Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blocking... and waiting.

Recently, I discovered blocking.  No, not running around with the kids, building towers and knocking them down, though that is a great thing to do while wool is drying ;)

Problem with blocking is that I don't have a blocking board, don't have room for a blocking board, and I don't have blocking pins.  Even if they SAY that it's okay to get them wet, I still have an issue putting metal into something that is wet/damp.  That being said, I DO have an Ikea drying rack and lots of clothespins... so this is what I came up with:
It seems to work pretty well, I just have to be careful on the ends, or I get a ripple effect. This week, also, I've been cramming to get everything done for the big Etsy shop re-vamp for fall/winter, but I took some time out to head up to the Lantern Moon warehouse sale.

I found a totally awesome straw knitting bag, marked down to $12!  It's bright yellow, with some dye uneveness - why it was marked down, but really, I like it that way.  It adds character.  I also got a gorgeous mini-needle roll.  I needed a separate one for my DPN's.  That being said, I always lose track of which set of DPNs is which.  I came up with this plan:  I have a bunch of beads and earring wires, so I threaded the number of beads for each set of DPNs on to separate wires, and voila!  I really like how these came out, and this way I can keep track of which is which without is being totally obnoxious - like keeping the numbers from the packaging. ;)  Here's the finished product after I attached them to the needle roll.  Looking back, I probably should have just done them in complementary colors to the fabric, but I like the colors... easier to count the beads!

Cute, huh?  I like it.  :)  Back to a super cute baby sweater, and some washcloths for my little sis who just left for college!  I remember it was always fun to get random packages in the mail!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New projects!

After several requests, I have found a baby bootie pattern that I really like (along with about 3,000) other people...  Slightly different than your normal baby feet, these ones cross over and are super cute (and easy) to knit up. I've done two sets so far:

The first, the ones to the left, are done with a sock weight yarn and a size 3 needle, making them a little on the airy side, but they are knit with a wool/bamboo blend, which keeps them soft and warm. These ones are a little more girly than the others, with shades of blue, green, yellow, and purple - accented with purple buttons.

The second ones are done in a DK weight with size 2.5mm needles and all in blue... great for those who still do the whole blue is for boys thing, but I think they would look just as cute with a little blue and white gingham dress.  :)

I've also been working on a couple of neck wraps, a really cool celtic cable pattern that I found on Ravelry, which I absolutely love.  As well as an adult yoga sock, a sweater for Xavier (which at this point is hibernating, and I might just wind up frogging it, because I don't like the yarn that I was trying to use up.  :(  It's a 100% acrylic, and it just isn't working well with the pattern.  Not to mention that it's really difficult to knit with and is hurting my hands.

No new patterns at the current moment, but I will be putting up some more pictures of the fall Etsy collection soon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A couple mini-projects....

I finished the sweater... and I really like how it came out.  I will definitely make this pattern again.  I will put up pictures of that shortly.

Over the past few days, I have been working on a couple of projects for my fall Etsy collection and also have had another article published on the Naughty Knitterz website regarding the differences between your local LYS and the Big Box craft stores like Michaels and JoAnn fabrics.

The newest project that I've done has been a unisex cowl in a great shade of army/olive green.  I really like how this one came out, and if you like it too, here is the pattern!  Please feel free to make a bunch to share with family and friends, charities too, but please don't sell the pattern.  Thanks!

Easy Unisex Cowl

What you need:
Size 8 circular needle
Worsted weight yarn (in two colors if you want a contrasting band)

What you're going to do:
CO 124 (Note: I've had a comment saying that it didn't work with 124, and changed it to 122, and then received another comment saying that no, 124 was correct.  I did 124 and it was fine.  :))

Join and work in a K2, P2 rib for 5 rounds (or more, if you want a wider banding on it)
Knit 1 round with first yarn type, change to contrast yarn

The majority of this project will be worked in a half-linen stitch.

Pattern Rows:
Round 1: *K1, bring yarn to front, sl 1, bring yarn to back, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: *Bring yarn to front, sl 1, bring yarn to back, k1, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 4: Knit.

Continue these four rounds until cowl reaches desired width.  I did about 5 inches.
Change back to first yarn, Knit 1 round
Work in K2, P2 rib for 5 rounds, Bind off.

This is a super easy pattern that goes very quickly once you get into a rythym.  It results in a loose fitting cowl that slips over the head, with a cool, nubby texture.  Enjoy!

*Disclaimers, etc:  This pattern  (not the stitch pattern) was made up on the fly as I was trying to use up some extra wool yarn from another project.  Any similarity to previously existing patterns is coincidental.  Thanks!*

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Seemingly Endless Process

Okay, not necessarily endless... I just get impatient easily.  My latest project is something actually for me.  I went into Knit Purl last weekend thinking I would get a nice, neutral charcoal for this particular project... I'm thinking an all around sweater for khakis, jeans, black pants, grey pants, etc.  What did I walk out with?

Image via
This lovely worsted weight, kettle dyed Malabrigo yarn.  It's beautiful, with shades of greys and purples and blacks... not what I went in for, but it was SO pretty in the twisty ball, and then as it was wound I could see all of the color variations...

In any event, the sweater pattern that I am working is from and it is their "Radiant Sweater."  I like this particular pattern because I'm rather small chested, and boat neck sweaters seem to do better on me, as they bring the eye to my face as opposed to the decollete...

Currently, after working on this for three days, I have both sleeves and a little less than half of the body done.  As much as I like the pattern and the yarn, the endless rounds of stockinette are killing me.  I'm trying really hard to stay focused, but sheesh!! 

OH!  And here's an image of the actual sweater... with that, I'm back to the rounds... and some Castle reruns.  I love Nathan Fillion. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Free Coffee Wrap Pattern

I love making these little coffee holders... especially in different sizes and varieties.  My first ones were very simple, and as I've grown in skill, they've become more complex.  I still love my basic coffee wraps that you can find a little farther down on the page, but I've developed several others, the following being one of them!

These work up super quickly and are great for teacher gifts or perfect for that last minute present - think a cute little mug from Ikea, wrap it in a little holder and toss in a gift card or a few packages of the new Starbucks Via instant coffee.

The pattern is simple and is as follows:

You Will Need:
SZ 11 (US) needles
Worsted Weight - Chunky Weight yarn (Either will work just fine)
Cable needle
Tapestry/Yarn needle
Harry Potter Soundtrack (Okay, this item is optional... but certainly preferred)

Explanation of Stitch:
C4F:  Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, let hang in front of work, knit next 2 stitches, then knit 2 off of the cable needle, proceed with rest of row.
CO 14 stitches
R1: P1, K2, P2, K4, P2, K2, P1
R2: K1, P2, K2, P4, K2, P2, K1
Continue until R7
R7: P1, K2, P2, C4F, P2, K2, P1

Repeat these stitches until wrap is nearly desired length - after last R7, continue R1 and R2 repeats until R6.  At end of this R6, Knit every stitch for the next two rows.  COff/BOff using your preferred method - I really like the sewn cast off, which you can find here, at Knitting Daily.

I can't crochet.  I keep meaning to learn, but until then, I stitch a button on the COn edge. Then I take either a piece of yarn or ribbon, make a circle and make a knot through the BOff edge.  See pictures below.  I've found that this works just as well, and looks really cute if you use a contrasting color to the yarn.

Step One: Slip your circle through the work

Step 2Slip the bottom of the loop up through the top part of the loop

Step 3Pull tight, and you're done!  Very simple and easy.  If choosing to use two buttons, just space loops out accordingly along the bound off edge!