In the glutton for punishment category

In the glutton for punishment category

I finished Steve’s Rob Roy on Wednesday and I am winding yarn today to cast on a second Rob Roy. I know…I am wondering what on earth is wrong with me also. However, it is a nice fitting hat and that is my story and I am sticking to it. Also, I kind of figured out a way to knit this blasted thing without following the chart with a gazillion different symbols. Maybe…

Gale has been distracting me with this hat and I confess that I have done some stash diving to see what I might have that would work. Swatching might have begun…

No progress has been made on sleeve two, see above…

Also – can I just say I am so thankful it is Friday? It has been a week of highs and lows and highs and lows – I am ready to get off the roller coaster that was this week. However, can next week be the LONGEST WEEK EVER?? (think the Jericho story from the Bible) I am wondering if I play Louis Armstrong really loud on the Sonos all week I might achieve success. Do you think that my Keen boots would work for marching boots in a pinch?

Meanwhile, back in reality – I am not going to the Woman’s March on Washington DC; however, I am going to the Sister March in Pittsburgh! If you are not going to Washington DC and you want to find a local march – you can find one here

But, really – are you ready for some links yet? I know I am!

That is all I have this week and I wish you a very happy Friday! See you back here on Monday!

In which we give thanks for wool

In which we give thanks for wool

When winter arrives in Pittsburgh, it arrives with a vengeance. I was greeted this morning with the stellar temperature of 8 whole degrees. (although they are forecasting for it to be well into the 50’s by next Thursday so this cold will be short-lived – which is just insanely crazy and if I was not already coming down with something, you know I would by this time next week!)

But, when it gets this cold – I am so thankful for wool! And, as my slippers from last year have a hole in one heel and I have not tried to darn/mend it yet – I cast on a new pair of my “go to” slipper yesterday. I have one done and am onto the second – it should be done shortly and my feet will be so happy.

Once that slipper is done, I will be working on swatching for a sweater. I have some incredible CVM yarn from Sheepspot and this will be something work related (I mean really, how great is it having a job that requires you to knit!!) Anyways, I have two sweater ideas that I think might work for this yarn – the first is a simple cardigan from Yellowcosmo and the second is Kathleen Dames latest knit along sweater – Basic Cable. I will be swatching for both this afternoon and we will see which swatch wins! Either way, you will find an article about my swatching journey later this month on the Sheepspot blog.

Last month, Caffeine Girl Creates asked me about the size of my Peace Cowl and I wanted to share with all of you my thoughts on how the finished cowl wears. My cowl ended up 8″ x 68″ – so it is BIG! I went up a needle size because my handspun was a bit thicker than fingering weight and I did not want a dense, heavy fabric. Would I want this cowl this big if I were knitting it out of a worsted spun yarn? No, I do not think I would, so I might reduce it a few inches, however in my woolen spun Columbia, I simply LOVE it! It is light but so incredibly warm! I put it on yesterday morning and I wore it all day long. For not having a project in mind when I spun the fiber up, I’d say this was an excellent match of yarn and pattern!

I have some Dorset Down handspun that I was trying to use in another project which has been languishing on the needles as it is not a good match for a couple of reasons – my spinning was not very uniform and I am not sure I have enough yardage to complete the project. However, I think it might work well in the Peace Cowl pattern, so you can look for that to be repurposed in the coming month as well.

Now how about some links?

Tomorrow is Saint Distaff’s Day! So, if you have not used your spinning wheel in the New Year (or in a while…) this is the perfect opportunity to do so!

I am completely smitten with Selbu Norway. (And Selbu Mittens too!)

The OA and The Oa – I love them both!

Field Guide No. 2 is coming!

Water

Alien Trail

If 2017 is your year to try double knitting the Om Shanti Cowl is the perfect little project!

I love these Night Creatures Mittens!

That is all I have for this first week in January – I am off to have a bit of hot tea and to finish those slippers! See you back here on Monday!

Joy in the Journey

Joy in the Journey

 “It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine Monk

I worked through 2016 with a focus on gratitude – and though it took some effort, I really feel like I am ending the year with a better understanding of gratitude. This includes gratitude in my everyday life. From the simplest things to the most complex – I feel like gratitude is part of my being now.

Which brings me to 2017 – where do I go from here. I have been contemplating several words to focus on in 2017 and my mind kept circling around joy and then when I got an email on Saturday from Churchmouse Yarn and Tea with the above quote – the word seemed to leap out of the email.

It is so true, gratitude does make me joyful.

It is not complicated, nor does it indicate that I am adopting a Pollyanna-like view of life – but really, a simple joy stemming from gratitude in all things – even the difficult things.

In 2017, I hope you will come along with me as I celebrate finding joy in the journey.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Christmas Knitting, still?

Christmas Knitting, still?

I hope not. I have a few more inches of Christmas Knitting to complete, but the end is in sight and it will be done later today.

That is a good thing because I am ready to do some deadline free knitting.

Well, sort of…

There are some KAL’s coming in January and February that could be fun:

Last year I did 12 Days of Casting on with the now closed Natural Stitches, but I am not aware of any group doing this during the 12 Days of Christmas (there is a group that started before Christmas which was bad planning IMO) But, if you are interested in 12 Days of Casting on – rules are simple, cast on one new project every day from Boxing Day to Epiphany. End result – 12 items for your knitter’s gift basket… Or perhaps 12 items to jump-start your 2017 FO list… The goal is not in the completion, but rather the casting on. Last year, I cast on multiple mitts and a cowl or two and had things to gift most of the year. If you need some ideas – Gale’s Trip Mitts are super fun and a fast knit!

Now on to the KAL’s:

Kathleen Dames is leading a KAL for An Aran For Frederick. If you want to knit a sweater, or you want to knit cables – this is for you!

If your sock drawer is lacking, here are two quick MKAL options for a couple of pairs of socks in the first quarter!!

1 – MKAL – Kotukutuku Solid Sock’s – 1 clue a week beginning January 1st

2 – MKAL – On January 1st Kirsten Kapur will announce her winter MKAL Sock knit along. Knitting will begin February 1st – you can sign up for her newsletter here.

Need to ramp up your shawl wardrobe? Winter’s Whisper might be what you are looking for and this is free until the MKAL begins on February 1st.

Are you looking for a challenge? Want to learn something new? You can join Louise Tilbrook in her January Brioche Challenge!

And, last – although this is not an official KAL – I would like to invite you to join Juliann and me as we knit Thea Coleman’s Rob Roy together in a mini-KAL. Who does not need another hat? And, if you don’t – you could always add it to your gift knitting for next year!

And, finally – I would like to wish all of you a most blessed holiday weekend. See you back here on Monday!

P.S. A huge thanks to my friend Karen for her assistance with some of this linky goodness!

The Friday-ness of it all

The Friday-ness of it all

The arrival of Friday always brings a sigh of relief, but some weeks that sigh is more of a groan.

This is one of those weeks.

Yesterday, the furnace gave up the ghost. Quit. On the coldest of days.

Three cheers for the world’s most perfect timing. Ever. And, ever. And, FOREVER even!!

Because really, ten days before Christmas replacing the furnace is what everyone really wants to do! Somehow, my inner child belief in Santa does not equate to him delivering and installing furnace systems – or I would have put that sucker on my Christmas Wish List – and then hoped for an early Christmas!!

All joking aside, I am so thankful that we have the means to replace the furnace (which does not diminish the pain at all, just in case you were wondering!!)

This will put some things on the back burner for a bit, but that is alright too but, sometimes adulting sucks and sucks royally!

Peace knitting was again my saving grace. First, having wool in your hands when the temperature is 13-freaking-degrees out is a blessing as is the peace knitting process – I am jubilantly happy to report that the meditative knitting worked!!

Add to that Sherman is a superior foot warmer, which is balancing out the fact that he is refusing to go outside in this weather, to well – do his business. Yep, Poop Strike Season has begun! I am sorry if this is TMI. But, I am finding it comical – and really, laughing is so much better than crying!!

Now, for those of us who are living in the Land of Delusion – thinking that we are going to accomplish more Christmas knitting – there are only NINE days until Christmas!! So, if you have not cast on yet – what are you waiting for????

Here are some links that may or may not be of help (okay, really, they won’t – but you can start now for next Christmas and have wild success!!):

First up, I do not understand this phenomenon at all, that is until I saw this. Knitting Sarcasm FTW!!

Sunflower Mittens are delightful!

I love Short Rose – almost as much as I love the play on words!

Truly Myrtle has published a trio of lovely things – there is a hat, a shawl, and a sweater!!

End-less Squares Blanket by my friend Simone is so lovely. And, it is designed with no ends and no sewing together of squares. Yeah. Plus, scraps of yarn!! We should all get on this ASAP!

Socks with holiday names like Frasier Fir and Mistletoe are fitting. However, they won’t be available for purchase until January – but, would be perfect for next year’s gift knitting extravaganza!!

This just cracked me up! I just love the dog, the cat, and the lamb, but the Pig is the BEST!! And, if you come from Holland Michigan where the saucijzenbroodjes are the be all, end all – and so good to boot! This is absolutely going on my knit list.

Now to finish off with two final links that just might work for last minute gift knitting for THIS CHRISTMAS!! My Mini Mitts and (appropriately named) Homestretch Hat.

Have a fantastic weekend! See you back here on Monday!! Oh, and stay warm will you?

P.S. Of course this could not have happened on Saturday where temps are forecast to be in the 50’s. Yes, you read that right from 13 to 50 in 24 hours! Only in Pittsburgh!

P.P.S. For any Holland Michigan Pig in the Blanket connoisseurs – IMO Hempel’s Pastries on 13th and Maple made the best. Period.

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