Vindaloo in Progress

When I saw the new Vindaloo shawl pattern by Quince and Co. it was love at first sight!

The mixture of cables, lace and ribbing... that texture!

Vindaloo WIP 2.jpg

So naturally I decided to cast on and see if I could complete the shawl in a one week time frame before our local yarn crawl this weekend. 

I'm knitting this in Quince and Co. Osprey yarn on size 10.5 needles so it's oh so squishy and going pretty quickly thankfully!

And yes... I'm using this color "Honey" again.

Vindaloo WIP.jpg

I am halfway through the applied lace trim with 2 knitting days remaining. Can I complete it? What do you think?

Come visit us during the SLO Yarn Crawl this weekend to find out! :)

SLO YARN CRAWL FALL 2017.jpg

Ahoy

You may have thought I forgot about this blog altogether or maybe I dropped off the face of the planet.. but I assure you. I am still here! Still knitting! :)

My silence has been partly due to the fact that I am dealing with quite a bit these days after losing one of my best friends very unexpectedly two months ago. My Dad.

If you've followed this blog or listened to my podcast for a long time, you may already know that my Dad was a huge supporter of mine.  He had a huge impact in my life and on the person I am today. He cheered me on during every stage of my life and over the past decade offered a tremendous amount of support and involvement in my knitting career. 

My first book, Coastal Knits (co-authored with Hannah Fettig) was dedicated to my Dad. He collaborated with me on many projects and was there to offer support and help me make decisions in life big and small. 

To say that he will be missed is a gigantic understatement. 

I'm still here. But just now figuring out my new normal and what my life even means.

Besides the obvious things like faith, family and friends, the thing that I always turn to for help coping with life's difficulties is my knitting. I find a sense of peace and comfort in the repetition of stitching. I process my thoughts and emotions and work through them as my project grows.

I have a lot of emotions and thus I am working on several things right now, but I finished silly little project last week that I had to share.

It may seem odd to share photos of a tiny knitted pirate in a post about my Dad's death.. but this little guy just makes me smile. And I figure that being forced to smile might be a good thing for me right now. 

Note that the pirate not only has a wooden leg but also a teeny tiny eye-patch. :)

But a tiny pirate wasn't enough.. he needed a friend.

A tiny walrus friend.. with tiny whiskers.. that likes sailing as much as he does. 

My son named him "Wally Whiskers the Walrus"

These are patterns from the genius designer behind MochiMochiLand and I have kits for both the pirate and walrus as part of the Summer Collection in my online shop.  These both take less than an hour to complete and they really brightened my day. 

So if you need an instant gratification project or a day brightener.. consider knitting up a tiny pirate or walrus or both. It really helps!

The Saffran Cardigan Story

What do you do when you fear that the sweater you are knitting is turning out too small?

Knit faster, of course.. and make repeated stops to stretch out your fabric as you go. By doing this you may convince yourself that all will be ok... even though you KNOW in your heart of hearts that it really is not.

Early in the Summer I had such an experience as I started a special sweater for my daughter. As you may already know, she had a difficult year with her health and multiple heart surgeries, so I felt strongly about making her as many things as I could.

Immediately the Saffran Cardigan pattern caught my eye. I had always intended to knit a stranded colorwork sweater for her but never had and this one was perfect in every way!

All was well until I... cast on.

I was simply too impatient at the time to do a gauge swatch in the round and in the colorwork pattern as the instructions called for.  So I casted on with the recommended needle size and hoped for the best.

About 4" in with significant stretching on my part after every row, I finally came to the realization that things weren't going to plan. I slipped the stitches onto scrap yarn and slid it over my daughters head to confirm my suspicion... It was skin tight. Not exactly the look either of us were hoping for in wool snowflake sweater.

It was at this point that I should have ripped out and started over. And I almost did until I didn't.

I will do anything to avoid ripping out my work. Good thing I have another smaller child in my life. The sweater quickly found a new intended recipient.

So now, I had the task of knitting the stitches of a larger sweater size knit at the wrong gauge but to the proportions of a much smaller sweater. So I was working in between two sizes on a pattern written in metric measurements using entirely new techniques.

Have I mentioned how absolutely horrifying it is to knit a colorwork sleeve on dpns? Especially when you lose one and have to use a circular needle too?

Saffran Cardigan 1.jpg

Kill me. 

Then I tried the finished sleeves on my crying, squirming 5 year old son to check the length. He informed me that the sweater was itchy and that he will never ever wear this sweater.. to which I replied... " YOU WILL WEAR THIS SNOWFLAKE SWEATER AND YOU WILL LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT, SO HELP ME GOD"

Then I joined the sleeves to the body.

Saffran Cardigan Join.png

Then I followed the directions for my first steek, mercilessly sewing then cutting my sweater completely in half. I posted videos of the process HERE and HERE that you can watch if you feel like dying a little inside.

And just to make this project even more complicated for myself, I changed up the collar and added a shawl collar with short rows for a more boyish look. I also added an extra wide buttonband because yes.. the sweater was even a little tight on him!

Then toggle buttons to finish it off!

Saffran Finished.jpg

Then with the protection of long sleeves underneath and the promise of hot chocolate afterwards, I bribed my reluctant son into his new sweater and...

Saffran Pose.jpg

It needs one more toggle button added at the top.. but I think it turned out really cute. 

Pattern found HERE. Yarn found HERE

Don't forget to swatch!

 

 

The Never Not Knitting Podcast : Episode 99 : Talking About Not Talking About It

Episode 99

 

Enter to win a skein of Distinctly Alpaca Yarn from Black Wolf Fiber by leaving a comment below with your contact information by September 15th. Only one comment per person please. The winner will be announced in Episode 100.

Thank you for listening!

Remember... next episode is my 100th! I would love to celebrate with you listeners! Please send me a short recording about you and your knitting to nevernotknitting@gmail.com. Thank you!

The Never Not Knitting Podcast : Episode 98 : The Knitting Emergency

Mug Sweater

Recently I came across the Mug Sweater pattern and had to make one of my very own. Who can resist that tiny pocket and little mitten hands!?

 I especially love that you sew tiny hooks to the mittens so that the hands can be "posed" on the sweater. 

This little sweater only took me an evening to make up and just a small amount of yarn. I used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. I think that Superwash is a good call for a project like this. Since it will be used around coffee or tea, spills are inevitable and it needs to be able to be washed. 

All I can think about now are all of the people in my life that I need to make one of these for...Mug Sweaters for everyone!

If you would like to make a Mug Sweater for yourself or for a friend, I have the pattern for sale in my online shop HERE and adorable little Kits HERE.

Botanical Collection

Along with the release of Baby Botanicals, we have an accompanying Botanical Collection available full of all sorts of botanical accessories you will use in creating your sweater.

Each item is available individually or part of our Botanical Gift Set. My favorite item in the collection has to be our new drawstring project totes!

They are perfect for not only carrying your project around, but can convert into a gift bag when your sweater is complete!

 

 

Baby Botanicals

It's here and finally available to order!

Baby Botanicals is not just for babies! Each of the 5 patterns included in this collection is sized to fit girls of all ages, 6 months-12 years, and are inspired from the adult sweater patterns from my Botanical Knits series. Now you can make a sweater for you and your little one to match!

Inside you will find a pattern for...

Twiggy

This is the cover sweater and my favorite in the collection! You may recognize it from the adult version, Twigs and Willows, included in Botanical Knits. Twiggy features set-in sleeve construction and two stunning branches that frame the neckline. The branches are created simply with the use of cables and are less complicated to knit than you may think.


Early Autumn

A tiny version of Autumn's End from Botanical Knits! Early Autumn is knit in one piece from the bottom up and features a panel of lace on the sleeves and sweater front to keep your interest on the needles. This is a perfect beginning lace project!


Tiny Vines

Just like the adult version, Entangled Vines from Botanical Knits, Tiny Vines features an embossed twined leaf detail cascading down the elbow-length sleeves. This charming cardigan is worked from the top down in one piece and you will be instantly mesmerized watching the vines grow as you knit!


Baby Branches

I love this sweet tiny version of the Bare Branches coat from Botanical Knits 2Baby Branches features a secret bare tree motif on the back only visible when the hood is worn. This coat includes a dramatic hood and set-in sleeve construction. It is knit in pieces from the bottom up and seamed together at the end.


Little Buds

Little Buds is named after the budding plant motif featured on the circular pockets and back of this sweet little cardigan. This design is knit in pieces from the bottom up and features set-in sleeve construction along with a large collar which is worked at the end. This is the child-size version of Buds and Blooms from Botanical Knits.


Baby Botanicals is a high quality 44 page, 8 1/2 x 11", soft-cover book full of beautiful photos, original illustrations, comprehensive schematics and both charted and written pattern instructions. Each garment is available in 9 different sizes with both metric and imperial measurements. 

Additionally each printed copy of Baby Botanicals will include a scratch-off sticker code for you to download a complimentary, digital e-book version that will store in your Ravelry library!

For the Ebook only click HERE.

To purchase the print / Ebook combo online click HERE.

Or look for Baby Botanicals in your local yarn shop!

That is not all! There are lots of fun accessories to go along with the book that I will be sharing more about in a future blog post. Check out our Botanical Collection of notions HERE.

I hope you enjoy knitting from Baby Botanicals and that the sweaters you produce are a favorite for the little ones in your life. Don't forget to tag your photos with #babybotanicals and share your project photos in the Never Not Knitting Ravelry Group as well!

Henry's Hat

This year so far has brought our family some unexpected challenges with health and the accompanying worry and stress that tags along like an unwanted guest.

But we are getting by with the support of our family, friends, and lots of food.

And I am personally getting through it one project at a time. Quick, fun-to-knit, happy little projects for myself and for my kids. I seem to get more and more productive the more stress I am under. The act of making new things is very calming.

My latest finished knit was this sweet little hat for my son. 

This is the pattern Henry's Hat, from the story by Joanna Johnson featured in Episode 97 of my podcast.

We have enjoyed this story over and over again, and having a hat to match Henry's in the story makes it even more fun to read.  

I wrapped up this hat to give as a gift to my son, and when he first saw it, he immediately recognized it from the book. 

 I knit this hat from a stashed skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the most fitting color of green. I love how it turned out and how well it fits!

The pattern is available HERE. The book is available HERE.

Now I'm off to continue knitting my worries away...

More project updates coming soon!

 

 

Slipper Girl

Ever since I made these slippers a few months back, my daughter has been begging for a pair of her own. 

In order to make a pair to fit her 10 year old feet, I knit the pattern as written using a needle a few sizes smaller. Knitting the fabric so tightly was hard on my hands but the finished slippers stretch over her feet tightly and will wear well.

These slippers were knit from the Lily Slipper Flats pattern from the book Home by Pam Allen. I used Quince and Co. Osprey yarn in the Honey colorway along with two adorable stitchable Owl buttons from my online shop.

She loves them so much that she wears them constantly around the house and even to bed at night! As a knitter... I couldn't ask for more. 

 

The Never Not Knitting Podcast : Episode 97 : The Sasquatch Sweater

Episode 97

 

Enter to win a signed copy of Henry's Hat from Eric & Joanna Johnson by leaving a comment below with your contact information by May 15th. Only one comment per person please. The winner will be contacted directly.

Thank you for listening!

The Never Not Knitting Podcast : Episode 96 : Third Times The Charm

Episode 96

Enter to win a signed copy of Swoon Maine by leaving a comment below with your contact information by April 15th. Only one comment per person please. The winner will be announced in Episode 97.

Thank you for listening!

Tiny Shoes

Many years back I fell in love with a pattern for tiny mary jane style knitted shoes for babies. I mentally filed the pattern away thinking I would make it for a future baby daughter. I pictured her in my mind's eye wearing these little mary janes in red.

Only my second turned out to be a baby boy, and I ended up making this pattern for him instead.

Recently, however, when a friend gave birth to her second daughter, I knew exactly what to make for her.

This is the Tiny Shoes pattern designed by Ysolda Teague knit out of Blue Sky Alpacas Sport. Like all of Ysolda's patterns, the construction was quite captivating. Never have I started a baby bootie before with an I-cord! :)

Pattern found HERE. Yarn found HERE.

These knit up super quickly and I will be mailing them off to my friend tomorrow. I hope she loves them. :)

Taking Root

I am so happy to share with you my latest hat design called Taking Root.

As you are well aware, I cannot seem to stop designing textural botanically inspired knits. They just seem to flow out of me involuntarily. One finished design will inspire another. 

This one I worked on years back when I was working on Botanical Knits 2, but just couldn't seem to get it right until recently. I love the way it finally came together. I love the playful curves of the vines and the crisp lines of the twisted stitches. 

This pattern was orginally released as part of the Augustbird Tea Time Club for November and was knit in her beautiful Bowerbird yarn.  The sample shown above is knit in another favorite of mine, YOTH Yarns Big Sister in the Avocado colorway. 

Please click HERE for all the pattern and purchasing information.

I hope that you enjoy making it! 

 

Getting Ready!

The Never Not Knitting store will be at Stitches West from February 18-21 at booths #1242 and 1244!

If you will be at the show, please stop by and say hello! :)

I will have some dear friends visiting and signing books at the booth this year which is so exciting! Have you ever wanted to meet Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, Carrie Bostick Hoge from Madder, Kate Oates from Tot Toppers or Elizabeth Doherty of Blue Bee Studio? Well.. now is your chance! :)


Stitches West Book Signings

Friday
10:00 am Hannah Fettig
10:30 am Carrie Bostick Hoge
11:30 am Kate Oates
1:30 pm Carrie Bostick Hoge
2:00 pm Hannah Fettig
3:30 pm Kate Oates
4:30 pm Elizabeth Doherty

Saturday
10:00 am Hannah Fettig
10:30 am Carrie Bostick Hoge
11:30 am Kate Oates
1:30 pm Carrie Bostick Hoge
2:00 pm Hannah Fettig
3:30 pm Kate Oates

Sunday
10:00 am Kate Oates


At the show we will carry the beautiful Quince & Co. yarn, books and patterns galore as well as lots of special little notions and gifts from my shop. We will also have a huge display of Wool & Wire jewelry!

It's going to be so much fun!! I can hardly wait. I hope to see you there! :)