Yarn: Hat 1–Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the Pewter and Earth Tones Colorways. Hat 2–Lion Brand Thick & Quick in the Slate and Dusk Colorways.
Needles: US 11 and US 13
Notions: Buttons and faux fur poufs.
Notes: Cute hat pattern but executing the lotus stitch made my hands ache. If you have a larger head, this may fit a little smaller than expected.
Pattern: The Eternal Hearts Beanie
Yarn: WeAreKnitters Petite Wool in the Ivory and Spotted Pink Colorways
Needles: US 8 and US 9
Notions: Button and faux fur pouf
Notes: This came out way smaller than expected. I didn’t swatch, so it could be a gauge issue. However, the pattern is easy and well-written. I ended up giving it to a neighbor who has two small children.
Notes and Mods: The beads on this shawl mimic the night sky as seen from the North Pole. Used silver-lined beads from Michaels and applied them using the crochet hook method. Used the circular cast on with crochet hook. Just placed bead in the loop before picking up the stitch. I also used kfb for the increases instead of M1 because its faster and easier for me. I set up the pattern in Knit Companion and used magic markers to count stitches. As this got bigger, I pre-marked bead placement on each row with removable stitch markers. Taking one minute to do that on a large row saved time counting stitches along the way and made the project portable, as it became just endless knit stitches with a bead here or there. I omitted the YO/ktog. I like the look of projects that did not better. Finally, I incorporated Stellar Waves edging instead of original border.
Yarn: Loops & Threads Woolike in Red, White, and Navy
Needles: US 4
Notes and Mods: I knit this as written, but carried the red and white yarns up the side rather than weave in 1000 ends. If I were to make it again, I would follow what others did and use white beads for the stars rather than the white yarn. The stitches are too small to really pop against the blue. Otherwise, I love it. Also, I was pleased with the yarn in general, and it’s a good option for projects on a budget.
I finally finished this monstrosity, and it taught me I am definitely not cut out for mystery knit-a-longs. I love all of this designer’s Fade pieces, so I took a chance on the MKAL, despite being a pretty picky knitter. I can’t decide if this is clown barf or the perfect Mardi Gras accessory.
Pattern: What The Fade?!? (available for purchase on Ravelry)
Yarn: Simple Sock from The Lemonade Shop in the Wade, Goldfish, Sunday Funday, Doughnut, Jeepers Peepers, and Mommy Juice Colorways.
Needles: US 3
Notes: My shawl ended up fairly larger than most, so I may have blocked it too aggressively. I was just trying to even out the tension between the brioche and garter sections. As much as I swore off brioche knitting in the past, this project gave me a lot of practice so I am more confident about my understanding of the technique. As for the yarn, I’m on the fence about this one. I love the quality of the hand-dying, but this yarn is fuzzing and pilling like crazy just from the handling during knitting.
So, after seeing the kit for this hat pop up on my Facebook feed like a bagillion times, I finally caved and bought the kit from WEBS. It was my selfish, post-Christmas knit, and while I had some issues with the kit, it turned out fine. Because the skeins are so small, I decided to hand-wind them rather than break out the swift and winder. So, I just started at the beginning and as I progressed, I made the Heathens take turns being a human swift while I wound the colors as I came to them. They learned quick to hide when I hollered one of their names. Lazy on my part? Maybe, but we’ll just call it a character-building exercise for them, shall we? Additionally, my attempts at jogless stripes were an epic fail, but what’evs.
Pattern: 21 Color Slouch Hat (pattern available for purchase individually on Ravelry, but you really want to order the yarn/pattern kit on this deal. Retailers other than WEBS offer it, so you can find it online with a quick search).
Yarn: Blue Sky Fibers Wookstok (I’ll spare you the list of the 21 colorways…ain’t nobody got time for that)
Needles: US 6 and US 7
Notes and Mods: Ran out of Spring Ice so I doubled Spun Gold row. Ran out of Rusted Roof so did three rows Driftwood instead. Not enough Earth Ivy left for the last row of that colorway, so subbed Cranberry Compote.
This kit is a little frustrating because there really isn’t enough yarn for some colors. I was diligent about not doing too-long yarn tails and my gauge is good. Even if these two factors were not perfect, I was short two full rows of Rusted Roof, and an inch or two of a too-long yarn tail still does not cause such a shortage. Substitutions with remaining colorways, however, are easy enough if you don’t mind that fact.
However, I am pleased with the finished hat because I have a very large head and this sits slouchy-perfect on me. I was worried that other projects I snooped seemed more fitted, so I was sure it would not fit me as intended. But it did! (ok, so maybe my gauge ended up a tiny bit looser than anticipated, but yarn shortage is still a thing here so you may need to improvise like I did).
Finally, I confess that, since this is for me, I could not fathom weaving in all those ends. It was a knot-tying extravaganza! No shame!
Overall, this is a comfortable, very wearable hat that fits my large melon well. Now, if I could just convince myself to slog through the never-ending shawl that’s left on my needles, I can focus on the Ravellenics next month and start knitting down my stash before I lose my closet to the yarn.
Alrighty, now that the holidays have passed, I can post the few last-minute gifts I whipped up in the days leading up to Christmas. I swore not to do any gift knits this year, but finally decided that it just would not be December if I wasn’t knitting a gift or two. All of these were fast projects (at least as far as “fast” applies in knitting terms), and with stash yarn
Pattern: Polku Messy Bun Hat (available for purchase on Ravelry)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue colorway (I held the yarn double for this project/gauge)
Needles: US 10 and 10-1/2
Notes and Mods: Made this for my Mother-In-Law, who requested a hat that allowed for a ponytail. I went up a size to ensure the gauge and yarn would work.
Pattern: Man Hat (available for free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Loops and Threads Charisma in Deep Woods Colorway
Needles: US 8 (wish I had used a 9 or 10)
Notes and Mods: Made this for my sister’s very knit-worthy boyfriend from stash yarn. He has a big head so I think I should have gone up a needle size or two. His son loves it so much, I’ll be knitting him one after I finish up my current WIPs.
Pattern: Man Hat (available for free on Ravelry)
Yarn: I Love This Yarn in Camo colorway
Needles: US 8 (though I used a US 10 just for the cast-on to prevent a too-tight edge).
Notes and Mods: CO 88 stitches to make up for smaller gauge. I have used this crappy yarn before and the color pooling never makes sense. For example, I knit this hat with the yarn in the exact same pattern and stitch count and there was no significant color pooling. The recipient is a big camo guy, so hopefully it’s not too crazy for him.
Pattern: Little Red Riding Slippers
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Constellation colorway
Needles: US 10
Notes and Mods–Made these for my sister who is not a fan of knits, but loves Ugg boots so I took a chance on Ugg-inspired slippers. I screwed up on attaching the cuffs so the seam isn’t going the way I prefer, but I was not willing to rip it out at that point. If I make these again, I will pick a yard that gives better stitch definition at this gauge. She’s actually worn them, so I’ll count that as a win.
I had my very first Yarnbox lingering in my stash, and when this pattern popped up on Ravelry, I knew I finally found the right match it to go with this delectable yarn.
The pattern is super easy, and this yarn is absolutely awesome. It’s a mix of fine merino and baby alpaca, and one that I will definitely be ordering again.
Pattern: Amy Scarf (available for purchase on Ravelry)
Yarn: Big Bad Wool’s Pea Weepaca in the Teal, Tree Frog, Night Owl, Leaf, and Water colorways. (It’s fingering weight, by the way)
Needles: US size 4
Notes and Mods: The original pattern called for more colors, so I added rows to make up for only using 5. I also just kind of played fast and loose with it. I discovered that, after knitting the first five color sections, repeating them all would make the scarf too long (especially since wet blocking would add length). So, I just tacked on an additional section of the first two colors (switching them so the scarf would start and end with the same color. Ultimately, I lost at yarn chicken, so the last section is a few rows shy of what I planned, but it’s not noticeable when wearing the scarf. Since this is for me, I wasn’t that concerned about it.
We made it through Christmas, and despite the lingering sadness that permeated the season, we ended up with a simple yet wonderful celebration. Good food, good family and friends, and new memories. Even with the pared down festivities, I still ended up running around like a madwoman, and left too many tasks until the last minute. When I wasn’t working, I cranked out a few more knitted gifts:
Pattern: Antler Mittens by Tin Can Knits (Available both on their site and through Ravelry). I selected the adult medium size.
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Worsted in Burgundy Red
Needles: US Size 6 and 8 DPN’s
Notes: This was a super easy and fast project, though the decrease sections were a pain in the rear. Otherwise, great project that was a gift for the neighbor.
Pattern: Non-Felted Slippers (available on Ravelry).
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in Moss and Pewter.
Needle: US Size 9
Notes: The original pattern is about a US women’s size 7. I researched plenty of other Ravelry members’ project notes and upsized them to a men’s size 13 for the husband. Quick knit but it’s a tight gauge, making those decreases a little challenging.
Pattern: Blue Leaf Headband (available on Ravelry).
Yarn: Lionbrand Woodspun in purple colorway.
Needles: US 10-1/2
Notes: Well-written, fast pattern. I made it in less than a few hours. I followed the buttonhole option for finishing, rather than adding icord ties.
As for me, I received the spirializer attachment for my KitchenAid, which came just in time for much-needed New Year’s resolutions. Since Mom passed, my gym time has been sadly lacking and the scale informed me this morning that something’s got to give. The fact that my jeans feel like they are cutting me in half should have clued me in sooner. I played with it last night and made spicy butternut squash fries with maple-yogurt dipping sauce. I passed on the rice and ate that with my chicken instead, then made it to the gym bright and early this morning. Baby steps indeed:
I’m jumpstarting this New Year with a good attitude and a list of goals a mile long. After all, as Adam Duritz once wrote: “It’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.” I certainly hope so.
I finished this scarf/shawlette last week using yarn I picked up while we were in California earlier this summer. Despite the fact that the temperature is still hovering right around the dark side of hell, the fall knitting bug has hit me in full force. I keep my current project next to my laptop, and barter with myself–For every half hour I stay on task with my current article, I get to take a five minute break and knit a row.
I already have a stack of patterns I’m just itching to get to, as well as fall decorating and baking and all of the other things I want to be doing. But alas, until I catch up on work, I’m stuck daydreaming about cooler weather, rainy days, and expanding my yarn budget.
Pattern: Common Bean by Caitlin French. It’s free on Ravelry.
Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha in the Arco Iris colorway. This yarn claims to be bulky but I honestly think it falls more toward the Aran side.
Needles: Size 10
Finishing: Wet blocked and pinned with a fair amount of aggression.
I finished these slippers this weekend, after putting them away for a few weeks. I originally started them when Mom was first admitted to the hospital. I thought she would love some toasty, Ugg-inspired slippers to wear as she recovered. After she passed away, I didn’t have the heart to work on them, but I finally picked them back up on Saturday and sprinted to the finish line.
Here’s the details:
Pattern Name: Little Red Riding Slippers by Drops Designs. The original pattern was poorly written, so after searching Ravelry, I found rewritten instructions for both the main slipper and cable cuff.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick Solids. Spice colorway. Required two full skeins plus a little more from a third. I made the largest size so the smaller sizes could probably get by with two.
Needles: Size 10 DPN.
Overall, I liked the way these turned out, and they were a quick, fun knit. Since I am not a fan of the yarn, I would probably select something else next time. However, as a rule, I buy bargain yarn for slippers as you really do have to factor in the wear and tear element.
Next on the knitting docket is something just for fun with a beautiful yarn I picked up on vacation earlier in the summer. However, I did spot a pattern for adorable pumpkin dishcloths this weekend that may be calling my name too.
But alas, it’s Monday. You know what that means, right? My house looks like a tornado ripped through it and I was hit with a rush job from a client first thing this morning. Guess I better get to work, because contrary to popular opinion, the fairies don’t keep this circus running.