forcing forsythia

Forcing Forsythia.  Sounds like the name of a book.  Heck, maybe it is.  I just love saying that.  And I must say, I am more excited than ever about Spring this year.  
Bringing in the Forsythia always means Spring is HERE!
We celebrated Easter a few days early this year in order to celebrate with the kids who were in town.
Although we wished we had more kids home, we will always take what we can get!

 I stink at decorating cut out cookies.  And truly would rather be knitting instead of decorating.  However, I sent these in a few care packages and must say they were received with a smile.  And this recipe is a keeper.  
Happy Spring!

half + half triangles wrap

It felt good to knit this.  And, it felt great to finish this.
It was one of those knits that went on and on.
And one of those knits that I miss working on already.  
It truly is one of those knits that give you a bang for your buck.  Soothing garter stitch is a joy to include in my day.  I can work on it and not give it much thought so that my attention can be 95% somewhere else.  
Garter stitch is good for carrying on a conversation or for watching tv or for enjoying a glass of wine.  Practically the perfect knit.  

So many different combinations to knit.  And so many different combinations to wear.  I'm thinking this will be a classic knit that I will wear A LOT!  Sort of like these Frye boots I have had for about 16 years!  (WHAT?!) More on those later.  
{Scarlett and Lucille}

I truly can't decide which color combination to choose for my next one.  


 And of course I talked about it on my latest podcast.  Head over if you want to hear about it.  (There is also a little giveaway going on over there.)

Pattern:  Half + Half Triangles Wrap, Size Large 

Yarn:  Purl Soho Linen Quill   3 skeins Heirloom white, 3 skeins Dark Denim 

***Modification:  I applied a Slip 3 edge.  Check out the video here.  

how to slip 3 along a garter edge

diy

Hi!  I put together a little video demonstrating how I slip the last 3 stitches on my Half+Half Triangles wrap.  This can be used on ANY of your garter stitch projects.  
 
The technique creates a much neater finish and I believe a more finished look.

I also demonstrate how I ALWAYS join a new ball of yarn.  If you just start knitting with a new ball then please go watch.  This technique will become your new favorite!

Enjoy!  

mont blanc cardigan

Do you ever feel like you think you should have more time?  Ya, meeeeee toooo!  
I don't think I have ever made a sweater for anyone other than my kids.  And you probably can guess the reasons.  Kids are easy to knit for because size isn't really a huge issue.  And neither is style.  But, knitting for a friend is a tricky business.  How will it fit?  How about the style?  Will it be worn?  Will the recipient like the color, yarn, feel?  SO many things to consider! 
However, I knew this sweater would be perfect for my friend, Michelle.  Although I have it styled over a dress (she owns the same dress) I thought it would be perfect for her "morning" sweater.  You know, the one you throw on with your jammies.  We always say how crazy our morning outfits are and this will be a perfect compliment to those outfits!
I must say, this felt great on.  The weight is heavy but not too heavy.   And, I love having my arms free.  I'm pretty sure she will, too.  

Size:  M/L
Needles US 15

my girl knits!

Back in January, over Christmas break, my Libby decided it was time for her to KNIT! It was just music to my ears.  She had found a sweater through instagram and text the link to me.  It took me to Ravelry where I was thinking oh my goodness my daughter has been perusing RAVELRY!  I then told her I would gladly make her this sweater when she replied "do you think I can knit that?".  Oh my.  I just about dropped my phone.  
The pattern calls for Lion Brand's Thick and Quick so we immediately jumped in the car (and I mean IMMEDIATELY... before she changed her mind, ha!) and headed to Joann Fabrics.  I filled her hands with 3 different size needles and 4 skeins of Lion Brand Thick and Quick and we made our purchase and headed home as fast as we could.                      We nestled in for the afternoon and I gave her a quick lesson on what she had learned when she was about 8 years old.  It truly came back to her like riding a bike.  Over the course of the next few days, Libby learned how to increase R and L and how to fix her mistakes.  (I purposely dropped stitches so she could learn how to repair them.)
This is Libby's first hand knit sweater and she adores it!  I couldn't be more proud.  
We even had to stop on the way to the airport for more yarn so that she could knit on the airplane.   
If you are looking for a sweater for a new knitter this is an awesome first sweater.  And it knits up rather quickly so the knitter feels accomplished.  Win WIN!

Pattern:  Moosonee 
Yarn:  Lion Brand Thick and Quick, 4 balls, Rouge
Needles:  US 13, 15 and 19
Size:  S/M

half + half triangles wrap

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was joining 3 Knit-a-longs. Two have already ended (Slipstravaganza and Knitcollage) but I'm not sure I ever mentioned the 3rd. CadyJax podcast is hosting the Half + Half Triangles Wrap with an intent to take an entire year to knit this beauty.  The culmination happening at Rhinebeck for those folks lucky enough to attend and HOPEFULLY it will actually happen!

It's a Purl Soho free pattern and I'm using the Linen Quill from PurlSoho that the pattern calls for.  It takes 2 or 3 skeins of each color depending on the size of the shawl you choose to make. The pattern is written for 2 sizes.  Small and Large.  I am knitting the large one.  It is simple and straightforward with short rows taking place to reduce the stitches in each color.   
I thought my colors were a bit boring, however, they are what I will wear.  Dark Denim + Heirloom White.  So.... 

 I started knitting this back at the end of October when I started learning Continental knitting.  I have knit English Style my entire knitting journey alway wanted to devote some time to learning Continental.  This seemed like the perfect time with the perfect project.  So, as you can see, the one on the top left is where my journey began.  My tension was off and needed some help.  I actually didn't mind that as it could be my reminder of the task and goal I had set for myself.  However, what i did mind was the sloppy edge.  I disliked that very much.  SO,  I cast on again slipping the last 3 stitches of every row with the yarn held in the front.  This gives the piece a much cleaner look.  (You don't have to slip the last 3, you can slip the last 2 or the last 1 even. )  Eventually I will put together a video showing how to do this as I had so many questions on the podcast when I spoke about this.  
I truly can't wait to get to the denim color...  

get away

My husband and I decided to try something new this February.  "How about a couple of weeks in the desert?" he asked.  I was up for anything.  

We woke to a spectacular view.  I had no idea how gorgeous the Arizona sunrises and sunsets were!  Lucky peeps who get to experience this daily!
I brought one project with me.  Only one.  (That was a bit challenging for me.)  My Half + Half Triangles Wrap. However, since there is so much mindless knitting in this project, I knew it would be the perfect one.
I probably packed too much yarn for this project, but my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to my knitting!  

Our first Fancy Friday Cocktail night consisted of an Aperol Spritz.  Perfect as it matched the sky!

By the way... Did I tell you about Fancy Coctail nights?  During this stay at home time, we have been trying to branch out and make a special cocktail to mix things up!  Maybe I'll start sharing them here.  Fancy Cocktail night instead of Cookie of the week.  Oh boy... Life.  🧡

 Aperol Spritz::
1 part Aperol
1 part Prosecco
Splash of club soda.
Pour over ice.
Garnish with an orange slice.  

a valentine for your valentine

Oh February. How did you get here so fast?!

I think this is just the perfect Valentine Gift.  I wanted to let you know that I have a code available over on my latest podcast (Number 14!) for this pattern. (And TOAST.) So, if you are interested head on over to watch. I think this pattern would make a great gift to remind someone how much you love them.  It might even be you who needs the reminder!
Enjoy!

2021

diy

I absolutely adore the Karen Adams calendars.  I've used one for the past several years after receiving my first one from my friend, Kathleen.  The first one came as a set with the easel.  You then can purchase refills every year.  
The artwork on each month is just that... pure, beautiful art.  I think they are worth every penny.
However, this year,  I decided to save some of my pennies and make my own using none other than knitting for my inspiration.  
I used a template that I created years ago, but it's fairly simple to do on your own.  And printed them on white card stock.  
I then chose photos of some of my finished knits from 2020. We all have plenty of those!  It was fun to change it up for a year.  :)

toast

The knit I love to wear the most is hands down (Ha! Hands down, get it?!) TOAST mitts. Well, don't get me wrong... sweaters are my number one knit. However, the most worn knit I wear is TOAST.
I throw them on in the morning when the house is cold and dark and I stumble to the coffee maker.  They are a great addition to my jammies.  
I throw them on when I'm wearing a t-shirt or a sweater and need just an extra something to warm my body.
I throw them on with a coat to pull over my fingers when I'm walking or driving.  They add a little extra when the steering wheel is too cold.  
There truly isn't a time I don't wear them.  
I must take them on and off a half a dozen times in one day.  
And they are that easy to wear.  Pull down, push up, take off! 
The yarn I used in my latest batch of TOAST was from my November Knitcrate.  I was thrilled when my box arrived knowing immediately that the yarn inside must be TOAST mitts. (That's the beauty of having stash!)  I knew they would be a tiny bit short of the 11" that the pattern calls for, but that would be fine.  These measure almost 10".  To make sure I would have the same amount per mitt, I used my kitchen scale.  Everyone always talks about using their scale, so I finally felt like one of the cool kids on the block.  I loved the yarn and color so much, I snagged an extra skein of each for another pair to gift.  
Yarn:  Vidalana Ambiant Worsted.  !00% Peruvian Highland Wool.  100 yards/50 grams
Color:  Titan
Color: Michelangelo
Color:  Vanezia
Color:  Fresco

As always, if you are interested in a KnitCrate Subscription you can receive 20% off your first crate by using code FKW20 at checkout.  
Yarn at my doorstep never looked so good!  

flower power cardigan

I miss my girl. I miss my boys, too.  I took Libby to the airport last Sunday after winter break.  That was hard.  That stunk.   She was the last child to leave and get back to their lives.  It meant that it was time for me to get back into a routine, too.   It was just one of the best Christmas breaks with my kids.  And not only because Libby started knitting.  (YES!!!!  More on that later!) 
I took these pictures of my girl in her new sweater back over Thanksgiving break.  I just kept forgetting to post them here.  

This is the Flower Power Cardigan that was part of the Fall Knit Collage Knit Along.  
If you ever have the opportunity to do a Knit Collage KAL it is an awesome experience.  Whether you are a beginner or an advanced knitter.  Whether you have never knit a sweater or you are a sweater knitte.  I just can't recommend this Knit Along more.
This is unlike a KAL where you buy the pattern and use the yarn of your choice.  Knitcollage sweaters have a certain look to them and a style all their own.  For this KAL, kits are sold with each pattern and include yarn colors you get to choose.  For this KAL, there were 4 patterns to choose from and when you sign up you have access to all of them.  The patterns aren't released for a while after the KAL ends so this pattern is not available yet.  I'm not exactly sure when she releases her KAL patterns after the KAL.  If you like this you will just need to keep checking her website.  
Amy Small has a team to help you every step of the way.  And the community she builds is amazing.  She adds zoom calls and yoga classes and weekly emails to cheer you on and keep you up to date.  
It's no wonder I wanted to make Libby this sweater... It's like a big girl version of the backpack I made her so many years ago.  (Almost 14 years!)


Yarn:  Knitcollage 

mousseux

Mousseux.  
/mo͞oˈsə/
adjective ::  (of wine) sparkling.
  1. "vin mousseux"
noun  ::  sparkling wine.


  1. Well, well, well.  A word I had never heard but came to love rather quickly! 🥂

This is a pattern from Espace Tricot that when I saw, I knew I immediately wanted to make!  I loved everything about it so decided to knit it in the exact same yarn/color.  The yarn is dreamy but I never met a mohair I haven't loved!  
 I did make a few modifications which I will explain further on my podcast.  But basically, I wasn't happy with how it was looking on a US size 8 even though I was getting gauge.  So, I ripped it out.  Ouch!  Ripping mohair can be a bit challenging!  (I did receive a message over on Instagram telling me to pop it in the freezer next time before ripping.  Apparently, it helps with the process! -Thanks Caitlin!)   So, I dropped down to a 7 and therefore had to adjust the pattern.  I cast on for a size 2 but needed to jump up to a size 4 stitch count in order to get the 44.75" measurement at the bust.  (44.75" is a size 2.)  I adjusted the increase rows, increasing more each increase row until I was at the correct number of stitches for the size 4 before separating for the sleeves.  
And because I was knitting on a size 7 needle, I was going through yarn quicker. Because of this I wasn't going to have enough yarn to knit a full length sleeve.  I contemplated buying more yarn but decided to try to make do with what I had.  

I ended up making the sleeve length 3/4 and I actually adore the way it turned out.  

At one point I thought it was going to be a very boxy sweater but after a light blocking not only was I able to adjust the body,  it truly bloomed into what I was hoping it would be.  

Basically, I love how this ended up and it truly feels as light as a feather.  Did I mention the pattern is FREE!  

Pattern:  Mousseux
Yarn:  4 skeins Espace Tricot Halo in Opera  (2 strands held together throughout)
Size:  2 (See above.)
Needles:  US 7
Mods:  Mentioned above.  

happy new year!

Well, Hello Friends!  Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe that it's already page 8 of your 2021 365 page book!  

Through these uncertain and changing times it is so nice to focus on what is constant in my life.  Family, food and knitting are at the top of the list.  Thank you God for knitting!  I decided to gather all of my sweaters that I knit in 2020 and they are pictured above.

From bottom to top:
1.  One Lovely Sweater  in white
4.  One Lovely Sweater in grey
5.  Miromisnil 
9.  Frida
11.  Flower Power Cardigan (Blog post coming soon.)
12.  Mousseux  (Blog post coming soon.)
13.  Be Thankful Cardigan  (Not pictured above.)

It's safe to say that Knitting was an incredible force in my life in 2020.  

I'll be back to share some of my knitting goals for 2021.  (Thank you for prompting me to make them, Nadine!)

I wish you all the health, peace, love, happiness and projects on your needles for 2021.