Friday, April 4, 2014

Stash Enhancement

I think I found the spring colors I've been missing in my life these last few months. This lovely bunch of stash enhancement made its way to my house yesterday and I may have left it all sitting out where I can admire it as I walk by.

I'm off this weekend to re-new my teaching brain at a homeschool conference one day, and then hoping to make it over to a knitting conference the next day (at least to the yarn market!). I'll be back Monday with another podcast episode!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

State of the Basket

Monday was our first truly spring-ish day and I threw open the windows and practically whooped for joy. We need seasonal change around here, a little something to push us forward to a new phase once in awhile. I'm ready to be in spring cleaning mode- my mind is totally there (and so is my list making) but my body isn't cooperating to say the least. I can do any jobs that allow me to sit, but the up and down and stretching is not allowable at the moment. That's why I have elementary aged boys, right?

Yesterday we worked on some of the creative areas of our home. I set the boys to work on our art cabinet, which is quite the sight after a winter full of creating and not much organization and I went to work on my knitting basket.

Isn't it pretty? There is a definite color trend to the cooler side of the color wheel with the majority of the basket being greys, greens and blues.

First, I cleared out the current socks, the leftovers from the last few finished pairs, and all the single skeins that accumulated while auditioning for projects over the last few months. Thankfully that took care of half the basket. Now to sort out what to do with all this leftover sock yarn...

So... that's my long awaited Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan that I happily finished in... November. Still needs buttons. And a few ends woven. Sadly I have both buttons and a darning needle, but in the last four months just haven't done it.

Ezra's poor thumbless mittens. Fortunately he can wear them next year too. Thumbs have been added to the "finish up" list for the next week or so.

Ah, the pieces of mye gray Wildflower Cardigan. This particular item is going back into my regular evening knitting rotation now that my primary knitting time isn't all away from home.

And last, Ender's sweater! The problem with this sweater is that it is black and I'm not able to knit for a significant amount of time during daylight hours. I'm able to knit for about 20-30 minutes first thing in the morning (when I'm not always fully awake, and the sun isn't up yet) and then for awhile in the evenings as I have energy and obviously during dimmer light, so this is a difficult project at the moment- I'm still thinking about this project and its future, but for now it's still on hold.

So really only four projects on the needles, but two of them are sweaters and I need to get a move on Ender's if he's going to still fit in it by the time I finish it. I planned it for fall, but with the way he's growing I may need to finish the body then wait til October before seaming it to see if the sleeves are still long enough...

How is your knitting basket faring these days?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Knitting Tutorials

I love a good tutorial, especially the ones with video or pictures. I'm pretty good about being able to read directions and put those thoughts into action, but sometimes just a picture or two really helps me to understand the process better.

My favorite tutorial site is most definitely Knitting Help. I came across this site as a new knitter and it helped me to be fearless about trying new-to-me (and sometimes too-difficult-for-me-at-the-time) techniques. I knew I could just watch the video for the new stitch or skill over and over and over until I got it, so I jumped in and learned a LOT by just trying new things.

I've been collecting other lovely bits of knitting advice and tutorials on my knitting pinterest board and thought I'd share a few today:

1. If you've been wanting to try a new heel on your socks, there is a wonderful tutorial on afterthought heels by April at Studio Strategos. It is not step-by-step instruction- she assumes you've knit socks and understand how to knit a toe, etc., but it is perfect advice for someone like me who just wants to try something new. I'm going to use her advice on a pair of socks in the very near future.

2. If you haven't seen this already and you're not a big believer in blocking, go read this now.

I'll wait.

What looks like a little post about "Oh, hey there- I blocked this finished item" is really a mini-treatise on how and why to block and why you should take the time to block everything once it is finished at least once.

Blocking just makes things better. It won't fix major mistakes, but it does even out your stitches and helps everything hang properly. Even just taking a minute to lay a wet piece flat if I'm in a hurry is better than leaving an item completely unblocked.

3. I love this little tutorial and write-up by Ysolda Teague for the 1-row buttonhole. Simple and sweet, and really pretty when it is finished. She also takes on Elizabeth Zimmermann's 3-row buttonhole opinions in a charming way, so if you are an EZ fan you might find a little laugh in this post.

Do you have any wonderful tutorials to share? Anything you are planning to try in the near future? Anything you WISH you had a tutorial for?

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