New Friend

Have you ever met someone new and suddenly there is an instant connection? Like you have been friends for ages? That's how I felt a few days ago after being introduced to brioche knitting. What a neat technique which looks more intimidating than it really is. The interplay of the two colors is mesmerizing, as is the cushy fabric that is created from a series of simple slip stitches, yarn overs, k2tog's and p2tog's. I am currently knitting the Newsprint Cowl for my youngest niece's birthday which is a great beginner's brioche project. She loves pink...

...and I am still into everything grey.

Luckily, my new friend is an easy going sort and so we both get the colors that we want!

(linking up with WIP Wednesday)


Dipped! Armwarmers

It's so true that inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere. Case in point:

Dipped dyed milking stools ⇒ cows ⇒ chocolate dipped waffle cones filled with double scoops of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream ⇒ goose pimples ⇒ thermal long johns ⇒ waffle stitch pattern ⇒ arm socks ⇒ Dipped! Armwarmers

I love having options in my accessories. These armwarmers can be worn fully stretched for optimal warmth.

Or slightly slouchy 

Or totally scrunched up

This is my favorite way to wear them...as an extra layer over a long-sleeved shirt...preferably while eating ice cream!

(linking up with FO Friday)


Margaret Dashwood Shawl

I was channeling the spirits of some of my favorite Masterpiece Theater heroines during the knitting of this shawl. You know, Jane & Tess & Cathy. I imagined myself facing a cruel world and the harsh elements with nothing but a long, sweeping gown and a rustic wool shawl for protection. Hand knitted, of course. Unfortunately, the only long, sweeping gown I own is an ll bean flannel nightgown.

While most certainly warm, it was not quite the tragically romantic look that I was going for. Better stick with a simple top and jeans ;)

This was a fun pattern to knit. Very easy to memorize but not boring. It was knitted with Patons Classic Wool, a nice basic yarn. I am really pleased with how it turned out & with the fact that it is long enough to criss-cross in the front. I added a big wooden button to keep everything in place.

It has one of my favorite animals woodburned onto it, a sweet little hedgehog.

Have a great weekend everyone!

(linking up with FO Friday)


under the weather

Both the little guy and myself are feeling a bit under the weather this week. Dratted winter bugs. So we have been eating lots of soup and occupying ourselves with our individual piles of toys.

his pile

my pile

1) Just a few more repeats to go on my Margaret Dashwood Shawl. Hoping that it will be long
enough to wrap around. I also have to come up with some type of closure to keep the wrap in place in the back.
2) Trying to get back to knitting these colourwork mitts. The first mitt was easy and fast, but kind of lost momentum on the second. I am determined to finish these though. If only I hadn't started on...
3) A pair of dipped thermal armwarmers, inspired by, you guessed it, chocolate dipped waffle cones. Yum! Taking notes along the way so I can maybe write up the (free) pattern.
4) Kate Davies' new book. I absolutely ♥ it. Beautiful writing and photography. Gorgeous patterns. I ♥ how she pairs the knitting designs with interesting information on the landscape, culture and history of Shetland. The 10 projects that are derived from the 5 colour stories in the book range in difficulty from intermediate to advance. At the top of my must knit list are the Puffin sweater and mantle. Also thinking of making the jauntily nautical Stevenson sweater and gauntlets, too. Absolutely love how she styled this combination (and the whole book, truth be told. Modern + Vintage + Wool = be still my beating heart)

So many projects to be inspired by and it's just the start of the year! For more inspiration, check out WIP Wednesday over at Tami's. I am also excited to be participating in Yarn Along for the first time. Hoping to jump start my reading this year. Wish me luck!


Lessons Learned in 2012/Looking Ahead

New Years Eve was a quiet and cozy affair here. Just the way I like it! We spent the day cooking up an army's worth of appetizers and the evening eating & watching the ball drop. Today has been just as lazy with my only plans being to eat, knit and maybe watch The Sound of Music, if I can wrestle the t.v. remote away from the guys. But first, I wanted to take a moment to look back on the year just past.

Despite the fact that the total number of projects made in 2012 were lower than in previous years, each and every one of them were fun to make and brightened my days with their colors, textures and patterns. I loved both the process and end product for each project. Being more selective in choosing what I spent my precious crafting time on was a valuable lesson learned.

I also learned that in spite of good intentions of wanting to challenge myself with new techniques, what I craved after a long day was a simple & mindless project to work on. And so 2012 was the year of easy, unfussy projects.


Of course, I couldn't end the year without making some fun softies.

Henry couldn't pass up the chance to photobomb.

These cuties have quickly found a place in my home and heart. I know that they will bring many years of smiles to come. And that is what crafting should be after all. A source of happiness and enjoyment, an outlet for our creativity, a haven from the stresses of our day & world. I am looking forward to the blank slate of days ahead and to filling them with joyful projects. Here's to the promise of a bright New Year. Thank you for continuing to join me on this creative journey!