Friday, February 15, 2019

Episode 25: Our Goals

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

on my blog:
my Ravelry group:
on instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
on ravelry as mamatronic:

My question for you: 1) Would you wear am Aran oversized plaid sweater like mine? So should I bother writing out a pattern?
2) And what are some affordable super bulky yarns you use and what are you planning to knit in them?

Stuff I mention in Episode 25:

This Is Us: A Fiber Friends Conversation:

Eddie Glaude Jr:

the morning show he appeared on, fast forward to 10:40 to hear the quote:

Quirky Monday Podcast:

Caroline Dick's post on inclusion:

Caroline's Grotine pattern:

Her other designs:


True North Aid:


Fully Spun Yarns:
Stonehedge Crazy Skeins:

Chroma Twist Bulky:

Chroma Twist Fingering (look in destash):

Elann Tarantella:

for Shifty by Andrea Mowry:

Big Twist Yarn:

Lion Brand Thick and Quick, Fossil and Raisen:

Rose Cardigan Kit by Sweet Sparrow Yarns:

Rose Cardigan by Andrea Mowry:

Kapsel by Shannon Cook:

knit in Patons Classic Wool, Natural Mix color:

The #WingItKAL:

Our projects so far:

Super Bulky knits:

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond:

Strathcona by Tara-Lynn Morrison:

Durand Cowl by Tara-Lynn Morrison:

Meri by Joanna Hietala:

Atelier Sarah Jane shop:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Michelle Colorway by Lovebird Lane Yarns:

Thursday, February 14, 2019


Kapsel, by Very Shannon, was such a pleasure to knit this winter. I am so happy I was able to test knit this one because it was finished before our cold weather left. And I have found that it goes with everything.

I have to brag on Shannon for creating such a great throw-over-anything pattern. It is simple in shape, but complex enough to keep a knitter engaged. It's also the kind of knit that you can define a season by- like, "That was the year I knit Kapsel."

This sweater was featured in my Fiberuary Challenge photos for "Knitfluencer you love" because Shannon is one of those. (It's good that it worked out that the pattern was released on the same day as that prompt.) Knits like Kapsel have kept me coming back to Shannon's patterns over the years, but I think she has been an even bigger influence in my life by having such a warm, welcoming Ravelry group. Hers was one of the first Rav groups I joined and her Downton KAL was the first knit-along I remember entering (about 6 years ago, I think).

From that group I have met so many knitters around the world, many I feel confident that I could message, at the spur of the moment, and meet for coffee I were in their area. Suddenly knitting wasn't the solitary habit it had once been. My virtual world has opened up and I am grateful to those who provided the Ravelry groups that gave me this. So, I just have to say thank you, Shannon for being the gentle, sweet person you are and for providing a fun, loving group for all of us.

Now for the knitting details: I used Patons Classic in the Natural Mix color with size US 4 needles. There are two distinct stitch patterns in their cardigan and I am amazed that my size 4s worked for both. I am also amazed that I kept an even tension thru the whole thing.

Did I mention that I love it? Okay. Just checking. Here's some things I love about the pattern, besides the textural stitch that I already mentioned, is the pocket construction. There are helpful links that made it a very easy process.

In my latest podcast episode I talk about affordable yarns I use and ways I make my knits more affordable. This was a very affordable knit and the yarn I chose holds up very well for me. I also think the Natural Mix color has an interesting quality where, depending on what angle you look at it, it can look tan or kind of pinkish- gray. This kind of textured knit really looks best in a solid, to me, so you can't go wrong with a yarn like this.

By the way Shannon shared a coupon code for this pattern in her instagram feed. And so it is even more doable.

(more on ravelry, instagram, and flickr

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Episode 24: Still Learning

On my blog:
On instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
On Ravelry as mamatronic:
my Flickr:

Join the #WingItKAL:

It will extend past February!

My Question for you: What are your 2019 goals? How'd you do on yours from 2018?

Stuff I mention in Episode 24:

My Ravelry group:

Nutritious Movement:

Diastasis Recti by Katy Bowman:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Walking Gone Wild by Dami Roelse:

Me and My White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad:

Verses on handling racism from either perspective, references only because Youtube won't let this description be too long:

Proverbs 27: 17- Iron sharpens iron,  Matthew 22:39- love your neighbor as yourself, James 5:16- admit your flaws, 1 Peter 4:8-11- we can forgive and encourage someone trying to change, 1Corinthians 12: 25-27- because we're equal, if one of us suffers all of us suffers, Galatians 6:2- Carry on another's burdens, Leviticus 19:15-18- speak up or you're guilty too! and don't bear grudges,  Philippians 2: 3-16- value others above yourself, Ephesians 4: 2-6- be humble, gentle, and patient with love, Romans 12:3-13- review your actions soberly, be devoted to helping others. Luke 6:27-28- bless your enemies, Genesis 1: 26- we are all made in God's image, Revelation 7: 9-10- what heaven will look like.

Instagram accounts with stories and posts on diversity in craft community:

Ocean by the Sea:


The Color Mustard:

BSF International in person or online groups:
test knit for Shannon Cook:

Ruperto by Anna Maltz:

Buffalo Brioche by Xandy Peters:

My Cumberland by Jennifer Kelley:

My Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon Osborn:

Makes me think of how I want to knit Alaska by Camille Descoteaux:

from Knitting Without Tears by E.Z.:

My Bus Stop Sweater using EZ's formula:

Inspired by My Neighbor Totoro:

Some good free fashion templates for knitwear/ crochet design:

My Wing It KAL yarn; Briggs and Little Heritage:

Vinterfjell sweater by Skeindeer Knits:

Phoenix sweater by Libby Jonson:

The Way Back Machine to find old cached web posts:

Throw Back Hallmark Hall of Fame or Lifetime Movies:

Love is Never Silent:


Episode Easter Egg:

Friday, January 4, 2019

Episode 23: 2018 Wrap Up

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog:
On Ravelry as mamatronic:
On instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
On flickr:

My question for you: Who and/or what this year has inspired you to want to "wing it" and experiment more in your making?   

Stuff I mentioned:

The Expanse Series by James S. A. Corey:

Knit How by Pom Pom:

Wool by Hugh Howey:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline:

My mashup of two vests, My Back to School Tuxedo Vest:

Project bag by wasFraukemacht:

Regia Pairfect yarn:

Kettle Yarn Co, Islington:

Tieke Yarn:

turmeric curcumin:

My Blogmas beginning:

heel flap from Dani Jorge's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas:

Michelle Socks on Ravelry:

knit in Michelle colorway by LovebirdLane Yarns:

dyed by Julieanne of My Muddling Podcast:

Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend:

My Walk the Block Wrap by RizzaKnits:

My Franken-Blanket:

Simple Watchman's Cap by Channah Koppel:

Oak Crest by Vanessa Townley:

Soka'pii yarn from Farmer's Daughter Fibers:

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter:

Zara Tee by Dianna Walla:

Birch by Pam Allen:

Plum by Junko Okamoto:

The Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli:

Weekender by Andrea Mowry:

Moeke Yarns Elena Yarn:

Intuition Shawl test:

Yarn Floozy Merino/ Silk/ Cashmere Yarn:

The Edge by Alina Schneider:

Phoenix by Libby Jonson:

Knit in Wool of the Andes, Currant:

Templer Sneak Peek on @SoVeryShannon:

Nightshift by Andrea Mowry:

knit in Stonehedge Crazy skeins:

and Knit Picks Provencial Tweed:

Knits About Winter by Emily Foden:

includes Full Moon wrap:

and Soirée:

Briggs and Little Yarn:

Episode of Celtic Cast On:

Piper by Libby Jonson:

Ramblin Woman by Caitlin Hunter:

Amber by Alina Schneider:

Old Harry by Kat Riddell:

Meg by Junko Okamoto:

Strathcona by Tara-Lynn Morrison:

Moosonee by Tara-Lynn Morrison:

to knit in Drops Eskimo:

Foxy by Annie Haas:

to knit in Tosh Vintage:

Cartography by Tin Can Knits:

from Strangebrew:

Your past mods:

Ingenue by Wendy Bernard:

creating a sweater from scratch:

Hugo Bonnet by Alison McCarney:

using techniques from Marlisle by Anna Maltz:

which also includes Ruperto, one of my inspirations:

The Hap Shawl by Jane Watling:

My past mods: My Back to School Tuxedo Vest:

Info on the Wing It KAL:

The Wing It KAL on Ravelry:

our WingItKAL projects in the Ravelry Group:

a No Frills by Petiteknit:

combined with Balloon Sweater by PetiteKnit:

Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas:

a Tegna by Caitlin Hunter, modified without horizontal purls:

Itty Bitty Pretty Sweater by Maison Dene with bobbles:

Mociar Cowl by Audrey Borrego lace stitch:

to replace lace in another shawl pattern.

Then there are vests, oversized colorwork sweaters, a mashup of shawl patterns, and more.

And just because I love you here is Bugs and an interesting Monster:

Friday, December 21, 2018

My So-Called Handmade Life Ravelry Group- Blogmas Day 21

You know how "I'm just here for the knitting." has basically become a meme? Well, I'm not just here for the knitting, though I'm quite obsessed with it. I'm also here for the talk and inspiration.

Together, you and I, have decided a Ravelry group would really compliment that. So... ta da!!!

(join the group on Ravelry)

I stayed up til 1 am, sitting askew at the desk due to Christmas box stacks, learning how to add text in photoshop for a Ravelry badge and banner. Geez Louise, the crick in my neck is a testament to my love for you guys. No, I won't be opening my web design business anytime soon😐

So, guys! We finally have a place to do knit-alongs and share inspirations and obsessions. I'll do my best to be present there, as making connections online is the whole point of the group. But I'm also about to make some big, blog tech changes, which usually involves weeks of staring at the computer screen with tears in my eyes. Please be patient with me. Why, Blogger!?! Why!?! 

It's a big step to make a Ravelry group. I realize most of the people I know in real life don't even know what a Ravelry is, but you guys do. It's my favorite thing about the internet. Period. So I'll do my best to keep up with things and respond. Other than all that blog code business, I should have plenty of time, but lots of podcast viewers have assured me you're also very capable of talking amongst yourselves. So things should be fine.

Introduce yourselves in the My So-Called Handmade Life Group to each other and/or start posting prospective projects for the #WingItKAL (more details on that coming, but lots of info is here.)

My Only Christmas Knitting- Blogmas Day 20

My Christmas gift to myself this year was to not knit any gifts. I will probably make a few once the holiday is over, but no stressing and knitting all-nighters for me this year.

I did see a testing call from Shannon Cook for her new cardigan pattern, and had no choice. I keep imaging myself wearing it over an old fashioned shift as I step out of the cabin to check on the horses.

(more on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)

So I'm well past the swatching phase on this, but still no where near acquiring that cabin or those horses. Maybe for Christmas....

I'm using Patons Classic in Natural Mix. I can't believe I got gauge on all the stitch patterns with just on needle. Even more amazing, is the fact that I'm several inches in and still on gauge. Miracles do happen, just not the cabin and horse variety.

Have you seen the images Shannon has teased on her instagram? Sigh. It's as nice to work up as it is to look at.

Blog Rage- Blogmas Day 19

It's a thing. And I'm feeling it. If you've been frustrated recently because my blog won't let you comment, you aren't alone. Myself and everyone else, other than the chosen few who seem to get through, feel the same way. Sorry about that.

2018 has been the year of tech frustration. With every new thing I tried, there was a cascade of cause and effect that led to many hours of me on the phone with Apple Support or GoDaddy, or just staring at the computer screen in a stupor.

I'm looking into switching blog platforms soon, so be patient. You can always comment on Instagram, Ravelry, or Youtube if you'd like. If you're feeling extra generous, pray that I don't lose family photos, comments, or blog copy when I make the switch.

If you've made the switch from one blog platform to another, please give me any tips or advice. That is, if you are allowed to leave a comment. Good grief.

By the way, have you ever heard of Springer Rage? It's weird.