latest ravelry faves

I haven't done one of these posts in a while and I thought it might be nice to share some knitting inspo!

I have been alllllll about sweaters lately. I have never before favorited so many sweaters! I think it's because of a few things: first of all, ever since knitting my first sweater last year I have a new confidence in my skill set than ever before. Then there's the fact that I now own a few shawls that I love, adore, and wear regularly, so knitting ALL the shawls isn't as important to me anymore. And finally, practicality. I don't really own very many sweaters and I wish I did. They are such an easy thing to wear in winter and hello, they keep you warm. 

I have also been thinking about, very surprisingly, socks. Y'all know me and my aversions to tiny yarn and needles, but for some reason I can't get the thought of socks out of my mind. I think it might be because I have only ONE(!) wip on the needles right now. That is definitely not my norm! It has me thinking about what's next. I'd ideally like a portable project and one I could add a few rows to easily and quickly and socks are really the best for that! So who knows, maybe this is the year I actually become a sock knitter. I have a vacation coming up soon and I definitely want to take a project or two for the plane and to work on when I am crafting with my friend, so I better decide quick what's next for my needles!

Onto the faves!

Sweaters
Branches and Buds 
Denai Kimono 
Jule
Olympia. This is fingering weight so I am laughing in the face of it. It's beautiful, though!
Georgetown
Kame
Lakeland
Dane
Kennings Yoke

Socks
Midsummer socks
Joluluyöt 
I also want to knit several plain old vanilla toe-up pairs using Judy's Magic Cast On and the Fish Lips Kiss heel techniques so that I can just have it memorized and whip up a sock easily. 

Shawls
Jadis. Bulky weight! Lace! Shawl!
What the Fade
Wallace

Other random accessories
Gold medal hat
Pinwheel mitts. These are STUNNING!
So Faux Cowl. I'm not usually a leopard print person, but this just looks fun!
Bow Knot Scarf
Bittersweet Cowl
Easy Peasy Fade Cowl 

And one last thing- Wool and the Gang has a sock kit out right now that has yarn that makes its own leopard print (or cloud print) pattern as you knit! I LOVE the cloud ones.

So there you have it. All the patterns that are taking up space in my brain. I always think it's interesting to see the similarities (and lack thereof) when I look at my faves. It's looking like a simple oversized garter stitch pullover and/or cardigan is in my future- I have several of them faved! I'll be sure to update whenever I eventually cast something on!

everything you've ever needed or wanted to know about my injury (and then some)

Hey there friends! I have a bit of a different post lined up for you today. As most of you know, I was dealing with a rather debilitating injury for most of last year and I am finally, FINALLY (mostly) healed and pain free!!! It's been a wild ride and I have had a lot of questions about what was going on. So, here you have it, a whole (very long) post dedicated to my right arm. 

In January 2017 I went on a knitting spree knitting this sweet sweater. I was knitting for multiple hours a day and when I do that I tend to have some soreness, as one would expect. Around the same time, I fell into a total Instagram hole. I was just non-stop scrolling. Eventually my thumb would start hurting and I would just keep scrolling. It got to the point where my thumb was actually hurting like a lot and I started calling it "Instagram Thumb Disease." You can definitely use that term if you have ever been affected by it (and I know you all have). 

Did I rethink my priorities? Did I give myself breaks? Did I get the F off of instagram? 

NOPE.

I just carried on, scrolling away, knitting tons, playing on the computer for hours, you know the drill. It was one of those things where I knew it was a bad idea but that freakin' dopamine just kept going and I couldn't stop. Technology addiction is real, y'all. Here's the thing about your thumb, though: it connects to your elbow. Weird, right? Don't believe me? Stick your arm straight out, put your opposite fingers on the top of your elbow and move your thumb. You feel that? Yep, you do, because your thumb is in fact attached to your elbow. All of that is to say this- my thumb was no longer the only thing hurting, my forearm and elbow were hurting quite a bit too.

Finally in March or April I decided to cut back on the knitting and 'gramming some and I went to my old orthopedist who I have seen for various ailments throughout the years. I will not name drop her now because I was very unhappy with the care I got from her this time around. She basically felt around my elbow and said she didn't feel anything and told me to just take Advil. Okkkkkkkkk.

I suffered through a few more months of pain and would occasionally knit a bit and would INSTANTLY have sharp pain in my forearm and elbow. Throughout this entire injury my arm was just so so tight and I couldn't get it to relax. I would go through periods of not doing anything- no crafts, go scrolling on my phone or computer- and the tightness would persist. I was constantly aware of my forearm and that's not something most people are aware of at all times. 

In June I went to a hand specialist. He specializes mostly in carpal tunnel and I had seen him a few years ago when I had a bit of tennis elbow from typing a lot, knitting a lot, and holding babies all the time while I was nannying. He told me that my symptoms were consistent with radial tunnel syndrome which is basically carpal tunnel syndrome but on the top part of your arm instead of the bottom part. He gave me a cortisone shot and a brace that I had to wear until the soreness from the shot went away and then every night while I slept. 

Day of my first cortisone shot, Garfield bandaid and all.

Day of my first cortisone shot, Garfield bandaid and all.

Apparently some people have a reaction to a cortisone shot called a "cortisone flare". I am one of those people. For me, the pain and soreness significantly increased after the injection and continued for about 72 hours. And then like magic, after 72 hours everything felt mostly normal. I thought I was cured!

Reader, I was not cured.

I had about a 75% reduction in pain. That's not nothing but I still was experiencing significant pain when knitting, and really, all I care about in life is being able to knit (and a few other things). About 2 months after the initial injection, I went back to the specialist and he said that he was pretty sure the last 25% was due to tennis elbow and he gave me another cortisone injection. I had another cortisone flare but this time, nothing else happened. The pain from the injection went away but the pain from the tennis elbow did not. I was discouraged at this point because I was about to go to Stitches Texas and I needed to be able to knit for 3 hours at a time and I definitely wasn't going to be able to do that. 

Back in the brace :(

Back in the brace :(

September and Stitches Texas came around and I decided to go because I had spent a lot of money to be there. I went to my first class, continental knitting, and was seated next to someone who just happened to be a physical therapist! I told her about my poor elbow and she told me to start taking anti-inflammatories every day, ice for 5 mins a day, and do cross fiber massage. It really did help and it got me through my classes at Stitches with little to no pain! But after doing that for a few weeks, I kinda hit a plateau and was still having tightness and pain. 

At my wits end, I finally decided to look into this place that a few friends had told me about many months ago, Airrosti. All I had heard about them at this point was that they were "soft tissue specialists". I did all the paperwork online and someone called to set up an appointment almost instantly (even though it was the weekend!). A few days later, in October, I was at an Airrosti clinic (there are tons of them) and had my first treatment.

What exactly does this treatment look like, you ask? You spend 30 min with the doctor who does this massage type thing and then 15-20 min with the physical therapist. The first 30 min are...interesting. Since my injury was my arm, I'd lay on this table and the doctor would just rub my arm really hard for 30 min. this ain't your relaxing-by-the-pool-on-vacation type massage, my friends. this is a I-have-to-stop-talking-to-breathe-through-the-pain type "massage". I bruised every time. 

Sounds fun, right?! But in all seriousness, both of my doctors and my physical therapist were wonderful and we had good convos that really helped make the time go by. One of my friends who has also been to Airrosti says she thinks part of the training is in having good convos and I bet she's right! 

After the "massage" they send you over to the physical therapist who gives you exercises to do. For my arm, my exercises included a theraband, lacrosse ball, rubber band, and a wall ha! They also tape you up with kinesiotape. After my arm treatment was over, I asked to keep coming to work on my shoulders too, so we added a foam roller into the mix. I now understand why people have love/hate relationships with foam rollers. While I'm using it, I curse the day it was invented, but afterward I feel amazing!

Blue tape after my first treatment.

Blue tape after my first treatment.

Pink tape after my second treatment. You can see some bruising on my tricep on the top left. 

Pink tape after my second treatment. You can see some bruising on my tricep on the top left. 

More tricep bruising.

More tricep bruising.

Probably the worst bruising I experienced the whole time. I was really thankful to have the tape to cover it most of the time!

Probably the worst bruising I experienced the whole time. I was really thankful to have the tape to cover it most of the time!

More bruises and purple tape.

More bruises and purple tape.

While in treatment, you do your physical therapy exercises at home everyday 2x/day and ice for 20 mins after. I had a really elaborate ice setup and I honestly kinda looked forward to it! Most people have their injuries resolved in THREE VISITS! I did 5 sessions for my arm and I think like 6 sessions for both shoulders combined. While in treatment, you are encouraged to keep doing all of your activities as long as they don't cause pain. This meant I could do some knitting and I was going to yoga regularly at this time too. By Thanksgiving, I was done with treatment. 

Ice time!

Ice time!

So, I have been out of treatment for 3 months now and I am still feeling great! I keep up with my physical therapy exercises- at first I did them once a day and iced if I had a lot of soreness, then I was able to drop down to every other day, and at this point I'm typically doing the exercises twice/week. I am able to knit for several hours at a time now with no pain at all and typically without any soreness even! I truly thought that I might never knit pain free again, so I am totally thrilled with my results and even more thrilled when I chill out and knit! Since treatment, I have finished 3 projects, more than I have finished in a very long time. I am so grateful to my team at Airrosti and I recommend them 1000%! If you have any questions about my injury, treatment, or recovery, please feel free to ask. 

And, let this be a reminder to us all to not overdo things. You don't want to be in pain for nearly a year, my friends. It's not worth it. Be kind to yourself. 

weekend reading

Weekend reading: short edition. I didn't see a ton on the web this week, but what I did see was good!

Let's just get into it.

Good foods, bad foods, and eating cookies at breakfast. I loved this post! Kylie is so relatable and has such an inclusive view of all foods, which I love. A peanut butter cookie and eggs DOES sound like a filling and satisfying breakfast. 

I'm thinking about dress sewing lately and I keep coming back to really similar ideas. This is one of them. This is the other. They're essentially the exact same, one is just sleeveless. Perhaps this will be a thing soon. I have had this pattern on my mind and have seen sleeved and sleeveless iterations of it on instagram, sooooo I feel like this is just an inevitability in my life!

Yesterday I went to Target to pick up a few toiletries and a birthday gift for a friend. I ended up getting distracted by a new beauty brand they are carrying and spent at least 5 minutes smelling all the perfumes. I really liked this Brainiac scent and this Rustic Woods scent. I sprayed the Brainiac on and I could still smell it when I went to bed! Might have to add these to my collection soon. I am super picky about perfumes, so when I find one I like it is rare!

Dramatically switching gears here: let's talk about student loans. Earlier this month I had to send in an application for my income-based repayment plan to be renewed and let's just say it ended in tears. I find my student loan debt to be completely overwhelming and guilt-filled. It is a huge number and I often wonder if I will ever be able to pay it off. I am so grateful for my education and everything it has allowed me to do, but the debt it comes with is crippling and terrifying. I read this article this week and dreamed of being debt free. Maybe one day!

And just so we don't end on that depressing note, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is back tonight! I missed eating breakfast on Monday mornings while I watched his show. I'm happy I'll get to be back in that routine!

I hope you all enjoy your Sunday!

simpatico wrap: a finished object

Y'all! Another finished object! It's been exciting times around here. 

So let's see, how to tell the story of this one? I don't remember exactly when I stumbled upon the Simpatico Wrap, but I know when I did, I was enchanted by its simplicity. I have an affinity for things that are basically wearable blankets and this one definitely fits into that category. I thought about it for a long while, knowing that I would need to find some truly perfect yarns for it, so I would just look at it on Ravelry every once in a while, dreaming of the day when I would find the perfect yarn match. 

Enter the 2017 DFW Fiber Fest in April. I went and explored and found a great solid Madeline Tosh and a speckled Hedgehog Fibres. The only problem? The vendor I bought the Hedgehog from didn't have the colorway I liked in a sock weight. I found 2 skeins of a DK weight and decided to just go with it and got 2 skeins of a DK Madeline Tosh as well. I almost immediately cast on. This was back in my injured arm days (I swear I really will post about this soon), so things were slow going, even though this is a super simple project.

My Hedgehog yarns, being hand-dyed, had some variations in the speckles and I had a hard time deciding which one to cast on with. I ended up ripping out and casting this one on several times! At one point I was alternating skeins but my stranded edge was getting too tight, so I ripped once more and in August I finally decided to just knit with one skein and then switch when I ran out. The variation in the speckling in noticeable only to me, I am sure. 

Soon after, I started treatment for my injury and was able to knit for long stretches again. I finished some other projects and then dedicated all of my energy to Simpatico! It is a very easy knit and it's so fun to see it increasing and then decreasing. This thing was quite the behemoth to block, but it definitely needed it. Mine ended up quite large- 48" square- but I love it and it is so cozy! I am so happy I decided to do DK weight. It's the perfect weight for me. My most-worn wrap is worsted weight, and while I love my sock-weight shawls and they are gorgeous, they just aren't the same as snuggling up in a swath of DK or worsted. This is the perfect project to use some of those special skeins of yarn that you love to look at and pet but aren't quite sure what to do with. It's an excellent showcase and use of a fave!

All the photos!

Specs!
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK in Monet, Madeline Tosh DK Twist in Uma's Thurman (obsessed with the name...unfortunately it's not on the Mad Tosh site), 2 skeins each
Pattern: Simpatico Wrap by Kristine Vejar 
Needle: size 9 Chiaogoo circulars, prob 40" length
I have no idea how many stitches I ended up with at the longest point...I knit with the Hedgehog first since it had less yardage than the Mad Tosh and I knit with it until I was no longer confident that I could get another row with it :) Prob a few hundred stitches. 
Ravelry link
Started April 9, 2017, ripped out several times, started for real in August 2017
Finished February 2, 2018. 

weekend reading

Happy Sunday! How has your weekend been? Have you moved at all from the couch or have you been glued to it, watching the Olympics, like me?! I have always liked the Olympics but my zest for watching didn't start til 2012, when I was nannying infant twins and was relegated to the couch for much of the day. Ever since, I have figured out my favorite events, found the schedule online, and recorded and watched. Right now I'm really digging slopestyle, ski jump, and pretty much anything else that happens on skis or snowboards. 

Even with all the Olympic watching, I have found time to read and find links to share :) 

I really love the blog This Handmade Life and this week, its author perfectly summed up exactly how I feel when inspiration strikes. I also have been craving crepes lately, so we are alike in that way as well. 

I'm not a huge magazine reader, but there are a few I really enjoy. I renewed my subscription to Making this week and added a subscription to Taproot. I am also a perpetual subscriber to Mollie Makes. I am sure to be inspired this year!

20 Netflix docs to watch and where to watch Oscar-nominated movies

Renovated RVs and little trailer homes are popping up all over my feeds recently and now I kinda want to live in one. Case in point

Blue moon milk. So the ingredients aren't "i'm just going to run to the store for this stuff real quick" types, but it sure is pretty. 

This had me snort-laughing out loud. 

Absolutely in love with this caption

I'm not a big journaler, nor do I have a bullet journal, but this page is rather convincing. 

Spaghetti squash "pizza" bowls. Yum!!

Next month it will finally be my turn to pick out the next book for my book club to read! I have been doing lots of searching for a good book to pick and I am very, very tempted to choose this one

Essential oil things: a really beautifully scented blend for relaxation/sleep, beautiful containers, and some inspiration for my own blends

My sister and I did some researching and bought some products from The Ordinary. I CANNOT WAIT to get mine in. I told one of my besties that I am envisioning 2 very different outcomes- either I start using these products and have model-like beautiful glowing perfect skin, OR my entire face falls off. That's it. there's no inbetween. Let's hope it's the former. I ended up buying the lactic acid 5% with HA, the niacinamide 10% and zinc 1%, the natural moisturizing factors with HA, the squalane, and the high adherence silicone primer.

Last week, I was hanging out with one of my best friends and she mentioned that later in the week, I would have a surprise. I asked all sorts of questions about it, wanting to be somewhat prepared, and could not figure out at all what I might be. Yesterday, as I was sitting around, watching the Olympics, a package arrived on my front step. What?! I hadn't considered this possibility. When I opened it, there was another box inside and it said "Happy Galentine's Day" and I immediately was overcome with happiness. If you don't watch Parks and Rec, you are seriously missing out, if only because you don't understand the fun of Galentine's Day. For the uninitiated, my friend had sent a package full of love and compliments. It's pretty much the best. Katie, you're a true Leslie Knope and a beautiful rule-breaking moth. 

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekends. I took tomorrow off and I am just thrilled! Hopefully I spend the rest of today and all of tomorrow wisely and not glued to the Olympics...might be wishful thinking! 

weekend reading

Welcome to Sunday. I hope this morning finds you content and rested and ready for a quiet day. At least, that's my hope for myself! 

Yesterday I was quite busy- hiking with friends at Cedar Ridge Preserve in the morning, then a delicious vegetarian lunch at Cosmic Cafe, followed up with some tea and being surrounded by books at Wild Detectives, then a quick jaunt home to look slightly more presentable, a dinner at a sushi restaurant (with PERFECT tofu), and finally, finally, some time at home with the fam. 

And how could I forget?! I started the day bathing and blocking yet another FO!! I finished up my Simpatico Wrap on Friday and got it all ready to wear yesterday. I'm looking forward to cozying up in it! It came out very, very large, so it doubles as a blanket! I'm itching to knit up a pair of socks (WHO AM I) so we will see if I end up casting on a pair soon. I'll have a post with Simpatico details soon. 

Now, onto the links!

I love this simple little star mani! I'm giving my nails a break right now after they've been suffocating under a gel mani for a few weeks, but I think I'll try this mani out soon. 

Have I ever talked here about my love for the podcast Call Your Girlfriend?! If not, a quick rundown: it's "a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere" and it is essentially and hour-long convo between bffs Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. I have been listening for a few years and I credit it with keeping me woke, making me crave slushies in the summer, and for giving me excellent book recs. Ann is a journalist and she recently wrote a great article about not turning everything into a side hustle and I really resonated with it. Let people have their hobbies!

I, like many others, have been following along with the annual Fringe and Friends Knitalong and this year's logalong has been a delight to watch. Karen recently posted about an artist, Margo Selby, who does some log cabin work and OMG. I am SO inspired. As a part of the knitalong, Karen drafted up a seriously cute pair of fingerless mitts and yes, these are going on my to-knit list as well. I'm loving the all-grey ones.

Winter Lemonade with Ginger and Cloves. Ok. Yes. You don't have to tell me twice. 

Some tips from State the Label for building a more ethical wardrobe

This article popped up multiple times in the last few weeks for good reason. 

Setting deliberate making goals. Yes. I want to be a more conscious consumer as well as a more conscious maker. 

I really liked this post about self-care. 

Last Valentine's Day, I hung out with one of my best friends. Her husband was out of town on a work trip, so we had ourselves a little Galentine's Day. We went to dinner and watched a really, really sad movie. We also lit candles, you know, for a romantic ambience. It was then that I confessed this to my dear friend: I have long been terrified of matches and did not know how to properly light one. Completely without judgment, she taught me how to light a match without lighting my fingers on fire. I have been on a roll ever since and no longer fear matches and in fact prefer them to those ugly plastic lighters. I now own a box of matches and my only complaint is that the box is a little...well...ugly. This post inspired me to bust out some fabric scraps and my little sticker maker and make the box a little more pleasant to look at. It's the little things. These would make a really sweet gift as well!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect pairing. I say this with conviction, having just finished a bowl of chocolate peanut butter Cheerios (if you haven't tried these yet, add them to your grocery list. They do not disappoint.). These cookies, then, are bound to be utter perfection. 

With that, I leave you to your Sunday. Spend it well, my friends. 

weekend reading

bon dimanche à tous!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Mine has been filled with knitting, seeing Phantom Thread (definitely recommend), and a lot of dancing at a 70s themed birthday party. Tonight I'll be seeing Brooklyn Rider and Béla Fleck and I am thrilled! I've seen both before but not together and I think it's going to be such a treat. 

Feeling down about your finances? Check this out and suddenly you'll feel very rich. 

A couple of years ago, I read When Breath Becomes Air and was incredibly moved by it. This article about the late author's widow is beautiful and full of hope.

5 ways to build a more ethical closet. I NEVER think of going to second-hand stores when I buy clothes, but this is the year that I will finally do that. Like I've said here recently, I'm going to try not to shop this year but there are definitely a few things that are lacking in my wardrobe (namely, dress pants that actually cover my ankles) so I think I will end up buying a few articles of clothing this year. I'll be sure to go second-hand!

Tis the season for unbearably dry skin. This homemade calendula salve sounds so luxurious and soothing. 

In 2013, I used to work at a specialty fabric shop. I loved working there! We eventually hired a store manager and she used to wear all sorts of fabulous smocks and aprons and I will always remember her Japanese-style aprons. They looked so chic while serving a functional purpose. Ever since, I have wanted one, and I think I have finally found the perfect pattern

While on the hunt for the above apron pattern, I stumbled across this beautiful etsy shop. I want EVERYTHING in it. I'm finding lots of inspiration for simple handmade clothes amongst all the designs. I'm especially fond of this.

I hope you all have a great Sunday and a wonderful week. xoxo.

weekend reading

joyeux vendredi, mes amis! 

how was your week? what goals are you making for the new year? i'm not really a resolutions person but i do have some goals. i pretty much just want to consume less...spend less money in general and use what i have. i believe i have bought only ONE article of clothing since this summer which is shocking to me but has also been very easy. i'm hoping to continue that and also hoping to replace any clothes shopping with garment sewing instead. i'd also really like to read all the books i own instead of buying new ones this year. and just stay on top of my daily routines that i enjoy so much: writing in my gratitude journal every night, staying on top of notes and hour logs at work, reading poetry every day, practicing french, using the internet less. 

i have a few links to share!

My Year of No Shopping. Fitting, right?! 

Sabotaging Big Days. Oh did this speak to me. As someone who tends to have crazy high expectations for holidays, I sometimes need the reminder that a holiday or a birthday can be just a normal day and doesn't have to be extravagant or The Best Day Ever. Taking the pressure off really helps!

White Christianity is in Big Trouble. YES. 

Y'all know i love buzzfeed quizzes and this one was really fun and pretty informative! 

Questions to reflect on the year past. 

Our Year in Poems

With it being so cold lately I have been taking loads of baths. I usually don't even turn on the cold water! I just steam up the bathroom and soak and warm up all the way to my bones. Earlier this week I threw in a bath bomb that I had been saving and it was so delightful! I want more bath bombs in my life in 2018. My friend Tania shared this post about how to DIY bath bombs and I definitely see myself enjoying lots of baths and bath bombs in my future!

My book club met in December and we read The Power. It was SO GOOD and thought-provoking and disturbing. A very good read. Next up, we are reading What Happened

Lately I have been listening to the gorgeous sounds of Cécile McLorin Salvant and you should too. 

i hope you all have a great weekend!

fragment scarf: a finished object

Yes, you're reading that correctly...another finished object! I told you I was hoping to have one very soon. 

A few weeks ago I was perusing Instagram (doesn't it feel like most of my stories start off this way?) and I saw this post. I loved the little bandana scarf in the photo and I thought it would make a great Christmas present for one of my best friends. 

Here's a thing about me: I rarely ever knit for other people. It just doesn't happen. Do you know how much knitting costs?! Or how much time a project takes?! I make things for only the people that I know will truly appreciate and use what I make for them (and who will properly take care of it!). All of that is to say that this friend is a good one and she is deserving of a hand knit :) 

The Fragment Scarf knit up super quickly and towards the end I was able to do the 10-row repeat a few times in one sitting because the decreases made everything faster and faster every single row. The only modification I made was that I did not do the last 4 rows because I 1. hate picking up stitches, and 2. was really worried I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish. The pattern calls for 163 yds and my skein had...163 yds!!! I used Plymouth Cuzco Cashmere yarn and it was suuuuuuuch a pleasure to work with. It's 40% silk, 40% alpaca, and 20% cashmere and is an absolute dream. I would absolutely knit with it again for a small project (it's pretty expensive per gram). I recently bought some unscented Eucalan for washing and blocking my knits and this was the first project I used that on. It worked great! 

I knit up this project so quickly that I only took 1 in-progress photo of it! That is really saying something about how quick and easy it is! I really want to make it in a worsted weight yarn on slightly bigger needles to make an extra cozy version. 

Specs:
Fragment Scarf pattern
Plymouth Yarn Cuzco Cashmere bought at Fleece 
Size 6 needle
Ravelry link.
Started on December 9, 2017.
Finished on December 25, 2017.

daybreak: a finished object

I am so excited to be able to share a finished object with you guys! I believe the last knitted FO I had was all the way back in February and was the cutest little baby sweater. As I have moaned and groaned about many times on this blog, I was injured for most of the year with a pretty nasty combo of radial tunnel syndrome and lateral epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow). I was in pain nearly everyday for the better part of 10 months and knitting was the number 1 aggravator of the pain, so this project was on hold for most of the year. 

I started this bad boy in January. It had originally began life as The Doodler by Stephen West but it just wasn't working for me. Stephen West is known for his out there designs and if you know me, you know I'm not a very out there person. The Doodler was way out of my comfort zone and I'm sure it would've looked rad, but I wanted something that I knew I would wear. Insert Daybreak by Stephen West. This is one of Stephen's earlier patterns and is not quite so zany. Very wearable and very striped, which is exactly what I wanted for these yarns.

Speaking of the yarns, I purchased them in September of 2016 at Stitches Texas from Steven Be. I knew they'd be perfect as stripes and boy was I right! 

In October I started physical therapy and saw results so quickly and was able to start knitting quite a bit again. I went from barely being able to complete a row on a small project to being able to knit for 2 hours at a time within just a few weeks!!! It has literally been life changing and I will write a (very) long post about my injury progress soon. About half of this project was completed from January to March and the rest of it was done in October and November. So let's just say it took 4 months and not 11 :) 

Without further ado, my Daybreak!

Specs:
Daybreak Shawl I made the large size. 
Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colors Fly, Zephyr, and Skinny Dip.
Size 4 needle
Pattern was very easy (suitable for a beginner with experience with increases, slipping stitches, and color changes at the beginning of a row). 
Yarn is gorgeously dyed but loosely plied- if you have to rip anything out, you will have to be careful to not split the strands when re-knitting. 
Ravelry link.
Towards the end of this project, 1 row was taking about 30 minutes to complete and it took me nearly an entire hour to bind off. I have been told I am a pretty fast knitter, so keep that in mind when gauging your own time commitments! 

Special thanks to my sweet friend Ana from Ana Eloise Photography for showing me the life changing magic of using a gallery to upload photos! This will make my blogging life so much easier! 

I hope to have another knitted FO for you all very soon!

link dump

whoa you guys. It's been over two months since I last wrote. In that time, I went to physical therapy for my arm and I'M PAIN FREE!!! This is a huge deal because I was in pain for ten months of this year. During that time, I really had to reset my priorities and one of the things that was obviously no longer important to me anymore was spending hours a day on my computer. Before I wrote this today I couldn't remember the last time I had opened my computer. It has been so nice to take a break and unplug and I have found that I really don't miss those hours scrolling away on stupid websites BUT I did miss blogging!

I have A TON of links stacked up to share so I'm just gonna go ahead and dump them all out right now. Going forward I am not sure I will have a weekly link post since I am not spending much time on the internet anymore but I am hoping that will mean that I will be using my time more wisely on actually crafting, photographing said crafts, and sharing those pics here!

I'm going to break this up into categories and we're just going to go for it!

Recipes:
Earl Grey Honey Scones
Caramel Apple Clafoutis

Sewing:
Kochi Kimono pattern 
Dove Blouse pattern 
Boosting your sewing confidence. Just do the damn thing. Can be applied to a lot of areas of life, really.
The Linden has been in my queue forever and a day but this one really, really makes me want to make it. 

Handcrafts:
Tulle embroidery!
DIY rope necklace.
Love this weaving idea.
On why materials matter when making. Crafts are so tactile and you need to enjoy the process, including how things feel in your hands.
How Knitting Helped Me Overcome Severe Anxiety.
Why do knitted slippers always seem like the epitome of luxurious comfort to me?! 

Just good articles:
Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic. I'm telling y'all, plastic will be the death of us.
Yes, you too
The Husband Stitch and What I Don't Tell My Students About The Husband Stitch
Ideas for feeling at home in your body. YES.
The potato metaphor for emotional labor
LOVE this idea. Tea and Empathy.
A good poem.
Modest dressing, as a virtue
The Bully and the Buddhist.

Random others:
We all know I adore Chris Thile and at the end of October he debuted this Song of the Week on Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) and I'm pretty obsessed with it.
How cozy does this jacket look!?
I've really wanted some clogs for a while now and this post is super helpful. I still am in love with Bryr clogs and will one day splurge on a pair BUT WHICH ONE.
Let's just be present, people.
Chance encounters.
The true meaning of self-care. Yes and amen.
PREACH.

Enjoy!

weekend reading

Have I got a lot of links for you. That's what happens when you don't post for a month but do keep bookmarking cool stuff! 

First up, I have to mention my newest music obsession. A friend invited me to go see Father John Misty with her last week. I had heard some of his music here and there on KXT and had given his newest album, Pure Comedy, a few listens. I've had his other albums for a while as well but hadn't really given them a good listen. So we go to the show and you guys. I was blown away. It was one of the best shows I have been to this year (and trust me, I have gone to tons of shows this year) and I had all of his songs stuck in my head. I made a playlist from the setlist of the show and listened to it all day long after the show. Then I started listening to I Love You, Honeybear and found that I didn't want to stop listening to it, so I think I have heard it approximately 100 times this week. I'm in love. I ended up driving a not insignificant number of miles to pick up some FJM vinyl because that is who I am as a person. If you ever get the chance to see him, whether you know his music or not, please go. 

Now that my fangirling is done, let's get onto some other links!

Um yes, I would like to make the top and dress versions of this pattern

Fabric bleeds, ugh! They're the worst. Suzy did a great job of providing lots of options for fixing and preventing them.

Loved this peek into Abigail Halpin's sketchbook.

Fast fashion has a price, people

When you're taking a break from things that hurt your arm, you gotta have SOME entertainment. This list helps

Amy Blackwell is my new fave artist, especially her Girl with a Pigeon piece!

It's October which means cooler weather is (hopefully) on its way. What better way to warm up than with red wine hot chocolate?!

The quilt police are the worst but Karlee found a silver lining and made THE RADDEST quilt! Also, if anyone ever ripped one of my quilts in half y'all would hear about it bc I'd be in prison for murdering said person.

Def have been watching this video off and on for a few weeks now. I already lurve Lisa Hannigan but that orchestra is amazing!

YUM. FALL FOOD.

Digging this playlist.

This made me laugh so hard that I was crying and snorting. 

I wanna knit this top and this blanket real bad.

And finally, The Knit Show with Vickie Howell has finally premiered on YouTube! I have been watching it every morning while I eat breakfast and it's a great way to start my day. 

See y'all next week!

on taking a break

wow, long time, no see, my friends. 

I didn't intend on taking a month-long break. As you all know by now, my pesky arm likes to give me trouble and I thought it was high time to take a serious break from the things causing me pain- knitting, crafting of any sort really, scrolling forever on instagram, scrolling forever on blogs, taking every quiz on buzzfeed, the usual.

So i ended up taking a break from a lot of things that bring me joy but also discovered that a lot of those things I also didn't miss much. My bloglovin' feed? I've cut down to just the essential blogs that I always look forward to and got rid of the rest. Buzzfeed? My life feels happier without it. Instagram is one that I did sorely miss, but just like when I first gave up on Facebook, it got easier the less I checked it. 

The knitting and crafting though? Y'all know that has been taking its toll. I'm happy to report that I was able to go to Stitches Texas and take 2 classes back in mid-September. Serendipitously, I met a physical therapist during my first class and she gave me some super helpful pointers for my elbow problems. I followed her advice and my elbow feels normal. That's the power of the knitting community, I tell ya. After Stitches, as part of the protocol the physical therapist told me to do, I was not knitting. This past week, however, I have been mostly pain free (in my arm at least) and have knit a little bit most days! 

Here comes the but. My old shoulder injury, which has never really gone away, has reared its ugly head and is causing quite a bit of pain. Just when one thing starts to feel a little better, the other goes awry. Is this what 28 feels like? Apparently for me, the answer is yes. 

The breaks from the things I thought I loved have given me room to entertain myself in other ways, namely books and TV. I have made it through all of Broad City, something that was on my list for a while, and have gotten to read a lot. I've been keeping up with my French lessons and that's fun too. 

So at this point I'm still not feeling great and have been trying to stay away from the computer and phone and other painful things. Even with those breaks though, things are still not quite right. I have an appointment scheduled with a pain rehab clinic this week and I'm really hoping they can help me out. They have a really good reputation and they're focused on treating the body holistically, with manual therapy (which I think is code for painful-but-good massage) and physical therapy, which is exactly what I have been wanting. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be feeling good again and will have crafty things to post about. In the meantime, I will finally add a good old weekend reading post and will try to do those on the reg once again. 

PEACE!

weekend reading

happy weekend, friends. how was your week? mine was quite nice as i had three whole days off! it was much needed and i used my time wisely and i feel refreshed! 

on to the links!

this corn chowder sounds like the perfect late-summer thing to eat!

i'm such a sucker for the funny posts on buzzfeed and this one did not disappoint me. 

fall is coming! and this means cute outfits. but sometimes i get tired of wearing the same outfits so i need some inspiration to mix it up. this post has some great ideas!

speaking of fall clothes- i bought this top last weekend and it's already become my new favorite! it's a little too warm to wear it right now but i have a feeling that in the fall i will be wearing it constantly.

i really like may designs and their notebooks- i have multiples that i have used as gratitude journals and work notebooks- and now they have these adorable folios. i'm definitely tempted to get the spotted one.

i ran across this body image comic this week and LOVED it. i need to print it off for my patients at work. 

one day i will finish off a weave with the half hitch knot and when i do i'll want this handy tutorial.

good bones. 

i tried this makeup tutorial this week and i really liked it! it really did emphasize my eyes more.

i went to yoga this week for the first time in FOREVER and at the studio i go to, the teacher always puts a little lavender pillow over everyone's eyes during savasana. i always really enjoy it and i thought to myself that i could definitely easily make my own lavender pillow! i already have everything i need, so i did just that! i used the measurements and tassel idea from this tutorial but i did make it more like a little pillowcase and made the actual pillow as an insert so that i can wash the cover. 

how dreamy is this color?! 

this scarf! i haven't knit a scarf in a while, just shawls, but this one might break me of that habit.

and finally. this week i had one of those weird and random thoughts pop into my head- why are you supposed to trim candle wicks? so i went out in search of the answer and not only did i find the reason, i found some candle-burning tips and tricks that make sure you have the best candle experience. this week i made sure to always let my candles burn until the entire top layer was liquid and it made my candles look so much nicer and i think it means i will actually get to use up the entire candle instead of having some leftover wax hanging out on the bottom and sides. i did have to do a little candle surgery on one of my candles since it had some tunneling going on but it's back in flat working order now. also i feel like this is a good time to mention that i was terrified of matches until this year but a friend taught me the right way to use them and now i'm obsessed with them!

ok, i'll leave you on that weird note. happy weekending! 

happenings

i thought i'd post a sorta random post this week! i've been busy this summer and with my ongoing recovery from injury, i haven't been able to craft very much, so i have other things going on. here's what i've been up to in july and august!

I went to the Dallas Museum of Art to see the fabulous Mexico exhibit.

I went to the Dallas Museum of Art to see the fabulous Mexico exhibit.

I went to the Dallas World Aquarium to escape some of the summer heat.

I went to the Dallas World Aquarium to escape some of the summer heat.

One of my succulents started growing multiple flower stalks!!! I've never had one bloom before, so I am super excited for this one to bloom. It will have red flowers!

One of my succulents started growing multiple flower stalks!!! I've never had one bloom before, so I am super excited for this one to bloom. It will have red flowers!

I saw a beautiful sunrise one morning.

I saw a beautiful sunrise one morning.

I did get to do a little bit of knitting!!!

I did get to do a little bit of knitting!!!

I had lunch with several friends at one of my favorite spots, Toasted. Their "coma-toast" is so so good and their matcha lattes aren't bad either!

I had lunch with several friends at one of my favorite spots, Toasted. Their "coma-toast" is so so good and their matcha lattes aren't bad either!

And a little more knitting!

And a little more knitting!

I got to see the partial solar eclipse! It was so cool.

I got to see the partial solar eclipse! It was so cool.

I saw Michael Franti at the wonderful Majestic Theater. He did like half of his show in the audience and I definitely got his arm sweat on my arm 

I saw Michael Franti at the wonderful Majestic Theater. He did like half of his show in the audience and I definitely got his arm sweat on my arm 

And finally, I saw Lord Huron at The Bomb Factory! This was definitely a highlight of my month. I had missed them the last time they came around to Dallas so I was thrilled to finally see them and they definitely did not disappoint!

And finally, I saw Lord Huron at The Bomb Factory! This was definitely a highlight of my month. I had missed them the last time they came around to Dallas so I was thrilled to finally see them and they definitely did not disappoint!

on deck for september? i already have gone to a wedding, i'll have book club, a girls' lake weekend, STITCHES!, the dallas greek food festival, the beautiful/anonymous live show, and finally, father john misty at the bomb factory. 2017 has definitely been a good and fun year and that fun is just going to continue right on into the fall. so many musicians i love are coming in october and november and i have spent way too much money on concert tickets, but it's all worth it for good music! 

weekend reading

oh heeeeyyyy. you didn't think i could keep the regular posting thing going, did ya?! the honest truth is that i didn't have any links to share 2 weeks ago and then i got lazy when i did have some links AND THEN I had to get another cortisone shot in my arm and was in too much pain to type SO here i am now, posting lots of links that have been saved up for a bit now. without any further ado, links!

It should be no surprise to anyone here that I love poetry. I have a few faves memorized, but I definitely want to learn more and this article only encouraged that desire. 

Mushrooms. I hate eating them but they are really really cool to look at!

Recipes! Tzatziki! Corn chowder!

The first photo in this post provided me with some major outfit inspiration. Yes, I'm serious. I now have a deep need to make that sweater that I mentioned in my previous weekend reading post in a deep green and wear it with my flowy pink skirt. 

I can't decide if I love or hate this skirt. It's so so cute on Sara but it's also so 90s? The jury is out but I keep thinking about it...

Actual conversation at my work dinner a few weeks ago: 
My supervisor: One of my big regrets in life is not getting that boob mug I saw in Europe.
Me: Why don't you get a boob vase?! 

~eclipse things~ I know it was a week ago now, but you gotta admit that it was prettttty cool. I brought 3 pairs of eclipse glasses to work and me and my coworkers all took turns staring at the sun and saying wow and being amazed. Here's a cool poem about the McDonald Observatory here in Texas and here are two photos of the eclipse that I really loved. And a rad art print!

Cute quilt binding idea.

These crocheted leaves are just ridiculous.

I have been loving the Imma Eat That blog recently and read an old post that really spoke to me.

I finally saw Amélie. Yes, I am the last person to ever see it. Yes, it was delightful. And weird. And funny. And French! Of course after I finished it, I wanted to find more French movies on Netflix to maybe hopefully somehow improve my listening skills, and I found this great list

And speaking of français, there is new research to suggest that exercising while practicing a new language can help make it stick better so it looks like I'm gonna have to figure out a way to move while doing my daily French lessons!

Et finalement, two cute hairstyles I want to try. Feeling real confident in my skills for the first one, not so much for the second one!

my favorite pasta

Four years ago I was just doing my thing, living life and reading blogs. I saw that Molly Wizenberg had a new post and I clicked on it, knowing it would fill me with the usual mixture of awe and delight that her posts always elicited in me. At this point, I nearly have the opening lines memorized, I've read it so often-

 Every so often, I encounter a recipe that makes me want to forgo the usual niceties of a post - the introduction, the story, the conclusion, the delicate foreplay - because that would only slow you down, when what you should really do is grab your shoes and make a list and run to the grocery store and throw some money at the cashier and run back home and make this immediately and I mean it, go, right now, DO IT.
— Molly Wizenberg

That caught my attention. 

What followed was exactly what Molly described as the "delicate foreplay"'; a description of a pasta that sounded so perfect that my mouth was watering and I knew I had to try the recipe as soon as my next meal. Eventually, I cobbled together the ingredients and did the requisite zizzing and defrosting and such.

If Molly's post could be described as foreplay, actually eating the pasta could be described only as orgasm. I had never tasted anything like it. The way each element came together and complemented one another was indescribable. 

I had found it: my favorite pasta. 

I don't cook it often...I think I worry that I will spoil my tastebuds and they will come to expect only the absolutely astounding. But those times I do make this pasta, it is no less enthralling than the first time I had it. 

And so yesterday afternoon as I was pondering what on earth I was going to come up with for dinner, I remembered this pasta. The thought alone filled me with mouthwatering anticipation and after work, I went to the store and picked up the ingredients that I didn't already have in my pantry. This time I was lucky enough to have a leftover bottle of pinot grigio to accompany my meal and friends, it was perfection. 

A word to the wise: keep the ingredients separate if you plan on eating this pasta for leftovers. The yogurt sauce is quite the delicate and picky thing and while mixing all the ingredients together in a giant bowl is ultra satisfying for a crowd, it doesn't translate as well in tomorrow's lunch. 

Bon appétit!

yet another new hobby

Let's go back to last Wednesday. I was sitting in the break room at work, eating a very delicious sandwich, and as is my usual Wednesday lunch ritual, was scrolling through email and Instagram. And I saw this. 

I had heart eyes emojis immediately. As usual, Purl Soho's gorgeous photography made me want to make the project immediately. I've never been a big jewelry person. I have a ring that I wear everyday and I usually have some pair of earrings on and I might wear my star necklace but that's it. I've never been big into bracelets or much more than understated and simple jewels. So it was sort of odd for me to want to make bracelets so badly. 

I had a little jewelry making phase in high school. I bought neon beads and made several pairs of earrings. They all were eventually thrown out in one of my epic cleaning sprees, but believe me, they were...interesting. 

So I was just thinking about those Purl bracelets and how I really wanted to make them even though it made no sense for me to want to do such a thing. And then one of my friends texted me, "did you see the purl soho email about the beaded bracelets?". Yes, yes I did. Another friend texted, "I want to make that silly purl wrap bracelet very badly". It seems we were all in the bracelet making mood. PURL STRIKES AGAIN!! I can't tell you how many times I have had the sudden NEED to make a very specific project because Purl posted it looking gorgeous and easy. 

This strange desire to make bracelets continued and on Saturday, I woke up thinking about them. That is how you know it is true love. There are a couple of beading shops here in Dallas and, while still laying in bed, I pulled up their websites to check out their class offerings. Lo and behold, Beads of Splendor had a bead loom class that very afternoon and it still had a few spots open! I signed up and perused insta and pinterest and youtube for inspiration. 

The class was great. If you have ever woven on a rigid heddle loom, you will know exactly how to warp up a bead loom. It is essentially a tiny rigid heddle loom! The hardest part was picking out what color beads I wanted to use and what design to do. I had picked out some copper hardware and I eventually decided on some dark purple and light pink/cream beads and a plus sign design. I got to beading and was off on my merry way. It was just as fun and easy and meditative as I thought it would be and I loved every minute of it. 

All warped and ready to go. 

All warped and ready to go. 

Several rows in.

Several rows in.

Close up!

Close up!

After I finished my bracelet, I perused the store and bought my own beading loom, beads, and thread to create a bracelet that is more like the Purl version. It is safe to say that the beading loom is my new crafting obsession and that beads are going to be my new vice. I definitely wanna make some bracelets with bad words on them 

And now for some inspiration: 
Here's someone I found on Reddit. I especially love her cloud, avocado, and cacti bracelets! 
Stormie Art. Gorgeous bracelets and other jewelry!
My new beading pinterest board.

Love all of the cacti in Eden Rain Beadworks bracelets! Instagram. Etsy. 

Love all of the cacti in Eden Rain Beadworks bracelets! InstagramEtsy

More Eden Rain Beadworks. 

More Eden Rain Beadworks. 

 Yours Arm Candy. I love how thin this one is. 

 Yours Arm Candy. I love how thin this one is. 

Nice to Bead You. Alternatively, I like how large this one is! And I like the closure. 

Nice to Bead You. Alternatively, I like how large this one is! And I like the closure. 

ameliadimonaco. Incredible!

ameliadimonaco. Incredible!

naronaxie. Another incredible one! I got to see this in person and it is AMAZING.

naronaxie. Another incredible one! I got to see this in person and it is AMAZING.

weekend reading

Hello lovelies!

How was your week? Mine was busy with a capital b, but isn't that how it always is? Let's take this opportunity to sit back, relax, and revel in the wonder of the internet. 

Let's look at some cute fabric, shall we? I'm loving this Perfect Catch from Dear Stella and 40 Winks also from Dear Stella. 

I have posted links to "summer water" before and this one is SO extra but I 100% definitely want to make it and drink it. 

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? Well duh, yes. But also not just A generation but probably all of us. Welp. Goodbye human interaction. 

I have suuuuuch strong feelings about this article. I don't even know where to start with it. 

When I saw this sweater, I said something like, "ummmeigoebnov;aifjiewane;owbavnoewajflksanvoaehgo OOOOOOOOMMMMMMMGGGGGGG" and proceeded to drool all over my keyboard. I am IN LOVE. That hemline! That yoke! That sleeve length! I burn, I pine, I perish! I'm picturing myself in one that is either a rich navy, a gorgeous forest green, or a light grey. How will I ever decide?!

I still really want a pair of overalls but I haven't found just the right pair. I'm really digging these, though, and obvs handmade is the most ideal so they could be perfect???

Suddenly a red backpack is on my to-make list. 

This vegetarian pizza has pretty much everything I like on it. Sounds delish.

Idk why, but I am so into tassels on shawls. This one is pure perfection. Love the colorful tassels, the seed stitch border, and the simple stockinette body. 

I hope your weekend is full of ridiculously extra summer water and daydreaming about sweater yokes because you deserve only the best things. xoxo.

weekend reading

Happy Saturday! 

My week was pretty hectic, thus the late posting of this post! But we are here now, it's the weekend, and I am listening to some real good tunes, so let's get this started. 

It's the morning, I'm writing this in bed, and food is on my mind. Like these Ramen hacks! Related: easy vegetarian meals with lots of protein!

Earlier this week, my home was a bit of a construction zone. The entire living room had to be taped off so dust wouldn't get everywhere and it resulted in a few air conditioning vents being blocked off, meaning the rest of the house was very warm. I found myself donning my lightest weight pjs and dreaming about having some other light and airy options. I'm thinking any of these would work.

My French is getting better every week and I am comprehending a lot when I read in French. I'm hoping to start reading some of these stories to increase my comprehension. 

I really like this little laptop table.

While perusing Reddit this week, I came across this thread full of excellent music and this video that breaks down Bohemian Rhapsody into is amazing-on-their-own components. 

Let's talk about crewel. It is something I have never been interested in because it seems like I only see the 70s variety with daisies and the avocado green colors. This week I saw this kit from Purl Soho and now I definitely want to do crewel. 

A few weeks ago I found Nibyniebo on Instagram and I have become obsessed. She released a PDF pattern of one of her creations and I totally want to get it and recreate it!

Cotton+Steel released their newest lookbook and there are some gorgeous fabrics coming from them soon, as always! I particularly LOVED this banana print! I wanna make a blouse or a dress out of it!

I heard that Spoonflower released a new gauze fabric this week. Sara made a SUPER CUTE top from it and now of course I want to copy it exactly. 

I always love Lucy's crocheted blankets, but I especially love the color gradient in this one. Her blankets always make me want to learn to crochet. 

Such a perfect visual for why I am trying my hardest to buy only natural fibers these days. They degrade! Which sounds like something you don't want, but in the long run, it is so much better for everyone. 

There are lots of good books listed here

Currently reading.

Happy reading, eating, listening, and crafting!