Sunday, October 19, 2014

fall doldrums?

These make me wish I could crochet! Craftsy Pattern Here

The blog has been quiet this month, but that's not for lack of activity here. More like lack of focus, lack of finishing. That frustrating feeling of not being able to get anything done. I'm inching closer to "done" on lots of things, but that's the real problem--I've got too much started right now. 

Case in point:
  1. At least 75% done on my knit night scarf, which I started in September as part of a KAL.
  2. Down to the very last lace border portion of Ardor (really only 1/3 of the entire project left to finish).
  3. Mid-way through a quilt top that has yet to be documented on the blog so far.
  4. Started a cowl test knit earlier in October out of Malabrigo worsted that is super yummy to knit so far. Approximately 8 pattern repeats left to knit before blocking and seaming up can occur.
  5. Knit a minion iPad cover earlier this month as a gift (one finish! yay, deadlines!)
Funnily enough, the (seemingly) millions of simultaneous WIPs is my normal protocol--but I think because a couple of these projects have self-imposed deadlines on them they are hanging more heavily over my head. Add to the mix that we've had more weekend-filling activities than normal this month (Go MSU Bulldogs! Woo, home football games!), and I've had less weekend knitting time. I feel a little silly feeling whiny about this--give me some more time and I'll have this stuff finished before I know it. And then I'll feel happy and productive again. I tallied up my yardage for the year so far, and was shocked to realize that I've knit over 12,000 yards already for the year (way above my normal yardage). So maybe I should cut myself a little slack!

Friday, October 3, 2014

FO Friday: Bergen Street Tuque

Lately I've been in a "bright" phase ... well, more like SHOCKING NEON (have you seen MadTosh's new colorway, "fluoro rose"? I want!). I was gifted this gorgeous hand-dyed Malabrigo-look-alike in a swap I participated in this summer, and knew right away it needed to be a hat for me. For me, the best hats are squishy, warm, and generously cover my ears. This pattern hits all three requirements! It is a bit "tall," so next time I would probably knit one less inch of the ribbing. And I have a big noggin, so I dutifully knit the larger size--but I think the smaller size would've been just fine. My favorite part of the pattern? How pretty the crown decreases are:

 I'm definitely knitting this pattern again, with some of my Malabrigo worsted stash!

Pattern: Bergen Street Tuque (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: mystery Malabrigo worsted look-alike
Needles: Size 8s, magic loop
Mods: None!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

120 days strong

The next badge I can earn is six months ... I can do it! I never thought I could make it this long--now I really truly believe I can make it to the six month point.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Ardor Shawlette

It's the first day of October, but we have been in full-on Halloween mode for at least two weeks here. We hit the local pumpkin patch on opening weekend, and since then little bits of Halloween have popped up throughout the house. My Halloween knitting project bags are out, I'm knitting with fall colors, pumpkins are stacked decoratively by the front door, my pumpkin shaped candles are out--the only thing that hasn't emerged is our collection of totally tacky skeletons, graveyard, and cobwebs. We'll wait a couple more weekends to set that out. ;-D

I'm working on Ardor right now, and the gorgeous pumpkin-esque yarn? That's Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the "cayenne" colorway. Yummy and scrummy! This is only my second time knitting with Tough Love Sock, and wow--I love it! I'm excited, because I'm finally done with the garter stitch--now I get to proceed to the lace border. I'll cast off the long top edge, and then pick up and knit to start the lacy border.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

stashbusting slippers

Since my last pair of simple slippers using Manos Wool Clasica turned out so well, I decided to use up the rest of my wool clasica stash on a second pair. No more thick and thin yarn for me--phew! It feels good to put such nice yarn to use, as well.  Exact same pattern, needles, and yarn as last time--just new colorway! Super squishy coziness. Now I just need the temperatures to drop so I actually want to wear these!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

going hatty

You're not crazy--you have seen this hat before. It's Luuk, which has become my go-to kid and baby hat pattern. It's free, fast, easy and fun. My favorite part is the bobble on top! Adorbs! These were knit earlier this month, when our entire family was afflicted with a gnarly new-school-year cold that was making the rounds across Starkville. I'm amazed I was even able to finish these hats, considering how bad it wiped us out. The top hat is for my daughter (knit from Lion Brand Amazing, a color-changing acrylic) and the bottom for my son (knit from Miss Babs Yummy Worsted in the "forest afternoon" colorway). I feel somewhat "eh" about the hat in Miss Babs. I loved the yarn, but in this pattern it looks funky. I love this hat so much better in yarns with a halo (or fuzz!) to them like the Lion Brand.  I have more Lion Brand Amazing stashed in "boyish" colors, so I may eventually make a new one and donate this one to charity. Or not. We'll see ...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

super simple slippers

Ever have a yarn languish in your stash because you're just not sure to what to do with it? That was the plight of four skeins of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica that I had purchased several years ago at my favorite LYS in Jackson, Mississippi. I was drawn to the gorgeous variegated colors and yummy fiber, but the wooliness of the yarn gave me pause the longer I lived in our humid Mississippi climate. It just wasn't yarn that I wanted next to my neck (makes me sweat thinking about it!) and the thick and thin nature of the yarn put me off most of my go-to patterns. So the poor skeins sat untouched for quite some time ... then for whatever reason I started looking at slipper patterns for potential Christmas knitting this year. And ta-da! Someone had made a gorgeous pair of slippers using this exact yarn in the exact colorway. And then I knew exactly what to do with it! Nothing makes me happier then finally finding a yarn's purpose!

I ended up using a different slipper pattern than the original inspiration, but I love these just as much! This is a free pattern, which is written to be knit flat and seamed. Given my despise of seaming, I instead knit the ribbed cuffs in the round, and switched to flat knitting for the foot (since I equally loathe knitting garter stitch in the round). After knitting the cuffs you knit the top of the foot by itself, and then pick up stitches around its edge to knit the sole. Then I did a three-needle bind-off to close the bottom of the foot, leaving only 1.5 inches of the back of the heel to actually seam. Yippee! They are soft, cushy, and totally dreamy. This pair I'm claiming for myself--they are such a treat to wear--but already have a second pair started in my remaining Manos (a yummy red) to be gifted away.

Pattern: Nola's slipper pattern, a freebie (scroll to the bottom for a link to the pdf)! (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica (used about 1.5 skeins)
Needles: size 8
Mods: Pattern is written with yarn held double to make a man-sized slipper. To fit a size 9 women’s foot, I used aran weight yarn (held single, not doubled) and size 8 needles. Otherwise followed pattern exactly!