Tag Archives: knitting

Family Weekend

We’re traveling home from a weekend with my parents, and I’m writing this on my phone.please excuse any weird autocorrect mistakes. 🙂 

We’ve all had a good time at my parents’ house. This was Lollypop’s first time to visit them, and he was a little dubious at first, but he warmed up really well. Especially when Papaw was swinging him around and around. 

Jellybean got to play in the dirt, see Papaw’s workshop, read stories with Mimi, and get spoiled with bunny grahams, ice cream, tv and staying up late. 

We’re all tired, of course, as it goes when you travel, but it’s so worth it. 

I got to do a little bit of knitting. I had been participating in a design challenge, but I got stuck on step 3 of 5 and wasn’t able to concentrate on it enough to get past the hump. I will continue on with the challenge this week, thigh, and I may end up with a pattern out of it. 

I managed to finish block 9 of the Knitterati Afghan. This one wasn’t my favorite looking block, but it was actually quite fun to knit. 

There’s a lot going on in this one. Cables around the border, wraps, 5-stitch bobbles, 3-stitch bobbles, a 1-to-7 stitch increase and a 5-stitch decrease. It definitely kept my interest as I was knitting.

It still needs to be blocked, but I wanted at least one picture for my post today. I have blocks 7 and 8 finished and blocked, but of course I didn’t take photos of those before we left. (I was to busy getting us all packed!)

The next big item on my to do list is planning a first birthday party! I’m having so much fun planning this one, but trying to keep it small. I’ll tell you all about it in a few weeks! 

Have a great week, my friends! 


Filed under Family, 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

Cinioch Hat
Maeve Hat
Chelsea Summer Hat
Baby Rawr Hat

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

Lynn mitts
baby mittens
Knotty 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

Layette Set for Baby Lollypop
amigurumi elephat
Sunshine plushy

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

Ian Stocking with Train
Custom Famiy Stockings Bright
Custom Family Stockings - Stripes
Gradient 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

rose medallion crochet doily
Happy Baby Throw Crocheted Blanket
Aran Afghan
Growler Cozy

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!


Filed under Crochet, Knitting

Have Planner, Will Plan

Good Morning and happy Monday to you, my friends.

There’s not much to talk about knitting-wise this week because I’ve not done much knitting. I have made some decent progress on my sweater – I’m working on the shoulders at the moment – but since it’s such a small yarn, it’s not going as fast as my most recent projects. I don’t mind that part, though. It’s very meditative knitting… around and around and around and remember to increase in the right spots and just keep knitting. I’ve very nearly used all of the first skein of yarn and I’m not even down to the sleeves yet.

I did try it on this weekend to see if it was starting out the right way and I’m happy to say it’s going well. The shoulders fit me right the way they should and nothing’s to tight or too loose. It’s exciting.

So, if I haven’t been knitting much this week, what have I been doing?

I’ve been planning a birthday party.

For a *gasp* FOUR year old!

My big kiddo turns four this week and we’re having a party. I usually start planning his parties right after Christmas, but so much stuff was going on this year and I kept putting it off. So I’m trying to put it all together in about a week and a half. It’s coming along, and I think he and his friends will have fun.

I’ve also spent a lot of time this week just trying to get organized. I felt things going off the rails, with work and kids and trying to keep the house in reasonable order, so I am working on making myself a planner. Traditional day planners don’t quite fit my needs – I need more of a prioritized task list than an appointment calendar – so I’ve been searching for free planner pages, printing them and trying to see how they work with my brain. I’ve found a few things that are working and I’m tweaking the pages that don’t quite fit for me, so hopefully I can keep everything more tidy. I am a planner, I like lists and meal plans and organized shelves and everything in its place. The reality is that I don’t always have every little thing organized, and I have several piles of my stuff laying around in places. Plus, living with two kiddos (who prove the chaos theory) and another human (who can buy a week’s worth of groceries in one trip and make a week’s worth of meals without ever thinking about a list) means that it’s a lot of work to keep things from getting out of hand.

Last weekend, I was feeling so much stress about everything I felt was on my plate. This weekend, I am getting it organized and in its place. I have no illusion that I will stay organized forever. When I get comfortable with my routine, I won’t need the detailed planner as much, but for right now, it makes me feel so much better just to have it all written down in one spot.

I am going back to my knitting, now. Have a great week!

P.S. I am anxiously awaiting block 3 of the mystery afghan. I really hope it’s one that I will want to do. I could use a short, easy project to work on as I need a break from the big projects I’ve got on the needles.

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Filed under Family, Knitting, Not Knitting

Reclaiming Yarn

Have you ever made a project that you thought you’d love, but when you got it finished, it just wasn’t anything you wanted anymore?

These days, when I’m knitting for myself, I try really hard to make things I think I’ll wear. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? So why, if I’m not a vest person, do I have three vests that I’ve made, but never worn? It boggles my mind, for sure.

One vest has been reclaimed for yarn for my Merle Sweater. Another one has been put in the yard sale pile. (It’s not worth it to me to reclaim that yarn.) The third is one is waiting for a project to come along that will be perfect for the yarn. There’s also a shawl or two that I don’t really care for. These projects all took time and effort to make, but they’re just sitting, not being used.

I’ve gifted projects that I don’t like for myself to people who I think might like them. These purple socks went to my mom as soon as I finished them. I expected the yarn to knit up as purple with just hints of the bright colors, but it turned out way too bright for me. She loved them (and they did happen to match the shirt she was wearing that day.)  We’re both lucky we have the same size foot!

Purple Socks 2

Purple Socks!

There’s this one


I bought a whole bunch of sport-weight yarn for that, cast on a million stitches (actually, I think it was only 300-something, but still) and actually made two sections like the above, then joined them with a cable down the middle. The trouble is with that lace part you see right there. I just can’t get past the phallic-ness of it.

It’s sitting in a bag, and the ends haven’t even been woven in. It’s been sitting like that for almost 3 years. It’s obvious I am not going to wear it, so I think it’s time to frog so I can use the yarn for something else.

My project page says I used 4 skeins for a total of 580 yards. I’m not sure if that’s what I used in the entire thing or if that’s just what I bought initially. I know I went back and bought more yarn after I decided to do something different than the pattern called for. I know I have at least that much, though, so I can work from there. So, off to the frog-pond it goes.

There’s this one, too:

Evening Shrug

Slippery bamboo cuff of a shrug-thing.

That’s the start of an Evening Shrug in Berroco Bonsai yarn. The yarn is Bamboo and nylon and it is so slippery! It’s very shiny, but it’s very hard to work with. It makes knitting a cuss-fest. I couldn’t even get it to stay in a center-pull ball. I don’t even know what I could stand to make with it. I think this yarn is going to the for-sale pile.

When I first started knitting, I picked up my knit stitches the wrong way. This made all my knit stitches twisted. I purled correctly, but the knitting was just wrong. I discovered this when I was taking a class learning to knit socks. I was probably halfway through with the pair, and I decided to just finish them out the wrong way then figure out how to knit right. This was 5 years ago, and I’ve never worn the socks. I never even wove in the ends. They’ve been sitting, unused and unloved for that long.

First socks.

First socks.

When the first snow of the year hit, I realized Jellybean didn’t have mittens that fit. He has a mismatched pair, but they’re too small. I offered to make him more. I dug through my stash and found a really great superwash yarn in yellow.

“What about yellow mittens?” I asked him.
“Well, what color would you like?” (I knew the answer already.)

And I came across the first socks. They were knit with Crystal Palace Yarns Merino 5 Print. Red with hints of orange, yellow and magenta. Worsted weight, so they’ll knit up fast. Superwash for easy care. Perfect!

I had no reservations about ripping out the socks to make mittens. I wasn’t going to wear the socks, so I’m happy the yarn gets some good use. I used Dulaan Easy-On Mittens for the pattern. They took an afternoon to knit and as you can see, they’re great for snowball fights with daddy.


Look out!

The sweater I made for my husband is also being reclaimed to make him a sweater that actually fits. Yarn can also be reclaimed from thrift store sweaters! It’s fun to find a beautiful cashmere sweater for $5, then rip it out to make something new.

It may seem frustrating to make something, then just rip out all that work. However, I would rather rip out a project to make something useful than to just let it sit there, not being used at all.

Have you ever undone a project to make something new?


Filed under Knitting