Friday, May 18, 2018

Episode 10: Icelandic Road Trip

After a few weeks of trying to squeeze in time to organize my photos, video, and thoughts on an incredible experience, here it is.  My words don't fully reflect my gratitude to have stood on ground I've wanted to stand on for 27 years?!  It didn't have to happen, I would've been fine.  But I'm really glad it did.

Episode 10: Icelandic Road Trip

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

My Question for you is still... how are you improving your quality of life by unplugging, getting outdoors, and/ or moving more.

Stuff I mention in Episode 10:

Marmot Pre-Cip Rain Jacket:

Cheaper Polarfleece jacket:

Kex Hostel in Reykjavík:
Blue Lagoon:

Snorri Sturluson:

Birch by Pam Allen:
knit in Patons Classic Wool:

Twas the Night Before Christmas socks by Dani Jorge:
Knit in Sweet Sparrow Yarns' Peppermint Mocha:

Foss Hotel, even if for just a meal:

Skaftafell Park:

Thingvellir Park:
History of the Althing:

Alafoss Lopi store:
The free Afmæli pattern by Istex Lop on ravelry:
or straight to pdf:


Lakigígar eruption:


the Sagas of the Icelanders:

Ultralight Hiking:

Innov-8 Roclite Hi-top trail runners:

Jobi GorrillaPod tri-pod:

Insight Guides Iceland book and ebook:

A Traveller's Guide to Icelandic Folk Tales:

Compression bags for yarn etc.:

Kelty Redwing Pack:

Tops Tanks and Tees Knit-along:

Zara by Dianna Walla:
in Lindy Chain yarn:

For anyone who actually read this list to the end, here's a cringe-worthy article about tourism in Iceland.  This is what I did not want to be:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Episode 9: Ideal Self

More thoughts on living with less and doing, or not doing things, because of the "ideal self."

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

I'm on my blog:
Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
Ravelry as mamatronic:

Questions I have for you:
Are you finding ways to move and take care of your body that are compatible with the "simple life?"
How important is it to you to get outdoors regularly?

Stuff I mention in Episode 9:

T-shirt quilt ideas:

and here:

My Goldfinch by Andrea Mowry: in Gynx Targhee Dk

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion:

Our combined natural yarn links (Some of these companies sell both super wash and non-superwash):

A Homespun House Dale:
YOTH Father:
Quince and Co:
Brooklyn Tweed:
Baa Ram Ewe:
Swan's Island:
Elemental Effects:
Blacker Yarns:
Peace Fleece:
White Gum Wool:

Natural Yarns I saw at DFW Fiber Fest:

Independence Wool:
The Ross Farm:
Hill Country Weavers Naturals:
KidKat Ranch:
Wolle's Natural Creations:
and Wolle's Ravelry Group:

I plan to use some of this yarn for the Azulejo Shawl by Christina Danaee:
and the Polly Shawl by Trudy Fedorko:

The Ninja Chickens Episode that discusses superwash yarn:

Knitter's Review Calendar of Local Yarn Festivals:

Karmyn's DIY drop shoulder pattern inspiration:

Pammie's Timely Cardigan, by Libby Jonson:

My current WIPs are Birch by Pam Allen:

and The Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli:

Once more, The Year of Less by Cait Flanders:

Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson:

Nutritious Movement with Katy Bowman:

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Episode 8: I'm the Neat One Now

It's true!  I have a few small areas of my house to tackle and the organization I have been lacking the last few years will be totally corrected.  Who knows what genius ideas I'll unlock in my less- cluttered brain.

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog:
On Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
On Ravelry as mamatronic:

Questions I have for you:
Have you made the switch to non-superwash/ un-dyed yarns or are you transitioning?
What are your favorite sources for non-superwash sock yarns?
Any booth recommendations for DFW FiberFest?

Stuff I mentioned  in Episode 8:

The Sister Survivor Blanket Project:
hosted by Evelyn of The Thistle Hollow Podcast:

My square from Build-a-Block Blanket pattern by Lisa Carnahan:


Minimalist Budgeting to save:

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders:

TTV photos:

Roid Week:

Kon Marie method of coding clothes for hours:

El Cosmico:

Roswell UFO Museum:

Grand Canyon North Rim:

Zion National Park:

Angel's Landing:

Bryce Canyon:

Roclite Trail shoes:

Kelty Backpack:

My Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli:

Lumen by Fiona Alice:

From Amirisu 15:

To knit in Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint (Grant's Pass and Silverton):

My Zida by Libby Jonson:

in Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn (Gentleman and Soft Romance):

for the Spring Shawl Wrap-Up KAL in Truly Myrtle Ravelry Group:

Laine Magazine, issue 4:

Specifically Kate cardigan, also by Libby:

and Timely Cardigan:

Latest Truly Myrtle Podcast episode that got me thinking about non-superwash socks:

Making Stories Socks 2018 Ebook:

Tim Silverwood of "Take 3 for the Sea":

Blacker Mohair blend:

Exchanging Fire Guide to Ethical Yarn:

Tanis Fiber Arts Pure Wash:

Mountain Meadow Wool:

Madelinetosh Ranch Wools:

for the Hazy Cloud Pullover by Andrea Rangel:

DFW Fiber Fest:

Roundtable Yarns:

Future Knits are Silvermine by Christina Danaee:

Larch by PamAllen:

in Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn, dark teal colorway:

and a Granny Stripe Blanket by Attic24:

in a Suzy Q Makes Fox bag:

using Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dye, Poseidon:

And Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paints, Cully:

Some great viewer podcasts:

Aknitak Creations Podcast:

and Shauna Stitches Podcast:

Episode 7: Hygge on Crack

Sorry I forgot to actually publish this one until today.

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog:
On Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
On Ravelry as mamatronic:

Episode 7: Hygge on Crack
Questions for you? 

- As you simplify your life, spending less and becoming more resourceful to meet your needs, are you finding new creative passions or skills you didn't know you had?

- "Financial security is important to a point."  What is that point for you?  Do you want to work forever?  Are you willing to take a pay decrease and cut spending to have more free time?

I'm interested.

Stuff I mention:

Sister Survivor Blanket Project:

Hosted by Evelyn of The Thistle Hollow Podcast:

The Thistle Hollow Ravelry Group:

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders:

Honest Money Podcast with Cait Flanders:

Larch by Pam Allen:

To be knit in Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn:

The Weekender by Andrea Mowry:

Knit in Cascade 220:

The Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli:

Easy enough to knit during Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And in case I'm not the only one who hasn't seen it:

Birch by Pam Allen:

Both knit in Patons Classic Wool:

The Commercial KAL with the Stranded Podcast:

My Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter:

My blog post on DIY wooden needles:

Ashley Martineau's thrift sweater recycling tutorial:

Truly Myrtle Spring Shawl Autumn Wrap Up KAL:

I'm knitting Zida by Libby:

in Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn's Soft Romance and Gentleman:

Coffee, Yarn, and Dinosaurs Podcast:

Monday, March 19, 2018

In Search of the Perfect Oversized Sweater

I have used the Commercial KAL on Stranded Podcast's Rav page to fuel my quest to re-make the sweaters of my youth.  Basically, everything I am knitting is huge.

I have wanted larger sweaters for a couple of years, but never seem to quite get my stuff to the right dimensions.  Years ago, everything I knit turned out too big, so maybe I have a sub-conscious hesitation about going larger.

My Sunset Highway is somewhat there, but it only has one commercial yarn in it and it feels too fine for a grungy backpacking trip.  This trip is the other reason I want more oversized garments.  In Iceland, I will only have my pack and what is on my body.  The sweater or two that I bring must be light, but warm.  Only, they can't be too warm because I will be moving around a lot.  They also need to be roomy enough for under-layers, but not too bulky for a jacket over them.  Suddenly I feel like the picky little girl that drove my mother crazy when shopping for new school clothes.

 The Edge was my first try for this fit with a commercial yarn in my stash, but it didn't turn out as big as I'd have liked, though I loved the fit.  I also gave it to my daughter, so it's out.  I decided to knit it again in a larger size with more Cascade Eco+. This one will be the perfect fit, I think, but with bulky yarn it wouldn't be great for under a jacket.  So, it will have to wait until I am home.  I am excited to use this Lichen colorway, though.  All of the little flecks of gold and reddish brown get me.

I have no problem using less expensive yarns like these.  I have heard some of the more expensive yarns are also more hard-wearing.  If that is true, I guess I am not in an environment where I am able to wear any wool enough to gauge it's hardiness.  I am, however, in an environment where wools like Patons Classic and Cascade are readily available and easy on my (now shrinking) yarn budget.  I do love hearing about how certain companies ensure ethical ranch/ mill/ dyeing processes.  That's something I haven't looked into much with the "big three" of my cheaper wool resources.  So, I can't speak to that here, at least not yet.

My next attempt at the perfect, oversized sweater was The Weekender by Andrea Mowry.  I knit it in the Cascade 220 stonewash colorway.  It is finished and just needs ends woven in.  I can tell it is definitely oversized, but wether or not it is my "perfect oversized" remains to be seen.  Stay tuned... It was finished by the KAL end, but I never posted it in the thread because I was covered in sweat and dirt every day this week and didn't feel up to wearing a sweater.

As I finished The Weekender, I cast on a Patons Classic Tweed colorway that I got it in a ridiculous Craftsy sale (Craftsy is my commercial yarn sale standby.  I am avoiding their emails right now to avoid temptation.) after years of seeing it every time I went into craft stores.

Since the rainbow flecks seemed to call for a simple design, I thought Joji Locatelli's The Bulky Easy One was perfect.  It makes excellent movie theatre knitting.  Even though it is dark yarn, after both sides are joined, it's just easy stockinette in the round that your fingers can manage in a darkened theatre.  I was able to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all the way through for the first time ever at the classic theatre while knitting this, without a hitch.

The Bulky Easy One is meant, as you may have guessed, for a bulky yarn.  My Patons is worsted, so I am going to do that thing I have seen done a million times on Ravelry and knit a really big size with smaller yarn, in the hopes of hitting the perfect size- a 3XL to approximate a medium, actually.  In my quest for ever-larger sweaters, I have been thinking I probably should have aimed for a size large instead.  Oh well, I have another oversized project on the needles that may achieve just that.

My last "big" attempt is Birch by Pam Allen.  Her Plain and Simple book is on my mind a lot lately.  Everything in it looks like something I would love to make and use, daily.  Since I tend to knit one thing from a book, then skip to another pattern book, we will see.  I have got a second one lined up from this, though.  Birch wasn't be ready for the end of the Commercial KAL either, but that wasn't really my point of joining.  I wanted the motivation to use older stash.

I actually had a few inches knit when I realized that my older skein of Patons Classic in Moss Heather was a little darker than my newer ones.  This is a bummer because I will need all of them to get this one big enough for my liking.  I hate to say it, but I am alternating skeins of Patons, something I never thought I would have to do.  I've never seen a difference in lots before, but that older skein was from my Owls sweater, made in 2011.  It is understandable.

Other than the annoyance of having to alternate skeins, this begins as an easy, bottom-up, stockinette, in-the-round sweater.  The two skeins at a time does make it better for knitting at home.  I am excited to get to the colorwork yoke that I will be doing in the natural Aran colorway.

So, I think I have roomy sweaters covered, guys.  Are you still knitting oversized, cocoon-like sweaters, or have you swung back to more fitted styles- because I know that's going to happen and I will eventually want more of them?

So far, oversized still seems to be having it's moment, like seamless and chunky once did.  Even when that fashion moment passes, there will always be a place for oversized stuff in my wardrobe.  I am semi-wedged in the past, which is why I loved the latest issue of KnitScene's 90's collection. Among other goodies, there is a thermal, an oversized stripe (like the ones I borrowed from my brother's closet through high school), cropped tops, and a very Delia-esque v-neck.  The dream winter wardrobe of my awkward years is well within my grasp, friends.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Episode 6: People Before Things

I've been so busy organizing I was late getting this out. At least I'm taking de-cluttering seriously :)

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog:
On Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
On Ravelry as mamatronic:

Episode 6: People Before Things

My questions for you:

Are you finding yourself caught in a cycle of consumer culture?
What would you say is at the root of your mindless consumption?
Any tips for combatting mindless consumerism in the crafting community and/or in life in general?

Which do you think is the best forum for discussion: Youtube comments or a Ravelry group?

Stuff I mention:

The Slow Home Podcast:

Natalie Merchant's Ophelia:

My The Edge sweater by Gift of Knitting Designs:

Next one to be knit in Cascade Eco+:

Katy Bowman Nutritious Movement:

Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up:

Courtney Carver's Soulful Simplicity:

More La Leche League Maxims:

McMilne Shawl by Jane Richmond:

Bag by Rose and the Wren Shop:

Acadia National Park:

Sexy Vesty by Teresa Gregorio:

Saturate Shawl by Mara Catherine Bryner:

Photo overload of my Oh My Bear! by Tiny Owl Knits:

The Chimney Tops in Smoky Mountain Ntnl Park:

Humulus by Isabell Kraemer:

Birch by Pam Allen:

Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner:

My Weekender by Andrea Mowry:

My The Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli:

Both are for Stranded Podcast's #Commercial KAL:

Friday, March 2, 2018

Episode 5: The Slow Life

I realize I didn't give you guys much time to respond to any questions from Episode 4, or leave feedback in general, but that one took FOREVER to edit and upload.  So, I practically had a new one ready the next day.  Please leave any thoughts about either episode here or on in the comments on either episode in Youtube.

And don't forget, I'm giving away a copy of the sweater pattern you see here in this episode!!! Isn't it incredible?

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

On my blog:
On Instagram as @mysocalledhandmadelife:
On Ravelry as mamatronic:

Episode 5:

My Questions for you:  Are you doing the whole slow living thing yet?  What does slow living mean to you?  How are you incorporating it into your life?

Stuff I mention:
The Edge sweater by Gift of Knitting Designs:

Photos of The Edge on my blog:

Alina's patterns on Gift of Knitting:

My Journey:

My Reindeer:
The Year of Less by Cait Flanders:

The Slow Home Podcast:

Kirsty Farrugia of The Art of De-Cluttering Podcast:

Annihilation without the commentary ;):

A Stillness of Trees by Sylvia McFadden:

Sol Alpaca Yarn:

Knitscene Spring 2018 90's Collection:

The Easy Bulky One by Joji Locatelli:

Humulus by Isabell Kraemer:

Birch by Pam Allen:

Durumi by Isabell Kraemer:

Treysta by Jeniffer Steingass:

Encircled Collection from KnitPicks:

Especially the Bistort Pullover by Courtney Spainhower:

Weekender by Andrea Mowry: