5 Shawls That Are Cozy AF

When I taught myself to knit, my game plan was hats. Then socks. I tried scarves but hated the slog of knitting them. I never thought I would knit shawls because I didn’t understand wearing them. Then, I eventually realized how one is worn. And…I got sucked in. Lisa Mutch of Northbound Knitting fame has a ton of gorgeous shawls. She is the one whose patterns finally got me on the shawl game.

While I haven’t knit a shawl in a while now, I love the construction. I love the look of a fresh, just on the needles WIP. Nothing makes me happier, in regards to knitting WIPs, actually.

So, I thought it would be fun to show you guys my top 5 shawls!

One of my favorite shawls to knit was Clinquant by Lisa Mutch. It was hard to pick my favorite from Lisa but when I think of which ones I had the most fun knitting, Clinquant is definitely at the top. This is knit out of DK and is such a quick knit. It is like a hug that keeps you warm and comforted all day. I knit mine using NBK’s Merino Silk DK out of the Metallurgy colorway – the most perfect colorway to ever exist. This shawl features drop stitches, which I LOVELOVELOVE, and interesting construction. I have only worn it a couple of times as the last time I wore it, one of the dogs got their nails stuck in the drop stitches. I need to re-block and make sure nothing was ruined. [As far as I can tell, no threads were snapped, so I think we will be good.]

Next up is the Topography Kerchief by Melissa Stajda. I knit mine out of Knitty and Color’s Daydreaming colorway on her DK base, with a border of some Northbound Knitting DK leftovers in the Moonstone colorway. The pattern is so fun and easy to customize. Simple knitting with fun textures that makes the shawl really unique to you. And it is MADE for those special skeins that you buy because THE COLORS and then aren’t sure what to do it with it. This shawl really showcases the yarn without being completely boring.

Remember a year or so ago when gradients were EVERYWHERE?? Gradients haven’t gone out of style, of course. But I know that when the fad first started, we all added some gradient sets to our stash. Then…what do you knit? Gratitude by Deborah Frank is THE perfect choice. This shawl is perfect on-the-go knitting, easy to memorize and perfect to customize. I knit mine out of various grey and purple Northbound Knitting scraps that the Miss Deborah Frank had gifted me. I love this shawl so much.

The Brave at Heart shawl by Lydia Brown is one of my favorites I have knit. I was lamenting at WWKIP Day that I wished I still had this shawl. I gifted this to my boss and I still think she was the perfect recipient of this knit. When I think about to my knits, this is one of my most favorite. These are not colors I would wear, though, even though it was gorgeous. So knitting another one in greys/blacks or purples will definietley need to happen. Maybe very soon…. This shawl was written for sport weight but I knit it with DK. Easy to customize for that and very easy to make bigger or smaller, if needed. I used Unwind Yarn Company’s Touring DK in the Glamping At Its Finest colorway. This was a special edition colorway from the 2015 Into the Wool fiber retreat.

Last but not least, I feel like I cannot make this list without including the Pure Joy shawl by Joji Locatelli. This shawl features some of my favorite things: stripes, eyeletes, short rows. Easy and fun to knit and SO EASY to make fun combinations. I knit mine out of Hedgehog Fibre’s skinny single base in Quiver (multi) and Wobble (blue). I gifted this shawl to a dear friend and NEVER got a FO picture. Whoops! If you are a fan of shawls, I highly recommend this one. It is such a great knit, easy to wear, and just wonderfully written.


 

Have you knit any of these shawls? What other shawls would you add to this list?

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WWKIP Day 2017

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of getting to celebrate World Wide Knit In Public (WWKIP) Day with my local knitting friends. A few of us met for lunch, had a lovely time chatting and of course knitting, before heading to Books-a-Million to meet up with even more knitters and to continue the chatting.

Knitting in public is not a new concept for me. 80% of the time, when I leave the house, I have knitting. Sometimes I knit when we go out to eat, sometimes I don’t. I’m not consistent there. But I enjoy having a project with me just in case.

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Once a month, my local knitting friends and I get together for lunch and what we refer to as Sock Club. When it originally started, it was intended for knitting socks. Now, we just knit whatever we want. We have fun and for some of us [myself include at this point in time], this is the only time we really get to knit during the month.

I haven’t had the chance to attend sock club much these past few months. It was nice to get to visit with friends and play catch up…and add a couple of inches to my hat.

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I even had the opportunity to knit in public before our official meet up. We had a yard sale yesterday and I assisted in helping that morning before leaving. I even finished a sock while helping. I started this sock Christmas Eve 2016 and I am just now finishing the first sock. I tell you — my knitting mojo has been incredibly hit or miss these past few months. But I am excited to have a HO!

Did any of you get the chance to Knit in Public for WWKIP Day? What projects did you work on?

WIP It Wednesday: June 07, 2017

I finally, at the beginning of the six month of this year, feel like I’m getting back into knitting. I’m not necessarily as inspired by knitting as I would like, but I am at the point where I want to knit again. I’ve been rather stressed these last few weeks and, though I had stated I would not be casting on a new project anytime soon, I decided it was time to cast on a new project.

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Enter the Shirestones Hat by Mina Phillipp of Knitting Expat Designs and the Knitting Expat video podcast (a lovely podcast, by the way, if you’ve yet to watch it). I have a lot of Mina’s patterns in my queue but have yet to take the plunge on knitting one. When my friend, Daniela of the Caffeinated Crafting video podcast, announced she would be hosting a Knitting Expat KAL for the months of May and June, I knew I wanted to jump in.

As I briefly mentioned before, I have not felt inspired with my knitting lately. I’m keeping patterns simple, once I can memorize or just briefly look at before I begin knitting in the evening. I want something more detailed, but I just don’t have it in me right now.

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So while I really wanted to knit a shawl, like Mina’s Across the Pond shawl, I decided something with a little less commitment might be best for me. So I browsed her patterns and came across this Shirestones hat. It was perfect.

A four-row repeat, this textured hat is an easy-to-memorize pattern, perfect for knitting while watching TV and easy on-the-go knitting, if I were to need something like that. And it’s a hat! One of the reasons I wanted to learn to knit was because I wanted hats. Hats are my happy place and it’s nice to sit down and knit one for myself.

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The yarn is just scrumptious. This is Hedgehog Fibre’s Merino DK in the Dragonfly colorway. This is my first time knitting with their DK weight yarn and boy, oh boy, it’s just as wonderful as their sock and single bases. This was a gift from a friend that I am so thankful to have in my life. The knitting community is just full of some of the most awesome people.

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And not only that, but my stitch marker comes from Rick of Whimzee Stitches with a bag from JavaJennie of Kitchen Counter Crafter fame. This project just makes me think of so many amazing people; it’s like my own little bundle of joy.

I am about halfway done with the body. I did make some modifications:

  • Mina’s pattern has you fold the brim for extra warmth, but as someone who runs hot pretty much all year round, I didn’t deem that necessary. Instead, I knit the brim until I was pleased with the length then moved on to the body. I may need to add some extra repeats to make up for length, but I think I will be just fine.
  • She recommends a size US 6, while I am using a Knit Picks nickel plated fixed circular in US 7.
  • I am also using a DK weight yarn where the pattern calls for worsted. I think it will work out just fine, though.

 


 

What is your current project? Have you knit any of Mina’s patterns before?

Weave Me Alone

In 2009, I taught myself how to knit. In 2013, a friend taught me how to spin. In 2016, I decided I wanted to learn to weave.

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While attending Fiber in the Boro, one of my favorite local fiber events, I splurged on the Pop Out Loom from Black Sheep Goods. I found myself stopping and looking at lots of weaving projects and talking to many who were weaving. But I didn’t want to completely jump in and purchase a new fiber tool with something I wasn’t 100% sure I would be interested in. When I came across her booth, I knew this was the perfect solution. I could try out weaving, see what I thought about it before completely jumping in.

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And I do love it. I thought I would. So much so, I decided to upgrade in December of 2016 to a Schacht Cricket Loom. My mother and Daniela, one of my best friends [the lady who taught me to spin, actually], took a trip to a semi-local yarn store (about 40 minutes away) that we knew had looms in stock. They both had two 15-inch looms left, so Daniela and I both picked one up. She has completely jumped on the weaving train [she even has a shop with some FANTASTIC project bags with weaving incorporated]. My loom still sits on my desk, the first project still there.

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I love using the pop out loom. I love the mobility of it. I love the quickness of it. I do love my loom, but I hate where it is located. It is on the built in desk because that is really the only place in our house that it would fit. I am going to start setting aside money for a stand. I am rather certain that if I was able to move the loom around I would be more inclined to actually work on my weaving projects.

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I am thinking that, for now, my goals for my weaving projects are more art based: I am enjoying making the wall hangings and cannot wait to make more. I think the loom is more for bigger projects and that is not where my mindset is, currently. I do want to finish the scarf that I have on there and I have plans to make some larger pieces to eventually become wall hangings with some of my early spinning projects. And I have some pieces planned for kitchen towels.

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So, I am glad I waited to splurge on the big ticket item. And I probably could have waited on that purchase, seeing how little I have actually used it. But I do know that once it gets a good place, I do believe that my weaving will increase.

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But this pop out loom. I love this thing. I love working on projects with it while watching TV, while listening to books, while listening to music. The Cricket Loom will be wonderful when I am ready for it. The pop out loom is my baby, though. And I am so thankful and happy with that purchase. I cannot wait to get more pieces and eventually have our wall going up the stairs full of handmade pieces.

Are you a weaver? What items have you made? What are projects that you typically like to work on?

What I’m Watching: May 2017

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I love movies. I love TV. I am someone who constantly has the TV on, even if it’s just for background noise. I am not someone who likes to not have something playing. I thought it would be fun to keep up with what we’re watching each month, both new releases and not-so-new.

Movies
I miss the times where we went to the movies weekly. It just isn’t practical, moneywise, anymore. Maybe it wasn’t when we did it, either. I feel like we watch movies so much less lately. I think that this is more the fault of the movie industry and their lack of interesting viewings for us more than us being uninterested, though.

Office Christmas Party
I will admit…it’s rather odd to be watching a holiday movie outside of said holiday. The only time I do this is with Halloween-esque movies; I’ll watch those all year. However, I wanted to check this movie out. I am a fan of TJ Miller, Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, and Vanessa Bayer. I was excited when I saw that they were all in a movie together, though I felt torn when it was this movie.

TJ Miller is of course hilarious. Everyone has good movie chemistry with only a few things that made me make a WTF face. I found this movie to be funny and entertaining to watch. However, I doubt I will ever actually watch it again.

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
We did splurge to go see this movie. I could not let it leave the theater without seeing it. We were huge fans of the first one and I was excited to see what they would do for a follow-up. The opening credits, featuring Baby Groot, was my favorite part. Visually appealing, well acted, hilarious, fantastic soundtrack. So many positives! And while I enjoyed the movie, I’m not sure if it was great. The storyline wasn’t that interesting to me, but it was so well acted and visually appealing, my brain is overlooking that and wanting to say it was a great movie. A good movie, sure, definitely. But I feel like the story in and of itself was missing on some things. That being said – it was a great experience and I look forward to watching it again. I’d probably even go see it again in the theater.

You’ve Got Mail
I love pretty much anything Tom Hanks touches. And this is one of my favorite romantic comedies. It is so adorable, so well done, and just so lovely. I don’t have enough to say about this movie.

TV Shows

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Project Runway: Seasons 9 and 10
Since this is the first time I’m doing this [hello, new blog!], I will warn you all right now: at least one season of Project Runway will always be on this list. This is my go-to background noise show. And when I am stuck being creative, this is what I will watch to help re-spark my creativity. I actually own seasons 1-6 on DVD and I watch the later season on Hulu. I love this show so much, though after season…12, I think, I really start to lose interest. The first few seasons are my favorite. I may do a very outdated review of earlier seasons while I rewatch.

 

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Twin Peaks
I have been busy re-watching season two of Twin Peaks in honor of the new Showtime season. We are going to wait until the entire season is out before we watch the new season, so no spoilers here on that! I love this weird show and cannot wait to see what they’ve done with the reboot.

Parks and Recreation
This has been a “throw on for background noise” show for me, as well. I love this show so much. Sometimes I’ll put it on to go to sleep to, but it will usually keep me up because I get drawn into the storyline. Also: Not a lot of things make me cry. But I cry everytime Ben proposes to Leslie. And their wedding! Ugh, I love them so much.

Trial & Error
I wasn’t sure about this show. We’ve watched a couple of episodes and I am still not sure about it. I like the format that they’re using, in general (like The Office) but I’m not sure I am liking it with this show. I love John Lithgow, though, and I really want to support him.  But I haven’t wanted to pick it up since the first evening of viewing. I’m not sure if I will finish it, honestly.

 

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Bob’s Burgers
This is my current favorite animated show. We are actually starting to collect the grab bags of these characters. We have picked up 5 and only had one repeat (anyone want a Zeke figurine?). This show is hilarious, has a great cast, and I love the animation.

The Simpsons
This is a combination of old episodes and current. I have only watched random episodes of this show and have been watching it from the beginning (thanks, FXNow app!). I have seen a lot more than I would have ever guessed, though. And when there are new episodes, we watch those, as well. I am enjoying watching the older episodes. This current season hasn’t been that great, though.

Shark Tank
We randomly watched a Shark Tank rerun years ago and we have been hooked ever since. I love this show and the ridiculous things that have come on it. We’ve actually purchased one item from the show and have strong considered a few others. It’s really interesting to watch and I love seeing people start their own businesses and seeing what people can create.

 

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The Great British Baking Show/The Great British Bake Off
I have heard of this show a lot, but had never watched it until a couple of years ago when ABC did their Great American Baking Show and fell in love! The format of this show is so fantastic. I love the way they do the challenges and I love how it isn’t drama-filled. I was pleased to see that Netflix had a season and they’ve been slowly adding more. I love cooking shows but this one has spoiled me; I wish there were more shows as nice as this one.


 

What did you watch in May? Any shows or movies you can recommend to me?