Category Archives: knitting

A new cowl

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A new local yarn store opened in my city last year, but sadly I’ve only been able to visit once. Homeschooling three kids just isn’t very compatible with visiting lovely yarn stores to browse and shop. (No, really, it’s not.) But on my one visit there I picked up this pretty yarn, Manos Del Uruguay Maxima in Slate. It’s merino and so nice. The colors are hard to describe, but they go between olive green and a sort of slate blue. I’d been wanting to knit the popular Ravelry pattern for A Noble Cowl, so I made that my most recent project. Sometimes after a project is done I wish I’d made a different yarn choice, but this wasn’t one of them. Love this yarn with this pattern! I think I’m going to wear this all winter long.

An emerald sweater for me

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Every year on our anniversary in June my husband gives me a gift according to some list he has regarding traditional anniversary gifts. So on our first anniversary, he got me something made of paper (a book), year two was cotton, etc. This June we were up to number 12, so my gift was to include silk. After a dozen years of marriage I’ve learned to be very helpful where anniversary gifts are concerned, so several weeks before our anniversary I sent him a list of silk blend yarns that would make a nice gift for me, with hints for color and yardage. Just trying to be a helpful wife, you know! He took the hint and bought me a box of KnitPicks’ Gloss DK yarn in Jade. I was wanting a short-sleeve sweater that could go on its own in the fall or layered under long sleeves all winter. I chose this Summer Violet pattern by DROPS Design. The pattern was great, and I’m surprised I got the sweater done as quickly as I did given how little knitting I felt like I did all summer. I did add two inches to the length and a few extra repeats with decreases to the yoke. The silk/merino blend is very comfortable and I can’t wait to wear it this winter. I just need to come up with some sort of plan for staying away from my constantly-yogurt-covered toddler when I’m wearing it, because I’m pretty sure my handwash-only sweater and my yogurt-covered-toddler might have trouble getting along.

A baby sweater

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knit-dress knit-dress2This is a knitted dress I made for a friend’s baby. I love making baby gifts because the time I spend on them gives me time to think about the new baby. This dress is going to a first baby for such a nice couple, and while I made it I got to recall all the excitement and love and expectation that comes along with waiting for a first baby–and a girl, too. What a treat! I used the Garden Trellis Dress pattern from the book Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders. I used sport-weight yarn, so mine is a little bigger than prescribed, but I knew that going in. I actually very much like the size it turned out because I think it will fit the baby in her first year as a dress, and in her second as a tunic. I used Knit Picks’ Brava yarn in Tidepool so it could be easily laundered. I got a little sidetracked and miscounted on some of the diamonds on the skirt, so they aren’t in exactly the right places according to the pattern, but I felt like you wouldn’t know something was wrong unless you were staring at the pattern so I just went with it.

Twin onesies and Elsa gloves

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IMG_6165This is a baby gift I did for a friend who is pregnant with twins. She’s having one boy and one girl, and she likes colorful tie-dye prints and rainbow things. I bought the machine embroidery pattern for the arrow on Etsy, and I knitted the hats out of self-striping, washable yarn. I thought these were so cheery and cute that it almost made me want to have twins. Okay, that’s actually not true at all. But they are cheery and cute!

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These are some gloves I made last winter for my niece.  She (like every other small girl, it seems) likes to pretend she’s Elsa from Frozen. Since gloves are kind of central to being Elsa during part of the movie, I thought it would be cute to make her an Elsa-inspired pair. I thought the lace pattern from the Edge-of-Lace hat and mitts I’ve made before were reminiscent of snowflakes, so I used it for the cuffs, then decreased to make child-sized mitts. I used acrylic yarn so they’d wash up easily. My niece seemed pleased with them.

Hatty hatty hat hatty hatty hat

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green-hatI went on a hat-making binge at some point after the holidays. It felt good to complete small projects, and to keep my fingers busy near the fire or in other warm and snug places. Most of them did not make my blog. I rounded up a few this morning, and had some other snaps on my phone of others that have since gone to new homes. Several of these hats are from the book Lace One-Skein Wonders, which I really love. I think it may be my favorite of the One-Skein series. I’m not sure more of the patterns aren’t up on Ravelry, though it’s still a newish book, having been published in 2013. This hat is based on the Lacy Liberty Wool Hat from that book. I modified it to use bulky-weight yarn, because that’s the yarn I had that I wanted to use. This hat is for a friend.

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Sorry about the bad phone pictures again! This was the same Lacy Liberty Wool Hat, this time in a gray bulky yarn. I liked it so much in the green and it worked up so quick I decided to do it again. I modeled this one, but gave it to a another friend. Isn’t the pattern pretty? I think it’s such a nice lace pattern for a hat, and I actually really like it in the bulky.

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This was another gift hat from the same book. It’s the Tredegar Hat. It’s blocked over a plate, so it has kind of a tam shape with a flat part on top. I made it out of a yummy alpaca in a pretty green with copper and dark red accents. It’s for a beautiful young lady with long, curly reddish hair who is going away to college somewhere cold. This hat looks like it was just made for her–because it was.

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This is the Etta Hat from the same book. It’s for me, though it is being modeled here by a rather unwilling five-year-old boy. (Good sport, he did it anyway.) I lost this hat a few months ago and it never turned up. I loved the yarn so much, but only had a small amount left. I decided to use it as contrast for this hat. I liked the shape of this pattern, though I don’t really love the contrasting lace. The yarn was so pretty–it really wanted to be a hat all its own. Sigh… I may do this pattern again some time in a solid color.

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And finally, this is a Sarah Zimmerman hat I crocheted for Daphne for a Valentine’s Day gift. I realized on February 13 that I had picked up small little things to surprise my older loves, but had nothing for my toddler. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to crochet a hat in bulky yarn! I made this in a size up because Daphne has kind of a big head, and I wanted her to be able to use it next year. It was a little too big, so I tacked up the brim with some basting stitches I can remove later. Daphne growls when she puts it on, which is the best part.

 

 

A feather in my cap

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2015-03-20 21.15 2015-03-24 12.15 feather hat1Please forgive the cell-phone selfies here. I’ve got several hat projects I want to share, and if I wait until my husband or daughter want to play photographer with my real camera I may  never get them recorded.

I fell in love with this hat in the spring catalog KnitPicks sent out. I’ve never ordered a whole project kit before, but I very nearly did this time. I ordered the accent yarn colors just as KnitPicks suggested, but chose bare yarn (Stroll sport in this case) instead of the white they called for. I made a few changes to their pattern. First, I subtracted one repeat from their hat width and cast on my fewer amount because hats are always too big on me. Then I knit (knooked, in my case) the arrow/feather thingy right into the hat instead of completing the hat and then double-knitting it on as they suggest. Then, when I finished the hat I realized it was way too long, so I yanked half of it back out and re-knit the decrease section without a plain knit row between each decrease. I never checked my gauge, so mine may be a bit on the large side, but I think it would have been too long in any case as written. Anyway, I’m glad I went to the trouble of getting the fit right because I really like the hat. Although the pattern is called “arrowhead,” I think it looks like a jaunty feather stuck in an otherwise typical slouchy hat. I love the colors for spring. I wore it out today and got compliments on it.

Over-socks for under boots

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booties booties2I have a footwear problem. I have a 7-and-a-half size foot, but some boots only come in whole sizes. So my comfy shearlings and my waterproof wellies are just a wee bit big. I decided I needed some nice thick slipper-socks to wear over my regular socks, both to keep my feet extra warm and to improve the fit of my boots. I used this free pattern for chunky slippers, and bulky wool-blend yarn. I made the pattern a little smaller, with both 2 fewer stitches around the foot, and 1 inch less in length, because my foot is on the small end and because I wanted them to be snug over my socks and not bunch up inside my boots. The pattern knitted up very quickly and the idea was a success. As I was knitting them, I couldn’t help thinking “there is probably something like this at Target and I could just buy them and find out that they bunch under my boots without going to the trouble of knitting them myself!” but actually I don’t think I could have found something comparable in a small size and a wool blend. And they don’t bunch up, so hooray! I’ve worn them under both my pairs of slightly-too-big boots, and they are perfect. They also improved the warmth of my wellies, which aren’t really insulated snow boots but serve as such for a Kentucky girl like me.

And mitts to match

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mittsSo after I finished the edge-of-lace hat from my last post, I worked up some mitts based on the cuff pattern associated with the hat. I did the cuff in the lace, then just continued on up and added a basic thumb. They were really pretty, and they used up the last of the purple yarn I used on the edges, and they didn’t fit. I have particularly small hands, and when I tried to wear them out they fell right off my hands. Sigh.  But they look nice on my neighbor, and I like my neighbor. 🙂 So I made myself more mitts but didn’t try the edge of lace pattern again. I needed fewer stitches in mitts made from this thick, sturdy multi-colored yarn, so I just up one more (small!) pair in a very basic pattern that was easy to make smaller and added the cable pattern up the front for visual interest. The trim yarn doesn’t exactly match the hat, but it coordinates. And they don’t fall off, which is really one of the most important features in mitts!

Edge-of-Lace hat revisited

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A few weeks ago I made my daughter this blue hat. I had only glanced at the lace chart and not at the instructions, and thus knitted the edge pattern incorrectly. I wasn’t unhappy with the result, but I wanted to do it again the right way, and plus I wanted a hat for myself out of it this time. I used some half-skeins of wool in my stash. The pattern is the edge-of-lace hat in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. On my daughter’s hat I made decreases for the crown instead of following the pattern, but for my own I followed the pattern just to see how it would look because I’d never made a hat with sewn-off crown in that way before. Basically you just knit the hat as one big tube, then sew off the top and stitch all the corners together. I actually really liked the extra fullness this gave the top of the hat. It is more flattering on me, I think, than a more fitted cap. But lest you think this project went just as I wished, let me confess this: I also also knitted mitts based on the wrist-warmer pattern associated with the hat pattern, but they were too big, so I gave them to my neighbor! Now she has pretty mitts and I have a pretty hat and we must never wear them in the same place at the same time.

A blue hat

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Dorothy got a new blue hat to start out this chilly January. It was really supposed to be my hat, but sometimes that happens. The yarn is a delicious, wonderful, hand-spun, hand-dyed wool from Block Island, Rhode Island. A friend sent it as a souvenir of her trip. I’ve held on to it for six months while I waited for the right inspiration to hit, and when I came across the edge of lace hat pattern in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders I decided that would be it.  I got a new black coat for Christmas, and I thought the pop of bright blue was just what it needed. The first problem with my execution of this plan was that I only read the first line of the pattern, which says to do the eight lines of the lace pattern twice. And I followed the lace chart completely through–twice. The edge was pretty, but not a bit like the photo I’d been drawn to in the book. I looked more closely. I was supposed to have put a straight knitted row in between every row of the lace chart, and the chart itself represented two repeats of the pattern. Oops. So my lace is unique. That didn’t bother me so much given that what I ended up with was still pretty, but my blue-eyed Dorothy had been watching me knit this and thought it was so nice, and then when I tried it on the color wasn’t very good for me. It made my autumn colors and green eyes look sickly, which is never the look I’m going for. Then I popped it on my daughter’s head and it was gorgeous. The blue is just the right color for her eyes and porcelain skin. So there you go, a hat for Dorothy. I have some heathery purple yarn left over from some other projects and I think I may try the hat again in those colors for myself. And I’ll enjoy my handiwork in a place I can see it better, on the head of my oldest!