For the love of squish.

After finally finishing all of my holiday knit projects, the next thing up on my agenda was a baby blanket for some friends of ours.  While her due date is just a few weeks away, I thought (right after Christmas that is…) I had a week or so to my own self & projects before I had to dive in.  Well, that wasn’t the case as the shower invite showed up right before New Years and the shower date set for about 3 weeks later!

I panicked for about a minute, then realized that I had a week off then two working weeks before the shower.  So the next day I purchased the yarn and went to work.

**worry free first night with cast on

It was only a few days later when I went to go RSVP that there was no way I would be able to even MAKE it to the shower….uuugggghhhhhh (out of town, hubs working, and train unable to make it to and from the town within a reasonable time to attend…plus the added cost of the ticket..)  So well, I was pretty disappointed.  But since I already had my gift and the blanket well into work, I decided to ship my gift to be received in time for the big day…

**early progress

…meaning that I lost 3-4 DAYS to finish in time- and I would be back to work….

*two nights prior to my deadline

Can we say TIME CRUNCH! So now as I sit here typing up this post, I have until midnight (its 5:30 pm currently) to finish about 8” worth of blanket along with wrapping EVERYTHING (my gift is more than a blanket!), commute home (about 40-so minutes) and somehow squeeze cooking and eating a dinner…

 

**UPDATE (following the night before deadline crunch-time!)

I FINISHED!! The last stitch slipped OFF the needles at midnight (ooommmppphhh) and it felt wonderful! About another 40 minutes and all was wrapped and happily packed up to be packaged and shipped Wednesday morning.

I hurried off to Fedex and I will now be thoroughly enjoying a deadline free couple of months.

 

I couldn’t be happier….


Welcome baby. ❤️

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Finally! A knit all for me..

Now that I have finally finished off all of the knitted things I wanted to make for everyone else, I can finally dedicate some time to knitting something for me…ALL FOR ME!!   I purchased the Ludlow from Brooklyn Tweed almost a year ago and had been waiting for the right time to start…

And that time was now!!

**an early progress status…

 

I also had this strong urge to make something- anything- in BLACK.  And I haven’t seemed to be the only one wanting to knit in black.  A couple other knitters I follow and know have been drawn to the darker yarns recently… Hello handknit trend..

 

But anyways..the Ludlow; while the pattern calls to use Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft yarn, I favor their Shelter a little bit more so along with a very friendly and helpful employee in NYC’s Purl Soho, I managed to substitute and work out the math to have the pattern accommodate Shelter.

I am about a third of the way through and could not be more pleased with how it is turning out…

Until next time….

The Holiday Haul…

This posting may be a little later than most would expect, but believe it our not my last round of holiday gifting just happened!  I know so late!  I had a very ambitious year and I actually managed to complete all in a reasonable timeline… the full holiday haul included:

3 (yes 3!) full size blankets

5 different hats (from pre-teen to adult)

3 pairs of fingerless gloves

1 pair of socks

+ handmade tags for all for wrapping

 

Too ambitious?…nah..I enjoyed every minute of it! Even more enjoyable was the look on my friends and families faces when they realized what I had given them…I most certainly love to gift and when the gift is handmade, there’s more than just a little added love….

My absolute favorite gifting moment was my husband on Christmas morning when he opened up a little box and nestled inside was a new hat and a pair of socks… Immediately it was, “WHAT THE HELL!!, WHEN DID YOU- HOW- WHAT?!”…(TO BE CLEAR: he knew of the countless hours, days, and nights I spent knitting 3 blankets so he couldn’t figure out when I had made HIM new knits….)  Can we all remember those first few posts I wrote where I said I was a very big subway knitter..you can complete and hide so many many projects from the hubs! (And for the record..he has been living in those new socks and hat so they were a hit as well!) Within the next hour my parents opened their blanket and his outburst became very very clear…

Also, I would add that the last blanket was finished the weekend following Christmas morning when the 1st blanket was finally opened.. so as to be gifted in time on New Years Day…. yikes!  So, how about a look at all the squishy goodness? For your enjoyment:


  
  
  
  
 Until next time….

 

At it again!

So I think I will actually be publishing a FREE pattern a little sooner than I thought!  I finished my bulk of holiday knitting a week or so ago and decided to cast on a simple little rib hat all for myself.  It should have been a quick and painless little basic knit that would help to fill the void in my wardrobe.  What SHOULD have been easy turned into frogging the project 3 times!


Im not working from a pattern but knew how to work out how many stitches I needed for my cast on…well the first time around the hat seemed much too big, so I took it out only to realize try #2 was too small.  Try #3 got a little bit bigger but not big enough…


(Same yarn, different filters in each photo)

So now after all my pains to begin this project I will begin again…. To be continued….
UPDATE:
The above post was written about a month ago- since then I ended up making 3 more hats for some young friends of mine for Hannukah along with racing through the last big holiday knit that was on my list (more to that in a separate post!) so this hat has still not seen the light of day… Instead i have been working on a Brooklyn Tweed scarf I have been dying to start and a beautiful baby shower knit…. That’s rotten pattern is still a work in progress too….😂

An Open Letter to my loving husband…

2016.  This is our year- screw the sound of it being ominous and all the shit about pre determined destiny.  2016 is totally, completely OUR YEAR.  The past 12 months have given both of us plenty of heartache, determination, tears, strength and utter grief, through jobs present, future and undetermined.  It has also seen my worse sides which I can only grow from and find peace.
But when I say it’s our year I mean that we have been standing on the edge of a cliff, on the verge of something amazing and wonderful…and we have been figurative pushed off that cliff in the last 12 months and the dive downwards has something amazing for us…  Because when we land- it’s not even a question whether we are going to sink or swim- we have already started kicking and swimming our way through the currents. Something beautiful awaits us.  I don’t quite know what it will be but I have a few ideas…they’re scary and intimidating and utterly wonderful, and I cannot wait to see what this new year brings us.

Whatever it is, it will be exactly what I need, because it will be with you.

❤️

Forever your sweet pea.

Subway Stitches; continued…

So I have moved onto a new subway project, and while I have a few that I am rotating out of my purse this most recent one has gotten me thinking…

Generally my work in stockinette stitch is very even. I pride myself that I have a consistency that is very comforting in very simple patterns.  This gives my work a more professional and so called “store bought”  look.

This more recent subway knit hasn’t been so even…. 

Project: Brig, by Brooklyn Tweed

Yarn: handspun from Sawkill Farm

I am working in an even 2×2 rib but every once and a while I will find a stitch as I work in circles that are tighter or looser than those around it.  And I am discovering that it may or may not be the yarn I’m using.  It is am absolutely beautiful hand spun undyed blended yarn from Sawkill Farm.  While I am so so happy with the yarn and how my pretty little hat is turning out, I keep thinking about how my even little stitches are a bit more inconsistent than what I’m used to.

Then again I think that could somehow I’m not seeing a consistency in my tension? Or what about my needle size? Should I be using a smaller needle for a tight gauge?  Would this bring back my ever comforting consistency?
It is opening up my mind in how some yarns may be better suited for one project over another… I’m curious to see what I discover next…. 

My Other Loves.

I truly am more than just a knitter…While my first few posts certainly center around my knitting, and my blog name can certainly imply knitting; there is a lot more to me than just yarn…  I guess than I should elaborate a little more on what :Ruby + Ana in Stitches truly means…

My blogging name represents a couple of different facets of my life, one of which is my Etsy shop (RubyandAna) , where I have started playing around with and selling my DIY adventures.  These range from my original handbag days where I have posted a few small clutch carry-alls to various blank stationary with hand drawn designs.  No major bites yet but only time and my patience will tell!

And from my Etsy account, I’ve taken my handcrafting DIY into knitting, which as I have mentioned before, I plan to start creating and selling my own patterns.  So my implying “in stitches” is very literally.  Where my name becomes more abstract is in the idea of my life is in pieces; different facets and interests.  It has also been a very difficult year, emotionally, career wise, stressful on my family… so I found I needed to strengthen, reinforce the pieces of my life, and stitch them back together.  My knitting has given back some of that strength and so have my other interests.

For example:

I take my love of doing things on my own terms by “experimenting” in indoor gardening- since I cannot exactly start a garden on the roof of my building and that 3’x5′ patch of grass by the entrance isn’t going to cut it either.  Needless to say, while I have successfully started a few herbs from seeds, I have definitely killed more baby herb plants than cultivating them.  I would like to blame that on the yo-yo temperature in our apartment, but I also don’t think that’s entirely the problem (meaning its probably ME).

I am quite proud to say though that one of my first ever basil plants from seedlings managed to survive!  It was pretty leggy for awhile since I did not cut it back early enough, but between my husband and I its gotten pretty healthy and is starting to “cover its legs”.  This is mainly due to the numerous cuttings we have taken to start a secondary plant.  Our first attempt unfortunately dried out due to an insanely hot weekend when we were away, but this weekend I finally planted our second batch of cuttings! And they are still holding strong a few days later…

Here’s to many nights of basil infused Italian dishes! (followed by more knitting of course!)

plant

Subway Stitches.

Depending on who you ask, I am either your atypical or typical NYC subway rider.  I have about a 40 minute commute to and from work which is pretty boring for me as I always need to be doing something.  So I spend all those hours on the subway knitting.

Now I’m sure for some of my fellow commuters this is HIGHLY annoying..well, if I’m not elbowing you the entire way to your destination, I say deal with it.. As a rule if I can constantly bump into someone while knitting on the train, I just wont do it.  It’s just not worth the hassle.

My other rule is that if my work cannot fit on my lap or in my bag, then it stays at home.  So right now, I am working through some holiday gifts that I do not have enough time to work on at home.  Hats, socks and mittens are my companions in the early morning and late nights.  And those constant stitches take on their own rhythm and before i know it, I’m home…..or at work..or out shopping…..

My Favorite Serious Beginning.

So one of the first projects I would like to share is this beautiful shawl which i personally call my Birthday Knit. This is only because i splurged to purchase the yarn to knit this on my birthday weekend away this summer and i could not be happier with how it turned out.

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This shawl is really The Farmhouse Shawl which I became obsessed with wanting to knit once I had found it on Ravelry.  The credit for this beautiful pattern goes to @cabinfour. (Check her work out, stunning!)

This piece is also the one that has truly prompted me to begin thinking about writing my own patterns….WHICH is where I plan on starting; shawls.  Once I’m through making all of my holiday knitted gifts I will make and post my own pattern.  That’s right- you heard me- MY OWN PATTERN.  That is an absolute guarantee.  I will make the pattern available through my Ravelry account, and will document my progress here with a link to the finished product.  So here the journey continues..

Let the stitches begin!

Hi. Hello. Welcome World.

Hi World.  My name is Christine.  I am a little bit (well a LOT) new to this whole blogging thing but figured i would give it a go….

I am a maker and doer and now want to share what I make and do with others.  I am a designer, creative and a very obsessed knitter.  A couple of my friends have encouraged me to start sharing and developing my own work and patterns which is what I ultimately aim to do.  I figure if i write it for the world to see, I may just set out to complete the journey!

So for now, just a few images to share…welcome to my journey.

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