Friday, August 31, 2012

FO Friday: Hat of Surprise

Here's a completely-finished hat that I never once mentioned on this blog! What happened is I wanted something simple to knit on the train (a friend of ours was visiting, so I knew I'd have lots of extra train-knitting time for the duration of their stay!). I noticed that Veera Välimäki's Little Things had been lurking in my queue for quite some time and realized it would be the perfect way to use my remaining Road to China Light from the Tree of Life Cowl I made earlier this summer.

If you're looking for a quick knit and don't mind a lot of garter and stockinette (I certainly don't), this is the project for you! I whipped this hat out in five days; the hardest part was finding the perfect buttons to complete the project. Considering the ridiculous button stash I've accumulated in the past few years, it would be reasonable to expect that choosing buttons would be the easiest part of the project-finishing process. NOT SO! I pored over my stash for probably an hour, looking for the perfect buttons to use. Finally, I remembered an auxiliary button stash in my office, which is where these pretty green buttons were found.

I don't think words will suffice when trying to describe how soft this yarn is. It's like a cloud wrapping around your head - sorry, that's the best I can do! I was warned that this particular yarn was quite addictive, and that is proving to be the case. It's unavoidable that more skeins will be finding their way into my stash.

Pattern: Little Things by Veera Välimäki (free!)
Yarn: The Fibre Company Road to China Light in Carnelian
Needles: Knitter's Pride Special Interchangeables (Nova tips from Webs Yarn Store)
Modifications: None!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: A Little This, A Little That

Oh, startitis, we meet again. For a while, I was able to keep my WIPs within a manageable 3-project maximum. Best-laid plans are no match for my weak resistance to the siren call of starting a new project, however.

First, I had to start a secret something for my nephew's upcoming birthday (not pictured). I also decided to participate in this KAL and ordered yarn to make the Jelly Beans Socks:
While waiting for said KAL yarn, I was tempted by the latest Cookie A sock pattern and consequently cast on for a pair:
And, still bitten by the colorwork bug, I started a Hendreary Hat with the Bijou Bliss I ordered during their Fourth of July flash sale: 
Naturally, this is all at the expense of completely ignoring my Rockefeller Shawl. Oh, and I also finished knitting a new sock pattern that's been in the works for far too long (not pictured). Now I just have to get the pattern ready to go...which hopefully will be a much quicker process. All in all, it was a productive weekend, and I even had time to ply the two BFL singles that have been in various states of progress since July: 
I love the way it spun up, and while I was plying it, I decided it would make a great cropped cardi. I used some hand-dyed BFL fiber from Traveling Rhinos which I bought at the Renegade Craft Fair last year (it's called "Barn Owl" - I couldn't resist) and plied it with some natural brown BFL from Spunky Eclectic. Lovely!

Still haven't gotten your fill of WIPs? Head over to Tami's Amis to see what other folks are knitting and crocheting this week!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mitten Monday!

My Narwhal Mittens have been done for several weeks - they turned out so well! I used Lhasa Wilderness from Bijou Basin Ranch - I love the way the hand-dyed goldenrod looks agains the natural brown color. They are sooooo incredibly soft, too - the yak/bamboo blend is nothing short of heavenly. These will be my extra-warm mittens of choice this winter - yak fiber is very warm and insulating, plus the colorwork provides a thicker fabric, all the better to keep my hands toasty in the sub-zero winter months.

Pattern: Narwhal Mittens by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Lhasa Wilderness in Goldenrod and Natural Brown
Needles: Knitter's Pride US #3 Dreamz DPNs
Modifications: No inner lining....I like to live dangerously.

Friday, August 24, 2012

FO Friday: Put a Sock in it!

I'm back on the sock bandwagon! On August 1, I finished the toe-up socks. REPEAT: the toe-up socks (that I started in April) are DONE! Don't ask me why I'm just now blogging about it; perhaps a better title for this post would be "FO Friday, The Long-Overdue Edition."

It's a little hard to capture the texture of the socks, which is a simple "v" created by purl bumps.  The pattern is the Traditional Gansey Socks from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up; I used some hand-dyed yarn from a friend of mine here in town (it's a very soft fingering-weight MCN). I ended up using the Russian Bind-Off instructions from the book. I also accidentally worked a stockinette heel flap on the first sock and slip-stitch heel flap on the second sock...and somehow didn't notice it til they were both done. Oops!

Naturally, this kicked up my sock interest once more. causing me to resurrect my colorwork socks-in-progress. Last Friday night, I finished the Huron Mountain Socks in Trekking Pro Natura and The Wool Dispensary Useful Stimulant that have been on the needles since mid-June. They fit perfectly and I'm so glad I knit a second pair of these for myself (the first pair I knit was a holiday gift last year). Looking forward to having warm toes all winter long!

The timing couldn't be better, too - it's time to kick my holiday knitting into overdrive, plus I'm joining in the Jelly Beans Sock KAL in the Green Mountain Spinnery Group. This is my first time knitting with their yarns and I am so excited!

Working on lots of socks makes me think of this Dum Dum Girls song:


Check out other inspiring FO projects over at the Tami's Amis blog today. Happy FO Friday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Enabling Should Be My Middle Name

I don't need more sock yarn...yet these two lovely skeins found their way into my house recently:

Green Mountain Spinnery Sock Art Forest (70% fine wool. 30% Tencel) in an undyed natural grey color. The photo doesn't do it justice! I'll be using it for the Jelly Beans Socks, which is a KAL happening right now in their Ravelry group.
Then I succumbed to yet another Craftsy Deal (perhaps I should ban that site from my browser?), this time for this autumnal skein of Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock in Pumpkin Patch....and promptly cast on for the Lateral Socks from Cookie A's new collection (the beginnings of which you saw in yesterday's WIP Wednesday post!).
I'll try to resist purchasing any more yarn til September...but I make no promises!

ETA: If you're wondering how (or if) it's possible to enable oneself into a yarn purchase, I assure you it is. I spend all day looking at yarn and patterns, talking about them for clients, telling other people they should purchase pattern X or yarn Z...and usually, by the end of the day, I've convinced myself as well!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday!

It's been a while since I've shared what's on my needles - and with so many finished projects of late, that means that I've started just as many new ones!

My colorwork craze continues with Ysolda Teague's Hendreary Hat in Bijou Bliss:
I also started a new pair of socks using some yarn I recently scored via Craftsy's Daily Deals - the pattern is hot off the press from Cookie A's new design collection. I couldn't resist the simplicity of the Lateral Socks. What better way to show off the gradient colorway of my yarn choice?
Finally, my Rockefeller Shawl is chugging along. Yes, it's been several weeks since the completion of the WestKnits 2012 Mystery KAl, but I have been struck with Second Side Syndrome, apparently. I've officially moved this project to "slow-burner status" (i.e., it's the project I pick up when feeding the cats in the morning and evening), and it will be done...eventually.

Still haven't gotten your fill of WIPs? Head over to Tami's Amis to see what other folks are knitting and crocheting this week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fresh Designs Series: Scarves and Shawls

I should probably start by saying that I have a design coming out in the upcoming Fresh Designs: Toys book, and I'm a huge fan of Cooperative Press and Shannon Okey. Through the Cooperative Press, Shannon has managed to publish some of the most interesting titles in the yarn industry. California Revival Knits, Extreme Double-Knitting, and now the Fresh Designs series readily spring to mind as shining examples! I volunteered myself to review the books that recently came out because I'm really excited about this series (currently out are Scarves, Shawls, Sweaters and Men) and jumped at the opportunity to help promote my fellow Fresh Designs designers.

All of the books in this series share a clean, modern graphic aesthetic. Patterns are clearly-written and laid out in a way that's easy to follow. The images of the patterns are directly followed by the pattern, which is something I appreciate (I hate having to search through a PDF document when all the photos are at the front and the patterns are crammed onto a few pages in the back). Speaking of the photography, the photos feature non-conventional models (another win in my book) and each project is well-represented. The lighting and photo styling highlight the patterns' design feature, be it the stitch pattern, construction element, or even the yarn itself.

Scrunchy Scarf by Heather C. Keiser
Stitch patterns are both written out and charted when necessary, and the charts are actually readable (don't you hate it when a chart is so tiny, you have to take a trip to Kinko's to blow it up 300% just so you can knit your project?), except for a few cases where there is some seriously intricate lace and a small-ish chart is unavoidable. Schematics are also provided for all of the garments and any of the more intricately-constructed accessories. There is a complete glossary at the back of the book, but all the information you need - gauge, yarn information, sizing, etc. - appears on the pattern page. No one was able to skate by vague pattern information such as "gauge isn't important for this project" or "one size fits most" - and if they did, they still had to provide specific measurements for those of us who prefer to check. Then let's talk about sizing - each garment had at least 4 size options, sometimes more (in general beginning at a size Small and working up to an XL or XXL).

Looky! A model with tattoos!
Scarf Scarf Revolution by Hannah Cuviello
Additionally, I love the diversity within the series. Across the board, there are many different designers contributing to the series. The range of indie dyers is impressive, too - Indigodragonfly, The Sanguine Gryphon (now Cepahlopod Yarns and The Verdant Gryphon, of course), Yarn Love, Kangaroo Dyer, Three Irish Girls....the list goes on! There are also some commercial brands to round out the list - Berocco, Rowan, Blue Sky Alpacas, and Debbie Bliss, to name a few.

Intersection Shawl by Samantha Roshak
Each collection features 10 designs and there is literally something for everyone. I know that's a cliche, but it's true in this case. Let's take Fresh Designs: Scarves as an example: there are a few rectangular scarves ranging from simple stitch patterns to pretty lace (Monkey Puzzle, Majere, Diamond Sampler, for example). There's a cabled hooded scarf (Avonleigh), a ruched rectangular scarf (Scrunchy Scarf), and an infinity scarf (Shaker Mobius) for those who have graduated from the basics.  When you're ready to really try something new, there's the double-knit entrelac Scarf Scarf Revolution (named for the video game) and the free-form "recipe" for the Tossed Leaves scarf (pictured on the book cover above), which can be assembled any way you like to create a scarf, stole, cowl or shawl. Personally, I think it'd make a cool bedspread, too!

Tyrolean Capelet by Baerbel Hurst
Fresh Designs: Shawls
Fresh Designs: Shawls also offers a similar range, from the simple eyelet triangle Good Luck Shawl to the intricate lacework of the Sea of Tulips Stole. Several patterns use interesting techniques that are perfect for knitters who want to expand their shawl-making horizons: the Tyrolean Capelet combines cables with simple embroidery accents (I think even I could manage this one, and I'm the first to admit I'm terrible at embroidery); the Floating Cables Wrap is a lacy mesh shawl with a beaded, cabled edge; the Shrinking Cables Shawl is worked from the bottom up with clever decreases worked each time a cable crosses, resulting in the shrinking cables effect (and a shawl that knits faster as you progress!). Even the Intersection Shawl is more than meets the eye, using short rows to create a circular, lacy shawl with a ribbed border that is not only stable but easy to block (I have yet to purchase blocking wires, so this is right up my alley).

Are you excited to get knitting? You can order hard copies and PDF versions of these books directly from Cooperative Press - click here! You can also purchase digital copies via Ravelry (here and here). I'll be reviewing Fresh Designs: Sweaters and Fresh Designs: Men next, so be sure to check back soon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

FO Friday: Boot Toppers!

As you may recall, I recently purchased a few skeins of Manos Wool Clasica via Craftsy Deals.  Once I saw them in person, I knew they wouldn't remain in my stash for long! This discontinued colorway, Lily Pad, was the perfect choice for some cabled boot toppers - I love the way the neutral tones allow the splashes of red to pop. I also like the way it knit up; I usually avoid variegated yarns because I'm not a fan of the way they tend to pool, but as you can see, this colorway knits up as more mottled than pooled. I used this free pattern from Manos on Ravelry for Wavy Cable Boot Toppers. It's super-fast and easy, and you can easily customize it to fit whatever boots you like!

Earlier this week, there were several more Manos Craftsy Deals in varying colors of Wool ClasicaRittenhouse and Silk Blend. Hopefully you were able to snap up a few skeins for yourself (I know I had to resist the urge to buy more)!

Thanks for joining me for FO Friday - you can see more FO inspiration here!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stitches Midwest

Chicago is fortunate to play host to two big crafting events this year: Stitches Midwest and Vogue Knitting Live!

As always, Stitches Midwest takes place in August to kick off the knitting season.  It's an event I always look forward to, though there have been instances in my 7 years of living in Chicago that I have been unable to make the trek - and it is a journey for us city mice - to Schaumburg.  It's always worth it, of course, but us urban knitters who rely on mass transit are pretty much SOL if they can't justify the car rental expense or find a friend with a car...hence I am looking forward to VK Live! this October, which will be conveniently located in the downtown loop at the beautiful Palmer House Hilton.

I ended up helping a client set up their booth on Thursday, and then went to the market on Friday to shop and schmooze. I was surprised at how busy it was on a Friday afternoon - the parking lot was COMPLETELY full! I'm guessing it was a very successful show for the vendors; many had lines of folks at the register waiting to check out. My goal was to shop tantrically, since I've been treating myself to lots of new yarn via Craftsy Deals of late. Here's my modest Stitches booty:
Qiviuk/Wool/Silk blend yarn from Windy Valley Muskox;
Miss Babs Top in Fog Bank (Merino/Silk) and Green Eyed Monster (BFL/Silk)
Don't get me wrong, there were tons of pretties I wanted to buy: sock yarn from the Plucky Knitter, sock blockers from Purrfectly Catchy Designs, squishy yak yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch. All in good time; I think I'll save up for VK Live! and have a little blowout, if I can just quit ordering yarn online between now and then!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eventual Rockefeller

As you might have guessed by a lack of a post on Friday, the final day of the WestKnits Mystery KAL, I didn't finish my shawl.  I'd like to say it wasn't for lack of trying, but my progress simply won't support that claim:
As you can see, I'm not even halfway through the final clue! It's going to be smooth sailing from here - but on a really slow-moving ship (that seems to be the theme for most projects these days). Here's hoping this can be off the needles by the end of this month!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Craftsy Deals: Fair Trade Edition!

I know I've posted several times about Craftsy Deals, but here are my latest acquisitions:

1 skein Manos Clasica in Olivewood - natural blues, browns, yellows and grays

2 skeins Manos Clasica in Lily Pad - soft reds, calming creams and earthy greens

I couldn't resist the offer for Fair Trade yarn + free shipping. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I have never knit with Manos' yarns (and only recently acquired at skein of Maxima while in Columbus earlier this year). None of my LYSes carry Manos, so that has always been roadblock #1. I suppose roadblock #2 is that they don't have a sock yarn, which I view as the gateway drug to a yarn line. However, in the course of my work, I have learned so much about the Manos Co-Ops, yarns and colorways, it's about time I gave them a try!

As Craftsy noted in the product description:
Manos del Uruguay helps empower women in Uruguay's countryside by generating income for themselves and their families. Through yarn sales, these women have been able to obtain economic independence. All yarn produced by Manos del Uruguay is hand-dyed using precise color recipes that create subtle nuances in the hues of every yarn. Manos del Uruguay is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and all of their yarns are certified as 100% sustainable. Buy this yarn and support efforts to empower women and eradicate poverty through sustainable economic development. 
Pretty awesome, right?

There are tons of great one- and two-skein patterns for Clasica - I think I'll be making the Wavy Cable Boot Toppers with the Lily pad; for the Olivewood, I'm having a hard time deciding between the Tweedledee Hat and the Antelope Hat (all three patterns are free Ravelry downloads, might I add!).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spotted in the Wild: Still More Bags!

The Kitchy Pleated Bag continues to be one of my most popular designs from Malabrigo Book 3. Here are the latest FO projects to pop up on Ravelry!

Annedonn has made several kitchy bags to give as gifts - her latest two (shown above, top left and middle) have fancy buttons, too (the pink buttons have some sort of bug on them)! I'm not sure what yarn she used, but I love seeing the variations in color combinations.

KnitKnacksTO made this version (above right) to use as a project bag in what looks like Tuareg and Pearl Ten Malabrigo Chunky - a great pairing!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Celtic Cables Blog Tour

I'm thrilled to be today's stop on the Celtic Cables blog tour. If you're just now joining us, there are several other blogs you should check out (click here to view the tour itinerary!) for class reviews and interviews with the instructor/designer, Carol Feller.

I have been obsessed with Craftsy for quite some time now, having signed up for several classes and workshops, bought countless skeins of yarn via their daily deals, and even purchased some patterns, too! I think it's a really exciting way for crafters to learn & share their know-how, and I'm excited to promote it in any way I can.

The designer modeling the class
project, the Portulaca Cardigan
Once I started watching the preview videos of Carol's class, I was hooked and signed up right away! I'm pleased to offer my dear readers a special discount on this class so you can join in the fun - the link is at the end of this post.  

I consider myself an experienced knitter and am no stranger to cables, but there is much to learn in this comprehensive class, no matter your skill level. Carol's in-depth lessons on measurements, swatching and gauge, casting on, shaping & garment construction, and finishing will walk you through the process of knitting a perfectly-fitted sweater from start to finish. There's also a bonus lesson on fixing cable mistakes, which I found particularly exciting. Carol explains each concept thoroughly - for instance, I think this was the first time I really understood ease. Plus, not only does she tell you about something, she shows you!   

I had a chance to interview Carol via e-mail - here are the seven questions I asked her (if they seem a bit random, it's because I didn't want to repeat any of the questions asked on previous blog tour stops!):

1.      What was your learning curve like when you first started designing? 
When I first started designing I was so fascinated by the process that it never felt like learning!  The easy part was envisioning the idea and knitting it, nothing is more exciting than seeing an idea come to life. Then the harder part comes later. Learning about grading, pattern writing and schematics was the most involved part of the process. I got huge help from test knitters and tech editors on my first few patterns. It’s amazing what basic mistakes you make when starting out, fortunately you don’t need to make them more than once!

2.      What made you decide to start publishing patterns instead of knitting existing patterns?
Once I had mastered the basics of knitting again (I had learned as a child) I wanted to see how I could manipulate it. I started out by just making small changes to patterns, adding a cable into a basic baby pullover or changing the waist shaping of a garment.  From there I just kept taking it one step further and seeing what I could create. I had no intention of publishing my patterns when I started designing. I was just doing it for me and the kids. It was actually the online magazine Knitty that got me thinking about publishing a pattern. Amy made the whole process seem so accessible on her website (pattern template, links to grading, etc.) that it seemed like something exciting to try.

3.      Do you have any advice for designers who are just getting started?
Have fun with it!  If you do intend on moving into more formal design, you need to be aware that there are a lot of very different skills that are needed. The most obvious one is of course an overactive imagination and knitting skills, but if you’re going to design garments you’ll need to be very comfortable with numbers and maths also. I probably spend as much time number crunching on excel as I do knitting! Fortunately as I started life as an engineer this part of the process is also an enjoyable one for me. I would advise any would be designer to become comfortable with calculations so that you can really take control of your design.
As with any other business you also need to spend a lot of time promoting yourself and designs.  It doesn’t matter how good you are at designing if no one hears about you! This is always a hard one, there are many days where it is much more appealing to sit and knit instead of spending it on the computer marketing. 

4.      What attracted you to the Craftsy platform? 
When Stefanie Japel asked me to teach some classes with Craftsy a few months ago I began looking at how the platform worked. I was hooked from the start; it really seemed like a fantastic way of combining the best of a video class with teacher interaction. All of the classes are professionally filmed which means that you know that the video quality is really good. They’re set up as streaming video so it it works well even in relatively poor broadband areas. Because they’re online you can access them on any computer whenever you want and even put video notes for yourself in areas you know you’ll want to rewatch.
The classes are set up to be fully interactive, but still in your (student and instructor) own time.  Students can ask questions at any point while they’re watching the video and then either I or other students can answer them. This also means that when you’re watching the class for the first time you may actually find full conversation threads already there on an area you needed clarified also.

5.      What was the process like to develop the class from concept to filming? How long did it take? 
It took several months of work to develop the Celtic Cables class.  I had a clear idea of how to structure it but breaking each part down into a manageable ‘chunk’ and making sure every swatch and section of knitting was ready took a lot of planning. I spent a lot of time doing mini recordings on my iPad to get a feel for how the class would work on film and for the timing. This was my first class being recorded so I was very nervous about how to translate real life teaching into a video class. In a face to face class a lot of the class is student led with questions and queries often changing the course and dynamic of the class. When it was just me and the camera recording I tried to anticipate questions from students so that it would make sense to them. The producer was a big help as well, she was a knitter but hadn’t done cables before so I was able to double check with her if what I was saying would make sense to a new cable knitter!

6.      Your class is packed with tons of information - while it's approachable for beginning knitters, there is plenty info that an experienced knitter will also find helpful. What skills do you hope both groups will gain after taking your class?
I really do hope that this class will appeal on several different levels. Ideally I would hope that a more novice knitter could take the class and initially just use it to learn cables and chart reading. Then when they feel ready to tackle a bigger project they can come back and use the measuring and modifying information to knit a well fitted garment for themselves. For more a more experienced knitter who would like help customising a pattern to fit them well I’ve given lots of information throughout the videos on measuring, gauge and different points in a garment that modifications can be made. Often even very experienced knitters avoid knitting garments for themselves!

7. One more fun question: What are your must-have items for you knitting bag? 
It’s not really strictly a knitting item, but I have lots of ziplock bags that I put each cake of yarn in while knitting. It’s vital for me in this house with dog hairs everywhere; otherwise I’d end up knitting with only dog hairs!

You can find out much more about the Celtic Cables class and Carol's knitting background on previous blog tour stops. Click the image below to check out Carol's class on Craftsy and watch the preview; you'll also have a chance to save 30% off your class registration! 

Be sure to follow my blog for more reviews of Craftsy classes and deals. I also have a monthly newsletter you can sign up for. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 3, 2012

FO Friday: Color Affection

It's done, it's done, it's DONE! And I love it...(is anyone surprised?)

This shawl is enormous - as you can see in this photo I took while it was blocking, it's longer than my massage table (which, if you're interested, is a good 75 inches in length). I used three colors of The Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering, which is one of my new favorite yarns - alpaca, merino and bamboo. It's delightful to knit with.

I think this will be a staple throughout the fall and winter - it's perfect for draping around my shoulders, and since it's in my three favorite colors, it'll pretty much match everything I own (not that matching is ever a huge priority for me, considering most days I don't actually interact with the world at large!). One of my friends on Facebook commented that it looked like a Japanese rock garden, which hadn't actually occurred to me, but now I can totally see it. It was a pretty zen-like knitting experience, too - very soothing and comforting to work on....just what I needed at the time!

The details:

Pattern: Color Affection by Veera Välimäki
Yarn: The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering
MC: Manatee
C1: Conifer
C2: Sarsparilla
Notes & Modifications:
Based on some project notes by fellow Ravelers, I started with a larger amount of stitches in an effort to avoid the "bump" at the beginning. For the first two sections, I increased two stitches for each row, omitting the 4-stitch increase every fourth row. For the short-row section, I knit the pattern as written (I think - my notes started getting a little spotty) til I ran out of the main color.  From that point, I switched to Sarsparilla and knit 'til I ran out of that, binding off with just a few yards to spare!

For more FO Friday inspiration from fellow bloggers, click here!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Of Socks & Shawls

Warning: this post contains spoiler photos for the WestKnits Mystery KAL! 

This weekend, I was amazed at how much progress I made on my all-but-forgotten toe-up socks in just a matter of days. Indeed, when you diligently knit on something, you can cover a lot of goes without saying that the inverse is true when you ignore a project, though I still always hope the knitting fairy will come along and knit a few rows when I'm not looking.

Last Saturday night, I turned the heel, and now I'll just be blazing through the pattern repeats til it's time to bind off. My goal is to have this pair of socks completely off the needles by the end of this coming weekend - then perhaps I can get down to business with those lovely colorwork socks I started in June...or cast on for a quick-knitting pair of pom-pom peds to give my new pom-pom maker a test drive....or get down to business on my holiday sock knitting....well, you get the idea!
I'm plugging away on the WestKnits Mystery Shawl KAL; it wasn't til Sunday afternoon when I finally got a chance to weave in most of the ends, which incidentally took me a good thirty minutes. Then I got down to business knitting the next set of instructions! I was a little worried that this strategy would backfire and I would fall behind, but as luck would have it, I finished Clue 3 on Monday night. Now I can spend rest of my free time this week sock-knitting!

P.S. You can see even more exciting WIPs from other crafty bloggers here!