baby, Knitting, Yarn

Happy Mail Day!

Look what arrived (in the middle of a torrential downpour no less!) today!

My yarn order from The Loopy Ewe!

Yarn always makes my day better, but a delivery from The Loopy Ewe makes me especially happy!

(They are super excellent and super quick, by the way; which is always good, particularly where yarn is involved! For example: I placed this order on Tuesday, and it arrived on Friday of the same week! πŸ˜„)

Usually when I order yarn, I do so with a particular project in mind, as is the case this time. (Unless it’s an occasional splurge on a gorgeous hand dyed skein that I can’t pass up! πŸ˜‰)

This yarn order happens to consist entirely of Cascade 220 Superwash; the pink is in their worsted weight, and the others are sport weight. I love this yarn for many reasons, but particularly for baby knits because of its softness and easy care (machine wash-and-dry-able).

So now that my yarn has arrived, I am totally thrilled to be able to get started this weekend on some knits for a new little niece and a new little second cousin who will both be arriving later this Summer! πŸ˜„πŸ’—

Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in β€œRose Petal.”

The pink yarn is for my new little niece,…

…who needs a Gullfoss blanket!

This is her big sister, Vera, three-and-a-half years ago, enjoying her orange Gullfoss!

The sport weight yarns…

Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport in White, Black, Picante, Silver Grey, and Extra Cream Cafe.

…are for a Fox Cub Sweater Set for my new little second cousin!

What are your favorite go-to knits and yarns for the babies in your life?

In other news, today was a happy mail day for Sunny too! While I was happily photographing my new yarns…

…Sunny was happily going to town on the tissue paper they came wrapped up in! πŸ˜‚

Although I wasn’t quite fast enough to get a photo of her in the act, I did manage to document her handy work (above), and her “I don’t know what you’re talking about because I’ve been laying all the way over here sleeping the whole time” face (below)! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I didn’t mind her tearing up the tissue paper at all (if I’d had plans for it, I would have kept it out of her reach). It was just too cute and funny not to share with you! I promise that she’s a really good puppy who usually chews only on the appropriate items! Here’s a photo to prove it:

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and very happy knitting!

Knitting, shawls, Weather

Perfect Morning!

Sunny & I enjoyed a perfect morning today!

For me, that meant coffee & knitting out on the back deck (with Sunny nearby, of course πŸ˜‰)!

For Sunny, that meant a new beef chew & lying in soft, shady grass!

It’s such a relief to have some sunshine at last! And today was perfect – brilliant blue sky, warm sunshine but not too hot, a lovely breeze… listening to the music of the stream and the birds, watching all of the little creatures out and busily about! The one word that keeps coming to my mind for today is: JOY! πŸ˜„β˜€οΈπŸŒΈπŸŒΌπŸŒΉ

Progress on my Daisy Shawl sample continues on apace!

What are you up to today?! πŸ˜„

Knitting, Puppy, Spinning

Lesson Learned…

This afternoon while I was working on some sample knitting…

I learned a very valuable lesson:

Do not leave alpaca wool (waiting to be spun) un-attended while assuming that Puppy is still contentedly chewing the bone she was totally engrossed with 30 seconds ago! πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ™ƒ

Sunny: Who? Me?! No, I have no idea who got into the alpaca wool…!

SUCH an innocent face! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

Sunny When She Thought My Back Was Turned: Hmmmm… Do you think she bought the act…?

Heehee!! Not for a second!πŸ˜‚ But it sure was cute! πŸ’—

Fortunately, it seems that Sunny was having so much fun pulling the alpaca wool out of its bag and spreading it around the house that she hadn’t actually chewed up any of it yet! So I was able to pick it all up and save it. 😊 Happy Ending! πŸ˜„

Knitting, outdoors

Meet Tucker

This is Tucker. He is my new woodland buddy. He makes me smile. And laugh. A lot!

IMG_0262

As you can see, he’s an adorable and thoroughly cheeky little squirrel with the sleekest fur and bushiest tail imaginable.

IMG_0276

For a while now, I’ve been wondering who has been taking bites out of my decorative corn (left over from Fall)… Turns out it’s Tucker! (And I think we can all tell which flavor he likes best!)

Tucker likes to run up onto the back deck, under the kitchen window and grab a mouthful of dried corn kernels. Then he runs back across the deck, climbs up onto the railing, and perches there to enjoy his snack!

I happened to see him through the kitchen window, doing this over and over early one morning as I was making coffee. Now we meet up for coffee & corn breaks most early mornings and late afternoons.

I haven’t yet figured out whether he’s told all his friends & relations about the free handouts on my back deck, or whether he’s keeping it all to himself… πŸ˜‰

Here’s a quick peak at what’s currently on my needles…

IMG_0032

Another baby blanket. This one is a sample in a smaller size as I would like to offer a couple of different size options in the pattern.

IMG_0037

And this is a new pattern I’m working on for a Spring/Summer weight shawl!

What’s been making you smile/laugh lately? And what’s on your needles/hooks/wheel/loom? I’d love to hear all about it!

Happy Knitting!

Knitting, outdoors

Beautiful Cozy

fullsizeoutput_19b7

IMG_8519

fullsizeoutput_19b6

IMG_8522

fullsizeoutput_19b2

IMG_8527

IMG_8528

fullsizeoutput_19b1

fullsizeoutput_19a7

IMG_8537

What a lovely, cozy, December day it has been! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such beauty – indoors and out.

For the last week, I’ve been participating in a black and white photo challenge on social media, which has been a lot of fun! I’ve found it’s really opened my eyes to see beauty in unexpected places, and given me a profound sense of gratitude for the smallest of everyday blessings. Here’s a link to the album if you’d like to see: Black & White Photo Challenge.

This afternoon I’ve been cozied up with a warm cup of good coffee and some deliciously textured knitting! I’m nearly finished with the center section of a baby blanket I’m designing for a friend. I’m loving a new challenge, the textured stitches, and this soft, gorgeous yarn! (It’s Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in color # 31 “Baby Blue.”)

What’s making you happy today? What are you working on? I’d love to hear all about it! πŸ™‚

Happy Knitting!

 

Family, Holidays, Knitting

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I sincerely hope you were all able to enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends these last few days!

I’ve especially enjoyed the chance to spend some quality time with my sister, Hannah, and my littlest niece, Claire!

They live some distance away, but were able to come and stay for a few days over Thanksgiving, which has been a real treat! πŸ˜„We even got a chance to peruse the Christmas Tree Farm together…

Hannah, Claire, Mom, & an adorable little Christmas Tree!

… and celebrate Claire’s birthday with Cousin Vera and Aunt Annelies!

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Cousins play time! Vera and Claire are still just a tad too little to actually play together yet… but playing nicely close-by is totally awesome! πŸ˜‰

I’m also incredibly grateful for being able to live my dream of designing, writing, and sharing my knitting patterns, and for the support you all have shown me! A sincere and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you! πŸ™‚

So how was your Thanksgiving? Did you get to spend some time with family? What are you grateful for?

Happy Knitting with Love,

~Sarah

Family, fiber festivals, Knitting

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival 2017

Yesterday was as close to a perfect day as I am likely to get! πŸ˜ŠπŸπŸ‚

The weather was beautiful and it was Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival day in Berryville, Virginia;Β and I got to go with my sister-in-law, Annelies and my two-year-old niece, Vera!

We met up in Harrisonburg to carpool to the festival; and truly, the brilliant smiles with which they greeted me totally made my whole week! πŸ™‚

Well stocked with fabulous company and good coffee, the 1.5 hour drive flashed right on by and before we knew it, we had arrived at the festival just in time to get a prime parking spot! (An unusual occurrence for me! πŸ˜‚)

I showed Vera how to politely examine the soft and luxurious yarns on display in the vendor booths. Not only was this fun, but it helped re-direct the two-year-old urge to pull all brightly colored skeins off of the shelves and hooks! πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

But of course, the biggest hit of the day, by far, was the animals: Alpacas, sheep, and angora goats!

These adorable alpacas were so friendly and calm!

IMG_7364

The white one is named “Fenway”, and the brown is “Carpe Diem.”

 

They were just chillin’ and people-watching, and socializing with whomever came by to say hi!

Vera took a couple of minutes to warm up to the alpacas since this was her first time seeing them up close! Watching another child petting them certainly helped. πŸ™‚

 

Once she had a chance to get to know them a bit, she absolutely loved them!

 

I swear she was having lots of fun – right up until we asked her to smile for a photo!

 

Fenway was very cooperative and photogenic! πŸ™‚

Later on, the sheep really wanted to share a popcorn snack!

 

And across the isle, a super nice girl brought her goat right up close so Vera could pet it!

 

IMG_7446

 

In addition to enjoying the wonderful animals, I was also excited to snag a great book…

FullSizeRender 14

…some gorgeous yarn…

FullSizeRender 15

100% alpaca and SO soft! πŸ˜„

FullSizeRender 16

…and a blending board!

FullSizeRender 13

My plan for the blending board is to use it to blend my Angora Rabbit’s wool with Alpaca wool so that I’ll have enough to knit something special once it’s all spun up!

FullSizeRender 19

Annelies was on a mission to find the perfect yarn to crochet a hat for Vera to match her new Winter coat! Here’s the yarn!

IMG_2628

And here’s the hat!

IMG_2669

By mid-afternoon, Someone was completely worn out from so much fun, and took a very good nap all the way home!

IMG_7478

A hand-knit shawl does make an excellent car-seat blanket, don’t you think?! πŸ˜‰

Do you go to fiber festivals? Do you have a favorite? Got plans to visit any this season? We’d love to hear all about it!

I’m excited to be heading to the Fall Fiber Festival @ Montpelier this coming weekend! Stay tuned for updates! 😊

Family, Hats, Knitting

Most Loved Project

The topic for Day 3 of the Yarn Love Challenge this month was “Most Loved Project.” This threw me off for a few days as I have difficulty determining which of my projects I love most! πŸ˜‰

But then it occurred to me that looking at this question from a Handknit Recipient’s perspective might be interesting. So now I’ve got a slightly sarcastic but humorous take on “Most Loved Project” to share with you! πŸ˜„

…Not long after we were married, I wanted to knit something practical for Hubby that he would enjoy wearing. Naturally, a hat came to mind!

When asked what kind of hat I should make for him that he would actually wear, Hubby said: “Black, and plain. No cables, no patterns, no colors; just black and plain.”

Of course, I thought: ” BORING!!” But I wanted to knit him something he would like, so I tried my best to knit him the black, plain, BORING hat! But…

I couldn’t resist adding a red angora lining! “Angora is so soft, and no one will see it on the inside,” I thought…

Hubby was dubious, but he did bravely wear the hat – all of one time, to a family gathering (my family of course)! Unfortunately, a bit of red fuzz from the angora lining emerged and remained mingled with his facial hair. It wasn’t glaring, so I didn’t notice it, and probably no one else did either. But Hubby was SO mortified when he noticed it in the mirror that night, that he refused to ever wear the hat again!

So the infamous black, plain, not-so-boring hat became mine and has been well loved and much worn despite the fact that it is too big for me! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Do you have a fun “Most Loved Project” or Handmade Gifting story to share? We’d love to hear it!

Happy Knitting!

Knitting, Stash

In ProgressΒ 

I’ve been working away and making good progress with my yarn stash organizing and cataloging! It feels good to see my Yarn Stash Notebook filling up with yarn samples and data, and to see my Yarn Stash becoming more orderly, accessible, and therefore useable!

IMG_5889
Progress on the Yarn Stash Notebook!

I do take frequent breaks to do some actual knitting though! πŸ˜‰

Right now, I’m loving knitting the sample for my newest design (coming soon!!)! πŸ™‚

img_5899
Lacy, stripy chevrons…!

The yarn I’m using is Knit Circus Greatest of Ease in “Over The Rainbow Speckles,” and Expression Fiber Arts Resilient Superwash Merino Sock in “Pistachio.”

I’m also really enjoying my “just for fun” knit…

The very start of my Leaves of Grass shawl!

The pattern is “Leaves of Grass” by Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed)…

Feeling like I need to switch to a longer cable soon…!

The yarn I’m using is Madelinetosh Pashmina in “Thoreau.”Β It’s super soft and squishy and feels lovely in my hands as I knit. I can’t wait to snuggle up in this shawl on those cool Autumn evenings (they are still a long ways off, so I have plenty of time to finish!) πŸ™‚

This is the very first time I’ve ever knitted a circular shawl, and I’m finding that I’m really taken with the ease and simplicity of the Pi Shawl construction! At the beginning of this project, the one piece that I had absolutely no idea how to do was the circular cast on. This tutorial by Knit Picks was super helpful, and I quickly discovered that it’s not as hard as it looks! πŸ™‚

IMG_5918
Working on Leaves of Grass with grass for company! πŸ˜‰

Something I’m really enjoying with this knit is the excitement whenever I finish one chart and move on to the next! It’s fascinating to see how the different motifs fit together, play on each other, and seem to grow together! (This effect with the stitch patterns will be easier to see after blocking!)

IMG_5919
Leaves of Grass shawl.

Now that I’m on the second-to-last chart and have completed the last increase round, I have a total of nearly 600 stitches on my needles! Even though each round now takes a while to complete, I’m still excited and enjoying working this shawl! I can’t wait to see it finished! (And I’m sure I’ll be knitting another circular shawl before long!) πŸ˜‰

And last but not least, I’m trying out something new – knitting with beads!

IMG_5945
Practice Swatch: Arrowhead lace with beads.

This is just a little practice test swatch I’m working with some leftovers of a gorgeous alpaca yarn and some seed beads I have on hand. It took me awhile to decide where to place the beads with this Arrowhead Lace stitch pattern, and I’m still not quite sure I’m happy with the result. I think I’ll knit on it a little more and then block it and see what I think then. πŸ™‚

Of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts too! πŸ™‚ Where would you place the beads in this stitch pattern? Have you ever used beads in your knitting before? If so, what do you think of the technique? Do you like the effect?

I’d also love to hear about whether you’ve knitted or considered knitting a circular shawl before! If you’ve made one before, did you enjoy the experience? Why or why not?

As always, best wishes to each of you, and happy knitting!

~Sarah

SaveSave

SaveSave

Knitting

When Life Gives you Lemons…

Knit like crazy! πŸ˜€

We all have our “off” days. It’s part of life. Every day can’t be totally awesome, or there’d be no such thing! I’ve had a lot of awesome days recently, so I guess I was overdue for anΒ “off” day…

Usually when I’m having the occasional “off” day, it’s the little stuff that can get under my skin and irritate me, even while I’m doing my best to handle it well. πŸ™‚

And then there’s the entirely unexpected stuff that can just jump out and smack you (sometimes rather hard) when you’re not expecting it! That’s (literally) what happened to me the other afternoon!…

Arriving back from a lovely grocery shopping trip with two of my sisters, I was rushing to get those groceries in the house (we live a good distance from town, so time is a factor with those refrigerated items…). Both hands full with eggs, milk, and meat, I was booking it towards the front steps, and then… One of my flip-flops caught on the concrete steps as I was on my way up to the front door. Thinking I could catch myself with my other foot on the next step in time to restore my balance, I tried to take that next step up real quick,… Misjudging the height (the steps are not quite standard size), I caught my other flip-flop and catapulted (rather awkwardly) first into the front edge of the storm door that we had propped open, and then onto the concrete stoop…!

Rather bruised and battered, (but much wiser regarding the dangers of flip-flops and concrete steps plus hurrying with both hands full), I am utilizing the best comfort and coping strategies I know:

  1. Knitting…Lots and lots of knitting this evening – as much as I want! πŸ˜€
  2. Doggy cuddles…Lots and lots of doggy cuddles (while knitting of course)! πŸ˜€


I’m already feeling a lot better! Even my slightly bruised ego is recovering. πŸ˜‰

Do you use knitting as a comfort and /or coping strategy on occasion? I’d love to hear about how knitting has helped you get through something difficult as well!

~Happy Knitting!Β