finished

Finished: Hygge Socks

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The Cozy Knitter's Hygge socks were my first cast-ons of 2018 - and for good reason.

I go through a bit of a slump after the holidays are over and the mere thought of knitting with holiday-colored yarn makes me sad. Not sure why that is, and never have been. I think it has something to do with not having to work and just enjoying relaxing time with friends and family with no real reason to go anywhere for anything other than selfish reasons. In other words, it's the only time of year I truly get to indulge in myself and I miss it when it's gone.

Cue the Hygge socks, which are a perfect combination of a spring colors that help me forget my living room is now void of cozy decorations.

Project Details:

Pattern: My own, sort of. Increased the toe until I had a multiple of 4 sts (my preferred number of stitches for socks in most yarn bases is 64), then knit in stockinette except for color change rows, where I instead *k3, sl1* around.
Yarn: The Cozy Knitter
Colorway: Hygge

Not too shabby of a cast-on for the new year, right? Even better: I finished the entire pair in a week! I'm sure there are knitters reading this right now who will scoff that it took me a full week to knit two pairs of socks, but it typically takes me at least two to finish socks I'm in love with (longer - much longer - if I lose interest).

Can't get enough? I'm also:

Knitting: Ho-Ho-Holiday Socks (also by The Cozy Knitter). I was going to take a break from sock-knitting for a bit so I could explore other projects (or finish up some WIPs), but I couldn't steal myself away. Plus, if you couldn't tell, I'm participating in The Cozy Knitter's 2018 Sock-A-Thon, so I need to knit up as many of these guys as possible. As an added bonuses, I also needed something to work on for my flight to Vegas next week for work, so cue another mindless pair of socks!

Cross-Stitching: Are you shocked? Yes, I had a weekend to myself at home and got bored, so I started cross-stitching an owl pattern I purchased a long time ago. Details to come soon!

Listening to: Two Girls One Ghost (podcast)

PS: Don't forget to follow my new knitting-only instagram @jennlikesyarn! Okay, it's not entirely knitting-only; there will be cross-stitching and crocheting, too ;)

Finished: Little Cotton Rabbits Bunny + New Instagram

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For years, I've been following the Little Cotton Rabbits blog, dreaming of the day I'd either have enough talent to make a bunny myself or the good fortune to purchase one from the source.

Needless to say, I lost my mind a little (in a good way) when she released her bunny pattern awhile back, which means I purchased it immediately

But I still consider myself more an intermediate knitter than advanced, and to me, the Little Cotton Rabbits creatures seemed beyond my skill set. Except I'm trying this new thing where I stop doubting myself with everything and plunged into a wee bunny project for my mom's birthday.

Here's the deets:

Pattern: Bunny Girl in a Dotty Dress by Julie Williams
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK
Project Link: Ravelry

I quickly discovered I loved making this bunny - it was faster than I thought (even with seaming, which I shockingly didn't mind) and I loved stuffing the face to make it look as fat and happy as I envisioned. It didn't take long for her to come to life in my hands.

So all-in-all, I'd consider her a success; I even got commissioned to knit two more! All she needs now is a name. My mom and I are looking for inspiration, so feel free to throw your hat in the ring with suggestions :)

PS: I started a knitting-only instagram account that you can find here: https://www.instagram.com/jennlikesyarn/ - I'd love if you could join me in my adventures!

Finished: Skywave Shawl

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I'm typing this to you, dear blog readers, at the onset of either a cold or a horrific allergy attack. I'm hoping it's the later because it means the madness will end tomorrow, but I fear I'm coming down with something (and I'm not happy about it.

Yet here I am, pouring my yarn-filled little heart out to you as I finish up another project.

Apparently, I'm in a shawl phase, as I've finished a second in as many months and started a third.

I'm not complaining. Shawls are fun "larger" projects and make for perfect fall scarves. In other words, they're my favorite things to knit up this time of year (I'd say socks are my favorite, but they're my favorite projects for any time of year).

I LOVE how this shawl worked up, despite its many mistakes. Well, I shouldn't say many. I forgot that each "scale" requires two pattern repeats and only did one repeat about halfway through. I'd already tinked back enough rows after having forgotten four rows of garter stitch and couldn't bring myself to rip out two full repeats, so the mistake survives. I'm sure nobody else (other than maybe a fellow knitter) would notice. And if you do notice, you're probably standing too close to me and I'm seething about it.

I also liked how there are two versions: one with the pattern repeat all the way through the pattern, and another with the lace only working up at the edges - it's up to you based on your preferences. I, for one, was feeling particularly sadistic, so I worked the lace all throughout.

This shawl has been following me around since June, when I took it on my girlfriends BSB Vegas excursion as a plane distraction, so it's nice to finally have those needles free again.

Project Info:

Pattern: Skywave
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Gradient
Colorway: Hula Girl

In the meantime, I'm:

Knitting: Golden Ray
Reading: The Book Thief - I just joined an all-new local book club that some friends of mine and I are starting up and this is our first read. I can't believe I've made it this far in love without picking it up, but I'm so glad I finally did.
Listening to: My Favorite Murder (podcast)
Watching: The entire Harry Potter series because it's that time of year, isn't it?

Finished: Vanilla Latte Socks

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Taking a quick work break to update you guys on my latest pair of finished socks (you're welcome).

This past weekend was a long weekend, so I finally had some time to sit down and start sorting through my craft room. Despite doing a massive purge of older, crappier yarn in colors I'd never use, I realized something:

I have WAY TOO MUCH YARN.

Not a phrase I ever expected to come out of my mouth, but there it is.

How do I know this? Because I have nowhere to put it all. I cleared off an additional shelf on my giant bookcase to use as hank storage and I still have hanks flying around the hallway, waiting for a home.

I also realized I have a deep-rooted affinity for Knit Picks Felici.

All of this led me to decide I need to be knitting more. Way more. Especially with Felici.

Cue these socks. They're a super basic Vanilla Latte pattern, which is actually a pattern I used when I first learned to knit socks, so they're interesting enough that I didn't get bored. Self-striping socks always seem to move quickly, anyway, but these really flew off my needles (I only worked on them for a few days).

Details:

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colorway: Pinata
Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss

And so begins another work week. Sort of. It's a short week to begin with thanks to Labor Day, but I'm also taking Friday off to head to Cape Cod for a bachelorette. Don't worry - I plan on taking loads of knitting with me for the car ride ;)

In the meantime, I'm:

Knitting: Skywave (this is nearly done)
Reading: Just finished The Blinds and have nothing going at the moment. Any recommendations?

Finished: Kindness KAL Shawl

Once again, I'm behind on blogging. Which, let's be honest, isn't surprising because I always switch my hobby to obsessive reading in the summer. As usual, my Goodreads list has grown exponentially in the past few months, with many thanks to my recent subscription to Book of the Month.

 Kindless KAL Shawl by Jaala Spiro

But don't worry: I've picked up my needles again and am finishing a bunch of projects I started before my week-long Vegas vacation my girlfriends and I took for our birthdays (oh, did I forget to mention I saw the Backstreet Boys while there? Twice? You wish you had my life.)

One of those projects was the Kindness KAL Shawl that I started... I don't even know when. I think it was before I left for a conference in April. Regardless, it took me forever to knit and even longer to block because it sat around in a box for what's going on three months.

I promise I'm responsible.

The biggest reason I knit this shawl was because I'd recently acquired (read: hoarded) a massive stash of the new-ish Knit Picks Stroll Gradient. I'm officially in lerve. I've always had a thing for long gradients and the easy effect they can add to simple knitwear designs, but the only ones I've found in a usable quality have been hand-dyed and kinda pricey. Y'all know I'm a huge fan of indie dyers, so I don't say that to knock them, but it's great that I can now have the option to buy these, too.

The colorway I selected is called Unicorn Princess. If you have to ask why I chose that, then you clearly don't know me at all, nor have you paid attention to this blog. I say to you: UNICORN. PRINCESS.

Anyway, I finally got around to blocking the heck out this thing over the weekend. I opted to block it in a round formation instead of pulling the lace pieces down. Why? I'm not sure. I went a little crazy with pinning it down and that's just what happened.

So that's the latest "off my needles" update. As far as other life stuff, I've mostly been busy with work, light traveling, visiting with friends, and planning more upcoming light travel. Musikfest just ended in my area, too, so I was able to see a bunch of good bands I like and eat poutine. All in all, it's been a win of a summer.

In the meantime, I'm:

Reading: The Blinds
Listening to: Gogol Bordello - Wonderlust King