New Pattern: Spring Wrap

Ok all, I’ve been holding in this news for SO long now, and it’s been difficult to keep it under wraps, but now I can finally announce to you all that my very first magazine published pattern is coming on 30 May in Knit Now magazine!

Spring wrap is a feminine and beautifully simple one skein shawl that shows off variegated yarns perfectly.  It is a nice, quick knit with a simple slipped stitch design which is very easily remembered.

Issue 22 of Knit Now goes on sale on 30 May in the UK!

Thank you, Knit Now and Kate Heppell for having faith in me and my design, and thank you Malabrigo for providing the incredible yarn, Malabrigo Arroyo, for the project!

Finished!

As promised, here is a photo of my completed Ventura Wrap from my knit-a-long:

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I’m so loving the bright, cheery yellow!

So a Knitter Walks Into a Yarn Store…

Yesterday I had the pleasure of checking out my first Virginia yarn store.  I had loads of time to kill while waiting for the Hubs’ tire to be repaired at Costco and after doing some Ravelry research, I found that there was a yarn store not 2 miles up the road from where I was.  Such a happy coincidence!  It wasn’t too difficult to find the store itself (thanks, Google Maps!), and Vi and I were walking into Yarn Cloud 5 minutes later.  Walking in, we were greeted by 2 women working there.  At first glance I was impressed with the selection of yarns.  There were many that I hadn’t heard of before, and plenty of staples such as Cascade.  I was a bit bummed that they didn’t have any hand dyed yarns such as Malabrigo or Madelinetosh, but if I really want those yarns I know where to find them online.  There were several different magazines for sale, and there selection of needles was pretty impeccable.  After perusing the shelves, I settled on 3 skeins of a squishy, beautiful merino/microfiber blend in a beautiful aqua color.  Upon check out, however, the sales lady told me that the yarn had been discontinued. Knowing that this yarn would be designed with, I put it back.  I’d hate to design a pattern with a discontinued yarn that my customers could no longer purchase.  Instead, I decided on 2 skeins of a cotton/linen blend.  I had not heard of the brand before, but the yarn is really incredible.

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I’m nearly finished up on my current WIP, and am so excited about getting it released!  It will be released later this summer with the rest of my sea-inspired collection.  The pieces in that collection are turning out so beautifully, I really can’t wait to share them with you!   Sneak Peek time!!!  Isn’t that yarn beautiful?

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And finally, if you are from Oklahoma, or have loved ones there, please know that you are in my heart.  This past summer I had the pleasure of staying over in Oklahoma City on my cross country trip, and the people that I met were nothing short of kind, warm individuals.  I wish everyone nothing but the best.

Monday Knits

I was once given some very good advice regarding my knitting.  Once your knitting no longer interests you, or you become frustrated with it to the point that just looking at it upsets you, it is time to put it aside.  Last July I started knitting the Color Affection shawl by Veera.  It was and continues to be wildly popular.  It’s a beautiful shawl and cleverly constructed.  I had to have one.  But why did I opt for the lace version?!

Here is my Ode to Lasorda (I bleed Dodger blue- it was entirely fitting) prior to casting on.  I chose Malabrigo Lace in Natural, Stone Blue, and Marine.  I wasn’t too sure about the color choices once I started the initial striping- the dark blue contrasting against the bare white seemed a bit too much but I knit on.  Once I began the short row section, my patience with the project and it’s snail pace was waning.  Again- why did I opt for the lace version?!   Remembering that great advice I had received all those years ago, I put the shawl aside in a project bag.  The bag got moved around several times until it ended up in my stash totes in the closet.  Back in January I found myself in need of a good road trip project.  It needed to be long-term and easily remembered, and so the Color Affection shawl made it’s grand return.  As did the frustrations that had come along with it.  And so my darlings, it is with great appreciation for the lovely pattern and for my own health that I bid an appreciative and hearty ‘farewell’ to the Color Affection shawl.  Tomorrow, or the next day, or eventually, I will frog it and recycle the yarn into something less annoying.  Maybe.

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I also finished up my Ventura Wrap for the KAL- it looks so great in the mustardy yellow!  I’m really pleased with it, and am sure I will get plenty of wear out of this one.  Pictures soon!

Finally Friday

Happy happy Friday!!!  I hope your week has been great!  Mine started off great, then my youngest came down with a tummy bug.  I’m sure you can imagine how fun that was.  Luckily it was only a 24 hour thing, but still.  It’s never easy to see your kids sick, especially when you know that there’s nothing you can do but comfort them and keep them hydrated.  But now that she’s on the mend, things seem to be looking up again.  Remember on Monday when I posted the picture of my rose bush with a few flowers on it?  Well, I decided to do some late-Spring pruning on a vine climbing our deck stairs and checked the rose bush while I was out there.  The darn thing exploded with roses!  It gave me TWO mason jars full of roses- 14 roses to be exact.  I put one jar on my fireplace mantle in our family room, and the jar on our dining table.  I’m not typically a flowers lover, but I’m so proud of these.  And the fact that they are beautiful doesn’t hurt, either.

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Hubs and I have (slowly) begun the process of updating the kids’ bathroom.  Rather than towel bars, we opted for hooks.  That way each kid has their own hook and they know where to hang their own towel.  We also bought them each a fluffy new towel in their favorite colors to add to the responsibility of knowing which towel is theres and where it goes.

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Two nights in, and I haven’t had to remind them to hang their towels back up or pick them up off of the bathroom floor.  Progress!  Let’s hope it sticks!

Hey guess what?  I finally bought my own domain!  Next time you visit, you can simply type in http://www.mustknitfaster.com to get here!

Have a great weekend!

Happy Monday, Darlings!

I hope that all of you Mothers out there had a wonderful Mothers Day yesterday!  Mine was great- although my Husband was rather peeved that I woke up before everyone and cooked my own breakfast.  What can I say?  I was hungry!  I did find it rather funny though, that while I was downstairs making breakfast his alarm went off twice before he actually came downstairs.  We spent the morning here at home listening to my sweet babies find new and funnier ways to wish me a Happy Mothers day.  Around lunch time we headed off to Fredericksburg to do some Costco shopping, then had lunch at Sonic.  Did you know that they now offer a Peanut Butter Bacon shake?!  It sure doesn’t sound very appetizing, but apparently it’s pretty popular!  I was incredibly excited that they had brought back my all time favorite- the Coconut Cream Pie shake!  Sadly though, I was not about to order that with my burger and tots and promised myself that I would make it back down there before they take if off the menu again.  Seriously- if you have the chance to try it- TRY IT!  It’s delicious!!!  We then headed back home up US-1 which is a beautiful drive from Fredericksburg to our town, and sure beat the parking lot which was I-95!  I settled in to bake some cupcakes while Hubs took the kids outside to play.  A few hours later, the neighborhood kids were surprising us parents with a scooter and bike extravaganza show, complete with a VIP standing area for Moms only!  It was so sweet, and they really worked hard to impress us with their mad scooter skills!  We parents feasted on cupcakes while each of us expressing our relief and appreciation that our children were finally starting to develop friendships with good kids.  Not to say that my kids hadn’t met some pretty great kids prior to this, but having been military and moved so much, they hadn’t really had a chance to cultivate meaningful relationships with friends.  Anyhow, look what I found yesterday afternoon:

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Mother’s Day roses!  Either these roses are gluttons for punishment, or they really are just hardy.  Turns out that I didn’t kill them last summer, and my pruning them back in winter was successful!  Because they came back with vengeance!  They are vibrant pink and so very fragrant.  I’m not really much of a flowers girl, but these are so lovely.  There is a second rose bush in our backyard across from this one which has white roses and didn’t bloom too much by the time we moved in last summer.  I pruned that one only slightly as it didn’t need to much.  It still hasn’t bloomed yet and I’m wondering if it even will.  We’ll see!  Hopefully we get the chance to work on our backyard before the heat gets too bad.  This photo is the area under our deck- my kids call it their “Secret Garden” and I suppose it does have an element of mystery and wild growth to it-

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I’d love to be able to do something with the area, I just don’t know what to do with it, really.  As you can see, grass doesn’t even really have the ability to grow down there, though weeds sure seem to flourish.  Hopefully we can come up with something though!

In just a few weeks I will finally be able to share some good news with you all!  I had the opportunity this morning to catch a glimpse of what’s to come, and I can’t even tell you how thrilled and excited that I am!!!  I hope that you will all be equally excited!

Have a great week, everyone!

Design (on two fronts)

Well howdy there.  Hope your Wednesday has been a super one so far- I know mine has been rather lackluster, but one can at least hope that yours has been wonderful, right?

While trying desperately to keep a rather monumental secret from you all, I have also been suffering from a lack of creative influence.  For a girl that finds inspiration and creative energy in the sea, living 2 hours from one has certainly taken its toll on my creative inspiration.  But last night, something happened.  I was wrist deep in shampoo bubbles and getting down to The Black Keys on Pandora when inspiration finally struck- and Lord did it hit hard!  I jumped out of the shower, grabbed my sketch pad, and stubbed my toe looking for a pencil.  After searching for 5 minutes, I conceded to the fates that my husbands construction-grade pencil was the one to use as it was the only one that I could find.  I was sketching and scribbling notes so fast that I’m not even sure that I will be able to read them when the time comes to use them.  Yikes.

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It’s not to say that I have nothing else going on knit-wise.  Because I tooooootally do.  I’ve got a design in testing right now- the first design for the upcoming collection, actually!  I have another design I am finishing up the sample for; I’ve just been incredibly lazy on finishing it up.   Here is a sneak peek of that one.  I’m using The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering in an incredibly amazing color called “Hope is a good thing” and is inspired by one of my all time favorite movies ever- The Shawshank Redemption.

So what else… oh yes!  The second design front.  So last year we bought a house.  It’s one of those super nice houses in those super nice neighborhoods that pop up super quick in suburban areas- you know what I mean?  The only problem is that 6 years after it was quickly built, it’s not so nice.  And the neighborhood is slightly shitty, in that people assume that people that live here actually have money and things nice enough to steal.  Y’know?  One of those houses.  Plus, it’s in a town that I loathe and a state that I’ve hated since we lived here last time.  But I digress.  So we bought this house.  And it’s nice enough.  But thanks to freaking pinterest, I’ve suddenly taken to the idea that I could actually re-decorate a room on a dime.  Well, turns out that I can’t.  Because I’m the girl that can’t stay out of Target and it’s clearance sections.  But I can re-decorate a room on a, um, $20?  This is my kids’ bathroom:

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It’s not a bad bathroom- it’s got your standard toilet, full bath, and a sink.  But I think I can do better.  That towel rack is on it’s way out, and there will be some fun art work on the walls.  I will probably change out that shower curtain as well.  We’ll see!

Have a great week!

A Jumbled Mass

I cast on my second Ventura Wrap the other day to begin my official Ventura Wrap KAL.  I chose Vanna’s Choice in the colorway Mustard, as it’s what I had on hand in my stash.   The cheery, yellow color is perfect for spring!  So this morning when I finally had a chance to sit down and do some knitting, I went to pick up my knitting only to be reminded of why I love this wrap so much.  You see, I found it like this- a big old jumbled mess of knitting on the coffee table:

A big jumbled mess

A big jumbled mess

It doesn’t really look like much, does it?  Just a heaping pile of yellow yarn and some big fat needles.  But when you take a minute to spread it out, you see this:

Lovely lace

Lovely lace

Quite a bit different, eh?  You see the lace and you see the knit lines and you can see progress.  I see this as a good metaphor for life.  Maybe for yourself or for others.  Sometimes you might not feel like much.  You might feel unimportant or down in the dumps, but when you lay it all out in front of you, you realize that you can see the important things- the things that really matter.  And isn’t that what life is all about?

Ventura Wrap KAL

Happy May everyone!  Signs of new life are all around us right now, from the incredible flowering of my double cherry blossom tree in my front yard, to the new leaves and baby birds in the forest in my back yard.  If it weren’t for the awfully high pollen count lately, I’d say it’s been a great start to spring around here.  So now that I’m finally able to start putting away the winter woolies, but still need something light to wear around the house, I thought this would be the perfect time to knit up another Ventura Wrap.

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I designed this wrap back in June 2009 and it’s been pretty popular on Ravelry, and continues to be the most searched for pattern here on my blog.  I love it because it’s just warm enough to keep the chill off my shoulders, but lacy and light enough to keep me from getting too warm.

I’ve settled on some Vanna’s Choice yarn from my stash in a bright, fun mustard color, and I’ve finally tracked down my size 17 needles (like it was hard to miss those big son’s of guns!), and I’m ready to cast on today.  It will be nice to take a break from my current project- a sample for an upcoming design which requires a lot of attention and time.  The Ventura Wrap is a series of 3 simple stitches and will be a great distraction.

I hope you’ll join us!

XOXO,

Becca