Thursday, January 19, 2017

Starshower

Is there an award for best procrastinator?

I finished knitting Starshower back in August.  August!

Starshower cowl, hand knit http://www.ravelry.com/projects/jeanniegrayknits/starshower
Starshower

I'm blocking it today.

Good grief!

It turned out way smaller than it should have.  I didn't begin to get close to the gauge called for in the pattern.  Typical me, I never even checked it.  Even on my almost anorexic teen sized mannequin, it's tight when worn over the shoulders.  There's no way it will go over mine.  But that's okay.  I plan to just drape it around my neck anyway.  Worn that way and before blocking, it looked okay so I think it will be great once it dries.  I just hope the almost anorexic mannequin's boobs aren't blocking into it.  That  could make for a weird look.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hanging Loops & E Myths

Let's just get the knitting out of the way so we can talk about the book.

I was reminded recently how much I like knitting my hanging loop hat design & decided to make another.  The design is so simple & versatile, plus I really do like having that little loop to hang the hat up with.

Reading The E Myth and knitting a hat for https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
The E Myth by Michael Gerber

This version has a fair isle strip (patterns from Mastering Color Knitting) and is knit from Patons Classic Wool in Seafoam & Mercury.  Both yarns were already in my stash, so no shopping involved.  Yay me!

But let's get to the reading part of today's Yarn Along.

I'm so excited about this book.  Normally I have a hard time reading non-fiction.  Real life just doesn't hold my attention & I tend to struggle to read a chapter a week.  But this book.... I can't put The E Myth down.  My husband and I both have our own small, one person businesses and this book was written for us.  I mean, like, really and truly for us, as individuals.  I'm only about a third of the way through the book, but I'm already convinced Mr. Gerber has spy cameras set up in our house & satellite office, otherwise known as my husband's truck.  It's the only way he could so perfectly describe how we've been living our lives for the past umpteen years.

And now that I've briefly mentioned what I'm knitting and reading & thus met Ginny's Yarn Along requirements, I'm going to sign off and get back to the reading.  I can't wait to find out how Mr. Gerber is going to fix this crazy life we've been living.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Knitting Cables

I hope you like gray.

Hand Knit cabled sweater, pattern from http://www.knitpicks.com/
Honeycomb Sweater, Woodsmoke Cable Collection

Because you're going to be seeing this Honeycomb sweater for a long, long time.

My great grandchildren's children will be old and gray by the time I finish knitting this sweater.

Every row, every single row, has a cable.

But despite the probability that I won't live long enough to knit the back, much less the front and sleeves, I'm loving it so far.  The pattern is well written & easy to read (and will be even more enjoyable if I can memorize the arrow pattern.)  It's also knit with worsted weight yarn (Wool of the Andes) so the rows are stacking up quickly.  Well, not quickly, but a lot faster than they'd stack if I was using fingering weight.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Can you blame me?

Okay, so I messed up my zero spending perfect track record.

Woodsmoke Cable Collection from http://www.knitpicks.com/
Woodsmoke Cable Collection

But can you blame me?

Back around Thanksgiving, I bought a sweater's worth of wool with the intention of knitting a Christmas Day Cast On sweater for myself.  I didn't cast on on Christmas Day though because I hadn't found the perfect pattern yet.  I knew I wanted something with lots of cables, I knew I wanted a loose fit through the body but not overly loose in the arms.  I knew I wanted a sweater, not a cardigan, or at least I didn't think I did.  But if I found the perfect cardigan pattern before I found a sweater pattern, the cardigan couldn't have a collar. It also needed to be knit from worsted weight since that's what I'd bought.  Oh, and it had to fit.  None of those patterns that have a 34 inch chest as the XL size would do.  So, yeah.  I had a lot of stipulations on what the perfect pattern was.

I looked and I looked and I looked some more.  I was starting to worry that I'd never find the perfect pattern.  I was starting to think that my Etsy shop would be selling nothing but gray hats in 2017.

And then magic happened.  I opened my email and there it was. KnitPicks had sent me an ad for Woodsmoke, a highly cabled collection of sweaters, scarves, wraps and hats.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to order it.  Absolutely had to!  I want to knit every single pattern in the collection.  But first, I'll knit the Honeycomb sweater.  It's perfect!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bliss


Is there anything more blissful than spending a cold wintery day wrapped up in a toasty warm blanket with hot coffee, a vanilla scented candle, a good book and a couple of knitting projects by your side?

Bliss is hot coffee, a warm blanket, a scented candle, a good book and a few hats to knit. https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits

While everyone else I know is hanging out on Facebook complaining about the bitter cold weather, I'm over hear like, "Yeah, baby! Bring it on!"

I'll admit that my No Spending challenge is helping me appreciate staying home, tucked safely under a blanket and away from shopping carts of the real and online variety.

I will also admit that if I don't crawl out from under my toasty warm blanket soon, the dust bunnies are going to become so big, they may fight me for the blanket.  And win.  But that's a worry for another day.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just a dusting

The snowstorm forecast for this past weekend actually hit.  We were in the light dusting to 3 inches section of the map, but ended up getting closer to six inches.  And it was cold! Single digits cold.

A view of the snow falling from the comfort and safety of my couch & warm blanket

Three days later and the only photo I have of the snow was taken while it was falling, from the comfort and safety of my comfy chair and snugly warm blanket.

One of three custom order hats for https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits

I have pretty much lived under the snugly warm blanket ever since.  It remains cold and the snow hasn't melted.  It's still out there.  I refuse to make friends with it.

Instead of playing in the snow, I've hung out with my blankie and kept myself busy knitting and reading.  The book was Midnight Betrayal by Melinda Leigh.  "Was" because I've finished it since taking that photo.  It was a Who Done It type story with a little romance thrown in and it captivated me from the first page.

As for the knitting, the knitting has been perfect.  A previous Etsy shop customer asked me to knit another three hats for him.  The colors he wanted were already in my stash so I didn't even have to go shopping.  (I'm still zero for $0.00 on my no impulse shopping challenge! Yay me!)  I cast on all three of the hats, completed the hemmed brims and now I can just sit back and knit and read and maybe even binge watch Season 3 of the Vikings.

***Yikes! I'm editing this post because I completely forgot to mention that I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along.  Apparently I'm suffering from winter brain freeze. So, please, join me over at Ginny's place to see what others are knitting and reading.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Knitting with Bison

Remember my part bison yarn?

Mock cabled fingerless gloves or mittens.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Fingerless Mitts

Like magic, it turned into a pair of fingerless mitts. 

The yarn is Tracks Sport from The Buffalo Wool Co.  I received it in my November socks kit from KnitCrate.  The yarn is a merino & bison blend.  Right off the skein, it was a little stringy and had a slightly stiff cottony feel to it but after blocking, it softened right up.  It softened up enough that there's no longer a question about whether they are destined to be mine or my shop's.  They are definitely mine now.

Do you notice anything odd about the cabling?  They are worked from the fingertips downward and I was binge watching Vikings while I knit the first mitt.  Apparently I was paying more attention to Ragnar than the number of rows I was knitting.  The cables got further and further apart as I knit.  Ooops.  But no worries!  I just did the same thing on the second mitt and am calling it a design element.  I actually kind of like it.