mini monsters and ornaments

I don't know about you, but we have a rule in our house: no Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. Poor Thanksgiving seems to get completely ignored now with all the Christmas ramp-up! So now that Thanksgiving has passed, I can share these little Christmas knits I finished earlier this month. 


 Pattern: Maddox by Rebecca Danger (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 1.5 dpn's
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug, in "Fire" colorway
Modifications: None! The beauty of Rebecca's patterns is that you can easily modify size by knitting with a smaller yarn weight and gauge. Believe it or not, this is exactly the same pattern as the Maddox I made last year in my charity knitting-a-thon!

Needles: Size 2 circulars
Yarn: String Theory Colorworks Continuum in the "Kinetic Energy" colorway (scrap leftovers from my fa la la la socks!)
Modifications: None! This was a fun, fast ornament. Using the self-striping yarn created a beach ball look, which I didn't mind. I picked up three stitches at the top and knit an i-cord and then tacked down the other end to make the "hanger." 

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are ready for the holiday season!

a lesson in gauge

So, I'll be the first to admit that I've gotten a little careless when it comes to measuring gauge lately ... as in ... not at all. I seriously know better, and have gotten away with it .... until now. As I made my Christmas knitting plans I got the grand idea to make some sort of shawl for my Grandma. Now she doesn't strike me as the lacy-shawl kind of person, so I was envisioning something more blanket-like that she could either wrap around her shoulders or cover her lap with while crafting away watching television in the evenings. So when I spotted the Grand Palais Shawl in one of my old KnitScene magazines, I thought I had found the perfect pattern. I cast on, and knit knit knit away, loving every second of the garter stitch. When I reached the half-way point I realized that something was a little off ... see my progress shot above? Compare to the finished object shot from the pattern below. Even with the addition of the lacy border, I don't see my version coming anywhere near the original's size. And then I checked the gauge. Hmm... the pattern calls for gauge that is basically half the stitch count I'm getting with my Knit Picks Full Circle Bulky yarn on size 11 needles (which would end up twice as big as the gauge I'm currently knitting). Oops! I'm still loving the pattern and will finish it to make a generous scarf for myself. But that doesn't leave me with my Christmas gift for Grandma ...

So today I cast on for the Storm Fir Shawl. It promises to be an equally super-speedy knit, and should be closer to the size I was envisioning for this project! 

Stay tuned ... 

little dancer legwarmers

The leg warmers are done, and just in time for cold weather! I forgot how relaxing knitting a tube is, ha! These are Knit One, Crochet Too "Crock 'o Dye" sock yarn, knit up on size two needles. I cast on 46 stitches,  knit one inch of K1P1 ribbing, then knit an additional 3 inches or so before increasing for the calf. I had two increase rows, knitting in the front and back at the four "corners" of my tube to increase four stitches each time (ending with 54 total stitches). Then ended with 1.5 inches of K1P1 ribbing. Easy peasy!

one skein cowl

My love of Malabrigo Mecha has only grown since I made my Montague Bulky Lace Vest in the stuff. This is by far the fastest pattern I've made in awhile. Truly instant gratification. Big yarn, big needles, addictive pattern = awesome!

Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha (one skein, in the Archangel colorway)
Needles: Size 11 Addi circulars
Modifications: None!

toddler ballet wrap

One of the exciting happenings around here this fall has been the start of dance lessons! And Mississippi has had an unseasonably cool fall this year (which this west coast girl is loving!), which has spurred me to make my munchkin a sweater to wear over her dance leotard much earlier than it would normally be needed.

Pattern: Toddler Ballet Wrap by Eileen Casey (free pattern!) My Ravelry project page.
Yarn: Berroco Weekend (2.1 skeins ... if I had made 3/4 length sleeves I would have not needed to dip into the third skein to finish the i-cord!) Colorway 5975, a raspberry purple-pink color.
Needles: Size 8 circulars, size 7 dpn's for the i-cord
Modifications: Lengthened the sleeves to full length! Added about an 1.5 inches of ribbing at the wrist before starting the sleeve pattern as written, then just kept knitting to desired length before doing the shaping at the top.

This knit up fast. Makes me want to knit up a bunch of things in worsted/aran weight, since they get done so much more quickly! My favorite part of this pattern is the applied i-cord ties and edging. I had never done applied i-cord before, and I love how neat and tidy it is. So easy, too!

Of course she'll need coordinating leg warmers, right? Hope you're having a great Friday!

tricks, not treats!

Yikes, clearly October was an unplanned blogging break for me! I know everyone's long since recovered from Halloween by now, but I can't resist sharing this washcloth I made last month. It's a technique I've wanted to try for a long time now--illusion knitting! The pictures is "hidden" and you can only see it when you hold the project at an angle. It's sooo much easier than it looks--you purl in the color of the hidden picture and knit in the non-picture part. On the other rows, you purl the contrast color in the non-picture part and knit in the picture part (in this example, black is the contrast color).

Yarn: Assorted Peaches 'n Cream in my stash
Needles: Size 7 
Modifications: None!

What picture?

 Ta da!

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...