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Saturday, February 13, 2016

FO: Mini Pug Amigurumi

I wanted to make a little birthday gift for my friend Ivy who loves pugs, but I was also kind of short on time so it had to be a little project. I found this one on Ravelry and it was super adorable, so I went for it.

It was just an okay project for me - I don't think my pug was as cute at the sample one and it was kind of a pain to crochet at such a tight gauge (worsted weight on an E hook).  Anyway, Ivy loved it so that's all that matters.  :)

I just grabbed random acrylic yarn and felt from my stash... no details to share here. I used 8mm safety eyes instead of black beads, so I stopped halfway through and created the face before the decrease portion so I could attach the eyes. In retrospect, I should have made the felt eye pieces at least 2mm bigger because I used eyes that were 2mm bigger… D’oh!

And a note on stuffing: don’t wait until you are directed to stuff in the pattern - it is too difficult! Stop on the row before last and stuff there, then do the last row and add any last bits of stuffing you may need.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

RIP Blue Angel Shawl

Back in the summer of 2013 I was super excited to sign up for a mystery knit-a-long with Craftsy.  Well, the danger of mystery KALs is that you may not like what you are supposed to knit once the pattern is revealed.  That's the case here.  I tried to get excited about it because it would have been my first shawl, but there was just so much stockinette in the pattern and it was pretty boring to knit as the shawl started getting bigger.  Also, I hated the yarn in the kit with a firey passion.  It tangled and knotted on a dime - I was constantly putting down the knitting and trying to unpick knots.  Most of the time I had to cut them out and do a Russian join to keep going.  It was just not pleasant.

Here it is, along with all the tangled yarn.

Jump about 2.5 years into the future...  I was home sick today and looking at my Ravelry projects and I was like, "I really should finish that shawl."  I took it out and all those strong emotions came back to me about how much I hated this project... so you know what I did?  I yanked out the needles and unraveled it all.  It felt so good!!!  Take that you hell beast!

Also, I liberated these darling stitch markers!  It was a good day.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

FO: Frosting Hat

I work at an awesome education-based nonprofit called BUILD and for some reason the people at our National Program Team have a real thing for rubber duckies.  As such, we all have several rubber ducks on our desks and scattered around the office that we have managed to acquire from the NPT.  They are all those cute rubber duckies where the ducks are dressed up as something.  So, this Halloween we decided as an office that we would each pick a duck and dress up as the same thing as our duck.  Cute idea, huh?

I got a duck that is either a cupcake or an ice cream sundae, not really sure?  Anyway, I improvised a knitting pattern to make his frosting-like head.  Then I did a pompom on top for the cherry and sewed on some pretty blue beads for the sequins. (Which took forever!!)

For the hat, I held two strands of white worsted weight yarn together and CO 72 stitches, did some ribbing, then alternated 3 rows stockinette and 5 rows reverse stockinette to make the layered look.  I did some trial & error swatches until I finally found an acceptable stitch combination for that.  To do the decreases I just looked at a hat pattern I hat laying around and modified those decreases to work with my stitch count and work in my pattern.  Should have taken notes on that I suppose.  Sorry!

p.s. To make the pompom I used my new pompom maker for the first time.  It was super cheap and I let's just say that I got what I paid for....  but it more or less got the job done.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

FO: Mommy Daughter Head Huggers

I've been trying to cull my stash lately and one of the yarns I always encounter when I sort it is my Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky leftovers from my Head Hugger earwarmer.  There really wasn't enough of this yarn to make anything, except if I made another Head Hugger and switched the contrasting and main colors... but who needs two Head Huggers?

Enter: Christmas 2015, when I decided to only give handmade gifts.  The whole point of that idea was to save money, so it made sense to stash dive for the materials.  I decided to finally knit that second Head Hugger for my sister in law in Utah.  After I finished, I thought it would be super cute to make matching ones for her two daughters.  I didn't want to make those out of the 100% wool because it is a little bulky, but after another stash dive, I found acrylic yarns in the same colors.  Victory!

I modified the Head Hugger pattern to make a smaller version for my 5 year-old niece and I did a simple hat for the baby but used the Head Hugger flower decorations to make it coordinate.  Sadly, baby's head was much bigger than I imagined and the hat doesn't fit her...  but... I tried.  That counts for something.

Details on all three of these FOs are on Ravelry: Head Hugger, Little Head Hugger, Baby Hat.  I won't recount them here, since that would take forever!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel

So, it's no secret that I'm obsessed with self-striping yarn and I almost always use it to knit Grumperina's Jaywalkers because I love that pattern!  However, I really don't like how the striping gets messed up at the heel/gusset so I was interested in trying something new: an afterthought heel.  That way I can knit the whole body of the sock in one pass and the stripes will be nice and tidy, then I can go back and add the heel.  Pretty cool, huh?

There's lots of ways to do it, but I decided to go with Emily B. Miller's method in a Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel.  This is a pretty cool method because you don't have to do any pre-planning about where to place the heel and you actually go in and snip the yarn later to add the heel.

Snipping into your sock is a little unnerving... but in the end, it was pretty awesome!!

Here are some pics:

Right after I cut into the sock and picked up the first few stitches...  the super scary part!

After I picked up all the stitches -- lots of waste yarn to weave in later!

Knitting the heel!  (hint - it's a toe!!)

I recommend trying this method!  It's awesome!

FO: Vintagey Jaywalkers

Here is my latest pair of Jaywalkers... I absolutely love this colorway!  It's called Time Traveler.  I picked it up last November when Knit Picks brought back Felici for a limited time and I totally stocked up!

I knit these up with nickle-plated dpns and it was a really bad experience resulting in laddering and injuries!  Won't be doing that again!  But they are still pretty fun, ladders and all!  :)

yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Time Traveler
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 46550
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$5.49 per 50 g /218 yd ball

project details
pattern: "Jaywalker" by Grumperina, available as a free Ravelry download at
needles: size 2 nickle plated dpns
gauge: 15 stitches and 22 rows over 2” in stockinette
yarn used: 1.44 skeins (313.9 yards)
size knit: small
finished size: bottom of heel flap to cuff: 9”;  back of heel to toe: 8”;  circumference: 8” 
duration: December 18, 2014 - October 11, 2015

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)