Tag Archives: cables

I’ve Come Down With Startitis

I have had a serious bout of startitis the last week! I keep finding all these cool, short projects that I want to do and I apparently think I should start them all at once. They would all be really quick to make, if I wasn’t making them all at once! I have a bunch of WIPs to show you today.

This is one I’ve had on my mind for a while. It’s so adorable and is so much fun to work on.

Elephant Doily

Elephant Doily. Obviously it needs to be blocked, but that will happen when it’s all been put together.

The pattern is Josefina and Jeffrey Elephant Rug by Ira Rott. It’s intended to be made with three strands of worsted weight yarn held together to make a sturdy rug, but I saw a couple of other people had used crochet thread and made a doily instead. I thought that would be perfect for Lollypop’s room.

I love, love, love crocheting doilies, but they are sometimes difficult to stop working on! I worked on this one every free moment for 4 days and I had to put it down for a little while. I woke up with migraines for 4 days in a row before I realized that crocheting was causing them. Working with the slick cotton thread and the tiny hook makes me tense up and really hurts my hands if I don’t take it slow. I’m waiting on my wrist and shoulder to stop hurting before I pick this up again and finish the other ear. When I do pick it back up, I will only work a little bit at a time.

While I’m waiting to heal from the crochet, I started another block for the Knitterati Afghan. The last I showed you of these blocks was number 5. There have been three more blocks released and they are more my style.

 

I forgot about block 5 and started in on block 6. If it wasn’t for running out of yarn, I’d be finished with block 6. I picked out yarn for blocks 5 and 7, and then decided these would be my colors for the entire afghan. I was going to try to use all stash yarn, but I think I would like it to be more uniform. Plus, these balls of yarn are only 50g and I’m not sure most the blocks will be able to be made with just one ball. In fact, block 6 up there will definitely not make it with just one ball, so I need more, anyway. While I am waiting on yarn to finish block 6, I think I’ll go ahead and start block 5.

I showed my color choices to my husband and he said I needed another color. I had considered that, but I couldn’t find a color that I really liked in my first dig through my stash. He suggested an orange. Hm. I thought about that and decided I agreed.  So dug again, consulted the color chart for Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and decided on one I think will work. I like that all the colors have a gray undertone. It’s almost pastel, but not quite.

Knitterati Colors

I also started a Sockhead Hat. This is one I heard about on the Very Pink Knits Podcast. They discuss it in episode 38: Moths! and I thought it sounded like a wonderful, simple pattern. I have plenty of sock yarns in my stash and I immediately knew which yarn I was going to use when I decided to make the hat. However, as I was digging, I found another one that I liked even better. This yarn is Three Irish Girls McClellan Fingering in colorway Zephyr (this colorway has been discontinued). The yarn base is 25% bamboo, which gives it a very nice sheen and silky feel, but bamboo is very bad for stretching and not springing back into shape and it’s not very warm. The wool content (85% for this particular skein) will help it keep its shape, but I felt like the bamboo content would make this yarn a poor choice for socks. I think it will be perfect for a slouchy hat, though, and it will be really awesome for bad hair days that are just slightly cool.

Sockhead Hat

Sockhead Hat in a perfect blue-green.

In all the startitis, I did finish a thing. I’ve been working on these socks since June of last year. They’ve been my car project – the project I work on while I’m riding in the car – and I did take them with me when I traveled for work. I used 3mm needles (US2.5 or US3, depending on your reference) and discovered I don’t like the fabric that needle makes for socks. It’s just a little too loose for my liking, but I will wear the socks anyway, because they’re very pretty.

Crazy Zauberball Socks Finished

I love finishing a new pair of hand-knit socks. My sock drawer looks so colorful and is threatening to overflow soon. I still wear commercial socks – especially for hiking or walking – but for cozy, unique comfort, nothing beats a well made pair of hand knits.

So, I needed some new car socks to work on. I bought this yarn on impulse after seeing it as an advertisement on my Facebook feed. It just grabbed me and spoke to me. It said, “Please let me come live with you!” and I kindly obliged. 😀

Haute Knit Yarns Bonfire Sock

This is HauteKnit Yarns Jimmy Sock in Grey Bonfire. The colors will show much better when I get more of the socks knitted, but here’s the photo from the Etsy Listing. You really gotta see the vibrant colors in this one.

Jimmy Sock HauteKnit Yarn Grey Bonfire

Image borrowed from Etsy shop HauteKnitYarn

 

One more (or maybe two) more things I want to start are crocheted doily coasters for my desk at work; I’ve been exploring Pinterest for ideas. I’m starting to think about Christmas, too, and plan projects for my giftees. I guess my startitis isn’t quite in remission yet. I tend to just go with it, though, and I’ll get into a finishing mode again before too long.

The sad part about my startitis is that I haven’t touched my Anni sweater in a couple of weeks. I’ve been thinking about it being lonely in my knitting basket, so I’ll pull it out again soon. It’s getting warmer around these parts, so a long-sleeved wool sweater isn’t going to be a best choice, but that will be the perfect time to finish the sweater so its ready to wear in the fall.

I’ll be taking all my new projects slowly, trying to heal up my wrist from the crochet stress. I have to take frequent breaks right now and stretch my wrist and hand, but I feel like it’s getting better. I’m so glad, too, because I really want to finish that elephant!

So here’s to finishing and healing and many beautiful projects in the next few weeks! Talk to you next week, my friends!

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Filed under Crochet, Knitting

Five Ideas for Handmade Gifts

This week, I’m bringing you 5 hand-made gift ideas to consider for your friends and family.

1 – Hats

Hats are quick and easy projects and make great gifts. These are some of my favorites that I made so far. The first is a hat I made for my husband several years ago. It is still the most favorite hat I have ever made. Second is a hat I made for my friend Chelsea. She wanted a couple of fun berets for summer. This one has a purple companion and was really fun to make. Number three is a fair isle hat. I love doing color work and since you’re using two yarns for the colorwork part, it’s double-thick and cozy. Finally, a little baby dinosaur hat that’s a mixture crochet (for the base of the hat) and knit (for the spikes). This one can be made in any size from newborn to adult.

2 – Mittens and Gloves

Gloves, fingerless and otherwise, as well as mittens are great warm gifts to give. They take a little more time than a hat to make, but that’s only because there’s some shaping involved.

3 – For the Kiddos

For welcoming baby to the world, what could be better than a sweet layette set? A coordinating hat, sweater, diaper cover and booties go together to make an adorable little outfit, suitable for the newborn photo shoot. Soft toys with sewn-on eyes are perfect for littles ones of all ages. For older kids, who haven’t outgrown the love of stuffed toys, getting the perfect gift that matches their interests is easy.

4 – Christmas Stocking

These things are so much fun to design and make! I really enjoy getting to know my clients and designing a pattern that fits their personality perfectly. Did you realize that each of these stockings was designed especially for the person I made it for? The designing process is as much fun for me as the knitting process, especially with Christmas stockings! We can work together to make a design that fits your style and decor perfectly.

5 – Housewares

Knitted items can be functional as will as fanciful. There are practical things such as dish cloths, swifter mop covers and bath mats. Then there are fun decorations such as doilies and knitted flowers. Then there are the bonus combo items, like a pretty knitted afghan with wonderful cabled texture or a bright baby blanket. If you’re a beer lover, you can keep that growler nice and cool with a felted cozy – the possibilities are endless with the design of that one!

Have you thought about having something handmade for a special someone on your gift list? Maybe a hat or mittens, just in case we get cold weather again. Does your family need a matching set of knit stockings, or have you added a family member (or two?) but haven’t gotten them one yet? Are there little ones in your life that would love a little softie? I know it’s only March, but it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about what you might like to do for Christmas. If you have an idea, let’s talk about it and see if we can work together!

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Filed under Crochet, Knitting

Monday’s Update (Late) on a Tuesday

This is getting to be a habit, isn’t it?

I’ve spent lots and lots of time adulting this week. Things just gotta get done, ya know? The craziness of preparing to move plus trying to find a new house plus getting this one ready to sell (we can’t find any handy people who want to bid our job!) plus keep up with all the normal stuff we need to do (for some crazy reason, my family still wants dinner. Every night!)

Take all that and add in a toddler who’s dropping naps (woe is me!) and it’s a struggle to get anything done.

I’ve instituted a daily quiet time for the toddler, which will allow me too get something done, and I’m using my MDO time to pack and sort through all our stuff. Which only leaves bedtime for knitting. The plus side is that we can put jellybean to bed early when he doesn’t nap and he usually doesn’t have an issue with that.

I’ve been focusing on my husband’s sweater for the last week or so. I’ve finished one sleeve and made good progress on the second. The pattern is easy and predictable, so after the first repeat, I didn’t need to look at the chart anymore.

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Beginning first sleeve

This sweater is constructed differently than my cardigan. My cardigan was knit all in one piece with no seams. This sweater is knit with the front, back and sleeves being separate pieces.

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First sleeve finished

Patterns always start with instructions for the back, then the front, then sleeves. I started with the sleeves, though. I do have a reason! The sleeves start out at the cuff, and are only 54 cast on stitches rather than 120-something. I used the first sleeve as a gauge swatch, so I sorta cheated. Turns out I hit the gauge right on the money so there was no need to rip out. Always a good thing.

When I started the second sleeve, though, I realized I forgot to change one of the needles after the cuff. (The ribbed cuffs are usually knit with a needle one or two sizes smaller than the body.) So I knitted the entire sleeve with an 8 on the wrong side and a 9 on the right side. Oops.

I’m not really sure if that will have a huge effect on the overall fabric, but just to be on the safe side, I forgot to do it again on the second sleeve.

I have a few stockings that are washed, blocked and ready for details and personalizing. Two are for the shop and the other two are claimed. One of these nights, I’ll take a break from the sweater and get them finished up.

I have plans to offer some luxurious lip butters and lotion bars in my shop this fall, too. My father-in-law keeps bees, so I have an awesome local source for untreated beeswax. I’m very excited about this!

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at more houses. Wish us luck that we find one we like! Have a great week!

P.S. I wrote this entire post on my phone, since I’ve been to busy to sit down at the computer. I hope the mistakes are few and forgivable. 🙂

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Filed under Family, Knitting, Not Knitting

Epic Sweater Reveal!

After much anticipation, I can finally reveal my epic sweater.

This is my healing sweater. I have failed no less than three times to make a sweater for myself. Reasons for failure include lack of skill, lack of confidence and complete stupidity. But this one is a complete success!

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My skills and confidence have improved so much in just the last couple of years. Making sweaters for my tiny human has helped my sweater confidence a lot, but I’ve learned a lot about reading patterns and techniques that make garment knitting easier. (I’ve also learned a lot about staying committed to the finished product.) I was able to modify this pattern just a little bit to make it fit me the way I wanted it.

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This will be my winter sweater. I plan to wear it over layers, so for that reason I wanted a looser, not fitted garment. I also have long arms and broad shoulders. This means that commercial sweater sleeves tend to end up being about 3/4 length on me. It’s annoying and my wrists are always cold. I’m not so into the trend of shorter length sweaters, either. I was able to make the sleeves and body long enough to my satisfaction.

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I might have made the sleeves just a smidge too long, but the wonderful thing about knitting it myself is… I can redo it if I want to. I would just undo the bind-off, rip out the cuff and a few rows, then re-knit the cuff.

"Why are you wearing a wool sweater in August? Are you crazy?"

“Why are you wearing a wool sweater in August? Are you crazy?”

The construction of the sweater was interesting and fun. The designer wrote the pattern so that you knit half of the back part of the collar then you stop there, pick up stitches along the cast-on edge and knit the other half. When you get to the same point as the first half, you pick up stitches along the edge and continue on down the body. If you’re not a knitter, that is probably completely confusing, but it works and it’s fun to do.

I modified the pattern at the hem to avoid having a split between the cable and the ribbing. That took some fancy needlework, but it was worth it. The only other modification I would make is to do a provisional cast on when beginning the collar. That way you would have live stitches to use when you started the second half and it would be seamless. As it is, the seam is pretty much invisible from the outside.

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I love this sweater so much. It’s warm and soft. The cables are beautiful. The construction was simple, but interesting enough to keep me interested. I will wear this for years to come. I am so happy I made this!

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Merle sweater designed by Norah Gaughan. Made in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. (Just for an interesting tidbit, Norah Gaughan is the same person who designed the pattern for the Aran Afghan I finished last month. I think you could say I’m a fan.)

 

P.S. Thank you so much to my awesome hubby for taking these photos for me. I am almost never satisfied with the photos I take, but I am almost always satisfied with his. <3

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