In the 85% Zone

Why Hello There!

Well, I am happy to say, we are 90% moved in to our new house. Well, ok, maybe 85%. I hate moving. You never know how much stuff you have until you have to move it. And honestly, I’m not a hoarder or anything, but I have a lot of stuff. Yarn, books, other knitting stuff, clothes, shoes, cooking things. AHHHAHAHAAHH!!!!!! Just thinking about it give me anxiety.  I think I need those experts from the Hoarders show to help me.  Ok, its not THAT bad, but it feels like it.   I am getting there. One day at a time.  And yes, there have been a lot of bags of trash and boxes to Goodwill in between. And a few more growing piles to donate.

I am sitting in my new office writing to you. I have commandeered a bedroom and I am happy. I have been sharing my office with guest room for the past 2 years and I am happy I have room all to myself dedicated to my creative pursuits.

While, it is obvious I have not written to you in a few weeks, I have been knitting. It has been a sweet escape from the craziness of getting this house together.  I finished the Thyri Pullover by Hiliary Smith Callis, and this lovely Oklahoma February weather even let me wear it to work the other day.  We have had show the past 2 days which has made a great excuse for me to sit and do nothing this weekend.  The only thing I don’t like about this sweater is it makes my boobs look huge. Seriously, my boobs aren’t that big.

Thyri Pullover
Thyri Pullover

My new project is the Feathernest Raglan by Amy Miller, also featured in the Winter 2014 edition of Interweave Knits.  It was a little confusing at first with the pattern and the increases around the neck but I figured it out. I am almost done with the body.  The  pattern is getting easier and I am able to watch my favorite shows while knitting.  I.e. Downton Abbey, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, the season finale of How to Get Away with Murder and a little binge watching of Season 3 of House of Cards. Yes, that has been my life and my escape. Good tv and knitting. But really, as long as I have my knitting, I don’t care what is on TV. Oh, I am knitting this sweater in the same yarn I used for the Thyri, I had plenty!  Shelridge Farm Soft Touch DKW in the Cardinal color way.

Well, I am looking out my office window at the snow melting off the roofs. As much as love seasons and winter and the ability to wear all my hand knits. I really can’t wait for spring.  I am over this cold weather.

Well, I will talk to you all soon. I promise.

-Alexis

Progress

Hello Everyone!

I am making progress on my Thyri Pullover.  You can see my progress on my Instagram page. this latest picture was taken on Thursday.  I am working on the first sleeve now. I decided to add the green to the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater and will put it on the ribbing on sleeves.  I have just enough red yarn for two sweaters, but I needed to get creative and add that extra color just in case.  I like to color contrast. I think it really pops!

Earlier in the week I signed up for my second 5K this spring.  So I got motivated and realized I had to start training.  I am running 3 times a week and while I run I have been listening to knitting Podcasts. I love it.  I love to run, but listening to the podcasts is a nice distraction from hills and out of breath and wind and when I go to the gym, the boringness (is that word) of the treadmill.  I’m catching up with Brenda Dayne and Cast On now.  I love her. She has such calm voice and seems to research and really go into the details of her knitting, the yarn and the artist behind the guests she has on.  I also love her stories of West Wales and the village she lives in.

Ok, well, with the Thyri Pullover and running that is really all I have to report.

I will talk to you all soon and stay tuned to my Twitter @knittingbf and Instagram for progress pics. I will try to update regularly.

I will talk to you all soon and happy knitting.

 

Selfish Knitting Rampage!

Hello Everyone!

Well, the Christmas knitting is over!  I knit 2 Good Medicine Cowls for my cousins which they LOVED!!!  The Christmas lights were finished about a week before Christmas and made a lovely festive addition to the mantel and Christmas decor.  Since the Christmas knitting has finished I have been on a selfish knitting rampage, I will have a nice little gallery of my knitting for you below.  I started with the Mock Cable socks from Socks From The Toe Up book by Wendy D. Johnson.  I knit these in Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes in the colorway Bordello, a sexy red.  I thought the name was so me. I got the yarn a few years ago when I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I then decided I needed to do something with my Noro, so I knit another pair of Waiting for Winter Socks by Susan B. Anderson, I love her patterns and her blog. I think I used Noro Kureyon.  I threw the band away. But look below, aren’t  they pretty?  and very warm. My husband was nice enough to be the and model for me in this photo shoot.  Do you see a pattern of small knitting?  Next I knit the Welted Toque by Melissa LaBarre as featured in Weekend Hats, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  I knit this with Cascade Yarns Heritage 150.  Its a sock weight yarn but its a thick sock weight and I just made it work for size 5 needles. I finished this hat on New Year’s eve and just got around to blocking it today.  I will photograph and share with you all later.

Whew! I was really knitting the last few weeks of 2014. Well, now, I guess I have slowed down a little.  I have gone from small projects to big.  Yesterday, I cast on a sweater.  The Thyri Pullover by Hilary Smith Callis to be exact. This pattern is featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Knitscene. Its actually the sweater on the cover.  It looks so comfy!  The sweater is knit top down and I am still on the yoke.  I am knitting this out of Shelridge Farm Soft Touch DKW yarn. Again, purchased a few years ago at Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I am knitting is out of the colorway Cardinal.  A bright red the color of its namesake, the Cardinal.  As I look at my sweater chest I needs more sweaters so I am concentrating on building up my collection. More pullovers and cardigans.

I hope you enjoy the lovely gallery of my knitting adventures these past few weeks.  Its also an effort to work down my stash.

I will talk to you all soon.

-Alexis

Waiting for Winter Mitts
Waiting for Winter Mitts
Mock Cable Socks
Mock Cable Socks
Good Medicine Cowl
Good Medicine Cowl
Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights

Christmas Knitting

Hello everyone!

First I would like to add a correction to the last post.  I mentioned my Aunt had sent me some Alpaca from Shooting Start Ranch Alpacas in Palisade, Colorado and they were not my favorite mittens.  I honestly don’t know why I said that.  They are definitely my favorite mittens.  I love them where them whenever it is cold. They are so soft and cozy and warm!

OK, Well, my Christmas knitting gifts are now blocking.  YAY!!!!  I can work on other projects now.  But I am still working on Christmas knitting.  More specifically, Christmas decorations.

I am knitting Christmas lights for our mantel.  I am using the Christmas Lights Knitting Pattern from Amalia Samios.  It is an incredibly easy pattern, I just have to make a bunch of lights over and over. I’m thinking of teaching the hubs to knit so he can help.  Or just recruit him to stuff them for me.

Christmas is my favorite time of year and I have been spending this 4 day weekend shopping, decorating and all and all getting into the spirit. All the decorations in my house are up and it is looking rather festive.

Ok, well, that is really all I have for today.  After Christmas when the gifts have been received, I will post pictures and I will have picture of the lights up for you soon.  Until then, happy knitting, holiday gifts, decorations or your own and I will talk to you soon.

-Alexis

Special Project Accomplished

Hello everyone!

Well, as I mentioned last time we talked I was working on a special project that I wasn’t ready to tell you about yet.  Well, the special project is now finished.

I think I have mentioned before that teach knitting at the library twice a month.  A few months ago, one of the libraries I teach at asked if I would be willing to do a knitting workshop for the holidays.  I was honored and agreed. As many of my students are beginners I decided to go with a wash cloth, something easy they could get started in the workshop and confidently finish in their own time. And a wash cloth is something they can keep for themselves or give away as a holiday gift. I had 6 students show up to my class, 3 had never knit before. The 3 beginners caught on beautifully and I’m excited to see how their washcloth is going.  The other 3 students are regulars in my class and were very helpful to the beginners.  That is what I love about knitting. I have never met a mean knitter or a knitter who was unwilling to help another knitter learn.  I have also seen 2 of the students i class and their progress and I am thrilled!  I love teaching. It makes me feel so good that I am helping other people learn and get excited about something I love.

Some examples of my wash cloths while they were blocking.
Some examples of my wash cloths while they were blocking.

Now that my special project is over and the holiday’s are quickly approaching. I am busily working on my holiday gift knitting. I won’t mention what I am working on  but I really do hope to get it done by Christmas this time.

I also wanted to show you something else this quite special. I forgot to tell you that when I was in Colorado I went the LYS there, Tangle on Main Street in Grand Junction, Colorado. They are a combo yarn store and fabric store and everyone is so nice.  I of course had to restrain myself but I couldn’t help purchasing a few skeins. One Skein, the bright pink is from Bludamsel Fiber Works and is handspun in the Grand Junction area.  I’m not sure if she has an Etsy store or not, but I am excited to turn this yarn into something fabulous. The green and grey skeins are from Luna Grey Fiber Arts, click for their Etsy shop and are hand dyed in Grand Junction. Again, so excited to knit these into something. They are each 400 yards fingering weight so that should be easy finding something perfect.

Colorado Yarn.
Colorado Yarn.

Also at the Wine festival there was a booth from Shooting Star Ranch Alpacas. An Alpaca ranch in Palisade, Colorado. I had to buy a few skeins.  (the white one in the picture) My aunt sent me a few skeins for Christmas one year and they are not my favorite mittens.

Ok, that is all for today.  Its supposed to snow so I am going to get a new cup of coffee and watch it come down.

Special Projects

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick note so you know I haven’t dropped the face of the planet. I have been working on a special project lately that I can’t tell you about right now, but after the first I will tell you all about it. It’s a big and exciting project. Parts I have never tackled before but I am excited.

After the special project I am working on now. I need to start my Christmas knitting. I know who I want to knit for and I think I know what I want to knit but I will let you now when I cast on.  Wow!  The holidays come faster every year!  I honestly already do feel like I am behind on my Christmas knitting. And I probably already am.

Ok, Its time I put my laundry away and work on my special project. It kind of has a deadline.  Partly me imposed, the project doesn’t have to be all done by November 1st, but I would like it if it is.

Talk to you all later.

-Alexis!

Travel Knitting

Hello Everyone!

Well, it has been awhile hasn’t it?  I have been traveling, and out and about all over the place.  I have been doing a lot of knitting however and I am excited to tell you all about it.

I finished the Ricardito Cowl and finally blocked it today.  I love it, it is the perfect length and the endless cables were worth it!  It looks more complicated than it actually was.

Ricardito Cowl
Ricardito Cowl

In the past month I have been traveled twice, and taken travel knitting with me.  I went to Corpus Christi, TX for Labor Day weekend and started the “I Heart Toe-Up Socks” at the airport.  I am knitting these out of Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply Fingering in what I’m pretty sure is colorway “Gotta Love Me”. I couldn’t find the colorway on the website but I’m pretty sure that is what the colorway is. It hand-painted with oranges, purples, reds and greens. I actually wasn’t thinking of it when I started knitting the socks because it was the end of the summer, but now that fall is here and fall is my favorite season, I am naming these socks “I Love Fall” socks.  The colors are what I think of when I think of fall.  Warm and pumpkin-y.

I Love Fall Socks
I Love Fall Socks

I also just got back from visiting family and a wine festival in Colorado and started the “Traditional Gansey” socks in Manos Del Uruguay Alegria in the colorway Columbina.  Its White with spots of hand dyed colors throughout, like dye was painted on sections of the skein.

Traditional Gansey Socks
Traditional Gansey Socks

Ok, yes, I am still going through the Socks From The Toe Up book by Wendy D. Johnson, I think I am almost done with the Gansey section.  But we are getting into hand knit sock season so I need all I can get.  Now that I am back from my traveling I am working on finishing both socks.  I am almost done with the “I Love Fall” and will finish the “Traditional Gansey” after.

Ok, That’s all I have for today.  I will talk to you al soon.

Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

One Track Mind

Hello everyone!

Well, its 100 degrees and the A/C, pool and frozen drinks are my friends.  Frozen drinks and the pool go hand in hand, but you know that while I am sitting comfy in the A/C of my house there has been a lot of knitting going on. I think in my last post I mentioned I finished the Traveling Vines Scarf by Crystal Flanagan and the Purpureus Shawl by Maria Leigh, and you were all waiting with bated breath for the pictures so here they are.

Purpureus Shawl
Purpureus Shawl

Right now I am working on Ricardito, a lovely cabley cowl by Heather Zoppetti for Manos del Uruguay yarns, and that is what I am using, Manos del Uruguay Maxima in the colorway Sand. I found this yarn at Hill Country Weavers when we were in Austin, TX for Memorial Day. I was unsure if I even wanted it because I didn’t know what I would knit it into, but the lovely ladies there found me a the pattern for just that yarn.  That’s why I love going to that store every time I am in Austin, they are so nice there and will bend over backwards to find you the perfect yarn, pattern or both. But I digress, I’m not even sure this yarn is dyed. It it just a soft natural off-white color. The one-ply is perfect for the cables and stitch variations.  I like knitting it, but I swear I am cabling every other row and progress seems slow.  I am on the second pattern repeat at least.

Traveling Vines Scarf
Traveling Vines Scarf

My interests lately do seem to be on just one track, I am currently reading Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s Free Range Knitter. I swear, except for the parenting stuff, this woman is writing about me. My obsession with knitting, my abnormally large stash, how I think and am sure, non-knitters see me. This gal is writing about me. I love her, I have been following her on Twitter and reading her blog for sometime and had her books downloaded on my Kindle but never actually read them. Wow, I love this book.  If you haven’t already read anything from her, you absolutely must!  She is hilarious, and entertaining and I think not just me but all knitters will be able to relate to her stories.

Well, I must go so I can get some chores done if I want guilt free knitting time this evening.

Talk to you all soon.

-Alexis

Beautiful

Hello All,

Just a quick note to say hi!

I finished a shawl today.  It was quick. I swear, I’m not used to getting shawls done so quick.  I knit the Purpureus Shawl by Maria Leigh as featured in KnitScene Winter 2013 Issue.  I used Malabrigo Sock in the colorway Stonechat, its this hand painted Red/Green combo without looking Christmas-y.  I think it is a beautiful shawl for any occasion and the is thin in width, so it would easily pull off as a scarf.

It seems odd to me though that in the picture in the magazine the ruffles look bigger.  I swear I followed the directions and did 4 repeats of the pattern on the ruffle 4 times as suggested.  And honestly, my ruffles look smaller.  They do.  I like the ruffles in the picture in the magazine, but I also really like the way my scarf tired out.  Its long, has nice ruffles and pretty color.  The shawl is blocking now so pictures to come soon.  Its also odd that the pattern calls for 2 skeins of 439 yd yarn and I only used 1 skein of 440 yd yarn.  And I didn’t even use all of it.  The shawl is long enough.  I haven’t measured it to see if it is the called for length, but it looks long enough for me.

I guess the whole point of this entry today is that is what is wonderful about knitting.  It doesn’t ever have to be perfect.  As long as you like it, you did a good job.  One of the many reasons I love knitting.

Ok, that is all I have for today.

I will talk to you all soon.  Enjoy your knitting!

-Alexis

A Finished Project and Something to Put it in.

Hello everyone!

Oh my, in the past few weeks I have been busy knitting. I finished my Tappen Zee and sewed buttons on it this morning.  I got the beautiful vintage buttons from one of my favorite  stores on Etsy, Reginasstudio, She as an amazing array of vintage buttons, other vintage sewing supplies including trim, and a ton more.  I could spend hours in her store.  She also is so sweet and wraps your trinkets up so nicely, its like a present when you get them in the mail.

Tappen Zee

Also this morning I finished the Traveling Vines Scarf by Cari Luna made with Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga in Sharpshooter Leafhopper.  (Pictures to come).  I think I mentioned earlier that this is a perfect fall color and will be great fall accessory.  Now I have no idea what I am going to knit next, most likely some hexi-puffs will be done tonight.

With all these hand knits I have finished throughout the years I am running out of room on where to put them.  So a few weeks ago my wonderful husband built me a trunk to put them in. I even had a hand in the construction.

DSCN0039After he stained it, I de-stressed it and also painted the insides a bright turquoise.  I even went out last weekend and bought some antique handles.  I love the look of the trunk and even though I had run out of room in my dresser to place my hand knits, once I transferred them to the trunk there is still plenty of room for more.

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I guess I better get knitting.

Handles before they went on

I will talk to you all next time.

-Alexis

 

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