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

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

Travel Knitting

Hello Everyone!  I hope all who celebrated are still nicely stuffed from Thanksgiving and still enjoying the leftovers.  I also hope you all survived Black Friday if you dared and braved the malls.

Since Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the biggest travel weekend of the year.  I thought I would take this time to write about travel knitting and really how wonderful it is.

I love to travel and I love travel knitting.  I always feel like I get so much knitting done when I am travel knitting.  When it comes to road trips, my wonderful husband drives and I just sit and knit hexi-puffs. I have the pattern memorized and they are small so I can fit them in my purse or overnight bag.  Usually before we leave for our trip, I grab 3 balls of yarn from my hexi-puff kit as well as my needles and other supplies that I keep in a small bag in my kit, and go.  Depending on how long the car ride is is how many Hexi-puffs I can get done. It take me about 45 minutes to knit one puff.  Also, depending on how much downtime and energy I have at our destination I try to knit a few more.  Usually while sitting on the bed watching TV at the hotel at night.

As for flying or more extended trips, I usually pack a sock in my travel purse to work on.  Just like Hexi-puffs, a sock is a small project that can be easily thrown in a big purse or carry-on and will fit in your lap or the tray table on the airplane.  The day before, I will get my sock pattern ready, wind my yarn and get my needles and stitch markers, measuring tape and row counter into a baggie and throw it all in my travel purse.  I will also usually take my whole tool kit with scissors and pack it my luggage.  I have never had a problem getting my knitting through TSA, but I always pack wooden needles just incase.  Once at the airport I will then cast on my sock. I love sitting there in the airport, everyone is on their phone or other electronic devices and I am knitting.  I’ve even done it at the airport bar with a beer in front of me.  I will continue to knit as soon as I board the plane and just recently have accomplished cables while taking off.  I love to fly, but turbulence does make me a little nervous, knitting gives me something else to think about.  I do usually get a good amount knit on the plane ride and again depending on my downtime and energy at my destination I will knit some more.  On our recent trip to see family in Michigan I was able to knit every night, even more than usual so I got a lot done. Which I really liked since it was Christmas knitting.  I even brought the yarn for my next Christmas knitting project just in case.

I love how travel knitting makes the time go by quickly especially if you are excited to get to your destination or if you are stuck or delayed.  I don’t even mind the looks I get when I am knitting in the airport or on the plane. I also love it when I see other travelers knitting or crocheting as well.

What do you like to knit when you travel?  Do you bring an existing project or start something new?  I would love to hear about it and any other travel knitting stories.

Talk to you soon.

-Alexis

Rhinebeck Memories

Hello Everyone!

It has been exactly one week since Rhinebeck and I have been recovering, re-living all the wonderful memories and enjoying my new yarn ever since.

Rhinebeck was INCREDIBLE!!!!  I loved every second and it was everything I thought and heard it would be and more.

My Rhinebeck journey started at 3:30 a.m. Central Time on Friday morning as I rose to make my way to the airport to catch my 6:30 flight to St. Louis and then it was off to Newark!  Upon arrival in Newark, I’m not gonna lie, I was giving myself a pep-talk. I was about to drive my rental car through the unfamiliar and busy city of Newark, I was a little scared.  Of course my GPS had other plans, before I knew it I was driving over the George Washington Bridge and into The Bronx.  I have always wanted to go to NYC but this was not how I wanted to do it and not a time to look around at the skyscrapers.  I was SCARED!!!  But I did good.  Honestly, once I was over the bridge, traffic was fine.  The traffic in The Bronx wasn’t that bad and once I got out of the city it was like I was a million miles away, surrounded by golden trees.

Ok, skip to that evening in Kingston, NY at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show.  Wow!  There was a line to get in!  It was amazing, all the vendors were independent dyers and spinners.  In fact, I think I will devote a whole other blog post just to the Indie Untangled show so stay tuned.  There is just to much to say.

Greetings from #rhinebeck2015

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If you have never been to Rhinebeck, you need to go!  Book your hotel now because they book up fast and go!  If you have been to Rhinebeck, then you know everything I am about say. Rhinebeck, is like Comic Con for knitters.  Everyone is wearing their Rhinebeck sweaters and other hand knits. Myself, in addition to my Gnarled Oak Cardigan, was also wearing my Maine Morning Mitts and my Greenery Beret in the morning to beat the morning chill.  I have also never see so many crowds in my life.  If you are not into crowds, go to Rhinebeck on Sunday.  So many wonderful vendors, including of course, Miss Babs, Liza Souza and Bijou Basin Ranch but others that I just discovered, including Sweiters Fiber Mill, I swear I have purchased from them before. SinsAndNeedles89/Primrose Pottery, ( I got a beautiful hand dyed skein of sock yarn and a hand sewn project bag.  She dyes and sews everything herself and also makes and handpaints yarn bowls with TV and movie characters)  I also purchased some worsted weight yarn from Buckwheat Bridge Angoras who grow and make the yarn on their farm in the Hudson Valley using solar and wind energy.  I got a skein of fingering yarn in Angora and Romney from Gravers Dream and some soft colorful yarn from The Periwinkle Sheep. I love the colors on this yarn, Bold grays and greens.  Not sure yet what I will do with it, the color way is called “Grass in a Crack in the Sidewalk.”

I got so much yarn, I had to ship some home, most of the yarn was for me yes, but some I did get for Christmas knitting.  I honestly can’t wait to cast on my Rhinebeck yarn.  I had a wonderful time.  The food was great (Artichokes French are everything they say they are) I bought a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes region I have yet to open.  I made some great new friends and even met some old friends up there and we walked around and explored Rhinebeck further.  She just lives in the city and comes every year so she gave me some tips to remember for next time.  Like Sunday’s are much quieter.

My haul from the day. Not too bad.#rhinebeck2015

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The town of Rhinebeck is also so cute.  I left the fair at about 3 on Saturday and spent the rest of the evening walking around Market Street in Rhinebeck and had a lovely dinner at a restaurant called The Local.  I thought about the Terrapin but The Local got great reviews from locals I talked to.

I left the fair on Sunday after giving half my haul to the UPS tent that was set up with nothing but wonderful memories of my weekend. I will definitely go again.

If you went to Rhinebeck let me know what you thought? Did you buy a ton of yarn?  Have you never been but want to go?  Let me know!

Talk to you all again soon.

-Alexis

Totally Going to Match Fall

Hello Everyone!

How is everyone on this beautiful June day?  I believe it is the first day of summer if I am not mistaken.

I have finished the Bavarian Cable Socks, they came out very nice if I do say so myself.

Bavarian Cable Socks
Bavarian Cable Socks

One thing I will tell you about them, that you can’t really tell unless you look very closely at them is that there are mistakes.  There are the “bumps” I told you about earlier that happened when I was working on them on an airplane and oops, turbulence over Kansas.  But there are others, where I knit where I should have purled and purled where I should have knit. And cabled where I didn’t need to cable and vice versa.  Oh well.  That folks is knitting. We as knitters all encounter that and it is at those times where we must decide if it is worth it to us to stop and fix the mistake or to just keep going and live with it.  Anything ever done my hand is never going to turn out 100 percent perfect, and that is OK.  I knit for me.  I don’t knit for anybody else so for me, its ok if not every project I do is perfect.

That is also what I tell my students, especially the beginners.  Knitting is hard at the beginning and I can see in their eyes that they immediately want to turn out a perfect piece and I tell them that its ok if they don’t.  I always teach them how to identify mistakes, (they usually see them right away anyway) and how to fix them and tell that I myself after knitting for 14 years still make those same mistakes.  It happens, but not to get down on themselves when it does.

Of course, after 14 years, I have learned to identify and fix mistakes and most of the time, I do go back and fix them so I am pretty proud of myself for my mostly flawless work but you must always remember, it is ok to have one or two flubs in your work.  That is what make us human.

So, what I am working on next now that my Bavarian Cable socks are done?  Last night I wound the yarn for and cast on my Rhinebeck Sweater!!!  I am knitting the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos and as featured in her collaborative book with Hannah Fettig Coastal Knits.  This is a beautifully simple cardigan with a lovely lace and cable detail around the yoke.  I even bought oak branch buttons.  I love this cardigan for Rhinebeck because it is so simple, yet has that lovely detail around the yoke.  I know I can get this done in time for Rhinebeck and not stress about it being perfect, because it is Rhinebeck after all, it must be perfect.  The yarn I chose for this is perfect as well, I think the colors are perfect for fall as they beautifully mimic autumnal colors and trees.  I am using Malabrigo Arroyo in the Piedras Colorway.  It is so many colors of blues and greens and oranges and reds. I think I will totally match fall in is sweater.

The sweater is knit from the bottom up and I am about 3 rows in.  I have 4 months to go so I think I am on track, but I better get back to knitting anyway just in case.

I will talk to you all soon.

-Alexis

Knitting Superstitions

Hello Everyone!

We are back to another wonderful Sunday afternoon.  I have chicken in the slow cooker for tacos tonight and with it a yummy Mango Avocado salsa I made sitting in the fridge.  I can’t wait for dinner.  But its only 3:45 so I have to.

On the knitting front, I am in the middle of the gusset of the second Bavarian Cable sock. I have been knitting it while I finish binge watching Gilmore Girls, I have been steadily watching the whole series for several months and I want to finish before I watch Orange is the New Black.  As you know, Season 3 came out on Friday and it has taken all the restraint I have not to watch it.  But I am almost through Season 6 of Gilmore Girls, so not much left.  Maybe OITNB next weekend.

Yesterday, I went to my LYS, Gourmet Yarn in Oklahoma City and bought yarn for my Rhinebeck Sweater.  I am so EXCITED!!!!  I am not going to tell you what yarn I got or what the pattern is until I have it cast on.  I don’t know, it’s a thing of mine. I don’t like to reveal what I am going to work on until I actually have it cast on.  Its like  knitting superstition or something, like I might jinx it.  But I am very excited about it. I think I will cast it on after I finish the socks because I am not sure how long it is going to take me and I do have a deadline.  I needs to be done my Rhinebeck.  Yes, I am aware that is months away but still…

It does seem weird to me that summer just started and I am about to knit a sweater, but it must get done. Then I guess after that I can do some actual “summer knitting”.

I also have so many other projects I want to knit up.  Need to knit up.  I need knit and make room in my stash before I go.   The thought kind of stresses me out, but it makes me more excited.  And really, can one have too much yarn?  I don’t think so.

And with that I will leave you. Its a short post I know but I’m kind of excited to get back to my sock knitting so I can start on the sweater.

I will talk to you all next week.  Happy knitting!

-Alexis

Welcome to Summer

Well Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone had a nice week and welcome to Summer!  The rain has moved out and the heat has moved in.  I am very much enjoying the sunshine, I get to run after work, it is getting hot and not sure how I will do as it get hotter and the distances on my training schedule get longer but I will tough it out I suppose. Stay hydrated and be careful.  I am not a morning person, so you probably will not see me out before the sun comes up.  It will be an evening thing for me.

When I am not running outside in the heat, I am very much enjoying the AC and ceiling fans and ice cold water while I knit. I am still working on my Bavarian Cable socks.  I turned the heel the other night and am about a chart repeat or two to the cuff ribbing of the first sock.  All depending on the length I want.

Now that it is June I have an exciting announcement.  This October, for the very first time, I am going to Rhinebeck!  I am SOOOOO Excited!  I have never been before and always wanted to go. I am saving up yarn money and have my Rhinebeck sweater all picked out. I just need to buy the yarn.  I was busy yesterday and my LYS is closed on Sunday’s so I will get the yarn next week and let you know what the sweater is when I cast on.  OHHH I am so excited!!!!!  Are any of you going?  Let me know, I would love to meet you.  Only 4 short months away.

That is all I have for you today.  I will talk to you all again next week and please do let me know if you are going to Rhinebeck.

Happy Knitting,

Alexis