Tag Archive | HandmadeinKC

Save me, knitting

OMG guys, Christmas is coming. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and for some reason it hit me that Christmas is just a little over a month away and I am so far from being ready that it’s not even funny. I haven’t even had the brainpower to start thinking about it. I have no idea what my kids want, let alone what the nieces and nephews want. I don’t even know what *I* want. (That’s not true. I want yarn and time to knit. That would be plenty.) So there’s a ton of shopping to do, plus decorating, and we have A LOT of decorations. I know, they don’t all need to be put out, but I do love having the house decorated. I’m feeling overwhelmed by it today. I think I got spoiled the last few years, when I wasn’t working and I had time/mental energy to put toward this kind of stuff. It’s a little different now. I have to readjust. I think I’ll make a list. Maybe two lists. That always helps.

Let’s try to refocus and think of happier things: I have a FO! I finished my second Color Block Wrap yesterday and wove in the ends this morning and I LOVE it.


For as big as this is, it is a super fast knit. It took me about a month, and I am not a monogamous knitter. This was mostly lunch break/ kids’ concerts knitting. Here’s the project page if you want details. I’m so glad I went down a needle size; I love the denser drape. This will get a lot of use this winter.

I also have a new cast-on. I had to go to the LYS last weekend to get yarn for an Etsy order, and I knew I was getting some money for a previous custom order, so I splurged on a gorgeous skein of Anzula Cricket in Charcoal. I’ve been wanting a black cowl for myself for a while. It took a bit of searching but I decided on the Saltfleet Cowl pattern, and I’m calling mine the Black Diamond cowl.


The Anzula is a treat to knit with, that’s for sure. Soft but not limp, not splitty at all, great stitch definition, and there’s enough color variation that it’s not like knitting with black yarn at all. I’m loving this project.

And since I finished my previous mindless knitting project (the Color Block), I pulled out a project that’s been in hibernation for a long time. I got the set of gradient purple yarns (Knit Picks Palette) for Christmas two years ago and cast on Purl Soho’s Gradient Cowl. It’s pretty, but boring, so I work on it for a little while and then tuck it away again. I’m now over halfway through, I’m a faster knitter than I was two years ago, and I have a lot more time for mindless knitting. (Unfortunately that means I have much less time for complicated knitting, but hey, it’s a trade-off. I gotta find the silver lining where I can.) Anyway, I took this with me last night when I went to an author event and made good progress.


What author, you ask? None other than Rainbow Rowell, super-talented author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Landline! She’s so fun to listen to; she’s funny and smart and snarky and honest and I just love her. I mean, look how cute she is:


Oh, and I found other knitters there too! There were two of them sitting right in front of me–I recognized a handknit hat on one, and a handknit shawl on the other. They noticed me knitting during the break, and we chatted a bit, and then during the second half, one of them pulled out her knitting too. I love to encourage knitting in public!

Okay, this was a fun interlude but I’m afraid I must re-enter the scary world of holiday prep. We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year so cleaning must happen today, and I’m definitely not doing it all myself so I’ll be dragging some unhappy helpers into the mix. Wish me luck!

Fairy SnowCap

I finished a hat this morning and it’s so pretty! This was my spur of the moment “I need to make a hat” knitting this weekend, and it fit the bill perfectly.

Pattern: Fairy SnowCap  It was well-written, included lots of tips and instruction and photos. Very little repetition in the lace pattern so it made me think without making my lose my head. Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Jil Eaton Minnow Merino in dark pink. Used every bit of 154 yards, and that was making a slightly smaller pompom than the designer.  img_2318img_2319img_2320img_2321

Now, here’s what I didn’t like: making a hat top-down! You have to start on DPNs, which aren’t my favorite, and this pattern has a lot of YOs and my YOs never ended up at a good spot on my needles so I switched to 9″ circs as soon as I could, but they were metal Addis and way too slick for this yarn/pattern. Once I was able to get to my bamboo 16″ circs, it was okay, but then you run into the bottom edge problem: it needs to be stretchy without being too big. The pattern recommended a sewn Kitchener bindoff, and included a handy phototutorial and everything, but I’m a lazy knitter and I just did Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bindoff instead. It fits my medium-size head well, maybe loose enough that it would work well on a large head too. So I’m calling this a win, but I probably wouldn’t knit this pattern again. That’s totally me and my preferences, and not the pattern.

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend as much as I am mine. (It’s wonderfully unscheduled, leaving my lots of crafty time.) I even have plans to go to a LYS today!

Wonder Woman Bags

Yesterday, my brother sent me a link about some cosmetic bags Walgreens was selling. Not just any bags: these were WONDER WOMAN bags! I’ve loved her since I was a kid, and I’m a nerd at heart so now that I’m a grown up, I love to have all kinds of Wonder Woman stuff. You guys have seen some of it. So I followed the link and then almost immediately drove to my local store. Nope, they didn’t have them. Didn’t know anything about them. Shoot. I came home, searched some more, and thought the closest store that had any was 30 minutes away. But no! My brother discovered a closer store that said it had one of the bags. I figured one was better than none and set off again. And GUESS WHAT?? They had all three bags I wanted! So yes, I bought myself an early Mother’s Day gift because how could I not? IMG_6025The big one will be a project bag, and I’m not sure about the two medium sizes. That littlest one came with a set of makeup brushes, and they’re cute and all, but whatever. This is a notions pouch, am I right? And that clear one in the back? It has a cape!IMG_6026I am more than pleased with my new bags. I think they’re delightful.

Somehow I also ended up with some new yarn yesterday. I don’t know how it happened. But it was all half off, so that’s something. IMG_6027This is Cascade 220 Superwash Aran, so squishy and soft! Love this stuff.

IMG_6028This is Berroco Lustra. You can’t see it very well, but it has a lovely subtle shimmer. I think it will make a gorgeous lacy cowl.

Now I really need to focus and get back to work. This author’s book isn’t going to proofread itself!

KC Royals Knitwear

If you remember, I recently received a request for some KC Royals-themed knitwear. The mitts were finished first, and yesterday I whipped through the four ear warmers. I have to say, they drove me bonkers at first. I’d made one for my friend as a gift, just improvised, and I needed to replicate hers. Well, I hadn’t taken any notes, and all I had was this photo. IMG_5817

I assumed it was 2×2 rib so that’s what I did, but for one thing, it came out WAY too big and the ribbing didn’t look like it matched. I set the first one aside and started over with fewer stitches and 4×2 rib. Still didn’t match, still too big. Frog, start over with fewer stitches. Finally, I found a recipe that pleased me: I cast on 65 stitches on size 9 needles and knit 3×2 rib with the yarn held double for a nice warm fabric. Six rows blue, two rows white, six rows blue. For the first one, I used Jeny’s stretchy bind off but that made it way too stretchy, so for the rest I just did a normal bind off and that worked just fine. After that, it was smooth sailing. For the last one, I did frog the first sad too-big attempt to reuse the yarn. Waste not, want not! IMG_5823IMG_5824I think they’re pretty cute! I’ve got about a skein and a half of the blue left, so I’m going to make some more fingerless gloves for my inventory. We’ll need them when the Royals get back to October baseball!

Happy Friday!

Just a few photos today

I’m not feeling very wordy today and I’ve got a lot to do, so today’s post will be mostly photos.

Location of this morning's newspaper. Yep, that's the street.

Location of this morning’s newspaper. Yep, that’s the street.

Grace's new favorite thing is lounging in the greenery to watch the street.

Grace’s new favorite thing is lounging in the greenery to watch the street.

Tubs are packed with inventory and props for today's craft show set-up.

Tubs are packed with inventory and props for today’s craft show set-up.

Included are these 4 new Royal blue hats to celebrate my KC Royals in the post-season!

Included are these 4 new Royal blue hats to celebrate my KC Royals in the post-season!

I managed to make not one but TWO super bulky striped hats yesterday! That was fun. Don’t know that I’ll get much knitting time today, what with setting up my booth, stopping at Costco for dog food, and the boy’s choir concert tonight. But I’ll be sure to post photos of the craft show once it’s all done!

Time for Some Crochet

Crochet came first for me, but after I learned to knit, knitting because my primary passion. I love the fabric it creates, the rhythm of my hands, hearing that little click of the needles every so often. But I still enjoy crochet too, and lately I’ve been feeling the urge. Yesterday I gave in to the urge. It was time to take a break on the blanket and I don’t have any outstanding orders to finish, so I perused Ravelry until I found a pattern that spoke to me. Now, you’ll have to be patient with me. This will be a gift for someone who I think reads my blog, so I don’t want to share the full details just yet. But here’s a little peek: IMG_3278I think it looks a bit like chainmail. I’m using a DK weight (a little thinner than I usually use) yarn called Merletto from Louisa Harding. It’s called Sage but to me it’s more of a silver, and it even has a lovely shimmer. I’m quite excited about this project, and in fact I’ll be going back to it once I’m done writing to you lovely people.

The girl had her second football game yesterday (reminder: she’s marching band, not football team). I think the team lost, but the band was wonderful of course. And right after the halftime show, there was lightning and then some rain and the band was sent home and I didn’t have to sit through a whole football game! Yahoo! Anyway, we came home. To the puppies. Yes, THOSE puppies. The ones who are naughty sometimes. I’d gotten a package in the mail yesterday and included was a small gauzy pouch containing a birthday present. I had set it aside to open on the actual day. Well, you can guess what happened. Grace decided she wanted it open NOW. She’s very good at opening presents. Thankfully, the present was nothing she deemed edible, so it survived. And it’s beautiful too, see: IMG_3281This is from Kind Spirit Jewelry. She makes pretty things. I will wear it today when my mommy takes me out for a celebratory lunch. And the weather is supposed to be sunny and slightly cooler, so I think it will be a good day. Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Arizona Sunset Cowl

I finished the Arizona Sunset cowl a few days ago, washed it, blocked it, and yesterday I went outside for a little photo shoot. I’m so happy with this cowl. It’s exactly what I pictured in my head when I bought the yarn. IMG_4741IMG_4744IMG_4732You can find the fantastic pattern here, my Ravelry notes here, and the listing on my Etsy shop here. I want to make some matching fingerless gloves with the leftover yarn, and then I want to make more of these cowls with the other colors of Mochi Plus.

I’ve been making good progress on my Playful Stripes blanket too. It’s going faster than any blanket has a right to. I think it’s because of the colors: I keep knitting because I can’t wait to see what it looks like with the next color. I’m on my third color now. IMG_3270Want to join me in the fun? Find the pattern here; what colors would you choose? The designer, Meridith Shepherd, did one in shades of turquoise, gray and white that’s gorgeous.

And something fun happened as a result of my starting this project: Meridith saw the project page on Ravelry, found the blog post, and contacted me. She’s a retail refugee/SAHM like I am, and I’m pleased to have connected with her. She’s a knitting designer doing business as Stacked Woolens. She’s doing a sweater try-on event at one of my LYS, The Studio Knitting and Needlepoint, where attendees can try on one of her sweaters, get the pattern, and buy the Anzula yarn. If you’re in the KC metro area, maybe I’ll see you there on the 24th! And if you haven’t been to The Studio yet, check out their page here.

Now I’m off to the post office. Thanks to the magic of Etsy, as of last night my shop is sold out of little Yoda hats, and I can’t replenish until I get my KnitPicks order of Yoda green yarn. Don’t you just love getting yarn in the mail?