Knitting

JULY 6-8 – Currently Making, Speed, Community

Currently Making

I’ve got lots going on in my knitting life right now, some of which I consider “in progress” even though I haven’t technically started them yet.

But first, lets go over what’s on my needles. I’m working on the Flora Sol by Audrey Borrego. I am absolutely in love with this project. The pattern is gorgeous and super well written, and the shawl itself is turning out even better than I’d hoped. I’m doing it in red and gold yarn, so I’m making it my Gryffindor shawl! I know why JK Rowling picked these colors for Gryffindor house, too, because they look stunning together. There’s a part of the project that is striped, and I can’t help but smile every time I look at it.

I’m also still working on a pair of mitts. I really should have them done by now, they’re not a difficult project at all and they’re super small, but I just haven’t gotten around to casting on the second one. Can you have Second Sock Syndrome with mittens?

And, of course, my scrappy blanket is ongoing. It’s honestly one of my favorite projects, and I love working on it. But even if I crochet some every single day (which I pretty much do), this is one project that’s going to take a very long time.

So, then, what are some projects that I consider in progress that I haven’t actually started yet?

My wedding shawl, for one. I’ve caked up some yarn and have picked out some lacy patterns I think I want to use, but I need to swatch. I hate swatching. It’s super important for this project, though, so I absolutely have to do it before I really get started.

The other thing I’m kind of working on is another scrappy blanket. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’m going to make a second blanket out of the minis that I get from Bumblebee Acres in my advent calendar, and I finally did the math for it! I actually found it really fun, and I figured out that I can make a throw sized blanket out of all seven years worth of yarn. Now I just need to cast on! Oh, and wait for the next 6 Christmases.

Speed

I am not a fast knitter.

I’m not very fast at most things, actually. In school I was a slow test taker, I’m a slow reader, a slow crocheter, a slow runner. In general, it’s never bothered me, but it sure is a pain when it comes to crafting, especially when you’re on a deadline!

The only reason that I get projects done in anything like a timely manner is because I set goals for myself and commit to knitting certain amounts every day. I’m not doing that currently (hence why I still have a pair of mitts on the needles), but when it comes down to the wire I love coming up with schedules. Figuring out how many rows I need to knit, which days I can take a break, when I need to be most productive in my knitting, that’s all quite fun for me!

The problem with those schedules is when I push myself too much. I love to “overachieve,” so I’ll often set myself a perfectly reasonable goal and then feel the need to do even more than what I’ve set myself. Which isn’t always good for my wrists and elbows.

I’m sure that I could knit faster if I really committed myself to learning how to purl better (as mentioned in a previous post), but I’m ok for now going at my slow and steady pace. And who knows, maybe I’ll just get faster with experience.

Community

I love the knitting/crafting community. I love it at large, but in particular I love the smaller aspects of the community as well.

Ravelry and Instagram are both great resources and great places to go to interact with and be part of the community. It’s awesome how these places can connect people across continents and across oceans!

But my favorite part of the knitting community are the smaller circles. My local yarn shop, for example, which is a place I love to support. Even more so, though, is my little community of knitters that make up the knitting club that I go to. We’re 5-10 women who get together every week and just sit and chat while we knit. For most of the other women in the group, it’s a chance to spend some quality time away from the kids with some fellow adults, and for me it creates a fun and engaging reason to get out of the house.

FibreShare, which I sadly didn’t get to do this year, is a great blend of the larger community and the smaller connections that knitting affords us. It creates connections between individuals in the community that remind us just how vast our network of fellows can be! Last year, I was matched with someone from Canada and someone from Denmark, and it really brought home for me how far-reaching our craft can be.

Knitting

JULY 5 – Close-up

This is a difficult one, but I guess I could technically call this a “close-up” of some of my thoughts today.

I spent a couple hours today taking measurements of my current scrappy blanket (which is coming along very nicely, thank you very much) and trying to figure out the math to estimate how much yarn I’d need to make another one. Specifically, I wanted to know what size blanket I could make with all my future advent calendars from Bumblebee Acres Farm.

I think I’ve mentioned before on this blog, but in case I haven’t, I absolutely love Christmas. And recently one of my favorite parts of Christmas has become advent calendars. This actually started with a Bumblebee Acres advent calendar! Two years ago, in 2017, I purchased a Downton Abbey advent calendar from them, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

Last year, though, they really got me. Because last year I ordered their Harry Potter package, and all the yarns throughout the month were based on the first book. Then I found out that this year’s calendar is going to be the second book. And the year after that it’ll be the third book! Then after that it’ll be based on the houses, but- No, I’m just kidding! They’re going to do all seven books in the next several years, and I’m simply going to have to collect all of them!

Originally I was going to put this year’s advent calendar in my blanket along side all the other mini skeins I’ve been buying recently, but then Taylor suggested that if they’re going to do all seven years, I could just make one entirely Harry Potter themed scrappy blanket!

The other day I finally contacted the people at Bumblebee Acres to make sure that they were intending to do the full seven book series (they are!), and today I got to planning my blanket. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make another queen size blanket, even though seven years worth of advent calendars is certainly a lot of yarn! So I did my measurements and mathed my way into figuring out that I could make a pretty standard sized throw blanket.

I’m going to have to tell my old math teacher that all those word problems he always made us do were actually really valuable…

Knitting

July 4 – Introductions

Well I’ve already made a mistake this month, clearly, because this and my last post have nearly the same name! It didn’t even occur to me that the first topic for the month was “introductions,” while the first post I made for the month was an “intro” for the month.

But ok, here we go. I haven’t done an introduction of myself in some time, if ever, I think we’re due for one.

My name is Emma. I go by EmmiLou pretty much everywhere on the internet. EmmiLou____, I should say. Whether that’s EmmiLouWho, EmmiLouKnits or, in the case of my Pokemon Go username, LassEmmiLou.

The nickname comes from my grandfather, who sadly passed away when I was still a teenager. He had nicknames for all of his grandchildren (13 of us in total!). Because my middle name is Louise, my grandpa would call me EmmiLou or EmmiLouWho (like the Who’s down in Whoville).

I’ve been blogging on an off pretty much since high school (but what high school student in the mid- to late-2000s didn’t have a blog). I gave it up for a long time, but then I dropped out of graduate school in Paris, and I felt so lost. I used my blog The Life of a Grad School Dropout as a creative outlet and as a way to take back a title that I feared so many would see as a failure. It took me a while, but eventually I came to be very proud of having dropped out of school. It was a difficult choice to make, but I know that it was what was best for me.

As many of you will know, I started this blog – Sweater Weather – when I became determined to knit my first sweater. I posted almost everyday on my progress on that sweater, and it really helped me get through it. This blog now is still mostly knitting content, but as I did in May, I’ll occasionally veer off in other directions from time to time.

Knitting

JULY – Intro

So we’re going to keep rolling on these “word a day” blog posts. I know that I’m a little late here, but what’s new!

This month, I’m taking my words from the Yarn Love Challenge on Instagram. This photo challenge – one picture every day in February (and sometimes other months as well) – has been going on since 2017, but I’ve only participated once, in February of 2018. So I thought, well, I need words, I’ll just use the ones from this challenge! This month I’ll be taking on the very first Yarn Love Challenge posted on the official Instagram page, from February of 2017.

Because the challenge took place in February, there’s only 28 words on their list. Therefore, I’m going to take this opportunity to take a (very) small break from posting these blogs.

I’ll be officially starting this month on July 4th.

The words are as follows:

  1. Introductions
  2. Close-Up
  3. Currently Making
  4. Speed
  5. Community
  6. Mistakes
  7. Stripes
  8. Where I Craft
  9. Tools
  10. Oldest Stash
  11. Travel Projects
  12. Progress
  13. Selfie
  14. Yarn Love
  15. Family
  16. Happy Color
  17. Fiber Friends
  18. Gratitude
  19. On the Go
  20. Handmade Home
  21. Library
  22. Currently Wearing
  23. Throwback
  24. Favorite Tip
  25. Routine
  26. Newest Stash
  27. Blocking
  28. Favorite Thing I’ve Made
Knitting

JUNE 30 – Yarn

To say that I adore yarn would be an understatement. I would say that I think about yarn at least 3 times every day – whether it’s the yarn that I have, the yarn the I want to buy, the yarn that I’m working with, or just yarn that I like to dream about, it’s something that I think about all the time.

I am, of course, rather picky about my yarn. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a yarn snob. My budget isn’t happy about it, but I just can’t help it.

I just want to say that, of course, I might be a yarn snob, but I don’t judge other people for their yarn choices. Some people simply don’t know any better (as I didn’t many years ago), some people can’t afford to be a yarn snob, and some people just don’t care. And that’s ok! I’ll still ooh and aah over your yarn if I think it’s soft and the colors are pretty. I’ll congratulate you on what a deal you got when you bought 3 pounds of Redheart from Joann’s for $8. But I’m also going to look forward to my fiber festivals, where I’ll be supporting indie dyers and spending $30 on a single skein of yarn.

Right now, I think my favorite skein of yarn that I’ve got in my stash is by an indie dyer called Shirsty Cat Designs. It’s something that’s actually a little outside me usual purchase, being a pretty light variegated color. It’s got creams and light purples and subtle orangey hues to it, and I cannot wait to knit it into a pair of Clark Socks, just as soon as my budget allows me to purchase the pattern.