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Saturday, November 21, 2015

FO: Toleware Hat

Yes, I already have a million hats, but when I saw this simple hat with the cute embroidery on Ravelry, I knew I had to make one more!  But, to be totally honest, this project was a little disappointing for me.  I thought it was going to be cabled, but it turns out that it is sort of just a mock cable - that's fine, it's just not what I was expecting - it wasn't as challenging of a knit as I would have liked.

Also, the pattern instructions for the embroidery weren't what I needed and I couldn't get mine to look like the sample.  After several tries, I just ripped it out and did my own thing.  I was willing to pay $6 for this pattern because I wanted those embroidery instructions, so it was kind of sad that they were lacking (I thought there was going to be a sketch or very detailed instructions telling you exactly where to do the embroidery or something, but it was just very generic instructions telling you how to do a lazy daisy and a french knot).

You can see the sample hat on the left, and what I was able to pull off on the right:

On the positive side, I will say, this pattern has the most gorgeous instructions I have seen!  It has the most darling illustrations!  I also thought the decreasing for the crown was really well done.  Sometimes ribbed hats get all funky when you decrease, but she did a nice job planning it all out.

So, there you have it. In the end it's a very cute hat and a nice pattern, it just wasn't what I expected.

yarn details
Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Black
dye lot 146055
worsted weight
100% Merino (superwash)
machine wash cold/gentle, lay flat to dry
110 yrds/ 50 gram ball @ $4.69 each

scraps of pink and green yarn for embroidery

project details
pattern: "Toleware Hat" by Kristin Spurkland, $6 available on Ravelry (includes pattern for matching fingerless mitts)
needles: size 8 nickle plated circs (done in a pseudo magic loop style)
gauge: ??
yarn used: 130 yards (1.18 balls)
duration: February 22, 2015 - August 21, 2015 (was a fairly quick knit, I just took a long break from it when it was no longer hat weather)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

FO Fail: Owl Apple Cozy

I tried to make this adorable apple cozy, but it was a big fail.  My owl looks cute, but it is way too small to fit an apple inside.  Sad!  The pattern didn't list a gauge, so that was her bad.  But, also, I knew fairly early into the project that it looked a little small and I never stopped and put a test apple inside, so it was my bad too.  Anyway, here is my cute owl that will cozy up nothing:

yarn details
Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Sea Spray
Lion Brand Lion Cotton in Morning Glory Blue
worsted weight
100% cotton

orange felt
scraps of white and black acrylic yarn for the eyes

project details
pattern: Owl Apple Cozy by Kara Gunza, available for free here
hook: H (5.0mm)
gauge: apprx 5 rounds= 2'' diameter circle (this was way too small)

  • I couldn't get the eye brows to look anything but angry, so I took them off
  • To orient button loop on other side for second wing: Ch 4, 1 sc in each of next 7 sts, 2sc in next st, 1 sc each of next 7 sts, 2 sc in last stitch, join - 18 sts and button loop.

FO: Winter Garden Socks

When I wanted to learn sock knitting, I bought the fabulous book Knit Socks by Betsy Lee McCarthy.  I used this book to make my very first pair of socks and a couple pairs of the Classy Slip Up Socks.  I can't say enough great things about this book - I think it's a great place to get started with sock knitting, if you learn well from books.

I always thought the Winter Garden Socks were the most beautiful socks in this book, but they looked so difficult that I never thought I would have the skill to make them.  But then, one day, I was like, "hey!  I'm an awesome sock knitter - I can make them now!"  And I did.

So, here are my gorgeous socks:

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll in Peapod, Dusk, and White
dye lots: 63628, 40845, 44970
fingering weight
75% Merino 25% Nylon
machine wash & dry
231 yards / 50 grams @ $4.69 each

project details
pattern: "Winter Garden" by Betsy Lee McCarthy in Knit Socks
needles: 1.5 (2.5mm) wooden dpns
gauge: 31st and 42 rows over 4'' in stockinette
yarn used: 101 yards Peapod, 111 yards Dusk, 101 yards White
duration: November 2013 - July 2015 (took a long break from these...)


  • The pattern has you using a different size needle for different parts of the socks.  I think I may have done this with the first sock, but probably not the second sock.  I don't think it made much of a difference.
  • To avoid jogs in the stripes I used the method where you knit the first row in the new color normally, then on the second row, you pick up the stitch below it and knit it together with the first stitch of your new round.
  • I'm fairly certain that I did not pick the best method for managing my color changes with the stripes. I broke the yarn at each stripe and wove in the ends as I worked.  This was really time consuming and I think it makes that area of the sock look a little untidy (even though the weave is more or less invisible -- there is just more bulk in that area).  Not sure if I ever want to knit striped socks again - it was sort of a drag.  If I do, I must find a better method.
  • Loved the cute fair isle details on the cuffs and heel!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Needle Troubles

Have you ever had a project that you really don't like, but you've passed the point of no return, so you just obsessively work on it so you can finish it and put it behind you?  Well, that's been me this week with my latest pair of Jaywalker socks.  Don't get me wrong, I love the Jaywalker pattern and I absolutely love the Felici yarn that I'm using for these socks, it's just the needles I selected for these socks are all wrong!

These nickle plated dpns are really pointy, which is actually awesome for this stitch pattern, and I admit that I work faster with the smooth nickle needles than I do with wood.  But they are SO heavy that they pull on the stitches and create wicked ladders.

Also, one time I accidentally stabbed myself with them!  Ouch!

In conclusion, these needles probably have a place somewhere, but they are just no good for socks.  Remind me not to use them again!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

FO: Daisy the Flower

Sadly, Daisy the Flower was my last project from the freshstitches kit club.  I loved being part of the club so much - but I had to cut back on my craft spending and the kit club just had to go. (Sad!!)

The one thing I didn't love about the kit club is that I frequently ran out of yarn because I like to use an I or a J hook for these critters and that doesn't work with these kits. Anyway, this time I grabbed the prescribed H hook, but then it turns out that I accidentally grabbed a G... so, it's a little smaller than intended and I have a ton of yarn left.  Oh well!  No big deal.

As the "extra", this kit came with cute comic eyes (which you can buy in Stacey's eye shop) and a little squeaker to go in the leaf.  I didn't use the squeaker in this project, so I'm saving it for something else. (I thought it would be fun in a baby toy, but this one couldn't go to a baby because the eyes are not baby-safe).

And now, meet Daisy:

yarn details
purple and green worsted weight yarn 
100% wool
(from freshstitches kit club, Spring 2015)

18mm comic eyes
polyfill stuffing

project details
pattern: "Daisy, the flower" by Stacey Trock of freshstitches, exclusive pattern for the freshstitches Kit Club #13
finished size: 8'' tall, flower head is about 5.5'' in diameter
hook: G (4.0 mm)
yarn used: no idea, but it was less than 100 yards purple and 30 yards green
duration: April 7 - August 21, 2015

  • I'm not a fan of the way the ruffle petals turned out - I think the last round is too tight and it makes it all curl under. If I made it again I would either make the last round another increase round or I would have done it in a larger hook.
  • Also, if I made it again, I would put a dowel or maybe just a pipe cleaner running through the stem and the head so it stood up straight like a flower. The head is too heavy and it flops back if you stand it up, so it can only lay flat or has to be propped up against something.
  • It might be fun to experiment with making the face yellow and the petals a color, like a real daisy

Saturday, October 3, 2015

German Short Rows!

Prepare yourself for another Craftsy post... yes, I am obsessed.  The free short rows class has been one of my favorite Craftsy class for a long time, so when they released a full length short row class with the same instructor, Carol Feller, I had to sign up! Yay!  I have only done the first few lessons so far, but it is just as awesome as I hoped it would be.  I learned the german short row technique in both garter stitch and stockinette.  I absolutely love it.  The short rows are nearly invisible!  Observe:

Strongly recommend you take this class.  Now back to more short row fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

FO: Business Casual II

Didn't you just love the socks I made my Aunt Carol a couple of years ago?  And don't you just love tweed?  Can you see where this is going?  Yes.  I made a pair of Business Casual socks using tweed yarn.

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Thirst Heather
dye lot 146737
fingering weight
65% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 10% Donegal (the tweedy part)
Machine wash, tumble dry low
50 g / 231 yards per ball @ $4.31 each

project details
pattern: "Business Casual" by Tanis Lavallee, free pattern available here.
needles: size 2 bamboo dpns
gauge: 17 st 23 rows over 2'' in stockinette (note: pattern gauge is 14 st by 20 rows, so my gauge is a little tighter, but I like them this way)
yarn used: 1.24 balls (286.4 yards)
size knit: small
finished size: top of cuff to bottom of heel - 8''; back of heel to end of toe - 8.25''; foot circumference - 7''.
duration: August 24, 2014 - August 1, 2015


  • The tweed is awesome, but I still like the tonal yarn that I used for the original socks better. These socks have a lot of texture from the cabling, so I don't know if the extra texture from the tweed is necessary.
  • cabled without a needle the whole way through!  yay!