Monday, December 31, 2018

Creative Recap/ Annual Goal List 2018

Every year I've posted a creative recap separate from the the annual goal list. This year I'll be combining them.

This year I knitted a lot of socks. Up until December, it was only socks, but then I made a secret Christmas gift for Connor.

Connor and I visited Japan. It was amazing and exhausting.

Connor and I joined a comic drawing group and I drew a comic for their yearly anthology.
It was San Francisco themed. It can be found at

Goals for 2018:
1. Even though I'm making good progress, the United States quilt is a big job. I'd like to make a goal of having the embroidery in it finished this year. I'll consider it a bonus if I can get the patches on too.
Status: In progress. I did finish embroidering the lower 48 states and started embroidering the rest of the quilt. It's a big job. I'll get there, it just wasn't going to be this year.
2. Connor and I would like to buy a house this year. I'm not sure where that house will end up being, but hopefully the real estate classes I'm taking will help us in making that decision.
Status: In progress. We cannot afford a house where we live, but Connor's job is too good to leave. We are looking into buying rental property somewhere else instead.
3. I've realized that I find most of my validation in the praise I get for what I do. It's become clear how unhealthy that is for me. I'd like to be able to find healthier ways to feel validated that aren't so heavily based in comments and "likes." (I don't know what that will look like yet)
Status: In progress. While intellectually I've understood that real value comes from the relationships you have in your life, this is the first year I think I've really felt it. I still would like people to enjoy my work, but focusing on the relationships I have is also filling that need.
4. Visit a new-to-me state. There's a chance I might be seeing Louisiana, Virginia, and/or Texas this year. I hope at least one works out.
Status: Complete. Louisiana and Virginia didn't work out, but we saw Texas and Arkansas. I really liked Hot Springs Arkansas. I wouldn't mind visiting again one day.
5. Submit the Audry Without An E comic for an Ignatz award. I think it could be eligible for the Outstanding Online Comic Award. I don't think there is a chance I'd win, but it's hard to win at anything if you don't put yourself in the race.
Status: Complete. I did submit the comic. I didn't even make the nomination list. I'm proud I put my name in the hat anyways.

Goals for 2019:
I will always have goals, but they are less specific this year. Most of my goals have to do with different comics I would like to draw. I'm going to keep working away at them until they are done.

As the year has been coming to a close, I've been reflecting on what I want for the future. Some people choose to assign a word for the upcoming year and I've done that occasionally in the past. This year I've settled on the word "Joy." I want to do projects and see people that fill me with joy rather than with dread. That being said, I don't mean that I need to feel joy 24/7; there is sadness in life. But I also don't want to hang onto things that I really would be better off letting go. One of the things that I want to let go of is this blog. I've written it for nine years. It was a good nine years, but I no longer look forward to posting. It seems like this is a good time to end. However, I still will have a presence on the internet. I intend to continue posting on I still plan on posting the occasional thing on instagram on both @bear_ears (knitting content) and @audrynicklin (drawing content). I will also continue maintaining and providing pattern support for my knitting patterns.

In the coming year I plan to create a new website that connects all my different interests. When that happens, I'll leave a post here so you all can find me. In the least, I plan to leave the blog up for posterity. It was a good run. Thanks for joining me.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Lit Knits + 1

As Christmas approaches, I'm getting ready to cast on another Deep Sea Wanderer cowl from Lit Knits. (It's been quite popular with my family members.) I know all you other knitters are working on/ panicking about what knits to knit. Here's a little something to make your decision making a little easier. If you buy a digital copy of Lit Knits, you can get another Bear Ears pattern for free. This includes other collections like From Pines To Pacific and A Midsummer's Night Knit. (This promotion does not include Celestarium as the pattern is currently under Twist Collective's control.) If you've already bought a digital copy of Lit Knits, add a pattern/collection to your basket and it should already be discounted.

If you choose to buy a hard copy of Lit Knits, post a picture of you with it on your instagram account, tag @bear_ears, and I'll drop a digital copy of Lit Knits and a free pattern in your ravelry account. Be sure to add your ravelry name and the pattern you'd like to have in the instagram post where you've tagged me so I can be sure to get it to the right account. I'll be doing this under the honor system.

The offer is good until Christmas Day, so if you were lucky enough to receive a copy of Lit Knits for Christmas, you can take advantage.

If you want a hard copy, there are signed copies available at Island Wools ready to be shipped.
There are also unsigned copies available at Amazon

Here's the step by step on how to take advantage of this promotion

If you are buying Lit Knits digitally without a hard copy, you can follow this link to add Lit Knits to your cart. Then press "view all available items"

Choose a second Bear Ears pattern or collection  (also labeled as Audry Nicklin Designs in the store) and add it to your cart.

The second pattern/collection should discount to 0, leaving the total for only Lit Knits. If it doesn't, something isn't right. (remember, Celestarium isn't part of the promotion)

You can also add Lit Knits to your cart either by going to the Bear-Ears ravelry store, then add a second pattern/ collection to your cart before checking out.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Twist Collective Closing

Hello friends! You may have heard that Twist Collective will be closing down at the end of the year. What does that mean for all of you who have bought a Twist Collective pattern? Well, it depends on the designer. In my case, I plan on continuing to offer Celestarium through my own store. I've been in contact with Twist Collective and the transition should go smoothly enough that no one will notice any difference.

For those of you who have bought the pattern, I won't have a record of your purchase, but any update made to the pattern will still show up in your ravelry library. Pattern support will move from Twist Collective to me. The fastest way to get help will be by contacting me on my bear-ears ravelry account.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock

I recently finished two pairs of socks. I'd finished knitting them awhile ago, but in an uncharacteristic move, I didn't weave in the ends for a month. The first pair finished was the pair knit from Cathy's stash: Swedish Fish.

I made a few modifications. I made the leg 68 stitches, up 4 stitches from the 64 the pattern calls for. I also ignored the patterning on the foot and went with a 1x1 stripe.

The second pair of socks was my third pair of Primavera socks. I really struggled to find a pattern that showed off the Mushroom Hunting color way from Dragonfly Fibers. The Primavera pattern is the perfect mixture of interesting pattern and simple knitting.

Of course I've cast on some more socks. Once I finished the Swedish Fish socks, I allowed myself to cast on another color work pattern: Roll The Bones. What's funny is that I'd looked at the pattern so frequently that Connor thought I had already knit it. It's an involved pattern, so I anticipate knitting these for awhile.
Orange is Baah! La Jolla in California Poppy. White is Tosh Sock in Filtered Light.

I also cast on new car knitting after finishing up the Primavera socks. This pair is called By The Seine River. It was written for a 72 stitch count, but I've modded it to a 63 stitch count. The pattern came out better at 63 rather than my usual 64 stitches.
Nox Yarn in the She's Filled With Secrets color way.

Does anyone else have a pattern that they have looked at so often that they might as well have knit it by now?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ornery Fuzzball

Happy birthday Scooter! You've made it to 16! Now that you are 16 you are a bit more ornery than you used to be. (Didn't know that was possible.) You have clear feelings on what you do and don't feel like doing. For example, you didn't want your picture taken for this year's birthday post, so you ran off as soon as you saw the camera.

I asked nicely, but you decided that you preferred to be inside. I suppose that is my fault. You are almost entirely deaf now, so other measures have to be taken.

Since your sense of smell hasn't diminished, you have no problem coming out for food. You'll even humble yourself for the good stuff. Ham, for instance, is worth sitting and presenting a paw.

You also aren't below licking every last bit of ham taste or treat crumbs off of someone's hand.

So happy birthday little buddy. You make everyone's day bright just by being around.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

These Last Two Months

Until these last two months of not writing, I had been blogging at least once a week for 8.5 years. There are, as of this post, 781 entries. That is quite a bit of writing! Although I don't plan on entirely quitting, it's become clear that I need some space from this blog in order to have time and creative energy to put into other areas of my life. Basically, I need to give myself permission to not blog at least once a week.

Ok, so now that's out of the way, what has happened in the last two months? Well, I met up with Connor in Japan. He had a two week business trip there. I flew to meet him at the end of it and we spent almost another two weeks touring around.
My favorite part of the trip was meeting the bowing deer of Nara

I gave travel journaling a go in Japan and really loved it. I'm still finishing up some paintings from the trip.
I spent a lot of time painting the sights. This is Kinkaku-ji, the temple in Kyoto that is covered in gold.

Once we came back from the trip, Connor and I joined a comic drawing group that meets up once a week. I found out they do a yearly anthology. When we joined, there were five weeks until the deadline. I decided to draw an 8 page, fully watercolored comic. In retrospect, that was a little nuts. It's taken a lot of energy, but I'm pleased with how it looks.
Just one of many pigeon jokes in my comic

I'm still knitting here and there. Connor has introduced me to Battlestar Galactica. (The new one.) I've found it to be a pretty good show to knit to.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Rebellious Mushroom Hunter

I started the Swedish Fish socks using some of Cathy's stash. Already I have knit this sock up to the heel, ripped it out back to the cuff, and started it again. The fit wasn't quite right, but the ripping was worth it. I'm going to have a really cute sock.
Tosh Sock in Baltic and Warm Maize

In a burst of energy, I also finished off two pairs of socks. First pair are the Woodpile Socks using my skein of Spun Right Round in the Bug Jar color way.

The second pair are the Vanilla Latte socks in Stray Cat Socks' Blue Moon color way. This is the second time I've knit a pair of socks in this color.

After finishing the last two pairs of socks, but still making ripping decisions about the Swedish Fish, I started a new sock. I'm still deciding what pattern it will grow up to be. I was so desperate for a sock to knit that I just cast on 64 stitches and worked a 2x2 rib cuff. I figure I can find a pattern to match.
Dragonfly Fibers in the Mushroom Hunting color way

Has anyone else cast on with wild abandon? I've never cast on without a plan before and I feel like a rebel.

Friday, May 11, 2018

What Happens To Your Stash When You Die

A few weeks ago a knitting buddy passed away. She hadn't been well, but I hadn't realized she had taken a turn for the worse. Then, just this past weekend, a bunch of us were alerted that her stash was going to be dismantled.

Cathy had been quite thorough with her documentation of her stash on ravelry. I decided that the best way to remember her would be to knit a pair of socks that she had planned to make, but didn't get to. Only a few queued sock patterns had yarn ideas assigned to them. Cathy and I had bonded over color work socks, so when I saw that the Swedish Fish pattern was one with an assigned yarn, I made it my mission to find the skein of Baltic and Warm Maize in Tosh sock in her enormous stash. (She had over 1700 entries, not just skeins, on ravelry) Luckily I had some help and eventually was able to find each skein. I got a little teary when I saw that the skein of Baltic had already been wound.

I pulled out some other skeins while I was there. Most notably a skein of Baah La Jolla in Burmese Ruby. Cathy had the best taste in reds.

I also left with a sweater quantity of Brooklyn Tweed's Loft in Meteorite and Artifact to make another Pente. Cathy was one of the group of us who made a Pente together. She was the one who coined the term "stockinette hell."

Farewell Cathy. I hope that you have already found the yarn shop on the other side. I'm sure you will find the best red over there too.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Trials, Tribulations, And A Lack Of Guacamole

It's been a week, let me tell you! On Monday Connor got rear ended in a three car accident. We are thankful that he wasn't hurt, the car still moves, and the guy who caused the accident took fault. Then on Wednesday we learned that we were the victims of credit card fraud. We are thankful that it was caught early, we aren't on the hook for any fraudulent charges, and the very nice customer service man had a new card sent to us faster than their usual time frame. But the worst was yet to come! Yesterday we went to Chipotle and they were out of guacamole! There is no upside to that.

Ok, all kidding aside, it's been a little rough. In between the trials, I've been doing my best to insert some fun into each day. For example, last week I learned how to film a time-lapse of myself painting. I posted it on my @audrynicklin instagram page.

A post shared by Audry (@audrynicklin) on

After stressing over what new paints to get, I bought a silly amount in order to redo my travel painting palette. (As I mentioned in my previous post, my current palette won't dry, so it doesn't transport well. I've switched the travel palette from M Graham to Daniel Smith watercolors.) It all arrived and I made a new swatch rainbow.
Bottom left is the new pallet, the top right is the old

Then Connor and I went to the ocean and I challenged myself to paint (with my new palette) the seals that like to sleep under the wharf. I'm not sure how successful I was as it turns out brown seals on brown wood looks a lot like indistinguishable brown lumps. I still had fun. And better yet, I was able to figure out some things that work about my new palette and some things that need to be tweaked.
Seal or lump? In a way, seals are just brown lumps.

I've also continued to knit on my socks.
Both of these are second socks. Yay!

Even though it's been rough, I'm thankful that my creative mojo isn't gone and that I've had snippets of time to indulge my interests.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rainbow Of Possibilities

Have you ever looked at your to-do list and said, "I have no idea where to start?" That has been me for the last two weeks. Every item on the list was really 50 hidden jobs in order to finally cross it off the list. I've been doing my best to break down each job and work on them a little each day. Some of those items have been more mundane like returning a pair of pants or cleaning the fridge coils. Others have been a bit more fun to tackle, like the quilt.

I finally decided to do the quilting with 3 strands of embroidery floss (out of six) in a square pattern that doesn't match latitude and longitude. In order to make the lines relatively straight, I decided to baste little x's into the quilt. Part way through basting, my measurements started to go off and I raged.

Enter Connor. He offered to help and we've spent our evenings with him measuring and basting while I do the actual quilting. We've been listing to Anne of Green Gables on audiobook while working. Of course after watching Anne With An E on Netflix, Connor was curious about the book because I had so often yelled at the TV about how "that wasn't in the book!"
I didn't realize how big this quilt was until I put it on our Queen sized bed for the photo. I might need to make the quilt a little less tall.

I've also been trying to work out what brand of paint to use for long distance trips. I love M Graham watercolors, but they just will not dry in my pans. (I poured these more than a month ago and they are still wet.) It's fine working with them near home, but as we have a bigger trip in the works, it has become clear I need to come up with a new solution.
The reason I love M Graham is because they rewet so easily; great for painting, not great for tidy transportation.

Deciding what paints to use instead isn't easy, especially when you are still sad that your favorites aren't working out. I started by making swatches of what I do have. Then after puzzling a few days more, I decided to order a color dot card that will allow me to try out some new colors. I'm just waiting on that to arrive. Hopefully I'll be able to make a final decision soon.

What kinds of things haven't been coming off of your to-do lists? And is it because of lack of time or a lack of a plan? (Or something else?)

Friday, April 6, 2018

These Boots Aren't Meant For Walking

This past March was a "put one foot in front of the other" kind of month. With a combination of family health scares and a pile of difficult tests, I ended up pretty stressed out. It's taken me a week or two to start feeling better. But rather than focus on the negative, let me show off some things that helped lift me up.

1. I have made a new pair of baby booties. The last pair I made unfortunately didn't fit the recipient. After seeing the tiny baby feet in person, I decided to make up my own pattern. They look weird without feet in them, but I'm pretty sure that with small feet inside them, these new cowboy booties will look much cuter.

2. I finished embroidering the lower 48 states. What a job! I'm not anywhere close to finishing this quilt, but I feel pretty darn good about how far I've gotten. I've ordered some new embroidery floss and plan to quilt the remaining background with longitude and latitude lines. (Alaska and Hawaii will be added too!)
Toughest coastline embroider: Maryland

3. Yarn! My Plucky I ordered at Stitches West arrived. I initially felt it was too dark, but it's growing on me. Then a fantastic package from Wei Siew arrived. She sure did spoil me. Dark Harbor, Bleeting Arts, and Fiber 2 Go?! She also sent a few other unpictured goodies.

4. I finished my Groovy Socks and have cast on two new pairs. Vanilla Latte socks in Stray Cat Socks's Blue Moon color way and Woodpile socks in Spun Right Round's Bug Jar color way.

5. Just today I decided to paint a scene from the TV show Riverdale. Connor and I recently finished it and I really liked the design for Pop's Chock'lat Shoppe. 

How has life been going for all of you? Have you focused on anything to help keep you sane?

Friday, March 23, 2018


Yesterday was the first day in I don't know how long where I wasn't in crisis mode. There wasn't any homework to be caught up on, no supplies needing to be bought, no promises that I needed to make good on; it felt rather weird.

I looked around, trying to figure out what would be the best use of my time when my eye caught my Dad's sweater. Both sleeves needed some mending and I had finally found some yarn that matched it. It was tough to fix because it was a double knit. Eventually I was victorious... but not before I texted my Dad telling him what a miserable experience it was going to be mending it.

Since I had all my mending stuff out, I looked around again and realized that I had a stack of socks that have been waiting for some attention for maybe more than a year. Some needed duplicate stitching, some needed a woven darn, some needed a combination.

I don't know what possessed me, but I mended the lot.

There is still studying to do and other things that will need my attention in the coming days, but I haven't felt this much peace in a while. Who knew that mending all the knits might mend me a bit too.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Littlest Cowpoke

This past week was another wild one. A loved one had a few days stay at the hospital for a complication from a routine procedure. (All is well, thank goodness.)  It looks like I might be able to go up to Oregon to visit my Oma soon. An exam was delayed by two days. Connor is going back to Japan for business, but it looks like this time I might get to join him. All the ups and downs have left me worn out. Not much happen creatively except these cuties.

I've been doing my best to quickly make these little booties for my cousin and his fiancĂ©e's new little girl. I'm not really sure how quickly baby feet grow, so I really hope that their little girl is able to fit these. 
Embroidery scissors for scale

I'm happy these little booties are done. I've been re-reminded that crochet is not my strength. I ripped out and re-crocheted these so many times! But clearly it was worth it. They are so cute!  Both my parents squealed when they saw them.

Now all they need is a little cowpoke to fill them.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Sock By Any Other Name

The last two weeks have been hard. There have been lots of positives, but there has also been an enormous amount of stress. I've been doing my best to ride it out and be kind to myself. Meanwhile I've continued knitting and, in an unusual turn of events, crocheting. I taught myself to crochet a year after I learn to knit. And while I feel ok at it, I don't actively search out patterns to use that skill. Of course it turns out that sometimes those patterns find me. 
My cousin just had a baby and I was trying to figure out a good gift when I came across the cutest bootie pattern. It's going to take me a few days to make these, but I managed to get past the soles with minimal fudging.

I also finished up my Rose By Any Other Name socks. When I mentioned them last I thought I would be finished with them by Valentines Day. Ha! I did finish them, but just before I cut the yarn to kitchener the toe, I counted the stitches. I was one off. Eventually I discovered that I had decreased an extra stitch at the beginning of the gusset and that because I was a whole stitch off for the entire foot, my second sock was a 1/2 inch longer than the first one due to me placing the toe decreases based on the stripe transition. Rip, rip, rip. Then the sock sat in time out while I kicked myself for not counting my stitches after finishing the gusset. I made sure to count multiple times when I knit the foot for the second time.
Vanilla socks in Canon Hand Dyes color way A Rose By Any Other Name

So now I am left with only one project on the needles, my Groovy Socks. I'm actually a little worried about finishing them because I have no idea what my next project should be. I have all sorts of design ideas floating around in my head, but not enough brain cells to devote to figuring them out. 
Groovy Socks in White Birch Fiber Arts color way Wild Thai Ryder

I know that a lot of knitters suffer from startitis. Has anyone had a case of anti-startitis? (Does anyone have a better name for anti-startitis for that matter?)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...