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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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Fall Bucket List of Must Knits

One knitters dream list of fall knitting projects. I know. I KNOW? Fall? Yes, Fall.

It’s not official yet. There’s still nearly a month for that. Even though it’s still hotter than Hades, Fall IS in the air. There’s color creeping into the leaves and I can already feel that certain crispness to the morning air. Fall is right around the corner, like it or not. This means it is invariably time to plan those Fall projects. Here’s what’s on my list:

This Poncho

I have been obsessed with this poncho since I first saw Andrea’s post. I have been searching for the perfect poncho all year (it’s on my bucket list) and this is it! I’m going to take a break from designing projects (soon?) and cast on. I haven’t decided if I am going to splurge on Brooklyn Tweed as called for in the pattern, or substitute with another yarn.

Reflections Shawl

I love the new kit for the Reflections Shawl over at Craftsy*. The kit is currently on sale, and I also had a hankering to do more colorwork projects on my bucket list. This seems like a good fit.

Lesley

True to my pledge to knit ALL THE DESIGNS from Home & Away* (with which I am absolutely obsessed), I have decided to knit Lesley next. (My Rosemont was such a success, and I have been wearing it TONS.) By the way, the price on Home & Away has dropped to an ALL TIME low of $16.00. That’s a steal. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my copy. Grab one on sale, for sure! I still have to order yarn for Lesley…I hope to get to this during Fall. Otherwise, it will have to shift over to my Winter Bucket List. Oh dear.

New Designs

I plan to work up a little something with yarn above. It feels very fall-ish, doesn’t it? It’s Plymouth Yarn’s Revel and was gifted to me last Christmas by a bestie. The label claims fingering, but it feels like a LIGHT fingering. Uh oh. We all know how I feel about lace. I have a shawl design in mind.

I also just released the pattern for my new poncho and hat and might be knitting more of those as well.

Stoneland poncho knitting pattern from This Knitted Life.

 

(If you aren’t already a subscriber, be sure to sign up  to receive special discounts on these upcoming goodies. There are good things coming to subscribers soon! Scout’s honor.)

All the Usuals

Regardless of the season, I always have socks on my needles for those random moments of down time.

Joining the Yarn Along! I am STILL reading A Man Called Ove* and loving it just like you said I would.

*Affiliate links. Thanks for being you!!! Mwah!

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Wrap It Up – Olympic Style

Let me just say this: next time, remind me that it is not a good idea to knit lace (a wee baby hat, no less) and watch synchronized swimming at the same time. Stitch markers be damned. There is presently yarn absolutely everywhere and I think I will still be tinking for an hour, at the least.

In typical-for-me competition fashion, I didn’t exactly excel at my Olympic knitting, but I did knit (albeit in a slightly spastic fashion). I’ve been all over the place with my knitting these past couple of weeks. Lots of little projects that didn’t exactly add up to much. Don’t get me wrong. I’m pleased with my effort. I’ve been making progress on a lot of fronts that have been languishing. In hindsight, I probably would have been better enjoyed my Olympic knitting experience had I dedicated the slot to a giant garter stitch shawl.

Hurrumph.

Knitting wee baby hats over at This Knitted Life. Too cute!

I did, however, finish a hat that had been in my head for quite some time. So there’s that. It’s worked up in Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted (Sugar Plum colorway) and is extraordinarily squishy and soft. I’m hate to gloat, but I’m quite pleased.

A warm winter hat in Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted (Sugar Plum).

The stitch has a lot of dimensionality, so I won’t be blocking this baby.

A warm winter hat in Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted (Sugar Plum colorway)

The Olympics wrap up tonight with the closing ceremonies. If you are joining in the Olympic Knitathon, please be sure to add your final stats to the Ravelry thread here. I’m giving everyone up Tuesday at midnight PST to hop on Ravelry and add projects.

Remember to tag projects with TLKlight* (lace, fingering, sport) and TLKheavy (DK, Worsted, Bulky) so I can sort everyone out by yarn weight. Projects do not have to be finished to count. Just estimate the amount of yarn you used during the Olympics. Winners will receive some awesome yarn, so please, don’t miss out.

If you happen to be new to tagging on Ravelry, there was a timely thread recently (July 28, 2016) that summarized how to tag projects. Just hit the main Ravelry page and scroll down a bit. You’ll see it.  I have a bit of it clipped below.

 

Capture

With that dear knitters, I’m off to finish my tinking. Or at least I can only hope.

*Yes I made a typo in my own acronyms… but since they’re in the original post, I’m just going to stick with it. Use TLK (instead of TKL).  xoxo

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Back On the Road (With Socks, Part II)

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I’m home. Barely. Just long enough to wash away all the grime from last weekend’s adventures (no one got sick or injured and it didn’t rain, so it’s a win in my book…) and pack everything back up for the next jaunt tomorrow, assuming I manage to get the peaches canned before dawn (ours trees decided to ripen rather inconveniently this year).

We’re heading to Lassen National Park for a few nights. Other than a blurry childhood memory, I’ve never been.

I’m looking forward to some fresh adventures. If I catch Reed early enough in the morning when he’s still fresh, I might get lucky and get a “hike” in too! Three is that tricky age when they’re too heavy to carry and too young to do the distance on their own.

I see fishing in our future.

I lucked out last weekend. That is, I didn’t run out of yarn, and my needles didn’t break. There was no knitting tragedy. This leaves me incredibly paranoid for the future. Things can only go smoothly for so long.

Then you hit a bump.

Thus, I am all the more prepared. The simple stockinette socks are packed, and I am determined to finish them. There’s just 3/4 of a sock to go. (I am, however, driving, so there’s eight hours -round trip- of knitting time down the drain. But I’m trying to focus on the bright side.)

I also have two back-up projects packed. Just in case.

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Applesauce v. Knitter

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It is the time of year when apples simply drop off trees, like raindrops in falling from the sky in spring. I swore to myself I would ignore this phenomenon. Pretend it wasn’t happening. No need for apple preservation here. None. Zilch. I’d rather be knitting.

There’s still plenty of applesauce canned up from last year. No pressing need for more. Supply is less than demand. And sure, I could probably be dehydrating them. We have the world’s largest food dehydrator tucked into the hall closet. I am pretending it is broken even though it works just fine.

Seeing those laden branches drooping with perfect fruit…not even wormy this year…well, it just struck an inner cord. How could one let those perfect apples simply drop to the earth and rot, accompanied only by worms? A thought too tragic to entertain for long.

Before I knew it, the orchard ladder was up, much to Reed’s delight. He is overjoyed by any opportunity to encounter danger, cause me stress, and, well, climb. One after one, the wagon was loaded with bounty from the abandoned tree next door. Me picking, handing the apples down to Reed. Reed hurling them into the wagon despite my admonitions about bruising fruit. Then it was Reed picking. Me holding Reed, clinging to him as if I might possibly succeed in keeping small forever.

I ignored the full wagon for a few days on the back deck. Yes, they were picked, but preserve them I would not. I hope and prayed they would be abducted by space aliens. The whole lot of them. Apple-eating space aliens. The universe is so vast. Surely there is such a creature. Alas. No luck. I watched them out the window with disdain as I knit on. Undeterred.

Reed caught me off guard yesterday. Let’s pick more apples, mama. Really he just wanted to climb the ladder. Such a daredevil. Always seeking a thrill. Do little girls do this also?

I told him the truth: we can’t pick more apples until we deal with the ones we already have.

The peeling device was retrieved from deep within the cupboard, untouched since last fall. Cinnamon was put on notice. The bowls were set out–one for finished fruit and the other for peels and cores. Instructions were provided as to which was which. The large pot placed just so upon the back burner.

With great importance, Reed plopped the apples onto the kitchen table and turned the handle on the peeler ever so slowly, his little muscles not quite up to the test. Eventually he grew weary and wandered off to build with blocks, leaving ol’ mom to finish the job.

The applesauce is done now. It accompanies the remaining jars from last year’s effort. They are together, like lovers reunited from previous lives.

I like to think of myself as a knitter. But really I am just me. Picker of apples. Mother of a small child. Cleaner of messes. I find myself particularly sleep deprived today (another tale altogether). As I ponder which knitting project to pursue during this precious window of napping, I ignore the one I know I should finish and pick the easy one. The simple sock, heal already turned, gussets reduced…awaiting a few inches worked in the round without reducing or increasing. No counting. Just knitting.

Something I can do lying down on the sofa while watching House of Cards.

Knitters have suffered worse fates yet.

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Nirvana Yarn

Every now and then, I get the itch to visit my Little Yarn Store. Even though I don’t need anything at all. I will find myself down in Civilization (because I otherwise live in The Middle of Nowhere) with a few toddler-free moments, and I will sneak in.

I sometimes get this same itch with Target.

Our little secret.

Perhaps you also suffer from these little itches from time to time? Mmmm hmmm.

I won’t tell your husband if you won’t tell min.

The last time I found myself with a LYS itch to scratch, I came upon this little baby.

It was the color that grabbed me–a rich jewel tone even though I happened to be in the market for soft, light neutrals.

Of course.

For under $8, I figured Why Not and pocketed a single skein (372 yards) of Filatura Di Crosa Golden Line Nirvana yarn, a lace weight merino wool in Color 54. After all, it is called Nirvana, which sounds very promising.

I have no plan. No advanced scheme. I am thinking lace weight shawlette but I do yet have a pattern in mind. I haven’t even browsed Ravelry (soon!). I need some ideas, if you care to share.

Have you knit with Nirvana before? Aptly named? What did you make?

 

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The Secret to Counting Large Numbers of Stitches

<Congrats to Kristen for winning the giveaway. Kristen, I have sent you a message via Ravelry for your address…>

After infinite failed attempts trying to count large numbers of stitches…invariably foiled by a husband that urgently needs to know where his car keys are Right This Second (on stitch 353 of 355, no less), a toddler that has to go potty Right This Second, a phone ringing while said toddler is sleeping (I swore I turned that ringer off!), or simply my own wandering brain (grocery lists, bills to pay, places to someday visit when Husaband finally agrees to get on an air plane), or, of course, slipped fingers…

I have figured out The Secret.

It is quite simple, really. I don’t know why it took me so very many years to work out A System. There are only two steps. 

1. Don’t drink and count. Water is okay. Vodka is not. Especially if you are a light weight like me and feel the stresses of life lift off your shoulders three sips into a mild mojito. 

First count. Then make a cocktail. Seriously. This alone works wonders. 

2. Place a stitch marker every 50 stitches. Not the cute stitch markers that we all want to but off Etsy in droves…little lambs on loops, etc. 

None of that. 

Use the ugly cheap stitch markers that clasp. Or if you have cute stitch markers that clasp, fine. Just make sure they clasp. 

  
Count every 50 stitches (although you could adjust to count every 20, 30, what have you…depending on your total stitch count and mental acumen for the day…let’s be honest…some days are worse than others). Then clasp a marker around your needle. Count another 50 and repeat. (I don’t do this while knitting the row, although you could if you wanted to get tricky.)

This way, when your significant other suddenly needs to find the remote control because the game is about to start…and it is apparently too much to ask that this significant other (a) find the remote him/herself or (b) wait five minutes for you to finish, all hope is not last. Instead of starting from the beginning, at most you have to recount from the last marker or 50 stitches (better than 359 stitches). 

Or, if, heaven forbid, you reach the end and do not the have the correct number of stitches (I HATE IT WHEN THIS HAPPENS!), you can recount each segment and narrow in on the error. 

When you are satisfied the remote has been located and you have the correct number of stitches, you can unclasp the stitch markers from your needle and carry on.

You’re welcome.

Also, I always count in twos. But you probably already knew that.

  

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On Knitting

I knit because I love it. Knitting makes me happy. It is the simple truth.

Over the years, I have become a more obsessive knitter. My passion for the art has blossomed with time. In a way, this makes sense. Over the past 18 years as a knitter (my, so many years!), I have gotten bolder and more experienced, becoming more accomplished with my craft and nurturing a desire to pursue it with purpose, even professionally.

I admit I harbor some regret that I did not realize my love for knitting earlier, when I was younger and without husband or child…when I had the luxury of all the time in the world and I could have knitted sweaters a thousand times over…even yarn bombed an entire neighborhood block. I could have opened the Little Yarn Shop in our small town before someone else beat me to the idea—before I even realized it was a good idea, and I missed the boat.

But alas. Here we are. Today.

Welcome to This Knitted Life.

This very busy, overwhelmed, often joyous, full, knitted life.

Finally I have squeezed out the time to draft the first post for a new blog I have aspired to start for six months now, maybe longer. Because in addition to knitting, I love to write. So many aspirations for one little life.

It may take me a while to get this site up and running, so please stick with me. I apologize in advance for the fits of stop-and-go that may be an unfortunate reality.

I knit for so many reasons. I love the feel of the fibers. And all the colors! The squish. The softness. Knitting a garment is just an excuse to get to squeeze cool yarn. I love the art of knitting—to create. The process: to start with a simple thread of yarn and end with Something that did not previously exist.

Something marvelous.

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