Tag Archive | handknit

Sweater is Growing

I’ve been knitting along on my Tea with Jam and Bread sweater, and for the most part I’m very happy with it. I was glad to use almost all the navy on the first stripe, and got pretty bored during that middle stripe of the main color. But the French Open finals were this weekend, so I just knit around and around while I watched my tennis, and I made it all the way through the second contrast color. Once I had a good chunk of it, though, I started second-guessing myself. This new color is a tonal yarn, with a short stripey effect. The colors were great, but since the other stripes were solid, I was concerned that this looked weird.

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However, I got validation on Instagram and from the girl, so I kept on with it, and it’s growing on me. It is kind of unusual but now I think I like it. This will be the fun pop of visual interest on the sweater. I’m now on the last stripe and I’ll be figuring out this whole pocket situation soon. I’m not really sure how it’ll work at this point, but if I go step by step, it’ll be fine.

I also have a finished sock, though I have no idea how I managed to get that done this weekend too. But I grafted the toe yesterday after the men’s final (I couldn’t do that while watching Rafa! I’m good at Kitchener stitch but not that good!).

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It’s a plain cuff-down vanilla sock with a slip-stitch heel. The yarn is Show Me Yarn Bootheel in the special KITH color Flowers in the Mist. The sock feels wonderful, kind of squishy. I can’t wait to wear these! (Okay, I can, because I don’t want fall to be here yet. But I am looking forward to it.)

Alas, I did not knit in public for Worldwide Knit in Public Day on Saturday. I wasn’t in public at all that day, you see. But I did knit at the brother’s house for a family birthday party, so that’s pretty close.

Oops, I did it again

I started a sock. Yes, the spell of the shawl is broken. I didn’t knit at all yesterday; I had lunch with a friend, then went home early with a muscle spasm in my back. The meds I took for that weren’t conducive to knitting, let alone lace knitting. This morning when I was getting my things together for work, I immediately grabbed this new yarn and project bag. Partly it was because I figured I’d have lunch with my knitting friend at work and needed something easy, and partly because I wanted something new and fun to work on. Specifically, I wanted my Flowers in the Mist kit from Knitting in the Heartland!

The yarn is Show Me Yarn’s Bootheel base, and it was dyed to match this gorgeous project bag (which also has two coordinating stitch markers!).

You could only get it at KITH this year, I believe, and I’m pretty sure I was the first one to snatch one at the special night of shopping after Franklin Habit’s keynote address. (I can move fast if yarn is involved.) I actually did cast on right after KITH but set it aside after just a few rows because I got distracted by other yarns. But now I want these pretty flower socks!

I just made it past the 1.5″ of ribbed cuff so it’ll be lovely mindless stockinette for a while, and I can see how the colors behave. I might not wear them for a while, but it will be nice to have them waiting for fall!

Supernatural Kindness

So I cast on a new skein of sock yarn last weekend. It’s beautiful sock yarn, pink and orange and green with a thread of sparkly stellina throughout. In fact, it’s so beautiful that I thought it could not become socks. As much as I love socks, this yarn was too pretty, too sparkly, to go on my feet.

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I browsed through shawl patterns on Ravelry for ages and nothing looked right, so I went to Instagram and asked for suggestions, and got a good one right away: the Kindness KAL Shawl! It had lace, which I wanted, and it’s free, which is always good. I haven’t had as much good knitting time in the evenings as I’d like, but I’ve gotten most of the way through the stockinette/eyelet section.

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Such pretty colors! (Yarn is Supernatural Yarns Gryffin Sock in color Listen, Dammit!) And it’s so lightweight and airy, especially knit with the size 6 needles. I have no idea what I’ll wear it with…maybe I need to buy a shirt just for this shawl. That’s not weird, right?

Two New Cowls

Today’s a holiday = I have the day off = you get a bonus blog post! I finished a cowl last night and I’m kind of proud of this one. I’m very much a pattern knitter. I pick out a pattern and I make that pattern. I rarely make modifications, but I had to this time. I knew I wanted a long gray cowl, one I could wear doubled. I picked yarn from my stash (Berroco Lustra in a dark silvery gray) but couldn’t find a pattern I liked. Nothing matched what the yarn wanted to be. Finally I found this Lush-ious Swirl Cowl pattern, which kind of looked like scales to me. But it was a short cowl, and I wanted a long cowl. I went through all the cowls I’d made in the past, trying to figure out a good stitch count to cast on, and I cast on and ripped out two attempts before settling on 200. I also didn’t want the wavy edge that looked like it might roll a lot, so I added ribbing on either edge. Then I was off to the races!

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This was a really fun, quick knit for me, and so satisfying to have it turn out just like I wanted! I’m not sure it needs to be blocked, because I don’t want to lose the texture of the swirly scales, but I’m a little worried that the Lustra might be kind of itchy and am wondering if a Eucalan bath might help? I’m pondering that. I’ll probably do a test-run first and see how it feels. I liked the pattern enough that I could definitely see myself making one per the pattern as well.

That’s not my only new cowl, though. I finally got around to blocking my Simply Tonks cowl and I like this one too.

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Aren’t the colors gorgeous?? The yarn is a color called Don’t Call Me Nymphadora in Supernatural Yarns’ Harpy DK. I loved knitting with it: it’s a firm yarn (if that makes sense), not limp or droopy. Great stitch definition. And did I mention the colors? She also makes fantastic project bags (I have two) so you should definitely check out her Etsy shop! Oh, and the pattern is Simple Yet Effective by Tin Can Knits. This was perfect mindless knitting.

Finally, here’s one last photo of my Hitchhiker Beyond so you can see more than just the tails. Between the colors and the shape, I’m guessing I’ll wear this one a lot.

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I seem to have entered a phase of Finish-itis, so it’ll be interesting to see which of my five WIPs will get done next: socks (I’m on the first sock), two shawls, a cardigan, and a blanket. Hm. I might need to add something simpler to the mix!

Day of Knitting

We have had a lot of germs in our house already this year. The kids have been taking turns being sick, back and forth, and the husband took a turn once, and all along I managed to stay (mostly) healthy. But for most of last week, I could feel something creeping up, and I kept the symptoms mostly at bay out of stubbornness. But the germs are fighting hard this time, and yesterday my body told me I needed some time to just chill out and let my mind and body rest. So with the exception of a needed grocery run, I rested. I sat outside in the gorgeous weather to let the dogs run around. Then when they made too much progress on their tunnel to China, we went inside and hung out on the couch, watching Mean Girls and Property Brothers. I finished one book and started another, and I did some knitting. Of course some knitting!

I started by officially casting on for my Harvest cardigan. I pulled out one of my favorite sweaters to measure so I could choose a size. Based on the chest measurement, I could go down an inch or up three. Because I like my sweaters loose and oversize, I chose the bigger size, especially since the upper arm measurement was better on that one. Then I gathered up all the tools I’d need for the project, and cast on. So far, so good!

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Of course, it’s just a straight row of garter stitch so it doesn’t get much easier! The only trick is making sure I keep track of how many rows I’ve done.

Then I set that aside to save the easy knitting for a concert I’m going to today, and revisited Miss Winkle. This one is a slow knit for me for some reason. Maybe it’s that so much of it involves knitting those 4-stitch loops. I do love how it looks but this isn’t my favorite thing to knit.

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After yesterday’s talk about gauge, I decided to check my gauge on Miss Winkle, and sure enough I have more stitches per inch than called for. But my skein has 120+ more yards than hers, and the pattern is designed to be knit until your yarn runs out, so I feel confident that this one will end well. I just don’t feel confident that it will end anytime soon!

I also took a quick trip to my LYS in hopes of getting the yarn I needed to finish my Hitchhiker Beyond, and got kind of lucky. They did have the right yarn in the right colorway, but as with most Malabrigo, there’s a lot of variation between dye lots. I bought my original skein while on vacation, plus I’d thrown away the tag (rookie mistake) so the odds of getting the same dye lot were slim to none. I decided I was okay with that if I could get the project done soon. So yes, my latest Hitchiker is complete, just not perfect.

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Yep, if you’re looking for it, the color difference is noticeable. But I certainly won’t notice it while I’m wearing it. I love the shape of it, long and more narrow than the original Hitchhiker, but after this and now with Miss Winkle, I might take a break from garter stitch shawls for a little while!

Other than that, my day was mostly like this:

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A Frog and Three FOs

Well. It has been a while since I posted and there’s no way I can remember everything that’s happened in that amount of time. I’ve finished some projects, started new ones, frogged one, and bought some yarn. And along with all that I’ve been trying to get ready for Christmas and still go to work every day! So, apologies for what will probably be a disjointed post today, but hey, at least you’ll get to see some pretty knitting pictures.

I’ve been working on the Black Diamond cowl in Charcoal Anzula. It’s fantastic yarn, a gorgeous pattern that’s fun to knit…but I ran out of yarn with six rows left. I contacted a knitter on Ravelry who had some left over, but I didn’t think to ask for a photo or a dye lot or anything like that. She was so very kind and sent me the yarn for free, and despite my misgivings on seeing it, I started knitting with it.

img_2467I made it through three rounds before giving up. I could have tinked back a bit and tried to blend by alternating rows, but I thought that would still be too obvious, and given the luxury of this yarn, I wanted it to be as close to perfect as possible. So I have frogged the cowl and cast on with smaller needles, and have high hopes that I will finish with *just enough* yarn.

My other Anzula project got finished yesterday and I’m so happy with it. I really love this yarn, and it feels so squishy and warm when I’m wearing it.

img_2476Pattern is Fields of Green, yarn is Anzula Cricket in Pesto. I knit it nice and tall and still have a bit of yarn left over. I liked this pattern a lot too; it was soothing without being completely mindless, and the resulting cowl is pretty and comfortable and so cozy.

I finished a little hat yesterday too, just a little toddler hat for fun.

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Another fun project was this little cat. I think he’s going to my nephew as an extra present; I just need to give him some whiskers. Pattern is Beans the Cat and I used some fun glow-in-the-dark yarn.

img_2462Anybody have a great tip for perfect stiff whiskers? I’m thinking glue.

The reason I had so much knitting time yesterday: we spent all day in Columbia, MO for All-State Band auditions with our flutist, and after two rounds of auditions and a very very long wait, we found out she earned THIRD chair in the band! We’re so stinking proud of her, it’s ridiculous.

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Part of that long day was a trip to a new LYS, but I think this post is long enough, so I’ll share my yarn photos soon, I promise! They deserve a post all their own. Until then, I do hope you all are managing your holiday stress better than I am, and I’m loving seeing all the Christmas-y knits you’re sharing. Let’s all take a deep breath and remember: Just keep knitting, just keep knitting!

Three New Hats

Three new hats done! Two are more chemo caps. The first is another Shelbi hat; she liked the white one and requested dark purple. Well, you KNOW I have purple in my stash so that was easy enough. I love how quick and cute this pattern works up.

Yarn: Loops & Threads from Michaels. Hooks: G & H.

The second is another Nottinghamshire. The first one I made came out too big (I think the pattern runs big) but she liked the style enough to ask for one in blue. KC Royals blue, to be exactly. Not surprisingly, I had that in my stash too.

Yarn: Bernat Satin in Loyal Royal. Hooks: G & H. Mods: I stopped at 72 stitches instead of 80, and did the lower portion with an H hook instead of I. It’s still a bit bigger than I’d like, but I’m hoping it’ll work.

The third is my Sockhead hat! I had so much fun knitting this hat. I can’t believe it took me so long to make one. And I LOVE it.

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Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Black Velvet. I did the brim in size 2 needles and the body in size 2.5. It came out just a touch bigger than I’d like but it works. I haven’t decided whether to keep it or try to sell it. And if when I make another one, I’ll cast on fewer stitches.

I’ve made much progress on my Silverleaf shawl too: I’m SO CLOSE to the leaf pattern! Just a few more rows and I get to start the fun part. But really, this has been a satisfying knit. I do love knitting garter stitch, and you can’t beat the feel of Malabrigo.

There’s just one project that’s tripping me up, and that’s Here Be Dragons.

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I can’t quite visualize the final piece, and right now it looks kind of dumb to me. And then there’s the fact that the yarn isn’t really soft and I don’t think I’ll be able to wear it next to my skin. So I’ll probably frog this, but I still love the colors in the yarn and I have two skeins of it. What do you make with not-soft worsted weight yarn?? Fingerless gloves? Felted bag? Help me find a way to use this yarn!

And Thursday at knitting group, I learned I’ve been discovered: one of the girls said she saw a picture of a really pretty scarf and clicked and ended up on this blog! Of course then a couple of other people asked about it. So, yay, more readers, but crap, now I can’t say bad things about them. Anyway, if you’re reading this, knitting group ladies: *waves* Hello and welcome!

So that’s my knitting round-up for the week! Tune in next week to see if I manage to finish Silverleaf!