10.31.2017

socktober

I couldn't let October pass by without posting a sock update in honor of Socktober. Life continues to be crazy busy so the only projects off the needles lately are socks. The first pair is the Pebbles Socks knitted for Sock School 2017, a fun KAL which encourages trying out new techniques. This time around, I decided to knit my first Fish Lips Kiss Heel. And boy, am I so glad that I did! The heels are quick and easy to knit. But most importantly, they are super comfy and fit great. Now I totally get the hype :)



The next pair are just plain vanilla socks with my new favorite FLK heels. But instead of the usual wedge toe shaping, I decided to mix things up and try a new-to-me rounded toe, where the decreases are evenly distributed and which does not require grafting. Really love the fit of these socks.




I saved my favorite for last: Spooky Scrappy Halloween Socks!



These were a do-over from last year's unfinished Pixel Rise socks which ended up being too small. I used the Vanilla Bean Striped Socks pattern with an afterthought heel and a modified rounded toe for the pair above.

Can't believe that it's already Halloween! Autumn is zooming along at full speed. I hope that you are making time for some fun fall activities as well as getting lots of knitting and crafting in.

10.18.2017

attack of the knitting zombies! (Speckle & Pop! Spoiler Alert)

Yesterday my husband showed off a video clip that he had secretly recorded of me as I was obsessively knitting on my Speckle & Pop! Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL. It was pretty hilarious to watch myself mumbling and cursing....there might even have been some cackling as I was knitting my way through a particularly tough section. He claims that he deleted the video but I suspect that it still exists somewhere in the netherworld. So if you come across a short movie titled “Attack of the Knitting Zombies”, you’ll know who the star is :)

And here is some progress pics of my current obsession:





I look forward to Stephen West’s Mystery Shawl KAL every year and this one has been particularly fun & challenging. I got off to a slow start due to some yarn indecision but it is going pretty smoothly at the moment. Although I just started clue 3 and it looks to be a doozy. Which means more material for my budding filmmaker!

9.27.2017

catching up

Exploration Station 


Madewell 




Sorry for the radio silence but things became crazy busy once August hit. My mom was here visiting from Vietnam which is always so fun. I miss her already. And then back to school happened and we are still adjusting to the change in schedule. Having to wake up super early is probably the hardest thing for us to get used to. Especially when I stay up way past my bedtime knitting. There has been a lot of that going on lately. I have been trying to finish up some lingering WIPs which is such a great feeling. But there are some new cast-ons as well so it all balances out in the end. I finally started a new sweater, my first for the year. I am making surprisingly fast progress on it, considering that it is knitted with fingering weight yarn. The color fading definitely helps to make the knitting more fun and compelling. I am also looking forward to the Speckle & Pop! Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL starting this Friday. Just need to finalize my yarn choice. I can't wait to catch up and see what you all are knitting & making! Are you giving into the urge to cast-on all the shiny new Fall things?

8.07.2017

shawls and 80's hair bands

find your fade

I finally finished my Find Your Fade shawl! The journey from 6 skeins of yarn to what you see above was very similar to the plot lines of the hair metal power ballads that were the soundtrack of my youth. In the beginning, it was total infatuation fed by all the gorgeous fades that took over instagram and the blogosphere. The riot of colors were too hard to resist and I quickly jumped needles first into the color party, totally seduced by the fun to be had when each color melted into the next. But as with most large sized shawl projects, the first flush of excitement soon faded into a monotonous poisonous rhythm of garter stitches and yarn overs. But onwards I knitted, until the eventuality of a 7 skein project being knitted with only 6 skeins came to a head: I ran out of yarn with just 10 rows to go. Don't Cry indeed.

There followed a brief moment of intense cursing introspection. The asymmetric shape and massive size of the shawl overwhelmed my petite frame. I had a difficult time finding a comfortable way to wear the shawl since it was pretty heavy. I even contemplated using it as a lap blanket but the yarn was too precious. So I finally decided to cut my losses and keep motoring. But don't feel too sad for me....because here I go again:

exploration station

7.25.2017

sock school 2017

yarn: woolberry fiber co. in the pride and prejudice colorway

school supplies: notions pouch/tuft woolens hand balm/wooden sock knitting tools from little skein in the big wool

pattern: pebble socks

My assignment for this year's sock school is to finally tackle the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I have had this pattern in my Ravelry queue ever since it was published back in 2013. Coming in at 16 pages, it can appear to be pretty intimidating at first glance, with a lot of detailed explanations on how to create a foot pattern as well as an in-depth review of sock architecture. It also has a visual tutorial on the short row technique used for the heel. The actual pattern for the heel is only 5 pages long and includes both toe-up and cuff-down instructions. I found the pattern to be very clear and easy to follow. The heel knits up so much faster than I had anticipated! Much faster than a traditional flap & gusset. But the true test will be how comfortable the fit is. What is your favorite heel to knit and wear?

(I had planned to publish this post yesterday but at around 1:30am Monday morning, we woke up to a tornado alert on our cellphones. We didn't even have time to make it downstairs to our safe spot before the house started shaking from the impact. It happened so terrifyingly fast. Feeling thankful and blessed that my family and loved ones are safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to those on the island who lost their homes. Thankfully there were no fatalities)

7.19.2017

summer festival socks





Continuing with the seasonal socks theme, I'm thrilled to have my summer festival socks off the needles. These were such a blast to knit, mainly due to the interesting stitch pattern. I find that patterned socks knit up much more quickly for me than vanilla socks. The grey yarn is KnitPicks stroll in dove heather and the brightly variegated contrasting yarn is from KnittyAndColor. Not sure what the name of the colorway is since it was part of a miniskein set. It's funny how these socks came about: I had originally knitted the yarn into my cozy memories blanket but found that the bright colors didn't jive very well with the surrounding squares. I ended up ripping out the square and randomly throwing it in a bag with the grey stroll yarn. Something about the color combination caught my eye and prompted me to go on a Ravelry search where I came across this fun free pattern, appropriately called Froot Loop. It's funny how inspiration strikes like that. I am feeling like my sock knitting mojo is finally returning and can't wait to cast on another pair.

Things here have been pretty quiet of late. The little guy is at summer camp for the first time. He is having a fun adventure and making new friends. The hubby is starting a new venture of his own by exploring how to mine for cryptocurrency. It was hilarious how excited he was to mine $2 worth....in 24 hours. Oh well, it keeps him out of trouble. Meanwhile I've been getting lots of knitting and podcast listening in. My current faves are Little Bobbins, Yarngasm and Inside Number 23. Do you listen to knitting podcasts? Any favorite listens at the moment?

7.09.2017

summer traditions



yes, I started another blanket...more details coming soon!

It wouldn't truly be summer without our annual seaside holiday. There is something to be said about little traditions that stay with you year after year: eating at our favorite off-the-beaten track food joints, making sand castles and knitting at the same lovely uncrowded stretches of beach, resting our heads at night and waking up to beautiful sunrises from a familiar spot. It's always bittersweet to leave but there's a reassuring knowledge that we will be making the same trek next summer. Is there a summer tradition that you look forward to year after year?

6.21.2017

easing into summer


Breathing a huge sigh of relief that another school year is over! Now summer can truly start. We've been keeping it slow & relaxed on our days off: sleeping in an hour later, hanging out at the beach, treating ourselves to Rita's in the hot afternoon heat (totally addicted to their mango ice & vanilla custard gelati) & enjoying some easy summer meals. We even recently found a hidden local gem, a secluded creek with its own tiny deserted island & a dock just big enough for my beach chair. While the guys play with their kayaks & paddle boards, I've been making good progress on my cozy memories blanket.


being kind to my future self by weaving in the ends as I go along

A blanket might not be the most ideal summer project but adding those colorful squares is addictively fun. Keeping it in a lightweight cotton project bag makes the knitting more manageable.


As far as the summer reading list goes, I have a delicious stack of novels just waiting for some attention. I am midway through this one by Alice Hoffman and really loving it. The story is set in New York City during the early nineteen hundreds and is a compelling mix of history, mystery and love story, all of which is my cup of tea.

I hope that your summer is off to a good start as well. We are heading to the ocean next week so I am counting on getting lots of knitting and reading in.

6.06.2017

celebrations



It's been a wonderful week of celebrations around here :) My niece graduated from high school. Hard to believe that the tiny screaming baby that I saw come into the world is now the confident and caring young woman smiling before me. I am so proud of her, but a part of me wishes that time wouldn't fly by so fast.


This past Sunday was National Cancer Survivors Day. One of my closest friends and I marked the occasion by taking a river cruise down the Choptank River. We ate a delicious lunch, watched the gorgeous scenery pass by and laughed a lot. It was a beautiful way to celebrate life and friendship.

This Friday is the last day of school for the little guy. It's been a successful school year and I couldn't help but cast on a celebratory sock.

pattern: froot loop

These are going to be my Summer festival socks to usher in the season. With all of the sad events happening right now, it seems even more important to celebrate and be grateful for the joyful moments that life has to offer, both big and small.

5.31.2017

campside shawl




Wow I can't believe that I have another finished knit to show you two weeks in a row! This is the campside shawl which is a pattern that has been in my queue for a long time now. I honestly didn't know if this gradient yarn (Rifton from Jill Draper Makes Stuff) would be the right choice for it but these spring colors were irresistible and I had to cast on. So glad that I did....the color changes kept the knitting interesting. I love the finished shawl and can't wait to wear it while sitting across a campfire roasting marshmallows. It's a terrific free pattern from pompom quarterly and I wouldn't hesitate to knit another one, maybe in a tonal or solid color next time. I'm so happy to have found a pattern for this beautiful yarn which was purchased a few years ago at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Speaking of which, remember this picture from three years ago?


I had jokingly told my husband after coming home from MSW that I should have let him invest in bitcoins like he had wanted. Well, unbeknownst to me, he had used his own money to buy a few just for fun and today he told me that one bitcoin is now worth $2000.00! That's a whole lot of yarn!

5.21.2017

seasonal socks

Hello and happy Sunday! Just wanted to post a quick sock update. The sock knitting has really slowed down this year, especially since starting two blankets and several shawls. These things tend to go in cycles so I am hoping my sock knitting mojo will return soon. I did manage to recently finish a few that have been hanging out on the needles for way too long.

{Winter solstice socks} pattern: charade, yarn: endoftherowyarns

{Spring wildflower socks} pattern: blueberry waffle yarn: lichen & lace

So I guess instead of a pair a month, my new goal will be a pair each season. Guess it's time to pick out some yarn and a pattern for summer. I can't believe how fast the seasons are changing!

Leaving you with some pictures of my Mother's Day present. According to my little guy, the fairies who live in this garden love to knit, eat pie and drink tea :)


5.07.2017

mini-craftcation

Happy May everyone! I hope that it's starting out bright and sunny for you. I had a little mini-craftcation this past week and was able to finish some longstanding WIP's. Just have to block and take some pics. The weather has been sunny and warm so we've been hanging out at one of our favorite local beaches, Matapeake Beach, which is free and opened to the public. Care to take a peak?

this is the fabulous clubhouse

here's the view of the Chesapeake Bay heading towards the beach

and here's my new blanket obsession & constant beach knitting companion


Now I know why these scrappy sock mitered square blankets are all the rage. They are totally addictive and fun to knit on! It's also nice to have an easy, relaxing and long-term project on the needles to pick up when the mood strikes. This weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool which I'm bummed to have to miss. I had to work yesterday and we have last minute out of town guests coming today. On the bright side, I'll have more time to knit on my new blanket :) Have a great Sunday!

4.18.2017

spring mix


We are in the heart of springtime here in Maryland and enjoying every minute of this beautiful season. Easter was a quiet affair since I had to work. But the Bunny did stop by to bring the little guy some treats to feed his sweet tooth....and also left a little yarny goodness for me:


Can't wait to cast on a pair of spring/summer monster socks with these speckled mini-skeins from havirland....as soon as I finish the other two pairs of socks that are still on the needles. Still trying to resist the urge to start new projects but it's hard when there are so many pretty patterns and yarns floating around. I finally caved in last week and casted on a Campside with the beautiful Rifton yarn from Jill Draper Makes Stuff that I bought last year at Maryland Sheep & Wool. The colorway is appropriately named Spring and is lovely to knit with.


Here are some other things that are making life grand at the moment:

*Going for nature walks and enjoying some relaxing time with my little guy who is on Spring Break this week.
*Practicing & improving on my lettering skills.
*Spending time at the various fishing piers scattered around the island, especially at sunset.
*Eating fresh & healthy meal bowls like this and this.
*Listening to fun covers of some favorite mid-century songs from this soundtrack.

So, what's currently in the mix for you? Any fun new projects or favorite easy meals?

4.05.2017

the doodler


No this isn't a belated April Fool's joke....I actually finished something :) And it's not a pair of socks! I think this shawl has been on the needles since autumn of 2015. Not sure why it took me so long to finish since the pattern is wonderfully fun to knit. I remember making a mistake on the cabled section which set me behind on the mkal. And then it was cast aside because of holiday knitting. So happy to have it off the needles at last. Now if only my other WIPs could magically be done. It feels like ages since I casted on for anything new! Which leads to me buying All Of The Yarn.



Oh the vicious cycle of a bored knitter :p