April Showers Bring May Pollen and Small Knitting Projects

Am I right? Anyone else go outside to find they now have a yellow car? Me too. I am very lucky to say that I do not suffer severely from seasonal allergies. To all of you allergy sufferers: I am so sorry. I have been dealing with “dry eye syndrome” and I finally have some relief from what seems like the 4th try at drops. I know this isn’t allergy related, but that pollen floating around isn’t helping. I saw this sign in the elevator (I couldn’t find the stairs!) at my eye doctor’s office and it reminded me of the game “four corners” we would play in elementary school during indoor recess on one of the those “April Showers” days.

So if April brings the  pollen to May, May is bringing in the warmer weather as we move into June. On Sunday I went out for my longest run yet, four miles. I know that isn’t much to some, but this was a BIG deal for me. I participated in a Half Marathon training program and they said you should be able to run four miles. I always have that in the back of my head. So if I wanted to start training for a Half, I am ready! I don’t think I will just yet as I need to get more confidence up to leave the track. I think I will seek out a longer paved path somewhere. Plus, it’s fun to see sidewalk messages along the way.

As happy as my mind was about completing four miles, my body was not. It was warmer outside and I DID NOT drink enough water. I don’t know how else to explain it, but my body was just so sluggish afterward, I felt better after drinking lots of water afterward but I could have avoided this by drinking enough water beforehand…including the day before.

As the weather gets warmer some people don’t knit as much or just stop completely. Not me! I actually find that working on Christmas gifts during the summer to be very helpful. I haven’t been knitting very long so I wouldn’t knit someone a sweater…but I am very good at hats! As I mentioned in this post, I have knit hats for fundraisers and hope to do so again. A hat is a very nice and small project that you can fit in your lap and carry in a small bag. I actually carried one in my tote bag that I was using throughout a trip to Virginia to attend a figure skating competition for my daughter. My knitting was in my bag that I was carrying around that included everything from my wallet to antibacterial wipes to water. If you haven’t been to a figure skating competition, it is like every other type of competition. You WAIT for hours until it is your child’s time to compete. I would imagine swimming, wrestling, dance, and many other types of events are like this. To put it gently, there is a lot of time to kill and I can happily chat with other parents as I knit. 

My current “small” project is this dog sweater. It’s coming along nicely.   I am just about finished with the decreases, and then I have to pick up the stitches for the trim. Wish me luck!

The photo above is showing the belly side up. There are leg holes there, you just can’t see them because of the black yarn. I think it is going to be so stinkin’ cute!!!

Starting Over

My last post was about finishing and starting, and this one is about starting over. Well, the Poochie Keen dog sweater I was so excited  to begin this last weekend needed a restart. 

When do you tink (knit backward) or frog (rip it! Get it…)? Well, it’s a matter of personal opinion and since this is my blog, I will explain my reasons.

  • First: Can I see my mistake and know how to fix it? If the answer is yes, I usually will tink back to the error. The only exception is if I am close to finishing and just way too far past the mistake that I will likely make additional errors as I tink. (drop stitches…I do this a lot when I tink).
  • Second: If the answer is no, I don’t know what went wrong or how to fix it…I most likely will just move on. 
  • Third: The third scenario (and I am sure there will be more as I become a more experienced knitter) is I am not that far into the project.

 In the case of the Poochie Keen sweater I started knitting inside out. Yes that is a thing especially with double pointed needles (dpns). The start of this project is just knit one/purl one rib and I am sure I was just watching TV and somehow flipped the project inside out, but my stitches were still knit one/purl one. I believe what happened is I twisted the stitches when I turned the work inside out so I had a HUGE hole at the start of the round. This may or may not make sense, but it is true. I should have taken a photo, but this blog thing is still new to me. his photo shows how far along I was, and as you can see, I wasn’t far along at all. It would have taken me longer to figure out how to fix this problem than to just rip it out and start again. I’m Ok with it

I even thought that maybe only using three needles wasn’t enough and I needed to have less stitches on each needle. So I tried using four needles and knitting with the fifth.

The above photo is actually funny to me now. It looks like a hashtag! #dpns

So here I am using the magic loop method instead of dpns. I actually like the magic loop method, but I liked using the dpns on the Bernie mittens so I thought I would give a try here. Nope, Magic Loop it is! It just makes sense in my head.

So yeah, starting over (and over and over) can be frustrating, but I try to remember how much I love what I am doing and that helps me out a lot. 

Restarts aren’t just for knitting

Yes, I am starting over with running too. I admit this is frustrating. The day I fractured my ankle I was heading out for an 11 mile run. 11 miles! But here is the thing, it’s the journey not the destination. Am I right? So it doesn’t matter the mileage I am at in my training and it doesn’t matter how many times I cast on this dog sweater. It matters that I get to do these activities that I love. My Fitbit doesn’t care if I ran 3 feet or 3 miles…it still tells me I did a nice job! I also bet the lucky dog that gets this sweater is not going to care when she gets the sweater either. Don’t worry, I will post a photo of her!

Finish And Start- and it’s not about running!

I planned on running over the weekend, but that just didn’t work. I SHOULD have done it Saturday morning, but once I was up I just felt the house needed some dusting. Ron has been refinishing our stairs and there has been tons of sawdust! I feel like each time I dust, more dust appears! He finished up the sanding last week and was ready to stain. I took this opportunity to dust and polish (again!) until my heart felt content. I use the Norwex dusting mitt on our electronics. I think they do a good job. I feel like I am always looking for the next best cleaning product. It’s not because I like to clean, it’s because I hate it, so if there is something out there that will make things easier, I am all for it!

Since Ron stained the floors, we all had to stay downstairs for most of the day. Knitting and manicure supplies, check! (yarn not pictured-ha!)

It paid off because I finished my latest project! It is the Cropped Raglan Sweater by Lion Brand and it is free pattern! I used Lion Brand’s Wool Ease and it is so nice! It is a wool/acrylic blend and knits up very nice nicely. They carry it at Joann’s so you can almost always find it on sale. Joann’s also does curbside pickup. I ordered up the number of skeins needed (I really wanted to do the Forest Heather color, but they didn’t have enough skeins instock so I went with Oxford Grey. I think it was a good choice) and they put it right in my trunk when I arrived at the store. Wool Easy Peasy!

I actually completed it early in the afternoon (including weaving in all the ends and fixing a dropped stitch! Yes, I found a dropped stitch AFTER I already bound off- ugh) and needed to start my next project since I was on such a knitting high. In comes the Poochie Keen dog sweater! I am very excited to try Kraemer Yarns. I ordered the yarn back in March with a coupon code and so far I am not disappointed. I will write more once I am further along in this project.

Ahhhh, knitting outside is the best!

Road to Recovery in Body and Mind

I am sure I have mentioned that I fractured my ankle back in August 2020. I was actually running and my foot came down on a large rock and I rolled to the ground. Ouch! It was of course on a Sunday, so I waited to see an orthopedic the following day just to be sure. I really thought it was only sprained. 

I was in the boot below for about 7 weeks. As soon as the doctor said I could start physical therapy, I went right to it! I was nervous about going to a clinic, so the doctor gave me a list of exercises I could do at home. I did these religiously three times a week (I actually wanted to do it more but when I did, my ankle was not liking it so I backed off). I also continued to do core and upper body exercises, and any lower body exercises I could add while not putting pressure on my ankle.

Didn’t I make the booth look stylish?
Safely working glutes and abductors with a busted ankle.

It doesn’t look like much below, but my hands are against a wall and I am stretching the calf muscles on the injured foot. Whoa were they tight after all that time in a boot. I did this stretch before any other exercises.

Exercising in All Planes

I continued to do these types of exercises and have added more variety to my workouts. It is important to work in the different planes of the body…and my pilates instructor training really honed in on those skills. As I recovered I could actually feel the importance of those moves in my day to day workouts. I do much more transverse lunges which have really helped me regain the strength in my ankle.

Transverse lunge with 15lb Kettlebell. Love my kettlebell!

I also do more weighted side lunges with resistance. The kettlebell is my current favorite. You can absolutely use a dumbbell or two but the kettlebell does an awesome job of because the mass of the weight is directly underneath with a space in the middle, rather than a dumbbell having the weight evenly distributed on either side. It just challenges your muscles differently and when you do that, you help reduce risk of overuse injury. Both lunges with or without weight are great for strengthening ankles once you are all healed up of course!

Mental Recovery

The physical recovery was only part of the picture. Thank goodness I had such a therapeutic hobby to help me through my recovery. I cried a lot after I found out my ankle was broken and I would be in that boot for 6-8 weeks. As in, seriously cried. It wasn’t just the running I was upset about, I couldn’t go for long walks to clear my head. I thought I might lose my mind, but knitting really stepped in and helped. I took on new projects and also just did stockinette for hours to help calm my brain. The first top down raglan I knitted was a huge part of my mental well-being. I am not afraid of double-pointed needles anymore!

It’s not as frightening as it looks, promise.

Please share anything you have learned about recovery! I incorporated so much pilates in my PT and am so grateful for my training.

To my knitters out there: Magic Loop or DPNs? For me it depends on the project.

Run, Knit, Give

There are so many things that can be done for charity. I actually get overwhelmed thinking about it. I’ve learned to really just start small. I like to run, so signing up for a 5K charity run is the perfect way to get in shape and get involved in your local community. My VERY first 5K was one that took just a few blocks from my home. I remember being so nervous I wouldn’t finish. After the race there was food and music and festivities. Little did I realize that I caught the “running bug” at that race. Ron and Petey (our black lab we had at the time) were there cheering me on at the finish line. It was awesome and I was so proud of myself! But not just for finishing the course, but for contributing to a local charity. It was the Lindsey Meyer Pumpkin Run and you can read more about it here.

I couldn’t find a photo from that race, but here is one of Petey. Miss this guy!

If you aren’t sure how to get started with running a 5K, go find your local running store and I guarantee they have training programs. My local store is a Fleet Feet and I cannot say enough wonderful things about them. The encouragement they provide is beyond what you might imagine.  I did a half-marathon training program in 2014 and I am definitely a smarter runner because of it. Notice I didn’t say faster. Yes, faster was a result too, but I learned so much more about form, training, diet, injury prevention,  and I could go on and on. They also host and sponsor many of the local charity races in the area. See if there is one in your area here.

Now when I started knitting, it was totally selfish as well.. It was just for me. I wanted to learn something new. I wanted to make something for myself (by the way, your first project should be for yourself). I wanted to do something while sitting on my couch during one winter as I recovered from the flu. Do you see all the I’s in there? Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I still think my knitting is selfish. I do it for my sanity, for my anxiety, and really to keep my mind fit. But once and a while you get a chance to do something good and it makes you want to do more.

A hat I knit for a friend of a friend going through chemotherapy. It’s 100% cotton

As I have been learning more about knitting I have come across SO many charity knitting projects. I have visited so many sites, and I will be completely honest,  I haven’t knit for one of them…yet! It is a lot to take on. I am still very new at knitting and I am working on getting faster, but there are only so many hours I have to knit.

Ok so I haven’t made anything for a major organization…but does it have to be a large charity to give back? Maybe not. I made that hat above for one person. Could I do more?

A friend just finished volunteering at the holiday boutique at her daughter’s school. This is when all the kids get to shop for their loved ones. All items are under $10. She noticed that the knit hats in the “dad” section sold out quickly and asked if I would knit some for the following year. She gave me one year to knit 10 hats. Ummmm, yeah, I can handle that. I actually could have probably handled more than that due to pandemic…but I kept it at 10. I bought 2 skeins of discounted yarn at A.C Moore just before they closed (sniff, sniff) and got to work. Here is the collection. I used the basic hat pattern from Purl Soho. Whenever I need to make a basic hat, this is my go-to pattern. 

She wanted to pay me and I told her “absolutely not!”, I was doing this for her daughter’s school.I  I may not have made something for a large organization, but in my own way, I contributed to the education and development of young children. I used my craft to assist in a school fundraiser and I thought that was pretty cool. BTW–all the hats sold!

There are 10 hats, promise!

I think my next charity venture is to knit a prayer shawl. My mom, the crocheter, just gave me this bag of yarn.

My mom gifted me her stash

Whoa! That’s a lot of yarn. My mom is about to turn 80 and she still crochets, but she is at the point where she really does have more yarn than she needs.  She said “Go knit your hats!” But the day after she gave me this bag a friend posted on Facebook that her church is looking for prayer shawls. I took this as a sign and I am starting to do some research on these and look for patterns. I am sure I will make some hats, but somehow I think my mom will be even more impressed that I knitted some prayer shawls. 

If you know more about these or know of a pattern, please contact me! Thanks!

Birthday Weekend!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

When a birthday falls during the week (it was Wednesday for me this year), we usually “float” the birthday until the weekend.

It started Saturday morning with my daughter earning her Second Degree Junior Black Belt in Karate! Pretty cool, huh? She has stayed with it taking lessons on Zoom for just over a year now during this pandemic. Her Sensei actually came by the house and took her through most of the test on our front lawn which was really cool to watch. He hasn’t seen her in person in over a year and was amazed on how much she grew. 

Then it was off to the park to do some kite flying. My daughter did a great job with her kite, but there just wasn’t enough wind for our stunt kites even though we just kept trying! Two years ago we took a trip to Ocean City, Maryland for our vacation. We had been there before and were always impressed with all the kites on the beach. There is a kite store right on the boardwalk and Ron and I each bought a stunt kite. The purchase came with free lessons and I have to say I wasn’t too shabby for my first go at it.

Just not enough wind for the stunt kite

After kite flying I just hung out on my deck and did some knitting. The blanket I promised my daughter years ago is coming along nicely. I finally hit the midway point and I am now decreasing. I am following this pattern and using this yarn. It’s a very simple pattern and I can talk, watch TV, listen to podcasts while doing it.

When the pandemic first hit and we all went on lockdown, I actually craved more complicated patterns where I needed to learn new stitches and skills. When I watched TV, I was tempted to turn on the news to see the latest Covid-19 case count and I really needed to turn my attention to something else. Taking on these complicated projects helped keep my mind busy and my stress level and just above normal instead of off the charts. 😉

Of course, taking on some new skills can be frustrating as well! At one point  I just needed something monotonous and so began the “Sunset Blanket” as my daughter calls it (the pattern I mention above).  My point is to not think of a hobby like knitting as just a one dimensional activity. You can change it up to make it fit what you need at the time. Sometimes you need the distraction, and sometimes you just want the relaxation of a repetitive movement. I cannot recommend knitting enough if you are looking for something like this in your life!

A new/old activity I started up again is running! Check out the new kicks Ron bought me for my birthday. Yes they are beautiful.

I fractured my ankle back in August while running. My foot landed on a rock while I was staring at an uprooted tree (a result of HurricaneIsaias) and before I knew it I was kissing pavement. I had some scrapes on my shins and was bleeding, but the true damage was in the ankle I rolled. Ugh! After being in a boot for about 8 weeks and then physical therapy, I was healed by October. I wanted to run again but I was too afraid of falling again.

I knew I would come around and spring seemed like the best time to start. I am a week in and I feel great. I run at a track so there is less chance of falling over anything on the ground! I will be posting more about my venture back into running so stay tuned.

Foggy day at the track, but that didn’t stop me or any of the other folks here! Woohoo!

What’s a birthday without cake? Ron asked me what type of cake I wanted for my birthday and I answered “carrot cake”. I haven’t had it in so long! I knew the other members of my family wouldn’t be thrilled, but it was my birthday, right?

Yes, that is an Ariel candle!

The cake was delicious! I remember liking the frosting more than the cake as a child, and now it seems to be the other way around. Don’t get me wrong that cream cheese frosting was incredible but I left much of it on my plate. I think that is true of most decadent type desserts. When they are really rich in flavor, you just can’t eat as much as you think.

That sums up my birthday weekend of 2021. A little running, kite flying, knitting, and cake eating. I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more!

Who else is a fan of carrot cake?

Planks, Purls, and Practice

The morning started off with some planks. Not just an ordinary plank, walking planks, planks with rows, and planks with pop-ups. Sometimes my shoulder just isn’t feeling all this plank work, but today I was feeling good so I jumped right in!

Shoulder tap planks
Low/High planks
Plank to pop up
Plank with rows

I was working upper body, lower body, core, and flexibility just in these four moves. I’ll post these over to Instagram soon.

So I finished the beanie with pom pom for my daughter’s friend! You can find the pattern here and the Etsy shop where I purchased faux fur pom here. This was so much fun that I knit one for another friend!

Cabled hat beanie for daughter’s friend!
Second cabled hat for another friend! She chose pom on the left!

Next up is the Cropped Ragland Sweater by Lion Brand. I purchased the yarn for this over the holidays as I thought that is when I would begin this project. It’s a short sleeve cardigan sweater so it will work well in spring and even on cooler nights in the summer so timing still works. You can find the pattern here and the video tutorial I am using here. Please note if this pattern interests you, the yarn listed is no longer available. You can use Lion Brand’s Wool-ease that is available in many crafts stores. This is the yarn that is used in the tutorial I am following. I did a curbside pick up from Joann’s which was so easy even during the holidays!

I finished the swatch for the cardigan a while ago which I knit flat because the pattern is written flat. Then I thought…I love knitting in the round and I have heard that this type of pattern can easily be knit in the round. I even started researching how to convert it and then I stopped myself. I decided it was best to knit this particular project as written the first time, and then once I had that experience (I haven’t knit a cardigan before), I could dive into converting patterns.

Swatch for Cropped Cardi

I am currently on the “raglan repeats” and while doing this I discovered a benefit to knitting this piece flat. I can work on my purling!!!!! What am I talking about? Let’s talk about how I knit.

Which style of knitting do you use?

If someone asked me this question a few years ago, I would have looked at them like they had three heads. There are a few different ways to knit and I have been using the “English throw” version since I learned. I think this is the way MOST videos will teach how to knit. In this version (note: I am speaking about right handed knitters in my description) you let go of the right needle and hold both needles in the left hand as you use your right hand to wrap the yarn around the needle.

Many experienced and talented knitters use this “throw” method. But I began to notice while watching people knit in person and on videos they didn’t let go of the right needle. How did they do that? As it turns out many were using a style called “Continental” or “Picking”. This is where they hold the yarn around their left index finger and just “pick” the yarn up with the right needle. So I gave it a try and failed. I kept wrapping the yarn in the reverse direction. I was so used to using my right hand to wrap yarn, I guess the move fell into muscle memory, so when I used my left hand I did the same thing in reverse. Oh well, I guess I was just meant to “throw” my yarn.

But then I discovered “flicking”. You hold the working yarn around your right index finger and use mostly your wrists to “flick” the yarn around the needle. After not too much practice, I had the knit stitch down. Yes! But then came the purl stitch! I tried practicing this method on the ribbing of the last few hats I made, but no luck. I just couldn’t get the tension right so I went back to “throwing” and switched over to “flicking’ on the stockinette portion of the hat pattern. 

So since I decided to knit this sweater flat, I have to purl all the wrong side rows which gave me tons of time to work on my purl “flicking”. I wouldn’t recommend doing this type of practice on something you plan to give as a gift. I think most people practice on blankets, but since this sweater is for me, it worked out just fine.

See?!?! So much opportunity to practice purling! It looks like this old dog can learn some new tricks!

Do you like to do planks? Do you do plank challenges?

How do you knit?

A Pain in the Neck

I use this title because I woke up one Saturday morning turning my head and then I felt it. That pain that goes across the side of your neck and you can turn your head in one direction. I used to get this A LOT more often. I think it was from commuting and sitting at a desk all day, five days a week. Who knows why it happened this time. Maybe I worked out too hard one day this week, or I just slept “weird” as they say.

I somehow still got up and taught “Barre Express” in my Facebook group.

Barre is actually not so bad when you have a pain in the neck. It has a focus on legs and when I got the upper body part of the class, I just used very light weights. I didn’t really struggle until I got to the floor to do the core work. Mental note: next time this happens, do standing abs!

I am not saying you should ever exercise when you are hurting. But we all know that there are times when we just have to adapt. This past year we have done nothing BUT adapt. Work at home, school at home, and  Zoom became part of our regular vocabulary. Social distancing, curbside pickup, virtual happy hour, virtual playdate, watch parties became part of our “social activities” without being in the same room. Water bottles and soup cans became “hand weights” since dumbbells were sold out everywhere!!! And here, my deck railing became my barre. So yeah, we all adapted and I think we all became maybe just a little more creative.

You don’t need a “barre” for a barre workout. Get creative!

When Monday came around I still had that “pain in the neck”. Granted it is not as bad and I was able to turn my head a little further, but I still had pain.  I haven’t taught Barre in about a year and it felt awesome! I have been teaching Pilates and PiYo virtually, but that was the first “barre” type class. Granted we couldn’t do all the “fun” stuff I like to do when you have a barre that is bolted into the wall or floor, but we still worked hard using a chair just for balance.

Flashback to barre class that I miss like crazy!

But seriously, when a curveball is thrown at you, adapt.(there’s the key word right there)  As much as my neck hurt that weekend, the barre workout was definitely not a pain in the neck. My legs got that “shaky” feeling I get from a good barre workout that I haven’t felt in quite some time. As an instructor, I feed off the energy of the folks in my class. Even if it is over a screen…I can still see them working hard. So I used 1-pound weights instead of 3, who cares? I just adapted (I think you are getting the point)  based on how my body was feeling and I still got in a great workout. Treat your workouts just like life, when your “plan” isn’t going to work for whatever reason, just adapt the “plan”. What’s that saying?…when we plan, God laughs. Or something like that. So whatever pain in the neck you have going on, work around it. You’ll be glad that you did!

A New Hat- post all about stitches and not many sit-ups…

Quick note: I wrote this entry before I started researching blog platforms, so if you follow me on any social media platform, you have most likely seen these finished projects.

And yes, the Bernie mitten remains just that…a mitten.

While I was working on that Bernie mitten, a friend asked if I would knit her daughter (her daughter is actually my daughter’s friend and is how we are friends to begin with. Did you follow that?) a beanie with a faux fur pom pom. They are very popular these days! I was ecstatic! I love to get requests from friends…assuming it is something I can actually do. I have had a friend send me photos of sweaters that are just completely beyond my skill level. I am not saying I could never knit these sweaters, but up until today I have knit a total of TWO sweaters. Both are short sleeves and are more like a summer top—not what you are probably picturing what a knitted sweater looks like. Here they are:

So once I received this request, I immediately started my search on ravelry for a hat this little cutie might like. It didn’t take long. We found one right away with CABLES! ACK!!! Ok, I am not new to cables, I just knit my first scarf with cables over the holidays. I actually knit two and gave them away as gifts. Cables aren’t really as daunting as I thought. So, I sent her a link to some yarn, the color was selected and I placed the order. It arrived about a week later!

Here is my first cable project. If you are new to cables, this is a great place to start. You can find the pattern here. You will need a cable needle and I found this little pack to work out great. The needle is thicker on the ends so you don’t feel like you are going to lose any stitches—and that is big coming from me because I always feel like stitches are going to slip right off the needle. I initially thought that you bought a cable needle in the same size as the knitting needles you were using. Nope! I found the thickest one worked for this project as it uses chunky yarn. Just add some cute buttons! I used Berroco vintage chunky yarn.

Ok, here is a sneak peek at the new hat which is what this post was supposed to be all about. There are cables AND twisted stitches…oh my! But I think I am handling them like a champ. I have already had to tink back (that is knit backwards) a set of cables because I forgot to twist a few stitches in one of the pattern repeats. THAT was so nerve wracking, but I survived.

If my fellow knitters are curious as to how I learned to tink the cable stitches, this video will show you all you need to know. It’s one of many I review again and again….

Would love to hear about your video, resources, and tools you find yourself going to back to over and over again. Share your knowledge!

My First Post

I started a blog on my website, pilates201, but soon discovered I had a lot more to talk about than pilates. I could have kept it there, and maybe I will, but let’s see where this first post takes me.

We just hit the one year anniversary of the initial lockdown of the pandemic. One year ago we were all in Lake Placid to watch my daughter compete in the Empire State Winter Games. It was such a fun weekend and I remember it was so warm! We didn’t need all those hand warmers and toe warmers we packed. I brought along my TRX, but couldn’t find a door that had enough space to do a workout. Boo! So, I stuck to my traditional Pilates ab series which always does the trick when I travel. BTW- Pilates with TRX is amazing as well, but more on that in the future. 

As much as Pilates is great for the body AND mind, I can’t do pilates all day so I continued to knit even after we were all cured of the flu! (See my about me on that fun story)

After I learned how to knit, I would see a pattern or photo of a completed project and say to myself “I want to make that!” Forget that I was in the middle of another project, I needed to start a new one!. Knitters and crocheters can easily grow a yarn stash quickly. We see a project we want to make, buy the yarn, and for one reason or another we don’t quite get to it. We may lose interest, or more likely…find another project to dig our needles into! So, I decided that in 2021 I was going to use up yarn I had and not purchase yarn unless I was ready to cast it on my needles. I would have no more than 2 projects going which would include a large one like a blanket and a smaller one that is more portable, like a hat. 

I started a new hat for myself using yarn I purchased because I thought the two colors looked pretty together. That was it. I just thought I would make something. Well, here is that something.

Double-thick cuff hat

It is the “Double-Thick Cuff Hat” pattern designed by Staci Perry. When I talk about knitting, I will most likely be referring to her videos and/or patterns. I did the cast on the second week of January, and then….the Bernie mittens made an appearance! Suddenly, I was back to my old ways. “I must knit the Bernie mittens,” I said to myself. I already had black, white and dark brown yarn (score! I would use some of my stash), so I only needed taupe and cream color yarns. Here is the start:

Bernie mitten

I am only beginning to use dpns (that’s double pointed needles) so this was a bit of a challenge. This was the first time I did a cast on using dpns. All my “in the round projects have been done using 16-inch circular needles. I had to search youtube and honestly it was a combination of a few and a few false starts that got me here. I still couldn’t figure out how to do the “invisible join” that I like to do a 16-inch circulars, so I just didn’t do it. It can be fixed at the end, no biggie.

So here is where I am. Oh, and did I mention this is my first set of mittens? No? Ok, it is. In full disclosure I have done “fingerless mittens” so that is why I am stalled here for right now. I have to go back and finish the thumb. 

I hope you follow me through my knitting and fitness journey and share your experiences as well!

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started