Plan B

22 01 2011

I keep saying I’m going to catch up, and then I don’t, so I have a new plan. This time around I’m going to write the posts in advance, and then publish them every couple of days until I’m caught up. That means if you’re reading this, I have already blogged my projects through January. I considered just sort of skipping over some of my finished objects and doing a “best of” run and letting the rest go, but then I couldn’t decide what to cut, so hopefully this works.

The last time I properly shared FOs, I got through *ahem* mid-September. So here we go with the last of September, which really only consists of two projects, but one of them is a “let me jam all of these related items onto one project page” multi, so I have a few different photos to share.

For the first project, I actually began my relationship as a test/sample knitter for Rose Beck of roseisarose. I was surprised and delighted by her initial request, and I have really enjoyed knitting for her. The project I knit was a scarf released back in October called Into the Woods. I named my project Autumnal. It was knit on US 4/3.5mm with Saffron Dyeworks Wasabi Sock: SW Merino 2 ply in Dreaming of Autumn.

Both photos are courtesy of  Abbie of  The Green Wife; I really appreciate the time she has put into photography for Rose’s patterns!

autumnal 1

autumnal 2

The second half of this post is a project I chose to call Baby Hat Party, which is several hats I knit for several babies. They were knit exclusively in Knit Picks yarn.

The first hat is Knotty Baby Hat by Amanda Schwabe. I knit it in Felici in Aquarium, which is a self-striping yarn. I didn’t get gauge on US1/2.25mm but rather than digging out the zeros, I altered the pattern to fit my gauge. I had some problems with how the pattern was written, but I addressed these when I knit it again later, so I’ll save that for a later post.

bhp 8

Next I knit two of the wonderfully named Hat from Natural Nursery Knits by Erica Knight, a book I found at my local library. Hat was knit in Stroll in Carnation and Bare on US 2.5/3mm and US 3/3.25mm. The pattern was written to be knit flat than seamed; I chose to knit it in the round instead. Also pictured are another pair of Hunca Munca in Bare on US 1.5/2.5mm and yet another pair of Ysolda Teague‘s wonderful tiny shoes on 2.5/3mm.

bhp 2

bhp 3

The last hats were for a pair of boy and girl twins, both knit in Comfy Fingering Weight on US 3/3.25mm in a sock-weight version of the rather classic umbilical hat, Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat from Knitty Gritty Thoughts.

bhp 5

Whew! That wasn’t so hard, right? Just three and a half months to go.


Miss Berklie

1 10 2010

I spent all of September knitting wildly, which means things like updating got shuffled to the bottom of the list, and that I’m probably three posts of finished objects behind. I also have the conundrum of what to post. Is there a chance my sister will peak in before Christmas? I should hope so, thus it’s probably a poor idea to add her present. I suppose I can push aside anything that could spoil a surprise and do a post-Christmas update. I believe last time I promised to post the contents of my Miss Berklie project, which was a gift for expecting friends.

I love baby knitting, but it seemed like it had been absolutely ages since someone I knew was having one. Okay, so my sister had a baby just last December, but he’s a boy, which is not nearly as fun, so when we learned that our friends Camie and Matthew had a little girl on the way, I went baby knitting crazy. It was a great deal of fun.

So what did I knit? First, a hat. I knit a Swirl Hat from Sheepy Time Knits from Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop in Pink Cadillac. It’s a pretty pattern, and deceptively simple for such an interesting result. Also it’s written for a variety of sizes; I really like the pattern.
miss berklie 2

Then I knit another hat, this time Simple newborn hat… from Small Things in Knit Picks Stroll in Bare.  This one is actually written for sport weight yarn so it required a little adjustment to use sock yarn. I also changed the rolled brim to seed stitch.

miss berklie 3

I then moved on to tiny baby socks and found, what I think, is the perfect baby sock–tiny, detailed, and adorable. The sock in question is Hunca Munca (Rib & Twist) from, also knit in KP Stroll in Bare.

miss berklie 4

Tiny socks call for tiny shoes, so next I knit a pair of Saartje’s Bootees. This pattern is an enduring favorite on Ravelry for a reason. I knit it in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Devon and KP Stroll in Cocoa.
miss berklie 5

At that point the yarn I had to order for the project had arrived, so I began the larger pieces. I started with a Baby Kina from Kids Tricots (Yes, the website is in French, but her patterns are also offered in English). I knit it in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in 016. I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the color, which is one of the dangers of internet yarn ordering; I was hoping for a turquoise and this toned a little more toward sage. The pattern was straight-forward, and I think the result is cute. I was particular pleased by finding shell flower buttons, which is exactly what I had in mind.

miss berklie 6

I followed that with Ysolda Teague’s Sophie, a sweet bunny toy, out of the same Cashmerino yarn.

miss berklie 1

I really only needed one more project to round out the gift, which was a blanket. I knit a simple garter strip car seat blanket in Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Carnation and Truffle using two balls of each and switching colors every two rows.

miss berklie 7

That covers it and gives everyone an idea of what can happen if you have a crazed knitter as a friend. As for September, I knit socks, a hat, shawls, a tee, a scarf, and yes, more baby knits, all coming up soon. No, really this time.

On the prevention of Christmas sneaking up on me again this year…

6 09 2010

I suppose it’s time to wrap up August, and it will need to come in two posts. I had rather intended to post sooner, but I found my photography delayed  by a wonderful period of rainy weather and a delightful 20 degree temperature drop. Fall cannot come soon enough, which is as good a lead in as any to the projects I’m sharing. Every year, I find that I’m starting my Christmas knitting earlier, which should keep me from the joyful experience of desperately knitting on Christmas Eve, but somehow I’ve still been in that position two years in a row, so this year I started the last week of July.

Sofia’s Christmas present is straightforward but yardage intensive. It actually had more plain stockinette than I realized, so I actually finished the whole gift in about 10 days. I realize this doesn’t sound like a fast turn around time, but I did knit an entire monkey and two outfits for her. I really like how it came out, and she’s a very cute match to last year’s Mr. Foster. This is Carmen Banana, a kit offered by Knit Picks, and worked in Essential/Stroll. I’m very pleased with how she came out, although it makes me wish, once again, that my embroidery skills were a little stronger; her face took me quite a while to get right. I do love the tiny monkey clothes.

carmen 5

carmen 7

Having wrapped my first Christmas present, I decided to next work on Karen’s birthday present, which is inspired by Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, based on Penny’s Wristers. I knit them in Knit Picks Andean Silk in Cranberry and Mustard. I found the 3/4 buttons at Hancock Fabrics, and they took me three hours to sew on, see above note about sewing skills. I had a bit of leftover yarn after I finished, so I also made a Turn A Square from Jared Flood.

drh hp 3

tas hp 1

The next project I tackled was a bit of a disaster. I had purchased the yarn on the way back from Florida at the absolutely marvelous The Knit Studio in Jackson, Mississippi. I had admittedly fallen in love with Wandering the Moor as it was knit by the designer, Celeste Glassel, and was delighted to use the recommended yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in 4205 Dark Chocolate. Unfortunately, it was pretty much downhill from there. My shawl, it turned out, was a bit cursed. I finished the run of stockinette without issue, but while capturing a WIP photo for the project page, I accidentally snapped one of my beloved wooden Harmony needles off at the base. Since I was already at a transition in the pattern, I changed to metal needles and continued into the patterned portion. I was three rows from the bind off when I dropped a stitch out of K3tog and had to frog back eight rows to repair it. I also noticed after it had dried from blocking that I had pinned the wrong points for a quarter of the shawl, so I had to re-pin it and spray it down. Finally, I realized that the person I intended to give this to might not like the alpaca content, so it’s homeless as well. Right, so if you happen to love this shawl, let me know and it’s yours (Claimed!).

wandering the moor 4

wandering the moor 2

Next, keeping in a theme of seasonal knits, I decided to knit a sweater for Piper. Piper is not possessed of an undercoat, and as such, she starts getting chilly outdoors toward the end of October. One of my very first knitting projects, and maybe my first actual finished object, was knitting her a hideous purple acrylic sweater. This pretty, red merino sweater is a bit of an apology to her. She seemed to like it and didn’t even ask to have it off. The pattern is the very well-written Diagonal Dog Sweater Pattern by June Bowman. The yarn is Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash in 3. Sorry for the pictures, Piper only consented to hold still while on her favorite perch.

dog sweater 5

dog sweater 3

Last for this update is my birthday present for Susan, which I’m giving her tonight, so hopefully she won’t look in on the blog in the interim. I love knitting for Susan because she is compulsively clad in knitwear, and so I know my gifts will go to good use. Occasionally, I see a project that I know will be lovely for her, and I thought that was certainly the case with Emily Dickinson, a loosely knit garter shawl that is embellished with 6/0 crystal beads. I used Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in Purple Pansy 257 in my version. This skein was purchased by Abbie at Purl Soho in NYC. I am sad to say that I found the pattern rather sloppy in construction, for instance there is no given gauge, so I do not intend to make any future purchases from knit/lab, which is unfortunate since I think Blackbird is gorgeous, but I’m unwilling to pay for badly written patterns.

emily d 1

emily d 2

I spent the last week of the month wildly knitting a baby gift, and I say wildly as in I knit 1000+ yards in about a week (This is not my highest week ever, by the way, that occurred last December, when I knit 1900 yards in the week of, can you guess it?, Christmas). I’m pleased with the results, and it certainly should qualify for its own entry!

What month is this?

24 07 2010

I’ll admit to going on vacation last month, and getting into other interesting activities, but I was startled to realize that I haven’t updated here since the beginning of June, and worse, that I have finished thirteen projects since then. I think I can clear up the backlog in about three posts, so here we go with the first half of June!

I’m starting with the projects I mentioned in the last update, in the order that they were completed, so here’s the baby gift I worked on with Susan. It’s out of two skeins of Knit Picks Felici Sport in Garden Gate.  The baby sack, which is mainly a photography prop, but can double as a kick bag later, was improvised. The hat is a sport-weight mod (details on the project page) of the SnB classic the Umbilical Cord Hat.

baby sack 2

Next up are my Rainbows, which are just simple stockinette, toe-up socks also using Knit Picks Felici, this time in the fingering weight.  I ordered the Rainbow colorway the day it became available, which turned out to be a good decision as this colorway is already sold out. I have enough leftover to make a pair for Sofia, but I’m not planning on making them until the fall since it seems like every time I turn around her feet have grown again. I used the Fleegle Symmetrical Short Row Heel on this, and I really liked it; it’s so much prettier than the gaps normally left by wraps.

rainbows 2

And now for my sister’s birthday present, which was apparently well-received (Yay!). My sister has a mild gnome obsession, so the first time I saw these I knew I had to knit them for her. They’re SpillyJane‘s Gnome Mittens. The only problem is that Mel absolutely cannot wear wool, so I had to find fingering weight cotton, and then in a bit of convenient timing, Knit Picks decided to offer their Comfy line in fingering weight (colorway details on the project page). I don’t think the yarn is springy enough to work for socks, but it certainly usable for colorwork, and I’m planning on making her a matching hat.

gnome mitts

And the last thing I mentioned was a red shawl, but that’s going to have to wait until next time, so I can make this post themed with non-snobby yarn. The last project I’m sharing is out of Cascade Eco Wool that I overdyed teal with Wilton’s icing. I made a Sideways Grande Cloche, which is a pattern that I’ve wanted to knit for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to yet. The gauge on the pattern was clearly off, but I muddled through, and I’m happy enough with the results.

sideways grande cloche 1

I hope to have the rest of June in a few days, and then start into July!

Hats and Yoga Socks

28 04 2010

Clearly, I need to work out some kind of schedule for this. While I wasn’t paying attention, almost all of April has passed, and I have plenty of FOs to share. Just to keep this from being too long, I’ll post some now, and the rest in a couple of days, along with May’s WIPs.

Let’s start with the project that I couldn’t post last time because it was on its way to Claire. I Heart Claire, which is a couple of pairs of mismatched yoga socks. I really had fun with these. The first two were improvised, the gold sock in Sundara Sock in Golden Grains is CO 64, K6, P2, 3×3 left cross cables every 15th row and the green sock in Lotus Nirvana in Hydroponic, CO 64, 2×2 ribbing.

i heart claire 2

The second pair are both modified versions of existing patterns. The blue and gold sock is  Mama Blue SMS in Mermaid and JulieSpins M370 in Sunny Side Up. It was made from Blackberry Brambles (Rav) by Irishgirlieknits. The red and red/pink sock is Madelinetosh tosh sock in Scarlet and Wollmeise 100% in Dornroschen and was made from Cookie A’s Angee.

i heart claire 3

I think Claire liked them although they were a tad late for her birthday.

I also knit two hats, from the same pattern, because I love the 16 Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles;  it fits me perfectly, looks interesting, and is the perfect accompaniment to a bad hair day. I made one out of Malabrigo in Shocking Pink for the winter, and one in Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted in Grey Heather for summer.

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sixteen again 1

Okay, last project to share for this post, though there will be more later, I finished the Dye Test Blanket. A couple of colors didn’t come out as well as I hoped, but all in all it was exactly the kind of dyeing practice I was looking for. The darker squares were immersion-dyed in more concentrated dye solutions; the lighter were hand-painted.

dye test blanket 1

Herbivore, etc.

9 04 2010

I have been very busy recently, but not so productive. I did finish Sylvia’s Herbivore, by the end of March, but it took me several days to get it blocked and photographed. When it finished blocking, I tossed it over my shoulders and checked it out in the mirror.  It’s a bit funny, because as Sylvia noted with the one she knitted herself, it looks a bit like a pterodactyl laying flat, but it is so pretty on! I actually had to talk myself out of wearing it to lunch, which I didn’t do since it belongs to some one else.

herbivore 1

herbivore 2

I have finished one other project, but it’s a gift, so it will have to stay a secret until it arrives. Besides that, I’ve been starting projects all over the place, probably due to the influx of new yarn and because I’ve been dabbling in dyeing. So even though I said last time that I rarely have work-in-progress pictures, since I have so many at the moment, that’s what I’m sharing.

I started a Springtime Bandit (Ravelry link) by Kate Gagnon Osborn in some gorgeous Tricoquelicot Laine Claude II in Melancholy.

sweet melancholy wip

I purchased a skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Natural, which I divided into 16 mini-skeins for dyeing.  To make sure that they aren’t just sitting around, I’m knitting them into a blanket as I go.  So here is my Dye Test Blanket.

dye test blanket wip

I have two other projects on the needles right now, but one had to be frogged back to the start due to a yarn mishap, and the second is a hat that I started last night, so there are no pictures yet. The hat is out of my first skein of hand-dyed yarn, so I will share a picture of that, but the rest will have to wait until the next post. The yarn is Knit Picks Bare WotA, dyed with Wilton’s gel icing.

hd algae eaten ivy 3

Berry Socks, Squared

23 03 2010

I’ve been very busy, but I haven’t had much to show for it until today. I recently finished two 400+ yard projects, the second one is still blocking, but I was able to photograph the first today. Knit Picks makes a fun self-striping sock yarn called Felici. This is the discontinued colorway Mixed Berries; there isn’t a lot of selection on the website right now, but KP usually introduces new colorways in the spring, so there probably will be some available in the next month.

berry squared 1

Since I have small feet, I thought I could manage a pair of socks for my daughter as well, and that seems to have worked out. Even better, I somehow tempted my wily toddler into both putting on the socks AND sitting still long enough for me to photograph them. It’s a banner day at our house. I improvised both pairs. Mine are top-down with a 1×1 twisted rib cuff, afterthought heel, and square toe. My daughter’s socks are toe-up, using Judy’s Magic cast-on, and have a round toe and short row heel.

berry squared 2