Time for a change

Hi friends! I wanted to pop in here and let you know that I've migrated my blog over to wordpress. It's been a long time coming, and I've finally taken the time to set things up over there. I'm not going to delete this blog anytime soon, but this will be the last new post. From here on out, you can find my posts at my new blog, here. I'd love it if you followed along with me over there!


knitting with Jonas

Unless you've been living in a cave, you've no doubt heard about the winter storm that hit a good chunk of the east coast this past weekend. Sidebar: when did we, as a society, decide to start naming winter storms? Call me old fashioned, but I'm not a huge fan. I prefer terms like "blizzard of '93". One day when I'm telling my grandkids about surviving the blizzard of '93, and how our power was out for almost two weeks, I think they'll be so impressed. But then when I bring up surviving winter storm Jonas, they'll say, "whatever grandma, that's a boy band". And then they'll strap on their jet packs and fly away. 

Anyway. Here in Asheville, we got about a foot of snow, and an adult snow day, which resulted in a three day weekend. 

It really was beautiful. And what is one to do when stuck mostly inside for three days other than knit? I took the opportunity to finish up the body of the sweater I'm currently working on, Docklight, by Julie Hoover. I'm using a yarn you've heard me mention quite a bit lately - Bovidae Farms worsted. 

I don't have anything new to say about this yarn. I love it so much! The color I'm using has so much more depth in person than in these photos. 

There are flecks of blue, red, and yellow that are a little hard to pick up on with the camera, but make the color just stunning. I really can't wait to have this one off the needles. I've started the first sleeve, so I'm hoping it'll be done in the next week or so. 

Unfortunately, life picks up where it left off last Thursday afternoon, but I'm thankful for the cozy, warm, long, snowy weekend memories to reflect on during a busy week. I hope you all enjoyed a nice weekend, whatever your weather was!



This was by far the largest Christmas present I made. But, full disclosure, it wasn't supposed to be a Christmas present. It was supposed to be a present for my mom's birthday back in September, but I clearly didn't finish it in time. So, Christmas present it was. Oshima has been on my "to knit" list for some time now, and I initially wanted to make it for myself. The more I thought about it, the more I knew my mom - the lover of all things oversized & turtlenecked - would love it even more than I would.

(Please excuse the terrible cell phone photos. It was night, and it's hard to get my mom into taking photos, so I did the best I could.)

She requested the size 38, which gave her plenty of ease. While making it, I felt the sleeves were just insanely huge. I mean, I knew there was supposed to be positive ease, but these were just enormous. She kept saying it was fine - she wanted it oversized. And honestly, when I see her wear it, it looks fine on her. I think it's just a little oversized for my liking.

I used Brown Sheep Nature Spun for this sweater, and it was really a pleasure to knit with. It's really soft, and has great bounce to it. And to top it off, I found it on sale at one of Asheville's many yarn stores - this whole sweater cost about $25! I feel like this is one of those yarns that is overlooked. It's American grown and milled, and at less than $8 for a 245 yard skein - it's quite a deal.


 This was my first time doing brioche stitch, and while I appreciate the squishy fabric it produces, as well as the neat look of the increases and decreases, I don't find it as addicting as apparently everyone else on the Internet (don't hate me!). I'm not sure if it's because it's a fad right now, or what, but I just didn't really love it. It could also be that the turtleneck of the sweater needed to be almost as long as the body of the sweater, and it just got a little old after a while. I'm not entirely sure. Seeing it in a pattern wouldn't turn me off from the pattern, but I'm not jumping on the brioche bandwagon just yet.

Overall, I'm happy with how this turned out, even though I didn't love knitting it at times. It looks great on my mom, and she feels super cozy when she wears it, which is always a bonus. This is the third sweater I've made for her, and I'm sure it won't be the last!

Welcome, 2016!

Happy New Year! I hope you all are enjoying the first few weeks of 2016 as much as I am. I've spent the last few weeks thinking about what I want to accomplish, knitting-wise, this year. Over the years, I've decided that setting specific goals isn't really my thing. For example, last year I wanted to focus on knitting socks and use up some of my sock yarn stash. Guess how many pairs of socks I finished last year? Five. And only one of those was with sock yarn - and by one, I mean just one sock. The rest were knit using heavier weight yarn, and two pairs were made in the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas.

{my dad's Christmas hyak socks)

But you know what? I'm okay with it. I made a lot of things I love last year (22 projects, according to Ravelry), and clearly my goal wasn't really something my heart was set on. So this year, I've decided to do something a bit different. I want to focus on a word - something I'd like to base my thoughts, emotions, and decisions around. I've thought about it, and decided I'd like to focus on the word "contentment". I chose this because it's something I can lean on in all aspects of my life - knitting and personal. I may not be churning out finished projects as fast as some others, I may not have the budget for sweaters worth of some of my favorite nicer yarns, I may not feel as accomplished as some others, but I love where I am in my life, and am very happy with it. So I'm going to choose to focus on that this year. And so far, the year has been off to a great start. I've finished a couple of knitting projects, and am very excited for the things I have planned for the year, both personally and in my world of knitting.

I've already gotten a few quick knits off my needles in 2016, and I love both of them so much! First off, over the New Year's holiday weekend, I finished up these Wanderers Mukluks by Andrea Mowry, and have basically lived in them since binding off. I used a couple of skeins of Peace Fleece worsted, and it's one of my new favorite yarns. The 25% mohair content adds just the perfect amount of sheen and shine. I've been trying to figure out how I can get away with wearing them to work, but so far they've been my faithful evening companions.

This past weekend, I managed to work up this gorgeous free hat pattern from Yarn on the House, Father Cables. I believe I've professed my love for cables here before, but just in case it didn't get the point across, here it is: I love cables. I should knit them more. I don't know why I don't, really. I think they're beautiful, and look much more complicated than they really are. I used a skein of Magpie Fibers Swanky DK that was a birthday gift from Jesse. And man oh man, swanky it was. It includes 10% cashmere, but it feels more like 100%. I read that a lot of knitters found the hat to run large and I really like my hats to fit snugly, so I decided to use the DK instead of worsted, and worked the s/m slouch with US 5 needles throughout. It fits like a glove.

I added a large pompom to it because pompoms are just wonderful, and I wanted to use the rest of the yarn - I think I had maybe 5 grams to spare after the pom.

I hope you're all enjoy the start to a new year!


Husband Hyaks

Christmas gift knitting is in full swing here. I'm not planning a whole lot - just a few quick projects. The first thing off the needles doesn't totally count as a Christmas gift, since it's hard to keep things a secret when the recipient sits just a couple of feet away from you when you knit in the evenings. Nevertheless, I'm counting these as a gift done. Jake's first pair of handknit socks!

I used the Hyak sock pattern for these, and they turned out just perfectly. I made a few minor modifications to the size medium so they would fit him the way he likes. I used a size 4 needle for the whole sock, instead of just for the ribbing & heel, and added 3 inches in length, because he likes his socks tight & tall. I also added a few rows to the heel flap since he's a man and has larger feet.

The yarn is minimally processed and perfect for a pair of cozy winter socks. It came from a local farm (the same farm that produced the yarn I used in my purbeck shawl!), and to say I love it is an understatement. The colors are just gorgeous, the price is wonderful, it smells like sheep, and the oils that come out while knitting with it soften my hands up. I wish they had an online shop so that the world could experience this lovely wool, but at the same time I enjoy having an endless supply of this yarn at my fingertips just a short drive away.

If I hadn't added the extra length, I could have easily gotten another pair (for myself) out of the two skeins I purchased, but as it stands, I'm running a bit low on the grey. I'm planning on making myself a pair with the purple as the main color, and am headed out to the farm next weekend where I'll grab another skein of the grey to ensure that I have enough for the accents. My dad has also requested a pair, so I'll use the grey for his as well. I've never knitted anything for my dad, so I'm pretty excited to make these for him for Christmas.

Start to finish, these took about a week. The second sock was done in about two days over Thanksgiving, so I don't think I'll have any trouble busting out another pair before Christmas is here. 

Happy Knitting!


PEI Lila

During our trip to Prince Edward Island this summer, we made a few stops at various family farms, as well as one of the mills on the island. Believe it or not, PEI has not one, but two fiber mills on the island. The one we got to go to was called Belfast Mini Mills, which is a producer of smaller mills that are sold and operated all around the world. They operate a mill on site, where they process and spin a number of gorgeous yarns. I was blown away by the selection and could have spent hours there (Jake is such a good sport). I picked up a good amount of yarn, and have earmarked most of it for projects already. First up was this incredibly gorgeous natural colored wool, called Homespun. 

This line of yarn is made from the wool of the sheep that live on the farm where the mill is. It honestly doesn't get more local than that. And the price couldn't be beat - each skein was $8 (Canadian), which means I got enough for a sweater for less than $40 US. I knew immediately it needed to be a Lila.

Jesse and I were already planning to do another KAL and knit up Lila together, and this yarn was just perfect for it. We finished our sweaters about a month ago, but with the time change, photos just haven't been as easy to take. We braved the cold weather (it was about 30 degrees F when we took these, with 20 mph winds!) and went on a hike this weekend, so I took advantage of the beautiful scenery and had Jake snap some photos.

This wool is a heavy worsted, which made my gauge off a little. I followed instructions for the 32.25" bust to give myself a 34-35", which was just the right amount of positive ease. I seriously haven't stopped wearing this since I finished it last month - full disclosure: I haven't even blocked it! That's how little I've taken it off since binding off.

I added about 2 inches in length, both in the body & sleeves, and I'm really happy I did. 

This is my favorite kind of sweater. A great neutral pullover, with a special story behind it. Another matching sweater with my wonderful friend, made from yarn born, raised, and spun on beautiful Prince Edward Island. I could fill my wardrobe with sweaters like this.


The Stories We Knit

This summer, our vacation was a bike touring trip around Prince Edward Island, Canada. Since we were doing a combination of camping and staying in Inns around the island, I had to pack everything I needed for 8 days on my bike. This meant that packing lite was a necessity - and that included knitting. I threw around a couple of project ideas to take with us, but ultimately landed on Annie Rowden's Purbeck Shawl. She had just wrapped up hosting a mystery knit along, and the end project just resonated with me - for multiple reasons. One, I loved the soothing look of the movement in the lace, and I loved that it wasn't anything crazy, as sometimes mystery KALs tend to be. 

Another thing I loved about the pattern was that it included stories from the farm where the yarn was produced. This gave it a really personal touch and made me feel a little bit more connected to the pattern, which I really enjoyed. 

I've really been thinking a lot about the silent stories that our knitting can tell. From the pattern, to the yarn we choose, to the memories knitted into each stitch - almost every project can remind us of where we were when we worked on it, or who we were with, or what the soothing power of knitting was getting us through at the moment. This shawl is no exception - it has quite a story.

Inspired by Annie's yarn choice, I used wool from a local farm, which is perfectly sheepy and rustic, and cast on the first day of our biking trip on PEI. This project traveled all over the island with us, safely tucked in my bike's saddle bag. I knitted it while watching the sunset over the sea, in our tent, on a northbound ferry, on a French speaking Canadian island, and in multiple Inns across PEI. It has memories knitted into every single stitch, and feels like a part of PEI itself has been knitted into it.

I ended up finishing the shawl after we returned from vacation, and it only seemed fitting to take some photos at sunset here at home, in the mountains where the sheep that grew the wool that became this yarn live. This is such a special shawl, an heirloom that I will treasure my entire life, and will hopefully be treasured through generations to come.

{see more photos on my Ravelry page}

I encourage you to think about some of the stories your knits have created, and some of the memories they may bring to you. It's added a new level of enjoyment and satisfaction to this craft I love so much. I've decided to share some of mine over the next few months on Instagram using the hashtag #thestoriesweknit - I'd love for you to join too, if you're so inclined.