Tag Archive | handmadeMO

Madelia Photos

I unpinned my Madelia shawl this morning and started taking photos as soon as I got enough daylight. I just love lace, don’t you?

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The only modification to the pattern was to use DK instead of sport weight. My edge didn’t come out quite as pointy as hers, but close enough. If you don’t set it aside for two months as I did, it’s a relatively quick knit. The pattern was well-written and easy to follow (except for one bit where it says to use the right needle tip to lift a stitch over, and I think it should maybe be the left needle that’s doing the lifting). Plus it’s super easy to modify; it’s written for three colors but obviously I only did two. It would also be lovely in a solid color. And if you made it in a fingering weight, I think it would be a good size for more of a scarf look.

This morning I came to the determination that I am inspired more by yarn than by patterns. I wanted to cast on some new projects so I had more variety, and went to my stash and picked out five yarns that were calling my name. Thanks to Ravelry, a short while later I had patterns picked out for all of them and have big plans for today! … Except I just realized that none of them are a hat, and I need a hat in the mix, so I’ll be revisiting the stash in a bit. Yeah, I’ll be doubling my WIP count today. Right now I’m okay with it. We’ll see how long it lasts before I’m hit with a bout of finish-itis!

Madelia Shawl

I started and finished a shawl yesterday. Haha, NO! Not that same shawl! First, I cast on the Chevrione shawl with high hopes of making good progress this weekend. I made it through the first two sections, but it was tricky! Not that it’s really that difficult, but the lace is intricate and a little complicated and I kept making mistakes. I had to focus all my attention on it, no movies or TV, and after a couple of hours, I needed a mental break. But here’s what I’ve got so far:

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It’s really pretty and I like it and I can’t wait to get to the next color. I think it’ll go more smoothly now that I’ve gone through the chart once.

When I set aside the Chevrione, the girl and I decided to watch a movie, so I pulled out another old WIP, one that’s not mindless but is easier to follow with distractions. It’s the Madelia Shawlette by Picnic Knits that I started in September. As I finished the section I was on, I realized I only had three sections left, and each one was 12 rows or fewer. So close to the end! Suddenly my goal was to finish this project.

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I knit my way through West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, and the evening news, and at 10:30 I finally set aside the completed shawl. And this morning I got up, wove in the ends, and blocked the sucker.

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Here’s a close-up of the lace. I think blocking is going to make a huge difference in this one. When I was done binding off, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it’s growing on me now.

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So with that done, I had 4 WIPs: three shawls and a blanket. Well, that wasn’t going to work for me. I need more variety in my knitting life. Fortunately, I was saved by a friend’s request for two pussyhats. I did a bit of stash-diving and came up with an assortment of pink yarn, and had a nearly finished hat after a viewing of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Now I’ve had a workout and a snack break, and I’m ready to dive back in. The goal is to have two completed pussyhats by the end of the day. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Gift Knitting Part II

Whew, another Christmas in the books! It was a busy one, a good one, and now I’m ready to move on. I do enjoy the holidays, but they seem to have gotten more complicated, and thus more stressful, over the years. I’m happy to have a bit of a breather now, and be able to focus on my knitting! What have I been making, you ask? Well, let’s take a peek:

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I made good progress on this teal and gray scarf yesterday while binge-watching 11.22.63 on Hulu. (SO good, and I loved the book so I was worried, but I really enjoyed it and am now reading the book again.) Anyway, nine hours of TV means lots of knitting time.

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Pattern for this one is Quickie Cowl and yarn is Classic Elite Yarns Chalet and Chateau.

This one is another Twinkly Lights Cowl like I made for my SIL (the tan/brown one I showed you before) only this one is in Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky. I also did it correctly this time, with the wider center section, and I love it. It’s dense and heavy and warm, and I know I’ll be wearing it a lot when the temperatures drop again.

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I managed to score some more Cascade Spuntaneous Yarn, this time in purple and pink, and the purple one ended up being my Christmas Eve party knitting. And when I finished it, the hubby snagged it because he was chilly. And he liked it too!

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Fortunately for him, he had his own warm knitwear waiting under the tree! A week before Christmas, it was super cold, and as he wrapped his (handknit alpaca) scarf around his neck, he casually mentioned, “Gosh, I need a buff.” Like you, I said, “What the heck is a buff??” and found out it’s basically a really snug cowl that can be worn over the face when one is doing weird outdoorsy things like hiking or biking or running, or whatever. And I know he didn’t mean it like that, but knitter friends, you know I heard him say, “You need to make me a buff for Christmas.”

Well. Challenge accepted! I popped over to Ravelry and found this perfect pattern (had to buy the book; don’t know if I’ll make anything else from it anytime soon) but didn’t have the right yarn. I made it to the yarn store two days later and cast on that night with some Cascade 220 Superwash. It needed to be warm, resilient, and preferably washable, so I chose a good workhorse of a yarn. As I began knitting, I remembered how much I dislike knitting from charts. I especially dislike them when the chart is in iBooks and I can’t get it into my knitting app to keep track of rows. So yeah, I wrote out the charts and knit from that instead. Worked pretty well! Six hours later, I had a buff ready to wrap.

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Isn’t it so pretty?? I love the design; I think I want to make it again but with a looser fit.

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I think he liked it. I mean, I know he looks scary here, but he’s really not. And he says it’s warm. I call this one a Gift Knitting Win!

Okay, last project. This one was also last-minute. Like I made it on Christmas Eve and gifted it the next day. I’d wanted to make something for my aunt but couldn’t think of what to make. While browsing Instagram, I saw a photo of ErikaShmerika’s First Leaf Neck Wrap and thought AHA! A quick bulky project that’s a little bit different, that’s perfect! I pulled out some Berroco Kodiak in the color Harbor Seal (code for Gray) and knit this up while watching Jurassic World.

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Jack was so kind and modeled for me after I finished it. I think he looks quite handsome. But his patience didn’t last too long and I did need to add a button.

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I think this is a really cute scarf, and the yarn is warm but so fuzzy and lightweight. The pattern called for a full-length scarf but I liked the idea of a more unusual buttoned neckwarmer, and bonus: it worked perfectly within my time constraints!

I do enjoy gift-knitting when it goes well! And now the gifts are put away, the kids are busy with their new gadgets, and I can settle in and do more knitting. And because my family knows me and loves me, I can start a round of selfish knitting with MY new gadgets: a new YarnPop bag and a yarn valet!

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I hope you all had joyful holidays with plenty of knitting time and just enough family time!

Gift Knitting

Of course I had to decide, at the last minute, to make some Christmas gifts. All along, I told myself I wasn’t going to stress over making handmade gifts. I had one gift made months ago and was enjoying my selfish knitting time. But then the urge hit me — and I really wanted to make a cowl for this specific person. I had a vague picture in my head, along with an idea of what yarn from my stash I wanted to use, and I took to Ravelry. I soon found the Twinkly Lights Cowl and knew it was perfect. I cast on immediately and was done within about three hours (spread over a couple of days).

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I loved knitting this and will definitely be making more. I really want to do a black and gray version like the original. I accidentally did only 10 rows of Color B in the middle, instead of 20, but I don’t mind. I think it came out a good height, warm without being too bulky. The yarn is Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in colors Chocolate and Extra Creme Cafe, and I used less than a skein of each. This is lovely yarn to knit with; it feels dense without being heavy, firm but still soft. It’s not luxurious the way some yarns are, like alpaca, but it’s a great everyday yarn perfect for hats and cowls. Probably mittens too, maybe I should try that!

I also started a new scarf this week. For a brief moment, I thought it could be a gift, but then I came to my senses when I realized that A) Christmas was six days away and B) this is a SCARF. Now, this will be a shorter scarf, but still. A scarf. And my knitting time is still hampered by this crazy job thing. Anyway, I made a scarf for my husband a couple of years ago and we all love it and occasionally steal it. The pattern is Quickie Cowl (only I modify it to make a scarf) and it’s knit with CEY Chalet and it’s just so cozy and warm. It finally occurred to me that I could make another one, since I have more of that yarn in the stash. In fact, I have two skeins of a gorgeous deep teal and a skein of light gray to coordinate. I decided to use the same pattern since we like it so much but noticed I’d used a smaller needle than recommended the first time around, so I went up a needle size and cast on.

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It’s YUMMY. And gorgeous. I adore this yarn, truly. It’s so warm and never makes me itch. I’ll probably ignore all my other WIPs and knit on this exclusively!! (hahahaha!)

Hope you’re all ready for the holidays coming up! I know I’m not!

Two Gray Cowls

Just a quick one tonight to show off a couple of cowls. The first one I finished several days ago and just got around to blocking.

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The pattern is Flor de Maio and it was designed for Classic Elite Yarns Chateau, a baby alpaca yarn, and that’s what I used. It’s one of my favorite yarns, so soft and decadent, with great drape.

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It lost a bit of the thick density with blocking, so I kind of wish I hadn’t blocked, but it did open up the pretty diamond lace pattern nicely. This one will be a gift.

The other one is made from some of my brand-new yarn from over the weekend, Cascade Yarns Spuntaneous, and I’m kind of in love with it too.

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It’s a delicious super bulky, soft like roving, softer than Rasta or Magnum but with that same wonderful chunky texture.

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The pattern is A New Years Cowl and it was quick. Like, couple of hours quick.

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I mean, come on. This is just so perfect. I love it so much I might have to make another one. And another, and another!

Happy knitting, friends!

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!

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!