Checking In

Happy Monday, folks! I hope your weeks are off to a good start. In a surprise twist (that should surprise exactly no one), not only did I fail to resist the call of the Malabrigo March KALs, but I ended up choosing a completely different pattern than the ones I discussed in my last Inspiration Saturday post.

Beginnings of a Sundry shawl. Click for project page.

This is the beginning of a Sundry shawl, designed by Jennifer Dassau. I’ve admired the simple shawl/scarf hybrid for some time, and I think the two-color houndstooth section will be smashing in the Turquesa and Indigo colorways. I decided against the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl because I do believe I would like to knit that out of a lightweight cashmere yarn someday (vs. my sport weight Merino) and I wanted something a little more mindless than the Katana shawl (which some knitters said was difficult to track). Plus, the designer of the Sundry shawl is a Malabrigo Junkie herself, so it felt extra appropriate.

I think 2-year-olds are always blurry, am I right?

I visited my little niece-by-association over the weekend and attempted to snap a picture of her wearing the Troll hat that I made. This was the best I could do. I made the toddler size, but am thinking I should have made the child size as this one just fits (I knit at the pattern gauge and the unstretched circumference was around 16″). Since the hat was super quick and adorable, I have no doubt another will hit my needles eventually.

I was a busy bee this weekend re-stocking sold out items for Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. Sandalwood Vanilla, Green Tea, Winter Gardenia, and Fresh Snow (hands-down my most relevant scent right now, am I right? #nomoresnow) lotion bars have been re-stocked, as well as my popular Winter Clementine lip balms. I’ve got a new lip balm flavor coming as soon as I can take some decent product photos (French Macaron, swoon!) and hope to spend much of March developing whole new lines of products, so keep an eye out for those, as well!

Are you participating in Malabrigo March this year, or any other fun KALs at the moment?

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WIPWed #82: Loving this Lace

After the weekend’s finished projects, I’ve been feeling quite monogamous towards my four active WIPs. However, I fear that I will soon be tempted to stray… you’ll see why.

Garnet Tonic:

WIPWed 82: Loving this Lace | Woolen Diversions

VG Zaftig in Kiss of Cabernet, click for project page.

I’m still madly in love with my Tonic Water cowl. It’s what I reach for whenever I’m in concentrated knitting mode. I’m a little bit addicted to the deep wine color and weightiness of the yarn. I can’t wait to wear this thing. I’ve done 5 repeats so far, and estimate that puts me around 60% done. I’m going to finish this second ball of yarn and then assess whether I need to break into the third.

Tropical Traveler:

WIPWed #82: Love This Lace | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock, colorway Feelin’ Groovy. Click for project page.

My January Rockin’ Sock Club socks are coming along nicely. The Intrepid Traveler pattern is quite fun, it’s a short and easy stitch repeat that looks great with variegated yarns. They’ve been good company while I ride the exercise bike at home: lightweight and easy to work while my legs pedal on below. Note that I wouldn’t recommend knitting while biking during a spin class or anything extremely vigorous, but it works well for me on a less strenuous “just getting the minutes in” cardio day. The socks now need heels, though, which means I need solid time to focus on them. Same with the Alchemy socks I’m still knitting for my Fiasco. I’ve finished the heel flap on the second sock, but have lost my notes as to what I did for the first heel turn. Commence fudging, I guess.

Yaksi Cancan:

WIPWed #82: Loving This Lace | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Yaksi (DK) in Shoqua, click for project page.

My French Cancan shawl is nearly to the point where the lace begins. What you see is the little bit of yarn left from my first skein. The designer suggests knitting the body until you have used up 50-60% of your yarn. I’m a little worried about pushing it too far, as this yarn is no longer carried and I’ll be a bit screwed if I run out. However, I know others have been just fine leaving 40% of their yarn for the edging. Basically, it’s decision time on this little lovely, and then it will be relegated to concentrated knitting time only due to the fancy schmancy border.

So if you’ve been following along at home, you’ll notice that I currently have no active WIPs that are in an ‘easy knitting’ phase. They all require concentration, attention to lace, or decisions. This, at the risk of being dramatic, is disastrous for the state of my WIPs. This is when startitis strikes. This is how I have 20 pairs of socks “in progress”. This is the problem, folks.

And you know what makes it worse? What’s going to make it harder to just buckle down and turn those heels so I have easy sock knitting again? Malabrigo March is right around the corner. The Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry is nearly single-handledly responsible for getting me to love Rav so much, for making my queue grow by leaps and bounds, and for encouraging me to begin designing. It holds INTENSE AND AWESOME knit-alongs every March and October and there are so many I’d like to participate in, even though I did not account for Mal March at all in my First Quarter Plans. Check out the discussion board, though, so many KALs! So much awesome! Siiiiiigh. How do you resist the call of KALs?

Woolen Diversions

Books!

My reading of late has been varied and copious. I have never before read graphic novels, nor can I stomach watching the TV show (too nerve-wracking!), but my friends got me hooked on reading The Walking Dead. I’ve never been a ‘zombie person’ but I was intrigued by what I heard from the Fiasco about the storyline and was interested enough to read it. It’s pretty good, basically a gory soap-opera, but I’m invested now and I can let my eyes skim over the really gross bits if necessary.

And then since doing our taxes, I’ve been focused on setting up a solid bookkeeping system and good business practices for Sweet Sheep. I heartily recommend the Etsy-preneurship book. It was helpful enough that the accountant we went to was actually impressed that I knew my shit. Since I’ve never taken a business class, it was really great to have someone (in book form) be essentially like “here’s a good way to do this” and to have confirmation that what I was doing was right. I am less enthralled with the Grow Your Handmade Business book. It’s not terrible, and I’m only halfway through, but the first half was basically all about your feelings as an entrepreneur and how awesome it is to be living your dream job. The starry-eyed hopeful bit doesn’t really speak to me, and quitting my day job is not currently my goal, but the book is now getting into more details about writing a business plan and whatnot, so I’m hoping it’ll have some useful tips later on.

Linking up with Small Things this week.