Apr 29, 2011

summer stash bust, week 2

After a poor showing last week, I picked up my needles, grabbed my yarn, and decided to take this challenge on full force.

The result?

Hats 456

Three hats made! These hats used up the last of my Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, and meant I was able to grab from my yarn bucket for the next group of hats!

Want to know more about these hats, the yarn used, etc? Head on over to the Ten Thousand Project, where I'm officially tracking all my charity knits as I make my way towards my goal of 10,000 in my lifetime!

Read in: March 2011

Augmented Humanity, by Ev Bogue
Much less hands-on practical as his other e-books, in this third venture into publishing Ev muses on the intersection between humanity and technology. His premise: if we properly create second-selves online, they can and will begin to free us up to move away from feeling thethered to technology, supporting us as we go about the "true" work of living. Great premise, good words, definitely one to read in chunks over time, lest the text begin to drag for you.

Digital Warriorship, by Gwen Bell
I have been missing the frequent writings of Gwen Bell, and so after weeks and months of waivering, I downloaded her book. On a day when I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and so I read it quickly, without much meditation and thought. I loved it, but also know that I missed so much in my quick read. Am excited to step back to it slowly, a few pages at a time, and let it seep into my being a bit better.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy, by Vicki Iovine
Given to me by a friend, this book is a bit old but still full of great information. Some of it I truly didn't want or need to know, if I'm being honest. But it is the best book I've flipped through or read thus far on pregnancy, as it takes a realistic look at all that my body is going through and will continue to go through. If you're pregnant for the first time, or know someone who is, grab this book and give it to them immediately!

summer stash bust, week 2

After a poor showing last week, I picked up my needles, grabbed my yarn, and decided to take this challenge on full force.

The result?

Hats 456

Three hats made! These hats used up the last of my Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, and meant I was able to grab from my yarn bucket for the next group of hats!

Want to know more about these hats, the yarn used, etc? Head on over to the Ten Thousand Project, where I'm officially tracking all my charity knits as I make my way towards my goal of 10,000 in my lifetime!

Apr 28, 2011

Simple Knits: Baby Shell

Shell 1 Shell 2
Shell 3
Shell 4 


I've been on the hunt for a simple baby shirt pattern for a few months now - since before we knew we were having a boy, almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I knew I'd need some simple and comfortable shirts for the fall and winter months, but didn't want something too fussy.

My Ravelry search led me to the Baby Shell pattern from Carey Huffman {Ravelry link}. The perfection of this shirt was apparent almost immediately.

It has: instructions for short and long sleeves; sizes from newborn to 24 months; overlapping flaps at the shoulders to help ease the shirt over big ole baby heads with ease; and the ability to be customized in so many ways!

I had a skein of light pink DK weight yarn laying around, and so I purchased this pattern and cast on the smallest size - with the rash of babies showing up in my friends houses, the most recent was a teenie baby girl named Arbor!

My only struggle came when it was time to join together the front and the back - and not due to any fault of the pattern! Although it was as clear as could be, it took me laying out the pieces I had knit so I could understand which stitches were going to be knit together and which stitches were not.

Shell 5

Of course, as soon as I laid it out like this I understood immediately ... sometimes I need to see visually what I'm working with.

One of the best parts of this little shell? I knit it up in 24 hours! I cast on Friday at lunch and by Saturday afternoon the sweater was done. Granted, I had an entire Friday evening and an entire Saturday morning of uninterrupted knitting time to work with, but I bet this sweater knits up within just a few days even without that dedicated knitting time.

In fact, I'm so confident that I cast on another sweater, this time in the smallest size but in blue for my little one, last night. I plan to knit it up with long sleeves this time, and can't wait to see the result!



When I contacted Carey to let her know how much I loved her pattern and that I was going to write it up on my blog, she generously offered to give TWO copies of the Baby Shell pattern away!

Of course I immediately jumped at the chance to let you all have a chance at this pattern as well! And to make things interesting, I'm giving you three ways to win a copy!

1. Comment below.

2. Tweet about this post to your Twitter account. Be sure to include a link back to the post as well as one to me {@minimalistrobyn} and then head back here and comment to let me know you did this.

3. Head on over to Carey's Facebook page and "like" her - she's offering $1 off for the first 200 people who do so! Just be sure to head back here and comment, letting me know you've done this.

Comments to this post will stay open until next Monday at 5pm CST, and then I'll close them up and select two winners - this gives you tons of time to spread the word and enter as many times as possible!

Apr 25, 2011

ten things

Foyer nook

one. The one little spot in my house that is clear of dust, clutter, and almost everything but a few simple vases.

two. A foyer that is full of new paint and bright light.

three. Big plans for the week, including another Harry Potter viewing, catching up on some more Mildred Pierce, clearing out some more of the clutter from the first floor, and working away on some yarn-based projects!

Afghan

four. Finding the perfect crochet blanket pattern for our mister, and chugging right along at it!

five. Finding the PERFECT baby tee pattern. Simple instructions, gorgeous finish, infinite possibilities for all the babes I know. {more to come later this week!}

six. Dusting off my sewing machine. We've got a bench in need of a cover and some pillows, and I can't wait to get started!

seven. Knitting through two hats this weekend. Hopefully getting on track for the Summer Stash Bust, and loving it!

Donated yarn

eight. Bags of donated yarn! A local lady contacted me about some yarn that was her mother's ... I've been meaning to go through it for a week now, and will finally get to it in the next few days. Can't wait to save some of it for my charity projects and send some of it off to Trace Jackson for her work in Uganda!

Jack

nine. FINALLY figuring out why my photos always looked so ... blue. I assumed it was due to all the cool tones on the walls in our house, but after trying to snap some photos of our friend's little boy the other day {at their home, in great light} I realized there was a problem. Turns out I had the white-balance on my camera set all sorts of funky! That's fixed, and hopefully so are my photos! {side note - Jack was NOT happy to be wearing a sleep sack!}

ten. A belly that's finally popping out for the world to see! At 21 weeks, I'm finally at the point where everyone around me knows without a doubt I'm pregnant, and people keep saying "wow! your belly is getting big!" Right now I love it ... in a few months, probably not so much!

Apr 22, 2011

Summer stash bust, week one

Hat #1

It’s been an interesting first week of hat knitting around these parts. Rather, an interesting week of NOT hat knitting, to be honest.

Yarn for stash bust

I did not even get my wool yarn separated out and stored in its bag until Thursday night, truth be told. I had my cream skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in my downstairs knitting basket, and cast on a hat with it on the 15th, but did not manage to get the rest of the wool sorted until almost a week later.

That sorting, by the way, simply meant moving my wool from one organized place to another after photographing it all to log to Ravelry. Not the most intensive project, even!

Box of yarn

This week has been all about relaxing for me. I haven’t been sick, I haven’t even felt overly tired. The best I can come up with is this – after a weekend full of football and engagement showers and spending time with friends, my body and the baby decided that what I needed most was to simply sit. And so sit I did.

I managed to get a fair amount of baby knitting taken care of, mind you, and this was wonderful. I’ve been systematically attacking that bit of goodness which is nice, but does not help me along on my goal of knitting two hats a week for Nest: Maine.

I’m not letting myself feel discouraged, however. I’ve got a weekend of knitting ahead of me, and I plan to use it wisely, and on hats. Zach and some family will be finishing up the last of the big painting projects {the foyer and the upstairs hallway/stairwell} which I cannot participate in, as we need to use oil-based paint on all of the woodwork.

This means I get to head out, find some quiet corners to hunker down in, and knit to my heart’s content. I hope to find a friend’s couch to nap on at some point as well. The excitement is palpable, can you feel it?!

So for this first week, I have a bag of yarn that’s been catalogued and set next to the couch, and one hat almost complete. A good start indeed.

Summer stash bust, week one

Hat #1

It’s been an interesting first week of hat knitting around these parts. Rather, an interesting week of NOT hat knitting, to be honest.

Yarn for stash bust

I did not even get my wool yarn separated out and stored in its bag until Thursday night, truth be told. I had my cream skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in my downstairs knitting basket, and cast on a hat with it on the 15th, but did not manage to get the rest of the wool sorted until almost a week later.

That sorting, by the way, simply meant moving my wool from one organized place to another after photographing it all to log to Ravelry. Not the most intensive project, even!

Box of yarn

This week has been all about relaxing for me. I haven’t been sick, I haven’t even felt overly tired. The best I can come up with is this – after a weekend full of football and engagement showers and spending time with friends, my body and the baby decided that what I needed most was to simply sit. And so sit I did.

I managed to get a fair amount of baby knitting taken care of, mind you, and this was wonderful. I’ve been systematically attacking that bit of goodness which is nice, but does not help me along on my goal of knitting two hats a week for Nest: Maine.

I’m not letting myself feel discouraged, however. I’ve got a weekend of knitting ahead of me, and I plan to use it wisely, and on hats. Zach and some family will be finishing up the last of the big painting projects {the foyer and the upstairs hallway/stairwell} which I cannot participate in, as we need to use oil-based paint on all of the woodwork.

This means I get to head out, find some quiet corners to hunker down in, and knit to my heart’s content. I hope to find a friend’s couch to nap on at some point as well. The excitement is palpable, can you feel it?!

So for this first week, I have a bag of yarn that’s been catalogued and set next to the couch, and one hat almost complete. A good start indeed.

Apr 21, 2011

sleep sack 001

Sack 3
Sack 2
Sack 1
pattern: snug as a bug sleepsack, altered a bit.

yarn: I Love This Yarn! soldis, light blue

needles: size US 8 16" circulars.

notes:

I have been hard at work the past week or so, sorting and shopping and plotting for this little monster. He will be born just as fall hits our Midwestern city, which means before he's even a few weeks old he will begin to need blankets and sweaters and hats to help keep his little body warm against the fall breezes that blow through.

On my list has been a set of four sleep sacks, made using my own pattern that is being altered a bit. Hopefully these four sacks will help keep him warm as he sleeps, wrapped in mama hand-knits throughout the winter.

I'm making a few mods, as I said - I am actually in the process of revamping and adding to this free pattern, making notes as I knit for my little boy. The goal is to have the pattern ready for re-release by mid-May ... still free, but now with a button-opening at the bottom and a bit longer to give more use.

This sleep sack contains my first set of mods - body knit to 20" long rather than only 17" or so. Several friends have commented at how fast their littles grew out of the sleep sacks I made them, even after moving the sack down on their little bodies to the waist. By giving the sack a full 20", it will be long on our monster at first, but will be able to keep almost all of his little body warm that much longer!

I'm not yet satisfied with the button band. Not enough space before the button holes yet, and the end rolls in a way I'm not fond of. A few mods have been noted, and I've cast on for the second sleep sack already - hopefully the mods will work in my favor this time around!

For now, this sack has been added to the small but growing pile of teenie little items for our teenie little man.

Apr 20, 2011

foliage hat


pattern: Foliage, by Emilee Mooney {free Knitty pattern!}
yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Nutmeg {1/3 of the skein used, or around 100 yards}
needles: sizes US 6 / 4.0mm and US 8 / 5.0mm 16" circulars and size US 8 / 5.0mm DPNs

This is not the first time I've knit up this hat pattern - I'd previously worked it up in wool for the One Hundred Hats project back in January 2010. That time I used a lovely Tri'Coterie wool, which had been gifted to me for the project, and loved every second of knitting the hat.

This time around, due to yarn constraints {i.e. - using the yarn I had on-hand, and knitting the hat up as a holiday gift for a lady who's not a huge fan of wool} I chose to knit the hat up with acrylic yarn. Mistake.

The yarn {Caron's Simply Soft} is a wonderful yarn, one I've used plenty in the past and one I'll use time and again in the future - it wasn't the yarn.

The pattern itself is a dream to knit up. I love how the leaves in the pattern show up as if by magic as you knit the hat from the top towards the brim - I'm easy like that! I love that each time I've knit this hat I've thought "I can't knit it from the top down; I'm bound to screw it up somehow!" and yet both times now I've loved the construction technique.

Here's what went wrong ... This hat is meant to be blocked. Plain and simple. The leaves explode as you open the hat up with blocking, and acrylic yarn does not block well, unfortunately. This hat, bottom line, is meant to be knit with woolen yarn. Noted, Foliage - next time {and there will MOST DEFINITELY be a next time} I will stick with wool and love you even more!

a note about my Etsy shop

It has come to my attention in the last week that several packages of hand knits I sold through my Etsy shop may have not made it to their recipients.

First and foremost, I want to apologize profusely for this happening. If you've ordered a hand-knit from the Etsy shop and you haven't received it, e-mail me at rmcdevine@gmail.com so we can get this thing figured out!

Secondly, because of this unfortunate stuff, I'm making a few changes to my Etsy shop, as I hope to get a bunch of stuff made up and added to the shop this spring/summer, as well as have grand plans for fall and winter updates as well!

First and foremost, I am only going to be listing patterns and ready-to-ship items from now on. In the past I've listed "knit once you order it" items, and have found that not only do I sometimes underestimate how long it will take me to knit up an order, it makes it much harder to predict when an item will reach someone.

Secondly, from now on I'll be shipping all items within the US via Priority Mail. This way I can automatically track packages, and if you haven't received yours within five days of placing your order, we know there's a problem.

Thirdly, I will begin automatically adding package tracking to all orders placed outside the US. This may add a few extra bucks to the cost of shipping, but for now I don't plan to raise that price in my Etsy shop. This way I can send you the package tracking information when I ship your item, and will hopefully keep packages from getting lost in the future.

I've taken a few weeks off from knitting items for the shop, but have some fun thoughts on spring knitwear {yes, it's totally possible} and can't wait to start plotting out some of my ideas for fall as well!

Here's hoping that, going forward, the shop stays stocked, people who purchase items from me stay happy, and no more packages get lost!

Easter ideas, via Pinterest

Easter is on Sunday, and while we won't be doing much decorating around our house - thanks to some major painting happening Friday and Saturday - I've spent some time over at Pinterest pinning some of my favorite ideas.

I keep telling myself next year I'll do as many of them as possible!

Reeses
DIY peanut butter and chocolate eggs, via Tip Junkie

Bunny
Some Bunny crochet hat pattern, via Emie Grace Creations. This hat WILL grace our little mister's head!

Peep wreath
How To Make A Peep Wreath, via Tip Junkie. By next fall, I plan to have wreaths hanging on our door daily, and this is too cute not to make!

Egg shells
Hollowed out egg shells as planters, via Fun Tea Party Ideas. Perfect for all the hard-boiled eggs I eat this time of year!

Carrot tutorial 009
Fabric carrots, via Clare's Craft Room.

Carrots

Easter Bunny carrots made from crackers, via No Fuss Fabulous. Great for the little mister, and would also be awesome with orange jelly beans hidden inside!

Silverware
Picnic silverware, from Family Fun.

As most of these ideas only take an afternoon or less to make, I'm sure I'll get my act in gear sooner next year and have many of these knocked off the list!

Apr 19, 2011

Minimalist Knitting In Three Steps

Over the course of the last year, I’ve shared quite a lot about being a minimalist knitter. I’ve written dozens of articles, focused on the minutia of knitting more with less, and even published an e-book to that fact, chronicling the steps I took to pare down my knitting stash and life. About a month ago it hit me: minimalist knitting truly doesn’t require tons of articles, tons of thought. It requires three basic steps.  

1. Figure out what you love to knit. Hats for charity? Sweaters for family members? Baby blankets made out of acrylic? Wool socks? Write it down once you figure it out – pin it to the wall next to your yarn stash, along with wherever you knit.  

2. Get rid of any yarn in your stash that doesn’t fit with what you love to knit.  

3. Don’t buy anymore yarn that won’t be used for what you love to knit.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Minimalist knitting doesn’t involve special tips, tricks, or tools. In fact, it eschews almost all of these things. Minimalist knitting, at its most basic, is owning up to what you love to knit, and knitting it with wild abandon.

I love to knit hats. Small hats, large hats, hats for charity and hats for loved ones. Hats made from wool, hats made from acrylic, hats that can be worn by almost anyone, and hats to be treasured and cherished.

While I’m enjoying knitting sweaters and pants and sleep sacks for my babe, and on occasion I’ll branch out to a few other things, what really turns my crank are hats. So that’s the yarn I keep around – hat yarn. Worsted weight for the most part, wool almost always, and soft enough that it won’t itch your forehead.

If I want to knit something else, I’ll buy the yarn for it and then knit it up right away. If I’m not going to knit it up within a week or two, I don’t buy the yarn, waiting for when I have the time to knit the item up.

Knit what I love, and only keep on-hand what I need to knit what I love at any given moment. Minimalist Knitting defined.

Are you looking to pare down your knitting life, find more enjoyment, and find it faster, from your knitting? Follow these simple steps, and then lather, rinse, repeat – figure out what you love to knit, get rid of what you own that doesn’t fit, and stop buying yarn that won’t work with what you love.

Minimalist Knitting In Three Steps

Yran

Over the course of the last year, I’ve shared quite a lot about being a minimalist knitter. I’ve written dozens of articles, focused on the minutia of knitting more with less, and even published an e-book to that fact, chronicling the steps I took to pare down my knitting stash and life.

About a month ago it hit me: minimalist knitting truly doesn’t require tons of articles, tons of thought. It requires three basic steps.

1. Figure out what you love to knit. Hats for charity? Sweaters for family members? Baby blankets made out of acrylic? Wool socks? Write it down once you figure it out – pin it to the wall next to your yarn stash, along with wherever you knit.

2. Get rid of any yarn in your stash that doesn’t fit with what you love to knit.

3. Don’t buy anymore yarn that won’t be used for what you love to knit.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

+

Minimalist knitting doesn’t involve special tips, tricks, or tools. In fact, it eschews almost all of these things. Minimalist knitting, at its most basic, is owning up to what you love to knit, and knitting it with wild abandon.

I love to knit hats. Small hats, large hats, hats for charity and hats for loved ones. Hats made from wool, hats made from acrylic, hats that can be worn by almost anyone, and hats to be treasured and cherished.

While I’m enjoying knitting sweaters and pants and sleep sacks for my babe, and on occasion I’ll branch out to a few other things, what really turns my crank are hats.

So that’s the yarn I keep around – hat yarn. Worsted weight for the most part, wool almost always, and soft enough that it won’t itch your forehead.

If I want to knit something else, I’ll buy the yarn for it and then knit it up right away. If I’m not going to knit it up within a week or two, I don’t buy the yarn, waiting for when I have the time to knit the item up.

+

Knit what I love, and only keep on-hand what I need to knit what I love at any given moment.

Minimalist Knitting defined.

+

Are you looking to pare down your knitting life, find more enjoyment, and find it faster, from your knitting? Follow these simple steps, and then lather, rinse, repeat – figure out what you love to knit, get rid of what you own that doesn’t fit, and stop buying yarn that won’t work with what you love.

Apr 18, 2011

spring game 2011

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 2

Game 1

This year's spring game was just as much fun as the previous years!

+ We got to Lincoln around 11am, and proceeded to eat our weight in Watering Hole wings. Their secret? They grill them after they fry them!

+ Everyone {but me} enjoyed their fair share of Elk Creek. If you ask the bartenders at Sandy's what's in it, they'll say "orange juice and alcohol". What type of alcohol, you apparently don't want to know, but you certainly can't taste it! I was sad to have missed out this year!

+ We three ladies headed to the bookstore after halftime to shop a bit.

+ The weather, which was supposed to be in the low 40's and windy, turned out to be just perfect - no coats needed, and our cheeks may have even gotten a bit pink!

We have gone to Lincoln now for enough games that it feels like my second city - I know where the best bars are, the perfect time to hit the Walgreens if you've forgotten something, and where to find the free parking that isn't too far away from the action.

I'll most likely miss out on games this fall, so it was good to get to Lincoln for the spring game .. and to bring our little guy out for the festivities, even if he didn't know he was there. Next year when we drive down, we'll be bringing him with us for sure!

Apr 15, 2011

getting started on the yard

One of the big issues we've consistently had with the house, even as the husband works room by room to renovate just about everything, has been the yard. The grass hardly grows {because we haven't really taken care of it}, we have killed SEVERAL bushes we've attempted to put in, and i've let more than one pot of flowers die on our front porch.

All that is changing this year, because I have decided, at five months pregnant, that I am going to tackle the outside.

Outfit


{husband made fun of the boots. I don't think he's aware just how often he's going to be seeing them this season!}

Yes, I am taking lots of breaks, and no I am not doing anything that feels like it is "too much". But I am taking this yard, and I am making it my bitch. Over the weekend I tackled the back yard, which is generally seen as a pile of half-dead grass you have to walk through to get to the awesome fire pit the husband built last summer.

Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

You can't see the piles of sticks and dead leaves all over the yard, but trust me when I say they are there. Before we can mow, re-seed, or water, hope and pray, I had to get out there with a rake and a bucket, and get that business handled!

Between 10am and 3pm, I alternated between raking my little heart out and taking water breaks in the shade of the gorgeous 75 degree weather. And by the time the afternoon breezes began to blow through the yard, I had managed to fill two garbage cans and two yard waste bags full of twigs, branches, dead leaves and even some dead grass!

After 1

After 2

Because the back of our house faces north, we have quite a bit of shade to contend with, including parts of the yard that rarely see sun. In the past, there have been bushes in these areas, but we tore those out several years ago to make room for the inevitable grass we knew we wanted to plant. And then never did.

After 3

Once I got all the twigs and leaves raked up, I took to this area. For whatever reason, we had a bag and a half of grass patch filler, which meant I was able to till up this little area {no more than 2 feet wide, and 15 feet long} and put some of it down {we still have half a bag left!} without spending a dime!

I'm hopeful that the thunderstorms we're meant to get tonight will help water this area nicely, as we discovered the knob we have to turn on inside that makes the water come out of the outside spigot has broken, and can't be replaced until tomorrow. Argh!

While it's far from finished, the yard already looks a thousand times better than it did a week ago, and I've already got tons of huge plans for the weeks ahead ... there will be seeding, watering, some mulch laid down, and if I can find some manual labor that concrete will get busted up and filled in with that huge dirt pile! And that's just the back yard ...

Apr 12, 2011

it's a ....

Blue

BOY!!

we just got back from the ultrasound, and our little monsters is most decidedly a boy monster! he showed us his parts almost immediately!

bring on the blue yarn!

spring/summer stash bust

While it's not "officially" summer for a few more weeks yet, I wanted to share with you my big summer project, the Summer Stash Bust!

Hat 2

Back in 2009-2010, I knit up 100 hats to donate to charity. Those hats ended up heading off to Maine for a charity called Nest, and I couldn't have been happier to begin a partnership with them as those packages were shipped. In the last year Jean {the lady behind the Nest} and I have exchanged a few e-mails, and I've consistently looked for ways to help her charity reach more and more folks.

The power of a huge knitting project such as One Hundred Hats left me feeling like I truly could change the world with hand-knits! And with summer approaching, my knitting is once again looking to accessories - hats, in particular.

Hat 1

Nest: Maine can't get enough hats, you see. They are sent across Maine: to homeless shelters, church missions, schools, hospitals, day care centers and more. Needed in all sizes {and in gender neutral colors please!}, these hats warm the heads of folks living in some pretty cold conditions!

Over the next four months I am once again making it my mission to help, and bust through some of my stash at the same time! My goal is to knit 40 hats between April 15 and August 31, package them up, and send them off to Nest: Maine!

For those of you wanting to jump on board, I'm starting up a knit-along in the Minimalist Knitter Ravelry group, where we'll be encouraging one another all spring and summer long as we knit through hats to donate to Nest: Maine!

spring/summer stash bust

While it's not "officially" summer for a few more weeks yet, I wanted to share with you my big summer project, the Summer Stash Bust! Back in 2009-2010, I knit up 100 hats to donate to charity. Those hats ended up heading off to Maine for a charity called Nest, and I couldn't have been happier to begin a partnership with them as those packages were shipped.

In the last year Jean {the lady behind the Nest} and I have exchanged a few e-mails, and I've consistently looked for ways to help her charity reach more and more folks. The power of a huge knitting project such as One Hundred Hats left me feeling like I truly could change the world with hand-knits! And with summer approaching, my knitting is once again looking to accessories - hats, in particular.

 Nest: Maine can't get enough hats, you see. They are sent across Maine: to homeless shelters, church missions, schools, hospitals, day care centers and more. Needed in all sizes {and in gender neutral colors please!}, these hats warm the heads of folks living in some pretty cold conditions! Over the next four months I am once again making it my mission to help, and bust through some of my stash at the same time!

My goal is to knit 40 hats between April 15 and August 31, package them up, and send them off to Nest: Maine! For those of you wanting to jump on board, I'm starting up a knit-along in the Minimalist Knitter Ravelry group, where we'll be encouraging one another all spring and summer long as we knit through hats to donate to Nest: Maine!

Apr 11, 2011

made this weekend

Green squares
Over the weekend I dug into my acrylic stash and whipped up some more squares to send to Knit-A-Square. I've got a box about half full, and want to pile in as many squares as I can before I send them off to South Africa.
Purple squares

pattern: Quad Color Square, from Dayna's Crochet

yarn: Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn!

hook: size H (8)

notes:

I'm using up leftover bits of yarn for these squares. The green yarn was left over from crocheting a pod for a friend's sister, to be used during infant photography sessions {notes on this to come soon}, and the purple is from a hat for my husband's cousin {notes on this to come soon, as well}.

I love the simplicity of this crochet square, and would work these up on repeat for the rest of my life without much complaint to be sent off to KAS, with one issue. Postage to South Africa is a bear.

Instead of dedicating my life to square-making, I've decided to simply make up squares with the leftover bits of yarn from whatever other acrylic project I've been working on ... so far it's meant I've made almost 100 squares this year alone, and I'm slowly filling up a box to be sent over to South Africa to help keep some kids super warm!

Win-win in my book!

made this weekend

Green squares
Over the weekend I dug into my acrylic stash and whipped up some more squares to send to Knit-A-Square. I've got a box about half full, and want to pile in as many squares as I can before I send them off to South Africa.
Purple squares

pattern: Quad Color Square, from Dayna's Crochet
 
yarn: Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn!
 
hook: size H (8)

notes:

I'm using up leftover bits of yarn for these squares. The green yarn was left over from crocheting a pod for a friend's sister, to be used during infant photography sessions {notes on this to come soon}, and the purple is from a hat for my husband's cousin {notes on this to come soon, as well}.

I love the simplicity of this crochet square, and would work these up on repeat for the rest of my life without much complaint to be sent off to KAS, with one issue. Postage to South Africa is a bear.

Instead of dedicating my life to square-making, I've decided to simply make up squares with the leftover bits of yarn from whatever other acrylic project I've been working on ... so far it's meant I've made almost 100 squares this year alone, and I'm slowly filling up a box to be sent over to South Africa to help keep some kids super warm!

Win-win in my book!

on moving forward, and moving on ...

Hello again my lovelies! What a wonderful week off it was! I filled my time with thinking, dreaming, plotting and planning. I went back and forth about a dozen times with a few different ideas, and then went back to my original idea just as the clock was ticking down on the weekend.

Now that it’s Monday again, I’ve made up my mind and am excited to share my new direction … moving forward and moving on!

I find it funny that as I plotted my 2011, while I knew we’d be pregnant and that would bring about a lot of changes, I assumed my blog would become a “safe space” from all the change. I figured I’d relish in showing up here often and blogging strictly about the intersection between minimalism and craft. I plotted some branding along those lines, and have had a few fun projects in the works for a few months now.

And then March hit … or was it February? It was long before the warm weather that’s starting to hit Omaha, that’s for sure! Whenever it hit, I became super restless – maybe you’ve noticed? I’ve shared less and less about the knitting in my life, and instead fallen back on old favorites – list making, round-ups and book reviews. And that’s when I realized something …

I no longer want to be THE spokesperson for minimalist knitting.

In the last year I’ve met hundreds of people, both offline and on, who are looking at their knitting differently. They are paring down their stashes, knitting from tried and true patterns they know and love, and sending more and more items off to charity. I’d say the movement is in full swing, and doing wonderfully!

And as for me? I find myself in a sort of limbo. I am knitting and love knitting items for charity. I am knitting and love knitting items for our little one. But to write more about minimalist knitting weighs me down, steals a bit of my joy, and makes me want to throw in the towel.

It seems self-evident – knit with what you have, knit what you love, and figure out that there will always be more yarn. Simple.



I’ve waivered quite dramatically in the last few weeks about shutting this space down entirely, starting up a new space, or even taking myself off the internet all-together. In the end, none of these ideas made much sense to me.

I have built this space over the last year. What’s more, I’ve blog-hopped for the last half-decade and have grown weary of it. I know what I’d like to get out of blogging, and by jumping here and there, I will never get it.

I want a space to curate my life. To share what’s working, what isn’t, the ins and outs and ups and downs of my life. I want a blog that can be turned into a little book once a year, full of the photos and words and even recipes we as a family have loved – something to look back on as we grow up and old together.

Right now, this is not that space. But it could be.



MOVING FORWARD

I’m sticking here, with Minimalist Knitter, for the foreseeable future. This is something both exciting and a bit frightening for me. Will potential readers be turned off by the name? Will I continue to struggle to make this my home with a name that does not encompass all that I want this space to be?

For now, I’m going to tackle these issues head on, and move forward with this blog and this life.

I plan to show up here as often as I’d like {most likely almost daily, just as I have been doing}, and sharing photos and words from my daily life. Thoughts on this pregnancy, along with finished knits posts, will continue to grace this space, along with whatever else I can brainstorm.



MOVING ON

There are also a few things I’m going to be letting go of.

The Essential Patterns series has worn itself out of me, and so I am going to set up a page linking to the archived posts, as well as share a final “how I put my binder together” type of post at some point in the near future.

Knitting 101 style posts and more wordy articles on Minimalist Knitting as a movement will also begin to fade. As I have thoughts on these two subjects I will of course share them, but it will not be something I force upon myself any longer. Again, I’m going to set up a page linking to archived posts, so that those interested in Minimalist Knitting have somewhere to go.



I’m excited to open up this space a bit more, share more of the little life my husband and I are building together, and the knits that come off my needles all the while.

You’ll notice a few changes going into effect almost immediately – some having to do with the layout, some to do with archive-based pages, and more. I’ll try to remember to announce them for those of you who read in a feed reader, but I may forget … can we chalk it up to pregnancy brain, give air kisses, and move on?

Here’s hoping you’ll stick around and join this fun ride!

Apr 8, 2011

friday photos

i know, i know. i said i'd be back here next monday. and i will be. but first i wanted to share some fun photos i took yesterday with Vignette, the Instagram-like free application for Droid phones. I've been wanting to join up on the Instagram craze for some time now, but the app isn't available for Droid phones.

so i picked up Vignette last night, and played around with a few photos. i'm in love!
Baby hat Hardware
Maggie Poppleton

two different cats {even if they look exactly alike!}, a baby hat in process for a friend's little one, and a husband in the hardware store. i'm excited to keep playing with the settings and see what i come up with!