Tuesday, December 27, 2016

FO: Emergency Ear Warmers (Two Posts in One!)

After all these years, I lost my beloved Head Hugger Earwarmer.  RIP my dear friend!  I'm so sad.  I really hope someone found it and decided to use it.  I hate to think it just ended up all dirty on the street and got swept up....  no, Pepper, don't think that!!

Anyway, I tried to knit some replacements the weekend after I lost it.  Don't really love either candidate.  I'm going to be ordering more Lamb's Pride Bulky soon so I can replicate the original Head Hugger.

Anyway, here are the ones I knit. You can get more details on the Ravelry pages if you are dying to know the details.

The Parisian Twist Earwarmer:

This one is knit out of some acrylic yarn that I randomly bought recently.  It is nice and soft, but not very warm.  However, I am excited that I got to use this cute button on something!  {details on Ravelry}

  

Head Hugger:

This is the Head Hugger pattern, but without any embellishments.  I was going to embellish it, but after wearing it, it's not warm enough.  I used some lovely thick & thin yarn on it, but I think the thin parts are letting the wind in. {details on Ravelry}


Monday, December 26, 2016

FO: Office Retreat Socks

Every year the organization I work for goes on a lovely retreat in Santa Cruz which gives me a chance to knit on the beach, which is a fabulous experience.  (OK, to be fair, I knit from my balcony overlooking the beach.  You know, 'cuz of sand issues.)

This year I cast on a pair of 9 to 5 socks for the occasion...  get the irony?  Because I was knitting them while away from the 9 to 5?  I crack myself up.  Anyway, here are my Office Retreat Socks:

9 to 5 Socks

And here I am working the gusset while enjoying my lovely view...

Knitting on the Beach

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Blue-Violet
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 35709
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon/Polymide
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$10.99 per 100 g /462 yd skein (purchased in Oct. 2013)

project details
pattern: "Nine to Five Socks" by Nicole Hindes; available as a free Ravelry download!
needles: size 1 (2.25mm) wood dpns
gauge: I didn't swatch, but at the end of the day, my gauge was 18 st and 24 rows over 2'' in stockinette
yarn used: 351 yards - 76% of the skein
size knit: medium (one size only)
finished size: length from back of heel to tip of toe: just shy of 9.5''; length from top of cuff to bottom of heel flap: 9''
duration: July 17, 2016 - October 1, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FO: My So-Called Scarf

I've been meaning to knit this scarf since back before the days of Ravelry...  back when we all used to all hang out on Craftster.  (Which, BTW, I totally miss!)

In my efforts to stashbust last year, I decided to use up some funky yarn that I bought back in 2007... also Craftster days, so it was an appropriate choice.  Of course, then it took me a year to finish the scarf, but in the end, it turned out lovely, I used up all the yarn, and I crossed the pattern off my list.  Done and done!

My So Called Scarf


yarn details
Lion Brand Landscapes in Spring Desert
Super Bulky Weight
Dye Lot 5503
50% Wool 50% Acrylic
Hand Wash & Lay Flat to Dry or Dry Clean
$0.97 per 50 g /55 yd skein (purchased in July 2007)

project details
pattern: "My So Called Scarf" by Allison Isaacs of ImagiKnit; free download.
needles: size 13 straights
yarn used: 220 yards - 4 balls
size knit: medium (one size only)
size knit: CO 20 stitches
finished size: 72'' long x 4'' wide
duration: August 29, 2015 - August 27, 2016

notes

  • Notes for cast off on wrong-side row: Purl two together. * Purl next two together, then pass the far right stitch on right needle over to bind off. Repeat from * to the end of the row.
  • After knitting a yard of this, I realized that I had been making a mistake in the pattern.  What mistake?  I don't really know. I just know that I picked it up several months later, started following the pattern, and realized it was drastically different.  Oops!  Had to frog.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

FO: Ellie

In love with this adorable elephant that I made for my boss's granddaughter.  This pattern isn't exactly for the feint of heart... it involves some painful stitch-picking-up and you need to knit in some very tight spaces - but in the end it is totally worth the adorable result!



yarn details
Bernat Softee Baby in Flannel
DK weight
Dye Lot: 15 10 148754
100% Acrylic
machine wash & tumble dry low

362 yards / 140 grams @ $3.24 per ball

Bits of black and pink yarn for bow and eyes

findings
polyfill stuffing

project details
pattern: "Elijah" by Ysolda Teague, available for purchase on Ravelry (£4.50 GBP)
finished size: sitting (seat to top of head) - 7.5''
needles: size 3 nickle-plated dpns
yarn used: 225 yards (about 40% of one ball)
duration: August 31  - September 18, 2016

notes:

  • Please save yourself a lot of pain and suffering by using a crochet hook to pick up the stitches for the limbs! I didn’t figure this out until the second arm. Don’t make my mistake!
  • Used these instructions for eyes
  • Followed pattern in Bshain’s Ravelry notes for the bow.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

FO: Skywalker Shawl

This post contains affiliate links...  more yarn money for me!

Who is in love with my gorgeous Skywalker shawl??  I knit this as a project in Laura Nelkin's Craftsy class, Mastering Lace Shawls.  It is a really fun class -- Laura is a joy to knit along with and I love this shawl - you get a chance to practice a lot of different techniques.

Here is the shawl on the blocking board:


And Roxy helping me block it:



And, finally, me wearing it:



yarn details
Knit Picks Capretta in Turmeric
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 149564
80% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Cashmere
Hand Wash/Dry Flat
$7.79 per 50 g /230 yd ball

project details
pattern: "Skywalker" by Laura Nelkin - available in the Craftsy Class, "Mastering Lace Shawls"
needles: size 6 nickle plated circs
yarn used: 420 yards  (about 1.8 balls)
duration: January 30, 2016 - Match 20, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

FO: Drachenschwingen

I'm freaking in love with these socks!!  First: glittery!  Second: amazing traveling twisted stitch pattern that is reminiscent of dragon scales!  What's not to love?

At first I thought this pattern was so hard and it gave me massive headaches.  But once you get used to it, it's not bad at all.  You just need to get in the rhythm of it all.  Also, the Craftsy class Bavarian Twisted Stitches helped a lot (affiliate link).  I heart Donna Druchunas!



yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in Peacock
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 157817
70% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, 5% Metallic
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$2.95 per 50 g /231 yd ball (purchased in Nov. 2014)

project details
pattern: "Drachenschwingen by Scarlet Plume; available as a free Ravelry download!
needles: size 1.5 wood dpns
gauge: honestly, I didn't swatch it... sorry, knitting gods
yarn used: 314.2 yards - a little less than 70% of each ball
size knit: small
finished size: bottom of heel to top of cuff - 8.75''; back of heel to tip of toe: 8.75''
duration: January 30, 2016 - July 24, 2016

notes:
  • If I were to make these again I would arrange the dpns so there isn't a needle change right in the middle of the center motif. A bit of a ladder appears there, which is hard to avoid in the reverse stockinette background.
  • Did two full pattern repeats on leg; only worked 23 rows on the heel flap.w

Sunday, August 28, 2016

UFO Sighting!

It felt so good to pick up My So Called Scarf recently and give it new life, that I decided to resurrect another UFO... the Hue Shift Afghan.  I had three panels finished...  I don't know why I stopped??



Hoping to finish this one by the end of the year!  Wish me luck!

Friday, August 12, 2016

FO: Salad Socks

I'm so in love with the Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel sock pattern - after I used it to knit my Christmas Socks I was hooked.  It's no secret that I adore self-striping yarn and this is hands-down the best pattern I have found for showing it off!  (Specifically, I adore the elusive Knit Picks Felici, of which I have accrued a massive stash).

So, here are my salad socks!  I made these really tall, they are super fun.


And there is the sock surgery madness:



yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Spring Mix
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 26812
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$5.49 per 50 g /218 yd ball

project details
pattern:" A Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel" by Emily B. Miller; available as a free Ravelry download!  And it has an accompanying YouTube video.
needles: size 2 wood dpns
gauge: 35 stitches 44 rows over 4'' in stockinette
yarn used: 348.8 yards - about 80% of each ball
size knit: CO 64 stitches
finished size: bottom of heel to top of sock - 12''; back of heel to tip of toe: 9''; circumference: 7.5''
duration: January 7, 2016 - August 7, 2016

notes:

  • I screwed up the toe decreases on these socks and continued to decrease every other row for the whole toe instead of speeding up the decreases at 40 stitches.  So, they have kind of a pointy toe.  Not a big deal, because I remembered to make them match.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Uh oh...


Oh man, I've got a serious problem here....  I picked up my "My So Called Scarf" for the first time since September and knitted a few rows and, well....  there has been a bit of a gauge change.  A pretty darn drastic one, actually...  Observe:

And the back....


I really have no idea how this happened...  no way my gauge could have changed this drastically in 10 months.  I mean, it could, but I pick up UFOs often and don't have this problem.  I'm almost wondering if I was making a mistake in the pattern when I was working on it before?

The sad thing is, I think I like my new gauge/correct pattern much better than the old one.  I think I may have to unravel....  I've already knitted over a yard!  Boo!!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

FO: Brooklyn Mitts

I had seen the Brooklyn Mitts pattern on Ravelry and added it to my queue, but didn't ever do anything with it.  Then one day I was browsing Craftsy and the pattern was offered as a kit* for a great price, so I decided to buy it.  Still...  the supplies sat in my stash for a while before I cast on (what else is new?)

This was a fun pattern with lots of cool techniques and I'm glad that I made these mitts.  Of course, I'll probably never wear them!  I just don't ever seem to wear the other pairs of mitts I've made.  There is a local knitting group that collects knitted items for an auction every Fall and they donate the proceeds to support the homeless.  Perhaps I'll donate these to that cause when the time rolls around?

Anyway, here are the mitts!



And, just for fun... the insane blocking process:




yarn details
Cascade 220 Superwash Sport Yarn in Summer Sky Heather and Silver Grey
dye lots 138027 & 140150, respectively
sport weight
100% Superwash Merino Wool 
50 g/ 136.7 yds @ about $3 per skein (purchased as part of a kit*)
machine wash cool; tumble dry low

project details
pattern: Brooklyn Boot Liners & Mitts by Pam Powers (available to download on Craftsy* or Ravelry for $7; kit with pattern and yarn* is currently available on Craftsy for $12.25)
needles: size 3 nickle plated dpns and size 4 nickle plated circs
gauge:  28 st and 36 rows over 4'' in stockinette (blocked)
yarn used: 130 yards of the blue (78% of skein) and 63 yards of the grey (38% of skein)
finished size: 7.5'' tall; 6.5'' circumference at ribbing on wrist
duration: August 21, 2015 - March 5, 2016

*Heads up!  All the links to Craftsy are affiliate links.  Gotta bring in the yarn money somehow!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

FO: Steve the Stitchosaurus

I was super excited when FreshStitches released the pattern for Spikey the Stegosaurus and I bought it right away, but then it took me forever to actually make this cutie.  I can't make any more amigurumi friends for myself because I have too many, so I was waiting for an occasion to make this guy for someone else - and then a friend got preggo!  Yay!

She named him Steve the Stitchosaurus, how cute is that?  Meet Steve:




yarn details
Red Heart Soft in Turquoise, Tangerine, and White
worsted weight
100% acrylic
256 yards/141 grams per ball
about $3.50 per ball, depending on where you buy it

findings
black felt for eyes
polyfill stuffing

project details
pattern: Spikey the Stegosaurus by Stacey Trock, available on Ravlery for $5
hook: I (5.5mm) - wood
yarn used: not sure, probably less than half of the blue and only a little of the orange
finished size: yeah, I forgot to measure that...
duration: March 15 - June 14, 2016

notes

  • Frogged this guy several times because I kept messing up on the asymetrical increases; then when I was almost finished with the body, I decided that the stripes were jogging too much and  hated it, so I frogged again and reworked it with joined rounds instead of spiral style.  It's still not a totally invisible color change, but it's much better.
  • Since this is for a baby, I did black felt circles for eyes instead of plastic eyes.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

FO: Christmas Socks

I'm super excited about my latest pair of socks!  Aren't they gorgeous?  I really wish I had finished them in time for Christmas, but now I have them ready for next year.


The reason I love these socks so much is the fabulous afterthought heel that doesn't interrupt the stripe pattern on the sock.  I love working with self-striping yarn, but I have always hated how it gets messed up at the heel and gusset of the sock.  I've seen afterthought heels done in some Craftsy classes, but I never thought it would be for me.  I was wrong!  I'm hooked.

This particular heel is a little scary because instead of using waste yarn to set up the heel opening when you are knitting the sock, you knit the whole sock and then go back and snip a hole in it where you want your heel.  So cool!


After you snip the stitch, you just unravel and pick up the stitches from there!


This afterthought heel is worked exactly the same as the toe of the sock.  No short rows!  Yay!  And it fits like a glove.  Can't wait until next Christmas!

yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Jingle
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 27940
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$5.49 per 50 g /218 yd ball

project details
pattern:" A Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel" by Emily B. Miller; available as a free Ravelry download!  And it has an accompanying YouTube video.
needles: size 2 wood dpns
gauge: 32 stitches 44 rows over 4'' in stockinette
yarn used: 324.8 yards - about 75% of each ball
size knit: CO 64 stitches
finished size: bottom of heel to top of sock - 9.5''; back of heel to tip of toe: 9.5''; circumference: 8''
duration: October 11, 2015 - February 28, 2015

Saturday, March 5, 2016

FO: TicTac Toes Socks

I was so excited the first time I saw these socks advertised on Knit Picks, so I bought the yarn and pattern immediately!  Then....  the supplies lingered in my stash for longer than I care to admit before I finally got the courage to start them.  I have never done a fair isle project quite this extensive before and I kept putting it off.  Anyway, in the end, it wasn't that hard at all and I love the result!  Yay!


I love how these have so many colors in them, but I only had to use two yarns: one solid and one variegated.  It looks so much more impressive and difficult then it really is.  (At least to non-knitters).  I usually don't like short row heels, but these ones didn't turn out bad.  Maybe I am getting better at them.  Usually mine are bumpy and holey and no fun.

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll in Black
dye lot 51529
fingering weight 
75% Merino 25% Nylon 
machine wash & dry 
231 yards / 50 grams @ $4.69 each

Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in Cartoons
dye lot 33511
fingering weight 
75% Merino 25% Nylon 
machine wash & dry 
462 yards / 100 grams @ $10.99 each

project details

pattern: "TicTac Toes"by Camille Chang, available for $1.99 on Knit Picks (great deal!)
needles: size 2 nickle-plated circs
yarn used: 101.6 yards Cartoons (0.22 skein), 272.6 yards Black (1.18 balls)
duration: August 1, 2015 - January 24, 2016

notes

  • I did these using the magic loop technique which was much easier than dpns when doing the fair isle because you don't have to let go and re-hold the yarn as often.
  • Only used one size needle throughout pattern, not larger needle on cuff as called for in the pattern
  • 2x2 rib in cuff - and made it 1.5'' instead of 3''
  • FYI: held black yarn in right hand and colored yarn in left

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My First Batch of Hexis

In my quest to shrink my stash, I have started a project to use up all my leftover sock yarn: the Beekeeper's Quilt. It is a blanket made out of a ton of little puffy pieces called hexipuffs.  They are so addicting to knit!  Here are my first twenty hexis.  Squee!  So cute!!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

FO: Rainbow Steps Baby Booties

I logged into facebook one day to see a "Surprise! I'm 8.5 months pregnant!" post from my old college roomie and one-time bestie, Erica.  I was super happy for her, but the knitter in me panicked because there was clearly no time to knit a baby blanket!  This surprise was a blessing and a curse: on the one hand, I don't exactly love knitting baby blankets, but, on the other hand, I like giving them to special people and Erica is definitely one of those people.  But I digress...  the point is, I had about two weeks to knit something fabulous for this baby.

I have had Saartje's Bootees in my queue for a long time and I figured I would make those, but when I started envisioning the project with yarn and buttons I had in my stash, I just wasn't happy with what I had available.  So I searched for more ideas and happened upon these Blue Steps Baby Booties by Regina Willer. A lot of people said they found Willer's original pattern hard to follow, so I used the re-written version by hellahelen on Ravelry.

I saw a few versions of these booties on Ravelry that were knitted in self-striping yarn and I fell in love with those... and I'm always happy any time I get a chance to pull out the Felici!  The Rainbow Baby Blanket I recently made my niece was such a hit that I thought I'd go with rainbows again.  How cute are these??


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 1.5 (2.5mm) wood dpns
yarn used: 0.34 balls (actually, 0.17 each of two balls - exactly one stripe sequence) -- total 74.1 yards used
gauge: in half brioche, about 4 ribs per inch
finished size: 3.25'' long, 1.75'' wide, 2.25'' tall (leg opening about 1.25'' diameter)
duration: December 21 2015 - January 24, 2016

notes
  • 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:

Lace Wars: Episode I

Love the title of this post?  I was being cute because the name of this shawl I'm working on is Skywalker.  See what I did there?  I'm knitting this shawl as part of Laura Nelkin's Craftsy class, Mastering Lace Shawls*.  I enrolled in it a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away), but it's taken me a while to get around to watching it and working through the projects.  It's a great class - the instructions are clear and Laura is so pleasant.  It's fun to knit along with her.

I'm really enjoying the "sampler" shawl she designed for this course.  The lace stitches start out very simple and then get more complicated as you work further into the shawl.  Here is a pic I took a few days ago:


I've made some more progress on that top section.  I'm now about half way through that chart:

The yarn I'm using is Capretta by Knit Picks.  It's a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend.  I originally bought it for socks, but then I realized that its not machine washable and that's a firm requirement for me when choosing sock yarn.  I was sad when I realized I had wasted my money on it, but now I'm happy that it was handy when I spontaneously decided to cast on for this shawl.  The yarn has really bad reviews on Ravelry.  Apparently it pills on a dime.  We'll have to see how it goes....

*That's an affiliate link to this Craftsy class, meaning I get some yarn money if you use it.  :)

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!