KNIT : Finished Objects

Back in April, I was sent two books from Sixth and Spring Books to review. I made a goal to knit at least one project from each.

From 60 Quick Knitted Toys I opted for the Naptime Elf. I had two skeins of Cascade 220 Sport in my stash. One dyed with avocado and the other with dandelions. It was an easy knit, well written and cute end result. Mine ended up looking skinnier and taller but still sweet. The other projects I'm excited to try are the Color-Blocked Teddy Bear and the Nesting Dolls.
(Ravelry project page here.)

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From Knit Noro Accessories 2, I went with the Lace Beanie. I don't have any Noro yarn in my stash, so I went with a berry and hollyhock dyed yarn gifted to me by Beth (@evergreenviolet). If I knit it again, I'd definitely pick a yarn with better drape. I'd love to cast on for the Cabled Boot Toppers and the Reversible Cable Scarf
(Ravelry project page here.)

KNIT : Little Knits

I think little knits are my favorite knits. They are generally quick and always cute. First up is a Louise Vest I completed quite a while back but don't think I ever shared. I used one skein of Quince and Co Lark in the Iceland colorway. 
(Ravelery project page here.)

The next is a Puerperium Cardigan. It's my second time (the first is here) knitting this free pattern from PEKAPEKA Design. This one is also knit up in Berroco Ultra Alpaca but this time the DK weight and in a nice neutral brown. I upped my needle size for good drape and hopefully a little more size.
(Ravelry project page here.)

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Finally, my current "purse WIP" is a vintage baby vest pattern that I'm knitting up with Luna Gey Celeste yarn. Like many vintage patterns, it was written to be knit flat in pieces then seamed, but I hate seaming and we have circular needles now, so I'm working it in the round. Since it's just 3x1 ribbing for a while and lightweight, it makes a great "on-the-go" project. I work on it when I'm out and about, socializing or waiting or watching TV.
(Ravelry project page here.)

PODCAST : Episode No. 7 : Hello Again

Sneak peek of a new pattern (check back on June 26th for a giveaway!)

Purse WIP : Vintage Baby Vest in Luna Grey Celeste

Quebracho dyed lace

Handspun bobbins full of BFL singles spun on my Ashford Kiwi

Giveaway for the Merrow Set pattern and yarn from Stitch Please. (To enter, leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn randomly on Wednesday, June 21st around noon. )

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! Linda (lmecoll on Rav) is the winner!

One From the Draft Pile : Balance

I've been busy working behind the scenes, sprucing up my blog and site. Deep in the draft pile, I found this post from May of 2015. Specifics have changed but the same need for balance still and no doubt always will hold true. I'm glad that I have found more of healthy balance since first penning this post, but I know it's a constant effort and I always have more to learn. Since it's still relevant, I decided I'd go ahead and post it.

It's been quiet here on the blog. I honestly didn’t have a lot to say or rather, I had a hard time saying what I wanted to say. But a combination of recently turning thirty, having a lot my mind, and this post over at the Have Company Blog has inspired me to write and publish this post.

Over the last three to four years, I've been learning to value my time more. It hit particularly hard when my father passed away suddenly last year, that life can be very short and it’s so essential to make the best you can of it all. I still struggle and hit snags where I know I’m wasting time and energy on things that don’t matter, but I’m a lot closer to understanding and directing my energy into the right areas.

Many of you probably know that for many years I had a small Etsy shop. I didn't run it for the financial aspect of it, if anything, I under-priced my work because it kept the cycle going more smoothly—make something, sell it so I could buy more materials to make more things to sell so I can buy more materials, and on and on. I was honestly in it for my emotional well-being. Then, in 2012, I realized it wasn't filling that hole anymore. I closed up my shop and did some soul searching. I refocused my energy into the personal and health issues that I was facing at that time.

There is a general assumption that people who work from home just sit around in their PJs all day and “have the life.” While that is somewhat true (I can sit around in my PJs and so many times I’ve stopped to think about how lucky I am to not be stuck in a cubicle, and that I have such flexibility with my schedule, especially now when I’m needed here at home), it’s not always as ideal as it seems. One of the biggest challenges is that there are often no boundaries between work and play, work and family, work and well-being. Sometimes I envy people who punch a time clock, put in their 8 hours and go home, back to their personal lives. (Unfortunately, I know far too many people whose work follows them home from the office—company cell phone ringing at dinner time, putting in extra hours or wasting personal time on long, stressful commutes.)

Another eye-opening experience has been the fact that my 92-year-old Grandma has been in a hospice program since February. We are very determined to keep her here at home—even if that means she is our 24/7 focus. She has good days and bad days and we are so grateful for the professional and personal help we have been receiving. I’m grateful for my Mom and Uncle who seem to be relieving me of “Grandma Duty” more often so I can devote time to her and time to getting my work done: outside, in the garden, in my studio, over a dye pot, and in front the computer.

Though I try not to think about my twenties and all the "what-could-have-been's," there is one thing I do regret and hope to do differently in my thirties and that is to invest more in the people in my life, in relationships. I know my work is what helped me get through some very rough patches, but time and experience have taught me that people can, too.  Now that I've reopened a shop, I feel much more comfortable and confident in charging closer to what my time and energy is worth. I'm also learning to draw a more distinct line between work and play--scheduling work hours for myself, not replying to emails when I'm not "in the office" and therefore freeing up time and wholehearted attention for friends, family and even myself. 

For those of you who work from home, how do you balance it all?

KNIT : KnitCrate and Rethinking Color

If you've followed my blog or Instagram for even a brief time, you'll quickly learn I'm a lover of gray and neutral tones. The idea of subscription box yarn clubs seemed like something I wouldn't get much from--unless of course, they were sending me piles of gray yarn every month. But I'm about five months into KnitCrate and I have to say, it's changing my approach to color! I opened June's box and saw this Knits and Knots Tahoe yarn and suddenly wanted to knit a lightweight hap shawl (gray center with a lacy border in the above yarn) and wrap it around my shoulders on early summer evening walking the boardwalk. 

While I do (and no doubt always will) have a soft spot for subtle muted colors, part of why I shy away from *color* is because I'm afraid of it. I've always been impressed with quilters who mix and match bold prints so effortlessly, knitters who combine many contrasting colors and make it work. I take the no-brainer, easy route like I mentioned above--mainly gray with a single, subtle, safe pop of color. Eventually, with all of these beautiful yarns showing up in my mailbox each month, I get the feeling my world will become more colorful. So, if like me, you find yourself stuck in a color rut, try out a subscription like KnitCrate!

(I'm part of the KnitCrate affiliate program. If you end up purchasing anything after clicking my links, I'll get a small referral credit. To sweeten your deal, enjoy 20% off your first order with the code BUCK20.)

HOMESTEAD : Around Here Lately

Just some snippets from life around Buckaloo View in spring.