Just Because

   
   I love it when I get an idea for something and I have no idea where the inspiration came from.  The elements of this project came together organically, and I just went with it, not overthinking it.  Knitting doesn’t always have to play by the rules!  I wanted a project where I could improvise, be free to play and experiment.  Black, white, and neon all over seemed like a good idea.  And mixing up the heels, cuffs and toes?  Well, that just felt whimsical and sometimes that’s just the thing.

These socks were my purse and on-the-go knitting for the past couple of months.  They came together bit by bit in cars, restaurants, shops, and at home when anything else seemed like too much trouble.  Stitch by stitch, row by row they grew without me really even trying.  The yarn was just such a pleasure to work with, and I was so amused with thinking about what color to use next.

Both of these yarns are from Knitted Wit, a dyer whose color sense is rich, multifaceted, and a bit whimsical.  You can get more details over on my Ravelry page.

That’s two pairs of socks this year!  I’m tempted to cast on another pair to have as my portable knitting. What are your go-to simple sock patterns?

Yarn Along:: On Fire!

Yarn Along ~ 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? 

In my knitting basket

I’ve been knitting like wildfire on my new Tidal cardigan.  This cardigan is one I know I’ll get tons of wear out of, but isn’t the most exciting to knit.  That’s also why it was perfect for autopilot vacation knitting last week!  I took just one project with me, and knit 8 out of 11 inches for the body.  Not bad for a week’s work!  There might be something to this monogamous knitting thing… I am loving the yarn: Knitted Wit’s zesty DK Polwarth/Silk blend.  It’s soft and shiny, and has subtle hue variations from her dying process that really make the stitches sing.

On my nightstand

As a solo business woman, I often look for outside inspiration to stay motivated and innovative.  We can only do so much by ourselves, right?  To that end, I’ve recently been enjoying The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. Full of juicy insights and encouragement, this book is literally setting me free from some of my old thoughts and patterns.  Some gems:

Procrastination can be divine…what seems like avoidance may be a deeper inkling of wrong timing.  Hesitation can be a form of wisdom. Motivations become clearer; new motivation shows up.

~ Danielle LaPorte

And:

If you try to keep your most sacred ambitions off of your weekly calendar and your most genuine traits off of your resume, then you’re missing out on the power of real integrity.

~ Danielle LaPorte

Another business and life tool I’m utilizing right now is Marie Forleo’s amazing Rich Happy and Hot B-School e-course.  I have been following her website and enjoying her free business videos for months; when the opportunity came up to take this class, it was a no brainer.  It’s the first week, and I’ve already had a few great new ideas for my business, how to manage my family and work calendar with less overwhelm, and am generally feeling more motivated and inspired.

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

***

Today’s post is full of enlivened women who inspire me by doing business in a way that they’re passionate about and excellent at.

Who inspires you?  Are you doing something that makes you excited to get out of bed each day?  If not, what tiny step could you take today to move toward living your dream?

This Little Ziggy

After a recent trunk show at Stash, I was smitten with the Ziggy hat from PDXKnitterati. Lorajean of Knitted Wit had some small skeins of her polwarth silk blend wound up, and we got to pick and choose colors, which is always fun. I went with my standard color combo of purple and green, with a little blue thrown in.


This was a fast, fun, and addictive knit. I knit the pattern as written until the top when I opted for a short icord.  All the while I could be heard muttering “one more repeat…must get to the next color…”
This was intended for PB, but given her last reaction to something I knit, I decided to keep it at the shop for a bit. Which means that when little friends drop in for a visit, I make them try it on and pose for me. Can you say “future knitter”?

Opie

Guster

Now that I’ve got this toddler knitting out of my system, I’m moving forward with some selfish knitting for a bit.  On the needles right now? A sweater and a hat, and it feels great!

 

The Loot

It seems I forgot to share my fiber fest loot with you last week.  So sorry!  I realize the following photos of yarn and yarn-related goodies may be drool-inducing to some, perhaps even inspiring a link click or online purchase in others.  I understand and support your addiction.  Personally, I think I’m going on a yarn-buying freeze for a bit, not because I bought so much last weekend, but because there is so much beautiful yarn out there to buy.  How can I possibly bring home every skein I fall in love with?!

Without further ado, may I present you with my  OFFF 2010 purchases.

Abstract Fiber Supersock in Sweet Pea

Abstract Fiber Matisse in Manzanita

I’ll admit it: I went to this festival hoping to fall in love.  I had a short list of vendors I wanted to hit up in person after hearing about them online and in podcasts.  Abstract Fiber was one such yarn company, and I was not disappointed.  The colors and skeins were gorgeous.  Saturated colors in every imaginable combination, all with great names evocative of the colors or places in Portland and Oregon.  My friend Burk was tempted by a skein named after his Portland neighborhood, Laurelhurst.  Everyone in the booth was very friendly and helpful, even encouraging me to look through the “knotty” yarn basket for a color I had in hand in order to save $5.  I think I ended up with a knotty Manzanita; fingers crossed the knots are few and concentrated toward the beginning or end of the skein.

Next I hit up the Knitted Wit booth to meet up with Michelle.  I wasn’t familiar with the yarn offerings of Knitted Wit, but I wasn’t disappointed.  This was my first glittery yarn sighting, something that became a theme throughout the day.  I bought this skein of yarn which has real silver spun into it.

Knitted Wit Bling in Stellar

And that’s all the yarn I bought!  As I explained in an earlier post, my ability to buy yarn left me after lunch when I was struck dumb by all the beautiful options.  Instead, I got inspired to buy some fun and useful pieces to enhance my knitting experience.

Doormat from Lantern Moon

Some of you noticed this gem in the photos from OFFF.  I found it at the Knitted Wit booth.  It was the deal of the day at just $10.  I had to bring this doormat home, no hesitation.  Spike’s glad I did, and so am I; it really helps warm up our new entryway.

Project Protector and Magnetic Book Marks from Slipped Stitch Studios

I could have bought one of everything from Slipped Stitch Sudios.  Instead, I limited myself to two things I had never seen before.  This adorable hedgehog-adorned folio is one of the most original things I saw all day.  It opens up to reveal a plastic-covered pouch slightly larger than an average piece of paper.  You can slide a pattern in and then refer to it flat or propped open pyramid style.  The magnets can be used in books, magazines, or on loose paper to mark your place in a pattern.  I slipped one onto the plastic shield in the project folder and it highlights the line of the pattern I am working on.  Brilliant and cute all in one, a favorite combination!

Sweetie surprised me with this little treasure box from Miss Purl, giving me the not-so-subtle hint that I may have outgrown my repurposed stitch marker containers.  It’s just as well, I like this much better.

stitch marker box from Miss Purl

And that concludes my presentation!  I may have purchased a couple other little things that I can’t show right away, but trust me when I say there was no shortage of inspiration and temptation.