Saturday, December 31, 2011

Round Up

I didn’t have any internet yesterday! But I did write a Finished Object Friday blog post for you all:

The year is almost over....Time for resolutions, new dreams, new goals, and new projects! But first, to wrap up the old ones.

Smooth Edge(s)

Yarn: Alpaca With a Twist Baby Twist in Natural and Black Pearl
Needles: US 10

I knit two of these in about a week. A black one for my stepmom and a white one for her mother. I never did quite figure out how to double it over my head to get the herringbone in the right place, but, as my grandma said, “I suppose you can wear it just about any way you want!” Indeed. They are both super squishy and incredibly soft. They also both shed alarmingly, so I hope my washing them took care of that.

The pattern was interesting and a challenge, which I hadn’t realized I wasn’t finding in knitting anymore. The challenge was mainly keeping track of where I was at, but still, any challenge in knitting is kind of nice. I may have to find some more challenging patterns this coming year.

Because I used dk weight yarn instead of worsted, the cowls didn’t get as big as I would have liked, but I think if they had been as big as the pattern indicates they should be, they would have been too big. It worked out pretty good. My advice for anyone who is going to knit this pattern: knit the garter pretty tightly so the wrap and turns don’t stand out and keep the herringbone sections really loose. I might make one for myself, but I’ll use worsted weight and probably alter it by omitting the short rows. That way it won’t bother me that I don’t know how to properly wrap it around my neck. :) If anyone can explain to me if the short section goes at the front or the back of the neck, please do let me know!


Pattern: Baobab by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Sock in Navy Blue Multi
Needles: US 3

I began this for a friend a while ago and finally found the time to finish it up for her for Christmas, but she wasn’t in town when I was, so I’ll have to contact her about mailing it to her. I’ll also whip up some little fingerless mitts for her with some yarn I got in a stash swap at our shop earlier in the month.

The pattern is actually a Kindle cover or something. I was going to make it a purse, but I noticed at a wedding over the summer that she carries her make-up in a box, so I decided to make her a little make-up bag! It’s really flimsy, so I had to sew it together kind of funny so things will stay in it, but it should work out okay. I may alter the fastener. I’m not quite sure how, though....


Yarn: Ella Rae Classic Chunky Superwash in Purple Heather (?)
Needles: US 10

This was a shop sample that I whipped up a while ago and in no time, really! It’s pretty stinkin’ cute, if I do say so myself. The colors of this yarn are all absolutely stunning, and when you really study them, they are even better. I love a really good heathered color and this all qualify. The yarn is a little splitty, but not annoyingly so, and it’s really soft. It’s even softer after it’s been washed too! It’s a great pillow. :)

Fingerless Mitts

Pattern: Fingerless Gloves by Leigh Radford from One More Skein: 30 Quick Projects to Knit
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Needles: US 7

Another super quick (and rather old) shop sample. Cashmerino is luscious! I made one large mitt and one medium one out of one skein. I really don’t like the seam. It’s too bulky with this yarn weight. I suggest knitting this in the round.

I think that’s it! I got my sample knit done Monday or Tuesday and mailed it Wednesday. I’m not sure what the rules are about sharing sample knits, but I think it’s safe enough to tell you that I knit a WispyCardi for Hannah Fettig out of Quince and Co. Finch. It was a dream. I need to make one for myself! I’ll give you a full post when her photos are published (though I did take some of my own too!). The shoot is in a couple weeks.

I hope you all have a very safe and very happy New Year’s Eve! This will be my first ever, I think, away from my family and also the first ever with John. I’m not sure we’ll do anything, but we’ll still enjoy it. :) Maybe we’ll let the bunnies run free throughout the house. I wonder if they’ll wear party hats...if they will, you’ll see it, I promise!

It's not too late to have a gander at everyone else's FO Friday posts!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lazy Day

I'm too lazy to share a picture of the sweater I started the other day, so I'll just tell you about it and you can work up a flashy image in your head and I will reveal it next week and you will either be amazed because you pictured it exactly or disappointed because I didn't describe it very well. :)

I began a sweater this week from a couple-year-old Vogue Knitting issue. I loved and still love a good chunk of patterns in it, so from time to time I'll stumble upon yarn for one of the patterns I like it. We had a trunk show at the shop a couple months ago and had this Feza Mesmerize, which is a shiny metallic yarn with a tiny bit of black fuzz. It's incredibly soft and reasonably priced, so I snagged a bunch of the silver for the Ruffled Cardigan. It's WAY cheaper than the Tilly Thomas called for (though we recently got that yarn too, and it's super soft and pretty, but also super expensive) and I think it'll be a great substitute.

I'm about 3/4 of the way up the back and love the way it looks so far. Since I'm travelling back to Iowa tomorrow (read: loads of down time), I anticipate that I'll have it pretty much done this weekend, hopefully in time for New Year's Eve! John and I probably won't do anything, but just in case. :D

So, picture this: it's shiny silver, but with a slight black halo that actually makes the silver look slightly variegated. I'm going to make a couple mods, but it'll look more or less like the Vogue one.

For more (and better photographed) WIP Wednesday posts, visit Tami's Amis!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cheer

Okay, so "loads" may have been an exaggeration, but I do have lots to share. I just might not have many pictures of all of them....Or very good ones.

Rocky Coast Cardigan

Pattern: Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Quince and Co. Lark in Egret
Needles: US 10
Project Page

I made this for my aunt. She'll get it on Christmas, I suppose. I kind of guessed at her size, but since the ease is so generous in this pattern, I'm certain it'll be fine. Many have complained about the fit: the arms are too tight, the shoulders slip, it's not a very flattering shape. I'm really hoping my aunt will like it. I know the arms are tight, so I may need to block them again when I get back, but they will block out to the right size. I steam-blocked the whole sweater before heading west and the sucker bloomed absolutely beautifully! It looks just like the photos in the book! I thought I might like one myself, but after trying my aunt's on, I'm not sure it suits me very well. Hers is a bit bigger than mine would be, though, and I'd like to do it in the Organik called for, so we'll see.

I do highly recommend the pattern, it was fun to knit. You might want to add six stitches to the sleeves when you pick them back up, decrease the sleeves less, if at all (I didn't at all), and take into account the growth the stitch pattern will give you when blocked. I hope I can get some better photos at some point. :/

"I'd Wear It"

Pattern: Ribbed Watchman's Hat by Channah Koppel
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Mallard
Needles: US 8
Project Page

This was a last-minute gift for my Gramps out of leftover yarn from my other aunt's Peabody. I asked him if he needed a new hat and he told me if I made one, he'd wear it. So I did. He has a big head (it runs in the family), so I knew I'd have to do ribbing. The pattern is 2x2, but I like the way 1x1 looks better. I only had to do the first row of decreases differently, I think. It's a pretty great hat and it fits his big head. :)

I've finished one and a half Smooth Edges, so I'll show them to you next week. Hopefully I'll be able to find a place around this dark house for some decent pictures. I'm also truckin' along on my sample knit, so it and a couple other Christmas stragglers may also be in next Friday's post. I'm not sure how much I can tell you or show you about the sample knit, so I won't until I know. :D It's really pretty, though.

For more FO Friday posts, visit Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Now I know how Elves Feel

I have been pumping out knitting like nobody's business over the last week! I have some really crappy pictures to share with you of everything on Friday. :D

Right now I'm only working on one thing, however: my Grandma B's Smooth Edges cowl. I finished my step-mom's yesterday and was unimpressed, but it's blocking and looking much better, so I decided to pump this one out according to the pattern too. It needs to be done ASAP because I'm expecting a sample knit package tomorrow that needs to be done early next week. :S

Look at my cute sheepy stitch marker! John gave it to me for Christmas. He's so wonderful. :) I'm hoping for bunnies with flowers in their hair for my birthday (two weeks from now). Check out Designs by Tami! Our Thursday night group has been going nuts over her stuff!

Also check out Tami's Amis for more WIP Wednesday posts!

Friday, December 16, 2011


I'm going to have a boatload of projects to share next week, too!


Pattern: Willoughby by Jared Flood
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Luster
Needles: US 7
Project Page

This scarf was an absolute dream to knit. I don't remember ever tiring of the pattern. Tosh Merino Light is equally, if not more dreamy! I could live in it! I bought two skeins based on the pattern's yardage, which calls for worsted or dk weight, I think. I only used a skein and a tiny bit of the second. That leaves me enough to make my own Different Lines (I've already bought Fragrant to do so!). :D I'll actually wear mine, unlike some boy I know...(though he did wish he'd put it on yesterday when the wind was absolutely frigid).

I just know my Grandma is going to go nuts over this scarf. I'm not sure how warm it is going to be. Maybe I'll give it a test-drive before I give it to her.... :)


Pattern: Chu Totoro Toy by brella
Yarn: Mirasol Akapana and Lion Brand LB Collection Baby Alpaca
Needles: US 7
Project Page

This I whipped up in a day for my brother. Remember I made him a little Chibi Totoro for his birthday? I thought he'd like a real one too (plus the movie!). Let me reiterate how much I despise intarsia: I despise intarsia. I was tempted to rip the whole toy apart and duplicate stitch the belly. I'm glad I didn't, but it still looks sloppy. :P

The eyes were tricky too. I have such a hard time with the French knot! I got it to work finally, though. This whole toy is quite sloppy, really. Look at his poor, misshapen tail. :( Oh well. Spike has a crooked tail too. It gives him character. :)

I really, really like the Akapana. I got this little bit at a yarn-tasting at our shop (used every bit of it too). I've rearranged that yarn numerous times in the shop and never thought twice about it, but it's wonderful! I highly recommend it.

For more FO Friday posts, check out Tami's blog!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Oldy

It is finals week in the Bunnies and Bettas house, which means paper, papers, papers, and grading, grading, grading (for me, anyway, John will discover the joys next semester). I finished Willoughby last Friday (not in time for and FO Friday post, obviously, but it's worth the wait this week, I promise!) and vowed not to start anything new until Tuesday this week (after my last paper was due). Grading ate up my Tuesday and my Wednesday now too, so I still haven't started anything new, but I did dig this goody out of the Therapy Room over the weekend for the moments my brain quit working.

I was so in to working that lacy, wonderful Willoughby that I needed more lacy goodness in my hands. I put Spring in the Mediterranean down last spring (probably because of school) and just didn't get back to it. It's really complicated and I have to drag my computer with me whenever I want to knit it because printing the pattern would only make me more confused, I think. Still, no mistakes, so it works. I have a TON of yarn still, so it's a long-haul project, but I'm glad I picked it back up, if only for a little while.

I fully intend to cast on a Smooth Edge tonight, after all the grading is done. I can't wait to snuggle up on the couch with cozy alpaca yarn! :D

Visit Tami for more WIP Wednesday posts!

P.S. Look! I finally got white poster board to take some decent pictures! I'm so excited!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Bit of Procrastination and Some Dreams

I've been following Kate Davies for most of this year. Her knitting is stupendous and her style is impeccable! To be honest, I hadn't noticed how great her style was (it's so wonderfully understated!) until she released photos of her pattern Peerie Flooers. Look at the jacket she's wearing in these photos. I love it! Must have one!

Last week, she posted a note about her style and introduced us to her secret: Cabbages and Roses. Now that I have visited the site a few times and realize my styling woes have been answered across the sea, I long desperately for a perfectly-floofy, past-knee-length skirt and a dramatic, flowing coat...(did you see her coat?!). It's dreadfully expensive, though, and doesn't look like it ships to the U.S. so I'll save my money for a sale item on some far distant future trip to Great Britain (or eBay). But, the mere fact that the silhouettes and fabrics I long for in U.S. stores actually do exist in the world makes me a bit more optimistic about my ability to dress myself appropriately some day.

There, I've postponed paper number 2 long enough. Share with me your favorite clothing stores! I'm in a fashion (and procrastinating) mood!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Demolition Wrap Up

I believe I have completed Work-in-Progress Demolition Week with marked success! I finished three of the five projects I laid out last weekend, a fourth will go down easily (probably not too long after I post this), and the fifth I didn't think I'd get done until this following week anyway. Yay! Now I have to focus on my school work and not start any other knitting to distract me. :S


Pattern: Anhinga by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Berroco Comfort
Needles: US 8
Project Page

This pattern is pretty great. My own finished project, not so much (nor is the picture...sorry about that!). Nylon doesn't drape. Period. I may attempt it again some day with more suitable yarn, but right now I'd rather not think about it for at least two years. Blocking it helped a little, but I think I'm going to have to kill the yarn* to get something resembling what I initially planned. That might not work either, though. The project was a full-blown saga. If you have days to read my Ravelry notes, have at it. :) But it's finally done! I can't complain about that!


Pattern: Peabody by Leila Raabe (for BrooklynTweed)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Mallard (2448)
Needles: US 6 & 7
Project Page

Now this sweater is a real winner! The color is smashing, the lace is gorgeous, and the fit looks pretty good. I made this for my aunt because she wanted a pullover sweater. I'll probably wash it once more before I give it to her because when I washed and blocked the body, there was a lot of excess dye. And the lace panels in the sleeves need to be flattened out. I really think she'll look great in this sweater! I hope to get a picture of her in it during the holidays.

I had initially planned to make it a v-neck, but I made it too deep and it didn't look quite right. I think a shallow v-neck would look pretty cute. On the model, the crew neck looks too high. I had 12 sts more in the collar than called for, so mine might be a little deeper. I hope. I kind of want one of my own, but I have soooo many other projects I want to make first! You guys will have to help me pick one or two. :)

I'll finish up Rocky Coast tonight, but I can't show it to you until after Christmas. Hopefully I'll have Willoughby for you Friday. I'll be lost in grading and paper-writing for the remainder of the week, so don't be surprised if I don't post on Wednesday. In the meantime, I hope your holiday knitting is going well! I can't wait to see all of your projects too!

*You can "kill" acrylic or other synthetic yarns, making them limp and soft, by steaming them. You just have to be careful not to melt them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Thought Today was Thursday

Oh no! It's already Friday! Where did this week go?! That's okay, though. I'm ready for Friday. As of this moment, I have completely finished two of the five projects I set out to complete this week. Rocky Coast will be done tonight, Peabody will most likely be done tomorrow, and Willoughby (as I suspected) might have to wait until next week. I will do a Work-in-Progress Demolition Week wrap-up post on Sunday with all the goodies.

Anhinga is in the washing machine right now, as it needs a really good block (and maybe a good yarn-killing if the block isn't enough), so its FO post may have to wait until tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime:

Christmas Stocking

Pattern: Drifting Snowflake Stocking by Marinda Lariz
Yarn: Dalegarn Heilo
Needles: US 7
Project Page

This project is a commissioned project for a regular client. I knit a baby bunting and baby hat for her last year and now the baby needs a Christmas stocking. She was not too worried about the pattern as long as it was 18" and skinny. We both thought this one was cute. She picked the colors in Dalegarn Heilo (none of us at the shop know how to pronounce this. Do you?). I've never worked with it before. I rather like it! It knits up really unevenly, but blocks like a dream.

I didn't mind the pattern too much, but if you ever use it, be aware that the cuff directions make absolutely no sense at all. I tried to follow them and ended up with a weird mess. From the pattern pictures, it seems you are supposed to start knitting the CC in reverse stockinette, which might help the loop directions make sense, but it never says to do so. In fact, it says to switch to CC and knit 8 rows, or something similar. When I ripped back and tried again, I realized I would have to modify the cuff to get the name on there anyway, so I sort of made up my own cuff as I went. It works for me.

Overall, it's pretty cute. I hate intarsia, so will avoid it (and probably stockings in general) in the future, but the finished project looks pretty cute in spite of the unpleasant technique. :)

Head over to Tami's blog for more FOs! Come back here tomorrow and/or Sunday to see more of them here too! :)