Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Two More Snap Hats


A quick post to show you a few more Snap Hats.  If you've been following along, you know I've been knitting the heck out of this pattern.  I am holding four strands of fingering/sock weight yarn together when I knit these hats, so I am using up lots of scraps.  I think I am getting a knack for selecting yarns that go together to make cool looking hats.  


Here you can see my Snap Hat No. 4 and Snap Hat No. 5.

This pattern is from "Tin Can Knits" and here is the pattern link (it's not a free pattern but I am certainly getting my money's worth out of this pattern): PATTERN LINK on RAVELRY  


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Miss Winkle



Miss Winkle

I'm a huge fan of patterns/designs by Martina Behm.  This is her design called "Miss Winkle". If you are a fan of the television show called "The Big Bang Theory", the name might be familiar to you. Yes! This design is named after the character Leslie Winkle played by Sara Gilbert. This is what Martina Behm has to say about this design.

One of my favorite sitcoms is "The Big Bang Theory“.  In one episode, nerdy physicist Leonard dates his colleague Leslie Winkle and they have a fierce argument about which version of  quantum Mechanics is correct – String Theory or Loop Quantum Gravity. When Leonard declares that he prefers his space “stringy, not loopy“, that’s a dealbreaker for Leslie (”How will we raise the children?“).  This is very loopy shawlette is here to celebrate Miss Winkle, women scientists and all women who know what they want and don’t let any man talk them out of it!

My Miss Winkle is knit in "Tosh Merino Light" by Madelintosh. The color way is called "Electric Rainbow" and the fiber content is dreamy, squishy, soft 100 percent Merino Wool.

I am sure I will knit this design again in the future!  I love it.









The photo above and below show the project while it was drying. I soaked the item in water for a bit and then squeezed out the excess water. Then I stretched it out on a large bath towel and allowed it to dry.  These are not the greatest photos but it allows you to see the shawl's unique shape a bit better.



Monday, April 8, 2019

Hogwarts Express


Hogwarts Express




If you are a fan of the Harry Potter books or movies you Muggles will likely know that "Hogwarts Express" is the name of the train students ride to Hogwarts, the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  You board the train at Platform 9 3/4 in London.

This shawl is also called "Hogwarts Express". This is a design by Susan Ashcroft.  She has another similar shawl pattern called "TGV: Highspeed Knitting" which is also named after a train.  Both shawls are identical until you get to the border. The main part of both shawls is garter stitch.  In the TGV pattern, the bottom edge is ribbing.  In the Hogwart's Express pattern, the bottom edge is owls created by cable stitches and the owls have bead eyes which are applied one at a time. I had intended to use some hematite beads for the owl eyes in my shawl but the holes in the beads were too narrow for my yarn. I ended up using some dark green beads instead.

I must admit I struggled with the Hogwarts Express pattern a bit.  The pattern gives you a few different options for how to make the tips of the shawl more rounded or less rounded.  The pattern also gives tips for when to start the owl border portion based upon the amount of yarn you have used and the amount of yarn you have remaining.  Frankly I just misunderstood a few things in the pattern and it wasn't until I had already knit the owls that a light bulb went off and I sort of got it.  I think I will probably make this project again and I bet I'll have better results.

I took a number of photos of this project because I've been fussing with the finished object.  I was struggling with how to wear this (it's kind of small), so I decided to overlap the ends of the shawl and I actually stitched it together so that it would be worn like a big collar or a yoke (if that makes sense). I tried it on and was still not happy with it so I undid the stitches and decided to wet block the shawl in hopes it would grow bigger.  It did get bigger and I am happier with this project now.





Here are the hematite beads that I had hoped to use.



Above you can see the yarn I used for this project.  It is Eden DK by Sublime. This yarn is an amazing wool cotton blend.  My local yarn shop, Yarned & Dangerous in Canon City, Colorado, carries this yarn in a variety of colorways.


Hogwarts Express on the blocking mats. What a fun knit!









Monday, April 1, 2019

Apple Socks


Apple Socks




I just finished these socks. The yarn is “Bis-Sock” from Biscotte. The color way is “Coeur de Pomme” (Apple Heart). The pattern is “Traffic Island Socks” which is a free pattern on Ravelry. The heel is a “Fish Lips Kiss” Heel in contrasting red. This red yarn is “Panda Silk” from Crystal Palace Yarns. I opted to do a contrasting heel so that I did not disturb the stripe pattern. Also, I did not want to run out of yarn. This kit (ordered on line from www.biscotteyarns.com) came with yarn, drink tumbler, and pattern to knit a cuff that can be inserted into the tumbler. You can see it below. Pretty cool, huh!!?? Now my feet match my drink.  





Monday, March 25, 2019

Apricity


Apricity

I've actually had this project done for quite some time but have not written about it since I just can't get a really good photo to show off the great details.  I actually hung some "Command Strips" on the wall in my craft room and still... no good photos.  So here are the photos I have.  I apologize that they are not that great.

Apricity is a pattern by Sylvia McFadden (AKA: Softsweater Knits).  It turns out "apricity" means "warmed by the sun in winter".  The shawl is best described as crescent shaped with eyelet details but, on one side of the shawl, there are garter stitch wedges that do remind me of the sun's rays that come to Earth from low angles in the wintertime.  If you look at the pattern on Ravelry, you will see that detail a bit better.  Here is the pattern LINK.  The garter stitch wedges are created by using German Short Rows with a double stitch.  If you are not familiar with that technique, you can watch a You Tube video; here is the link:  YouTube Video for German Short Rows.



I do like the photo above.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention the other details. This yarn is very special.  It's "Yakity Yak" from Greenwood Fibers.  The color way is "Victorian Magenta".  The yarn is made from Yak, Merino Wool, and Silk.  Dreamy!  I bought this yarn to make a shawl designed by the yarn dyer, Carolyn.  The pattern is called "Saratoga Shawl".  Somewhere along the line, I decided I just did not want to make that pattern so I was excited to find the Apricity pattern.  The Saratoga Shawl design is beautiful with really interesting construction, but I just did not see myself wearing it.  I should also say that I just think the yarn dyer, Carolyn, is just about my favorite vendor to see at fiber festivals.  She's just a super sweet lady and of course I like her yarn.  She will be at the Interweave Yarnfest in Loveland, Colorado, later this week and I am looking forward to seeing her in her booth. I might just have to show her my lovely shawl.





Sunday, March 24, 2019

Snap Hats


"Snap" Hat 








I have been on a bit of a hat knitting kick lately.  Ann, the owner of my local yarn shop (Yarned & Dangerous, Canon City, Colorado), collects hats and other cold weather items. She brings them to her church where they are blessed and then the hats are donated to local charities.  Nice! 

I've been finding a number of patterns where you combine multiple strands of yarn to make hats that are chunky.  This pattern is called "Snap" and it's from "Tin Can Knits".  You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry.  Here is the LINK.  When you knit this hat, you hold four strands of sock/fingering weight yarn together.  This is a great project to use up leftover quantities of sock yarn.  When I knit socks for myself, I purchase 100 grams of yarn and I always have yarn leftover.  When you look at the photos above, you see some hats look like they are right side out and some look inside out.  The pattern suggests that you knit the hat in the round (knitting all stitches after the ribbed cuff) and then when you are done, you turn the hat inside out.  I think the hats look great both ways.  The pattern calls for US Size 7 and US Size 10.5 needles.  I had the Size 7 but not the Size 10.5, so some of my hats are knit on Size 10 and some of my hats are knit on Size 11. I think the hats knit on the Size 11 are a bit better since they are not so stiff.  

Some folks shy away from purchasing patterns, but I don't.  As you can see, I've already used this pattern four times.  That's well worth it if you ask me.  Also, the pattern is very thorough and includes instructions for multiple sizes.  In addition, the pattern gives information about how you can combine varying weights of yarn (lace weight, dk weight, sock weight) to make this hat.  

I am very behind in posting about completed objects.  I'll have a number of posts in the next few days.  Happy Knitting!


Sylvia and Knitting


Zach and Sylvia opening their Christmas Stockings


Sandy is supervising Zach while he opens a gift


Sylvia showing off her completed Cowl (Glenwood Springs, Colorado - Spring Break 2019)


Sylvia on Christmas day opening her Christmas Stocking


Sylvia showing off her first knitting project Christmas Break


We got a vacation rental in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and met the kids there for a few days over Spring Break earlier this month. It was cold out so we spent our evenings at one of our very favorite spots - Glenwood Springs Brew Pub.


A bunch of photos all jumbled up!  Ugh, suddenly adding photos to my blog posts has become difficult!  Forgive me.  I'll just tell you the story but the photos are just not chronological.

My son, Zach, and his long time girlfriend, Sylvia, were home with us at Christmastime for a number of weeks.  Sylvia and I had enjoyed making Christmas ornaments over Thanksgiving break so I asked what craft she might like to do next.  She wanted to learn to knit.  Woo Hoo!  I have never taught anyone to knit before and I shy away from teaching a brand new beginner because I do not knit in a conventional way.  When I sat down to show her how to knit, I showed her how some folks knit holding the working yarn in their right hand. Then I showed her how I knit holding the working yarn in my left hand. Then I showed her videos of how others knit holding the working yarn in their left hand.  (Most folks who hold the working yarn in their left hand have a way they wrap the working yarn around their fingers to give some tension and they "pick" the yarn.  I "throw" the yarn with my left hand which is weird.... but it works for me).

Sylvia was a super quick learner.  I was a breeze to teach her.  Her first project was a pale orange dishcloth (see photo above).  This was some version of "Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth" where you start with four stitches in one corner and you learn to increase to the midpoint and then you decrease to the opposite corner.  Next, she knit this super cute whale dishcloth.  I think it was really impressive that this was just her second project.  Of course we had to venture down to my local yarn shop and she picked out some gray chunky/bulky yarn from Plymouth Yarn called "Encore Mega".  I think she had found a scarf she liked on Pinterest so that is what we were aiming for.  The scarf is seed stitch and she cast on 21 stitches on US Size 11 needles. Every row is the same.  K1,P1 10 times and then end with a K1.  Sylvia worked on the project a lot over Christmas break.  We just met up again for Spring Break and she showed me her completed scarf.  She asked me how she could sew up the two ends to make an infinity cowl so we did that.  I snapped a photo of her in her scarf/cowl and I think she looks great and I think her knitting looks great too!