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

  • 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.