July 6, 2018

I'm Back! Back in the Blogging Groove

[If you don't get the title, here's the song for reference.]

When I started this blog, Ginny Sheller's Yarn Along was a weekly thing, and podcasting for me was a monthly thing. Ginny shut down the Yarn Along because she found it was more work than joy, the same reason I haven't written a blog post since March or recorded a podcast since last September.

Life is busy. Free time is scarce. When free time appears, I admit, I'd rather make than talk about making, read than talk about reading. 

So why write a blog post now? Completely by accident, I discovered that Ginny Sheller revived Yarn Along on a monthly basis. Genius! I loved discovering new crafty bloggers (and craft projects) through Yarn Along as well as cheering along project progress on blogs I regularly visited via her link exchange. I also admit I enjoyed sharing my current projects and reads with other like minded bloggers and missed that exchange.

[Insert happy dance here!]

In another coincidence, Kristen of the Yarngasm podcast recently started blogging (again if I understand her correctly). I watch her podcast on occasion; she records weekly, and her podcasts can become repetitive as she talks about the same projects. I recognize podcasting supports her business so understand the schedule, but that does mean I take breaks from her channel. However, her new blog is fresh fun, and a great way to follow her newest projects.

After squealing like a teenager when Kristin talked (and blogged) about Stephen West's Smock It! pattern then realizing I have the perfect yarn in stash to cast it on RIGHT NOW, I started think about my own small patch on the internet and how little love it's gotten lately.

INTERMISSION

Stephen West & I on my first visit to Rhinebeck in 2012

So here I am writing my first blog post in quite a while. It's summer vacation, so I've time for to make and talk about making, read and talk about reading. I also think a monthly schedule a low key approach to keeping up with the blog once I return to the classroom in September. Who knows, I might branch out and blog a bit about my teaching practice!

I'll close this post with a pic of the yarn I plan to use for Smock It!, skeins I gathered over the course of the year with a different patterns in mind but none I was thrilled to start until now:

From left to right, "Wick" from Yarnbrary, what I call
"Tea Cozy" from Amanda Makes Yarn, and
"Dahlia Garden" from WIP Yarns (all on Etsy).

March 14, 2018

Harmony Blanket KAL: The Shamrock & the Trinity

This week, I've teamed up with Marie from Underground Crafter, Pia from Stitches ‘N’ Scraps, Joanita from Creative Crochet Workshop, and 9 other knitting designers in the Harmony Blanket KAL. What's the Harmony Blanket KAL? Every Thursday from January through November 2018, we’ll share a free 6” square pattern for a total of 48 free patterns. Join them together to make your own Harmony Blanket or knit them separately to learn new stitches!

Lion Brand generously provided us with yarn for this KAL, so all of the patterns are knit with Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, a medium (worsted, #4) weight 100% acrylic yarn. This is the first time I've knit with Vanna's Choice, and I found it a perfect yarn for this type of project. I chose Kelly Green because everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day!


My square uses the Trinity stitch. I chose this stitch in honor of St. Patrick who used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Legend says that St. Patrick asked, "Is this one leaf or 3?" The answer: a shamrock is both one leaf and three just like God is both God and the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


If you like this stitch, I use a version of it in my Aspen Winter Cowl pattern.

Note: To (K1, P1, K1) in one stitch, knit a stitch, purl the same stitch, then knit again through the back loop.

Harmony Blanket Square #11: The Trinity Stitch

Using Size 9 needles, cast on 32 stitches.

Border:

Row 1: Knit to the last stitch, P1
Rows 2 - 4: Slip 1 knitwise, K to last stitch, P1

Trinity Stitch Body

pm = place marker (I found this useful to keep track of the border stitches.)

Row 1: (WS) Slip 1 knitwise, K3, pm, P to end, pm, K3, P1
Row 2: (RS) Slip 1 knitwise, K3, (K1, P1, K1) all in the same stitch, P3tog, repeat trinity stitch pattern until the last 4 stitches, K3, P1
Row 3: Slip 1 knitwise, K3, P to end, K3, P1
Row 4: Slip 1 knitwise, K3, P3tog, (K1, P1, K1) all in the same stitch, repeat trinity stitch pattern until last 4 stitches, K3, P1

Repeat rows 1 - 4 seven times

Repeat row 1 once more

Border:

Repeat border Rows 1 - 4

Bind off

If you decide to knit my square, the other squares in the KAL, and/or the blanket, share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects! You can tag your projects and posts with #KALCorner on all social media. If you knit my square, please tag with #KRPHarmony. There's a ravelry thread for the KAL in the Underground Crafter group. The entire Harmony Blanket KAL schedule can be found here.

Stay tuned to my second contribution to this KAL in August!

March 9, 2018

Land of the Midnight Sun Shawl

I thought I'd give my knitting a little love this week! At the beginning of the year, Tanya (@bzmama on Instagram) released a new shawl pattern that really caught my eye called Land of the Midnight Sun. The navy blue against the cream tweed? Classic and gorgeous. I've knit a few of her shawl patterns so I knew this one would be a well written, interesting pattern that I could take with me and knit on the go.

What I didn't realize when I first saw that picture is that the cream tweed is Red Heart! I wrote an entire blog post about how surprised I was that she used it and how lovely it was to knit with once I got over my yarn prejudice. I paid $7 for two skeins with 260 yards each! For someone who has way to much yarn and is trying not to add to her stash (and deplete her bank account), these 2 skeins were a great option. I used some Plymouth wool tweed worsted yarn I had left over from another project for the blue and green stripes:


Seriously, even with the pattern purchase, this entire shawl cost me a little over $10 since I used accent yarn from stash!

I love this shawl on my "stitching chair"!
I did use a size 8 needle (the pattern calls for size 7) and added an additional repeat of the top section because I like a larger shawl. The main stripes are very easy to memorize and adding an additional repeat just takes some very simple math. A super customizable pattern!

My shawl also likes to chill on my old futon with my Basquiat pillow.
I knit this entire shawl in under two weeks in the evenings; it could probably be done in a few days if you live somewhere that gets big snow storms or you have a free weekend. If you are a "confident beginner", this shawl pattern (and many of Tanya's other patterns) are a perfect way to work on those skills. If you can knit, purl and yarn over, and are ready to try to make one left and right (you can do it), check out this pattern!