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!

Last Post of the Year

Well, I guess this is going to wrap up 2016.  The next 2 weeks are Christmas and New Year’s so I will be taking a brief break.  I will be spending that break trying to recover from the year that was 2016 which will require copious amounts of knitting and tea!

Most of my FO’s so far are gifts so in my first post in the new year I’ll do a wrap of December FO’s, take a look back at 2016 and a look forward into 2017.

I do enjoy covering trending topics and if you haven’t noticed recently the ponytail hat is wild right now.  I first noticed this last week as I was checking out the Hot Right Now on Ravelry.  I think there were 1 or 2 patterns in the top 20 and I wondered what the deal was with the hats.  Well, just a few hours later I get a text from a friend with a picture of a crocheted ponytail hat and a request to knit her one (we’ll leave out the obvious issues with this, she is not a crafty one).  I had no idea where the picture came from but I’m sure you’ve seen it by now.  Here’s the link to the Etsy store with the pattern listing and it’s all over Facebook.

After I got her text I saw the above link show up on a friend’s Facebook page with a suggestion that she might like it.  And then Knitgrrl posted it on her Facebook page and a lively discussion ensued as she also has a pattern for such a hat, that she wrote in 2005.  Proof that all things old are new again.  There were some great comments in that group, including one that mentioned that her teenage niece was 5 when that pattern came out (side note – what???  how was 2005 that long ago???) so these are new to today’s teens.

And then there was this beauty!

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Oh, so much fun in this one picture!  Takeaway – they were knitting ponytail hats in the 1950’s.  Everything old is new again!  There are currently 5 different patterns on the first 2 pages of Hot Right Now on Ravelry.  I feel like a new one pops up everyday.

Back to the request to me, I ended up downloading the Holey Hat by SlipStitch Design.  It was free and seemed to have the flattest top. A few of them kind of build up around the ponytail and I wasn’t crazy about it.  This hat called for bulky yarn and size 10 needles so I knew it would be quick.  I had no bulky yarn but I did have the right colors in worsted weight so I held it double and got started.  But then I didn’t like it.  The picture causing the craze is crocheted so stockinette doesn’t cut it.

I then did a little search for a knit stitch that looked like crochet.  I found a five round pattern on LoveKnitting.com so I gave it a go and I loved the results.  Here’s the FO.

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Things I was not completely crazy about were the top – I wish it was flatter.  It also turned out to be a very stiff fabric and the holes were quite large. My friend loves it so that’s what important but I’m taking these notes as I move forward.  I had been posting in progress pics on Instagram and another friend requested them for her two teen daughters.

I started the next hat and I went down to just worsted weight and am using size 7 needles and I really love how it’s coming out.  The lighter weight yarn really shows the stitch definition and the holes are much smaller which I think will make for a better hat!

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How fun are these colors???

I never understand how certain knit/crochet end up going viral and ending up in and on all of our social media but it does always make me laugh and a lot of time it ends up making me money which is fine by me!

With that, I would like to wish everyone a happy, peaceful, healthy holiday season! Thanks for reading and I have a lot of good stuff planned for 2017 so stick around to see what’s coming!

 

 

What’s on my Needles This Weekend

You might recall that I knit hats for my goddaughter and her twin.  I took the twin’s hat up to her two weeks ago and it was a huge hit!!  It was a very unseasonably warm weekend but she wore the hat all weekend.  This is my favorite picture that I managed to snap – she’s hard at work on her homework wearing her hat 🙂

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Her mother and I decided to get out for a little retail therapy and that included a stop at Spun Ann Arbor.  Now, I’ve had an ongoing debate with my friend G about this shop.  My first two visits were not the best but she loved it.  My best friend is moving so this was sort of a goodbye tour of all my favorite Ann Arbor spots. I had to hit Spun one more time and I had seen they were having a trunk show.  It was like a different store.  They had physically rearranged it and the people working were much more friendly so it was a much better experience and I can see why G loves it.  The trunk show was by Why Knot Fibers.  The girls were lovely and we were having quite a chat while my best friend wandered the store (I should note she is not a knitter).  As we were talking my friend came over with a hat in hand and asked if I could knit it for her.  I guess she was feeling left out of the hat fun!  I noted the pattern in Ravelry and she set out to pick out her yarn.

I had said I was not buying yarn but I could not leave without a skein from the Why Knot Fibers girls and they had shawl pins from Craftyflutterby and that’s been on my list for awhile.  So, despite my “I’m not buying any yarn, remind me of that” to my bff on the way in, this is what I left with.

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Now, my bff bought the yarn needed for her hat according to the tag on the hat.  The hat is Coze by Alex Tinsley and is designed so that you can knit two hats with huge pom poms out of 2 skeins of yarn.  My bff (like me) is anti pom pom so she bought the one skein.  What I did not realize until I was reading the pattern at her house later was that is called for the new Malabrigo Caracol and I looked in the bag and that’s what she bought and in one of my favorite Malabrigo colorways – Paris Night.  Can I just say, this yarn is just yummy!  What a delight to knit!  I’m about halfway through and almost to the point where I just want to get it done so I hope it will be finished here in the next couple of days.

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One last note for today, I’ve been hearing a lot about the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long which starts next week.  My needles are quite full right now but I’m hoping to find a small project to support a designer and join in on the fun.  I was completely sold when I saw this graphic on Instagram this morning.  A little world wide knitting might do us all some good right about now.

rv76m9fThere is more info in a Ravelry group called Indie Design Gift-A-Long so check that out if you’re looking for some fun over the next month or so and I know I’m looking for some fun!

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!

August FO’s – an ode to monogamous knitting

Well, as much as I’m definitely not a monogamous knitter, months like this make me see there are benefits.  I have 3 FO’s this month – two were WIP’s that were pretty close to done and 1 was my Ravellenics project and there’s nothing like the Ravellenics to make me focus on one project.

First up is my Juxtaposed Hat.  This is a pattern by Sarah Shoo of the Cultivate & Create podcast and it’s free!!!  The yarn is from Destination Yarns on her Postcard base which is 75% superwash and 25 % nylon in The Q colorway.  This was some special yarn she dyed up right after the Cavs won the NBA championship.  (Although, someone mentioned it was also Gryffindor colors from Harry Potter).  My goddaughter is a huge Cavs fan so I ordered a skein and asked her mom what type of accessory she would prefer and hat was the winner.  I loved this patter by Sarah.  It’s a fun, quick knit and worked so well with the color changes in this yarn.  My goddaughter loved it and even agreed to model it.

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Next up is my Ravellenics project!  I’m happy to report it won the bronze medal in my local Olympic gathering.  For these socks I used the Prism pattern for the legs, the fish lips kiss heel and the round toe from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture.  The yarn is Fresh from the Cauldron Schoodic Sock in the Tea Party colorway.  The colorway really read Halloween to me and I was lucky enough to find some leftover orange sock yarn in my stash to up the Halloween feel on the toes and heels.

And last (and the reason for the delay in today’s post) – my Little Purple Sailor Coat sweater.  I’ll do a longer post on this in a couple of weeks as it definitely has it’s own story to tell but I’m so pleased with how it turned out.  I’ll be blocking it tomorrow and sewing on a button.  And, it will makes it way to a very special little girl very soon!

 

First FO’s of the Year!

Wow, it’s the end of January already!  I might be having a harder time with how fast this month went because we’ve had such a mild winter in the Great Lakes so I’m not quite as worn down by snow and cold as I usually am at this time of year.  It’s a good thing because this is the first time in two years that I have not had a trip planned to a more tropical destination in February so thanks winter for working with me this year!

Either way, I’ve had plenty of knitting time this month but that will not necessarily show in my FO’s for the month.  After all the Christmas mermaid blankets, I took a short break and then started work on a fourth one which was also a special order (yea for Knit Picks after Christmas sale!)  As long as I was ordering, I decided to do a scrap mermaid blanket and donate it to our youth group raffle that is held during our Lenten fish frys. I needed a couple more full skeins and then used leftovers from the Christmas order to make a rainbow mermaid.  Initially I started working on the private order but was told there was no rush and the first fish fry is February 19 (Easter is super early this year!) so I switched and cast on the rainbow mermaid which is why my actual number of finished items it low this month.  Here’s a picture of the rainbow mermaid.  As usual, I used the Mermaid Tail Lap Blanket for Children and Teens by Angie Hartley which you can find on Ravelry or her Etsy store and used Knit Picks Brava Worsted and held two skeins together.

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I also can’t resist sharing this picture of the Christmas order I did for my friend’s little girls – they are too cute 🙂

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The only other thing I finished is A Girl Thing by Joji Locatelli and it’s from her new Authentic Collection.  I can’t say how much I love the Collection. There’s such a variety of patterns which is great for someone like me who is not much (okay, or at all) of a sweater knitter.  As soon as I saw the hat I knew I had to make it from my leftover 3 Color Cashmere Cowl yarn because it had many of the same design elements and would make a lovely set.  Recently, I saw on Instagram that Joji is now designing a 3 Color Cashmere Shawl so I’ll probably end up down that rabbit hole when it’s released…

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Love my hat/cowl set!

Last I finished a sock and did cast on the second one (which was my only cast on for the month!!!  Go me on finishing those wips!)  This sock is with the Arne & Carlos yarn so I’m doing a vanilla sock and am trying out the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I enjoyed the heel as it does not require picking up any stitches but I ended up with a weird pucker and I’m not sure if it was a sizing issue or the fact that halfway through the heel the stitches came off the needle and, perhaps, did not get put back on correctly.  (By the way, anyone else notice that there are evil yarn demons that attack your purse knitting???)

The instructions for the heel only include the heel so I broke out my Sock Architecture book to find a new toe to try.  Now, for some reason in all my knitting years no one ever told me that there are toes that do not require kitchner stitch – it was like a whole new world opened up to me!!!  I did the Round Toe and love, love, love it!

So, let’s call this 2 1/2 FO’s for January.  The 1/2 is a languishing WIP so a little bit of progress 🙂