stitch-spiration

Sometimes the sea of canvases parts before you and the right project reveals itself. It’s like magic. You know this is the one. You must be united for life. There has never been a more perfect canvas for you.

Well that happened to me. Today.

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But for real! How was I supposed to simply walk away from this?? It will be the cutest pillow in town and it will be all mine!

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WIP progess

Well it’s almost June and that means we’re almost half way through the year. Where the heck has it gone??  I suppose that this is as good a time as any to have a little progress report of my 2105 resolution: finish all the WIPs!! 

Remember the Mystery KAL I mentioned back in January?? 

FINISHED!

To say that this is one of my favorite pieces ever is a major understatement. It’s so cozy to wear and the colors are amazing. I ran into the designer of this shawl while I was at Vogue Knitting Live and he was pretty impressed…and I may or may not have fan-girled a little over him….it’s whatever.

I also mentioned my chunky triangle shawl at the beginning of the year and I’m proud to say that it too is FINISHED!

While the weather was a little into Spring by the time I finished this I did get 2 or 3 days of wear in it. Let me tell you, this shawl and I are never going to part come winter. It engulfs me and  I couldn’t be happier about it. And let’s be honest, fringe is pretty much the shiz.

One piece I didn’t mention was a super soft Alpaca cowl that I had promised Karli I would make for her. FINISHED!

Luckily it WAS still winter so she had ample time to be snuggled by this guy. Alpaca and winter go together like a kitchner stitched seam. Get it?? Yarn humor. Moving on.

Those are the only personal pieces I’ve finished so far. Now before you go saying “C’mon Sarah, we know you’re always knitting….how can that be all???” let me show you the other things I’ve made this year for the store.

       






 
So yeah….at times I even wonder how my fingers don’t fall off. There’s also another very large shawl that I don’t have a picture of yet as it’s drying currently…stay tuned. Needless to say, I’ve been a busy bee. 

And speaking of needles…

…I also learned to needlepoint.

I can only hope that the my good momentum will continue! Going to Europe in a couple weeks will definitely put a little pause on some things but don’t get it twisted, I’ll have a project with me. Hooray for 2015 and getting shiz done! It feels pretty grand.

2015….the year of the wip(s)

I’ve decided that my wonderful track record of starting projects and never finishing them is going to be dealt with this year. I have so many wonderful things on needles, half stitched, and in progress that I can’t wait to have, and yet the minute I see the next love of my life pattern it’s like I have blinders on and things get pushed aside. Well no more! I am determined to spend this year finishing the things I’ve started. For my sanity and my wallet.

Like my mood blanket! Needless to say, 2014 has officially come to a close and while I’m not a whole year behind, I need to catch up from September. I cringe at the word. This picture is quite dated from it’s current state but still….I’ve got a ways to go. Did I mention that I haven’t woven in 1 end?? Not 1. There are more than 365 ends to weave. I cry a little just thinking about it. ugh.

Then there’s this super amazing shawl I’ve been working on. Again, the progress since this picture has been great, but I’m still not finished. I can’t wait to have this beast of a shawl to wrap around myself and keep me toasty warm. Here’s hoping I get to use it this winter….we’ll see. 
And of course I have not 1, but 2 sweaters in progress. The one to the right only needs sleeves and it’s finished. That’s all! The one to the left I started BEFORE the one on the right. Are you seeing the pattern here….

Then there is my mystery shawl KAL…the mystery of which has been revealed for months since I wasn’t able to knit the clues as they were sent out. {palm to forehead} 
This is merely a sampling of the things that need to be completed. I’m not proud of my irrational lack of self control when it comes to starting new projects but admitting it is the first step…right?? People change…right?? There’s hope for me…RIGHT???? We’ll see. I’m very determined to make this happen, even if it takes me more than a year, and hopefully putting it out into the world will be keep me more accountable to doing it. So every now and then I will try to post my most recent accomplishment here, and if a while goes by there’s no harm in saying “Hey Sarah….hows are those WIPs coming along????”. It takes a village.

The Daisy Duke Cowl

Well, it happened again. I was consumed by a yarn. {holds head in shame} This time the takeover was much slower and very gradual but it still happened nonetheless. A couple weeks ago this very interesting cotton fabric yarn popped up in the store. It looked as though strips of fabric had been cut and then twisted around a string to make a yarn. Knitting AND fabric…I mean come on. One problem though, no one had a clue what to do with it. Every couple of days a customer would ask about what to do with it. I would shrug my shoulders. There weren’t any patterns for it so it was hard to imagine what the possibilities were. A rug? A bag? It was a real head scratcher. As the days went by and I looked at the yarn, a little idea started to creep up. I saw a big needle. Like US35 big. The thought of them alone was exciting. I haven’t made a project on such large needles yet so the prospects seemed wonderful. A holy, loosey, goosey summer cowl. Yes!

So cast on I did! And again, and again. I forgot how much experimenting comes with creating something from nothing; the scientist in me was napping apparently. Once I figured out a proper cast on number I went to knitting. After a couple rows it became clear that a US35 was just not the proper needle for this project. There was little to no stitch definition and I was barely an inch in and the ball was almost used up. So frog I did. My next try was the US19 and it made all the difference. I fiddled with knits here and yarn overs there and the end result was a super unique cowl that I absolutely love! The pattern on the fabric gave me a country vibe but it’s still a girly accessory so I named it Daisy Duke!
Here she is!

Because the fabric is a cotton this cowl is still really comfortable to wear in the summer months. It’s not heavy or fuzzy so it’s not smothering.

The yarn is called Wildflower by Knit Collage and it comes in 3 other super cute colors. There isn’t a lot of yardage on each skein so I needed 2 for this cowl.

Thanks to my pal Brie for snapping these shots. It takes a village folks and I’m sure glad I’ve got that gal in mine!

The pattern is available on my Ravelry page and will be on my Etsy soon!

pictures of yarn via

  

knitted mood blanket 2014| joining squares

When I decided on using mitered squares for my mood blanket I didn’t really think about how to connect them and beyond that how to connect the rows together. I just knew I liked the way they looked and that people had been connecting them somehow. So mitered squaring I was. Connecting the first row of squares as I made them was easy. When it came time to start row 2…then the trouble came. I knew I wanted my diagonals to go in the same direction as row 1 so I figured out how to make the first square and quickly realized that square 2 and the rest of the row wouldn’t prove to be as easy. I didn’t want to bother with seaming 2 long rows together so I scoured the interwebs for some kind of solution. I quickly realized that the easiest way to connect mitered squares just happens to be in a diagonal fashion . I certainly wasn’t about to un-knit 21 days of progress so I knew I had to find another answer and find another answer I did! So I figured it was only the nice thing to do to share my answer with anyone else who cares to know. So I took some pictures and I’ll explain my steps. If something doesn’t seem right or you have any questions, just ask!

Note: I’m making my squares with 20 stitches on each side so if you attempt this with a different sized square, adjust your numbers accordingly.

I’ll be referring to 3 different squares to work with:
-The Previous Square-the square in the same row as your new square: Pink
-The New Square-the square you’re knitting: Yellow
-The Top Row Square-the square in the row above your new square: Blue

Let’s go!

Step 1:

(RS)
With a spare needle (I used a smaller one than my squares are made with-a US5), pick up 20 stitches from the right side of the Previous Square(pink), starting at the bottom of the square
Step 2:
With the proper needle-US7, cast on 20 stitches with the yarn your New Square(yellow) will be made in
 
Step 3:
 
I found it easiest to achieve this step by placing the Top Row Square(blue) right side down, so the bottom edge is on top. 
(WS)
 With the needle you just cast stitches onto, pick up a stitch from the right side corner of the bottom edge of the Top Row Square. Having the New Square yarn in front, wrap it on top of your needle(back to front)
(WS)
 Using your free needle-US7, slip your Top Row Square stitch over your New Square yarn, from the back
(WS)
 Repeat this step, picking up 20 stitches altogether. You should now have 40 stitches on your needle with your New Square yarn
Step 4:
To begin this step, turn your work over so the Previous Square is to the right of your cast on stitches.
 
(RS)
 Slip the first stitch from the New Square onto the needle holding the Previous Square stitches
(RS)
With the New Square yarn in front, slip the Previous Square stitch over the New Square stitch from behind and slip your New Square stitch back onto its needle. 
Knit the next row, then continue making your miter square making sure to repeat Step 4 every time you finish the row ending next to the Previous Square.
(RS)
As your miter square decreases to the corner the number of stitches from the Previous Square should lessen evenly until you finish the corner.
(RS)
It should end up looking like this!! It’s not quite as smooth as the top row but I have every faith that it will block out nicely….and that I won’t mind it too badly even if it doesn’t! 
Now that that’s settled I’m also glad to announce that I’m officially caught up on my mood days! It’s such a relief and I’m really happy with the way it’s coming out. Needless to say, 2014 will certainly be colorful!

knitted mood blanket 2014

Guys…..for real….I’ve found the most wonderful project of all time! My friend Holly over at Crafty Holly Louise posted about this particular project she found on instagram(there’s a blog now!) that has taken the crochet world by storm!! It’s called the Crochet Mood Blanket 2014. The idea is that you designate a number of colors of yarn (as many as you wish) to moods that you feel. Then you pick a pattern to crochet and each day make 1 block with the color of your mood that day. Awesome right?! Except for that minor detail of the fact that I don’t know how to crochet!! Obviously I wasn’t going to let that stop me so I decided on knitting my instead. duh. 

Most people are making it in a DK weight so I chose Tosh DK by madelinetosh….because their yarns are my all time fave. A girl that comes into the yarn shop where I work is currently working on a blanket with miter squares and I love the way it looks so I decided that would be my pattern. With those decisions made I went about choosing my moods and colors. Since madelinetosh comes up with such great names for their colors I wanted to base my moods off the color names as much as I could. This is what I came up with and I couldn’t be happier!

Last night I went about figuring out my moods for the days in January I missed so I can catch up and today I decided that I needed a yarn for good ol’ happiness so I chose Courbet’s Green. My squares come out to be about 3 1/4 inches and I want the finished shape to be square as well so I decided 20 rows x 20 rows (with a few extra squares to fill the last row) will do and make a nice humongous blanket! I can’t wait to sit down and catch up!! I see a lot of edison bulb and courbet’s green happening in the month of January.

It’s especially awesome to see the way this blanket idea has taken off. There’s a Facebook group for people making it with over 3,000 people in it. Everyone shares their progress, asks for suggestions and really encourages each other. It’s really amazing to be a part of. And if you feel inspired and want to join in the fun DO IT! It’s not too late and who says you can’t start your year today! There really are no rules! I can’t wait to share my progress with you all here and see this blanket take shape. It’s my first, so it’s even more special.

The Alex Beanie

This year I decided that I would make some winter hats as Christmas gifts for the folks I work with at the wine store! The yarn shop I work at had just gotten in some really great chunky yarn that came in the most magnificent colors so I just knew it would be perfect to use for some hats. I thoughtfully chose a different color that I thought would compliment each of my co-workers. I took into consideration their skin tones, winter coat colors, and favorite sports teams…it was a process I took very seriously.

And because I wanted these hats to be just right and made with love and intention I decided to go ahead and make my own pattern for them! I wanted a pattern that I could knit on the subway and that looked good on a man or a woman. And since the yarn is so beautiful I knew the pattern wouldn’t need a lot of detail.

So, after a few trials, frogging, and re-knitting I came up with a hat that fit all my criteria! And since I’m such a swell gal I thought I’d share the pattern with all you folks! I give you…

The Alex Beanie

 Materials:
            – 1 skein of Malabrigo Mecha
            – 16″ size US9 Circular Needle
            – Stitch Marker
            – Tapestry Needle 

Gauge: 
16 stitches = 4 inches in Stockinette 
Pattern:
Cast On 80 stitches and join in the round

K4, P4 in Rib Stitch until the piece measures 7 1/2 inches from beg.

Decreases for cap: 
Row 1: (K2Tog, K2Tog, P4) Repeat to the end of the round (60sts)
Rows 2-4: (K2, P4) Repeat to the end of the round
Row 5: (K2, P2Tog, P2Tog) Repeat to the end of the round(40sts)
Rows 6-8: (K2, P2) for 3 rows
Row 9: (K2Tog, P2Tog) Repeat to the end of the round(20sts)
Row 10: (K1, P1) Repeat to the end of the round
Cut a long tail and weave it through the remaining stitches.
Weave in all ends.
I hope you enjoy making this hat! It’s quick, easy, and makes a great gift for anyone…even yourself!