Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get This Knit

One lovely photo of a simple garter-stitch sweater from Pinterest

Monday, April 29, 2013


Recently I came across this image on Pinterest:

I loved the simple texture of the neutral on neutral, but wanted to experiment with materials I had here at home, which meant skipping the rope and going with some yarn instead. I picked Malabrigo Rasta, which has a nice poofy texture to it and is rounded, with a felted core that won't come apart (something I was worried about with couching a singles yarn). I also did some of the 'grouped' couching stitches by gathering some Noro Kureyon Sock into little bundles. I feel like this is a really fun technique and I can't wait to add it to a future garment! It is a personal goal of mine to make some really fantastic, meticulously-detailed pieces this year to add to my wardrobe. I could see this running down the sides of a zipper, being added around a cardigan's neckline, or even done in patches over a pocket! 

Here is my attempt at 'couching' stitches: 

Couching Stitch Sampler

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April wishlist

Spring has really grabbed onto me this year. I am mainly leaning towards muted citron and green tones,  accented with lilac and coral for my seasonal palette, and some of my favorite clothiers' offerings have just been divine in this way. If I could get anything this season, I'm pretty sure that my closet would be loaded with Chie Mihara shoes. Did you know that they are hand-made, with every detail carefully and meticulously worked on in a small, family-owned workshop? Every review that I have read for these shoes just makes me want a pair even more! Perhaps someday my beer budget will match up with my champagne tastes. 

This outfit is comprised of some of my favorite things -- color, texture, and a bit of craftiness thrown in. I probably would wear it to work at the shop, or out to dinner with the addition of a rhinestone necklace for a little sparkle. In the winter I could even toss a cardigan over it and wear it with tights (I do so love versatility!) 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Weekend wips

I get pretty lazy when it comes to finishing projects sometimes -- who doesn't? When it comes to knitting, it's usually a given that a knitter has a few things laying around that just aren't quite finished. It's a sort of crafting tradition to have more than one project going on at once. Maybe you're knitting a sweater and you're tired of knitting endless stockinette. Maybe the lace panels are just too hard and you need something you can work on while watching your favorite show, too. Did you recently stash enhance? I find that new yarn always tempts me to cast on something I shouldn't, especially with an overflowing work in progress basket just begging to be finished.

I want to start posting a wip (usually a small one, we'll work up to the big ones later) every week, and then I'm going to try and finish it by Friday of the following week. So that gives me roughly six days to finish a project. Most of my wips are little things -- handwarmers, mittens, a single sleeve -- that just need some final attention. I think six days is more than enough! If the end of the week rolls around and the wip isn't finished (or at least has had some significant progress), it will be unraveled, to be knit into something else! Hopefully I'll have more finished objects than frog pond visits!

If any of you readers want to take this challenge with me, let me know! We can keep each other on track. I will be updating my Ravelry progress bars to reflect what's going on with these projects, too.

Without further adieu, here's todays Weekend Wip:

Heart of the Lotus Ayatori

I have been knitting these Heart of the Lotus Handwarmers for my mom's yarn store, The Sheep's Stockings, in Marshalltown, Iowa. Her shop is always in need of some new display pieces, and these seemed like a great fit with the Noro Ayatori she had just gotten in (I'm ashamed to say that I picked it up in August -- this wip has been on the needles since then! That's almost a year -- don't judge me!) The Ayatori is lovely yarn, super-soft and colorful, and the finished fabric reminds me of felted wool without the work. The pattern is Heart of the Lotus, and is easy to follow. I think the reason this wip has been languishing so long is that I don't remember 100% where I was in the pattern, or what I did with the first handwarmer. I know that I knit only three 'stem' sections before starting the lotus section, which I did a less frilly single repeat cuff on, so I will probably try to decode and move from there. That's why it's important to keep notes!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Personal Assistant

Personal Assistant

I love the days that I get to work from home, like today, and tomorrow, not only because I don't have to wake up early (I usually do anyway), not only because I can knit while I read through a proposal or write an email, and not only because I get to wear whatever I want, including pajama pants -- but because I think my cat truly enjoys having someone at home some days during the week. 

It might be a silly idea, but I get the feeling she actually misses me when I'm away, and on these days when I work from home, she sits in the chair next to my computer desk, watching what I'm doing, taking a nap, purring when she'd like to be loved on, and just generally spending time together. When I get up to eat something or work in a different room, she follows me, like my very own attentive assistant. If I want to, she'll even clear my desk for me (by knocking everything off into the floor! Her organization methods leave something to be desired.)

Do you have a 'personal assistant' who keeps you company at home?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rain, Get Lost! Weekly Spin - Posie

Spun Right Around Posie

I try and spin one yarn at least once a week. Sometimes I get two done, but this week has been a doozy, and next week's not shaping up to look much better, honestly. I was lucky to get this spin done for Fluff, which is a side project that I'll be announcing soon. Don't expect too many sneak peeks, but this just seemed appropriate given today's lack of sunshine in both weather and world events, and how sunny and hopeful this fiber is. I can't tell you what this 150 yard, worsted-weight, chunky little skein will become, but rest assured, it will be excellent!

The fiber is 100% merino wool from Spun Right Around, and the colorway is 'Posie I'. It's really lovely -- it reminds me of the cute little violets that tend to sprout up all over every grassy area in the early spring, and the purple pansies that show up in every flower garden, supermarket and outdoor place for purchase and planting. I wish I had a yard that I could brighten up with some flowers, but alas, we are still living in an apartment! Does anyone know if you can grow pansies inside in a flowerpot? And if they are poisonous to cats?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stash Highlight - ShiBui Cima

 I have a relatively small stash compared to most knitters, I think. My fiber stash takes up the space of one, regular-sized rubbermaid tub. My knitting stash sits out in a 3' x 3' cube shelf from Target, but only takes up about 5 of the 9 cubes. Pretty much, the yarn that I have would fill maybe one and a half rubbermaid tubs, with plenty of room to pop in some of my various works in progress.

The main reason that I keep such a small stash is that I don't buy a lot of yarn (simple, I know). Each thing that I buy has to fit certain criteria before it gets absorbed into my yarn collection:

Do I have something in mind for the yarn -- a project, or pattern?
Do I have something the same color already in stash that has not been used? Why?
Is it a gift? Was the yarn given to me by someone, therefore granting it sentimental value?

Shibui Cima 'UV'

I've decided to kind of slowly go through bits and pieces of my stash that I treasure and share with you why I've collected them. I know that to someone who doesn't knit, this might not be so interesting -- so you can just look at the pretty colors! The Stash Highlight today features a skein of ShiBui Cima in a new colorway from this year -- UV or 'Ultraviolet'. As you can see, it's named pretty aptly, given that the skein is a bright and deep shade of purple-blue, much like you would expect to see from a blacklight.

I was given this skein by my mother, who opened a yarn store in Iowa last year called The Sheep's Stockings. I think that the skein arrived as part of a 'see what's new' package from ShiBui -- she carries their yarn in the shop -- but since she doesn't knit lace and doesn't have a big lace-knitting contingency in her shop yet, she sent it on to me. The color is beautiful and certainly one of my favorite shades of blue-violet. But I'm not sure what to make with it yet.

With only 330 yards, this yarn wouldn't really work for most laceweight shawl patterns I have in my favorites. I feel that most shawls take somewhere in the range of 400 yards. I thought perhaps this yarn might be ideal for lining mittens, although that seems a little bit of a waste, given how lovely it is. The alpaca and merino blend will make it very comfortable next to skin, so I know that I want to use it somewhere I can feel it, not on the outside of a garment or mixed in with other yarns for a colorwork project. I'm thinking I might have to design something new, or perhaps knit it up into a lace cowl, which I could wear doubled up and draped about my neck next year when working in the shop.

I'd be really interested to hear any of your suggestions, too. Have you knit a pattern in laceweight that fits this yardage and description? Can you think of another possible use that would do justice to this lightweight, lovely skein? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I've Moved!

Well, I'm still in the process, actually, but you can continue to follow me at my new blog address:

Please change all of your links to forward to this address! It will still have some knitting and spinning content, but a bunch of other content too, and generally be more cohesive. Thank you for the time we've spent together here on Life on the Double Point! Also, you can follow the new blog and the old one on Bloglovin': Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Welcome to my new space....

Hello, and welcome to my new home at Handmade by Hannahbelle! I know it's a long URL but I can't help but think it's a better fit than Life at the Double Point, where I have been blogging since about this time in April 2008! It's hard to believe that I have even been writing that long.

I suppose my goal with this blog is a sort of fresh start. I have always wanted to be more dedicated to blogging, and with my life in full gear with several new projects, I feel that this is the best time to turn over a new leaf in writing and sharing my life with people who may be interested. I hope that you'll follow me in this new space and grow with me as I share my love of fashion, color, and all things wool-related.

Also, you can now follow me on Bloglovin'! I have never used an RSS reader before but I think it will be very handy for keeping my blog list neat and tidy!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin