A Case of Cast-On-Itis (or Welcome Charlotte!)

A Case of Cast-On-Itis (or Welcome Charlotte!)

After a night of tossing and turning, I woke this morning to this gargantuan web just outside my back door. And, I mean gargantuan – it is over 3′ in diameter, this was one busy spider overnight! Perhaps, I can borrow some of her mojo and I can join her on my upcoming sleepless nights.** Because I don’t have enough projects in process, today is clue 1 of Laura Aylor’s Sand Ripples MKAL. And, yes, I will be casting on. The first clues are always so deceiving with the amount of time it takes to complete them, amirite? I was asked to knit an item for a charity auction and this might work… I am not sure, I will have to see how the clues progress! But, to be safe, I will be tossing the fingering weight stash today to see if I have something that will work for this (and I am more than certain that I do!)

I did manage to finish something else this month, I completed Knit/Wit’s Kerameia Cowl. It was a bit of gift knitting and has been received by the recipient. I am working on a second cowl from the same yarn that will go in the gift basket. It is a great pattern and if you want to try your hand at color-work, this would be the perfect thing to start with as it is knit with a DK weight yarn. I knit it with Fibernymph Dye Works Bona Fide and I like the yarn despite it being superwash. It is super soft and not at all scratchy, so this should be the perfect thing to have around your neck!

In the caught-up category…I am happy to let you all know that the new washer (and dryer) is so outstanding, I have all the laundry caught up from being washer-less for over a week. I am sure that “new toy” feeling quickly wear off and laundry will go back to its normal status of “ugh, laundry”! Oh, and someone asked what is this amazing silent washer… we got an LG Top-Loading washer and it did not cost an arm and a leg. I know some of you are devotees of a brand I had never heard of. Well, maybe I heard of them, but do not recall ever seeing them in any appliance stores. I grew up in a “Maytag” household – and that washer lasted more than 30 years (no really, it did.) Nothing anymore does, however, but I am hopeful that this washer will last longer than its predecessor!**

Now, enough about my laundry joy and how about some links?

Carole has a new grand baby coming and I have been keeping my eye out for cute baby boy things and this week there were some AWESOME sweaters! Sloane Square and Little Roland… oh my gosh, I love them both… so much!! Although, Mary… you might need to knit these too!

Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows… I am absolutely enthralled by a pattern that says this:

“This is a recipe-in-progress, and you’ll receive instructions for general steps, shaping, several possible stitch patterns, and edging. This is not a line-by-line pattern. You should have a sense of adventure and some strong basic skills, such as knitting top-down triangles, working various increases and decreases, and mostly the ability to make choices based on loosely described steps. It helps to have a knitting friend who may be able to answer questions, and to use free online videos for techniques you want to incorporate.”

Veronika Cardigan (that doesn’t really look like a cardigan but is really beautiful!)

Bibbe… is it a poncho? Or a sweater?

Are you a Twin Peaks fan?

Interweave Knits Fall 2017 has an interesting collection of knits but I especially like the Angelina Pullover

Stroma is written for ANY GAUGE! Wait, wut?

And, finally… if you, like me, have at all been following Julia Farwell Clay’s journey (you can scroll through her IG feed and her progress) with this sweater then you will absolutely love the Eddy Wrap pattern! (I know exactly what yarn I am going to use to knit it, but you can get a kit here!)

That is all I have for this week! Have an amazing Friday everyone and I will see you back here on Monday!! I will leave you with the picture I managed to get with the spider in her web and she is impressive!

**When reality is so insane that literally the only thing I can do is laundry and knit.

Be Still

Be Still

After a few very grey and cool days it appears that the sun is making a return today! (Which is very welcome even if it is not bringing the warm weather with it!) And, this morning the blog is decidedly lacking in subject matter so I thought about just writing in hopes that some brilliance would bubble to the surface.

But, sometimes, the brilliance is silent and I am struck by this month’s theme at The Balanced Sisterhood. It is all focused around meditation, stress relief, and rejuvenation. Meditation has been part of my life for a very long time now, but after all that time being still is not always easy.

I have this month’s print out at my desk where I meditate and write as a visual reminder that being still is okay and more than that, it is necessary. In those moments of stillness there is sometimes tension inside me as the external fights just being still. I am a “doer” – as in I must always be doing something… knitting, reading, stitching, writing, cooking, cleaning, doing. However, when I push those thoughts away and just focus on being still wonderful things can happen. I realize that being still is vital to being active – my thoughts are more ordered and less chaotic and I have less tension and stress in my body. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of stillness is enough to energize and organize my day.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Deepak Chopra

As in all things, this is a work in progress but, there is progress and that encourages me to keep going! What about you? Do you have a meditation practice?

Rainy days are for knitting

Rainy days are for knitting

Stillwater #1 is progressing, but it is obviously not a “4-day knit” for me, but I am moving in the right direction. I have one more repeat to do before I begin the bottom ribbing.

The rainy weekend we have on tap will enable lots of knitting time, which is a good thing so I can then get on to the sleeves and the front ribbing. This sweater needs to be done before I can cast on Stillwater #2. The Stillwater KAL begins next Friday, you still have swatching time!

I am going to swatch again with one larger size needle to see what that fabric looks like (bonus, if I like it, perhaps I can knit a smaller sized sweater which would help the speed of the knitting, right?)

I also need to work through Clue #2 for TTL MKAL. So, really, I don’t mind the rain at all!

I began listening to Lincoln in the Bardo today – so far, so much good!

There were a few lovely links this week:

I love when patterns have awesome names!

And, when they pair awesome name with multiple sizes (and awesome yarn!)

Quince put together a new collection of shawls. I especially love Beryl and Reiko.

A couple of cute cardigans caught my eye this week: Tanta and Hummelo

Fairy Dust is adorable!

Chest of Bone readers will love this collection. I especially love Larrimer’s Sweater!

Sometimes patterns evolve over time.

Did you love Peace Knitting? Do you miss it? Then you will be happy to see Eunomia! (It began yesterday, but I think you would be okay to begin today! AND, there is a discount code that will work through tonight!)

Finally, who besides me is like, how the heck is it the last weekend in June??? Umm, Summer? Can you slow down?? Please?

Here is to a long, slow summer weekend! Enjoy!

Monday Rewind

Monday Rewind

I would love to be able to push a button and go back to Friday. This weekend was one of those weekends that you just don’t want to end. The weather was perfect, including the slow, soaking rains on Sunday! The only “gardening” I have left to do is to fill the containers for the porches and the patio. It would have been nice to get that done over the weekend, but time ran out.

By Saturday morning, the poppies were in full bloom. Their cheery red catches my eye every time I go to the kitchen, and stopping to look at them is the best detour of the day. And, the perfect contrast of petals and the purple center is so stunningly beautiful. As Kym says, flowers are indeed magical.

I worked more on my Book Bingo list, invited a couple more people to join, and then began to work on my “Summer Knitting List” of things I need to finish, and things I want to knit. Both lists will take some dedication to make headway on so, I spent some time looking for audio book options on my Bingo list. I was quite successful at the library which I hope means that my summer knitting and reading will be successful!

I did hit a bump in the road on the KAL knitting project. Pro-tip… dropping a stitch with super slippery yarn (read not wool) is a very bad thing. Not noticing the dropped stitch for half a dozen rows is devastating to the knitting. I tried, unsuccessfully, to pick the stitch up but in the grey light of Sunday afternoon reality spoke clearly in my ear – rip back and start over. Reality is right – this is gift knitting and so I ripped back and will start again today. For the record, I am blaming this incident entirely on the fog that is brought on by allergy medicine. Thanks, Zyrtek… NOT!

I know this should be an “unraveled” story for Wednesday, but I am hoping by Wednesday I am as far as I was pre-mistake-discovery. So, if I could rewind this, I would have not knit this on Saturday and worked on simpler projects with wooly yarn!

And that is all I have for today! How was your weekend?

A Summer Count Down Friday

A Summer Count Down Friday

Hullo, Friday!!

Who else besides me, looked at the calendar and got excited that next weekend is Memorial Day weekend?

This weekend is the kick off to so many good things!

  1. Summer
  2. Book Bingo
  3. My Summer Knit Along

In preparation for Book Bingo I spent a good bit of time yesterday on Goodreads and on my library website looking for books for my squares and I have most of them plotted out. One book has a mile-long waiting list – so that moves to the “purchase” category. Two books have a short waiting list and I got on the list now so I know I will be able to get it before Labor Day! All the others, I am golden on and this is a very good start, don’t you think? I still am pondering a few categories: A Banned Book (outside of the US), a Biography of a royal (which royal will I pick?), About art/artist(s), and recommended by a family member (I am hoping my Blogging Family will chime in and give me a recommendation!!)

Today, the real prep work for Summer Knit-Along begins. I will be going through my projects I want to get done and put them in some kind of order. Unlike last year, where I had lots of things with little bits to finish, this year I have things that are either barely begun or not begun at all to finish! I am hoping that the pairing of knitting with Audiobooks will help kick the knitting into overdrive! And, as you can see above, the KAL knitting is moving along smoothly – I love the fabric this stitch pattern is making! This is not my usual yarns to knit with either, but I love them all stranded together and I am ready to wind another ball of the bamboo yarn.

And, that brings us to summer. We got the rest of the vegetable garden planted yesterday and we had a few surprises…we thought we got zucchini and summer squash, but we got an “unknown squash” and bush cucumbers. Yeah, bravo on my reading skills…NOT! Our neighbor gave us a dozen tomato plants – some of which got in the “deer proof garden” and a few will be testers in a couple of new beds that are not deer proof. This will either be wildly successful (okay, I know I am fooling myself here!) or the deer will get some treats of heirloom tomatoes, but can they possibly eat them all? Perhaps a bit of sharing is an okay thing to do…amirite?

I also have some perennials to add to the bed we did last year. Some things did not make it over the winter, but as you can see – the Foxglove certainly did! It is just loaded with blooms! I probably should have divided it earlier this spring…but, I can’t wait. I also moved a yarrow plant from the front beds that was just not thriving at all. I am hoping this move will be good for it and it is happy in its new home!

So, with lots of things to do today, I think it is time for some links:

That is all I have for this week! See you back here on Monday – have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Please don’t forget to share your book recommendations! XOXO

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