Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas to you all!

Above: the tree on Christmas eve.

Quick icord Candycane:
Reindeer ornament, with gold snowflake in the background:
Happy holidays to you all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rivulet Scarf

The Rivulet Scarf (Interweave Knits, Fall 2009).
My mil asked me to make this for my sil Amy to match the Cranberry Cap I made her this summer.

My first consideration when choosing a pattern was that it be reversible. My second is that it would have cables or some sort of pattern to hold my interest. The Rivulet Scarf was a perfect choice! The entire scarf is in k1 pi rib, including the cables, and that means that there is really no wrong side to the resulting fabric.
This was a hard one to part with, but part with it I did indeed! It should be in Wisconsin by now, or nearly there, with several days to spare... :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Little Rabbit's Hat and Mitts

One of my favorite picture books is "Shall I knit you a hat: a Christmas yarn" by Kate Klise.
To summarize:
When Mother Rabbit knits a warm winter hat for Little Rabbit, he likes it so much that he suggests they make hats for all of their friends as Christmas gifts.

At the end of the book, there's a pattern for making Little Rabbit's hat. I couldn't resist the temptation! You can read more about that book HERE.
I thought Little Rabbit's paws might get a wee bit cold too, so I whipped up a pair of the Angelina Cable Mitts in the same yarn (Cascade 220 Quatro), and stuck them in his boot for St. Nick's Day. We have been getting a lot of use out of them this past week and they stay on his hands way better than the mittens I made for him last year.
The result: One cute and toasty warm Little Rabbit :)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Look who's sportin' his Auntie's handknits!

This is the Zip up the back Hoodie I made for my youngest nephew prior to his arrival on planet Earth. I can't believe it fits him already!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas Forest

All 24 trees...lined up for picture taking time. This project was a lot of fun and a great way to stash burn, though I'm about plum out of green feltable yarn now.
The numbers are painted on buttons, which are actually velcroed to the trees so that they can be taken off, shifted around or what not. During the course of creating these trees, Silas would often run off with them and occasionally, they'd end up as trees on his farmland. It will be nice to have the option of taking the numbers off of the trees in case he wants to use them in this way throughout the year.
I'm looking forward to using this for years to come, and that tradition starts...TODAY! Silas uncovered his first puzzle piece this morning. By Christmas Eve, he'll have all 24 puzzle pieces, and we can put his puzzle together. Won't Santa be impressed :)
The little yellow car, by the way, is not the prize, but is simply being used to navigate through the forest.
While I'm not sure that Silas fully gets what's going on here, I have a feeling it will only take a few days for him to catch on. His puzzle piece this morning showed a starfish and his response was "maybe tomorrow, I'll get an octopus one!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"They're for Christmas"

I will post pictures of the finished Christmas Forest soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Not only am I behind on posting to this blog, but I've also been negligent in keeping Ravelry updated, something I'm usually pretty up on. So, consider this blog my first intent to get back into the swing of things. First up, I've been working on my advent tree project for over a month now and thought I'd post a few pictures of it as a wip. The trees are all felted, but I thought I'd throw in a few pre-felted pictures and then a shot of them pretty much as they will look when all is said and done. I'm actually putting the finishing touches on them this weekend. The trees themselves are done, but I also had to paint numbers on buttons and then figure out how to attach them to the trees. I thought it would be nice if I could take the number buttons off of the trees. Silas likes to play with them and pretend they're trees on his farm so it would be nice if the numbers weren't perminantly attached. The obvious choice was velcro. Ive got about 18 more buttons that need to have velcro glued to them and then this wip will officially cross over into fo-land. Just in time for December 1st.

Other than my advent forest, over the past several weeks, I've made Silas a pair of slippers and knit him a hat. I feel like I'm forgetting to mention a project, but, those were the big ones at least. I will try to keep the blog posts coming.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

In costume

For those of you who don't read my other, more frequently updated blog, here are a few pictures of Silas in his Halloween costume, featuring the digger sweater I knit and the bulldozer his dad made. Both the sweater and the bulldozer will get plenty of post-Halloween use :)

Other than the whole Halloween thing, I've been knitting and felting little trees like mad. I need to have 24 completed by December 1st and I'm well on my way. I'll try to include a post with pictures of that project soon.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Big Digger for a Little Boy

With just over a month to spare, I've finished the knitted portion of Silas' Halloween costume. He really could not wait for this to be finished. I completed it last Wednesday night after he'd gone to sleep, then slipped it into my bag so that I could show it to my friends at work the next day. In the morning, Silas got up, found my bag, took it out and said, "I want to wear it!" And so, he wore it that day and also on Saturday and Sunday, when dh and I took him out and about for a couple of photoshoots. We went to the farmers market and then down to the waterfront to see the boats. I also could not resist taking pictures of him wearing a front-end loader while he sat on a front-end loader (he's got permission from the owner to "drive" it whenever he wants).

This was a very rewarding project. I used Knit Picks Cotlin yarn and liked it very much. It makes the perfect sweater for our cool but certainly not cold fall days. Lucinda Guy did a wonderful job on the digger motif. What machine-obsessed little boy wouldn't want this sweater? Can't you feel the joy?:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sheep Yoke Cardigan

I mailed this sweater off to its recipient last week and it has hopefully arrived, or will shortly. I won't say it wasn't hard to part with, but it is going to a very good home, and a very pretty little baby. I thought it was time to post a couple pictures. It's only been completed for, um, a month :)

This is a lovely little project and I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun interesting baby knit. You do have to do a bit of math to get the increases in the yoke just right. I had intended to write out how I did my increases, but I'll be damned if I can find my notes on it. Anyways, don't let that scare you off. It's worth the bit of effort, even for those of us who are mathematically challenged. The pattern is free!

The sheep are intarsia rather than stranded. Either way would probably work out fine, but I felt they were spaced a little too far apart to carry the yarn. Perhaps the end result wouldn't be that noticeable one way or the other.

That's about all I can remember about this. It's only been a month, but my mind has spent that month occupied by Si's digger sweater, and the surprise project/pattern pictured in my last post. And speaking of that...Several people guessed they were mittens. Lovely mittens they might make, but nope, that's not it! Keep guessing!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Something new is brewing...

I'm working on a new pattern, which I'll be posting as soon as I can write it up. This might take a bit, given how many details I need to work out, so this picture will serve as a teaser. Can you guess what it is?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Big Digger, or Halloween, here we come!

Like many toddlers, Silas thinks that big construction vehicles like diggers and bulldozers are the coolest things ever. He is pretty excited for the costume I've got planned for Halloween 09. This sweater, from the fabulous Lucinda Guy's Handknits for Kids, is perfect for what Silas and I are envisioning! Silas can't wait for this sweater to be completed. He keeps opening the book and asking for the bulldozer page. He’ll then spend a good deal of time staring at the picture. He has asked me several times if he could help me make it because he wanted it to be done right away, and one day he even grabbed the needles while I was working on it and said "I want to help."

I started making this at the end of August. I wanted to give myself a big cushion of time in order to avoid scrambling to finish in time. Not necessary. It's knitting up so quickly, and now that I'm past the digger motif, it will be easy breezy from here on out. Not looking forward to the seaming, but I'll live.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What could this be?

I am hesitant to post too many pictures of this fo, since it is a gift for the new baby of a friend who sometimes follows this blog. I want it to be at least somewhat of a surprise. Here at least, is a preview.

I'll have some WIP photos to post in a day or two, and soon after, some more shots of this item as well.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Little Bubbles for Lilah

I am really behind in my blogging. It's an understatement to say that I have next to no personal time on the computer right now. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean this blog has yet again suffered a period of neglect.

Well, anyways, I have just enough time to write a few brief lines about this project:

This lovely pattern from Knit Picks was a joy to make. The bubbles were super easy to do and the result is so very pleasing. I am very much looking forward to making more of these in the future. Top down, seamless sweater, gotta love it! The hat was made with no decreases. The top is seamed and then the "ears" are made by pinching the corners and wrapping yarn around them. Hopefully, the moon booties will be the kind that don't fly off of baby's feet every 30 seconds. They seem to have the potential of being the useful variety but one can never tell until they are tried on for the first time. Hopefully, the mommy will check in with me and let me know :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Zip up the back Hoodie

This is a gift for my little nephew-to-be. It zips up the back and the hoodie makes a point at the top. The little babe should look very gnome-like in this sweater. Self-striping yarn (Universal Yarn Classic Worsted Tapestry) is very reminiscent of self-striping sock yarn. I'm not a lover of acrylic, but must admit that this was a good choice for this project, and my sister will appreciate the easy-care aspect of it. I linked this to Kathy Roletter Gayner's pattern on Ravelry, but it is based on a very old pattern and the version I did was adapted by someone else. They are very similar though, but I do believe Kathy's version used sport weight and the version I worked from called for worsted.

Thanks to Barb at my office, I was able to sew the zipper in with no major calamities. I think little Austin will be snug as a bug in this sweater and I hope he wears it often!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crock pot dying results

The crock pot dying was a big success! As pictured in these images, the color is fairly true. I used Gaywool dye in Cedar. The outcome was green, but with a blue-gray shimmer. Perhaps the fact that I'm dying light gray wool rather than white adds this element. I've got some white lambs wool to card and then I'll try dying that in order to see how it compares.

I spun up the wool today:
Lovely outcome! But my dye lot was so small as I wasn't sure how much wool my small crock pot could handle. It only spun up about 38 yards double plied. Next time, I will dye more wool and increase my lot.
I'm very impressed with this dye and will use it again (quite a lot came in the container). I noticed no noxious odour but still, it is a chemical dye. In the future, I'd like to experiment with natural dyes as much as possible.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back in the spin of things

I'm off of work for most of this month and have taken the opportunity to dust off my spinning wheel and get it moving again.
I've probably mentioned before, but spinning with a toddler around presents challenges that will be obvious to anyone with small kids or anyone who has ever been around small children for more than two minutes, for that matter. They are just so curious. My son sees the wheel and says "I'm going to drive it!" He moves his little chair over to it and the wheel is then at a perfect height for him to pretend to drive a boat or car or truck or lawnmower --whatever suits his fancy. While this is nice for Silas and his wonderfully vibrant imagination, his interaction with my wheel can make my head spin faster than the yarn. In a limited way, I have been able to engage him in helping me in the spinning process. I've gotten him to hold the yarn while I'm plying two strands together and he will stand there letting the yarn flow through his hand saying "I'm spinning yarn!" This works while plying, but it's going to be a while until he's able to handle drafting. So, basically, I spin while he's asleep or out of the house with his dad. This limits things, but whatever. You do what you can.

Today, I'm trying my hand at dying by using a crock pot. We had an old crock pot we never used, so I decided to make it my dye pot. I'll know in a few hours how it turned out and will post pics soon. I also dyed wool last fall using coffee and I don't believe I ever posted pictures. I'll be spinning that up soon. Dying wool is pretty new for me, but I'm getting tired of spinning nothing but variations on grey, and I have SO much grey batting. I've gotta do something fun with it!

My knitting speed has slowed while I focus my attentions on spinning, but I have started another project from the book "French Girl Knits." The pattern is Paloma, which is a lace cap-sleeve blouse. While I'm loving the pattern so far, it's been hard to find the time to knit more than a few rounds a day. It's going to be a while before this becomes an fo, that's for sure.

Time to go check my dye pot!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Just one (or two or three) more

I never imagined that I'd be stocking up on Peaches N' Cream cotton yarn and queing pattern after pattern of nothing but dishcloths. Apparently, I just can't help myself. They're quick, useful, and mildly addicting. I really do need to move onto something else. At least, that's what I keep saying...right before casting on for another dishcloth. "Just one more," I tell myself. Right.

Anyways, above and below is the Harmony Mosaic Dishcloth. I LOVE this pattern. The outcome is so pretty! I skipped one pattern repeat because I was running out of the cc yarn, but I don't think it matters much.
And below is my most recent fo: the Scrubby Washcloth, designed by my friend Amelia.
See the whitish tufts in the picture below? that's tulle, sliced into strips and knit along with the yarn. It creates an abrasive surface that should be great for scrubbing dishes and counter tops. Since I just cast off a few hours ago, dh and I have yet to break this one in, but I have a feeling we will like it so much, I'll have to knit just one more dishcloth (or maybe two) before the month is over.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cranberry Cap

My MIL commissioned me to make this hat for my SIL, Amy. I made up the pattern as I went along. Amy took a liking to one of the hats I'd knit for Silas that had three i-cord tails so I added those to this hat as well.

Here are the basics:
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needles: size 8 USA
Cast on 80 st. k1 p1 ribbing for about an inch and a half. Spiral purling every 10th stitch for about 20 rows or until ready to decrease. Decrease while keeping the spiral purling as much as possible... Perhaps someday, I'll be organized enough to write out the pattern, though I'm sure similar and more refined patterns abound.

I am happy with the outcome and have told my MIL that if Amy likes it, I'll make her a matching scarf for Christmas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Garterlac Dishcloth

My friend Beth made some lovely dishcloths using garter stitch entrelac. I've never done entrelac, and thought a small dishcloth might be a suitable introduction. The next day, a ball of Peaches n' Cream dishcloth yarn appeared on my desk, courtesy of Beth. I could resist no longer: That weekend, my first handknit dishcloth was born. My darling house husband has asked for a total of 7. I will surely make a couple more from this pattern, but have also been searching on Ravalry for a few more ideas. There is no want for dishcloth patterns, let me tell you.

If you have never knit a dishcloth and can't figure out why anyone would want to, consider this: They are quick to make, useful, make good gifts, and cost next to nothing to produce. Whenever I'm between projects, I might just have to whip one up!