Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fish Bowl Socks

Fish Bowl Socks

Isn't this yarn pretty? This is yet again one of those instances where I bought a beautiful hank of yarn and I could not tell how it would knit up when I worked with it. I did try out this yarn in a shawl pattern before I settled on making socks. You just can't go wrong with socks.

I got this yarn at the Interweave Yarn Fest in Loveland, Colorado, in 2016.  I love the yarn from Western Sky Knits and the colorway is called "Fish Bowl".  You can see the Western Sky Knits  website here: www.wsknits.com

I have two other pairs of socks knit up in Western Sky Knits yarn and the socks have really held up nicely.  This time around, I tried out a new pattern called "Make Your Heels Strong".  I have been using the Strong Heel recently and I really like it. I had a class at my local yarn shop recently and, in the class, I taught how to work the Strong Heel.  When I was doing a little homework/research for the class, I came across the "Make Your Heel's Strong" pattern so I had to give it a try.  What is interesting about this pattern is that, as you add stitches to form the Strong Heel, you work the new stitches into the k2,p2 ribbing on the back of the heel.  I hope you can sort of see that in some of the photos.

The socks look funny when they are lying flat; the k2,p2 ribbing in the cuff/let portion makes the sock drawn in on itself.  The foot is all done in stockinette stitch and looks disproportionately huge in comparison.

This was a great pattern to try.  Here is the pattern link if you'd like to check it out.  Click HERE.  It is a FREE pattern.

The yarn pooled in an interesting way, don't you think?  I love my new socks.  On to the next pair of socks!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Emergency Knitting Ornaments

Emergency Knitting Ornaments

I wish I could take credit for this super cute Christmas ornament idea but this is a project idea I saw on Ravelry.  The pattern instructions can be found here (Ravelry link HERE).  It's very simple.  I made some mini-skeins of yarn and tucked them into these glass ornaments.  On my computer, I printed out a sheet of paper with the words "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS".

These ornaments are on the Christmas at my great local yarn shop called "Yarned & Dangerous" located in Canon City.  The ornaments are all available for a minimum donation of $10.00, with all proceeds going to our local Human Society.  Yarned & Dangerous has a great Facebook page.  The shop owner, Ann, is always posting photos of projects completed by the shop's customers, as well as great patterns from all over the Internet. I encourage you to check out the Facebook page and follow along.  Even if you don't live in Colorado and might not ever set foot in the shop, I guarantee you fill find some creative inspiration on the Yarned & Dangerous Facebook page.  Here is a LINK for you if you are interested (click HERE for the Facebook page)

For the mini-skeins, I used left over sock/fingering weight yarn.  I used a hard plastic quilting rectangular shaped quilting ruler which measures 6 inches x 12 inches. I wrapped the yarn around the ruler (around the 12 inch length) about 15 times and then tied the yarn together.  I got a little more instruction on how to wind the mini-skeins from watching a YouTube video which you can find HERE.  One thing to keep in mind when making your mini-skeins is the narrowness of the ornament opening. I made some of my mini-skeins a little too large and really struggled to get them through the ornament opening.

Pretty cute, right?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Building in Color: Final Panel Done!

Woo hoo! Panel number 10 of 10 in my Building in Color afghan project is complete.  This panel incorporates a "tuck stitch".  Basically, this is a dropped stitch that you grab and knit.

The row repeat is 2 rows of pink in stockinette, 4 rows of blue in stockinette, and then 2 rows of pink in stockinette.  But in the latter pink rows, you drop or unravel the blue stitches in predetermined spots all they way down to the former pink rows.  Really difficult to explain.  You can check out Michelle Hunter's wonderful video to see how "tuck stitches are created".  See video tutorial HERE.  I enjoyed this panel but the tuck stitch rows are slow going.

I could see incorporating tuck stitches in various other projects.  I think I have seen tuck stitches in the collar of a baby cardigan sweater in the past. Too cute!

I am anxious to get my Building in Color afghan all sewn together.  The sewing up incorporates the "mattress stitch" which is pretty straight forward but all of these panels are so very different. I hope I can be patient and sew it together nicely. I am always saying I am a pretty good knitter but my sewing can really foul up a nice project.  After the panels are sewn together, I will then have to figure out how to apply the afghan borders around the perimeter.  I am contemplating lining the back of the afghan with fabric.  I just don't know yet.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Snow Day

Yesterday was a beautiful snow day.  We woke up to over four inches of snow that clung to everything.  We went for our walk with the dogs down at the riverwalk (we live near the Arkansas River) and it was beautiful and sunny for the first part of our walk. As we were walking through the canopy of trees, it felt like we were inside a snow globe.  As the sun was warming the snow on the leaves, snow was falling all over the place and the snow streaming down looked gorgeous in the sunlight.  The second half our walk was totally different. Fog moved in and it got colder.  The remainder of the day was pretty much foggy.  I am pleased I got out and snapped these pretty photos to share while the sky and landscape was so pretty.

Since it was a cold and foggy day, I got a lot of knitting done.  I am working on a new pair of socks. I'll show a photo of that soon.

In the photo above, you can see a small white speck in the sky above the tree. If you zoom in, you can see that the white speck is the moon!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hand Warmers

Hand Warmers

My mother-in-law saw the mittens I've been making lately.  She said she had an elderly friend who wears fingerless mitts all the time due to cold hands.  She asked if I could make a pair so I whipped these up yesterday. The yarn is Plymouth Yarn "Stained Glazz"; I used less than one ball of yarn for the pair.  I used Susan B. Anderson's pattern called "Waiting for Winter". It's the same pattern I've been using for mittens in the past few weeks.  I cast on only 32 stitches for these mitts since this worsted weight yarn is slightly plumper than the yarn I used for the other two pairs of mittens I made recently.  I am happy with how these turned out. I hope they fit the recipient well!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Do You Like My Hat?

"Do you like my hat?"

That's a line from one of my favorite early reader books.  Do know the book to which I am referring?

I know if I ask my son, Zach (who will turn 21 years old soon), he will know right away what book this line comes from! It was one of our favorites when he was young.

I will tell you what book it is at the end of this post in case you aren't familiar with it.

I do! I do like my hat!

Sometimes hats sit kind of funny on my head since I wear glasses, but I am happy with how my hat turned out.  I have been wearing my hat on our early morning walks and it is keeping my ears nice and toasty warm.

I used some clever techniques in knitting his hat so I was kind of tickled to share the details for folks who might enjoy reading about that.  I made up the pattern as I went along.  The entire hat (except for the ribbing) is KNIT... exclusively KNIT... in the round and I did NOT purl any of the stitches, even though the hat looks as if it consists of bands of knit rounds and band of purl bands.

I just spent a ton of time typing up my notes/instructions for this hat and I LOST it all!  So frustrating. So for now, I'll just finish this post to show you my cute hat.

The yarn is Cascade "Pacific" and I love the nice charcoal color.

Okay, here is the book I mentioned above.  P. D. Eastman books are my favorites! Throughout the story, the girl dog asks the boy dog, "Do you like my hat?" and he keeps telling her, "No! I do not like that hat!"  I think at the end of the story, he finally says, "I do! I do like that hat!" and, if my memory serves me correctly, they drive off together in a convertible into the setting sun.

Happy Knitting!

Jelly Rolls Socks No. 2 are Complete

Jelly Rolls Socks

This is the second pair of socks I've made using a great pattern called "Jelly Rolls Socks". It's a fun, quick, and cute pattern.  I just love it!  I am sure there will be lots of Jelly Rolls in my future.

In case you missed my prior posts about these socks, here is the pattern link (click HERE).

Below, not a great photo. Just a snap shot of me sitting on the couch trying on my socks... hot off the needles!

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Building in Color: Panel #6 is Complete

Building in Color: Panel #6

I am getting really close to being done with my panels for my Building in Color afghan project.  This is panel #6 which has been on and off the needles since June or July.  I am working on panel #10 now and then I'll have to figure out how to sew the panels together and how to add the borders as described in the pattern booklet.  The new skill in this panel was "elongated stitches".  I enjoyed this panel; I was able to memorize the pattern repeat.  I find that kind of knitting more relaxing some times.

If you'd like to see the other posts about my Building in Color afghan project, you can see them HERE.  The yarn I am using is Cascade "Pacific" (worsted weight); it's an acrylic/wool blend.

Friday, November 3, 2017

More Mittens

More Mittens

This is pair #2 of mittens I've made in the past few weeks. I purchased four balls of wool yarn called "Gina" by Plymouth Yarns. I intended to make a scarf but decided the pattern was not enjoyable for me.  Instead, I made two pairs of mittens.  The pattern I used is by Susan B. Anderson and it is called "Waiting for Winter".  The pattern link is HERE.  I do enjoy these sense of accomplishment I am feeling from making up some quick projects like mittens. I also recently made a hat for myself.  I'll share some information about that soon. I wore my new hat on a walk this morning and it kept my ears nice and warm.  Also, I kind of like the way the hat looked on me. Sometimes hats sit funny on my head since I wear glasses.  I like my new hat.  

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Biscotte Birthday Treat

Biscotte Birthday Treat

This was a little birthday splurge for me. I saw this kit available for purchase on line from www.biscotteyarns.com.  The kit comes with a hank of sock yarn and this "Miyo" beverage tumbler.

I selected the sock yarn that has an "apple theme" and it came with a red tumbler; it coordinates nicely with the yarn I selected.  In the box from Biscotte yarns, I also received some tea bags and a pattern for how to knit the tube to insert into the tumbler. The bottom of the tumbler unscrews so you can insert the tube.  In case you are wondering, "Miyo" stands for Make It Your Own. My mom said she's see folks use this kind of tumbler used to display embroidery work as well.  Fun!  Endless possibilities really.


You can purchase tumblers like this on line at places such as www.amazon.com.  Above you can see that the tumblers come in a variety of colors so you can coordinate the yarn and the tumbler.  I have enough yarn to knit some socks as well so I'll get working on that sometime soon.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Jelly Rolls Socks No. 2

Jelly Roll Socks

This is Jelly Roll Socks Pair #2.  I love this pattern so much I started another pair.  I am teaching a class on this sock pattern/technique this upcoming Saturday.  I sure like how this pair of socks is shaping up.

Here is the pattern LINK.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Building in Color: Panel # 9 is Complete

Building in Color: Panel #9

I have been madly working on my Building in Color afghan.  This is panel number 9 of 10.

I recently completed another panel (Number 6) and I'll share that soon.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Warm Woolen Mittens

Warm Woolen Mittens

I had these mittens knit up in a jiffy.  I bought this yarn at my local knit shop to make a scarf. The yarn is called "Gina" and it's made by Plymouth Yarns. I decided I did not want to make the scarf after all so I made these mittens.  The pattern I used is by Susan B. Anderson and the pattern name is "Waiting for Winter Mittens/Fingerless Mitts."  The pattern link is HERE.

My mittens are warm and mismatched and I like them that way. I am ready for winter!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fleece Blankets with Crochet Border

Fleece Blankets with Crochet Border

I finally got to try out a project I've wanted to try for quite some time.  This is a fleece blanket where I've simply added a crochet border. This project is quick and easy thanks to a gadget called a "Skip-Cut Rotary Blade Cutter".  I found this special blade at a JoAnn's Store in Spokane, Washington, back in July. Since then, I've made up four blankets.

In the photo above, you can see that the special blade perforates the fleece at regular intervals so that you can easily crochet around the perimeter of your fleece blanket. I used my Fiskars 45 mm rotary cutter for this project and I also used self-healing mats and large rulers.

First I used the ruler, cutter, and mat to make sure all sides of the fleece were square and even.  Then I used the rotary cutter with the skip-cut blade to perforate the holes in the fleece.  I used a tutorial from Project Linus to get a little more information.  It turns out that it is recommended that you make the holes about 1/2 inch in from the edge so you can fold the raw edge over as you crochet.  In some photos below you can see the folded raw edge and how it is captured under the crochet stitches.  
You can add more elaborate crochet borders to fleece blankets but, for my blankets I like the clean look of a single crochet. It looks a lot like blanket stitch to me.  For my blankets I actually did a single crochet in each hole and then a change between each hole.  I also added extra stitches in the corners.  

Here is the tutorial on the Project Linus website if you'd like more information (Click HERE).

My first two blankets are for our living room.  The fleece is from JoAnn's and is a medium gray color.  The fabric is decorated with the names of different wines in different fonts and colors.  I put the blankets in the living room when it was cold and snowy last week.  The dogs LOVE these blankets!  The two legged creatures in the house are enjoying the blankets as well.  

Yarn used:  Smarty DK by King Cole

Above:  Brutus is enjoying the folded up blanket.  He can see out the window and warns us if any squirrels are trespassing in the back yard.

Above:  Sandy is snoozing.  See, I am telling you.... these dogs love these blankets!  So soft and cuddly.

Zach came home from college for a visit this weekend.  He liked the looks of our new blankets. I showed him this great geometric print fleece remnant I got at JoAnn's a few months back.  It was actually quite big for a remnant.  Zach said he liked it so I found some great charcoal gray yarn and added a border to his blanket so he can take it back to school with him tomorrow.  I promised to make him a larger blanket over the holidays; I'd like for him to pick out the fleece himself.

Above:  Some close ups of the stitches; notice the extra stitches in the corners.  On Zach's blanket, I put six single crochets in each corner.

Yarn used:  Cascade Pacific

Above: In this photo, you can see both the right side and the wrong side of the blanket.  The right side edge is seen in the lower portion of the photo.  The wrong side edge is seen in the upper portion of the photo.  You can see that the raw cut edge of the fleece is folded over and is captured under the crochet stitches.