I’m so bad at blogging 😂 but hi again!

I’m expecting my first baby in a couple months, so recently everything has been busy prepping for that. Who knew babies need so many things?! More on that later.

In the meantime, check out my reels of what I knit in 2023 and all the projects I started in 2023. I got tendonitis last May and my knitting mojo never really picked back up afterwards 😩 But now I’m excited to knit both sweaters for myself and also some baby projects!

Pictured: a little cardi I knit for a friend’s baby 💕

If you’ve knit baby things, what were your favorites? And what was the most useful??

I’ve done a terrible job keeping up with this ‘blog’ over 2022. I think the goal for 2023 is short updates, the way I update my Ravelry project pages. We’ll see how this goes – it would help a lot if the WordPress android app didn’t suck!

Happy new year to anyone who actually reads this 😂 hope you have a great 2023!

Mixed Stitches:  a group project

I drafted this post months ago at this point, and somehow never got around to finishing it up and publishing.  I seem to have fallen into that pattern I have with blogs, where the initial enthusiasm trails off and it starts feeling more like “work”.  There are a lot of upcoming things I want to post about, though, so I thought I should just get this one out of my queue first!

This project started last year (2020) when my craft group at work was contacted with a request – a co-worker wanted to commission a lap blanket for a group member who was retiring in December.  To be honest, my first instinct was to say “no, that’s too big of a project”, but another one of the group organizers was very gung-ho and definitely helped me get excited about it.

We got some parameters from the commissioner, like size, colors, and personal details to add in, and went off to our LYS, Knit Locally, to do some yarn shopping!  The store owner, Peggy, is always very helpful; we’d gotten some yarn suggestions over email and told her about our color scheme (our work’s logo colors), so she’d pulled some options and had them ready for us to look over.  Since it was during the middle of the pandemic, it was very helpful to make it a quick stop.

We picked out three colors of Berroco Ultra Wool – Denim, Maritime, and Dove.  The heathered Denim color wasn’t even on our list to start with, but when we saw it, it definitely called to us and helped make the more basic blanket squares pop.  Once we’d chosen that one, we ended up switching our contrast color from a bright white to Dove, a pale blue-gray.

We had four group members contribute to making squares, and ended up with knit, crochet, and woven squares!  They are all approximately 6×6″.  The corners have the recipient’s initials and her years at our workplace, duplicate stitched onto stockinette squares!  Another group member did that and I was happy to hand off the detail work since I’m not very good at duplicate stitching.

I decided to crochet all my squares – here’s a sampling!  You can find almost all of them in my Ravelry projects; I was really inspired by a set of 35 squares designed in 2020 by Rachele Carmona.  I think I made about 16 squares out of the 48, and I also joined them all together (with a slip stitch seam) and did a crab stitch edging for more stability.

It was a fun project but also a pretty big endeavor!  I don’t normally make blankets bigger than baby-sized, and I’m not sure I will again for a while unless it’s another group project.  It was fun trying out different combos of colors and patterns, though, and to do some crochet for a change!



2020 was a crazy year.  A lot of bad things certainly happened (even on top of pandemic issues), but for my family personally, it’s ended relatively well – my husband and I bought our first house, we have two extremely entertaining and troublesome kittens, and my dad is in pretty good health again.  

And now it’s that time of year again – the time where everyone is making resolutions.  I find it inspiring to read what everyone else has planned, but I don’t usually make any of my own because I know they’ll be too ambitious and fall apart a month in.  But this year I started this site and I actually do have some crafting goals for 2021, so I thought I’d write them down for some minor accountability (let’s be real, it’s really so I don’t forget lol!).


Tech Editing

I enjoy test knitting but I don’t always finish my tests, and I think what I really like is looking over the pattern for issues and inconsistencies – it really turns on my editing and engineering brain.  So, tech editing has been on my mind for a while as a way to dive into the knitting design community.  I think there are certifications and such, but there doesn’t seem to be one particular certificate that’s ‘the one’ to get…  I may just take an online course and see how it goes.  If anyone has advice on this, I’d love to hear thoughts!


Pattern Design

You might have gathered from #1 that I’m interesting in designing knitting patterns, too.  I actually have some yarn saved for a design that I’ve had for a few years, but I keep changing my mind on what I want to make and what techniques I’d like to use.  Plus, I just haven’t had enough time to sit down and try things out.  I’ve finally finished up my second time in grad school, though, so I think this year I’ll have some more free evenings to play with ideas.  Putting this on the list so I actually do it!!


Level Up in Weaving

I haven’t mentioned on the blog yet, but I have a Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom – the larger of the Crickets, so it weaves 15″.  I’ve made a few scarves and even a large panel of gradient cloth that I plan to sew with, but this year I’d really like to make household items (see above, first house!).  I just ordered a few colors of cotton warp since that was lacking from my stash, and I think I’ll start with kitchen towels.  I can always use more of those, and I think it’d be simple enough to line up a few plaid or striped towels to get back into the flow of weaving!  Of course, after that, I’d like to get into more advanced colorwork techniques, like krokbragd or other pickup patterns, maybe even a double heddle pattern.  We shall see!  Looms aren’t cheap, so I’m determined to try and make the most of the rigid heddle until I’ve really exhausted it.


Work on this website!

I have some ideas for content, but they’re all kind of half-fleshed out.  It seems like there’s someone already writing about any kind of knitting tutorial you’re looking for, so I’m not sure how useful it is to try and put my own spin on these things.  I definitely want to make a couple video tutorials, and maybe blog about my design process – once I have an actual process, that is.  What’s out there that you haven’t seen in a knitting blog before?  Any ideas would be great.

What are your general 2021 goals??  I’d love to hear about one!

P.S.  I realize I’ve turned into ‘that person’ that’s just all about knitting.  When I was a crocheter-only, I hated that kind of blog because it was just full of pretty things I couldn’t do yet.  So I’m sorry to past Shelly, but I’ve definitely gone over to the dark side!!  (That’s not to say that I don’t crochet anymore – I’ve done a ton of crochet over the last two months and I hope to post about it soon!)

For the last month or so I’ve been pretty obsessed with brioche knitting, so I thought I’d write about it for my September post.  (Let’s ignore the fact that it’s October now…)  I have two brioche FOs to share and one WIP test knit to come!

Brioche is something I learned how to do ages ago, but I think it was before I properly switched to Continental knitting – and boy would it be slow if I didn’t knit left-handed!  It’s still slow, but I’ve gotten into a great rhythm with it, so I find it much easier these days.

If you’re unfamiliar, brioche is a (usually) two-color rib stitch variation.  You usually work each row/round twice, once with each color, which is often what makes it slow.  (I’ve thought about trying the single-pass version but I think that might take out some of the rhythm that makes brioche meditative for me.)  Because of the structure, it turns out to be reversible with a neat color switch on the reverse – but you also have to be aware of that when weaving ends or joining new colors!




BriocheSis Hat

My first brioche knit in September was the BriocheSis Hat by Raina K.  I think this pattern caught my eye because it looked so complicated but it was also super discounted.  While I’m writing this, it’s still listed for €0.90 which is a huge steal. 

I did say it looked complicated but actually I didn’t have a hard time knitting this at all.  The pattern is super detailed so it was a great re-entry into brioche for me.  Knitting it made me realize that I might have been making some brioche mistakes in the past.  For instance, this hat is worsted weight knitted on a US 2.5 (3mm)!!  That sounds crazy, right?  I actually used DK on a 2 and it turned out to be the perfect size because of the way brioche stretches.  It also helps keep your knit stitches looking nice and neat, when they can get kind of droopy if your brioche gauge is off.

The yarn I used was from Yarn Cafe Creations – her Americano DK.  It’s a super nice yarn, very squishy and round – it looks great in brioche!  And her speckles are really awesome, I’m not sure if I got a great photo of those, but it made it super fun to knit.  

In this photo I’m wearing it with my Duomo earrings from Hello Lavender Design – part of her Italy collab with Explorer Knits+Fibers!  I definitely treated myself to some pretty things from that collection at the beginning of quarantine, and they arrived just in time to be a nice birthday gift.  I’m sure I’ll be featuring more of those soon!

Capture Life’s Memories

Raina has so many beautiful brioche patterns and although English isn’t her first language, her patterns seem really well edited, I didn’t have any trouble following.  I’ll definitely be checking out more of them!


emPOWER People Bandana (brioche version of course!)

The emPOWER PEOPLE Project is “a craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters of all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights”.  It was started by a great group of designers and dyers – you can see them on the bottom of their site, as well as a list of participating BIPOC dyers – and the original knit version is by Casapinka.  You can also check out the crochet and sewn version (all free!), and I made the brioche version by Nancy Marchant (the master of brioche, of course!).


I’m volunteering as a poll worker this year and I thought the bandana would be great to wear during that.  I really liked the dark background on Nancy’s sample version, so I used some leftovers of Blue Sky Woolstok in a dark gray.  The super vibrant purple is a tonal from Countess Ablaze (fingering held doubled) that was custom-dyed for my LYS, Knit Locally!  It’s part of their exclusive 50s collection, which has some really awesome and bright colors

The pattern was really straightforward to knit after I had already done the more complex hat – though it was flat and not in the round, so that added a few additional details like selvedges.  I did 5 increase sections rather than 6 since I’m small, and I added a little flair at the end with some decreases 🙂  The seaming to make the cowl/bandana shape was really easy and not how I expected, so that was pretty cool.  I’m still kind of figuring out how to wear this style though – should I flip the neck in or out?  Should I just leave it like the picture?

and finally…a WIP!

I’m probably not going to post too much about this until the pattern releases, but I’m test knitting the Broadleaf Sweater for Wool & Pine in October!  It’s got a brioche front panel and brioche or stockinette back – I haven’t decided which I’m doing yet.  It calls for a fingering for the foreground color, and fingering + mohair for the background, which should fill in the gaps in the lace pattern nicely – though I’m a rebel and using a DK instead of the combo, haha.

I’ll definitely come back with an update when it releases in November.  I’ve test knit for Wool & Pine before with theirSummer Sorrel Sweater, and their designs are super creative and fun!

Are you a fan of brioche?  What’s been your favorite brioche knit so far?



a pastel green colorwork sweater on a wooden hanger, in-progress
  • Lace 
  • Cables
  • Colorwork
  • Sleeves done!

(almost) monogamous august

August went by super fast, like most of this crazy year – and this is weird for me, I’ve pretty much only knit on one single project, aside from a few repairs.  I usually have 3-4 WIPs going!

At the beginning of the month, Caitlin Hunter released her fourth top in the Knitaly series, the Misurina tee.  I’ve knit all the others so far –  Tegna, Marettimo, and Navelli – so of course I had to knit the newest one, and I had some yarn saved up for a colorwork yoke, so I was ready to cast on immediately! 😀 

(This is my sixth Boyland Knitworks knit, so I think I might need to hunt out some more designer variety soon, haha.)

three stacked yarn cakes, two pale green, one multi-speckled white

My yarn is from Despondent Dyes (MC) and Oink Pigments (CC).  I purchased them during a couple trunk shows at my LYS, Knit Locally, and both were total impulse buys.  I had no plans and didn’t even realize they would go together until I was caking up a bunch of yarn purchases all at once, recently.

These yarns are all listed as sport-weight, so I definitely had to swatch, and ended up going up a couple needle sizes.  They’re a little higher-twist than I’m used to, and I don’t love the way it looks close-up, but I’m hoping they’ll relax more after blocking.  My swatch did relax fairly well after a brief wash, so possibly an actual soak on the full sweater will do the trick.

a colorwork yoke knit in-progress, laid flat on a table

The yoke on this sweater has everything – lace, cables, and colorwork!  That might seem intimidating for some but it’s really quite approachable in the pattern.  I found it very engaging to knit the yoke because of all these elements, though cables aren’t my favorite.  (I did most of the cabling without a cable needle – let me know if you’re interested in a video on that.)  The colorwork is much lower-contrast than I was expecting (I guess the Standing Ovulation has more green in the speckles than I thought!) but it’s grown on me.  Of course, I think the photo filters bumped up the contrast, but it was super hard to get the green to photograph right without any filtering!

You might notice I adjusted the neckline a little.  The pattern calls for a rolled edge that turns into a twisted rib after a few rounds, but I wasn’t sure I liked that look, or whether it would work with this yarn/gauge.  So, I did just the 1×1 twisted rib, and I love how it looks.

Side note – I am SO GLAD this is a top-down circular yoke.  I knit the other three Knitaly sweaters because I loved their look, but wow are bottom-up sweaters tedious…

a pastel green colorwork sweater laid flat on a patterned pillowcase

As you can see, I knit the sleeves before the body, which is something I’ve gotten to like doing lately, particularly for short sleeves.  I repeated the lace chart on them (without increases), substituting one knit stitch for the cable section, because of how my stitch count worked out.  Now that I think about it, I could actually have continued the cables too, which I kind of regret not doing.

Anyway, I’m onto the body now so momentum has slowed a little.  I’m doing the purl dots chart, which I screwed up on the very first round but full steam ahead anyway.  I’m not sure how long I will make this (I tend to accidentally crop a lot of my knits because of a desire to be done), but I’ll give it a try-on soon and decide if the sleeves will block out to be long enough.  If so, I might try to use up the whole second skein and make this a tunic-length sweater??  That sounds ambitious for me, but let’s see!

Are you also knitting a Misurina?  Tell me about it in the comments, or tag me on instagram!


a modern style portrait of shelly and her black cat

In the meantime, here’s a great portrait of me and Belladonna by my friend R.E.M. Verberg!

testing, testing

Is this thing on?  

Right, I didn’t want to do a podcast, so here we are blogging again.  I’m a serial blog-abandoner, yet I felt the need to try again.  This time it’s independent; I’m planning to write about my knitting, share videos about techniques and how I do them, and eventually transition into a design blog.  

We’ll see how it goes!