Tag Archive | handknit

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.

img_0245

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.

img_0338

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!

fullsizeoutput_a1dimg_3108img_3109

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.

img_3105

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.

img_3104

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!

img_3092

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.

img_3093

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.

fullsizeoutput_a1c

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:

img_3091And it was perfect.

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.

img_2471

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.

img_2479

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.

img_2172

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.

img_2179

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!

Chemo Caps

Well, this sucks. Once again, someone I love got a crappy diagnosis. We’re doing our best to stay optimistic, and for me, dealing with something stressful involves yarn in one way or another. Not only is it stress relief, but it’s a way for me to show I care, and it can be useful in times like this: I’m making a few chemo caps. (I’ve heard bare heads can get cold!) Here’s the first one already done:

IMG_6951IMG_6952

The pattern is Diamond Cap and I love it. Simple without being boring, interesting without being too flashy. I used smaller needles but think I’ll do it again using the next size down to make it even more snug. And I’ll definitely do it again, but first I want to make the Shelbi hat.

It’s my favorite pattern for chemo caps because it’s quick to make, easy enough for an advanced beginner, it fits snugly, and it’s beautiful, with a pretty almost-lace pattern that’s not too open. Here’s one I made a while back, for a friend of a friend.

IMG_3726_medium2

It’s really well-written, and she’s got it available for five different sizes, from baby to adult. It fits well too. It’s just a great hat. It is a paid pattern, but for the quality of the writing and the number of sizes, it’s totally worth it. You can find it on The Country Willow’s website here. I used the teen/small adult size. I hope you don’t need it for chemo caps, but if you’re looking for a quick, pretty beanie, check it out!

Boring Knitting

Well, obviously I didn’t write yesterday. I didn’t have a whole lot to say because I was just trucking along on my WIPs. I will show you the last set of blue fingerless gloves because I’m a bit pleased with myself. IMG_5831I made them a bit shorter in the cuff, but I also modified the thumb. Rather than putting the thumb stitches on waste yarn and knitting a taller thumb, I just bound off when I had the right number so I’ve got kind of a half-thumb, which is what I prefer anyway. I like to keep my hands warm while still having full movement of the digits. With the blue sets done, I made a pair with dark purple and black as a gift for my best author client. She’s had me proofread three of her books with the promise of more, and I really enjoy working with her. So even though it might be too warm for them right now, these will be on the way to her very soon. IMG_5841

With those done, I went back to my Citron shawl. It’s progressing nicely, though not growing as much as I expected. I’ve got plenty of yarn so I’ll probably do another section or two. IMG_5840And that’s really all. I kind of want to start a new project but nothing’s calling my name yet so I’m waiting.

The only other news of note is that I have started tapering off my happy pills, based on a schedule I worked out with my doctor. We all agree that I seem to be in a relatively stable place right now. Based on my history, my bout with depression seems to have been more of an isolated, situational incident caused by a lot of stressors hitting me in a short timespan, rather than a long history of repeated occurrences. I’m a little nervous, since the last thing I want to do is go back to how I felt before, but I think it’s the right time. I feel good now, calm and peaceful, and I’m really trying to get back to eating healthier and exercising regularly. Plus spring and summer are good seasons for me (probably all the sunshine). So I really think it’ll be okay. The best part is that my doctor is awesome and made sure I knew we could tinker with the schedule at any point based on how I feel. I just have to be aware of it and force myself to speak up if something goes awry.

And on that note, I’m going to sit outside and knit and soak up some of that wonderful, healing sunshine!