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

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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?

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.