FO: A Rye Tie for a Wood Pencil

I made another Rye tie last week. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many men I know want a hand knit tie once they’ve seen one.
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This time though I made this tie for my friend Brian as a way to barter for one of his handmade wood pens for my husband.
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Well in this case it was actually a black and white ebony wood mechanical pencil! Isn’t it beautiful? You may remember when Brian gifted me one of his first wood pens he had ever made. I keep it with a special journal I have at home because I don’t want it to get lost in my purse or someone walk away with it at work. Kendell already had a gorgeous pen (which he immediately took to work before I could even photograph it) but asked Brian if he could make a pencil to go with it and he could! Since Brian had already seen my knit ties he asked if I’d be willing to make him one as a trade for a pencil. Done!
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And this time around I listened to what previous tie owners told me, that the tie needs a bar on the back to slip their ends through. I picked up a few stitches on the backside and was able to make a neat bar that you can’t notice from the front. I still had a full skein of Cascade Venezia Worsted in my stash that I like to use for these (this is the third tie I’ve made using this yarn) and Brian picked out this gorgeous deep green shade. This is a wool and silk blend that gives the tie a really great drape to it. I can’t wait to see him all dressed up with it, he’s a pretty dapper guy.

Reminder, this is a free tie pattern and I highly recommend you add it to your library. It’s a quick knit that you can make for any guy friend around the holidays. And if you’re interested in one of Brian’s handmade pens, check out his website.

A Reason to Knit

People are always fascinated by my knitting. But typically non-knitters who engage me in conversation about it inevitably get around to asking me if I can a. make them something or b. can they buy something from me? Sigh…but it’s always people who knit or know someone who knits that ask me why I knit. I got caught up in a long conversation about it the other day and thought I’d share my thoughts and would love to hear your reasons why as well.
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Usually the first reason I give for why I knit is joy. I named this blog Yards of Happiness for a reason, when I knit it makes me happy. It destresses me when work and life are a bit too hectic. I’m elated when I figure out a pattern, a new stitch or give someone a gift and you can see they truly love it. My girlfriend Rachel got the box with the two doggies in it for her kids on Tuesday and when I was packing them up I text her this pic and told her I was a little sad to see them go after spending time with them. I mean I made them, sometimes it’s hard to let a finished object go.
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She wrote back, “They will join a well-cared-for bunch of rotating visitors in Jacob’s bed. They will also learn to play ‘school’ and get books read to them. Leah will put them over her shoulder and say ‘pat,pat’ (which she did in a video she sent me). They will go on car trips and subway rides. Watch Disney movies. We will give them a good home.”

Well damn that made me almost cry. And that’s why I knit. I get to make something for someone I love to share with someone she loves the most in the world. She even sent me videos of them opening the box and her 4 year old read the card out loud. It was the best.
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My secondary reason to knit is for myself. I’m not a person who talks about the whole slow fashion movement because I don’t exactly know where I fit in it and I never feel like I’m slow. LOL But I have started to buy less when I know I can make myself something instead. I said about 2 years ago that my goal was that all the sweaters in my closet would eventually be hand knit. I’m slowly getting there. Last year I focused more on knitting things for myself and less on others. Despite my extended family that asks me all the time for hats, scarves, ties and sweaters I don’t feel bad putting their requests to the side when I’m working on something for myself to add to my wardrobe. I’m trying my best to build a thoughtful collection of things in quality yarn that will last me for a while and will be timeless but still match my style and personality. And in between all of that I’ll knit a gift or two but for now my focus is really on me and what I want and need to add to my wardrobe.

So now I’m asking you, why do you knit? 

FO: Scrappy Little Things

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You might be wondering what this is…such a tiny little finished object. Well when I finished knitting the neon pink toy dog the other day I had just the tiniest bit of yarn leftover from the skein. What to make with it? I’m often left with scraps that I put in a big glass bell jar and use for swatching.
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But this time I turned it into a tiny bandana cowl for Jellybean. She looks so regal here. LOL
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In the span of about 40 minutes I cast on 41 stitches and whipped this baby up. Even did some short row shaping to get a point. It’s similar to this style of cowl I’ve made for non-dogs and myself before. But really it’s because I’ve been watching the Short Row Shaping mini course on Craftsy (it’s free) to really understand short rows better and to be able to do more in my sweater knitting. I’ve got lots of ideas swirling around in my head and just need the time to learn and test knit a lot. So that’s what I spend my free time doing. What new techniques are you trying to learn?