More Is More; Less Is a Bore

For many knitters, that headline and sneak peek photo together are enough of a clue. For those still puzzling it out, never fear. Here’s the dynamic duo behind the motto.

Yep, that’s Stephen West s&sand StevenBe.

I took a much-needed vacation day and headed to the self-proclaimed “Glitter Knitter’s” Minneapolis studio a few weeks ago for the “New Perspectives on Knitting with S-Squared” class.

It was mid-February and I was in dire need of some fun and inspiration — and an explosion of color. The Steph(v)ens did not disappoint. It was a solid 3 hours of knitting tips & tricks combined with unfiltered creativity. My favorite moment? Stephen’s unforgettable take on short rows with eyelets, explained through interpretive dance.

What a kick to see so many of their great knits in person. I was particularly inspired by the color play in these shawls. Can you say, dreaming of spring?

westknit-shawlsI’ve been fascinated with the construction of the Enchanted Mesa sweater since it was published and Izzy eagerly assured me she’d like one of her own to wear — a statement sweater with an interesting mix of colors.

So I brought a hefty assortment of yarn colors and weights to the class so I could start on it. Stephen consulted on color and sizing. Then I headed home to cast on and sneak in a few hours of knitting. And play with yarn weights and colors I did — sparkle mixed with mohair, DK with lace-weight and fingering. I’d made it through the sweater’s yoke and was pretty pleased with the boldness. But then I came to halt, knowing it would never work…

mesa-cowlWhy? Well, because I’d decided to let Izzy get creative with her hair…

izzy-squareAnd I knew the choice she’d picked meant that it was time to tone down the sweater.

Don’t believe me? Take a look.

Yep, version 2 of the Enchanted Mesa is now in full swing with a mostly black, white, and gray assortment of yarn.

Who needs a statement sweater when you have statement hair?

Friday Finds: The Unexpected Effects of Knitting

As knitters, we know that our time with yarn and needles = relaxation. No need for a study to tell us that. (Come on. Even my pets have deduced that knitting chills me out and improves my mood.) But if the muggles want to study the connection, who am I to object?

Turns out, they discovered something kind of awesome: Knitting can actually change your genes.

Knit on, my friends, in good health and with a clear conscience! And if you’re so inspired, knit a neuron or two.

Friday Finds: Cryptozoology by Annie Watts

Think this gem of a pattern book has been out for several months now, but I just discovered it today. Since I want to knit at least half of the patterns (3/6, see below), “buy individual patterns or book” question has been answered. But I need your help deciding:

  • Book or eBook?
  • Which pattern to cast on first — Neck Kraken, Bigfoot + Yeti, or Sea Serpent Squish?

Please “cast your votes” in the comments!

FO: Bunny Nuggets

Happy spring / Easter! These fuzzy little critters were a fun stash busting exercise. I only wish I’d seen the recommendation by one clever knitter to insert bread ties into the ears before I’d sewn them all on. In this squishy soft yarn the ears are beyond Peter Cottontail floppy. Even so, I had waaaay too much fun posing them outside in the best patch of returning grass I could find. (Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.)

Pattern: Bunny Nuggets by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: The Knitting Goddess DK Alpaca & Silk (Topaz & Dove)

Dr. Watson’s Scarf

Over the holiday break, I had a chance to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and one of the surprise highlights for me was Dr. Watson’s scarf. Turns out I wasn’t alone. There’s a thread devoted to making the scarf on Ravelry and one ambitious knitter is auctioning off her own version of the scarf on eBay.

And while it’s certainly a fine scarf (don’t get me wrong), my reaction to the movie wasn’t that I wanted to knit one.  Small Spoiler Alert: In one scene Watson stands by calmly as his personal items are lifted by a tribe of gypsies… until they take the scarf made by his fiancee.

Yes, I’m such a dweeb that my first thought was, “He’s ready to fight for the knitwear!” And while I’m still a Sherlock/Robert Downey Jr girl, for one moment there you could classify me as Team Watson.