Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just Keep Sewing...

Sewing Machine

I've been trying to make the above image my usual sight for the past few weeks. Sadly, it's not working out as I had planned. Unlike last year when the Munchkin had speech therapy, kindergarten prep, and day camps throughout the entire summer that allowed me to work during the typical work hours during the work week, this year the Munchkin is at home. With me. All day, every day. Which makes attempts at sewing pretty much non-existent. Unless you count the few minutes that I'm able to get away to sew a seam here and there - which I don't, since you really can't get into a groove with such sporadic schedule.

It's not like the Munchkin is demanding or that I'm a helicopter parent or anything like that, it's just that it's summer, and well...with summer comes great weather than just insists that you be outside before the wet and dreary rainy weather of fall and winter comes rolling around again. And really, I can't say no to the kiddo about wanting to be outside, about wanting to play at a playground, and about wanting to ride his bike.  I mean, I want to be outside too! Sadly, machine sewing isn't a portable activity.

Crap. I wish it was.

So I've been stressing out to the max trying to find out how to squeeze in the sewing time to make product for both my Etsy shop and for my booth for next month's Fibrations event. You guys, I'm starting to panic. Here I was thinking that sewing up a minimum of 100 bags would be a snap. And it probably would if I was ok with plopping the kiddo in front of the TV all day so that I could sew. But I'm not. I totally didn't take into consideration that I would have the Munchkin at home all summer and therefore would have to do some actual parenting.

I have a feeling that my booth is going to be pretty small this year. Smaller than last year even. I can do this though, right? Just have to keeping chanting to myself "just keep sewing...just keep sewing...just keep sewing...".

If anyone needs me, I'll hopefully be locked up in my sewing closet trying to get some sewing done. With mugs of coffee at my side.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Event :: Fibrations 2014

Hey Friends! So...things might be a little on the slow side this month - both on the blog and on the knitting front, because once again I've decided to partake in my second Fibrations event as a vendor this August! So exciting and yet so stressful, as sewing for my booth hasn't really commenced yet! I foresee a lot of really late nights...and coffee. Plenty of coffee this month! I had so much fun at last year's Fibrations that I decided that I just had to do it again this year! Even if I don't sell a single bag, it's just inspiring to be surrounded by a community of fibre enthusiasts, and I love meeting and talking to people who I only come across online. 

Once again I'm going to have a little booth and will have a small selection of both small and large zippered box bags, drawstring bags, a few small zippy pouches, and if time permits a few other awesome sauce goodies! I've also donated a prize for the Toonie ($2) Fundraising Raffle:

That there is a small zippered box bag AND a drawstring project bag in one of my most favourite prints ever, the "knit stitch" by Betz White. And yes, that's the exact same fabric as the large box bag that the Yarn Harlot has (as seen here) of mine! 

How awesome would it be to score not one, but two project bags for just 2 dollars?! That's a mere dollar each! 

Wouldn't you want to win this set? I just hope that I remembered to set aside some fabric to make myself a bag!

So if you live in the area, or if you're planning on visiting the island on August 17th, or going to be in the 'hood anyways, I hope you will check out Fibrations. Please note that admission is free!! If you do make your way over, I hope you will stop by my booth and say hi!

:: Fibrations ::
August 17, 2014
From 10am - 4pm
The Orchard at St. Ann's Academy
849 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC

For more information about the event and for a complete list of vendors, check out the Fibrations website.

♥ Hope to see you there! ♥

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Knit In Progress: Fish Lips Kissing Socks

Fish Lips Kissing 2

Are you surprised that I have cast on for yet another pair of socks? Yeah, neither am I. After all, this is the year of socks, or so it seems. I know I said I wasn't going to knit the next pair of socks as plain vanilla, but you know what? I've got a lot on my plate and who isn't busy during the summer? I need a mindless knit that I can pick up whenever and don't have to spend 5 minutes trying to figure out where I am in the pattern each time - especially during the off moments on the bigger projects that I'm working on.

To save me from the same old plain vanilla routine, I'm doing something a little different with the heel. As I had mentioned in my June Obsessions post I've been thinking a lot about trying out the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist. So that's what I'll be doing with this pair. I thought about knitting these socks leg-down but figured I should try toe-up since the main reason why I'm trying this new heel out is because I wanted to see how they'll work if I were to knit them with self-striping yarns (even though the yarn I'm using isn't really self-striping).

Fish Lips Kissing - Closeup

Without digging around in the stash I had already decided that I should knit with the sock blank that I had handpainted in the Dyeing to Get Some Colour dye workshop that I took 2 years ago, taught by Felicia Lo of SweetGeorgia Yarns. I've never knit from a sock blank before and had actually never seen one until I bought a few from Knit Picks months before the workshop (I just discovered this morning that Knit Picks has discontinued the sock blanks and are no longer on the website!). For those of you who don't know what a sock blank is, it's an undyed, usually double-stranded, loosely knitted piece of fabric that you can dye and then unravel as you knit from it. On my blank there's no cast on or bound off edges so all the stitches are live and needs no cutting to get started. There are several ways you can knit from a sock blank: either 2 at a time, one sock at a time while winding the second strand, or wind up both strands before you start knitting. I thought the last 2 were pointless and so I just started knitting 2 at a time socks.

Fish Lips Kissing - Toes

Normally when I knit 2 at a time it's not your typical 2-socks-on-1-large-circular-needle. No, I like to knit the pair on 2 separate circulars. I prefer more room on my cable and don't like how finicky the knitting can get when they're both on the same needle. So that's what I started to do when I had cast on my socks. After a few rounds I discovered that keeping track of the strands and having to untangle them constantly was getting on my nerves. So I bit the bullet and shoved them both onto 1 circular. It wasn't that bad since the start of toe-up socks are pretty small and so it made the knitting bearable. I have to admit that this 2 at a time business really does yield faster results as I've now knit up both feet and am ready to knit the heels! I've been knitting one sock at a time since the beginning of the year and not the two (for reasons I'm not quite sure), so this progress definitely pleases me. But alas, this 1 circ thing couldn't last long.

Yep. Since taking these photos I've transferred one sock onto another circ and have started the heel on just one sock. I was using a 40 inch circular and trying to manoeuvre the heel on one sock while the other hung out drove me nuts and felt a little claustrophobic. But hey, for a technique that I'm not a fan of knitting, be glad I lasted this long! At least I tried!

Fish Lips Kissing - Crimped Yarn

I'm really loving how the transitions from one colour to the next is working out. The stripes on the blank is far from perfect and so the colours gradually blend into one another with random stitches of colour here and there. Don't think I'm going to get into dyeing yarn any time soon though. I'll leave that to the professionals! Dyeing this blank was time consuming and the most basic of basic, as in I grabbed the bottles of colours that I loved and squirted them across the blank. There was no planning whatsoever. Although you really do have to think it out and make sure that when the colours meet they don't mix and turn brown (unless you want brown). I kind of lucked out and the blended colours turned out either purple or a darker shade of blue, which all goes with the colours that I had used. The idea of trying to replicate this blank is completely out of the picture! I don't have the patience for such preciseness. I would rather knit the yarn than dye it!

Friday, July 4, 2014

CaterpillarGreen Yarns Giveaway :: Winner!!

Concrete & Tulips - rolled


Silly me completely forgot that Canada Day (July 1st) fell on the day after the end of the CaterpillarGreen Yarns giveaway, so I was unable to pick the winner until the day after, and then I completely forgot to announce the winner! Until now, that is. First off, a massive thank you to all who entered the giveaway!! I loved reading everyone's choices, and yes...it was very cruel of me to ask you to pick only one favourite! Trust me, even I had a hard time picking just one. I simply cannot wait until August when the fibre community of Victoria gets together for the annual Fibrations event in which CaterpillarGreen Yarns will be a vendor at! I have exactly 44 days to decide which colourways to snag...eep! It's going to be tough!

Anyhoo, without further ado, here's the winner of the CaterpillarGreen Yarns giveaway as picked by the random number generator:

** Tracey **
aka: AuntyTraci

Tracey, I'll be contacting you shortly about your fabulous prize!

I wish I was able to pick everyone as a winner, since I would love for everyone to try out and enjoy the yumminess that is CaterpillarGreen Yarns. Sadly, I cannot. If you didn't win I highly encourage you to nab yourself a skein (or two...or three...no, I'm not enabling...no, not me!), and if you do please say hello to Cat for me! 

To further enable you, you can find all things CaterpillarGreen Yarns at the following places:

:: Shop :: Blog :: Ravelry :: Instagram ::

♥ Happy knitting! ♥

June Obsessions


June is a weird month for me. I love it and I don't. It wasn't always like that though. Growing up I loved June - it's the month of Father's Day (and I absolutely adore my Dad and I just happen to be 'Daddy's little girl'), warmer weather, and because not only was it the last month of school before summer holidays, but it was also my birthday month. Then a few days after my 20th birthday I got into a pretty serious motor vehicle accident and that all changed. Now, June is a "meh" month for me. I like to think I don't dwell on things like that, but I guess both my body and my subconscious mind remember all too well still. Without realizing it I spend the month stressed out and anxious, overly tired, and with that, constantly feeling unmotivated to do anything other than to veg and zone out. This year this June has been no different...well, except that I also had that stupid concussion (insert big sigh here).

Usually things go back to normal by mid-July and I'm really, really, really hoping that this will be the case this year too...although granted I'll still have to deal with post-concussion symptoms (blegh). Fingers crossed that July is full of nothing but sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. And yeah, maybe some yarn. Please!

So before this turns into a 'woe is me' bummer deal of a post, let's get to the things that have been on my mind throughout the month of June:

1. Rainbows...in Yarn Form

Yarns from my stash, from left to right:
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted in Jabberwocky, Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in Prism,
Noro Kureyon Sock in S180, Wollmeise Twin in WD Saami, Sunshine Yarns Dipped Infinity Kit in Twilight

I'm not sure if this is the work of my subconscious here trying to cheer me up or the fact that Pride Week has been happening around the world and is currently happening here in Victoria, but I've got rainbows on the brain. Rainbows in yarn form, to be more precise. I would like to say that I'm a fan of rainbow barf, but really, I prefer my rainbow yarn to be in self-striping or long colour repeat/gradient fashion, and I could/would never turn down minis (or even full skein for that matter) presented in a rainbow formation.

I would love to knit up a pair of rainbow striped knee high socks in time for Victoria's Pride parade this weekend, or heck, even for the Eves of Destruction's annual Pride bout that's taking place in 2 weeks. But I've got way too much on my plate right now to even try. Maybe next year. In the meantime I'll just keep dreaming about knitting up all the rainbow yumminess that I've got in my stash...

2. Fish Lips Kiss Heel

Image via Patty-Joy White/SoxTherapist, used with permission

The Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Patty-Joy White (aka SoxTherapist) has been on my sock knitting radar for almost a year now. At the beginning of the pattern's release I didn't pay much attention to it as I was only knitting socks occasionally, but now that I've become an avid sock knitter this highly raved about new heel method has been brought up in practically every conversation I've ever had about socks and more specifically, heels (especially since the last few pairs I've knit have been self-striping...and I've got strong feelings about how my heels should look when it comes to that type of yarn!). 
I have always been intrigued by this heel and have wanted to give it a try, but for some reason I never got around to even buying the pattern. I don't know why considering that the pattern is a mere dollar! Yes, you read that right. A dollar! 

Well, after much conversing with other sock knitting lovers I decided that it was time to give the Fish Lips Kiss Heel a try. So I bought the pattern, immediately downloaded it to my tablet, made a mug of tea, and settled down to read over the instructions. Well...I have to admit that I was a little bit intimidated that the pattern was 16 pages long. The Ravelry page did specify that this was more of an ebook than your typical pattern. But 16 pages?? For a heel? What? I thought this heel was suppose to be easy peasy?

Let's just say I got myself slightly worked up for nothing. An initial skimming of the ebook told me that this was not 16 pages of just written instructions or of a heavily photographed step-by-step knitting lesson. No, instead this ebook gave not only directions on how to knit this heel (which actually does look easy peasy), but how to knit it toe-up AND cuff-down. There is a simple photo tutorial on how to knit the special stitches needed for the heel, but it's not photo laden, just to the point. There's also a video tutorial on YouTube (done by the designer herself) for those who need even more of a visual to get the stitches down pat. I appreciate the explanations and reasonings of what makes hand knit socks so different from commercial socks and what steps knitters can do to make their hand knit socks have a better, if not perfect fit. But all of that doesn't take up 16 pages. No, there's a great section to help make not only your own, but any sock you knit for others a perfect fit. I'm not a fan of math but I am a knit nerd that totally appreciates the formula on how to calculate your "hinge line". Trust me, it felt like magic!

I'm super excited to knit up the FLK heel and have cast on a pair of plain vanilla toe-up socks just for this purpose (I know, I said my next pair wouldn't be plain vanilla...but hey, July is going to be a busy one, so I need a small mindless knit on the go). I'll keep you posted once I knit up the first heel. In the meantime, if you've tried this heel let me know what you think! If you haven't yet but want to, head over to Ravelry and grab your copy. Or just click this link for Fish Lips Kiss Heel (don't worry, I'm not an affiliate or making any profit from that link!).

3. Fall & Winter Knitting

Yeah, yeah, I know...summer has just started and already I'm thinking about knitting for fall and winter?? You bet I am! Don't get me wrong, I like summer just as much as the next person, especially since all my favourite fruits and veggies come into season and I can gorge on them without having to fork over my first born. But let's face it, the warm weather doesn't really allow for either the wearing of or the knitting of hand knits - unless you're in front of a fan 24/7, work in an air conditioned environment, or have access to an air conditioner. So during this time, what do you knit? As much as I love socks and shawls, I long to knit pullovers and cardigans. 
I normally don't let the weather affect what I knit, but last weekend was sweltering hot enough that I just had to stick to socks, even though I was dying to work on the tunic that I had cast on late last week. I don't want to complain, so I'm not going to. But I will be dreaming of all the lovely sweaters that I want to knit and wear for fall.

4. Beso by Stila

Image via Sephora

Throughout my life I've always been about lip products over any other kind of makeup - lip balms, lip gloss, lip stains, lip liners, lip plumpers, lip treatments...if it was for the lips, I was on it. As a little kidlet I had the Tinkerbell lip balm tucked away in my Betty Boop handbag and as I got older I had every flavour of Lip Smacker I could get my little hands on. In high school I was obsessed with Revlon's Toast of New York lipstick (um, who wasn't though? It was the quintessential lip colour of the 90s! Man, I feel old!). In my 20s I was all about the MAC lipglasses. But always, always was I on the mission for the perfect lip balm (which I found in Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 AND in Hurraw! Balm). 

So what is it now? Red. The perfect red lips that doesn't make me look gothy or like I have jaundice. Red in general is such a statement colour. And red lips, when worn with the right amount of makeup, can look so classy and composed. Even when worn with a simple pair of jeans and a t-shirt, red lips can automatically make you look dressy without trying. For a while now I've been on the search for the right red lipstick and I think I finally found it in Stila's Beso (yes, the very same one that Blair of Atlantic-Pacific wears). I've been trying to wear it every opportunity that I can and have to admit that I feel pretty glamorous when I do. And yeah...a little self-conscious. I always feel like my skirt is tucked into my underwear or like there's food smeared on my face when people look at me for too long. 

Now, if I can only afford a pair of Karen Walkers...

Just kidding. Ok, not really.

5. Ginger Kombucha

Crystallized Ginger

I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "didn't Melissa state that she was obsessed with strawberry-basil kombucha in last month's Obsessions list?". And you know what? I did. And I still am obsessed with strawberry-basil flavoured kombucha. But I'm also obsessed with ginger flavoured kombucha as well. 

Shortly after making my first round of the aforementioned strawberry-basil kombucha I decided to give ginger a try next. Mainly because I had stripped my basil plants clean (I can't say no to caprese salads!) and because I had loved the Gingerade version by GT's Kombucha. I've read that a lot of people preferred the taste of crystallized ginger over the fresh ginger so I headed over to my local grocer and bought a small bag of Australian crystallized ginger, sliced open a bunch and threw it into a bottle for a second ferment. 

O...m...g...!! I am NEVER buying another bottle of store-bought ginger kombucha again! Or even ginger ale for that matter. It was seriously the.best.drink.EVER!! I'm in love. There's no turning back now. Homemade ginger kombucha owns me. Luckily that same local grocer had a sale on crystallized ginger recently and you can bet that I stocked up to the max! If you make your own kombucha and you haven't tried adding crystallized ginger, I HIGHLY recommend it! SO insanely delicious!! So delectable in fact, that I prefer it over my other usual summer time beverages (like frappuccinos and Tim Horton's ice caps...both of which I can no longer drink anyways and surprisingly don't miss!).

So what was on your mind throughout June? What are you looking forward to this summer? I've got some stuff going on that I can't wait to share with you! But I'll save it for another time, I've got a picnic lunch to make and pack up for the kidlet and I on this beautiful Friday. Thanks for reading!!

♥ Happy July! ♥

Monday, June 23, 2014

Concrete & Tulips and a CaterpillarGreen Yarns Giveaway!

Concrete & Tulips

Holy smokes! Is this a post about a finished pair of socks?? 

Why yes, yes it is. A quick peek at previous sock related posts suggests that I've been knitting on a lot of socks but there hasn't been a post since February that present any actual finished sock. Well, here you go. Here's a finished pair of socks. There's more, trust me. But these ones in particular make me overly happy. And how could they not? They're stripe-y, they're colourful, they're made with the softest of MCN yarns, and they fit perfectly.

As per usual with self-striping yarns, I went with my go-to plain vanilla toe-up sock with afterthought heel recipe. This kind of mindless knit usually works up fast for me as I'm always wanting to knit "just one more stripe". Although I have to admit that I probably spent more time admiring the yarn, the sock, and the stripes than I did knitting. But can you blame me? Just look at this yumminess!

Concrete & Tulips - Close Up

I'm pretty darned pleased with myself for taking the time to measure out my yarn before the first green stripe so that the pair could be somewhat identical. I think I did a bang on job too. I did mess up on the heel the first time around (well...ok...not really 'messed up' per se, more like I didn't like how the stripes played out when it came time to graft my heel together) but it all worked out in the end without losing too much knitting time. This yarn was such a pleasure to work with that I honestly didn't mind ripping out and re-knitting the heel a few times.

Concrete & Tulips - Close Up 2

When it comes to plain vanilla socks there's usually no need for mods, but this time I did a teeny, tiny little one - on the cuff. To avoid the unsightly purl bumps of contrasting colour when the stripes changed from grey to a colour (in my case that would be green), I stopped knitting in the 2x2 ribbing pattern and would just knit all the stitches until all the stitches on the needles were in the new colour, then I'd switch back to ribbing. This little mod is more for the nit-picky perfectionist knitter but I figured that if I already went through the trouble to get my stripes lined up and to make the pair identical, then I might as well go all out knitterly crazy.

For the record: I'm generally not this picky when it comes to my stripes. At least I don't think so. I do like to cast on my socks and start them with the same colour but never to the point where I take such actions like measuring out my tail and the amount of yarn I have until the first stripe. The only time I've ever done that was for my Hudson socks, but I think those were a special case in which mismatched and noticeably uneven stripes would just make the final product look sloppy.

Concrete & Tulips - Toes

These little details are definitely things that no one would notice but me. Little things that no one would care about but me. And you know what? I get that. But I'm also the one wearing these. Every knitter and crafter has their own little quirk and things that they can and can't handle. This is mine. Sometimes I pay way too much attention to detail and can drive myself nuts with something as minute as a wonky stitch, a tiny gap...it's even worse when it comes to sewing - uneven topstitching makes me cringe and 99% of the time I have to force myself to look the other way when I spot a single stitch is a little off. Yet it doesn't bother me in the least when I see this type of stuff on other people's work. Crazy, right?

Concrete & Tulips - Detail 2

I have a good amount of yarn leftover. I had originally planned to knit up every last bit of yarn until I realized that going that route would result in the most awkward of lengths - I'm short but not short enough that one skein of yarn could produce knee-high socks. Next time (trust me, there will be a lot of next times when it comes to knitting with CaterpillarGreen Yarns!) I think I'll either nab an accent skein (I love how Catherine, the dyer of CaterpillarGreen Yarns, dyes up the accent skeins to ensure the yarns are from the same dye lot) or splurge and get CaterpillarGreen Yarns newest addition to their product line-up: the behemoth XL hank that is 548 metres (599 yds) or 170g for those of you who think in grams, of pure self-striping yumminess!! You can squeak out 2 pair of socks with that amount! Or, if you're of average height, a pair of knee-high socks without worry of running out of yarn! 

Before this pair of socks I've knit with one other CaterpillarGreen Yarns, in the Ocean Sunset colourway (a project that I have yet to blog about, oops!). The yarn itself was so, so soft and smooth to knit with and the colours were such a treat to watch as they gradually changed from one hue to another. CaterpillarGreen Yarns specializes in self-striping yarns - some colourways are the usual thick stripes of colour, some are long colour repeats, and some utilize both the thick stripes and long repeats (like in the Finger Paint colourway, which I can't wait to get my hands on!).

I first heard of and met Catherine of CaterpillarGreen Yarns at last year's Fibrations event and by the time I got to her booth (sadly, at the very end of the day!) it was completely raided with only a few skeins left (which is awesome for Cat!). I walked away with a skein of Ocean Sunset and it took me forever to decide what that skein should be. I'm super excited that Catherine will be back at Fibrations this year, and you can bet that I'll be stopping by her booth first thing and that I'll be stocking up (I have my heart on scoring at least 4 skeins)!! So watch out if you get between me and the CaterpillarGreen booth!! I'm also really excited to hear that Catherine has been working on a self-striping shawl yarn and can't wait to get my hands on a skein when she does finally release it. I think it's going to be glorious!

Concrete & Tulips - Crossed

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: My own go-to pattern
Yarn: CaterpillarGreen Yarns MCN Fingering
Colour: Concrete and Tulips
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular Needles in 2.25mm (US 1)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Concrete & Tulips 

Want to hear something exciting?? Catherine of CaterpillarGreen Yarns has generously donated a skein of yarn to give away to one lucky reader!! And that's not all, not only does the winner get to choose which colourway they get, but they also get the option of picking up an accent skein or not. How incredibly awesome is that?? Thank you so much Catherine for this fabulous opportunity!! ♥

I know a fair amount of people have been eyeballing both the CaterpillarGreen Yarns website and my Concrete & Tulips socks, so here's your chance to win a skein of your very own!

Images via CaterpillarGreen Yarns, used with permission
Clockwise from left: Finger Paint, Skyline, Spectrum, Ocean Sunset

** GIVEAWAY is now closed! **
** Thank you to all who have entered! **

One lucky winner will receive a regular skein (that's 115g of yummy yarn) of their choice from CaterpillarGreen Yarns AND an accent skein, if desired.

:: The giveaway is open to everyone (yay!!).
:: The giveaway is open until Monday, June 30, 2014 at 11:00pm PST.
:: All comments must include either a valid email address or Ravelry ID so that I can contact you if you are the winner.
:: Winner will be chosen via random number generator and will be contacted within 48 hours after giveaway ends.

:: Check out the CaterpillarGreen Yarns shop, then leave a comment below and let me know which colourway is your favourite and which one you'd pick if you were the winner (in case you already own your favourite!).

:: Don't forget to include your email or Ravelry ID with your comment because how else can I get a hold of you if you are the lucky winner?? ::

Good luck!!

If you're too impatient to find out if you're the lucky winner, you can check out CaterpillarGreen Yarns at the following places:

:: Shop :: Blog :: Ravelry :: Instagram ::

♥ Happy Knitting! ♥

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Picking Things Back Up Again

MadTosh - TML - Cousteau Group

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was trying to play catch up with my routine since I felt insanely disorganized and all over the place. Well, that never happened. And even if it did, it wouldn't have lasted long anyways since a week later I suffered a mild concussion. My poor brain! I know that concussions take a while to heal and to come back from, but I absolutely hate feeling so mentally sluggish - especially when you've got lists and lists of things to do but not the mindset to do them with. It's even worse when you know you've got time sensitive things to take care of and have things that you want and need to do, but it takes every fibre of your being to gather the brainpower to figure out where to start just to end up slightly confused before you even begin. Extremely frustrating!

I made attempts to sew but screwed up royally each and every single time. My scrap fabric bin is getting pretty big. I'm just starting to feel mentally ok and even my bruises are healing (although they itch something fierce and are quite the shade of grellow). I'm really hoping that by the time the weekend is over I can finally get behind the sewing machine and get some bags made. The shop is in dire need of an update!

On the knitting front: I managed to finish the Unikitty socks hours before my concussion happened. Yay for that! I had hoped to cast on a new pair of socks right after but got separated from my project bag and the skein of yarn that was suppose to be the next pair. Then halfway through the week I had extremely strong feelings to cast on ALLLLL the knits. Luckily (but not really) I was still somewhat disoriented enough that clear decision making was not working out for me. Instead, I was a good knitter and get this - I actually picked up an old WIP and finished it. Crazy, right? Unbelievable, right?? Even I'm shocked that I did that! But you know what? It felt great to finally get that project knit up and bound off and to get my needles back!

So what have I been working on lately?

WIP - Happy Street
From the "archives"

Remember this? That there is my Happy Street shawl. I was so obsessed with this pattern (by one of my favourite designers, Veera Välimäki) and I couldn't get enough of that vibrant green (FYI: it's Lettuce Leaf by Madelinetosh in the Tosh Merino Light base, in case you need to know). Well, I still can't! When I picked this shawl back up and started knitting, I fell in love with the whole project all over again.

It took a few minutes to figure out where I was in the pattern (which I didn't take any notes of, cause that would have made life too easy) and was shocked to discover that I wasn't that far off from finishing. I had to read my own blog post to find out why I had put it down in the first place (I was on a roll with my Viajante...yes, you can't have too many shawls on the needles!). I've been dealing with insomnia all week so I've been getting some pretty good quality knitting time in. I had bound off the last stitch at 4am in the morning and may have sung a few opera-like notes in triumph. Cause you know, that's what you do when you're deliriously sleep deprived and have been knitting all night long.

I can't call this shawl completely finished as I have a million ends to weave in. Although, I'll either have to pay someone to do that for me or this shawl will take another year before it can be blocked and worn. I'm not even joking about this. Sad, but true. But who knows, maybe for once I'll just suck it up and make myself spend an evening weaving in those darn ends. That's just the grown-up thing to do.

WIP - Pink Stripes
From the "archives"

And instead of casting on a new pair of socks...yep, I grabbed a sock WIP that has been looong forgotten about. I think it has made its way into sunlight a few times last year, but more so as a prop on my vendor table at events. This pair of socks? I had cast on in 2011. Yeah. Nuts. That's WAY too long for a pair of plain vanilla socks to be on the needles for. 

I was knitting these socks two at a time - but not in the widely known 'two-at-a-time' sense. No, my version of knitting two at a time socks means 2 pairs of circular needles with a sock on each needle. Then I'd knit the socks in sections, as in I'd cast on and knit the toe of one sock, then using the other circular I'll cast on and knit the toe of the second sock. I'll knit the foot up to the heel before knitting the foot on the other, and so forth. 

After knitting a few rounds on one of the socks I stopped to take a good look at what I had knit up already and decided to rip out the crappily knitted short-row heels. I knew that if I left them as is, the unsightly holes that one of the socks had would drive me bonkers. I usually prefer to knit afterthought heels when it comes to self-striping yarns but this time around I thought I would mix it up a bit and opted to do a gusset heel instead. That, and knitting plain vanilla socks with afterthought heels three times in a row can get a little boring.

I feel pretty confident that these socks will knit up fairly quick, which is good because my mind is already wondering off and wanting to cast on something new. It also doesn't help that some new yarns have arrived on my doorstep. I'm trying to muster up the willpower to fend off the urges to cast on all the yarns though, as I still have quite the hefty pile of WIPs that are just begging for my attention.

I just have to keep...knitting...on these socks...and not...look...at the...pretty...new...yarns...

Maybe I should knit myself some blinders. Ack! And that's how the vicious circle begins.

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