Feb 15, 2016

Still Slightly Stalled

Earlier in the month, I was lamenting on Instagram that I'd hit a huge knitting slump. I'd been casting on and then ripping back just about everything I put on my needles pretty much since the beginning of 2016, and I was about ready to throw in the needles and take a knitting hiatus.

And then I cast on Jane Richmond's Renfrew. Working with some cauliflower purple Cascade 220 given to me by a knitting friend, I blew through the body of the hat so fast I'm not sure I properly remember actually knitting it! And then ...

Well, and then life got the best of me. Zach went out of town for a few days, I found myself doing a lot of grading for school, and before I knew it Renfrew had been sitting unloved for over a week! Today I plan to hop back on and get the decreasing done, and then hopefully snap a few pictures.

So my knitting slump is sort of kicked, although I'm still trying to power through. Hopefully a gorgeous finished hat will do the trick!

Feb 3, 2016

Paired Up: An Introduction

One of the questions I get asked quite often is if someone can knit for charity if they get their yarn from big box craft stores. And if so, what can they make, and where can they send it? The answer, of course, is that you can CERTAINLY knit for charity using yarn found at big box craft stores, and there's TONS of things you can make, and just as many charities to send your items to!

It doesn't always feel that simple though, does it? And so I'm starting a new series here on the blog, called Paired Up. I'll be matching yarn you can find at big box craft stores with patterns I've found FREE on Ravelry, and then pairing those items up with charities I know will accept them. My hope is this will make it simple enough for any and everyone who wants to make something to give away to be able to do just that. Because it truly is just that simple.

I've got a few ideas all ready to go, but I want to hear from you as well! What yarn do you have in your stash that you're not sure what to do with? What yarn do you purchase most often? What shops are closest to you? What sorts of people do you want to help with your donations?

(Yarns pictured: Caron Simply Soft, Vanna's Choice, Paton's Classic Wool, and Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick N Quick)

Feb 2, 2016


I feel like I've been in such a huge knitting slump lately. I keep casting on hats, and then not finishing them, leaving them sitting on various surfaces around the house until I give up and rip them out, adding the yarn back to my stash.

The trouble isn't motivation - I know I want to keep knitting hats and giving them away. My heart breaks daily with the need I see all around the world, right outside my door, and everywhere in between. I just haven't been able to make my fingers follow my heart this past month or two.

Then, on this snowy stay-inside day today, I think I figured out the problem. I knew my student teaching would take up gobs of my time (for good reason!) and so I had decided in late December that I was going to commit myself to knitting just Sandoval Hats for the first four to five months of the year. A pattern I know by heart, I assumed it would help keep me knitting, while not occupying too much of my brain space as to become a nuisance.

Turns out, I need a bit more variety than that! While I've always kept myself occupied with Sandoval hats, I've always  had another hat (or something else) on the needles at the same time, giving me variety and some much-needed interest, it turns out. So I took a few minutes earlier today to dig through some of my "want to knit" hat patterns, and decided to go back to a designer I know and love dearly - Jane Richmond. Jane has become a friend over the years (albeit an online friend, as we've not yet had the opportunity to meet in person), and I count myself lucky for that. Her designs are minimalist and aesthetically pleasing, simple to knit while never boring, and just exactly what I needed to bust myself out of my knitting slump!

I grabbed some cauliflower Cascade 220 out of my stash (de-stashed to me from a friend in Des Moines) and cast on Renfrew while Lou was sleeping, and I'm already almost halfway done, by knitting slump officially kicked!

(pictured above, clockwise from top left: Extra Slouch | Begbie | Renfrew | Wellington)