New Chapters

If you’ve been a long time reader of the blog you know I’ve had lots of goals outside of knitting in my life. I’ve dropped small hints here and there but never really said everything out loud because I just didn’t want to jinx it. But there’s a change coming! And no, I’m not having a baby.
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I said last year 2018 was going to be my year of change. I cut off all my hair, I’m turning 40 next month and I’ve made some personal changes in my life and this week I’m making big professional changes. Today I gave my two weeks to the job I’ve worked for the last seven and a half years. These last 7 months have been stressful and on top of that I was holding on to the secret of having a new job waiting for me in the fall. I’m taking my teaching full time and next year I plan to start my PhD program.

It’s exciting and only mildly scary to make a big career shift. But I know it’s a shift in the right direction. I’ll have more time to work on some projects and things I’ve wanted to pursue for years but never had the chance to because work was exhausting. Oh and I’ll definitely have more time to knit. But really this is about doing what I’m passionate about. I love being in the classroom, I love teaching. And for a really long time I’ve felt like being in a classroom is where I belong and my Department Chair agreed with me and helped me make this a reality. This has been a long work in progress for me to make all of this happen and now that it’s happening I couldn’t be more excited about what my future holds.

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Currently in the Queue: I Need More Hands

Have you seen this t-shirt in the Shelli Can shop? I feel like I need more hands so that I could knit while doing other things.
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I’m knitting a lot and also getting super excited about things I want to make so I thought I’d map out what’s current in the queue and what’s coming up:

  • FINISHED: Nothing since the Rose Gold Togue Pond Tank but I’m only midway through July so I’ve got time to create a few finished objects before the month is over.
  • IN PROGRESS: This is where things get interesting. I’ve currently got 3 projects on my needles right now!!
    • A secret test knit. I can only show you the color palette pictured above. It’s a pullover and it has 3 colors. I went with a heathered blue color, a rusty pumpkin shade and then a soft peach. I kind of love the mix and can’t wait to see the finished object on me. I’m almost finished with the body and hope to be finished by Sunday night.
    • A sweater for my sister, Anne. I’m working on a super cozy and soft yellow cardigan for my sister Anne to take to her freezing office. It’s a bulky knit and is working up quickly but I stopped to get this test knit finished.
    • My pieces blanket. I’m up to 6 squares out of 81. LOL But I love how it’s really a mindless knit that I can pick up whenever I’m in the mood. Oh and thanks for all the tips. I totally plan to seam it as I go along. Once I get 9 blocks in 1 color I’ll seam them together.
  • ANTICIPATING: I didn’t plan on it but I agreed to another test knit! It’s due in early September and it’s by designer Alice Caetano. You may remember the last test knit I did for her was Verso. I always love her construction techniques and it looks like it will be a nice versatile cardigan that I can throw on over anything and I’m doing it in a solid and fairly neutral color (gasp, I know).
  • ON HOLD: My Kangarullover. In the corner of my living room I have a bag filled with that project and the yarn for it. I’d say I’m 60% finished with it but it was one of those projects I needed to take a break from. Maybe I’ll try to finish it off in August.

I should also note I’m really wanting to knit my second Tecumseh but in wool because I have a super full color palette and I have plans for the leftover yarn. I also want to make another Guthrie in long sleeve (but still in cotton) AND I’ve got some other yummy yarns in my stash I want to dig into. Now you see why I want more hands so I can knit all the time?
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And in other news, Jellybean is going to dog training over the next month so our evenings are spent working on her sit, stay and come commands. It’s totally cutting into my knitting time but this little ball of sass needs some manners. LOL

Blanket Knitting, Piece by Piece

When I first learned how to knit I did what every knitter does, I made a million baby blankets. I’ve even made a few lap blankets and couch blankets for loved ones. And after a bit of time I started to loathe knitting blankets. But I’ve always wanted a blanket for myself after some of the really pretty and fun ones I’ve made. So that got me thinking…what if I made a blanket piece by piece?

Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan by Karen Baumer
Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan by Karen Baumer

Clearly I thought of this before because as I searched my library I realized I purchased the Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan pattern YEARS ago. So I pulled it out and realized they have a lovely blank chart for you to create your own color palette and pattern if you don’t follow theirs, so I spent a few attempts coloring and this is what I ended up coming up with.
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It was inspired by a quilt pattern I saw on Instagram and I decided that I wanted to do some bold pops of neon colors and ground it with some black and white. I should also note I’m making this blanket with acrylic yarn. Why you might wonder? It’s what I make all my baby blankets with, specifically with Caron Simply Soft, but I also know with two dogs I want something I can wash and dry a million times over and just not worry about it. So I dug into my stash and went with the following block combos:

    • Neon yellow and teal
    • Neon pink and purple
    • Black and white

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    And it will only take me 1 1/2 skeins per color combo to finish the blanket. I whipped up a couple of blocks over the weekend and I liked the color combos, so I’m going to keep it going. I need 81 squares total, 27 of each color combo. And on average it takes me about an hour to complete one square. So I’m down 3 squares and have 78 more to go, LOL. But I also know this is the kind of thing I can totally do when I just need a mindless knitting project. I don’t have a crazy pattern to memorize, they’re garter stitch blocks made with simple decreases and increases and I can always just throw a color combo in a small project bag and always have it with me when I need something quick to do.
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    And Cher has already claimed one square for herself. This is exactly why I knew I needed to just make it with the acrylic I had in my stash. Anyone else work on a blanket like this? Any tips?