I heart fair isle

Today is Valentine’s Day, which is all about love; And  instead of telling you about Mr. Smashlee, I figured why not write about one my newest loves. Fair isle knitting.

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I’ve dabbled in learning this colour knitting technique however, I had never finished a single project, until now.

At the beginning of 2016 I got a custom order for some beautiful fair isle socks. I’ve seen the pattern being shared on Facebook and I was tagged in it more times then I count. Eventually I took the hint and when I was officially asked to make a pair, I thought
“okay…why not?”

As soon as I started to knit these socks, I was obsessed. I couldn’t stop!  Each section that was completed just made me more and more excited see the finished project.

Surprisingly, they didn’t take me as long as I thought they would (given I have two kids running amok around here) And my yarn didn’t get THAT tangled along the way. I’m also surprised they turned out the way they did. For the first time, I really started to feel like I know what I’m doing. For me Fair isle was always that thing that only REALLY advanced knitters did and I just wasn’t that good at knitting.

I know deep down that was just my insecurities talking. I knew this pattern was something I could do with ease but, yet I’m still surprised I could and that I DID knit it.

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I’m sure my Instagram  followers are sick of seeing pictures of these socks, as I documented the whole process , step by step.  But, I promise the blog is the last time I’ll show them off for a while. That is, until I make the next pair…which will be fairly soon as I’m already going through Fair isle withdrawal. And I’m seriously considering making fair isle leggings because, well…Why not?

If you would like to download this pattern  it is a paid download through Ravelry and you can find it here.

Happy Knitting and Thanks for reading!!!

Smashlee

 

For Custom orders and other inquires you can e-mail me ( Ashlee)  at smashleestitches@gmail.com

 

Connect with me:

Twitter: @ashleelackovic

Facebook: Smashlee Stitches

Ravelry: Ashlee Lackovic

Simple Boot Socks A Smashlee Stitches Pattern

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

16” circular needles or double point needles in size US 8 (5mm) or needle size needed to achieve gauge
1.5 skeins of Sirdar Crofter chunky yarn (approx. 120 yards) in a colour of your choice.
A tapestry needle to weave in your ends.
1 stitch maker.

Gauge is important for this product so I highly suggest making a sample swatch before beginning your project.

Gauge was measured in stockinette stich. 4” = 12sts or 1”=3sts

SIZING

These boot socks measure 7.5“ tall and 5.5 “ wide when lying flat. They are sized to fit small to medium size adult calves. If you need smaller or larger size you can add or subtract stitches by 4 . (example: cast on stitches for a 40 stitches larger size. 32 stitches for a smaller size) . Keep in mind the boot socks do stretch so, the average size should fit most.

 

THE PATTERN

Make 2:

Cast on 36 stitches using long tail cast on.

Check to see your stiches are not twisted, and once all your stitches are pointing in the right direction, place your stitch marker and start round one.

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Round 1-9: *K2,P2*; Repeat from * until the end of the round.

You will now have 9 rounds of ribbing.

Round 10-30 Knit the entire roundIMG_2272

Round 31-38 *K2,P2*; Repeat from *until the end of the round.

Bind off loosely

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If you would like a longer boot cuff you can increase the number of stockinette rounds ( rounds 10-30) until you are satisfied with the length.

 

A free printable pdf  version of this pattern can be downloaded on Ravelry .

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If you have any questions about this pattern you can contact me at smashleestitches@gmail.com

Connect with me:

Twitter: @ashleelackovic

Facebook: Smashlee Stitches

Ravelry: Ashlee Lackovic

I could knit that…

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my newest hat design that was inspired by my aunt and by all the shopping I pretend to do.

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to shop. I don’t know if I I actually want to buy something, or that I just want to look at stuff.  Since, its comfy cozy season…meaning, its okay to wear to hand knit stuff now that its winter, I find myself especially drawn to clothing stores. There is a problem though, and I think many crafters can relate, I look at a beautiful sweater, scarf, hat, mittens etc. and the first thought is…I could knit that.

Yes, the yarn would cost more then the item’s price tag, and it would take me hours ( sometimes days or weeks) to duplicate the stitch, style and colour. BUT, I could knit that. So I won’t buy it. Even though, I’ll probably never knit it.

And if I were to give in and buy the machine knit item, everytime I wear it, someone will ask ” oh, wow! Did you knit that?”

And then I answer like a crazy person… “Nope, no i didn’t. I bought it H&M for $39.99 I could knit it though, If I wanted to…..Which I do…. But,I haven’t yet… you know… toddlers…they never sleep…I swear one day I will knit it though…Once the kids are grown and the sweater is out of style… so many projects…so Little time. Ha ha ha”

Usually the person who asked has walked away from me at this point or changed the subject because clearly thats not the answer they wanted or expected.

However, There is a plus side to fall/winter fashion. If I put on my design hat. I could look at this time of year as opportunity for inspriation. Not only could I knit that…I could design that, and write that pattern out and help other people knit “that” too.

I don’t want to make carbon copies of mass produced items but, rather use this as market research.

What kind of sweaters are for sale? Stripes, cables, ugly christmas?  long or short? Cardigan or pull over? Can I make something that works with leggings? Speaking of leggings maybe some leg warmers, or boot cuffs?

See what I am saying? I should go to mall just so I can become a better designer. Too bad its Christmas time and the malls are jammed pack with crazy shoppers. On second thought, I think maybe I’ll skip the mall and stay at home , surf the web and window shop that way… Its almost, sort of the same thing…

Family projects 

Almost all of my knitting has been about family in the last few weeks. Every other project I was working on was simply tossed aside, for the moment.

In the immediate days following my Grandpa’s passing, I pretty much sat in my PJs, turned on Netflix , watched endless hours of HGTV interior design shows and let the mini’s pretty much destroy the house. They pulled out every toy they own ( which is ALOT) and my living room was cluttered with everything from Barbies to Hotwheels. I didn’t really care though. I mean, it would be embarrassing if anyone stopped by randomly but, at the same time it very healing. And it’s amazing how much knitting one can get done when they don’t clean up the house.

I had quite the pile of finished projects once I was done netflix binging so, let me share a few of them with you.image

One of cousin’s is due with her second baby very soon, and i got the honour of knitting him a cute little owl hat and crocheted some booties to match. His big sister also got a hat I call the “dylan” hat. It was an ear flap design I wrote last year and just never published (yet).

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Another one of cousins got a bearded hat. And trust me, most the family tired this hat on and I promptly got requests for 3 more. Here’s a picture of one of them. No, I’m not modelling it. I have tried it on a few times, but, No one needs to see that. Trust me.

  
I finally giving my mom her sweater but, I also made her a crocheted shawl. It’s indentical to the one I made a few months ago. Sadly I didn’t take a picture of either item.

On the way home, Mr.Smashlee stopped by a yarn store so I could also have some retail therapy . The day before he had surprised me with all the current issues of my favorite knitting magazines.  

What can  I say, I don’t want to brag but, I married a very smart man.

I have few more projects to finish for family and the In I will dive back into my knitting bag and get back on track with my All my other projects that are on the go.

Thanks for reading!

Smashlee 

October: The month of celebrations and goodbyes.

October has been a bittersweet month for me.  Both my mini’s birthdays are in the beginning of October. We spoiled them with presents, cake and a pool party. I know, every parent says this but, I can’t believe how fast they are growing up.

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On October 15, we said goodbye to my beloved Grandpa. It was (is) really tough. He was an inspirational, kind, and loving man, who supported me in everything I did. 22142_231669064661_7577147_n

He had a definite appreciation for handmade items.  He was amazing at needlepoint work and latch hooking.

I have a few of his pieces hanging around my home, my favorite being a teddy pair picture that was made for me when I was born. it proudly hangs on wall in the mini-me’s room.

When I started to knit and then started to sell my items on Facebook , he very proudly took my business card and stuck it in his wallet. We chatted a lot about my knitting business. I don’t know if he ever read my blog, but, I know he was proud of what I am trying to with Smashlee Stitches.
He will be very very missed.

I did get to see a lot of extended family this last month, including my mom and was able to hand deliver a lot of gifts instead of mailing them.

My mom finally got her sweater however, I never did get a picture of her wearing it. It fits and she loved it. I also got to deliver hand knit items to my cousins which, included a beard hat and a some baby items. Like I said, the whole thing was very bitter sweet.

Things are slowly getting back to “normal” and I am feeling alot better then I was a week ago. It still isn’t easy though, Knitting helps. Its great therapy.

knitting when I can…

I thought once school started life would slow down a bit. Turns out I was wrong, with driving her to and from school, plus the birthday parties, the girl guides and play dates it seems life got busier. I’m slowly finding my way though, and a new routine is forming in our household to accommodate the new schedule. Knitting is finding its way in, even its only 15 minutes here or there but, I’m learning to use my time wisely and efficiently. I’m very thankful the mini-he still naps because when he’s fast asleep and the mini-me is away at school. I put my audiobooks on, knit my heart out and really really enjoy just being alone for an hour or so.

What’s on my needles

Right now I still working on the rainbow sampler baby blanket. I am on square 7 and back to the colour yellow.

  
This particular pattern took me a bit to catch on to, its not a difficult pattern but, it does require some concentration. After,, frogging my work 3 or 4 times I finally got the hang of it and am now very much enjoying the beauty of the stitches.

The Bucket List

Project “Knit up the yarn stash” is still very much under way. I’m managing to assign 3 or 4 skeins a night with a  pattern and due date and a place in my ravelry queue.

  
I’m quickly realizing I’m going to need another tub, not because I need more yarn storage but, simply because I want to sort  out the project into two main categories, weekday knitting ( inventory for my etsy shop) and weekend knitting (projects for myself and my family). This way it keeps things a little neater and accessible.

What I’m listening to

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I’m a big fan of podcasts and one of favorites right now is Happier by Gretchen Rubin. It’s about..well.. being happier. Its a fun. quirky podcast hosted by author Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth. Together they share lots of ideas on how to make our lives easier,funner and happier! The podcasts about 30 mins in length and I always find myself smiling after I listen. Its great for a distraction while I’m cleaning the house. In a nut shell it just makes me happy.

Thanks for reading!

Smashlee

Not much on my needles this weekend…

I’ll admit it..I didn’t do alot of knitting this past weekend. About 2 hours total for the whole weekend. I thought I was getting sick but, it appears I was wrong ( hopefully). The first sign of a cold for me is my skin dries out.  Its kinda weird but, my hands, nose and cheeks become so dry they almost start to crack. I’ll be perfectly fine one day and then the next wake up with extremely dry skin, then the day after thay, I will have a full blown cold or flu.

All of Saturday and Sunday I felt ran down, I had really dry skin, it felt like my throat was on the verge of being sore and then poof it all went away. I feel completely fine today.

It wasn’t a wasted weekend though, I did make some progress on desiging my boot cuff pattern .

  
I have finished one boot cuff and although its a very simple design, it is  exactly what i was envisioning. I wanted to show off the yarn, not the stitches.

I’m not crazy about the circumference of this boot cuff though. I personally feel its a little loose for my calves. I tend to wear leggings alot and I just would prefer something tighter. I have re-written the pattern slightly and am knitting a smaller version to see if that fits a bit better. I do know not everyone is like me though, so I was thinking of offering a small/med size and a larger size in the pattern. I know most boot cuffs are one size fits all but, I wanted to add options for those who may want a looser fit.

So what do you think, should I stick with the “average” size or should I go with different sizes in my boot cuff design? Comment and let know!

Thanks for reading!

Smashlee

My favorite patterns from Ravelry this week.

My absolute favorite part of day is when I get to sit down at my computer, go on ravelry and search for patterns that will use up my stash.

Every night I grab 2 or 3 skeins of yarn and just search and search until I find THE perfect pattern. Since, I’ve been doing this every night for the past week, I figured I’d share what i’ve found. I have to say “shopping” from my own stash is seriously inspiring. I dare you to try it.

first up, a pattern by one my favorite knitter’s Staci Perry.

Learn to knit your first scarf.

It’s not my first scarf but, this will be awesome stash buster and I will be using Cascade 220 super-wash wool in fall colours ( yellow, orange, red)

Camp out fingerless mitts by tante ehm

I’ll be using the suggested yarn, noro silk garden. These will be knit for myself because, I really really want to have a pair of finger less mitts this fall.

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Elizabeth is another one of my favorite knitters. I’ll be using some baby yarn, called cotton tots for this jacket.

Round Baskets by lily n’ sugar cream

I have a lot of cotton yarn and i plan use a whole bunch of it up on these cute baskets.

Well there you have it, some of my favorite patterns from this week!

Thank you so much for reading!

Smashlee

When I grow up I want to be a designer…of knitting patterns….

I’ve been feeling the craving to design some new patterns lately. And by lately I mean, the whole last year, I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with something.

The problem is I never had any inspiration. all my other patterns came to me rather effortlessly. I just bring out some yarn to play around with and next thing you know I have knit a tutu, or a slouch hat, or some boot cuffs.

Well, the inspiration has been gone for a while. And the more I try to come up with something the harder it became.  However, the past few months I decided To just let it all go. I gave up to trying figure it out.

Then, of course,  it happened, I became inspired…last night while I was going through my stash I found the next design project.

It uses one my favorite yarns (sirdar crofter chunky ) and this yarn has a wonder fair isle colorway to it. Because this yarn is busier, the pattern I’m designing  will be simple. Actually, really simple. Its not a ground breaking design at all, but, I’m okay with that. It’s more about showing off the yarn then the design. And I’ve I’m going to using its simple design to my advantage.


My master plan, is to knit a few boot cuffs and fine tune the sizing and pattern. Once, its ready I will put out a call for test knitters . Then after the pattern has been checked for errors I will publishing it as a free pattern .  It will be available on my blog, on my website and as free pdf download on ravelry. Then soon after that is all done, I will be releasing a Youtube version as well. This is where I will demonstrate knitting the pattern and make it a sort of boot cuff tutorial. It will be great for beginner knitters and those who prefer visual instructions.

The best part of all of this, once my sample pairs are knit they will be going up for sale on my Etsy shop, after I keep a pair for myself, that is.

Overall, I’m feeling like I’m back in the groove and ready to design some new patterns!

 What I’m listening to

Speaking of design, I’ve been listening to Steve jobs biography (on my iPhone haha).  And I find his story is very inspiring. Wether you love or hate apple, his work ethic and determination is something to be admired. I’m not gonna lie, the book make him sounds like a bit of a jerk. But, depsite his short comings, He was able to come full circle and was able to help create the very device I’m holding in my hands. The moral of the story is never give up!

Anyway, It’s finally that time of my day where the mini’s are sleeping and I can to put one of my many  audio books on and grab my needles! I’ve got some knitting to do.

Thanks so much for reading!

Smashlee

When in doubt…Remember why you started…

I can be really a really focused and goal orientated person. I can be a self-starter and I love learning new things, Especially about knitting. Every once and while though, I get in a slump. I start to doubt my goals and my ability to achieve them. I start thinking ” Why am I even doing this?” ” Why on earth would I blog about knitting ?” ” who makes a bucket list about knitting,?? I must be crazy”. Then it tail spins and ,I start focusing on what I haven’t done, instead of what I have accomplished. I’ve come a long way from where I started but, I tend to forget that sometimes.

Logically,I know this type of thinking is pointless and it seems to happen when i’m hungry or tired. so after I get some sleep and food and then take a deep breath , I really start to remember why I even started in this first place. I love knitting so much, that I want to shout it from the roof tops. Since, nobody does that anymore , I’ll just blog about it instead. If I could knit all day, I would. There is something so fulfilling to me to see something I created being worn and loved. I feel like knitting is that thing I can do whenever, and  stitch by stitch I can make something actually useful. and hopefully beautiful.

I didn’t seek out knitting, it found me and boy, am I ever glad it did.

“…knitters just can’t watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can’t wait in line, knitters just can’t sit waiting at the doctor’s office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

My audio book of choice

I love to read but, it can prove difficult to knit and read at the same time. It’s really annoying to have to put down my needles just to turn a page. This is why I love audiobooks. I thought I would start sharing what i’m listening to, as I ten to read a ton of self development books.


Right now, I’m listening to “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. This is an old old book. I think from the 1930s. It’s basically about how you can achieve anything you want, if you are in the right mind set. It talks a lot about how to achieve your goals step by step, and essentially create the life you’ve always wanted. I’ve listened to this book 5 or 6 times. Its one of my absolute favorites. It inspires me every time i listen to it to keep on moving forward with my dreams.

What’s on my needles


The baby blanket is still on my needles. In the past two weeks I’ve gotten only 1.5 squares knit up. Which means my total squares completed in up to 5.5 out of 12. My goal this week is  to have 4 squares completed by this Friday. That would mean next week I would have 3 left , 1 day for sewing and 1 day for the boarder, which potentially means this baby blanket could be done by next friday! Exciting!!

The knitting bucket list

Yesterday I talked about how i was going to be really focusing on my going through my stash and giving every ball of yarn an assignment. Today, that process was officially started. I grabbed two balls of yarn, sat down at computer and went to work. With Ravelry opened on my computer, I searched for the ball of yarn in my stash ( i previously added every ball of yarn I own to Ravelry). Then I searched for a pattern that used the yarn I chose. Once, I picked a pattern ( 45 mins later) I filled out an index card with the project name, the purpose of the project ie. etsy, designing, customer order, what the pattern is called, its due date and yarn name.


This info was also added in to Ravelry , I then queued the pattern, so once this whole process is all done, I can just look at my Ravelry Queue and I will know what project comes next, go to my yarn tub, find the matching bag of yarn and then I’m on my way. I\m thinking this could actually work and finally get my stash all knit up!

Thanks so much for reading and following me on my knitting journey!

Please feel free to comment and let me know what’s on your needles, what your reading or just to say hi! I love reading everyone’s comments!

Smashlee

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