Saturday, March 17, 2018

Cozy Winter

Cozy Winter

Here's a little snapshot of a project on my needles. I saw this pattern a few weeks back and just fell in love with it.  It's called "Cozy Winter".  Above you can see the beginning of the project. I am using Berroco "Weekend" yarn that I have had for years. I call it an oatmeal color.  Below, you can see a snapshot from my phone of the design I am making.  I just love it!

Sadly, I found a mistake in the braided cable a few days ago so I had to rip out a bunch of my work, but I will keep plugging along...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Tube Socks

Tube Socks

I've knit many, many pairs of socks but never thought to make a pair of tube socks!  This is a pattern called "After Bertha" and the pattern is from a book called "Socks, Socks, Socks".  After knitting and wearing this pair of socks, I am certain there will be more tube socks in my future.

These socks are basically a knit 3, purl 3 rib. You work knit 3, purl 3 ribbing for about three inches.  Then you start to move the position of the ribbing.  You start the next round with purl 1 and then you resume working the knit 3, purl 3 ribbing.  You work 4 rounds with the ribbing in this new position and then, after 4 rounds, you move the ribbing over one more stitch.  That is, the next round will start with purl 2, and then knit 3, purl 3 around. This creates a diagonal spiral around the sock.  To keep it simple, every 4 rounds, I adjusted all of my needles one stitch all the way around so the entire sock was still knit 3, purl 3 ribbing. I hope that makes sense.

For the toe, you pretty much do gradual decreases like you would in a hat so to that the toe is round and NOT flat.  That way, when you put these socks on, there is no right way to wear them and there is no wrong way to wear them. They are a ribbed tube with a round toe.

These are great fitting socks because of their ribbed nature.  There is no tricky heel to work.  I think these would be a great first pair of socks for those unfamiliar to sock knitting.  Also, these socks would be a great gift for just about anyone especially if you aren't quite sure what shoe size the recipient may wear.  You may just have to alter the number of stiches cast on and the size of needles.

For my socks, I used 2.25 mm needles and I cast on 66 stitches. The pattern calls for 2.75 mm needles.  For the pattern to work, you just need to cast on a multiple of 6 (ie. 54, 60, 66, 72).  The yarn I used is pretty fun, right.  This is Frabjous Fibers "Mary Ann" and the colorway is called "Pink Before You Act".  It's interesting how the yarn pooled differently in the two socks.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bamboozle Cowl

bamboozle cowl

This is "Bamboozle" yarn by King Cole Yarns.  It's a super bulky yarn and it's just so pretty.  There are not a lot of patterns on Ravelry or elsewhere which give one guidance as to WHAT to make once you select some Bamboozle.  It's just one of those yarns that when you see it at your local yarn shop, the yarn just has to come home with you. It's THAT special and that pretty.

So I made up my own design which I think shows off the yarn quite nicely. 

The pattern is available HERE on Etsy.

The pattern is available HERE on Ravelry. Use coupon code "marchmadness" between now and March 17, 2018, and the pattern is $1.00 off on Ravelry.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Some Hats

Top This Puppy Hat

I've been knitting up a storm lately. I've been making so many things that I am not finishing things very quickly, but I do have a few finished items I've not yet posted about.  This is a hat to fit a child.  It's a kit called "Top This" by DMC.  Instead of a pom pom, each ball of yarn comes with a little stuffed item to add to the top of the hat.  Puppy, kitty, lion, elephant, flower, unicorn, soccer ball... so many choices.  This is a puppy of course.

Kodiak Kisses

Here's another hat.  This is one hat but there are different designs on each side of the hat. The pattern is adorable, isn't it? It's called "Kodiak Kisses" and the pattern can be found HERE.  Sadly my hat doesn't fit due to some problems with my fair isle technique.  Gauge might have also been an issue for me.  I do have more of both the blue and cream colored yarn. My next attempt at this project will be to cast on about 50 percent more stitches and make a cowl using the cute charts for kissing Mama and Baby Bear and trees!  The yarn is Cascade Pacific and is really soft; it's a wool/acrylic blend.

I think I am done with hats for now. I am working on an amazing project called "Cozy Winter" and it was going really well... or so I thought!  I brought to show the gals at my local knit shop yesterday and, as I was holding it up, I noticed a mistake in the braided cable.  I considered leaving the mistake in there, but I just had to rip it back.  So I ripped out 100 rows (maybe less) to fix the offending cable, and I am back on track.  I'll show you this project soon.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dandelion Cowl

dandelion cowl

What a fun little project.  This is a pattern called "Dandelion Cowl".  The pattern link can be found by clicking HERE.  The yarn I used is from Western Sky Knits and it is a DK weight yarn called "Magnolia".  The colorway is called "Winter Wheat" which makes me like the yarn even more because I am a sucker for a yarn with a great and descriptive name. The fiber content is merino wool, nylon, and cashmere.  OooooOOHHHHHhhhh, cashmere!  I bought this yarn at the Interweave Yarnfest in Loveland, Colorado, and it was my intention to make a project called "Dogwood Leaf Cowl".  It is a lovely pattern but I just changed my mind.

This pattern is written for knitting flat and then sewing a seam at the end. I suppose the benefit of knitting the project flat is that you can block it really nicely before sewing the seam.  But... I prefer to knit things in the round.  It was easy enough to convert the pattern for knitting in the round.  In the pattern instructions, you will find both written instructions and a chart. The chart is a 15 stitch repeat.  The top and bottom borders are five rows each in garter stitch. So here's a quick breakdown of what I did in case you'd like to make this project in the round.

I used US Size 9 circular knitting needles (16 inch).
Cast on 135 stitches (or another multiple of 15... ie. 120 or 150 or 165).  I used a long tail cast on. Join to knit in the round being careful not to twist the stitches.

Rounds 1, 3, and 5: purl
Rounds 2 and 4: knit

Work the 15 stitch repeat in the chart from the bottom of the chart to the top of the chart.  Always read the chart from the right to the left, ignoring the stitches outside the chart's red box.  Since I cast on 135 stitches, I repeated the 15 stitch repeat 9 times around (9 x 15 = 135).  I repeated the entire chart four times.  You can do more or fewer repeats as you desire.

For the final border...
Rounds 1, 3, and 5: purl
Rounds 2 and 4: knit.
Bind off loosely.

Weave in loose ends and block as desired.

I am enjoying making a few "one skein wonders".  I do have some larger projects calling my name, but for now, I am loving the sense of accomplishment I get from finishing up this and that.  I am working on some tube socks and some projects using project kits called "Top This".  Too much yarn and too little time!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Raindance Cowl with Glass Beads

I purchased this yarn as part of a kit from my local yarn shop, Yarned & Dangerous. The kit included yarn and glass beads along with a pattern for a cowl.  I had an all together different pattern in mind that I wanted to make with the kit.  It turned out that I did not have enough beads for the pattern I had in mind, but I did find another pattern what I loved.

This is a cowl pattern called "Raindance". The pattern link is HERE.  It is a FREE pattern. The yarn is used is called BellaTrista Soy DK. In cased you missed it... that's yarn made out of SOY. How cool is that?  The beads are Miyuki glass beads from The Knitting Zone.  This was a relatively quick project.  I am enjoying making up some "one skein wonder" projects lately.  I love the sense of accomplishment I get from starting and finishing something relatively quickly.

The cowl is a nice size and has a nice drape to it I think. I noticed my stitches seemed a bit wonky here and there so I decided to wet block my cowl.  I soaked the cowl in some tepid water and a few drops of Eucalan.  The cowl seemed to grow considerably larger after soaking.  The soy yarn soaked up a lot of water and took a really long time to dry.  I could not help but notice that the yarn had quite an Earthy odor while damp.  I kept thinking it smelled a little like a barnyard. I took my cowl to the knit shop to show the gals. We all sort of joked about the odor; one lady was adamant it smelled "just like Illinois". So there you have it!  Damp soy yarn smells just like Illinois.  Now that the cowl has dried, I am not noticing the odor at all.

I've heard soy helps with symptoms of PMS and perimenopause.  Do you think if I wear my cowl it will help with my symptoms?  Just kidding.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Kim's "Chloe Kim" Hat


Have you been watching the Winter Olympics in South Korea?  I have been watching a little bit here and there.  Sweet 17 year older snow boarder, Chloe Kim, is such a lovely girl.  She was wearing a super duper chunky hat when interviewed after winning her gold medal.  Of course, fiber enthusiasts were all over that and quickly copy cat patterns for Chloe Kim's hat could be found on the internet.

Horrible photo!  It's really hard to take a photo of a project knit in such dark yarn.  Sorry!

I was not inclined to make this hat until I realized I had some super duper chunky yarn in my yarn stash.  This is Tahki Yarns Jumbo yarn; it's a wool/acrylic blend.  The yarn comes in a 100 gram ball and includes a faux fur pom pom.  Perfect!  I did need about 1 1/2 balls of this yarn to make my hat.  I used US size 15 needles for my hat and cast on 32 stitches. The pattern calls for US size 17 needles and 28 stitches. The gauge is 4 stitches equals 4 inches, so that gives you an idea how chunky this hat is.  I think the pattern looks a little cuter when made with a paler color yarn and it probably looks way cuter on a 17 year old girl, as compared to this almost 50 year old. But I don't care and I was really wishing I had this hat this morning when I walked the dogs at the river (it was 12 degrees Fahrenheit this morning... burrrr!!!!)  This hat will be keeping my ears warm for sure!  I did make my hat a bit longer than called for. I like rolling up a longer cuff to keep the hat on a bit better and to keep my ears warmer.  Finally, the yarn calls for holding two strands of yarn together while knitting but I did not need to do that since my yarn is so was so super duper jumbo chunky.

Here is the pattern link for his hat if you are wanting a Chloe Kim hat of your own.  The pattern is FREE. Click HERE.