Off the Needles | Settler and some news...

I have an FO and something else fun to share with you today... First, as you may know, I adore Truly Myrtle and after featuring her design Reminisce as our June Simple Knits Knitalong project, I couldn't stop thinking about casting on one of her shawls. I didn't know if I would actually find time to cast on in the near future since things have been a little hectic, but then Libby decided to host a Knitalong featuring her designs in July. It was obviously meant to be, so I cast on. 

I chose Settler as my shawl to knit for the KAL and used Julie Asselin's Milis in the Feathers colorway, it's a gorgeous yarn from Firefly Fibers that I've really been wanting to knit with. I think it was a good pairing...


I cast on during our vacation in Door County earlier this month (I know, I know... I still owe you details on that) and started binding off on Saturday night in the car on our way to see Dave Matthews (more on that toward the end of this post). 

I used flexible lace wires for blocking because of Settler's horseshoe shape and I highly recommend them. I'm a long time supporter of blocking in general and blocking wires make a huge difference with some projects - this is definitely one of them. Just look at how much I was able to stretch this puppy and open up those criss-cross sections...


I'm frequently asked if blocking makes "that much" of a difference and my answer is always emphatically, "YES"! Blocking matters. A lot. Just think about it... your project is shoved into, and pulled out of a project bag numerous times during the HOURS you're knitting on it. After that, any project is going to have some 'bed head' and need to be refreshed. *wink*

If you've never washed or blocked a shawl, Libby has a 2 part 'how to' on her blog (Part 1 & Part 2) that walks you through each step of the process. She also shows another way to block Settler for a slightly different finished edge and it's also really pretty. If you're intimidated by blocking, just remember that you can always re-block if something turns out wonky the first time. It's kind of like just washing and restyling your hair. 

I've got my mind set on casting on another Truly Myrtle shawl and using one of these lovely Julie Asselin Gradient Sets:

If you participated in the Truly Myrtle Knitalong, there are some pretty fabulous prizes that Libby will be giving away, including one of these lovelies courtesy of Firefly Fibers. Maybe we can cast on together?

So, that's my big FO news for the week. I'm almost done finalizing the Fall Class Schedule for the shop and I can't wait to share what's on there - it should be ready in the next week or two. 

In the meantime... I have something else that's pretty fun. Mr. Yarnista has been wanting to do a podcast for quite some time. Really, he's been not-so-subtly hinting for what's been a year or more (maybe two) and in a moment of weakness, I gave in and it's finally happened... there is now an Alisa the Yarnista Podcast! In episode 1 we chat a bit about some fun stuff, including our weekend adventure to Alpine Valley to see one of my all time faves, Dave Matthews (it's really quite the story).

So, we hope you'll enjoy our maiden voyage and we'll let you know as soon as Apple approves things in iTunes and it's available there. *squee* I've never done anything like this and it was actually pretty fun, so stay tuned because I think we'll do it again soon. 


Moments | It was 9 years ago...

It was 9 years ago that I said "I do" to the most wonderful man I've ever known. In that time, our lives have changed so very much and I couldn't have wished for a better partner to do this crazy thing called "life" with.

We've experienced a lot - good, some bad, and lots of amazing - and I look forward to what the future holds for us on our journey together. 

We'll do something special this weekend to celebrate. After all, there was no chance that my boss would have given me a day off in the middle of the week. *wink*



Simple Knits | July Simplicity

July is here and we're settling back into our routine after vacation (more to come on my vacation later this week - basically, it was really nice). Now that I'm mostly recovered, I'm excited to get back into the swing of things. To get started, how about the July Simple Knits project?

I've been drooling over cabinfour's designs for months and I pretty much want to knit each and every single one of them. I love Deneise's clean and simple aesthetic - not only are her designs gorgeous, but her patterns are relaxing to knit and classically styled so they'll be 'in style' for many years to come.  

Meet our July project from cabinfour, Wandering... 

These mitts are so incredibly simple and quick that I knit a pair yesterday on the way to a family gathering - very easily a weekend project. They are also great for leftover yarn because they are cast on at the finger edge and worked up the arm from there - just divide your yarn in half and knit each mitt until you have enough to bind off... 

But, Wandering isn't where I started or what I originally had planned for us... I frequently get questions on what the next Firefly Fibers or Simple Knits Knitalong project will be. If you've asked, you'll know that I'm pretty hush-hush about future projects and this is why - I know there's a fair chance that I'll change my mind (even when it's not in my best interest).

Before vacation I decided that I was going to knit something special for myself, so I cast on Pure | Aran by cabinfour and quite simply fell in love - just as I expected. Then, as I was knitting, I thought... "hey, I bet the Firefly knitters would love this project, too." So, I changed the Firefly Fibers Summer Knitalong plan (it had only been written on the calendar since before the New Year) and quickly cast on the shop sample of Pure | Aran. This is exactly why I'm so secretive about the KAL's - I can be fickle at times and this isn't the first time I've changed my mind with only a couple weeks to go. I guess I like to keep myself on my toes.

Pure | Aran was so much fun to knit, and even more so with Blue Sky Alpacas Extra. As I was knitting and doing math in my head, the math told me I'd have 80-100 yards left and I thought, "hey, that's the perfect amount to use for a Simple Knits project." So - also at the last minute - I decided to change it up for our Simple Knits Knitalong. And... here we are.

My personal yarn recommendation, hands down, for both projects is Extra. Of course, you can use any heavier worsted weight yarn for Wandering (or the shawl, for that matter), but I can't recommend Extra enough. If you select a different yarn (or can't wear alpaca), look for a worsted weight with a lot of bounce and twist for good stitch definition. 

The shop Pure | Aran sample and the mitts I knit yesterday are drying on the blocking boards and I'll get photos soon. Since I used leftovers for my first pair of mitts, they are a wee bit shorter - I had about 80gr of Extra left (basically half a skein) and my finished mitts measure 8" in length, so they're a few inches shorter than the pattern calls for, but still a very wearable and nice length. If you're new to knitting in the round, Wandering is also perfect for you! They're cast on and knit flat until just past the thumb opening, so they're good for building your DPN or Magic Loop skills. 

Now that the shop sample is finished, I'm excited to pick up my own Pure | Aran again and use those leftovers for a matching Wandering. Many thanks to Deneise for permission to use her lovely cabinfour photos and for her enthusiasm for our knitalongs. 

I hope you like this month's project. You can find the free pattern for Wandering here on Ravelry and Extra at Firefly Fibers in our brick-and-mortar shop or our online shop, but I also can't wait to see what other yarns you decide to use! You're also welcome to double-dip if you want to join the Firefly Fibers Summer Knitalong. ;)