covering up tape measures


I found a superfast (like 30 minutes or less) project that would make a great last-minute gift for any crafter in your life--a knitted cover for your tape measure! I received one in a swap last winter, and I've treasured it. So when I found a free pattern I cast on right away! This project forced me to learn a new skill--the Turkish cast on. It was surprisingly easy and less fiddly than I expected. It's a two-sided cast-on that you could use for something like toe-up socks or the ever-popular hexagon blankets. So now I'm motivated to actually try a pattern in one of my toe-up socks books! This pattern used up a tiny amount of yarn, so this would be a great pattern to use up leftover scraps.

Pattern: I've Got You Covered by Shelley Kuecks (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love this Wool! Ombres (used less than 10 yards, easily)
Needles: Size 6 Knit Picks Harmony, with 40 inch cable for magic loop
Mods: Skipped the rest rows in between each decrease row at the top of the cover.

tuning up

My fine tune cowl is coming along nicely! I ended up keeping the brown in my palette, and I'm glad I did. It adds a darker contrast stripe, and without it most of my stripes would have been the same "value" to throw around a color theory term. This yarn is so soft, the finished object is going to feel wonderful!

casting on with memories

This time, last year we were here. London. If I sound wistful, it's because I am. My first trip outside the country (besides Canada), and it was fantastic. Even with two tiny kids! My son turned one on the trip, and London will always have a special place in my heart. We did all the touristy things, and my previously blogged pilgrimage to Liberty of London, of course.

 Tower Bridge

 Buckingham Palace


 View of Tower of London from River Thames

 Traitor's Gate!

Since I'm being wistful, I decided that I should cast on with one of the skeins of yarn I purchased on that trip. This is a delicious skein of I Knit or Dye in the Ritual Union base that I purchased at the I Knit London shop in Waterloo. The colorway is hard to photograph accurately--a deep purple with navy blue accents. I looove it. I'm making a dateline cowl, which will progress slowly given the many many WIPs I have on my needles right now. But I'd much rather cast on and actually use this wonderful souvenir, instead of having it languish in my stash for eternity! I'm working harder to actually use my "special" skeins instead of making them untouchable objects. Now if I can get myself to apply that philosophy to the collection of Liberty of London fabrics I purchased on that trip as well ...

madtosh yarn love

I've loved Madelinetosh yarns from the minute I first saw them.  In fact, I would say that it is by far the yarn line that is my favorite of them all. Which is really hard to say, considering all the amazing yarns out there. I love the squishy yarn bases and the deep, saturated, complex colors. If Madtosh was the only yarn I knit with for the rest of my life, I would definitely be a happy girl! If you frequent the online knitting message boards, then you may already know that May is the annual monthly celebration of Madelinetosh yarns (fondly known as "MadMay"). I thought it would be fitting that I finally do something with my Tosh Tea Cakes set I bought from Jimmy Beans Wool last winter.

Isn't it adorable?

What is a tea cake, you ask? Basically, approximately 200 yards of different Tosh Merino Light divided into samples of eleven different colorways. I'd been looking for some kind of colorwork pattern for this set, and initially leaned toward fingerless mittens ... until I saw fine tune by Joji Locatelli. Perfect! Garter stitch, short rows, and fun accent stripes. As you can see, I'm using the tea cake samples as the stripes.  But what should my main body color be?

I started off with Alabaster (above). In the skein I love this color--a really warm, peachy cream. Since I plan to mostly use the brighter oranges and yellows, I initially thought that an orange-based color would be a good idea. But the more I knit, I just didn't love it. So instead of plugging along, I decided to listen to my internal voice and switch things up. And I am sooo glad I did! I switched to Astrid Gray (below), and it's just so much more my style. And the cooler color is a much better contrast with the tea cake sampler colors. See how much better the yellow "pops" below?

Needless to say, I'm really excited by how this project is turning out. It's a fun, easy knit and perfect for my summer brain.  My next decision is which colors to choose from my tea cake set. It looks like I'll easily be able to get two stripes from each sample, and there are only twelve accent stripes in the pattern total. I've narrowed it down to the two sets below, and then only real difference being the reddish brown in the top set or sticking with another yellow in the bottom. Which looks better to you?

I can't decide, I love them both!


rainbow raglan complete!

So satisfying to knit with bulky yarn! The bright colors made me smile the entire time I was working on this. I particularly love how it started to become self-striping at the bottom of the body! And it feels eerily appropriate to have knit a rainbow a little over a week after the scary tornados ripped through our region. We were so lucky to only have a lightning-struck pine tree to deal with. My heart aches for the communities that were destroyed just to the north and south of us. Knitting this sweater soothed my anxious nerves as I sat glued to the Weather Channel watching those terrifying radar images that day.

Pattern: Basic Raglan Sweater-Child by Ann Budd (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Bulky, three skeins, dyed with Neon PAAS Easter egg dyes
Needles: Size 10.5 Addi Turbos
Mods: Somehow the neckline as written in the pattern didn't agree with me. Instead I measured neck line on the kiddo, decided a 13 inch neck circumference would fit her well. Cast on 52 stitches. Placed markers so there were 20 stitches on front and back, and six for each sleeve. Knit five rounds of K2, P2 rib before starting the increase rows. Increased like the pattern calls for until I got to the finished stitch counts for my size. Only cast on 3 stitches underarm after placing sleeve stitches on waste yarn.

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 ...