Fun Stuff

knitxmidwest Magazine Feature

An article about the first knitxmidwest retreat (which I attended and wrote about here and here) was recently featured in Mingle magazine – pretty cool! Check out the post about it on hey jen renee.

It looks like registration is now open for the second annual retreat this November – if you’re a Midwestern yarn addict, you should check it out!

knitxmidwest day 2

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More Knitting in the News

I just read another awesome article about the power of knitting, crocheting, and other forms of crafting. It’s nice to see some more recognition of what we’ve always known. 🙂

The article is here on CNN (it’s called “This is your brain on knitting”), and there’s a good discussion about it on the Knit Picks Facebook page.

I’ve been working on projects intermittently – it’s been such a crazy couple of weeks! I’m hoping to finish my sparkly broomstick lace scarf soon – a picture of my progress is on Instagram. I’ll share yarn details in an upcoming post!

Broomstick Lace

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Knitting in the News: Knitting Through Grief

I came across this interesting article about how C.J. Arabia got into knitting while mourning the loss of her mother.

Arabia says “knitting is a way to just kind of float. You’re floating with the waves, just bobbing up and down. That’s how the stitches are for me. That’s all you can think about.”

A lot of people comment about how meditative and therapeutic knitting can be. For me, it entirely depends on the project. What about you?

Yarns

In My Stash: Blue Heron Rayon Metallic

I’m finally getting my wish – warmer weather is ahead! Despite a brief setback (where did that snow come from, seriously?) we’re on our way out of the winter that would not end!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I haven’t had as much time to focus on knitting/crochet projects as I would like. I do have a pretty exciting addition to my stash – courtesy of a Christmas gift card.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 1

I had been admiring the gorgeous Blue Heron Rayon Metallic yarn online, and then it caught my eye just as I was getting ready to leave one of my local yarn shops. Actually, the display shawl made from the yarn caught my eye.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 2

I haven’t been able to figure out the name of this colorway – none of the colors on the website really match the skein I have. Perhaps it’s a discontinued color – can anybody help me out? Edit: It’s just called “Turquoise.”

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 3

Gift card or no, it was a little tough for me to drop that much on one skein. I’m still not used to luxury yarns, and I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up on my chain-store acrylics yet. 😉 The skeins of this have generous yardage, though, so I’ll be able to make a very nice project.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 4

The pressure is on to pick a great pattern for yarn this nice. I’m thinking perhaps the Gail (Nightsongs) shawl, but I’m open to suggestions!

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 5

Finished Objects, Past Projects

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

Time for more show and tell. This baby blanket is my first knit lace project. Well, technically my second – I made two of these in a row. The first one didn’t get photographed – I gave it away as a baby gift before I started documenting my projects. How lovely is the Chalice Baby Blanket pattern? 

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

I really like the soft gray-green color of Caron Simply Soft I used for this blanket. Alas, it’s no longer available. (Story of our lives, amiright?) The other one of these I made was in white – really lovely for a baptism gift. It’s nice to have photographed my older projects like this one, so I can see some progress. My stitches are more even now than they were on this project!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

Fun Stuff

Geeky Crafter Gifts

When a gift-giving opportunity comes up, crafty people are shockingly easy to buy for. The only type of people who are easier to shop for? Geeky crafters. 🙂

I do have to give my husband credit for these Christmas gifts, though – he definitely knows me well. Check out my awesome Doctor Who stitch markers.

Doctor Who Stitch Markers

I use stitch markers now. Stitch markers are cool.

All of your Doctor Who favorites, represented in useful stitch marker form. The husband found them on Etsy (yes, my husband buys me things from Etsy – be jealous) – the seller’s shop is here.

Doctor Who Stitch Marker

I use these while working on my projects, and drinking out of my Downton Abbey mug. While the cat sits on my lap. And I’m watching episodes of Downton Abbey or Sherlock. Periodically taking a break to read blogs or social media. I have become a parody of myself.

Downton Abbey Mug

WIP

A Study in Contrasts

My most recent projects are on opposite ends of my fiber-crafting ability spectrum. He’s a little bit bulky-weight and knit, she’s a little bit cotton thread and crocheted.

Crochet and Knitting Projects

I ran out of thread while in the middle of one project, and had to wait until my order for more arrived. (Booooo. Hisssss.) In the midst of the waiting, I started the other. This is rare for me – I prefer to work on my projects one at a time. I usually work until completion, even when the project gets mind-numbingly boring and I reach what I like to refer to as my “point of despair.” As in, “Will this project EVER be done? I cannot make one. More. Stitch.” But then I do, and eventually it gets finished.

Crocheting and Knitting Projects

The thread crochet project is the Wild Rose table runner by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which I waxed poetic about in a previous post. I’m making it with Curio thread in Comfrey. I bought the thread without a project in mind – you’ll definitely need two balls of it for this table runner.

Crocheting Project

My “killing time” project is a GAP-tastic cowl made with Brava yarn in bulky. (Noticing a theme? Both this and the thread are from my amazing box of yarn.)

Knitting Project

It seems that many knitters/crocheters work on several projects at the same time, so I’m curious – am I alone in only working on one project at a time (most of the time)? Which do you prefer – working on several projects or just one, and why?

Fun Stuff

OttLite Flex and Store

PSA: I just scored a new OttLite from Michaels for $24! I had been eyeing these awesome lamps for a while, and this deal was too good to resist.

OttLite Flex and Store

The Flex and Store lamp was originally priced at about $80 – but it’s worth noting that it can be had for much cheaper elsewhere. (This same model is on sale right now, along with other models, at Jo-Ann’s infamous periodic lighting sale.) In any case, I already had a Michaels gift card from Christmas, so it was priced just right for me. 🙂

OttLite Flex and Store

Note the small built-in caddy – perhaps now I’ll be able to keep track of my cable needle. Doubtful.

OttLite Flex and Store

I just got this and have already been using it a TON. I don’t know how I managed without it, really – I have such bad eyesight anyway, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by going without a decent task light.

OttLite Flex and Store

It’s set up on my coffee table right now, in fact, casting light over my otherwise eye-straining thread crochet project. Anybody else loving their OttLite (or another type of task light)?

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend – I’m getting ready to settle in for a night of PBS. Downton Abbey + Sherlock? Can’t think of a better lineup. The cup that the husband got me for Christmas has been coming in handy. 🙂  (It’s from Etsy, but it doesn’t seem to be available now.)

Downton Abbey Mug

Yarns

Box of Yarn

I’ve got a jar of dirt a box from Knit Picks, and guess what’s inside it? That’s right, more stuff for my stash! I took advantage of the awesome sale at the end of last year, and scored an insane amount of stuff for just a little $. Fan for life (probably).

Box of Yarn

I picked a range of stuff to try, from bulky yarn (I haven’t used anything thicker than worsted in, oh, forever) to my beloved thread (Curio). Merry early Christmas to me! I’ve already made three things with the yarn from this box, with a fourth in progress. Can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on.

In the meantime, for those who like my Pirates of the Caribbean reference at the beginning of the post, please enjoy this video of the scene. Aside from the obvious crochet/knitting projects, I’ve spent my day so far at a lovely baby shower and then played my oboe for the first time in ages. How is your weekend going? 🙂

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Crochet and Knitting Tote Bag

I’ve already shared where I store my knitting and crochet tools, so here’s a peek into my knitting and crochet tote bag. It’s a Thirty One Gifts Organizing Utility Tote in the same Turquoise Cross Pop pattern as my Timeless Beauty Bag.

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

Just look at those pockets. It’s majestic, I tell you. My favorite part is that a drink cup fits perfectly into them. I know that a lot of people use this bag as a diaper bag because bottles fit in those pockets well.

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

But for me, this bag is all about the crafts. I keep the essentials in those pockets, such as my pink “women’s” measuring tape. (I’m not kidding, it really is labeled specifically as a women’s measuring tape. Because… it’s pink… I guess? I got a kick out of that and now I use it all the time. It also keeps the husband from stealing it, so that’s a plus.)

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

Ahem. Above, you can see how nicely my project supplies – my hook and needle bag, a few skeins of yarn, and a couple of doily pattern books – fit inside. It’s good stuff! I don’t sell these products, but I do know a couple of consultants so it’s dangerously easy for me to order. 🙂