Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hasselhoff

Remember this striped scarf/shawl?  I've made lots of progress.

striped triangular shawl knit with Knit Picks Stroll Gradient, Lifeguard
Hasselhoff

First, I've knit far enough that I can now see the first gradient change in the yarn.  That change was a long time coming!

Second, it will be a shawl, not a scarf.  A very, very long, triangular shawl with the wide part at one end and the point at the other.

And third, it has a name.  Hasselhoff.  The orange yarn is called Lifeguard and the entire time I've been knitting with it, I've been picturing David Hasselhoff running along the beach.




Thursday, May 18, 2017

SOS

I'm feeling a bit like I'm on a sinking ship these days.

a hand knit, beaded lace shawl
Annis Shawl

I finished my Annis shawl last night . Do you notice anything odd about it?  Anything odd other than it's loose ends still hanging from it?

Annis shawl knit with Stroll Tonal from Knit Picks
That'll block right out.

It's a little on the small side.  Obviously I didn't knit to the proper gauge.  Honestly, I never checked my gauge.  It's a shawl.  It doesn't have to fit.  Besides, the pattern called for lace weight yarn and I used fingering and a needle appropriately slightly too large for the yarn.   Big, massive mistake apparently.


beaded shawl knit with Knit Picks stroll tonal in Train Station colorway
Train Station

I thought about frogging it and starting over but.... I love the dark, smokiness of the knitted fabric and I really, really don't want to deal with all those beads coming loose so....  I'm thinking I might sew the ends together and call it a decorative cowl.  But then.... maybe, just maybe the magic of blocking will stretch that baby out.

And then there's the grapes.

Grape vines have smothered the garden gate.

Do you notice what's behind the grapes?  Yep, our garden gate.  Dammit!  Someone forgot to trim the grape vines back this spring.

A collection of lace weight yarn from Knit Picks
Shipwreck

And last but not least, Shipwreck.  Shipwreck is a collection of Gloss Lace from Knit Picks that I bought as a birthday present to myself.  Between my love of all things nautical and my tendency to sink any boat I board, I thought it was an appropriate gift.  Now, if I could just decide what to knit with it.  Suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cybernetic Spiders

Because my life is not strange enough, we now have a cybernetic spider living in our house.

So, yesterday afternoon, Sarah asks me if I've seen the weird spider in the office.  It has creepy blue eyes, she says.

Well, Sarah does NOT like bugs & goes into a full on panic attack if she sees even a tiny gnat.  There's no way she got close enough to a spider to see it's eyes.  I had to take a look for myself.

black spider with bright blue eyes.  Bright, bright blue eyes.
North American Jumping Spider

Sure enough!  Our spider has bright, fluorescent blue eyes.  I mean, they are seriously, bright, bright BLUE.  His eyes are so blue, you can see them from three or four feet away even though the whole spider is a little smaller than a quarter.  They are SO much bluer than that photo'd spider's. They are seriously creepy and there's no way they are natural.  He has to be some kind of cyborg spider.  Those eyes just can not be natural.  No way. No freaking way.

So now I'm left wondering, has he escaped from some kind of governmental lab?  DC is only 60 miles away.  Or maybe the government placed him here to spy on us.  Or worse, my husband is using him to track my yarn purchases.

And if cybernetic spiders aren't freaky enough.....

knitting an Annis shawl with Knit Picks Stroll Tonal and using beads instead of nupps
Beaded Annis Shawl

I was sitting out on the deck this afternoon, knitting in the bright, blinding sun when all of a sudden.... Max, our dog, comes strolling out of the house carrying a package of Pop Tarts.  He casually walked right past me, over to the steps, down the stairs & out to the shade of the tree where he began removing the Pop Tarts from their wrapper.

What kind of household am I living in??

Friday, May 5, 2017

Train Station

I couldn't stand it any longer.  I had to take a break from knitting mitered squares.  Actually, I just needed a project where I could see that I was making progress.  My slow progress on the mitered square blanket was starting to feel discouraging and no matter how much I knit on my To the Beach scarf, it never seemed to grow.  The solution?  Cast on something else of course.

An Annis shawl knit with Knit Picks Stroll Tonal yarn.  A knitted beaded, lace shawl.
Train Station

It's an Annis shawl knit with accidentally purchased Stroll Tonal fingering yarn.  A while back, using my tiny screened phone to place a Knit Picks order, I accidently clicked on Train Station instead of Raven.  I was in the mood to knit something beaded and purple. Raven is purply and I have beads that I think would coordinate perfectly, so I quickly placed my order.  Except I didn't.  I ordered Train Station.  But, as luck would have it, it turns out, I already had some pewter beads that look good with Train Station's smoky blackness.  Yay for having a bead stash!


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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mitered Squares

Goodness gracious! I still haven't caught up from working Spring Break week and I have the feeling the summer isn't going to help any.  I'm ridiculously behind in every aspect of my life and I can't seem to catch up.  Okay, mainly, I can't catch up because I'm spending all my spare time watching YouTube music videos and playing computer solitaire.  Yikes.

mitered square blanket knit with scrap sock yarn for https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Mitered Squares

Somewhere inbetween music videos & rounds of solitaire, I've knit a few more mitered squares.  My stats are currently 276 knit, 108 still to go for a total of 384 squares.  I'm not even going to think about the tangled mass of ends I will need to weave in when I'm done. I'm channeling my inner Scarlet on that one and will think about weaving in the ends on another day.

I've also been reading The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone.  The book hasn't exactly taught me anything I didn't already know but it has been a good reminder that if I want to succeed, I need to put out more effort.  Admittedly, I'm sure I'd benefit much more from the book if I wasn't still suffering from spring break burn out.

Join me over at askatknits.com to see what others are reading while they knit.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On the needles

Wow! And I thought last week's knitting update was boring.  I have definitely moved into summer/work knitting & blogging mode.

OTN.  What am I knitting?  Knitting a scarf, knitting a shawl and knitting a blanket. Knitting while watching GirlBoss
On the needles 04/25/17

Nothing has changed. Nothing.  I'm still knitting on my Just Knit It shawl, as seen in the forefront.  Off to the left, you can see that I'm still knitting mitered squares and way back there, shoved behind the computer is the striped, as yet to be determined, shawl or scarf.

The only thing that's different is my Netflix view.  I finished binge watching Shetland & have started on GirlBoss.  Are you watching it?  Sophia, the main character is a nightmare.  As far as I can tell, she's a self-absorbed, bratty, little shoplifter who starts an online business.  If I didn't have my own Etsy shop, I doubt I'd find the show the least bit interesting but....  I have to admit, despite how I feel about her constant shoplifting, I'm entertained by Sophia's handling of difficult customer service issues and how she deals with the pull of business vs. family & friends time/relationships.  Maybe I'll even learn something from the show.  Time will tell.

Join me & other knitters over at Unraveled Wednesday.

Friday, April 21, 2017

To the beach... or UVA

We've been experiencing unseasonably sunny days and warm temperatures lately.  Normally, April is a month of rain showers with the temperature spiking crazily up and down, but this April has been sunny and the temperature has frequently been hitting the upper 80's.  It's making me crave the beach.  In fact, I'd sell my own children to be at the beach right now.  Luckily for my kiddos, Knit Picks is making it easier for me to at least pretend I'm at the beach.

gradient sock yarn being knit into a triangular shawl.
Knit Picks Stroll Gradient yarn.

Last week, while I was working those crazy hours, a box from Knit Picks showed up on my doorstep and guess what was inside - two skeins of Stroll Gradient.  What does yarn have to do with pretending to be at the beach?  The colorways are Sea You Later and Lifeguard.  Unless they have colorways named Sunburn and Shark (which they don't,) it doesn't get much beachier than that!

I'm knitting a.... well, I'm not even sure what I'm knitting.  The finished piece will be some form of shawl or scarf in a triangular shape. The original plan was to knit a long triangle shape until I'd used up half the yarn then start decreasing.  But I may never do the decreasing.  Instead of making a looong, shallow triangular shawl with the point in the center, I may just make it an even longer triangle with one narrow end and one wide end.  It's a work in progress.

While the design may be a work in progress, knitting with Stroll Gradient is definitely not work!  I've knit with other forms of Knit Pick's Stroll before.  Knit Picks offers practically a full catalog's worth of varieties of Stroll.  There's regular, flat colored sock yarn, there's Tonal, Hand Painted, Glimmer, Tweed and probably a few others I'm forgetting.  But for reasons unknown to me, Stroll Gradient is the softest.  It has the same fiber content as the other yarns so maybe I'm just imagining it being softer.  Maybe it's the beachy themed colors I chose.  Maybe it's that the yarn came in ready-to-knit cakes and I didn't have to pause to wind the skeins.  Whatever the cause, I swear, this yarn is softer than the others and I am having SO much fun knitting with it, even if it looks like I'm knitting a UVA scarf instead of a beach themed masterpiece.



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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Happy Belated Easter

Happy belated Easter!

Evil Easter Bunny plant
Is that not the most horrifying Easter decoration you've ever seen?  Well, maybe not THE most, but it definitely ranks up there.

Whether you pray to the church or Cadbury, I hope your Easter was enjoyable.  Mine was.... wonderful and as terrifying as that bunny plant.  Easter Sunday marked the end of working ten straight days of 10 to 14 hour shifts.  After not working all winter, the week was an interesting experiment in sleep deprivation & burn out.  By Friday I was struggling to do the simplest tasks, things like counting to ten and remembering to take the top off the pen before I tried to write and yet, I could still do the complicated things without much trouble. By Saturday, I was starting to turn mean and by Easter Sunday, I was oddly okay.  Although I was working on only about four hours sleep, I was much more energized and I felt like I was thinking much clearer.  Pretty amazing what a handful of jellybeans can do for your attitude!

Working that many hours, absolutely no knitting got done all week. Even my Knit Picks order sat unopened on my desk for four days before I had a chance to open it.  I can't wait to show you what it contained.  It's rainy and gross and dark and dreary in the house today but hopefully the sun will shine once again tomorrow and I can get some decent photos.  I bought a bunch of Stroll Gradient and it definitely deserves sunshine.

And now, I'm going to go catch up on my knitting.  Catch up on my knitting and binge watch Shetland on Netflix.  Have you seen Shetland?  If not, you must!  It's a crime/detective show that takes place in the Shetland Islands.  I have to admit, I end up paying more attention to the knitting than I do the storylines but.... the scenery is perfect to knit to!



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Monday, April 17, 2017

Makers' Monday - Gifts for Mom

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives.

The plan was for this post to be about handmade giftables for moms who knit.  Hand lotions, cute stitch markers, project bags, knitting jewelry, notepads with sheep on them.... things like that.  That was the plan.  But the first thing I searched for was handmade soaps on Etsy and well, we now have an entire blog post on handmade soap.  Soaps that any knitting mom should love.

decorative soaps from Tularoo Soaps for Mothers Day.  Mother's Day gift ideas
Knitted Soap from Tularoo Soaps

What knitter wouldn't want these adorable knitted soaps from Tularoo Soaps?  The shop offers these mini bars in sets of various sizes as well as full sized bars.  And even if you're some kind of knitting weirdo who doesn't want knitted soap, you should still take a look at the shop.  The artistry of their soaps is amazing and they offer great customer service.

Another shop with fantastic customer service is Sweet Sheep Body Shop.

Sheep Shaped Soap from Sweet Sheep Body Shop

I've purchased solid lotions from the Sweet Sheep Body Shop numerous times and have loved every single scent I've received.  The lotion absorbs into my skin quickly and leaves just a tiny hint of scent on my hands.  I don't know how they do it but my hands will smell slightly like the lotion but the scent is never transfered on to my cookies. (I really hate it when lotion makes my cookies taste funny.)  Until I started researching items for this post, I didn't even realize the shop sold soap.  Look!  It's sheep soap!  Sheep shaped soap made from goats milk.  Every knitter should have some sheep shaped soap!

But what if Mom is some kind of weird non-knitting soap lover?

gifts for Mother's Day
Vanilla-Coconut Soap from Rustic Edge Soaps

How about this vanilla-coconut goatsmilk soap from Rustic Edge Soaps?  I'm not typically very girly so I'm fascinated with the color of this soap, plus I love the idea of the vanilla and coconut scent. I'm also in love with the shop's header.  It's goats.  Y'all know how much I love goats.

hand made luxury cocoa butter & goatsmilk soap for Mother's Day
Luxury Soap from Crickett Soaps

Or, how about this soap from Crickett Soaps.  This soap is made with shea and cocoa butter and the swirls of color remind me of a hand painted yarn flat.  Knitters gotta love soap that looks like a yarn flat!

gift ideas for Mom; handmade soap with holistic healing properties
Rose and Clay soap from Sage Sweetgrass Soaps

Or how about this moisturizing rose and clay soap that promises to help with shaving issues from Sage Sweetgrass Soaps.  Not only is this soap moisturizing and helps fight those pesky shaving bumps, but it also offers holistic healing properties.

spa bath gift set; great Mother's Day gift idea
Spa Gift Set from Little Flower Soap Co.

Or how about this gift set from Little Flower Soap Co. that contains soap, lip balm and a mini bath salt?  I like how the Little Flower Soap Co. has their listing set up so that you can choose both the soap's scent and the lip balm's flavor.

choose your own scent soap, lotion & body polish gift set for Mom
Lotion Spa Set from Wild Botanicals

How could you resist an almond scented lotion gift set?  Don't like almond? That's okay because you get to choose the scent of both the lotion and soap included in this spa set from Wild Botanicals.  The set contains soap, lotion and a whipped body polish.

healing balm for dry skin, chapped lips, minor cuts & burns and eczema
Organic Healing Salve from LBApothecary

And look - something besides soap!  Last but not least, I know I could use this organic healing salve from LBApothecary.  This healing balm protects against dry skin and chapped lips and helps heal minor cuts, burns and sores as well as eczema.  I would love to receive a tin of this healing salve for Mother's Day.  This salve would be a tremendous help to me at work since the air is so dry, constantly handling money sucks the moisture out of my hands (not to mention the frequent hand washing,) and I constantly give myself paper cuts.  Someone, please forward this post to my kids!

Friday, April 14, 2017

World's Most Boring Blog Post

This blog post may truly qualify for the world's most boring post.  Most boring ever.

I've been working a lot of hours this week and haven't been able to get much knitting in, nor photos taken.  My mitered square blanket stats are currently:

Total squares needed:  384

Total squares knit:  240

Total squares remaining:  144

The weird thing about it is, even while I'm bitching and moaning about how long it's taking me to complete this blanket and how badly I want it to be finished, all I can think about is knitting another one using Knit Pick's new Stroll Gradient.  I'm also slightly obsessed with the idea of buying all the blues and knitting another Find Your Fade, but that's an idea for another day.

And for a bit of color...

Eiffel tower in spring; eiffel tower surrounded by tulips and spring flowers.
Paris in the spring, courtesy of rareinterloart.co.uk

Okay, so that's not my actual view walking into work each day, but it's close.



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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Top 5 Reasons To Go Yarn Shopping

Top 5 Reasons to Yarn Shop:


1.  The sun is shining.

2.  Your spouse is going out of town and will be blissfully unaware that UPS will be leaving eight crates of yarn on your porch.

3.  Your oldest child is turns six and you realize that in the blink of an eye, they'll be grown up and having their own babies.  You suddenly feel the need to stock up on baby yarns.

4.  A new yarn catalog arrives in your mailbox.

5.  It's a Wednesday.



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Monday, April 10, 2017

Makers' Monday - Shawls for Mom

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives.

It's hard to believe but Mother's Day is only about four weeks away.  Do you knit for Mom?  I never knit a shawl for my mom but I wish I had.  I think she would have liked to receive, and would happily have worn, any of the following.  Perhaps in honor of Mother's Day & remembrance of my own mom, I should knit myself a shawl.  (Or maybe even six!)

knitted shawl, garter stitch, stockinette; beginner knitting scarf
Magic Spring Shawl courtesy of Katerina Bobkova

I will definitely knit myself this Magic Spring Shawl sometime soon.  It reminds me of a smaller & simpler version of a Find Your Fade and I think we all know by now how much I loved knitting that.  The Magic Spring Shawl is a free (gotta love that!) Ravelry pattern designed by Katerina Bobkova of Cathy-Cathy Designs.

Or perhaps you'd like a hint of lace.

easy beginner lace shawl designed by Leah Michelle Designs
Simple Spring Shawl courtesy of Michelle Krause

The Simple Spring Shawl has just a tiny bit of lace to break up the garter stitch monotony.  Designed by Michelle Krause of Leah Michelle Designs, this would be a great beginner's lace project or movie knitting for more advanced knitters.  The lace appears to be fairly simple & easily memorized.  You won't have to play yarn chicken when knitting the Simple Spring Shawl.  Just weigh your yarn before you start, then knit until you've used up half, then begin the decreases.  Simple!

Woodland Spring Shawl
courtesy of Christina Wall

Or how about knitting a Woodland Spring Shawl?  Designed by Christina Wall of A Knitter's Life, this triangular shawl appears to be about half garter stitch and half lace.  I really like knitting this style of shawl.  You start off with simple garter and you can make lots of progress quickly.  About the time you start to think you'll go mad from garter stitch, the lace begins and holds your attention to the very end.

crescent shaped shawl with an all over lace pattern; knitting, hand knit
Primula Spring Shawl courtesy of Linda Choo

Or how about this beauty designed by Linda Choo for Garden Canadensis?  The Primula Spring Shawl is crescent shaped with an all-over lace pattern.  The size of this shawl can easily be adjusted by knitting more border repeats.  And while we're talking about the border, those pesky border nupps can easily be replaced with beads.  (Y'all know how I feel about knitting nupps!)

hand knit lace shaw for spring and summer.  Lace stole
Spring Flowers & Butterflies Shawl,
courtesy of Katherine Bryant

This one has the dreaded nupps too but once again, they could easily be replaced with beads.  And we'll forgive Spring Flowers & Butterflies Shawl for those nupps because look what else it has - Lilies of the Valley!   I LOVE Lilies of the Valley.  They happen to be my birth month flower plus they remind me of my mom.  She had acres of them growing in the yard. (Okay, "acres" is a slight exageration, but she had a lot.)  The house always smelled of Lilly of the Valley in the spring.  Even more exciting than the Lilies of the Valley, Katherine Bryant, the designer, is offering the pattern for free on Ravelry!  And, Ms. Bryant is kind enough to tell us in advance how many beads we'll be needing.  This pattern is definitely going near the top of my Ravelry que.

And last but not least, I wanted to mention the Sundae Summer shawl.  I wasn't able to obtain permission to use a photo but I thought it was worth mentioning.  It's a free Ravelry pattern, it appears to be extremely simple and quick to knit and you could make the pattern your own by changing up the weight and/or fiber content of the yarn.  The pattern is so simple, with the right yarn, you could probably wait until Saturday afternoon to start knitting and still have it finished by Mother's Day morning.

Will you be knitting for Mother's Day?  Feel free to share pattern suggestions in the Comments below.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Never ending

The mitered squares knit with sock yarn blanket....

hand knit mitered square blanket knit with sock yarn

A never ending project.

The finished blanket will contain 384 squares.  228 have been knit.  156 more to go.

And to be a masochist about it....  Each square contains 511 stitches times 156 squares equals 79,716 stitches left to knit, for a grand total of 196,224 stitches.  Plus a border.

Never. Ever. Ending.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Just Knit It

After finishing up the Pittura cowl last week, I needed a new simple project to knit on while reading or when I come home stupid-tired from work in the wee hours of the morning.  Although I'm usually completely brain dead and half falling asleep driving home, I'm always slightly wired too.  Thirty minutes of very mindless knitting and a boring book help me calm down & get to sleep though.

Just knit it - a simple shawl or scarf to knit in garter stitch
Just Knit It

So....  I picked Just Knit It.  It's perfect. It's a garter stitch shawlette (I'll wear it more like a scarf) with increases at each end on each row.  All those increases means it quickly grows much wider (or longer) than it does in depth.  Once again, I'm using some Louisa Harding Pittura that I picked up at The Knitting B in Richmond. (No link - sadly their website seems to be down.)

So far, I've only knit on Just Knit It during a couple of email reading sessions. I wasn't too sure about my yarn choice at first but the more I knit, the more I like it.  I'm also loving the way it coordinates with my planner's cover.

Did you notice what's missing from today's post?  I normally talk about what I'm reading on Wednesdays but I'm a little embarrassed about this week's list.  Nineteen Eight Four has been relegated to my post-work, 'boring' reading and I've been devouring one smutty romance after another.  And they're just too trashy to name.  I miss hooking up with other knitters & readers on the Wednesday Yarn Along but I sure am glad I don't feel like I 'have' to go public with this week's book choices.

*Edited to say that I'm excited to have found another blogger to link up with on Wednesdays.  Join me over at As Kat Knits.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Makers' Monday - Bridal Gloves

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists and creatives.

In keeping with the wedding theme, I thought I'd share a few patterns for lacy bridal gloves. Now don't get me wrong, all of these gloves could be worn anytime or place, but knit with white yarn, they scream wedding.

crocheted wedding gloves designed by Nez Jewelry on Ravelry
Fingerless Crochet Lacy Wedding Gloves courtesy of Nez Jewelry

This first pair are actually crocheted. As much as I dislike crocheting (mostly because crochet gives me Horrible carpal tunnel issues not to mention, I'm rather talentless) these were just too pretty not to include.  So, for the folks who can crochet.... The Fingerless Crochet Lacy Wedding Gloves were designed by Nez Jewelry and can be found on Ravelry.

lacy hand knitted wedding gloves
Filigree Mitts courtesy of Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer

Or maybe you're planning a winter wedding.  I think these Filigree Mitts are stunning.

winter wedding gloves fingerless mitts or glove pattern
Filigree Mitts detail

Just look at the detail!  Another thing I really like about this design from Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer of Heartstrings Fiber Arts is that its Ravelry page offers a free link to the pattern's front page.  You are able to see gauge, needle & yarn requirements/recommendations before purchasing the pattern.  That's sweet!

Or perhaps your wedding is next weekend and you need something a little quicker to knit...

Lacy Hearts Wedding Gloves courtesy of Ellen Rich

 How about these Lacy Hearts Wedding Gloves from Ellen Rich of Knitters' Haven?  These would be super cute for Valentines Day as well as for a wedding.

knitting pattern for beaded lacy gloves, bridal gloves
Eryn Lasgalen Glovelettes courtesy of Maria Hytti

And last but not least, how about this beaded design?  Not only is the pattern for these Eryn Lasgalen Glovelettes free, but the pattern's Ravelry page shows them knit up in several different colors. I just love how different the glovelettes look in different colors.  The red ones are edgy & remind me of my punk rock days, while the blue are delicate & of course, the white scream wedding.  Oops. I got so caught up remembering my punk rock youth, I almost forgot to mention the designer.  Eryn Lasgalen Glovelettes by Marie Hytti of Cozy Cabin Designs.

And I have to mention.... The whole time I've been typing this, I keep picturing the lacy hearts on socks. You know those brides on TV shows who wear their fancy wedding gown with their grubby Converse sneakers? Well, I've never seen a bride do that in real life, but if I ever do, I'm going to knit them lacy heart socks to wear with their Converse.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Knitting Roundup

I can't believe today marks the end of March.  Where did the month go?  Let's make me feel productive and take a look at what came off the knitting needles this month?

hand knit striped and asymmetrical scarf for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Wedge Scarf

The Wedge, knit using short rows with Palette from Knit Picks in the colorways, Garnet Heather, Spearmint, Sweet Potato, Indigo Heather & White & a US 2 needle.

Pony tail hat, bun hat available for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Ponytail Hat

A ponytail hat, knit with Paton's Kroy Socks FX in Cameo. I'm pretty pleased with the way this turned out considering I didn't have a pattern & just made it up on the fly without too much thought. The ponytail/bun hats I'd seen either had elastic sewn into the knitting at the ponytail hole or they had nothing to help the ponytail hole be/remain stretchy.  My idea of adding a little ribbing around the hole seems to work well.

striped knitted cowl hand knit with Louisa Harding Pittura
Pittura Cowl

A striped cowl knit on US3 needles with Louisa Harding Pittura and bit of unlabeled, stashed sock wool.  The pink stripes are purled for texture but if I was going to knit this over again with that pink yarn, I'd probably just knit them. The pink was a slightly different weight and the purled stitches seem a bit too loose. I really like the understated brightness (does that even make sense?) of this cowl.  It was supposed to be a 2016 Christmas gift but.....


Find Your Fade oversized shawl knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne
Find Your Fade

Find Your Fade.  This really may be my all time ever favorite knitting pattern.  I knit it with Knit Pick's Hawthorne in St. John, Laurelhurst, Rose City, Vancouver, Poseidon, and Serpent.  The shawl is huge and perfect for cuddling up in.  And when I say huge, I mean HUGE!  As wide and tall as I am, when I  stand up and drape it across my shoulders, the ends touch the tops of my feet.  There's a good reason all the decent photos of the shawl you see on Ravelry show a person holding it with their arms spread out wide.

hand knit cabled beanie for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Fangorn Mock Cable Hat

The Fangorn Hat.  I loved this colorway so much I ordered more yarn so I can knit matching mittens. The yarn is incredibly soft and the hat practically knit itself.

That's all the FO's for March.  I did knit a few rows on my Honycomb sweater and I've knit 15 to 20 more squares on my mitered squares blanket but I'm no where near close to finishing either project.

So, how about you? Did you have a productive March?


(This post contains affiliate links.)




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mosaic Tile

The theme park opened this weekend and all I can say is Wow!  I spent most of last week preparing for the opening. We cleaned, moved offices and furniture, and took a thousand trips to the dump.  I was already bruised and sore on opening day.  And opening day was, well, let's just say it was one of those days where you want to cry in the car then drink an entire bottle of bourbon by yourself.  I knew opening weekend would be rough.  The new employees don't know what to do and the returning employees can't remember what to do and there's always some kind of computer/back office issues that pop up.  But, good grief! I guess it felt like the seventh level of Hell because it was my first opening weekend as a supervisor and having everyone looking to me to 'fix it.'  What ever.  I survived.  I'm bruised, beaten and exhausted, but I survived.

The point of me telling you my opening day sob story is that being back at work means my blog time is severely limited.  Please know that I appreciate all the comments and that I do read them. I just won't always have time to respond to them.  Honestly, it's more like I don't have the coordination.  I've been reading your comments as I take the long walk from the car to my office area.  I can read and walk at the same time, (Sort of. I will admit - I have walked into a bush a time or two,) but I just don't have the coordination to walk and type at the same time.

Work was so crazy, I forgot I'd ordered yarn. Wow! That's crazy!

soft superwash merino and silk blend yarn in green, blue and white. Gorgeous yarn
Mosaic Tile, Expression Fiber Arts

How gorgeous is that?  And how on earth did I forget I'd ordered it?

Mosaic Tile yarn from Expression fiber arts
Mosaic Tile

The yarn is Mosaic Tile from Expression Fiber Arts and I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful. It's a superwash merino/silk blend and I'm just completely and totally head over heels in love with it.  I'm torn between immediately casting on with it or putting it under glass atop a pedestal. It's my all time favorite colors and I can't even describe how soft and pettable it is.  I can not wait to knit with it.... and  yet.... I'm sort of afraid to touch it.

I also can't decide what to knit. It deserves something special but I'm pretty low-key and don't wear 'fancy.'  I'm also thinking it might like to be beaded.  But would beads distract from it's beauty?  Would they be too much?  What do you think?  I'd love to hear your pattern suggestions.

Last but not least, I'd like to take a moment to thank Ginny at Small Things for hosting her Wednesday Yarn Along for so long.  I'm sad to see the feature end but I certainly understand her decision to stop hosting it. As for Ginny's timing, she couldn't have planned it better because I haven't read a single page all week!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Makers' Monday - Wedding Shawls

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives. 

It's that time of year when the postman seems to constantly deliver wedding invitations. While my kids don't seem to be the slightest bit interested in getting married, or even dating seriously for that matter, their friends are starting to take the walk down the aisle.  And it's got me thinking about how proud I'd be to have my daughter or, even though she'd never be good enough for my son, a daughter-in-law make that walk wearing a shawl or veil that I had knit.  So naturally I took a look around Ravelry and here's what I found.

In no particular order...


hand knit lace wedding veil or shawl pattern
Le Bon Mariage courtesy of Tiziana Sammuri
Le Bon Mariage, designed by Tiziana Sammuri.  Gorgeous, right?  And it looks doable.  The pattern is in both text and chart format & Ravelry gives it an "average" difficulty rating.

Or how about 

large lace wedding shawl or veil, hand knitting pattern
Monica's Shawl courtesy of Meeli Vent
Monica's Shawl?  This shawl was designed by Meeli Vent for a 2012 KAL.  To knit this beautiful shawl, you'll need to go to Meeli's blog and download each KAL clue separately but it will be worth it as the pattern is free.

Next up is the Snow Queen Pi Shawl.


Snow Queen Pi Shawl courtesy of Bad Cat Designs

This beauty was designed by Andrea Jurgrau of Bad Cat Designs.  You'll need to check out the pattern's Ravelry page to see all the details.  It's stunning and being a Pi shawl, it's probably not horrendously difficult to knit.  One of the things I like about this shawl is how different it looks in different colors of yarn.  Knit in white it's definitely Snow Queen-y or wedding-y but the Ravelry page shows one knit in aqua that reminds me of a starfish or sea anemone.  I think this pattern could be extremely versatile.

Or perhaps something at an even finer gauge.

Cecilia courtesy of Rita Maassen

For this gorgeous shawl, you really need to check out it's Ravelry page to see all the detail.  "Cecilia" was designed by Rita Maassen and is knit with cobweb.  I love how the border is worked in a different direction from the body.  I'd have to make one slight change to this pattern if I was to knit it myself though.  Y'all know how I feel about knitting nupps.  Or is it knupps? I see it spelt both ways.  Either way you spell it, I'd have to replace them with beads.

Or maybe you're looking for something a little fancier and with a bit of history behind it.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-princess-shawl The princess shawl, a hand knit wedding veil shawl
The Princess Shawl courtesy of Sharon Miller, Heirloom Knitting
This heirloom shawl is a thing of beauty. The Princess Shawl can be found in the Etsy shop, Heirloom Knitting, or on Ravelry.  The pattern is so large it comes in e-book form and calls for gossamer or cobweb yarn. This one is probably way beyond my skill level but it's fun to dream about knitting it for my daughter to wear one day. 

And last but definitely not least,


floor length hand knit lace wedding veil
Shetland Stars courtesy of A Passion for Lace
This shawl/veil/piece of art makes me want to get married all over again.  This gorgeous shawl leaves me a bit speechless. Blocked, it's six feet square and knit with cobweb or gossamer.  SIX feet square!  I'm still just speechless.  It's truly a floor length veil.  Just look at it!  See?  I'm so amazed, I almost forgot to name it and give credit to the designer.  This beauty is the Shetland Stars Square Shawl from A Passion for Lace.  I think it's pretty obvious Sarah won't be getting married in this veil but maybe if I started today, just maybe I could finish in time for a great, great granddaughter to proudly take the walk in it.

So what do you think? Are you knitting or have or will you knit a wedding shawl or veil?  Please share your experience in the comments.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Photo Friday

Photo Friday... sort of like Wordless Wednesday.

scarp  yarn mitered square blanket, hand knit. https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Mitered Squares Blanket

Between struggling with the decision of what to knit next and my over-flowing containers of scrap yarn, I decided to pull out the mitered square blanket.  I hadn't touched it in ages yet I was so close to finishing it.  Or so I thought.

mitered square afghan knit with scrap sock yarn
Can you identify any of the yarns?

I should never have picked it back up because I immediately decided it needed to be at least four squares wider and three longer.  I'm no longer 'so close' to finishing it.

And for the record, it's physically impossible for me to be wordless.