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Whoa Nelly-My Annual Holiday Sale!!!

Today, just think of me as a little holiday elf. With curly hair. Spreading cheer and goodwill.

I have my entire catalog of patterns on sale through Christmas. Every single one of my designs are 30% off RIGHT NOW with the Ravelry code elf2017.

Considering what a crazy year this was, I really have to pat myself on the back for releasing and updating ten patterns. And I love them all.

So please, treat yourself to a little holiday cheer. Find your quiet nook–or a slice of happy chaos–and knit.

Tis the season.

Knit on, ever, and always,



The Best Hat Ever

Twist Shawl

Take Me to the Party


  Twist Cowl

Blast Off to the Sun

Garden Party Cowl

Pansyland Cowl

Celia’s Poncho

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Life Dispatch, Vol 2.


How are we here already?

December is such a big month for us. Reed turns five in a week! The holidays! It’s all here.

I’m almost done with Reed’s little sweater. I just need part of a sleeve and a hood. And buttons. The buttons will probably result in a one year delay. I just can’t picture what kind of buttons will work. You’ll have to help me figure that out. (I’m counting on you, Knitter-net!)

My lace top has been languishing as a result, which at least means there has been less swearing in the household of yet. Good news there.

I need to test knit my latest shawl design to make sure I didn’t totally flub it. I wrote it up (Holy guacamole! Always harder than I hope!) I need to give it a run through to make sure it works. If I can’t knit my own pattern…well, that’s a problem. (It did come out so beautifully though! Eep!)

Mostly I have been distracting myself with my new-found hobby: dying yarn. Yep. I’ve dyed some UGLY yarn, but I have actually had a few batches turn out quite nice. I am SLOWLY starting to get a hold of the learning curve. I figured since I don’t use my kitchen for much cooking these days, I might as take advantage of my stove top and further expand my crafty obsession. I try to brew up a batch of yarn most evenings and let it cool overnight. Operation Make My Own Stash.

Some people brew beer.  I brew yarn.

That should be a bumper sticker. Or something.

I am making my way through Knitlandia by Clara Parkes. I don’t know why I didn’t read it sooner. Have you read it? The first short story in the collection was basically reflecting on the old-school knitting days and the original uber-cool natural yarn dyers… And how they were all (in part) put out of business by the indie designers and indie dyers. At one point, there’s a reference to the indie dyers with their acid dyed yarn that was “affectionately referred to as a ‘clown barf’.”  It gave me pause, and I felt bad for a minute. I thought: hey, she’s talking about me. And not in a good way. 

But then I changed my mind. I am not going to feel bad about what I love. I like the beautifully colored yarn that fills my Instagram feed. It is so SUPER COOL and the ladies who have crafted it are AMAZINGLY talented.

So screw you, clown barf. Screw you.

There’s a storm brewing outside. I took puppy Finn to the beach early this morning so we both could get some fresh air before the anticipated deluge. The waves were angry and frothy. Attacking the beach. A winter swell. The water was a steel grey, almost the same color as the sky. The days are so short now. I have to really tackle each one to take advantage of the day light. It doesn’t last long.

But, more time for candles. More time for cozy knitting. More time to dye fabulously bright yarn.

Sometimes we have to make our own sunshine.

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Reed’s New Scarf

This kid. I love him. He makes my heart explode. He asked for a scarf that he’ll probably never wear (because, honestly, the first one didn’t exactly get a ton of use), but I don’t care. I knit it anyway.

I spent a ridiculous number of nights on the sofa, watching YouTube videos to teach myself brioche (it was on my bucket list ), working an inch or two of the scarf, and then unraveling it. Over and over again. At first I made too many mistakes. Then it was too wide. Later the edges had me all curfluffled and were too messy.

I wanted it to be perfect for Reed. Even though I knew he wouldn’t care or notice. Love is not perfect. It’s just love. I won’t go so far as to assert that I knit all my love for Reed into this scarf. No scarf–or any material thing–could ever contain all the love I feel for my son. It’s just not possible. But I did try hard. Because that’s what moms do.

I will admit the scarf was met with a luke warm reception. At best. I think because it wasn’t orange. Or uber-bright. My spirits weren’t dampened. I don’t expect him to understand just how much of myself I pour into his very existence. That’s my job as his mom–to love too much. (It’s also a good reason to broaden the color spectrum of my diminished stash. Add in some more orange. Ya know, for next year.)

I’m halfway done with Reed’s next sweater. It “just” needs sleeves and a hood. I have thirteen days until his fifth birthday, and I think I might actually make it if I turn up the heat real high.

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Gifts for Knitters, Vol. 1


It’s that time of year! You know, the time of year when all you do is swipe your credit card.

Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.

Over and over.

I’ve done you all a favor and curated a lovely list of gifts for the knitters in your life. Now you can do all your shopping from the comfort of your sofa. You don’t even need to bother the cat on your lap.

I personally think it’s perfectly okay if the gift recipient is YOU and have definitely had years when I shop while thinking to myself: a gift for so-and-so and a gift for me. A gift for so-and-so and a gift for me.

It happens.

So, what’s on my list this year?

All things Craftsy. Craftsy* is having their annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale event starting on Thanksgiving (U.S.-style), so now’s the time to STOCK UP. All classes are $17.78 USD or less. (Remember, you can take and/or re-watch Craftsy classes whenever, over and over again. They are AMAZING and very high quality. You’ll learn tons AND TONS.)

Plus, knitting and crochet supplies and kits are up to 60% off. They have some great new classes in the line up, like Modern Brioche Lace, which I really hope to take soon.


I think my favorite Etsy shope just might be Jenna Rose Handmade. I have a huge obsessions with her project bags and baskets. I have been visiting this one on my computer often.

We talk.

Is it weird that I talk to a basket on my computer screen?


Anyway, Jenna hand prints all her own fabric. I have one of her project bags, and I get compliments on it whenever someone catches a glimpse. It’s my favorite, for sure.

Yarn bowls are so much fun. I really like the small yarn bowls from ceramiquecote on Esty. What can I say, I have a thing for birds.

Honestly though, I think the best thing you can possibly give the knitter in your life is NICE YARN. What knitter wouldn’t want a couple skeins of Merino DK from Long Dog Yarns? I love the new Grace colorway, although all of Brandy’s colorways are loads of fun.

Grace [merino dk]

Okay, knitting books. Tracy’s Purtscher’s Dimensional Tuck Knitting was hands down my favorite knitting book of the year. (If you missed it, I previously raved about it here.) It’s innovative, super pretty, and it has a sturdy hard cover, which makes it a legit book to gift. Plus it’s on sale for $15. BARGAIN.

Let’s talk needle sets. I love my ChiaoGoo interchangeable needle set, but I did form a crush on the Driftwood Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set this year. They are SO pretty. Having a needle set has been super duper handy. If you don’t have one yet (or if you have knitter friends who don’t yet have a set of needles), try to make it happen. Game changer.Lykke 3.5" Driftwood Interchangeable Gift Set in Grey Denim PouchThey also make a double pointed needle set. They are GORGEOUS.Lykke Double Pointed Needles Gift Sets (Large US 6-13 Set in Grey Denim Pouch)Stitch markers always make a great stocking stuffer. Mine disappear like chocolate and wine on a Friday night (apparently my sofa eats them???), so I am always replenishing. There are five zillion choices, but I like this simple set from lavenderhillknits on Etsy.

Okay knitters, shop ’til you drop! And eat those left overs, if you are doing American Thanksgiving this weekend.

*Disclosure. These are affiliate links, and I will receive a very SMALL sum of money if you decide to make a purchase using this link. That said, I include these links because I LOVE these products and have bought them myself and LOVED them (except the Driftwood needles, which I have only seen, groped, and coveted). 

P.S. All photos rights  revert to the respective makers/authors/online market places and are shared here for positive promotional purposes only.

P.P. S. Are you on Instagram? So am I! You can find and follow me here.

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Big Hat Updates

Sometimes it takes me a while to check things off my piles of to-do lists, but I do get to them eventually.

I will cut to the chase.

When I first published the designs for my two favorite hats, Samoa and the Best Hat Ever, two years ago, I referred to the braids as “horizontal chains” or some such nonsense because that’s what they looked like to me. I remember searching and SEARCHING YouTube for “how to knit a horizontal chain” and coming up with zilch. It struck me as odd, but I was sleep deprived at the time and soldiered on.Fast forward… An ENTIRE YEAR AGO, I stumbled upon something in the knitting blog-o-verse that made me realize my “horizontal chains” were referred to as Estonian braids or lateral braids by normal people (AKA everyone but me). As soon as I saw this, it made perfect sense and I had one of those Oprah A-Ha Moments.

Of course there are TONS of You Tube video tutorials for Estonian Braids and lateral braids.

Only me.

At the time, I made a note to update my two beloved hat patterns with the terminology and improved technique. This was a year ago, mind you. The task has been on my list ever since. Anyway, here I am an entire year later (and two years after first publishing these designs), and I am STILL sleep deprived. (Surprise. Surprise.)


I can now proudly say that I have indeed made video tutorials of my own (predictably quirky…what can I say, video production is NOT my greatest talent in life) and updated the Ravelry information for each pattern. I also made a video tutorial demonstrating the I-Cord Cast-on for my Samoa hat pattern.

If you have already purchased one of these super fabulous hat designs, you should have received a little note via Ravelry with a link to the updated pattern. (If not, let me know.)

The videos are linked right into the Ravelry summaries for each pattern (Samoa is here and Best Hat Ever is here.) I know designers more typically provide links to video tutorials AFTER people buy their patterns, but I would rather knitters have the opportunity see up-front what they are in for before deciding to invest their hard-earned cash. There’s nothing worse than buying something only to realize after it’s too late that the required techniques are beyond your comfort zone.

Knitting is supposed to be fun!

If you missed these hats when they were first released, now’s your chance! These are knit up in DK weight yarn, which goes reasonably quick. You still have JUST enough time to work a couple up for stocking stuffers!

P.S. In the event you adore my ridiculously dorky YouTube tutorials, you can subscribe to my You Tube channel here. I doubt I will be winning an Oscar anytime soon, but I am having fun nonetheless! 

P.P.S. Subscribers, check your email inboxes for a special two-for-one deal on these patterns! 

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Five More Free Sock Patterns to Distract You From What You Really Should be Doing

…To be added onto the last eight free sock patterns I dug up last time…

You may find this list of free sock knitting patterns interesting if:

  1. You have realized you will never get your holiday gift knitting done in time (perhaps by 2027?), so you might as well throw in the towel now.
  2. You are NUTS (like I once was) and have ambitiously set out to knit last minute socks for holiday gifts and think you can manage this without landing yourself in the loony bin.
  3. You just like to knit socks.
  4. You, as with many knitters, suffer from cast-on-it is and like to start lots of projects (like free sock patterns) that you may or may not ever finish. Apparently you also have an endless supply of size 2 needles.
  5. The thought of paying cold, hard cash for a knitting patterns irks you to no end, considering there are boatloads of free patterns circulating the knitter-net, thank you very much.

Broken Seed Stitch Sock by Hanna Leväniemi

This is a free, top down pattern that has been circulating Ravelry for a while (publication date unspecified). The pattern notes “toe up will do as well,” if that’s your fancy. I happen to think they’re quite nice, actually.

Rye sock pattern by tincanknits

This pattern is also top down and free. It was originally published in September 2013. I just love this photo. I wish I was an octopus so I could knit lots of cute, matching socks for all my friends so we could wander around looking just like this. I mean, seriously.

Mustard Seed Socks by Kieron Pegg

This is a BRAND NEW pattern just  published this month (November 2017) and will be perfect if you want an almost-vanilla sock but can’t quite stomach only working in stockinette.

 Wonderland Socks by by Alice Bell

Originally published September 2007, this fun pattern is  perfect example of how things on the knitter-net (Internet) never die. Sometimes, they just live on and get Better and BETTER.

Pucker by General Hogbuffer

In case you really want to challenge yourself and raise some eyebrows, this one’s for you. This pattern was originally published in September 2012. There are some really fun color combinations on the pattern’s project page

Which pattern are you going to pick first?

Note photography rights and credit for images revert back to the respective designers and are shared here for positive, promotional purposes only.

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Knitting with Cocktails, Vol. 4: the Pomegranate Lemon Drop

It was so blustery and warm this morning as the front edge of the storm front blew in off the Pacific, hitting our yard first, so near the coastline. I was whooshing out the door in my usual morning frantic rush-rush-rush, arms overloaded with my purse, lunches, Reed’s backpack and school art projects, among other accoutrements en masse, and I just stopped to watch.

It was one of those moments.

He was looking up at the trees and the sky, taking it all in: the world around him.

I told him it was a Winnie the Pooh kind of day. Blustery always makes me think of Winnie the Pooh for some reason.

Fall is fully upon us here in Northern California, as are the dark nights. I’ve been lighting lots of candles.

One of my favorite things about this season is the fruits—the pomegranates and persimmons especially. I will be honest, I do miss my persimmon trees at my old home something terrible. Is it funny to miss a tree so? I know their leaves must be fire engine red about now, and their branches are surely laden with the odd little fruits, nearing their perfection.

Reed is a pomegranate fiend. He can devour a pomegranate without concern as to the level of effort (and correlative mess) required to present him with a bowl of those funny, deep-red seeds.

As for me, well, I have my own special place for pomegranates this time of year. I like to muddle them into fresh pomegranate lemon drops, served up, and share them with a girl friend or two, catching up and chatting.

It’s just one of those little things I do each November. What can I say, I am a creature of habit.

(And as you know, my cocktails almost always include fresh fruit. I like to think of it as a fruit salad, with a wee bit of a kick.)

Looking back, I am in such a different place this fall than I was a year ago. On so many levels. I suspect (hope) I will feel the same way a year from today.

Change is in the air, blowing in on that warm wind, and sweaters are on my needles.

Good things are coming.Ingredients:

2 oz. respectable vodka

1 lemon

1 pomegranate (or use pomegranate juice if the fresh fruits allude you)

fizzy water, plain or lemon

Optional: simply syrup

To make:

Muddle seeds from half a fresh pomegranate and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker. Add vodka. If desired, add a splash of simple syrup. Shake and pour in a martini glass. Top with fizzy water.*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.

I can’t believe I fell off the cocktail-knitting bandwagon. I mean, I was doing so well. If you have missed other posts in this series, there was also May’s Champagne Cherry Fizz,  June’s Watermelon Margarita, and July’s berry-laden Moscow Mule.


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My Story, Part 2

Sometime last year, I published My Story and shared a little bit about how I landed here in This Knitted Life.

Welcome to My Story, Part 2, where I tell you a little bit about ME and who I am as a person (who happens to knit a lot).

Through our lives, we are shaped by many people and places–our homes and schools…our families, friends, and teachers who leave a mark on who we are in this world. I grew up in rural southern Oregon and still have dreams about the creek that was in my back yard as a child. In fact, I just had one the other night.

I remember spending childhood summers in that creek, catching crawdads and polliwogs, turning over rock after rock all afternoon long, on the hunt for whatever critter might be lurking underneath. Looking back, even at age ten, I was my own little geomorphic force.

Somehow I emerged from my childhood and set off to college, determined to study the environment and basically major in Saving the World. When we’re young, it’s easier for big ideas like that to seem more tangible. We’re not jaded yet and haven’t hit enough walls to pause and even contemplate the  feasibility of our dreams.

We just jump in and go for it.

My entire ethos as a human being was to participate in the world and try to make it better. I was seventeen. Decades later, I am still that person. Although admittedly slightly more bitter on occasion (and I have lots of grey hair).

I truly believe changing the world around us is possible, although I have come to feel that making a difference works better at a local level and in our own, immediate lives.

(Although, with the power of the internet, I do believe big changes at a large scale now have much more potential to shape the landscape of our common humanity. There is power in numbers. Think big.)

My abbreviated, unprioritized list of things I believe are important: Plant a garden. Be a good neighbor. Vote. Participate in your community. Think about your choices, what you buy, and what that means for the world. Teach your children to engage in civic society. Use your voice and make it count. Practice fairness.

All of that.

As Reed gets older, we have more and more discussions about the world we live in. He knows mom goes to work to restore rivers for fish, and he goes to school so he can grow up to help animals. Or be a fireman. Or a fireman who rescues animals. Or a lawyer so he can make lots of money. (Depends on the day.)

Like many of you, so much of my time is spent just scrambling to make it through each day. Wake up sleep deprived, breakfast, pack lunches, out the door. School/work. Home. Unload car. Dinner. Clean. Bath time. Bed time. Think about exercising but decide that’s a horrible idea. Knitflix. Repeat.

And so it goes.

There’s not a lot of room in that to make the world better, or even make ourselves better. For me, there’s value in just having a sense of scale of the universe. Even though we become hyper-focused in living our daily lives as they fly by and we try to catch on to the seconds and hold their memories–lest we forget the look of joy on our children’s faces or the sound of their young voices when they say something profound that makes us pause and think: wow– we retain our sense of right and wrong and know what inequity looks like in our own lives as well as the Great Big Planet.

Each night, I tell Reed tomorrow is a new day. There are worlds to explore. Anything is possible. I don’t say that to teach him hope, per se, but because I truly believe it.

Sometimes the world shapes us. Other times, we shape the world. Both are significant.

Yesterday I spent two hours upending my veggie garden and replacing part of it with a collection of peony bulbs. Because I think the peonies will make me happier than chard and green beans. (Even though this morning–AFTER planting the peonies–I recollected that it can take new peony plants up to three years for their first blooms. My peony gratification might thus be slightly delayed, should they survive the inevitable slug onslaught and puppy digging.)

Life is short. Do what you love. Treat others with kindness. Hold your children tight and them send them off into the world to chase their own dreams before anyone tells them it’s not possible.

That’s me, in a nutshell.

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So Cute Your Heart Just Might Crack: Celia’s Poncho

And it’s not even my own kid.

Usually when I think a kid is so cute my heart could burst, it’s because it’s Reed. I do have a few exceptions, however.

Like Celia.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted Life This young lady is going places. At the ripe old age of six.

Celia needed a new poncho. Auntie to the rescue.

This is relevant to you for several reasons:

  1. I designed a pattern that works up in a week of evening knit-flixing. If you have young people staring you down, in need of hand made gifts this holiday season, look no further. Plus the pattern uses Malabrigo Rios (affordable and gorgeous) and superwash (we are talking about children).
  2. The poncho is easy. Yes, there are a few short rows for that nice curvy bottom and a bit of i-cord edging on the neck. And a wee bit of three-needle bind off to seam the shoulders. Mostly, however, it’s just stockinette with a smidge of garter edging because folding and rolling knits increase my blood pressure significantly. There’s nothing fussy or incredibly innovate here. Sometimes simple is better, in my humble opinion.
  3. The pattern includes three size options to fit children age three to seven. Plus it’s a poncho, so needless to say, sizing is forgiving anyway. Thus, if you have more than one child in your life that requires a hand made gift sometime soon, this one, single pattern could very well be your one-stop shop.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

You’re welcome.

I love Malabrigo Rios. The colorways are fabulous and the yarn is soft. (Celia HATES wool–won’t go near the stuff. Little does she know auntie just knit her a 100% wool poncho. Hee hee hee. I am so sneaky. Or maybe she knows and was just too polite to say.) Rios is also relatively affordable, and it’s superwash. Kids = dirty, messy, sticky everything-all-the-time.

I used the Indecita colorway, which reminds me of a mermaid tale. I already know I am going to knit myself a top of my own out of this stuff.

Next year.

In the meantime, I am super happy to share this new pattern with you! It’s called Celia’s Poncho (hello creative me), and it’s available on Ravelry for $ 6 USD. Subscribers, check your inbox for a COUPON CODE to SAVE MONEY.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted LifeOkay knitters, quick, off you go to knit a lovely little poncho for that kid in YOUR life that makes YOUR heart crack.

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

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You Have Been Forewarned: 7 Important Knitting Lessons I Just Ignored 

Don’t tell me later that you didn’t have fair warning that I would be complaining about this lace pullover for the next decade. Because that’s exactly how long it will probably take me to knit the darn thing–A DECADE.

In fact, let’s just take bets now. Leave a comment with the month and year you predict I will finish this new project. If you’re right, I will send you something cool.

There are so many lessons here that I don’t know where to start.

Lesson 1: Ignoring all the times you have previously suffered the same lapse in judgement.

Lesson 2: Failing to realize you could switch to fingering and perhaps knit a size smaller until AFTER you hastily placed your yarn order.

Lesson 3: Not stopping to think NO FREAKING WAY when your friend suggested you pick a pattern that required nearly 1600 yards of lace weight yarn for your third knitalong. Even if the pullover was cute and had a neckline you’ve always been fond of.

Lesson 4: Again being swayed by the cost-benefit ratio of working with lace. Surely there’s a statistic that correlates broke knitters with a higher likelihood of working with lace. You definitely can entertain (aggravate?) yourself much longer for less money with a lace weight project.

Lesson 5: Not stopping before you’re in too deep. As in, it took you two hours to knit a TINY swatch and you still kept going. Then it took you another two hours to cast on and STILL you crept closer to the edge of the cliff.

Lesson 6: Pretty yarn isn’t enough to justify mitigating circumstances, even if it’s the same color as the wine you will require in abundance to survive this project. With a bit of silk. They do make thicker yarn in the same color, also with silk. Think bigger, knitters. Think bigger.

Lesson 7: Working with 1600 yards of lace negates the beneficial, relaxing qualities otherwise provided by knitting in the first place. Stress reduction? What’s that?

I will stop there. While I am ahead. Because there are so many other aspects of my life in which I am presently behind. Perhaps it will all even out.

Oh, and the name of the pullover I just may finish before Reed graduates from high school (he’s almost five) is Pivot. And get this: it’s seamed.

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

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Dimensional Tuck Knitting

Okay knitters, this one’s a game changer.

I promise.

And I don’t make promises lightly.

If there was an Oscar-equivalent award for knitting and fiber arts, Tracy Purtscher should win it this year. Hands down. Her new book, Dimensional Tuck Knitting, is nothing short of brilliant. (And, no, I am not getting paid to write this.)Dimensional Tuct Knitting reviewed by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

This book introduces a knitting technique that creates texture similar to cabling (and then some) but is SO MUCH EASIER and QUICKER to work than cabled stitches.


You don’t need a second fiddly needle. Nor do you have to figure out the secret to cabling without a cable needle, which I have previously struggled through.

I would say it’s magic, but it’s easier than magic. And much quicker, too.

I’ve tried fiddling with tucking stitches myself but never got it right. Tracy nailed it on the head. (Hint: grabbing both legs of the stitch makes a BIG difference.)

I’m not quite sure why her book hasn’t been plastered all over the knitting blogosphere. Her approach is revolutionary, simple, and achievable.

To explain it simply, Tracy’s book will show you how to lift stitches from an earlier row and connect them to the current row to make all kinds of neat textures. The step by step photo instructions make perfect sense, and the book includes lots of great swatches to show the potential of the technique (with charted AND written instructions), ranging from subtle to wild. The book also includes a handful of beautiful patterns.

WELL WORTH the $15 on Amazon, or a local, independent book store near you. Not to mention, the book is BEAUTIFUL and HARD COVER. Deal of the Century.

Trust me.

I’ve been enjoying swatching up some tuct stitches and applying the technique to an upcoming shawl design. I love the dimensionality of the resulting stitch pattern. Best of all, it’s entirely stockinette.

Dimensional Tuct Knitting reviewed by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

My only problem has been running out of yarn (because nothing is ever easy).

Fear not–I have a solution in the works.

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Flowers First

Knitting is my First Priority hobby. If you’ve visited this space before, you probably already know that.

Gardening is my Second Priority hobby. I am just as likely to spontaneously stop by a nursery to fill an inevitable “hole” in my garden bed and spend unbudgeted funds on, say, foxgloves as I am to visit a yarn shop and snag a must-have skein (or three) to fill an unfathomable void in the my stash.*

Reed and I came home from school/work this evening and were immediately eddied out in the front yard. He made a “pizza” from side walk chalk, weeds, and dirt while I clipped back some lavender and attacked a few unlucky dandelions with a vengeance I would wish upon no human being.

What can I say, we’re yard people.

Earlier this year, I reclaimed my old vegetable garden in the backyard. I got a late start, but coastal zone 9 gardening is forgiving that way. You can always plant kale. I took a low-effort approach and threw in some artichokes and pumpkins, hoping to provide Reed with his own supply of jack-o-lanterns for the fall season. I also jabbed some peas, beans, and greens in the ground, watering them a first and then leaving them to survive on their own.

My strategy did not work.

The pumpkins are not yet ripe (Halloween is two weeks away), and the other vegetables have been devoured by an unidentified insect infestation (secondary hazard of zone 9 gardening = slugs). My own preference for caring for my ample flowers left my self-sufficient vegetables to unsuccessfully fend for themselves.

I give up.

Instead, I’ve decided to follow my passion.

Screw kale.

You can buy that at the grocery store, organic no less, for under $3.

I’m going with peonies. And dahlias. Not to mention, the surely fabulous zinnia seeds I scored from Annie Claire at her REMARKABLE natural dying class earlier this month.

I am remaking my vegetable garden into rows of my favorite flowers. En masse. Slugs be damned. I am coming for you, slugs and snails. Be forewarned.

Maybe I will even use my future flower abundance to dye yarn.

Speaking of dying yarn…

Annie Claire’s natural dying class was such a treat, and it was truly wonderful to meet a local, professional fiber artist with an ethos so similar to my own. She’ll be teaching a number of classes at Vogue Knitting Live in New York come January. If you are planning to attend, I can’t recommend her courses highly enough. She’s the Real Deal. Wait not a moment longer. Sign thyself up!

Admittedly, making colors has never been my thing. I am much more the type to pick a pretty color that someone else dreamed up rather than concoct my own version of the color wheel. Dying yarn has always had me on edge that way.

Good thing I have knitting (and gardening) to calm my nerves.

*I have no (okay, very little) stash, so the risk of occurrence is high.