finished hat friday

Pattern: Bray Cap by Jared Flood (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted (one skein, colorway: saltwater)
Needles: size 5 for brim, then 8 for body
Modifications: None! If I had enough yarn leftover I would totally make a huge pom pom for this one! Love this pattern--super fun, and super cute! I was afraid it would be too slouchy, based on the pattern pictures, and was all set to omit some pattern rounds. But what I realized mid-way was that the models are wearing the hat high on their heads--it fits great as is if worn "traditionally" ... aka to cover your ears! So don't worry if you don't like the "slouchy" look. It really fits quite well! I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about how warm a hat with lace eyelets would be, but this hat got a test run during our Wednesday snowfall and passed with flying colors!


snow day knitting

Yesterday afternoon something miraculous happened (well, miraculous for Mississippi that is) ... it started as sleet, transitioned to hail, and then became fat, fluffy snowflakes that just.wouldn't.stop coming down! We already had what I like to call a "pre-emptive snow day" on Wednesday, since we were expecting some form of frozen precipitation to fall that day. But since the snow actually came, that meant today was a real SNOW DAY! So we hit the snow hard this morning and played in it as much as we could while bemoaning the fact that it was quickly melting away ... and now that the yard is back to mud/gray dormant grass/slop, I switched focus to my current knitting projects. 

Honestly, I'm still in shock by how fast this blanket is knitting up. Yup, you read that right--a blanket! The pattern is Stephen West's freebie, Garter Squish. It's worsted held double, on size 15 needles, and a neat and tidy i-cord edge. It's shockingly addicting, and I've been enjoying the warmth of knitting a blanket while simultaneously snuggling under it! I made a lot of progress on it yesterday while watching the windows for our first snowflakes! The main color is some Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn stripes, which I have 9 skeins that I purchased at least two (maybe three?) years ago with the intentions of making a blanket. The other yarn is a bunch of my oldest acrylic yarns from my stash, mostly navy blues that I have no desire to knit with! Some of this stuff is at least 15 years old ... if not older! I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see this finally get knit up!

And I started another pair of socks for when my hands needed a break from all that large gauge knitting ... these are chains socks pattern (from the latest issue of Sockupied) and the yarn is Socks That Rock in the colorway "What the Foqua?" Super, super fun and easy knit! These will go fast I think ...

Love Your Library, vol. 7

Your eyes are not deceiving you! A second Lullington hat was knit up behind the scenes while I was celebrating eight years of blogging last week (link to details on my Ravelry project page). This one is made with MadTosh Chunky in the fathom colorway--a colorway that is sooo much more awesome than this photo makes out. Imagine a gorgeous navy blue with depth--highlights of brighter, Tardis-like blue, and lowlights of black. It glows. Now I have a hat that will coordinate with my neon fine tune cowl when I wear it with my kelly green pea coat, woot!

Don't fret, that bray cap I was working on got finished too! I'll post about it on Friday!

How'd you do with this month's organization challenge? If you remember, I started the month with 4,121 total patterns logged into my electronic Ravelry library. After taking stock, I realized I was about 1.5 years behind in logging my magazine subscriptions in my Rav library. Ooops! Add nine books, a handful of paper patterns I acquired pre-Ravelry, and several more freebie pdf's I accumulated throughout the month, and I've topped the 5,000 mark in terms of patterns. Yikes. Sounds scary seeing it in print! My addiction to magazine subscriptions is the main driver of that pattern, and I know it. Several of you have suggested looking into accessing my favorite magazines for free via my library's electronic magazine service, but unfortunately my library doesn't include my favorite titles ... yet. I was pretty bummed to discover that! Eventually I may consider cancelling a subscription or two ... but I really like reading the articles and checking out the advertisements even if I don't always love every pattern (Vogue Knitting, I'm talking about you!) so I'm keeping my subscriptions for now. Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, KnitSimple, and Knitscene are the ones I subscribe to. I love the patterns in Knitscene the best, but love the colors/fashion/industry updates in Vogue the best. Funnily enough, the patterns in Vogue seem the ugliest to me! What magazines are your favorite to subscribe to?

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favorite free baby patterns

8. braided ball (pattern marleen hartog)
Perfect for tiny fingers to grab!

7. dinosaur jr. (pattern by katie boyette)
Because all kids need dinosaurs in their lives. Especially cute stegosauruses!

6. flossie bear (pattern by debbie orr)
A super huggable bear-pillow that's also a fun scrap-buster? Yes, please!

5. baby chalice blanket (pattern by karen lauger)
One of my knitting friends made this blanket for me, and it is gorgeous. Beautiful lace pattern!

4. telemark pullover (pattern by erika flory)
Great basic raglan with a nice neckline in dk weight yarn. And free to boot! Only goes up to size 18 months though.

3. baby pleasure pullover (pattern by Red Heart)
Yes, yes, I know--Red Heart?? But this basic, free pattern has a great rolling neckline that stretches super well to fit over big baby noggins. And it uses one skein of sock yarn, making it a nice stash buster and light layer. 
2. Snug (pattern by Hinke)
This one has an unusual construction, being knit side-to-side (you put the arm stitches on waste yarn and return to them later). Fun to knit, and super cozy! Boo! Update: unfortunately no longer offered for free, but she also has expanded the sizing with the paid pattern.

1. bunny beanie (pattern by noe knit)
Hey, this is one of the few times you can control what they wear on their head so .... 

favorite fast hat patterns

8.chunkeanie (pattern by woolly wormhead)
 Some yarns just look best in reverse stockinette. And simple is good. Free is good, too.
7. troll (pattern by Gabriela Widmer-Hanke)

It's free, uses tiny amounts of aran weight yarn, and is stinkin' adorable!

6.  fairy snowcap (pattern by romi hill)
You may know Romi Hill for her fabulous knitted shawl patterns, but I just adore this hat pattern. Love the shape of the deep twisted rib, love the light lace, love the huge pom pom!

5. barley (pattern by tin can knits)
This one combines a texture panel with easy stockinette, and the best part of this pattern is the range of sizes. You can knit a hat for the entire family with this free pattern!

4. molly (pattern by erin ruth)
Knit in worsted weight, combines one cable with texture, and free. Enough said! Omit the cable, and this would make for a great "man hat."

3. lullington hat (pattern by Jen A-C)
You've seen me finish two of these in 2015 alone. It works great for aran weight yarns, and given my adoration of MadTosh chunky and malabrigo worsted (both aran weight yarns), I know I'll be making more hats with this pattern!

2. lowbrow hat (pattern by thao nguyen)
By last count, I've knit this pattern five times, all with MadTosh chunky. That's how much I love this pattern!

1. Luuk (pattern by annis jones)
This pattern has become my go-to baby/kid hat pattern. Roomy fit and adorable!  Bonus points for being a freebie.

eight-year blogiversary

Wow, I can hardly believe another three years have passed since I last celebrated a major blogiversary! I thought I'd celebrate this year by doing something a little silly--a week of my top-eight favorite patterns and yummy yarn-related things. So let's get things kicked off with my current top eight favorites!

1. Favorite yarn: Madelinetosh (oh, those saturated colors get me every.single.time! Some day I will make a pilgrimage to their Texas store ... someday ...)

2. Favorite thing to knit: hats. So fast and gratifying! I have knit 18 new hats in the past three years, so there you go.

3. Favorite independent dyer: White Birch Fiber Arts (gorgeous self-striping rainbows!)

4. Favorite designer: Joji Locatelli. She has a knack for making simple, sophisticated and beautiful things. With Amy Christoffers and Veera close runners up.

5. Favorite stitch pattern: Oh that's easy--garter stitch. Love the squishy-ness, love how it shows off highly variegated yarns. No matter how advanced my skills become, I will always return to garter stitch. Garter stitch is my go-to!

6. Favorite knitting technique: stranded colorwork!! I've discovered in the past few years that it's combining yarn colors that really excites me. That's probably why I'm so attracted to crazy variegated yarns--the color pairings.

7. Favorite color palette: Pinks, oranges, blues and toss in a nice gray to temper everything.

 8. Favorite FO: The Swedish Fish mitts I made last year. Happy, cheerful--totally me!

So what are your current favorites? Come back tomorrow for a round-up of my favorite hat patterns. All week I'll be featuring my favorite patterns for my favorite things to knit and make.

sunday's stitches, vol. 5

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor whatever your stitching on
 Another border color block done!
See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

WIP Wednesday, hat-a-thon edition

My quest to knit up the hat patterns I've had paired with yarn in my library for ages continues! Next up, the bray cap (a Jared Flood pattern) with even yummier Sweet Georgia superwash worsted yarn (colorway: saltwater). Lace + cables + yummy yarn = LOVE all around!

And since I challenged myself in January to make 2015 the year I deal with all the abandoned WIPs that I keep stored in bags that hang from a coat rack in my dining room, I pulled one bag out to work on. I made a pair of Ysolda Teague's garter stitch mitts two years ago, and I kept the pattern and needles with the leftover yarn with the intention of making at least one more pair. (perhaps a third could be made as well? we'll see ...) As you can see, one mitt is nearly done!

Love Your Library, vol. 6

This one knitted up so fast, I didn't even take in-progress shots! Deviating a bit from my toy theme, this month I'm working on hat patterns I've had languishing in my library. This one uses leftover Malabrigo Mecha, one of my all-time favorite yarns ever. The hat is mostly reverse stockinette, which unlike garter stitch in the round, doesn't leave the tell-tale "seam" line or "jog" when you start a new round. Hurrah! Small one-stitch cables are used to make the stockinette stitches form triangular peaks. Felt fiddly during the early set-up rows, but after that the pattern gets pretty intuitive and there's a rest row in between each cabling row. This finished hat weighs 70 grams. I have exactly 70 grams of this colorway remaining ... do I attempt to make a second??? I most likely will, but will probably wait until I knit some other hat patterns first.

Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha, colorway: Whale's Road (used 70 grams)
Needles: start with 8, then switches to 9 for body of hat
Mods: None! I was thinking the hat would be more slouchy than I like based on the pattern pictures, but fits my big noggin perfectly when knit as written. 

How's your Love Your Library challenge going this week? Feel free to join us if you just discovered the challenge!

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sunday's stitches, vol. 4

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor whatever your stitching on

Purchasing the frame was the best.decision.ever for this project. My mojo is baaaack! This week's progress is a little hard to see, but notice the addition of a new color? Some light purple? Yup, I switched things up! I decided to start working on some of the background sections that are along that bottom edge. Not sure which color to start next ... the light pink or another purple are the likely suspects. 
See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches.

finished rainbow fun!

Sadly, these have been finished and photographed for nearly a week now, but another cold has got me behind the blogging 8-ball this week. Sigh. While I hate this cold, I LOVE these finished socks! The fit is great, and they are so cheerful!

Pattern: Fork in the Road Socks by Lara Neel (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: White Birch Fiber Arts, colorway: The Full Monty (used up almost 2/3 skein)
Needles: Size 1.5, magic loop
Mods: None! This was my first time doing what Lara calls her "thumb-joint heel." As you can see, it's basically evenly spaced decreases like how you'd work the crown of a hat. The fit is great, and more comfortable than I expected! The pattern calls for the same decrease pattern for the heel, so you don't need to kitchener the toe at all. So this would be a good pattern for someone who despises kitchener, but is comfortable with doing provisional cast-ons (you do one to work the heel).

This is by far my best matched pair of self-striping socks to date!

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 ...