2nd Annual Christmas Inspiration Bundle

Last year I put together a bundle on Ravelry of Christmas inspired knitting ideas (you can find that post here)  I thought it was a lot of fun so this morning I took some time to look through Ravelry and see what I could find for this year.

I did a search with the term “Christmas” and then sorted from newest added to Ravelry so I would find all the recent stuff.  I do love just doing random searches on Ravelry and eliminating the “hot right now” default search order because you can see some really interesting stuff.  There’s something out there for everyone is always my take-away.

Some of these will knit up really quick so if you’re looking for last minute gift ideas there are some great ones in this bundle.  Here’s the link.

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The Victorian Yuletide ornaments are by Jenn Sheelan who did the jar cover I did earlier this year in the panda yarn. I love her stuff and she has a couple of collections of ornaments.  Colorwork seems extra popular during the holidays and I loved the cowl and the fingerless mitts.  The Christmas present hat is adorable that that designer had a whole line of super cute holiday hats.  I’ve never seen a mug cap before but it seems like a good idea and might go well paired with a mug mat and a cute mug.  The Polar Bear Pouch is so adorable and I need to find a little person who would love it!  Sunny the Snowman is by Susan Claudino who did the pattern for Patch who I knit in October and who was my Rhinebeck trip mascot.  I will definitely be knitting a Sunny soon!

A couple more patterns to point out that are not in this bundle.  It’s not too late to join in on the Project Peace which is being hosted by the Healthy Knitter.  You can find more info on her blog but it’s a lovely free KAL.  I’ve started and the end product is a cowl and her hope is to bring a little peace into the world with knitters everywhere focusing on peace while knitting this cowl.  She offers daily reflections on her blog and I think the last count I saw was 19,000 knitters.

Another pattern I’ve been knitting is #Errnaments by PBJ Knits.  This is a $2 pattern but she is donating the profits to ChildAid, a nonprofit that helps children in Central America. It was created for the Just One More Row podcast and they are quick and simple mini sweater and stocking ornaments that make great gifts!  I bought the pattern for myself and gifted one to my friend Becky.

Hope you find something fun and festive to knit!!!

November FO’s

This will be short and sweet because there were not a lot of FO’s this month.  I did manage to finish the Coze hat that I was knitting for my best friend.  This is really a quick and easy knit and would be a perfect last minute Christmas gift.

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Pattern: Coze by Alex Tinsley; Yarn: Malabrigo Caracol in Paris Night

I also finished my #knitterspayitforward gift.  I put it in the mail this morning so I will hold off on the details until the winner receives it so I don’t ruin any surprises!

The last (or first) thing I finished this month were my Mrs. Roosevelt’s Mittens.  I love these!  I used MJ Yarn that I bought when I was at Fancy Tiger Craft over the summer.  The color is great.  I held the yarn double for the palm and fingers.  It even got cold enough to wear them last week and they kept me nice and warm.

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Pattern: Mrs. Roosevelt’s Mittens by Franklin Habit; Yarn: MJ Yarns Simple Sock in Green Dragon

I’m starting the Peace-A-Long which is being hosted by Christina Campbell on December 1st and am looking forward to that.  I will also be casting on my Christmas socks (more on those next month) and will be hoping for more FO’s to end the year!!!

What’s on my Needles This Weekend

You might recall that I knit hats for my goddaughter and her twin.  I took the twin’s hat up to her two weeks ago and it was a huge hit!!  It was a very unseasonably warm weekend but she wore the hat all weekend.  This is my favorite picture that I managed to snap – she’s hard at work on her homework wearing her hat🙂

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Her mother and I decided to get out for a little retail therapy and that included a stop at Spun Ann Arbor.  Now, I’ve had an ongoing debate with my friend G about this shop.  My first two visits were not the best but she loved it.  My best friend is moving so this was sort of a goodbye tour of all my favorite Ann Arbor spots. I had to hit Spun one more time and I had seen they were having a trunk show.  It was like a different store.  They had physically rearranged it and the people working were much more friendly so it was a much better experience and I can see why G loves it.  The trunk show was by Why Knot Fibers.  The girls were lovely and we were having quite a chat while my best friend wandered the store (I should note she is not a knitter).  As we were talking my friend came over with a hat in hand and asked if I could knit it for her.  I guess she was feeling left out of the hat fun!  I noted the pattern in Ravelry and she set out to pick out her yarn.

I had said I was not buying yarn but I could not leave without a skein from the Why Knot Fibers girls and they had shawl pins from Craftyflutterby and that’s been on my list for awhile.  So, despite my “I’m not buying any yarn, remind me of that” to my bff on the way in, this is what I left with.

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Now, my bff bought the yarn needed for her hat according to the tag on the hat.  The hat is Coze by Alex Tinsley and is designed so that you can knit two hats with huge pom poms out of 2 skeins of yarn.  My bff (like me) is anti pom pom so she bought the one skein.  What I did not realize until I was reading the pattern at her house later was that is called for the new Malabrigo Caracol and I looked in the bag and that’s what she bought and in one of my favorite Malabrigo colorways – Paris Night.  Can I just say, this yarn is just yummy!  What a delight to knit!  I’m about halfway through and almost to the point where I just want to get it done so I hope it will be finished here in the next couple of days.

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One last note for today, I’ve been hearing a lot about the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long which starts next week.  My needles are quite full right now but I’m hoping to find a small project to support a designer and join in on the fun.  I was completely sold when I saw this graphic on Instagram this morning.  A little world wide knitting might do us all some good right about now.

rv76m9fThere is more info in a Ravelry group called Indie Design Gift-A-Long so check that out if you’re looking for some fun over the next month or so and I know I’m looking for some fun!

#knitterspayitforward

If you’re a knitter and you’re on Instagram you know what this post is about.  I had to write about it but at the same time I’ve struggled with how to approach it.  I do not want to get into any sort of discussion about politics here on the blog.  What I will say is that my reaction to this week’s election results totally took me by surprise.  I quickly learned that my Facebook feed was not a good place to be, but Instagram, that was safe.  My feed is nothing but yarn, wool, and all related items.  As Wednesday went on I started seeing a few cool things.

First a few people were suggesting doing some random pattern gifting.  The idea was to stalk a friends’ favorites and gift them the patterns.  Excellent!  I was all in.  When I got home that night I promptly hopped on to Ravelry.  That’s when I realized that it was harder to put into practice than it sounds.  What I ended up doing was sending a copy of the Glorien Cowl by Kino Knits to a few of my friends who I knew were having a hard day.  I also gifted the Maribou by Kino Knits to a friend.  I’ve done some tech editing for Kino Knits and thought it would be nice to support her while surprising my friends.  In return she gifted me a really cool sock pattern.

What then started happening has turned into quite the worldwide movement.  I believe it was started by sherlock_knits on Instagram, and I’m going to point out that she’s from England.  She posted that she felt there was a need for something positive and kind so she offered to knit a pair of socks or other accessory for one of her followers.  The only thing she asked in return was to repost her image and offer to pay it forward and knit something for one of your followers.  With that, the #knitterspayitforward hashtag was born.

It showed up on my feed sometime Wednesday afternoon so I reposted that evening.  For awhile on Wednesday and Thursday I was trying to keep track of all the posts and I was up to over 20 offers and I could not keep up. As I’m writing this there are over 4,500 posts with the hashtag.  The offers range from people knitting something to yarn to patterns to stitch markers to project bags.  I’ve won a hand knit hat from someone in France.  I will be doing my own drawing tomorrow.  New posts are still popping up.

I realize if you tell a non-knitter about this they may think you are crazy.  I mean, let’s face it, getting a free pattern really isn’t going to change the world.  But for me, and I think a lot of other knitters, it helped get us through a tough week.  It felt like being wrapped in a big, woolly hug all week because my feed was just filled with these posts.  We knitters created a loving bubble in an the otherwise tough social media world.  And if you were looking for a judgment free zone, this was it.  It doesn’t even really matter if I “win” anything else (although, a sweater’s quantity of La Bien Amie yarn would certainly be nice🙂 )  It was really just what I needed this week – a place where everyone was just concerned about being nice and spreading some joy in the world.

Check out the hashtag – some of the discounts and giveaways are good through next week so it might not be too late to jump in.  And, other thing I would point out.  There is a KAL starting on December 1st which is being hosted by Christina Campbell.  I did a KAL with her earlier this year and it was a lot of fun.  This is going to be a Peace-along.  It’s running 12/1 through 12/21 and it’s a cowl and with it she will be sending peace tips and her thought is if we get enough knitters focusing on peace maybe we can find some.  And, I think given what I’ve seen this week she might be on to something.  Go check it out – I’m going to be checking my stash tomorrow to see what I can find.

*Image above created my MochimochiLand🙂

 

Tale of a Rhinebeck Virgin, pt. 2 – the Loot

While the people, weather, and location will always be at the top of my “why Rhinebeck is so awesome” list, the stuff ain’t bad either!

I went with a little bit of a plan – I wanted Christmas yarn, solid color sock yarn, a shawl pin, a project bag, and maybe something from Jennie the Potter.  That left a lot of wiggle room and I thought would be a good outline.  I got everything but the shawl pin and a few other things.  All in all, I didn’t do too bad.  My birthday was the Sunday of Rhinebeck so I took my birthday money with me so the first few purchases were my birthday presents which helped.

I had scouted vendors in Instagram but that didn’t really end up helping me in the end but more on that in part 3 – the lessons.

We started Friday night at the Indie Untangled event which was a little too Black Friday shopping experience for me.  I did end up with a cute project bag from Chiagu.  She had been showing a bunch of bags in cute NYC fabric that I was eyeing but when I looked at her table she had a bag made out of fabric that had a map of the Paris streets and I was sold.  I love it!!  That was all I ended up buying there.  If you like crazy, cr0wded shopping events it’s definitely worth going.  My other issue was that I didn’t want to spend all my money Friday night so I was very cautious.

Saturday morning we decided to avoid the mad rush of the opening crowds and got to the fairgrounds around 10:30 so we were able to walk right in and then we just headed into the first tent.  My first (and largest) purchase was at the Dragonfly Fibers booth.  They still had their special show colorway, Headless Horseman, so I had to get that.  Headless Horseman is black, orange, and some red so great Halloween/fall colors.  They had also been advertising an election year special colorway on Instagram called Vote.  Vote is red and blue and some purple in between and I had to pick that up!  I paid for those two and then ran into my friend Becky so was chatting for awhile.  My friends asked if I saw the Christmas colorway and I had missed it so I went back into the booth and loved it and ended up buying that as well.  It’s called Stoll Christmas and is red, green, and very traditional Christmas.

I took a bit of a buying break and hit the podcaster meet up and then fueled up with some food.  After that, I found the solid colored sock yarn I was looking for at Into the Whirled. Feel free to laugh at me but I bought a semi tonal black sock yarn and I have plans for it. The colorway is called Crow and then I could not resist a skein of Into the Black as well.  It goes from a light lavender to black and is amazing!!  I really can’t wait to knit something with it.  That was it for the yarn but I did make a few last purchases.  The lovely ladies from Pom Pom magazine were there and debuting the winter issue so I decided to pick it up.  I’ve oogled many an issue and thought this was a great opportunity to finally buy one.  And last, but not least, I stopped by the Jennie the Potter booth on the way out.  I ended up with a tiny jar of stitch markers and I picked up an extra stitch marker to send to my friend Becky as a little thank you gift.

There was so much good stuff and so much I didn’t even get a chance to see it all.  I really love all my purchases and have definite plans for two of the skeins of yarn.  The Christmas yarn is wound and in my new Paris bag.  I will cast on a pair of socks come December and will hope to have them finished by Christmas 2017!

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October FO’s

I’ll get back to my Rhinebeck story next week but I wanted to pause and do my monthly round up of FO’s (and there are lots so I had to share!).

First up, I knit a hat to match the Little Purple Sailor Coat.  I had some yarn left over and the baby’s birthday was approaching so I knit this little Bow Cloche which is a pattern from Knit Simple magazine, Fall 2013.  This was definitely a lesson in listen to the notes your previous self left on the pattern.  I had written a note from the first time I made it that the pattern ran really small and so I should knit a size up.  The sizes are 2, 4 and 6 years old.  I was knitting for a 1 year old so I made the smallest size.  I took it into knitting and everyone told me to start over.  I made the size 4 and was still concerned that it would fit.  But, it fits great and she looks adorable in her ensemble.

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Once I got that done it was time to focus on finishing the Rhinebeck shawl.  It was full steam ahead for the two weeks before the show.  I really needed to get it done by the weekend before so it would have time to block.  And, with much whining and complaining, it was on the blocking mats the Sunday before I left.  There’s a picot bind off and I won’t discuss the number of stitches involved in case you have one your needles but, oy!  I got some blocking help from my friends on Instagram and it looked amazing on the mats.  I also got a ton of compliments at Rhinebeck because that pink popped so much, especially in the bright sun of the day.  My friend Becky wore her sweater knit out of Knerd String as well and we had one overlapping colorway so that was really fun!

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Funny story about the blocking mats.  I bought mine at Five Below and I only had two and knew I would need more for this shawl.  I was out with my Mom and ran into the store to pick up another two mats.  The next day I showed her this picture so she could see what I did with the mats.  She said “is that lace?” and I said “yes” and she said “you knit that?”. Yes, yes, I did but trust me I whined the whole time!

With that on the mats I turned my attention to knitting the cutest little Halloween creature.  I had never seen the work of Susan Claudino and I just love it!  And then Sarah from the Cultivate & Create podcast and Susie from the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin podcast decided to do a Creepy Critter KAL so I got to work.  One of my favorite things is that I used my Candy Skein Summer Fair Foods mini skein pack to knit a Halloween critter!  I knit Patch which is a cute pumpkin headed creature.  I finished him in time to take him to Rhinebeck and he was our trip mascot.  I had hoped to take more pictures of him at Rhinebeck but that didn’t happen (more on that later).  If you want to check out his adventures, I was posting on Instagram with the hashtag #patchdoesrhinebeck.  I loved the colorway names in this mini skein pack – his head is Orange Crush, his body is Chocolate Dipped Banana, and his hands and feet are Pickle Party.  This was a fun knit and I will definitely be knitting more of her stuff.

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Last, I finished the twin’s hat.  So I knit the Cavs hat for my goddaughter and a couple of days after my visit her mom e-mailed and said the twin would like one.  She wanted blue, gray and white.  I checked out Destination Yarn and found her colorway Ice Cave and it was perfect.  Here’s where the project falls off the rails – I ordered worsted weight, not fingering.  I had used the Juxtaposed Hat by Sarah Shoo for the first hat and really enjoyed the pattern – if you’re going to knit a slouchy hat it better be fun!  But that pattern is for sock yarn.  I did a search, asked for help, and ended up with a slouchy hat pattern for worsted weight yarn.  Bad news – it was super boring and I knew I would never get through it.  At this point, I had the stitch count for an appropriate sized worsted weight hat and knew the Juxtaposed was a 10 stitch repeat so I pulled out and started with that pattern and it worked!  Things got a little sticky when it was time to decrease because obviously the hat gets taller much faster with the heavier yarn. (I have notes on my Ravelry project page)  I got it done just in time as I’m headed to visit them next weekend and the cold weather is just arriving.  Cute note – I posted a pic of the finished hat on Instagram and my goddaughter (who follows me) liked it and commented that she would wear her hat when I came to visit so maybe I can get a picture of the two of them wearing their hats next week – we’ll see!

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Phew!  For a very busy month I got a lot done (although both hats have been on the needles for a while and Patch takes very little knitting time)  I’ll return to my Rhinebeck adventures next week so stay tuned!

Fellow Fibre Friends – Jennifer Riester

Hey everyone! I did a guest blog for Of Grace and Stitches – check out her blog and her yarn🙂

Of Grace And Stitches

Welcome to another installment of ‘Fellow Fibre Friends’!  This week, we meet Jennifer Riester, who is a knitter and tech editor (ie, she edits knitting patterns.)  You can find her on her blog, Jen Knittng Around.

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I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

When I was a child my grandmother taught me how to crochet. Sadly, it never caught on with me. I did a lot of cross stitching and have had brief flings with scrapbooking. Fast forward to the summer of 2003, my best friend was pregnant with twin girls and for reasons that are still unclear for me I knew I had to knit for them. Quick note – I was completely unaware of the big surge in knitting at the time, it was a feeling deep inside me. I did not know anyone who knit and I really was not into the blog or internet…

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