Monday, February 6, 2017

Three Year Blog Anniversary!

This week marks three years since I started this Fifty Four Ten Studio knitting blog!  It's been such a fun way to share my knitting patterns, extra details about my patterns, knitting tips and behind the scenes photos of my work in progress. It also helps me record my progress on my knitting endeavors. I really appreciate all who have read my blog!

This month I'm participating in a fun "challenge" on Instagram called the #yarnlovechallenge. If you have not heard about it...the organizers set up the @yarnlovechallenge Instagram page and posted a list of themes for each day for the month of February 2017.  The idea is for any yarn enthusiasts to share photos based on the daily theme.  Themes include: "currently making", "stripes", "where I craft", "tools", "happy color", "yarn love", and more. They came up with a great list of ideas and it's been fun to decide what to share on each day.

In case you are not in Instagram, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of the photos I used...

The theme for Day 1 of the #yarnlovechallenge was "introductions".  This is a photo of me taken on the first day of school...either 2nd or 3rd grade.  I picked this photo because my mother taught me to knit when I was about this age.  As a girl I loved to sew, design clothes for my dolls, knit draw and paint.  I love this navy blue sailor dress, my metal lunch box, the red ribbons in my hair, the wallpaper in the kitchen of my childhood home, and the umbrella hanging on the all brings back a lot of wonderful memories.

The theme for Day 5 of the challenge was "community".  I made a collage of favorite photos that all relate to my community...Kansas City.  I have lived in the Kansas City area my entire life.  I love my hometown!  We're right in the middle of the US...some call this "fly over country" but those of us who have lived here a long time know we have a lot that makes our city special....friendly people, great BBQ, the amazing Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Royals baseball team and so much more.  See below for details on this collage of photos.

Kansas City - my community - my hometown. 
Here's the details on this photo collage...starting at the top left and working row by row:

1. The Parkway Pillow - my knitting pattern named for Ward Parkway, one of the prettiest and most well known streets in Kansas City.

2. Meyer Circle Fountain - it's located along Ward Parkway and is representative of the many fountains in our city.  Kansas City is known as "the city of fountains".

3. Brookside Blanket knitting pattern - named for the neighborhood where I grew up.

4. Shuttlecock sculptures at the Nelson-Atkin's Museum of Art - our world class art museum!  These sculptures were very controversial when they were installed in 1994.  Now, they are a KC landmark!

5. My Third Street Blanket knitting pattern - the name was inspired by the old River Market area in KC.

6. Sunflowers in Kansas - a photo I took at Grinter Farms in September 2016.  Their sunflower farm is absolutely beautiful...but best to avoid the crowds by going out there during the week.

7. My Westport Blanket knitting pattern - named for one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City.

8. State Line Road - about half of the KC metropolitan area is located in Missouri and half in Kansas.  (I live in Kansas!)

9. The Boulevard Blanket - my free knitting pattern named in honor of our beautiful KC boulevards.  An old promotional slogan for KC was "More boulevards than Paris, more fountains than Rome."

The theme for Day 4 of the #yarnlovechallenge was "speed".  I used this photo...more below...

The Boulevard Blanket - a free knitting pattern.
In terms of speed as it relates to knitting...I am a very slow knitter and I'm ok with that!  I've seen videos on Instagram of knitters who knit so fast it makes me anxious.  It doesn't look relaxing at all to me!  For me knitting is about the process...not about how quickly I finish a project.

The pattern I used for the blue blanket above is my always free pattern...The Boulevard Blanket.  It's very easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  The yarn I used is Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color 'Washington Denim'.  This yarn is so soft and cozy.  It's very economical but don't let the low price fool.  The price is low but the quality is nice.  It's not "sticky" like some acrylic yarns.  I really enjoy knitting with this yarn!  It comes in a wide variety of colors.  I particularly like the softer, muted colors like 'Dallas Grey', 'Houston Cream' and 'Washington Denim'.

I have a couple of projects in the works right now.  Sorry no details ready to share yet but I'm really excited them and I'll post info as soon as it's ready!

January 2017 was a record month for my pattern sales on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy!  I am so appreciative of all the purchases and kind feedback on my patterns!  THANK YOU! 

In the past couple weeks, I've enjoyed helping a couple of knitters via their email questions. One knitter told me that she taught herself to knit using online videos. I was so impressed especially because her stitches were so well done with very even tension. It's very hard to teach a new knitter how to achieve even tension! I was so happy to be able to help her as she worked on my Where the Sidewalk Ends blanket.  I was thrilled to receive her email a couple days ago with a photo of her beautiful finished blanket!  If you ever have any questions when using one of my patterns, email me using the email address provided in the pattern. I'm happy to help!

Thanks so much for reading this long post!  If you would like to know more about the #yarnlovechallenge you can check out the @yarnlovechallenge Instagram page or see all my photos related to the challenge on my Instagram page.

Have a great week!  Happy knitting! :)

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

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