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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!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

FO: Evergreen Lake Mittens

Last year I was interested in learning more about fair isle knitting, so I signed up for the Craftsy class Stranded Colorwork: Basics and Beyond.  I have sort of lukewarm feelings about the class and about the mittens I made as my class project.

With the class, I was hoping for a bit more broad introductory material on stranded color work (like an in depth explanation of how to hold the yarn, how to keep it from getting tangled, how to keep even tension, etc) and the instructor doesn't go that as much as I would have liked. She explains how to do a float, then hops right in to the mitten lessons.  The instruction on how to knit the mittens is excellent - if you want to be walked through how to knit this pattern, I recommend the class. If you want to know more about fair isle, I preferred the class Simple Sweaters: Stranded and Steeked.  But I digress....  here are the mittens:

I feel lukewarm about the mittens for a few reasons: (1) I had a limited choice to pick from because I was buying closeout yarn so I just picked the options that were going to give me the highest contrast...  but I really just don't dig these colors. (2) I don't wear mittens. (3) Even if I did wear mittens, these are extremely bulky and I don't think I would have any use of my hands if I wore them.

Still, this was a fun project for learning stranded colorwork and they knit up fairly quickly.  Now I have the confidence to knit stranded colorwork with finer yarn into something I will actually wear (think: socks).

yarn details
Cascade Yarns Cascade 128 Wool
Highland Green and Marigold
dye lots 2J2045 and 2I8003
Bulky Weight
100% Peruvian Highland Wool
handwash cold
100 g / 128 yards @ $5.99 each

project details
pattern: Evergreen Lake Mittens by Sunne Meyer (pattern is in course materials of the Craftsy class Stranded Colorwork: Basics and Beyond)
needles: Can you believe I never wrote this down? It was probably size 9 for mitten and size 7 for cuff - nickle plated circs (used magic loop)
gauge:16 st and 15 rows over 3'' in main pattern (after blocking)
yarn used: 97.3 yards green (0.76 skein) and 67.8 yards yellow (0.53 skein)
finished size: 8.5'' cuff to mitten top, 4'' wide (laid flat), 3'' thumb
duration: February 17, 2014 - February 22, 2015

  • Take a look at the thumbs.  See how on one of the thumbs the green is dominant and on the other the yellow is dominant? Weird, huh? I held the green yarn in my right hand and the yellow in my left when I knit these. (I am a thrower, so I held the main color in my right hand). The green thumb is the first mitten I knit. I think by the time I knit the thumb of the second mitten almost a year later, I was more comfortable maneuvering the yarn with my left hand and it took over as the dominant color.  Crazy.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FO: Rainbow Baby Blanket

When my brother announced that he was expecting his fifth child I was so happy for him... but also a little bummed out because it meant I had to knit another baby blanket.  I sort of have a love/hate relationship with baby blankets.  On the love side, I like having something really special to give the new little bundles of joy and their parents.  On the hate side, they always take a long time to knit and tend to be either super boring or super tedious... so, you can understand why I was feeling a little anxious about the idea of knitting another one.  Then I visited my Ravelry queue and found this pattern that I had saved a long time ago.  The rainbow made me happy, not anxious - so it was the pattern for me!

Here is the blanket all spread out.  It was huge!  I could barely get it all in one shot.  And would you believe that I didn't pull out a measuring tape and measure it before I gave it away?  Oops!

The best part about this blanket is the yarn.  I totally splurged on it, but it was worth it.  I used nine different colors of Knit Picks Shine Sport.  I love how soft this yarn is and the color selection is fantastic.  Each stripe ended up using just barely over one ball of yarn.  If I were to ever knit this again, I would modify the pattern so that I can make it slightly smaller and only use one ball of each color.  This would have saved me boatloads of money.  (But then I wouldn't have lots of soft rainbow yarn left over to play with!)

yarn details
Knit Picks Shine Sport in Blush, Clementine, Crocus, Dandelion, French Blue, Green Apple, Peapod, Reef, and Serrano
worsted weight
60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal
Machine Wash, Tumble Dry Low
110 yards / 50 grams @ $2.99 each

project details
pattern: "Rainbow Baby Blanket" by Patsy Leatherbury
needles: size 7 nickle plated circs
gauge: who swatches for a baby blanket?
yarn used: 1.059 yards -- (about 123 yards of the pink and red; the rest of the yarn was approx. 115 yards each)
finished size: didn't remember to measure :(
duration: January 13 - March 29, 2015 (I respond well to deadlines)


  • Used Russian joins when joining two balls of the same color together; didn't do anything special when changing colors - just left ends and wove them in at the end (I made sure to split the yarn a lot when I was weaving them in.  Still, this yarn is so slippery, I'm sure those ends will work their way out quickly!)
  •  Like I said above, if I knit this again, I would modify this pattern to only use like 100-110 yards per color so I didn't have to buy an extra ball for those extra 10 yards needed to complete each stripe.
  • I absolutely love the drape of this yarn for this project.  Definitely recommend it!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

UFO sighting! Tropical Clutch

I was rummaging through one of my (secret) yarn storage spaces this morning looking for a particular yarn I need to finish a project and look what I found:

This is going to be a cool beaded clutch and I remember I was so excited about it when I started the project and it took me forever to find the right wooden beads and the pieces for the handle.  You'd think that after I went to all that effort, I would have knit it up quickly to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  But that was over two years ago...

I can't believe I let it hibernate for so long!  Poor little clutch!  So, anyway, today I am devoting a little time to work on it.  It's been at least a year since I've touched it and I had to relearn the beading technique a bit, but I'm on track now.  I'm officially bumping it up in WIP priority list to right below my last freshstitches kit club project and above the last panel of the hue shift afghan - two other projects that have been languishing in the WIP bin for far too long...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

FO: Stretch the Giraffe

I'm in love with this sweet giraffe designed by my favorite stuffed animal designer - Stacey Trock of freshstitches.  This is from her book Crocheted Softies which I got as a very generous "extra" in my swap package in a secret pal swap among people in Stacey's Ravelry fan group.

Usually I make amigurumi out of standard acrylic yarn (or from 100% wool if it is from a kit I get from Stacey, since she likes to use the nice stuff).  But this time I tried something different.  I used a very soft cotton/acrylic blend from Knit Picks called Comfy.  I also crocheted this guy at a much looser gauge than I usually crochet my stuffies at (used a J hook vs. an H).  All this resulted in a very soft, extra squishy, huggable, adorable giraffe!  Yay!

yarn details
Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Creme Brulee and Doe
worsted weight
75% pima cotton, 25% acrylic
machine wash and dry
109 yards/50 grams @ $2.99 per ball

12mm safety eyes
polyfill stuffing

project details
pattern: Stretch the Giraffe by Stacey Trock in the book Crocheted Softies
hook: J (6.0 mm)
gauge: looser than usual
yarn used: 1.1 balls of yellow and 0.43 balls of brown
finished size: 8'' high - not including horns
duration: May 9 - August 16, 2014


  • I ran out of the yellow Comfy yarn with just a few rows left on the head, so I subbed in some Shine Worsted in the same colorway that I happened to have.  You really can't tell, thank goodness! 
  • I like how this guy is floppier than my usual stuffies, but I feel like you can kind of see the stuffing through the fabric. I think I will probably go back to using an H hook for my freshstitches amigurumi.