Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Messy Bun Hat

Messy Bun Hat


Here's a cute hat with a story.  I am piecing things together here but it seems as if a gal named Stacey posted on Facebook, in some sort of small group where you can buy/sell/trade items, a picture of a cute hat and she said she was making and selling the hats for about $15.00.  Some how the photo of the girl with a messy bun sticking out the top of her crochet hat went absolutely viral... I mean VIRAL as in "nearly broke the Internet" viral.  Some where in that time, a mom I know sent me a photo (the photo of the girl in the hat above) and asked me, "Hey, can you make one of these for my teenage daughter?"

I did a little research.  I found that Stacey herself had typed up her pattern but she asked folks to be patient with her, as she had never typed up a pattern before.  As I looked further, I found all sorts of other folks using Stacey's photo of her viral sensation hat and these folks were trying to sell their patterns using Stacey's photo.  Crummy, really crummy.  I wasn't wanting to buy Stacey's pattern if it really hadn't been tried and tested.  And I wasn't wanting to buy a pattern from someone stealing her photo and trying to pass of Stacey's design as their own.  Also, all of this was going on during my Etsy shop holiday rush, so I put this all on the back burner for a little while.

But I kept thinking about he cute hat with the messy bun sticking out the top.  I closed my Etsy shop (vacation mode!) the other day to take a little holiday stress off of myself.  I looked on Ravelry and, sure enough, there are lots of "Messy Bun Hat" patterns now available on Ravelry.  I happened to find this pattern (LINK HERE) called "It's All About the Messy Bun" by June Nemeth.  I appreciated the fact that she was up front about fact that she saw the viral sensation hat on the Internet and made up her pattern to make a hat for her daughter.  At that time apparently, Stacey had not yet typed up her pattern.  June is offering her pattern for FREE and is not trying to pass off Stacey's work as her own. I printed off the pattern and remembered this great yarn in my stash.  The yarn worked out great for this pattern. I hope the recipient love the hat.  I delivered the hat to her mom today.

The yarn is crocheted with a Size H crochet hook and you start the hat at the top, where there is a big opening for a gal to make a messy ponytail or bun at the top of her head.  The yarn I used is by Plymouth Yarns and is called "Stained Glazz".  The crown of the hat is crocheted in rounds, all in double crochet.  You can see the top of the hat below.

The ribbing of the hat was crocheted perpendicular to the body of the hat in single crochet in rows. The ribbing portion was definitely the labor intensive portion of the hat.  You can see the ribbing in progress in the photo below.  The only part of the hat that I stumbled on was the very last instruction. When the ribbing was done, the pattern directs you do slip stitch the beginning of the ribbing to the end of the ribbing.  I found that a little tricky and I am not quite sure I did that very last step correctly. 

Of course when I posted a photo of my completed Messy Bun Hat on Facebook last night, a few moms I know asked, "Oh, are you making and selling these?"

No, I am not.  One Messy Bun Hat was enough for this gal.  But if you'd like to crochet one, I highly recommend this pattern. 

Now, on to the next project...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #8

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #8

What a fun and pretty block this is.  I only struggled with one thing in this block and that resulted in me making a few mistakes along the way. The cables in this block are worked over six stitches.  Sometimes you work the cable over the first four stitches and sometimes you work the cable over the last four stitches.  The chart will show that better. See below...

I did NOT notice this when I first started the block so I made mistakes on the very first row with cables.  I got adventurous and laddered down to the mistakes and fixed them a few times without ripping out rows and rows of knitting. That made me happy!

My Etsy shop has kept me busy making pillows for the past several weeks so knitting on this block was my treat when I would finally sit down and put up my feet for a spell.  I put my Etsy shop on "vacation mode" last night so I can catch my breath and enjoy this week.  I still need to put up my Christmas tree!  I am looking forward to knitting and some other projects.  I am feeling the desire to bake some cookies, too.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #8 REPAIR

Uh oh!

I was nearly done with block #8 of Norah's Vintage Afghan when I discovered I had made a mistake in a cable.  I did not have the presence of mind to take a photo of the mistake; I just ripped down about four rows (only over the six stitches in the cable) and tried to fix it.  It still was not right; I needed to go down maybe four rows deeper. So I set it aside, determined to try again in the morning.

As you can see in the photo above, I am just dealing with the six stitches in the cable portion. Once I figured out where I was in the pattern, it was not that difficult to fix the cable. I just isolated those stitches and followed the chart and reworked the stitches row by row. The hardest thing was moving the cable needle from the back of the work to the front of the work, with all those loose strands of yarn in the way, so that I could knit off the cable needle.

Ta Dah!  All fixed.  I was pleased I did not have to rip out those eight or ten rows.  I do love knitting these blocks, but when I am nearing the end of the block, I grow a wee bit tired of it and I want to be done and move on to the next. 

This block will be finished soon. I'll be sure to post a photo when it's all done.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #7

Block #7

Hello!  Here's another update on Norah's Vintage Afghan.  This is block #7 and the color is "Black Currant" (Yarn: Berroco Vintage Worsted Weight yarn).  I just love this yarn and I love this color.  This block was pretty straight forward; oodles of cables.

I have grown accustomed to cables in knitting being done a certain way; specifically, I am used to cables being flanked by purl stitches to the right and to the left of the cables so the cables really "pop" or stand out.  In this pattern, as in this block, there are cables which are flanked or surrounded by knit stitches so the cables are a little flatter (if that makes sense).  It just gives the cables a different look and it is making me look at cables a bit differently.  I really enjoyed this block.  I find that I am excited to cast on the very next block just as soon as I finish a block. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #6

Block #6

Hello!  Here's another post to update you on my progress on Norah's Vintage Afghan.  This is my first block made in black; the color is actually called "Cast Iron" (Yarn: Berroco Vintage Worsted Weight).  I was rather nervous to knit with the black. I was concerned the pattern details would not show up and I was concerned it might be difficult to knit with such a dark color.  These old eyes struggle!  It was hard to photograph the completed black square but I did not finding knitting with the black yarn to be too terribly difficult. I also feel the details show up just fine.  This square was very challenging at the beginning. I actually had to enlarge the chart so I could read it (again...these old eyes).  The first several rows (1 through 11 on the chart) were challenging because there was so much going on.  You can see that portion below at the bottom of the photo.  It's a triangular portion with a lot of texture.  After that, the rest of the block was much simpler.  So if you start this block and find the first part of the chart to be a real struggle... don't give up... it gets way easier after row 11.  You will only complete rows 1 through 11 of the chart one time. Phew!

Sorry these photos are not the greatest.  My iPhone camera has a mind of it's own when photographing certain colors in certain light.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #5

Block #5

In this post, I've added a few photos of block #5 in various stages of completion so you can see the great texture and detail in different light.

I been working on Norah's Vintage Afghan in earnest in the past several weeks; I've just not taken time to take photos and chat about it all.  This is block #5.  This block, like all the blocks in Norah's afghan pattern, has oodles of cables but it also has "knots".  There is not a lot of instruction in the pattern about how to make the knots but I muddled through.  A gal named Meg, who is also making this project, contacted me and asked about the knots. I figured that since the knots were a stumbling block for both me and Meg, then others might like a little more description of how to make the knots so I will share here what I shared with Meg.

Meg: I'd be happy to help you with that. So you are stuck on the knot? I was stuck on that too. Here's what I did (it's like making a bobble but you don't have to repeatedly turn your work). 
First, in the stitch where there is a red box, you knit into the front of the stitch then you knit into the back of the stitch and then you knit into the front of the stitch. You are creating three stitches where there was just one and you don't take the stitches off the left hand needle and put them on the right hand needle until you've created the three stitches. Then you move the three stitches you've created back to the left hand needle and then knit these three stitches. Leave these stitches on the right hand needle. Now you need to reduce these three stitches back to just one stitch. Looking at the three stitches on your right hand needle... call them A, B, and C from left to right. Using the tip of your left hand needle, slip B over A, and then slip C over A and B, leaving just one stitch. Wow, it's hard to describe. A video would have been easier. Lol. If this doesn't work, send me an email. 

 I am currently working on Block #8.  In the next few days, I'll post photos of Block #6 and Block #7.  I am finding this pattern very enjoyable.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #4

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #4

I sure am enjoying working on this project again.  I got through blocks #3 and #4 rather quickly.  I've already started work on block #5, but I have a feeling that block will go more slowly as it's rather labor intensive. 

Block #4 above consists of right and left twisting cables, which require the use of a cable needle, as well as some twisted stitches, which require no cable needle.

Below, here are some pretty pictures from one of my recent sunrise walks with the doggies.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A NEW Project: Building in Color

I am super excited to be starting on a new project.  During 2016, I have been teaching a class at my local knit shop using the "Building Blocks" pattern book by Michelle Hunter (AKA: Knit Purl Hunter).  You can see that finished project by clicking HERE.  In 2017, I'll be teaching a class at my local knit shop using the "Building in Color" pattern book by Michelle Hunter.

Here is a photo of a completed afghan; this is a photo from the pattern book.

The pattern calls for three colors of DK weight yarn. The pattern can be purchased in book form or as a digital download and can be found on Amazon.com and Ravelry.

Over the past several days, I've been working my way through some of the stitch patterns. Many of these skills are brand new to me. I have to admit I was quite nervous to commit to teaching this class when I had not YET even tried to knit the designs.  It's been a confidence builder for me to work my way through these techniques.  So far, I've made it through 4 of the 10 designs. I am just knitting until I feel confident with the technique in the panel and then moving on to another.  Here is my progress so far...

Above: First I tried the Butterfly Stitch called for in Panel #8

Above:  Then I tried Panel #5 which calls for the Make One Purl Stitch as well as passing stitches over other stitches...

Above: Last night's challenge was the Mosaic stich...

Above:  And today I learned Intarsia!!!! I have wanted to learn this technique for years and I get it.

I made up this display for my local knit shop to showcase these samples of knitting from the pattern book and to advertise for the class since I won't have time to complete an entire afghan between now and when the class starts in January 2017.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #3

Norah's Vintage Afghan

I am back to working on Norah's Vintage Afghan.  This is a project which is comprised of 20 different blocks and they all include beautiful cable designs.  I have not worked on this project in several months but this project has resurfaced and I have recently finished two blocks.  Here is Block #3.  I love how it turned out.  It was fun and not too difficult. The only problem I encountered was an error on the chart.  I printed out my pattern back in November or December 2015, and a new corrected version was published sometime in 2016.  So if you are encountering any problems with Norah's Vintage Afghan, ensure you have the most recent version of the pattern.  You can download the pattern for free from Ravelry.  Here is the pattern link (click HERE).

If you would like to see my other posts about Norah's Vintage Afghan, click HERE.

We have been having a beautiful fall here in Southern Colorado. I go for walks with the dogs every morning at sunrise and I take photos nearly every day.  I don't know what to do with all of these gorgeous photos.  I'll share one here!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Salida Striped Socks

Salida Striped Socks

Whoops! I meant to post this several weeks ago!  

I've been working on these socks since May or June. I worked on them on my cruise to Alaska way back in June, but just now finished them. 

The leg portion is a bit baggy. I started the cuff with 60 stitches but decreased to fewer stitches after the heel to make the foot portion a bit more snug. 

I am calling these socks my "Salida Striped Socks" since I bought this yarn at the Salida Fiber Festival (Salida, Colorado) in September 2015. I will be going to this festival next weekend. Fun!

I don't need more yarn, I don't need more yarn. 


Voo Doo You Love Me?

Maybe because Halloween is coming, but it felt a little like I was assembling a little monster when I sewed up this little guy. 


This is a pattern I found on Ravelry; it is called "Voo Doo You Love Me?"  The pattern is not free (cost $6.00), but it's a nice, well written pattern. Here is the link for the pattern:  

I snapped a few photos of my little monster and then left him down at the knit shop. I think he's mighty cute. I added some pipe cleaners inside his arms and legs to make them less floppy. 

The same pattern designer has a pattern for the cutest bunny. I plan to make a bunny soon. 

I am considering altering the Voo Doo pattern to make an altogether different creature, but I'll keep that a surprise until it's done. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Smooth Operator Socks Done

Smooth Operator Socks 

Here are some photos of these socks in progress.  

Below:  See the green yarn stitched in the red area?  That's three rows of waste yarn knit across half of the stitches in the sock. My sock has 48 stitches per round so I just knit the waste yarn across 24 stitches. Wicked awesome math skills!

When you are ready to work the heel, you pick up stitches above and below the waste yarn. You end up picking up 24 stitches below the waste yarn and 24 more stitches above the waste yarn. 

Then you unzip the waste yarn to remove it.  With these active stitches, you knit around and complete decreases at the sides. Essentially you are doing the same decreases you do in the toe portion of a sock. Hence, a "two toed sock"!

You could complete the toe of the sock BEFORE you complete the heel. But if you complete the heel BEFORE the toe, then you can try the sock on to make sure you start the toe in the correct spot for a great fitting sock. 

I am offering a class on "afterthought" heels on September 17th at my local yarn shop: The Yarn Shop at Words of in Canon City. 

Pattern:  "Smooth Operator Socks" by Susan B. Anderson. The pattern is available on Ravelry. Cost: $5.00


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Smooth Operator Socks

Whoops!  More new yarn. 

Of course I already have several other pairs of socks in the works already but I just love this yarn. I got it at my local yarn shop - The Yarn Shop at Words of Life. The yarn is Patons brand Kroy Socks in the Sunburst Stripes colorway. I am using a new pattern by Susan B. Anderson. The pattern came out about a month ago and it's called Smooth Operator Socks. The design calls for an afterthought heel and Susan includes some tips and tricks for the heel portion which I've not seen before. These socks are working up quickly; the yarn is rather plump like Kroy Socks yarn typically is. I only have 48 stitches per round. 

I'll try to snap some photos as I work on the heel portion to show how that all comes together. Until then... happy knitting!