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

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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

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

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

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 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!

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

 

 

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