Tuesday, February 17, 2015

All the Stitches

Once I finished those 2 projects, I got startitis and decided to start cranking out other projects. Literally, these are going so fast!

But here's what you all have been anticipating, my finished sweater!

It is so cozy and warm and just in the nick of time for all this snow :)

Now the projects I am working on now are 1 for me and 1 for a gift. I am trying to make 2015 the year of extremely selfish knitting, and thus far I am doing well.

The project for me is this Geometry Infinity Scarf. I've been waiting to use this yarn for a long time, and this pattern just looked perfect for it! Now I made a modification already to the pattern. It calls for using 2 fingering weights held together (same yarn, just 2 strands held together). I am using a DK weigh instead and not holding 2 strands, just using the 1.

I've been doing so much basic knitting, and stockinette stitch over and over again, it is so nice to have something change every row and not really be challenged, but to have a flowing pattern. It's written really nicely. I then have a provisional cast on because it will be a seamless infinity scarf :)

The other project I am working on is a gift for another girl expecting at work. I didn't realize that in the less than 2 years at my office, that this would be the 4th pregnancy. 4th! I should have done a hat and booties for the first one because now it's tradition that everyone gets a blanket :/..... It's ok, this blanket is loads of fun! Hehe, THIS BOOK!!! I cannot tell you how often I use this book. It is never on its' shelf, I am always using it! The funny thing is, I haven't even done all the patterns yet! It just has so many great basic knits and techniques, that I use it that often.

Anyway, here is the blanket I am working on.

Now believe it or not, I haven't done entrelac before, but boy do I like it! Now a lot of folks did this in different colors like the pattern says. I of course like to modify if you couldn't tell yet, and decided to pick this yarn that stripes on its own, but also seems more ombre when done up this fashion.

To completely change the subject, I just have to say, with this being the 4th pregnancy in the office, I know way too much about folks being pregnant and what that all entails.... It's becoming quite scaring and I'm starting to think thoughts of Why do people even procreate when they know that this happens? I've made a lot of baby things in the past 2 years because there have been so many babies, but I think it's made me a little uneasy. I'm young, so I have plenty of time to think about whether or not I want to go down that path, but I just want to warn all of you that are going into that time of life where everyone has babies. Take deep breathes, thank whatever you believe in that it's not you yet, and focus on them being happy. It is fun, but at the same time, I'm glad I can sleep through the entire night and that all my clothes fit for 9 consecutive months without having to shop for new ones ;)

Until next time,

XOX Carly

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Finished 2 Projects! Finishitis Extended

Kathy's Kreations sent the yarn out so fast that I got it Friday and I was able to work my little fingers so quick that I not only finished that project, but my sweater that I've been dying to wear as well! I was hoping to wash and block the sweater Monday evening and give it a whole day and a half to dry to be able to wear it fresh on Wednesday, butttt it looks like I will wait it out and wear it Saturday to show off at Kid Ewe Knot. :)

This is the project that I was waiting for yarn. I love how it turned out. The pattern was straight forward and I loved watching the project grow from that perspective. It's a diagonal baby blanket, and truly, I liked it more than the others I've done. Even though it was so simple! This is a Valentine's gift for a special little one that I haven't met yet, but so excited that they are here ;)

I wanted to have more pictures of the sweater all done for you but sadly I haven't gotten around to it yet... It's busy drying (and my precious Luna is watching it dry, haha. Does anyone else's cat love to watch things drip dry on a drying rack? Luna gets excited about it. It's too cute what she finds fun.).

Next time I promise to have more pictures to share!

<3 Carly

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Case of Finishitis

If you are a knitter and you know what finishitis is, you know it doesn't come around a whole lot. It is a rare bug we catch and when we have it, we run with it.

I have so many projects that are on the verge of finishing, that I am trying so hard to finish them all. And right now, haha.

The one that I worked on last night and the night before is for my cousin's little baby girl.

So here is my problem... I'm out of yarn! This is bad when you have a case of finishitis. You want to complete your project, yet there just isn't anymore supplies! Why didn't I buy 2 skeins of yarn? Because it was a big ball and folks said just one would do. This is false because I make big baby blankets, haha. I just want them to be snuggled :)

After calling literally every shop in town, I found one that will ship it to me :) (Kathy's Kreations is just a little way from home. Adorable shop in Ligonier, but long drive for one quick stop). She'll send it out in the mail today, and I'm hoping it'll be here by the weekend so I can finish this baby.

Other things that are close to being done, my Oatmeal Pullover, my BFF socks, and then I can allow myself to cast on more projects!!! I want to knit up with my yarn that I just dyed! I'm thinking I'll do this for it... What do you think?

<3 Carly

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What Makes You Smile?

You know in school how you were assigned books to read and then you'd analyze the shit out of them? That doesn't really go away once you graduate, any level of schooling for that matter.

Now that we're on the same page {haha, see that little pun there? ;) }, I'm reading this book for work. It's a really great concept, and I'm not going to lie, I wasn't overly excited to read it at first. It's The 12 Week Year. I'm not that far into it, but again, conceptually is how we are looking at this right now. And conceptually, I agree with the book thus far. I'm about to begin the 3rd chapter. I told you, not that far.

What's been said thus far is really to get the idea of "annual" thinking out of your mind. December 31st is just a day, and the hype of the end of the year is all in your head. {I must stress that I am paraphrasing and this is by no means a summary! This is just how I am seeing the book right now.} It's not saying that goals aren't good to set, it's just that limiting yourself to a year or giving yourself too much time is the bad thing. Think about it. We wake up New Years Day and proclaim, "This is the year that I..." and fill in that blank. To get this out of your head I think is great. Too many of us procrastinate or prioritize the wrong things. We do what we think we should do, instead of what we really want to do. Yes we should get what we need to get done, actually done, but why is it that we stall in getting done what we want to get done? After all, needs and wants are two very different things.

To follow that, there was a section that really stood out to me even more so. Implementing the 12 week year makes you think about "what makes you happy?", "what do you want to be known for?", and "what do you want as your legacy?" And it really hit me, and it was truly silly, but we're always taught to dream, right?

What makes me happy?

Knitting. This is no secret to anyone. I love every aspect there is about knitting! Hence my previous blog post. It's literally a world!

What do I want to be known for?

Being a part of the knitting world. It seems like a small goal, but truly, it's what I want. I want to break ground in the knitting world and make my name known.

What do I want as my legacy?

I want to dye yarn. Again, this may seem silly to you, but to me, it's what makes me happy. It will definitely take my knitting to a different kind of place, but that makes me excited. I want to create, and I want to share my creativity, not just through my knitting projects, but through the material in which we create our projects.

So, I want to share with you how I've been experimenting with my desire thus far. I've gone with the non-toxic route because I love my cat and I have a small kitchen. I do not have the cupboard space for 2 sets of bowls and pots and pans to dye yarn with acid, let alone store 2 microwaves. That's just an intense setup and not to mention, I would still have to wear a mask... I would much prefer the safer route of being able to breathe clean air at all times. Which is why I picked food dye, cake dye, and natural dyes. This does not mean that the dying process doesn't include any binders or heat sources, they definitely do.

Now, like anyone does when they are curious of trying something they've never done before, you go to Google or YouTube. THIS WOMAN IS AWESOME! I would like to thank her for sharing so much knowledge, and so precisely given. She truly shows how to easily combine the sources you need for dying yarn. 1- Heat, 2- Dye, 3- Yarn, 4- Binder (mordant).

Let's get to the fun part. My latest dying:

Just a basic skein of yarn, about to go into a dye bath. To be more specific, a fingering weight 90% Superwash Merino/10% Nylon.

I got a wide array of colors. Sadly, this is my last skein of "naked" yarn, so I will need to get more before I experiment again ;)

Now my intent was straight to green, but I decided to play around with the lid of the blue a little. I loved it so much I added it a little later.

I've been wanting a green yarn so bad lately though, but I just can't help myself around this sky blue! Look how pretty it pairs up with the green! :)

Now I think I've found my favorite dyes and kettle dying is definitely my favorite.

Now all I need are a little more tools. My spoon and dropping it in the dye bath is great, but not always the effect I want ;)

Thanks for reading! :)

<3 Carly

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Knitting is a World

Everyone has something that they know a ton about and always look up more about.

Mine is knitting.

I can never seem to get enough. It's crazy, because I will look up on my computer other techniques and more patterns and what's going on in the knitting world (Vogue Knitting Live, the Rose City Yarn Crawl, PGH Knit & Crochet, Steel Valley Yarn Crawl, etc). I feel like I'm looking things up and reading and picking out what I want to do more than I am knitting right now. Which is crazy! I'm planning to knit and create all of these things, and I'm not knitting as much as I used to. It's a weird thing to realize when you want to create so much, but enjoy the process so much.

Knitting creeps into all aspects.

Do you know I have it bookmarked on my phone, since summer, a page full of books that have knitting as the main subject? There are knitting mysteries! I'm not sure I want to know what I could do with a knitting needle that could make it a crime... This ensued because when I went to the Chambersburg Ice Festival last year, I found the book Knitting Under the Influence. 1- it's hysterical! 2- totally addicting. Of course there are others out there; The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two, and I'm currently reading Knit the Season. Not as addictive as Knitting Under the Influence, but because I know the characters, it feels good reading their story.

Now I have been creating a lot of things lately, and these beer cozies are just too cute. They're easy, fun, and so quick! You can make them so many different ways!

I made these for my man and his friends. They brew beer together, and they're getting pretty good, I'm not going to lie. Their first beer wasn't my favorite too bad, but each beer gets better and better. They made a pumpkin beer that I think was my favorite thus far, but their Christmas beer was good too! Lots of spices :)

But back to my knitting. I love that it can be a part of everything. And that I can make it a part of anything.

Now, I'm heading off to a Sip & Knit with some good knitting friends :)

Until next time,

<3 Carly

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Holiday Knitting Insight

I really am a "knit for love" kind of person. I love being able to knit something that someone can wear over and over. I also love seeing how much they love their new handmade item. That means a lot to me. The people that I know appreciate it, I knit for those people more. The ones that don't care, or aren't really going to wear it, they don't get the items after my first time knitting for them (which was technically a mistake in the first place, they didn't want something knitted). Giftcards for those folks next time!

My holiday knitting this year went pretty well. I usually start really early, and this year that was not the case. I took on my one commissioned project, and didn't start it early enough. But finished it right in the nick of time to be right on track to finish all my other Christmas gifts.

Now I don't want all of this to sound harsh or misleading, it's just that a craft that takes hours on end deserves to be loved. And that's why it is so simple to say, I knit for love. :)


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blog Life

I've been wanting to blog more on a regular basis always. It's hard to always do something, sign in to 17 different accounts and make yourself be apparent on every level of social media. I recently did a Google search of me, and I have a lot of things out there. I've done a lot! I liked that I had done so much, but then I was a little sad that I haven't been documenting as much lately. I've done a lot more baking and cooking and knitting! Let's try to catch you up just a little bit ;-)

I'm not going to completely update you in detail from every event, but quick tidbits. Here is the yarn I bought in Chambersburg. The Yarn Basket had just been taken over by their new owners, and they couldn't have been sweeter! Also, I of course said I was with the ice carving crew and the one woman that helped me out the most while I was there, said she hadn't been in years! Well don't you know it, she came down to the square and saw the ice. Even remembered me! It was an awesome feeling. The knitting community is always connecting.

With the yarn from that shop, the silky wool, I made my own Striped Study Shawl! Even after I made mine, I got a few new friends that are making it now! It is really cozy, and since I made it mostly in cold weather, I have dubbed it my bonfire shawl. =)

In March I went to the Knit & Crochet Festival! It was my first time, and it was awesome!! Got some really nice things, and shockingly haven't knit any of them yet. Feeding the stash is normal, haha! Though I totally use the mustache project bag all of the time. And I almost didn't get that! It has been a lovely thing to have for my small travel projects.

Luna is always being cute. Just had to squeeze her in there :)

Handsome had a period of time where he grew his beard really long, and I was totally a fan ;) hehe.

I love making breakfast for myself on the weekends when I have a little bit more time, and this was probably the best one. It is a chocolate chip cherry bread used for french toast, with fresh local berries and maple syrup. YUM!!!

We toured Great Lakes Brewing Company and it was a blast! Got to spend the day with family, and the evening with friends. Lots of fun :)

I made 2 of these bad boys! The Anders sweaters. Both of my girl cousins (my only girl cousins), are pregnant at the same time! One should be due any day now, and the other in late October/early November. They are both having girls and I naturally had to make the same thing so that there couldn't be discrepancy of one getting more love, haha. These are great sweaters and I cannot wait to see the little ones wearing them! =D

I went to my first Stitch & Pitch! Handsome had loads of fun too ;)

Then I actually did the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl!! Hit all 7 shops in 10 days. A taunting task I must say, but totally lots of fun. Look at all my loot! Lots of Christmas gifts in there. Don't be deceived, haha.

I finished Handsome's socks! Finally!!! He wears them already and I just love it :) hehe. TRULY the best to knit for.

I leave you with a lovely picture of me modeling my Striped Study Shawl. This also shows off how long my hair truly is right now. I will be chopping it off and donating it soon. Cannot wait for a new look, and also just new hair do's available. I know everyone thinks I need my long hair, but truly, it's just up all the time because I don't know what else to do with it right now!

Until next time, <3 Carly =)