Author Archives: cmspecht

Random Gift of Knitting

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I’m probably one of the most selfish knitters on the face of the earth. It’s rare that I knit anything specifically for anyone. I’ve knit scarves for my best friends and my sister. I’ve also made a few baby gifts and I knit a sock monkey hat for my cousin’s little girl. I’ve even done some test knitting for Kate Atherley, Alex Tinsley, Donna Druchunas and the late Karrie Steinmetz.  But, that’s really about it.  Knitting is one of the few things in my life without deadlines, without expectations, and without any pressure.  Right now, I have 9 projects on my needles and I’m in absolutely no hurry to finish any of them.  When I do give away something, it’s usually as much of a surprise to me as it is to the person I give it to.  Which brings me to my Random Gift of Knitting.

Last weekend was a not-so-great weekend.  Feeling down for various reasons, I decided to visit one of my local yarn shops.  No big surprise there except that I had absolutely no reason to go and had no project in mind that I really wanted to get yarn for.  Again, no big surprise as we knitters habitually do this anyway.  In any case, I decided to get some yarn to knit up the Mosaic Cowl featured in the current issue of Vogue Knitting.  There’s no big commitment of time for a cowl, right?  So, just as I thought I’d get out of that LYS without buying enough yarn to knit 6 sweaters, I spied a pile of Berroco Brio.  Each skein came with a copy of the Darn Knit Kinetic Cowl designed by Carly Stipe.   So, I buy one skein of Brio and this past Sunday, I knit up this gorgeous cowl in around 2 hours.  I thought to myself that I’d wear it to work sometime this week.  Spirits; lifted.

So, I get to work on Tuesday and I find out that one of my sweet co-workers has broken up with her boyfriend that she’d been dating for several months and had become pretty serious about.  As she told me about her not-so-great weekend (almost in tears), I decided to try to cheer her up.  I would give her the cowl that I made over the weekend (along with a card from Hallmark’s ‘Men are Pigs’ line of greeting cards.)  Well, I did just that and the next day, she walked up to my desk with a huge smile on her face wearing the cowl I had given her.  I think it totally lifted her spirits this week.  And that Random Gift of Knitting, in turn, lifted mine 🙂

Dragonscale Capelet and Lacy Cuffs

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I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Noro yarn.  I absolutely love the colors and the fiber itself, but I hate handling it.  It gets twisted easily and sometimes the color changes aren’t as consistent as I’d like them to be.  That said, I seldom pass up a Noro Magazine or Noro Book or Noro anything.  And when you find an awesome pattern to show off those lovely colors and the yarn (in this case, Noro Silk Garden Lite) handles like a dream, it becomes a labor of love.  Here’s the Dragonscale Capelet and Lacy Cuffs from the latest issues (#4 and #5) of the Knit Noro Magazine.

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Vogue Knitting Live 2014 in Chicago

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For the third year in-a-row, I was a volunteer at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago. And, as usual, I had an awesome time!  I took a bunch of photos, but here’s a few highlights.  I highly recommend the volunteer experience, especially after you’ve been to a VKL event as a guest ( I went to VKL in LA in 2011).  It’ll  give you a kick to know that you’re helping someone else have as much fun as you did when you were a guest 🙂

Happy Easter (subtitle: the day my iron and I finally parted ways)

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Happy Easter (subtitle: the day my iron and I finally parted ways)

Living 500+ miles from my family in Illinois, I have to pick and choose which holidays I go home for. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggies, so I usually make it home for at least one (if not both) of those two holidays. And although Easter is a biggie to my devoutly Christian family, I seldom make it home for it. It’s that time of year when you still might just get snow up there in the Land of Lincoln. I like to avoid snow.

So, what did I do on Easter? I finished up a test-knit hat for Alex Tinsley and also finished crocheting a skirt. I actually finished the hat yesterday, but didn’t block it until today. I used Spud & Chloe sweater yarn that was thankfully superwash. This helped me to overt a disaster when, in the process of blocking it, my iron left some brownish stain on it. ( I just cast another dirty look towards my iron.) In any case, I was able to get most of the brownish color out.

My Easter gift to myself was finally scoring a copy of Cathy Carrons’ new book ‘Happy Feet’. I actually squealed with delight when I found it at Books-a-Million yesterday 🙂

Just a few more rows…,

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Just a few more rows…,

I’m up early on a Saturday morning hoping to finish a shrug today. I have a love-hate relationship with this Noro Taiyo sock yarn; I love the colors but hate the twisty nature of it. I spend as much time yarn-wrangling (I.e. untwisting) as I do knitting with it. Ah well..,the price we pay for yarn gorgeousness 🙂