Slow Knitting

Hello Everyone!

First I feel like I have to tell you.  I love knitting.  It makes me happy.  It takes all my stress away.  No matter how crazy my day was, I come home and start knitting and everything is better and right with the world.

With that said, I feel like I really haven’t gotten much knitting done this fall at all.  Its just been crazy.  Many nights I have come home form work or from working out and have really not had much energy for anything else so my knitting as suffered and progressed slowly.  I am sure you have all been there.

Well, in September, when I went to Michigan, I started the Laurel Socks in Toe-Up Socks for Everybody by Wendy D. Johnson and finished them just before Halloween.  I am now knitting the Fractal Danger shawl by Martina Behm. This is a fabulous shawl, crescent shape with a great geometric pattern.  It is also easy enough to get me back in the swing of things and motivate me.  I am about half way though.    What am I knitting it with you ask?  I dug out some yarn from my trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool a few years ago. Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering.  Don’t ask what the colorway is.  It is a long story, I know what the yarn is but not the colorway. I even looked on their website neighborhoodfiberco.com and it wasn’t on there so I think it is discontinued.  But my yarn is orange.  A bright beautiful hand dyed orange.  I think it will bring a fantastic pop of color to any outfit.

Ok, well as with all Sunday’s and weekends all good things must come to an end. I have some chicken stew in the slow cooker for my lunches this week that I need to check on.  The hubs went to get wings and watch sports with his buddy so I am left to forage for my own dinner.  And I’m getting kind of hungry so I am going go do that now.

I will talk to you all soon and I hope in the crazy holiday’s we are walking into you get to set aside some time to knit for yourselves.

I will take to you soon and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Welcome Fall

Hello Everyone,

Well, I am home and fully recovered from my vacation.  I have been knitting but really not much.  It’s been a bit busy around here so when I get home from work, I don’t have a whole lot of energy to knit.  I am still knitting on the Laurel Socks that I was knitting on my vacation.  Maybe that is why.  It is an involved lace pattern.   I am almost done and if I push, I can finish this week.   I have had a few other projects going on since I returned from vacation though.  I have decided to sew my halloween costume.  Yes, for the first time in over 10 years I am sewing.  I used to sew a lot and I know how and was pretty good so I was nervous but sewing is like riding a bike.  You never forget.  I started on my costume last night and I am surprised, it all came back to me.  I am not done yet.  One more weekend I will have an awesome costume!  I will let you all know what I am going to be when it is finished.

Speaking of finished projects, I promised you I would show you a picture of my Rocky Coast Cardigan and here it is.  I am so proud of it and excited it is done and here.  It kept me warm on the beach by the fire in Mackinac if only it would cool down here so I could wear it again.

Rocky Coast Cardigan
Rocky Coast Cardigan

So, on my plate right now, knitting and sewing.  I do have a deadline the Halloween costume so I may put that first.  Ug, I want to finish that sock!  Wish me luck on both.

I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Vacation Mode

Hello everyone!

Well here I am on vacation in Michigan san the hubs.  I came up by myself to join my MIL, my SIL and my husband’s Aunt for a girls weekend on Macinak Island for the weekend.  I am spending a few extra days to hang out in Western Michigan with my lovely Mother-in-Law.  We had an amazing time on our road trip and on the island itself.  I love coming to Michigan, it is so green and so many trees and up north on the lake is beyond beautiful!  I can’t even describe.

We had a great road trip up to Macinak stopping in Frankenmuth, MI.  I very cute (and touristy) town with a German themed main street with all sorts of cute boutiques and a Cheese Haus!  And of course, how can I ever travel without finding a yarn store.  This great little boutique named Rapunzel’s Boutique.  They have great clothing, jewelry and gifts in the front but toward the back… YARN!!!  Madeline Tosh, Plymouth and my favorite Michigan yarn Stonehenge Fiber Mill.  The had a whole basket of mill ends so I bought 2 skeins. I think I already have 2 or 3 skeins at home.  Wondering what I will do with them…

Macinak Island itself is quite a tourist town but a very cute village set in a view that honestly, I would brave their winters to live on that island year around.  All of the houses and buildings are Victorian and all vividly painted like they were brand new and there is beautiful flowers and landscaping all over the island.  While my MIL and aunt took a trolly tour of the island my SIL and I had a great time exploring on our own.  We found a stair case that let right up the hill and then stumbled upon my other favorite place than a yarn store.  The Butterfly House!  Of course we had to go in.  So many butterflies the flitting around.  I got so many pictures of the island, our hotel on the beach of Lake Huron on the mainland and of the Butterfly House but alas, I left my USB cable for my camera at home in OKC so you will just have to do with my Instagram pictures for now, but I will post them below for your.

I love being on vacation and traveling.  It is true what they say.  Everyone needs vacations, to travel, to forget about their routine and relax and try new things. Get out of your comfort zone.   Quit watching the news and checking emails and your social media feeds and even just get into different scenery and be around different people. That is what is great about traveling and vacation.

So here are some pictures of Frankenmuth and Macinak for your viewing enjoyment and possibly a weekend getaway.

Talk to you all soon!

-Alexis

Cheesy tourist stop.

A photo posted by Alexis (@butterfly_knitter) on

Wow!

A photo posted by Alexis (@butterfly_knitter) on

If it not be yarn. It be butterflies

A photo posted by Alexis (@butterfly_knitter) on

BBQ’s and Knitting

Hello Everyone!  Well, I am taking some downtime uploading some Jimmy Buffett on my iPod (yes, I still use an iPod for music, not my phone) for a BBQ we are having today.  While I had my computer open, I thought I would blog.  It is the middle of August and nearing the end of what has turned out to be a very busy and social summer.  There was one week, not to long ago that I had something going on after work every night of the week including Saturday.  The average time I got home was 9 pm.  I didn’t even knit those nights, by the time I got home, I only had enough energy and brain capacity to lift the wine glass to my mouth while I watched House Hunters.  (I love that show)

Fortunately I was able to finish my Sunnyside Market Tote before then. I haven’t used it yet but I will let you know when I do.  It so pretty and colorful but I can’t tell you the last time I went to a Farmers Market.  I don’t know when or for what, but I am sure I will find a use for it.

Sunny side Market Tote
Sunny side Market Tote

 

Unfortunately during this busy summer, I have had kind of slow progress on my Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig,  I started this in July and I want to wear it on my vacation to Michigan this September, I will be in Northern Michigan by the lake so I think I will need a sweater.  I am leaving in 3 weeks and I am almost done with the 1st sleeve.  So one more sleeve after this on and the collar.  I have been wanted to knit this sweater since I heard about it when the book it is in Coastal Knits, by Hannah Fettig & Alana Dakos came out. I tried once before but apparently didn’t buy the correct yarn.  So this time made sure to do so. I am using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targee Worsted in the colorway Strawberry Fields Forever that I purchased last year at Rhinebeck.  I got this yarn specifically for this sweater.  Other than the fact that I have knit with Blue Moon before and I LOVE LOVE LOVE their yarn, I love it came in one of these long loose loops, not a skein so I got to ball all 600 yards of each “loop” into one gigantic ball.  I loved the giant ball. Right now I am on giant ball #2 that still doesn’t even fit into my yarn bowl.

That's a big ball of yarn.

A photo posted by Alexis (@butterfly_knitter) on

I think if I buckle down I can get that sweater done before I leave.  Wish me luck.

Ok, must go shower and get the food out for the bbq.  Bob is grilling burgers, I made my Crab and Spinach dip, Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups and Candy Crack.  Our guest are also bringing food so I can kiss my diet goodbye today.

I will talk to you all soon!  Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Summer Adventures

Hello Everyone!

So far it has been one hot summer!  If it weren’t for the humidity it would be bearable but man, its just sticky and awful.

As hot and gross and it has been however, I have able to get myself out of the air conditioning and enjoy the summer.

First stop, Bob and I went to Eureka Springs, AR for 4th of July weekend, we had a great time!  Eureka Springs is a very neat town, nestled in the Ozark Mountains in northwest Arkansas. It is a tiny Victorian town set on winding hilly roads with lots of trees.  We got in about lunchtime on Saturday and ate a delicious lunch and walked around Main Street where all the shops are.

We even stumbled upon a yarn store, I really did not think there would be one in town, but my wonderful husband found it online and lead me right to it. It is called Red Scottie Fibers and shares a space with Hardcastle Folk Art.  It is a really neat shop with yarn, fiber, art, fabric and everything else.  I found some Mirasol Pima Splash some yarn by a local dyer called Show Me Yarn. It a Merino, Cashmere, Nylon blend hand dyed in the Ozarks.  Sh

Eureka Springs, AR
Eureka Springs, AR

e has a shop on Etsy, but as of this post it is closed as she is preparing for a show.  So check back soon.  She also has a website where you can find out all about her products, where to find them and upcoming events.  Showmeyarn.com

Bob and I love to explore new places and towns and have new adventures together, and I must say Eureka Spring is my new favorite place.  I love it more because it is so artsy and a little hippy town.  And it is so close for a quick weekend getaway.  We really just spent one night in town and came home on Sunday but I can’t wait to go again and explore the town more.

As for knitting, I finally took a picture of the Picabeau, and am currently working on the Sunnyside Market Tote, a kit I got from Knitpicks.com years ago. It is knit using their Cotlin yarn which is been of Cotton and Linen, perfect to knit with in the summer.  I really do think that cotton yarn or any plant fiber feels cooler to knit with then wool or any animal fiber.  The tote is coming along nicely and I love the color pops. I will be fun to use when it is done.

Pica beau
Pica beau

That is all I have for now, I hope you are all enjoying your summer’s and having your own adventures.

-Alexis

Summer Knitting

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far.  We have had quite a heat wave.  High 90’s with over 90% humidity.  Give me 90 degrees an up any day but not the humidity.  I hate humidity.  You just feel sticky, dirty and miserable.

While we have been in this heat wave I have been happily sitting in the AC and knitting the Picabeau Shawl by Jennifer Dassau.  I really like this shawl but I’m not sure if I am reading the pattern correctly or not. For the first part of the shawl (the increases) you are supposed to work a 16 row repeat 8 time until you have 133 stitches. Well, after my 8th pattern repeat, I only had like 70 or so stitches.  I have read and re-read the pattern and am pretty sure I am doing it right and have plenty of yarn so I just continued on the first part of the shawl, I lost count of pattern repeats after 10 but the other night, I got my 133 stitches and began the second, part, the decrease part. It is coming right along but I am sorry to say I haven’t knit all weekend. I have been quite social out and about both Friday and Saturday evenings. Hopefully I can get some knitting done tonight.  One good thing, with my extra pattern repeats, the shawl will be a lot longer, I really like long shawls as I wear them around my neck like a scarf.  I am knitting the Picabeau Shawl out of GnomeAcres Hand Dyed Fingering Sock yarn in the colorway Hermione.  Its a natural colored yard with reds, pinks and browns.  The shawl really is coming out very pretty, color and pattern wise.  this is a great couch knit and perfect for binge watching when it is too hot to go outside. While I am not sure if I read the pattern right or what, I would knit this again.

I think I owe you pictures from my last post, so here they are, pictures of my Rosebud Socks and my Mindless TV Afghan.

Rosebud Socks
Rosebud Socks
Mindless Knitting TV Afghan
Mindless Knitting TV Afghan

I have also been gardening this summer, I planted my garden in early may so I think I may have planted it a bit too late, all my plants look very healthy but no blossoms or fruit/veggies yet. I even put some fertilizer spikes in but maybe when the weather starts to cool in the fall  I will get something. If not, oh well, I will just have plant earlier next year but I didn’t even get my garden built until May this year.

Well, that is all I have for today, I will be back later with more summer knitting fun.  I hope you are all staying out of the heat and finding some good summer knitting projects to work on as well. If you want to share what you are working on in the heat or the AC, go ahead and let me know in the comments.

Talk to you soon and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Socks and Shawls

Hello There!

Well, here we are in the middle of Spring and you wouldn’t even know it. It is cloudy and in the 60’s here in OKC, and I was speaking to my MIL this afternoon and it is SNOWING at here house in Michigan. SNOWING in MAY!!!!  Lets hope we get some sunshine soon.

In knitting news, a little over a week ago I finished the Pogona shawl by Steven West.  I love his designs, not only does he have a great eye for color and design, his designs, especially his shawls have amazing and interesting geometric design yet still have beautiful drape.  I must say however, I am a little disappointed in this shawl.  I should have known I wouldn’t like as it only needed 380 yards of fingering.  I like my shawls big and long, so I can wrap them around my neck like a scarf. While this shawl is big deep wise, judging from the wingspan and a quick try-on before I blocked it really will not wrap around my neck very well.  Its blocking now so maybe it will be better blocking.  I am a bit disappointed. I loved the design and the yarn color. The yarn I used was Sun Valley Fibers in Ring of Fire, a bright fiery red colorway.  Red is my favorite color and I would love to wear it.  I also love Sun Valley Fibers, the yarn is always so soft and the colors are rich and beautiful.  When this shawl is done blocking I will try it on and see, maybe I can wear it someway.  I love the color.

Last Monday I came home from a long Mother’s Day weekend in Las Vegas to visit my Mom.  We had such a fun time shopping, eating and just hanging out and enjoying each others company.  It is hard being away from my Mom and love going to visit her.  It was also nice to be home for a few days. Its so funny about going to visit you hometown, you see so much has changed, but if you really look, it really hasn’t changed much at all and it still your town.

For my trip I cast on a sock at the airport while waiting to board my plane.  I cast on the Rosebud Socks by Wendy B. Johnson from her book Toe-Up Socks for Every Body.  I am now knitting my way through this book.  The pattern on these socks are cute little rose buds and I honestly think I chose the perfect yarn for these socks. I am knitting these with Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet Handprinted in the colorway Christmas Cactus, deep reds and greens, like a rose bush with the transition from the colors is a dark purple.  The yarn is not self striping or pooling so it is a very colorful sock.  I am almost done with the first sock.  It might be a good thing this sock is coming along so quick, I might still need them this season. I love knitting socks, they are perfect for traveling because they are so small you can fit them in your purse and just set it on you lap the minute you sit down on the plane.  Yes, I have been known to cable during take-off.  And if you are at home, it is great couch knitting, even the socks with patterns, the patten is usually small and easily memorized so you can still watch your favorite shows and knit without looking down from the tv.

That is all I have for today.  I hope you are all enjoying whatever weather you are having and that we get some great spring weather soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Lots Done

Hello Everyone!

What a busy Sunday!  It was supposed to rain all day so I had some organization and cleaning projects planned for today and they are all done!  I am very proud of myself.  In addition to these projects, I had the usual laundry and making lunches for the week. I am trying to eat healthy so I make healthy lunches on Sunday for the week.  That is the busy part, I was in the kitchen for an hour and half making lunches.  I found some mason jar lunches on Pinterest that look yummy so I spent my relaxing Sunday afternoon roasting sweet potatoes, making quinoa, chicken and a cilantro dressing.  At least I am done now, 4 lunches are sitting in the fridge ready for the week (I treat myself on Fridays and go out to lunch).  Now in the morning I can just grab and go.  I think I like cooking almost as much as I like knitting.

Last week I put buttons on my Summer Dawn cardigan and it looks amazing.  I think I knit it just a little big, but I like larger sized sweaters, I just feel more comfortable and able to move, but I am really happy with how it turned out.  I will defiantly be wearing this a lot this summer, the sleeves are perfect length for cool summer nights or lots of A/C.

Summer Dawn cardigan front
Summer Dawn cardigan front
Summer Dawn cardigan back
Summer Dawn cardigan back

I also finished the Ripple Hat by Melissa Wehrle in Weekend Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  It looks very cute.  The ripples on the hat are put on after the hat is finished and blocked, you just go back and sew the two ridges together.  That little step took me about an hour yesterday morning over a cup of coffee and was well worth it. I just randomly sewed the ridges together.

Ripple Hat
Ripple Hat

I also just last night finished the Adirondack shawl by Sarah Punderson.  I started it about 2 weeks ago. The yarn is called Kona Superwash, and that is all that is on the label other than the yardage and fiber content.  I is 100% super wash Merino and I purchased it at Woven Art in East Lansing, Michigan.  Hubs is a Michigan State Alum, so every year we visit his family and go to the campus, he wanders around campus and I go to Woven Art.  A good time is had by all.  The scarf is blocking now and while I was laying out to block I noticed something I need to fix so I will have pictures for you next time.  I really liked this pattern, its almost all garter stitch with stockinette stitch wedges.  It has some short rows so the shawl naturally curves.  Its like the shawl fans out.  The yarn is super soft and light and so is the pattern so I think this may also get some wear this summer on cool summer nights or lots of A/C.

Do you have any summer knitting projects that you can’t wait to wear this season?

Well that is all I have for tonight, now its time to cook again. Skillet nachos! YUM!

I will talk to you all soon and happy knitting!

-Alexis

My Own Private LYS & A Finished Cardigan

Hello Everyone!

I am finally finished with the Summer Dawn Cardigan, it is now blocking on the floor in my office and waiting for buttons.  I promise to have pictures up as soon as the buttons are on.  I am so happy with how it turned  out.  That lace pattern while seemingly simple is still just a little bit complicated.  More in the way that you really have to make sure you are not going to drop any stitches, as it is a very visible lace pattern.  Any mistakes are flubs cannot be covered up or made to look intentional, so there was some pressure there.

When I began knitting this cardigan, I had the intention of making it long sleeves and I had enough yarn but when it came time to put sleeves on I had this much yarn left.   So I made them elbow length,  I even made them shorter than the pattern intended.  That was my design, the pattern called for 35 rows of rib stitch at the end of the sleeves, I only knit 10 rows.  The sleeves go to just my elbows, if I had knit all 35 rows, it would be mid elbow when I bent my arm and I really don’t like how that feels.  I’m weird, but I like my elbows all covered up or bare.  Well, I still have yarn left, but I didn’t want to push it and play yarn chicken so I didn’t and I’m happy with the sweater and the length of the sleeves.

When I started the Summer Dawn Cardigan, I decided to de-stash and clean out my yarn drawers to make room for the bags of yarn sitting in the corner of my closet.  Yarn I had purchased MDSW and Rhinebeck and other places between and since.  I just have no room for it.  So I decided, I got the yarn for the Summer Dawn from the bottom drawer of one of my yarn drawers.  I have a filing cabinet and one of those plastic 3 drawer things and a basket for my yarn.  Since I got this yarn on the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, I would get the yarn for my next project from the top drawer and so on.  So, yesterday, I went stash diving in the top drawer of the filing cabinet and came out with 3 skeins of Classic Elite Inca Alpaca in this pretty orange.  The 3 skeins equaled 327 yards, I decided to make the Ripple Hat by Melissa Wehrle as featured in Weekend Hats by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  This hat went so quick, I am actually almost done. I may even finish tonight!  So I just went stash diving in the bottom drawer of the plastic drawers. I’m not sure what I am going to make but this de-stashing is fun.  I am finding yarn I do not remember buying and forgot I had.  Its like my own private LYS in my house.

Well, that is about it for me.  I am enjoying this beautiful spring day, I went for a run this morning and it is supposed to be nice all week.  But it is April in Oklahoma so as much as I want to start my spring planting, I think we still have a few freezes and tornados before its safe to do so.

I will talk to you all soon and happy knitting!

-Alexis

First Day of Spring

Hello Everyone,

Today is the first day of Spring, although it really does not feel like it, there is a brisk cool breeze.  After almost 3 weeks of 70 and 80 degree weather the high for the last 3 days has been in the 50’s.  Good thing I am knitting a sweater, I might actually even get to wear it this year.  Although I kind of hope not.  As much as I love that sweater, I am really starting to look forward to warm weather, light flawy clothes and gardening.

Speaking of sweater, I am still working on the Summer Dawn cardigan.  That little blurp that I had that I mentioned last time, turned into a full scale surgery.  I took a second then third look at the lace pattern and saw that the pattern itself was completely off horribly wonky.  I ended up taking the sweater out past the blurp and now its fabulous.  I am working my way to the hem of the cardigan and I must say, I do love the way it is turning out.  From the fiery orange look of the yarn while it was still a skein, I was actually afraid the color would be much to bright, but really, it is not.  The color of the fabric is this beautiful sunset orange, yellow, pink and red.  It really does remind me more of a sunset than a dawn.

While I sill may be knitting the Summer Dawn cardigan, I just finished reading Clara Parkes new book Knitlandia.  I LOVED this book.  I have been a fan of Clara Parkes KnittersReview.com since I began reading it in 2009 and I own all of her other books.  Her attention to deal and illustrative descriptions of yarn and wool are nothing short of compelling.  Knitlandia is her tales of traveling the world with the rest of the knitting community to Knitting conventions and retreats as well as wool festivals.  Some of these festivals I already have been to myself, the others I felt like I was there just from her descriptions.   So if you haven’t read this book yet, you must! Immediately!

Ok, It almost time for dinner so I am leaving you now. I will talk to you all soon.

Happy first day of Spring.

-Alexis