Sunday, May 20, 2018

FO: Grand Canyon Socks

Another pair of stripey socks!!  I made these for a friend of mine who loves to hike, and, as a bonus, I knit a good part of them while I was at the Grand Canyon , so they are totally an ode to his nature-loving self.

yarn details
Knit Picks Felici* in Steamer Trunk 
    *affiliate link - meaning I may get a commission if you buy something upon my recommendation ☺
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 18515
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$3.84 per 50 g /218 yd ball purchased September 2017

project details
pattern: "A Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel" by Emily B. Miller; available as a free Ravelry download - with an accompanying YouTube video.
needles: size 1.5 wood DPNs
yarn used: 353 yards - 1.62 balls (81 grams)
size knit: CO 64 stitches
gauge: sorry - forgot to measure
finished size: bottom of heel to top of sock: 10.5''; back of heel to tip of toe: 9.75''; circumference: ~7''
duration: November 4, 2017 - April 22, 2018

  • As usual, I did a German twisted cast on - my favorite! Check out this cool Craftsy class on cast-ons and bind-offs*, to learn how to do it.
    *another affiliate link... gotta earn some yarn money!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gifts for The Knitting Mama!

I'll start this post off with two disclaimers:

  1. First, I'm a cat-mom, not a people-mom (but I still know a thing or two about gifts knitters like to receive).
  2. Second: I'm sharing some amazing etsy products today and I'm using affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you use them (but I would recommend an etsy shopping spree with or without a commission because I freakin' love to shop handmade!)

With those out of the way, here is my First Annual Spicy Knitter Mother's Day Gift Guide!!  Because every mom - cat-moms included - need these things in their life:

For Cat-Moms and Cat-Fancier People-Moms...

The World's Best Mother's Day Card ($3)

As I said, this gift guide is appropriate for cat-moms and people-moms, and this mother's day card does double-duty on that front.  (Sorry dog-moms... go find your own gift guide!)

Cat Mother's Day Card
Photo Credit: SimonsNest

For Moms Across the Pond...

Knitting Mum Needle Case ($21)

For all the "mums" out there, you absolutely need a special case to hold your knitting needles! (I use a ziplock bag, which is so pathetic that I can't even believe I'm admitting it in public).

Mum's Knitting Needles
Photo Credit: KellyConnorDesigns

For Procrastinating Cat-Moms...

Knitter's To Do List ($8)

Pretty much every to-do list that I make is titled "Things to Do Before I Can Knit," so, this pre-printed to-do list stationary would save me a ton of time - time I could spend knitting.

Knitter's To-Do List
Photo Credit: theclevercove

True Story: at the time I wrote this post, there was only one of these babies left in stock... and I bought it.  I'm still including it in my gift guide in case the shop owner re-lists it.  I hope she does because I will need a replacement in 50 days. ☺

For Generous Moms (is there any other kind?)...

Personalized Made With Love Buttons ($16)

I recently bought these engraved made with love buttons to put a final touch on the gift wrap when I give people handmade gifts.  I'll write another post soon to show mine off, I just haven't gotten a great picture yet. At $16 + $5.50 shipping for 50 buttons, they are a great deal and will probably last the rest of my gift-giving lifetime.

It may feel a little weird to give your mom a gift that basically says "hey, use this next time you give me a gift," but I doubt she'll interpret it that way.  They are too cute and any knitter would adore them!

Photo Credit: Cutpie

I also have a runner-up in this category, which I almost purchased but didn't because it is already half-way through 2018.  These are one-inch discs with a hole at the top and the general idea is that it would have had my initials and the year I made the item, so the tag would become like a little keepsake/collectible for the recipient, especially if they receive many handknit gifts throughout the years - I could even see some of my family members using it as a Christmas ornament.  I like this idea because handknit socks definitely come with an expiration date and the recipients get sad when theirs wear out, but at least this way they'd have a little reminder of the love that went into the gift.

Also, I had a conversation with the shop owner when I was considering buying these, and he was very amenable to the idea of customizing the design - you don't have to use one of the stock templates pictured in the listing.
Engraved gift tag
Photo Credit: OTWorkshop

For The World's Greatest Mom...

Knitting Mom Keychain ($7)

I know knitters and I can tell you that they take great pride in their work.  I also know my mom, and she is pretty damn proud of how I turned out.  So, I think this keychain would make a great gift for the knitting mama since it incorporates all the things she is proud of.  Plus, it will have her initial on it, so she won't mix up her keys with all the other "world's greatest" moms in her knitting circle.

True story: there is only one left in stock and I may buy it for myself.  You should act fast.

Photo Credit: LittlePinkBox

For Moms Who Like Ink
(and for those who don't!)...

Knitting Temporary Tattoo ($2)

Does your mom give you a hard time about your tattoos? Give her a taste of the inky fun with this awesome temporary tattoo for knitters.  This would be a fun gift to pop inside your greeting card, which is especially convenient if mom lives out of state.

Knitting Tattoo
Photo Credit: sparkleyassbitch
(sorry about the cursing there, Mom!)

For Fashionable Moms...

Monogrammed Knitting Bag ($35)

This monogrammed knitting bag isn't all "in your face" about knitting, like the other gifts I've selected.  But where it lacks in silliness, it makes up for it in classiness.  It's the spendiest item on my list, but I think it's definitely worth the splurge.  There is also a matching needle case if you really want to splurge!  (And you should.  It's for your mom, after all).

Knitting Bag
Photo Credit: GemimaLondon

And... last but not least...  be sure to check out my etsy shop for cute knitting buttons! ($6)

These are just some of the fun gifts I've spotted for the knitting mama in your life.  Etsy has a whole landing page of gifts curated for mothers - lots of gorgeous jewelry on there that I may get for my own mom! (She doesn't knit, but that's basically her only flaw).

Sunday, April 29, 2018

FO: Shine On Socks

Heads up! This post contains affiliate links to my favorite places to buy knitting goodies: Knit Picks and Etsy.  I get a small commission if you make a purchase based on my recommendations in this post.

I have coveted Cookie A's BFF sock pattern for years and I can't say what took me so long to knit a pair, but I finally did!  I bought this bright yellow sock yarn on a whim and when I started knitting with it, I couldn't get our Executive Director out of my mind.  She always signs off her emails with the phrase, "Shine On," and that's how I felt about these socks.  Hence, they earned their name and future owner.

FYI - my adorable sock blockers came from Yarn Stories on Etsy. Shipped all the way from Lithuania, and completely worth the wait! 😃

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll in Dandelion (buy here)
Dye Lot 198304
Fingering Weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$4.69 (minus a Black Friday discount!) per 50 g/231 yd skein (purchased in November 2017)

project details
pattern: "BFF Socks" by Cookie A - available on Ravelry to purchase individually, or in the Knit. Sock. Love. book.
needles: size 1.5 (2.5 mm) wood dpns (specifically, these ones)
gauge: nope
yarn used: 360 yards - 1.56 skeins (78 grams)
size knit: small (CO 64 stitches)
finished size: forgot to measure, but I made them to fit a 6.5 shoe size
duration: December 3, 2017 - March 2018


Sunday, April 22, 2018

FO: Love My Doll Sweater

Here is another adorable sweater I made for my American Girl Doll, Athena.  I typically shy away from intarsia and seaming, so this was sort of a strange pattern choice for me, since it required both.  But, that's the nice thing about making doll clothes: they are so small that even if you don't love a technique, it will be over quick!

I used random yarn from my stash for this one.  It was a grey acrylic and some pink Cascade 220 - both left over from amigurumi projects.  The pink yarn was actually sport weight, but it didn't seem to make a difference in the finished product - you can't tell.

Check out my project page on Ravelry if you are curious about all the knitty gritty details (see what I did there?)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

FO: In and Out Socks

Heads up! This post contains affiliate links to Knit Picks, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase using the links below.

I set out to make a pair of socks for my Aunt Bev, but she spend her winters in Florida so I opted for a nice lace pattern that hopefully won't be too warm for her to enjoy.  I think they turned out lovely.

When I picked this pattern by looking at the pictures, I thought there was going to be some cabling happening, but the lace pattern is actually just all made out of regular & double decreases/increases, so it was actually pretty simple.  I wasn't sure I likes the end result, but it all evened out nicely when I blocked them on a sock blocker.  (Little known fact: I rarely wet block using a sock blocker because I think it can stretch out the sock too much, I find laying them flat to dry is fine for almost every pattern... except this one, apparently.)

Here is a close up of the lace on the leg:

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll in Wonderland Heather (buy here)
Dye Lot 194365
Fingering Weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$4.69 per 50 g/231 yd skein (purchased in September 2017)

project details
pattern: "In and Out" by Cookie A - available on Ravelry to purchase individually, or in the Knit. Sock. Love. book.
needles: size 1 (2.25 mm) nickel-plated circs (Knit Picks fixed ciculars)
gauge: 17 stitches & 24 rows over 2'' in stockinette (after blocking)
yarn used: 332 yards - 1.44 skeins (72 grams)
size knit:(one size)
finished size: bottom of heel to top of sock: 8''; back of heel to tip of toe: 10''; circumference: ~7'' (this was my attempt at a women's shoe size 7.5, but I think it may be a bit on the large side for her)
duration: October 21, 2017 - January 10, 2018

  • As you know, I'm not a fan of the way Cookie A does toes - which is totally just a personal preference, nothing wrong with the way she does them, per se.  Anyway, I think they are too pointy, so I always modify to round them out - working the decreases every other round until 40 stitches remain, then on every round until 20 stitches remain.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

FO: Corporate Colors Hat

When I started this hat knit up in our brand colors, I meant to offer it up as a Yankee Swap gift at the company holiday party... then we decided to scrap that activity, so it became kind of a random ownerless hat (so, I guess it's for me, but I don't really need another hat!).  Anyway, I just made it out of yarn from the stash and it was a quick knit, so no harm done. :)

Corporate Colors Knit Hat

I'm a little behind on posting FO's to the blog, so in the interest of time, I just going to link to my Ravelry page for this project instead of including all the details here: enjoy!