Holiday Hat #2

Since I knit my brother a hat for Christmas, and I have something in progress for my mom, I wanted to also knit something for my Dad.  It didn't seem right to leave him out!  I decided he could use a nice warm hat, so I went looking for a pattern that was pretty classically masculine looking. 

I settled on the pattern One Bourbon by Thea Colman.  I stop by my local yarn store (Hub Mills in Billerica, MA) and picked up a skein of madelintosh Tosh Vintage in the Ceremony colorway.

When I first cast on 112 stitches, it seemed like it was going to be really huge.  There are some notes in the pattern about modifications for size, but I was afraid if I decreased by two pattern repeats that then it would be too small.  So, I panicked and decided just to drop down a bunch of needle sizes (went down to 4-though I do usually have to go down two anyway to get gauge).  I am not sure why I always think I know more than the pattern.  I really should have YOU ARE NOT SMARTER THAN THE PATTERN tattooed on my hand to remind me to JUST FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!!  The ribbing is pretty perfect, but the body of the hat itself probably could have been a bit bigger (like it would have been if I had just used the proper needles!).  I think it will fit my dad fine since it fits my head, and Bill's head, after an aggressive blocking.  I do really love the color and stitch definition of this yarn at this gauge, so it wasn't entirely a bad judgment call!

Link to My Ravelry Project Page: One Bourbon / Tosh Vintage

Holiday Hat #1

Back when we had a studio I used to spend all summer and fall getting ready for Holiday Open Studios.  I would knit and knit and knit so that I would have a fully stocked selection of gifts to display for the first two weekends in December.  When we closed the studio this summer I decided to give myself 6 months off.  No knitting for selling, just for me.  I have really stuck with this.  I did do a couple of test knits, but they were patterns that I like and got to keep the end result for myself.

As we started heading into the holiday season this year I realized that for the past 4 years I had been so focused on knitting for the studio that I did not have the time to make handmade gifts for anyone in years!  I did not want to go crazy since it was already the end of November when I decided to do some gift knitting, but I did have a few ideas in mind

First, was a hat for my brother.  I have not knit anything for him in a very long time, and he saw Bill's Christopher Hat this fall and his response was "where's mine?"  I asked what colors he would want, and he said black and camo.  I did knit him a camo hat out of some Red Heart Super Saver back when I was first re-learning to knit (probably about 14ish years ago).  He did wear that hat a lot, even with it being out of terrible yarn, so I think he is deserving of a new hat.  I had a REALLY hard time finding camo yarn though.  I feel like a terrible girlfriend, but I actually ended up stealing yarn that Bill had started knitting himself a hat out of.  He had fallen out of love with the yarn (he didn't realize it was going to look camo knitted up when he bought it, he just liked the colors) and he also had not knit on the hat at all in the past year or so.  Still, I felt terrible!  Thankfully, there is still probably enough left for him to finish his hat if he decides he wants too (or maybe I'll just finish it up for him as a thank you for lending me the yarn!).

I am not actually sure what the camp yarn is.  I am nearly positive that it's by Knit One Crochet Too, but the ball band has long disappeared.  My best guess is that it is Ty-Dy Wool, and then the black is Cascade 220 Superwash.  I think it turned out pretty well, hopefully my brother likes it!   

Link to My Ravelry Project Page: Christopher Hat / Cascade 220

Vanilla Socks go to Rome!

I always like to have an "on the go" project that I can keep in my purse for those moments in the day where I have some downtime.  These socks were my summer purse project, and then went on some pretty epic adventures with me!  

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First, I knit a few rows between sets when I went to see Garbage and Blondie in July.

Then they were my travel project when I went to Rome for 10 days in August.  We also took a mini side trip to Florence for one day while we were there as well, and I knit on the train there and back.

The yarn is a Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Blank.  This is from when I first started dyeing yarn, and it was my first experiment with a sock blank.  They are not my favorite as far as the colors go, but they are warm and squishy so I do enjoy wearing them.   I used Susan Glinert's Fleegle's Toe Up Socks pattern because I like the way the Fleegle Heel fits my foot and it is SUPER simple to knit.  If you haven't tried this pattern, I highly recommend it  I knit my socks two-at-a-time magic loop style because I have serious Second Sock Syndrome and this ensures that I actually end up with a pair of socks!!

Linke to My Ravelry Project Page: Vanilla Socks / Stroll Sock Blank

Christopher Hat

Back in August, I knit Bill a new hat for this fall/winter season.  I used some Patons Classic Wool that he had picked out when we were in AC Moore one afternoon.  The colorways are Pumpkin and Natural Mix.  The pattern is Christopher by Jane Richmond.  The directions were simple and easy to follow, and the end result was a nice thick reversible hat that is solid on one side and striped on the other.  

The only mini-modification that I made was to drop down a couple needle sizes when working the last 10 rows of the first hat and the first ten rows of the second hat.  These are the rows that make up the "brim" and I wanted it to fit a little more snuggly there.  

Bill seems happy with the result!  

Link to My Ravelry Project Page: Christopher Hat

Saturn Cowl

Last time I went shopping at Hub Mills during one of their sales I brought Bill along with me.  He really wanted a cowl that would wrap around his neck twice but be tight.  He has knit a scarf and a cowl on his own at this point, so I thought he wanted to knit this cowl himself.  He picked out some Liberty Wool Light, but then decided it would "just be faster if you knit it for me."  Thus how I ended up with another project on the needles...  I finished it well before Christmas, so I told him he can wear it for now but I am taking it back to wrap and put under the tree once Christmas is closer!  That pattern is based on Saturn by Shannon Sanchez.  

Noro <3

I know it's scratchy and I have pick out veggie matter.  I know there's often one weird color in there that just doesn't quite go with the rest.  It doesn't matter though.  I still love Noro.  I love watching the colors change.  I love not knowing exactly how it is going to look when it's finished. I love the rustic feel and look of it.  You can try to convince me otherwise, but my love for Noro remains.  

Oyster Shawl

I had a coupon code a while back for kitterly.com, so I purchased a few kits for projects I had in my queue.  I really love how this one came out and I can't wait for the weather to cool off enough that I can wear it.  I even have the perfect glasses to match!

  • Pattern: Oyster Shawl by Ambah O'Brien
  • Yarn: madelintosh Tosh Merino Light in Leopard and Scout
  • Glasses: From EyeBuyDirect.com (I like to match!)

3-Dee

hi. It's Bill. the last couple of days have brought some 3 dimensional inspiration along with the start of summer school. I wanted to figure out a way to make some castings of my fingers. After reading about how plaster of paris can burn, Annmarie found algimate powder. This powder chemically reacts with water (sort of like plaster of paris) but instead of scalding my fingers off, it makes a gooey, cold, wiggly mold. Then the plaster of paris can be poured into this stuff and 30 minutes later:

I hope this new trend sticks around a while. I forgot how great messy art actually is. 

Happy Wednesday

b  

Another Test Knit Compete

I finished this one almost a month ago, but since the pattern was released yesterday I felt like it was a good time to finally get around to posting mine!

Here is my Kiah Shawl by Ambah O'Brien:

I used madelinetosh Twist Light yarn in the colorway "Grasshopper."  I really love this pattern.  I knit the smaller of the two sizes and zipped right through it in about a week (lots of garter to fly through but enough lace to keep it interesting).  I knew I was going to be playing a bit of yarn chicken since one skien of Twist Light is only 420 yards and the pattern calls 437 yards.  I am a loose knitter and often have to go down 2 needle sizes to get gauge.  I really thought that with the smaller needles I'd be ok (I've read that Ambah buffers her yardage requirements by 10%).  Unfortunately I fought the yarn and the yarn won this time.  I ran out with just 4 garter rows left to go, thus while I finished the edge in a contrasting purple!  You know what though, I don't hate it!  It was a good solution and the purple really makes the green pop. I think I will be knitting this one again sometime soon, possibly in the larger size.  

Finished Object Friday

Here are a few of my recent FOs.  These were all commissioned pieces and have been mailed off to their new homes!

Reminder: I'm a licensed Carina Spencer knitter!

Love the look of Carina Spencer's patterns, but you're not a knitter?  You're in luck!  I am a licensed Carina Spencer knitter.  I currently have a few of her pieces listed in my Etsy Shop, but I am also open to taking on some summer commissions if you had something special in mind.   if you're interested, send me an email

Here's what is currently already knit and available (click on pictures to shop):

Work in Progress Wednesday!

One of my goals for this summer is to get into a regular blogging routine again.  I abandoned the blog completely over the past year when life/work got crazy.  As things settle down for the summer, I'm really going to make an effort to post more.  I would like blogging to be sort of like my version of a "knitting journal."  I'm hoping it will help me focus on my current works in progress (and hopefully push me to start knitting some of that backlogged stash!!).  

One reoccurring post I would like to bring back is "Work in Progress Wednesday."  I'm trying to limit the number of things I am knitting at once (so that I can actually finish some projects!) to a "purse project" (something smallish like a shawl) and a sweater project (since I discovered I have 11 sweaters worth of yarn!).

Currently I am making process on my Pumpkin Ale cardigan.  I am using The Fiber Co.'s Cumbria yarn in the "buttermere" colorway.  I have finished the back panel and one side/front.  

I am also continuing to work on my Oyster Shawl, though it does keep getting put aside to work on test knit shawls instead.  I am using Tosh Light in the "leopard" and "scout" colorways.  This was a kit that I purchased through Kitterly.com.

Test Knitting Tuesday?

Not sure if that is a thing, but I'm going to make it one...

As we determined in yesterday's post, I have a LOT of yarn.  I don't mind the fact that I have a large stash, I feel like that is every knitter and yarn-lovers right.  I do feel bad that I have all this lovely yarn that kind of got tucked away and has not been used because I was so focused on buying yarn that was "a good bargain" and knitting mainly for the studio.  Now that we've "closed up shop" so to speak, I've decided to take a break from knitting to sell (though I will happy still take on commissions if you have something specific in mind!).  I'm going to focus on knitting for myself for a bit and enjoying all my lovely yarns that I have purchased over the years!

I wouldn't call this a yarn diet exactly, but I certainly have a plenty of projects queued that I already have the yarn all picked out and purchased for.  If there's something I really want to knit, I won't forbid myself from purchasing yarn for it.  Or if I'm at a festival or special shop and I spot something I love, I am certainly going to allow myself that indulgence (because buying yarn is quite possibly my favorite pastimes ever!).  I do want to start working though my queue though, and make sure yarn that I bought for specific projects does actually get turned into those projects eventually.

I also have lots and lots of single skeins of fingering/sock weight and lace weight yarn.  These I need to start finding projects for.  So, when I saw that Ambah O'Brien was looking for test knitters I jumped at the chance. 

The pattern I tested was Ambah's Nelia Scarf/Wrap.  I knit the smaller size using 1 skein of Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet in the "Copper Pennies" colorway.  I can't remember how long I have had this yarn for, but it has definitely been quite a while.  I remember snagging it for 50% off on one of the many yarn crawls I have done.  I was happy to use up this single skein that had been in my stash for a while.  This pattern is now available on Ravelry! 

The Great Yarn Reorganization Project of Summer 2017!

We have been slowly moving all of our stuff out of the studio and consolidating it all into our loft. One of the first things we carted home was one of those large 4x4 cube bookshelves from IKEA.  I decided this was going to become my new yarn storage shelf.  Previously my yarn was kind of spread out between a bookcase and some bins (plus what was over at the studio).  

Once I started pulling out all my yarn (I kept finding more and more in random places) I began to realize my stash was, um, large.  I mean I knew that I had a lot of yarn, but seeing all out in one place made me realize just how much there was.  And this was after I gave away a few bags full this past winter!!  So, I pulled out some additional skeins to destash (all stuff I was never going to use), and gave it away.  Then I started to arrange it by weight.  I have a good amount of lace weight, a TON of fingering/sock weight, a random assortment of sport, DK, worsted, and a little bulky.  I started pulling out my "sweater stash" (whole sweater amounts in a particular yarn and colorway) and realized that I can probably make myself about 11 sweaters!  

So, here is stage one of my Great Yarn Reorganization Project:

 So much yarn...

So much yarn...

Stage Two will be coming soon (hopefully).  I would really like to actually take pictures of all of it and enter in Ravelry so I can actually keep track of what I have and what I use.  It seems a little overwhelming, but I know it will be worth it! 

It's hard to say good bye... but we are on to the next adventure.

Well, the time has come to close up shop...  I'm having a lot of feels about this decision, but ultimately we have to do what makes the most sense for us at this point in our lives.  I'm sad to announce the end of Wings & Roots studio at Western Avenue Studios.  As of June 30th we will be closing the door and saying goodbye to the giant purple chalk wall.  

It breaks my heart a little to give up the space because I feel like it is such a huge part of me and Bill's "origin story."  We met in April of 2013 and started dating in May.  I dragged him to the May Open Studios for one of our very first dates and he like the place so much that by June we had leased our own space.  At the time my apartment was quite small and we intended to use it mainly as a workspace.  As time went on, we moved to a larger loft, and found ourselves not really using the studio as often as we had before. Though we did continue to open for Open Studios, it just didn't make financial sense for us to keep the studio any longer.  We were on the fence last year, but this year we bit the bullet and did not renew our lease.  We both have full-time and part-time jobs, and it was just a bit too much for our mental health.  We were stuck in the cycle of being too busy to use the studio and then feeling guilty that we were not using the studio.  

But, this is not the end of us or our adventures.  We are going to keep doing what we do (minus the guilt about where and when we do it), and we will keep sharing our adventures with you as well!  We have some new ideas and avenues we would like to explore and there will be exciting things coming soon.  In an effort to make a clean break we are abandoning the name "Wings & Roots" and reclaiming my old knitting blog's name "Sharp Pointy Sticks."  You probably already noticed these changes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  I am recommitting to knitting for me for a while and hopefully reviving my knitting blog that has been on an extended hiatus.  Our Etsy shop remains open (at least for now).  

Thank you Western Ave for a wonderful 4 years!  Here's to the next adventure.

NEW Dye-to-Order Yarn & Fiber now available!

 Click here to order!

Click here to order!

I want to try something new this year and offer some "Dyed-to-Order" colorways.  I am going to start small by offering only a limited number of base yarns and colors, but if this option is popular I will add additional offerings in the future!

Please note, these are dyed to order, so the turn around time will be a bit longer than my ready dyed offerings.  Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery on these orders. 


Right now these are the colorways that I will have available:
--Ectoplasmic
--Malibu Barbie
--Salmon & Spruce
--Firestarter
--Antarctica
--Amethyst Hour
--Daises on the Water
--Tin Roof
(see pictures for more details)

Keep in mind that these are all hand-dyed in small batches, so each skein will be unique and may vary from the pictures.  For best consistency in a project be sure to order enough all at one time so that all of your skeins will be from the same dye-lot batch.  

These colorways will be available on the following base yarns:

--75/25 FINGERING Weight:
Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Weight: Fingering Weight
Knitting Gauge: 7 - 8 sts = 1" on #1 - 3 needles (2.25mm-3.25mm)
Yards: 462
Grams: 100
Care: Machine wash gentle, tumble dry low

--75/25 SPORT Weight:
Fiber Content: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Weight: Sport Weight
Knitting Gauge: 6 sts = 1 on #3-5 needles (3.25-3.75mm)
Yards: 274
Grams: 100
Care: Machine wash gentle, tumble dry low

--Merino DK Weight:
Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool
Weight: DK Weight
Knitting Gauge: 5.5 sts = 1" on #5 needles (3.75mm)
Yards: 246
Grams: 100
Care: Machine wash gentle cold, dry flat

--Merino WORSETED Weight:
Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool
Weight: Worsted Weight
Knitting Gauge: 4.5 - 5 sts = 1" on #6 - 9 needles (4.0mm-5.5mm)
Yards: 220
Grams: 100
Care: Machine wash gentle cold, dry flat

--Merino BULKY Weight:
Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool
Weight: Bulky Weight
Knitting Gauge: 3 - 3.75 sts = 1" on #10 - 11 needles (6.0mm-8.0mm)
Yards: 137
Grams: 100
Care: Machine wash gentle cold, Tumble dry low

--75/25 ROVING:
Fiber Content: Roving 75% Superwash Merino Roving Wool, 25% Nylon Top
Weight: Unspun Roving
Grams: 100 (3.53 oz)

Exciting News!

I have officially been approved as a licensed Carina Spencer knitter.  Check out her patterns here! If there's something that strikes your fancy send me a message.  Here's a sample of what I've knit of hers so far.  

I've been knitting...

Even though I haven't been very good about keeping up with blogging, I have been knitting.  Here's what I've completed so far in 2016:

I am not sure if I plan on sticking with last year's goal of 52 projects in 52 weeks or not.  If I do, I am off to a pretty good start!  I do want to actually knit a few things for me this year.  A friend pointed out that it has been a while since I knit myself anything.  I have several sweater's worth of yarn in my stash, might be time to treat myself!  

New workbench!

Well winter has come and Christmas has gone, so I figured it's time to start restocking. Obviously in order to do that, I need a new workbench. I have a bunch of big timber that cut down nicely and put together a sweet little set up. Dad stopped by the shop this afternoon and held some planks and made fun of me for not being able to saw straight. All is well, welcome 2016. Happy new year everybody be safe!

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Goal Achieved!

I did it!  I knit 52 things in 52 weeks!! That's not even counting any of the hexipuffs I knit or the 18 or so scarves that I wove.  Here are projects 49-52: