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 ravelry.com 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, underspun 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 Bindoff."

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


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas Kerchief



Armed with a Christmas gift card from my son, I picked up this yarn at "A Stitch in Time" in Bethel, Connecticut.  I instantly fell in love with a display of this pattern in the store.  I had seen the pattern here on ravelry, but a heaver weight of yarn was used. 





The pattern, called for Size 6 (4mm needles) was very easy to follow and was a quick project to knit up.  The Boboli Lace is a light weight, slightly underspun yarn.  It give the perfect texture and fabric for the shawlette/scarf.  You do, however, need to be careful with dropped stitches.
 

Upon completion, I was a little discouraged with the size before blocking and waited to block it.  Once I got my new blocking mats, and a desire to finish "unfinished" projects, I was delighted to see how far the kerchief stretched out.

This is the perfect project for a quick knit gift and I can see making it again and again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wallenbatkus


I have been on a scarf kick.  I recently made a hat and scarf for my coworker; it was such a big hit that another coworker asked me to make a scarf to give as a gift.  She saw the pattern for the "Batkus" scarf and asked for that.  The Batkus is a scarf knitted "side to side," beginning with 4 cast on stitches.  You increase every fourth row until you get the desired length, then decrease accordingly.

I used a 100g ball of Jojoland Melody Superwash wool on a Size 3 needle.  I loved the wide array of fall colors, which is what the recipient wanted.  I had started out with a Size 4 and didn't like the drape.  I started over with the smaller needle and casted on.  Again, I didn't like the fabric and ripped out again.  I then casted-on for the Lacy Batkus, but still wasn't satisfied.  I then found the pattern for the "Wallenbatkus" (wavy batkus).  I did an eight row knit and purl rib and increased the width of the scarf until I reached the end of the first 50g ball.  I wanted to keep the same "gradient" with no obvious color changes, so I rewound the 2nd 50g ball to get to the center.

As I was decreasing, I held my breath, praying that I wouldn't run out of yarn before I reached the end.  I did run out, but not until I was down to six stitches.  I had to do some creative decreases at the very end.  To block, I simply hand washed the scarf and laid flat to dry.  As I dried, I gently pulled up the ends so the ribbing would stand out.  

The scarf was a big hit with the recipient and I was happy to have a coworker be the model for this blog post.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spreading Cheer with Wingspan


I have become obsessed with knitting shawlettes.  I had discovered the "Wingspan" from by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs on ravelry.com and had seen a finished version at the 2013 New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  I was given the pattern as a random gift and couldn't wait to get started.  My first attempt at this pattern was with Plymouth Stiletto in the Dillon colorway with Size 3 needles.  The 100g ball gave me the requisite eight "triangles," but the Size 3 needles made for a tighter fabric with not much drape.  

While the work was in progress, I had found the Plymouth Stiletto in the Villandry colorway and purchased two balls.  This time I used Size 4 needles and achieve the perfect weight and drape.  I began this project back in the early summer while on vacation.  While the pattern works up quickly and easily by using short rows which have always made me nervous.  However, the pattern provided a link to the German Short Row Pattern on youtube.com.  This method was extremely easy and left no gaps whatsoever.

This shawlette was a birthday present for my sister, but I do plan to make this again, mixing up the colorways to get different looks.

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You're Such a Gentleman


One day at work, while I was bragging about my knitting prowess, I asked by my coworker to make him a hat and scarf for the winter.  His requirements were simple; something black to keep him nice and warm.  I took this opportunity to knit up another Compo Hat by Julz.  This was a recent pattern that I had tested in one of my Ravelry groups in a plain acrylic yarn.  Fortunately, the search for a comparable scarf wasn't hard to find.  I chose the Gentlemans Scarf by the Sheepwalk Fiber Arts Studio.

Both projects were knit in Knit Picks Swish Superwash Merino. The hat was knit with Size 7 needles and the scarf with Size 9. I felt it necessary to use a larger needle for the scarf to achieve the appropriate drape.  Each pattern was easy to follow and knit up quickly.  The Swish Superwash Merino made the cable patterns pop and the fine wool made for a more luxurious knit that could be dressed up or down.  I intentionally made the scarf extra long to wrap around the neck and have the ends hang down. 

The project, finished just in time was a big hit with the recipient.  Right after the delivery, our area experienced a drop in temperatures.  My friend came into work with his new hat, ready to pose for a picture.  Needless to say when there's cold weather in the forecast, this hat delivers comfort and warmth.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Country Girl - City Cardigan


Christmas of 2013 brought me a nice gift card to my favorite yarn store from my son.  I have always wanted to do a cardigan and found this pattern at "A Stitch in Time" in Bethel, CT.  The pattern name is "City Cardigan," calling for a wool yarn.  However, I chose "DungarEASE" from Knit One, Crochet Two.  The cotton/acrylic blend worked up nicely. The knit one through back loop/purl one through back look gave the ribbing a nice defined look.  

If I were to do this project again, I would add more length to the waist and possibly add another buttonhole.  I'm a short girl with a short waist.  The extra length would give an illusion of a taller me.  The buttonholes were easy to make, but ended up being too big for the buttons called for in the pattern.  

I found these lovely buttons at Joanne's for only $2.50 for two.  There were inexpensive, but found out that inexpensive buttons are not always better.  While sewing on the buttons, the brown border came off the first button.  To improvise, I pulled off the border of each button and nobody was the wiser.  While I love the buttons I chose, I would definitely would get bigger ones.  I feel the smaller ones get lost. 

Even with all these little speed bumps, I totally rocked the City Cardigan at the 2014 New York State Sheep & Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, NY.  I received many compliments from friends and people passing by.  A certain win.

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Thanks for the Anklets....

My sister lives down south so she doesn't get much of an opportunity to wear wool socks.  She did, however, express interest in a pair of anklet socks.  I found this pattern on ravelry.com.  The pattern "Thanks" is a great pattern that knits up simply but looks more complex.  The yarn is plain old Patons Kroy Socks yarn that I purchased on sale from  Hobby Lobby in Knoxville, Tennessee.  This free pattern looks great with any color yarn.  Below is my sister modeling her "belated" Christmas present with her sweet dog, Maggie who looks a little jealous wanting her own socks.



Friday, February 7, 2014

"Quant - ify"




I was having a hard time finding a belated birthday gift for two very special people; my bff and my lovely sister.  I found this pretty "Quant" pattern on knitty.com.  Because both recipients had long hair, I felt this gift would be perfect.  Neither like wearing hats because of the dreaded "hat hair."  My sister is also an avid hiker and I thought this would come in handy to keep her ears warm.  The entrelac pattern is easy to learn if you go slow and pay attention, so don't be intimidated by it.  I used Lion Brand's Amazing yarn which is an "underspun" yarn, giving the project a nice soft texture.

Both loved their presents and below if my beautiful sister modeling hers.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

I had plenty of Lion Brand Chunky yarn from the Robin's Egg Hat project for my friend, Tracey.  I realized the best use for it would be to make something to go with the hat.  I found the "Burberry Inspired Cowl" on ravelry.com.  It called for a silky yarn in a solid, but I'm very happy the way this turned out.  It's a very easy pattern to knit up.  You cast on 58 stitches in a provisional cast on and knit one long strip.  There are 16 stitch cables within the pattern to give it a "stacked" look.  This was not the first time I had done a provisional cast on.  I did use a super chunky yarn along with the working yarn.  If I were to do this again, I'd to the provisional cast on with two needles together.  By doing this, the live stitches at the bottom would be easier to pick up when you're done.  I thought it would call for a three needle bind off to connect the ends, but it had me do a kitchener stitch instead.  It was tedious, but worth the work when I saw the finished result.  I can't wait to give this to Tracey!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's Hip to Knit Hats

Through Ravelry I have discovered the hat designer Wooly Wormhead.  This designer makes the coolest hats.  The minute I got some extra money, I was purchasing four patterns from this designer.  This had "Buzzba" is a cool earflap hat.  As usual, the picture doesn't do the pattern justice.  I knit it up Paton's Classic Wool, worsted weight with size 7 needles.  The pattern was very easy to follow and I was able to finish this project in just one evening.  It came in many sizes from child all the way to adult.

I did have to spend some time weaving in the ends, but it was well worth the time.  I have worn the hat to work and have received many compliments on it.  I am definitely going to be following this designer for more cool ideas. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....................






I don't usually consign, but when my co-worker asked me to do this for her, I couldn't resist.  Her daughter and partner had just adopted a beautiful baby boy and for their first Christmas with baby Jones, who could resist these cute stockings.  I'm not sure where the pattern came from, but they worked up very easy.  After all, their just large socks.  However, if I had one complaint, one stocking had a cool nordic snowflake design, but the pattern wasn't included in the pattern.  I had to search on ravelry.com for a nordic design.  I was having so much trouble doing the duplicate stitch that I just gave up and put a patchwork design on top, making a little pocket.  I think it looks rather nice.  The name was to be embroidered, but I have no patience for that.  What I did instead was make a long, thin i-cord and tacked the name onto the stocking.  It's not perfect, but it's better than anything I could embroider.  I am hoping that the stockings are enjoyed for years to come.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

For Tracey



I have a coworker, Tracey who is constantly giving me yarn.  God Bless her sweet mom who forgets all about the purchase.  As a result, Tracey ends up giving me the yarn.  I can see that her mother still has a good eye, because I absolutely love the colorway of this Lion Brand Chunky yarn.  Instead of doing more squares, or something for myself, I figured I'd pay this "pay it forward" backwards - so to speak.  I made this hat from the Robin's Egg Pattern from ravelry.com.  The original pattern called for a (who knew) robin's egg blue chunky, but it works with almost any colorway.  Again, with most of my hats, the challenge was to find a cool button to go on the hat.  As luck would have it, Joanne's Fabric came to my rescue.  Another $2.00 button that is just as fashionable.  Anyway........the recipient of the hat, Tracey, absolutely loved it and modeled it for me tonight.  Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to get a picture.  She looked lovely in it.  I plan to continue to knit like a "mad hatter" by doing some cool wooly wormhead patterns that I just purchased.

Brattleboro Hat




I had some leftover Paton's 100% Wool yarn that was left over from Alexandria's Blanket.  I have always wanted to make this Brattleboro Hat from Interweave Knits.  The photo is from my iPhone and really doesn't do justice to the sage colors of the hat.  The picture in the magazine was more of a minty green, but I prefer the sage green instead.  The buttons, which were a perfect match were found at Joanne's Fabric for about $2.00.  I can't wait for the opportunity to wear this!




Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sockdown 2013-14

Let's face it. I love knitting socks.  It's my most favorite thing to do. It offers  me the most variety and challenge in what I feel is a relatively short project.  I always get compliments on my knitted socks.  Even though I haven't completed my goal of the Cookie A Sock Innovation project, I have decided to try my hand at the Sockdown 2013-14 on ravelry.com.  Every month for a year, you are given a color theme.  You can knit their mystery pattern or "mock," choose your own pattern or a pattern from one of their suggested designers.  Participants are not allowed to cast on until the first of the month and must have their project completed by the end of the month.  This is a great motivator to get your project done.  

Since the September '13 theme is "tropical," I chose this beautiful colorway from Knitpicks.  Chroma Fingering is a 70%/30% wool blend and feels great.  The colorway, "Lollipop," has a great mix of yellow, green, rose, orange, and a bit of light purple.  It reminds me of a summer fruit salad.  

For the pattern, I am choosing the "Magic Mirror" pattern from Jeannie Cartmell, one of the chosen designers.  It's a great asymmetrical pattern which includes techniques such as a turkish cast on as well as a short row heel.  These are two techniques that I have yet to master.  This pattern can be found on ravelry.com for free.  I will use size 1 bamboo needles for the project and will be casting on tomorrow.

Here we go........

Sunday, August 4, 2013

An Old Favorite for Vacation Knitting


I began these socks while I was home on vacation in Tennessee.  The "Jaywalker Sock" pattern is a very good beginner pattern for the new sock knitter.  The yarn used was some wool/bamboo blend that had been given to me a while ago through a swap.  The original idea was to use this yarn to make Cookie A's "Monkey Socks."  I didn't like the self striping pattern of the yarn because it detracted from the pattern of the "Monkey Socks."  The yarn is super soft and feels great against my feet.  The socks could have been more stretchy, though.  I can see me whipping these up for a swap or a quick gift.