Monthly Archives: December 2012

Blog Week(s) in Review: the Best of Christmas, PLUS This Year’s Accessories

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Well, why don’t we start with the Blog Reviews? I’ve loved looking at all of the Holiday Presents everyone has been churning out. There is some serious eye candy out there!

First, the shawls. Of Audry’s “Parade of Knits,” I think my favorite was probably the Aestlight. Of course, it might be her fantastic photography- you all have to take a look at that picture. There’s also Pretty Little Fiber Co’s Birthday Shawl. This is another Mizzle Shawl. I know that I’ve talked about this before, which must mean that I really, really like the pattern. I definitely have to hunt down some perfect fingering weight for this pattern.

Keeping with the theme of keeping those necks warm, there’s Gynx’s Wallpaper Cowl. Not only is the pattern really cool, but I love the colors she chose. I would never have picked those out for myself, but they fit so well together! There’s also Fridica’s Millwater Cowl. The garter stitch and cable combo looks so textured and cozy!

I have two completely unique hat projects to share. Really, when you see these projects, you’ll know these bloggers are great at searching out the perfect pattern. First, there’s Cloudberry’s Angry Bird Hat. What little boy wouldn’t want that as a gift? Then, there’s Smoking Hot Needles’s Raxtur. This is one of those patterns that non-knitters won’t believe you made (“you made THAT???”). Honestly, it’s intricate and gorgeous and everything that you would want to show off your skills.

Now, onto the garments. Fern made this vest pretty much by guestimating- and it’s beautiful! (Scroll down, because she saved the best FO for last). I can’t wait until the pattern comes out. It’s just lovely.

Threadpanda’s Roam Tunic has got me browsing chunky yarns online to make my own, it looks so wonderful on her. When I saw the pattern in the magazine I liked it, but I wasn’t sure how it would look on. Her version has me convinced- it’s going in the queue.

Last but not least, if you want to do some cooing, check out Life on Laffer’s Christmas Sweater. That is one cute baby, but it’s also one wonderful sweater.

And now, onto the Year in Review- ACCESSORIES!

Left to right, top to bottom:
Dunkelipa in Plymouth Yarn Galway Highland Heather,Windscheif in Farmswept Yarns Knitter’s ChoiceGreenery in Berocco Vintage DKPup Tent in Valley Yarns NorthamptonChalice in Plymouth EncoreDishcloth in Rowan All Seasons CottonCitron in Malabrigo LaceAutumn Gold in Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label FingeringChevron Lace Fingerless Mitts in Northern Lights Fiber Co. Solar Flair SockEdge of Lace in Patons Classic Wool.

A lot of these projects ended up being gifts, but my absolute favorite of my knits from the past year that I kept has to be the Dunkelipa Hat. I get so many compliments on it! Plus, it’s very warm and comfy. I absolutely enjoyed making it, and I suggest you all go check the pattern out- it’s definitely something I recommend. Tune in tomorrow for Designs and Sweaters, plus some resolutions!

Year in Review Part 1: Socks!

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I guess it’s that time of the year again! I figured I would split my review of the past year into a few smaller, more manageable chunks. Even though I’ve had several weeks of a break, my brain still feels a little fried from that last semester. Hopefully, things will get better soon! I’ll start today with everyone’s favorites, the socks! I honestly thought that I had made more than 6 pairs throughout the year, but I guess I’m wrong. I might consider making that a resolution for next year- knit more socks. Lord knows I have enough sock yarn in my stash!

Starting at the top and going left to right (and newest to oldest), there are the By the Seine River Socks using Candy Skein Yummy in Butter Mint. I remember modding the pattern to make it top-down, but they still fit like a dream! The stitch pattern isn’t bulky at all, but allows just a bit of breathability. Plus, I still have the other half of this skein, so you better bet there will be another pair in these colors soon!

Next up, there’s the Pillars Socks. These are also in Candy Skein Yummy, although this colorway is Arctic Mint. Somewhere along the line I messed up the stitch pattern a little, but I still think they looks awesome. Plus, this picture totally shows the electric blue of this colorway. Trust me, if you haven’t picked any up yet, you MUST try Candy Skein. The Yummy is her standard wool/acrylic sock yarn blend. It is definitely not the softest sock yarn I’ve worked with, but it is fairly hard wearing the the dye is holding pretty well. Plus, her colors are just out of this world!

I knit these little anklets using the ever-wonderful Knit Picks Felici Self-Striping yarn. I have no idea how they make sock yarn this soft, but it actually came out of the machine looking the same as when it went in! Alas, I sent these on to my sister for a birthday present, so I guess I’m just going to have to add on a skein to my next order 🙂

Next are my Bubble Stream Socks. I remember this pattern being pretty awesome to knit- very entertaining. Still, I wish that I had added just a few stitches to it, because it does tend to not stretch the way stockinette does, making it a little tighter on my feet. I used the other half of the Candy Skein I mentioned earlier- it does knit into some awesome socks!

My Scrap Socks started as just being a fun way to waste time and use up some scrap yarn, but they did turn out into a pretty nice pair of socks. I love wearing them because they remind me of all of the projects I used the yarn for- even the gifts!

Finally, I started out the year with a pair of simple anklets using the rest of my Twilight Knits Superwash Merino Fingering Weight in the Duchess colorway. The first pair had faded a lot with some pretty heavy wear, but these haven’t yet. I just love those bright colors so much! And these are short enough that pretty much no one notices them, which means I can wear them whenever!

That’s it for now! Tomorrow I have a HUGE blog week(s) in review to share, plus I’ll show off my finished accessories from this year. Let’s get excited!

FO Friday: Autumn Gold

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I finally finished my Autumn Gold Hat! I am really, really happy with how it came out. In the end, I made mine with just a bit of slouch. Honestly, I probably could have kept going, but I liked how it looked. It’s such a light hat that I didn’t want too much extra fabric. Now it fits really easily into my pocket!

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Besides the length, the only other mod I did was the needle sizes. I didn’t swatch or anything (yes, bad me, I know), but I’m usually a tight knitter, especially with smaller needles, so I went up a size. Of course, this didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I didn’t have needles in the rights size AT ALL 😉 Still, it created a delightfully drapey hat, plus the size was pretty much spot on, so it looks like it was a pretty good decision!

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I used some gorgeous Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering (80% Merino, 20% Nylon) in the truffle colorway. I got it in a give-away from the generous Leaner’s Per-Knit, so I’m so glad that I can finally put it to use! It’s not quite as bright as the photos make it look to be. I was afraid that the busyness of the variegation would clash with the stitch pattern, but I think it was subdued enough so that everything worked together.

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I’m kinda sorta testing this pattern for Buttons and Beeswax, and I’m really glad that I took her up on the offer. It was really fun to knit! The stitch patterns were just exciting enough to keep me busy, but I could easily do them while watching TV- a  perfect combination in my opinion! I didn’t find any problems with the pattern. I highly recommend it, and I’m sure her others are just as well done. Check out her ravelry store!

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For more FO Friday posts, check out Tami’s. Oh- and, before I forget, the contest! It was a trick question. That’s an original stitch pattern I’m putting together. But don’t worry, I’m giving you all full credit for trying. If you suggested an answer, I’ll email you a coupon code for one free pattern from my ravelry shop. Check it in a bit!

WIP Wed: Crickets?

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I’ve been working on a lot over this holiday break, but, unfortunately, it’s mainly design projects that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. And, to be honest, I don’t have a whole lot of energy right now. My battery died this morning, which ended up just being one of those problems that is not all that aggravating but sets your day off- you know what I mean, right? So, instead of writing a whole lot about my woes, I’ll just give you a quick shot of a stitch pattern.

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Bam- that’s it! Let’s make this interesting. Whoever guesses what kind of pattern this is (be specific) will get a promo code for a free download for any of my pay patterns. You can see them all at my ravelry store or click the “designs” tab at the top of the page. Don’t forget to leave me some way to contact you. Good luck!

For more WIP posts, check out Tami’s.

WIP Wed: Autumn Lace

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Just a quick update on my Autumn Gold Beanie/Slouch Hat. For those of you just tuning in, I’m using a wonderful, fantastic, sent from the angels skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering (80% Merino, 20% Nylon) in the Truffle Colorway. I know, I know, it’s kind of dark and busy for this pattern, so it’s hard to see anything in the pictures. At this point in time, I just don’t care- it’s that beautiful and great to work with.

About 2" past the ribbing- yeah!

About 2″ past the ribbing- yeah!

I had to go up a needle size, not because my swatch was off. Oh no. I just don’t have the US 3’s the pattern calls for and am too cheap to buy them when I have a perfectly usable set of 4’s. It’s an experiment to see how this hat looks with a bit more openwork, and it’s working so far. I’m hoping that most of the irregularities (like the times that I miscrossed 3 cables twice and had to drop those stitches and re-work them- Oh, god. Never again.) in my tension will block out. Hopefully I’ll have more to show soon!

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Close Up

For more WIP Wed’s, check out Tami’s.

Blog Week in Review 12/10- 12/17 and Cast On Monday!

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Once again, my Blog Week in Review is a little heavy on the accessories. I guess it’s probably because it is the gift-giving season!

First, we have the perfect gift. All Knit and No Sheep’s Snowman toy is perfectly adorable. I’ve never had the patience for knitted toys, so kudos to her for making on that is just so pefect.

Audry’s finished two projects that are pretty great, two. She’s made a headband out of silk hankies (I don’t even know what that even means, but it sure is gorgeous) and an electric blue Rock Island shawl. I really love the contrast on the shawl between the openwork and the denser stitch sections. It’s a wonderful pattern!

There’s also Knitted Bliss’s Nashira Shawl. It’s a lacey rectangular shawl that is supposed to be knitted in lace weight, but she had the genius idea of switching to worsted. It came out looking like an extra-wide scarf that’s perfect for when it is REALLY cold out. I’m thinking I might try something like that, as I really “need” a new scarf.

Finally, there’s All She Wants to Do is Knit’s Cupido Cowl. This looks like a relatively simple textured cowl until you read that it was the first project she’s made out of her own hand-spun. I’ve never even tried to spin, so I’m still enchanted by the magic of turning wool into yarn. Kudos to her!

Now, moving on to Cast On Monday. I was working on a slouchy hat for a friend, but I was silly enough to leave the extra yarn at my apartment when I went home for break. It works out pretty well- I won’t even see her until after I get back from break, so I can just put that project on the back burner for now. Instead, I’m going to work on something just a little bit selfish.

Yesterday, I spent over an hour hand-winding my skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight (80% Merino, 20% Nylon; 420 yds/115g) into a ball. Trust me– that was a challenge! By the way, this skein was a wonderful gift. It is completely soft and warm, plus I love the colorway. It’s called truffle, and it’s made of purples and browns and greens. Wonderful!

Anyway, I decided to cast on the Autumn Gold Beanie by Buttons and Beeswax. I have been wearing my one slouchy hat all over the place, so I figured it might be nice to have a lighter version for once it gets a little warmer. Of course, I don’t have any of the needle sizes required with me. Instead of doing the sensible thing, I’m just going to go up one size. Hopefully, it will just make an extra slouchy hat (fingers crossed!). We’ll see what happens- I will definitely keep you guys posted!

WIP Wed: Comfort Hat

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To be honest, I’ve done a miserably small amount of knitting since  I finished my socks almost a week ago. All I have to show for it is just the very, very beginning of a hat.

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You can’t really tell right now, but it’s the beginning of an Aberdeen Ave. hat, a delightfully cabled beanie from Glenna C.’s Urban Collection (oh yeah, the same Urban Collection my Locke St. Cardigan came from. I’m sure this will be a good one!). I’m using Knit Picks City Tweed HW (55% Merino, 25% Alpaca, 20% Rayon), which is much more of an Aran/Heavy Worsted, so I ended up going up a needle size. I had a friend who’s rather late Christmas request was a slouchy hat. She isn’t exactly adventurous in her style, so I’m hoping this extra bit of width and length, coupled with the fiber content of the yarn, will make her happy. We’ll see how it turns out!

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Well, I’m off to get some more studying done. I’ve done an embarrassingly small amount of work for my final this afternoon, so I should probably take care of that. For more WIP Wed. posts, check out Tami’s.