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needyl

knitting, among other things






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Here you'll find tales of my domestic adventures and my mostly free knitting and quilting patterns. My most popular patterns include monster baby booties, ski hat with ear flaps, Lotus baby blanket, and men's cable hat.

On Knowing

Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting

Spanish has two verbs for “to know” – saber and conocer. At risk of embarrassing my former Spanish teachers, I’d describe the difference as intellectual knowing and experiential or emotional knowing. You ‘saber’ facts and skills. Years and years of education and great Google-fu have made your ‘saber-ness’ greater. ”Conocer” is knowing people and places – lived knowledge. It’s how you know people and places and the truth of things. It’s the difference between being able to quote all the lines of Sherlock and rattle off  Benedict Cumberbatch facts, and having Ben invite you to a BBQ.

So when it came to my and the fella’s week long adventure to Costa Rica, these were the things we were able to “ser” in advance:

  • It’s hot and humid in the rain forest
  • May is the start of the rainy season
  • There are bugs, especially mosquitoes
  • We would be taking a 20 km hike through this (~13 miles) which is dangerous enough that gringos are required to have a guide
  • It’s easy to catch a stomach bug in the tropics
  • Howler monkeys didn’t get their name ironically

Not really an environment I want to live in (Perfection is 65 degrees and overcast – can I get a what what, Seattle?), but as a price to pay to see the rainforest? Full of animals I read about in National Geographic magazines? Animals with BABIES? I mean, come on – what’s a little mosey through the woods on a warm afternoon?

We'll frolic on beaches! It'll be so great!

We’ll frolic on beaches! It’ll be so great!

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Comment now » . June 11th, 2014

A Love Letter to Lithuania

Published by Shana | Filed under Free, Knitting, Patterns

I have been working on a world tour of sock patterns. An ebook or something to honor places that I love. The only design I’ve fully finished is Šiauliai (pronounced “show-lay”), which is my tribute to Lithuania. I planned to publish these the patterns all together, but with all the goings on in the region, I couldn’t wait to express my love for this oft-overlooked corner of Europe.

Hand in hand

Hand in hand

Like a first love, the small Baltic country has secured a place in my heart.

Lithuania was the first country I ever visited when I signed up for a study abroad program. I was 19 years old and had only traveled more than 3 hours from Nebraska through reading the 1991 edition of the World Book Encyclopedias. My cluelessness knew no limits.

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Comment now » . March 15th, 2014

Goals, or How to Fail at Fun

Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting

I’ve been away for a bit because I have been using all of my brain getting up to speed at my first job out here in Seattle. I’m a project manager, which means I organize things for a living and then annoy people about it. It’s fun – “Let’s check things off lists! Ahead of schedule! And then make more lists!” – so you’d think  applying goals, checklists and deadlines to crafts would be exactly what is needed to make the most of my now reduced hobby time.

Yeah… no. Craft related goals are more like, “Let’s take this relaxing thing and make it stressful! Feel like you’re never good enough! Hating working on that project? Tough! You have a deadline!”

My latest set of missed craft goals was the Ravellenic Games. This is a huge knit-a-long on Ravelry.com where everyone starts their projects during the opening ceremonies and finishes them by closing ceremonies. The idea is to have your project be a challenge of, ahem, Olympic proportions.

Only a fourth of the performance of those who were victorious, but it's fun! It is the Jamacian Bobsled team of projects

Only a fourth of the performance of those who were victorious, but it’s fun! It is the Jamaican Bobsled team of projects

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Comment now » . February 23rd, 2014

It’s Complicated

Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting

I am a skill accumulator. For no good reason whatsoever, I want to be able to do things myself.

Colorwork. Bagged it. (Pattern: Modified A New Family Portrait)

Colorwork. Bagged it. Though apparently I skipped product photography. (Pattern: modified ‘A New Family Portrait‘)

 

It’s evident in how I play role playing computer games. Rather than actually attempting to meet the game’s objectives or obtain the Helm of Mordor or whatever, I spend hours learning how to smith and speak languages. And the great thing about games is that once you’re a level 50 archer, no one’s taking that away. You can one-up William Tell into perpetuity. Thus, perfectly illustrating why video games are better than reality.

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1 Comment » . January 21st, 2014

Set. Match.

Published by Shana | Filed under Free, Knitting, Patterns

I finally have something that matches. Remember the gloves I finished a few weeks ago? They are officially a part of a set now.

I am so fancy!

I am so fancy!

This hat was based off the mitten pattern – Eugenia’s Mitts designed by Mollie Woodworth. I’ve included women’s (20″) and men’s (22″) sizes. The cables pull the fabric in quite a bit and make it less stretchy, so a good fit is important with this one. In the pic, I’m actually wearing the woman’s size, though I have a gigantic, man-sized head. It works, but it’s definitely snug due to the lack of stretch.

You can grab the hat pattern for free on its Ravelry page.

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Comment now » . November 22nd, 2013

Finish Him

Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting, Quilting

Somewhere around October 1st, a switch flips, and I go from contently plodding through large, somewhat complicated projects with no real goal in mind to Mortal Combat knitting. Completing projects becomes an obsession, and the stash starts chanting “Larger needles! Looser gauge! Garter stitch!”

finish him. 

Maybe it’s the cooling air that makes my mind go nuts. Last year’s hats, gloves and scarves certainly won’t do. They were slightly less than perfect, and in the whole heap, you can’t find two things that match. What else can you do but create a new pile of slightly off, mismatched knits?

I have nothing else that is pink. Planning is for the weak!

I own nothing else that is light pink. 

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Comment now » . November 13th, 2013

Marhaban Socks

Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting, Patterns

I have a new sock pattern.

Socks

Socks. And sassy shoes.

Why this pattern is great:

  • Toe up and cuff down instructions
  • Charts and written instructions
  • Fast knit that doesn’t use much yarn
  • Simple lace stitch is easy to remember
  • Great for showing off yarns with fancy dye jobs
  • It’s 25% off until November 15th!

 

 

Delightful in both solid and colorful yarns.

Delightful in both solid and color changing yarns.

I’ve actually been sitting on this pattern for a while. Dragging my well-adorned feet at every point of the design process. Not because the pattern isn’t lovely – it is – or because I don’t like them – I do – but because I had no idea what I would say in this blog post.

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Comment now » . October 27th, 2013

Blue Star Beanie Pattern

Published by Shana | Filed under Free, Knitting, Patterns

Today was the pinnacle of Fall.

After a walk to the coffee shop under trees ablaze in orange and yellow, there was football and knitting. Acorn squash and apple cider are on the menu for dinner. Politicians are slipping flyers in the door. I might make an apple crisp real quick just to make sure that maximum autumn saturation has been obtained.

Quick! Add pumpkin to something!

Quick! Add pumpkin to something!

The 50 degree weather was the perfect opportunity for the fella to take his new hat on it’s maiden journey. It’s knit with just under half a skein of fingering weight yarn, which makes it just warm enough for these days when it’s just a bit too cold to go hatless, but too warm for the winter hats.

 

Not feminine yet not boring to make. What more could you ask for in a dude's hat?

Not feminine yet not boring. What more could you ask for in a dude’s hat?

Named for the restaurant where my knitting group meets, Blue Star is comprised of twisted stitches. It is deceptively stretchy for the amount of texture  going on. The twisted stitches are also quick to work if you get the hang of cabling without a cable needle.

He's cute.

He’s cute.

6 Comments » . October 20th, 2013

Isosceles

Published by Shana | Filed under Quilting

When I saw Hoffman Fabric’s Natural Instinct line, I almost passed out from delight at the sight of ‘smoke’, ‘ice’ and ‘eggplant’. So, I impulse bought a yard of each and then proceeded to wage an unrelenting war with it until this materialized.

My nemesis.

Meet my nemesis.

What you’re thinking (I assume) is “cute!”. But really, what you should be saying is, “Here, let me pour you a glass of wine. I know this was rough, but it’s over now.”

Why so rough?

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1 Comment » . October 14th, 2013

Bok Party

Published by Shana | Filed under Knitting

You know what is an endless source of entertainment and wonderful pun opportunities? Chickens.

You’d think, having been raised on farm and all, I’d already know this, but my father is the most anti-poultry person you’ll ever meet. The only childhood memories I have of chickens was when Grandpa Wortmann would, ahem, gather a few for dinner. I’d “help” by running around like a chicken, ahem, with its head cut off, and then run into the side of the barn and fall over dead. With creative fun like that, who needed a Nintendo!?

(me. the answer is me.)

Anyway, meet my feathery friends! They lay tiny, delicious eggs.

Amelia, on the left, is keeping her eye on Eva, who rules the roost with an iron beak.

Amelia, on the left, is avoiding Eva, who rules the roost with an iron beak.

In knitting news, I finished TWO fingering weight sweaters. First, the easier one:

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1 Comment » . October 4th, 2013