Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

Once again, I had a bunch of baby knitting to do! My sweet friend, Jamie, had another adorable daughter in August. Since it was so hot in August, I waited, and made two little sweaters that she could wear once the weather cooled off.
 The first sweater was the Pretty Baby Sweater and I used Caron Simply soft yarn in a lovely mint green. I was lucky and found three buttons in almost the same color . Since the borders of this sweater are all in seed stitch I wanted to find a hat that used it as well. The Pixie Hat has a face framing border of seed stitch while the band that goes around the neck is knitted.  
 The other little sweater I made, also out of Caron Simply Soft, was the Baby Boy Five Hour Sweater. I don't know why they named it as a boy sweater. It is cute for either a girl or a boy. I used the Poppy hat pattern to match the ridges on the sweater. Cute little pearl buttons finished off both patterns.
 By the time I got to the next baby being born I was rather tired of baby sweaters. I'd had this pattern in my favorites on Rav for quite a while and decided to finally use it. It is Mrs. Brak's Drawstring Bottom Baby Kimono with Raglan Shaping. Cute, simple and perfect for a boy or girl. The three buttons are actually teddy bears, so cute! I used Sirdar Snuggly Dk in a mint green for it. The yarn was actually gifted to me in an RAK on Ravelry. I received two huge boxes of DK weight yarn and I've been putting it to use!
My friend, Ann, went into labor on Black Friday which was a month before her due date. Thankfully, her sweet baby girl was healthy and happy. She has been having trouble with her bilirubin and is using a biliblanket at home. She even wears this outfit while doing so. This time I wanted to do pink and white stripes. It went fine until the piece went to knitting in the round. I used a jogless stripe method for the color changes, but I could still see them and it drives me batty. The hat is the pattern For Eliana. For this ensemble the yarn used was Lion Brand Babysoft. It was also part of the huge RAK of DK weight yarn. The bootie pattern is Evening Baby Booties that is an old pattern that Danielle shared on her blog. Very easy and very cute!

Since May I have knit for 5 babies. I gotta admit I am tired of the baby patterns. Plus, it is hard to tell if the people like what they are getting. Some people send thank you cards, some tell you thank you and tag you in pictures on Facebook of their babies actually wearing the stuff, and some don't even acknowledge that you've sent them something. I love seeing the babies in the gifts I knitted. I've made it for them to use and that is the best thank you.

Still, I'm tired of little buttons. I'm ready to knit some stuff for myself. I just have to get through the few gifts I am knitting for Christmas. I've cut the list way down this year, but I do have a few things. Then I am making myself a sweater. Yippee!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Something for Me

 Back in the spring I had the chance to buy 4 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the Hollyhock color. I had planned to make a specific wrap with it, but after really looking at the pattern and other finished projects I decided I really didn't like it. So the yarn spent many months waiting for an idea.

I never actually looked for a pattern for the yarn. One day I was going through my favorites on Ravelry and came across the Cabled Pocket Shawl. I decided to make it and was going to get some inexpensive yarn to do so. Then I remembered the Malabrigo. I had been saving it for something 'special' but realized that saving it was pointless. I needed to use that great yarn and use it for something that I would use frequently!

The shawl is made in two pieces. I knit the inside of the pockets first then started on the first side. What a great knit! Easy enough to watch tv while doing or to take it along in the car. The cable is easy and looks great. Adding the inside of the pocket was simple. I knitted the pattern repeat 22 times per side so 44 times total. To join the pieces I did the three needle bind off. I like the  way it looks and it really doesn't stand out. I know some people didn't like having the seam and some did a kitchener stitch to join them. I didn't care for how the ones with the kitchener seam looked so I stayed with the 3 needle bind off. The pockets had to be attached and the top to them knit. Not a big deal. I debated knitting the tops in seed stitch like borders of the shawl, but after checking out other projects I decided I liked the ribbed top.

I've worn this shawl several times. It is warm without being bulky and stays in place. I LOVE the pockets! I like sticking my hands in them as I walk and I like having a place to stick a tissue. I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Tale of Three Wedding Shawls

 My oldest friend, or rather the friend I've had the longest, recently got married. When I found out she was engaged I decided I was going to make her a wedding shawl. I rushed out with the idea in mind that I would make the Miami Beach Shawl by Vera Sanon. I got the Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima in white and set off. I picked this pattern because it had some lace on it, but not so much that I thought I couldn't get it done in time. I don't like to knit a lot of lace since I frequently get interrupted and stitches tend to fall off. I felt this pattern could be set aside fairly easy. Plus, this shawl could easily make the transition into being used as an everyday shawl. I did breeze through the pattern without any major mishaps and it was quickly sent to my friend.

Then my friend found her wedding dress. It was ivory, not white. Once again, I was looking for yarn and a pattern. My friend was very happy with the first shawl and was planning to use it, but I wanted something that would match her dress. Since time was now a bit of an issue I had to find a worsted weight yarn and a easier pattern.

 I found The Warm Way Shawl by Agrarian Artisan. It is a beautiful pattern made with a lovely warm wool. I went with Bernat Sequin yarn. Why? Well, budget was an issue as was time. I wanted a yarn that had a little sparkle to it. Overall, I think it turned out well and it is the one that Caroline used. I think she looks beautiful!

My biggest problem with the shawl was blocking it. I didn't have blocking wires so it didn't block out as large and the edges were not flat. Actually, the edge is more of a small ruffle. I'd love to make the pattern again with a warm, colorful wool and block it properly.

Blocking wires, or not having them, turned out to be a problem with the shawl I made for myself. I planned to wear it to the wedding, but instead used it the next day. I am going to have to re-block it and be a bit more aggressive with it. And getting some blocking wires before doing so will probably help.

I love the color and pattern. The yarn is Knit Picks Palette in the color tranquil. The pattern is Line Break by Veera Valimaki. I knit it with no problems until the end. An inch into the eyelet border I dropped two stitches. It turned into a crazy mess. I had to rip it back to the start of the eyelet section. Still, I like it a lot and once it is blocked properly I think I will use it frequently.

Three shawls made for one wedding! All great patterns resulting in lovely shawls.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My First Socks!

 I finally finished my first pair of socks. It took me a long time to finish them, but to be fair, I would knit on them and then set them aside while I did many other projects. Once I finished the first one I flew through the second and finished it in less than a week.
I am really quite pleased with them.
 The pattern is Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley and is a free pattern on Ravelry. The leg of the sock in knit in a knit 3, purl 1 rib. It is a great first-time sock knitter pattern and I highly recommend it. The directions are very well written and very easy for me, as a first-timer, to do.  
The yarn I used was a gift from the lovely Twikka that she sent to me in the Summertime Swap last year. The yarn is Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball in the color jade. I love the yarn and it comes in some fantastic colorways.

Overall, it was a great experience for a first time sock knitter!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cephalopod Yarns

 In June Cephalopod Yarns was having an Afghans for Afghans fundraiser. They were collecting knitted and crocheted items like hats, socks, and scarves. If you made something and sent it to them by the end of the month they would send you a code that would get you a free skein of Bugga! yarn.
Bugga! is 380 yards of 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon. It also costs $32. I admit, I wanted some of that yarn and I was willing to make a hat to get it. Normally, I would look at the yarn and say "someday" and end up never getting it. I just have a hard time spending that much on myself. Having this fundraiser enabled me to support their project, make a hat and get some kick ass yarn in return.
I paid $2.29 for shipping and got this beautiful yarn! The color is Ghost Moth and my pictures do not do it justice. I've just started a project with it, but you'll have to wait for it to be finished before I post any pictures.

If you get a chance check out Cephalopod Yarns. They have some great colors and the yarn is nice, too ;-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cakewalk Yarns

Back in May I participated in another swap with the A Swap in Time group on Ravelry. This swap had us making up a package based on what our partner liked to drink, coffee, tea, hot chocolate. We were also suppose to give a skein of indie dyed yarn made in the state we live in.

I checked Etsy and found Cakewalk Yarns. I picked out the superwash merino and nylon yarn in the color Cherry Blossom. It is 463 yards of sock weight yarn. It is very soft and looks quite nice when knitted up.
Check out and shipping was easy and fast and I totally want to get some yarn for myself! I recommend that you check out the Etsy site. There are a few worsted weight and DK weight yarn, too. The colors are fun and she updates the shop regularly. Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

I want one in my size

Mark's cousin's daughter is having a baby in early August. I was invited to the baby shower that was being given for her, but I knew I would not be able to go to it. Instead, I knit a sweet little summer sweater for the baby. This pattern is the Abagail Sweater and is a free pattern on Ravelry. It is very similar to the February Lady Sweater.

The yarn used was EuroBaby Cuddly Cotton in a light pinkish color. I did change the closure of this sweater. I added the three buttons instead of using the band closure that the patterns calls for. It was mainly just a personal preference in doing so. I found some small buttons that were very close in color.

I sent the sweater to the shower with the grandma (soon to be great-grandma!) of the girl having the baby. At the shower one of grandma's sisters said she wanted a sweater just like this but in her size. Later that message was passed to me. I have to admit I am very flattered by the request. It means that someone thought my little baby sweater was beautiful. Of course, it does make me laugh because the amount of time that goes into making an adult sweater is a lot more than a baby one.

My plan after finishing this little sweater was to finish the 4 projects I still have on needles. Then I have a baby sweater for another friend (she's due in August, too) and after that I have two more friends that are due around December. I plan to make each a baby sweater for their little ones. Of course, I really want to make a cardigan for myself and I had a couple of patterns for the kids that I wanted to make before school starts. I really do have a lot of projects that I want to make!

I feel a little guilty for not wanting to make her a sweater. In a way I feel like I couldn't ask for her to pay for more than the yarn since she is Mark's aunt. So, for now, I am treating it as a compliment.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yes, More Baby Knitting

Another pregnant friend means more baby knitting. Not that I mind! I do have one more friend that is expecting so I will have to make some more baby items before August.
 I made the Puerperium Cardigan again. I think it is easy, fast, and super cute. I used Lion Brand Babysoft yarn. It is not the softest yarn, although it did soften after a soak.

I wanted to have a hat to go with the sweater and I settled on the Berry Baby Hat. It is a cute hat and the pattern worked with the yarn I had available.

The Evening Baby Booties are from a vintage pattern that Danielle put up on her blog with my bare hands. The booties are darling and a quick knit. I crocheted a small chain to use as the tie.

Overall, I think the three pieces made an adorable set. My friend was thrilled with them and sent me a lovely thank you card.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Colonnade Shawl

I finally got to make one of the shawls that has been in my favorites list on Ravelry for some time. This is the Colonnade Shawl by Stephen West. I love the way it is constructed. It stays on your shoulders very well. It was very windy on the day I wore it and yet it stayed put.
After reading the project notes by other knitters, I wrote out each row of the four row repeat. Then after I finished each row I would check it off. This helped keep me clear as to which row I was on. Plus, it made the rows with all the yarn overs easy to navigate. I did a total of ten times through the openwork repeats. For the cast off I used Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.
An interesting little note about yarn for this shawl...when the shawl pattern was first published the yarn used was Manos del Uruguay. It has been 3 or 4 years since then. I don't know if the quality of that yarn has changed or if the author just got a good batch. I bought Manos del Uruguay for this shawl, but my finished shawl is not knitted in it. The Manos I had was terrible. It ranged from being so thick it was like unspun wool to being so thin that it was like thread. Then in a couple of spots there would be a tiny knot and in those places there was no dye. So every so often there would be a tiny stitch in white.
The Manos yarn was a splurge for me. I liked the shawl enough that I wanted to use the same yarn and have a warm, comfy shawl. Instead, I paid a lot of money for yarn I hate. I did try to knit with it. I made it all the way through 3 repeats before I frogged it. I just could not make this beautiful shawl with yarn that looked so terrible. The stitches were all over the place and some yarn overs would be huge, others very small. I ended up using some Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. I use this yarn a lot, I love it, but it wasn't the right yarn for how I wanted this shawl to turn out. I wanted a bulkier, larger shawl. The Shepherd's Wool, while lovely, seems to behave more like a DK weight than an Aran weight. I do love my shawl and I use it, but I want to make this pattern again using a bulky weight yarn. In fact, I found some yarn at the Clever Ewe in a nearby town. Now I just have to save for it! The Manos yarn is up for sale if anyone wants it. It is a lovely dark teal color. I have three balls of it (138 yards per ball). I paid almost $40 for it and will happily sell it for $20 (or a $20 gift card to Knit Picks). Of course, after telling you everything that is wrong with it, I don't expect any takers! Oh well!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A tale of Three Easter Sweaters

I did manage to make each of the kids a sweater for Easter. I actually finished Gavin's Saturday and was sewing buttons on all three Saturday night. My poor fingers were like pin cushions!
Gavin and Henry's sweater is Tama by Kelly Brooker. It is started as a piece that you knit back and forth. Lots of stitch markers are used to mark off the front, back and sleeve stitches. This is great because you keep track of stitch counts so much easier. Once you reach the correct number of stitches you out the sleeve stitches on a past a waste yarn. Then the first 4 stitches and the last 4 stitches are knit together, turning 8 stitches into 4. Now, it is one piece and is knit in the round until the appropriate length. The sleeves are knit after and can be made short or long.
Only the top button is functioning. I picked out the top buttons for the sweaters so that they all matched. I let the kids choose what they wanted for the other buttons.
Irene's sweater is the sister pattern to the Tama. It is Hine by Kelly Brooker. The construction is basically the same. The neck is higher and is knit in ribbing just like the sleeve and bottom edges. The sleeves are knit in a lace pattern and I just love how it looks!
Gavin picked out dinosaur buttons. He loves dinosaurs and I had a hard time getting him to let me sew these on the sweater!
Henry picked out red airplanes. I wasn't sure about the color, but it is his sweater and if he wants red then he gets red :-)
Irene picked out seashell buttons. After some thought, she settled on purple and yellow ones.
I highly recommend these patterns. I bought them together in an e-book for $8. The size only goes up to a 6 but it starts 12-18 month and gives you seven sizes total. It also gives the pattern in different yarn weight. I used the worsted weight pattern and used Bernat Satin yarn.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Socks and Sweaters

Not much new to report in the knitting realm of my life. I've been working on my sock. I've turned the heel and am working my way to the toe. Right now, the sock has been set aside because I am working on Easter sweaters for the kids. Yup, I'm making three sweaters in one month. To be fair, the sweaters have short sleeves so there isn't as much knitting. I've finished Henry's sweater and am a good way through Irene's. I do need to get three buttons for each, but I am going to make the trip to JoAnn's once all the sweaters are done. Then the kids can pick out what they would like. I also want to knit myself a shawl to wear for Easter. I haven't taken on too much...have I?
The last couple of days we've had beautiful weather. It is crazy to think that last week at this time we were at 27 degrees and so cold!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Mom, an Afghan and Me

A few of my mom's squares
I have the afghan squares my mom made for the Great North American Afghan. I have 22 of the 24 squares. I don't know if she never got around to those last two or if they've been lost. Also, I don't have the pattern book. I want to make the last two squares and put the afghan together. It is something that is very important to me. I have finally found a place that actually has the pattern book! WEBS has a copy in stock. One of these days I am going to be able to get it. Then I will find yarn similar in color and make those last two squares. I cannot wait to have something that will be made by both my mother and me!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Baby Gifts

Aren't baby knits cute? I made this little set for the mom of one of the boys Irene goes to school with. She is due anytime with a girl and said she wasn't really prepared yet. Of course, I felt like I needed to come home and "knit all the things!" for the baby. Instead I looked at what yarn I had available and picked out a couple of patterns that would work with them.
This is the Puerperium Cardigan. I had one small ball of Sidar Snuggly left and I knew I could get through the body of the cardigan with no problem. Once I got to the sleeves I was worried about not having enough yarn. My other problem was that I did not have the correct size double pointed needles. I used a size smaller needle and decided to make a three quarter length sleeve. I finally got buttons for it the other day. I wanted the buttons to be a similar color to the baby bonnet that I made.
The Baby Bonnet is from the book More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. It was super quick and knitted flat. I used a small amount of Shepherd's Wool in the Lakeshore color. The buttons on the hat are pink to match the color of the cardigan.
The Baby Socks are from the same book as the hat. Again, I used a small amount of left-over Berroco Comfort DK and knitted these quite quickly. The socks are made just like an adult sock so technically these are my first finished pair of socks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hoo! Hoo!

I received an email from my brother, Matt, saying that he loved the hat I made him. I wrote about the hat, Welldigger, as well as the other items that I sent in a recent post. Apparently, my sister-in-law, Kaye, also liked the hat and kept stealing it from him. Clearly, she needed her own! I decided to use some of my favorite wool, Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherd's Wool, and make her the Owl Hat by Bonnie Jacobs.

If you've read my knitting blog before you know that I love the Shepherd's Wool and I have a small amount stashed. I gotta like you a lot to use it on a project for you! Anyway, I loved the owl pattern and it was free. I didn't have the correct needles so I used a size 6 and 8. I also cast on enough stitches to make two extra owls. The pattern was quick and easy and just a lot of fun to knit. It was fun to watch the owls come together with each row.

For the eyes, I only put button eyes on one owl. I figured it was a bit more subtle. A lot of the finished projects had eyes on all owls, multi-colored buttons and beads were used. I like a lot of the ideas people came up with. If I was to make the hat for one of my kids I would let them pick out beads or buttons for the eyes.

I haven't heard from my sister-in-law regarding the hat, but how can she not like it? It's cute owls!

I apologize for no links in this post. For some reason, I cannot get the links in the correct places.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I'm finding it a little difficult to knit this way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birthday Monster with a Vest

This morning I awoke to Henry asking me if he could play with Eric's monster. A quick "no" from me as I grabbed my glasses. "Can you make me a monster?" Ugh. I haven't even had a cup of coffee yet. I probably shouldn't have left the birthday monster I made for my nephew on the table last night. When I shuffled into the dinning room the monster was still on the table, not being played with, but it was surrounded by every other monster in this house plus a dog, giraffe, bear and sock monkey.
The monster I made for Eric is a jumble of three monster patterns by Rebecca Danger. I just didn't have it in me to knit another exact pattern, and since I can't get her monster book from the library, I decided to just improvise. It is not the best looking monster, but it is kinda cute. It is made from the leftover yarn that I had from the Christmas monsters. I also made a sweater vest for Eric. This pattern is from the book More Last minute Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. The letter is put on using duplicate stitch after the sweater is finished. Again, I used the yarn I had available here.
For the most part this sweater was an easy knit. Once you get to the arm holes you start having to put stitches on holders. I think at one point I had six holders with stitches. For the arm holes and neck there is no set amount of stitches to pick up. The directions are to pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows. Not too difficult, but I like to know about how many I should have. Still, I like this little vest and I think I will make one for each of my kids.

I finally finished up the cowl I had been making for my sis-in-law, Kaye. It is made with the one ball of brushed baby alpaca yarn that I had hanging around. It is not very long, but it is very soft and I think it will be warm as well.

I also made a hat for my brother Matt. Again, it is made from the leftover yarn. The pattern is Welldigger Hat from Ravelry. So easy to make and I love the way it looks. My picture is not good and doesn't not show this hat off. It looks cool and it did not take a lot of time.

Henry wants me to make him a Hippo. I am waiting for two pattern books from the library. Each has a Hippo pattern and I'll let him decided which he wants. He wants the Hippo to be red which is good since I do have some leftover red yarn hanging around. Of course, now he wants me to make him a Louie the Lovebot while we wait for the pattern books. Sooooooo not gonna happen.
I told the hubby that I am doing selfish knitting for a while. I have a ruffled scarf that I started months ago and that is what I'm going to work on. Plus, I have my first socks to make. I will be the one sitting in the corner petting my yarn while whispering "Mine. All mine." Well, I will be until the darn library books come!