How To Work Lifted Increases In Garter Stitch

This the second tutorial for the Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket. The first tutorial is 5 Ways To Use Stitch Markers

Lifted increases have been my favorite way to add stitches to my knitting since I first heard about them in New Pathways For Sock Knitters. (Thank you, Cat Bordhi!) When working in stockinette, lifted increases, specifically LLinc and LRinc, are easy to work, not fiddly, and don’t create big holes or blemishes in your knitting. Over the years I’ve experimented with them in other stitche patterns and lifted increases work just as well in garter stitch as they do in stockinette. So, when I was swatching for the Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket, LLinc and LRinc were the first increases I tried and they worked wonderfully. LLinc is an abbreviation for Leaning Left Increase while LRinc stands for Leaning Right Increase. Use them together and you get matched, symmetrical increases which makes my designer’s brain happy. 

I’m trying something new for this tutorial. The increases will be shown with BOTH step-by-step instructions AND a gif demonstrating the technique. Happy stitching! 

How To Work LLinc In Garter Stitch

Knit to the spot where your pattern says to increase.

Insert the left needle up into closest bump directly under the right needle.

Insert the right needle just like a regular knit stitch.

Wrap the yarn around the needle and work it the same as a regular knit stitch.

Ta-da! One new stitch on the needles.

How To Work LRinc in Garter Stitch

Knit to the spot you need to increase.

Insert the right needle up into the first garter bump directly under the left needle.

Slip the stitch onto the left needle and move the right needle behind the left. Wrap the yarn around the needle and work the stitch the same way as knitting through the back of stitch. 

Check back February 3rd for the next Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket Tutorial, Weaving In Ends As You Knit. No tapestry needle required!

5 Ways To Use Stitch Markers

Stitch markers come in lots of shapes, sizes, and materials. They can be flexible rubber rings, simple metal triangles, intricate jeweled baubles, or cute beads on wire. You can even make them on the spot from small pieces of leftover yarn, paper clips, rubber bands, or hair ties. Stitch markers can be one continuous piece or able to be opened up and “locked” on a specific stitch. These little tools can do a lot to help with your knitting even if they are easy to lose between couch cushions.

Use them to mark the Right Side of your work. When you first cast-on for a garter stitch project, it can be hard to tell the Right Side from the Wrong Side when you pick it up after a break. Take a stitch marker, different from the rest if you’re using a lot of them, and put it a stitch or two in from the starting edge of the Right Side. Pick up your needles and don’t see the marker near the tip? Then you’re on the Wrong Side of your work. 

Stitch markers can be used to mark more than just stitch repeats. On the Cuddly Chevron Blanket, I placed a marker every time I had to increase or decrease. It kept me from having to count (or miscount) every stitch and left my mind free to listen to podcasts or watch a movie while I knit. 

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Lockable stitch markers are great for tracking your progress. When you’re working on a big project and it starts to feel like a slog, start your knitting for the day by putting a locking stitch marker on a just knit stitch. When you’re done, you’ll easily see how much you’ve accomplished. This trick is great for seeing progress on sleeves, sweaters, and socks, but can be a bit discouraging if you’re knitting a blanket from the center out.  

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Stitch markers are also great for counting rows. Here’s also where locking stitch markers come in handy again. When you’re starting a new section of knitting and need to knit a certain number of rows/rounds, say for the ribbing on a pair of toe-up socks, put a locking stitch marker on the first row and count from there. You could also put a marker every 5 or 10 rows so you can see how many rows you’ve knit at a glance. 

Stitch markers are really helpful when you’re casting on a large number of stitches. I can count 20 stitches without losing my place much easier than I can count 400. So, after you cast on 20 sts, place a marker and repeat until you have the required number for your pattern. No miscounting here.

P.S. Here’s one last tip for all the hand spinners out there. Locking stitch markers make it much easier to measure the yardage of skeined handspun. 


Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket Tutorials

1. Tips for Using Stitch Markers

2. Working lifted increases in garter stitch (January 27th)

3. Weaving in ends as you go without a tapestry needle (February 3rd)

Pattern: Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket

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Early last year I found out that a good friend of mine was having her first child. Since she’s on my knit-worthy list, my mind started churning with all sorts of ideas. I considered sweaters, hats, toys, and baby tube socks. All of those things are still an option now but what what I really wanted to make was a blanket. Sure, it’s more knitting, yarn, and time than the other ideas but a blanket has staying power. It can’t be outgrown like a sweater or a hat or adorable baby tube socks. A blanket is more useful than a toy and, maybe, not as easy to misplace. Plus, if you pardon the cliche, a great way to wrap someone up in love.

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Those thoughts were the start of the Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket. I swatched my way through several different and complicated ideas, none of which panned out, before coming back around to the simple chevron. Soft, cushy, colorful garter stitch chevrons, in fact. After tracking down a machine washable cotton/acrylic yarn that actually had all the colors I needed, a task that proved much harder than I thought, I cast on. Then I ripped out because I wanted the blanket to be bigger. After that, the knitting was smooth sailing. I didn’t finish the blanket in time to send it off before the kid was born but it did arrive before winter turned really cold. 

My original plan was to publish the pattern before Christmas. Obviously that didn’t happen but I’m so happy that Cuddly Chevron is the first pattern of 2015. The first of many! Another first and something I’m really excited about is that I’m going to be releasing a tutorial series detailing the techniques in this blanket! I’ve never released tutorials revolving around a specific pattern before and can’t figure out why I haven’t. The tutorials will focus on several key techniques that will help with both with the blanket and future projects. The series starts next week and will cover weaving in ends as you go (without a tapestry needle), working lifted increases in garter stitch, and uses for stitch markers. If you’re wondering how to work another technique, let me know. 

Happy Knitting! 

Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket

Simple, classic, and warm, the Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket is easy to make and a great gift for any baby or yourself. Worked in garter stitch, the blanket knits up quickly to create a cushy fabric. 

Stick with three colors of worsted weight yarn, just use two, or go wild and use up all those leftover yarns in your stash.

Want to make it bigger or smaller? The pattern includes notes to help you out. 

Size: 30” x 30”

Needle: US 7 (4.5 mm) 36” circular needle

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Avalon - 2 skeins (350 yds) of each color

C1: 10 - Artisan's Gold

C2: 02 - Silver

C3: 17 - Enamel Blue

Notions: Tapestry Needle, Stitch Markers (Optional)

Check it out on Ravelry!

Tips For Flying With Your Knitting

Can your flying with your knitting and needles? Yes. Even in carry on? Yes.

In December the Bearded One and I flew to Alabama to visit family. Since I was spending 3 weeks away, you can bet I brought knitting. The problem was that I hadn’t really swatched for either of the projects I was bringing. So, I wound the yarn and threw everything I thought I’d possibly need in a bag. My supplies included 2 skeins of yarn, 3 pairs of interchangeable needles tips, cables for said tips, a needle gauge, snips, tapestry needles, a measuring tape, stitch markers, and waste yarn. The pattens came along as PDF’s on my phone. My bag wasn’t flagged or searched and went through the X-ray machine without a single beep. So, here are a few tips to make flying with your knitting easy and trouble free. 

Disclaimer: I’ve flown with my knitting and all required notions for years without trouble. I’ve gone through security at BHM, ATL, LAX, SFO, and PHX without any hassle besides from pulling off my shoes, belt and jacket; however, I can only write about my own experiences flying within the United States. I’ve never had to go through Customs or enter another country or enter the US. Follow these tips at your own discretion. 

Print out the TSA’s own page that says knitting needles are allowed in carry-on bags. In all the years and places that I’ve gone through airport security, I’ve never been questioned about my needles or knitting notions or all the yarn I’m hauling in my luggage. That said, I still print out this page from the TSA website that explicitly allows knitting needles because whether or not that make it through security is still up the individual agent.

If you’re really afraid of losing something, your favorite needles or scissors for example, don’t take it. I’ve read advice about flying with knitting that advises bringing a self-address envelope to put any offending items into. You know what I’ve never seen next to security at any airport I’ve been too - a mailbox. If you do really need to bring an something, put it in a checked bag. Don’t risk it otherwise. 

Edit your notions bag. Like to keep some lotion with your notion to smooth dry hands? It has to go in the same bag with all the rest of your liquids. Solid lotion bars seem to be okay to stay with your notions though. Keep your scissors small and under 4”, anything longer than that isn’t allowed in carry-on. Circular thread cutters or anything with a concealed, unremovable blade are right out too. I carry a small pair of HiyaHiya Kitty Snips (there’s also Puppy Snips) and they’re perfect for traveling and everyday use. 

Bring a book or something else to do as Plan B. Just because you can get your knitting on a plane doesn’t mean you’ll have the elbow room to do it. I blame the Yarn Harlot and photos of her knitting on planes for thinking I could get hours of mostly uninterrupted knitting time. If you’re like me and travel with a broad shouldered guy (or just end up sitting next to one), you’ll probably feel a little squished. When I sit down I spread my elbows out a bit to see if I have the space before I go through the effort of pulling out my knitting. I’m not flying First Class, so most of the time, I just don’t have the room to comfortably knit, and it has to wait until after I’ve reached my destination. 

What are your experiences with flying with your knitting? Share your tips and stories in the comments.

2015 is the #YearOfMaking + Resources

I started seriously thinking about what my theme/word would be in 2015 last week. I can stick to a theme/word much better than I can to individual resolutions. (Learn more about the word idea here.) A few weeks ago I was pretty sure that 2015 would be the Year of Handspun but I wanted to do more than spin yarn, fun as it is. I also want to write, draw, knit, take photographs, and whatever else comes to mind. I want to become a better photographer. I want to learn and use my hands. 

One word just didn’t seem like enough to cover all of those things. I was wrong though because the perfect word, MAKE, snuck up and smacked me upside the head. Make will let me write, draw, spin, knit, or whatever. It’ll let me do things with my hands. It will help me research and learn. It will prod me get stuff done. It’ll make me happy. Mix all of that together and MAKE is a wonderful thing.

In order to get myself making January 1st and keep on going through December 31st, I’m going to do the #yearofmaking challenge. The only rule is to make something everyday whether it’s cooking a tasty dinner or updating my site or knitting a single row on a scarf. All are perfectly valid. To keep myself accountable, I’ll be posting a photo of the day’s progress to Instagram. Please call me out if I don’t post anything! There will also be the occasional blog post and, #yearofmaking will be the first thing on my to-do list. 

Resources To Start Your Own Year Of Making

#yearofmaking didn’t come from nothing. It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for months since I came across Year of Creative Habits by Crystal Moody. Everyday she made something and everyday she posted it to her blog. I looked forward to reading about her journey and seeing her art so much that I went back to start from the very beginning. Her thoughts and questions on creativity and daily making are thought provoking and worth reading. 

Another resource that helped me make the final leap was Kim Werker’s new ebook, Year of Making. Werker recounts her own reasons for doing a Year of Making in 2014 and gives tips for starting and maintaining the making habit. Also included are several worksheets to help you figure out what your passions are, what you want to do during the year, and what you want to try. She also details an example spreadsheet to track your progress which I’ll definitely be using.

Shoot for progress, not perfection. - Elise Blaha

I also picked up this wonderful progress tracker from Elise Blaha which will give me get the pleasure of crossing out boxes and seeing a year’s worth of daily progress at a glance.

MAKE in 2015! 

My Favorite Posts of 2014

And it’s almost 2015. How did that happen? While it seems like it should only be July or August, I’m looking forward to the new year. I’ve got lots of plans and I can’t wait to get started, but first I’m going to remember all the good stuff that happened in 2014. It’s so easy to always focus on the next step that you can forget to celebrate what you’ve already accomplished. So, in no particular order, here are my favorite posts/wins from 2014.

One of my top wins is relaunching this site. I love the With Wool name, the new layout, and direction. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. 

Rolags: A Love Story & Handcarded vs Drumcarded Rolags

In bits and pieces this year, I learned that I love making and spinning rolags. Rolling them is easy and they spin up in no time at all. Even better, the resulting handspun is fluffy, light, and warm - the perfect thing to add to my ever growing stash of handspun. Can’t wait to do more with them in 2015.

Looking back through the archives, I was able to relive a few of the past year’s adventures. There’s my first trip to San Francisco, exploring LA’s Natural History Museum, and working my way through the Scorpion Submarine. I hope I can go on as many adventures and more in the new year. 

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Another win is my surprise favorite of Tour de Fleece. On the bobbin and even plied, I just wasn’t sure about this skein. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it either. It was weird and totally different from what I usually spin, but a good soak did wonders. Glad I put in the work and followed through to the end. 

One of my favorite tutorials from this year is about how to start and keep a handspun journal. It’s a great treasure trove of information about your spinning and helps keep track of future goals. 

The Shur’tugal Socks took far too long to get off the needles. The wait was worth it because they’ve become one of my favorite pairs of hand knit socks. I’ll grab them on the rare occasion I can actually wear wool socks out of the apartment. They also made the list because I’ll really happy with the photos. Taking attractive photos of your own feet is no easy task.  

This year’s Spinzilla was a powerful win. I learned more about productive spinning, but the real lesson was that I was only spinning against myself. I don’t have to compete and constantly compare myself to others. Plus, I got 4 awesome skeins of handspun out of it.

I can’t pick a favorite post but it’s fun to look through the Wander the Web series. The photos are mini journal of my days and there’s lots of interesting links tucked away on numerous topics. If you’re wondering what happened to the new updates, the series has moved to my weekly newsletter, with a wooly bent, which you can sign up for here.

Onward to 2015!

11 Wonderful Gift Tags For Your Wonderful Hand Knits

Christmas is just 5 days away! If you’re still stitching away, I hope all your patterns are error free, you’ve got plenty of yarn, you’re binding off before 1 AM on Christmas morning. To wrap all that wonderful knitted and crafted goodness up right, here are 10 printable and DIY tags. 

And may all your gifts be met with just the right OOH’s and AAH’s!

Labels for Handmade Items from Little Monkey Crochet

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Colorful Gift and Care Tags from First Pancake Studio

Fair Isle Bookmark Tags from Eat Drink Chic

Minimalist Typographic Gift Tags from Montgomery Fest 

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12 Days of Christmas Gift Tags from Year of Creative Habits

’Tis the Season Gift Tags from Abigail Halpin

Warm Wishes Knit Tags from 100% Rain

Up for a little cross stitch? Make these cross-stitch mitten tags from Design*Sponge.

Ugly Sweater Gift Tags from Love vs. Design

Keep it simple with my own Make A Bow Gift Tags

P.S. If you don’t want to stay up till the wee hours of Christmas morning binding off, here are some IOU tags to put under the tree instead. 

The Cat And The Hat

Say hello! This vermillion kitty cat doesn’t have a name yet but he (she?) is heading to a new home for the holidays.

Will there be catnip, snuggles, and tea parties? This cat does love a good tea party.

Traveling with the vermillion cat is a matching hat. Since I knit the hat in the 18 month - 4 years size, I was able to make both from one skein of Tosh Vintage. Even had a few yards to spare. I knit the cat mostly as written with the few mods I used detailed here. The collar is garter stitch and 5 stitches wide with a yarn over buttonhole. The hardest part of the whole pattern wasn’t the knitting but embroidering the face. Ripped out the nose and the whiskers several times to create just the right expression. 

 If you’re looking for safety eyes to use on your toys and softies, I recommend 6060 on Etsy. The selection for safety eyes - cat, round, or handpainted - and safety noses is amazing. There are plenty of different sizes and colors to choose from at reasonable prices. I picked up a 12mm variety pack of 5 different colors so I could pick out the eyes that would pop best on the vermillion yarn. Plus, my order shipped quickly so I’ll definitely be ordering from that shop again. 

Cat Pattern: Greta the Captivating Cat by Rebecca Danger

Hat Pattern: Slouchy Babe Hat by me - Download it here

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage - Vermillion

Relaunch!

Good news! The radio silence is over. I’m back with a new site and a new name, With Wool. I’ve got lots of new things - patterns, reviews, tutorials, you name it - planned for 2015. One of those new things is a weekly newsletter about knitting, spinning, interesting links, and plenty of wooly goodness. Sign up below!

 
 

With the new name, I’m taking the opportunity to take this site in a slightly different direction. Don’t worry. There’s still going to be knitting, spinning, and more wool than you can shake a knitting needle (or crochet hook) at. Over the 5 years (!) I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve wanted to talk about playing and about enjoying the process of making be it wooly or not. Most importantly though, I wanted to focus on kicking the fear of failure to the curb; of making and starting something even if you don’t know how to do it perfectly the first time. I’m not sure how well that’s shown through during the past few years but it’s coming to the forefront now.  

If you follow my posts through an RSS reader, click on over on check out the new site (the feed shouldn’t be affected by the switch). Let me know what you think!

Spinzilla Eye Candy

Last year I was living in a different city and, having just gotten my Sidekick, still getting to know my wheel. Spinzilla was just a fun challenge. I had a few ounces of Perendale that I spun and chain-plied into 310 yards (there was no plying credit that year). After the competition was finished, I read about other spinner’s yardage and it was obvious that they took it far more seriously than I did. To put it mildly, my 310 yards seemed a bit lacking. Still, I was and felt like I’d leveled up a spinner anyway. Spinning 3 consistent skeins was something that I’d never accomplished before. 

This year, I started Spinzilla with a little intention, not that I got up early or anything, and set a few goals for myself. 

  • Spin (or ply) everyday.

  • Spin more yardage than I did last year and aim for at least 1 mile, 1,760 yards.

  • Not hurt myself.  During Tour de Fleece this year, I hurt my shoulder spinning long-draw, thanks to poor posture and technique. Didn’t want to repeat that.

  • Have fun. What good is a week full of spinning if it feels like a chore?

By Sunday night, I’d done all of those things even if my shoulders were a little sore. Plus, I had yarn to show for it, 933 yards - 2,533 with the plying credit - of Targhee, BFL, and Polworth. Since I was going for speed and ease of spinning, I stuck with my favorite fibers that I could spin long-draw because it’s my fastest default method. Even better, I love the resulting yarn. Why churn out the yardage if you’re not going to love it and want to use it in the end? The only exception is the neon pink single which I spun inch-worm style in hopes of a smoother finish and a little more durability.  

My numbers aren’t record breaking by any comparison but I had one other goal, to only spin against myself. It was one that I had to remind myself of every time I read a number more than twice mine. “Spinning against myself. Spinning against myself. Just spinning against myself.” A hard mantra to repeat and remember while reading other’s yardage but, at the same time, the right one for me. I’m proud of what I accomplished during Spinzilla and the yarn I made. Plus, I don’t have to recover from  sleep deprivation or aches and pains . So, there’s that.

Spinzilla 2014 Yardage Calculator

Spinzilla is going fast! The competition ends at midnight this Sunday, October 12th, just 2 days from now. Whether you’re just having fun spinning yarn or treating the challenge like a full time job, I’m sure the yardage is adding up. So we can all spend more time with our wheels and spindles and less time with paper and pencil, I made up a handy spreadsheet that does all the math for you. It even calculates the plying credit. All you need is the yardage of the finished skein or single and the number of plies. There’s room for 30 different items which should be enough for even the most dedicated spinner.

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As an example, here’s what my spreadsheet looks like. So far, I’ve spun 2 full skeins and I’m working on my third. Each skein gets a name along with it’s yardage, plies, and notes. At the bottom, the grand total is tallied and you see if you’ve joined the Monster Mile Club for spinning more than 1,760 yards. When you’re ready to submit your yardage, all your numbers are in one place and ready to go.  

Note: To have your own personal copy of this spreadsheet, please click "File" in the main menu under "Spinzilla 2014 Yardage Calculator". To use in Google Docs, click "Make a copy..." To download for use in Excel or as an Open Document, click "Download As". Thanks!

Happy Spinning and Good Luck!

Download The Spinzilla Yardage Calculator

Spinflix

Sure, there are podcasts, audiobooks, and music but, like Alex Tinsley does with knitting, I do most of my spinning by the glow of Netflix. Since we’re at the start of Spinzilla 2014, I'm taking a page from her book and offering up a few tips for making the most of your spinning entertainment. 

  • TV shows top movies. Like Alex says, you don’t have to pick something as often if you start watching a tv show with several seasons. There’s one other healthy benefit. TV shows are shorter with commercial breaks which are great reminders to take a break yourself. Stretch, get a drink, and walk around for a couple of minutes. A few moments of rest, especially during the week-long challenge of Spinzilla or any spinning marathon, will help keep you injury free and ready to spin. 

  • Go back to your old favorites. Me, I’m going to be binging on Futurama. I’ve seen every episode and know the jokes. It’ll be easy to follow along with the story and laugh while still keeping a close eye on the twist going into the single. 

  • Follow subtitles with caution. If you can read and knit stockinette at the same time, you can probably spin and follow subtitles at the same time. Just stick to techniques you’ve already got under your belt that don’t require looking down at your hands 100% of the time. I can draft long-draw and follow subtitles but I can’t keep up with subtitles and draft inch-worm. 

A few of my favorites that I'll be watching and spinning with this week:

Futurama - Knitting robots and lobster men from outer space! It’s animated sci-fi set in the year 3000 that follows the adventures of a pizza delivery boy frozen for 1,000 years.

Psych - Wasn’t fond of it at first but I was hooked after watching a few episodes. It’s funny and light-hearted with lots of great characters that solve crimes.

Warehouse 13 - Objects with special powers and the secret service agents that track them down. It can be completely off the wall but that’s what makes it so enjoyable.

Black Sheep - My one exception to the ‘TV shows top movies’ guideline. Genetically engineered sheep turn carnivorous and it’s up to a reluctant farm boy to stop them. Lots of black humor in this one.  

What do you like watching while you spin?




Tips for Making and Spinning the Most of Spinzilla

Spinzilla-2014-Dates

Spinzilla is almost here and it kicks off 6AM on October 6th. If you’re on the fence about signing up, you can do that here, October 3rd is the last day. This is the last weekend to prep so here a few last minute tips and info to help you get the most out of Spinzilla. 

How to Prep for the Monster Spinning Challenge

There’s a photo contest this year! There are catergories for Best Yarn Photo, Best Team Photo, Best Sheepzilla Photo Bomb, and Most Creative Spinning Spot. 

Gale Zucker has a few tips for taking the best photos of your handspun.

Tips on prepping your wheel for the big spin.

Beth Smith writes about how to prep fiber for the fastest spinning.

How much fiber do I need? It depends.

Empty Those Bobbins for Spinzilla

Last week I signed up for Spinzilla, a week long event with the goal to spin as much handspun yardage as possible. This year, just like last year, I’m going Rogue which means I’m not spinning with a team. It was a lot of fun in 2013 since I got to know my new wheel and level up as a spinner. Spinzilla 2014 kicks off next week on October 6th and there’s still time to sign up as a Rogue if you too want to spin all the things. The proceeds go towards TNNA’s Needle Arts Mentoring Program which teaches stitching and fiber crafts to kids and teenagers.

There are only a few days left to prep for the challenge and step one is emptying my bobbins. I only have 4 that I can use on my wheel as well as 4 storage bobbins. Pretty sure that I’m going to need every one of them. 2 of the bobbins have been holding singles since July and that’s way too long. My plan when I started spinning the singles was to make a 2-ply fingering yarn. As I worked I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to match the colors without performing a lot of surgery. The urge to easily preserve the colors won out and I chain-plied instead. My 2 singles turned into 2 matching skeins of yarn. Won’t be sure until after the skeins dry after their bath but I’m pretty sure I made the right decision. 

The only change I’d make next time would be wearing a bandaid during plying. The constant friction and tensioning made the soft single cut into my thumb. I’m keeping lotion (might not have had a problem if my skin was softer) and bandaids in my spinning kit from now on. 

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Got a couple of bobbins to empty before Spinzilla. Chain plying these beauties. 

Got a couple of bobbins to empty before Spinzilla. Chain plying these beauties. 

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Cute sticky page markers by Duncan Shotton

Simon Heijdens turned a room into a giant kaleidoscope that you can walk around in. 

Yoke in a bag kits used to be a thing.

Sunken Apple and Honey Cake - This cake intrigues me.

Love these embroidered tents and cabins by Stephanie K. Clark.

Tell the bigger story.

All Washed Up Is All Finished

When I went to add this kitchen towel to my Ravelry page, I found out that I’d knit the pattern in 2012 as a gift. Glad I kept the pattern in my queue instead of deleting it after shipping it off to its new home. The pattern repeat is easy to knit, memorize, and read which was just what I needed for last weekend’s trip to Ikea. We went looking for a couch, an ottoman, and a couple of things to spruce up the new apartment. Yes, we did have to unpack the couch to get it in the back seat. It only hung out one of the back windows. 

Once the couch was set up, sans slipcover but protected by a blanket, I sat down with my knitting to assert my dominance. Seems to have worked. The couch didn’t eat either of my needles nor did it forcibly eject my yarn to the floor. Didn’t finish the towel that night but I made my point.

Now that the towel is bound off, I love it. The variegated yarn and the pattern worked wonderfully together. There was pooling but it repeated well and pooling yarn doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. The towel is just the right thickness for wiping up spills, drying hands, and acting as a trivet in a pinch. Good size too. This cloth is definitely going in the rotation and the workhorse pattern is definitely staying in my queue for a long time. 

And one more thing. Now that it’s finished, we’re officially moved in.

Pattern: All Washed Up by Jill Arnusch

Yarn: 1 ball Pisgah Peaches & Creme Ombres - Desert Sunset

Needles: US 6 (4 mm) needles

Dates: September 18 - 22, 2014

@Ravelry

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One last photo from the beach. This seagull was being friendly in hopes of getting a snack. Didn't work.

One last photo from the beach. This seagull was being friendly in hopes of getting a snack. Didn't work.

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Battle Dog! Magical girls! Swords! Cute dogs! Necromancers! It’s cute and fun and I read all of it in an afternoon. 

Villa Moerkensheide by architect Dieter De Vos

Mitered Ballband Dishcloth - Came across this novel approach to the ball band washcloth while looking for a new kitchen towel to knit. Should be fun to try. 

The True Cost of a Knitting Pattern - A breakdown of what it really costs to design and release knitting patterns from Wooly Wormhead. 

Opus the Octopus - And my knitting queue grows by one cephalopod.

No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream (Dairy Free + Vegan) What are the chances I make a batch this weekend? 100% 

Ply Like An Eagle

The Tradition Continues

It’s been a long week since my last post. I spent my last few days in LA packing, cleaning, and putting stuff on a truck. Then The Bearded One and I spent too many hours in a car and slept way too little. Once we were in San Francisco, everything happened in reverse. Take stuff off the truck. Clean. Unpack. Now that the internet is swiftly flowing, the apartment is officially home base and I can once again talk to all of you lovely people out there. 

Now that the bulk of the work is done, I have some room in my head for knitting. I hadn’t picked up the needles in a week and none of my current WIP’s were calling. Needed something I could cast on and bind off a couple of days later. Gladly, I’ve already unpacked the yarn stash so I had a few balls of cotton to choose from and my favorite washcloth needles. Then the Ravelry queue came to the rescue with a washcloth/kitchen towel pattern. 

Seems like I’ve made washcloths and kitchen towels since I first learned to knit. They’re small, quick, and relatively cheap. Without meaning too, I knit a new one every time I moved whether it was a new dorm room, apartment, or house for the past 9 years. Making that towel, or 3, makes that new place more welcoming. Sounds like a tradition to me. Yesterday, I cast on for the All Washed Up cloth and the apartment already feels more like home. 

Wander the Web 54

Things are rapidly disappearing into boxes as The Bearded One and I prep to move home base to our new home. My spinning wheel is packed and ready to go but I still need to decide what knitting is going to stay in arm’s reach. See you on the other side when I have internet again. 

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Sheep to Sweater - I’ve wasted way too much time playing this game. It’s awesome. 

Frozen Almond Chai

Weaving on a metal rack - Fun idea!

How to Tie-Die Tissue Paper - Looks like an easy project but creates an amazing result. I wonder how this would work with fabric.

Urban Farming Classroom by Colorado Building Workshop

Simple Yarn Garland - A cute idea fro what to do with all those little leftover bits of yarn. 

What A Soldier Carries - Bristith military kit from the Battle of Hastings to Helmand.

San Francisco

If you follow me on Instagram, you have some idea of what I was up to last week. The Bearded One and I drove up to San Francisco to tour the city and find a place to live. During the long Labor Day weekend, we walked 33 miles and wandered through Cow Hollow, Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Knob Hill, and SOMA. We saw the city from the top of Twin Peaks and were reminded about hills after living in LA for a year. It was a lot of fun exploring a city that I’d never visited before with the thought that I’d soon be living in it. Picked a great weekend for it since everyone said that this was the first time they’d seen the sun in weeks. Plus, the temperatures hit 70º several days in a row and the fog stayed at a minimum. 

Looking forward to living in a city where I can decide if I want Austrian or Chinese for dinner. The sheer number of yarn shops doesn’t hurt either. 

My favorite meals in the San Francisco (in no particular order):

21st Amendment - Good food and amazing beer in the South Park neighborhood. The seasonal ‘Hell or High Watermelon Wheat’ is not to be missed.

Roam Artisan Burgers - A local chain with great burgers and fries. 

Leopold’s - Delicious Austrian food and beer. ‘Nuff said.

Tacolicious - Walked past this place and it smelled so good we went back to get dinner. Tasty margaritas too.