12.11.2014

I'm Not Making Any Christmas Gifts This Year

I spoke those words, and I totally meant them.

Then I changed my mind.

Luckily, my family is pretty laid back about Christmas gifts. The last few years we've done strictly handmade gifts, and this year decided to just do small stuff. So when I realized that my only options were to actually go shopping (yuck), or whip up a few quick, cozy knits, I went with the latter.


This one is no surprise. It's really hard to hide a Christmas knit for your husband when he picks out the yarn and sits next to you in the evenings while you knit it. But I'm going for it anyway. In sticking with my theme of quick gifts, this hat is knitting up very quickly. I cast on Tuesday evening, and after working on it a bit last night and this morning, it looks like this.


It'll be done in no time.

11.27.2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving here in the United States, and I've enjoyed spending the day with my husband's family.  We have so much to be thankful and grateful for, and while I try to appreciate it all as much as I can, it's so nice to have one day a year to really reflect on all we have to be thankful for.

it's hard not to be thankful with a sunrise like this out my window every morning
 
I'm extremely thankful for each and every one of you who visit my little space on the web - it means so much to me. I hope all of you here in the United States have had a wonderful day, and that everyone, whether or not you're celebrating Thanksgiving today, takes a moment to reflect on all you're thankful for in life.

11.18.2014

Stripes on Stripes

It's been a while since I posted about progress on my October Affection.  I'm still plugging away, with no real rush to finish. I'm taking my time and enjoying each row and color change, trying to appreciate the way each color compliments the others. I work a few rows most mornings, which is such a nice way to mentally relax before heading in to work.


There's something so soothing to me about garter stitch. I think I've talked about it on the blog before. It's just nice to have a project where there's not a whole lot of thought involved, which still produces an interesting finished project. 

And, the short rows. I have a weird affinity for short rows. They're so simple, yet they can add so much visual interest to a project.


So, while it may not be October anymore, I'm still knitting away on my October Affection, stripe by stripe.

11.16.2014

DIY Mossy Wreath

This project doesn't really need a DIY post, but I thought I'd share anyway, because I love how it turned out. I love a good wreath, but most aren't really my style. We always buy one or two from the Christmas tree farm we buy our tree from, but I wanted one that could stay up all year. So I decided to take things into my own hands and make one.

Everything I got for this project came from Michael's, except for the bittersweet, which came from my yard, and the doily, which I already had. So, basically, the wreath and the moss.


I stuck the bittersweet branches in, putting a dab of hot glue at the base of the branch, and the tip of the branch, just to make sure they didn't fall out. I then went to town, sticking the doily and moss all over, until I felt satisfied with the way it looked.

From start to finish (including hanging the wreath), I think this took about an hour.


The possibilities are endless with a project like this!

11.15.2014

Sandhills

A few weeks ago, I saw Melissa's post on Instagram, showing off her first lace design, asking for test knitters. I volunteered to test it for her, and I'm so happy I did!


This knit up very quickly - just about a week from start to finish. One thing I enjoyed about the pattern was that it's very open to customization. Melissa gives you suggestions on how many times to knit each chart, but you if you want a bigger shawl, you can knit each chart according to the size you want. I knit the fingering version, and the only modification I made (if you can even call it a modification) was to knit up to row 32 on chart C because I was running out of yarn.


Speaking of the yarn, let's talk about these colors. The blue is Lion Brand Sock Ease that I purchased on clearance from a big craft store, probably Michaels. I wasn't expecting much, and had planned to use the two skeins I bought for socks, but when I looked through my stash for this pattern, I kept coming back to this color. I was very surprised by this yarn. I really enjoyed working with it, and have no complaints. The contrast edging yarn is Muscadine Sock yarn from Springtree Road, in color Framboise. I had just under 200 yards left over from this pair of socks, and I'd been wondering what I could do with it. This project turned out to be the perfect match, and I think the color combination of the yarns is so dreamy. I only wish I'd had more! If you want to do a contrasting color edging, I'd make sure you have at least 300 yards of yarn for it. I got as far as I could (I was constantly weighing the yarn to see how much each row was taking), but had to stop 16 rows short of the end of chart C. I'm still happy with the way it turned out, and I've got about 19 yards of the framboise yarn to make a hexipuff or two!

Now, I'll let the photos do the talking:





A big thanks to Melissa for letting me test knit this pattern! Sandhills is now available on Ravelry, Melissa's Etsy shop, and you can also hang out in her Ravelry group where she's hosting a holiday KAL, and you can enter to win a copy of Sandhills.

Happy weekend, and happy knitting!

11.14.2014

Snapshots

A few snapshots from the last couple of weeks, brought to you by my iPhone, and Instagram.


playing yarn chicken (i ended up losing)


layering handknits means lots of different textures


i dyed a skein of yarn with marigolds! it turned out the most wonderful golden color.


a FO! look for more on this one on the blog this weekend.

11.13.2014

SAFF

If you live in the South East, and you're a knitter, chances are that you've heard of the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) that takes place here in Asheville every year. It's a fiber lovers paradise - an entire arena filled with fiber of all kinds, gorgeous hand dyed and hand spun yarn, and probably the best part - barns and stalls full of animals.




Seriously. So adorable.

I'm always really frugal at SAFF, because I know how easy it can be to spend a lot of money really quickly, so I usually stick to a skein or two of something pretty. This year, I decided to splurge a bit and buy a sweater's worth of something a bit nicer, that I couldn't find at any of the yarn stores in town. I settled on Miss Babs Heartland worsted, and I'm so excited to knit with it! I got enough to make a colorwork yolked sweater, probably Sundottir.


It's so squishy and soft, and I love that purple - I'm behaving myself for the moment, and not touching it, but it's beckoning to me. My plan is to start the sweater in January, hopefully as another KAL with my pal Jesse!

In other news, I'm hoping to have a finished project to show you this weekend - it's been a while since I've posted one of those!