Remembering…

I’ve been busy knitting various projects for other people and I took a break today to participate in the KAL sponsored by Rowan.

PURE HEAVEN.

This yarn (its called Pure Wool Worsted by Rowan) is just incredible to knit with, the stitch definition is amazing, the feel of the yarn is just terrific, the colors are vibrant and exciting. This yarn reminds me what I most love about knitting: the process.

Two types of knitters exist: process and product knitters.

For a long time, I was a product knitter: focused on the outcome. The reason to knit for product knitters is the hand knit sweater, the incredible cozy scarf or the warm, indestructible socks.

However, over the past year with the various travails I have experienced, the process has become so much more important. Sometimes I forget how mesmerizing the process is – the gentle clicking of the needles, the yarn moving through my fingers, the patterns coming to life before your fingers.

For this KAL, I am focused on the process. With a yarn this amazing, I want to enjoy it as long as I can. I’ll knit at my own pace, when I need something special to focus my mind on and develop something just for me.

So far, so good…I feel sorta…exhilarated.

Here is the first square in Oxygen:

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Umm…

/begin rant

So, I’m completely and totally frustrated with some “helpers” over on my favorite crafting site. Sometimes other people tend to think they are being helpful, but what they are really being is obnoxious. Whatever happened to being NICE?!?!!

I just don’t understand it and I rather not deal with it, as knitting is the ONE hobby that I find relaxing and use it to alleviate stress. So, when I started to design stuff, I thought, “Hey, I’ll get some support from other knitters.” BAD IDEA.

There are people who just try to put you down and irritate you, just because they want to or because they can. They are people who just don’t have anything else to do with their time.

I’m sure you can find these anywhere, but honestly, it’s a waste of MY time and energy. And, frankly, it takes the fun out of knitting for me.

So, I’m back to the drawing board with my new design. I will test knit it myself.

/end rant

Designing champion…

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!

Okay, so I’m not Katy Perry, but this song is so awesome. I listen to it every day on the way to work and I feel pumped up and ready to start my day.

But, I digress, back to crafting news…

I finished my second original design today, adding the finishing touches:

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This is a shawlette that fits over the shoulders and attaches at the front next to the crocheted flowers. I posted it over in the Pattern Testers group on Ravelry because the pattern is pretty extensive, so I’d like to make sure it’s accurate.

I made the sample in XS based on the Craft Yarn Council’s sizes, but I’m not entirely sure I calculated the size correctly. Probably the only way I’ll figure it out is to knit a sample in each size. We’ll see.

I designed the shawl for a co-worker who saw something on Pinterest she liked. However, when I looked at what she picked out, I knew it wouldn’t look nice on her face, so I designed this. I have no idea if she’ll like it, but I got a lot of practice writing the pattern and creating the sample. So, it wasn’t a total waste. Plus, I really like it, so I’ll probably make it for myself sooner or later.

May brings flowers and sheep and wool..

For the first time ever (even when I lived there), I’m going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I don’t think the husband or son will want to go, but I’m stockpiling the dough because it’s going to be a frenzy of handspun wonderfulness!

Honestly, when I lived in MD, I didn’t have the time or inclination to venture to such a festival. For many years, I was solely a crocheter and craft yarn was just fine for me. But, as my knitting talent grew, I just fell in love with natural fibers and collecting a drool-worthy selection of yarn.

I’m not a spinner, but I’ve heard there’s plenty of interesting yarn available at the festival. I’m just so excited! See you there! :-)

Double take…

Oh, how I love twins! A co-worker had twin girls on Wednesday and they are just lovely. The babies were premature, but they are doing very well. I’m excited for him and his fiancé. Children are a lot of work, but it’s so totally awesome to be a parent. There’s nothing like it in the world.

To celebrate, I made coordinated cardigans, take a gander:

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The pattern, in threes: a baby cardigan, is so versatile. I was strolling through the project pages on Ravelry and saw ENDLESS possibilities. This definitely is my “go-to” baby sweater. Have a great week! :-)

Spring is NOT Here! At least not yet…

So the vernal equinox was a couple of days ago and it’s still cold as a witch’s teat in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I think there’s even snow in the forecast this weekend.

To celebrate the continued cold weather (and the need for continued tea and coffee drinking…), I’m posting my pattern for the Cabled Cozy I designed a few months ago.

This pattern is pretty versatile – you can use any fiber and weight. I used worsted acrylic for the sample (I spill much more then is socially acceptable), but I probably will make it again in a cotton or wool blend. Additionally, this pattern requires some basic crochet skills to make buttons. An alternative is to use ready-made buttons about 7/8 inch size or smaller.

The Cabled and Eyelet Cozy  is available on Ravelry for free. If you do plan to make, please post a picture and project page on Ravelry so I can see. I’d like to add some variations of different fiber and technique to the project page.

Below are some not-so-great photos of the cozy. I’m still considering taking a photography class because my photographs generally lack any aesthetic presence or pleasure. But, alas, they are functional. :-)

FRONT:

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BACK:

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Indulge me, please…

I had to take my son to the doctor last week, so I took off a couple of hours last Friday. After dropping him at school, I still had another hour or so, so guess what? This was the perfect time to visit my LYS!

So, my LYS is such a lovely shop, it’s located across the Susquehanna River in a little town (well, little by comparison). The shopkeepers are avid crafters and just know so much about yarn. It’s a true indulgence for me to shop there, as I always want everything in sight!

I happened upon a sale! Golly gee, oh my! I could not say no to trying some new yarns! Especially when they are 50% off.

I picked up a couple of skeins of Casablanca. Let me just say, pure heavenly feel and what a great knitting hand! I love wool and silk blends and this yarn has a touch of mohair! So yummy.

Casablanca con: breaks easily…<insert sad face here>. I went to wind the yarn, was untying the hank and tugged a little – break! I looked on Ravelry and it has to do with the construction of the yarn. It’s a single ply yarn with fibers that do not grab together – result: a delicate yarn. I was able to wind it and created a center pull skein, but I was oh so careful to not yank or pull too aggressively.

Alas, I was able to knit a wonderful cowl with 2/3 skein for a co-worker who is leaving us (still need to block, but this yarn has wonderful drape):

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I really do love this yarn, so I picked up a couple more skeins when I was picking up my special order:

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Just want to warn you, I am a total Anglophile when it comes to yarn. The rustic feel and warmth of English yarn is a pure indulgence. I so wish I could take a LYS trip through England and Scotland. I would even take a little detour into Ireland. Of course, I would need to bring thousands of dollars, but it would be a dream come true.

I have come a bit closer to my Anglophile yearnings by placing a order at Deramores. I was unaware of the total amount of yarn I ordered until 3 large bags landed at my door. One of the large bags was filled to the brim with the Lucy Pack of Stylecraft Special DK.

I am so in awe of the absolute beauty, Lucy in Attic 24, so I just had to try (oh, BTW, Lucy is celebrating her anniversary this week…stop by her place for a virtual cornucopia of crochet, just beautiful…).

I truly believe this Stylecraft Special DK is the best quality acrylic I have seen in a very long time.  I’m saving it for my first original crochet creation. I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do, but it will come to me and I will have this yarn. Take a look, I highly recommend – it’s worth the buy and the wait:

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I so want to continue writing, but, alas, I have many crocheted flowers to make…toodles!