Tag Archive | handknits

November is zooming

Guys, this is a little crazy: the holidays are coming super fast. The end of the year is coming super fast. Why is November going so quickly? It’s the time of year when workplaces have holiday parties with white elephant gift exchanges. And since I’m a knitter, those gifts usually involve yarn. I’m thinking about a bottle of wine with a cabled wine bottle sweater. Is that a good gift?

I hope so, because I don’t have any other ideas! Okay, I take it back: my other idea is a Yip Yip but I didn’t think of that until I’d already started the wine bottle sweater. In the past, I’ve done a hat/mitts set and a crochet cactus, but those both sounded like too much work this year. Now, the real question is: what kind of wine should I put in the sweater?

Happy Sunday, friends.

FO Friday: Socks!

Today is Veterans Day (THANK YOU, veterans!) and that is a bank holiday, so I have the day off and I’m so grateful for that. While I waited for clue two of my MKAL, I was able to finish a pair of purple shortie socks. Of course now we’ve hit the days with highs of like 37 and shortie socks don’t quite meet my needs, but heck, it’s Missouri. We might get a random warm day next week. I’m pretty sure this leftover ball of yarn was from New Garden Farm, a local indie dyer, but I can’t swear to it.

Yesterday was the launch event for the veterans group at work and my worries were all for naught! Everything went smoothly, all the people were friendly and delightful. Yes, I did bite into what I thought was a chocolate chip cookie only to discover it was raisin, but I recovered and went back for a peanut butter cookie instead. It’s just been such a rewarding feeling being part of such a cool project from almost the beginning, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

Right, off to start clue two! Happy Friday, friends!

Super Shawl Sunday

I have a finished object!! Just in time for the end of the month too! It used seven skeins of yarn from my stash and it is EXACTLY how I envisioned it in my wee brain:

This is my second Rock Candy Mountain shawl and it was just as fast and fun to knit as my first one. I picked out all the yarn in Wisconsin so I knew I’d have enough to knit it as written, and it’s enormous. I used size 6 needles on my first one and size 8s on this one (as the pattern recommended), and honestly if when I make another one, I think I might land in the middle with a 7.

I swear, I cannot recommend this pattern enough. I’m already thinking about how I could do one in fingering weight with all my sparkly purple yarns, with a simple neutral in between! If you’re interested, here are the yarns I used and how much of each one. You’d think all the purples would be the same yardage used but somehow that wasn’t the case.

Gray: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in We’re Not in Kansas Anymore – used 162 yards

Purple 1 (palest): Northern Bee Studio Sturdy Sport in Old Wisteria Tree – used 150 yards

Purple 2: Sun Valley Fibers Superwash DK in Leap of Faith – used 156 yards

Purple 3: Leading Men Fiber Arts Dramaturg DK in Achieve Grapeness (this one was the softest & squishiest!) – used 135 yards

Purple 4: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in Violet Beauregarde – used 152 yards

Purple 5: Hook & Shuttle Salty Dog DK in Dancing with the Devil – used 160 yards

Purple 6: Sun Valley Fibers Superwash DK in Plum Crazy – used 165 yards

Happy Sunday, friends, and for those of you in the States, have a safe and happy Halloween tomorrow!

Should I knit or should I frog?

I’ve recently been pondering options for my next sweater and decided I very much liked the navy blue with the pink/purple/indigo sparkly yarn. I found a pattern I quite like called The Librarian Vest (on Rav) and cast on for a swatch, as a proper knitter is supposed to. And it’s a good thing I did too because friends, I have doubts.

I still adore the sparkly yarn, so much so that I worry it is being too much overshadowed by the navy blue. Even though I don’t have pattern in mind for it, I wonder if perhaps I need to save the sparkly skeins for a shawl all by itself.

And the pattern. It’s lovely! I do really like it. But…would I wear it? I’ve never been much of a vest person. I don’t particularly like wearing button-up shirts; I’m always fidgeting with them and just don’t find wovens as comfortable as knits. Would the vest look cute over a long-sleeved tee? Possibly yes, so I will keep it in mind, but maybe not for this yarn combo?

Thankfully, I do have some knitting that I am sure about. A coworker is collecting winter gear for children and I asked if new handknit hats would be acceptable, and she said yes. Hooray, a good excuse to knit some hats and get some acrylic out of my stash! I’ve got one done and one on the needles.

We’re having unseasonably warm temperatures this weekend and I think we’re going to take advantage of it by going on a day trip tomorrow to a nearby college town which has a fabulous downtown area with yes, a yarn store! I hope you all have a lovely weekend too! Happy Saturday, friends.

WIP Wednesday: Socks & Puzzle

Yeah, balancing blogging with a busy full-time job is a little tricky. My brain is tired at night, plus I just want to spend my downtime knitting! I’ve been mostly working on bigger projects but I did manage to finish one sock. Sure, it’s a shortie sock but that’s something!

Can you believe I don’t have any purple shortie socks in my extensive handknit sock collection?? Obviously I need to remedy that ASAP.

Besides knitting, I’ve been trying to do more reading. I’m reading Jason Kander’s memoir for one book group and need to reread Haroun and the Sea of Stories for my other one. Plus I usually have a fluffy novel going too. And I’ve also been trying to work on my yarn puzzle!

This might be the hardest puzzle I’ve ever done. There is so much pink/peach/salmon/orange!! I really need to set up my Ott light to see the pieces better. Because apparently I have old eyes now.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

FO: Autumn Falling Shawl

About a month ago, I received my Autumn mystery yarn box from Chestnut Hills Studio which included a skein of Pumpkin Patch fingering yarn dyed by Laughing Cats Fibers. It was so gorgeous and so perfect for the season that I cast on immediately, and after a couple of distractions, yesterday I blocked the finished shawl.

The pattern is Autumn Falling, which is free on Rav. I did at least three more pattern repeats than it called for, trying to use up as much of the yarn as possible and make it a wearable size. I think it’s perfect. I don’t like warm colors and I never wear orange but for whatever reason, I adore this yarn and this shawl. I might wear all black tomorrow just to be able to wear this!

Also I adore bank holidays especially when it means I get a day off. Happy Monday, friends.

FO Friday: Four New Things

Yay it’s Friday! I love Friday, don’t you? Plus it’s the end of the month and I always like the anticipation and possibilities of a brand new month, so even though I’m not looking forward to moving from summer to fall, I am looking forward to October. To wrap up the month, I thought I’d share my final four finished objects for September.

You might recognize that first pair of mitts as the gift mitts from the Destination Yarns yarn. I’m delighted with how they turned out! I even blocked them and feel like they came out as a good man-hand size. (That sounds weird now.) Pattern is Mmmalabrigo Glovies and I followed it exactly.

The hat is another gift knit, a simple 1×1 ribbed beanie in some squishy chunky merino superwash. I do love making hats!

The cowl is a special one. The yarn was a gift I received in Wisconsin. One of our friends commissioned Alissa (from Chestnut Hills Farm & Fiber!) to hand-dye a custom colorway for us and isn’t it gorgeous?? It’s soft and squishy too, and I used as much as I could to make a Zig Zag Cowl, which is free on Ravelry.

The other pair of mitts I started a few months ago and set aside before even doing the thumb of the first mitt. But good grief, they’re so simple and with the brushed suri alpaca on size 5 needles, I finished them in two evenings. They’re so furry and cozy too. Can’t wait to wear them. And that pattern is also free on Ravelry!

So there you go: four more skeins used from stash! It barely makes a dent in what I brought home from Wisconsin but it’s a start.

Oh and I used the last bit of my gift yarn to make a wee scarf for a furry friend!

Happy Friday, friends.

Rock Candy Mountain, Take 2

You may remember that I recently finished a fabulous rainbow shawl called Rock Candy Mountain. And if you remember that, you may also remember that I wanted to knit a purple version. Getting the yarn for that was my primary goal at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, and I’m happy to report that I was successful, with much credit given to my knitters who helped me pick colors!

Although I was kind of hoping to get the yarn all from one dyer, that wasn’t an option. They are at least all DK weight…okay, except for one sport but that’s close enough. I got the gray and two purples from Hook & Shuttle, two purples from Sun Valley Fibers, one purple from Leading Men Fiber Arts, and the lightest purple from Northern Bee Studio.

I was so excited that I got started while we were in Wisconsin, and I got the first wedge done. But the Leading Men had to be ordered so I set this project aside while I waited for it. Now it’s here and the yarn is all wound and I am ready to GO … as soon as I finish this one quick hat, I mean.

Happy Sunday, friends.

You Give Good Glove(s)

Okay, so you know how I’ve been knitting Christmas gifts with yarn from stash? I made a hat and fingerless gloves, and last night I blocked another set of fingerless gloves.

These are the Felicity Mitts and despite following the pattern precisely, or so I thought, they are not exactly the same length. I’m hoping blocking will mostly take care of that. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and simple enough to knit, although I’d never grafted two ends of icord before and I’m not sure I did a great job.

Anyway! Now I want to knit something for a guy friend I don’t know super well. He dresses pretty conservatively, but often wears fun, quirky socks, so there’s definitely a playful undertone there. He doesn’t strike me as a hat person, so my other quick go-to gift project is fingerless gloves. I dug through my stash and so far this is the only yarn that seems right.

I like the pops of red, but I want to keep them as subtle as possible. I’m thinking about holding the yarn double, to mix up the speckles and variegation. It should make an Aran weight and I’d use a very simple pattern, like this one, to balance out the yarn.

What do you think? Without knowing this person, do you think these would make a good somewhat generic guy gift?

Sock It To Me Monday

It is Monday and I have two completed socks to share with you!

Okay, yes, you’re right — they’re not matching socks, but it’s still sock progress. The left is Uneek zebra yarn from Urth, and the right is a DK from Desert Panda Fiberarts. It’s much richer and deeper than it looks in this photo. I’ll try to do a better job when I finish the pair!

Happy Monday, friends. I wish it was still the weekend!