Tag Archive | handknits

Sock It To Me Monday

Today’s post is brought to you by Mildly Granola, who started the Sock it to Me Monday theme, and who introduced me to the Twizzler sock pattern! I completed the second Twizzler sock over the weekend, after struggling a bit with Second Sock Syndrome.

img_5745They have longer legs than usual, because I got carried away on the first sock and of course had to make them match. The feet are also a little too long, and honestly, I don’t even know if I did the toes the same. I stopped looking at the pattern ages ago, and by the time the toe of the second sock came around, I just did a barn toe and called it good. They look the same, though, don’t they? The yarn is from Mudpunch in a color called Peacock Notation, and it was great to knit with! Now let’s just hope they wash and wear well too.

Review: SmartStix DPNs

I have made no sweater swatch, nor have I made progress on my current WIPs. Instead, I spent yesterday making something new and completely different. But I finished it, so it’s still a win in my book. I had some SmartStix DPNs from Knitter’s Pride I wanted to try out, and one more hat to make for my donation box, so I selected the Gooseberry Hat and a skein of superwash sport yarn from my stash. I’ve used the SmartStix before for mittens, and I find them perfect for that. So easy to measure cuffs and body length as you go!

But I wanted to try them with a different project, and even though I don’t typically knit hats with DPNs, it seemed like a good option.

IMG_5640These are the 5″ length, in size 4, and I will say they were a tiny bit short for a hat, even this baby hat. At this point, these DPNs are only available in 5″ or 8″ lengths, so while the 5″ are perfect for mittens/gloves (and would be brilliant for socks!) for hats I’d definitely buy the 8″ length. I loved being able to measure my progress so easily. Plus, even though the needles are aluminum, they aren’t super slippery like others I’ve used. They seem to grip the yarn just enough so the needles don’t go slipping out or the stitches sliding off. They’re lightweight, and the markings are laser etched. I have three sizes of needles and have used them all multiple times, and the markings are still clear and easy to see.

I’m definitely not as fast on DPNs as I am with circs, but I made this quickly enough and didn’t have to worry about switching when I was ready to decrease. They do offer the SmartStix in fixed circs and interchangeables, and I might like to try the 16″ for hats. I definitely want to try the size 1 DPNs for socks! Have you ever tried the SmartStix?

Thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and Knitter’s Pride, who generously sent me three sizes of 5″ SmartStix DPNs (retail value $38) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

This is a big deal

I’m going to make a sweater! Whoa, right? No, I know, I’ve done this before. I’ve actually crocheted one sweater and knitted three. My first knitted sweater was a Harvest cardigan that came out HUGE but is super cozy to bum around in at home. My next two knitted sweaters were pullovers that actually fit the way I wanted. That cardigan I made with cotton; it was soft but still not a high-quality yarn. The pullovers were both made with acrylic yarn. I love them, but I decided that I’m ready for the big leagues now: I want to make a sweater out of GOOD yarn.

I’ve never bought a sweater quantity of good (i.e. non-acrylic) yarn before, instead choosing fun single skeins. So for my birthday earlier this month, I told the husband that I wanted a sweater quantity of yarn. He’s a smart man, so he gave me the money for it rather than trying to pick it out himself.

But what yarn? What pattern? What color? Well, the yarn itself wasn’t too hard: Malabrigo has been one of my very favorite yarns for years. For pattern, I wanted something interesting and pretty, a little more intricate than the basic pullovers I’ve made. It took a lot of browsing but I settled on Penny by tincanknits. And color? Well, at first I thought about a neutral. But then I thought, NAHHH! Let’s have fun!

img_5618This is six skeins of Malabrigo Arroyo in the glorious Fucsia, which might possibly be the most difficult color of yarn to photograph. Subtle, it is not! But it will make a gorgeous sweater and I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing some swatching this weekend!

Color Me Happy

I have a new WIP! The reason why is a bit convoluted so bear with me. See, I agreed to test out some new circular needles, and I have one size. That’s actually how I ended up casting on the Spring Rain shawl, but then I realized that 24″ circs aren’t long enough for a shawl. I needed to put the shawl on a longer cord, but I needed to go to the LYS for that. Then when that was done, I needed a pattern for 24″ size 2.5 circs, and I thought a cowl would be perfect. I plugged all the necessary info in Ravelry and ended up choosing the Color Me Happy cowl.

Oh, what colors? No, not the pink and purple in the original, though I totally tried to find something similar in my stash. Instead, my stash threw out these three skeins and said they’d really like to work together.

6444a1bb-dd52-4c08-9fc0-a1375cfdc1e2Won’t that be lovely? I purchased the pattern and got all ready to cast on with my little 2.5 circs…only to see that that size was needed for one section if you were doing a straight bottom edge instead of the kerchief style! For everything else, it recommended a size 4.

Well, to heck with that, I say, and I’m just going to use these darn needles and it’s going to be just fine!

img_5584

Honestly, now that I’m this far into it, I think the size 4 would be too big and I wouldn’t like the loose drape anyway. Now I’m just eager to get to the point where I can join in the round and start zooming along!

Spring Rain

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been working on my new shawl as much as I can, and I’m loving it so much. I don’t really even understand why, since it’s not even purple! But I’ve always loved the vivid green of MadTosh Seaglass, and I’m just so delighted with how well the yarns play together.

fullsizeoutput_237cThe pattern is a nice mix of lace and garter stitch, switching it up so I don’t get tired of either. Okay, well, yeah, I get a little tired of the garter stitch, but it’s fine. Worth it to get back to the lace and the green!

IMG_5586

I never thought I’d be so excited to knit something non-purple!

A hat in a night

The other day I saw a post on Instagram calling for hat and mitten donations for asylum-seekers in Maine, and I knew I had to send a few things. I even knew which yarn to use: I had some Cascade Superwash Aran in green, tan, and brown. I’m pretty sure the only reason I bought it in the first place is because it was on sale. It’s very nice yarn, just not my colors. It’s thick and warm, soft for kids, and easy to take care of. Plus it knits up quick: I made this in one evening after work.

IMG_5494This one is child-sized, which made it quicker too, and a very simple ribbed pattern. But it’ll be stretchy and forgiving, and I hope it keeps a little head warm this winter!

I’ve already got a second one done, a little smaller and in the brown, and I’ve got a few balls of leftovers that I’m hoping to make into simple mittens. But first, I discovered a partial skein of hot pink KnitPicks Brava Bulky in my stash that will make a great hat too. It’s a pretty small ball, though, so it’ll probably become a baby hat.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend awaiting you!

Darn that job

Don’t you hate it when work gets in the way of your fun stuff? This week has been too busy, and I haven’t had the mental energy to put much toward knitting or blogging or cool things like that. But I’m going to change that today! It’s a cool, sunny morning, so I’m outside with a cup of tea and a couple of dogs and I’m going to clear my head of work.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I HAVE been knitting; I’ve just been working on projects that don’t make me think too much. My Mudpunch sock has gotten the most time, which is why I’m a good way into the foot.

img_5442

This is the Twizzler socks pattern and I like it a lot, but I also like how this stripe pattern works up in plain stockinette. I almost wish I’d done a vanilla sock. (I also wish I’d taken the time to get a better photo, now that I see this one here. Oops.)

My other project this week has been my Estonian lace cowl. I worked on this while I was watching the US Open, but only during the less critical matches, i.e. not Rafa Nadal. My skein was smaller than the designer’s, so I cast on fewer stitches for a cozier cowl. I might not get the full three repeats of the lace pattern but I’m not bothered. I’ll just go until I can’t go anymore.

img_5444

And today is Duncan’s Gotcha Day! We’ve had him for two years now and can’t imagine life without him. He’s the husband’s favorite as well as the boy’s favorite, and he’s such a sweet snuggler. I’m just really glad he stopped destroying things as he got older!

img_5201

Happy weekend, friends!