American Wool Series

Friday, June 28, 2013

On a roll...

You may or may not know that I've been doing sample knitting for a couple of different designers lately. This is exciting because I get to try out new yarns and patterns at absolutely no monetary cost to me, just my knitting time. But my knitting time? It never seems long enough! As of Tuesday evening I finished up a large-ish sample and will be sending it off to the designer and that means that I'll soon be finishing up my own large project - Aislinn. 

Half a sleeve down and one sleeve to go! Minimal finishing and a good wash and block and I'll have a spankin' new sweater to wear. 
Mr. B's socks are finally finished after a long-ago failed May 6th deadline. Can you believe how fast this year is flying by? That may be why I don't feel like these socks were on the needles for so long - I also happened to lose them for a week and then run out of yarn. Oops.


Aaaaand, I'm plugging away on my stripey socks during lunch time and short breaks between any, and every, day-time activity that requires my attention.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yarnalong: Anne of Green Gables

After finishing The Golden Compass over the weekend I'm just about ready to delve into my Summer reading list with the Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery. The books are on my nightstand and the only thing left to do is plan some knitting inspired by the Anne series.

This may be a little pre-emptive as I still have projects on the needles, but I thought it would be fun to look at patterns in my Ravelry queue and pattern library and do a little creative KAL as I read through the books.


First up are the Traveler's Socks by Stefanie Bold. These socks mark the beginning of Anne's travels from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island and the beginning of her new life with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Three cables meander down the leg and meet at the toe, mirroring the three lives that are forever changed by the mistake the orphanage made in sending Anne instead of a boy.
I'm using Stricken Smitten Smitten BFL Nylon Twist in the Little Storm Cloud color.
Do you have a Summer reading list? Want to knit along with me? Choose a book, pick up your needles, and cast on! Let me know what you choose!

{yarnalong with Ginny}

Monday, June 24, 2013

Music Monday

"Why Don't You Do Right?" by Lil Green from the original 1941 recording.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Imma what?

My knitting life has been quite unexciting as of late. I have two large projects nearing completion and am feeling the itch to start new things. I'm mainly a monogamous knitter so when I get to feeling this way my cure is to knit faster on my current projects so I can cast on something new!

I may have jumped the gun on this one by a few days! I needed social knitting of the not top secret kind so I dug out one of my two precious skeins of GothSocks and cast on a simple pair of stripey socks. This is the Laudanum base which is an 80/10/10 mix of merino, cashmere, and nylon. Yum! The color is Imma Bitch (ha!) and alternates between four-row stripes of black and semi-solid red. The heel treatment is still under contemplation - I prefer a heel flap and gusset construction but haven't tried any of the afterthought heel treatments available. Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yarn Along: Sci-Fi & Socks

This week is flying by and I almost forgot today is Wednesday. Almost. I've been meaning to take part in Yarn Along for a while but never seem to get writing or take photos in time to post when it's actually Wednesday. But here we are, just in time.

The Gentleman's Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern are sooo close to being off the needles.  I started these the last week of April, ostensibly for Mr. B's birthday on May 6th. They'll be a very belated birthday gift, but welcome, nonetheless. I ran out of yarn on the toe and luckily my friend, Monica, has the same club colorway (lucky us, both being Hazel Knits fanatics) and is kindly donating some of her yarn to the belated birthday socks. Off the needles this weekend? I think so.

I burned my way through The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells last week and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Mr. B is a confirmed Science Fiction devotee and I've only dabbled in the genre so I was quite surprised that I like it so well. If you're interested in reading it you can find it for free at Project Gutenberg.

PS - I also noticed that Anne of Green Gables is listed! You should read it! I'm about to delve into the whole series as part of my Summer Reading List (I think that should always be capitalized, I don't know why).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Music Monday

"Ten Gallon Ascots" from The Loon by Tapes 'n Tapes


 Most weekends find me at home, catching up on housework, running errands, spending time with the family, and squeezing in homework and knitting with various rates of success. But this weekend my family headed over to Bainbridge Island for my Sister-in-law's graduation from the IslandWood program of UW. We took the ferry Saturday afternoon and Little A looked like she was up to no good, as usual.
 IslandWood is a beautiful environmental education center with several outdoor classrooms and we did a lot of wandering around the center and the gardens. They have a fountain shaped like a cabbage that captured Little A's imagination. A cabbage! A fountain! A cabbage fountain! You get the idea. 
 Trellises supported all kinds of yummy growing things.
 Color inspiration in the form of flowers and painted spigots.
Post-paella (really, giant pans of paella cooked over an open fire may be a new favorite of mine) walks in the slightly muggy, but very beautiful, evening and a perfectly still pond. There was also a suspension bridge involved in this walk but it made me feel slightly wobbly on my pins, so no picture. 

I didn't take pictures of the graduation ceremony, the enormous quantities of delicious food, and the never-ending sangria on Saturday night, but I think you get the idea. Just the right amount of travel for an overnight trip with minimal effort on my part and lots of good family time (and knitting). Congratulations, Chloe! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Music Monday

"Twistin' the Night Away" from the 1963 album of the same name by Sam Cooke.

This one is for my bestie, Nickie! Hope your first day at your new job is a great one!

Summer Bucket

I love writing lists. I've been known to list items just so I can cross items out when I've completed them, but there's something about the phrase "bucket list" that makes me want to throw a tantrum. Why? No freakin' idea. But here we go - lists for the Summer!


I'm currently making my way through His Dark Materials Series by Phillip Pullman. These are fast, and delightful, and all kinds of adjectives that apply to well-written YA literature. I can also recommend the Ruby in the Smoke Series if you enjoy mysteries in the same vein as Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle.

I found this website that has lists for several genres with a synopsis of each book. I've ready many of the books from the Classics category and some from the Science Fiction category but very, very few from the rest of the categories.

Fun fact - I LOVE L.M. Montgomery and the Anne of Green Gables series. For years and years I read them every Summer but I haven't done since I had Little A. I plan on rectifying that situation this Summer. I always cry my eyes out when Matthew dies.


I'm currently in two correspondence classes that end October 5th. If I can speed up my reading and writing assignments I'll be able to finish early.

All of my application requirements for Grad school have to be met this Summer for the October deadline. This includes: two tests, a writing sample, letters of recommendation, personal statements, 40 observation hours in a high school setting (that would be Summer school), and some other odds and ends that I'm surely forgetting. Eep.


I'm working on sample knitting right now and hope to continue getting sample work throughout the Summer to ease our personal finances a bit. While this isn't knitting I can share with all of you folk I still enjoy it and it doesn't actually feel like work to me.

 Continue the downward trend in my stash numbers.

Knit Christmas gifts early! I had the crazy idea of knitting socks for everyone for Christmas since the bulk of my stash consists of sock yarn. Is this crazy? If I start soon I should be able to meet that goal.

I'm pretty sure that's enough of a list to get me through the end of the year! My school anxiety will surely ease once my application is complete and submitted.

I'll have more knitting to share this week - promise! In the meantime, take a look-see at this gorgeous thing.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Hard Places

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about frustration at work, and while that frustration is still present, I've begun to move beyond that and look to the future. Most of the time I try to keep the blog as a place of creativity, where I can share the things I knit and the things I love. I take solace in my craft, in being able to move forward with knitting projects when I'm stuck in the hard places of my day-to-day life. Two weeks ago I felt like I was stuck - my knitting projects weren't moving along, every day chores overwhelmed my personal time, nothing seemed to get done and stay done, my volunteer hours for my grad school application seemed unattainable, and work was the most stressful it had been in my almost two years at my company. I've taken a step back, taken action, and am moving along at a moderate clip on things I can change. Plus, I bought yarn.
 And it's pretty
Miss Babs Northumbria DK in Princess Peach.  Destined to be some sort of cowl for me although Little A showed interest in the "pretty color" and wanted to keep a skein for herself.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Music Monday

"Memphis in June" by Nina Simone from the spectacular 1961 album Forbidden Fruit.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

FO: Lovebug Booties

Pattern: Lovebug Booties by Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in light blue and green
Needles: US #4 (3.5 mm) Addi Turbo Lace 
Mods: None! The pattern for the booties is practically seamless and knits up very quickly in an evening. I improvised the hat with the same colors as the booties for a matched set. The full set came out of partial skeins of Baby Cashmerino that I've been hoarding in a ziploc for times like these - emergency baby shower gift! The booties weigh 21 grams and the hat weighs 30 grams if you're keen to knit some up for a baby in your life. 

The Hat: 
Using a US #4 16 inch circular (or dpns) cat on 88 stitches with MC. Join in the round without twisting your stitches and place a marker. Knit 1x1 ribbing for 8 rows, or one inch. Join the CC and knit two rounds, switch to MC and knit two rounds. Continue in stripe sequence until piece measures 4 1/2 inches or preferred depth. Knit 9, k2tog* all the way round (80 stitches) . Knit one row. Knit 8, k2tog* all the way round (72 stitches). Knit one row. Repeat in this manner, working one less knit stitch every decrease round and knitting one plain round between decrease rounds. Switch to DPNs as needed. You should have 8 stitches when all of your decrease rounds have been completed. Break yarn, thread through remaining stitches and pull tight to close the top. Weave in your ends and block. Voila! Hat!