FO Parade

Well May was a busy month filled with many fun events and a lot of knitting!!  Two of my FO’s are from my 17 in 17 list which means I’m about halfway through the list with 7 months to go!!!  Let’s dive right in!

First up, another Mermaid tail afghan that was actually finished in April but was given as a gift this May to my beautiful goddaughter.  You may remember the Story of the Little Blue Sailor Coat that was knit for my friends’ foster daughter.  I’m happy to report she is their adopted daughter now and I can’t stop knitting for her!!!

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Pattern: Mermaid Tail Blanket for Children and Teens by Angie Hartley  Yarn: Encore Worsted (held doubled) in an ombre of pinks

Next up is the Arrosa shawl by Jennifer Weissman which is in the spring 2017 issue of PomPom Quarterly.  I got this done in time to wear to the baptism and had it on for all of 30 minutes.  It turned out to be a warm and humid day and my goddaughter fell asleep on me before the service started so I know it’s soft and cozy.  But babies are portable heaters so off it came!  I was not able to block it to the specifications but I never checked gauge while knitting it so hard to say.

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Pattern: Arrosa shawl by Jennifer Weissman Yarn: Hedgehog Skinny Singles in Ghost and Boom Box

I don’t know about you but when I finish something that I’ve been going all in on I kind of need a break.  I picked up a second sock that had been hanging around, knit a few rows and realized it was time for the toe so I finished those up as well.  These were just vanilla socks with a fish lips kiss heel.  Yarn is Julianna’s Fiber in the I Smell Snow colorway.

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And last, but certainly not least I finished my oldest WIP as part of the Graduate Your Stash KAL being hosted by Kino Knits.  This is the Derecho shawl and it was on my needles for 3 years plus a few days.  Remind me to never get sucked into another Kauni project again!!!

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Pattern: Derecho by Laura Aylor Yarn: Kauni in ee and ET colorways

Whew!  I think that’s enough so before I sign off I wanted to share a few bits of news.  If you are interested in hearing more about tech editing check out the latest episode of the Kino Knits podcast.  You will hear me talking with Mary about the process and how she and I work together.

And, finally, I wanted to let everyone know the blog will be taking a break for the month of June.  It’s shaping up to be a very busy month so I’m sure I won’t be able to keep up with posting.  But don’t worry, I’ll be back in July with some travel logs, a wrap up of the Great Lakes Fiber Show, thoughts on my afternoon with Bristol Ivy, and other knitty adventures.

Some Kino Knits Love

With any given luck, Mary and I are hanging out at Rhinebeck right now so while I’m gone here’s a little blog post I wrote for her 🙂

I first started listening to the Kino Knits podcast about a year ago.  I quickly became a fan and worked my through the back episodes.  I also joined the Ravelry group so I could enter contests and keep up on all things Kino Knits.  When Mary put out a call for test knitters I was in!!

The first test knit I did was for the Rybka (Wee Fishie) pattern.  With Mary being in Africa, her e-mails often arrived early in the morning.  She sent out on the call on what ended up being a very snowy day at my house, perfect for settling in for a long day of knitting.  Note – this project did not take up an entire day of snowy knitting, unless I had made an entire school of wee fishies.  It’s a quick knit and I love that you can use whatever scrap yarn you have hanging around.  I think it’s cute on its own as a little gift or I could see knitting a number of them and making some type of bunting or mobile or other decoration.  I used worsted weight and it still came out in a wee size so using sock yarn would totally make them easy to use for decorative purposes.

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I just finished another test knitting a pair of fingerless mitts for Mary last month.  The pattern is not released yet so I won’t go into a lot of details but here’s my brief preview.  They are designed for a long gradient.  I happened to have a lot of extra gradient yarn that I had intended for another project.  In the end, that turned out to be a bad yarn/pattern combo.  So I was happy to put it use in a much better yarn/pattern combo.  It was perfect for these mitts.  While I usually find mitts with sock yarn to be a slog, I felt this really kept moving with the pattern stitch and with the work of involving the thumb which was a little different than I had used in the past.  Keep your eye out for this one, especially if you love all the great gradients that are out there right now.

I love the Kino Knits patterns because they are easy, yet interesting and I always learn something new, which for me is the perfect recipe for a good pattern.  The Rybka used Judy’s Magic Cast on, a new to me cast on so it took me a few minutes to get that down.  She also uses a slightly different version of increasing stitches than I’ve previously used.  Even with all that I think it took me a couple of hours, at most, to knit up.  The mitts have a very interesting stitch pattern that was new to me.  Again, it’s a fairly easy pattern once you get it down but it’s nice to be doing something just a little different.  I think this is something you can see in all her patterns – she tries to make them just a little more interesting.  If you’re tired of knitting just plain socks, cowls, or hats check out her Ravelry store for something to spice up your knitting!!!

April FO’s

I started off the month is a crazy, finishing frenzy and it was all downhill after that. So, first off the needles this month were my Arne & Carlos socks, which I love!!  I did plain vanilla socks with a fish lips kiss heel and a round toe.  Of course, the fish lips kiss heel is a pattern by the Sox Therapist.  I used the round toe which is included in Sock Architecture by Lara Neel.  It was my first time for both of these heels and toes.  I loved the heel but I did have a little issue with a weird bulge at the end of the heel so I’m guessing it’s something to do with my gauge but I’m just not sure.  I’m going to t keep experimenting. I loved the round toe as I despise the kitchner stitch.

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Next I finished the Girlfriend Cowls by Churchmouse Yarns.  I cast this on right after the US Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage was announced.  Someone on Instagram had started a rainbow-along.  I had this yarn in my stash – it’s America the Beautiful by Destination Yarns so on the needles it went!  The patterns is pretty simple and really did some fun things with this yarn.  I loved how, once I started knitting, it became apparent that as the skein went from primarily reds/yellows to blues/greens.  Sadly, even though it’s April, I’ve worn it quite a bit 😦

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The last FO of the month was a quick little test knit I did for Kino Knits.  She happened to e-mail on a snowy Saturday so I cast it right on.  It’s a free pattern on Ravelry which is so awesome.  I had some troubles with Judy’s Magic cast on as I had never done that one before but otherwise it was a super quick knit.  Mary has written it so you can use any yarn you have.  She did hers in sock yarn and I used a worsted weight.  It’s called Rybka (Wee Fishie) and if you are looking for a quick gift knit definitely check it out!

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Confession – I knit the fish on April 9th and have finished nothing since 😦  Lots of fun stuff on the needles so here’s hoping I have something to talk about at the end of May!

What I’m Listening to This Month

Earlier this week I was watching the most recent episode of the Knitting Butterflies podcast and Emily was going to do a review of a new book and I thought she made a great point – she is no longer reviewing, she is recommending.  It was especially timely for me as I plan my blog posts for the month and part of this year’s plan is to do reviews once a month.  My schedule tells me this week’s post is a review of two new to me (and, both newish in general) podcasts.  So, I’m calling this What I’m Listening to This Month and can continue to switch that up depending on what I might be reading, knitting with, or listening to each month.

Before I dive into my latest podcast finds, a few things about podcasts.  I’m primarily an audio podcast listener.  Most of the time I listen while I’m at work where I have no wifi so I download a bunch of episodes for the day before I leave home.  Videos are much harder to manage and are much more distracting!!  I have Android devices so I don’t use iTunes (sorry to all you podcasters – I can’t leave iTunes reviews for you :().  I use the app Podcast Addict.  I can usually find anything on there that is on iTunes.  The app is easy to use and I’ve never had any problems with it.  It seems more and more podcasts are going to video so I’m always excited to find new audio ones for my listening pleasure!

The first podcast I’m listening to is Kino Knits.  Mary lives in Kenya (Kenya!!!) and her podcast, blog and designs can be found at KinoKnits.  I think I first heard about her on the Prairie Girls podcast as they were giving away one of Mary’s patterns.  I finally remembered to look up her podcast and the first episode I listened to was Episode 7.  I’m totally hooked and went back and listened to the first episode, with plans to listen to Episodes 2-6. I love to travel (another part of this blog) and so being able to listen to someone in Africa talk about knitting over the there and the adventures her family is able to take is just the best of both worlds for me.  The sound quality on her podcast is excellent.  And, to my surprise, Mary did a shout out to me in Episode 8.  I have not had a chance to listen to it (tomorrow during my car ride for sure!) but I went to the show notes to write this post and I saw my name there!!  Thanks Mary!!  There are 8 episodes so not a lot to catch up on which makes it’s a great time to tune in!

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The second podcast I wanted to talk about today is the Knit Actually podcast.  I found this one through Emily from the Knitting Butterflies podcast.  Becky is the host and she is great to listen to.  She talks about knitting and she also does some of her own dying which is interesting.  Full disclosure – I have a lot of family in Colorado (which is where Becky and Emily are) and I think I was sucked in by the Scoreboard scarf Becky knit for her son documenting the Broncos Superbowl winning season.  It is amazing!!!!  She has 27 episodes out so, again, not too much to catch up on and a great time to subscribe.

If you are looking for new audio podcasts I would definitely suggest you check out these two (and, also Knitting Butterflies and the Prairie Girls, of course 🙂 ) I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!

One last note – the article I mentioned a couple of weeks ago came out.  CountryLiving.com compiled a list of 13 cool ways to yarn bomb your home and one of my prior posts was included!  You can check it out here – 13 Ideas to Yarn Bomb Your Home!