Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And So It Begins

Baby Flax WIP

Earlier this month I had mentioned that several friends of mine had made pregnancy announcements. I'm excited! And now that I can knit again, I'm really excited. The last baby shower I attended I gifted a handful of books that are a favourite of mine and my kiddo's, ones that we still read to this day (well, the kiddo reads them to me now). While I love gifting books to little ones (seriously, anything by Sandra Boynton and Mo Willems has gotten a huge thumbs up by all) I long to, and almost prefer, to gift hand knits to babies. There's nothing better than swathing a tiny wee one in hand knits; baby knits are just so darn cute and quick to knit up! Actually, I think my love of knitting baby items stems more from the need for the instant gratification feelings you get when you whip up a sweater in a few days. Nevermind that it's teeny and that it's for a tiny human, you've just knit a sweater in two days! Two! It makes me think of those memes, the ones that ask what your super hero power is. Mine: "I can knit a sweater in a day mofo, what's your super hero power?" (said with a lot of attitude, of course).

Anyhoo, last week I found out that a few more friends and a relative are also expecting. That brings the baby count up to almost a dozen!! Crazy pants! And I have a sneaking suspicion that more announcements will follow as we get into the summer months. So the last few days I've been combing the stash (again) for baby-suitable yarns and have been jotting down patterns on the ever growing list of baby knits. Aside from wanting to knit a Sproutlette and a Little Sister's Dress (solely for my own knitting pleasure!), most of the patterns I've chosen are fairly gender neutral. Only a few friends have found out what the gender of their baby is but I want to be prepared with stacks of baby knits (yes, I said stacks) ready to be gifted so that I'm not frantically trying to whip something up at the last minute. Luck favours the prepared (my favourite Edna Mode quote that I apparently say a lot).

I'll forewarn you now that you can expect to see a good amount of baby knits in the next handful of posts and for sure a lot on my Instagraml'm pretty confident that most of these new-moms-to-be don't read my blog so I'm not worried about posting photos and talking about these knits. There will be a lot of them, who knows who is going to get what. I'll try to make the posts not so barf-inducing for those who aren't fans of babies or posts about babies. I'll cast on a shawl just for you guys. Something to break up the "so cute!" baby talk.

But before I cast on a new shawl I've got a few more stitches to bind off on the second sleeve on the little sweater you see in the photo above (pattern is Flax by Tin Can Knits). I just wound up more yarn and hope to cast on another wee sweater before I have to pick up the Munchkin from school. If I plan it out right, I'm hoping to have a nice little stack of cutie patootie sweaters before the month is over! 

Man, I feel so productive! What a fabulous way to start the summer!





Friday, June 19, 2015

Off The Needles: Sail Shawl

Sail Shawl

I've realized four things: one, it's been over four months since I've posted an FO; two, I have a stack of FOs on my dresser - some are blocked and some need a few finishing touches before having a good block; three, I've been extremely lazy when it comes to photographing anything; and four, I've been using my ability to knit again as an excuse to procrastinate on everything. All these things added up amounts to me being a bad blogger. 


Sometimes I wish I was one of those bloggers who keeps a calendar specifically for the blog and has every single post penciled in for the next three months or so. I think I tried a few times but obviously failed at keeping it up. While knitting and the things you create from knitting is already a blog content generator, I sometimes just can't find the right words to accommodate my doings. Or worse yet, I think and "write up" the perfect post in my head while I'm in the shower and by the time I can turn off the water to write it all down I've pretty much forgotten it all. Ugh. I hate it when that happens. And sometimes I would rather knit than blog. Ok, fine. Usually I would rather knit than blog.

But for the sake of keeping track of my knitting adventures and to prove that it's not always a casting on party around here, I thought I would finally share the test knit I did last year (last year!! I'm horrible, I know!) for a dear, dear friend of mine. Let me introduce to you the Sail Shawl by Liisa Nieminen.

Sail Shawl - Side

This pattern was designed for SweetGeorgia Yarns, specifically for their newest yarn base to their product lineup, Glitterati Sock. Released earlier this year, the Sail Shawl is a fun and relaxing knit that consists of squishy garter and easy short rows to produce an asymmetrical shape that is modern and simple. The colourblocks provide interest and allows for endless colour combination opportunities. 

I was hoping to knit my shawl using SGY yarns but didn't have the colours in my stash that I wanted to use, without having to break up sweater quantities. I would have loved to have knit my shawl using one of the SGY kits made to accompany this pattern (Citrus Sparkler, the sample's colourway, is totally right up my alley), but I decided to make use of this opportunity to knit up single skeins that I have no projects in mind for. Like the several skeins of Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering that I got when I was still doing the Plucky Classic yarn club. I was lucky to find three colours of Plucky that worked well together because for some weird reason I'm not a fan of mixing my yarn brands for a project unless I know the bases are pretty much exactly the same. I was actually super excited to finally be able to knit with the pink (FYI: the colourway is called 'Think Pink!' in case you want to track it down) and I seriously couldn't get enough of it. It's so fiercely vibrant that my camera just can't handle it! 

I originally wanted to use a dark grey instead of the beige but after a lot of squinting and yes, even photo taking and computerized colour manipulating, I admitted to myself that the grey and purple were too similar in saturation. I really wanted that third colour to pop and to stand out on its own; that dark grey yarn will just have to wait for another day. The two colourblock areas in which I had used the beige were so small that the idea of using a ball of leftover yarn crossed my mind. But since I was under a time constraint and yeah, a little paranoid about running out of yarn, I decided to just go with a full skein instead to avoid any possible frogging and re-knitting.

Sail Shawl - Full Front

Since this was a test knit I didn't do any mods. I was a little worried that my shawl would turn out smaller than the sample since I'm such a tight garter stitch knitter (as I had mentioned in my Match & Move post), and while it did come out smaller the shawl is still wearable. I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this pattern, and not because a friend had designed it, but because it knit up quickly and became quite an addictive knit - I really wanted to see what the next colourblock looked like! 

Some people would consider that the "hard part" of this pattern is the picking up of stitches at the top of the shawl, but I actually like picking up stitches and had managed to pick up the needed amount on my first try. As weird as this may sound, I think my favourite part of the shawl is this top strip. It just pulls the entire design together and makes the shawl look so polished. Now that I've knit one and know just how much yarn each colour takes, I'm thinking of rounding up all my leftovers and knitting another. It's never too early to start knitting Christmas gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, and even school fundraiser items! Right?

I'm excited for when the cooler months come around again and I can wear this more often. This shawl is probably my most brightest one in my collection and will for sure vitalize even the most dull and grey winter day. I know, I know...ho could I possibly be thinking of fall and winter when summer has just begun? What can I say? I look forward to days when I can wear alllll the hand knits! Whether that be fall and winter, or even a rainy and chill Island summer day, how can a knitter not look forward to being able to wear their hand knits?   

Sail Shawl - Full

:: Shawl Details ::
Pattern: Sail Shawl by Liisa Nieminen

Yarns: The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering
Colours: Think Pink!, I Feel Pretty, and Old Lace
Needles: Signature Needle Arts Fixed Circulars in 4mm (US 6)
Ravlery Link: MisoCraftyKnits Sail Shawl :: Test





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Sale 2015


Just a quick PSA that I'm having a summer sale in my Etsy shop

The majority of my stock is on sale. I'll be adding more bags as I go through my in-stock inventory and will be listing everything that I have. I'm also hoping to give it a go with sewing and seeing how my hands fair, now that they're feeling a lot better. I have a handful of unfinished bags still sitting by my sewing machine that I was in the midst of sewing up before my RSI made me stop all crafty activities. If all is good in the hood on the sewing front then I will also be going through my entire fabric stock. I'm pretty sure I've been hoarding a good amount. I think it's time that I share! So stay tuned!


♥ Happy Knitting! ♥


Monday, June 8, 2015

Knit In Progress: Match & Move

Match & Move - Yarn

A month or so ago I said I was just dying to cast on Martina Behm's Braidsmaid pattern. And for weeks I was a knitter possessed with thoughts of finding the perfect yarn from within my stash (can you believe that I haven't bought a single skein of yarn since February?? I know!! I haven't bought yarn in over THREE months!!). A few possibilities came to light, but nothing that screamed that it just had to be a Braidsmaid. While my search for the right yarn continues I decided to cast on other projects instead. Like the Catkin shawl. Sadly Catkin wasn't a good social or mindless knit for me and at the time I still wasn't able to knit on needles smaller than 3.25mm (US 3), so I had nothing to knit on while out and about. It only made sense to cast on something that was mindless and used a bigger needle for the very purpose of being a portable purse knit.

Just as I had made this decision Martina Behm released another shawl pattern, Match & Move. In true Martina Behm style, Match & Move is all about the garter, requires minimal stitch counting, and uses up practically all of the yarn. Totally mindless. Totally awesome. Totally kismet.

Aside from the design itself, I really like the size of the shawl and absolutely love the story and idea behind how the colours of the sample shawl were picked out. Instead of picking out her own colour combination, Martina left the colour fate and pairing selection in the hands of the Wollmeise dyemaster, Claudia, and used a Wollmeise "We're Different" grab bag. For those of you unfamiliar with Wollmeise and/or the WD grab bags, they're bags (obviously) containing two skeins (or one lace hank) in which the colours either don't match the online product photos exactly or were guinea pig test dyes. Unless specified as to what colour family the bag contains, you really have no idea what you're getting. Most of the time I think the WD skeins are way prettier than what they're suppose to be.

I liked the idea of Martina using the contents of a grab bag so much that I decided to do the same. Luckily for me, when I first started collecting building my stash I made notes as to which skeins came together in which type of grab bag (standard or semisolid kunterbunt, für prinzessinnen - my favourite!) on my Ravelry stash page. Most of my WD sets were broken up due to being either used or destashed but I was happy to discover that I still had a few remaining to chose from. I hemmed and hawed over which pair to go with and then ultimately opted to ditch the safety net of using colours and combos that I would normally pick out and went with something outside my comfort zone. Ok, kind of. 

Match & Move - Yarn Solo

The purple (Fliederbusch, in case you're wondering) is a colour that I would totally wear and knit with. But the Im Jahr der Ratte? While I think it's lovely, the touches of brown within the blueish grey would keep me second guessing as to whether or not I would actually wear it. I barely pick it up and have passed it over several times while combing through my stash and even as I was knitting with it on the first stripe I was wondering if I should have gone with something else. I decided to not frog the shawl and had reasoned with myself that I had already knit a few stripes, which meant that I had already made several cuts into the skein. There was no way I was going to put a caked yarn with a few tiny balls attached to it back into my stash. Uh uh. Not going to happen.

Thankfully, a few stripes in, the colour combo grew on me and I realized that I actually quite like the colours together. The IJDR is truly a delight to knit with (but so hard to fully capture on camera...is it brown or is it blue? The camera gets overly confused and can't tell) and the Fliederbusch is absolutely stunning and so vibrant. I keep stopping to admire it and marvel at all the different shades of purple within. 

Match & Move - WIP Closeup

I've got a good portion of this shawl knitted up and am already really tempted to cast on for another! I'll confess that I'm a little nervous that my shawl won't be as big as the sample shown in the pattern, and yes, I did not do a gauge swatch. I'm generally a tight knitter and I've noticed that I usually have to go up two or three needle sizes from what Martina Behm uses. But garter stitch has always baffled me. I think I knit even tighter in garter and find that I can never predict exactly how it will measure out. My swatches and gauges are all over the place. Sometimes I can be fully aware of this fact when knitting a small portion of garter within a pattern and it'll come out ok, especially after a good blocking. But if it's all garter...I know I need to be careful. 

In the case of this shawl, while it's still cushy, I can tell that it's a bit stiffer than the garter shown in the pattern photos. I have a feeling my shawl will definitely be a little smaller than the given finished measurements; I just hope that it will at least be big enough for me to wrap around my neck at least once. If I do knit another I think I'll go up another two needle sizes! Yikes! I really need to loosen up!

Match & Move - WIP 2

If I do knit another, I think I will go with my own colour combo. For over a year now I've been wanting to knit a very neutral coloured shawl or cowl. And by neutral I mean black or grey, or black and grey striped. Not grey with hot pink, or something along those lines. Although, in my world, hot pink is a neutral... 

But there have been so many days in which I'm wearing something - usually leggings - that's too bold and/or colourful and I feel like my accessories shouldn't compete with it. This is when I curse my love of bright colours and patterns and wish I would just knit something neutral for once. You know how it is.

Anyhoo, my plan for this shawl is to keep knitting until I either run out of yarn or stitches. I'm using the Wollmeise base that's about 60 metres (65 yards) less than the amount called for (so the Twin instead of Pure). Hopefully I won't be caught in a game of yarn chicken at the end! And if I do, I think there are a few ways to bind off without using much yarn. I know of a few ladies at one of my knit nights that have had to utilize such methods when it came to preserving the last few metres of yarn and still bind off. Ah, the games we knitters play with ourselves and our craft!

Tell me, have you ever played yarn chicken on a shawl? And have you ever had to change your bind off to make sure you had enough yarn? Let me know what you've done, just in case I need to do the same thing!


♥ 


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Knit In Progress: Belfast Hoodie

Quince & Co - Lark

I'm one of those knitters who likes to have at least one cardigan, one shawl, and one sock project on the needles at all times. Since suffering from RSI and carpal tunnel, I haven't been able to keep up with that knitterly game plan and had been reduced to knitting on whatever doesn't cause pain to my hands and wrists. But as of today I'm extremely happy to announce that these past few weeks my hands have been feeling SO much better and that I've been able to knit for much longer periods of time, pain free! I'm even more ecstatic to report that the past few days I've been testing out my hands (and my luck!) knitting with different yarn weights and needle sizes and think I may possibly be able to return to my usual knitting habits!! I can't even put into words the sheer happiness I am feeling because of this! Obviously I will still have to take it easy and not dive into marathon knitting sessions (yet), but the fact that I'm no longer as limited as I used to be has me beyond overjoyed.

So what's the first order of business? Getting back into my knitterly game plan, of course!! Since I already have a shawl project on the needles it's time to get a cardigan and some socks going! A while back I had gone through my Ravelry queue and weeded out all the patterns that no longer suits my style or that I honestly don't find myself knitting or wearing (like all those super bulky cardigans that look really cute on tall stick figures - the very opposite of what my body is). I rediscovered patterns that I had queued years ago and still loved, and so I made a "to-knit" list of all the patterns that I not only own but already have the yarn for in the stash. 

One of those patterns was a cardigan that I had queued five years ago. I had immediately fallen in love with the style, shape, and simplicity of the design and without even blinking an eye had bought the pattern on the spot. Since I was still building up my stash back then I had promptly purchased the recommended yarn online too. Man, I was so impulsive back then! 

Fast forward to now and as I read over the Belfast Hoodie pattern by Carrie Bostick Hoge, I have no idea why I waited so long to cast on! The pattern has all the features that I seem to favour in a cardigan: it's seamless, worked from the bottom up, has waist shaping, and as an added bonus has the sleeves knit up separately before being joined with the rest of the body at the yoke. I actually love picking up stitches so the button bands and even the pockets wouldn't have been a deterrent. The hood is knit continuously from the yoke and doesn't involve any form of hand sewing, so that wouldn't have impeded the decision to cast on either. Weird. Why did I wait so long to knit this?

Belfast Hoodie - Swatch

Whatever the reason was I'm happy that I'm knitting on this cardigan now. The yarn that was recommended in the pattern and that I'm using is Lark by Quince & Co., which I've never knit with before. The yarn is absolutely lovely to knit with; it's surprisingly soft and smooth with a beautiful hand. It's also wonderfully round and not at all splitty and you can just tell that it would give fantastic, crisp stitch definition for details like cables and ribbing. My only dislike for the yarn is the colour. While I think the Peacock blue I had picked out is very pretty (and a pain to try to photograph and capture the colour properly!), I find the overall colour to be a bit...flat. 


I don't know if it's because I generally knit with and am used to, hand-dyed in small batches semi-solid tonal yarns or what, but I just find the colour to be a little on the boring side and wish there was some sort of variance to it. There's no hints of another shade, no bits of lighter or darker colour, and definitely no giddiness from catching glimpses of your favourite spot(s) where the colour varies just slightly. At least there's nothing like that in my colour or dye lot. Just...the same old, same old commercially dyed colour. I hope I don't sound like I'm bashing the yarn or knitters who prefer this kind of colouring. I also hope I'm not putting anyone off from trying yarns from Quince & Co. because aside from my own personal colour preferences, the yarn itself has been delightful to work with.

As for the pattern, the knitting has been pretty straightforward; nothing major to report. I had cast on this project in the midst of my hand pain so at the time I was only able to knit for half a row at a time. The ribbing felt like it took forever to knit up. I'm glad that I've gotten much faster and now I'm past the ribbing and am knitting on the body. Since I only have ribbing and straight up stockinette to show for now, the project itself isn't really photograph-worthy or that interesting to look at.

Belfast Hoodie - WIP

I haven't been on Instagram much these past few weeks (it takes way too much out of my already dying phone battery), but if you want to keep up with my cardigan progress I'll most likely be more up-to-date on there than on the blog (Instagram link here, just in case you need it). 


I haven't set a deadline as to when I want to get this cardigan finished, after all, we're entering the summer months here. I think I could quite possibly be the only person here on the West Coast that wants this cool, cloudy weather to stick around for a smidge longer. Not that warm weather has ever prevented me from wanting to knit anyways! Typically a cardigan takes me about a month to knit up but since I'm in no hurry I plan on taking a few breaks from this project so that I can knit up some baby gifts. As far as I know, at the moment, in the next few months there are will be six (yes, SIX!!) babies entering the world. I've already missed knitting up gifts for a few babies earlier this year, and while it's not expected to gift a hand knit item, I want to knit all the cutesy baby things! Plus, the instant gratification that comes from knitting baby items can't be beat!

So tell me, do you stop knitting during the summer? Or are you like me and keep at it regardless?





Friday, May 22, 2015

Updates

Catkin WIP

I realize that restricted knitting time and project monogamy equals to a lack of blogging fodder, hence why it's been pretty quiet here on the blog. My hands and wrists are doing a lot better than they have in months but I'm still not back to my usual knitty self. I can now knit for longer periods of time though, as long as I remember to take frequent breaks and get up and stretch for a bit every time. There have been a few times in which I totally forgot - and I blame this on podcast binges (true crime podcasts are my weakness!) - and then wind up having to take a break from knitting for the following two days. 

Sock knitting is still not on the agenda and has been something I've been testing out here and there. Some days my hands can handle the tiny needles and I try to make that moment last for as long as I can, which is usually no more than five minutes at a time. I'm not going to push it though. I'll definitely take those five minutes over not at all anytime! Sadly, the socks I've been working on before my RSI happened no longer fit the Munchkin. I thought I was knitting them a little bigger than what he was at the time so that there was room for growth, but obviously I didn't knit them big enough. So now I'm stuck as to whether I should just finish them as is and gift them or if I should just frog the sock and knit myself a pair. I asked the Munchkin what I should do and if he would be upset over not having a pair of "Mummy made" hand-knit socks. He insisted that he was ok with this...but I can make it up to him by knitting him a sweater. But not just any old sweater. A Cowichan-style sweater. 

Oh dear.

My only response to that request so far has been: "we'll see". 

While I contemplate what I'm going to do about the socks, I'll keep plugging away on my Catkin shawl. This pattern has been quite enjoyable and I've worked on it enough now to be able to work on it with the Munchkin around and while the Mister chatters on about his day. I'm still on the first chart but can (finally!) see the end of that tunnel nearing soon, whereas last week it felt like I've been knitting for forever and a day and wasn't even close to being halfway through! I think the fact that all the rows are pattern rows is what makes me feel like a knitting slow poke. I was really hoping to have this finished in time to wear to the Munchkin's Parent Appreciation Tea event at his school but I highly doubt it considering that the tea is in three days and I have yet to even think about what kind of buttons would go with this pattern and my colour palette!

In other news, I'm not able to do much in the sewing department either. My hands still protest at even the slightest idea of holding a rotary cutter. This truly bums me out. I miss sewing and had my heart set on sewing up something special for the kiddo's teachers when the school year is over. For the time being I've managed to re-open and slowly update my Etsy shop with a few "as is" sale items (and a few regular bags on sale just for fun). I have plenty more drawstring bags to list and have dedicated next week to taking photos of them. Yay!! 

As far as I know next week won't be as busy as it has been these past few weeks and so I hope to squeeze in more knitting and more posts. Is it wrong of me to wish for a rainy day this weekend so that I can stay inside and knit and not feel guilty about the kiddo being stuck indoors? 


♥ 



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Knit In Progress: Catkin

TML - Steam Age & Baltic

Last month when I was able to start knitting again I thought I would be able to jump right back into the saddle with no problems. I mean, I knew from the get-go that I would have to limit my knitting time quite substantially but I honestly didn't think I would also have to limit what I was able to work on. In all my years and with all my previous bouts of tendonitis I was able to ease back into knitting with nary a hiccup. But not this time. Nope.

I discovered pretty quickly that my hands didn't like the idea of working with tiny yarn on tiny needles, but they were willing to knit with thicker yarns on anything bigger than a 3.25mm (US 3) needle. So I was able to (finally!) finish the knitting part on my PinkSand cardigan and then after realizing that I didn't have anything to work on that my hands could handle, I just had to cast on a few new projects. Yes, I HAD to. Heh...heh. One of them involves worsted weight yarn on 5mm (US 8) needles and the other was an experiment as to whether or not if I would be able to deal with tiny yarn on big needles. 

I've had the Catkin shawl pattern in my queue for over four years and even had a bunch of yarns and colour combos picked out to go with it. But I just never had the guts to cast on. I gave it a lot of thought and came to the conclusion that I didn't want to cast on because I just had too many options available to me and felt nervous that I would pick the wrong colours and would not wear the shawl in the end. I forced myself to get over it and since I already knew what yarn I wanted to use (Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, as recommended in the pattern) all I had to do was pick out colours that would go well with the general colour palette of my wardrobe. Initially I had wanted to use neutral colours, like black and grey, but I didn't have either enough or the right shade of black yarn in my stash. I'm not really on a yarn diet per se, but I've made it a goal at the beginning of the year to make an honest and true effort to knit more from stash (and to not just say that I'm going to knit from stash, then proceed to barely glance at all my bins and then quickly run to my LYS to buy something that I probably already have). Since I seem to be in a grey phase, I picked out a grey and went on a search to find the right contrasting colour to pair it with. 

TML - Steam Age

No, your eyes do not deceive you and no, this is not déjà vu. I really am knitting with Steam Age yet again. Steam Age is seriously one of my favourite MadTosh colourways. So much so that I think I had bought it in three different bases. I know, it's a total yarn piggy thing to do. I bought this skein of TML with no actual project in mind for it, but completely aware of how my brain works, I bought it knowing that I would either use it solo or in a group to knit a shawl of some sort. And here we are. But I'll confess: I did make a trip to my LYS to see if they had any TML in a blue that matched the blue in my skein. Bad news: they didn't; good news: I didn't have to veer off my goal and decided to just use a skein of Baltic that, once again, I had bought with no project in mind for. At first I hemmed and hawed over whether or not if Baltic was the right choice. I thought maybe it wasn't light enough and was too similar in saturation with the grey in Steam Age. There was only one way to find out - swatch. 

Normally I don't swatch for shawls (I know, I know...) but this time, aside from wanting to see how the colours looked knitted up together, there was something nudging at my gut and was demanding that I do a proper gauge swatch. I may not always trust my gut instincts when it comes to life matters, but when knitting is involved, I've learned that my gut has always been right. Whether I choose to listen to my instincts though, is a whole other story. This time, the voice in my head was really strong and loud, and experience has told me that when it's like this I should definitely listen. And boy, am I ever glad I did! 

Typically I'll knit a shawl in the recommended needle size and then hope for the best that a good, agressive blocking will sort out the rest. If I had done all that with this Catkin pattern I think I would have produced a very small, and probably un-wearable, shawl. My first gauge swatch was a little over half an inch too small in all directions! Yikes! BUT, I got to see that the colours really did look fantastic together!

Catkin Swatch
Photo ruthlessly taken from my Instagram feed

Would you believe that this is probably the first time in which I actually enjoyed knitting a swatch?!? And that I honestly didn't mind having to knit another?? It's crazy, I know! But how could I not enjoy it, just look at the swatch, it's so pretty! I 
whipped up another swatch and ended up having to go up two needle sizes. I'll say it again, I'm SO glad that I did a gauge swatch!

I wish I could say that since knitting the swatch that the actual knitting on the shawl has been smooth sailing, but it hasn't. I keep making simple mistakes, like not twisting my yarns at the beginning of each right side row (and then having to tink back two rows because I can't stand the long float along the edge). At one point I thought I had lost my knitting mojo because I had discovered an odd looking stitch amongst a row of garter. Something about it really bugged me and it took every fibre of my being to not drop down and try to fix it. Upon closer examination I noticed that the garter stripe that the stitch was a part of was wonky looking in general. To me it stood out from the other stripes and I thought that I had done something seriously wrong. Double checking the pattern instructions and then looking at other Catkin shawls on Ravelry, I saw that the garter stripe was suppose to look like that due to an increase row that happens right after. 

Hmmm.

Now, if I was smart and had read the entire pattern thoroughly before I started knitting and not just give it a quick scan to get the gist of it, I would've caught this oversight and made note to do the increase row a few rows after the garter stripe then I would have been able to avoid the wonky stripe action before it even had a chance to be knitted up. But who does that? Who reads over a pattern that meticulously before they start knitting?? What knitter makes their life that easy?

*ahem*

Anyhoo...

WIP - Catkin

I was too far ahead at this point to even think about ripping back to fix this issue, so I've left it. Shocking, yes. But I've also made it a goal this year to not be such a nit picky perfectionist. Especially when it involves knitting. Making and creating should be fun and stress-reducing, not the opposite! Surprisingly (after a few days) I've able to let this wonky stripe business slide and I've kept on knitting. A situation like this is when I really hope a good, aggressive block will do the trick in making things look good.

So far this pattern has been a nice knit. Last weekend I managed to finish the first section, which was easy and didn't involve too much attention (aside from remembering to twist those darn yarns if I don't want to weave in a thousand ends later) and now I'm onto the first chart. Judging from the swatch, I'm going to say from here on in this project will not be taken out of the house or worked on in a social setting. The charts aren't exactly difficult or overly finicky and there's no yarn overs to worry about (I always manage to miss yarn overs which completely messes me up), but the stitch pattern doesn't have a "resting row" and so each row has something different going on. Not familiar with the term "resting row"? It's a row in a pattern in which you straight up knit or purl. It's usually on the wrong side following a "pattern row", since the right side is generally where the design is worked on.

I'm sure that once I get going and I start to see the stitch pattern form, I could probably bring the project out to a knit night or something, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I would still find a way to mess it up somehow. So I think I'll stick to working on it at home. At night. When the Munchkin is in bed. Just in case. I get distracted too easily by shiny thi--

Ooohhh...Martina Behm has a new pattern out!

Oops! See? Mind of a magpie. That's me. Now where was I? Oh yes, Catkin. It's not leaving the house. But that's ok. My hands and wrists have been acting up this week and so I'm needing to take a little break from knitting anyways. It has been confirmed a few days ago that I do indeed have carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands. Luckily it's not severe and I don't need surgery. But to complicate matters more I'm also dealing with a super mild case of de Quervain's in both wrists AND metacarpal issues in my left thumb. Grrrr... I'm just glad that my doctors don't view my knitting as a cause of all this and have stated that I can continue to knit, albeit a teeny tiny bit at a time when my hands will allow it. They know and understand that knitting is my livelihood and what keeps me sane, and telling me to stop completely will mean nothing but mental anguish and sheer frustration. I just have to remind myself often to take more breaks.

So with that, I'm going to take a break from the computer and go sit in the sun while I eat lunch. 'Til next time...


♥ Happy knitting! ♥


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