Knits & Purls

Sweet Days of Summer . . .

Click here for a soundtrack to accompany today's post.

I've always loved this song.  
(And not just because it features prominently in one of my most delicious junior high memories either.)

Summer breeze
Makes me feel fine . . . 


Blowin' through the jasmine
in my mind . . .


As you may remember, I started knitting this shawl (which is free, by the way) with Vicki's lovely yarn on my trip to Alaska.  I finished it up shortly after we returned home, but only recently did a "photo shoot" on the back deck of our cabin up north.  

It will always remind me of my vacation and those . . .  
sweet days of summer.


(You can find the details on my Ravelry page.)


(Cue soundtrack for today's post.)

Back in early June (which seems so very long ago now, doesn't it?), I agreed to test knit a new sweater design for Kirsten Kapur.  It was a design I knew I'd want to knit anyway -- really, a sweater that is perfect for my style.  Kirsten's timeline seemed quite doable for me, too, with an August 1 deadline.  I figured it would be nice to have a new sweater ready by the time fall came around.  And, besides . . .  I could knit on it while I was in Alaska!

I got my yarn, and I started knitting.


It's a great pattern to knit!  Very rhythmic.  Just enough texture to keep it interesting.  Lightweight.  Easy to knit in the summer.  And WAY faster going than I had expected.

As I was knitting, I was also thinking ahead (anticipating. . .) our upcoming trip to Alaska.  I thought a lot about what we'd be doing on the trip and what I should pack and what I might need.

And I thought . . . wouldn't it be nice to have a warm-but-light sweater in my bag?  A sweater . . . kind of like, well, this one?

we can never know about the days to come
but we think about them anyway

I decided to knit a little faster.


And guess what?


It was a PERFECT layer for my trip to Alaska!
(I wore it several times during the trip; here, I'm wearing it on a cool, rainy morning in Wrangell.)

And . . . if you're interested in knitting one for yourself, you only have to live with the . . . anticipation . . . for a week or so!  Kirsten will be releasing the pattern (called Snug Harbor) on August 15.   You can see the details of my knitting here on Ravelry.  (For now, it's not associated with the final release of the pattern, so this link may not work after August 15.  I'll try to remember to update it if necessary.)

How about you?  What are you knitting (or making)?

Along For the Ride

You might say . . . I brought a friend along with me on my trip to Alaska.


Just before we left on our trip, I cast on for this shawl . . . using Vicki's lovely Make.Do. yarn (the colorway is Not So Deep).  So it's kind of like Vicki came along for the ride!

I didn't knit much during our cruise -- just every once in a while when we were between ports -- but this is a quick, easy, FUN knit.  And perfect for variegated yarns that you want to show off (like this one!).

Here's where I am with it now . . . 


Nearly finished.  (I'm on the final section of "triangles.") (Not really diggin' the garter stitch border in the design, so still need to figure something out there.)


It really is a perfect design for showing off a lovely skein of yarn!  And I imagine it might appeal to those knitters who've been captivated by the Hitchhiker.  Because same kind of soothing-but-with-interest knitting.  (And, like the Hitchhiker, when you run out of yarn, well . . . you're done!)

It was really nice to have Vicki's yarn . . . along for the ride!


How about YOU?  What are you making today?


On My Needles and Out of My Stash

I warned you that I was mixing things up around here . . . I'm switching my monthly Stash Giveaway from the third Monday to the third Wednesday of the month.  (Rocking your world, I'm sure.)  


Different day, different deadline -- but same giveaway, same rules.  Comment by next Tuesday, and your name will be placed into a hat (seriously) for a random drawing.

This month, I'm culling my sock yarn collection.  I have so many lovely skeins of sock yarn -- but I don't knit socks very often, and the yarn is too good to just sit in a container in my closet.


First up, I have a skein of Biscotte & Cie (now-discontinued) Felix sock yarn in the Conte de fée colorway.  This yarn is self-striping, and quite soft and durable for socks.  (You can see how the stripes work out in this Ravelry project.)  The yarn is 80% superwash merino wool/20% nylon, and the skein is 100 grams/384 yards/351 meters.  The colors in this photo are very true.


Next up, I have a skein of Pagewood Farm (now-discontinued) Denali sock yarn in the Violet Fushion (yep, that's how it's spelled on the skein) colorway.  The yarn is 80% superwash merino wool/20% nylon, and the skein is 4 ounces/450 yards.  There is a good mix of blues and violets in there -- with some olive green/grey for interest.  The color here is pretty true (in real life, the blues are more prominent and the violet more subtle).

IMG_5734 copy

As you can see, these skeins are just too lovely to live in my drawer!  It's time for me to spread the joy "new" sock yarn can bring.  If you're interested in either (or both!) skeins, just leave a comment by Tuesday, June 25 at 5pm EST and let me know.  

Meanwhile . . . what's on my needles?


I'm test-knitting a new sweater design for Kirsten Kapur.  It's a perfectly-ME kind of sweater:  simple design, oversized, just a hint of texture.  I can't wait to wear it!  (And that yarn?  It's not really brown.  It's more a hellebore purple shade.  Just sayin.)  Stay tuned . . . 

How about you?  What's on your needles this week?

Right on Time

I'm back.  
I'm behind.  
And I'm good with it!

(There's nothing like a whirlwind week to help you set your true priorities, y'know?)

Before I left, I knit a quick, lightweight hat for Erin.  (By request, even.) 


I shipped it off to her . . . and it arrived just in time for the Bay Area's current heat wave.  Let's just say . . . she won't be wearing this for awhile!  But it's ready for whenever those cool, foggy Bay Area mornings return.

(Ravelry details here.)

What are you working on these days?


Final Countdown

I love to knit.  But I don't knit very fast.  
(Mostly because I also love to do lots of other things besides knitting.)  
(And there are only so many hours in the day.  Y'know?)

But I have reached what I call the "Final Countdown" phase with my current knitting project.


So close to the finish I can taste it!

Plus -- I can tell it's all going to come together well ==> It fits + I like it = big win.
(Bonus:  I can wear it as soon as I finish.)

But you know what I like best about the "Final Countdown" phase?  Well . . . now I can start really planning my next knitting project in earnest!


Don't forget to check out this month's Stash Giveaway.  Comment by Friday at 5pm EST if you're interested!

In Season

I am not a terribly speedy knitter.  
And I'm a pretty dull knitter.  Meaning . . . I pick something I want to knit, and then I knit it.  Almost always until it is finished.  And I'm usually just devoted to one knitting project at a time.

And that means . . . I'm usually off by a season whenever I end up knitting something to wear.

Like, well.  Just before I knit the bunnies, I had decided that I wanted to knit this.  In wool.  (I even swatched.) Because it's still cold.  And a new wool pullover appeals to me pretty much any time except in summer's heat. 

But I know what would happen.  I'd get started, and then I'd finish.  But it would be the end of May.  And then I'd have to put it away until fall.  And, sure.  That's a fine thing.  Because next fall, I'd open my drawer of sweaters and be so pleasantly surprised to find a new one, ready and waiting.

That's what happens to me all the time!  (Just last week, for example, I was delighted to open my sweater drawer and find a lovely linen Tegna -- all knit up but never worn, waiting to greet the spring.)  (Because I finished it in October as the temperatures were plummeting and winter was calling.)


I decided to try something new.

I decided to . . . knit in season for a change!


I'm making this sweater in this yarn.  It will be perfect for the warm weather months.  Maybe even the soon-to-be-here warm weather months!

IMG_7440 2

Now wouldn't that be nice and seasonal?


Be sure to stop by over at Kat's today for more Unravelled posts.  AND . . . don't forget to leave a comment if you're interested in my April Stash Giveaway!  (The deadline is this Friday at 5pm EST.)

Because You're Never Too Old . . .

for an Easter Basket from your mom, are you?


These little guys are so cute -- and so quick and easy to knit.  (You could easily crank one or two out by Easter. . . )  (Just sayin.)  I just used scraps from a couple of other projects.  And I used ready-made pompoms (because my pompom game is not up to par when it comes to smaller sizes).


Wouldn't you love some"bunny" to love?

(Ravelry details here.)


See what's Unraveling today over at Kat's!

My Wabi Sabi Bunny

Are you familiar with the concept of wabi sabi?

The Wikipedia definition of wabi sabi is this:  In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".

There's a lot more to it than that simple explanation, but that will suffice for an introduction. (I've been studying wabi sabi this year -- it's something I'll be writing about more in the future, I'm sure.)


I'm embracing the wabi sabi with my first little bunny.


He's adorable.  But flawed.  In a delightfully wabi sabi way.

I am using scrap yarn to knit him, and I ran out of the main bunny color after knitting the first hand.  So one of his hands and both of his feet don't match his body or head.  (You can't tell so much in the photo, but in real life it's quite obvious.)  One of his ears is bigger than the other.  (I miscounted somewhere along the way.)  His head is crooked.  (Picking up stitches for the body is trickier than it looks.)  And he has a loose stitch at the tip of his nose.

But I'm embracing the wabi sabi here.  (And I know the recipient will, too.)
I think it adds to his charm!

How about you?  What are you making this week?