Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

Vogue Knitting Live 2015

Last week we took a family vacation to New York City, we even took the dog with us! Poor Rooney! He comes from the deserts of California, the sights and sounds of the Big City were too much for him. Add to that the icy cold weather that barely made it up to 30F and you have a pretty miserable little terrier. He was trembling so much, that the sweater I made for him wasn’t enough to keep him warm. Atone point I actually took off my handknitted intarsia cowl made of alpaca/wool/cashmere and put it around him – I guess I am more of a dog lover than fiber fanatic.

The week was calm and relaxing, just us enjoying the fact that nobody was sick anymore and exploring the city. At the end of the week, I needed a fiber fix and knew that Vogue Knitting Live was happening that weekend, so I made a last minute decision to get tickets and see what it was all about.

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Fresh Off The Needles: Beaded Selbu

On the train ride into New York City on Monday, I was weaving in the ends to my latest finished project: Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon Osborn

I held the yarn double, because the printed label was misleading. It claimed to be fingering weight, but when I put it in on Ravelry it came up as lace weight. It probably would’ve looked better if I had used the tan color as MC and the dark brown as the CC, but I had two skeins of the dark brown and didn’t want to risk running out of the tan yarn.

I added a beads to give it a little pop, but I didn’t want to make it too much of a contrast so these muted pink beads that I had in my beads stash were a great fit. At the beginning of my project I had enough beads for all the rows with the two little petals, unfortunately I dropped the box that had all my beads when getting out of the car. I was able to recover most of them, but I wasn’t able to add any to the last full row before the decreases.


Which is such a shame! I was really pleased with how this knitted up and the floats on the back are pretty even. If I had not lost so many beads I probably would’ve entered this hat in a craft fair competition. But there was also a dropped stitch at the end so it probably wouldn’t win anything. 😦



I don’t strive for perfection, so those little flaws don’t bother me. It’s a great fit and really warm – which is coming in really handy this week since the weather here has been below 40° F.

What project have you finished to keep you warm this winter?

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Another LYS Bites the Dust

I am sorry to say that my old Local Yarn Shop in Southern California, Colors91711, is closing its doors on January 11, 2015. Colors was a great place for any fiber loving person to go, I know because not only did I shop there but because I also worked there.

This little shop was owned by two great ladies and managed by a self proclaimed yarn goddess (appropriately named, you can follow her on Twitter @SchmevelynWees). The fiber friendly environment that was nurtured by these women created a local yarnie community that is so hard to come by and impossible to replicate. The first time visitor was welcomed as warmly as the regular customer.

Colors was the first place where I felt confident and empowered by my knitting abilities. Before I started working there I was unsure of my skills always talking myself down as an adventurous beginner, willing to try any new technique but not really proficient in any. I used to think that everyone else was a more advanced knitter than I was, but I soon realized that I had a lot of knowledge that I could share too. Truth is there will always be someone more advanced than you, but to others you might be that someone. I still remember the day in which I kept a customer from bursting into tears simply by suggesting that she put a marker between every pattern repeat so that she could keep track of her progress more easily. It was pure joy to see the “AH HA!” moment she had when this one little tip made her knitting experience enjoyable once again. It was one for me as well, because it taught me that I could help others just by sharing my love of the craft. I love those moments!

Colors91711 was undoubtably a huge stepping stone in my knitting journey and I am saddened that they are ending theirs. All I can say is thank you for everyone that I met while there and I wish all of the yarnie community there happy knitting!

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New Year’s Knitting Resolutions for 2015

I love New Year’s, it is one of my favorite holidays by far.  I definitely look at with lots of optimism for the opportunities that are yet to come!  Even if I don’t get around to actually completing my resolutions, I do like to write them down to try and accomplish something.

So first, a review of my New Year’s Knitting Resolutions for 2014:

  1. Make a baby blanket for my little boy – Done and done!! It took quite some time to find a pattern that I was happy with, and it was a crochet pattern rather than a knitted one, but I love how the 1UP blanket came out.
  2. Continue to maintain this blog – It was certainly more dificult to maintain while being sleep deprived and encountering all of the challenges of being a new mom, but I think I managed pretty well.  According to the WordPress stats I didn’t surpass the previous year’s numbers, nor did I slack off, so I kept the status quo.  Not better, not worse, so I think that is an accomplished resolution.
  3. Make a pattern which requires steeking – This resolution had the best of intentions, but sadly it did not come to be.  I had the pattern and the yarn all set and ready to go.  Unfortunately, after I bought the right amount of yardage I put the skeins’ information onto my Ravelry page and turns out that it was actually thinner yarn than what the label described.  I had my doubts at the time of purchase, but risked it anyways.  Another time….
  4. Design my own pattern – So many ideas floating through my head and yet I can’t transfer them down onto paper.  Or I start second guessing my abilities, comparing them to those of professional designers.  This resolution has yet to happen…
  5. Enter a knitted item at a craft show competition – This one was half done.  I did enter into a craft show, on-line I was registered so technically it might be considered completed.  Except for the fact that I didn’t take my shawl in to be judged, so it was never displayed at the craft show.
  6. Read my knitting books – the only books I managed to read from cover to cover this past year were baby books, with very few words and lots of fun bright pictures.  This resolution did not happen at all.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my successes and attempts of 2014.  And I even went back further and completed one of my 2013 resolutions because I finished the two projects that I had hibernating for more than 4 years.  So long as it gets done it’s all good.

Now onto 2015 and all of the possibilities it holds!

  1. Make Christmas Stockings – I have been wanting to do this for years, even before we started our little family.  We do have Christmas Stockings, I got them at the Dollar Store while my husband was still in grad school.  They sufficed in adding a little holiday decor and I guess that’s one of the reason why I didn’t really dedicate myself to them.  Another reason was the way I used to panic about finishing Christmas gifts in time – I’m SO over that now, so it’s no longer a valid excuse.  Besides we only have three stockings (yep, the dog had one), but now we are a family of four so we each need our own.  The plan is to do one each season: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  If all goes accordingly we will have a very festive mantel (figuratively speaking, since our apartment doesn’t have a chimney).
  2. Nurture a  love for knitting onto my students – Back in the fall I taught five new moms how to knit and they all seem to enjoy it!  In fact, we’ve decided to get together twice a month for a little knitting circle.  I hope to see them progress beyond the garter and stockinette stitches by the end of the year.
  3. Enter an item in a craft show – OK, so I messed up last year.  Now I know better.  I will either try the Durham Fair again or go for The Big E competition…. or maybe BOTH! Now, that’d be something.
  4. Expand on my other crafts – Last year I ventured out onto new crafts.  I tried canning and (less successfully) container gardening.  I enjoyed it and the products were quite yummy – apple sauce for baby and mojito for mommy!  I might have to shift gears a little on my container gardening; I’ll focus mainly on herbs and flowers, since my attempts at beans and carrots were less than spectacular.  If I can resurrect my calla lily and mint plants I’ll be happy.  And if my dwarf lemon tree bears more than two new fruits I’ll be tipsy ecstatic!  Most likely, I won’t be able to do any canning with just mints and lemons, so I’ll rely on local farms for the products to do my canning.  My husband and I like the CSA that we got this winter, but it proved to be a bit much for just us, so maybe we’ll split a share with friends.  Or I’ll just have to do some pick-your-own and try new jams and jellies and such.

I feel like I should stop here.  I am inclined to add one or two more resolutions, but chances are that if I do they won’t be completed.  Instead I’ll just leave it open ended to complete any other resolutions of years pasts.  A lot of them (like design a pattern and read my books) have been on my lists for multiple years, so if I get to them – great! If not, no biggie.

Here is to a great 2015 to all of us, may it be filled with lots of soft yarn and fewer dropped stitches! Do you have any resolutions?

Happy Knitting everyone!

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