My 30s

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I’ve watched so many friends head into the new and shiny third decade of their lives with a wide range of emotions and expectations. Worry, excitement, trepidation, curiosity, and indifference were all present. Each experience was individual to each person, but the theme of radical growth tied them all together. Days and years might be hard, but the personal realizations, self acceptance, and changes made it all worthwhile.

This Spring will see me turn 34 but I can say, with all sincerity, that there’s something magical about this decade. Radical personal growth has revolutionized my life. The foundations being laid right now whisper hints towards the amazing things to come as I age and I’m so excited to see what unfolds.

I’ve learned so much about me. Owning who I am, what I need, and what I’ll accept. I’m learning to ration out my spoons to people and situations who are truly worthy of them. Conforming is still a thing I want to do because who doesn’t want to be accepted? But I’ve learned to fight against that urge because being accepted for someone I’m not isn’t actually acceptance.

The practicalities of life are also something I’m learning to accept. Expensive tastes in yarn shouldn’t prevent me from knitting what I want to create, so budget friendly fiber that acts like the fancy counterpart has been a space I’m exploring. Using that yarn to create what I want to wear (not what I think everyone else wants to wear) has been my MO for my 2019 pieces and I’m over the moon excited over what has come off my needles.

This year, my themed line is entitled “My 30s” and each piece will be representative of something I’ve embraced or learned about myself so far. I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Sockless

Sockless

If you're anything like me, mini skeins paired with variegated sock yarn offer an irresistible allure but when I get home, I'm faced with the reality that I have a terrible case of single sock syndrome and will never actually make a pair of socks. 

The first in this self titled collection, Sockless is an adorable shawlette designed for those who find themselves in a similar situation. The long garter rows compliment heavily variegated yarn while utilizing a full mini skein for charming pops of color. 


#LunchBreakKnitting


M O O D B O A R D


Project Highlights

Emergency!

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A couple weeks ago, a terrible thing happened.

My beloved notions bag with all my favorite tools completely disappeared. 

To make matters worse, I didn't have any backups except for child safety paper scissors and scrap yarn. All my second choice tools were in the same bag as my favorites, leaving no designated survivor in case of tragedy. I was completely beside myself with distress. The idea of replacing everything was completely impossible since so many of my favorite things were unique and one of a kind tools carefully currated over the years.

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I tore apart my bedroom. The family room was tossed. My car was actually cleaned out in the hunt for my notions bag. All to no avail. I couldn't find it anywhere. I was pretty sure it fell out of my purse while out and about the previous weekend. The notions bag was taller than my actual purse, so I kept my purse unzipped to accommodate. At one point during the weekend, the purse got upended and it was probably there in the restaurant that the notions bag was lost.  

Needless to say, it awkward to call the restaurant and say, "Yeah, did anyone turn in a pink and gold unicorn pencil pouch filled with gold rings, scissors with a tassel, a tape measure, and other odd things?"

Of course, the answer was no. 

By Monday, I had given up hope of ever seeing it again. As a last resort, I asked one of my kids if they had seen it and their answer was "Uh, yeah. It's in the bathroom on top of the dryer".

Clearly, I need to do laundry more frequently. And before you ask -- no, I don't know how or why it was there to begin with. 

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I resolved to never take my favorite notions out of the house EVER AGAIN. I took out all my second favorite tools from my beloved pink and gold unicorn bag and was delighted to discover they fit in an Altoids like tin. Sharp scissors, a bit of scrap yarn, stitch markers, darning needle, and a tape measure fit snuggly without having to play tetras and that tin slides perfectly into my purse.

Topping the tin with a mermaid sticker I've been hoarding was the perfect way to make it clearly mine. And a good reminder that "no" is a complete sentence. But that's another blog post for another day. 

April Showers

April Showers

April Showers is an open-front cardigan full of swing and bounce. Inspired by Spring, the lower half mimics the underside of the season's ubiquitous umbrella. The built in i-cord edge complements the rolled edge on the front and sleeves, contrasting with the raw edge of the almost scalloped hem.

As this design was starting to percolate in the back of my mind, I found a local artist online by the name of Jessica McGhee. Her vulnerability and genuine honesty as she shared her journey spoke to me on a deeply personal level. The words and images she shared encouraged me to continue to pursue my dreams as she sought out her own. When I discovered her new mural had a Spring-like quality to it, I knew exactly where April Shower's pictures had to be taken. As we were wrapping up the photo shoot, Jessica herself showed up to put the finishing touches on the other end of the mural! It was lovely to have that moment of connection and to share a bit of my own experiences with her.

This pattern is 100% FREE and published in Knitty Spring + Summer 2018!




Project Highlights

A Happy Accident

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Many months ago, Authoress was testing a completely different pattern for me. She excitedly shared some WIP pictures so we could ooooh and ahhhh over the gorgeous yarn choice. It took me until the next day to realize that the texture wasn't quite right. The stitch pattern was lovely but not what I had actually written.

My brain bees were BUZZING over emailing her about the overall pattern mistake. Not because I thought Authoress would be rude or resistant to correcting the project but because frogging can be THE WORST THING EVER. Who wants to be the bearer of bad news? Certainly not me!

She was gracious and kind about it and frogged without complaint. But the texture stuck with me and before I knew it, a new design took hold in my mind and The Great Mistake was born. It has been such a beautiful reminder that good things can come out of almost any situation, even those involving frogging. 

You can find out more about The Great Mistake pattern here!

{mood board} Color Shot Mitts

We all could benefit from being kind to ourselves. This season can be hard and difficult to navigate, so cozy and comforting choices are necessary to see ourselves to Spring.

Click the image above to see the full mood board inspiration for my Color Shot Mitts

Fog Along 2018

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Let's kick knitting ennui together

When melancholy overtakes us, it can feel impossible to pull ourselves out into the sun. Working up a soothing pattern for a shawl that can feature colors that awaken your soul is a time tested, knitter approved option to rediscover joy again.

Let's build community together

No one should do this alone. Why don't you join me and other lovely individuals for a knit along over on Ravelry. We can all Fog Along together with my free shawl pattern called "Fog: A Shawl Recipe". The beauty of this pattern is its versatility. You knit until you're ready to change things up, then you switch to the next section. You can't knit it wrong. It looks lovely as a shawlette as it does a giant public approved wearable blanket! If you join in over at Ravelry, you'll have a built in community to cheer you on every stitch of the way.

Let's pick color together

Fog is worked in fingering and lace weight held together. It's the perfect stash busting pattern OR the ideal enabler to order from that one amazing dyer you've been eyeing f o r e v e r. Over on Ravelry, you'll find your personal color maven who is willing to help you through every potential color pairing you're considering. Also, check out this additional blog post for our favorite indie dyers.

Let's Fog Along together

There's a lot more to discover about this KAL. Prizes and online hangouts are outlined on Ravelry. Be sure to keep an eye out on social media under #FogAlong2018 for all those visual updates we love.

I hope to see you soon.

xoxo 

The Woman Behind The Curtain

How do you solve a problem like Susan?
How do you catch a cloud a pin it dooooowwwwn?

Those lyrics to the song "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" from the Sound of Music rolls through my head almost every time I work with Susan. She's my expert problem solver and can pin down any idea I have into reality, making it come to life.

In Episode 202 of Knitting Myself Together, you got to meet Susan. She's the person behind the scenes here at The Violet Pie. Without her doing the million tiny and not so tiny things that are involved in building a design brand that AREN'T related to actively designing, I'd be utterly lost. On top of all that, she's also actively involved in test knitting almost every single design from now through 2019! 

And yes, you read that correctly. 2019. Because of her support, I have designs planned through 2019. How amazing is that?

We regularly have video chat meetings that work around our real lives. Since we're both parents, dealing with interruptions are both skills in our respective wheelhouses. Kids make frequent appearances and when we manage to virtually meet up post bedtime, we often celebrate with wine or vodka as we crunch knitting math, punctuated with words that don't come out around little ears. I'm perpetually and forever grateful for the internet and the space it provides to support relationships. Relationships with people like Susan and it also allows me to get to know people I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to know. People like you! 

Be sure to stop by and say hi where you're the most comfortable. You can find me most easily here on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, or even via email! I've loved every interaction I've had with you lovely folk. I'd love to hear from you. 

xoxo

Love Is There

Last week had has been a brutal past 72 hours. Incredibly stressful with quite literally no time to knit. Everything finally stopped this afternoon and the kids were begging to go to the park. I reluctantly loaded us all up and bribed myself with the idea of some quiet knitting time. 

After sitting down at the picnic table and shooing the kiddos off, I came across a rock from the #thekindnessrocksproject and it was exactly what I needed. The reminder of love and all the forms it takes. To love myself by embracing my humanity.  To take a breath. It will be okay.

 

 

Where do YOU knit?

Season 1 of Knitting Myself Together is all about knitting in public. We had some great conversations about where we knit and I want to keep the dialog going! It's been great scrolling through Instagram's #placesyoucanknit, and would love to see more, especially from my listeners, so feel free to tag me @thevioletpie. Can't wait to see where you're taking your yarn! 

Season 2 of Knitting Myself Together starts September 21st, which means you have time to catch up on Season 1 if you're behind! If you're all caught up and can't wait, consider becoming a Patreon supporter where you'll have access to my weekly videos at any level of generosity.

xoxo

{wipw} Small Things Edition

Inspiration strikes without regard for situation or setting. I couldn't resist the siren call of my knitting muse and began a provisional cast on for a new design. All while in my car just minutes before having to walk into my day job. 

I took this picture to document the beginning of a new creation, the birth of a dream. Also to remember how things just come together when I'm living present and accounted for in my life. The delicate flowers of my dress against the cream of the provisional cast on balanced by the blue crochet hook sit so prettily in my eye. The lighting was that pretty early morning light that makes everything beautiful. Even snapshots taken in the front seat of a 4 door sedan. 

It was as if the universe was trying to remind me to simply take a breath and keep on moving. This will fall into place as they should and beauty will be found along the way.