What I’m loving right now

Okay, this is me being a big fat copy cat. 😽 I follow a few other blogs that do this feature and I thought I would get in on the fun!

I usually try to shove the things I love down everyone’s throats on Instagram but here is a consolidated version with some extras I probably haven’t shared!

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series

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I seriously cannot get enough of this series. IT IS SO GOOD. Honestly, one of the best series I’ve read in a while. I’m a huge fantasy fan so this meets the mark with Fae Realms, supernatural powers, and conquering your own demons.  The entire series is amazing each book better than the last. At the end of book 2 I got up, walked over to the dude and said ‘THAT BOOK WAS SO GOOD. OH MY GOD, OH MYYYYY GOD” I then proceeded to tell him the plot, but I couldn’t there is just so many backstories, and the book unfolds with them all. It’s just great. This is going down in my hall of fame (my place for books that get read over and over).

GAH I JUST LOVE IT.

Ello Camping Mug

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This is the second year that Target has carried this mug from Ello.  Last year I treated myself to a pink version and use it all the time.  I went back a few weeks after the initial purchase to get another, since I now have reached the stage in my life where I buy multiples of things I love, and they were gone. I was sad, but eagerly awaited this summer season to see if they would return. THEY DID!

Keeps things cold or hot for hours. Plus the handle is made from cork. The top never leaks and I love the camping enamel finish. Got the teal the second time around.

MillaMia Yarn

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Lois introduced my to MillaMia last year (she made those amazing Christmas ornaments for everyone) and then got me a bunch of it to make cowls for shopghostfaceknitter.com. I had a bunch left over from then and am now making the So Faded sweater with the surplus I had. But I LOVE this yarn. I’ve found it on loveknitting.com for $3 a skein and bought a whole bunch more in green, purple, and grey to make another So Faded sweater in the near future.  They have a bunch of free patterns available here. Try not to giggle like an idiot at the baby stuff.

Vintage Pattern FREE-FOR-ALL

I’ve been getting tagged a lot lately (thank you for those who have) in the huge public online release of both vintage knit and sew patterns.  SO AMAZING. Especially considering that people ask for a lot of money for vintage patterns.

South Hampton’s Knitting Reference Library

Free Vintage Knitting

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Vintage Patterns Wikia

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CHIA + FLAX SEEDS!

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The dude brought home this chia + flax seed mix a while ago and I have since re-purchased multiple bags of this. I just love it. It feels like a treat! It’s been a huge staple for me since giving up processed sugar for good plus with the Omega-3s! It’s a great treat.

What are some things that you have been loving?

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So Faded Sweater – Work in Prog

I have a confession.  I’ve never finished a knit sweater.  I have started two vintage patterns, probably a dozen pet sweaters, and have completed the Heliopath – Luna’s vest from the Harry Potter Knitting book, but never actually successfully knitted something that wasn’t an accessory.

At any rate – I saw a Knitterly ad on Facebook for this sweater when I was in Iowa in May – I LOVED IT.  I quickly found Drea Renee’s website and now am a cult fan. I’m probably in 30 hours on this sweater in total.  I have 2 inches of ribbing on the body, 7 inches on each sleeve, and then the neck ribbing to complete. I’m guessing another 5-10 hours.

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Specs on Time/Cost during WIP

Supplies List

Random Comments about pattern:

  • super easy make one left/right increase pattern
  • loved the in-pattern commentary about color changing and tips for success
  • love the texture of the sleeves being garter stitch
  • I did have a confusion point on the sleeves, as written in the pattern I felt they were not symmetrical – but decided to make the sleeve location on the body symmetrical and feel that was the right thing.  It probably was what the pattern had meant, but of course I interpreted differently as there were no corrections online regarding this.
  • Drea Renee – available I reached out to her about the sleeves (albeit not helpful in my description!) but she replied.

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just ribbing, sleeves, and neckline to go!!

Summertime Chi.

from Adler Planetarium on my lunch run.

It’s officially summer here in Chicago and I am loving it! What a difference from last summer. Seriously, last year, I was still pretty nervous to explore and wasn’t into ‘outdoorsy’ or many ‘non-drinking’ things so finding out how many summer hobbies I now have has been awesome.

Let’s do a few words to recap the past few weeks.

Bought a bike – became obsessed with biking – fell off bike – waiting for arm to heal (still – sigh).
Studied 3 months for GMAT – took GMAT – that was pointless to study for 3 months.
Bought 3923748 avocados – made amazing avocado dishes/sauces/spreads/smoothies – enjoyed eating it all.

bike ride to Irving Park/Lincoln Park

There that’s a verbal description of my past two weeks. I’m bummed I can’t ride because I LOVE my bike. I’m not really that disappointed about the GMAT, my scores are not ‘super competitive’ but they aren’t laughable either so… I’m gonna take some time to heal both mentally and physically before I plot my next move or bike ride.

Let’s look at pictures. I have been loving walking around downtown during lunch and I have really enjoyed discovering the lake and many other awesome running/biking trails/paths. Pretty much me and Leopold love summer Chicago!

summertime grilling – hawaiian chicken thighs and apple cider coleslaw
i made my own laundry soap with this and borax! it is great!.
just a five minute walk from my office 🙂
al pastor tacos from the taqueria down the street. NOM
spock.
oh just making up my own shawl pattern NBD.
lunch time walk
oh hai.

okay there is more but I promise I’m gonna start updating again WAY more often now that the GMAT is done and summer is here!

🙂
xxx
GFK

RIDDIKULUS! THE HELIOPATH KAL WINNERS!

First, let me just reiterate what I have said before – that I have never been more impressed with a group of knitters in my life. This KAL was definitely quality over quantity. Whether you finished in time for the giveaway drawing or not, give yourself a giant pat on the back for being part of a really inspiring and talented group of knit-wizards. This pattern was major. And the end result is gorgeous.

Here is a recap of the finishing participants’ Heliopath Vests! All the cables! EEEEP!

bcrlmom
bcrlmom
ghostfaceknitter
ghostfaceknitter
kenzie_emery
kenzie_emery
kialtho
kialtho
rijelviolet
rijelviolet
seaandlake
seaandlake
socalmeaghan
socalmeaghan
thecraftydarling
thecraftydarling

Oh RIGHT – the winners! I almost forgot! NOT.

The winner of the eweewe yarn and pattern bundle is…. bclrmom!

The winner of the Black Market Wool is…. kialtho!

The winner of the 4 skeins of JustRunKnit yarn is…. rijelviolet!

The winner of the Emma Welford pattern is…. seaandlake!

BUT don’t worry those few wizards who did not win the ‘official’ giveaway prizes – you will be getting a little something special too! Please just email (brianna.connelly@gmail.com) or private message me via IG @ GHOSTFACEKNITTER your information to receive an ‘unofficial harry potter kal’ present!

Well, now that it’s all over I’d like to recap that I LEARNED SO MUCH during this KAL, not only about myself as a knitter, but in working with other way talented crafters. I’m truly honored to be involved in a crafty community and culture that is so supportive and effing rad. I think this will be the first of many KALs. It pushed me, made me squirm, made me emo, made me feel smart and talented, humbled me, and overall allowed me to connect and work through some amazing knitting kinetics (yeah I don’t know I’m all mushy and doughy that this KAL is finito!).

Finally, I’d like to thank my co-host and KAL mentor this time socalmeaghan at the Unapologetic Kintter. Without her guidance, vigor, and enthusiasm this would not have even happened. So thank you lady! 🙂

RIDDIKULUS!

XXX
GFK

ABRACADABRA!! HELIOPATH KAL REVEAL!

ALACAZAM! We have reached the end of the Heliopath Knit-Along road. Can you believe it? I have to say I am way impressed with everyone’s epic knitter-wizard skills. Seriously, talk about some effing talented crafters – I have never been so motivated and inspired by a group of knitters in my life!

ta-da!

So I’ll briefly breakdown my ‘finish’ of the Heliopath and then we can talk about the good stuff – THE PRIZES.

For the armholes, I had to keep trying my vest on – I know we still had to block, but I typically get nervous leaving the entire ‘fit’ up to blocking. I ended up knitting past the recommended 6″3/4 mark to almost 8″ and then did the three needle cast off for each side. Now instead of using DPNs and knitting the ribbing I chose to go totally out of order here and block now. Why did I do this? Well, for starters I was convinced this thing was not going to fit right. I know blocking can be a miracle-worker, but I spend the last two weeks in a wee-bit of a panic about if I had just spent ~$85 and over a month on something that will fit one of my petite friends not me. I even dropped an extra stitch under the arm because I was FREAKING OUT. Seriously, I kept stretching it (even considering the pattern ‘give’ measurements) and just getting more and more and more worried. Especially once I had opened up almost every stitch it was very worrisome and I ended up making the last minute decision to open up and extra stitch under the arm. Anyways, I digress… blocking before ribbing. Why else did I want to do this? Well I honestly wanted to crochet every finish on and i wanted it to not be ‘too tight’ or ‘too loose’ when it was all said and done. Plus, let’s be honest I can never just follow the damn pattern 100%. There I said it. So here it is.

So for the PRIZES! There is so much and we plan on picking the winners over the next few days as we make sure to tally and include everyone who participated. I will be sending messages out to the ones on Ravelry and Instagram who participated to confirm their entry. There is so much to win!

Black Market Wool!

ewe<3ewe yarn!

JustRunKnit! 4 Skeins!!! Enough for another Heliopath!

Pattern by ewe<3ewe yarn!

Pattern by the lovely Emma Welford!

So we will pick the winners and announce on Tuesday April 15th!

ABRACADABRA MY STITCHES!

XXX
GFK

Heliopath KAL – The Final Touches (Good Touch vs. Bad Touch)

helper kitten
helper kitten
vest finished up to arm hole finishes.
vest finished up to arm hole finishes.

Well friends… We did it. We knitted the Heliopath garment sans ‘sleeves’ and button collar. I seriously feel like I just finished my thesis all over again, expect this time I have something really lovely to show off and very unabashedly say I MADE THIS! ME! I DID IT! I find it sounds like bragging when I say ‘I have my masters’ *say it in that snooty New England rich voice, but this vest I might carry a sign that says ‘YUP HANDMADE BY ME – THE GHOSTFACEKNITTER’. Also I’m sorry my photos are so small – I am in Denver for the weekend and having major tech issues with wordpress. (FML)

Anyways, we really are not done yet. In fact, aside from making sure you did a splendid job on you vest base garment, the finishing parts are the most important. Let’s talk about the big finish by breaking it down. Oh look a handy list!

1. Overview
2. Tying up loose ends.. (har har)
3. Blocking
4. Putting it all together
5. Final Review – Press
6. Wear that SHIT!

Briefly, first we will want to re-read out pattern 50 million final times to ensure that we have indeed finished the pattern and can in fact cast off the garment. Second, we will tie up lose ends – meaning we will tidy up our work, any wonky stitches that need repair/ensure all drop stitches have fallen all the way to the cast-on/ etc. Third, blocking! There are so many ways, but if you chose a wool yarn you better be wet blocking! Fourth, add the sleeves/button collar and the buttons you chose. Fifth, look over the garment as a whole, if it needs light pressing go for it. Finally PUT THAT HELIOPATH SWEATER ON AND RAGE THE EFF OUT.

So instead of going into giant elaborate long boring detail here – I have found what I think are very clear and wonderful sites/explanations from other esteemed knitter wizards.

Obviously you can hit up the Ravelry Discussion Page for any last minute questions or clarifications – socalmeaghan has done a great job gathering all the info on the trickery parts of the Heliopath so please review any of those if you feel lost/confused.

Tying up Loose Ends – for stitch mending/manipulation I really recommend this page from the Twist Collective – if you missed some increases/decreases, have the wrong stitch count, effed the cables. Obviously if you made some mistakes at the beginning you’re S.O.L. now, but just remember the pattern is so so so busy that minor/even some major flubs probably won’t be noticeable unless you point them out. (PS I hate when people point out flaws of their work – especially if I compliment it and then they retort ‘oh but I messed up here’ it’s like ‘YUP YOU SURE DID IT SUCKS I RESCIND MY COMPLIMENT NOW – BARF’)

Blocking. There are many ways and words of wisdom. I would say start here. Vogue Knitting offers a great basis for ‘101’. Then graduate to the goddess status over on Purlbee. Blocking is the way to get the garment to look the way you want. In my case I have some extensive blocking to do, since well I’ll be honest…. I didn’t measure myself before I started knitting. There I said it. I’ll be making that eweewe Wooly Worsted work for all its pretty little pennies this next week on the blocking mats.

Putting it all together. Seaming flawlessly. We don’t have ‘too much’ to add this vest, but ensuring you piece together the garment properly will ensure durability and of course make it look it’s best. It’s easy to get lazy at this stage – and I would recommend blocking those ‘after-market’ pieces before adding on to the vest itself. If you choose to add them to the vest before either is blocked… that’s good, but I wonder the issues with blocking a seam….

The Final Review. Inspect everything, make sure buttons are secure and lay nicely when on/stretched, see if any other places need additional blocking or seaming. Then you can press the garment if you so choose. I think pressing would be rather, well pointless, here since the pattern allows for such texture and ‘bumps’ etc. The only reason I could see pressing occurring for this is if you have an odd seam fitting together – which you should fix not press out.

WEAR THAT SHIT. Basically I’m going to live in this vest. Like the only thing I will wear. SAY SOMETHING.

We are almost done! Yay for the Heliopath Vest!

XXX
GFK