Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How About A Little 'Cheer Up'?

I have read that the third Monday of January is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. While it's now two days past that depressing date (thank heavens!), the weather this week has clearly proven to be anything but... cheerful.

Which works out well, because I have been saving something for you. Something cheerful. Something to brighten up even the greyest of days.

It's rainbow and it's crochet, all rolled into one.

 So if this doesn't make you smile, I'm afraid... that I can't help you.

I can't take credit for this. I am simply the VERY lucky recipient of it.

And on days like these, I can't tell you just how lucky I feel.

This was a wedding gift made by my dear buddy Tara. (You might recognize the name from this trip and that trip). And as it turns out, that Tara has got to be one of the most patient, and focused people I know.

The girl started 'granny-squaring' (or should I say 'granny hexgon-ing'?) as soon as we announced our engagement last May. And by mid-December, she had that blanket wrapped and ready to gift.

I have made a granny square blanket before, with bigger squares (which means less seaming), and not nearly as large in width. It took me the span of a few years and when I finally did finish with it, I refused to part with it. How she managed to package this up once the final end had been woven in is way beyond me.

Like... WAY beyond me.

In fact, she had this gifted to me within 24 hours of completion.

Had it been me, I would have kept it and gifted a gift card instead. A last minute decision perhaps, but that is exactly what I would have done- no doubt!

This speaks volumes of Tara's exceptionally giving character.

She's one in a million.
Yarn- A combination of
Sandesgarn Smart, Cascade 220 Superwash and Cascade 220

To read Tara's account of how this blanket (and the blanket hand-off!) all went down, be sure to check out her blog here. 

It's a good read.

I have already ready read the second installment of
The Hunger Games while all wrapped up in this beautiful work of art.
So thanks my friend! It's amazing! And it's days like this that we simply cannot thank you enough.
If opened up in it's entirety- this blanket is bigger than Ms. Tara herself!

Now go and do something entirely indulgent.

Because you entirely deserve it.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Cold Feet? Not If I Can Help It!

As I have mentioned here before, the man in my life loves himself some hand knit socks (who doesn't!?!?!?). So much so that he has mentioned to me on several occasions "If you ever need a gift for me, just knit me some socks".

So... I often do. Sometimes for a special occasion and sometimes just because.

When we got engaged, I knew that this was certainly a special enough occasion to knit the guy some socks, and while we had agreed that there would be no 'pre-ceremony gift exchange', I simply couldn't resist.

So I went ahead and knit that groom of mine some socks, wrapped them up and asked my brother just minutes before the ceremony to zip down to wherever my dear man was hiding and pass the packaged up socks along to him.

And so like any good baby brother, he did.  

Yarn- Cascade Heritage in shade 5631
So there I was, thinking that the exchange would make for a much needed solitary second of reflection for my man. But as it turns out, he opened the package in front of all of his groomsmen, as well as our minister.

And much to my surprise, that pair of socks somehow worked their way into our wedding day homily.

Photo Credit Pear Studios

But of course they did- right? I am a knitter through and through (not to mention a sock knitter) and to have those socks incorporated into our service was nothing but the sweetest icing on the cake I could have ever imagined.

Photo Credit Pear Studios

And besides, I think that I have known I wanted to knit my groom socks for our wedding day long before I even knew my groom.

It's really the only day of your life that a knitter needs to REALLY worry about their main squeeze getting cold feet. And wool socks is certainly the best preventative measure that I can think of.

Not that I was really all that worried...

Photo Credit Pear Studios

He tends to run pretty hot... even on the coldest of days.

Enjoy your weekend friends.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Wedding Jitters? Just 'Shrug' It Off

There is something to be said for having shorter hair than your husband on your wedding day. There is no need to be at a salon by 6am for the mandatory primping and curling. Instead, I was able to get up (still at 6am), but I was able to sit and knit in peace and quiet alone at my kitchen table for a full three hours.

Can one think of any better way to kick off their wedding day!?!?!?

Short Hair and Veils

While I was fortunate enough to be able to knit my way through my pre-wedding jitters in solitute, I must confess that it wasn't the most relaxed knit-session I've ever had. If you recall, I had a bolero I wanted to make (ala Kate Middleton) and I wasn't sure I was going to get through it.

On the morning of my wedding however, I gave myself a very stern pep-talk that went a little something like this...

"Lynn- if you don't finish this bolero today, your wedding will still go on. Don't let something idiotic like an unfinished knitting project ruin your big day."

Besides... I'm used to not finishing knitting projects. So it shouldn't have been a big deal- right? I had a back-up plan, but I did have some seriously high hopes that I would get through it on time.

Which, as it happens, is exactly how it all played out.

This was right when I saw my lovely friend Candy Girl Flies and her beautiful girls

I finished that dang bolero and was able to keep my shoulders warm on that slightly chilly (but oh-so-sunny!) November afternoon.

And I must tell you that I have never, EVER had a knitting project come together as easily as this one did. The sleeves were set in on the first go, the armholes were the perfect size for the sleeve cap and the fit was as good as it was going to get for a free online pattern that I was trying to polish off just hours before my wedding. (Read- The fit wasn't perfect... I'll admit).

Photo Credit- Pear Studios

I'd say that this little mohair bolero was simply meant to be.

Come on... the light is crazy amazing! Right!?!?!?
Kind of like my man and me... (HA! Barf... I know. Right?!?!)

Photo Credit- Pear Studios

Bolero Info For Those Of You Getting Married In A Few Hours (or those of you who just need a bolero)

Pattern- A Royal Shrug by Erin Elkins (it's free!) in size small
Yarn- Estelle's Luxury Mohair (sadly discontinued), less than 2 skeins
Needles- 6mm (I think...)

Heeeey... I know that place!
 And since I usually tend to wrap up each post up with some flowers to lift your spirits (especially this time of year!!!), I thought I'd end this post off with some of my favorite flowers I have EVER had the privilege of sharing with you.

My wedding flowers.

Peonies, Ranunculus and Dusty Miller- oh my!

By my wonderful, beautiful and talented friend Becky over at Blush and Bloom.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Thanks for allowing me to indulge in a little wedding photo-mania.

You're the best.

Friday, January 04, 2013

I Had Myself A Selfish Little Christmas

As of December 22nd, I still had it in my head that I was going to knit some Christmas gifts. Specifically, a hat for my brother in law, and a hoodie for my husband's six month old nephew. As I was discussing my plans over dinner with my man that evening (yeah... you heard me. The evening of the 22nd), he quite gently and softly talked me out of such insanity.

Here's a little known fact- my husband's middle name is 'common sense'.

When I had come to terms with the fact that I would only be contributing one knitted gift to Christmas this year, I felt something overcome me that I haven't felt in a while.

An insatiable urge to just CHURN through a project, start to finish- for me!

And so, I did.

On the afternoon of December 23rd I cast on and absolutely powered through a scarf. A scarf that was so addictive, there simply are no words. 

So addictive that even halfway through Mr. Common Sense said to me "You haven't been that 'into' a knitting project in a LONG time."

And he should know. 

Trust me.

Thank heavens no one in my family finds it rude to knit a scarf for oneself at the Christmas dinner table. And if they do, they know better than to speak up about it. Because by December 27th my new scarf was blocking on the basement floor.

 So Merry Christmas to me.

'Tis the season to stay warm after all.

Info for all you like minded scarf-lovers out there

Pattern- Diagonal Lace Scarf by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Yarn- Four balls of Filatura Di Crosa Sportwool in shade 2028
Needles- 5mm

A Big Ol' Pile O' Knit
So maybe I jumped the gun on 'selfish knitting' just a little.

January is traditionally the month that us knitters all cast on something a little more indulgent, and a little more selfish than we might any other month of the year.

So what are you folks waiting for?

Not only are you making me feel like a jerk for casting on a selfish project on December 23rd...

You're making me cold just thinking of you without some wool in your hands!


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Single, Solitary Knitted Christmas Gift

As it turns out, this just wasn't the year to knit for Christmas. I had big plans, but then again, I say that every year. Don't I?

This year, I managed to squeak out one pair of socks, aaaaand much to my dismay... that was it.

These socks began in the $10.00 bin at the shop, were cast on while in the car the day after our wedding (I love that I married a man who does most of the driving so that I can knit), and had grafted toes not too long after that.

We went to Collingwood for the two days following our big day, and while my man read a book, I laid almost horizontal on the couch and knit like the wind.

For those who aren't familiar with Collingwood, it's a lovely town north of Toronto best known for it's ski hill. Since we landed there in mid-November, we found ourselves being questioned by many of the locals regarding what the heck brought us to Collingwood when there wasn't a scrap of snow on the ground- a month that they refer to as "Slow-vember".

We were quite literally, the only ones there.

My answer?

Knitting time. Knitting time is what brought us to Collingwood.

And lucky for me, my sport of choice doesn't rely on that fickle Mother Nature of ours.

I finally had to chance to power through a really basic (but beautiful!) pair of socks- snow, or no snow.

Yarn- Lang
Needles- 2.5mm

And I even got to cross a Christmas gift off my list.

But just one. I didn't knit for my mom, I didn't knit for our adorable new nephew, I didn't knit for my sisters,  I didn't knit for my husband... instead, I knit these for my hot-off-the-press-new sister in law.

And I must like her a lot, because I even made an effort to match my stripes, which isn't something I normally do.

So close! Yet so far from matching...

And although I failed by just a few rows, I thank goodness the girl knows not to take that sort of thing personally.

I'm going to blame it on post wedding fatigue.

 And I'm also going to see how long I can milk that excuse...

Happy New Year everyone!