Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Episode 20: Coping Mechanisms

My focus was off. I mean the camera focus, literally, was off in the beginning. I think my dog did it with her nose as I was setting up. Geez.  It's not terrible but I'm not doing it over. If it bugs you, close your eyes and just listen... Other than that, I ramble a bit. But stick with me and hear my idea for a new Knit-along and let me know what you think.

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

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

My question for you: How would you feel about doing a #WingItKAL where we do something, even if it's small, to modify an existing pattern or create one of our own. I'm talking anything from a dishcloth to a sweater. Are you up for that?

Oak Crest Hat pattern by Vanessa Townley:

mine knit in Knit Picks Capra, Thicket:

Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter:

mine knit in Tosh Merino Light, Chicory:
Hawthorne Fingering Multi, Cully:
Voolenvine Yarns Footsie, I am No Bird:
with a bit of Peepaloo Fields Sensible Sock, agave:
A Homespun House Soft Sock, Digital Bath:

BSF International:

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman:

Her Podcast Episode on Calf stretch:

Yoga with Adrienne:

An article on Chinese medicine's take on grief:

Dami Roelse:

Floozy by Libby Jonson:

knit in YarnFloozy yarns:

My test knit is in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, currant and bare:

Lovebird Lane Yarns, Michelle:

Smooth Operator by Susan B. Anderson:

Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel:

My modified Eased by Alicia Plummer:

My Seamless Yoked Sweater Recipe by Elizabeth Zimmerman:

Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman:

My Rockefeller Sweater by Wenlan Chia:

My reverse engineered cardigan:

My StripeEd Cowl pattern:

Mindful Shawl by Libby Jonson:

Ewe Hues, Mmmm...chocolate:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cardamom Coffee Hat

Cardamom Coffee is a good for soothing Sleeve Madness, an ailment from which I constantly seem to suffer. I knit this hat for the Ramblin Rhinebeck Knit-along with Caitlin Hunter, the designer, and The Farmer's Daughter Fibers.

The whole feel of this KAL was 70's Country/Americana. Caitlin's Ramblin Woman pattern debuted at the end of it and was inspired by country glam legends, like Dolly Parton. The Farmer's Daughter Fibers was the perfect for this because their inspiration is often found in Montana's history, comprised of both ranchers and Native Americans.

She had some awesome kits for Ingalls and Tecumseh.  But I had my Sunset Highway that still needed sleeves and yarn ready for Guthrie, not to mention a test knit and Floozy, all needing sleeves, on my needles. I knew I couldn't do a sweater for this KAL. Instead, I chose this hat and I'm so glad I did because it gave me a chance to try a new fiber- Soka''pi.

Soka'pii is a yarn that I have been dying to try.  It's a Rambouillet singe ply yarn from Montana and Wyoming sheep. It means "good" in Blackfeet. I love Wyoming. Our family backpacking trip thru the Tetons and traveling through the Black Hills has given me a tender spot for it's history in my heart.

I've always heard people say that tightly plied yarns are best for colorwork,  so I was unsure if it would be good for this project. I did notice Caitlin's sample used Tosh Merino Light, which is a super wash merino singles base and lots of FOs used it too. Then, Candace encouraged me that it would work out, via instagram, so I started.

It felt like real wool. You know what I mean- woolly, nubby non-superwash wool that doesn't take dye as vividly, but just feels real in your hands. I loved every second of working with it. It was actually very soft to begin with, but it bloomed into more softness after blocking.

Details: I used US size 1 needles for the ribbing and size 2.5 for the body. My colors were Rank Bronc, Napi, and Monarch. Oh, and I could have knit with Monarch all day. The CC2 portion is so small in this hat that, though it does shine, I was a little disappointed to not use more. Good thing I have a ton of the skein left.

In fact, I have a whole unused skein of Rank Bronc and a third of the other left, too. So I added another skein of Napi when I placed my order for the Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL patch. Now I should have enough Soka''pi for another hat.

I topped this hat with a faux fur pompom by FFFabuknits on Etsy. They are a great price and come in all sizes.  This is not even the largest size.

If I'm honest, I have been interested in using Candace's yarn for some time and Caitlin's patterns are always "must knot." But access to this patch/ pin that Caitlin designed was the biggest motivating factor in my joining the KAL. I'm so glad I did because...Willie!!! and I've found a new favorite dyer.

I see that Hill Country Weavers is now carrying The Farmer's Daughter Fibers, too, so maybe next time I visit my daughter we can swing by the "yawn" shop.

Did I tell you?!? My daughter joined Ravelry. She went to HCW with me, picked out some yarn for a hat and scarf, started it, then got angry with it and quit. But, the point is: she joined. I'm okay with her addiction starting slowly.

(more on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)

I talk about this hat some on my podcast episodes 17, 18, and finished on 19.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Sea Glass and Driftwood

Is it wrong to be prideful about something I've made? The word prideful has such negative connotations, but "full of pride" is the only way to describe how I feel about this test knit. It just seems so intricate and the tonal colors blended so perfectly.  Then, there's the fit, which I got exactly right. That never used to happen on my first try.

Now, get ready for photo overload.  I loved Sea Glass and Driftwood so very much that I wanted to take a million photos of it.  Unfortunately, I had to be wearing it, so most of them were of me looking stoned with  half-closed eyes.  I swear that's the only reason you aren't scrolling through a mile of sweater pics.

It's Sea Glass and Driftwood by Annie Lupton.  You may know her better as Boho Chic Fiber Co online. She has designed some pretty big hits in the knitting world, like Navigate (from Rib Magazine), Kerrytown, and Indie Mash Up.  Those are some of her more popular knits, but really, she has an incredible body of work for someone who hasn't been designing all that long. I scroll through her patterns, on Ravelry, and I cannot understand why there are not more FOs of Nadia,
Macomb, Madame George, and Wild Mystic! How can Pi shawls be all the rage and there aren't more Wild Mystics being knit?! I mean, I know my excuse: I am collecting enough washable worsted to knit this as a giant throw/ coverlet for my bed. This will let me use it year round, rather than my usual month of winter. I also have some stash yarn earmarked for both Madame George Pullover and Lunaria.  I just need time...

When Annie started teasing photos of her newest colorwork design on instagram, I really wanted to be a tester. I figured I had a good chance of finishing it before it got cold here (I did.) and I would easily be able to finish it before the test knit deadline. (I didn't.) But she was understanding of our family emergency and had plenty of testers who did finish by mid October. You can see their glorious finished sweaters here. Several used tonal or variegated yarns, like me. Nikki, of Forest Fiber Arts, dyed her own and those can be found in her shop.  And that shop is full of rich, autumnal colors right now. 

Anyway, most of the testers knit fairly fitted versions of this. I did too, but only because I lacked enough of the Hawthorne Fingering Multi, in Nob Hill, to make a size medium. I was planning on this, so it wasn't a problem. I employed a little blocking magic to get something between the fit of a small and medium. The Hawthorne is super wash and grew beautifully.

Here's the thing- it looked great as a fitted sweater too.  I was tempted to keep it as such, but I know myself and how I almost always opt for baggy.

Some things I love about this sweater, beyond the obvious allover colorwork, is the visible seams at the shoulders.  It gives it a slightly deconstructed or homespun look to me. I just love that detail. Not sure if I'm saying that right, but I like the result.  

I also love the boxy fit (should you choose to knit it oversized). Then there's that colorwork pattern.  It looks so complicated but really only involves a few rows repeated at a time.  This could even be knit in the round, up to the armholes, to facilitate speedy knitting. I did things as directed, since it was a test, though.

Details: I knit this with US size 2.5 needles and 3 skeins of Hawthorne Fingering Multi in Nob Hill (a discontinued colorway), with 2 skeins of Stroll tonal in Pearlescent.  All of these skeins were bought on sale, but the Nob Hill was a very good deal. I was so happy to have a special purpose for that colorway. I had always wanted it but didn't actually pull the trigger on buying until it was discontinued, then I only got a small amount.

I wasn't sure it would be appropriate since it is more variegated than tonal, but it was fine. Pretty soon, I quit alternating skeins and just used one at a time for most of the body. Alternating skeins with two color Fair Isle would be murder. Why make myself hate my favorite hobby? Thankfully both colorways were consistent enough to make that unnecessary. 

My only mods: I added two extra stitches on each sleeve because it seemed to help with gapping at the underarm.  I also made them three-quarter length because I was running low on the Nob Hill.  Remember only three skeins, people!

I also worked the first I-Cord bind off on the neckline and it seemed like it would roll and show the inside of the sweater too much.  After trying a couple of times, I decided to try one purl round, then knitting 6 rounds of stockinette to create a rollback neckline, before binding off.

When I got to the sleeves, I did the regular I-Cord bind off and it worked fine, maybe because there wasn't the bulk of Fair Isle just above the edge, encouraging it to roll upward. I then did an I Cord bind off on the bottom. It is a little roll-y but it doesn't look bad. I don't think the fix I used on the neck would have worked any better than I-Cord did at the bottom edge, so I left it as-is. Maybe I just haven't found the proper tension for I-Cord bind offs. I have much to learn. But did you get that I got the fit right on the first try. That's happened on every sweater I've knit the last year or two!!

Oh, and here's my nose:

(more on Ravelry, Instagram, and Flickr)

If you're interested in more complex colorwork, or at least complex-looking stranded knitting, try this pattern. I cannot say enough about it and I don't want to bore you with more exclamations and photos of me reveling in my perfect Fair Isle knit.

This knit also on my podcast Episodes 17, 18, and 19.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Episode 19: Thank You & a Giveaway

Episode 19: Thank You & A Giveaway

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

My Question for you: What are some of your coping mechanisms when grieving or sad?

Stuff I mention in Episode 19:

my last episode Cheap Camera tour:

the Instagram slideshow of my dad:

The other slideshow:

Fito Olivares y Su Grupo, Zool√≥gico Tropical:√≥gico-Tropical-Fito-Olivares-Grupo/dp/B00ABH6CQ8

Who Am I- Jackie Chan clip:

Hill Country Weavers:

Yashica Electro 35 GSN:

YashicaCameraShoppe, where I got my accessories:

Polaroid Spirit 600:

Road Week 2018:

Strange Brew Creative Photo Challenge:

Polaroid SX70:

Polaroid film via Polaroid Originals:

The Knits:

Twas the Night Before Christmas Socks by Dani Jorge:

Knit in Sweet Sparrow Yarn, Peppermint Mocha:

Michelle Socks (Smooth Operator pattern) by Susan B. Anderson:

Knit in Lovebird Lane Yarns, Michelle colorway:

Oak Crest by Vanessa Townley:

-possibly in Knit Picks Capra:

Wheat Scarf by Tin Can Knits:

Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL:

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter:

-knit in Farmer's Daughter Fibers Soka'pii, Rank Bronc, Napi, Monarch:

-Pompom by FFFabuknits on Etsy:

Floozy by Libby Jonson:

-Knit in YarnFloozy Merino/Silk/Cashmere, Foliage, Wildberry, and Chewy Caramel:

Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter:

-Knit in Tosh Merino Light, Chicory:

-Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi, Cully:

-Voolenvine Yarns Footsie, I am No Bird:

-A Homespun House Soft Sock, Digital Bath:

Sea Glass and Driftwood by Annie Lupton (BohoChicFiberCo):

-Knit Picks Hawthorn fingering, Nob Hill (discontinued):

-Stroll Tonal, Pearescent:

Guthrie by Caitlin Hunter:

-to knit in Spincycle Yarns, Dyed in the Wool, Mississippi Marsala:

-and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport, Fedora:

Nightshift Shawl by Andrea Mowry:

-to knit in Stonehedge Fiber Mill Crazy:

-I bought at The Wooden Needle Store on Etsy:

Nurtured by Andrea Mowry:

-to knit in Nurtured by Julie Asselin, Courtepointe:

-found at Firefly Fibers:

-Laine Issue 6:

-Handywoman by Kate Davies:

-CocoKnits Sweater Workshop:

The Bulky Easy One by Joji Locatelli:

-knit in Patons Classic Tweed, Black Tweed:

Jelly Donuts by Teresa Gregorio:

from Great Northern:

To knit while rewatching Seasons 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks:

Old Harry by Kat Riddell:

to knit in Gynx Yarns worsted, Favor House Atlantic:

Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry:

to knit in Gynx Yarns, Vampire:

and ColorPurl Adore Lace, Espresso Bean:

Ewe Hues Merino/ Bamboo Sock yarn and MCN Sock yarn:

Viking Naturgarn:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Episode 18: Cheap Camera Tour

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

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

My questions for you:

1) Have you ever tried to say nothing negative to someone for a set amount of time and how did it work out?  If not, would you be willing to try it for a week and tell us how it went?

2) Anything you want to see more of here?

Stuff I mention on Episode 18:

The Knits:

Sea Glass and Driftwood test knit:

for Annie Lupton:

knit in Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, Pearlescent:

and Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi, Nob Hill (discontinued):

comparable yarns would be other Fingering Multi colorways or Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint:

Floozy Cardigan by Libby Jonson:

knit in YarnFloozy Yarns:

FloozyKAL in Truly Myrtle Ravelry group:

Summer Sweater Knit-along FOs:

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter:

knit in The Farmer's Daughter Fibers Suka'pii:

for the Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL:

Inspirational Stuff:

BSF, where I volunteer:

Katinka's inspirational Instagram feed:

and her creative work on instagram:

and her Youtube channel:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin:

The Happier Podcast:

Camera Joy:

Polaroid Originals:

Argus 75:

Through the Viewfinder Photography:

Polaroid 210 Land Camera:

More on film for 210:

Instax 210 Wide:

Instax Mini 90:

Minolta X9:

FED Cameras:

Yashica Electro 35 GSN:

Diana + Camera:

The Diana Show is the book that first got me interested in toy cameras:

Lensbaby Composer kit:

Lots of my photos, including embarrassing attempts on my Flickr:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Episode 17: What to Do with Myself

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

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

Stuff I mention in Episode 17:

My Plum by Junko Okamoto:
Part of the Junko June and July KAL:

Braid and Tinker Podcast:

Floozy Cardigan by Libby Jonson:
knit in Yarnfloozy kit with colors Foliage, Chewy Caramel, and Wildberry:
Floozy KAL:

mosaic knitting rather than stranded:
combination knitting tutorial:
Summer Sweater KAL:

Sea Glass and Driftwood by Annie Lupton:
knit in Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Multi in Nob Hill (discontinued):
and Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Pearlescent:

Other designs by Annie Lupton:

Madam George Pullover:
Studio Slub:
Wild Mystic:

My Blog post on social media friendships:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin:

Happier Podcast:

The Expanse series:

Cardamom Coffee Hat by Caitlin Hunter:

knit in The Farmer's Daughter Fibers Soka'pii yarn in Rank Bronc, Monarch, and Napi:

Ramblin Rhinebeck KAL:

Any Hat KAL2018:

Patterns by Andrea Jimenez:
Spruce Pine:
Regalo Messy Bun Beanie:

The Kohler Method of dog training:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Episode 16: How we Connect

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

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

My question for you:

Have you ever used knitting, or crafting, to cross cultural or social barriers in order to connect with another person?

Stuff I mention in Episode 16:

Intuition shawl by Stacy Elstone:

in her Stress Knits Squishy base, Eliza colorway:

Your wool blend recommendations for summer:




Knit One Crochet Too Elfin Tweed:

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed:

Tegna by Caitlyn Hunter:

Floozy Cardigan by Libby Jonson:

Kit in FloozyYarn:

There's a FloozyKAL:

Summer Sweater KAL:

Our combined "Next sweaters" list:

Guthrie by Caitlyn Hunter:

Meg by Junko Okamoto:

Jelly Donuts by Teresa Gregorio:

My Annie Lupton Driftwood and Seaglass Test knit:

in Knit Picks Hawthorne Multi in Nob Hill (discontinued color):

and Stroll Tonal Pearlescent:

Ready for Fall by Isabell Kraemer:

Mix and Match by the Knitting Expat:

O' Keeffe by Bristol Ivy:

Piper by Libby Jonson:

Wool and Honey by Andrea Mowry:

Timely by Libby Jonson:

and something... anything... Junko:

Thoughts on Connecting via social media:

Melanie of Braid and tinker Podcast:

and Melanie on Instagram:

Just one of many articles about social media protest:

People skills by Robert Bolton:

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg:

And connecting through craft:

Katinka of Aknitak Creations Podcast:

and Katinka on Instagram:

Day One Journal App:

Emilie on Instagram:

and her plastics graphic:

What the heck are soap nuts?:

Lovebird Lane Yarns:

Our Junko Patterns:


The Twigs:

Lee Beret: