#yarnlovechallenge – Friends, Family, and Fiber

#yarnlovechallenge
Read on for Days 11 – 18
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 11 – Travel Projects. I love a good garter stitch shawl or cowl when travelling.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 12 – Progress. I know I’ve made progress when it’s time to get all Project Runway and pin pieces on the mannequin to ready it for seaming!
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Day 13 – Selfie. One of my first ever selfies – I was still learning how to take them. This was when we went up to the mountains to let the kids experience snow.
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Day 14 – Yarn Love. Doesn’t this photo just say it all?! Taken when my Boo was only a few weeks old – I had to take her with me to work because I was still bottle-feeding her every few hours. I put a THICK stack of paper towels under her before snapping this photo, just to make sure nothing “wet” would happen to the yarn.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 15 – Family. This was taken 5 or 6 years ago when my kids were dressed up for Halloween.
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Day 16 – Happy Color. I mean, just look at it! Happy color indeed. 🙂
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 17 – Fiber Friends. Here is my best fiber friend, still a kitten, hiding in my project bag. She is still my bestie when I’m doing some late-night crafting.
#yarnlovechallenge
Day 18 – Gratitude. I am grateful for Kaffe Fassett. I am grateful to have his books. I am grateful to have knit one of his patterns. I am grateful I had the floor space to deal with knitting one of his patterns. And I am VERY grateful that I never have to work with 20 balls of yarn attached all at once ever again. 🙂

#yarnlovechallenge – Where I Craft, Tools and Oldest Stash

#yarnlovechallenge
A combination post to finally get me caught up – Days 8 – 10

#yarnlovechallenge Day 8 – Where I Craft – this seems to be a hard one for alot of people, based on the posts I’ve seen. The answer is – EVERYWHERE! This is the beauty of working with yarn – you can take it with you everywhere, do a few stitches, or a hundred…it truly is one of the most versatile things you can do!

I originally got into crafting by sewing. But after my son was born, I had to give it up. I didn’t have room for the setup – sewing table, place to cut patterns, all the fabric and sewing notions storage – and I also didn’t feel safe. My son was one of those children who could find pins in the carpet two seconds after I had just vacuumed! All that to say, it didn’t take me long when I started crocheting and knitting to realize they fit my current lifestyle much better.

So for this challenge, I will tell you a few of my FAVORITE places to work – my couch, my favorite little coffee shops, at the ocean, and in the mountains. Check my Instagram to see more photos of my favorite places, but here’s one of my favorite photos taken at the beach last year right before Easter. It was too cold to play in the water, but the kids and I spent the afternoon in Malibu and actually watched the sun go below the horizon.

#yarnlovechallenge
#yarnlovechallenge Day 8 – Where I Craft – well, one of the places. My FAVORITE place! 
barbara walker stitch patterns
#yarnlovechallenge Day 9 – Tools – My set of Barbara Walker stitch pattern volumes

As a designer, this set of books is truly indispensable!

#yarnlovechallenge
#yarnlovechallenge Day 10 – oldest stash

This is the FIRST photo of yarn I ever posted on this blog. I think it is also one of the first purchases in a yarn store I ever made. Manos del Uruguay Maxima – still one of my favorites!

#yarnlovechallenge – Community, Mistakes and Stripes

#yarnlovechallenge
Since I’m starting a wee bit late, I will combine a few days.

If you are doing #yarnlovechallenge, please tag me! Enjoy!

Day 5 - Community - apologies for the glare, but I love this list of fair trade principles that Manos del Uruguay had posted at one of the TNNA shows I attended
Day 5 – Community – apologies for the glare, but I love this list of fair trade principles that Manos del Uruguay had posted at one of the TNNA shows I attended. Our community is a caring one, which I feel privileged to be a part of!
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Day 6 – Mistakes. Its important to allow yourself to make mistakes, and dishcloths are great for practicing new things and making mistakes, because even if they turn out horribly, you can still use them.
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Day 7 – Stripes – Still a favorite out of all my designs. I love gradations, especially playing around with them in stripes.

In fact, I love stripes so much (and this project), I just recently reknit it!

If you missed my first post, here are Days 1-4. Until tomorrow, my friends…

#yarnlovechallenge

#yarnlovechallenge
Since I’m starting a wee bit late, I will combine a few days.

I’ve been seeing #yarnlovechallenge everywhere, and I finally took time today to figure out what it is. Admittedly, I’ve also been so busy the last while, that I feel very frazzled and not in a particularly creative state of mind, so I love the idea of doing a challenge with something to focus on each day. My apologies for starting a few days late and condensing a few days, but I hope you all will enjoy my contributions to the hashtag! Please tag me if you’re participating because I’d love to see your posts, and who doesn’t want to look at beautiful yarn and find cool new projects?! Stitches West is at the end of this month, and it won’t hurt any of us to start making a shopping list…;)

Yes, I saved the best for last. Steven and Stephen.
Day 1 – Introductions: Who am I? Why, the lucky lady between Steven and Stephen, that’s who! And if you need another little detail, I am a knitwear designer too and #yarnlove is my jam! 🙂
Closeup of the Bubbles
Day 2 – Closeup of the Camino Bubbles – major yarn love here, not to mention project love to boot!

Day 3 – Currently Making – 

Well, in all honesty, I haven’t started this just yet – I have the yarn, and as soon as I can sit down to some knitting time, this is what I WANT to be making!

#yarnlovechallenge
Day 4 – Speed. Doubles Remix – this is a free pattern from yours truly – check my patterns page!

But I swear this is not shameless self-promo – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cowl – the color, the yarn (Malabrigo Rasta) and the fact you can make it in a few hours or a day, depending on your personal knitting speed.

I will be back shortly with more on this challenge, and please tag me if you’re doing it because these things are always more fun with company! 🙂

Elizabeth Knits Barbara January 2017

I know you all probably think I forgot about this project, although after my last post, you can see why I got a little sidetracked. But Elizabeth is still knitting Barbara, and I hope to make alot of progress on this in 2017. Hope you enjoy the latest installment!

elizabethknitsbarbara
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns – p. 12
Broken Rib Pattern (top)
Double Broken Rib (bottom)

Yarn Weight: DK
Needles: Size 6

Notes: I got a little curl along the sides, as you can see, but I think these are both beautiful options for a project like a sweater, where there is a seam on each side.

elizabethknitsbarbara
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns – p. 13
Roman St (top)
Roman Rib St (bottom)

Yarn Weight: DK
Needles: Size 6

Notes: Definitely nice patterns, but would definitely need a border if you want to avoid curl.

elizabethknitsbarbara
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns – p. 13
Ripple St

Yarn Weight: DK
Needles: Size 9

Notes: I wasn’t sure if this would curl or not, so I started out with a garter st border, and ended without a border. It doesn’t curl and as you can see at the top, it makes a pretty curved edging. I happened to use a variegated yarn, but I probably wouldn’t again with this pattern, as I think the variegation hides the beautiful texture of this stitch pattern.

elizabethknitsbarbara
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns – p. 14
Ripple Rib St

Yarn Weight: Worsted
Needles: Size 9

Notes: This is a beautiful teal color, which turned out to be difficult to photograph well, so my apologies. But this stitch pattern gives a thick, plush fabric and seems to work very well in a solid-colored yarn. It gives no curl at all, so you can use it as a stand-alone stitch pattern.

100’s

hue shift afghan by knitpicks
Knitted Op Art – I didn’t see it as I was knitting, but the photo is definitely playing tricks with my eyes.

My posts have been rather few and far between, but this one will explain alot. I made this as a thank you/housewarming gift to people who helped me a great deal when I moved to California. I kept pushing myself to have it done – first by Halloween (which didn’t happen), then by Thanksgiving (didn’t happen), and then by Christmas (success!).

I am calling this project 100’s because it is a story of hundreds. The pattern is Hue Shift Afghan by Knitpicks, and yarn is Brava Sport.

It is a hundred mitered squares, which took me 100 days to knit. It could have taken more or less, but it gets old knitting mitered squares, and so to keep the momentum going on this, I set a goal of completing an average of 1 square per day. (Meaning that some days I did multiples to make up for days I wasn’t at home to get knitting done.) Proud to say I stuck to that goal!

A note about mitered square projects – you will save yourself bunches of tedium if you pick up and knit stitches onto previously completed squares rather than making all the squares separately and then sewing them together later. I speak from experience! This particular pattern is written to use picked up stitches, in case you’re wondering.

The border is hundreds also – 250 stitches per row, each side, to be exact. Knitting the border plus doing all the finishing (lots of weaving in of ends!) took me another 100 days I would say. Lots of powers of 10, hence the name.

hue shift afghan by knitpicks
The finished piece – photographed as flat as possible. It is hard to not get perspective going when photographing something so big, but I am happy I captured the optical effect.

As is the case with most big projects, I was very tired of it and happy to be done by the end. That said, I am very happy with it, and more importantly, the recipients are happy with it. It is a fun project, and you can do so much play with color.

2016 Holidays and Happy New Year!

December was a whirlwind month (as it is for most of you, I imagine), and I can hardly believe we are already in 2017. Instead of explaining in words what’s been going on with me, here’s a little recap in photos before I return to “regular programming”. I hope you enjoy.

burbank
Thanksgiving time in Burbank
california living, thanksgiving
Ready for a family Thanksgiving celebration. Yes, it is outdoors – and I am grateful for that good California living! 🙂

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The perfect ending to a long Thanksgiving weekend – walking through the Enchanted Forest at Descanso Gardens with a dear friend. Descanso means “rest” in Spanish – and it was truly restful.
Volunteering at the animal shelter is part of our life all year - but it seemed like there were alot of puppies and kittens during the holidays this year, and I cant resist taking pictures of them all.
Volunteering at the animal shelter is part of our life all year – but it seemed like there were extra puppies and kittens during the holidays this year, and I cannot resist taking pictures of them all.
minion christmas decoration
One of my favorite Christmas decorations in the neighborhood
christmas eve 2016
My son being his goofy self on Christmas Eve
transyberian orchestra
The stage setup for Transyberian Orchestra. They make my favorite Christmas music and are my favorite group to go see live. Awesome show – and I recommend to any of you who love their music and have not seen a concert yet.
On our way to see Transyberian Orchestra - we only get to see snow-capped mountains when the snow comes to low enough elevations. But it never gets old.
On our way to see Transyberian Orchestra – we only get to see snow-capped mountains when the snow comes to low enough elevations. But it never gets old.

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descanso gardens los angeles
More scenes from Descanso Gardens – my friend and I got to go again between Christmas and New Years
new years sunset
Sunset in my neighborhood on New Years Day.
happy new year 2017
Happy New Year from us to you! Taken at the birthday party of my best friend, which happens to be on New Years!

Happy new year to all of you – may it be a good year!