hotline sweater

When Libby was home on Christmas break she asked if I could "fix" her Hotline sweater. It grew, as mohair tends to do, and she wasn't sure how to care for it.  I hand washed it, and popped it in the dryer, checking on it every 10 minutes or so.  When I tried it on, I couldn't believe I hadn't made myself one as it was super cozy and of course cute! :)
It is a Wool and the Gang pattern and kit.  While wearing her sweater, I was ordering yarn to make myself one.
On both Libby's and this one, I decided to make them both with the Knit side being the right side.  (The sweater calls for the Purl side to be the right side.)  I just prefer the knit stitch better.
The sweater is made with both sides being exactly the same so it is basically reversible!

Pattern:  Hotline Sweater
Yarn:  Take Care Mohair in Lazy Latte
Needles: US 11
Size:  1

all the love

I sure hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day.  To me, it's not about just the love you share with a significant other.  It's the love you share for all of life and anyone or anything you love.

If you have been around here for a while, you may remember my cookie of the week.  Those memories are some of my favorite.  My children were young, and baking cookies was a weekly thing.  Over time, I stopped baking cookies weekly.  I started to eat less sugar and in turn feed my kids less sugar.  I received a message a couple of weeks ago that one of my readers misses cookie of the week. I miss it, too.  So in honor of cookie of the week, I made the most delicious sugar cookies to ship in college kids care packages.  I savored one with my knitting and I can honestly say it is still one of my favorite combinations of life.  Pure love.

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful feedback on One Lovely Sweater.  I will be sure to get back to everyone in the next week!

test knitters needed!

Hiya friends!
Hey!  I wrote my first sweater pattern!  Like really wrote it.  And it comes in 5 sizes! It's been a collaboration with SkeinCocaine and her amazingly YUMMY yarn that has been underway for over a year.  I am SO excited to finally share this with you.
It has a bit of detail that I am crazy about.  A V-neck sweater with a fluted sleeve.  Just a slight flute.  Don't worry you won't be dragging it across the table when trying to reach for something.  And the flute fits into your coat sleeve nicely.  Not a lot of extra material in there, ya know.
The yarn is a dream to work with.  And truly feels so cozy on your body.  It's one lovely sweater.  And everyone needs a least one lovely sweater in their wardrobe!

Well, I had an amazing tech editor go over this with a fine tooth comb.  But I need some friends to knit it and make sure everything is in tip top shape before we send it off into the world.  So, if you are interested in knitting this, I have set up a group over on Ravelry.  If you could please join and message me through there, that would be great!  Thank you SO much in advance!

Yarn: 3 (3, 4, 5, 5) skeins Donegal Luxe Sock 75% Sw Blue Face Leicester / 25% nylon, 438 yd / 401 m / 100 g from Skein Cocaine, 4,(4, 4, 5, 5) skeins Suri Cloud 74% Baby Suri Alpaca / 26% silk, 328 yds / 300m / 50g from Skein Cocaine. (Held together.)
Gauge: 19 sts and 26 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette stitch worked in the round on larger needles.
Needles: US 8 / 5 mm and US 7 / 4.5 mm circular needle, 24”/ 60 cm or longer especially if knitting the sleeves using magic loop OR US 8 / 5 mm double-pointed needles.
Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Size: XS (S, M, L, XL)
Finished bust measurement: 34.5 (36, 38.5, 40, 42)” / 87.5 (91.5, 98, 101.5, 106.5) cm with 2” / 5 cm positive ease.
Notions: Waste yarn or stitch holders, stitch markers (5), tapestry needle.

xx, leslie

january knitcrate

Well, hello February. I see spring around the corner!
February 4th to do:  Pay my last tuition check to the University of Colorado.  Wow is that a great feeling! I feel like having a party!
February 5th to do:  I really like this list.  I'm at my moms house in Orlando and sitting with my mom affords me some time to get some things accomplished.  I've been needing to put thumbs in a couple of pair of mitts, so this is a great time to be able to do that.  I also make a big batch of granola eveerytime I'm at my mom's.  My mom, the caretakers and and my sisters all love it.  Not to mention myself!  The mexican wedding cookies are one of my moms favorite so I can't wait till she tries them again.  
It dawned on me I forgot to mention the beautiful Knitcrate that arrived in January.  Such happy colors inside that beautiful blue box.  I LOVE this subscription box and if I don't make what they suggest with the yarn, I get to grow my stash yarn supply.  Always a good thing.
In January, Knitcrate collaborated with Louis Boria of Brooklyn Boy Knits.  I really like the knit pattern, the Upside-Down Cowl, inspired from the Netflix show "Stranger Things".  (I am a big fan of that show!)  It's a double layered reversible cowl.  Really looks like a fun knit!
Knit Pattern:  Upside-Down Cowl  
Yarn:  Knitologie Safari Sunset and Knitologie Golden Lion  Both 100% SW Merino.  (There are also two other color ways.)
This was the adorable "extra" in my box.  Not sure exactly what I will do with it, but it does fit perfectly on the top of my wine bottle!  😍

As always if you are interested in ordering a Knitcrate use the code FKW20 to receive 20% off of your first Knitcrate!  The code works on all crates and truly does make a happy mail day!

morning walk hat

I've been wanting to make a hat that the boys in my life would LOVE. Jane mentioned that this was her go to pattern for her guys so I decided to give it a try. I sent a photo to my Charlie and he was all in! I'm glad I asked him to choose the color as I would have gone with a totally different color scheme.
I ordered the yarn from Monarch Yarn and literally had it in two days.  The yarn was on the needles that night and off the needles 6 days later.  Truly a enjoyable, quick knit!
I've mentioned before that I love my new faux leather tags but decide to omit it from this project.  I didn't want it to look like Charlie had his name sewn on his cap as to not loose it. 😂
{Charlie, Big Sky Montana, January 28, 2020}

We traveled to Big Sky Montana last weekend to see Charlie as he is working there for the winter.  (Living his dream as a ski instructor!)  That place is gorgeous.  And I was so happy to see that the morning walk hat even fits under a ski helmet!

Pattern:  Morning Walk Hat
Yarn:  1 skein Woolfolk TYND, 1 skein Woolfolk SNO
Needle:  US 3 and US 4
Size:  Large

the beauty of blocking. part 2.

Here's the thing to remember about your knitting. You can always make it a size or sometimes 2 bigger!
My mom always taught me not to sweat the small stuff in life.  And that refers to my knitting!  I knew when I was working on this sweater that it was going to be too small.  But I forged ahead because of some of the basic knowledge I have regarding my knitting.  Blocking can be magical!
This sweater was too small.  I mean like really too small!  I could never have even worn a t-shirt under it let alone a blouse.  However, if you wet your project and lay it flat, pinned to the measurement you are trying to achieve, magic really does happen!  You must, and I mean must, let it completely dry.  Resist the urge to unpin it.  Trust me.  I have unpinned sweaters just to try them on and things can get a bit wonky.

This is a pattern I came up with a while ago.  It is intended for a solid color, but I didn't have enough of any one color so decided to combine a few colors from my stash.   The yarn was from a few of my Knitcrates.   I started off with the neutral and then I changed stripes whenever I felt the urge.  I did match the sleeve pattern to the stripe pattern in the body.  Not my usual color pallet, but I think I will get some wear out of this sweater.  Heck, I'm wearing it as I'm typing this! :)

I plan on writing this pattern up and making it one of those sweaters that encourage knitters to trust themselves and get creative.  Make the pattern unique and a one of a kind!

the beauty of blocking. part 1.

BEFORE.
Yes.  This sweater came out way too small.  It's too tight just about everywhere.  But I wanted to remind you that beautiful things can happen when you block a sweater.
I have a super old cardboard blocking board that I purchased at a garage sale.  I think I paid $1.   Worth that and more as I have used it quite a few time to achieve a better fit.  
I gave the sweater a quick hand wash, rung it gently in the sink and then rolled it in a towel.  Stepped on it several times and did a little dance.  Changed towels and repeated.   I then stretched my sweater so that it would be about a 40"- 42" when it was finished drying.  Pinned it in place to let it dry to those measurements.
I tried it on this morning, and I can honestly say I love it!
I'll be back next week to show you the AFTER.  😊

Happy Weekend!  Happy Knitting!

stash knitting

I'm sure like you, I have a list of things I want to make this year. Also on my list is to use up some of my ever growing stash yarn.
I had a couple of skeins of the natural color and really wanted to make a solid sweater using this oatmeal yarn. (Hello, beautiful natural color!)  However, a couple of skeins wasn't enough to make a sweater.  I fought the urge to get online and order a couple more skeins.   The voice inside my head told me to use what I had.  To make it work.  I had a skein each of the green and the purple.  But, I wasn't sure if I liked these colors. (Hello favorite colors natural, black and grey.) I went back and forth but in the end, I decided to listen to the voice.  I'm not sure exactly how I will like this.  Or how I will wear it.  (Usually one of the first things is envisioning the outfit)  But, I am going with it.  I started a sleeve yesterday and since I'm at my mom's, I plan on trying to finish it this week!  Fingers crossed.

I have to get going on some other things on my list!

banana mango smoothie bowl

I posted my granola recipe a while ago and mentioned how I loved to use it to sprinkle on top of my smoothie bowls. I also mentioned that I would share the recipes. I feel terrible it's taken so long!
I'll share more as we go along, but this is my favorite as of late.
Super easy to make and super refreshing.  I do make more of these in the warmer months, however, they are still an occational winter favorite!  And don't worry about the sugar in this.  Fruits are loaded with fiber and other beneficial vitamins.  It's definitely not even close to being the same as eating foods containing added sugar.  
The Vitamix is truly the key.  I don't know what I would do without it.  I use it on a daily basis, and most days more than once a day!

Banana Mango Smoothie Bowl
serves 2
2 Frozen Banana's, cut into pieces
2 cups Frozen Mango chunks
1/4 cup water

Blend in Vitamix until creamy.  You will have to use the tamper tool and this may take about 5 minutes to get it this creamy.  You can add a Tablespoon of water at a time.  But you don't want to add too much water.  You want a thick bowl, not a soupy bowl.

Top with granola and other fruit.  Enjoy! 😋

happy new year!

I love a clean slate. A fresh start. A new day.  A new year.
I love new goals.  Looking forward to discovering new things.
I love new ideas.  Trying new things.  Working hard to be the best version of me.  
Cheers to my sweet friends to knit with.  May 2020 be everything YOU want it to be.

xx, leslie

The only item I knit as Christmas gifts:

Project:  Beatrice Mitts
Yarn:  Trench Coat by Turtlepurl
Needle:  US2
Labels:  Custom faux leather labels