A Re-Introduction of Sorts

With so many new readers, folks commenting and emailing me questions I thought I should pause my regularly scheduled knitting posts and do a real re-introduction of myself and this blog.

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This picture pretty much sums me up. I love to laugh.

My name is Dana. Some folks like to call me DWJ…some call me that lady who knits her dogs sweaters or that lady that knits all the colors. LOL I respond to all of those names. I’m a digital strategist (I work in social media) and I teach social media marketing at my alma mater, Howard University. I’ll be 40 at the end of August and I’ve been married to my really cute husband for 15 years. We live in the suburbs in Maryland right outside of DC and we have two dogs we adopted from Hart Animal Rescue. Cher a 14 year old chihuahua pug mix we adopted in 2013 (my first dog ever). And Jellybean, an almost 6 year old short haired chihuahua. No children of our own but lots of godchildren.

Sister sweaters
Jellybean on the left, Cher on the right.

This is actually my second blog. I started this blog back in June of 2015 after taking a few years off from blogging. I previously blogged at The Art of Accessories/IAmDWJ about makeup, accessories and tech. I started that blog when I was in graduate school and this blog started in part because I make my students blog and I thought it was only fair that I jump back into it to keep my skills fresh. I also just wanted to share my joy around knitting and felt like I had something to say again. Who knew this blog would become what it is today for me, a great source of happiness and connection with other people who love yarn, knitting and color.

December FO
My fourth the Rain Outside Shawl

I knit a lot. Typically I spend 1 to 2 hours knitting each day. I love it. It is rare that I don’t have knitting with me. I learned how to knit in 2008 and I’ve tried my best to up my skills each year. Currently I’ve been into colorwork and two color brioche – anyway to explore using ALL the colors when I knit.

Finished Comfort Fade
I started the year off with this colorful Find Your Fade Cardigan

I think I love knitting because it’s all about learning new skills and I’ve always loved school…hence why I’m an educator. I’m constantly asked how do I knit so fast. Typically I pick projects that are dk weight and up. I’m not a fan of fingering weight yarn, I’ve knit socks but they’ve all been dk weight. Coupled with the fact that I’m still a fairly quick knitter and that’s how you end up making 27 sweaters in a year.

Carbeth cardigan
My happy green Carbeth Cardigan

I love color. My absolute favorite color is green but I can love an appreciate all color. I have knit rainbows, neons and neutrals. And I totally enjoy figuring out how to take a pattern I love and turning it into a dog sweater for my little dogs. Because life is just too short to not do the things that totally bring you joy.

Durumi tees
Not one but TWO Durumi tees.

And I like to use my space on the internet to spread joy and happiness. There’s a lot of things that weigh us all down on a daily basis but for me, knitting is my escape. It’s the thing that soothes me after a mentally exhausting day. It’s what I use to express myself and to show love. Nothing brings me greater joy than getting pics of children with toys, clothes or blankets that I knit them. Nothing makes me fell more proud than when my Mom, sisters or husband tells someone I made them what they’re wearing.

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Helen in the Tracker sweater, Mom in a_simmetrie and me wearing Cala Luna

This blog in short is an expression of my joy. It’s about all the people and things that I truly love. So, welcome to Yards of Happiness. I’m glad you stopped by.

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FO: Rose Gold Togue Pond Tank

Remember when I started a new Togue Pond Tank way back at the end of May? No…yeah I forgot it too. I got so caught up in knitting my Guthrie tee that I just kind of let this tank fall to the side. I decided it was the perfect plane/vacation kind of knitting so I packed it up with me and took it to Chicago and finished it on my trip (and started my latest secret test knit).
Pink Togue Pond Tank
Despite the fact that I don’t love my arms, what I really don’t love is being hot in the sweltering heat and humidity and the Togue Pond Tank is pretty much the perfect summer knit piece. I’d rather have my arms out and wear a pretty top than try to hide my arms because I want them to look like Michelle Obama’s arms. Hence why this is my third for myself and I’ve made one for Jessica. I was actually replacing my very first Tank, it was a pale grey that had a big old stain on it I just couldn’t get out so I decided to make a new one for this summer.
Pink Togue Pond Tank
I decided to go with a fun yarn I like to use as a replacement for Quince & Co. Kestrel yarn. To be honest with you, I don’t always have a budget for the expensive yarns (who does), despite wanting them. Instead I find fun alternatives. This is Patons Metallic, you’ve seen me use it most recently and in this same color on the Baldric sweater for Jessica. It’s a tape yarn like Kestrel but it’s made of Nylon, Acrylic and a tiny bit of wool. I love the metallic colors and they’re forever putting it on clearance and then bringing it back to the regular line up (it’s currently on sale in the clearance section for $3.40, it’s regular price is $6.79). When you compare the two yarns, Kestrel costs $10.25 a skein for 76 yards and Metallic costs anywhere from $3.40-6.79 for 252 yards. This tank was less than 2 skeins of yarn, I know I got it on sale but not clearance so at most I paid $10 for the yarn to make this tank. It would’ve cost me about $40 or more with Kestrel. Now you understand why I like this as my substitute, but I also like the colors and the drape of the fabric. Jessica has already asked for me to make her a new Togue Pond Tank in the metallic black (black is her favorite color to wear…it breaks my heart LOL).
Pink Togue Pond Tank
The only modification I did on this one was to not do all of the short row shaping (I didn’t want it as high in the front) and I added more length before beginning the armhole shaping. It came out exactly the way I wanted. YAY! And since I mentioned Chicago…
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Our trip was lovely. I did not take many photos at all. My cousin did take this great pic of me with my husband before we got on an architectural boat tour on a beautiful morning. I also took this pic.
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Totally got to wear my Durumi tee while I was there AND I found insanely bright knit Cole Haan wingtips with the Nike soles so I was super comfy walking through the city. It was so breezy and light, loved it! And the dogs…well they missed us. And Jellybean yelled at me all day Sunday and made me carry her everywhere as my punishment.
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By the end of the 5 days we were apart she had wiggled her way into Cher’s bed at their pet hotel and made sure her sister snuggled her as much as possible. They got all the belly rubs and treats while I was away but it’s always good to come home.

FO: Boardwalk (Test Knit)

Remember that test knit I finished way back in May but couldn’t post about? Well, the pattern has been released and I can finally share the Boardwalk sweater with you.
Boardwalk test knit
I know at first you’re thinking, okay it’s a nice sweater but what’s special about it? Well…I’ve been wanting to knit a sweater with buttons down the back and this pattern is for a cardigan you can choose to knit to wear the buttons in the front or in the back. They just alter the shaping a bit depending on how you wan to wear it. And honestly, you could wear it both ways in my opinion regardless of how you knit it.
Boardwalk test knit
I knit this entirely with Miss Babs Yowza (it really is a favorite yarn of mine for it’s durability, softness, the colors AND it has 560 yards per skein). The body is knit with the colorway Spread Your Wings that I bought at the 2017 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and had been holding on to for something special and the ribbing was all done in the colorway Rainforest. It’s really pretty teal blue that I originally used in my Technicolor Dream Coat. I love when I can finally use a yarn I’ve been holding on to and the color and the pattern turn out beautifully.
Boardwalk test knit
I was sad that I was knitting this sweater and wouldn’t be able to wear it until the fall because I love the fit and style. It has a split hem, it has a bit of ease built into it and I just love the buttons down the back. I decided to pick up the flecks of purple in the Spread Your Wings colorway and do varying shades of purple going from light to dark down the back.
Boardwalk test knit
I enjoying doing a few test knits a year. It’s fun to see the process for designers and I always enjoy helping making a pattern clearer. Plus I get a sneak peek at what’s coming down the pipeline! I’m actually working on another test knit right now for a different designer that will be released in August so you’ll see more secret projects soon! Does anyone else enjoy test knitting?