Has anyone seen my crochet hook???

Travelling when your a knitter takes a lot of pre-planning. It’s almost worse then trying to get the mini’s organized for a weekend away.

My biggest fear is running out yarn, running out projects and not having the right needle size. There is not always a yarn store to just run into if i forget something because, the Smashlee family sometimes travels to tiny tiny towns with no knitting shops around.

I’ve never had a problem because, I usually bring way too much knitting stuff. When I was packing for our weekend away on Friday, I was trying to take less. I was only packing what I needed.

this was my packing list.

– sock knitting project (for car knitting only)

– scarf from Knitting for good- herringbone scarf

– Green slippers for customers.

– shawl for my weekend project.

the socks I knit happily in the car on Saturday.

I had big plans for Saturday afternoon/night to start on my shawl. I wanted to knit the Mara shawl from my pinterest post but, my chosen yarn was not DK weight. I am a big fan of knitting the pattern with the recommended yarn. It just gives me warm fuzzies inside. So, because I didn’t have the yarn, I would put the mara shawl on the back burner and knit it once I ordered the recommended yarn.

I decided I would search on Ravelry for Red Heart Unforgetttable yarn and found a shawl pattern that I would use called the unforgettable shawl. Its a crochet pattern but, luckily I had a random crochet hook in my bag and it was exactly the right size.

I crocheted away nicely most of Saturday but, mini-he didn’t want to sleep that night so, I put the shawl down and tended to my lovely son. However, this lovely son of mine decided that it would be funny to take mommy’s crochet hook and hide it. Once I finally got him to bed I was too tired to look for the crochet hook so I went to sleep.  I mean, how hard would be to find in the morning? he’s just 1.5 years old, I know all his tricks…or so i thought….

The next morning, I spent literally the entire day looking for the crochet hook. by 7pm I gave up and took out the 10 rows or so I had done and decided to cast on the mara shawl anyway.

It was agonizing decision…

I thought about just  knitting the sock but, that’s just my car project. i would have nothing to knit on the way home.

I thought about knitting the blue scarf, but I forgot the pattern.

I thought about starting on the green slippers but, that’s work knitting and is only done from Monday-Friday.

so, it was either rip out the shawl and start again or just don’t knit. All in all, I kinda feel I wasted my weekend. I was not an organized knitter and my planning did not work out the way I wanted.

last night before bed I manged to knit a bit on the shawl. I’m loving it and i promised myself, the next shawl will be knit with the recommended yarn. Madelinetosh dk,.

 

the mara shawl using red heart unforgettable yarn

 
but, Lesson learned…always, always always pack more knitting than you need.

Thanks for reading,

Smashlee

Pinterest Inspiration shawls

now that my sweater is done I’musing the next few weekends, to knit a shawl.

This week I’ve been found some patterns that I’m loving but, I’m having a hard time just choosing one. Here’s my top choices.
 The Mara shawl    
Light and up  

 

Campside 

 

The goddess shawl 

 

The Dixie shawl  

 
I’m so torn on what to choose!! Which is your favorite?

Comment and let me know 

Thanks for reading!

Smashlee 

Another Bucket List Item All Done! 

I’ve mentioned this before but, I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks. I have a schedule that I follow (I won’t bore you with it) but, it helps me break up day between house work and knitting. For one hour, one chapter or one episode I will knit, then I switch to a different book or podcast and start cleaning for the next hour. It keeps me sane and I’d like to think it’s making me smarter. It also kills my phone battery really really fast.

 

podcast listening

 
Today, I went to download an episode of the knit picks podcast and realized I’ve listened to all 250 episodes.

This means two things.

1. I need to find a new knitting podcast to listen to 

And 

2. I completed another bucket list item. #51. Listen to all the knit picks podcasts.

I’ve already picked my next podcast to listen to which is never not knitting . So far there are 89 espiodes. I’m excited to start tomorrow

As for the knit picks podcast,  I have now  to wait for new episodes to come out but, I figured in celebration of another item crossed off my bucket list, I would list my top 5 favorite knit picks episodes.

  1. Episode 2 – the desert island. If you were stranded on an island what knitting supplies would most want with you.
  2. Episode 65 – with Cheryl brunette Sweater 101.  We all know I love Cheryl so this had to make this list.
  3. Episode 126- the independent designer program. This is when they first started up the IDP program for designers from everywhere to submit their patterns to knit picks. I love this idea and hope one day I can design something knit picks worthy.
  4. Episode 161 – stitch dictionary secrets revealed 
  5. Episode 250 – the fit show  this episode explains negative and positive ease.

These knit picks episodes have really changed me as a knitter. It has expanded my thinking and has dared me to try new things with my knitting.

Before I listened I had no idea about Ravelry, who Kelley Petkun was or why socks make the best travel knitting.

What podcasts do you listen to? Feel free to comment below and let me know.
Bucket list items completed :9

Left to complete : 91

Thanks for reading,

Smashlee 

    mom, teach me to knit!

    Today, I was knitting a pair of mukluks on my bed when the mini me came running into my room.

    “Mom! Teach me!”

    “Teach you what?”

    ” I wanna knit.”

    I was trying to seem calm but, inside I was freaking out! I don’t know how to teach her to knit! I can teach an adult but, a four year old is a whole different ballgame. 

    So I did what any rational person would do and I Immediately, passed her my needles. Slippers and all. 

      
    I just let her play. Worse case I would take it all out and start again.

    I don’t want to fustrate her or myself so after a few minutes . I made it kind of a game. Showing her how the needles make an “X” and so on. The.  I sat her on my lap and told her to hold my hands. That way I she can knit without really knitting.

    “No mom. I want to go round and round and round like you do. I want to do it by myself.”

    Umm. Okay.  So, I grabbed some random needles and blue yarn ( her favorite colour) and a bag. I explained these were her knitting things. We would keep them in her knitting bag and whenever she want to knit she can grab her bag and come sit beside me.

    I realize this may not last. She may hate knitting tomorrow.That’s okay. I’ll take what I can get. However as of today , in her mind,  she’s knitting a hat.

    So, here’s my question… How do you teach a kid to knit? More specifically, a left handed, 4 year old? 

     What would you do? Let her play or try and actually teach her, and if so how?

    Comment and let me know!

    Thanks for reading!

    Smashlee 

    organized knitting 

    Last week I came across a blog by webs yarn store called 31 days to get organized. It’s a post from all the way back in 2013 but, after a quick glance at it, I decided I’m in. I need to do this! 

    I’m totally searching for ways to organize my needles and yarn that is somewhat kid proof and that is easy enough for someone like me to follow. I also like plans and this is a month long step by step process. Perfect!

    I’ll be blogging about my progress a couple of times a week as this totally coincides with my Raverly stash organization.

    Day one consists of a list of what’s working for me and what’s not with my knitting and yarn organization.

    The what’s working for me list is  very short because not much is actually working for me.

    I like that my yarn in stored in tubs as it’s safe from the mini-he and his curious fingers;But, I may want it smaller tubs , sorted by fibre and weight. 

    I went through a big purge of my knitting stuff a few months ago. Out with the straight meddles and patterns  I didn’t like. So what I am left with is stuff I use regularly and/or love. The yarn stash will eventually be gone but, first I have to knit all of that away.

    Mostly what I want to change is that, I need to find a visually appealing and funcitional way to store my circular and double point needles. I need to be able to see what size and length they are. 

      
    Almost all needles (with the exception of straight needles and some more expensive circular needles) the sizes aren’t printed on the needles, instead they are just labeled on the package which is not something I keep.

    So to give a straight forward answer to the second part of the assigniment for today; I want my needles organized and accessible and I want my yarn stash organized and recorded on Raverly.

    Everything else, which is basically just patterns and buttons and other notions are pretty much organized. I don’t use these items everyday but, they could be fine tuned and tided.

    If you have suggestion on the best way to organize my needle collection please comment and let me know. I need ideas!! 

    Thanks for reading!!!

    Smashlee 

    and may I now present, Smashlee’s Pink Sweater…

    I woke up Saturday morning and grabbed the pink sweater. I had to take out the seams from the previous weekend because well, they sucked.

    I thought I would give the mattress stitch one more go and if I couldn’t get it right I would find an alternative.

    Well, the seaming fairy must have visited me durning the night because, all of the sudden I was doing the mattress stitch pretty good.  In fact, by Saturday afternoon the sweater was fully completed.

    Sunday morning. It had a bath.  


    Then I blocked it.

      

    I never really understood blocking and its importance in how the garment looks and feels, until now.

    I was so-so about the sweater piror to blocking. I LOVED it after blocking.

     
    Once it was finally dry , I tried it on even though it was +18 out.  Mission accomplished. I knit myself a sweater I love.

     This sweater has been quite an adventure.

    First of, knit picks swish yarn is my new favorite. I honestly don’t want to knit with anything else. 

    All the sweaters I have made previously have been from acrylic yarns and I will never go back to that.

    The yarn is superwash merino wool. It took me about 8 skeins to finish my size of sweater. I was surprised by how light weight it is. Acrylic sweaters are heavy. It’s also crazy soft. I think it like wearing a big pink cloud.

      So, now that its done I have my mind thinking up all these crazy ideas for my next sweater.  Like maybe one just like this, in black but, the front has a big pink heart on the middle; or maybe a nice cabled cardigan in purple. Hmmm…

     
    I think I can officially say this bucket list item can be crossed off. Yay!!!!!

    Thanks so much for reading,

    Smashlee
     

    Pinterest has all the answers I think….

    It’s Friday, that means it’s the day of the week where I show you what has been inspiring me on Pinterest.

    So here is my top 5 favorite things on Pinterest this week. ( the last one, maybe the answers to all my pink sweater problems)

    Baby hooded panel  

      I love this idea!!! Perfect for baby wearing.

    Crochet spiderman blanket

     

    I have a couple minis who would be in love with this blanket!

    Red heart hooded sweater

       My next project maybe?

    The Wilmington shawl

     The perfect springtime shawl.

    And my best find for this week….

    A modified mattress stitch

      

    Thanks Pinterest, I’m trying this out tomorrow!!! Fingered cross I can finish my pink sweater!!!

    Thanks for reading.

    Smashlee

    To follow me on Pinterest click here

    when in doubt, watch my little pony…

    Some weeks are super productive for me. I plan everything out on Monday. I know what projects I’m working on, what I’m going to blog about and so forth. More often than not, I usually either get my goals achieved or come very close. Most weeks end on a positive note.

    This is not one of those weeks. I’m behind on my projects; I don’t want to work on the pink sweater; I still hate seaming; The mini -me, who was better, has a fever again;  And I’ve got nothing to write about today. No progress has been made on anything. I’m in a knitting funk. 

    My solution? I’m piling all the blankets and pillows in the living room and it’s slumber party time.

     

     I just bought slurpees, m&ms and chips. The minis and I and got in our pjs.  we will be watching My Little Pony: Rainbow Rocks, for the millionth time but, that’s okay. I kinda like the idea of childrens’ programming right now. 

    Thanks for reading, 

    Smashlee

    10 things that you can expect to see from Smashlee Stitches in 2015.

    Do you love  hand knit items?? Here’s a list of 10 things  I’m working on offering through my etsy shop in the near future.

    1.  All slippers will automatically come with double soles! That means your handmade slippers will be extra comfy and last a long time!

    2. Awesome add ons will be available for most orders, such as express shipping to Canada and the USA, grippy bottom for slippers 

      

    3. Customization to my products! , add names, initials, or short words and phrases to hats, sweaters, blankets etc.

      

    4.  appliques will beavailable   such as crochet flowers, hearts, rainbows, cars, skulls, and more. These can added to hats and slippers.

      

    5. Baby sneakers!

      

    6. Ready to ship mukluks, smuggs, slouch hats, brimmed hats and sweaters.

      

    7. Handknit socks.

    8. Wristwarmers.

    9. infinity scarves 

      

     10. Luxury knit items, made with merino or alpaca wool!

      

    If you have something you would like to see offered by Smashlee stitches please send ideas and requests to smashleestitches@gmail.com

    I Suck.

    So, if you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll already know my pink sweater isn’t finished. All that is left to do, is to seam the sides and the arms. Seems pretty easy, right? Not for me. I have tried to seam it. I spent all day Sunday and very early Monday, attempting the mattress stitch. I seamed it and have taken out more time then I can count. This is the exact reason I usually knit my sweaters in a big circle and add ,decrease and pick up stitches to make the sleeves and such.

    There is just somethings  I really suck at and the mattress stitch is one them.

    I want to give up or I want to pay someone to seam it for me but, in the name of perfection and bucket list items #2  and item #100 , I must learn this.

    I’m probably over thinking the whole mattress stitch thing. I kind of think of it like, parallel parking. I understand it in theory, but in reality it doesn’t go so well.

    Speaking of driving, did you know I didn’t actively drive until this past year? I had/have massive aniexty around driving. I didn’t get my lisence until I was 27. I didn’t drive much until I was 30. ( I’m 30 and 1/2 right now).

    I bring this up because I want to remind myself of all things I used to suck at. Mostly because, in order to continue on trying to earn the mattress stitch I need to know (as my mom would say) , this too shall pass.

    So, In no particular order, here are 5 things I use to suck at.

    1. Driving. I still can’t drive stick shift in downtown Vancouver in middle of rush hour with kids screaming in the back seat but, I can drive to get groceries, the post office and playschool, without crying. This is progress.
    2. Knitting. I had such trouble learning. It took me 3 weeks just to get the yarn on the needles properly. It took me many months to really get the hang of knitting. I think I can safely say now,  I don’t suck at knitting.
    3. Tying my shoes. I didn’t learn till I was 6 or 7. I was the only kid in my second grade class that still had Velcro shoes. With the help of Dad, who wiped away all my tears of fustartion, I finally learned. 
    4. Being a mom – when the mini-me was born I spent the first three weeks of her life shell shocked. That’s when my mom told me “that this too shall pass.” Eventually, I learned to feed the mini-me, put her to sleep and change a diaper. I’m not a perfect Mom but, I’m better than when I started.
    5. Knitting socks   the picture says it all. I don’t know why the sock is so big, I don’t even know why I finished knitting it. obviously the thing is huge and wouldn’t even fit a basketball player. I think it measures at a 15″ sole or something. as you can see, I got better at it.

    So, if I go by my past behaviour, I will eventually figure this out. Until then, words of encouragement and helpful tips are apperciated!

    Thanks for reading!

    Smashlee 

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