Spangled Cotinga and Squid Ink) because I fell in love with them at my LYS. Though I didn’t know what I was going to make with it, I knew I had to have them. Then I found this pattern was a nice way to showcase the beautiful colors, and it is terrific mindless TV knitting! I opted to make more stripes than the pattern called for, because I wanted to use every bit of the yarn. I’m not sure it’s going to work out quite perfectly equal… but we’ll see once I cross the finish line on this. Here’s a photo of when I was working on it at our lovely little hotel, which had its own fireplace. It was a little chilly while we were there, and the fireplace was the perfect touch! Plus, it made such a cozy atmosphere for reading and knitting.

cowl

The other was digging into my skein of Brenda and Heather Yarns in Who’s Socks. I LOOOOOVE this yarn. I’m a little biased, because Heather is my friend, but she and Brenda are making really beautiful yarns that I just can’t resist. And, this yarn is Doctor Who themed, so what’s not to love?! I originally thought I would make mittens out of this so I could see it more often on my hands than my feet, but I finally settled on Jaywalker because I thought the stripes would look awesome in this pattern. And I was right! Here they are on our beautiful drive back to the airport.Jaywalker

Fun fact – I joined Ravelry because of this pattern! Back in the dark ages (I think 2007?), I was searching for knitting patterns online and came across Ravelry. It was during the time you had to request access and wait. I saw the Jaywalkers on the home page of Ravelry, and knew I had to sign up – I wanted to knit those!! I had never made a sock before, and honestly, it was a little beyond my skill level at the time. But shortly afterwards, I started one. It took me six months to do the first sock. Mostly because I was terrified of the heel turn and stuffed it in a closet for four of those months. And since I had no experience with sock yarn, I used way too much on the first one, and the second one had to be a lot shorter. I took a picture for Ravelry with my legs crossed in hopes no one could see the discrepancy. Lol. Because I for sure was not taking out a whole sock’s worth of work! This was also in the days before I had an LYS, and I didn’t have much “in real life” support (my mom isn’t a sock knitter). I wouldn’t even think twice about trying a new technique now, not just because I’m more experienced, but also because I know so many great knitters I know I could get help with anything.

So now we’re home, I’m knitting along on these two things a couple of others… and I’m looking forward to my next vacation. 🙂

 

My top Christmas presents!

Sure, I made a couple of really nice Christmas gifts, but I also got some lovely ones, too! I thought I’d share my favorite knitting-themed items with you:

  1. Harry Potter and Doctor Who knitting bags. My husband sure knows how to make a girl happy!
    Harry Potter and Doctor Who knitting bags
  2. Delightful Harry Potter stitch markers from my brother-in-law. I’ve coveted these since my friend Smashing the Serene got some a few years back. I’m so excited to have my own set! I think I’ll need to change the marker I have on my Narcissa socks to one of these – only appropriate!
    Harry Potter stitch markers
  3. Knitting charm. My husband hit it out of the park with this one! It’s tasteful, small, and goes great with my charm bracelet. I hadn’t seen one I really loved before, and yet he managed to find one. He’s a keeper.

    Knitting charm

    Knitting charm, shown here next to my Minnie Mouse charm!

  4. Mitten blockers. I’ve never gotten around to blocking my Snowfling Mittens, and now I will! I also have another pair of stranded mitts on the needles, patiently waiting my someday return. And I have a couple other pair in my queue. These will get a workout!
  5. Sock blockers. I already have one set (both sets are from Knit Picks), but I wanted to have two so I can keep my handknittind socks washed and blocked more quickly. I always dry them on the blockers because I think it makes them feel nicer on my feet – I think “crisp” may be the best way to describe it. I imagine I may feel this way about my clothes, too, if I could ever muster up energy to iron them. Not likely! Bonus points in that I was gifted them in a gift bag that looked like knitting. Thanks, Donna!
  6. Poppy stitch markers. These are coming, but haven’t arrived yet. Thanks again, Donna! I looooove poppies!

It was a really lovely Christmas. Not because of what I got (though I have to say I was super pleased with all of the above!), but because I got to spend it with my family and enjoy the excitement of it all through BK. This Christmas season is certainly one I will cherish.

Spring knitting fever

Just last week, I was thinking how I had hardly any desire to knit. Readjusting to a full-time job outside of the home has been draining, and I find myself staring mindlessly at the TV as soon as BK is asleep. I hardly ever watch TV without multitasking – usually it’s knitting, but sometimes it’s looking up cute things to buy BK online or talking to Mr Snips or reading a book and occasionally looking up. This staring like a zombie thing is new to me. But it’s literally all I have the mind power for after the day is done.

But on Saturday, something snapped in me. And I caught spring knitting fever badly. I blame it on the soccer.

Indy Eleven Inaugural Game

Indy Eleven’s Inaugural Game

You see, Mr Snips and I are passionately supporting our new pro team in Indianapolis, the Indy Eleven. Since we are a half-British household, it is required that we follow football/soccer. And while we watch EPL at home, there is something great about having access to live games close by. Back in pre-baby days, we’d travel to Columbus, Ohio once a year to catch a Columbus Crew and make a weekend of it. Now with BK, it’s lovely to have the grandparents watch her and go to a local game more frequently. So far, we’ve been to the first two home games. And while the team appeared to be in a bit of a slump during part of the game, I started browsing the crowd (as I tend to do). Checking out handbags to see if I like them, making mental notes of styles I like and want to look out for in the store – those kinds of things. Since it’s gotten pretty warm, I wasn’t really looking to scout a knitted project, but the evening chill had brought out a few light jackets. And then I saw it two rows in front of me, a perfect lightweight effortless cardigan. And I wanted it. And wanted to knit it. Badly.

I can’t decide what is most like it. After a quick Ravelry search, I think it’s like the Effortless Cardigan, but without the ribbing, in that the primary characteristic is that it’s longer in front. If you know of any other patterns in this vein, let me know! I’m dying to get one made in some kind of cotton-y something for a spring/summer/fall evening thing to throw on for these evening football games.

And then. Then I received a baby shower invitation. And it’s for a boy. So I mentally went through the boy patterns I considered for BK before I knew she was a girl. After some thought, I’m pretty sure it’s going to have to be a Gramps cardigan. But which one (cables or sweet elbow patches?) But then I wonder if I should go for a classic hooded cardigan, because I found those so nice to put on BK in lieu of a coat? My mom has a great little unisex pattern that only has one seam on the hood that would be beautiful – but I can’t seem to locate it on Ravelry.

Then… I was thinking that I bought a short-sleeved quantity of Ultra Pima in a lovely bright blue in 2012 for a Gemini. It was going to be my traveling project for our visit to England, but I was having such a great time at the Olympics and Harry Potter and such that very little got done. I also found a weird spot at the very beginning of the project and decided to unravel everything. So it may be time to resurrect that project!

And of course, I’m still working on my happy, bright pink socks to work on. I’m blaming the knitting fever on spring and looking at these beauties in my yard!Yellow tulip Pink tulip

Spring is here!

Well, my friends, I think spring has finally sprung here in Indiana. At least, that’s what the daffodils in my back yard are telling me!DaffodilsThis happy turn in the weather has been wonderful. Even though there’s a tiny bit of chill in the wind, Mr Snips, BK and I have been putting on light jackets and venturing out every chance we get. We’ve had a nice time catching up with our neighbors who are also outside enjoying the sunshine. The winter was so hard and long that our next-door neighbor had a baby and I never even knew she was pregnant! That’s how little I’ve seen people in the past few months. And this weekend, Mr Snips fully uncovered and cleaned our patio furniture, and we had our first guests (my parents) over to enjoy food from the new grill Mr Snips purchased. It was lovely.

To match the beautiful sunshine outside, I have finally put my autumn-colored socks to rest (blocking now – pictures soon!) and cast on with this very happy spring-y beautiful Orchid yarn from the TFA Year in Colour Club. I haven’t managed to get past the ribbing yet (nearly!), but can’t wait to dig into this cool lace pattern. Maybe a day or two of commuter knitting will get me there!Cavalcade Socks in progressHope the weather is nice where you are. I’m dreaming of the temperatures in the 70s that we’re supposed to have this weekend!

 

TFA Year in Colour Club

As a little treat to myself, I joined the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club.

I have only joined one yarn club before, and that was when my parents generously gifted me a Three Irish Girls subscription. I asked for the superwash worsted weight option (you can see one of those here). And while I loved the yarn, I’ve struggled a bit with what to make with one skein of worsted.

So I was excited to find the TFA club, since they also provide you a one-skein pattern that specifically goes with the yarn you receive. I received my first shipment two weeks ago (or maybe three?), since I signed up too late for the initial January shipment. Here are my beautiful Orchid and Fiesta yarns!

My first shipment of TFA club yarnI am ridiculously excited about both colors – they are even more stunning in person than they are in this photo. The January skein is destined to be these gorgeous Cavalcade Socks. The March shipment came with the Causerie Hatt and Mitts pattern. I don’t know if I’m totally sold on the cable cuff yet, but I’m willing to try!

I’m dreaming of winding up that Orchid yarn and casting on for the Cavalcade Socks, but I’m forcing myself to finish up my Hermione’s Everyday Socks first. I’m very close to finishing, but my lukewarm attitude towards them is slowing me down. The benefit to my new job is that Mr Snips and I can carpool about half the time, and that equals knitting time! I’m only averaging about 4 rows per way (which is kind of sad), but I can’t help running my mouth while we are in the car, too! Maybe I can hunker down and crank those out so I can get started on this brighter, fresher, spring-ier pair.

Monday Musing: Casting Off

I decided this week that there are too many languishing Works in Progress in my knitting bag for me to cast on something new. And since spring is finally starting to feel like it’s on its way, I’m itching to start some new stuff!

This past week, I finally cast off my Hermione’s Godric’s Hallow Hat that I started in August! And yes, that is an obscenely long time to work on a hat. I just hated the whole project at the beginning and it got pushed to the bottom of the bag for several months.

I plan on renewing my work on my Autumn Everyday Socks for the Gryffindor Common Room this week. I had an attack of confidence on these a few weeks ago. I was afraid the pattern (Hermione’s Everyday Socks) paired with my very busy yarn made it look more like I couldn’t knit very well, instead of the lovely purposeful subtle texture that it seemed to give every other person’s project on Ravelry. I love the yarn; it’s a souvenir skein I bought in North Carolina a couple of years ago. I really want to use it for the right project. And since it doesn’t have any wool in it, I briefly considered frogging these socks to make some kind of cowl. But I don’t need any more neckwear, and I always need some socks, so I plan on boldly continuing! Especially since I had already started using this yarn for a since-abandoned Nutkin.

I would also like to get to back to work on my Seaglass Holden that I started in October. I have made it through the stockinette part and I am ready for the lace border. Hopefully, I can drum up some concentration to work on it.

And my work on my Bigger on the Inside Shawl and my OWL Mitts will continue, but I consider these long-term projects.

This week will also contain some adjusting to the time change. Once upon a time, Indiana did not observe DST, and we never had to “spring forward” or “fall back.” In fact, it was that way for most of my life. Sure, we were in the midst of states that always did, and that was a little confusing when you traveled sometimes, but it was at least straightforward if you stayed home. We’re all feeling a bit off from the change, but hopefully we’ll be back on

What’s your plan for the week?

Of hats and socks and pancakes

Before I moved to England, I did not know that there was such a thing as Pancake Day. And I certainly did not know it meant crepes and not the lovely fluffy pancakes my mom had made for me my entire life. So my first Mardi Gras (I know what that is, even though I’m not Catholic!) in England, my friend Sarah invited me over for a Pancake Day celebration and I was hooked. Any excuse for crepes, Nutella, strawberries and bananas works for me!

Since we’ve moved to America, I’ve seen IHOP getting in on the action, but it’s just not the right kind of pancake for me. Instead, Mr Snips whips us up something yummy at home. Every year, I Google a recipe, but this year, we hit on the best one yet – from All Recipes. I’m not sure what’s different about this particular recipe from what we’ve done before, but they were incredible! Below is a picture of one of mine. I favor doing half strawberries, half bananas, and a liberal slathering of Nutella. Yuuuuuuum! It was super delicious. 20140305-095758.jpg

In knitting news, the things I thought I would do last week, I actually ended up doing this Monday. I finished my Cabled Canuck in the evening. After it gets a bath and a blocking, I’ll be sharing the FO with you. I am so in love with it! Then, I immediately brought out the swift and winder to prep my Cherry Tree Hill Superwash Merino in the Life’s A Beach colorway to start the basic socks I mentioned. It’s a hard colorway to capture on camera, but I got the best of the worst pictures of it sitting on my laptop. There is a bit more green to it than you can see here. 20140305-095847.jpg

I was on a roll until I realized all of my long size 1 circulars are on other projects. Which means either putting a project on stitch holders or buying another set. There is no way I will wait till a project is done to start these – I am too impatient!

So until I decide how to get some size 1s free, I am furiously working away on my Bigger on the Inside shawl. I have done one repeat of the decreases, and am feeling ridiculously proud of myself! It may yet be done before the end of 2014!

Wishing you a good second half of the week! I am feeling time slip by way too quickly here, so I will be focusing on trying to slow down and enjoy the moment.