FO:: Little Oak

A sweet knit for an even sweeter baby, Little Oak was the perfect project for an autumn baby boy.  I really enjoyed knitting this cardigan, and tried to infuse good thoughts and hopes of restful nights for my friend  and her new baby as I knit each stitch.  This baby will be swathed not only in good vibes, but good yarn, too!  I’m pretty set on the idea that cashmere yarns knit up faster than those without, and so far my theory stands unthwarted.

“Cashmere?!” you gasp.  “For a baby?!”  Yes, for a baby.  But not just any baby.  The baby of a mama whose own mama is a prolific knitter.  This woman knows how to clothe her little ones in the woolens, and I am sure this wee sweater will fare just fine.  And if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too. I had a lot of fun knitting it, and seeing the look on my firend’s face when she unwrapped it was priceless.  I don’t ever even need to see it on the baby.

Okay, that’s a lie.  Maybe just once.

Welcome to the world, bhaiya!

Yarn Along:: Dragons and Crocs and Knitting, oh My!

From Small Things: ~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Welcome back to blogland!  I took a little break to enjoy the holidays with my family, and look forward to sharing some highlights with you soon.  I have been knitting and reading quite a bit, so I thought I would rejoin the Wednesday Yarn Along crew and tell you about it.

The past couple of times PB visited me at the shop, she would pull the new Yarn Harlot book off the shelf and take it over to a small stool to read.  Whether it be the book’s small size or deft humor, something appealed.  And so I decided that I had better see what all the toddler fuss was about and finally bought my own copy of All Wound Up.  With her signature wit and wisdom, Pearl-Mcphee delivers some great essays and stories that we as knitters and parents can definitely relate to.  At first, I had a hard time shaking the feeling that I had read some version of many of the stories on her blog; but she settles in and I decided to accept that there may be some overlap.

Swamplania! is a recent acquisition I made after hearing it reviewed on NPR.  It’s an insightful and quirky coming of age story about a young girl and her family’s business of running a gator-centric attraction in Florida.  They hit an unlucky patch and their livelihood and identity is threatened with extinction.  I am really enjoying the descriptive and insightful writing, and look forward to seeing where the young female narrator will go next.

And for the knitting…this is a project I cast on for ages ago when I needed something simple to work on during a long car ride.  I made it through the ribbing, then it got set aside in favor of other projects.  I picked it back up over the weekend when I again needed something simple to work on while I avoided picking up and knitting the sleeves on my Oatmeal Pullover.  The yarn is a Luminosity Project colorway called Dragon from Pigeonroof Studios, and it is indeed luminous.  So many deep and shimmering shades of green and brown!  Loving the Cream and Sugar Cowl pattern with its wide cables, though it is going a bit slowly with so many stitches on fingering weight yarn.

What’s on your nightstand and in your project bag this week?

 

Inspired.

One of the things I was most excited over about last weekend’s trip was the opportunity to meet so many amazing knitters. Sure, it’s wonderful to be around so much beautiful yarn, but mostly I knew the place would be swarming with knitters, all talking about and wearing knitting. And I find that very comforting and inspiring. An event like this seems to help us all let our inner knitting-nerd out to play! I’m normally quite shy about meeting new people, but at a wool festival I rarely hesitate to ask someone what she’s knitting, what pattern she’s wearing, or what yarn she used. So it was doubly exciting when I just kept bumping in to some of my favorite podcasters and designers throughout the marketplace, and actually had the nerve to go up and talk to them! Everyone was so nice and welcoming of my questions and requests for a photo.

The first designer I happened upon was the delightful Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting.  I came around a corner and she was just standing there, all by herself, in the booth she was sharing with Becoming Art Yarns.  So I took a deep breath, walked over and just started talking to her!  She helped me pick out yarn and a couple of patterns (Oak Grove Mitts & Autumn Vines beret), and quickly agreed to a photo (or 3–we had to be sure we both looked cute).

Her designs have always appealed to me, and yet I haven’t knit any of them before.  Seeing the samples in person made me want to cast them all on immediately.  If you like her patterns online, you’ll love how they look knit up; the samples are so beautiful, and her new pattern layouts are stunning.  And seriously, this Becoming Art yarn is a thing of beauty.  Soft, squishy, saturated in gorgeous color beauty.

I met these ladies at the Anzula fiber booth, and they actually asked me if I wouldn’t mind having a photo taken.  Sure!  So I handed my camera off to get a copy as well.  This yarn is beautiful (I feel like I’m saying that a lot, but it’s true).  Anne Kuo Lukito‘s hat pattern line is inspired by notable women of knitting and have names you might recognize like Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker.  I bought a kit for the EZ cloche hat in a springy green called Sour Apple.

Peaceful Knitter, Sabrina, Anne Ku Lukito

Later that same day, my mom (aka The Granny Nanny) brought PB over from the hotel for a little yarn shopping and lunch.  They waited in line with me to meet Jasmin and Gigi at their Knitmore Girls meetup.  Don’t they both look excited about yarn and knitting?

I had quickly knit up a preemie hat on the trip down to CA to donate to their Head to Toes project and was anxious to hand it off in person.  They were so friendly and warm, and handed everyone who brought a hat a cute mug and swag bag full of yarn. This isn’t the best photo, but I think it represents the excitement and energy of the event:

Peaceful Baby, Greg, Gigi, Jasmin, Dr. Gemma, me

Last but not least was the lovely Jordana Paige. I have admired her chic knitting bags for some time, and went to Stitches intending to buy one of hers or a Namaste bag, depending on which called out to me more.  I stopped by her booth first, and she gave me a lovely tour of the bags I liked, pointing out all the knitterly features within: pouches for yarn, tabs to hold the working strand in place, zippered pockets, slots for tools, oh my!  This definitely fits the bill for me as a combination knitting bag and purse, and it’s super stylish as well. Did you know she designs patterns, too?  I tell you, these people are all overflowing with talent!

There were a few people who I was a little starstruck by and didn’t ask for a photo, though. I took a whole (amazing, knit/life-changing) class with Cookie A. and didn’t have the nerve to talk to her after. What’s that about? Same goes for Rosemary Hill and Lily Chin. Maybe next year!

All in all this was a worthwhile trip on many levels.  This knitting mama needed a little change of scenery to regroup, recharge, and get inspired again.  An afternoon at a yarn shop could have easily done the trick, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to take this trip.  I’m itching to cast on so many new projects, as well as try my hand at designing a few things that have been floating around in my mind.  I came home to blooming spring flowers, and feel myself blooming a bit after this trip.  We all need to take that time to nurture our creative selves, whether it be in small or large ways.  Surrounding myself with like-minded people and beautiful yarn in a new city is one of my favorite ways to do this!

How do you recharge and get inspired?