Storing Those Shawls

Like a great number of people, I binged Tidying Up with Marie Kondo when it premiered on Netflix, and I’ve been slowly going around my house, tidying, asking if certain objects ‘Spark Joy.’ My dresser drawers are a thing of beauty, all folded in thirds and stacked vertically. Where I’ve been struggling (even before KonMari entered my world) is my closet and how to store my knits.  The problem challenge with knitting so much is having somewhere to put all the new lovely wardrobe additions.

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Previously, my completed shawls and cowls were placed unceremoniously into a cube shaped bin, no order, no rhyme or reason. Fed up last weekend, I dumped them all onto my bed and hit the mall.  And this is what I found:

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This container has fifteen pre-divided compartments, and my shawls and cowls were able to roll up neatly and each has a home.  My bigger shawls are also rolled and are placed back into the cube, this time with more order.  I still have some space challenges in the closet, and I think they can only be solved with some sort of new dresser or wardrobe, basically I need more shelves.  For the time being, this solution works well and makes me super happy when I see it!

How do you store your shawls and knits? I’m always looking for new ideas and inspiration! Share your solutions!

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Once Upon A Sock – February 2019

For months now, I’ve noticed a few bloggers I follow posting ‘Once Upon A Sock,’ appearing on the first Thursday of every month, coordinated by Paula @ Spin A Yarn!  I’m a day late, but I’m hoping to jump in on this theme! It’s always interesting to see what other people are looking at, it’s like sock yarn eye candy!

I love knitting socks, and I’ve professed my love for socking knitting before. I always have at least one pair of socks on the go because they are the perfect purse project.  My sock drawer may be brimming with socks, but really, one can never have too many socks to keep your feet warm, especially with the winter we’ve been having here in southern Ontario.

So, with that said, what do I have on my needles right now sock wise? This may sounds super boring, but I have two pairs of plain ol’ vanilla socks on the go. The first I’ve been working on intermittently since October; they started as conference socks, something to knit in between taking notes.  I hate to say this as well, but I find these socks a little boring. I love the yarn, Knitting Fever Painted Desert, with its gradual tonal changes, but I think I’d feel differently if these were made a little more exciting with lace, cables, SOMETHING. I needed conference knitting, and this yarn was in the stash. I’m really excited that all I have to do is kitchener the two and get them blocked.

Sock number two of vanilla socks is more exciting because of the yarn.  Who doesn’t like a good self patterning yarn! This is a ball of Opal doing its magic, and I’m at the point with these socks where the foot needs simple knitting. The heel is turned and the gusset shaped. These are currently on hold, because they will make amazing movie knitting.

I’m hoping to join in on the Once Upon a Sock blog party once a month, but I also know myself and my blogging habits, so I may not be quite as diligent at hitting these targets. For now, this has been fun to do!

Charted.. Always Charted

Next time, I pay better attention on Ravelry.

You know how I love shawl style cowls, right? If not, you must be a new reader. Thanks for stopping by! Well, I love bandana style cowls that look like you’re wearing a shawl, but it doesn’t have the fiddly ends to adjust perpetually though the day. I’m constantly scouring Ravelry for different patterns of this style of cowl, and in early January, I bought the Lace Eyelet Cowl pattern. Super cute, with three distinct sections to the cowl.  I got through section one in bits at a time, a great put-down, pick-up project. I got to section two and was VERY sorry to realize that this section, which is a little more intricate with the lace, Is. Not. Charted. I repeat. Not. Charted. 


I’m dragging my feet to keep working on this right now. I got so far as to play around with Stitch Fiddle to try and chart these directions. Stitch Fiddle is a website that can be used to chart knitting patterns, and I’ll be honest, while playing around on my iPad, I’m not 100% convinced I knew what I was doing, and didn’t have the gumption to leave my blanket and space heater to get my laptop.  It’s been cold here in southern Ontario. Really cold. Like, currently -15C (or close to 0F) cold. Blanket and space heaters are necessary.

So rather than knit using these written instructions, I’m whining on my blog about how much I hate written patterns. I’m sure, in the end, it’ll be worth it and this cowl will be lovely. However, next time, I’ll pay better attention before I click ‘Pay.’

Staying Cozy in the Cold

This was one of those weekends where Candian stereotypes held up – it was cold, it was snowy. My car termperature this morning was reading -20C. Very cold indeed.

Needless today, besides shovelling my sidewalk, I did very little this weekend.  Books were read, Netflix was binged (I’ve watched too much Schitt’s Creek), and knitting happened. A lot of knitting.  Selfishly, I’m happily working on two cowls: Lace Eyelet Cowl by Stefanie Canich, and I started Anguli Cowl by Hilary Smith Callis. Unsurprisingly, these are two cowls that look like shawls when worn.  I’m also fixing a pair of socks I initially made for my co-worker’s daughter.  I THOUGHT I made it to the measurements she gave, but either I messed up (which could happen) or her daughter’s feet grew (which does happen), so I’ve been trying to fix the mistakes.  One sock down, one to go. 

The pattern is the lovely Hermione sock, but because the yarn is self striping, I’ve made it with an afterthought heel, a technique I hate.  I was bemoaning about this a few months ago at a knitting group when one of the women said something that has changed my outlook. 

To make an afterthought heel, you knit the leg to the length you want, then knit half of the stitches with waste yarn , then continue knitting the same stitches with the working yarn. The idea is, you remove the waste yarn and have the right amount of live stitches with which you can work the heel, leaving the self striping yarn’s pattern uninterrupted.  Simple enough concept, but removing that waste yarn and putting the stitches on needles is a process that usually leaves me using lots of creative curse words. Then Vickie said: you should knit more than one row with the waste yarn. Lightbulb went off. Really, the waste yarn is just keeping the heel stitches live for later. It doesn’t matter how many rows with the waste yarn you knit. By knitting MORE THAN ONE ROW, you are making it easier to pick up those stitches and remove the yarn.  There’s very little room when only one row is knit, but the angles are easier to work with when there’s, say, three rows of waste yarn used.

Sorry it’s a little blurry – but as you can (maybe) see, there’s three rows of white waste yarn used which are holding the heel stitches for an afterthought heel.

I tried her advice with the Hermione sock, take two. It was so much easier than any other time I’ve tried this technique. Seriously. If you haven’t been doing this for afterthought heels, try it. Mind blown. 

Happy knitting, and if anyone is living through these temperatures or anything close, stay warm!

She carried a watermelon

A friend is expecting her first daughter and may give birth anytime soon.  Her baby shower was this past weekend, so naturally I’ve been knitting away for her gift.  The mom to be loves Dirty Dancing and has been making jokes that through the pregnancy has been feeling like she’s carrying a watermelon. The gift for the baby:

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There were two patterns for this set:

Watermelon Baby Cardigan by Stitchylinda Designs
Watermelon Baby Hat by Stitchylinda Designs

I knit a few more rounds than the hat recommended, and I think I knit an extra two rows to the length of the cardigan. Otherwise, these were really sweet patterns to follow.

The pattern technically calls for DK weight yarn, however, in the pattern notes, the design remarked that her yarn worked up like a worsted.  I had the green Cascade 220 Superwash in my stash, so I bought two balls of white, one of which was dyed pink in my slowcooker. I’ll never get tired of home dyeing yarn!