Did Someone Say it’s Margarita-Knit Thirty?

One of the sure signs of summer is watermelon.

Also: margaritas.

Thanks to Reed, we seem to ALWAYS have watermelon these days. It’s been his primary food group. He’s off adventuring today, so I stole a few slices of his favorite fruit and put it to good use.

As I have noted before, I prefer my cocktails with fresh, seasonal fruit. Otherwise, they just aren’t worth drinking. I also have a strong preference toward pairing my cocktails with a knitting project–the sure sign of relaxation and leisure.

It's cocktail-knit night: watermelon margaritas!

I love how long the days are this time of year, although Reed NEVER wants to go to bed and my 7:00 p.m. Rest Rule has already gone out the window. Just tonight I was out mowing the lawn at 8:30 p.m. That would never work in the dead of winter. I’d already be in my pajamas, lighting candles to fight off the never-ending darkness.

I’ve started a little white shawl with a bit of sparkle. It’s off to a slow beginning, and I suspect there may even be an unavoidable amount of frogging in my future. (I will be sure to complain about that in a future post…) It’s all part of the process. In the meantime, this remains mainly a sofa knit. I am too afraid to take it with me to the river because I know it won’t stay white for long! (I briefly contemplated knitting it up with sterile gloves but then realized that would never work…) My rate of hand washing has definitely increased with this one.

It's cocktail-knit night: watermelon margaritas!

On another random yet significant note, I cannot find ANYTHING good to watch while Knitflixing! I need your recommendations, stat! So far, I’m stuck on Mistresses on Hulu. At first, it was irritating…but now I am committed.

When the sun eventually does set, I still pick up my needles for an hour or two. But I NEED new shows. Summer TV is always the worst. Ho hum.

It's cocktail-knit night: watermelon margaritas!

I hope you find these margaritas with a little down time, and hopefully with your knitting nearby. Happy Friday!!!! May your weekend be long, slow, and bright.

Fresh Watermelon Margaritas

Ingredients:

2 oz. respectable tequila

0.5 oz. Gran Marnier

Sweetened lime juice (not limeade). I use Santa Cruz Organics. It’s a little sweet but not too sweet.

Fresh watermelon

1/2 fresh lime

Salt for the rim

To make:

Salt rim. Muddle fresh watermelon and the juice of 1/2 a fresh lime into the bottom of a glass. Add tequila, Gran Marnier, and lime juice. Finish with slices of fresh watermelon. Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: This recipe is for adults that meet the legal drinking age requirements of their respective nations. Always drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Alcoholism is a very serious disease. Please seek support if you need it. Drinking is very likely to impact your stitch count and may generally result in extensive frogging, so go easy.

P.S. Do you already follow me on Instragram? If not, please do. I am here.

June Knits: Possibly a Record Setter

Alternative title #1: How a Knit-Monogamist Becomes a Wee Bit Not-At-All Knit-Monogamist

Alternative title #2: Apparently My Life Lacks Focus

Alternative title #3: If I Had More Time to Knit, I Would Finish Some of These

  1. Knitter (that’s me) vaguely recollects the time when she knit one project at a time and had never even considered doing otherwise.
  2. Then knitter got inspired by other knitters who seemingly start all kinds of projects and cast them aside (sometimes for years!) as if it were no big deal. Knitter has always been weak when it comes to peer pressure.
  3. Thus knitter finds herself with one Purl Soho Garter Earflap baby hat (brown/green, just needs the decreases at the top…baby due yesterday), one reworked Twist Shawl design (magenta), one Lesley-in-progress for the office knitalong (seashell pink), a second shawl design in the works, likely to be frogged and then frogged some more (white), and a sock (orange), which is actually said knitter’s weight loss strategy.
  4. The weight loss strategy isn’t working, in case you were curious. Apparently walking while knitting  a sock burns calories at a degree insufficient to balance consumption of wine and brownies (and butter, Havarti, and chunks of fresh baguettes). A great tragedy indeed.
  5. Knitter honestly asked herself in a moment of reflection if she has the record five WIPs soley to better balance colors through her Instagram feed. Knitter decided this is not her motivation, although it does help provide visual balance. Lest anyone tire of seeing the same WIP on Instragram on consecutive days.
  6. Knitter notes she has just has to cast off the magenta shawl, hypothetically tonight, in which case she will be down to four WIPs. Progress.
  7. Knitter further notes that she is likely to loose a horrible scenario of Yarn Chicken on the above referenced magenta shawl’s cast off and will thus likely have to rip back three night’s worth of knitting to fix. In which case, there would be only un-progress and five WIPs would remain. Also, tears and cursing likely to result.
  8. Knitter is struggling to prioritize respective knits. Rationally, she thinks she should work on the baby hat because it is almost done and the mother is likely in labor RIGHT NOW. But, do babies really need hats in June when it’s 100 degrees (37.8 C)? Exactly. No rush after all. Let’s be real here.
  9.  Knitter maintains a sock shouldn’t actually count as  WIP anyway, as all knitters NEED sock projects at all times for background knitting (doctor’s offices, road construction, and other unplanned scenarios that require endless waiting). Socks are better defined as anxiety/anger management than an actual knitting project. Let’s be clear about definitions.
  10. Knitter would have even more WIPs but needs to first go by more yarn. She is almost out. (Try not to faint).

P.S. Did you see last week’s shawl release, Blast Off to the Sun?

P.P.S. Knitter is looking for test knitters. Email andrea@thisknittedlife.com if interested. Worsted. Due mid-August.

Blast Off to the Sun: Possibly the Most Amazing Shawl Pattern of All Time

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

From the very first stitch, this project felt celestial to me. Maybe it was the prismatic golden yarn with its silky sheen. I honesty don’t know. This shawl design literally transported me from one life into the next, and I don’t plan to forget it anytime soon.

This shawl–I call it Blast Off to the Sun— didn’t start easily. The yarn was the first I caked in my new (old) home, and I remember the moment. Winding those balls made something big and dark feel possible.

At first, there was an unusual amount of swatching and frogging. I played with stitches. With math. All the variables. After a seemingly inordinate amount of time, I worked it all out.

Obviously.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Blast off to the Sun was a collaboration with indie dyer Daien @ Beloved Yarn, who was kind enough to share her story earlier this year. This project has been in the works since the beginning of the year, and it feels so good to finally release this perfect shawl out into the universe.

I truly can’t say enough good things about Daien and this glorious yarn. Her yarn made me remember that I love merino/silk blends and should work with them more often. And her colors! Have you checked out her site yet??? Holy smokes. I assure you it took me no less than three weeks just to decide on a color from her website because they were all STUNNING.

Truly.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Blast Off to the Sun is a perfect crescent shaped shawl. It starts out with just three tiny stitches and a garter tab cast on. Then it grows. Row by row. Eventually the waves of sunlight start on one end. Or at least that’s how I thought of them. Knit this up in blue and maybe they will feel like ocean waves to you. (You pick the color and then pick your own type of wave!)  After a while longer, little blips of stars appear on the other end. Gradually.

This shawl is balanced by a stockinette center and garter edges (because I can’t stand rolling and folding edges).

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Did I mention it’s knit up in DK yarn? This means it doesn’t take forever (uh, hello lace and fingering) but isn’t too heavy. As you can see from our windy photo shoot, it actually flaps gracefully in the wind just fine, thank you very much.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

It’s been grey here a lot lately. Summer fog on the coast. The day we took these photos (thank you Anna!), we about blew away. It was such a bitter cold wind, too. The clouds were flying by so fast, it was hard to keep up.
Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

I’ll be real, it hasn’t been the easiest transition for me. Working on this shawl during those first weeks truly helped. Picking up the bright yellow yarn and watching it glide through my hands, row by row, may have been the only thing that got me through the month of May.

File that one away somewhere: when life gets tough or the weather sucks, knit something yellow.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I am more the happy sort.

Or the snarky sort.

Depends on the day.

So, I will say this: things are looking up.

As in, the shawl is done. It’s yours now. Knit one. Let it take you somewhere you need to go. It will be your own rocket to take you to your next chapter, however similar or dissimilar that looks to where you are at Right Now.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Blast Off to the Sun is available on Ravelry for $6 USD. (Subscribers, check your email for a special coupon code.) Even if you aren’t ready to purchase this pattern today, please take a moment to add it to your favorites so you can more easily find it when you ARE ready. Just click the little pink heart in Ravelry.

I really hope this one blasts you off to wherever it is you want to go.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

And…I made a quick video overview too. Because I love to make you smile.

PS.

I have been very inactive in my Ravelry Forum, but I have a new test knit up. It’s a cowl. Check it out.

Do you already follow me on Instragram? If not, please do. I am here. Also, you can subscribe to my new YouTube channel here. Good things coming!

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Summer Bucket List of Must Knits

It’s summer time! This summer is bittersweet for me because I just moved to the coast. If you have ever lived or visited somewhere like San Francisco in the summer, you might know what this means.

I will give you a clue: yesterday it was 80 degrees (26.7 C) inland at my OLD home, but here, I bundled up in a fleece and hat just to go on an evening walk because it was FOGGY. The fog was so thick and drippy that I needed to use my WINDSHIELD WIPERS to drive home from a knitting meet up. I have worn similar attire to go down hill skiing. In February.

There were no margaritas.

Instead there were three cups of peppermint tea (with honey).

Now, I will spare you further complaining about the horrendously horrible summer weather except to note that the knit I have been wearing every evening and morning just to stay warm INSIDE my own house is my worsted weight Sheltered Poncho. Thus,  I have a sudden and urgent need for an abundance of pullovers and warm layers. In the summer.

The Pullovers

Lesley by Hannah Fettig

If you have been with me for a while, you may note this pullover has been on my bucket list for a LONG TIME. Indeed Lesley has been on more than one bucket list. I still stand by my unwavering obsession with Hannah Fettig’s 2015 collection Home & Away  (still available on Amazon) and remain committed to knit all. the. patterns. I can FINALLY say the yarn has been ordered, the swatch is soaking, and I will soon have another layer to help me survive summer.

Riverside by Asita Krebs

Back to pullovers, because–let’s be realistic–I need more warm layers! I forget where I stumbled upon Riverside. It’s actually a free pattern that uses top down, seamless construction. It’s knit in the round.

Bam.

All my favorites. Plus the pattern calls for Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light although I bet I can find a similar variegated fingering weight yarn from my posse of indie yarn dyers. I might skip the texture at the bottom and just stick with stockinette. I hate to draw attention to my hips. Invisible = bettter.

Shawls

Twist Shawl by Little Ol’ Me

This summer, I am also reworking my Twist Shawl design. I am about halfway through and haven’t uncovered any glaring errors (relief). I have made a few minor adjustments to the first handful of rows that will be included in a free pattern update to everyone who has already purchased the pattern.

Sizzle Pop by Lesley Anne Robinson

I am STILL itching to try brioche (Learning the technique is on my bucket list for THE ENTIRE YEAR).  I have spent hours  that I didn’t actually have browsing options on Ravelry. I think I have possibly decided on Sizzle Pop, which I remember sharing on my Facebook page a while back. What do you think?!?!

Tees

Circular Yoke Summer Shirt by Purl Soho

I don’t think I have yet to meet a Purl Soho design that I didn’t love. This new summer shirt is no exception. It seems very versatile and simple. But cute. It’s on my list, for sure! On days when the fog lifts, I have been wearing my recently completed Riverton Tee. There’s hope for me and short sleeves yet!

Where ever you are, I hope your own version of summer is treating you well. I don’t care if you’re drinking tea (hot or iced) or slurping mojitos through a straw. Just as long as you are knitting!

P.S. In case you missed it last year, my 2016 summer bucket list is here.

P.P.S. You can find me on Instagram here if you would like.

Note: All photo credits revert to the respective designers. I share their photos here in an effort to positively promote their designs.

Why Reading This Post Will Make Your Day Better: It’s Cocktail Knitting Night!!!!

Heelllooo weeekkkkendddd!

It’s time for our new monthly cocktail date!

For a very long time now, I have been aspiring to start a monthly cocktail-knitting series on This Knitted Life. Why drink alone, when we can drink together!?!?

If I am going to go to the trouble to make an actual cocktail*, I always include fresh fruit. Otherwise, it’s not worth the effort and calorie consumption (in my opinion). Cherries are making their brief appearance in the market, so I’ve mixed them up with some champagne, which always lifts my spirits at least a little, and other fancy stuff. These fizzy pretties are the perfect Survival Reward for a post-work Friday wind-down or simple weekend brunch with friends and family.

I love it when girlfriends stop by for a cocktail (or tea) and a visit. If you were here right now, sipping fizzes with me and stitching away, I’d show you the progress Reed and I have been making in our new garden. It’s (slightly) less overgrown and slowly coming around. We went to the nursery after school earlier this week, and Reed picked out some fresh herbs and a few flowers to fill some holes in the beds.

He was particularly adamant that we buy a new “rosemary with green leaves” to replace the humongous overgrown rosemary** I recently ripped out from one of his favorite hiding spots. He planted the new, itty bitty rosemary back in the exact same spot and still holds a grudge that I dared to remove the original specimen.

We traveled quite a bit in May, enjoying two separate weekends up in the Oregon homeland with friends and family, catching up. We plan to stay closer to home in June, although we’re planning to camp a bit now that summer is Finally Here.

Reed has new neighbors that are close to his age and has been enjoying sharing his swing and generally racing about, squealing and making messes. We’ve never lived near sidewalks before (or quite so close to other kids), so we are enjoying exploring on our scooters and brightening up the block with immense sidewalk chalk murals. Aw, the joys of the urban lifestyle!

I’m still squeezing in a bit of knitting every day. Mostly a couple of hours between 8:00 and 10:00 each evening, cat nearby, and tv on. I’ve been working on reworking my Twist Shawl pattern to make sure it’s absolutely perfect and am using The Fibre Company’s Cumbria for the first time (Cowberry colorway). It’s been a good way to end the day. I hope I can do a better job squeezing in more daylight knitting once we’re a bit more settled and caught up on the yard and other chores.

Now that the weekend’s here, I plan to spend at least one day at the river to soak in the sun, knitting in hand. Summer lawn chair (or beach towel) knitting is one of my favorite joys. I probably won’t pack my champagne cherry fizzes, but I will make sure I drag along lots of cold ice water.

I sure have enjoyed our first cocktail date, although of course it would be better if you were actually HERE in real life. Someday! Until then, find a friend, make yourselves a fresh, fruity cocktail, grab your knitting, and put your feet up.

Champagne-Framboise Fizzes with Fresh Cherries

Ingredients:

½ oz. framboise (raspberry liquor) or susbstitute with ½ oz. of chambord for a “kir royale”

6 cherries, pitted

Champagne***

To make:

Pour framboise into a champagne flute. Add several cherries and muddle gently. Pour champagne and watch it fizz! Top with remaining cherries. Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: This recipe is for adults that meet the legal drinking age requirements of their respective nations. Always drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Alcoholism is a very serious disease. Please seek support if you need it. Drinking is very likely to impact your stitch count and may generally result in extensive frogging, so go easy.

**It always amazes me how rosemary can start out so small and grow so MUCH over the course of a decade.

***If you choose not to consume alcohol (good for you!), substitute with fizzy water and a squirt of fresh lime juice.

****Do you already follow me on Instragram? If not, please do. I am here.

We’re Accomplishing Things Like Crazy Over Here! Twist Cowl Pattern Update

Hold on to your needles, folks!

I have begun systematically reworking all my earliest pre-tech editor patterns to make sure my Ravelry catalog is absolutely perfect, knitter-friendly, and as clearly written as possible. After months of work, the Twist Cowl pattern has been updated on Ravelry!

I first published the Twist Cowl almost two years ago, and it has been a solid pattern. I’m particularly proud of this design. I worked hard on it, it’s been places with me (on so many levels!), and, most importantly, it’s a gorgeous, timeless knit. Unlike other early patterns I have revisited, I didn’t encounter any mistakes but still did some tweaking. I tightened up the gauge, added a small number of cast on stitches to rebalance the finished width, and increased the recommended length.

And…

…The whopper update is the new two-side option. The pattern now includes instructions for knitting a double sided Twist Cowl! This means no wrong side (which I REALLY love). Extra warmth.

The pattern is very wearable and knit-able either way.

The Twist Cowl is knit back and forth, similar to a standard scarf, before grafting to join with the kitchener stitch (search YouTube if that’s a new technique for you, but I KNOW you can do it!). The two-sided option is worked in the round.

I’ve also made a quick video tutorial showing how to work the main twist stitch, available here, in addition to the video overview embedded in the top of this post.

Like the original, the updated Twist Cowl pattern is knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Rose colorway). The one-side option requires about one skein. Dig out two skeins for the double sided option. Substitutions with fingering and sock weight yarns should work up just fine.  If you’ve already purchased this pattern, you should have received an auto-alert from Ravelry with a link to the downloaded pattern at no additional cost. If you haven’t already purchased this pattern, well, what are you waiting for?!?!?  (Subscribers, check your inbox for a Super Special discount code!). 

The updated Twist Cowl pattern is available on Ravelry for $5 USD here. Enjoy and thank you!

A few quick administrative notes for new readers:

  1. I have a new You Tube channel! Subscribe here to see all my future videos! More laughs to come.
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In Solidarity with Mothers Everywhere

I am scurrying to write this before my own mother comes by for a little early Mother’s day dinner. We both abhor the throngs of people brunching on holidays such as this and tend to schedule our own celebrations slightly a kilter from the masses. Given my mother doesn’t follow this site, I am safe to share with the infinite kniteratti  found here on the Internet that I am going to knit her a shawl. Thousands of people will know it is coming, yet she will be surprised.* Amazing how that works.

The yarn is The Fibre Company Cumbria fingering in Cowberry. This is my first time working with The Fibre Company yarn, and I’ve been making an attempt to try new brands in addition to my commitment to supporting indie dyers this year. I plan to update my Twist Shawl pattern, as I work through my entire older catalog to make sure it is as perfect as can be.** I nearly went with the original tried and true Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light but couldn’t settle on a satisfactory colorway at my place of commerce. Alas, Cowberry is much more my mom’s shade.

What can I say, we’re mixing things up over here.

As you read this, I will be scurrying out the door to reunite with my own dear child for an afternoon of fun. The snacks have been packed and the extra changes of clothes are at the ready. Sunscreen too. Reed is a fruit-eating, laundry generating kind of a kid. I can’t wait to hear his voice and see his sticky little face. Spending time with Reed is the best gift I could possibly ask for.

Mothering isn’t always easy work, but of course it’s the most important work we do. Or at least it’s the most important work I do. There’s no right way, although there seem to be lots of wrong ways. Each day, we just do our best, love our kids, and clean up the messes (hopefully teaching them to clean up their own messes along the way). We give the hugs and wipe the tears (and the butts). All in a day’s work! Being a mother is a constant dance of putting someone else before you. All through life.

Even my own mother still does it, and I am nearly 40. She’s my biggest fan, even through my mistakes. Earlier this week, I caught her wearing what must have been the very first (incredibly ugly) itchy, scratchy, tweedy scarf I ever knit. Seed stitch. TWENTY YEARS LATER, SHE STILL POSSESSES AND WEARS THIS HORRENDOUS MONSTROSITY OF KNITTING! I am fairly certain it is even skinnier at one end than the other.

Go Mom!

To the moms out there, I truly hope you’re casually reading this as you sip your tea in your pajamas, bathed in sunlight and warmth, surrounded by those you love and who love you back. Knitting at your side. Even if you are not a mother (perhaps not yet or perhaps never to be), I know you can appreciate mothering as you pause to remember your own mother, as perfect or flawed as she may have been–possibly a little bit of both.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

*If I were a better daughter, I would have ALREADY knit the shawl. (Although this way, I am likely to finish by next May and am just getting an early start for 2018!)

**I just finished updating my Twist Cowl pattern. There were just a few little tweaks, but the final version is amazing. Keep your eyes posted for a release in the next week or two, although it’s already live on Ravelry.

New Essential Rules for Knitters

In direct contradiction to the title of this post, let me first offer an obvious disclaimer: there are no ACTUAL rules for knitting, or knitters. It’s a lawless land out there, just so long as you don’t stab anyone to death with your knitting needles. Unless of course it’s self-defense, but we’ll all just hope you never find yourself in that particular situation.

Knit however you like. Whenever you like.

Lawlessness aside, I offer some, well, guidelines for happier knitting. I’ve found myself in a new chapter in my life, providing me with the space to redefine my knitting habit addiction process in a way that works best.

Rule 1: Knit Always and Often

I would be remiss if I did not first disclose that the first rule of knitting is obviously to knit. Whenever you can. Or, whenever you want.

Rule 2: Chill and Knit by 7:00 p.m.

I have a new rule I am trying to keep for myself: chill by 7:00 p.m.

Yes, I know you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking wouldn’t that be nice. Like me, you are surely on your feet until the last possible hour of the day. Dishes. Laundry. Lunches for the next day. Steadfastly working off an extra 10 lousy calories in a grimy gym somewhere (that’s actually not me AT ALL…) Or, possibly, still at work.

It’s hard to find balance between ACHIEVING (which requires a large investment of time) and living, which sometimes requires doing next to nothing. Now, as I am overwhelmed by all there is to do be done, I find it helpful to set limits for myself. By 7:00, I’d like to be winding down my day and relaxing, needles nearby.

Will I still parent after 7:00? Of course. I aim for 7:00 bedtime, but it doesn’t always happen… Especially if Reed has had a nap or is happily doing his own thing. There’s no hard and fast rules. Just goals for healthy living.

I am setting boundaries for myself.

Rule 3: Seek the Company of Other Knitters

For the large majority of my knitting life, I’ve been a solitary knitter. That works for me. I enjoy sitting quietly alone with my needles, recharging after long days. This is the path of the introvert.

Every night, across the vast planet, knitters everywhere sit alone on the sofa with tea (or wine) and Knitflix. Some among us are more coordinated or erudite and instead elect to read or listen to podcasts while knitting. Even though we are all alone, some of us with trashier tastes than others, we are somehow together.

But really we’re alone.

However…in a way, knitting can be like drinking. Knitting alone isn’t always advisable. A wise knitter monk (yes, that’s a thing now) once said: one must always seek balance.

For a long time now, I’ve aspired to start a monthly knitting group, and I’m planning to move that toward the top of my to-do list.

Rule 4: Maintain a Small Yet Manageable Stash

Yes, that’s ALL of my yarn. Mostly scraps. Very respectably (or horrifyingly) small stash. I try to keep things simple! No clutter. Considering all of my yarn fit in that basket on the floor for more than a decade, I think the slight expansion to another couple baskets is reasonable. For the most part, I only keep yarn on hand for projects on the immediate (three to six month) horizon. I see photos of stashes blipping about the internet that look nothing short of an in-home yarn store and am equal parts envious and overwhelmed. I of course wish my stash was a little more substantial, but I also wish I had jeans that fit comfortably (although the answer to that one might be less chocolate and more exercise).

I have set up a temporary knitting studio in an extra bedroom. It’s mostly empty and the walls are still bare. I haven’t actually spent much time working in here, but perhaps someday I will. I hope to make it cozier, just as soon as I find time to decorate and nest before 7:00.

Do you have any new knitting rules you’d like to share?

P.S. Do you already follow me on Instagram? If not, I’m over here.

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Garden Party Cowl Pattern Release

Like all good things in life, this new Garden Party Cowl design has been a long time coming. It was a quick and delightful knit–one of those designs that just flew off my needles. No problems. Completely cooperative. No frogging. No cussing. No crying.

That’s how I like to knit.

And then this dear cowl just hung around while I moved. Waiting.

Well, knit-universe, wait no longer.

This is the second time I’ve experimented with making videos to support a pattern launch. Fun+Terrifying+Kind of Goofy! There’s a second video here that’s actually a tutorial for working the smocked rib in this design.

Yes, I still have boxes to unpack and that latest cozy buzzword hygge is utterly and truly missing from my life at the present…BUT, I know (hope) I will get there. Besides, who said cardboard boxes laying about weren’t cozy? It’s all a matter of perspective.

The Garden Party Cowl is my second collaboration with an indie yarn dyer. I know you all were able to meet Stephanie from Knitley Road  last month. I loved using her yarn for this design. It was a single spun rustic fingering (three cheers for Canadian Wool!) that reminded me a lot of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter. You can tell it comes from a sheep (a plus) but it isn’t itchy and has a ton of loft, especially after blocking (double plus check!). Stephanie sent over (down?) a speckled colorway, which have been super popular lately. I get the speckled craze after working up this design–all the flecks of color really are a lot of fun.

The cowl is knit in the round. Wear long or loop twice for warmth, coziness, or reducing your risk of getting hung up on a foreign object. #SnagsHappen. The design is nearly reversible (I am not a fan of the “wrong side,” to be honest) and is a good balance of knits and purls. This means there’s no folding, rolling, or general misbehavior of this cowl. It just works.

The Garden Party cowl is now available on Ravelry for $5 USD. (Subscribers, check your inbox for a 20% off coupon code!). As with all my patterns these days, this design was independently reviewed by a qualified tech editor and is available in a professional format with measurements in both English and metric.

This is a perfect project for those single skeins of sock and fingering weight yarn, and the gauge is flexible.

You can totally knit this.

Or, at least hit the little heart on Ravelry to add it to your favorites.

A few quick administrative notes:

  1. I have a new You Tube channel! Subscribe here to see all my future videos! More laughs to come.
  2. Do you already follow me on Instragram? If not, please do. I am here.
  3. You can find Knitley Road’s shop over here. It’s awesome!
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Hatching Plans-The Key to Every Knitter’s True Success

The Birthday Sale is live through the end of the weekend. In case you missed it, the details are here! 38% off with the code  Birthday38.


I will say this: lists are everywhere. I have lists. Reed has lists (slightly less legible).

We are plotting. And planning.

Some items are simple. Take a shower. Brush teeth. Watch a cartoon. (That one’s on Reed’s list, anyway).

Others are more complicated. Go here. Do this. Make that happen.

Even the lists have lists.

It’s overwhelming and thrilling all at the same time.

I want so desperately for everything to happen all at once, but I am wise enough to know that is not how the world works. Things take time. Perseverance. Hard work. And eventually the pieces fall into place.

I am reminding myself to be forgiving. Patient. Slightly more organized.

In the end, the hours in each day don’t change. No matter what, there’s only 24. (Someone really oughta get on that problem.) I can only knit as fast as I can knit, and of course I secretly wish I had an army of knitters (and gardeners and window washers) at my disposal to speed things up a bit. Or more hands. (At least a self-driving car…)

My post-Reed bedtime plans are always ambitious, and I’ve honestly vacillated between feeling like I need to work into the wee hours…to make progress and generally catch up…and to just sit and knit and simply BE.

Now, I know you KNOW me by now and of course already have guessed which path I’ve chosen. Especially given I’m working with this AMAZING!!!! silk/merino blend from Beloved Yarn in the sunniest of colors. There’s just no other option.

(If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably been noticing my feed’s been extra cheery and yellow lately.)

Thus, the list waits. (Except for the item related to finishing the bright, sunny shawl…good progress there!).

And, as always, I knit on.

I so hope to finish the shawl this weekend, although I don’t want to jinx myself. We all know a poorly-time frogging can unravel (pun intended) even the best hatched plans. Some problems even ambition can’t fix. That’s the beauty and plague of knitting all at once: you can only work one stitch at a time.

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