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!

 

FO Love: Old Faithful

I just had to share this stunning version of Old Faithful, which was a test knit from my lovely mother, Grammyjoan (rav ID).  

Old Faithful, in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Calypso, Curry colorway

Old Faithful, in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Calypso, Curry colorway

I am so lucky to have a mom that shared her love of knitting with me by teaching me 7 years ago. I am always honored when she chooses to test knit my designs for me!  

Look at that beautiful knitting!  And that color, it was made for her!

Another gorgeous yarn from Jackie at Luna Grey.  I don't know how she does it.  I haven't met one of her yarns I haven't loved.  Each is more beautiful than the last.  

Loving all the talent and skill that went into the making of this shawl.  I hope it is enjoyed for years to come!  Also, one last nod, to the photographer, my skilled hubby!

PostGrad and a Puff-date

Well, even though I love February because we get to celebrate my little guy's birthday, I have to say I'm happy to see it go this year.  We had the coldest February on record since I've been born here in WI, so we are all feeling a little cooped up!  

Happy 5th Birthday to my little guy!

With all the sub-zero weather we have had, I have been happy to have a new sweater to wrap up in.  I finished PostGrad, by Alicia Plummer, with a couple of my own modifications.  

PostGrad, by Alicia Plummer, in Malabrigo Rios, Cocoa

PostGrad, by Alicia Plummer, in Malabrigo Rios, Cocoa

I used some of my own hand dyed yarn for a pop of color, which is written into the pattern for the inside of the pockets.  I added a little more by working the last row and then binding off in the contrast color on the bottom hem and the sleeves.  I love the little pop of bright with the deep chocolate.  

The other modification I made was to the collar.  I didn't want a collar that rolled for this sweater, so I opted to pick up stitches and work a herringbone stitch pattern instead.  I love the addition of texture to this simple, yet sophisticated design.  This sweater will get a lot of use!

The other thing that has had us super busy, is some major painting projects!  We have basically painted our entire lower level since the 1st of the year, along with our bathrooms and kitchen cabinets!  Seeing the kitchen in the background of these photos reminded me of the big change.....here's a fun before and after pic of the cabinets (along with all of our lovely kitchen clutter)!  

I LOVE the new look.  It's so fresh and clean to wake up to every morning.  This picture of the "after" doesn't really do it justice, as I think my hubby took it when it was dark outside, but you get the idea!


And, now for my February Puff-Date:

The final count of hexi-puffs at the end of February comes to 65!  I had a small donation of puffs from a knitting friend who started a Bee Keeper's Quilt and decided not to pursue it.  That helped me out quite a bit to keep my total up for the month, as my hands have been very busy with a lot of different projects.  I also received a donation of some fantastic little balls of sock yarn in the mail from another good friend, as well as some gorgeous hand dyed sock yarn from Ronda of Swedish Girl Hand Dyes and Main Street Yarn Shop, my LYS.  Loving all the "love" from my fellow knitters.  Knitters really are the best people!

Such a bad picture, I know, but it's the best I could do today!  

How are everyone else's projects coming along for the year?  It seems like everyone I know is going on Spring Break someplace warm....any grand plans, and what are you taking along to knit?

 

Old Faithful

Today I have a new shawl pattern to share, Old Faithful.  And, it's on sale through the end of February, no code needed.

Old Faithful, in Malabrigo Worsted, Rattan colorway

Grab your favorite worsted weight yarn. 
You know the one….the one you can’t help but squish and snuggle, the one you can’t get enough of knitting with, and the one you adore draped around you.

It’s your go-to. 

A staple in your yarn stash and your wardrobe. 

Your Old Faithful.

This shawl is worked from the bottom-up, working the ribbing, then the circular cables. Next, the body is shaped using simple short rows.

The little circular cables on this are so fun to watch form.....I must admit, I'm addicted to this stitch pattern and am in the process of designing a set of cowls using it.  

I have been wrapped up in this so much since it came off the needles.  Grab Old Faithful while it's on sale and hunt down your favorite, delicious yarn and work one up to drape around your shoulders.  For many of us, warm weather is still far, far away!

FO Love: Rocoto

I wanted to share this beautiful sweater, knit by JennieKate on ravelry.  

Jennie's Rocoto, knit in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aquila, in the Sugarplum colorway

Jennie worked up Rocoto as part of the Knitter's Apothecary Collection KAL in my ravelry group.  I love her finished object, the fit is perfect on her and the color pairing is just beautiful.  Doesn't it look so sweet in the snow too!?!   Here is her project page if you want to read more about her project: JennieKate's Rocoto

Hopefully some warmer weather will find her soon so she can get some use out of this light-weight, feminine pullover.  I know I'm patiently waiting to wear my Rocoto!

Look....it's my porch, and GREEN grass!  It feels like ages since I sat on my porch to knit.  

2015 Challenge: Beekeeper's Quilt

We are one month into 2015, and I've spent the first several weeks of this new year planning out and thinking about my design goals and projects for the year, as well as some of my own, just-plain-fun knitting plans.  

I know I would be able to publish more designs if I skipped some of the other things, but I've found that as a knitter, I still really need some of those other projects to keep the joy in my hobby alive.  I truly love my design work, but sometimes, the brain just needs a break from it.  

I know many designers rarely knit things other than their own design work, but personally, I need to keep a balance of other projects, or I start to lose myself a little bit.  It sort of brings me back to the basics of this craft I fell in love with, and the community I've found within it.  

This year, one of my very lofty goals is a Beekeeper's Quilt!  I know......I am most likely insane, but I have all these leftover little balls of sock yarn laying around, and leftovers just sit there, staring at me, driving me CRAZY!  So, I guess that sock yarn is destined to drive me crazy, either sitting there staring at me, or luring me to complete this huge project.  

So, in an attempt to keep up with it, I'm telling as many people as I can, in hopes that it helps to hold me accountable.  

Here is what I have for the month of January....35 little hexipuffs.  I believe I need about 380 to complete the large quilt.  Hmmmm....it's a good start, but I've got a LONG way to go.  I hope I can keep the momentum going.  It's become a great little take-along project, and it's a habit to pick it up and work at least one a day.  I'm enjoying the process very much. 

If you want to keep tabs on my project, here is the project page on ravelry: 2015 Challenge-Beekeeper's Quilt

I plan to update the number on my project page monthly, even if I don't get around to posting about it here on the blog.  

I'd also really like to try knitting socks....it's one thing I haven't attempted yet, but think I might be ready.  

What are your knitting plans or goals for 2015?