Test Knits and True Friends

It has been the busiest two work weeks- but SCHOOL’S OUT FOR THE SUMMER!!!

This week I finish FIVE THINGS {in different sections}, make some quick cooking decisions, work on a test knit, start a new book, bake something sweet, and continue to love and listen to Harry Potter.


Finished Objects

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FO- Half Moon Oracle

I have finished the very beautiful Half Moon Oracle shawl by Kristin Lehrer of Voolenvine Yarns. It was such a fun knit! The jury’s still out on whether a crescent-shaped shawl is wearable for me. I will have to test it when the weather gets colder… in about eight months. I did wear it to Medieval Times with a group of non-knitting and millennial-age friends (I emphasize because this is a shawl that I wore true granny-style) and they gave me so many compliments on it.

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Before blocking

I had such trouble blocking this shawl. I couldn’t seem to figure out how to pin out the scalloped edge and I was a little worried I did the i-cord bind off too loosely. I gave it another soak and block and finally figured it out- whew!

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Second block!

WIP’s- Focus Projects

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Fifty Four Cowl- 1×1 garter body, slip stitch dots border, and plain edge.

Introducing… the Fifty Four cowl! This is a just-released pattern by the classic and trendy Webster Street Knittery’s Jen Peck- Fifty-Four Cowl pattern here. Getting to test knit was one of my private knitting goals for the year, so I was thrilled to participate in this one. I was like an intimate KAL- so much fun! All details can be found on my Ravelry project page.

 

This pattern is a cowl that’s knit like a shawl. It’s designed to use up leftover fingering weight bits in interesting color variations. There are choices for the body, border and edge of the cowl- make 54 different combinations. The hardest {and most entertaining} part was choosing what design to use next!

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Single Ply- solid body, 2×2 garter stripe border, and i-cord edge.

They work up super quickly! I finished two between Sunday night and Friday morning of last week, and finished a third the following Monday. Granted, we had three state-mandated tests that I proctored last week. {Those are always great for simple knits!}

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Cotton gradient- solid body, solid border, picot edge.

This is the perfect accessory for a gift- I’m giving one as a Christmas present. Amazing for scraps- I used up some of the leftovers from my Half Moon Oracle shawl. It’s ideal for someone like me who lives in a hot weather climate- the cotton gradient one went to one of my crochet club students. I will add the link when the pattern gets released on Ravelry! {Here it is!}


Something New

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I also finished my project for #slaythestash2018. I had trouble with this one too! The yarn is variegated in such a way that intentional plans had to be made so it wouldn’t pool. I tried a hat- no luck. Then I tried a Honey Cowl- same problem! Then I came across planned pooling crochet.

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IT WORKED! I used this tutorial to make a flat piece. Once I got the patterning started, I figured I would have enough yarn to turn the rectangle into a small cowl. I’m so happy with the results!


What God’s Teaching Me

Friendship. The power of prayer. God was teaching me some big things at knit group this week.

My friends and I gather each Thursday night at Whole Foods to knit and chat. Sometimes our conversations are light {like the latest episode of the Stranded Podcast} but sometimes the topics get deeper. We talk about family, religion, current events, work, and so on.

This week, my friend shared with us about an issue she’d been praying about. She had been praying and praying for years on this specific topic and she felt like God was finally answering her by giving her what she had prayed about. This conversation inspired me more than any church service could because I got to see how God had worked through my knitting friend and her family.

As the school year wraps up today, I’m taking to heart what my good friend showed me. Knitting companions will listen to your sorrows and tribulations, and they can give you great advice. However, God is the one who can change things in your heart and in others. My prayer life needs some serious nurturing this summer!


What We’re Cooking

I wanted to do some easy comfort, but not unhealthy, cooking last Sunday after we’d been at the lake all weekend. My dear husband went to the grocery store as he always does, but came home missing a key ingredient for our meal- pesto.

 

I’m not the kind of person who keeps extra things in the pantry for emergency moments {too clutter-y}. Maybe I should be- some pasta, a few sauces, maybe a Hamburger Helper or two. So, I went rummaging in our sad supply and found a packet of Ortego taco seasoning- bingo! We’d just bought these tiny street taco tortillas for no real reason (except that they’re adorable!); and it became taco night.

 

The following day I used the other half of the chicken to make my planned meal- pesto and penne. So easy and so good.

 

Still desiring the simple comfort of throw-together-and-heat meals, I found this recipe to make Sunday night- Cheesy Bacon and Spinach Tortellini Casserole. It was delicious!

 

In stressful times I turn to different things- sometimes exercise, often cleaning, but also bakingOh man, it’s mostly because I have the taste for something sugary and chocolate filled- only homemade will do! I went with Loaded M&M and Oreo Cookie Bars. This was the easiest recipe. You don’t need many ingredients and you don’t need to pull out your mixer. {I cut the recipe in half because I only had half the brown sugar I needed at the moment.} My husband can’t wait for me to make them again. This time I used Oreo’s and Reese’s Pieces, but I think I’ll put the rest of my Tagalongs in them next- yum!


What I’m Reading

I’ve moved onto the third Harry Potter audiobook- Prisoner of Azkaban. I also discovered two new knitting podcasts this week that are worth sharing! Podcasts and audiobooks entertain me on my daily commute.

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This week I discovered the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin podcast. They’ve been around for a while (126 episodes!), but I listened for the first time this week. I love how Susie and Danie banter back and forth. They talk about life and knitting.

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A brand new podcast called The Knitting Hook Up {episode one} started recently with Melissa (@spicyhomemaker) and Ellie (who dyes Artistic Lilly yarns). They have a similar conversational style to the Prairie Girls, and even sound like they’ve been doing podcasts together forever. Have a listen!

 I hit pause on At Home in Mitford since it got sucked back up into the digital library. We will see if I go back to it… but I started a new book. From the recommendation of someone {a podcast, Insta story, friend? Can’t remember!}, I’ve started a new self-help book called Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. The message of this book is that only YOU have control over your happiness and your life. The tone of this book is casual and really pumps you up. I’m excited to read the rest of this book!


Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty

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