April FO’s (and a winner!)

When I sit down to write this post I always think I didn’t finish anything this month but then I look through my pictures and find I actually did.  But first, we have a winner!!! There were six entries for the dpn cozy and so I entered 1-6 on Google and it came back with #4 which was whip1up!!!  Congrats!!!  I will get your prize out in the mail soon!

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As for the FO’s, one is a gift so I will discuss after it’s been given.  And then we have all the Easter bunnies!  I knit 4 in total and when I took them to knit night two of my friends ended up knitting a bunch of them as well.  Between the 3 of us we gave them to kids ranging in age from 1 – 9 years old, both boys and girls, and all loved them!  So I would definitely recommend for anyone.

One cute story before I move on.  One of mine was for my friends’ six year old.  He very much loved it and came up to later in the day and said “you are very talented to make this”  I just yes, I didn’t want to burst his bubble 🙂

The other thing I finished was an octopus.  I’m not sure if you have seen the stories in the news about the crocheted octopus being used in NICUs for preemie babies (see this Today show story).  I had seen the story and was interested.  Later that day I went to an appointment and my nurse asked me if I knew about it.  She wanted one to give to one of the other nurses in her department.  I did some research and there are groups on Facebook that give the directions that must be followed to officially donate an octopus. This one will be given to a preemie for use at home so it was my test knit to see how it works.  My gauge is a bit off so I might need to find thinner cotton if I make them to donate but I love how this one turned out.  I used Cotton Supreme from Universal Yarn and it is definitely my favorite cotton ever!!  It’s so soft and was so easy to work with.  If preemies are a cause you would consider knitting for check out this project.

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That’s is for April.  I’m frantically trying to finish a shawl for an event in May, something I’m referring to as Project Crazy so I hope to have one FO next month, but maybe more!

Happy knitting to all!

March FO’s

Well, I’m working my way through the list of 17!  I finished my 5th UFO this month which meant new cast on (more on that later!).  Back to the FO’s, I’ll start with what else has been crossed off the list.

First up is The Turtles’ Journey Shawl by Heather Anderson.  I started this as part of a KAL in 2015 and definitely did not finish it before the KAL ended.  It reminded me of my trip to Hawaii and I just loved it.  I used Blue Sky Baby Alpaca that was part of one of my rummage sale hauls.  I had a lot of it so I decided to make the larger size (bad move!).  This thing is gigantic and still needs blocking but at least the knitting is done.  It’s a fun knit but does require concentration.  And, while I thought that a picot bind off was my least favorite, I think a knitted on border is my least favorite cast off, especially on a shawl of this size!

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Next thing I finished from the list is the Head in the Clouds hat by Jess Kallberg.  This was one of those patterns that swepts through my knitting group like a 24 hour bug.  It calls for Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails and is a really fun, really quick knit.  Once I picked it up I finished it in a weekend.  It would also be a good way to use up scraps or other mini skeins that you have hanging around.

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Last, but certainly not least, I finished 2 preemie hats.  I’ve talked about the Into the Wool Fiber Retreat I will be attending in September.  As part of that retreat there are a number of pre-retreat KALs going on.  The charity KAL is collecting preemie caps for a local NICU. So, no pattern involved here, I just found some acryllic in my stash and cast on and knit until it looked big enough.  You will see my sizing varies, but so so the sizes of babies’ heads 🙂  I’m hoping to get a least one done per month leading up to the retreat.

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I’m hoping to get a few more things done in April but I’m on track to get rid of that never-ending UFO list by the end of the year.  I’m also hopeful that in April I can get back to my usual posting schedule and reading time – fingers crossed!

February FO’s

Another month and two more FO’s!  That makes 4 for the year and I’m almost to five which means I can cast on something new.  At this point, I’m still getting a finishing high so while I have my eye on a few things I’m planning on keeping it up.

My first FO is the Kindness Shawl by Jaala Spiro.  This was designed for her Knit Circus gradient yarn, and as much as I really want to get my hands on that I stuck to my “use stash” rule.  In my stash I had a gradient kit from Fiber Optics Yarn that I bought at Estes Park in the Wild Thyme colorway.  I had been waiting for just the right thing for it and this was it!  The pattern called for 415-430 yards of fingering and the gradient set had 450 yards.

This was my first time knitting with a number of mini skeins and I thought I was going to run out of yarn the whole time I was knitting.  Those little skeins don’t seem to go so far but I had plenty.  I wanted to make sure I used all the colors so I added an extra lace repeat and ended up with a teeny, tiny ball left so it was perfect!  Wild Thyme goes from a blue/purple to a bright, light green.

The pattern is free!  I’m not sure if it was the mini skeins or the pattern or the combo but it was a really fun knit.  The nice folks at Knit Circus are running a KAL for the pattern and are donating to two different charities for the first 100 finished shawls through March 1st. Spreading more knitting kindness through the world.

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I still need to block out the lace but it’s pretty even before blocking!!!

My other FO is a little less exciting.  I’m hoping to replace all my worn out (and poorly knit) dishclothes.  I did this one real quick – it’s the Citrus Slice Dishcloth by Bernat.  I used some kitchen cotton from my stash.  I saw on Instagram Colorado Knits is knitting a montly themed dishcloth each month for a friend and I loved this idea so I may get some more cotton and figure out some more monthly themes.  I think this lemon slice is perfect for June!

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So, quick list update:

  • SBB Mitts – which was part of the 2016 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long – DONE!
  • Rainy Season Mitts – a test knit I did last year but only had to complete one mitt
  • Turtle Journey Shawl – a KAL I started in 2015
  • Werifesteria Shawl – a KAL I did last year
  • Striped socks – started these over the summer
  • Shiney Penny Cowl – I cast this on last year with handspun I got from a friend
  • Derecho – the bain of my existence, I cast this on in May, 2014
  • I Smell Snow socks – these are my work socks and I started them late 2016
  • Christmas socks – cast on during Advent 2016
  • Peace Cowl – this was the Peace-A-Long that was held during December
  • Pussy Hat – for the Women’s March!!! – DONE!
  • Sunny the Snowman – new pattern by Susan Claudino
  • Baable hat – cast on in 2016 because I could not resist the kit put together by Knerd Shop
  • Kindness Shawl – this is a KAL being hosted by Knit Circus – DONE!
  • Cabled Cowl – I had this picked out and ready to go with yarn I got in Hawaii in 2014
  • Citrus Slice dishcloth – I need new dishclothes and I will talk more about this during the year – DONE!
  • Head in the Clouds Hat – I bought yarn for this sometime last year so decided to get it cast on so it could be part of the 17.

Moving right along!!  Bonus – no new cast ons this month and no yarn bought!!  Yes, I’ve gone 2 whole months so far!!!

January FO’s (a few days late)

Is it just me or did those last couple of weeks of January hit everyone like a sledgehammer???  Outside of the general craziness here in the US, I was struck down with the office plague and then there was just stuff.  I’m going to use this week to do a little January wrap up and a look forward.

January FO’s

4 Pussyhats!  That’s one item off my list of 17.  I talked extensively about these in my last post so I’ll move on.

I finished a pair of fingerless mitts which are a gift for my best friend who is moving to Belgium in a couple of weeks.  A couple of months ago I went to visit her and we hit all my favorite Ann Arbor stops including Spun Ann Arbor.  Why Not Fibers was having a trunk show and I had to buy!  I found this beautiful yarn that was raised, processed, and dyed in Michigan.  I thought it would be a nice reminder of home when she moves. This was the same trip where she asked if I would make her a hat and picked out Malabrigo Caracol in Paris Nights (I had already picked out this colorway!)  It is on their Shoreline base which is a 50/50 BFL blend/Alpaca and is an Aran weight. I really loved this yarn – it was so soft and easy to knit with.  I think it’s going to be really warm too (because BFL/Alpaca!).    The pattern is SBB Mitts by Amanda Scheuzger. It was part of the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long but I clearly missed the deadline! They were an easy, fun knit and I can’t wait to give them to my friend next week! This is another item off my 17ufosin2017 list so 2 down!

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Goals

I finished 2 items from the list of 17!!!  The only thing I’ve cast on since the 1st of the year is a gift that I need to have done by spring.  Likewise, the only yarn I’ve bought is yarn for said gift so I’m rocking those goals so far!!

As far as tech editing goes, I’ve participated in some Instagram challenges and did get a new client but I need to keep plugging away on that.

A couple of patterns that I tech edited were published yesterday!  You will definitely want to check out Point/Counterpoint Vol. 2.  This is a fun concept and collaboration between Kino Knits and Prairie Girl Susie from the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin podcast.  They each started with a yarn and designed an original pattern and then exchanged yarns and a photo of the FO and designed something based on that photo.  I worked with Mary on her two patterns which are the Springs to Mind hat and the Lean Into the Wind cowl. I love the cowl and Susie’s shawl but if you like knitting hats and are looking for some interesting hats to knit you really need to check out this collection.  Both Mary and Susie’s hats are super interesting and beautiful.  Mary’s flower motif screams spring to me and I could use a little spring!

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Events

I have some events to share!  First up, I signed up for the Into the Wool Fiber Retreat.  It’s being held in Tennessee in September.  It is put on by Dana from Unwind Yarn Company and the Just One More Row podcast and Tiffany.  I understand there might still be a few spots so if you’re interested you can check out the info thread in their Ravelry group.  It’s only $300 and it’s all inclusive – meals, lodging, and fun!!!  The Ravelry group is quite chatty and I fear they may force me to learn how to spin while I’m there but we’ll see!

My LYS announced this week that they are hosting Bristol Ivy for a weekend in April.  I’m super excited about that.  She is teaching 4 classes and I signed up for the Reading Your Knitting class.  Honestly, I’m terrible at reading my knitting and I thought it might be useful in my tech editing work as well.  It was hard to choose, she was also teaching Short Rows, Blocking, and a designing course.

If you’re on Instagram and haven’t fallen to peer pressure yet, the lovely ladies from Ravelry are hosting a #yarnlovechallenge photo challenge and everyone, I mean everyone, is participating.  It’s lots of fun and very yarn focused (go figure!) so easy to play along with, I’m really enjoying this one.

I think that’s about everything from the last few weeks.  Hopefully February will be a little less crazy!

November FO’s

This will be short and sweet because there were not a lot of FO’s this month.  I did manage to finish the Coze hat that I was knitting for my best friend.  This is really a quick and easy knit and would be a perfect last minute Christmas gift.

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Pattern: Coze by Alex Tinsley; Yarn: Malabrigo Caracol in Paris Night

I also finished my #knitterspayitforward gift.  I put it in the mail this morning so I will hold off on the details until the winner receives it so I don’t ruin any surprises!

The last (or first) thing I finished this month were my Mrs. Roosevelt’s Mittens.  I love these!  I used MJ Yarn that I bought when I was at Fancy Tiger Craft over the summer.  The color is great.  I held the yarn double for the palm and fingers.  It even got cold enough to wear them last week and they kept me nice and warm.

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Pattern: Mrs. Roosevelt’s Mittens by Franklin Habit; Yarn: MJ Yarns Simple Sock in Green Dragon

I’m starting the Peace-A-Long which is being hosted by Christina Campbell on December 1st and am looking forward to that.  I will also be casting on my Christmas socks (more on those next month) and will be hoping for more FO’s to end the year!!!

October FO’s

I’ll get back to my Rhinebeck story next week but I wanted to pause and do my monthly round up of FO’s (and there are lots so I had to share!).

First up, I knit a hat to match the Little Purple Sailor Coat.  I had some yarn left over and the baby’s birthday was approaching so I knit this little Bow Cloche which is a pattern from Knit Simple magazine, Fall 2013.  This was definitely a lesson in listen to the notes your previous self left on the pattern.  I had written a note from the first time I made it that the pattern ran really small and so I should knit a size up.  The sizes are 2, 4 and 6 years old.  I was knitting for a 1 year old so I made the smallest size.  I took it into knitting and everyone told me to start over.  I made the size 4 and was still concerned that it would fit.  But, it fits great and she looks adorable in her ensemble.

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Once I got that done it was time to focus on finishing the Rhinebeck shawl.  It was full steam ahead for the two weeks before the show.  I really needed to get it done by the weekend before so it would have time to block.  And, with much whining and complaining, it was on the blocking mats the Sunday before I left.  There’s a picot bind off and I won’t discuss the number of stitches involved in case you have one your needles but, oy!  I got some blocking help from my friends on Instagram and it looked amazing on the mats.  I also got a ton of compliments at Rhinebeck because that pink popped so much, especially in the bright sun of the day.  My friend Becky wore her sweater knit out of Knerd String as well and we had one overlapping colorway so that was really fun!

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Funny story about the blocking mats.  I bought mine at Five Below and I only had two and knew I would need more for this shawl.  I was out with my Mom and ran into the store to pick up another two mats.  The next day I showed her this picture so she could see what I did with the mats.  She said “is that lace?” and I said “yes” and she said “you knit that?”. Yes, yes, I did but trust me I whined the whole time!

With that on the mats I turned my attention to knitting the cutest little Halloween creature.  I had never seen the work of Susan Claudino and I just love it!  And then Sarah from the Cultivate & Create podcast and Susie from the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin podcast decided to do a Creepy Critter KAL so I got to work.  One of my favorite things is that I used my Candy Skein Summer Fair Foods mini skein pack to knit a Halloween critter!  I knit Patch which is a cute pumpkin headed creature.  I finished him in time to take him to Rhinebeck and he was our trip mascot.  I had hoped to take more pictures of him at Rhinebeck but that didn’t happen (more on that later).  If you want to check out his adventures, I was posting on Instagram with the hashtag #patchdoesrhinebeck.  I loved the colorway names in this mini skein pack – his head is Orange Crush, his body is Chocolate Dipped Banana, and his hands and feet are Pickle Party.  This was a fun knit and I will definitely be knitting more of her stuff.

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Last, I finished the twin’s hat.  So I knit the Cavs hat for my goddaughter and a couple of days after my visit her mom e-mailed and said the twin would like one.  She wanted blue, gray and white.  I checked out Destination Yarn and found her colorway Ice Cave and it was perfect.  Here’s where the project falls off the rails – I ordered worsted weight, not fingering.  I had used the Juxtaposed Hat by Sarah Shoo for the first hat and really enjoyed the pattern – if you’re going to knit a slouchy hat it better be fun!  But that pattern is for sock yarn.  I did a search, asked for help, and ended up with a slouchy hat pattern for worsted weight yarn.  Bad news – it was super boring and I knew I would never get through it.  At this point, I had the stitch count for an appropriate sized worsted weight hat and knew the Juxtaposed was a 10 stitch repeat so I pulled out and started with that pattern and it worked!  Things got a little sticky when it was time to decrease because obviously the hat gets taller much faster with the heavier yarn. (I have notes on my Ravelry project page)  I got it done just in time as I’m headed to visit them next weekend and the cold weather is just arriving.  Cute note – I posted a pic of the finished hat on Instagram and my goddaughter (who follows me) liked it and commented that she would wear her hat when I came to visit so maybe I can get a picture of the two of them wearing their hats next week – we’ll see!

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Phew!  For a very busy month I got a lot done (although both hats have been on the needles for a while and Patch takes very little knitting time)  I’ll return to my Rhinebeck adventures next week so stay tuned!

September FO’s

I was listening to a recent episode of the Knitting Butterflies podcast and Emily was talking about her totals for Stash Dash.  She finished a smaller number of large projects in comparison to Boston Jen of the Down Cellar Studio podcast who finished a large number of small projects.  It does seem that knitters fall into one category or another and if I’ve learned nothing else from these monthly FO posts it’s that I’m a small project girl!  So, let’s get to it!

First up – I finished my test knit for Becky from the Knit Actually Podcast.  I talked about this last week so won’t go into the details.  I love it and I keep it in my purse so I always have a coffee sleeve handy, especially with the cooler weather arriving (maybe, still pretty hot here in Ohio!)

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Next, sticking with my theme of knitting love this month, I finished jar cover for a gift. One of my best partners in crime is moving this weekend, only 3 hours away but that’s much further than 5 minutes across town.  Of course, I decided a week before the going away party that I needed to knit something.  How else do we cope with feelings?

I had ordered (against my better judgment) more picture yarn from Artistic Yarn by Abi.  I swore off picture yarn after the snowmen socks but she came out with this totally cute panda yarn and my friend is quite the panda fan so I had to order it.  My thought was that it would make a good Christmas gift some Christmas but the move prompted me to get it out and use it now and to not wait.

I refuse to knit socks for anyone but me so I wanted to figure out something else I could make with the yarn.  I was thinking an ornament.  The picture is best worked over 60-64 stitches.  When I was searching Ravelry I came across the Americana Jar Cover by Jenn Sheelen.  It was perfect because it had the right number of stitches and was a manageable amount of knitting for the time I had.  The panda yarn came with a matching solid color for heels and toes so I used that to cast on and do the lace section at the top.  For this round of picture yarn knitting I went down to a size 1 needle.  I knit the snowmen socks on size 2’s.  I continue to understand the relation between gauge and needle size better the more I knit and I realized part of my problem might have been my needle size.

The pandas went much better.  Maybe it was the needle size, maybe it was just improved knitting.  I do know that I still really can’t adjust my tension which is usually a good thing but that is the suggested method for make the picture work.  Instead, I increase and decrease stitches in the green between pandas to make necessary adjustments.  Only having to do 2 repeats also was great.  It helped it seem like it went much faster!

Jenn just released some Halloween themed jar covers and I definitely want to knit those. The pattern was fun and I would love to get a jar and knit a bunch of them. She has versions in snowflakes, hearts, jack-o-lantern and the stars & stripes.  It would be a great seasonal decoration by switching out the cover each season.  My friend loved it and it was a great hit at the going away party.  She is not going to have much space where she is moving so I think this will provide a little bright spot in her world.

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Funny note – I had bought a jar at the dollar store and it was a little wide but I got the cover on it.  The night before the party I was at a craft store and found the jar in the picture which is perfect.  However, the cover had stretched out and I had a bit of a panic.  But, yea wool!  I wet it down and laid it flat to dry and then slipped it on the new jar and now the pandas don’t look like they had botox!!

Last, while I love the finished object I did not love the process of this project.  A friend saw a pair of hockey skate baby booties online somewhere and asked if I could knit her a pair.  I found two patterns on Ravelry – one was $5.75 and the other was free.  I preferred the look of the paid pattern and while it called for beginner level crochet I went with it.  Now, with all the talk of #fairfiberwage I definitely understand paying for patterns and have no problem with it.  But, especially when the pattern is almost $6, I expect to have no problems knitting it and that was not the case with these booties. I pulled out a couple sections of the knitting because the pattern was not clear.  When it came to the crochet section (basically this was the skate blade) I asked my crochet friends and they could not quite figure it out.

I decided to take a look at the free pattern to see if I could take the best parts from each and make a final product that I liked.  From the free pattern, I knit the skate blade.  I liked it but it was very one dimensional so I picked up along the cast on edge and mirrored the pattern, adding a few rows for the fold, and then folded it up and sewed it together so it had a little bulk.  The only other change I made was using a 2 stitch i-cord for the laces (it was going to a little Penguin fan so the laces are gold) instead of a single chain crochet or just yarn.

And now, I have to scramble to finish my Rhinebeck shawl (sorry, no sweaters for me!) but 3 weeks from today is the big day!!!!