We had a little weekend getaway trip to Oxnard, CA, just an hour’s drive west from home.
(at Tenzing Momo in Seattle, WA.)
Well that didn’t take long, I’m already at my third candle!
This is a Northern Lights candle, by a NY based company of the same name, in business since 1978.
The scent of this candle is called Cotton Blossom & Dogwood. It’s a little soapier than what I’d usually get, but I enjoy the change of pace from my usual, woodier choices. Nick’s mom gave this lovely candle to me as a Christmas gift last year. Thoughtful Nick must have given the hint to her that next to tea, it’s just about the perfect gift for me.
Some moments from our escape down toward Encinitas.
Slide was a treat to knit. The non-identical but symmetrical pattern was knit using dpns, which offered a nice change of pace from my usual TAAT magic loop method. The easy flow from section to section in Cookie A’s pattern kept second sock syndrome at bay.
These long lines were what drew me in. I was curious about what made Cookie A such a popular knitwear designer, especially for socks. The pattern was concise, with a clear and lovely layout. As a very visual person, layout is most of a pattern PDF’s value.
Little things like the inclusion of special stitch descriptions in the pattern were much appreciated for moments where I needed to remember how the hell to pull off a m1pR. Thanks to cookie’s conscientious design, I suffered no confusion or discomfort…except of course for that time that my needle just snapped in half and i had to move projects…but that’s not her fault!
I enjoyed using the zen garden yarn, it’s an impossibly soft wool nylon blend. The subtle variegation of this yarn challenged this sock’s long lines but without bossing them around too much. It felt like an even push-pull of visual busy-ness.
If only this wasn’t so plushy and soft! I would wear these around much more often if I wasn’t so sure that these would just felt after just a dozen wears and washes.
This ski bonnet is a stash-busting project using up my remaining Ease yarn. Lacey Volk’s striking neon hat caught me, and I wanted to try my hand at making one of my own.
I managed to make it as far as the first section, having loads of fun in the process. The last real cable project I worked on were those Charcoal Angler’s Loop Socks, so this little repeating cabling pattern was exactly what I needed to feel giddy again about the neat things knit fabric can do.
But after finishing that first portion? I got stuck. I was intimidated by the ‘pick up stitches except for 5, evenly distributed’ direction. So I left this project sitting in time-out. I plan to unearth this project this weekend to tackle that silly fear—really, they’re just a hundred or so stitches, what’s the big deal? The math? There’s hardly any!
I’m thinking, if picking up 102 stitches is scary, maybe I shouldn’t have taken on the hue shift, right? I will need to get to the massive border of that blanket eventually. So what’s the deal?
I took the path of least resistance on this one. I decided to just accept that my third hand-knit sweater's gonna be one of my more loose, comfy ones. The color's gorgeous (not one I'd expect I'd like so much,) and the pattern was easy enough to follow.
I'm also happy to report that a friend reached out to me, letting me know that my WIP inspired her. She started an Ease sweater of her own, with Knit Picks Hawthorne!
Alicia Plummer’s thoughtful design elements in this pattern were much appreciated here. The use of a purl ridge to encourage a crease on the stockinette knit fabric was a nice touch and made a pretty effect.
I used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off method for the end of the body and the sleeves—Highly recommended.
After the first wash this garment bloomed…a lot. I’m reserving this sweater for days like this one in Lithia Park where bundling up and keeping warm is more important than doing my silhouette any favors.
(visiting forks, WA)
I ended last year with a dog walk through some Renton woods with family. The smell of moss never fails to take me out of myself.
What scenery grounds you?
This pair of socks took a year to get off the needles because I was eyeballs deep in my projects at work. I still put the couple hundred odd stitches here and there to decompress when things were especially stressful, but it definitely did not progress as quickly as I had wanted.
My rogue nillas marched at a much faster pace but I was still pretty impatient about it. I cast these on while moving across the rogue river valley. I just had to start something, sitting shotgun on a road trip would otherwise have felt like a waste of valuable knitting time.
Recalling the experience of knitting these two pairs is almost embarrassing. It’s like I’ve become this results driven careerist about something that was initially supposed to be an ongoing process to feed my soul. When did my yarn stash and project queue become such a to-do list?
While caring for and photographing these projects, I got to take in details I didn’t really notice as much when I was in the process of rushing to the finish line.
I had a chance to appreciate the little lightning bolts that took shape against the blue and lime green backdrop, like some storm on a little alien landscape.
The army-green and gem-violet spiraling up from toe to cuff remind me of sedimentary rock, taking ages to fall in line but always seeming to know the right place to sit—just like each one of these little colored stitches.
The simple texture of these knitting patterns allowed the variegated yarns to take center stage. Plain socks and multicolored yarns go together like milk and honey. No matter what you do, it pays off—it’s beautiful as a hank, and the result when knit up is inimitable.
I also was very giddy about finishing with a rounded toe tin the Magic Loop style. Anyone close to me while I was wrapping up the toe became a captive audience to my lecture about how I’m basically knitting two little hats for my toes with this method. Sorry, friends. I owe you something for that.
What if I honored these details while in the process of crafting them?
It probably wouldn’t have hurt to observe more while making them instead of rushing to mark something as done. I guess I knew that at one point in the process of crafting and documenting, I’d have that nudge again to be a little more present while turning fiber into wearables.
A little bit of yarn is left over from these socks, and instead of being an angry completionist about it (I should have made the cuffs longer!) I might store them for a scrap blanket project of some kind to be able to cherish this lesson of mindfulness one more time.
That blanket project idea is a little further off in the future since I’ll need some more sock yarn in my stash to begin, but I’m open to learning about some pattern favorites. For now, Severien’s beautiful work in progress definitely comes to mind.
And just like that, I’m a quarter of the way through my hue shift afghan project.
Mitered squares turned out to not be too difficult to work on. I admit that this wip spent a few weeks in time-out here and there because of some absentmindedly picked-up stitches on the wrong side.
Or at one point, a completed mitered square using the wrong color combination. After those speed bumps though? Yes. This can be smooth sailing now.
Many knitters of this particular Knit Picks pattern kit suggested that I break the yarn as few times as possible to compensate for such tight yarn rations. I’m still unsure if I’m doing well on that front, but we’ll see soon enough.
The Websters is a little knit shop in the center of the charming town of Ashland, OR. I often stop in Ashland when I’m making my drive up to Seattle from Los Angeles. My favorite thing about this LYS next to their warmth and wide selection of fine yarns and tools? No sales tax!
When I moved to the new apartment, I made an arbitrary policy a few months ago to only buy and burn one candle at a time. The purchase of a new one is often very special to me so I figured it would be nice to share what's burning right now.
This is the Inspire candle by TwelveSouth. It’s a soy candle that’s poured in South Carolina.
I thought the idea of it was so adorable that I got myself one as a little holiday gift. Next to the lemony bergamot scent, I think my favorite thing about this candle is its packaging—I plan to wash it out after the candle burns out and use it as a little knick-knack container. ✨
Do you have a favorite candle business? Please let me know!
I’ve recently made the move here from blogspot. Pardon the dust while I correct any broken image links on previous posts!
A quick update on the knitting front while I’m here—my Rogue Latte socks are progressing, and I just might have these done before the month is over. Just in time for the weather to get a little colder. This is being knit with SweetGeorgia Yarns’ Tough Love Sock, which seems nicely sturdy while still being soft on the hands while I work. It looks like I’ll have plenty left over after this pair is finished.
See you all next time!
Sometimes you just need some vanilla socks. I celebrate this pair of socks as the project I took with me to work to introduce this interest to my coworkers. They welcomed my stitching during longer meetings!
I'll try not to think about how a dark wood variety of this swift was made available on Knitpicks just days after I received this order. Of course the better looking one would show up after I commit to a product!
I love teas with hints of black tea or sandalwood, so this one's a no-brainer. Nick and I had a laugh about how this scent was coded as a 'masculine' one on their line. Wood, tobacco scents = Men!
I burn my candles nearly every day, so I notice a candle of this size will last me about 3-4 weeks...maybe even less if I really enjoy the scent.
Do you have a favorite candle business? Please let me know!
Here's what I find are hands-down needs for me as a knitter, at least for right now anyway.
I absolutely need a pair of socks in progress at any given time.
I need a mindless scrap-eating blanket knit going on in the background.
These are two such WIPs I've got going on to preserve the natural and right order of life in this apartment:
This would be a pair of plain stockinette socks made from my first-ever purchased skein of Manos Del Uruguay yarn that I bought a year ago in my new favorite LYS, The Nifty Knitter. It's in Issaquah, WA which is decidedly not local for my Los Angeles-based self but the pleasant, inclusive spirit of that shop is enough for me to hold off on certain purchases until I make the flight/drive up there. I LOVE the place.
was full of surprises. I initially bought it as sort of a joke. In Seattle, I show myself up as an Angeleno in a lot of ways, like calling it The 405 instead of I-405, or sporting the accidental tan that one gets just from working so close to Venice Beach.
My plan was to make a Seahawks cowl or hat or something with this squishy yarn to help camoflauge me a little more effectively while in this city. I liked the concept for this fun little knitting project but wasn't really in love with this yarn at first--it looked cute as a hank but...as a sock or hat? I...dunno.
But then I had it wound into a skein. and then I casted on.
As someone who's a bigger fan of more muted looks, even for things like socks, I might have to eat my mean words about yarns like these. Variegation and stockinette go together here like --this project is gonna be really cute, and when done and worn, I might pass as a Seattleite from 100 or so yards away in them (but not much closer than that).
This guy over here is a Garter Squish Blanket in progress, right now being made with a combination of gifted red heart worsted, and some other big-box craft store yarn. It feels really hypocritical to cast on such a thing after reading something like Slow Knitting, but I don't know! They're gifted! I'm filled with knitter's guilt, and they need to be something!
On top of that it just feels good to have something mindless to work on while watching something in the living room. This blanket will probably need to have the crap kicked out of it in a dryer before it's amenable to touch, but I respect and value its role in the WIP rotation. The mindless trash blanket will probably be here to stay.