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Spring Bucket List of Must Knits

Despite the deluge outside today, somewhere deep in my soul I KNOW it is Spring! This means I will be retiring the red wine for berry-based cocktails and sangria spritzers and (someday soon) sprucing up the dried out flower planters lurking on the front deck with some fresh starts. Outside, everything is blooming and actually has been for quite some time despite the ceaseless wet weather. Inside, everything’s a mess. Chaos remains, and the fire continues to crackle in the wood stove because IT’S STILL COLD!

Still, I know those bright days of knitting outside will be here soon, and I am planning for it! As is my custom, I’ve drummed up my latest seasonal knitting bucket list to share. I’ve got two words: shawls and tees!

Now, excuse me while I go choreograph a Please Stop Raining Dance in my kitchen. I’ve never before done such a ritual, so I will have to make it up. I think it will involve chocolate, fresh strawberries, and maybe cream.

Shawls!

I see lots of shawls in my immediate future! What can I say, I have an itch I have!

I couldn’t help but notice Crafty’s new Key of Life shawl kit. I think I want to work one up in Antique Fuchsia and Cloudy Skies. Or maybe Salt Water Taffy. Can’t decide!

Key of Life Shawl Knitting Kit

Still on the shawl kick, I am also loving the brand new Madelinetosh Penrose Tile shawl kit, which is over at Crafty as well. We all know Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light is one of my FAVORITE YARNS! I think I will pick Oceana and Paper for my colors. Eep!

There’s just something about these two-color shawl kits that seems like they would be fun and engaging to work up….always something different going on in the pattern to fend off knitting boredom.

I also have plans to rework my popular Twist Shawl later this month in order to make sure the pattern is perfect and reviewed by my tech editor. Anyone who has already bought the original pattern will of course receive any pattern updates.

And, don’t forget this is the Year of the Indie Dyer! I am chomping at the bit to work up a new shawl pattern with one of my favorite collaborators, Daien @ Beloved Yarn. Expect something yellow soon!

<div class="special">Marrakech</div> Beautiful DK

Photo by Daien @ Beloved Yarn

 

Tees!

I have really enjoyed knitting up Riverton, and it’s reminded me how quick and easy (and affordable!) knitted tees can be.

Photo by Sheila Toy Stromberg

I of course have this list of awesome tees already running in my queue, but then I remembered I have had Whispers in my Ravelry favorites for YEARS and I still really love it. (Yes, I realize it is remarkable similar to Riverton with those front pleats. What can I say, I like what I like!)

I need more hands!

Photo by Veera Välimäki

I truly hope bright and warm spring weather finds you soon! As always, I love to hear what’s on your own bucket list too, so please drop me some hints in the comments.

And…before I forget…if you are in the mood to be distracted with a last-minute Easter knit, I have a whole inspiration board over on Pinterest here. Check it out!

This post contains Craftsy affiliate links! Thank you SO MUCH for your support! 

My 2017 Bucket List of Must Knits

A knitter's seriously awesome bucket list of must knits for 2017. Carefully curated for your entertainment pleasure by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

I’ve been such a hot knitting mess lately! In the last few days, I’ve made so many mistakes!

  • I’ve spend an absurd amount of time picking out a frogged mitt, stitch by stitch, wondering why it was taking SO long before I realized I was trying to unravel the WRONG end of my mitt.
  • I also knit up an entire heal flap with an extra four (maybe six?) stitches stolen from the non-heal flap stitches before realizing the error in my ways. I thought about ripping back but decided hek no! It’s a sock for goodness sake. And, no, the socks aren’t identical as a result. The incongruity adds character. Or evidence of incompetence. Hard to say.
  • Oh, and I knit a cowl that wasn’t supposed to roll, fold, or in anyway misbehave in all those aforementioned ways that drive me nuts…but, despite my carefully selected knit/purl strategy, the darn things still rolled AND folded. It’s blocking now, so perhaps I will be saved by the water. Or perhaps not.

I figure if I haven’t jabbed my eye out with a knitting needle, all is well.

I’m determined nonetheless and newly armed with a worthy  bucket list of must knits for the upcoming year, mistakes or no. You can’t have fun if you don’t play the game.

Here’s what’s on my bucket list for 2017. What’s on yours?

Indulge Myself and Knit a Tee (or Possibly Three?!?!)

I have two knitted tees that fit well, and I wear them a ton. I’m keen to work a third one into my wardrobe. I have my list of potential options narrowed down to these five, although I already swatched Riverton with my stashed yarn of choice (Swans Island fingering). In classic form, the gage didn’t match, so really I am down to four potential candidates…or I have to buy more yarn.

Drool Over Texture by Hannah Fettig

I still haven’t finished knitting every.single.pattern from Home & Away (but I will), but that isn’t going to stop me from buying Hannah Fettig’s new book, Texture (available for pre-order now), if only to look at all the pretty pictures. I don’t buy too many knitting books (does anyone?), but I will buy this one. I am still determined to knit Lesley this year!

Use My Scraps

If for no other purpose than to declutter my hall closet, my scraps will be put to good use this year. I keep my stash to a minimum, yet it has been taking up an extraordinary amount of space. I have come to realize it is all scraps. I’ve parted with the undesirables and spent a bit of time bagging them up by weight or like yarns. My collection of Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted (including frogging a design-fail TRIO of mitts…I of course knit two lefts before knitting the right…whoops) doesn’t exactly scream coordinating shades for a colorwork project, but I’ve decided to knit them all together into a cowl anyway. Pashmina Worsted is simply too luxurious to let linger in the hall closet any longer.

My 2017 Bucket List of Must Knits by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

Knit Something White and Sparkly

Given I’ve sworn off grey for the new year, I’m left to seek new neutrals. I’m very drawn to white and cream of late, which is of course a horrible idea because (A) I have a four year old and my entire life seems to be coated in a layer of butter and jelly (B) my project will likely be stained and dirty before it even comes off the needles and (C) if I do manage to knit this to-be cowl without smudging the thing in grime, it will surely be smattered during its first wear.

And I thought I was an optimist.

Note this project is further doomed (yet still irresistible) because my skein of Isager smacks dangerously of LACE WEIGHT even though it is technically fingering. Further note I have sworn off lace weight. I asked the yarn store owner if my lace weight would become fingering when I worked it up with the second sequin skein, only to hear the reply: [punctuated pause] well, light fingering. With significant emphasis on “light.” But seriously…there’s sequins, people!!! Who can resist a little sparkle? Given I am that nearing 40, adult woman who wishes I could wear a glitter tee from the little girls section of Target EVERY DAY, surely you can understand how the sequins just HAVE TO BE.

I will further note here that it is dreadfully ironic that I selected the WHITE shade of Isager given the gorgeous color pallette. (Reminds me of the shades from Quince. Quite classy). Yet I passed them all up for…white.

My 2017 Bucket List of Must Knits by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

Knit Reed Another Sweater

This one might be a bit premature, given the first sweater is happily tolerated but not requested. I really enjoyed knitting Reed’s first sweater. It warmed my heart. And it came out so CUTE! I don’t have another pattern specifically in mind, but I know one will grab me soon enough.

Learn Brioche

Last year, my goal was to learn colorwork. I wouldn’t say I “learned” the discipline, but I tried it and worked up my first colorwork projects. This year, I have brioche on my list. I will probably be signing up for this Craftsy class when I am ready to expand my brain. I don’t have a particular pattern in my queue, but I am sure you’ll give me lots of hot tips for beginning brioche projects in the comments.

More Socks

I really enjoy knitting socks during those in-between times where I need something easy for the ten minutes I steal here and there. This year, I am making a point to grab my sock yarn from indie dyers via Etsy and similar sites (minus the two pairs of Knit Picks socks I am currently working up…eh hem…). I plan to espouse more on this whole Year of the Indie Dyer bit soon enough, so stay posted for that forthcoming oratory. In all honestly, I’ve been knitting up one vanilla pair after the other, but I do hope I can make it through some of these free patterns this year as well.

Designs of My Own

I’m still hard at it, oftentimes ending up with more misses than hits. I plan to continue designing this year, working with some of my favorite (and new!) mainstream yarn brands as well as developing partnerships with indie dyers (look for more on that soon!). I also plan to start systematically going through my earliest patterns and revamping them to be up to snuff with my current standards for pattern releases. Slow and steady…that’s me!

In case you missed it, the 201 6 Bucket List of Must Knits is here.

 

Winter Bucket List of Must Knits

This Knitted Life's Winter Bucket List of Must Knits (2016). Get ready to get your knit on!

Um, so, (American) Thanksgiving is this tomorrow.

Let me say that again.

Thanksgiving is TOMORROW.

I know! (I now digress into a total and utter panic over the three pies I am responsible for contributing. Three! Butter? Where’s the butter?!?!!?!?! And, why would we even bother with turkey when we can just eat pie? Seriously, people. Let’s get our priorities straight.)

For me, Thanksgiving marks the unofficial transition from Fall to Winter. It’s all too much to take. (Wine? Where’s the wine?!?!?!)

I am FINALLY getting ready to start the colorwork on Reed’s future sweater (we’ll see if I finish in time for the holidays this year or the holidays next year…) I am a little freaked out about the colorwork bits, but I figure it will all work out once I refresh myself with the colorwork class I took from Craftsy. And YouTube. There’s hope. (I think.) Once I have that baby off the needles, the world is my woolly oyster. I can’t wait.

[Speaking of Craftsy, they are having a HUGE Black Friday sale starting Thursday (NOT Friday) and continuing through Cyber Monday. This is a PERFECT time to stock up on classes and knitting kits, up to 60% off. The best part is the sale starts TONIGHT at midnight and continues through Cyber Monday. Whoot!]

In the meantime, I’ve got my Winter Bucket List all sorted.

Enjoy!

(Note photo credit for all photos are attributed to the respective designer. I share their photos here with the best of intentions for positive promotion and because they are fabulous patterns I am delighted to promote.)

Easy Pie Wedge Shawl

Craftsy’s new Easy Pie Wedge Shawl Kit by Lorna Miser knit in Lorna’s Laces Solemate looks like a ton of fun. I love the simplicity balanced with a bit of complexity. I see a lot of garter which screams Knitflix binge (my favorite!). Pie Wedge Shawl Knitting Kit from Craftsy in Lorna's Laces Solemate.

Lesley

I know this is carryover from my Fall Bucket List, but I am still DETERMINED to knit Lesley by Hannah Fettig. This pattern can be bought individually on Ravelry, but I TRULY recommend buying the whole stinking book (Everyday Knits) because it rocks. My favorite knitting book ever. ‘Nough said. So far, I have only knit Rosemont (which I honestly could wear every.single.day but typically wear every other day). I remained determined to knit the entire book.

Lesley by Hannah Fettig.

Hollows Shawl

I think absolutely everything about Mandarine’s Hollows Shawl is so incredibly well executed, from design to style to photography. Melody is my latest (of many) knit-crushes. I really wish my own brain could come up with such a masterpiece.Mandarine's Hollows Shawl

Botanic Hat

I have some color complimenting Malabrigo Worsted scraps leftover from my soon-to-be released poncho and my Valentine’s mitts (plus a vibrant turquoise color) that I want to whip up into some kids hats for Reed and his buddies. I think I am going to resize Stephen West’s Botanic Hat. I have yet to knit a Stephen West pattern, so this should be a fun and simple way to commence (I hope). This pattern has been around for a bit, so I bet many of you already know about this one. I am really hoping to get these done for the holidays at the end of December, but we’ll see…

The Botanic Hat by Stephen West

Winter is such a prime knitting season for so many of us. I have aspirations of being Super Productive. Happy woolly vibes going on over here!

I hope to see you at the Yarn Along this week. I am engulfed in Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. Let’s just say it’s striking a chord.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for being you!

Summer Bucket List of Must Knits

Everything you need for summer knitting. An all-in-one-spot bucket list!

Hello? You’re looking for me? I’m over here. You know, by the pool. Lounging in the shade with my cocktail, staring longingly at my pool floaty, wondering what system I can possibly devise to enable me to knit my sock WHILE floating in the pool without risking my entire skein becoming overly saturated or otherwise sinking to the bottom of the deep end. Glug, glug, glug. (Okay, more likely I am in the pool supervising my very busy young child and arguing with him about when it is my turn to use the floaty, but I can dream.)

Oh, I’m not by the pool? Then I am at the river. Swimming. It’s beautiful now. Clear and as picturesque as a World Class Swimming Hole (WCSH) could ever come. We love to go there in the summer. It’s why we live where we do. Reed digs or plays with his trucks. We talk with our friends and rustle through the cooler for drinks and snacks, then hoover in the shade of our new pop-up shade tent (hallelujah!). I squeeze in a few rows on a sock and watch the bald eagles soar overhead, searching for salmon snacks. On the way home, I pretend not to notice to the substantial volume of sand that is All Over my car.

It’s that glorious time of year I wait for all winter, when it is finally hot. We’ve had a week of 100 degree (38 C) days when there are two options: swim or hide inside. We do a little of both. (Also: a startling rate of popsicle consumption.) Our days are full of constant battles over the application of sunscreen, batch after batch of sun tea, and tomatoes growing as fast as my waistline after the holidays. I harvested the apricot tree the other evening, and the bounty was substantial.

My rate of knitting does not slow in the summer, but I do adjust what I knit. Here’s my Summer Bucket List, in case you need some inspiration.

Socks

Socks are amazing warm weather projects. I have a pair on the needles at all times. When we went to the river last weekend, it was so incredibly hot out. I was not about to bring my 100% alpaca poncho (it’s huge, it’s hot, and I don’t want it to be covered in sand and grime), but a sock will do just fine. You can take a sock anywhere: fishing, camping, or the neighborhood barbeque. Do it! There are lots of free and simple sock patterns that will do just fine for even the most beginner knitter, like the one I used for the last pair of socks I finished.

Lace scarves and shawls

I recently finished a lace weight shawl. It wasn’t my favorite project (although I did like the pattern), but I think a simpler pattern in lace weight would be less frustrating and perfect for summer, for my particular (lazy) style of knitting. I see so many fabulous lace projects on Pinterest that are simply stunning, and I know there’s a lot of potential here for the more patient among us. This might be a good little summer project for someone. Lace weight yarn is also so much less expensive, leaving more money in the budget for summer cocktail fixings. Good tequila can be pricey.

Summer tops

I love knitting summer tops and tees. My Waterlily tee has been getting lots of use, and I would recommend the pattern to anyone. I also really loved the tee I knit last summer and hope to knit a second one (that actually fits) soon. I saw this pattern on Ravelry the other morning and almost cast on, but I just can’t right now. Must. Stay. Focused. Soon, I hope. Other favorites tees currently in my Ravelry queue are here.

Knits for fall

As a designer, I have to plan my knitting projects ahead a season. I should really plan ahead two seasons, but I am simply not that organized (yet). At night, when the AC is going strong and our house is actually on the colder side for my personal preferences, I bust out my poncho project and snuggle in. This is a big project and, at my rate, I just might be done by the end of summer.

What sun-santional knits are you stitching up this summer?

P.S. I FINALLY started a Ravelry group for This Knitted Life. You can join here! (If you haven’t already…)

It’s Going to be a Poncho

All things considered, I am making great strides to complete my knitting bucket list for the year. I’ve finished the last of my 2015 projects, and my Waterlily tee even double counts as a tunic. (It came out a bit long, so I’ve been wearing it with leggings.) I dabbled in colorwork and even managed to finish my beginner project, although I still want to give Fair Isle a whirl. We’ll see. I’ve knit one sweater from Home & Away*, and I am determined to knit at least one more this year.

Swatching up a poncho in Puna Amano alpaca.

Progress, people. Progress.

Next up: the poncho. The yarn has been purchased (four skeins of 100% alpaca Puna Amano sportweight in misty grey, I believe). I almost wish I had a worsted weight and perhaps a darker shade of grey, but this will do just fine. One can’t always expect a LYS be stocked with absolutely everything. Sometimes a knitter must be flexible and leave a bit up to fate AKA The Yarn Gods.

Swatching up a poncho in Puna Amano alpaca.

The Amano has knit up quite well, as scrumptiously soft yarns tend to do. Swatched. Pinned. Dried. Not curling. Generally behaving. The future is bright.

I wonder if the neighborhood alpacas will be offended or flattered when I wear it to give them their daily treats this later this fall.

Swatching up a poncho in Puna alpaca.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along. and happily reading Mother Tongue*, which is written by one of my all-time favorite bloggers.

*Affiliate link. Thank you for being you! 

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