Gnome Hats and Knitting Bags

I started blogging after discovering my love of knitting and reading some fabulously entertaining knitting blogs. This was supposed to be a focus on knitting and my life’s journey, however,  I’ve had more life and a little less knitting. It’s pretty tough juggling a baby with yarn and needles. I did mange to knit my first dishcloth out of cotton though. I had to do something while on maternity leave to meet my fix. It was fun and simple, but I still managed to make mistakes. Small wonder when I have this scenario:

Multitasking with Baby, Cat, and Knitting.
Baby. Cat. Knitting. Multitasking at its finest.

I realize that I didn’t get around to my review of the knitting bags I purchased from Slipped Stitch Studios. Before I begin, a few disclaimers: I have never written a review. My experience does not mean others will have the same. I have not been requested by Slipped Stitch Studios to write this review and so I am not receiving any free gifts. Here we go.

Squeee! Doctor Who toile knitting bags from Slipped Stitch Studios.
Squeee! Doctor Who toile knitting bags from Slipped Stitch Studios.

Okay, so I probably went a little overboard with my purchase, but they have been useful to hold all the projects I haven’t finished. I bought them for that purpose after all. My husband was tired of all the bags lying around that held my yarn and knitting supplies, so it just made sense to buy more. A lady can never have too many bags.

This was from the Doctor Who Bag of the Month Club I purchased last year. It came with the following items:

I also purchased:

These fantastic bags and notions were covered in this fabulous Doctor Who toile fabric:

Doctor Who Toile. Dalecks, and Weeping Angels, and Tardis...Oh My!
Doctor Who Toile. Tardis, Dalecks, and Weeping Angels…Oh My!

 

The travel scissors include a handy attachment with a Dalek and the phrase, “Extermi-Knit”. Get it? Extermi-knit? For the non-Whovies out there here is an explanation.

I haven’t used knitting bags before, but I can say after using my grocery bags and totes, and after searching thrift stores for knitting baskets and finding nothing–I LOVE these bags. I’m over Gallifrey and back for these bags.

Doctor Who was the main selling point for me and the classic toile design cinched it. It turns out that Slipped Stitch Studios uses fabric for all kinds of themes from The Walking Dead to Harry Potter and if media culture isn’t your bag, pun intended, they also have cute designs for lovers of cats, skulls, dogs, even matryoshka dolls. You have to follow these wonderful ladies though, the special bag of the month is usually limited, so you gotta act fast.

The quality is incredible. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I did think I was going to receive canvas bags. Imagine my surprise and delight that what came in the mail was a soft cotton material, well stitched, with pockets galore. Even the sock bag has pockets for all your needles, scissors, and notions. The space available was just enough, too. If it gives you any idea, I used the sock bag to carry a ball of yarn, my double-pointed needles, other notions, and it doubled as my purse with my iPhone and small folded wallet. These babies are right up there with a Mary Poppins bag, but without the teacups, those come separate. I also discovered this handy little snap inside the bag that allows you to string your yarn through and use the bag as a yarn holder, yippee!!

For those who like their paper patterns, the miWallet and miMagnets are a good alternative to folding pieces of paper and using post-it notes. It helped to keep my paper patterns organized. There’s even a small zipper to hold more supplies.

The miMagnets are ribbon with magnets attached and they come in 3 different sizes which allows you to work with most book sizes. These can be used with a variety of books and she even provides a QR code to scan for a how-to video. How considerate!

I am quite pleased with my purchase, my only regret is that I didn’t wait to buy my bags piecemeal. They have come out with some really cool bags since then.

They have held a few projects since my purchase. One of the most recent is the Scrappy Gnome Hat I started for Quinn. I intended to use my rather large yarn stash, since this was intended for stash busting, but the mouse who took up residence in my stash caused me to make other plans, and a great deal of heartache. There was mouse poop everywhere, and I tried to wash it out of the yarn, but then I thought about all the potential diseases like, hantavirus, bubonic plague, and lots of other scaries. With an infant in the house, I decided it was best to trash the stash. I had such plans for that yarn. Now I know that plastic bins are my friend.

So the Scrappy Gnome Hat is the first hat I have knitted. It was so easy and forgiving of mistakes. This was also the first i-cord I ever knitted. I also managed to make a mistake with that one, but it’s all good. Here is a picture of the kid in his hat. Fair warning: you could potentially die from all this cuteness.

Our little gnome.
Our little gnome.

 

Here we are, laughing at his gnomy adorableness. His expression suggests he sees the humor, but not that much.

 

Now I’m working on one for his father. I see a Christmas card in the making.

On and Off Needles

It’s March in Tennessee, that time when the weather is schizophrenic, unable to discern if it wants to be winter or spring. The same can be said for my knitting. I’m completing winter wear and have transitional wear on my needles. It’s been a wonderful winter season of knitting and I’ve stepped into what I believe to be intermediate knitting. I only say that because of the never-ending cowl that involves an eyelet pattern. There is still so much to learn, but I have a feeling that with the art comes the fact that you never say, “there, I’ve completed knitting, there’s nothing else to learn and nothing new to enjoy.” That’s the beauty of it and I am thrilled at the prospect of improving my skill.

March also means the premier of Doctor Who. My husband and I are excitedly awaiting the madcap adventures of The Doctor. I’m experiencing what I can only assume is withdrawal, or maybe it’s my Lenten fast that’s creating the jitters. BBC America doesn’t show repeats On Demand at the moment and I need some Doctor Who in a big way. Regardless, I should get my chocolate chip cookies and Doctor Who simultaneously come Easter. What I don’t get in brain drool and high caloric intake, I do get in knitting projects. Here’s a count of my latest work:

I completed Calvin’s wool fingerless gloves:

Wool Fingerless Gloves
Wool Fingerless Gloves

My first pair of adult sized gloves went rather well, raw fingers aside. Calvin loves them too. When I finished he wore them while he watched T.V. and I would catch him out of the corner of my eye looking down and admiring them. Throughout the days he would remark on them, “my hands never felt so warm.” It’s a blessing that I’m with someone who appreciates what I do, I had far too many relationships where that wasn’t the case.

Another project I’m working on and one that has been my greatest challenge to date is the Canaletto Cowl. The first project I have ever knit for myself is taking an infinity to finish, pun intended.


I had to restart this project five times, actually I lost count, it could have been six or seven times that I had to rip it out. I was making all kinds of protesting noises and looked to the animals for guidance. Felicity was no help, she just squinted at me in typical feline derision and went back to sleep. Motherwell just looked confused and in an effort to help, waddled over, pawed at the yarn, and then flopped down to snuggle. Ada was the only one who seemed concerned as she stood there and whimpered.  I’ve kept plugging along though and it’s probably riddled with mistakes, but I’ll just take that as another lesson in letting go.

This free pattern is from the Tricksy Knitter, Megan Goodacre. She is awesome. I LOVE and adore her work. Here’s a link to the Canaletto Cowl

Another project that I fully addicted to is a pattern from Jane Austen Knits.  Miss Hetty’s Sunday Cuffs may just send me into blindness.

My first attempt at lacework.
My first attempt at lacework.

I’m making the cuffs for my sister. She’s the one who told me about the wonderful seasonal catalog that is produced by Interweave Knits

This pattern and the catalog are so Anna.

I’m also working on a yarn bomb installation for the ‘hood. We are part of a marathon route and I have a utility pole that needs dressing. I have rainbow-colored acrylic yarn that will be a perfect addition to the gorilla art that will decorate Parkridge. Since we are on a time crunch, I hit the jackpot at Nostalgia with a box of granny squares. It feels a little like cheating, but considering we have less than a month to get the installation knit and installed, I’ll just have to get over it. Anyway, I will have the time and plenty of inanimate objects to cover in the future.

I am anxiously awaiting my Doctor Who bags from Slipped Stitch Studios. I have so many projects on needles that I could really use their organizing skills. I’m so excited, they should arrive this month and I can’t wait to share them with you all.

On knitting, and what the heck is a Whovie?

As I mentioned in the previous post my intention for this blog is to have a creative outlet, share myself authentically and honestly, and inspire a few people who actually take the time to read my musings.

The other purpose of this blog is knitting. I’m still a novice, and I know that after 8 months of knitting (I started June 2012), I LOVE this art form. I’m one of those people who sees knitting and fiber arts as both craft and art. Knitting is incredibly relaxing for me. It is a confidence builder and it also teaches me how to let go of control and attachment. When you spend days, sometimes weeks, knitting something only to have to rip it out, you learn pretty quickly to let it be and start over. Acceptance doesn’t make it less frustrating, I started over 5 times with my recent project and now I’m at the point where I’m just going to live with the mistakes, and it’s riddled with them.

I have recently been asked to submit an article for an online magazine that features people who are beginning something, be it knitting, painting, ukulele…blogging. Stay tuned for that article. I will publish it here and it will give you more insights into my over the top love affair with yarn and needles.

I imagine when I first started this blog people wondered what is she talking about? What is a Whovie? I imagine you had visions of technicolor little folk with flowers sprouting out of their heads, little mouse like features and furry faces who hold hands and sing around Christmas trees, and eat roast beast. As much as I admire Dr. Seuss, I’m not referring to Whoville. I’m talking about Doctor Who:

The Doctors Wife: one of my favorite episodes.

This image is from the episode, The Doctors Wife. The TARDIS takes on humanoid form. This episode was written by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. What is a TARDIS you say? It stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space and it is Doctor Who’s time machine. It’s bigger on the inside, too.

Here is the 10th Doctor with his TARDIS:

I love this color of blue. I plan on knitting a scarf this color.

Doctor Who airs on BBC America and was originally on PBS when I was a kid. I used to watch it with my dad, which is one of the fondest memories I have of him. It is the longest running sci-fi show having aired in the 1950’s.

To put it plainly: Doctor Who is a Time Lord, a time traveler, from Gallifrey. He travels the universe, usually with a companion, saving worlds from certain destruction and he is saving his beloved Earth on a regular basis. Also, he is immortal, so to speak. He has different incarnations. We are now on our 11th Doctor.

Doctor Who fans are referred to as Whovies and my husband and I are HUGE Doctor Who fans. To put this into context, we dressed up for Halloween–I was the TARDIS and Calvin was The Doctor. And no, I didn’t wear a painted box as Calvin suggested, I bought a dress and I looked pretty darn cute.

Thanks to Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor) and his fabulous knit scarf:

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Doctor Who and knitting will often go hand in hand. There are so many references to the Time Lord and knitting: patterns, decorated store front windows at LYS’s (Local Yarn Shop’s), and yarn dyed TARDIS blue. This yarn is most certainly on my list of never ending knitting paraphernalia that I want to buy.

I am anticipating my knitting bags in March. They are toile fabric with images relating to the Doctor. They can’t get here fast enough. Here’s a sneak peek:

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I found this great blog called Knitting to Stay Sane. She cracks me up. I have posted a link below about her thoughts on being a beginner. I’ve already started practicing some of her suggested goals on how to move past being a novice. After reading this I see that perhaps I’ve begun to step into a intermediate beginner.

On not being a beginner anymore.