motive in february

Hiya Friends! Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo. I don't travel with my camera anymore and just rely on my iPhone. It's just so much easier. Except when I don't get the same quality photos.
I wanted to mention that I am teaching a class at Maker + Stitch in Edwards, Colorado on February 2nd!  I'm super excited.  We are going to make Motive mitts.  So while I was in Tahoe last week, I experimented with a couple of yarns.  I just made short cuffs to get to the fun part... the heart!  Not sure we like the mixture of the mohair for the heart.  (Just couldn't get the right gauge.)  Still debating and deciding on the specific yarn we will end up using.  
Lake Tahoe, January 17, 2019

But we will have a LOVE-ly time.  Can't wait!

the slouchy cardigan

If you have been here for a while, you know Greetings from Knit Cafe is truly one of my favorite books. It was published in 2006 and I still love it as much now as I did then. I'm not exactly sure how I ever heard of it, or how I received it. Did I buy it from my local yarn shop? Did my mom give it to me? I wish I could remember. But, what I do remember is that it's pages were turned by my hands so often that they are worn and remind me of this time. My kids were young. I knit every single night from 8pm-11pm.  I'm not kidding.  At one point I wanted to challenge myself to make everything in this book!
The author of the book is Suzan Mischer.  Suzan was a former CBS vice president and the owner of Knit Cafe, a sleek yet homey neighborhood yarn store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.  Oh, how I wish I had gone there. (It's doors are closed.) The book is a result of the shop and includes 30 patterns ranging from hiking socks to a bikini.  There are baby items, pillows, bags and my number one favorite the Slouchy Cardigan.  I made three of them and documented two here and here.  The cardigan has a hood but I omitted it in two of them and love them just the same.  They are still my most favorite, wearable sweaters in my wardrobe.  
My mom loved the pattern equally as much and made four of them!  This is her sporting one last week when Libby and I went for a quick visit.   The original book has a few pattern corrections.  I'm pretty sure they are on Ravelry.  Feel free to reach out if you need any help.  I also made some changes to the cap sleeve.   Those are documented here.
The bell sleeves are such a love of mine.  As are those hands.

(I have a hardcover but it looks like you can get a hard or soft cover here or here.)

turtle dove sweater

Okay friends!  There hasn't been a sweater like this to slide off my needles in quite some time.  Yes.  I usually love my projects.  Not all of them, but for the most part, they make me happy.  
 But this one?  It's just so darn wearable!  And the yarn is D R E A M Y.  Yes, a bit pricy, but, to me, it's worth every penny.  It just was a dream to knit with.  Truly feels like cashmere.
I love all of the simple details constructed into this pattern.  Soft turtle neck,  long ribbed sleeves, split hem.

I did make a few modifications to fit my body and needs.   (Listed below.)

Pattern:  Turtle Dove
Yarn:  Woolfolk, Luft Color L06, 9 skeins  (I bought mine here.)
Size:  S
Needles:  US 10 and 10.5  (I didn't have size 10.75)
Modifications:  I added 2" to the body + 1" to the ribbing of the body.  (So, total of 3".)  To the sleeves I added 2" + 2" to the ribbing of the sleeve.

a friend to knit with journal sale

Last year I introduced the "a friend to knit with" journal and I wanted to share with you how I use mine.  Of course, with the new year, I cracked open a new journal.
I developed a new way of organizing my projects and I really think it kept me on track with my knitting goals.  Maybe it can help with yours, too!
(That's my sketch of a knit sweater.😜  )
Okay.  So, I decide to break the year into quarters.  3 months is a very doable amount of time to accomplish a project.  Or at least 5 projects... of all different sizes.
In each quarter, I like to work on individual projects for the head (a hat or a scarf/neckwarmer) the hands (mittens, mitts) the heart (sweater, shawl/wrap) and the feet (socks/slippers).  I also like to try to come up with something I would like to knit on my own without using a pattern.
My 2018 journal went everywhere with me.  Well, at least everywhere my knitting went.  This journal is 50 pages of the most perfect grid of graph paper.  It contains a ruler inside the front cover for those time you forget your tape measure.  A pocket in the back will hold those extra yarn labels, receipts or love notes.  And, there is a calendar in the back to keep you on track with your knitting goals.
I had a page of projects that I might consider making.  And, I would list the project I actually worked on and check it off when I finished.  A total sense of accomplishment!
In the actual journal I jotted down ideas, recipes, to do lists.  But always my notes on a project.  A great way to keep track of charts and graphs.  Start and finish dates, as well.  
Of course, you can do this in any notebook but the "a friend to knit with journal" will be a constant reminder of this bond we all share.  :)  We all have a friend to knit with!

To celebrate the new year, I am going to offer 15% off journals until January 9th at midnight.  No code necessary, I dropped the price by 15%.   (It is usually $17.00)  Orders will ship on January 10th.

Happy journaling!

december knitcrate

Hello sweet friends to knit with!  Happy HAPPY new year to you!  It's page 2 of your 2019 365 page book.  How exciting!  I have a new list of things I would like to work on for this year.  And, of course, I always set some knitting goals.  Because, well, that is what makes my heart sing most.  
I'll fill you in later on in the week of how I organize my knitting goals.  But first, I wanted to share the December Knitcrates.
December sock crate is full of self striping fun.  The skeins cycle through four bold stripes of color (ending and starting with the same shade).  I am super excited to cast on for these and see these come to life.
And this cute little pin came in the sock crate as well.  I'm thrilled to start a little collection to decorate my bag! :)
Yarn: Vidalana Ember sport in Holly  (70% Merino wool, 20% nylon, 10% silk)
Pattern:  Holiday Candy by Myna Vayner
December membership crate included 2 skeins of heathered chunky.  And as always, two patterns.  One knit and one crochet.  I love that you can always just stash your yarn or use it for a different pattern.  I'm thinking of a chunky knit beanie with a faux pom for this yarn.

Yarn:  Vidalana Heathered Chunky in Clementine  100% wool
Pattern: knit, Breaks in the Line
             crochet, Snow Bonnet

As always, your first crate is 20% off by using code FKW20 at checkout.

New Year!
New Projects!
Now let's get knitting!


Oh goodness.  Hello!  I wanted to get here to wish you all a very merry Christmas, but the time slipped away from me.  I do hope everyone had a wonderful holiday doing what makes you most happy!  
I love a good handmade holiday.  Growing up, we made a lot of gifts for each other, so that truly is when my heart is most happy.  I made a few things; peppermint lip scrub for a bunch of peeps, 1 pair of Motive mitts for one sister, and a pair of sheet pants for the other sister.  (I had that idea on Christmas Eve day to sew and I spent the majority of the day trying to put my sewing machine back together and finally sewing them! Ugh!  Sometimes I get on my own nerves! 😬)
My sisters both came for a visit on the 26th which was awesome.  And, my sister Shelly came bearing these awesome headbands.  

One for my niece Kelli, one for me, one for my sister Lisa, and one for Libby.  We all squealed when we opened the package.  They are fabulous!
Pattern:  The Soleil   (My sister used the yarn that the pattern called for.)

Happy New Year dear friends!  May 2019 be one awesome year for you!

xx, leslie

turks and caicos

  I never thought in a million years I would like to go away in December.  I love to be home.  Especially during December.  And truly, you know, there is just so much more to do than any other time of year.  But honestly, I now believe it to be one of the best times to go away.  
A couple of things I learned about the time right after Thanksgiving and a few weeks before Christmas:
* Most people don't like to travel then.  Makes sense.  Kids are still in school.  College kids are back in school. People may be going away for Christmas break.  
*It just so happens to be when rates are lowest; airlines and hotels.   Makes sense since most people aren't traveling.  And also makes sense for people who can travel then, to travel then! :)
 With an empty nest, it seems like all of those things fit nicely into our travel calendar. 
So, we packed our bags on December 6 and headed to some unbelievably gorgeous water on December 7.
I had never even heard of this Island until about 5 years ago.  Not sure why it was never on my radar.  If you like sun, sand and all the water activities, you will love it here!  Snorkeling was great.  AND, they have horseback riding on the beach.  (But, I'm allergic to horses so we didn't horseback ride. 😀)
The last day, a storm rolled in.  It was a great time to work on Turtle Dove, capturing all of the warmth I could into that sweater.  

I am now fully excited about Christmas.  Both Charlie and Andrew are home and I'm leaving in about an hour to pick up Libby at the airport.  All babies under the same roof tonight!  Yippee!