year of making progress

For the past 212 days, I’ve taken a photograph and posted about what I’m making as part of the year of making project. I expected to loose interest weeks ago. I found that by stopping to reflect for even just a short moment, there is renewed inspiration and respect for each and every thing I make each day, even if it’s just for dinner or another round on a pair of socks.

yearofmaking-212days-craft

yearofmaking-212days-food

I recommend participation in this project. Has it changed how or what I make? No. It has changed my mindset to celebrate more of what I make even if it feels like I just keep making the same darn thing.

Please feel free to join in — don’t feel obligated to track the days, or even wait until January. By reflecting on our #yearofmaking we celebrate making of both the mundane and the magical.

daily making, june knit and crochet edition

I’m still actively participating in the year of making project (though I’m pretty bad about tagging properly in flickr, so I suggest following my instagram account). Today I thought I’d round up some of the items I knit and crocheted since returning from Indianapolis and TNNA.

Last week I finished a lovely sample knit (colourwork mittens), IĆ°unn’s Garden by Shannon Okey. The book is available for pre-order as PDF download or hard copy. The yarn is the lovely Kashmir by Fiber Optic Yarns, using both a paintbox and a regular skein (there are leftovers). I look forward to the release of this book, the mittens I’ve seen are beautiful. Here’s a preview with the motif slightly obfuscated until the patterns are released:

2014-06-12-mittens

After lots of snuggle knitting, I finished a shawl, Brickless by Martina Behm. This was knit in less than one ball of Corrie Sock (75% Superwash Corriedale wool/25% nylon) in new colour Tundra. I bound off on Sunday (while crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge), but have yet to block it! There will be better photos once it’s been completely finished.

brickless-bindoff brickless-snuggles HappyFuzzyYarn-Tundra

A good friend’s daughter was born a bit early this week, so I knitted a quick little beret for her. She and her mum and dad are doing well and I hope to hear she outgrows it soon in health and happiness.

2014-06-12-hat 2014-06-12-hat-WIP

I’m also finally past whatever block was delaying a crochet design. Now I’m trying to find extra moments in the day to work on it. The yarn is the very lovely Milky Way from Anzula Luxury Fibers (received at TNNA in 2013!).

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Despite my love of Tom Bihn products, I wasn’t that into my Yarn Stuff Sacks, preferring box bags. Since the arrival of my Little Swift, I’ve been using them more frequently (mostly because the projects residing in my box bags are being ignored). I can say that I now like them for smaller quick projects and storing the extra yarn for larger projects. I see more YSS and possibly a TSS or two in my future. Though one day I hope to finally decide on a new box bag.

afghans for Afghans is specifically collecting wool baby hats and socks for ages newborn to one year during the month of June. Questions? Please visit their site. Note: please do not send preemie hats.

some gift ideas for knitters (and crocheters)

Yes, it’s that time of the year. Gift idea lists are everywhere. I had a beautiful series planned to begin over month ago (a few weeks before Chanukah) that would outline what I thought could be great gifts for a wide variety of recipients. Then November came and reminded me it’s always my busiest month for work (yay!) and here we are almost at mid-December and I’m still closing out November’s plans!

What are gifts, that as a knitter and crocheter I appreciate the most? Sure, I’d like yarn, but let’s face it, I have a lot and so do most of us. I’m picky about what kind and colours I like and what I think I need for planned projects, so unless you check out one of my wish lists (*cough* *cough*), something else would probably be more appreciated.

Today I’ll write a bit about bags, pouches, and storage containers. These can be as simple as a box of generic zip-top bags or something more complex and fancy from a draw-string bags, to box bags, tote bags, and stuff sacks.

pouch-bag-assortment ziptop-bags

Pay attention to what your knitter tends to use most and chances are they want another one. I use the 2 gallon zip-top plastic bags to keep yarn stash safe, but they also sometimes hold bigger projects that aren’t being actively worked on. I need to be careful though because buddy likes to eat the plastic zippers so I’ve transitioned away from using those. I have an assortment of different bags and I have preferences depending on my needs for that project. Please stay away from anything that fastens with velcro.

Don’t forget your knitter’s small tools too, there are quite a few different notions pouches and containers out there.

needle-storageI store my needles in a three ring binder with pencil pouches separating out various sizes. This works great for studio storage but not so much when I’m out and about and might need some things but definitely not All The Things.

I have a Knit Kit and love it (and have surprised myself by not loosing most of the pieces yet, and I’ve had it for a few years now). Tom Bihn recently collaborated with Knitty Editor Amy Singer and came up with these new knitting tool pouches. I still haven’t decided which one(s) would best suit my needs. I think they’re a great idea and if you’re in doubt, go with size 4.

Speaking of Tom Bihn, their bags are very well made, in addition to my co-pilot (that after 3.5 years, still looks almost new), I have a swift that I love fiercely. There’s a strong change your knitter has one on their wish list.

Not sure exactly what would make them happy? Gift certificates are good. Pick one up from their LYS (Local Yarn Store), Tom Bihn (they offer wish lists *cough* too), or an Etsy gift card.

Looking for more ideas? The Yarn Harlot is offering her annual ideas and I’m also adding to a gift ideas board on pinterest.

All opinions are my own, I’ve not received nor expect to receive compensation for links in this post.

one step each day…

I still struggle to find words for recent events. Shadow and I have spent a lot of time snuggling and trying to understand. I am doing what I can by knitting warmth and hugs.

Thank you.