Wooly Mastadon Creates Podcast: Episode 2

Just over a month later and I am back to share more projects and ramblings with you in a new episode of the Wooly Mastadon Creates podcast. This week I discuss a few FOs, some new projects, and the holiday season that is fast approaching. Show notes are located below. Hope you enjoy!

  • FOs
    • Underwing Mitts by Erica Heusser
      • Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Black and White
      • Needles: US size 2 (2.75mm)
    • Sutures by Camille Descoteux (almost done sans blocking)
      • Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Black Walnut and Esoteric colorways
        Manos del Urugua Alegria in the Huarache colorway
      • Needles: US size 6 (4.0mm)
  • WIPs
    • Justin’s Socks
      • Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks in the Turquoise Strips colorway
        Premier Yarns Serenity Sock in the Black colorway
      • Needles: US size 1.5 (2.5mm)
    • 9″ Circ Socks
      • Yarn: ONline Supersocke 4-Fach Street Color
      • Needles: US size 0 (2mm) 9″ circulars
    • Baby Knits
      • Hat (pattern formula I found years ago)
        • Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in an unknown colorway
        • Needles: US size 7 (4.5mm)
      • I-Love-Stockinette Baby Bib by Laura Treadway
        • Yarn: misc worsted weight cotton yarn from my stash
        • Needles: US size 5 (3.75mm) for turquoise bib and US size 6 (4mm) for orange bib
    • Granny Square Afghan
      • Yarn: mostly Red Heart Supersaver and other leftovers
      • Hook: US size H (5mm)
  • Upcoming Cast-ons
  • Stash Enhancement
    • Trekking XXL in color # 684
    • Opal Regenwald 4-fach in Sweetie #9243
    • Chiagoo 9″ circs in size 0 (2mm)
  • Non-knit Loves
    • A Court of Thorns and Rose by Sarah J Maas
    • One Skein Wonders for Babies by Judith Durant
    • By Hand by Nicole Santo
    • The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Four Contemporary Suites by Imogen Heap
  • Life Lately
    • Eagle River, WI trip
    • The Holidays are coming
    • I need recipe ideas…send help!

That’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Please share your ideas and thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!

~Stay Inspired

FO: Underwing Mitts

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

They’re done! They’re amazing! …And admittedly I finished the Underwing Mitts three weeks ago. These mitts simply flew off the needles and I must say I have a new found love of colorwork. When I completed these I eagerly saved the project to photograph in one of my favorite places, my Grandmother’s home on a lake in the woods. Of course all great ideas don’t always go to plan as I discovered. Not only did it snow and rain a bit too much to go outside, but my camera’s remote had decided to die completely. Alas, I managed to snap a few photos, perhaps not as epic as these mitts deserve, but I am still happy with the finished object.

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

This pattern was written very well, simple yet detailed in all the right ways. Erica Heusser seems to have a knack for colorwork as this pattern is absolutely beautiful as are her other mitt patterns (which I may or may not have queued for future knits). For my pair I opted to skip the extra color via duplicate stitch and stay with my two color mitts. These were knit on size US 2 (2.75mm) circular needles in Knit Picks Palette in black and white.

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

For me this became a popcorn knit. I was always wanting to knit one more row pushing my bed time aside leaving me with bleary eyed mornings at work just waiting to go home and knit on the mitts some more. They are quite warm and comfy and definitely a statement piece. I love the finished object and considering it is my first solid attempt at colorwork I couldn’t be happier with them!

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

So what’s next? I am knitting some baby items for a friend and eagerly awaiting the Knit Picks yarn sale the end of this week…sweater quantity anyone? Sutures is almost complete (we’re to the blocking stage!). I need some new knits. We shall see what I cast on next.

~Stay Inspired

So Many Socks and Some Wool Piggery

Husband Socks: Wooly Mastadon

It has happened again. I finish one pair of socks and end up casting on two new pairs. To be honest I had no intention of casting on two pairs, just one: my husband’s socks. That in itself was an adventure.

For starters, these socks are a bit out of the norm for me. For the first time I’m knitting the toes, heels, and cuffs in a different color from the main body of the sock in an effort to stretch the yarn. The accent yarn is Premier Yarn Serenity Sock in Black. The rest of the sock is being knit out of Patons Kroy Socks in Turquoise Stripes. They are being knit on slightly larger sock needles, US size 1.5 (2.5mm) as opposed to my usual US 1 (2.25mm) needles. The biggest snag I hit was I originally cast these socks on with 72 stitches and that was way too loose. I cut the stitch count down to 68 stitches and I think we have found the formula for this pair and all future socks for my husband.

Mini Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

I’ve also noticed I just don’t want to leave the house, especially on my days off as of late. In order to entice myself to run some errands on an extremely dreary day this past week I told myself upon completion I could visit our local yarn store which I haven’t visited in years. Of course, one does not simply walk into a yarn store and leave without yarn. No, I left with two skeins of sock yarn (Opal and Trekking) and my most exciting purchase: a pair of US size 0 (2.00mm) 9 inch circular needles. I am beyond excited about these needles as I have been wanting to attempt this method of sock knitting. I got a size down since most people say their gauge gets looser on 9 inch circs.

9" Circ Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to cast on with these needles, I had to cast on now. Thus I pulled out a skein of stash sock yarn, ONline Supersocke 4-fach Street Color. It’s a German yarn that I think will wear quite well as it feels like an Opal or Regia. I must say there is a learning curve to these needles, which I expected and planned for. As of right now I’m not sure where I stand as to loving this method or just letting it fall to the wayside. I’ll knit this pair of socks on these needles to really reach my stride on them and decide after that. I like that I don’t have to fiddle with 4-5 dpns or magic loop method but it is fiddly handling the yarn with such tiny points on the circs. We shall see.

I think that’s it for now. I’m off to knit on my socks and my Underwing Mitts. Until next time…

~Stay Inspired

New Cast On: Underwing Mitts

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

This past week I was digging through all of my hand-knits looking for my one elusive pair of hand mitts knit out of sock yarn years ago. My search ended up failing (who knows where they landed after the move this year!) and with that I knew I had to knit a new pair as we are heading full-steam ahead into fall and eventually winter! (Spoiler alert I did find the mitts at my Dads…oops.)

Underwing Mitts Cast On: Wooly Mastadon

This fall I have also been thinking about how I haven’t grown much as a knitter in recent years. I’ve been stagnant, only knitting what I know and not growing my skills. I decided to address two things that I want to learn and go ahead and gain the skills to tackle such projects. The two topics I want to tackle: colorwork (especially stranded) and brioche.

Thus, what was I supposed to do but immediately go on Ravelry and search for a mitt pattern that uses two color stranded colorwork. Truth be told I am horribly behind on podcasts (almost a year) but earlier that day I had been watching the Brooklyn Knitfolk Podcast and Jaclyn was talking about her most recent FO, the Underwing Mitts by Erica Heusser…I was sold. I purchased the pattern, found the yarn, and boldly cast on.

Underwing Mitts: Wooly Mastadon

I must say I love it!!! Granted this is purposely only a two color project but it is so addicting and makes me want to find projects with more colors. My gauge is starting to even out and I have caught myself knitting far too late in the evening as I keep telling myself “just one more row.” Now I want to start all of the colorwork projects. I think I have found my newest knitting obsession and it feels so good to know I’m learning more about my craft again. With that, do you have any good colorwork pattern suggestions?

~Stay Inspired

Autumn is My Favorite

Fall Wreath: Wooly Mastadon

People wonder why I get so excited as soon as September rolls around and the days of summer heat slowly get taken over with cooler weather. The leaves begin to change, the ferns yellow, and the goldenrod withers. But with all this change comes the cozy evenings snuggled under a blanket with a big mug of hot tea. Stacks of books sit proudly on the coffee table and bedside tables begging to be read. Knitting on the couch with a good knitting podcast on the TV is always the answer to an evening in.

Fall Reading: Wooly Mastadon

This year has the added benefit of being able to share my favorite season with my husband. Granted, he does not enjoy knitting or the podcasts that I watch far too often, but we trade off TV time (for him it’s football) and being together is what matters. Its a season of comfort and love, of change, and of sharing the simple moments. It’s evenings after work spent on the couch, or visiting family. Its the evening grocery runs that slowly but surely always end up being after dark because the sun starts to hide its face earlier and earlier. It’s the promise of my favorite holidays and both my and my husband’s birthdays.

Fall Wreath: Wooly Mastadon

And it is remembering Mom. This was my Mom’s favorite season too, and this year above all others I want to put a little of her into everything I do. I want to make sure that this fall and every one after is one that she would be happy with knowing I spent the time doing things I love and some that she loved too. We’ll watch Big Fat Greek Wedding (yes, I went there..and I love it!) and we’ll read all of the books. I’ll bake all of the cookies and bars and try to eat healthy in spurts every other week. I’ll listen to Enya and early Christmas music on repeat. I’ll drink all of the tea and cast on far too many projects. I’ll aspire to knit Christmas gifts for everyone and manage to make something small skating into the deadline headfirst but just making it. I’ll go crazy with seasonal decor and spread the joy every chance I get.

It’s fall, and it’s one of the best times of year. I hope that in the season as in all others it brings blessings to all who enjoy it. Stay warm, stay cozy, and share all the joy you can.

~Stay Inspired

P.S. The amazing fall wreath pictured above is by the best florist at Bobbi at Econo Foods in Houghton, MI. If you’re in the market for a wreath of any kind, or any floral design (she did our wedding flowers!!) for that matter and are local please check her out!

 

Wooly Mastadon Creates Podcast Episode 1

You guys…I did it! It’s finally here, the Wooly Mastadon Creates podcast. For several years now I have dreamed about creating a knitting podcast (video of course) and what better time to start than now! It’s not perfect but it is a work in progress. I missed a few things here and there but I will get better and more familiar with time. Show notes will always be located here on the blog so if you want more detailed info about something make sure to check back here.

I hope you enjoy the very first episode (thanks to my husband for giving me the encouragement I needed to finally start this!). If you enjoy it, please share it with friends! I genuinely hope that I can create a community to share projects and all the things makers enjoy!

Without further ado, show notes for Episode 1:

  • FOs: Toe-up socks
    • Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in the Steamer Trunk colorway
    • Needles: US size 1 (2.25mm)
  • WIPs:
    • Justin’s Socks
      • Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks in the Turquoise Strips colorway
        Premier Yarns Serenity Sock in the Black colorway
      • Needles: US size 1.5 (2.5mm)
    • Sutures by Camille Descoteaux
      • Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Black Walnut and Esoteric colorways
        Manos del Urugua Alegria in the Huarache colorway
      • Needles: US size 6 (4.0mm)
  • Upcoming Cast-ons: Underwing Mitts by Erica Heusser
    • Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in the Black and White colorways
    • Needles: tbd
  • Stash Enhancement
    • Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida and Gayle Roehm
    • Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines and Marah Stets
  • Life Lately
    • Fall is here and other ramblings!

I figured its also a good time to remind you I’m active on Instagram as @victoriaschwanke and at Ravelry as lilwestie.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

~Stay Inspired

FO: Yet Another Pair of Socks

Toe Up Socks: Wooly Mastadon

You may be getting sick of the finished socks posts by now, but socks are something I can knit on autopilot. I don’t have to think, and for most of the sock I don’t have to even look at my work. This means I can bring this kind of project with me everywhere and knit in the moments available. This time around I had the added pressure of my husband asking when I was ‘finally’ going to start knitting his socks. I knew if I didn’t finish these socks first they would get set aside and left for a long time so I decided it best to finish these first and did just that.

Toe Up Socks: Wooly Mastadon

These socks were knit just like all my socks in a vanilla toe-up afterthought heal recipe (with placed yarn). It’s my usual recipe, 64 stitches on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles. The yarn is two skeins of Knit Picks Felici in the Steamer Trunk colorway, which I absolutely love! They are a perfect fall color and now that the weather is switching into full on fall mode, I will get a lot of wear out of these.

Well, I should go knit on my Sutures shawl (I’m so close to finishing it!) or maybe start my husbands socks. Whatever I chose Fall is officially here and with that cozy knitting time! As always…

~Stay Inspired

Fall Cast-on?

It’s that time of year. The number of days below 70 degrees is growing and with it the urge to curl up under an afghan, a good knitting podcast on TV, and a new fall cast-on on the needles. It’s a picture I’ve been dreaming of since mid-summer when the temps rose and our apartment’s average temp was a minimum of 80 degrees. Yet, now as this image slowly comes into reality I have no idea what to cast on. Do I knit a sweater? If so is it a pullover, cardigan, does it have a hood? Is it a huge chunky shawl? Is it simply a hat? Should I really be thinking about Christmas gifts (please no, not yet)?

All these questions have been running through my head and as I browse my queue on Ravelry or just browse the patterns section but I just can’t seem to settle on a pattern. I’ve even dug through my back issues of knitting magazines to no avail. I just want to cast on everything…thus in that case nothing. I freeze.

For over two years I’ve been sitting on 2,200 yards of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in the Blackberry colorway (purple of course…I can’t avoid it!). The problem: I will not cast a new project on until I find that ‘perfect’ project. I want to use up as much yardage as possible (which isn’t hard since I’m not a small person) but also make something I can live in. When I find something interesting there is always a flaw. I don’t know whats stopping me. Perhaps its the fear I won’t wear what I make…a sweater’s quantity of yarn isn’t exactly cheap. Even then, it shouldn’t stop me, I should plow ahead without worry because if I don’t this yarn will sit in my stash forever.

This is it, this is the year I will finally cast on my sweater! But what to choose. Throughout this post you have seen several options. What do you think I should choose? Do you have a pattern suggestion? What do you do when you don’t know what to knit? Let me know!

~Stay Inspired

WIP Update: Sutures

Sutures WIP: Wooly Mastadon

It’s been a few weeks and it’s about time to check in with my current WIP (work in progress) Sutures. I cast this on in July and have been working on it on and off. I’m still not sure how this color combination will work out but I am enjoying the knit and am starting to like how the colors work out. Originally when I cast this on I was hoping to make a new record with the speed I knit a shawl but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Partially this is because I really want to cast on something else, and I’m torn between a large project like a sweater or a smaller project like a hat…or maybe both. I’ve been spending far too much time browsing Ravelry and my queue has grown quite a bit but I still haven’t settled on a project so perhaps this is a sign I should just finish this shawl first!

Sutures WIP: Wooly Mastadon

The other reason my knitting has been slow is because my husband and I have been getting rid of boxes as we organize our apartment (yes its tiny, and yes we have no excuse to not have this done yet except work). We finally have bookshelves up, can see the floor and I can see my yarn organized on a beautiful Ikea Kallax shelf that we purchased on our honeymoon. It feels so good to have our books on shelves and available to read at any time instead of in boxes and inaccessible.

Having an organized space makes me more than ready for fall. With school starting and Halloween and fall decor everywhere I’m really ready for the cooler, knit-friendly weather. We’ll see when that weather arrives but for now I’ll dream up my next project and a day when I can cuddle under an afghan while knitting, crocheting, or reading. Fall is almost here folks!

~Stay Inspired

Honeymoon Book Haul

Honeymoon Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

While we were on our honeymoon my husband and I went to a few stores including book stores. We both have a habit of coming home with far more books than we can read and regretting nothing. I however, did the most damage.

Honeymoon Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

I won’t go into details on every book but here’s what I picked up:

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  • The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins
  • The House on the Rock
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill
  • Point Journal

The back story to the Court of Thorns and Roses books is that I was watching a back episode of the Yarngasm Podcast (one of my fave knitting video podcasts, you must check it out), and Kristin mentioned this book as a must read. Since I love the other series by Sarah J Maas I decided I’d pick up the first book and treat myself to a good vacation read. I must say the first book is fantastic and I read around a third of it in one night which is a lot for me as of late. I haven’t finished the first book but I knew I had to pick up the next two when I saw them in the bookstore. If you like books that land in the young adult, fiction, fantasy, mythical genres, you’ll love this book.

Honeymoon Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find has been on my list since Christmas and I hadn’t seen it in stores since…until we were at Target of all places. You may also notice a small journal in the pile. It’s a bullet journal, and yes I hope to eventually delve down this rabbit hole. I love that it can be as complex or simple as you like and you aren’t stuck to one year as it has no dates. My only worry is I will eventually stall out because of forcing myself to make it too complex. Hopefully I can avoid that. The rest of the books just sounded interesting and I love delving into something new that isn’t one of the series I am currently reading or have read.

Honeymoon Book Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Well, that is my honeymoon book haul. This my friends, is why we drive everywhere…books are heavy! What books do you love and think I should pick up next? Are you a book enthusiast (I like that term rather than hoarder…)? Until next time!

~Stay Inspired