Not Knitting

In the time of Not Knitting, I did do some stuff:

Cooked – To save money and stop eating junk, I’ve been cooking more. Previously, the more I looked at recipes and Pinterest, the more paralyzed I became about cooking wrong. Then I found the YouTube channel Brothers Green Eats and it totally flipped a switch. They are very laid back about, well, everything it seems. They give guidelines instead of rules. This has allowed me to chill out in the kitchen and experiment more…with delicious results. For example:

Planted – Fun fact: my interest in being self-sufficient is directly proportional to how scary I see the world. This has lead me down a homesteading rabbit hole. There’s something nice about the idea of knowing where your food came from and how it was treated. There’s something even nicer about not giving my money to the very corporations that are destroying the planet and screwing over everyone. While I may not be able to buy several acres and build a house out of trees on my own land, I can make use of the community garden plot provided to me by my apartment complex. And buy some books on how to can and how to have a more sustainable household along with reading blogs homesteading/gardening.

Researched – My husband and I have started thinking about maybe someday buying a house. I’ve been doing research about what is available in our area, price points, and wish lists. We’re nowhere near ready but it’s been fun looking into it. We’re going to take a class locally for first time home buyers as well so we can possible qualify for some grants!

Budgeted – This kind of goes hand in hand with everything on the list. Finances have kind of taken a back seat the last year or so, especially in the last six months. We’re working to get those things tightened back up, get our savings rebuilt, get out of debt and start working towards financial independence. A cool thing this month is we managed to not take ANYTHING out of our savings account, only put funds in! I call that a pretty big win. If you need a good budgeting tool, I highly recommend You Need a Budget – it costs a little bit but has been instrumental in helping my finances (this is NOT an affiliate link, I get nothing for recommending them – I’m just a fan).

Coming up – I’ve already started knitting again. There are some sewing projects I’d like to get started (practice napkins, a baby blanket for the future nephew, an apron, project bags and taking in some pants). The big one though, is keeping up on the blog. I’m not going to promise any posting schedule or anything right now, but I do enjoy it and would like to get into the habit.

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Two Rows

If you’re like me, you haven’t really been able to do much of anything the last six months other than obsessively scroll through twitter and the news. Just stare at a screen, scared and angry. At turns worried and embarrassed.

You may be feeling like it’s really hard to find joy anywhere, when it feels like the country is falling apart. When you realize how broken the country really is and that you were willfully ignorant for a long time. That the world can no longer trust us. And you’re so angry at the so-called leaders who are supposed to be looking out for the masses are only looking out for themselves and corporations.

Turns out, if you’re like me, you lay on the couch a lot and watch old tv shows in order to cope. You re-read books that you know have happy endings. Occasionally you go on long tirades to your significant other, venting your anger and eventually crying on their shoulder because you’re so scared. When you’re me, you think a lot about doing something creative but just can’t muster up the energy. You dabble in new hobbies, feel that adrenaline rush of learning something new and then, end up not caring a few weeks later.

You overspend, overeat and undersleep.

You wonder if this is just how it is now.

And yet, you see that people with your values haven’t given up. There are marches, petitions, town halls and court rulings. There are pussy hats, the ACLU and sanctuary cities that won’t back down. There are people punching Nazis, shouting down supremacists, and heroes on trains who stood up and unfortunately, pay a price for it.

But you also see joy is still out there. There are still great podcasts to listen to. New blogs to discover. Youtube series to watch. Walks in the sunshine. Farmer’s Markets. Friends who come a-visiting. If you’re me, you might learn how to cook more than 3 meals. Discover you actually do like peppers and onions! You plant a few plants in your apartment’s community garden and discover the snap pea seeds you shoved in the ground actually sprouted. Maybe you make Rice Krispies treats for the first time in years. Find out that you’re going to be an aunt to a baby boy.

Maybe, just maybe, you knit two rows on a project that has been languishing. Even if it’s 9:30pm and you spent 45 minutes looking for the needles. You sit in bed and feel the softness of the Malabrigo slid between your fingers, hear the soft clink of the needles, and quietly count your knits and purls and you think Ohhhh, that’s right…this is what calm feels like.

You decide that no one, especially that man, will steal your joy.

V Scarf by TinyAnt – knit with Malabrigo Rios in
Fresco y Seco

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Knitting Mojo

The last few months I’ve been in a real knitting funk. I fully lost my mojo.

I was told a few weeks back that my sister-in-law is expecting the first baby in my husband’s immediate family and LIKE CHILEAN MINERS, EMERGING FROM THE DEPTHS so too has my knitting mojo.

Case in point:

Flax by Tin Can Knits – knit up in Berroco Vintage in Cracked Pepper

I swatched, cast on and knit an entire baby sweater in about a week and half.

However, my mojo may have abandoned me again…I’ve currently been working on one swatch for over a week.

P.S. Bonus points if you know the Chilean Miners reference.

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Sweater!

After several false starts I’ve finally made some progress on a sweater! I’m making a baby sweater so I can see how the whole sweater process works and last night I separated the body & the sleeves and it’s LOOKING LIKE A SWEATER!

This is Flax by Tin Can Knits – it’s part of their “Simple Collection” which is a free learn to knit set of patterns. I’m knitting it out of Berroco Vintage in the Cracked Pepper colorway. The pattern is easy to follow, has great schematics and there are links to tutorials and resources at the tricky parts. It’s been great and I’m so excited to finish up the body and do the sleeves!

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Gadgets (aka, All I Want For Christmas)

I’m a bit of a gadget person. If there’s a thing out there that solves an issue in a clever way, I want it.

You know who is GREAT at this? Akerworks.

I have a few of their bobbins – and they’re a dang treat. I also follow them on Instagram so I often see the cool new things they’re working on.

Like the relatively new Lazy Kate (pic shamelessly stolen from their site – clicks through to their site though!):

Or what about their modular drop spindles (Pic also shamelessly stolen)?

This time though, they’ve gone TOO FAR in awesomeness (pic stolen from their site).

This. Is. A. Gauge. Swatch. Tool.

It holds the swatch down. It makes it very clear where the stitches are and how to count them. It is SO COOL I MIGHT SCREAM.

I am LUSTING after this. Like, I may actually do swatches if I have one. Now to subtly hint to my husband that he should get this for me for Christmas…

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Belated FO: Gnome Barf Gloves

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I finished these ages ago but only recently started pulling them out to use at work and in the mornings. There are definitely some things I would have done differently (the stockinette is a bit baggy, for example…that jog there is pretty annoying too) but the gloves are warm and I have received several compliments on the color (Socks that Rock in Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in case you were wondering).

I had grand plans for Christmas knitting but November really knocked me for a loop. I’m still recovering from the mental stress. So rather than add to it I’m just enjoying whatever I happen to work on.

I did find time to get in the Christmas spirit however:

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My husband has a Star Trek ornament up there…I clearly need some knitting ones.

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Finished Object: Swirly Hat

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Swirly rainbow hat is COMPLETE! It was a perfect opportunity to try out Helen…I should have taken the picture from a different angle, but that’s ok, practice makes better.

I’ve long lusted after this yarn from The Lemonade Shop (Sparkle Stormy Day in the Sparkle DK base) and it more than lived up to my expectations. Soft, sparkly and just plain gorgeous.

It’s a vanilla hat, started on smaller needles for the ribbing and then went up a size to keep the swirl going. I had some…challenges…with figuring out how many stitches to cast on. I am too impatient with my swatches. Next hat I do, I’ll actually do a large enough swatch and swatch in the round vs swatching flat and see if that makes a difference.

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Blog Recommendation: Violently Domestic

Just wanted to post with a quick blog recommendation in case you haven’t seen it before!

If you love yarn, have an interest in learning what goes into self-publishing knitting patterns & books, good writing, and/or amazing pictures – I’d HIGHLY recommend checking out Violently Domestic.

The blog is written by Hunter Hammersen (of Curls, The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet series, among others) and she is a delight!

I first heard of her designs a while ago listening to The Knitmore Girls. I randomly wandered over to her amazon page to see about getting a book and saw that she had a blog.

Hmmm, I said to myself, I’m always looking for new knitting-centric blogs…

And away I went. Over the last week I’ve read through all the back entries and it is a fascinating read. Her first post is when she decided to put a pattern up on a whim and the blog covers her design adventures from then on. Plus, she’s super nice on twitter.

So – go – check it out. Buy some of her books. Pick up a pattern or two. At the very least, look at pretty things!

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