IS #23: May Flowers

Apparently, a week of busy vacation that involved very little sleep followed by a week of super late nights working on deadline knitting takes its toll on a girl. I slept a full 11 hours last night, which means I’m halfway through Saturday already with many of my plans out the window and a head that’s a little too foggy to come up with a really involved Inspiration Saturday post. So, instead, have some pretty pictures of flowers from Cheekwood Gardens in Nashville, TN!

Don’t they make you want to knit something botanical? Maybe like the leafy Rue de college hat or the Rosebud shawl? What’s your favorite flower-y knit?

Oh, and here’s the finished deadline knitting… 6 feet of knitting in 10 days, even with a midway frogging, is not bad!

What’s been inspiring you lately? Link along and share!


Happy Days

I had a wonderful weekend, how about you guys? My little-cousin-who-is-like-a-sister-to-me (and who is not so little anymore!) came to visit and we had a grand old time. We spent Saturday kayaking with the Fiasco’s family and Sunday strolling through the beautiful Wickham Park and the fantastic Coventry Farmer’s Market. I even convinced her to model my upcoming Beribboned Hat design for me. 🙂 Here are some photos from the day:

These were as big as my head!

We made a furry friend!

I almost took this little furry friend home with me.

This is the worsted weight version of my Beribboned Hat design, which is also the 2nd project completed from my Year of Projects list:

The yarn is discontinued Sanguine Gryphon Codex. This version of the hat is less slouchy than the DK weight version and uses a tiny bit of contrasting yarn knit into i-cord instead of ribbon for the bow. I liked it both ways so instructions for both will be included! The pattern is in testing now and should be available around the end of the month.

And before I forget: congratulations to Lisa from Wicked Artsy, she won the needle/mini-skein/free pattern giveaway from last week! Thanks for spreading so much Shoelaceswitcher Designs / Woolen Diversions love. 🙂

Finally, I received some exciting news today: Malabrigo Yarns accepted my design submission for their Malabrigo Quickies series! Malabrigo Quickies are 1- or 2-skein patterns from independent designers that are featured every couple of weeks on the Malabrigo blog and other social media outlets. There is a call for submissions open right now and the program fills up quite quickly so submit soon if you are interested. My design won’t be released until late January but I still can’t wait! Malabrigo was the first yarn that I fell in love with and it’s still my go-to for holiday gifts and comforting knits, so I’m really psyched to have one of my designs associated with the company.

Blog Fail

Oh gosh, what a busy weekend! On Saturday the Fiasco and I headed down to Long Island to visit my family. We spent the day driving and then swimming and hanging out by the pool, which was lovely. On Sunday, we went to Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island, the beach of my youth. I always tease the Fiasco because he thought the beaches here in Connecticut were “real”. They are not “real”. They are sandy little spits of land covering bedrock bordering Long Island Sound. They’re pretty and they’ll do, but they are small and calm and contained., like Hole-in-the-Wall Beach shown below.

Picture from here.

It is not very large and is bordered on each end by rocky headlands, it’s a good example of a “pocket” beach. But the barrier beaches off the south shore of Long Island are huge, wild, and fierce.

Photo from here.

Dropped by the glaciers eons ago, they are miles and miles long, backed by sand dunes and surrounded by water. That photo doesn’t fully convey the size of the beach, it’s probably easily a few hundred times larger both length- and width-wise than any Connecticut beach. And if we’re being honest, sizes matters. You need that huge expanse of open land to really feel the awe of the ocean. And because it is a nationally protected seashore, there is no development on that part of the island. I didn’t realize how special that was until I lived in places like Florida, Virginia Beach, and Connecticut where the entire coastline is developed. You’ll have a lovely beach with a strip of giant hotels or apartment complexes just behind it, it’s not right! Long Island is not a perfect place by a long shot, but it does do its beaches right.

Who doesn’t love a little map action?

Anyhow, all that is to say that 1) I didn’t take any pictures of my own this whole weekend (bad blogger!) and 2) I’ve hardly knit a thing in 3 days (bad knitter!). And what did I do with my evening instead of blogging or knitting? I played a role-playing game for the first time in my life. I am now officially as cool as all those pimply, lonely, 13-year-old dorks rolling dice in their parents’ basement you see in stereotyping TV dramedys. Except I’m doing so with my Fiasco, my future brother-in-law, and a couple of their friends in their garage and we are thankfully at this late stage of life largely acne-free. I am playing the part of a Native American plant shaman and am having an unexpectedly good time with it. (For the curious, the game is Rifts.)

What’s the dorkiest thing you’ve done today, or ever?


Siiiigh… these goal lists… why do I even make them?

Because I’m Type A and love lists, even when they just highlight my lack of accomplishments. I prefer to think of them as motivation for reaching higher standards… yeah. That’s it.

May June Sock Goals:

  • Maia socks (80% 85% done)
  • Gone Fishin’ socks (DONE!)
  • Lunacy! socks (1% 25% done)
  • New Sock Design (0% 10% done)

As for my To-Do-Before-Going-Back-On-The-Boat-List, things didn’t fare much better. I did manage to rewrite and update my Beribboned Wrists pattern, finish and publish my Fiasco sock pattern, work out (most of) the design for the next sock in my How I Met Your Mother series, and design/knit up most of the secret project I’d like to submit to Knit Picks. However, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish that and submit it by the 14th, that depends a lot on how long my boat days are this week. As for the rest of the list (job/apartment hunting and planning camping trips)– epic fail. For now, anyway.

Edited to remove excessive whine:
I’m getting a bit tired of this research boat, not going to lie. I think I’ve officially outgrown my capacity to be a research assistant. I need to be in charge, need to use the ol’ noggin more rigorously. This puts me in a tough spot, though, because for most of the in-charge jobs you need a PhD, and for a PhD you need time and a willingness to be 1) broke and 2) all-consumed by your work for the next 5-6 years, and those are tough pills to swallow. All that said, I know I’m lucky to even have a job in this economy, plus this is the last round of sampling, so after the next few weeks it will just be 7 hour office days for the rest of the summer. The office days are pretty boring, but at least they’re half as long.

Just keep swimming,amIright?

P.S. I added different pages to my blog in the tabs above. Now you can see my designs, my spinning in progress, my socks in progress, my other works in progress, and my finished socks on their own pages. Yay for procrastination through digital organization!


Guys–I pet a baby bobcat yesterday. As in a real live wild bobcat kitten! I’m still not sure what it was doing looking all angry in a box in the Marine Fisheries headquarters, but it was there and I pet it and it was superfuzzycuteomg.

I failed to take a picture but it looked quite a lot like this little fella:

Photo credit here

Except he wasn’t drinking from a bottle, he was making little hissy faces and clearly didn’t want to be there. I think he was abandoned and then found by one of the Conservation Officers. They’re sending him to a local zoo so he can safely grow up into this magnificent kitty:

Photo credit here

Meet Lynx rufus, the largest wild cat in Connecticut! And I pet one. Sometimes, low-paying seasonal jobs are pretty damn cool.

In other squee-worthy news, I have a sock pattern currently being tested and the testers are finishing up and their socks look amazing and the pattern is getting really great feedback and I’m super duper excited about that and can’t wait to release it. See? I had something knitting-related to say afterall…

Gone Fishin’

My apologies for the radio silence lately, folks! I’ve been spending 13 hour days working on a research boat. I’ve been waking up at 5am, getting to work by 6am, getting back home around 7 pm, and falling asleep before 9pm. Busy busy busy! But it’s a pretty cool job, I’m getting to see a bunch of different sea life, which is neat.

Here are a few of my new favorite fish species:

Scup (image source)
Windowpane flounder (image source)

Sea robin (image source)

They’re very colorful and pretty in person. And the sea robin does this neat vibrating/grunting thing you can feel when you hold them. Biology is cool!

Needless to say, I haven’t been making a whole lot of progress on my myriad in-progress knitting projects. However, I did start another pair of my Ribby Holiday Socks pattern to knit during downtime on the boat, and I’ve gotten surprisingly far this week:

STR Mediumweight, colorway On Blueberry Hill

I love how the simple stitch pattern works with variegated/stripey yarns like this. It breaks the colorway up just enough to be noticeable, without looking messy. I foresee many pairs of easy-to-memorize sock patterns in my future with this job…

Now I’m off to catch up on what’s been going on in blogland. I feel so out of touch! Hope all is well with everyone.