Monthly Archives

June 2017

New Revolutionary Knitting Development–Brace Yourself! This is Big!!!

This one is a game changer.

Knitting will NEVER be the same again.

The entire rule set of the knit-universe has been completely rewritten.

We can now COMBINE multiple forms of relaxation and pleasantry.

I KNOW!!!

Like I said, this one is BIG.

I don’t typically post photographs of myself on the Internet wearing a bathing suit for the entire world to see, but this is so REVOLUTIONARY that I felt compelled to provide VISUAL EVIDENCE of how truly earth-shattering this new knitting technique truly is.

As you may recall, floatying is my favorite sport. Yes, I maintain that floatying is indeed a sport. If you know me in Real Life, you have surely heard me espouse–on Multiple Occasions–that the winner of floatying is the person with the lowest pulse and blood pressure, short of death.

Now, that is what I call relaxation and athleticism nicely wrapped up into one happy activity.

Up until this revolutionary knitting breakthrough, I have always had a bit of conflict when it comes to how I spend my free time in the summer. Do I knit BESIDE the body of water, or do I float ATOP the body of water?

It’s been taring me apart.

Big decisions. Painful tradeoffs.

Have I daydreamed about floatying and knitting at the same time? Yes!

For years now, I have wondered how I could do both concurrently. Seriously, I really have spent an inordinate amount of time pondering this Great Conundrum of Leisure. I kid you not. This is why I am so surprised at myself that I did not resolve this great inequity SOONER, as the solution was truly so simple.

Previously, I was impeded by two barriers:

  1. An overwhelming fear of my knitting project (the skein, in particular) rolling off of the floaty and into the body of water upon which I was floating. Instant disaster. Even just knitting NEXT to a river, I have previously (on more than one occasion, actually), had my sock skein roll DOWN the beach and INTO the river). It happens, people. It happens.
  2. In my previous life, my floaties were the fancy, foamy FLAT variety. This required one to LAY DOWN at 180 degrees–a challenging ergonomic position for any knitter. We kept our floaties in our pool (which I no longer have, SAD!!!), and they just never seemed like they would work for knitting.

It just wasn’t happening for me.

Until now.

When, in preparation for our big camping trip, I snagged a new, inflatable, CHEAP pool floaty (I bought this one on Amazon for just over $10 USD). It was the best money I ever spent.

This baby reclines! With arm rests! It’s got everything you need to knit. I can’t believe I didn’t buy one of these sooner. Back in my pre-knitting/pre-motherhood days, I used to buy the exact same model, hike into wilderness lakes, blow it up, and read a book all day long, surrounded by Rocky Mountain glacial peaks. True story. It was a thing of mine for a while. What can I say, I am a sucker for a good floaty, an absorbing book, and killer scenery.

Anyway.

If you are clever enough to have a floaty that keeps you UPRIGHT at a comfortable angle (with armrests, no less!), you are in business. Knit away! I recommend working on a smaller project (socks, hat, mittens, or a small cowl) and using a knitting bag with a strap that stays around your wrist to prevent knit-drowning, which would be tragic. I was floaty knitting with my socks, which I always keep in my trusty, durable sock bag. I love this bag, and it has a wrist strap that I use for socking and walking (walking while knitting my socks).

The other great thing about my cheap floaty: it has a drink holder! Seriously. It does. In case you want to fix yourself up a watermelon margarita for the ultimate knitting experience.

I cannot wait for my next floaty knitting session. I am already plotting.

I REALLY hope you have a chance to try floaty knitting, too. Especially now that summer is here. Find a suitable floaty and your nearest body of water (safety first!), be that a pool, lake, or stream. And then, just knit. *

P.S. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

*I can already tell you are going to love this. I posted this photo on Instagram earlier this week, and the comments were profound.

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.

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