New Cast-on: Sutures

Sutures Colors: Wooly Mastadon

Now that things have calmed down and my husband and I are slowly settling into as much of a routine as possible with our impossible work schedules, I am finally able to refocus on my creative projects. As you have noticed, that means I’m back and writing here, and hope to keep it that way! It also means I finished a few things (see my last post) and started a new project.

Colorful Yarn: Wooly Mastadon

This past week I realized just how much I miss and need my creative projects. They ground me, keep me calm, and give me something to think about instead of obsessing over work and the frustrations that life sometimes brings. Immediately I sat down scouring Ravelry for a nice big knitting project, preferably a shawl. I stumbled upon Sutures by Camille Descoteaux, fell in love, and purchased the pattern. Within the half hour I had my entire yarn stash of fingering weight yarn exploded in our bedroom much to the dismay of my husband. Slowly I picked a color palette, with his help, and was on my way. I wound my yarn the evening of 4th of July and was ready to cast on the next day.

Sutures: Wooly Mastadon

For this project (Rav project page here) I am using US size 6 needles (4.0 mm) and three skeins of yarn. Two skeins are Madelinetosh Tosh Merino light, in colorways Black Walnut and Esoteric. The third skein is Manos del Uruguay Alegria in the Huarache colorway. It is a different color combination for me, but for some reason I decided to go with it. If I decided it just isn’t right I can rip back and try again with something else but I feel this may just work out.

We’ll see how it goes but I am loving how this is knitting up thus far. It is a fun knit and I cannot wait to see how the piece slowly works up. I’ll share my thoughts and progress as I get farther into the pattern. Have you seen or knit this pattern before? Let me know!

~Stay Inspired

 

 

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Another FO Round-up

Crazy Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Despite what my absence here may have suggested I did indeed finish a few projects over the past several months. I kept busy here and there finishing up older projects and starting some new ones. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Mom's Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Of course I knit socks. I finished two pairs, one for my Mom and one for me. I love socks because I can knit them without thinking which means I always have a pair on the needles or at least yarn for the next pair picked out and ready to cast on. Mom’s pair of socks was knit out of Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in the Laurelhurst colorway on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles. My crazy socks were knit out of Plymouth Yarn Neon Now in colorway 2 on US Size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles. Both socks were a dream to knit and perfect for travel projects.

Amigurumi: Wooly Mastadon

I also completed some amigurumi. First to be noted would be Pickett, the bowtruckle from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which is a fantastic movie if I say so myself and I absolutely cannot wait for the next one…who’s with me?!). He was part of my halloween costume and a popular little guy at work. Moving forward this past month a few more creatures came to life. A small amigurumi hippo flew off my hook as well as a knitted cat. Both are destined to be gifts for expecting moms.

Dad's Hat: Wooly Mastadon

Last but not least, I knit a hat for my Dad. When Knit Picks released the pattern for the Marled Rib Hat by Hannah Maier I wondered if perhaps it was the one, the pattern that would produce a hat my Dad would actually wear. This hat practically knit itself and in a few days I had this hat complete and ready for Dad to try on…and he liked it and requested two more! This is a huge success in my book. This hat was knit out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport in the Bramble Heather colorway. Fun fact: this is some yarn I have had for years, yarn from my first ever Knit Picks order and one that my Dad actually went yarn shopping online with me for. Perhaps that helped make this hat a winner.

I think that about rounds up my FOs from over the past few months. I may have knit a dishcloth here or there but nothing major to note. What projects do you go to when you need a simple project? Do you have any family members who are tricky to knit for? I want to hear from you!

~Stay Inspired

FO: Summertide Shawl…My Wedding Shawl

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

At last the anticipated wedding shawl post! After teasing the silly story behind this here it is. When Justin proposed the first thing I did was go on Ravelry and search for a lace shawl pattern to knit for a wedding shawl. I had narrowed it down to two patterns and ended up going with the Summertide Shawl by Helen Stewart. Immediately after I ordered yarn to go with the one skein of teal yarn I had in my stash (because I don’t keep white singles yarn on hand). This all happened in a day…I was determined to finish this shawl in time for a date that wasn’t even set!

As soon as the yarn arrived I cast on. I knit the shawl (Rav pattern page here) on US size 6 needles (4.00 mm) out of one skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Glass Bottom Boat colorway and one skein of Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in the Bare colorway. This shawl was truly a breeze to knit and the way the pattern was written made tracking progress easy and fun. Yet, as always, I knit full steam for a few months and then, in good Tori fashion, I let it sit untouched for a few months while I pushed to finish other wedding items and take care of Mom. Not until April did I really push to finish the shawl.

Our Wedding: Wooly Mastadon

In April my Mom had a stay of about a week in the hospital for complications due to chemo. We didn’t know what was going to happen so no matter what each evening after work I went to stay with her for the evening, and I would knit. In that time I finished a sock (and most of the second) and a hat for my Dad. That lead me to realize perhaps I should take the wedding shawl with me in the hopes of finishing it. That’s all it took because in one evening I had finished the last clue and bound off the shawl. Better yet my Mom had trouble focusing on conversation but she eagerly watched me knit on this shawl, smiling and just enjoying our time together. That memory of her rejoicing with me as I bound off the last stitch is a good one.

A week later I blocked the shawl and waited for a chance to show my Mom. On Mother’s day, less than a day before her passing, she had enough energy to see the final product. Although very weak she had strength to look at it in wonder and say it was beautiful. Looking back I realized that was her last moment of clarity before she went home and I will treasure that moment forever.

This shawl was the perfect thing for our wedding day. It had its moment in our photos after the ceremony and when it chilled a bit in the evening it came to the rescue to keep me warm. Not only that, this shawl holds memories I can and will treasure, of Mom, of my family and friends, and mostly of my Husband and our wedding day.

Til next time,

~Stay Inspired

Photo Credit to Bri Marie Photography

 

FO: Vernal Equinox Shawl

Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonAs I promised here is my first FO to share since disappearing in August. After I completed my Waiting for Rain Shawl I knew I had to cast on another right away. I also sensed that Mom was fading and perhaps wouldn’t have a lot of time. Thus I cast on the shawl she chose: Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise by Lankakomero. It is a free pattern on Ravelry and absolutely gorgeous. Mom and I sat down together to pick this pattern out and she fell in love with it immediately. I knew I could complete it but it was a bit of a daunting task as it is the largest shawl I’ve ever knit and the most detailed. Ready for a challenge I cast on (see my Rav project page for more info).Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonThis shawl was knit in my own handspun yarn, a lace weight two ply. The fiber was dyed by Camelot Dyeworks and was what I believe is a merino nylon blend (I have no idea where the tag is and Ravelry notes are lacking at the moment). Knit on size 7 needles the project was a breeze. By far this was the fastest shawl I’ve ever knit, being completed in just over 3 months (I know I knit slow, or really I get distracted and go work on 8 million other things in between). Although quite detailed, the pattern and lace were intuitive and easy to follow. The result is stunning.Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonUpon presenting this shawl to my Mom she absolutely loved it, and to my surprise and joy agreed to a photo shoot in front of our church’s Christmas tree (and probably the nicest tree we’ve ever had I must say!). At the time I was elated that she wanted photos and was so proud that she loved her shawl so much that she agreed to capture the moment in photos.Vernal Equinox for Mom: Wooly MastadonAs I look back I realize this is more than just a shawl, it is a blessing. My Mom hated getting photos taken, and right til the end most photos were forced so having these photos with true smiles and family are a treasure I will always hold close among the few photos I have of my Mom. Her shawl was given back to me; my Dad thought I needed a proper hug from her and what better way than to wear her shawl when I miss her. I wore it at her funeral and have worn it many times since then and with each stitch and fiber there is love. This shawl is not only what I hope will become a family heirloom but also a hug from my Mom when I need it most.

I’ll be back soon with our wedding story and some photos (and a wedding shawl!). Until then…

~Stay Inspired

FO: Waiting for Rain!!!

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

I can’t believe it…this shawl is finally done. It only took over a year to complete, but this shawl was completely worth it. The pattern is Waiting For Rain by Sylvia McFadden and it is such a fun knit. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Bare that I dyed myself with food coloring knit on US size 6 (4.00 mm) needles.

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

This shawl was truly a dream to knit. The lace rows are intuitive and the garter breaks in between were perfect for TV (podcast) knitting. Can I also mention that this shawl is big! I’m used to one skein shawl projects so using all but a few yards of each color meant I have a snuggly shawl for the fall winter and spring seasons…or chilly summer evenings.

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

While I’m at it, as you may have noticed in my picture, life has been pretty exciting lately. Saturday evening the love of my life asked me to marry him and I said yes! Thus I may share some of the things I diy in the coming months for a…gasp…wedding. Don’t worry, this place will still first and foremost be for my fiber adventures, but a few things here and there might get slipped in the mix. First on the list (and literally first, nothing is set and I’m already planning this) is a shawl for the big day. I’ll share my plan in the coming weeks…once the yarn I ordered comes in…and yes I already ordered yarn for a shawl. Good things to come and more knits to share!

~Stay Inspired

 

FO: Socks!

Sock FOs: Wooly Mastadon

As you may have gotten from the title, I have some finished pairs of socks to share with you today. Not being quite prepared I didn’t share them as quickly as I had hoped and dived right into a mini four day vacation with my family and boyfriend. Vacations by the lake are amazing, vacations by the lake at your Grandmother’s house are even better. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t take photos this time as I was thoroughly enjoying the sunny weather, and for you that meant no blog post to show off my socks. Well here it is!

The first pair (rav link) I finished actually just before my WIPs roundup post went up. I knit these out of Cascade Yarns Heritage Wave in the Solar colorway on US 1 (2.25mm) dpns. It was an enjoyable experience and the way the color plays on the socks is so cool. I don’t have any socks on the red side of the color wheel so they fill the void nicely.

Sock FOs: Wooly Mastadon

The other pair of socks I finished are these stripey beauts (rav link). I knit these magic loop (my ususal) out of Knit Picks Felici Fingering in the Sprinkles colorway. These were so much fun to knit as I always wanted to knit ‘one more stripe’. I may need to cast on my other skeins of Felici soon.

Well, there you have it, two new pairs of socks ready and waiting for fall. This year I’m on the fence, do I want fall to begin yet or not? The pull of wearing warm woolly handknits again is certainly getting stronger. I guess I’ll take what I can get!

~Stay Inspired

 

Pure Wool Piggery…9 Months Worth

Yarn Swift: Wooly Mastadon

Yes, this post is as it states, a show of wool piggery in its purest form. In my defense some of this I got for Christmas 2016 and the rest was acquired throughout the rest of 2017 thus far. There is a lot of Knit Picks here and I also went to a new and amazing yarn shop, Just Yarnin’ (review to follow in a few weeks!). I don’t have all the yarn shown here (some is in my scrap ghan and some is who knows where but from brands like Lion Brand and Red Heart designated for projects for my family and boyfriend). Without further ado, the yarn parade!

First of all I bought a yarn swift!!!!! The best picture I have is of the swift and yarn above but man was I excited to get this. The swift is from Knit Picks but I have know they have amazing customer service and it is perfect for my needs. It actually came two weeks ago and the day it came I was parading it around the house like a weirdo but I have no shame admitting it!

Knit Picks Yarn: Wooly Mastadon

Left to right: Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Renaissance, Knit Picks Chroma Twist Fingering in Manzanita, Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in Montavilla

This gorgeous yarn was a Christmas gift from my amazing parents. I hit up Knit Picks Cyber Monday sales and got this yarn and waited not so patiently to unwrap it on Christmas Eve.

Knit Picks Yarn: Wooly Mastadon

Left to right: Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in Wilshire, Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Deep Waters

I also snagged this yarn on the Cyber Monday sale. These are designated for shawls…I just have to decide on patterns…

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Left to right: Araucania Yarns Huasco in 47 Porto Martini, Araucania Yarns Huasco in Laguna Beach

This summer I was able to finally visit an amazing yarn shop, Just Yarnin’ in St Germain, WI, only about 25 minutes away from my Grandma’s house. I picked up a ton of yarn (thanks mom for buying me a skein too!). I absolutely have to to back, and am so happy its at least ‘local’ to me in the sense that I visit my Grandma a lot!

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Left to right: Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat in Bee Yourself, Knitted Wit Single Fingering in Enchanted Forest

Might I add that this shop carries Wonderland Yarns!!! So excited for this one. The Knitted Wit caught my eye and one of the women in the shop was knitting it up into a project. It looked stunning so I couldn’t pass it up.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Left to right: Red Heart Heart and Sole in Sorbeto, Red Heart Heart and Sole in Lakehouse

That same trip but another day we ended up heading to another town to shop and Hobby Lobby had these on clearance…Hello socks!

Knit Picks Yarn: Wooly Mastadon

Left to right (note all are Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering): Compass Kettle Dye, Confetti Speckle, Turkish Delight Kettle Dye, Graffiti Speckle, Poseidon Kettle Dye, Aquatic Kettle Dye, Blackbird Kettle Dye, Cosmic Speckle

You may recognize this yarn from the box image at the head of this post. Yes I did buy this all at once. This amazing selection of glory is a Hawthorn sampler pack and I have no regrets. Find Your Fade anyone?

Notions Haul: Wooly Mastadon

On to the notions. At Hobby Lobby I picked up some needles and scissors for a few small projects. The big deal are the Addi Turbo Sock Rockets! I got these at Just Yarnin’ and I am beyond excited to try them out ASAP!

Just Yarnin: Wooly Mastadon

Finally, the amazing shop owner of Just Yarnin’ added these lovely notions to my bag with my yarn purchase. I must say their logo is amazing (my inner graphic designer is happy!). Definitely check them out if you are ever in the area!

Phew, that’s a lot of yarn. Let’s be honest though, I regret nothing! I know I’m an addict. Now I need to knit it up…pattern suggestions welcome! Have an amazing week!

~Stay Inspired

Currently Knitting

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

As promised today I’m stopping by to share my current projects with you, or my WIPs. I think I’ll start in the order that they were cast on or oldest to newest. I would also like to add that some of these have been sitting, but my knitting mojo…my creative mojo…is back so these should all be completed soon to make room for more new projects. My habit of browsing Ravelry for new patterns has also returned and I want to knit all of the things. I’m also open for suggestions. Okay, on to the knits:

Waiting for Rain: Wooly Mastadon

My oldest WIP for the moment (that isn’t in hibernation) is currently my Waiting for Rain by Sylvia McFadden. For a while everyone was knitting this and I couldn’t be left behind. Then in good ol’ Tori fashion, I let the project sit because I was convinced I had to be 100% focused on the project. Not so! The garter sections are a great break from the lace panels and even those are a joy to knit and make perfect sense. Now I can’t seem to put it down and can’t wait to have the finished product in my hands.

The specs: (Rav Link)  yarn, Knit Picks Stroll Fingering hand-dyed by me ; needles US size 6 4.0mm

Scrap Ghan: Wooly Mastadon

Next up, my Granny Scrap Ghan. I gave up on my last afghan project and put it into hibernation months ago, but kept getting the itch to work on another one. Thus, I decided on one big granny square as it is currently the only type of afghan I enjoy making. I love this project although it has been getting less love during the hot summer weather.

The specs: (Rav Link) Red Heart Super Saver in various colors (using up scraps); hook US size H/8 5.0mm

Socks: Wooly Mastadon

Socks: Wooly Mastadon

On to the socks! I will bundle these two projects together to a point. I knit all my socks toe-up with an afterthought heal (with the placed waste yarn so not a true afterthought heal, I know) on US size 1, 2.25mm needles. The only difference between these two pairs is one is knit magic loop method on what I believe is a 32 inch cord (my preferred method for my travel project socks) and the other is knit on dpns. I tried Knitters Pride Karbonz for the first time and I love them! The stitches don’t slide off the needles and they are light weight. In fact those socks on dpns…they’re finished as of Friday! Yay for a new FO. I’ll share some photos later this week.

The specs: (Rav Link) DPNs: Cascade Yarns Heritage Wave in Solar; needles Knitters Pride Karbonz US size 1, 2.25mm

(Rav Link) Circs: Knit Picks Felici Fingering in Sprinkles; needles Knit Picks Fixed Circulars US size 1, 2.25mm

Dishcloth: Wooly Mastadon

Dishcloths, oh dishcloths. When my Mom asks me for something like this I can’t say no. Thus I pulled out some leftover cotton from a box of yarn from my Aunt and got to work. The pattern is from an old knitting book that I adapted to fit my needs and it is her favorite dishcloth by far. It’s a simple project and a quick knit during the summer heat.

The specs: (Rav Link) Misc Scrap Cotton; needles Hobby Lobby (no idea the exact brand) fixed circs in size US 6 4.0mm

Well, that’s it. This is what I’m currently working on. As many of these projects are close to completion I’m looking for my next project. What should I knit next?

~Stay Inspired

 

Let’s Catch Up

I thought it would be fitting to fill in some gaps since my last spree of posting in November and now. I didn’t finish a lot, and nothing earth-shattering happened, but here’s what I did get completed below.

Before we begin I have two notes. One, please note that on this post due to the fact that these are old FOs I am only including a Ravelry link to each item instead of detailing yarn, needle size, etc. For future posts on current projects I’ll give you the full specs. Second, if you are curious about my current projects you can either be patient and I’ll be putting up a post soon with my current projects and details or, if you don’t want to wait you can follow me on Instagram as that is where I post the most (@victoriaschwanke), about creativity and my life. Okay, lets get on with the FOs.

Socks, socks, socks. Its about all I had the brain-space for. My favorite saying over the past month has been ‘too much data, not enough brain waves”…that sums up my life for the past months.

Rav Links: top right, top left, bottom right, bottom left

Dog Sweaters: I got into a kick where I needed to knit the puppies in my life sweaters. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of my Grandma’s dog in his sweater but perhaps this winter…

Puppy Sweaters: Wooly Mastadon

Rav Links: left, right

Small Projects: Well, if you count each single item. The what seemed like eight million bluebirds of happiness were indeed done in time for Christmas gifts with even a few to spare. The hearts were a random endeavor for work (yes I knit a few for work…case in point in last photo).

Hearts and Birds: Wooly Mastadon

bones: Wooly Mastadon

Rav Links: left, right

Big Projects: First and foremost I finished spinning my Mom’s yarn to knit a shawl and its beautiful. Stay tuned as my next shawl project will be knit out of this. I also finished a re-knit of a hat pattern I designed several years ago. I am hoping to get my act together and release this as a free pattern soon.

Big Projects: Wooly Mastadon

Rav Links: main, right corner

Well, that’s about it except for perhaps a few small things here or there. I did keep busy but mostly I was dealing with life. You can reference my last post before dormancy to know more. Perhaps I’ll go into things in more detail in future, maybe not, but I have so many ideas for this space once again. Its so good to be back!

~Stay Inspired

 

Yarn Haul Shenanigans: A Knit Picks Order

Knit Picks Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

After breaking my unintentional yarn diet this spring I for whatever reason have been able to relatively behave. That being said, I’ve wanted to make a Knit Picks order for a few months but kept putting it off. Finally this past week I caved and ordered a few things I wanted to get plus a few extras…oops. Every time a box of yarn comes in the mail it feels like Christmas and it was no different this time. Here’s what I got.

Knit Picks Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

To start, I’ll get the boring items out of the way first. My real reason for making an order was that I needed some more circular needles for socks. I have one set of US size 1 (2.25mm) circular needles in the 32 inch cable size. This is the only size I use for socks as it fits my knitting style and gauge best. Thus I knew I wanted to get a backup and another set just in case I wanted to have two pairs of socks or another project on the needles at the same time. The other item was some Bare Stroll Fingering (462 yds, 100g). My last adventure with the dye pot was so much fun and I used this yarn. The thing is, I’ve knit up one skein into a shawl and have the other two in the works on a current shawl project. I need to dye more so four skeins came home to be dyed and knit into wonderful shawls or other projects in the near future.

Knit Picks Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

But you want to know about the cover photo to this post don’t you? Well, that’s the extra yarn that just might have hopped into my basked. It is some of Knit Picks Felici. The colors they come out with are always amazing and I have knit up some from a long time ago but never was able to snag some of the new colorways. Thus two skeins each (50g balls) of Dark Side (the black + rainbow) and Sprinkles (the pastel colorway) just had to be mine. These are destined to be socks and I can’t wait to cast them on.

Well, that’s enough rambling for now. I’ve been keeping busy with a few projects including spinning, my socks, and of course my Waiting for Rain¬†shawl (which I finally started, more to come on that soon). Here’s to hoping your weekend is amazing and not too hot.

~Stay Inspired