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Finished Object Lifestyle Seasonal

DIY Crochet Yoga Strap

June 22, 2017
DIY Crochet Yoga Strap

Do you ever wake up with the attitude, “I’m going to be healthy today”? Like, you’re ready to work out and hydrate and eat healthy and use soap made out of goat’s milk and stuff. Last weekend we had one of those days. We woke up early-ish and proceeded to go to the McKinney Farmers Market in Chestnut Square. If you’re in the area and you’ve never been to the McKinney Farmers Market, you should go! It’s in a little old historical section of town among all these cute old buildings and a wedding chapel. It is also where The Hubs and I got engaged (Though not during the farmers market, that would have been way to much of an audience!).

DIY Crochet Yoga Strap 1

After a long morning at the Farmers Market, at which we bought some excellent okra, The Hubs and I went to check out the local Yoga Fest near our apartment. Admission was free if you registered in advance, so we figured that we would check it out. The registration specified, however, that you must bring your own yoga mat.

While The Hubs and I have our own yoga mats, they’ve never…umm…been to yoga. They sit in a basket looking healthy while we do yoga on the carpet. We’ve never taken a yoga class, thanks to youtube, so they never really seemed worth it. However, it seemed the we were going to have to take them for a spin at the Yoga Fest. That meant I had to think about how to carry them.

Enter the crochet yoga strap!

DIY Crochet Yoga Strap

There are several very helpful and quick patterns for crocheted yoga straps on Pinterest and Ravelry. I ended up using this one. I used a worsted weight yarn held double and each strap took me maybe 10 – 20 minutes total. I braided the ends of the yarn instead of weaving them in because I’m lazy and I hate finishing. I may add some more tassels and beads later on to spruce them up. Then I tried them on our mats and they worked beautifully!

I was afraid that the straps would slip off the yoga mats and be hard to use but they were great. I even got a few compliments on how clever they were, though that may have been because some women wanted to sell me some doTerra…

We didn’t end up staying a the Yoga Fest very long, but I have my eye on a few other yoga events in the future. There’s a yoga studio in downtown McKinney that offers free community yoga on Saturdays at Tupps Brewery. There’s also Saturday morning yoga available at Klyde Warren Park! I don’t know if I’ll have any more healthy feeling Saturdays up my sleeve, but if I do, I’ll be ready thanks to my new yoga strap!

Finished Object Knitting

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

June 15, 2017
Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The first project of my Summer Knitting List is complete! Meet Elijah! Elijah is made following the pattern by the same name by the great Ysolda Teague! Seriously, she is one of my favorite designers. Everything she makes is so whimsical and elegant. And yes, an elephant can be elegant.

Elijah was made to be a baby warming gift for my new niece, who will be born this summer. I am throwing a baby shower and I couldn’t resist a good pink elephant theme. I can’t help it! Elephants are simultaneously cute and smart and kind, which is what I hope this new baby will be.

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The Pattern

Ysolda’s methods are so clever that I’m always wonderfully surprised at how her patterns turn out. I’m not a very visual thinker, so I don’t always see where she’s going with her instructions. But then, a turn or a flip or something and it all comes together and I’m like, “oooooh, that’s what she was doing!”

Elijah, as a stuffed animal, is a little more complex than your typical hat or shawl, but it’s really more labor intensive than it is difficult. It does feature short rows in the ears, so if those bother you, beware! There’s also a lot of pick up stitches, which I don’t always enjoy. The diagrams on this pattern are very clear however, and let you know exactly what to do. That being said, I think I picked up the stitches for the ears about 6 times, because I didn’t like the angle. That was user error though, not the pattern.

The other thing to note about this pattern is that it does rely on double pointed needles, which are…not my favorite. I ended up switching to circular needles as soon as possible on the arms and legs. This may also have been due to the fact that I could not find a whole set of my DPNs at once…

The finishing on this pattern is where things have the tendency to look wonky. I still may redo my french knot eyes. I’m not super experienced in embroidery, so one of the eyes looks a little funny to me. Also, when stuffing, be careful not to stuff TOO firmly. The head and body can be stuffed pretty tight, but the arms and legs should be looser to flop around, otherwise your elephant won’t be able to sit down!

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The Yarn

The yarn I used to this was a heavier weight than what was called for in the pattern (which calls for DK). I used Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Hand Dyed in my favorite color: Liptstick! Because speckles are a thing right now and I love them. The yarn stood up pretty well to the pattern, but did get a little splitty when using the smaller DPNs. Nothing to cause major issues, though. I just had to slow down and pay attention. I also appreciate that this yarn is superwash, because this is going to be a gift for a baby, and you know it’s going to need a bath at least once in it’s life!

Overall, this was a very satisfactory knit. It was made with a pattern I love, from a designer that I love, using a yarn that I love. Can’t get any better than that! Have you ever knit a toy before? How did your experience go?

Knitting Lifestyle Seasonal

2017 Summer Knitting List

May 25, 2017
2017 Summer Knitting List

I don’t know about you, but summer seems to have an expectant sort of feel to it. Those longer days really make a difference. They make me feel like I can get more accomplished. I’ve been inspired by everyone’s summer reading lists (and have made one of my own), but it also made me think about my summer knitting list. I’m planning to participate in two great knitalongs; one in June and the other in July. These will be my first KALs, so I’m pretty darn excited. I’ve also got a few other projects in the works (you know, because people keep making babies). I’ve got high hopes for this summer, so lets hope I can hang on to my productivity. Without further ado, here is my modestly compiled 2017 Summer Knitting List! 

2017 Summer Knitting List - Elijah

Elijah

Isn’t this the cutest pattern? Ysolda Teague is one of my favorite designers and Elijah is one of my favorite patterns of hers. I’ve knit Elijah a few times before; always as a baby gift. I think it’s perfect. Cute, sturdy, and choking hazard free. Plus, I just love elephants. The only bummer is that it requires the use of double pointed needles. Like really, you can’t use circs. I’ve tried. (I do, however, switch to circular needles whenever possible.) This time, instead of going with the regular greyish-blue that I always use, I’m using a speckled pink! I’m really excited with how it’s turning out. And yes, I do keep singing Pink Elephants of Parade from Dumbo while I’m knitting…

2017 Summer Knitting List - Tegna

Tegna

Doesn’t this sweater just make you want to go take a long walk in nature? The sweater is Tegna, by Caitlin Hunter.  It’s going to be my very first knit along! I’m thinking of a slightly cropped version (not too cropped, I don’t have any high waisted pants..) knit in Quince and Co. Finch in Honey. I’ve always loved that colorway and I have just enough yarn to make it work. It looks like such a cute and versatile top, and I haven’t worked on a sweater in ages, so I’m eager to get started. 

2017 Summer Knitting List - Gully

Gully

I posted about Gully once already, but I am super excited to knit this in July. Brooklyn Tweed is hosting a KAL in July for their new yarn, Vale. I just got mine in the mail and it is scrumptious. Even The Hubs was like, “oooh, soft!”. The yarn seems sturdy and bouncy, but light, so I’m looking forward to working with it. If you’re familiar with Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft or Shelter, Vale seems much more uniform and consistent and not quite as rustic. I think it will produce a beautiful fabric. I chose Gully for this KAL because, as much as I love knitting shawls, I rarely wear them. I’m hoping Gully can get a little bit more use.

2017 Summer Knitting List - Yoda HatBaby Yoda Knit Hat

Alright, this one falls squarely into the “all my friends are having babies” box. I should really just keep a stash of baby knits ready. The Hubs has a friend who just found out he and his wife were expecting and he fully intends to raise a nerd baby. Star Wars, Harry Potter, the works! I thought that this hat would be a cute nod to the interests of the parents, and plus, its just fun! Can you picture a little Yoda baby wearing one of these? You can bet I’ll me making one if The Hubs and I ever have kids.

2017 Summer Knitting List - Del Sol

Del Sol

I’m mentally calling Del Sol my August knit. Let’s be real, June and July are already booked by KALs. That leaves August for this sexy little tank. Del Sol can be made in either a cropped tank or a longer tunic and I cannot for the life of me decide which one I want to do! The tunic looks so chill and laid back, and I can see myself wearing it, but that tank is calling to me! I love the cropped look and could see myself layering it over dresses… I’m torn. What do you think? Which one should I pick?

Wishful Thinking Knit:

2017 Summer Knitting List - Muna Jumper

Muna Jumper

I am in love with this sweater, but I don’t know that I will be able to finish it during the summer. It looks so casual and comfy. It actually looks way cooler than me, so I’ll have to step up my game if I want to wear this one. I actually really love knitting with bulky yarn, so I can see this knit being right up my alley. The only think I don’t love is the ribbing…Not for the appearance, but for my hands. I’m willing to tough it out anyways for a sweater this cool. If this doesn’t get knit during the summer, it may have to be number one of my Fall knitting list. 

So there you have it, my 2017 Summer Knitting List! I’d love to hear what plans you have in the works for the summer. What projects are you itching to start? Anyone else doing any of the knitalongs with me? Let me know and we can be KAL buddies!