Monthly Archives

August 2017

Coming Soon — A Quick Update from Mwah.

I know I’ve been a little in and out this summer, more so than I would prefer. What can I say–LIFE has been happening. Like any mother, woman, maker, human, I always aspire to achieve more than perhaps is realistic given the current State of Things.

I sat down today to write my seasonal bucket list for fall, as I so love to do. But I found myself scanning Ravelry endlessly, flipping through patterns I had favorited the past few months, and generally trying to find some cohesive theme that would just feel serendipitous.

Nothing clicked.

The patterns were all marvelous. It was just me.

So.

Fall bucket list postponed to next week.

Instead I am sharing with you what I have planned for the upcoming quarter over here in my little corner of the Internet. I’ve been busy designing and updating patterns all year and have some marvelous releases planned for the next couple of months. I am trying to pace pattern releases so they launch once a month. Otherwise, I assume it’s hard for knitters to keep up.

Here’s your sneak peak!

Bayland Cowl

Expect this fall number to be released in the next week or so. (Top secret: it’s already actually on Ravelry here, as the test knitters upload their photos…) I actually developed this design at the beginning of the year, but have been saving it because it screamed FALL to me. This one knits up quick in worsted weight. More details soon! If you are feeling that Fall Itch and secretly lighting all those pumpkin spice candles when no one is looking, this one is for you.

Little White Sparkly Shawl

I just sent this pattern off to my tech editor this morning! I love this shawl. It has a sequin strand in the mix for a bit of shimmer (but not over the top). I already know I am wearing this one to the office holiday party this year.

This is my favorite kind of shawl: easy, textured, and crescent shaped. Not too busy, but not boring. I aiming for a late-September release for this one.

Twist Shawl-Finally Updated!

I tried to update my Twist Shawl earlier this summer but still fell flat on adjusting the shaping. I cannot tell you how incredibly pleased I am to announce this second updated version is shaped PERFECTLY. (Do you hear the angels harking? I do.) As soon as this baby is back from the tech editor, everyone who has already purchased the pattern will automatically get an updated version through Ravelry.

Ta da!

The new Twist Shawl is a perfect crescent shape and has that signature twist texture.

I swoon. And I couldn’t be prouder.

Next Up

I have this awkward lull right now between projects and have absolutely nothing of substance on my needles.

I know. It’s shocking.

I’ve been working on a pair of socks and trying not to track my yarn shipment via Fed X every five minutes.

It’s a challenge.

I’ve had a request to drum up a kid’s poncho, so I hope to tackle that next. I also have ambitions to develop some video tutorials for two of my hat patterns to help folks out that are finding the lateral braid tricky. Beyond that, my mind is just one big creative jumble.

And…I have some big plans hatching for a This Knitted Life Facebook group, so do stay tuned for that soon. If only a knitting business was just about, well, knitting.

What do you plan to knit this fall?

P.S. Have you discovered my Facebook page, in case you need minor injections of snark between blog posts. Just saying.

Dispatch: Summer

Given it’s mid-August yet I have spent many a day wearing socks and a sweatshirt, it’s a bit difficult for me to identify with ‘summer’ at the moment. Here on the edge of the Pacific, it’s the season that isn’t (although we have had some PHENOMENALLY GORGEOUS days). I honestly haven’t seen the sun in a week. My neighbors call this Fog-Ust.

It hurts.

But, in true Me fashion, all is not lost. The sun is always shining. Somewhere. I’ve taken my weekly gallivant into the sun, to simmer in the heat, and knit by the river or similar body of water. Reed and I have gone camping twice now, with a third trip planned later this week. I don’t know if he’ll always remember these adventures from his young years, but I do hope our excursions to the wild side shape his sense of adventure for his life to come.

I try to make the most of my free time with Reed. We’ve been blueberry picking, discovered a new love for sushi (as long as we leave off the avocado), practiced our reading and writing, and spent endless hours simply snuggling. Our living room is cluttered with no less than thirty library books at the moment, as Reed is the proud owner of his first library card. I let him pick out his own books, so our selection is pretty random. This week, it’s all non-fiction jungle animals. (I never knew lemurs ONLY live on Madagascar!)

As for my new (old) home, I’ve made slow and steady progress. But mostly slow, to be honest. I still have a few boxes to unpack and many pictures to hang. Settling in isn’t easy, and the house has yet to feel like home. Dirt seems to accumulate faster than I can keep up. My filing needs, well, to be filed. The windows are still filthy.

Ah, life.

I have made a wee bit of progress on the garden. I even just planted another batch of peas and lettuce this past weekend. The pumpkins, planted late in mid-July, finally seem to be gaining ground and may even produce a pumpkin or two before the end of October. Even if they are still green, I will be happy. I have found gardening on the coast to be so much easier without the unforgiving heat requiring hours of daily watering. I now remember why I was such an avid gardener when I lived her last: it’s just so much easier. Aside from the daily war with slugs and snails.

My seasonal inspiration to Reflect is often synchronized with wrapping up large projects, and this is no exception. After more than a month of hard knitting, I have two shawls off the needles and my sweater is not far behind. For some reason, my projects seem to start and stop in waves. All at once.

I think I need a better work flow.

I always seem to get a little jumbled up when projects end. I have ideas for new projects. But no yarn.

Time to go shopping ASAP!

I’ve been making these little to-do lists every month. Kind of like a bucket list but more Down to Business. As I look back on my lists from the last few months, they all look pretty similar. So many tasks have been rolled over and over, still incomplete (um, window washing!). There’s just not enough time! I try not to drown in the overwhelming feeling that I am Getting Nowhere, that life is Passing Me By, or that these summer days are not unfolding as I had hoped.

Instead, I’ve come to realize I’ll get there. Eventually. Perhaps not all at once. Or on the path that I had envisioned. Everything doesn’t need to happen all at once. Or maybe even at all.

The important thing is to remember it is summer and, hot or cold, savor the light. The long days. The blooming flowers. My child.

It’s all there.

All About How I Wash My Knits

Because we are all secretly dying to know how everyone else does their laundry.

I’ll be honest. I’m pretty low-tech when it comes to blocking and hand washing my knits. As far as blocking goes, until recently, I’ve just soaked my finished knits in plain ol’ water.

Boring.

Last winter, when I knit up my poncho, the pattern recommended adding essential oil to the soak. I thought this was brilliant and have being doing this regularly since. (In general, I have become an essential oil devotee of late, having recently purchased this handy diffuser. I have lavender or eucalyptus going At. All. Times. and am looking forward to splurging on new scents soon!)

I try to avoid washing my hand knits by simply keeping them clean and un-stinky, to the greatest extent possible. I wear my tops to work, come home, and take them off right away (before Reed gets me all sticky). Sadly this doesn’t always work, and I did have to wash my new Riverton tee last month. I have a tiny bit of Woolite left from a bottle I purchased over a decade ago (shows how often I hand wash my clothing…) and used that. The color bled like crazy!

Moving forward into modern times…

Graced by a lovely care package of Eucalan delicate wash, I decided to up my blocking game with my latest shawl design. I received a large bottle of Wrapture (the jasmine scent) and a handful of samples of their other delicious scents.

(Between the jasmine soak and my lavender essential oils, my house smells SO GOOD right now.)

Anyway, welcome to my kitchen…

I almost always soak my knits in the kitchen sink. It’s a good excuse to catch up on dishes and tidy up a bit. I fill up the basin with cold water, add my new wool wash (eep!), and soak away.

Now that I have proper wool wash, I feel like such an adult. I hope that isn’t too pathetic given the fact that I am nearing 40! What can I say. Some of our late bloomers.

I am so excited my sparkly white shawl is finally off the needles! It’s done with its jasmine soak and happily drying in the knitting room.

Wrapture, indeed.

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

P.P.S. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. I will receive a VERY SMALL percentage of your purchase. Thank you for your support!

Must See: Hot New Designs for Knit Tees and Tanks

August!

This is always the time of year when I flip the page on the calendar and my heart skips a few beats.

I panic.

The “last” month of summer.

Then I remember the weather is nice for at least another two months and summer is not at all over. Pull it together, Andrea!

I just don’t want it to end. Already, when I get up at six, it’s barely light. Soon it will be dark entirely. Darkness is coming.

But not yet!

So…there’s still time to knit yourself a summer tee! Great news, right?

I love my hand-knit tees, and I find them perfect to wear on coastal summer days. Our afternoons are warm but not too hot, and a hand knit tee is a perfect wardrobe essential.

I want all the tees!

Building on last year’s list of stand out tees, I have curated another short list of my favorite new tee patterns. These are designs were all released very recently and are worth a look.  This year’s list turned out to be quite international (plus NYC), by happenstance! I love the way knitting unites the entire planet. We are One People, held together by yarn.

My New Favorite Knit Tee Designs

Violeta Tank by Beatriz P. Martin. Beatriz is based in Spain and has her own yarn shop. Tanks are fun because they always seem to knit up so quickly!

Holiday by Eri, who is based in Japan. This designs comes with options for short or long sleeves. It’s knit top down. I love how simple and elegant it is.

Anker’s Summer Shirt. This design is from Petite Knit and also worked top down. Mette hails from Denmark where she studies medicine, on top of being a mother. (How do people do it?!!?!  Amazing!). As a petite person, I love the Petite Knit concept.

Top + Bottom Top by Purl Soho. Rarely have I met a Purl Soho design I haven’t liked. They are all so simple and versatile, and their new tank fits the bill as well.

Well knitters, cease these summer days, make yourself a cocktail, find a sunny (but not too hot) spot, and knit away.

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

P.P.S. Credits for all photos used in this post are attributed to the respective designers and are re-used here for positive promotional purposes.

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