And I’m going to be down with Miss Marple For Life

I am live my life in 15 minute intervals.  Its really the only way of survival. With 2 ( sometimes 3 ) under the age of five running around, life is catoic to say the least. Over the last year I have figured out by trial and error that 15 mins is about how long it takes before something happens that requires my attention.  As of right now of my knitting times are short and sparatitc. It use to be I could knit for 6 hours a day and I had a pretty rigid schedule but , now I knit in 15 min to half an hour intervals two or three times a day. Unless by fluke everyone is sleeping at the same time..

The creative side of me is frustrated a bit by this but, the mommy side of me is overjoyed at the fact I get to watch the minis grow. Mini-me starts preschool in a couple of weeks and mini-he will be 1 years old in just over a month. Wow has the year gone by fast and I am all to aware of the fact the mini’s will grow to be not so mini any more and I will have all the time in world to knit.

Right now though,  the fur started crying and the endless episodes of “Handy Manny”  start to get me and this Mom needs a little peace. That;’s where knitting and Miss Marple comes in. I pick up the needles and press play on a Miss Marple episode on netflix.

The show was made in 1984 ( the year I was born)  but as far I can tell takes places in the 1950s or so. I love simple, not gory murder mysteries and that is exactly what this is.

Miss Marple is an amateur detective who is often classified as a nosy and gossipy old lady but, she is very perceptive and detail oriented. In the end of day she ALWAYS finds out whodunnit. The best part of all of this, if you haven’t guessed already, is the knitting. Miss Marple knits. She knit whenever she gets a chance, and does most of thinking while knitting. (don’t we all?)

Miss Marple Knitting

Each episode is about 2 hours long so each day, I aim to get through one episode . 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there and when its bedtime for the mini’s I finish off the episode and knit like a mad women all the way through.

I’m almost done going through everything netflix has to offer on Miss Marple and I am little sad when it will come to and end. Maybe I’ll have to just watch them all over again…

My 15 minutes of blogging is almost up, so I will leave you with a video of a song I heard while driving. ” Mind the Gap” by Nabiha

She sings that she is down with Miss Marple for life… Me too

Thursday Stitch day!! #31-40

Hello all!!

Welcome to Thursday and I really hope your day is going awesome!! It looks as though fall is coming soon  and you know what? As a knitter I am SO okay with that. My last few nights  have consisted of netflix and Miss Marple shows, my knitting and a blanket. So cozy and I am so in heaven!!

If you have been following my blog you will know (most) Thursday’s involve me showing off my stitchonary blanket, where I am knitting EVERY square out one of the very first knitting books I ever owned called “400 Knitting Stitches ” by Potter Craft.

Today I will show off stitches number 31 to 40. All of these stitches are different variations of just simply knit/purl combinations.

 

#31 Garter Stitch Rectangles

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#32 Cobblestones

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#33 5/5 Checks ( my very first scarf was this pattern)

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#34 Lines and Rectangles

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#35 Basket Weave 1

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#36 Alternating Rib

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#37 Interrupted Rib 1

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#38 Woven Rib

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#39 Horizontal Dash Stitch

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#40 Garter Stitch Cobblestones

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My favourite of these stitches was probably Basket Weave 1. Its simple to knit while watching tv but not so boring to put you sleep!

 

Next week I’ll be covering #41 – 50 but, right now netflix, my blanket and some knit dishcloths are calling!

Thanks for reading!

Smashlee 

400 stitches 21-30

So it’s Thursday…which can only mean 2 things.. 1. It’s garbage day and 2. It’s time to share some stitches.

 

This block of stitches was some my favourite swatches to make. They are getting more and more textured. I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite out of this bunch.

let me share them with you.

 

first up #21

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#22 the dot stitch

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#23 the alternating dot stitch 

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#24 the double alternating dot stitch  

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#25 the little granite stitch 

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#26 the granite stitch

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#27 the seersucker stitch 

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#28 garter stitch ridges

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#29 stocking stitch with garter ridges 

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#30 garter stitch bands

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Thats it it for this week. Comment and let me know your favourite stitch! 

 

400 Stitches #11-20

If you read my last post you will know on Thursdays I use my blog for accountability as I complete all the stitches out of Stitchonary “ 400 Stitches” . However, I missed last week… I was sick, and grumpy and trying to catch up on housework.  I was all  ready to go and had even taken pictures of squares 11-20 but, it never made it on my computer. Oh well.. Instead of  dwelling on the past I’m moving forward with this weeks post .

 

The one thing I wanted to mention is that if you are following along in the book, I have found some errors in regards to some of the stitch patterns. One of these errors occurs in #17 . I am not going to post my corrections until I know for certain its not just me and my knitting but, just be aware theres a possibility not all the pattern instructions are correct in the book.

 

Now, lets look at stitches 11 through 20. We are justing using knit and purl  at this stage in the book but, the patterns are becoming more textured and visually interesting.

 

 

 #11 Caterpillar Stitch

#11 Caterpillar Stitch

The Garter Stitch Rib is a nice textured  rib if you want to dress up your ribbing on a hat or sweater.

#12 3/3 Garter Stitch Rib

#12 3/3 Garter Stitch Rib

#13 2/2 Garter Stitch Rib

#13 2/2 Garter Stitch Rib

 

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#14 1/2 Garter Stitch Rib

#15 Broken Rib

#15 Broken Rib

#16 Moss Stitch Rib

#16 Moss Stitch Rib

#17 Fancy Moss Stitch Rib

The Mock English rib are some my favourite stitches. They are very textured which I love.

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#18 Mock English Rib 1

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#19 Mock English Rib 2

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#20 Furrowed Rib

Those are this weeks stitches. Check back next week when I show you #21-30 in more knit purl combination.

Thanks for reading!!

 

 

Bringing Back the Blanket

If you have been reading my blog over the last year and a half you will notice I am pretty goal oriented person. I like things to have a rhyme and reason to them. I like lists, and schedules. I like things to go exactly in the order they should.  I love the idea of knitting all the pattens in a knitting book from the very first page to the last.  I think this is why a stitchonary appeals to me so much.  That is why I am  knitting  every swatch in the book “400 Stitches: A Complete Guide of Essential Stitches”  in the order that  they appear. These  little swatches are sewn together to make a gigantic blanket for my bed.  In my mind, it  just has to be done.

That being said the other thing I need to do is forgive myself. I need to forgive myself for not working on this project much over the last little while. ( I do have a really good reason though) I should have been more than half done by now but, like I said my Mommy duties called.the minis at the pa

I also need to forgive myself for the errors in my knitting and for missing pattern #9. It irks me its not going to be pink . it will instead be blue and will be 4 rows down from where it should be.  Instead of hanging out with the other ribbing swatches it will be with the cabled ones. I hope it enjoys its home there. As much as my brain is telling me to, I am NOT going to undo all  the work i’ve already done to stick one swatch in the right place.  That would mean undoing the seams of over 100 swatches and re sewing them together… I …just …. can’t. 

I am also forgiving myself for not having updated pictures for you guys. Like I said not much progress has been done . But, fear not! As I was looking over my project and trying not to feel the guilt of all the other WIP’s I need to get to, I fell in love with it all over again.  Flaws and all. 

So because I don’t have much to show for it, I figure why not go back and show in detail what I have done so far. Every Wednesday, I will show 10 more stitches of the blanket, in the order that  they appear in the book .

 

here we go!

The first three are some of the most basic stitches and usually the first ones any knitter learns,

#1 Stocking Stitch

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#2 Reverse Stocking Stitch

#3 Garter Stitch

#3 Garter Stitch

Then we get into a little bit more complicated but, very familiar stitches

#4 Moss Stitch

#4 moss stitch

#6 double moss stitch

#5 Double moss Stitch

Here’s the ribbing.

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#6 1/1 ribbing

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#7 1/2 Ribbing

#8 2/2 Rib

#8 2/2 ribbing

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#9 3X2 Ribbing

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#10 5×1 Ribbing

 

If your like me and like the order and/or your a little bit crazy why not join me and knit along!

Again the book is “400 Stitches: A Complete Guide of Essential Stitches” 

For more information on these or any of my knitting bucket list items check out my blog archives.

Quick Knits – Featured Pattern By Margo Knits.

The one thing I have been all about at the moment is quick knits. With all the little ones running around, super bulky #6 yarn has been my best friend.I’m finding these projects are really getting me back into things as I start running Smashlee Stitches full time again. They are sort of like warm up exercises.

The following project I found online through Facebook and I must say, it was so fun to make!

An awesome project brought to you by Margo Knits.

An awesome project brought to you by Margo Knits.

It’s called the Cable Crown Super Bulky Headband by Margo Knits

Its a very simple pattern with a great cable design. It also offers some my favourite knitting techniques like the provisional cast on and the three needle bind off. It took me about an hour to knit up from start to finish and that’s with numerous interruptions.

Yes , I am wearing Christmas themed pants aka "my Red Deer pants" but, thats a story for another day.

Yes , I am wearing Christmas themed pants aka “my Red Deer pants” but, thats a story for another day.

I am loving how my headband turned out. Apparently it also look quite cute on babies and makes some great “sunglasses” as my mini-me is so nicely demonstrating.

"mom, what do you think? am I cute??"

“mom, what do you think? am I cute??”

"look Mom, Sunglasses!"

“look Mom, Sunglasses!”

These would make a great last minute gift or a great project for the commuter knitter, the busy mom, or something to do when you want to just make a quick project!

All done!!!

All done!!!

Thanks for reading!!

Smashlee

Want more Smashlee Stitches??? Join my Facebook page and check out my Etsy Shop.

 

Knitting Mentors

This past Christmas I was struggling with a new knitting technique, so I turned to You Tube for some answers to find some video demonstrations to help me. What I discovered on the little panel beside the video your watching ( you know the one that says suggested videos) was so much more than just the answer to my questions. I found my knitting mentor.

I have always been a fan of knitters such as Elizabeth Zimmerman, Meg Swansen, Vicki Howell but, who I stumbled upon  may  just be a kindred spirit.  Her name is Staci, and her website is www.verypink.com

I first clicked on her video because of the name, I am obsessed with the colour pink and so anything with “pink” and “knit” in the title is a “must see” for me.

Watching Very Pink Knits while knitting

Watching Very Pink Knits while knitting

I don’t remember the first video I watched, but, I was hooked instantly.

Her are few reasons why I cannot get enough of her.

  • She has no stash ( hello, bucket list item #3)
  • She loves circulars needles and The shorter the better for straight and dpns needles ( see my blog post on this)
  • She has completed the knitting masters course from the American’s knitters guild   ( I have always wanted to do this…and honestly I don’t know why this isn’t on my bucket list…)
  • She has turned her love of knitting into a full fledged business. This is what I am trying to do and now that I know about Staci, I know that it is possible.
  •   The way she knits. I know this sounds weird but, I spend a lot of time when I am knitting watching her videos. I love the way she holds the yarn, the needles , everything. I could watch her knit all day and honestly, if  I am in a bad mood I don’t even listen to what she’s saying I just watch and my mood instantly gets better.
  •  She makes me feel not crazy!! A lot of my more advanced knitting skills were self – taught and I have often wondered if I was doing them correctly. As I go through her videos, I see more and more similarities on how we knit! We think the same and that is a welcomed reassurance.
  • Her patterns are gorgeous. I want to knit them all, with all my yarn, on my short needles and have no stash left over!!! Ahhh knitting bliss!!
  •  In her videos she does a lot of close-ups and explains everything in a lot of detail.
  •  She’s consistent. She posts new videos ever Wedneday. I so look forward to this, and usually watch them as soon as she posts them. The rest of the week I just watch her old ones ( she’s been doing this for 4 years now, so there is a lot to go through) and count down the days to new content.
  •   She’s approachable. You can access her anywhere, youtube, website, facebook, google +, raverly , pinterest, twitter.

So in closing, I just want to say Staci, you rock :)

And in case your wondering. my favorite videos thus far is her Fancy Stitch Combo Series

The Knitting Bucket List Revised

I like goals, I think they are a great way to keep track of our what we want to achieve in every aspect of life. That is why I started the “knitting bucket list”,a comprehensive list of my goals for my knitting business, Smashlee Stitches. I decided to share this on my  blog  because it keeps me accountable and is a great driving force in getting these goals checked off my list.   I hope in the end it inspires some one to do the same with their goals, whatever they are.

With that said, I have been thinking of the bucket list a lot of the last few months and have decided it is need of some tweaking. I listen to a lot of audiobooks while I knit and a good majority of them are about goal setting. With all that I have learned about this topic in the past year, I now see where some my goals needed to be more specific and action oriented. So, In the rest of this blog post you will find the  updated and revised version of my knitting bucket list. Enjoy ;)

Smashlee

Smashlee

The Knitting Bucket List

 1. Finish my Daughter’s baby blanket.  - Finished   Read the blog post

  2.Knit myself a sweater I really love.

 3.Use up all the yarn in my knitting stash.

 4.Write or contribute an article to a knitting magazine or newsletter

5. Make enough money from knitting and knitting related activities to support my family financially, which would allow my husband to quit his job and peruse his dreams.

6. Contribute and donate knitting to various charities and people in need.

 7. Finish knitting all the stitches in the book “400 Knitting Stitches

8. Get someone who is famous or a celebrity to own or buy something that I have knitted.

  9. Write a book about knitting

 10. Knit a set of booties or slippers in all the NHL team colours.

11. Read, write reviews and make a master list of best knitting books out there.

12. Publish a collection of original Smashlee Stitches patterns.

13. Knit a garden.

14. Have Smashlee Stitches grow big enough that I need at least one employee.

 15. Make my own knitting themed greeting cards

16. Learn to teach knitting and one day have online classes.

17 .Felt something! Finished   Read the blog post

 18. Own a complete…and I mean COMPLETE set of circular knitting needles in every size and length.

 19. Be a test knitter Finished   Read the blog post

 20. Be part of a mystery knit along.

21. learn to Crochet.

 22. Finished all my current UFO ( unfinished objects)

23. Only have 5 projects on the go at once.

24. Learn to spin.

25 .Own a yarn shop

26. Teach a child to knit

27.Read the all the knitting books on this site. http://www.esequels.com/blog/?p=162

 28. Have one only of patterns be on the “hot right now” list on Raverly.

 29. Take a tour of a major yarn company’s factory.

 30. Have a Smashlee Stitches hand knit purse/bag line.

 31. Knit a tutu Finished  

Read the blog post

32. Knit my Dad a Star Trek sweater.

 33. Knit some of the really cute patterns from Mochimochi land.

 34. Attend an Interweave Knitting Lab.

 35. Learn and study the history of knitting.

 36. Knit a wedding dress.

 37.  Knit curtains.

 38. Knit a sweater  that has a zipper.

 39. Visit a sheep farm.

 40. Use Raverly on a regular basis. Finished  Read the blog post

41. Go to a knitting conference.

42. Write a stitchonary.

 43. Knit my husband something he will actually wear on a regular basis.

 44.  Learn magic loop.

 45.  do a knitting photo shoot

        46. 1000 Etsy sales

 47. Knit on TV.

 48. Hire a maid

 49. Have my own youtube knitting videos

 50 . Make knit shoes. (not slippers, actual shoes)

 51. Listen to all the knit picks podcasts.

 52. Meet Kelley Pekten.

 53. Learn to spin my own yarn.

 54. Learn to dye my own yarn.

 55. Have my own yarn line.

 56. Master intarsia knitting

 57. Meet the yarn harlot.

58. Make my little brother a star wars themed blanket.

 59. Learn to double knit.

 60.  Knit my way through all the Elizabeth Zimmerman books.

 61  Have my own podcast or contribute to one regularly.

62. Learn to duplicate stitch.

 63. Learn embroidery.

64.Knit a sock monkey.

65. Design and knit the characters from my Dad’s book. When I was 9 my dad and I wrote a book called “The Night Before The Night Before Christmas Morning.” We self published it but, my goal is to re-publish the book and maybe add some knitted toys to go along with it.

 66. Knit a Dr Who Themed Blanket.

 67. Yarn bomb something.

 68. Read through and knit everything in Stitch London

 69. Knit my own royal family.

70. Knit a version of the “Ernie” sweater for a child.

71. Knit an Aran sweater.

 72. Knit some pants.

73. Knit a house coat

 74.  Knit mini-he a blanket

75. Find a way to organize my DPNs and circular knitting needles.

 76. Knit a hot water bottle cover.

 77. Crochet socks.

 78. Only have knit socks in my drawer…no more store bought.

 79. Create my own sock pattern.

 80.  Knit my mom a sweater.

 81. Design a Fair Isle Pattern for a scarf.

82. Have my dream home office.

83. Have a pattern published in Knitty.

84.  Have a pattern published in Knit Simple Magazine.

85. Have my products featured on the main page of Etsy.

86. Have my knitted garments in a fashion show.

87. Learn to Knook.

88. Learn Tunisian Crochet. Sort of like Knooking…but, different.

89. Use a turkish drop spindle.

90. Knit an authentic Dr. Who Scarf. Finished   Read the blog post

91. Learn to Loom knit.

92. Knit Christmas stockings for my family.

93. Make an emergency knitting kit for my car.

94. Knit a set of placemats.

95. Make my own line of knitting related greeting cards.

96. Design an award winning afghan. http://www.herrschners.ca/NationalAfghanContest.aspx

97. Knit an infinity scarf.  Finished  Read the blog post

98.Knit a  throw pillows  for my bedroom.

99. Make a new bucket list.

100. Never give up!

Current Uncompleted Goals: 93

Completed Goals: 7

 

New Year…New Family

Welcome to the world lil man

Welcome to the world lil man

New Year, New Family

The Smashlee Family has expanded…Meet the new Mini-He

Wow it’s been a long time since my last post but..it was all for good reason! Meet my new Mini-He who was born October 1st 2013. The last part of 2013 has been crazy with the arrival of our new addition and then the holiday season (the busiest time for a knitter) . Now that things are kind of settling down, ( do they ever really settle down with kids??) and we are adjusting to our new life as a family of 4,  I find myself ready to get back at it  and tackle my long list of knitting projects.

What a cutie...

What a cutie…

I am super excited to see what 2014 has in store for Smashlee Stitches. I will be updating the bucket list and writing reviews on yarn, needles , knitting books and maybe let you in on a few of my knitting secrets. Happy 2014!!!

mini-me & mini-he

mini-me & mini-he

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out  my Facebook page and etsy shop, you can also follow me on twitter and on Pinterest.

Smashlee

I’m Still Around!!

Looks like the summer is behind us and I am sure I am in good company when I say it has gone by way too fast! It seems like I blinked and all the sudden the leaves have changed colour and their is snow on the mountains!!

Another thing happened…I swallowed a beach ball…but the Doctors claim its a baby and he is suppose to be here any day now!!

So I as anxiously await the arrival of my beach ball I thought I’d drop by to say hi, and to say me and knitting bucket list will be back shortly!!! So stay Tuned….and if your needing your Smashlee Stitches fix you can always head over to my facebook page , or twitter

Until next time,

Smashlee

 

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