Sunday, September 25, 2016

(Not So) Vanilla Latte Socks

I've been wanting to make a pair of socks for my cousin for a while, but never had her foot size.  On a recent trip back home, I was able to take proper foot measurements and get started.  Hannah was more than happy to be the recipient of one of my creations, but had one condition.  She didn't want me to spend too much on the yarn.  I assured her that I had tons in my stash, but she insisted that we take a trip to Joanne's to pick out something for her.  

I have always admired Paton's Kroy Sock Yarn.  An inexpensive, but extremely durable yarn is such a great value.  They also have a great selection of colors as well.  The colorway that Hannah chose was "Meadow Stripes."  It turned out to be a great choice for the Vanilla Latte Sock pattern by Virginia Rose-Jeanes I chose for her. 

As you can see, Hannah was more than happy with the results.

Mason Dixon Kimono

Lately, I've been doing a lot of baby knitting.  Three cousins, a co-worker, and my landlady were blessed with little bundles over the past year.  When my friend Rosalie told me she was expecting her third child, I wanted to make something really special.  I had always wanted to knit up  the Baby Kimono from Mason Dixon Knitting.  

While the pattern seems complex, it's really simple to follow.  It was knit up in Lion Brand Cotton Ease which, unfortunately, is discontinued.  You can use almost any cotton yarn,  but I liked the softness of the fabric that this yarn knit up. 

I discovered the patterns from Mason Dixon Knitting quite some time ago..  You'll see in earlier posts that I have completed three Modern Log Cabin blankets; one adult size and two baby.  I love their selection of everyday knitted patterns.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fawke's Tail Scarf

Another great design from Yarn over New York!!  I was flattered to be invited to test knit one of her new creations.  The Fawke's Tail Scarf was knit up in Rain City Knits Supersock in the Steel Gray colorway.  Everyone else participating in the test was using variegated colorways and I wanted to do the same.  However, I just couldn't make up my mind from the many colorways I had in my stash.  Additionally, I wanted to do something a little different than everyone else.  I feel that the gray colorway really makes the pattern pop out.  I also discovered that, depending on the light, the yarn gave off different hues.  Love the way it knitted up and can't wait to wear it this fall.

Is that a Family Name?

I have discovered and fallen in love with the yarnbox subscription.  Every month with perfect timing I get the most wonderful packet of sock yarn and a suggested pattern.  This shipment of Louet Gems Fingering yarn in "CandyApple Red," "Flourescent Green," and "Peacock" featured the sock pattern "Tilson Socks," by Jessica K. Larson.  I couldn't wait to try this pattern for two reasons.  One, I really wanted to do a sock project to perfect my striping technique and second, the name of the pattern.  My mother's maiden name is Tilson; I thought it a remarkable coincidence.  I love how the colors blended together.  I got many compliments on these socks and plan on doing them again, but in the smaller size.  With no stitch pattern, these "vanilla socks" are better knit up in a smaller size.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ghost Ranch Cowl

My most favorite designer I like to test for is Yarn over New York.

I was very happy to participate in the test knit for the Ghost Ranch cowl.  I love the was the slipped stitches combined the colors and gave the impression of a herringbone design.  The cowl pattern was knit in the round with US Size 3 (3.25mm) needles, and have to be careful to use the shortest circular needles you can.

I used two color combinations for each cowl.  The cowl on the left was made with Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply in forest green, yellow green, and cream colorways.  Although the colors are neutral, the pattern made them really pop.  The cowl on the left was made with Rowan Super Fine Merino 4 ply in Sky, Lilac, and Fresh.  These contrasting colors gave me great look as well.

I look forward to the opportunity to test again for this designer

International Sock Swap

I hadn't been involved in any swaps in so long.  I find that there are very few swaps on these days.  Luckily, the International Sock Swap is alive and kicking.  I chose "Dither" by General Hogbuffer.  I wanted to try my luck at stranded knitting and just loved the color graduation the pattern offered.  It took me a while to find the right combination of colors.  I settled on Heritage Solids by Cascade Yarns in purple hyacinth, turquoise, and citron.  The results were fantastic.  I received several compliments on them while they were on the needles and the swap recipient loved them as well.

I plan on doing this pattern again, but I think I'll try a  more subtler color combo.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Parker's Cotton Cardi

I was so happy with the results of the "Little Coffee Bean" cardigan, I couldn't wait to get another one on the needles.  Because the recipient lives in Alabama, I wanted a lighter yarn.  Hobby Lobby's "I Love this Yarn" also has in a cotton blend, making it perfect for this project.  

While the pattern called for Size 7 and Size 8 needles, I felt these sizes made a fabric that was too loose.  I ended up using Size 5 and Size 6 needles.  I do recommend that you use the "super stretchy bind off" for the button bands.  It gives a more even button band, preventing the bottom from riding up.  

Check out Cat Bordhi's video instruction for the Super Stretch Bind Off.  It's super easy to follow and to learn.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Undulated Ribbed Trekking Socks

 I needed a quick and easy project to do while I was on vacation and I hadn't knit up a pair of socks in a long time.  I had this perfect ball of Deborah Norville Serenity sockweight yarn I had purchased from Joanne's.  

The hard part, though was to find the perfect pattern that would quickly knit up.  I ended up modifying a free "trekking" pattern on  While the original pattern called for the two alternating ribs from the cuff down, then stockinette stitch down to the heel.  I though that was incredibly boring so I continued the rib in alternating rows.  The stripping of the yarn contributed to a nice undulating pattern.  For the heel, I used the "Fish Lips Kiss" heel which worked out well.  

I love the result of my first attempt to step out of my comfort zone by modifying a pattern.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Baby's First Ragland

The arrival of my landlord's wfirst child, gave me the perfect opportunity to complete my first top down ragland cardigan sweater on a small scale.  I took two recommendations from my friend Diana by using "I Love this Yarn," which is Hobby Lobby's own brand and her go to baby sweater pattern.  

"I Love this Yarn" is soft, inexpensive, and comes in a wide variety of colors.  The sweater pattern, "Little Coffee Bean," can be found on Ravelry as a free download.  Don't be intimidated by this stripped, top down pattern.  You can find instructions on to eliminate the jogs that you get as a result of knitting stripes in the round.  If stripes aren't for you, you can do a solid or variegated yarn; it will still look great.

Baby, Baby, Baby.....

When I returned from vacation, I couldn't wait to raid my stash yarn to make some more goodies for my new little cousin, Emily.  The center pair of socks were made from Online Supersocke, a 100% wool yarn I used to make my first pair of socks.  I love the way the striping works out with the colors, while the pink gives it the "girly girl" look.  I improvised on the pattern by gauging the size of her feet and comparing it to other baby sock patterns.  The cuff was a simple 2x2 rib, followed by the "Fish Lips Kiss" short row heel.

The booties on the right were made with Paton's Kroy sock yarn that was left over from a pair of socks I had made for myself.  The pattern "Magic Slippers," is free on Ravelry and is a very easy pattern to follow.  What attracted me to it was that it was knitted in one piece, eliminating the need to seam up the back.  It is also easy enough to make larger or in a heaver weight if desired.

The booties on the left were made from left over Plymouth Encore yarn from the "Flo the Elephant" project.  A simple "Mary Jane" booties which are also free on Ravelry.  I found many variations.  This pattern was easy to follow as well, calling a mattress stitch to sew up the back heel.  Although it was done in all garter stitch, the seaming worked out fine.  The buttons were found at Hobby Lobby.  Their light pink with a center rhinestone gives the proper amount of bling for our new little princess.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Flo the Elephant - Part II

I was thrilled when my cousin told me his wife, Tiffany was pregnant and immediately told them both that I would knit anything they wanted.  The baby's room was decorated in an animal theme and she wanted "Flo the Elephant" which I had done for a friend's daughter a while back.

The pattern is free on "" and very simple to work up.  It took me a while to find exactly the right colors.  They were having a girl, so the color pink was a given and I wanted to find a green to make it really pop.  I knit it up on US Size 4 needles with Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn.  While the pattern called for 100% wool, Plymouth's acrylic/wool blend did the trick.  Instead of embroidering the eyes, I chose safety eyes which worked out better and even added the daisy stitch flowers with the pink yarn.

The recipients couldn't be happier with the results.  In fact, the gift was such a big hit, I got a request for another!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

I just love the Ravelry Group "Random Acts of Kindness."  Each month, you post your wish list; it can be anything from yarns to patterns, or books.  What I love the most about this group is that the timing of these "random acts" is impeccable.  I came home from a long day at work to a package from fellow raveler "Freedom1776."  She sent me two beautiful diaries that I will use for my knitting projects and the candy which almost disappeared in an instant.

If you are a fellow raveler, you have to check out this group.  I love giving as well as receiving!!!!  Join this group and make someone's day......

Friday, April 3, 2015

Classic Cables

When my husband and I received a week's worth of groceries from co-workers, I wanted to show my eternal gratitude by knitting up something special.  A "go to" gift of a scarf wouldn't do.  I had to have an extra special pattern for these special ladies.

I found the "Zurich" scarf on for free.  I immediately fell in love with the cable pattern and set to work on two in their respective favorite colors.  I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Deep Purple and Rose with a Size 8 (5.00 mm) needles.  Each scarf took three skeins each. The cable pattern was easy to follow and I soon memorized the pattern.  Additionally the seed stitch border kept the edges from rolling in.  

I was a little worried about the blocking process because of the acrylic yarn.  I wet each scarf completely in the sink, rolled them in a tower to squeeze out the excess water and laid them across the back of my sofa, slightly stretching the width.  It took them a couple days to dry, but the result was a soft fabric with a nice drape.  Can't wait to give them to the recipients.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

There's no HItch

I had always wanted to do the Hitchhiker pattern ever since I had seen it at the 2013 New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  I was gifted this pattern right around the time my best friend had her 50th birthday, giving me the  perfect opportunity to produce this beautiful project.  The Hitchhiker is something simple and quick, yet gives the appearance of modern style.  Although the "saw blade" edges look complicated, it really is quite simple to accomplish.

I used two 100g balls of Berroco Boboli Lace, a sport weight wool blend with a Size 4 (3.50 mm) needle.  Though it has the appearance of being underpun, it produced a nice fabric.  I had originally purchased this for "The Age of Brass and Steel," but I'm glad I used it for this.  The blue gray colorway along with the garter stitch made for a nice texture. 

This triangle shawlette begins with a two stitch cast on, and increasing almost every row.  Short rows are created by turning the work before you get to the end of a row.  It is very simple to follow, even though it is worked in short rows.  Make sure you have extra yarn and count your stitches.  While most projects pages called for a 100g ball, I ran out of yarn.  Thank goodness I was able to find the same colorway to finish the project.  This classic design is definitely a repeat project. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Magic Mirror

I finally got around to finishing a project that I started quite a while ago.  I belong to the group "Sock Knitter Anonymous" on and took up the "Sockdown September '13" challenge.  I don't know what made me think I could possibly do this with all my schoolwork and other obligations.  I put the project on hold and didn't pick it up again until the fall of 2014.

The parameters were to use one of Jennie Cartmel's patterns in a tropical colored theme.  I was anxious to try something new, since I had never seen any of Jennie Cartmel's designs.  I chose her Magic Mirror Socks, a "toe up" construction.  I had only knit one other "toe up" pair of socks and was looking to hone my skills and get a change of routine.  The pattern offered easy to follow directions with large charts and helpful links.  I used a Size 1 (2.25mm) needle instead of the recommended Size 0 (2.00mm).  The Chroma doesn't give much stretch and I felt that a the 2.00mm needles wouldn't be large enough, even if I make the largest size.

For the yarn, I chose Knit Picks Chroma Fingering weight yarn in the Lollipop colorway.  I instantly fell in love with this colorway and felt it was a perfect match for the tropical theme.  Knit Picks Chroma Fingering is a soft, smooshy, under-spun yarn and one 100g ball will easily make two socks with room to spare.  I was able to get a nice tight fabric, but because the yarn is underspun, you must be very careful as it's not easily unraveled.  Unfortunately I had to do this several times when I got to the heel portion of the sock. I ripped out the heel of the first sock more than I wanted, but I refused to give up.  After trying many different methods, I reverted back to the instructions of the pattern.  The cuff was ten rows of ribbing, finishing with Jeny's "Super Stretchy Bind Off" which you can easily find on you tube.

I would love to do this pattern again with a completely different yarn to see what result I get.