4 Days to Home

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We have 4 days left until our house closes, we get the keys, and can start moving in!  This process began back in May of 2016 when Jason was walking around his friend’s neighborhood in North Charleston and came across a new developer community.  Almost 1 year later and we’re moving into that community.

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In my knitting life, I’ve been able to sneak in a few rows here and there on a design I’m hoping to launch by end of March, early April.  Made out of Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Snowbound, it will be light, airy, and perfectly warm for those lingering winter days as we head into spring.  At the same time, I’ve started working on my design submission for Knitscene’s Winter Issue, and all I can say is that it is so cozy!  I want to curl into as I’m knitting it 🙂

Hope you all have a great weekend, next time you hear from me I will be a bonafide resident of South Carolina!

 

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Forever and a Day

I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve written a post here.  It has been a whirlwind the last month or so, being pulled between designing our new home, packing everything we know into an 8 x 16 foot Pod, and living between homes for 2 1/2 weeks.

Charleston House:

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We are making some great progress here, the close date is supposed to be the 28th.  We finally have most of the kitchen done, the paint is up on the walls, and the design elements are coming together.  Still to be completed is the master bath, sun porch, and exterior paint.

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The fun part has been looking for the furniture that I’d like to put in the new house, though this has had it’s own challenges: a very opinionated husband and a very tight budget.

The Move:

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This took forever!  And countless storage boxes from Target, but I was able to pack up 80% of our house, and the rest we somehow managed to squeeze into this Pod.  The sofa and kitchen table didn’t quite make it, but I’m not so sad about losing those pieces.

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The next few weeks are going to be such a whirlwind.  Since it takes at least 2 weeks for the Pod to travel from Huntington Beach to Charleston, we’ve decided to take advantage of our timeshare and stay one week in Tahoe and one week in Napa – working both weeks, but enjoying those weekends as much as possible!

Saturday & Sunday were pretty tough for me, packing up all of my things and saying good bye to all of my friends and family.  It’s nice having this 2 week buffer to sort of settle into the idea of the cross-country move.

In fun knitting news, I found out that I had a design accepted for the Knitscene Winter 2017 Issue!

Seeing Home

I hope everyone has had a great time with their holidays, and have been able to catch up on some much needed relaxation.  Over our break we drove our Jeep across the country, from California to South Carolina.  It took us a little over 9 days to make the drive, including a fun 3-day stop in Colorado to go snowboarding in Vail and Breckenridge which was, in a word, epic.  I had a new board, new bindings, and new pants and everything just seemed to go perfectly.

Once the fun part was over, we had to then drive through Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and then finally South Carolina.  Most of these we simply just drove through, in the interest of saving time, but we were able to stop for dinner in Nashville which was delicious.

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But being able to see our house in the middle of the building process is something that I can never fully describe.

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On the knitting side of things, I have been working furiously to finish up a commissioned knit for Knit Now Magazine, so I haven’t had much to post about.  But I have put together a few of my goals for 2017 and I hope to post about those a little bit later this week.

Gift Knits

A friend of mine had requested that I make some little hats for her cousins, two boys, one 6 months old, and one 2 years old.

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For the 6 month old I used O-Wool’s Sport Weight in Brook Trout and Cattail on size 3 US needles.  The 2 year old features Quince & Co Lark in their new colorway, Smoke, on size 7 US needles.

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I also decided to make a sweater for Jason’s sister, well, my sister too now!  She requested a sweater that was big and cozy, and matched the color of her surfboard.  I had some stash squirreled away that was the perfect choice – O-Wool’s Chunky Merino in Pearly Mussel.  I can’t wait to post some photos of that one, assuming it fits and she likes it!

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Trip Knitting & Back to Work

Our little getaway to Cabo was pure enjoyment.  We sat on the beach, read, slept in, and chatted for 4 days.  Being able to unplug and relax in the warm sun is just so nurturing to the body & soul, and I am so lucky to be able to vacation like this.

In my last post I mentioned that I was taking Jessamin with me, and was going to use Quince & Co Kestrel in Sand. I cast on, and immediately changed my mind about the pattern I wanted to knit.  I love Jessamin, but I really wanted a fuller front, something that would swing just a little bit more.  Luckily, I had another pattern queued, Quick Sand, by Heidi K.  and knew it was exactly what I was after.  Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the way she writes her patterns (I’m just not used to looking up numbers in charts for stitch counts, but her directions are always clear), but I set my judgement aside and cast on anyway.  The design has an intriguing way of shaping the body & sleeves using a circular yoke approach over the more traditional top down raglan shaping.

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Using Kestrel and size 9 needles, this thing worked up quite quickly.  I think if we had 3 more days in Cabo (if only!) I would have been able to finish it.  But coming home also meant getting back to my Christmas knitting and I’ve been making some good progress there.

In the next few weeks though, I’m hoping to start showing you some of my knitting ideas for 2017, a mini pattern collection, better posts, and an updated website.

Oh, and a new house and home state!  Soon I’ll get to talk about road trip knitting in greater detail, so keep an eye out for that.

 

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A Big Move & the Final Knits of 2016

A few weeks ago, I had posted about my plans for knitting from my stash in 2017.  But what about the remaining month in 2016?  December is mainly filled with last minute gift-knitting, and a few projects that just need finishing up.  The main project on my needles right now is a second Hop Brook Shawl worked in Elsa Wool Fingering for my previous manager Karen.  I had been wearing mine in the office one day and she requested one for herself, so we ordered up the yarn and I started working on it mid-November.  I’m just about done with it, I just need to sit down and focus on finishing it.

For gifts, I’m working on a few surprise projects for my SIL for Chrismakuh, mainly a couple of hats and a set of fingerless mitts.  To complete these projects I’m dipping into the stash again.  From Left to Right we have (all Quince & Co) Puffin in Maple, Osprey in Audoin, and Chickadee in Caspian.

And I need to complete a scarf for Jason that is over 2 years in the making.  The scarf is worked in garter stitch on the bias with intermittent silver stripes (similar to the Purl Bee’s Diagonal Stitch Scarf).  The light-fingering weight bamboo yarn on size 2 US needles is just taking forever but Jason has been asking for it for so long I feel so guilty that I have yet to finish it.  Maybe this will be the month for that.

But now for some fun news – trip knitting!  One of the things I love the most about trip knitting is the amount of dedicated free time available to knit.  This weekend Jason and I are headed to Cabo San Lucas to celebrate our 4 year dating anniversary for the last time, choosing just to celebrate our wedding anniversary moving forward.  For that trip I’m planning on bringing Jessamin with me, as I have just enough Quince & Co Kestrel in Sand at home.

A second trip in December will be used to drive our car from Southern California to South Carolina.  Charleston to be exact.  Jason and I are up and moving from the West Coast to the East Coast, and will be moving into our new house in February (yikes!).  So, for road trip knitting with hours and hours of driving I’m going to want two projects: one with simple St st for when lighting on the road is poor, and one with a little more interest just so that I don’t crazy with endless amounts of St st.

For the simple project, I’m thinking of Hayward by Julie Hoover.  I have some Loft in my stash in Postcard & Cast Iron, and I’d like to do some cute stripes to add a little something extra to the pullover.  I’ll probably make a few other mods as well, but I just haven’t decided what yet.

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For the project with a little something extra, I’m debating between either the Channel cardigan or a project of my own design, which I’m calling Semilla.

It’s scary to think that we are leaving everything and everyone we know behind and moving across the country so that Jason can take advantage of a really cool opportunity at work.  I’m lucky that my job is on board with this adventure, and letting me work remote from the new home, but that means new challenges for me – making friends without having an office to go to, learning to work successfully from home, etc.  We’ll see how I do!

 

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A Quick Little Hat

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I finally had a few moments to take some selfies of my new hat, and I am SO in love with it!  It only took 2 days to make, and it is incredibly soft.  Holding the Maai and Pebble together creates such a great fabric.  Warm, soft, and the perfect amount of texture with the tweed-like nature of the Pebble.

 

I’m already thinking of the other colors that I’d like to make this hat in, like the same white Maai held with a burnt orange Pebble, or Maai in black, and Pebble in a midnight blue.  The options are endless.  If only it were colder where we were I would be living in these little hats.

And just for fun right before the weekend, a clear example of why outtakes are so important:

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Night Watch

Churchmouse Yarns released a newsletter yesterday showcasing a simple beanie knit with one ball each of Shibui’s Maai and Pebble yarns.  A quick project on size 7 US needles, this was the perfect stash buster project to get me started with my new stash goals.

I have the Shibui Maai in Ivory, and the Shibui Pebble in Abyss and I thought holding the two together would create a neat marled effect, and I was please to find out that I was right!

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I’m hoping to finish this up this evening, make this a quick 2 night project (I’d estimate it takes about 5 hours to make this up) and I’m already wishing I had more color combos to make it with, but I’m learning to be more content with what I have, so this will have to do for now 🙂

Project Details:
Pattern – Watch Cap
Yarn – Shibui Maai, Ivory – 1 skein; Shibui Pebble, Abyss – 1 skein
Needles – Size 7 US circular

I’m doing a fun photoshoot this weekend for an upcoming pattern release, so I’ll post some fun teasers of that early next week!

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Stash Plan 2017

Recently I partook in the Crafy Bliss Challenge on Instagram being sponsored by X and Y.  On the second to the last day we were challenged to “Flash Your Stash” which spawned an immediate desire to organize my stash, and remind myself of what was actually in there. One of the first things that stuck with me was simply how much I had collected over the years.  As I’ve grown awareness into the perils of fast-fashion, it hasn’t completely escaped me that the yarn industry is not guilt-proof; several yarn companies are known for mass production yarns at very low price points, and I’m not guilt-free in my purchase of several of these yarns.

But with knowledge, and movements like Slow Fashion October, the ability to change bad habits has gotten ever easier.  Add a reduced disposable income budget (tends to happen when you’re building a house!) and change is not just inevitable, it’s mandatory.

I’ve made a commitment to no longer purchase any new yarn until a significant amount of this stash has been worked through.  There are a few caveats to this:

  • Yarn sent to me for commissioned designs – most new publications like to use yarns that are still readily available to the knitting community.  Several yarn brands and lines can be discontinued, which makes this a bit tricky when knitting from stash.
  • Purchase of additional skeins in order to complete a project sourced mostly from stash.
  • Special request knits for family & friends that require a yarn that I can’t produce out of stash, or with any kind of color requests.

To start knitting from stash on the right foot, I took a hard look at all the skeins in my possession and began to formulate plans for things I could knit, skeins I could donate, just something to do with all that fiber.

Much to my surprise I found a healthy stash of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in 4 colors (clockwise: Shadow, Majestic, Meadow, Heavenly).  Normally I am not a fan of mohair, so to see this much of it in one place made me realize that I probably purchased them just to have them.  No more.  No more buying just for the sake of buying.  It’s time to take a standard towards more conscious purchasing, both for sustainability of the environment, and to make an effort to re-evaluate what truly matters in my life.

Now on to the lighter side of this post – what are my plans for this stash?!

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First up are those mohair skeins.  The Shadow I am going to knit with O-Wool’s Fingering in Pasture Rose to make the Liv Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hoge.

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As I continue to sift through the stash, I’ll keep you updated on these Stash Plans for 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Moment

Normally, I would have posted about my knitting – what I’ve been working on, new colors, stitches, or styles that I have been into lately.

But today I can’t.  Today I am sad for my country, and sad that so many voices were capable of drowning out the good.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

~Emma Lazarus