blocking is magic, part four

Blocking was essential on this one! Pre-blocking, this kerchief/shawlette was super tiny. Super, super tiny. And then, voila! Magic as usual! 

Pattern: 198 yards of Heaven (another freebie!), link to my Ravelry project page
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (colorway: Apricot, used up .90 of the skein)
Needles: size 10 Addi Turbo's
Mods: Luckily I'd read other knitter's project notes before starting. This pattern is deceptive, because as written there are very few repeats. You keep thinking, "surely I could add a repeat--look at how much yarn I have left!" But alas, you really don't have enough. So I followed the pattern as written, and still ended up casting off early (around row 6 or so of the pattern).  The pattern also calls for a garter lace edge, but I wasn't feeling it so stuck with the same pattern of stockinette and purl columns. My bindoff wasn't loose enough, so I wasn't able to achieve the points others have. Next time!

dragon love

Well, every unicorn needs a dragon friend right? I spotted this free pattern when looking at unicorn patterns, and just had to make it next. I love, love, love how this one came out! I like how the pattern instructs you to stuff and sew the legs, etc. on as you go--you really feel like you are making progress and aren't left with an overwhelming pile of limbs to sew on when you're done knitting.

Pattern: Tarragon the Gentle Dragon (free pattern!), link to my Rav project page
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted  (used a little less than 1/2 a skein of the red, and less than 10 yards of "Orange You Glad")
Needles: size 6 dpn's for the body and legs, and size 5 dpn's for the spikes and wings
Mods: smaller wings! I cast on 22 instead of the 30 the pattern calls for, and started the decreases at that point in the pattern. Then I knitted five rows in stockinette after the last double-decrease row. Decreased two stitches by p2tog at each edge on the next row, and then decreased another two stitches with a ssk and k2tog at the each edge of the next row (six stitches left on needle). Stopped, keeping needles live on the dpn and made second wing. Then was able to three-needle bind off to connect the bottom edge and sewed the rest together. Next time I'll stick with smaller spikes too, as the large spikes roll quite a bit.

cupcake factory

Last week was a flurry of birthday celebrations, so cupcakes were in order! I'm always drawn to those awesome decorated cupcakes but I totally lack piped frosting skills. Utter failure. So I was super excited to see a picture of these owl cupcakes on Pinterest, as it was something my abilities could handle!  

Let me break it down: eyes are regular Oreos with the top taken off. Mini Oreos (the grab 'n go snack bags) for the iris of the eyes. Split the removed top of the Oreo in half to make the eyebrows. And add an M&M on its side. That's it! They were a big hit at the party, and super easy to make--I would definitely do these again!

unicorn in a day

After my frustrations with my Multnomah shawlette and false start making a starfish spa cloth, I needed an immediate win. Rebecca Danger's 50 Yards of Fun to the rescue! Now I will be the first to admit that the body shape of this unicorn is a bit ... nontraditional. It reminds me of a "splat the cat" version of a unicorn! But my daughter loved it immediately upon first sight. And it was literally finished in one day. More like one morning, if I hadn't been interrupted so many times mid-progress. Total win in my book! You'll probably see more of these in the future as the "baby unicorn" needs some friends, according to my daughter ...

Pattern: Undersized unicorn by Rebecca Danger (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 5 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables, plus DPNs
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted (white, less than 1/2 skein), Knit Picks Swish Worsted (Lotus, used 5 yards max), Horn made with a yard or so of Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton
Mods: Did a three-needle bindoff at the back end of the unicorn instead of kitchenering. Love this pattern! Fun, fast! Love the shape of the ears and the little details! Didn't need to insert a pipe cleaner to keep the horn standing up.

one of those days...


I usually don't post fails on this blog ... and it's not like I'm trying to hide them. It's just that I usually put something in "time out" when I stumble or get frustrated, and then I move on to something else, get excited, and never post about the frustrating project again. Last weekend I had grand plans to finish my Multnomah shawlette. And then feather and fan stitch foiled me. What?!?! Yeah, I know--it's silly. I've knit lace before with no problems. And feather and fan is supposed to be a simple lace pattern. But I just had one of those brain-does-not-compute moments. The lace wasn't lining up, and it didn't look right, and I gave up. Well, to give myself more credit I did frog back and start over using a pattern from my stitch dictionaries and the same thing happened. I need to try the pattern again with something small, like a wash cloth and figure it out. But in my heat-frazzled brain I just don't have the patience right now. So in my frustration, I picked up cotton wash cloth yarn to make a starfish spa cloth pattern I've been wanting to try. Cast on late Sunday night. And I was distracted. And the picture above? Yeah, that's the result. Clearly I messed up the first "arm" ... badly. I can laugh about it now, but two fails in a row, and I was not a happy camper! So I frogged the thing and started over today, determined that it was not. going. to. beat. me. And it didn't!


Pattern: Provence Star Wash Cloth, another freebie! (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 7 Knit Picks
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cotton (color: Hot Orange, used less than 1/2 a skein)
Mods: None! But it felt huge as is, so am not planning on the crochet border. It was fun to knit a different shape like this!

(much better picture!)

multnomah: in progress

What I've been working on in-between everything else, when I feel like a few rows of garter squishiness: Multnomah (another freebie sock yarn shawlette pattern!). I'm a few rows away from starting the feather and fan lace pattern, wahoo! This is another skein of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock (colorway: cayenne). I'm noticing that this yarn feels makes my hands itch for the first few minutes every time I pick it up, but then goes away and feels soft again. Anyone else notice that? I'm using size 3 needles this time (compared to the size 5s I used on Sewanee) and was afraid it would go super slow, but thankfully it's not.

magic of blocking, part three

This pattern worked up so fast, I didn't even manage to post an "in progress" shot here on the blog! This pattern tested my trust in blocking a bit--as you can see in the "before" it was looking pretty "eh" in the pre-blocking stage. I was a little nervous, but kept telling myself "wait until you block it, wait until you block it." And sure enough, the magic worked yet again!

Pattern: Sewanee, another freebie one-skein sock shawlette (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock (colorway: autumn blaze, used .9 of the skein)
Needles: size 5 Addi Turbo's
Modifications: None! The stockinette was a slog after awhile, but the lace was super speedy!

super speedy baby knit

When one of our knitting guild members brought this project to a meeting, I just had to have this pattern. Then about a year ago I spotted the booklet in a local craft shop and bought it. When another guild member announced that her daughter was expecting a baby girl this fall, I finally had my chance to make this sweater. It was worth the wait! A super fun, super speedy pattern. I cast on last Thursday and wove in ends on this on Saturday, watching the Tour de France. I love the lace leaf detail at the yoke and the squishy soft garter stitch on the body. This pattern is one that instructs you to use different weights of yarn to vary the size--so you'd use fingering to get a newborn, DK for 0-3 months, and I knit the 6-9 mos. version using worsted weight. The hat is adorable, but I simply ran out of yarn. This will definitely become a go-to baby gift pattern!

Pattern: Leaf Pattern Set by Jeanine LaRoche (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (used .90 of one skein, 315 yards; colorway: cream)
Needles: size 5 and size 7 Addi Turbo's
Mods: As written, this pattern has you knit the sleeves flat once you reach them, then re-join to finish the body. Instead, I put the sleeves on waste yarn and finished the body first. Then I picked up the sleeve stitches and knit garter stitch in the round. I'm not a fan of garter stitch in the round, but it saved me from seaming the sleeves in the end!

super fluffy

I know it's ironic to be knitting something this warm during the warmest part of the summer. Oops. I've been quietly obsessed with thrummed mittens for quite some time now ... they've been on my knitting wishlist oh .... forever. So I am super, super excited to have finally made these! When you put your hands inside ... the best way to describe it is the "IT'S SO FLUFFY!!!!!" quote from Despicable Me. Seriously. Fluffy. And soooooooft. I rarely will have days in the winter where I will actually need these mittens, but you can bet I'll be wearing them even though the threat of frostbite is nonexistent!

Pattern: Zenitude Thrummed Mittens Kit (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: size 6 Knit Picks Harmony
Mods: None! Super super speedy and fun and fast kit!

I may have made my thrums a little too long, looking at this picture. But it's all good when everything is on the inside!

just thrumming along ...

I spent the fourth of July making thrums for my first ever thrummed mittens ... and by the end of the weekend, one mitten was done! I'm finishing the thumb on the second mitten today ....

one day at a time ...

First thirty days with no yarn purchases! Woot! Going much better than expected, now that I'm serious about the whole thing. Good thing too, since I just committed to a challenge of not buying yarn until January 1, 2015!

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 ...