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

Advertisements

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

 

Honeymoon Ramblings

Honeymoon: Wooly Mastadon

As you noticed I’ve been gone for over a week. It was 100% worth it as my husband and I finally got the vacation time to take our honeymoon…10 days of work free-bliss. Early on in planning we had decided this trip would be all about family (and in our minds our best friends are family too…of course!). We made a loop leaving our home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, heading to Wisconsin for a few days, then going through Illinois/Indiana to lower Michigan, finally to head over the Mackinac bridge home. It was a lot of driving (with no car a.c….boo) but we made it despite the 80+ degree temps, and hey, we’re Yoopers and that’s hot!

Honeymoon: Wooly Mastadon

The one destination we had planned other than visiting our favorite people was House on the Rock in Spring Green Wisconsin. It is an amazing place and if you ever get the chance GO! The words I would use to describe it just wouldn’t give it justice so check out the link and go see the place for yourself If museums and oddities are your thing, you’ll love it. This was my third time going (first time as an adult…its been about 10 years) but my husband’s first visit and to my delight he absolutely loved it! It was a springboard for creativity and something to remember forever.

However, on this trip it certainly gave me a chance to refocus. In my four+ years working where I do (small town grocery store) I have never taken this much time off, even for our wedding. It was amazing, and a relief from a lot of stress. I checked my phone but no where near as much as I would when I was at home, leaving far more time for chatting, playing board games, learning card games, and just being outside with the best people. I knit, got completely immersed in a book, and shared so many meaningful conversations with my husband. Through it all I realized just how important all these things are to me, and how little time I was actually setting aside for them. Work is work, and I am lucky enough to have a job that I can leave behind at the end of the day, and should do just that rather than drag the drama home with me making my one safe haven not so safe (especially for my poor husband who has to listen to hour long rants).

Honeymoon: Wooly Mastadon

Through all this it solidified what I’ve been learning, well re-learning, this year. Creativity is what makes me thrive, family is what truly matters, and yes, work can be a soul-sucking monster but only if you truly let it. I need to make sure that all the hours spent outside of work are so filled with the good that if the bad tries to drain my happiness I have a reserve overflowing to beat it. Yes, it will not always work. There will be days where I let things drag me down, but as long as I don’t stay there then there is progress.

I’ll be back soon to share some fun things soon (I’m thinking a favorites post is in order, I may or may not have bought way too many books on our honeymoon, all worth sharing!). It’s time to focus on what actually matters!

~Stay Inspired

P.S. Sorry for the crazy pictures, I know they don’t really match the content (they are from one small part of House on the Rock). We went in with good intentions to take so many photos this trip but our cameras stayed in our pockets, and I’m okay with that. We were in the moment with great people and electronics can’t replace that!

Our Wedding ~ 6-9-2018

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

As promised today I’ll be sharing some of the details of our wedding. Honestly, I’m not sure what to share. It was a whirlwind of a day and an absolute dream that my husband and I will look back on with love for the rest of our lives. The day was perfect, the date even better being on my parent’s 39th wedding anniversary.

When my husband proposed I knew I wanted two things from our day: I wanted no fuss and I wanted as much as I possibly could manage to be hand-made or at least mostly hand-made. I immediately started scouring Pinterest for wedding invitation/save the date ideas, decor, the works. However, the first thing on the list was to find a pattern for a wedding shawl. My Mom remarked that ‘only my daughter would search for yarn and a knitting pattern for a wedding shawl before anything else has even been planned.’ She said it with pride and a smile and she was right; we didn’t even have a date, a venue, anything, and I had ordered yarn and was looking for a pattern for a wedding shawl only days after the proposal.

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

The planning just seemed to fall into place, we got a venue, an absolutely amazing hall in our small town that was small but beautiful, Brownstone Hall (amazing food, amazing people who went above and beyond!). Our DJ Keweenaw Tunes (again, amazing person and made our reception so fun) and photographer Brianne Bri Marie Photography (she’s amazing!) were soon to follow. Over time I designed the save the dates and the invitations. I made a form of a ‘brand’ for our wedding so that each piece matched. Thanks to my Mom’s suggestion a digitized crocheted doily was the framework of our wedding paper goods. Mint/teal and peach were our colors. My amazing coworker and floral designer did our flowers (Bobbi at Econo in Houghton, MI…check her out for any weddings in the area!!!). Our cake was from Econo as well and  was carrot cake because why have anything else.

Honestly all the time spent making favors, paper-goods, bow ties (yes I sewed the bow ties because bow ties are cool), and other items for the wedding is a blur, because as I was creating these items I was also caring for and worrying about my Mom. Each piece was made with love and extra care because I put all the hope and joy that I had into the things I made for the wedding when our lives were plagued with uncertainty.

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

When the day finally came I was probably more prepared than I should have been but that was good. Hardly anything had to be put together last minute. Our bridal party made decorating the hall a breeze and everyone pitched in when I had no idea what to do with the stuff I had brought. Our day flowed relatively smoothly and we started the service on time! Our photographer was absolutely amazing taking photos and even helping us when we had an issue styling our hair for the wedding (she even put the beaded half tiara I had in my hair when we couldn’t figure out how to place it!)

As the day went on Justin (my husband) and I were nervous but so ready. My Dad’s wedding sermon was filled with silly stories and love and Mom’s memory all tied together the message of Jesus. Looking back on the day everyone said that Justin, myself, and even my Dad were simply glowing with happiness. Seeing our closest friends and family was the best.

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

When we moved to our reception everything went well. I danced more than I have in my entire life. My Dad and the Best Man made the most amazing speeches. Dad connected his entire speech to the father’s speech from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (my Mom and my absolute favorite movie) and completed it with a gift to us, a bottle of Windex. The Best Man’s speech was so thought out and connected to us that we both were just about in tears from the amount of love and care that he showed us. He even quoted Dr. Seuss at the end so it couldn’t have been better.

Our first dance was “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and honestly our day was just that; A day of love, joy, and the beginning of an amazing life and adventure.

Sorry if this post was too long and full of tangents. Looking back on our day it is truly all a dream and sometimes it’s hard to believe it even happened until I wake up next to my husband and realize, yes the dream is real and the adventure isn’t a hope anymore but reality. I’ll share details on my wedding shawl soon. Until then…

~Stay Inspired

All photos in the post are courtesy of Brianne of Bri Marie Photography! Thanks to her for her amazing work!!!

Mini Vacation Yarn Haul

Mini Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

This past weekend my husband and I managed to slip away from the crazy and take a four day weekend. In combination with some errands getting away from the crazy was much needed and so worth it. Being able to visit Grandma and our favorite place on Earth made it even better. Some much needed lake time was involved and lots of fresh air. Of course, I can’t take a trip to Eagle River, WI without heading to St. Germain and stopping at Just Yarnin’. Knowing my love for yarn my husband obliged and we headed to the yarn store.

I was pleased to find that Just Yarnin’ had some amazing dyers in stock that I have wanted to try for a long time, so I did some damage…pure wool piggery. It’s okay though, because while I was a kid in the candy store grinning like a cheshire cat, the shop dog (so cute and friendly!) parked by my husband and kept him occupied! Here’s what I got:

Knitted Wit: Wooly Mastadon

It seems I can’t leave this yarn store without some Knitted Wit yarn (I still haven’t used the skein I bought last year…it’s so beautiful so I want to find the perfect project for it). This time around I got two skeins, both in the single fingering, one in the Hawaii Volcanos colorway and one in the Autumn Rainbow colorway.

Dream in Color: Wooly Mastadon

Next up is a yarn I’ve wanted to try for a long time: Dream in Color. I got one skein of her Jilly base in the POP UP! Skein Club August 2017 colorway. I love the colors and how soft this yarn is.

Three Irish Girls: Wooly Mastadon

Finally I got one skein of Three Irish Girls in the Adorn Luxe base in the Baby I’m a Star colorway. I cannot wait to try this as it is yet another dyer I’ve wanted to try yarn from for a long time!

We’ll see what I knit up with these yarns. They are all so beautiful and soft. Shawls anyone? As for Just Yarnin’ I must say I love this yarn store and the yarns, notions, kits, and help they have to offer. If they were closer to home I’d definitely join in on their knit alongs and classes. If you are in the St. Germain area check it out, it is an awesome LYS! Before I sign off for the day I need suggestions…especially shawl pattern suggestions! Let me know what has been catching your eye on Ravelry (I’m lilwestie there)!

~Stay Inspired

Refocus, Revise, Relearn, Remember…

Life Lately: Wooly Mastadon

Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years…time just keeps going whether we are prepared to keep pace with it or not. Life happens, things change, for the good and the bad, and we work through it. Its been a few months since I last shared something with you all, promising to be back soon, promising to share projects and keep things alive. Promising what I didn’t know at the time would be something I just couldn’t follow through with.

No, I’m not going to vow to share something with you every Friday from now on, and I’m not going to say I need to take a break and see you next year. I’m just going to say this, I’ve learned in the past few months that in my life I have to focus on what matters, and I’ve also learned that I am putting my energy into too many outlets. I have spent most of my time frazzled or stressed, and am learning that sometimes I just have to let things go. I did this with Wooly Mastadon unintentionally. I’m realizing why now.

Wooly Mastadon is my place, its something I care about and something I hope to see grow as I slowly work towards a career in a creative field. It’s also something I don’t want to ruin by publishing content for the sake of publishing. My heart wasn’t in it so instead of forcing to post I let it slide, for months. I’m realizing now that perhaps it was the smartest thing I could do. I need to refocus, revise, relearn and remember what matters.

Life happens, and between the health struggles in my family (the bad) and realizing that it is amazing to let someone new into my life (the good), I’ve been scattered while adjusting to life as it comes. I’ve haphazardly kept up with my volunteer time at my local community arts center, I’ve put together last minute text for a letterpress project, I’ve worked at my full time day job far more than I’d like to admit, and I’m tired.

So much of what I’ve been doing has been for good reasons, but it means I’m not on here sharing. My goals have not changed, but my route to getting there has. I’m still here, the voice of Wooly Mastadon. I still have things to share, projects, designs, thoughts, photography. I will share it in my time. With that I leave you til I post next. Focus on what matters. Thanks for listening.

~Stay Inspired

 

Another Weekday Adventure

Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

With my work, I don’t have a normal repeating schedule. I don’t often get weekends, and my days off get shifted throughout the week all the time. However, it also means I can take Monday and Tuesday off without batting an eye. This week was the perfect reason to do that. A few of my friends made the trek to come visit me those days and of course we had to go on an adventure. Copper Harbor was a must.

Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

You know what’s coming, photo overload. Regardless, I had such a wonderful time I absolutely had to share.

Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

Hope your week was amazing and that your weekend is even better. Go out and explore!

~Stay Inspired

And Yet Another Year Flies By…

Wooly Mastadon Turns 2!

It’s been another year and Wooly Mastadon is now two years old! Granted this year hasn’t been a banner year for consistency but the fact that it is still here is a good sign. I love this little piece of the interwebs and hope to keep it going for as long as I can. I had lofty goals to create something awesome to share here today, something useful like a tutorial or printable, but I was utterly stumped. I just didn’t know what fit, and I wanted it to be just right. Thus, I’m taking suggestions…what should I do next. I want to create something, whether it be a printable, a background you can use on your computer, or even a tutorial or pattern. What shall it be?

With that I leave you. Its been a crazy two years, and this also marks just over two years out of college (yeesh!, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole). There have been ups and downs, and this little space is still here. Here’s to another, hopefully more productive, year! Thanks for sticking around.

~Stay Inspired

Another Adventure…

Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon

You may be sick of nature photos, but that won’t stop me from sharing them. Once again I have been out and about, taking photos of the things I love best. I spent some quality time (the longest amount of time I’ve been able to take off for myself in over a year) at my Grandma’s house once again. The fact that she lives in the woods by a lake, even better. For a wonderful summer refresher I thought I’d share some of the photos from this trip.

Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon

Fair warning, there are a few silly ones including a pink elephant. Long story but it was a gift and I thought it would be funny to share some photos of my pink elephant having fun in the woods. It works.

Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon Eagle River Nature: Wooly Mastadon

And one final thing, Happy 4th of July to all of you who live in the states. For everyone else, Happy Weekend.

~Stay Inspired

 

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

Every year this happens, every year we get a St. Patty’s Day storm. This year was no exception. Since the only two things I knit on this week were two baby hats and my socks, I decided I’d share some of the snow photos I took of the storm. There was beauty in it, the trees were draped in a covering of white, everything looked so clean. Granted in all that beauty it made getting to work a chore and put many people out of power. Alas, at least I got some outdoor time with my dog and was able to enjoy hopefully the last major snowstorm of the year.

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

It’s Friday, the weekend is almost here! Enjoy it!

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

P.S. Mazie enjoyed the snow, she was too busy investigating to look at the camera…

~Stay Inspired