Saturday, June 17, 2017

FO: Peppermint Mocha Socks

To be totally honest, I don't love these socks.  Not a huge fan of the yarn and I really don't like short row heels.  Luckily, my mother loves them so she gets a gift!  :)

yarn details
Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Kettle Dye
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 74767
80% Wool, 20% Nylon
machine wash, lay flat to dry
$10.99 per 357 yard / 100 gram ball

project details
pattern: "Peppermint Mocha Socks" by C.C. Almon; available to purchase for $5.50 on Ravelry
needles: size 1.5 (2.5mm) wood dpns (knit picks)
yarn used: 0.78 skeins (279 yards)
size knit: medium (CO 64 st)
finished size: top of cuff to bottom of heel: 7.5”; top off cuff to top of heel: ~5.5”; back of heel to end of toe: 9”
duration: December 24, 2016 - April 2, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

FO: Blackbaud Booties

I work with a brilliant woman who is working magic on our database at work.  I was both excited and sad when I learned she was expected.  Excited, because, duh,; babies = happy news.  But sad, because it meant she would go on maternity leave!!  haha.  Anyway, our database is a Blackbaud product, so there are my Blackbaud Booties!

I was such a fan of the Rainbow Steps Baby Booties I made last year so I decided to whip up another pair.  I got some flack that the original pair was super tiny, so I made these ones on size 2 needles so they'd be a little bigger.  (This messed up the stripe sequence a bit, but I managed).

Rainbow Baby Booties

And, for the naysayers, proof this pair will actually fit a baby:

yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow (24194)
dye lot 46549
fingering weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine Wash, Tumble Dry Low
218 yards / 50 grams @ $5.49 each

project details
pattern: "Blue Steps - Baby Booties" by Regina Willer (free on her blog); used the rewritten version by hellahelan  (on her project page on Ravelry)
needles: size 2 wood dpns
yarn used: about 20% of each ball - a little more than 74 yards total (I forgot to make exact measurements... oops!)
gauge: again, forgot to measures
finished size: ...guess what?
duration: March 11, 2017 - April 2, 2016

  • Helpful tip: when you want to make booties match exactly in self-striping yarn, it's important to note exactly where you are in the stripe sequence when you cast on, including the length of the yarn you use for the cast on tail.  Here, I started at the beginning of the orange stripe and made a CO tail the length of my arm. Writing this note down helps you start in exactly the same place on the second bootie.
  • To add the bows, knit a 7'' 2 stitch i-cord, tie in a bow and stitch to front of bootie (I added the bows to cover up the section in one of the booties where the color change looked weird in the garter stitch).
  • As I mentioned below, the stripe sequence didn't work out as perfectly as it did last time on the smaller needles.  At the top of the booties, there was only one row of red and it bugged me, so I decided to cut the purple stripe short and make the red stripe a little longer: I did ten rows HBS in the purple, broke the yarn and added in the red (Russian join), did four rows HBS in the red, then the 8 rows of plain stockinette (the part at the top that rolls over).  Hooray for problem-solving!
  • Originally thought I'd do a white sole on these, like clouds around a rainbow, but I hated how it looked...  way too much like candy corn!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Do you row out? Or do you knit like a master?

As you know, I'm a huge fan of Craftsy!  It's actually a little sad for me, because I basically have all the classes, so I just wait anxiously for them to release something new!  Anyway, I feel compelled to share a quick tip from one of my favorite classes, Knit Like a Master, taught by Ann Budd (FYI: those are affiliate links).

Funny story: I was knitting up a baby blanket while watching the part of the class on gauge when Ann started talking about a phenomenon called "rowing out," that happens when your purl stitches are looser than your knit stitches.  It shows up most obviously on the reverse side of stockinette where you see ridges on the back of your work.  So, as I was knitting this mostly-stockinette blanket, I looked down and there they were!  Totally obvious ridges.

It's weird that I've never noticed this in my knitting until now!  To be fair, I rarely knit flat and rarely knit large swatches of stockinette.  Still, when you've been knitting for 15 years, it's surprising and kind of exciting to learn something new about such a basic thing as stockinette stitch.

Anyway... here's the quick tip I promised you: set up your knitting so you are working your purl rows with a needle one size smaller than your knit rows.  I didn't feel like ripping out this blanket and starting over to try it, but I will definitely do it next time!

Thank you, Ann!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ro, Ro, Ro Your Boat!

Here's another Ro for ya!

yarn details
Peter Pan Merino Baby DK in Turquoise
DK weight
dye lot 006
100% wool
50 g / 124 yards @ $7.95

8mm safety eyes (I think?)
polyfill stuffing

project details
pattern: "Ro the Tiny Monster" by Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches, $4 available on Ravelry or here.
hook: D (3.25mm)
gauge: small
yarn used: 36 yards
duration: March 8 - 14, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Life Lessons Learned From Knitting

I have learned so many life lessons from knitting.  Perhaps one day I will compile them all into an amazingly insightful post.  For now, here are some lessons I learned this week.

How Not to Turn a Small Problem into a Big Problem...

I purchased this kind of pricey but gorgeous self-striping yarn on etsy that I absolutely love.  When I started to knit with it, a small tangle started to develop.  I was so enthralled with watching the stripe sequence unfold, that I didn't want to stop to try to sort out the tangle.  Instead, I just kept pulling yarn from the center of the skein and tugging it through the center of the tangle, making the mess bigger and more tangley with every pull.  Eventually, I had yanked so much of the center out that it was now three large interconnected tangles and it was impossible to pull any more through the original knot.

I wish I had taken a photo at this point so you can see what it looked like.  But, I was too frustrated to document my mistake.  Here is the only photo I took - when I was nearly finished with the great untangling.

Back to the story: So, when I couldn't knit any further, I was finally forced to address my mistake.  I had a huge knot that had to be sorted out and I couldn't use any scissors to snip out the really crazy parts because that would interrupt the stripe sequence.  I also had my knitting attached to one end that I also couldn't cut off while I worked.  I simply had to start at the very end and start rolling a ball, un-twisting and un-tangling as I went.  No joke: I spent over 5 hours untangling my yarn.  I probably could have finished the entire first sock in that time.

The thing is, if I had just stopped as soon as the tangle appeared it probably would have taken me 10 minutes to sort it out.  I took a small problem and, through my unwillingness to address it right away, I created a massive disaster.

So, here is your basic life lesson, folks:

The best time to troubleshoot a problem is the moment you see it. The longer you carry on without fixing a problem, the more difficult it to going to be to fix later.  And, there will come a time when you can't ignore it any longer.  Problms won't go away just because you decide to ignore them.  More likely, they are probably just going to get bigger the longer they go unaddressed.

.... and a bonus lesson:

If you don't learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them.

I hate to admit this, but I have done this exact same thing before.  It was with a yarn that had an almost identical make up.  When it happened the first time, I didn't pay much attention to what had caused the mistake.  When it happened this second time, I put a lot more thought into why this happened and how I could prevent it from happening again.

I realized that this a loosely twisted yarn and it has a bit of a "halo" around it made up of fibers that didn't get caught up in the twist.  When you put it in a center pull ball, every time you pull the yarn out, it rubs against itself and those loose fibers pull off and form into little balls that attach two parts of the yarn together.  Thus, every time I forced more yarn through the center of all those little tangles, it caused more friction and just created more of these areas where yarn is getting fused together.

And here is a lesson that's actually about knitting:

When you are working with loosely twisted yarn, do not wind it into a center pull ball!!  If I had just pulled my yarn from the outside instead of the center, it wouldn't have created any friction that caused the little fiber balls that caused the tangles.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


So, I'm the girl who loves her job so much, that she knit a hat in the brand colors...  Actually, to make things worse, I knit it for my boss, but I don't think it will fit him, so I'm keeping it for myself.  :)

yarn details
Cascade 220 Superwash in Black
100% superwash wool
worsted weight
dye lot 1805001
100 grams/220 yds @ $8.40  (purchased 1/2017 online from WEBS)

Red Heart Soft in Turquoise and Tangerine

Cascade Sateen in Fuschia

project details
pattern: "Flying Ace Aviator Hat" by Cheryl Andrews (purchase on Ravelry for $5)
size: adult (large, I believe)
needles: size 6
yarn used: 160 yards black (73% of the ball); tiny amounts of the accent colors
duration: January 28 - February 8, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

FO: Meandering Rib Scarf

I knit this project to practice my continental knitting.  Same pattern as my wave rib scarf.  I think I did a little better with it this time around, still not so sure about continental though....

yarn details
Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Black
dye lot 75579
worsted weight
100% Superwash Merino Wool

machine wash gentle cold, dry flat
110 yards / 50 grams @ $4.69 each

project details
pattern:  Meandering Rib Scarf by Lion Brand Yarn available for free here
needles: size 6 (circs)
yarn used: 3.8 skeins (418 yards)
finished size: 82'' x 5.5'' (unblocked)
duration: November 1, 2015 - January 23, 2016

  • Knit continental style.