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!

What’s on My Needles This Weekend (or Merry Christmas to me!)

With the unexpected surprise of finishing my Christmas knitting by Thanksgiving I decided to participate in The Knitmore Girls‘ #Grinchalong this year.  If you don’t listen to their podcast (and, you should listen!) this is the second year they have done the #Grinchalong.  Last year I was in too deep with Christmas knitting to even think about it.  The contest rules are simple – do something that brings you joy and do NO Christmas knitting.

This was all going to play out well because I managed to hit a shop updated on Voolenvine Yarns so I treated myself to one of her Christmas colors – Deck the Halls.  It was set to be delivered on 12/5 and I planned on casting on the Verdure Shawlette by Fluffy Fibers (who also has an awesome podcast!).  However, the USPS did not cooperate and my yarn took quite a journey.

All was not lost because that first weekend of December I headed to Ann Arbor, MI to visit my best friend and her family.  I had read that Spun Ann Arbor was opening that week.  I mentioned to my friend that I’d like to stop in and check it out.  I need to insert a short back story at this point.  Before my friend had her four kids we got together each December and spent at least a day, if not a weekend doing our Christmas shopping.  We managed to continue when the kids were little but as they got older and had more activities it got to be a bit of a scheduling issue.  Sometimes life gets in the way but one day those kids will all be grown and so we adjust.

Back to my recent trip – I arrived at her house around noon and we took her oldest to his friend’s house and then had an entire four hours to ourselves!  We lingered over lunch and then headed to the yarn store.  It’s located in an historic old building in downtown Ann Arbor.  The building has been converted to house several small stores.  The shop was absolutely adorable and I loved it!  It was quite busy as it was opening weekend so I had little interaction with the staff who were busy assisting other customers.

I mean, look how cute it all was!!!  I always find it interesting to bring a non-knitter with me.  My BFF is a trooper and this wasn’t her first yarn store with me.  She was fascinated with the yarn swift which was in constant action with the lovely purchases.  Spun carries a wide range of both local Michigan yarns and other well known brands.  I was going with my eye out for Fibre Company Tundra to make the Ice River Snood by Curious Handmade.  I found it and they had it in the colors it called for – Snowdrift and Glacier (what perfect winter names!)  How could I leave it there?  And, then I touched it and it was all over – those lovely little clouds of poof were coming home with me.  It was a bit of a splurge but it was exactly what I wanted and it just seemed meant to be.

It may come as a surprise that I did not spend our entire four hours at the yarn store but I do try to be considerate of my non-knitting friends.  We did check out a few other shops, including a cool store called Found that did a lot of upcycling crafts and then stopped for a spot of tea at a great tea store down the street.  It was downright heavenly and I’m sure we both needed that time so much.

I came home and cast on the snood and knit it in two days – a record for me.  I also knit so long the last night that my shoulder was sore for two days.  I blame this on a very addictive knit and the Survivor finale.  Anyway, the pattern is amazing and I love how clearly she writes and even color codes her patterns.  The fabric this yarn created is just to die for.  I’ve barely taken it off since I finished it (and it does need a bit of blocking, maybe tomorrow).  I loved it so much and had yarn left over that I cast on for the Ice River Hat which I’m doing in the stripe color and perhaps adding a few of the neutral color stripes.

Sometimes knitting is something more than just a finished object. Sometimes it represents a time, place, memory of where it was knitted or where the yarn came from or what was going on at the time.  For me, every time I put on this snood and hat I will remember the unseasonably warm, December afternoon that I spent with my BFF enjoying the beauty of the season and the comfort of a 30 year old friendship.  That certainly makes this the best #Grinchalong project as nothing could bring more joy than knitting and my friends.  Maybe the post office did me a small favor by shuffling my Christmas yarn all over the country…

So, this is my Christmas present to me and now that yarn and that hat are calling my name.

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I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!  And, if you don’t celebrate I hope you are enjoying festivities at this time of year and I hope that you take some time and knit something for yourself!