A Mushy Post

So, it’s Valentine’s Day. I generally am not a huge fan of this particular holiday but I celebrate in my own way (which means not at all, some years). This year, Nick and I did end up celebrating in a casual way and I want to share with you what we did because my project involves knitting and his is so sweet and I wanted to share.

A few months back, probably around Christmas, Nick mentioned off-handedly that he wanted a double-thick beanie to keep his head warm when snowboarding. The knitter brain carefully archived this comment and started marinating different ideas for how I could accomplish this. The Double Black Diamond Beanie is the final manifestation and I’m so pleased with it!

It is a reversible beanie knit up in worsted weight yarn. The Malabrigo Rios I’ve had in my stash for probably four years. It’s a perfect tonal neutral and it’ll go with whatever warm-weather outfit he’s wearing. Plus, it’s black and plays well with the name Double Black Diamond along with his favorite runs on the mountains.

The fun color is Outlander by Voolenvine on her new Cocoon base. This is my first time working with Voolenvine and I gotta say, I’m smitten. I was quite pleased to see that the ribbed half of this beanie only used about half a skein so I can use this saturated, beautiful color for another project! Nick has a lot of orange and blues in his wardrobe and finding a suitable, fun color was a little tricky. I happened to see a picture Kristin posted on Instagram the day she dyed this color and I knew it was perfect immediately, scheduled her next update in my calendar and waited with my hands on the keyboard for it to go live. It was awfully serendipitous.

I’m currently seeking testers for this pattern so if you know anyone who would love their own version, check out the thread in my Rav Group!

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Nick’s project, on the other hand, is not fiber related (no surprise, he doesn’t knit).

He found this gorgeous music box at our favorite local antique store the other day and although the music part didn’t work, the box is so pretty he bought it anyway. Just look at those adorable details! The windy legs on the corners, the painted details and the instrument on the top, the red velvet on the inside!

When I opened it up, he’d filled it with “100 Reasons [I’m] Amazing” and even took the music box apart, fixed it and put it back together. The charm of this box and his thoughtfulness totally slays me. And I’m not a gushy romantic.

So, that’s a little bit of mushy stuff that made me happy this weekend. How was your weekend?

WIP Wednesday: Lots of Projects, Little Progress

Pros and Cons of having multiple projects going at once:

Pros:

  • you don’t get bored with monogamous knitting
  • you can have different styles of projects going at once – from bulky yarn on big needles to small yarn on small needles and everything in between
  • I have more interesting things to share with you here on the blog

Cons:

  • splitting my knitting time between projects mean that some don’t grow as fast as others

Clearly the pros outweigh the cons here and although I *did* finish a project last week, it still feels like I don’t have much to share this week!

I’m on the second sleeve of the Aidez, just barely past the cuff. The first sleeve knit up pretty quick so I’m excited to get this one done so I can start the body!

The Kinton Tee has seen some progress as well – I got to the underarm part of the back and started the front, joined the neckline there and now it’s just simple stockinette until I get to the underarms on that piece and can join them together for the body.

The socks have been neglected, sadly. They remain in my purse but haven’t seen any action in over a week.

I did start a new hat design that is coming along very nicely and I’m halfway done with the knitting on that. I’m hoping to finish it and gift it to Nick for Valentine’s and then release the pattern early next month so fingers crossed I can make that happen!

What are you working on this week?

FO Friday: Peony Shawl

This is a looonnngggg standing WIP that has finally joined the ranks of FO!

According to Ravelry, I started this on February 14th of last year and once I realized that, I kicked into high gear to have it finished before that 1 year mark. I made a quick little video showing how I blocked it and then a few extra words about how much I love it – I’m extra dorky and disorganized in this one so please forgive the goofiness.


The yarn is Entice MCN by Hazel Knits in the Hoppy Blonde colorway. This was a gift from my friend Freshy when she visited me a few years back in New Mexico (Girl, I owe you a visit!)! I really enjoyed using this yarn, the color is gorgeous, the yarn wasn’t splitty or difficult and it’s so so soft.

Peony, by Kat Riddell, is a great shawl to use up a single skein of fingering weight yarn in a solid, tonal or slightly variegated colorway. I think knitting this up in a crazy speckled yarn would be cool but it also might detract from the textural details in the pattern.

There’s no reason this shawl should’ve taken this long, the pattern is clear and the project only requires 1 skein. I did get myself mixed up somewhere in the pattern and my halves weren’t equal numbers but I fudged it and just kept going, no one can tell but me anyways, right?

When I first bound off the project I was grabbing coffee with a friend and she remarked on how small it was (she is not a knitter) but I knew it’d grow with blocking and boy did it! It’s at least twice the size (60″ wide and 27″ deep) now that it’s blocked than it was when freshly off the needles. I love that! Because it’s fingering weight yarn knit on a US 8/5 mm needle, it’s still lightweight but warm, this will be perfect for early spring and the chill that lingers in the mornings.

Have you finished anything this week? Have you knit a Kat Riddell pattern yet or used any Hazel Knits yarns?

Knit List #4

This is the fourth installment of what I’m calling the Knit List – an effort to reduce stash in a mindful way.

This skein of Stranded Dyeworks Oasis in the Fleet Street colorway came to live with me last fall and, to be honest, I haven’t even put it in my stash yet. It’s too pretty and I keep it on a shelf just above my desk so I can see it everyday!

I think it’d look awesome knit up in the new Constellate pattern by Hunter Hammersen – I think those starburst-y textures would really bring out the colors in an excellent way.

I’ve had this Tahki Tara Tweed in my stash for a few years now and I love the colors so much! I wish I had more of it to make a giant, cozy, oversized sweater but I’m limited to these few skeins.

I think the Dorian Sweater by Kate Jackson would really make the most of the yarn and show off the tweedy flecks with some knitting interest in the textural details.

I’ve had plans for this Madelinetosh Tosh DK but haven’t committed to anything yet, the yarn is too pretty and I want just the perfect garment to bring it to life!

I think if I get a few more skeins I can turn it into the best version of Joji Locatelli’s newest pattern Rhapsody in Cables, what do you think? I think there’s enough un-dyed area of the yarn that the speckles wouldn’t detract from the cables too much…right?

Have you got any future knitting plans percolating? Please share! I love this part of the knitiverse – brainstorming and planning and scheming!

Pattern Release: Nederland Beanie

Two patterns in one month?! Yes please!

I’d like to introduce you to my Nederland Beanie. Knit up with a squooshy DK weight yarn (Bijou Spun), this beanie comes in 3 sizes to fit your kiddos (like my tester Emily made) to the adult men in your life (like my tester Linda). 

Nederland is a small town west of Denver that was first established as a trading post between Ute Indians and European settlers. It has a history of mining, a beautiful reservoir and an annual festival called the Frozen Dead Guy Days (not kidding). It’s one of my favorite destinations when I just need to go for a drive and get out of the city – I can make a loop out of it and drive all day without following the same road twice! 

The texture on the body of hat resembles the rocks and mountains around the town with its rich texture while the braided cable is reminiscent of the river that runs through the middle of town. The yarn used is also Colorado-local coming from yaks south of Denver and with a blend of cormo and yak it will surely prevent you from turning into a frozen dead guy or gal.

I hope you love this pattern as much as I do! What are some of your favorite places to go for a drive?

My Experience At The Women’s March in Denver

So this past week/weekend were big ones with shifting administrations and the country’s (and world’s) reactions to it. I decided to attend the Women’s March here in Denver and wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences. I was hoping to get a little video collage up but that hasn’t happened yet, hopefully I’ll get it in my next vlog! 

One of the biggest things I noticed being in a crowd of 150,000+ people – easily the biggest collection of folks I’ve ever been in the middle of – was that there was no tension. Usually in crowds – concerts, markets, festivals, etc – it can be frustrating and tense to be so close to other people, being bumped into, unable to see well and having your bubble being taken over by others. People can be impatient and short-tempered. Saturday’s crowd was completely different! 

No one expressed any frustration or annoyance at the other marchers even when there were too many bodies in the city to actually do any marching – we mostly just stood around, reading all the great signs and talking with each other. It was so peaceful and the air was full of acceptance and loving vibes. If you got separated from your group, it was easily the safest place to get lost.

There was chanting and smiles and music and costumes and dogs and singing and laughing and pussyhats everywhere. There were men and women and children of all different beliefs, backgrounds and futures. I think this is what makes this city, state, country and planet great – diversity and being able to disagree peacefully, compassionately and respectfully. Let’s do more of that, yes?

WIP Wednesday: Big and Little

This week the projects I’m working on are kind of opposites.

One of them is a big garment knit with big yarn on big needles.

The other is a small set knit with small yarn on small needles.

(and there’s the other project which is kind of in the middle and makes Goldilocks happy).

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the big project is Aidez. I mentioned last week that I started on the first sleeve in lieu of a gauge swatch and I’m cruising right along with that! Knitting with US 10.5 (6.5 mm) dpns for this part feels like knitting with trees and it took my hands a few rounds to get used to working with them. It’s so satisfying how quick this knits up though and I’ll hopefully have a finished sweater in no time!

The small project is a new pair of socks for me that I shared just the beginnings of on Instagram. These are the Traditional Gansey Socks from Wendy D. Johnson’s Socks From The Toe Up Book. The yarn is stashed Dream in Color Smooshy in the Amber Glass colorway. As I mentioned with the last socks, I wanted to get a new set of needles to see if that helped with knitting – I got some Chiao Goo US 1 (2.25 mm) and the join between the needle and the cable is *so* much more smooth! The knitting isn’t faster yet, probably because of the 100% merino yarn being a bit grippy, but I’m not fighting with the stitches when I move them around the cable.

I know that for the past year I was kind of a monogamous knitter but I’m enjoying have multiple projects on the go right now! It’s kind of fun switching between the two extremes 🙂

What are you knitting this week?

Stash Enhancement

I’ve gotten some happy mail over the past two weeks for projects I’ve mentioned previously!

As I mentioned in my WIP Wednesday vlog last week, I did receive the yarn for my Aidez cardigan. I got 4 giant skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool from another Raveler who was destashing. This is probably twice what I need for the sweater but I couldn’t say no to a few extra skeins since she had them available, now could I?

This yarn is plump and wooly. When you look at one of the singles, it looks very airy and like it could break at any moment but I haven’t experienced that yet with this sweater, the staple length of the fibers must be long enough that this yarn is actually pretty durable!

I also received a big ol’ package from yarn.com containing all the yarn for both my mom and my’s Crosscountry cardigans!

Yea, that’s a lot of the same yarn. We’re going to be matchy matchy! We decided to go with Berroco Remix in the discontinued Merlot colorway. This yarn is a little thinner than the pattern calls for but a little swatch math will help us figure out which sizes to knit.

Have you gotten any new stash lately? Or worked with either of these yarns before? Please share!