It’s been a long time since I’ve put my thoughts out in the world and have been thinking its better late than never….It’s been quite a year and a half since I last wrote and I couldn’t even begin to say where I should begin!
My knitting has been coming along nicely and while I haven’t fully tackled a new technique or particularly difficult project I am pleased with what knits i have been adding to my life and wardrobe. There were few new pairs of socks (which I wrote about earlier this year) and a fine (but incredibly warm) linen weight scarf, along with a basic sweater!
My project list has a new subject to focus on however and one that I am more than excited about… a baby! My husband and I welcomed home a beautiful little baby girl earlier this year and we cannot be more thrilled! She has been such a joy to watch these first few months and I am still in awe of becoming a mom.
While I will sadly be going back to work very shortly it has gotten me to begin to try to think of ways that I would be able to stay home with my girl while still contributing to our household income. I have always known that I would enjoy staying at home and my maternity leave have truly shown me just how much I love it. However, it is the difficult part of our living in NYC as the cost of living is outrageously high which is what is taking me back to the office. That being said, becoming a stay at home mom has become a bit of a dare for me in seeing if I could make it work. I am by no means saying I am up and quitting my current job today ( I’m not that crazy!, if you’re reading my beautiful supivisor I truly promise to give you fair warning!) but I have been thinking about how a transition from one environment to another could work.
I am pleased to say that I feel my knitting could be a part of this budding plan and one that I plan to explore. If I remember to look back at my archived posts later I believe I had plans to write and publish one of my own patterns. That has been one of my first thoughts of trying to stay at home… come up with and write my own patterns to sell- as I would not be committing all my time to making each piece which would take away time from being mommy… What a great way too to test drive a venture like this as well…
So I raise you readers…. have any of you ventured into self employment?… what were your best decisions in the planning stages that would help another young entrepreneur? And knitters!- what have you found most helpful when it comes to writing, purchasing, or reading patterns?…
So following my last blog post, I finished my Goomy 50 socks! And let me say its love at first sight I mean, wear. I found that as tedious as it was to knit on size 0 needles, I am more than pleased with the outcome and have already started on my next pair! Cannot wait to see how those turn out.
So please enjoy the below photos of the delicious, cozy goodness….
I’ts done!- finished, finito! Oh I’m so thrilled with the result! The first of many knits I already have planned for myself was finished about a week and a half ago…
Now, I still have to block but you can believe that I wore this beauty as soon as it was finished. In my defense as well, blocking has not yet been completed because lace blocking wires were recommended to get the proper shape and I did not have any!
So while I’m waiting for these blocking wires to arrive this scarf is mine to wear!
Yarn: Shelter, 100% American Wool (again from Brooklyn Tweed)
**note that pattern is actually designed for Loft, I substituted and used Shelter instead.
Length of time to complete: about a month, I had another project on my needles at the same time, so maybe only 3 weeks if it had been the only piece I had been working on…
Project Notes: Because I substituted yarns, I actually ended up with more yarn than I needed. Now while my math (worked out with a very helpful employee at Purl Soho) was correctly calculated, out of the 8 skeins purchased, I only needed 6! I would have more than likely used 6 1/2 skeins however when I was 1/3 of the way through the project I realized I was shorting my moss stitch sections by 4 rows (oops!- really, I CAN count though….). This worked to my advantage as I was able to adjust the remaining pattern to accommodate the mistake (which you would never have know about until now….) The remaining yarn is being used up as a little stockinette/ jersey roll beanie (more to come on this!) which is something else I have wanted to make for myself so really this was a win/win.
So I spent a little time last night with my very special squish… That ever growing over-sized pile of yarn that will soon be The Beast #4…
And what I came up with was a very interesting little swatch… Im on the fence about both the brown and lime green fingering that I’ve used to get the Madeline Tosh DK up to weight but I figure I’ll stare at the swatch for a few days to feel it out…
I also spend a few minutes working out a little paper size version of this Beast to start planning out my colorwork and ridge work. Let me just say that trying to get an approximate ratio was difficult, clearly I’ve forgotten some old Junior High/ High School math. And considering I did not even want to google it, I ended up with a pretty good mini blanket….
I’m in no particular rush to complete this blanket, just very excited to work out all the kinks (properly!) and get this on my needles. Speaking of which, I need to make sure that I have long enough circulars..hmmm…..
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.
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…
…meaning that I lost 3-4 DAYS to finish in time- and I would be back to work….
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.
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!!
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…
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 realizetry #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….
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….😂
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.
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!)
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…..
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.
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..