Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter and Portland

I love Harry Potter... We have several traditions in our family regarding the Wizarding World. The books started when my sister was little and they always came out right around her birthday. When she was old enough, I started taking her to the midnight releases at the bookstores.

When the last few movies have come out, my oldest son has been old enough to come to the midnight shows with us. Last summer, before Deathly Hallows, Part One came out, he had to read all of the books- and he did it! This past Halloween he went as The Boy Who Lived, and I am delighted to report, he wore his robes to the movie premiere.

Unfortunately, my hat was crushed in Halloween storage, so I had to settle for just a t-shirt... And my spiffy twenty(ish) minute Gryffindor coffee sleeve. Living in Portland, we have Starbucks in the majority of our movie theatres... Awesome, right? :)

So, here is the quick little coffee sleeve pattern I came up with on Thursday afternoon:

Sz (US) 8 dpns
Worsted weight yarn in your favorite House colors

-CO 30 sts - divide 10 per needle
-Work main color in stockinette stitch (knit every round) for 8 rounds
-Switch to contrast color, work in stockinette for 6 rounds, carrying MC along. After 6 rounds, break contrast color
-Picking up MC, knit one round even.
-R2- *K4, K2tog, K4* repeat this sequence on each needle.
-R3-7 knit even
-R8 - BO

And that's it! Weave in your ends and you have a stylin' way to represent your favorite House, Team, School, etc.

(disclaimer: there are lot of coffee wrap patterns out there, this was made up on the fly sitting at my table. Similarities are coincidental. Please use this pattern all you want. Should you want to sell items from it, please contact me at kusalaknitworks @

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Sweater? In June? Welcome to Portland!

One of my most favorite books that I've found (well, in terms of knitting books, anyway) is New England Knits, put out by Interweave.  I love almost every single pattern in this book, and chances are I will be making pretty much all of them. 

The first one that I selected was the Augusta Cardigan... yep.  I started it the last week of June. JUNE!!  We have had a really wet, chilly, and yucky spring here in Portland, and quite honestly, I know I will still get wear out of this sweater this summer.

I chose the Aslan Trends Artesanal cotton/mohair blend for this project, first, well, because it was on sale; but also because (shhhhh) I like cotton.  I know that many of my fellow knitty types don't, because of it's drying effect on the hands, but I like that it dries in half the time, and has a similar worsted-ness as many wools.  I just make sure to keep a bottle of lotion nearby. :)

This was an easy pattern to knit, although, the button banding... I didn't pick up the right number of stitches, and it was fine.  Were I to do it again, I would slip the first stitch, even though it isn't specified to.  I also used 7/8" buttons, as opposed to the 1" buttons that were called for, and I would recommend this.  The buttonholes used are just a YO, and even blocking doesn't make them THAT big. 

I would absolutely knit this again... it would sure be pretty in a dark wine or a forest green color!