Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Goodbye and Hello!

Hello, friends. This post is to say an official goodbye to Blogger and introduce you to my new web home at

If you follow me here, won't you consider following me there, too? You can also follow my blog on Bloglovin'. Hope to see you in the new space!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chugging Along

I'm still here, folks, still alive! I've been steadily working behind-the-scenes to develop my new blog at Wordpress. It's coming along quite nicely but these things tend to take much longer than I anticipate. I'm hoping I can finish the crossover by next week. Yay! It's always a strange feeling when I sit down at 9pm and the next time I glance up, I find that it's nearly 2am. Woops. According to a documentary about happiness that I watched, I believe this state of unreality is called "achieving flow" and it's supposed to make me super happy in the long run. Right now, though, it's only served to make me sleep so here's just a bit of quick proof that I'm still keepin' it crafty:

Spinning during dinner making-- HOLLA!   (...did I use that correctly?)
One last thing: I'm going to skip my Inspiration Saturday post tomorrow because I've already transferred old posts to the new blog and don't want to add lots of new material here while I'm cleaning things up over there. If you want to get a jump on adding my new blog to your readers, you can find it here, just remember it's still a WIP and might look a bit wonky for a while. Hopefully I'll have it all ready in time for a new IS post next week!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

IS #34: Trying New Things

Happy Saturday, all! I've returned from a lovely trip to Cape Cod. I had gone with a large group of my friends from college to celebrate 10 years of knowing each other (and yes, that number still freaks me out). It was a great time: fireside smores, lounging by the lake, lots of baby snuggles, group spinning (yes!), and even some whale watching. Pictures of all the good times will follow but first, the souvenir yarn (of course!).

Even though only one or two of us knitted during college (I dabbled but didn't get really into it until grad school), the number of knitters in our group nearly equaled non-knitters on this trip, which was pretty awesome. So of course we visited the nearest yarn store, Adventures in Knitting. The shop happens to be the oldest yarn store on the cape, according to their website, and apparently their previous location had also been reviewed by Clara Parkes.
Mix No. 3, designed by Kristen Ford, image copyright Shibui Knits
When I walked in I saw an interesting shawl on display that I coveted instantly. It was lightweight and ethereal with a simple yet striking design. I'd never before walked into a shop, seen a sample, and purchased the pattern and yarn to replicate it right then and there, but there's a first for everything.

Silk Cloud

The yarns used in the shawl were Shibui Knits Staccatto (2-ply fingering weight, 70% Merino wool / 30% silk) and Shibui Knits Silk Cloud (2-ply laceweight, 60% mohair / 40% silk). You hold both strands together for the thicker/darker stripes then knit with just the laceweight Silk Cloud for the sheer sections. The design couldn't be simpler but I'm really enjoying it.

I've also never knit with mohair before. I've often admired the mohair/silk blends and the fluffy, floaty, wispy projects that result from using them, but felt like I couldn't get over the super fuzzy texture of the mohair halo. However, the halo is a bit more subtle in the Shibui Knits than in some of the other brands I've seen, and I figured why not give it a try. The yarn was an absolute beast to wind and my hands are taking some adjusting to knitting with a barely-there laceweight strand on size US 8 needles, but so far I'm very happy I decided to try something new.

What about you? Try anything new-to-you lately? Been inspired by anything else? Link along below and let us know!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

IS #33: Knitting Along

You know what I think I love most about Ravelry? Knit-alongs. Knit-alongs (KALs) are essentially when a bunch of people choose to knit the same pattern/project/theme/yarn and chat about it. Yes, KALs can occur in real life too, which might even be more fun (I wouldn't know), but they are perfectly enjoyable in the online forum. I think this is because 1) more people are involved, 2) you can check out progress pictures/ask questions/chatter about things anytime you want, 3) you usually find out about a whole bunch of new patterns to add to your queue, and 4) there are often fun prizes involved and hey, who doesn't love a prize. There are two KALs going on this month that I think are great ideas:

1)  SKA August
There is a different KAL every month in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group, but in August they do a great finish-it-up KAL where the goal is to finish as many pairs of socks as possible that had been started prior to July. The goal of finishing up those lingering second socks is particularly attractive to someone with a chronic unfinished-sock-problem, like me.

This might or might not even be all of them. * shame *
Dudes, some of those SIP (socks-in-progress) photos were taken three apartments ago. Granted, not all the photos are up to date, many of the socks are further along than they are shown here, but still. I think I need this KAL, don't you?

2) CY Sea Critters KAL
There is a sea-themed KAL occurring on the Cephalopod Yarns Ravelry board. There aren't many rules for this one, the idea is just to knit some yummy CY/SG yarn into some interesting, oceanic patterns. I'm planning to knit my Dissipative cowl pattern in some of their merino/alpaca/silk blend aran-weight yarn, Beastie, when it arrives.
This yarn is not Beastie, it's Malabrigo.
Syrinx Shells could work for this KAL, too, if you used their Traveller yarn held double or triple to get a super bulky weight. It would also work as a thinner, lighter-weight scarf with two skeins of Beastie. Check out the KAL thread for all sorts of neat nautical patterns.

Do you enjoy KALs? Do you find they help you finish projects or do you end up just starting more to take part in them? Have you been inspired by something lately? Link along below and let us know!

Inspiration Saturday is for sharing whatever has been sparking your creativity this week. Come play along!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Feelings Exactly

Ever wonder what cats do when you're at work all day? I had a chance to see firsthand as I spent the first of a few upcoming vacation days cleaning house and waiting for my friends to show up. Here's what the cats did:

Calypso, more-or-less conked out.

Darwin, in his favorite belly-to-the-wall lounging position
I think they had the right idea. I was a fairly busy bee most of the day but I did get to spend a solid couple of hours finishing The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (fabulous, heartwrenching book, btw). I can't remember the last time I had that much guilt-free time to just sit, by myself, and quietly read. It was nice and probably good to get it in now before my friends and I get to where we're going: a 10-years-since-we-met-Cornell-'family'-reunion in Cape Cod. I can't wait to see everyone for longer than the timespan of a wedding! So far, we've all gathered together from our various corners of the country once every year since graduation. I love that.

In knitting news, I've been doing my best to work on my Zombie Shawl but life has been intervening. I'm hoping I find time to catch up with things this week. I think I'm going to go with the darker colorway for the lace, thanks for chiming in! Since I have no knitting to show you, have some pretty yarn:

The lovely folks at The Verdant Gryphon periodically get together to have 'drunken dye parties' and then sell the resulting skeins as special, one-off colorways. I had not yet purchased one but was very happy to win this fun skein of Bugga in a lottery on Ravelry!

Happy Friday, everyone. :) My your weekend be as chillaxing as my cats' weekends will likely be.