Fog?

I am working on a new collection of patterns and I am so happy to say that the first one is now complete. This elegant cardigan features two yarns from two different companies that work up together with a stunning result. Julie Asselin Fino yarn in Fleurs Pressees and Quince and Co. Piper in Abeline.

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There are more designs to come along this same theme. Mixing yarn weights in the same garment has opened up such a multitude of design possibilities for me and I am bursting with new ideas.

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For now… I am calling this cardigan “Fog”.

Routine

It is funny how at the end of my kid's last school year I was so excited for summer. So done with pick ups and drop offs and lunch packing and homework and fundraisers and forms to sign.

At first summer was fun and felt like a vacation for all of us, but so quickly I was strangely craving that structure and routine to our days again.

My kids are now back and school and I am enjoying my days here at the shop dreaming of fun new projects and products. The past few mornings have been cool,  a nice preview of cozy autumn weather to come. 

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Knitting season is rolling around again and I can't wait! :) 

 

 

 

Mountainside

I am so happy to finally release my newest hat design, Mountainside!

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As I mentioned previously, this repeating stitch pattern reminds me of trees on a mountainside. I took this hat with me to our recent trip to Yosemite National Park and wanted to publish this particular pattern in memory of my amazing Dad and his favorite place. :)

I knit this original hat sample in Barrett Wool Co. Wisconsin Woolen Spun and I love the rugged texture it creates. You can learn more about this yarn HERE

I also had the hat test knit in a combination of gorgeous Julie Asselin sock weight yarn (Fino) held together with lace-weight mohair (Anatolia) and the result was spectacular in an entirely different way. I love how the mohair provides a soft halo to the stitches and a lovely weight to the finished hat. Thank you to Kathleen and Sabrina for knitting these up for me!

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I've put together a limited number of special kits to go along with the hat pattern. Just to make knitting it an even more special experience! :)

The kit includes a little tree print zippered bag to hold your project, A set of tree and mountain stitch markers to work the crown of your hat, a cable and tapestry needle, and of course the pattern too!

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There is also an option to add on a few skeins of the Julie Asselin yarn as well as needles. Can you believe these colorways? So pretty!

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I hope that you enjoy knitting up a Mountainside hat of your very own! A great camping project, don't you agree?

The pattern can be purchased HERE. The limited-edition kits can be purchased HERE. Enjoy!

 

On the Needles

I don't know what happened... but my knitting mojo came back full force. It just hit me one day when I was least expecting it and now I want to knit all the things. 

I have two great projects on the needles at the moment.

Mindless hat knitting using this gorgeous Storyteller yarn that I picked up during a recent trip to Lake Tahoe. I am making up Hannah Fettig's Simple Hat and it is a great project for this yarn. Simple stockinette really shows off the beautiful colors. I love picking up yarn on vacation to have that physical memory of that experience whenever I knit with or wear the finished item!

I am using our new Strawberry Stitch Markers on this project... aren't they adorable? You can find those available HERE.

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Up next is... another design project! :) I am sooooo excited about this one. I have had an idea floating around in my brain for the past few years about designing with multiple yarn weights and I am bursting with inspiration and new design ideas.

I'm hoping I can squeeze a collection based on this idea in 2019. 

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On one last note... I started this blog in 2007 and have enjoyed it immensely. But over the years I have noticed that social media has taken the forefront in online sharing. Sometimes I wonder if blogs still are read and if they have a place in our fast-paced online community. Would you take a moment to leave a comment and let me know how you feel about blogs in 2018? Do you still take the time to read blogs or do you prefer consuming content from other sources like Instagram or Facebook? Would you like to see me share on my blog more? Your input would be very much appreciated!

A New Design... Gasp.

The past year has been a bit of a blur honestly. A lot of change for our family since my Dad passed away last May. I've taken a bit of a breather in many ways, but in some ways I'm working as hard as ever. 

I ordered a skein of Barrett Wool Co. Wisconsin Woolen Spun several months back. This type of yarn really speaks to me lately. I am falling more and more for the rustic wools. Appreciating the beauty in their rawness and simplicity. And they seem to wear so much better than their soft and smooth counterparts. Much less pilling has been my personal experience. 

So I designed this little hat. With petite little leaves in a repeating pattern. Full of texture, just how I like it!

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As I was finishing this knit, we went to Yosemite as a family on the anniversary of my Dad's death. Yosemite was his favorite place in the world and it only made sense for me to go there to remember him. So many memories. 

As I was there taking in the scenery and looking at my hat, the stitch pattern reminded me of the huge mountains in front of me peppered with trees that looked miniature in the distance.

So this hat pattern will be named Mountainside. A remembrance of my Dad and his favorite place. 

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Coming soon...

Stitches West 2018

I have the privilege of sharing a booth space this year with one of my all time

favorite knitters and designers Susan B. Anderson!

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If you will be at Stitches West this year, please stop by and say hello!

We will be featuring Susan's new yarn line Barrett Wool Co, notions from my shop, and kits, patterns and books from both Susan and myself.

I am really looking forward to the show this year and seeing all of you! :)

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!

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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.

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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! :)

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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...

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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.