Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This is a Post About Knitting (mostly)

I wanted to leave for California with a "clean" slate, which had been easy enough in the beginning. Working at a knitting shop is both the best and worst thing a knitter can do. I've (mostly) loved working at the two LYSs I've worked at, but, at the same time, it has caused the textbook definitions of Knitting First World Problems.

1. I have WAY too much yarn.
2. I never get anything done because OMG! Did you see that sweater in the new Knitscene/Knitty/Jared Flood?

The first is only an issue when it comes to relocation (because oh. my. god. Last week. What a mess.), but the second makes me feel overwhelmed in a different way because I never seem to finish things.

I was home in Chicago for about two weeks and managed to finish three WIPs and two new projects.

Color Addiction
Pattern: Color Affection
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
Colors: Nassau Blue, Ink, Grasshopper
The last class I taught at Rosie's was the Color Affection class and I had a great time. In hindsight, the class was a bit too spaced together (nobody finished it in the allotted 3 weeks), but everyone had a great attitude about it. I finally finished mine last week and I really like the results. When I started out,  I intended on using Vintage Sari as my third color, but when I started knitting with it, it looked like something (bad) out of the 80s. I hemed and hawed over possible skeins from my stash, but nothing looked right. I pulled out a skein of Pashmina in "Grasshopper" from my stash and set out to finish my shawl. I'm very pleased.

Iceland Shawl (my design)
Yarn: Manos Alegria
Color: Carnaval
I wanted to finish this shawl before my trip to Iceland, but I was so dead set on getting SO MANY THINGS done before then that I just couldn't do it. This serves as a first draft to something that I hope to reknit one of these days. I absolutely love this yarn (Alegria, the newest yarn from Manos del Uruguay) and this colorway didn't blow me away right off the bat, but after staring at it for weeks, as you do when you work at your LYS, I needed to have it. Right then and there. But I've already discussed those problems (1 & 2) above. This shawl would have been better if I had two skeins of yarn, but I will use the notes I took along the way to make the version 2 even better. 

Autumnal Habitat
Pattern: Habitat by Jared Flood
Yarn: Rittenhouse (RIP) in Cinnamon
Oh this hat. Oh this yarn. I have wanted my own Habitat since I knit one for Matt's brother two Christmases ago. I started it sometime back in 2012 and left it sitting in my yarn room with the ribbing & first chart completed. Why didn't I just finish it? I picked it up during my stop off at home and finished knitting it in an evening. Was that so hard? I guess not.

Brewery Tour Hat
Pattern: Rikke
Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh dk
Color: Firewood
Wanna know a secret? I love beer. Want to know another secret? I love Autumn. Ok, those aren't really secrets, but this hat is the perfect hat for beer touring in Autumn. Mmmhmm. Living in Philly was great, but when you earn your "beerlegs" in the Midwest, where you can buy beer almost anywhere and at a good price, it kind of sucks. So, when Matt & I would visit home, we would make sure to drink all of the beers we loved since we just didn't drink as much beer in Philly. 

Ok, that was kind of a boring story.

Anyway. Rikke has been on my list for awhile now. My friends Sara & Kristin have both knit beautiful versions, but I just never got around to it. Looking for a good one skein project, I cast on for this hat during my trip home and knit the first stitches at one of my favorite breweries: Solemn Oath. SO is located in a suburb of Chicago, maybe 20 or so minutes from where I grew up and 10 minutes away from my college. Matt and I agree that it's a great thing they didn't open until after we graduated because, let's be real, it would have been a hot mess.

Sadly, I am not drinking Dashing Moustache
But yes. If you are ever in Illinois and happen to see a Solemn Oath beer on the board of your selected watering hole be sure to order it. I haven't been disappointed and, for somebody just passing through, I've managed to try my fair share of their beers. Oh and knitters? They sometimes have a beer called Yarn Bomb. Get on that.

Black Tops & Moon Man
And I finished that hat on July 5th during a trip to New Glarus with Matt & his sister. New Glarus is only available in Wisconsin, so we must drink it up while we are there. And it doesn't hurt that the brewery is beautiful.

Pattern: Molly
Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh dk
Color: One of a Kind
My final project of the trip home was another one that lingered in my queue for quite some time. I cast on for this hat on the way to the airport (to drop Matt off) and finished it the very next morning. That's the great thing about hats. The yarn is a skein I picked up during my first second trip to NYC and it's a one of a kind colorway from The Yarn Company. It's hard to tell in the photo, but it's a beautiful green/brown with flecks of purple. It looks almost like a misdyed and slightly lighter Kale/Lichen crossbreed.

I packed up for California with only 2 WIPs (My third Color Affection & a lovely test knit for Thao) and yarn for 5 new projects. My WIPs and next project are all either lace or fingering weight, so don't expect to see too many FOs from me. After I finish up my test knit & Katie's Wedding Shawl I plan on focusing on designing a few things. What's the saying? Creativity is born from boredom?

Let's hope. 


  1. oh my gosh! so many finished objects! i love departure and brewery tour hat! and solemn oath has officially been added to my 'must visit' queue!

    1. Yes! You must visit Solemn Oath. They don't serve food there ala Two Brothers, but on Friday/Saturday nights in the summer they have FOOD TRUCKS.