Avana and a little escape...

To celebrate our 10 year anniversary this month, my husband and I took a very small, one night/2-day getaway to Door County, WI. 

We stayed at the most lovely little, quaint bed and breakfast on a sheep farm, the Chanticleer Guesthouse. 

Chanticleer Guesthouse, Sturgeon Bay, Door County, WI

Chanticleer Guesthouse, Sturgeon Bay, Door County, WI

See that top balcony...that was our room, in the old, remodeled hay loft of the barn.  It was such a great view, I could have sat there all day long watching the sheep graze.  We enjoyed the most delicious breakfast on our balcony and watched some deer in the evening light.  

Morning knitting with breakfast, coffee, my guy, and sheep....what more could a gal ask for?!?

Morning knitting with breakfast, coffee, my guy, and sheep....what more could a gal ask for?!?

We went out for a great dinner while we were up there, and it was nice to have a reason to dress up a little bit.  I got this dress for a steal last summer and wouldn't you know, I had to remove the tags when I packed it for the trip.  It just happens to go with my fabulous new Avana shrug that I just adore.  

Avana, in the Fibre Co, Savannah, in Seafoam

Avana, in the Fibre Co, Savannah, in Seafoam

This was such a great pattern to knit and the finished piece is really fantastic.  It's lighter than air, but kept me warm in the cool evening air.  The pattern is Avana, by Annie Rowden, and I would highly recommend it.  The only thing I would do differently next time would be to try steam blocking, as it grew quite a bit with a soak.  

Now, for the barrage of sheep photos, and a few more from our trip, here's an album!

It was a great little getaway, even if it was brief.  

Funny how life changes...10 years ago we had 11 days in Mexico and thought we needed to "get away" to relax so badly.  

Ha!  10 years later, less then 36 hours away from "life" was such a great refresher!  

 

Happy knitting, Happy Independence Day to my American friends, and I will see you soon with one more summer accessory in the lovely Sparrow.

la playa

I'm excited to share a fun little summer shawlette/shawl design I just published today!  

la playa

la playa, shawlette version, in Quince & Co Sparrow, Sans and Eleuthera

This June, my husband and I celebrated out 10 year wedding anniversary.  I had ordered these 2 colors of Sparrow for another summer design that will be published in July, but I wasn't done with the combo after that design.  Together, they just kept reminding me of the beautiful place where we were married, Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  

As a knitter, I often look for a fun little shawl or scarf to throw on with an outfit, but in the summer, tend to get away from this because of the heat.  My goal for this design was to make something I could style like a cowl or kerchief that wouldn't add heat on a summer day.  

I love the crispness of the Sparrow, and this piece is just the right size.  Two sizes are included in the pattern, for those who might enjoy a slightly larger shawl, or might even like to make one out of wool.  

The shawl is cast on with the main color and the lace section is worked.  Then the contrast color is added and the shawl is shaped along the top edge with decreases until only a few stitches remain and are then bound off.  

Low Tide

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but life has just kept me from posting much, which is a good thing, since I've just been busy enjoying life.

I released Low Tide, the children's version of my High Tide pullover a couple weeks ago, so I will share a little about that design now.  

Low Tide, worsted version, shown in FibraNatura Good Earth Solids

Low Tide, worsted version, shown in FibraNatura Good Earth Solids

As the adult version was, the kiddo's version is also written for 4 weights: lace, fingering, sport/dk, and worsted weight, and sized from 2-12 years. 

Low Tide, lace weight version, in Quince & Co Piper

Low Tide, lace weight version, in Quince & Co Piper

This really is a great little classic, versatile pattern to have in your arsenal.  So many options...solid, striped, wool, cotton, warm weather fabric, heavy winter version....so many ways to go! 

For all the details, including gauges, yardage, etc, check out the pattern page in my ravelry shop.  

Quick Sand

I've got a finished object to share that was a joy to knit and is very easy to wear.  

Quick Sand, by Heidi Kirrmaier

Quick Sand, by Heidi Kirrmaier, in FibraNatura Good Earth Solids, Safari 

Quick Sand, by Heidi Kirrmaier, in FibraNatura Good Earth Solids, Safari 

Don't you just love the back detail on this design?  So clever and lots of fun to knit.  

My gauge was slightly off on size 9 needles, but I liked the fabric, so I worked the size up from what I normally would knit for myself, to get the fit I wanted.  I also worked 1 less repeat for the body, to shorten the length slightly.  I was running close on yardage, and didn't really want to buy another skein, so I went for half length sleeves.  I actually really like them this way, as I wasn't sure I wanted them any longer on a summer cardi anyways.  For the sleeves, I worked one set of decreases, then worked 15 rounds, and bound off.  

She also has this design written for sport weight, Fine Sand, which I am thinking I might like to work up in a sport weight wool at some point.  It would make a great year-round cardigan in the lighter weight and wool.  

You can see more pics and all of my notes on my ravelry project page here:  Addiesma's Quick Sand Cardi.

Aren't our poppies and irises looking amazing here!?!  They have taken a little beating from the rain since then, and the irises are close to being done for the year.  The poppies have many more buds though....they are my favorite, so vibrant and full of life....and giant!  I love them!

 

 

High Tide

Wow, where have the past 6 weeks gone?!?  

We are wrapping up the end of the school year this week, with 3 days left, so I guess that's my excuse for being so late in posting about High Tide....or anything, for that matter!  May was super busy, but I have also been quite productive in my knitting and designing, which has also kept me away from the blog.

So, here is High Tide, which was quite the undertaking by the time I wrapped it up!  

High Tide, lace weight version, shown in Malabrigo Lace, Paris Night and Pale Khaki

High Tide, lace weight version, shown in Malabrigo Lace, Paris Night and Pale Khaki

When the test knitting phase for this design began, the discussion brought about the possibility of working the design up in other weights.  I loved the idea of coming up with something that was simple and classic and could be knit over and over, so I dove in.  With a lot of help from some wonderful test knitters and my amazing tech editor, we made it happen.  

Here is my worsted weight version, worked up in a favorite new warm-weather yarn, Good Earth, from FiraNatura.  

High Tide, worsted weight, shown in Good Earth Solids, Dessert and Cloud

High Tide, worsted weight, shown in Good Earth Solids, Dessert and Cloud

This design was about a year in the making, from inspiration to publication.  This little sweater was the prototype:

I knit this up for Addison about a year ago, in Malabrigo Lace, and it was the softest, sweetest little sweater.  After making hers, I decided I thought I had it in me to knit a lace weight version for myself.  However, I wanted to make a few changes to the design, so I added the split hem, the rolled edges, and changed the garter stitch to ribbing.  I was going for classic and fresh, and really wearable.  

When we traveled to Savannah for my sister's wedding in October, we got these pics by the ocean, and I gave myself the winter to get it written up and ready for editing.  It wasn't until the test knitting phase that the idea to write for multiple weights came into play.  

I really do love these sweaters so much, and plan to make them a part of my wardrobe for years to come.  I am also pretty sure I will be working up another version in the future, perhaps one like this amazing version in fingering weight by my friend, Christy of Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks. 

High Tide, sport weight, in Plucky Knitter Traveler Sport, shown in Boulangerie and Fiona

High Tide, sport weight, in Plucky Knitter Traveler Sport, shown in Boulangerie and Fiona

And I really adore this earthy High Tide from Melissa....check out her project page here.

And as she often does, my amazing Mama test knit this fun summer version for me.  Isn't it adorable on her?!?  

Grammy Joan's High Tide in Good Earth Solids, Dessert and Dive

Grammy Joan's High Tide in Good Earth Solids, Dessert and Dive

So, pretty much anything else you want to know about this design, as far as the yardage and sizing, can all be found on the pattern page on Ravelry here:  High Tide

As for the kiddos version... it's being test knit right now and I hope to publish it in about 2 weeks, with plenty of time for you to work one up for a wee one this summer!  

Here's a peek at what that one evolved into:

I sure have been inspired by all of this summer fiber!  I've been on a roll with linen and cotton/linen blends.  

Watch for another Mama/kiddo pullover design and 2 fun summer accessories soon!

For the Love of "Sisters"

I am so grateful for all of the "sisters" in my life.  

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful younger sister, who although she is younger, teaches me things about life and inspires me on a regular basis.  She is strong, smart, courageous and kind.  

Lizzie and I at her wedding, which she amazingly planned in 4 months, from over 1000 miles away.

But "sisters" come in all forms and span across the generations.  They exist in the literal sense of the word, and in the "spirit" of sisterhood.

Knitting has brought so many of these amazing "sisters" into my life.  Some of them stay for the long haul, some are there only briefly, but either way, they leave their mark.  

They make an impact.  

My Grandma and her identical twin and best friend, who deeply inspired this design

When I set out to design a piece for the trunk show at String Theory Yarn, I wanted to be sure to encompass their mission into the spirit of the design.  Janet Avila, the owner of this LYS, states the following on her website: 

At String Theory we believe that everything is connected to everything else; somehow what we do here in our small circle has both personal and global impact. That’s why we feature yarn from companies that provide an opportunity for impoverished women to feed their families and send their children to school. That’s why we support companies that limit their use of harmful chemicals, precious water and petroleum. That’s why we sit and knit.

So, to me, the Sisterhood stole reflects the connection and coming together of separate elements to form something whole. Each half of the stole is worked separately, from the outer edge toward the middle, and then grafted together. 
Personally, this piece represents the people and places in my life that have come together through the craft of knitting. I feel a true sense of the word “sisterhood” when I think about the things in my life that have led me to knitting. Deep family roots, as well as the true friends I have come to know and love, have made it a part of my soul, and helped me to realize the connection between past and present, small and global.

So, grab some sport or DK weight yarn, perfect for this time of year, gather with some of your "sisters," and be inspired.  If you are open to it, inspiration is there and it WILL find you.  

For all the ladies who have touched my life, young, not-so-young, and everywhere in between, this one's for you, and all of the "moments!"  


Trunk Show at String Theory

I had such a great time traveling to Glen Ellyn, IL with my mom, my hubby, and my tubs full of samples!  

All loaded up and ready to hit the road.....and sporting my new design, Sisterhood.

When Janet, the owner of LYS, String Theory Yarn Co in Glen Ellyn, IL, contacted me several months ago about doing a trunk show, I was thrilled and quickly accepted the offer.  We worked together on a new design, which I debuted at her shop for the trunk show.  

Janet Avila, owner of String Theory Yarn Co, and me in her beautiful shop

I truly had a lovely time meeting some new knitters and inspiring them with designs that were new to them.  It's always better to touch and feel and try something on in person!  

explaining the construction of "Sisterhood"

Check out the gallery below for a review of the day!  (click on a thumbnail to bring up a slideshow)  

It was a beautiful space, lots of sweet knitters, and a warm welcome from all!  I even got to sit and knit for a bit with some lovely folks.  

Many thanks to my sweet Mama for making the trip and talking knitting all day.  Special thanks also to my husband, who did the driving and took these great photos to document the event.  

I love you both and this was only possible because of your help and ongoing support of my dreams!

 

Stay tuned for a post about "Sisterhood" and the inspiration behind this new design soon!

Sisterhood scarf, in Frabjous Fibers Mad Hatter, Caterpillar colorway




Bunnies for my little ones

I am so happy I decided to make these little critters for my little critters for Easter.  

I can't even believe it looking at this picture now, but the day before Easter, when we were planning to attend the Easter celebration with my in-laws, my little guy was totally sick!  He had a fever and slept for almost 4 hours in the afternoon.  My hubby and Addison still went, but Myles and I stayed at home, where it was nice and quiet for him to rest. 

At one point, he looked at me and said "I just want something cozy to snuggle."  Like he KNEW I had these guys waiting in the wings.  Instead of holding off until the next morning, I decided it was the perfect time to give them the little bunnies.  He held onto it all day and I could tell it really made him feel better.  Perfect timing.  

And he was SO MUCH better the next day, so we got to visit my parents and roam around the woods on their property.  It was a great day.  And the bunnies came along everywhere. 

Briar Bunnies, in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Pearl and Bergamotta

I believe they have been named "Sugar" and "Sugar Sprinkle."  Cute.  

The pattern is Brian Bunny, from Amanda Keeys, and it was such a sweet and fun little toy to knit.  I'd make them again in a heartbeat and think it might become a nice little go-to pattern for baby gifts. 

Hexipuff update:

In case you were wondering, and since I am still holding myself accountable for keeping the blog updated on my Beekeeper's Quilt, I had 93 puffs completed at the end of March.  Honestly, I slowed WAY down after that point though, so I'm pretty sure the count for April will be much lower.  With Spring Break in there, Myles getting sick (there's more to that story that involved a trip to the ER later in the week), preparing for my first trunk show this weekend (woot!), and feverishly trying to wrap up some late Spring/early Summer designs, they have taken a back burner.  That's alright though, it's a long-term project and still fun and portable.  They will be back in the pick-up line at school and swimming lessons with me tonight now that break is over! 

Alright, I'm signing off for now....more about the trunk show soon and definitely photos to follow after the event!  

FO's: Belle Isle and a poncho

I've finished up and managed to finally photograph a couple new finished objects.  

Just dropping by to share them quickly!

I made this sweet little Belle Isle shirt for my friend's new baby girl, and just adore how it turned out.  Such a sweet little design, so feminine and perfect for the new baby sister to 3 big brothers!

Hope you love your shirt, little Maggie!

I used some Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aspen Sport, in the super versatile and gorgeous Mushroom colorway that I had left over from my Lodgepole Pullover sample.   Add sweet little flowered pink buttons, and it's the perfect touch of feminine along with this great neutral.  So sweet. 

 

I also finished up this poncho that I worked on as a KAL with my LYS, Main Street Yarn Shop.  

The pattern is I Want that Wrap, by Carolyn Kinghorn.  I have to admit, it wasn't the most riveting knit, but I am very, very pleased with the result.  The Tara Tweed was a nice, rustic yarn to work with and blocked really great.  It's light and airy, yet warm to wrap up in.  And the perfect finishing touch, the vintage glass buttons.  I LOVE these buttons, they are so great. 

I have been moving into some spring/summer weather knits, using linen and cotton, as well as lace weight wool.  Loving them all!  

I've also been whipping up a couple quick little bunnies for my kiddos' easter baskets.  The pattern is Briar Bunny from Amanda Keeys, and it's so fun and sweet!

 


That's all for now!  What are you working on for Spring?

Soul Happy

“Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” 
-Emily Dickinson

Soul Happy Cowl, traditional style, in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Bergamotta colorway

Knitting just makes my soul happy. It soothes me right down to my very core. It has become a part of me like I never imagined it would.

This set of cowls was designed to feed your soul, ease your worries, or just help you to get lost for a little while in the comfort of these repetitive little circles.

Soul Happy, infinity style, in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Pearl colorway

I can't say which of these I like better, or which will actually get more use.  I love a great neutral, but I also really adore a good pop of color, especially amidst the winter gloom (that hangs on well into spring where I come from!).  

Sometimes I fall in love with a stitch pattern and I become a little obsessed.  When this happens, I usually have to just keep using it until I get it out of my system.  That is exactly what happened here, but I'm so happy I was "stuck" on this one, I love the results.  


The pattern download for Soul Happy includes 2 files.  

Check out all the yarn requirements and details, and don't miss the lovely test knits of this one on the pattern page here:  Soul Happy 

And speaking of obsessions.....here are a couple other things I can't stop eating and watching....

First up, these puffed quinoa peanut butter cups (or bars, I've made them both ways) that I found on pinterest are amazing.  So delicious, and perfect for times when you are craving something sweet and/or crunchy.  So. Good.  

 

photo copyright blissfulbasil.com

photo copyright blissfulbasil.com

I had a bit of a hard time finding the puffed quinoa, and after attempting to do it myself, finally ended up hunting it down from nuts.com.  Which is also a new obsession.  They have so many delicious things and are just plain awesome.  

Anyways, on to the last thing I have to share today....

Baby bald eagles!!!

I am having trouble getting the video itself to post here, so here is the link to the Pennsylvania Game Commission site where you can see the live stream of 2 baby bald eagles and their parents. Our whole family has become obsessed with checking on the nest.  We have been watching it for about a month, since a friend sent me the site.  At one point the adult sitting on the eggs was buried up to her neck in snow!  So cool!  The video feed sometimes drops out, so you may have to refresh it or just be patient.  

We were all so incredibly excited when we caught a glimpse of the first egg open and the bobbly little eaglet head yesterday afternoon.  Then the next appeared this morning before I took the kids to school. 

That's all I've got for today.  Have a great week and I will be back soon with a puff-date and hopefully some more things to share. 

Happy knitting!