Spring 2016 Goings-on

Back in April I began participating in a sock knitting KAL wherein you knit a pair a month, saving them in a box until you’re done. I’m not sure why I can’t just wear them when I’m done, but I love knitting socks so I joined. *shrug*.

April’s socks:

Plain socks

Just some plain socks I knit up in Dragonfly Fibers’ Super Djinni sock yarn. I was knitting a lace pattern at first but it didn’t show well at all, so I just went straight to plain stockinette. It’s the perfect go-to for variegated yarns.

May’s socks:

Aradena socks for Biggest Beanlet

Aradena Socks, by Tinksdarkerside. I knit these in this gorgeous Cascade Heritage Prints in Roses. I kept getting lots of compliments on this yarn, and I’m looking forward to knitting myself a pair in this. These will go to Biggest Beanlet this Fall.

Currently, June’s sock WIP: 20160604_121356

The Don’t Cage Me In Socks, by Heather Kinne.  The yarn is some wonderful yarn called WonderSock by Gale’s Art in the colorway Stoney. Love, love, love.  These are actually supposed to have the lattice patterning on the back of the leg. I’m not doing that though: it turns out(and I knew that, I probably just forgot!) that moving stitches from needle tip to needle tip  is impossible when knitting both socks on the magic loop at once. I was away from home and without a second needle when I realized this, and was unwilling to put the project down(I was #waitingroomknitting) and so I just decided to knit the back of the legs plain. NO harm, no foul. I’m pretty much Team 2-at-a-time-socks these days, so I’m reluctant to knit them one by one.

The Aradena socks were knit one at a time and I have no idea why. Usually, I guess I’m just on autopilot and don’t want to deal with SSS(second sock syndrome). These socks are currently further along than in this photo. In fact, they’re almost done! 😉  Stay tuned for an in-the-b0x shot of the first three pairs!

 

In spinning news, I finally got Dutchie fixed!! My poor spinning wheel had all sorts of issues: noisy, shifty footmen, a missing tension spring(I’d been making do with fishing line and rubber bands!), and the list goes on. I went to spin a few weeks ago and the footmen had completely dry-rotted and broken. After some quick research, I was able to get all the parts required to fix the wheel up and I have been spinning!

Falkland Wool from Into The Whirled

What you see here is some Falkland wool I picked up at Rhinebeck 2012 from Into The Whirled. It had been sitting on the wheel since I started spinning it a few years ago, when I started having serious issues with the wheel, which caused me to stop. I tried desperately to pick up where I left off, but nothing I did would allow the singles to take up onto the bobbin without breaking off. Then,  just my luck I’ve lost the end of the fiber and can NOT find it. So I started a new bobbin with the rest of the fiber(on the left), and am currently plying it.  It’s not the softest yarn( neither the Falkland nor the unknown undyed fiber (Could it be Cotswold or Romney?) I’m plying it with are soft fibers, but hopefully a good soak will smooth things out. One can only hope!

What are you knitting/spinning these days? Hit me up in the comments!

My Design: Therese Socks

The time has finally come to announce my entry into the world of Knit Designing! It’s been a long time coming, with 11 years of knitting and yarn-play behind me. I present to you: Therese Socks.

Therese Socks front

These socks were inspired by the beautiful Radiant Gradient cowl, designed by fellow KnaturalPurl Therese Ross-Carter. A knit designer and an accomplished motivational author, Terrie encouraged me to get in the ring and start creating my knit-dreams. Without her nudging, I’d still be thinking about publishing my own patterns. It’ll be a challenge but I can count on her to put her foot in my notions bag when I need it. 😉

Therese Socks side.

I figured I’d start with the one thing I’ve knit more of than anything: socks. So many options for toes, heels, stitch patterns to choose from, why not? This was truly a labor of love, with everything from realizing that what I KNOW doesn’t always make sense to others, to being disciplined in terms of timelines, to getting so frustrated at formatting the pattern template that I was ready to smash my laptop! (Luckily, it never came to that!)

I also want to thank ALL my Purls and ALL my yarnies for all the advice, encouragement, and well wishes on this endeavor.

Like what you see? Get the pattern on Ravelry (it’s free to join!), get to stitchin’ and enjoy this simple, lacy sock.

TTFN!

2015: The Year of the Socks

Wow, has it been that long? I guess it has. Moving right along…

Simple Skyp socks(blog shot)

 

This is the start of something new. Well, sort of. ShamekaKnits of the Knatural Purls has created the sock challenge of the year: 60MinSockagram! In this challenge, socks are knit and a photograph is taken every 60 minutes to document the progress. Through in some FO/modeled shots at the end and then chuck ’em all into Flipagram. Make a slideshow with all your photos and then post THAT to Instagram. There’s a Ravelry group as well if you’d like to join. I’m already on my second pair, the cast-on for which is feature above. Simple Skyp Socks, by Adrienne Ku, in Fable Fibers Story, in the Silver Birch colorway..

 

My first #60MinSockagram project was the Zigzagular Socks, by Susie White, in Artyarns Ultramerino4, in Olive.

Check out the sockagram video here, and here’s the FO shot:

CAM00761

 

I’ve been queueing sock patterns like a fool so picking subsequent pairs to knit is gonna be one hell of a challenge. We’ll see how that turns out.

 

Back to knitting I go! What are you knitting on? Hit me up in the comments.

 

TTFN!

WIPs are now FOs!

I recently got two WIPs off the needles: Harvest Sweater, and the Standing Stones cowl.

Harvest Sweater- Done!

 

Harvest Sweater, from TinCanKnits’ Simple Collection. I love how this fits me. And I’m extra pumped because It’s not super big like sweaters in the past have been. All these knitting years, between being big, and yet not knowing HOW big, I’d always erred on the side of caution, resulting in unnecessarily large sweaters. Now realizing I wasn’t as big as I thought I was, and deciding to actually pay attention to size and fit(yay for not having to use/buy as much yarn anymore!), I’m getting better turnouts. I’m still a little wary of sweaters only because I intend to get even smaller and don’t want things that’ll swim on me.

 

As for the knitting itself, it went really quick. Not seaming helped with that but then I re-realized two things: 1) while raglan shaping makes for easier trying-on while knitting, it seems to take forever to get where you need to be before setting aside the sleeve stitches. (BO-RING!), and 2), all those damn stitches on the needles is no good for my wrists. Or anyone’s wrists, for that matter. Which is why my next sweater is a seamed one.

Day 6:  WIP That’s the bottom of the back of Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted Ribbed Sweater (hey, that’s what they’re calling it!) from the Knitting Fever website. Ignore that garter ridge there. That’s a… design element! 😉

 

Then there’s Andee Fagan’s Standing Stones cowl,  a recent KAL with my Knatural Purls (We’re on Facebook, check us out if you’re there too!) crew. It was a really quick knit, 3.5 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease and I was done. It fits like a dream, and I look forward to wearing it. I’m not used to wearing over-the arms sort of things so this’ll be interesting, to say the least.

Standing Stones cowl-Done!

 

So, that’s pretty much it for this post. Mallow socks (pictured above with the nameless socks) are at the gusset-stage and heel-turning should begin this weekend. Or next. Or, whenever cause I’d really rather work on the sweater and read.. 

 

What’s on your hooks and needles? Let me know!

 

TTFN 

A Little Success Goes a Long Way…

Quite a bit has happened since the last post. After completing the 30-day green smoothie challenge I didn’t stop there. I kept going and adding back juices as well. And luckily the Ninja is holding up very well. Loving it!

I have been knitting too. This year’s Winter Olympics brought the Ravellenic Events on Ravelry and for the first time I joined in. Team KnaturalPurls FTW! I completed my Double “Plainbow” sweater, and cast on and finished my second Two-Step cowl (Ravelry link) made from luscious Malabrigo.. I now understand the love for that yarn..
And it's done! Double Plainbow, finished for the 2014 Ravellenics. Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Chili. Pattern by Rena Varsakis. #teamknaturalpurls #ravellenics #Ravellenics2014 #FO #sweater

It’s nice and warm, despite not being 100% wool, though that might have more to do with how tightly it was knit at first. I eventually worked my way from a US size 5 needle to a US 8, because it was just taking way too long. What possessed me to attempt a DK sweater in plain stockinette, I do not know. But it is done and I enjoy wearing it. I’m already planning a new sweater to knit and it too is largely stockinette but I think I’ll get to use a bigger needle this time. 😀

Once the Ravellenics were over I could get back to less fast-paced knitting. I’d been going cowl crazy earlier this winter and felt a complete set was in order.

Untitled

Hurricane Hat and matching handwarmers. The two patterns are pretty much the same, only the handwarmers use less stitches in the patterning and there’s no decreasing. Two different designers, too. I took it upon myself to just take the hat pattern and keep going straight up and make a cowl. Plain and simple. It works! Pics of that soon enough. For now, just imagine the hat without a crown!

As for the title of this post, this is what else is going on in BeanKnit land: I am losing weight!

With the whole juice and smoothie-ing going on I’d dropped a few pounds and it really shows. Everyone is complimenting me and I even needed to get new jeans for my slightly slimmer figure. 🙂 So, I’m on a roll, looking to push this further and really get back down to a healthier weight. I downloaded the C25KFree app and set to.

Ouch. At first I was trying to run too fast too soon(and ultimately, speed isn’t the goal, really), and even with breaks I couldn’t complete the 30-min workout. But after a lockerroom break and more thought I went back in there and adjusted my jog speed and it worked! I tried it this time for 15 min. instead of 30 and was surprised that I’d run(No pun intended) out of time! Go me! 😀 I’m already looking forward to starting again on Monday.

And to go with that, healthier food. I made my own almond milk yesterday:

Home made Almond Milk

My smoothies usually contain almond or coconut milk. But that ish costs almost $5 a half gallon. Nope! Gotta do better than that. So I went and tried my hand at pressing my own. Easy, quick and worth the effort. I used this recipe.

For my first post-workout meal I opted for a meat-less lunch: Pomelo, spinach and feta salad, with raspberry vinaigrette dressing(which OMG tastes like you can fill a pie with it… sigh).

Post-workout lunch! Pomelo, spinach and feta with raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing. The pomelo tastes good, but there's a LOT of pith to contend with. Will have to work on my peeling skills. #lunchtime  #pigouttime #postworkoutmeal #hungry #mmm

Delicious with some fruit-infused water, another thing I’ve been getting into, to help me get more water into my body. So far, so good.

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you?

 

TTFN! (OMGlob I need to soak! Yeek!) 😀

Happy New Year 2014!

So, I’ve been doing all manner of things since my last post. I recovered from the crazy of 5K land, though I’ll probably be trying that again soon, because, fitness! Then I got to donate to Children of Promise, this holiday season, and hung out with some beautiful, talented knitters all December long. 2014 got off to a raucous start, though.

It started with a nasty cold which brought me down to giving in to a visit to urgent care. Thank goodness for late Friday night hours, is all I can say. Oh, and 24hr pharmacies.. 🙂

Then, while that was going on I was trying to knit and smoothie myself silly. I’ve joined the Simple Green Smoothies’ 30-day smoothie challenge and so far, so good. I’ve been documenting the experience (or, at least photographic evidence of it) over on Instagram if you’re so inclined.

Merry early Xmas to me and the family. I'd been talking about getting a juicer for quite some time.  Mom and I first juiced back in the 90s. I figured it was time to get back to it. #juicing #liquiddinner

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

I used to use a juicer way back in the late 80s, early 90s when my mom was still alive. We juiced every and anything.
Sometimes it was good, sometimes, not so much. But between the juice fasts I’ve been hearing about and the smoothie challenge I think I’m pretty well covered. It’s a hard road, but I’m still on it. Slow and steady wins the race, they say…

But knitting. I’ve been on a serious cowl kick as of late, completing 7 in about as many weeks. Highlights:
Untitled

Stockholm Scarf

Finito! Fear of Commitment cowl. This KP WotA is no joke! My neck will be warm!  #FO #knitting #knitfaster  #fiberary #fiberuary #cowl

Fear of Comittment
Untitled
Armonika

There was also the Luxe Cowl, as well as the Who’s Cowl’d?‘s designed by Therese Ross-Carter. Therese makes awesome, easy-to-knit patterns that I love. Check out her Two Step, as well!

 

I just blocked a Two Step the other day and will seam that later on today. Then it’s photo time!

 

TTFN!

 

 

It’s been a long time…

since my last post, I know. I have been working on projects of the yarny kind and here’s the proof:

Not one, but two! crocheted Chevron Lace cardigans. One for me, and one for littlest Beanlet.

Matchy Chevron Lace Cardigans

Chevron side(child)

Chevron front (adult)

We have been getting compliments left and right on these sweaters, especially when we were them at the same time. I’ve since moved on to knitting a different sweater that I will feature in another post(read: when I get a decent photo of it!). But little one has taken to spending a little more than a few minutes every morning trying to decide which one to wear that day. After I finish some school sweaters for the older two Beanlets I may go and make yet another for her( my most appreciative yarn-gift recipient of the three), before I get started on another for myself.

This will serve as my ‘Rhinebeck sweater’ for this year’s visit. Yes! I’m finally going again after a long, 4-year absence. I can’t WAIT!!! 😀  Are you going? If so, hope to meet you there!

In this post:

Chevron Lace Cardigan

About 8 balls of Red Heart Super Saver(mill ends) in Aran Fleck

Size 48 done for me in a K hook, Size 44 for her, but with a G hook

Both of these took  4 days each of work, having not worked on any other projects.