Tag Archive | gift knitting

Hello, Hinterland Hat!

Okay, well, I knew hats were fast but apparently even cabled hats are a pretty quick project. I finished the Hinterland Hat today and heck, it’s cool. Here’s the Rav link if you want to check it out.

I did mess up two of the cables early on, but there was no way I was going to frog back to fix them. And it worked out well because the folded brim hides the worst of it. I’m still not sure I love the cabling process but I do adore finished cables, and it makes it worth it, at least for smaller projects. I don’t know that I’d want to do a cabled sweater yet.

This pattern had two versions and I chose the second version, which had extra little cables between the purl sections. I know, crazy! The yarn is Island Yarn Blackwater in Silver, and it’s a smooth, squishy superwash yarn. There was a bit of splitting with some of the little cables, but otherwise I love it. Maybe the variegation hides the cabling some, but I think subtle is okay for the recipient. Let’s just hope it fits him!

While I was outside taking photos, I had some furry helpers. What could I do but take a few shots of them too?

Pretty soon it will be too cool for me to want to be outside with them very much, so I’m enjoying while I can. Oh, and last night we watched Enola Holmes. It was cute; I enjoyed it. I loved Millie Bobby Brown but somehow Henry Cavill made Sherlock a little too … likeable. I guess I prefer Sherlock as a curmudgeon.

Hope you’re having a good weekend too!

How about a hat

Nope, nothing finished here! Instead I cast on a new hat! One of my favorite work friends has a birthday soon and I decided I needed to knit him a hat. And for some reason I decided it needed to be cabled.

I’ve got the brim done, now it’s on to the 8-row pattern repeat. Surely I can finish a worsted-weight cabled hat in five days?

FO Friday: Socks

My recent shawl-knitting obsession fell by the wayside the last week or so. I couldn’t resist casting on a new sock with some of my birthday yarn, and this sock practically flew off my needles! I mean, this is obviously a progress shot, but it’s done now. The yarn is Bootheel sock from Show Me Yarn in the color Sonny & Tubbs.

Once I finished the first one, I decided I needed to be good and finish a lingering pair of gift socks. I was partway through the leg of the second sock so I knew it wouldn’t take too long. But here’s the problem with making gift socks: they’re not as addictive if they’re not for me! Especially if I’m doing colors that don’t speak to me. So it’s possible that sock-knitting is primarily a selfish thing for me. Anyway, I finished the second sock and now have a pair ready to mail.

The eagle-eyed among you might notice the socks don’t match exactly. The main yarn is from a 50g skein of Happy Feet. I had two skeins but weighed the first after making the first sock and thought I’d have enough for the second. Well, not quite. I ran out with about 3/4″ left of the foot to knit. That wasn’t enough to make me want to add in the second skein and two more ends to weave in, so I just started the green early. The recipient won’t care a bit, I don’t think. It’s funny how I’m so much a perfectionist in every other area of my life, but in my knitting, it’s all just “Eh, that works!” Maybe that’s just one more benefit that knitting brings to my life!

Happy Friday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday: Special Edition

Today’s sock post is special because I’m sharing my feedback on the Saucon Sock yarn from Kraemer Yarns. I was given the chance to review it a couple of months ago, and given my love for sock knitting, I was eager to test a new kind of sock yarn.

Saucon Sock is a cotton/acrylic/nylon blend that is washable and lightweight. There are so many possibilities with this: socks for spring and early summer, easy-care socks for kids or non-knitters (or even knitters, honestly), and socks for people with wool sensitivities. I got to select two colors, so I chose Loganberry for me and Forrest for the boy. He’s a teenager with no time to be fussy or careful with socks, so I knew he’d let me see how the yarn holds up to … rougher handling, shall we say?

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He requested a mid-calf length sock, and I did a simple pattern with some ribbing. For myself, I did a basic Rose City Roller to see how they’d fare in a midwestern summer. When the skeins came, the yarn felt a little stiff at first, and I was unsure if I’d like it, but as I knit with it, it softened up and made the nicest fabric. It’s not soft like wool but it’s smooth, and even feels cool to the touch. There’s no squeakiness that you can sometimes feel with acrylic yarns; the cotton was definitely the dominant feel. It reminded me of knitting with linen, even down to a slight splittiness at times, but I really enjoyed knitting with it. I could knit outside in 80-degree heat and it didn’t bother me a bit.

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How did they wear? Great! The boy reported no sagging or sliding down the leg, even after wearing them all day, so it held its elasticity all day long. I wore mine all day (inside) on an 80-degree day and the socks didn’t stifle my feet at all. They felt very breathable. Again, not soft like wool, but crisp against the skin.

The final test was washing. I had the boy throw his in his laundry, like he washes everything else, so they went through a cotton/normal cycle with warm water along with jeans and t-shirts, then through a cotton/normal warm dryer cycle. Mine were soaked in Eucalan and laid flat to dry. His socks came out softer and cleaner (we have three dogs, and hand-washing doesn’t remove all that dog hair) but they did have some minor pilling. Overall, though, they looked good!

Mine were crisper and had a nice shape, due to being patted into shape and drying flat. I had no pilling, but I still had plenty of dog hair, which is one of my ongoing annoyances with handknit socks. I did use a lint roller on my socks before taking photos.

As you can see, mine look almost fresh off the needles, but I think there’s a happy medium with this yarn. I think I could easily do with machine washing them on a gentler cycle with soft items, and then laying them flat to dry. I could maybe pop them in the dryer for a few minutes at the end to soften them up and pull out a bit more dog hair. Honestly, I’m delighted to have a good easy-care/summer-weight sock yarn available, and hope to add more to my stash.

It’s very affordable at $14.50 per 100 gram/430 yard skein, and it comes in 20 solid colors. It would be easy to mix and match, and in fact, I have enough left over to do a pink pair with green cuffs/heels/toes. And something else really cool: it’s made in the USA! If you’re in the Pennsylvania area, you can even visit their mill.

A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Kraemer Yarns who sent me two skeins of Saucon Sock (retail $29). I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

How do I do this again?

After a three-month furlough, I went back to work this week. Not on-site, still work from home, thank goodness. But, guys, I forgot how to be the job-doing kind of person, and I am tired. Part of it is just catching up from being gone so long and trying to get back in the loop, and part of it is just getting my brain back in shape to add work in with all my other thoughts and worries and anxieties. And of course part of it is because I’m not sleeping well (see first two parts). So, it’s bittersweet but overall I am trying to focus on being grateful I have a job to come back to. And all of that means that this has been the extent of my knitting this week.

img_8323It’s a new sock, because my other sock is lace, and I needed a good, mindless sock. This is for a friend who recently moved away, and it will be her first pair of handknit socks. Maybe I will make her a convert and I can just start mailing her socks, because I am getting overrun with socks in my own sock drawer(s).

Happy Friday, friends! Here’s hoping for a refreshing weekend for all of us!

Sock It To Me Monday

Another pair of Christmas in July socks got finished this weekend. It helped that I only needed to make one sock, the mate to the one knit last December, and it helped that it was all stockinette so I could just knit around and around. Saturday I knit while reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid on my iPad — it was super good and I finished it all in one day. Yesterday I knit while watching Alice in Wonderland (the Johnny Depp version). Allergies are kicking my butt at the moment, so familiar movies and easy knitting are my jam.

Look at these socks: they match! Like, the stripes match! And that was pure luck, because I never try to do that. I didn’t even look at the yarn when I was starting the second sock; I just picked up the end and cast on. I’m quite tickled with them. And now they’ll get put away for a few months and I’ll forget about them until around November and be tickled with them all over again.

This means I have zero socks on my needles. I’m working on my emPower People cowl for now, and when that’s done my goal is to finish my Stargazer Shawl, but I don’t know if I can be sock-free that long. We’ll see.

And here’s something happy for Monday: remember the fingerless gloves that I finished in a hurry for the nephew? He seemed delighted with them and I was told the next day that he said “I love my gloves so much and I’m so happy she knitted them for me.” And he wore them to church despite the hot and humid Midwestern summer weather. See what I mean? Totally knitworthy!

I almost forgot!

Note: I am trying to use non-Ravelry links whenever possible. All Rav links will be noted.

Last month, I wrote about some Nature Spun Worsted that I reviewed for Brown Sheep Co. and one of the projects I made with it were fingerless gloves for a nephew. I chose the Maize Mitts from TinCanKnits and did the child size, since the nephew is 7, and it came out looking TINY. I didn’t want to knit a second mitt if it wasn’t going to fit, so I took it with me to a little birthday party we had and asked him to try it on. He loved it, said it was perfect, and I said I’d make a second, thinking it could wait until winter and his birthday or Christmas. Well, a couple of weeks later, we had another birthday party, and he asked if I’d brought his gloves. Friends, be glad you didn’t see the look on his face when I said I hadn’t made the second one yet. I felt like a terrible aunt and promised I’d have it done before the next birthday. Yesterday it hit me: we are celebrating a birthday on Saturday. I NEEDED to have two fingerless gloves for him. All other knitting was promptly set aside. Thank goodness he has small hands!

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I can see, and you can probably see too, that these two gloves are not precisely the same size. I don’t know why that is, and honestly I don’t really give a damn, because I’m pretty sure the nephew will NOT see that detail. And as snug as the first glove was, I’m also pretty sure he’ll outgrow these quickly and I’ll be making another pair around Christmastime anyway. There are some people for whom I will knit anything, and this nephew is definitely one of them. (I mean, honestly, pretty much any of my family and close friends fall into this category. I just like knitting for people who appreciate it.)

Now that that’s done, I’m returning to my safety knitting of Christmas socks and the emPower People purple cowl. Today’s not a great day so far: I didn’t sleep well last night, I’ve got anxiety bubbling up inside, and seeing anything on the news just makes things worse today. I was going to exercise but needed a second cup of tea to help wake myself up and now my timing is off, because I actually have something scheduled today: my knitting group has our virtual meeting at noon and I’d really like to have a shower before that happens. I do have something to look forward to: I’m seeing a friend tonight, one I haven’t seen in almost four months. (Wait, four? *counts on fingers* good grief it really has been that long!) There will be masks and distancing and as many precautions as we can take, but I have begun to miss seeing the people I love in person and really need a win. So, happy Thursday, friends. Take care of yourself.

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FO Friday: Sweater!

You didn’t really think I had a person-sized sweater to show off, did you? No, the only sweaters I’m making progress on are wine bottle sweaters. Look at this super-cute baseball version:

img_6335That’s a gift for a very good friend who’s a huge Kansas City Royals fan, and I’ve got more of those buttons so I’ll probably make more. Maybe I can sell a few next year! I’ve also got another red one finished and a green one on the needles. I decided the mother and one of the SILs each need one. Why I couldn’t decide this a month ago, I have no idea, but there you have it. This is the Christmas tradition: declare I’m not making a lot of Christmas gifts, then decide at the last minute that I want to make Christmas gifts for so many people. And that, friends, is why we all declare January selfish-knitting month!

Hope you all are having a happy holiday season so far!

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Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday I showed you my new sock yarn, now I’ll show you my new sock WIP! I actually started this one on Saturday when I had a bit of time in the car going from one shindig to another. It was so much fun that I kept knitting that night while I watched Gone With the Wind, a movie that changes for me each time I watch it. There are things about it that make me cringe now, but there are also parts that make me laugh and parts that break my heart. Anyway! Where was I? Oh yes, sock.

fullsizeoutput_2506I have given up hope of having them done by Christmas but that’s okay. I’ll probably set them aside and then I can have a brand new pair of socks next year!

My Pennyroyal hat is done and blocked and even has the pompom sewn on, after a minor hiccup. This is one of those poms that has a snap, so you can switch out colors, and somehow I always sew the base on upside down. Spoiler: it doesn’t work that way. But it was easily remedied and I have a lovely hat for the boy’s girlfriend.

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The other skein of yellow is on the needles to make a second hat, this one for the girl. She might end up with a matching yellow pompom, though, since I didn’t buy a fancy furry one for her!

Right on schedule

Here it is, about a week after my last post! So apparently I have a schedule, it’s just not that frequent. But I have finished things to share today. First up are are my gift socks and they’re not exactly the same size but neither are feet, right? So we’re calling them a win. Yarn is Treasure Goddess Yarns Treasured Toes in Everglades Excursion and as nice as it was to knit with, I think the socks are going to feel awesome to wear. At least I hope so!

IMG_6324I also finally finished and blocked and photographed my Diamond Cowl. Once I committed to it, this was a fast and easy pattern, and I just love a diamond lace pattern. The yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino Aran and it was quite scrumptious. It’s soft and smooth and has a lovely drape. I even had enough yarn to do an extra half-repeat of the lace pattern.

I have more FO’s, if you can believe it, but they’re still in the blocking/photography phases, and plus I don’t want to throw it all in at once. Maybe I’ll manage to get another post out sooner than a week!

I’m excited about knitting right now, which feels good. I’m even still excited about a couple of potential gifts I want to make, if I have time. We’re on track with gift shopping, though we haven’t started wrapping yet, and overall I’m feeling pretty good about Christmas being so close. But it’s also Saturday morning, when I’m happiest and most optimistic because the whole weekend is stretching before me, so we’ll see how I feel in a week or so. Happy weekend, friends!