Year End Holiday Knits

My year has been full. It has been full of love, friends, family, knits, change and all kinds of good stuff. I embarked on new projects this year, tried new things, grew a bit as I feel like I do with each new year. My kids are obviously growing too, I'll be doing some shopping for Simon in the new year he barely fits in any of his clothes these days. It warms my heart to see both of my boys still loving their knit hats I made them back when this whole new passion became a part of my life. The hats were one of my very first projects.

Christmas Tree Hunting

This year I've been crankin' hats out. I can make one in no time flat anymore, all I need is one evening and a good movie and of course some chunky wool and my 10.5 circular needles. It doesn't hurt to have my husband snuggled beside me on the couch either, never does really (knitting or not). I still have a couple of projects in the works. My sweater for example. Sheesh when will I ever finish that bad boy. But I've made two baby blankets over the course of the past few months and several hats.

Here is a quick snip of one of those blankets.

Evelyn's Blanket

This one was for Baby Evelyn whom you met a few months ago.

Then I got to spend nearly a week with one of my favorites - knitting a few nights when we weren't cleaning, rearranging, and organizing at my store.

Jan Knitting

Here she is...knitting by our sweet little Christmas tree.

Jan Knits

She brought me a surprise...a huge one...my sister and her baby whom I hadn't gotten the chance to meet yet. Baby William Jeffery.

BIll Bill's Hat

The nights when we got to sit down and knit were, and always are, my favorite. The aforementioned hats I worked on for Christmas gifts were for my husband (whom I've never made a thing for - on purpose anyway) and his brother who happens to heart the Chicago Bears.

Shane's Hat Shane's Ribbed Hat Shane's Hat Done

In order to complete these projects before Christmas morning I used some fairly chunky yarn and some size 10.5 circular needles. The yarn is malabrigo chunky in the hat pictured above. This hat I knit right in front of Shane (because I didn't really have a choice) but since he didn't inquire the gift ended up a surprise. This yarn is Kettle Dyed pure merino wool the variation in the skeins was so pretty. I decided to stripe it a bit - I'm a total sucker for vertical stripes.

The hat below was the Chicago Bears inspired hat that I decided to attempt a tiny bit of fair isle on. I don't really know what I'm doing but it sort of worked. I didn't know if my brother in law would like it though so I quickly knit up another ribbed hat for him too. Two hats on Christmas morning - that's a fine gift...right?

Fair Isle Attempt Outside Fair Isle Fair Isle Angle

I finally found some Brown Sheep Yarn Co. yarn to use for the Bear's hat, but it was no easy task finding yarn, in one day, that came close to being the proper colors. Plus I needed wool...and it wasn't the softest wool - hopefully Bryan doesn't have an itchy head. I ribbed the bottom of the hat in the pictures above and then just knit knit knit (on circulars) and knit in those little fair isle stitches for a couple of rounds. I didn't use a pattern just decided to wing it.

Ribbed Bear's Hat

And now I'm feeling a bit more caught up. I realize it is actually February and I'm still reminiscing the end of the year. I guess I'm just in a much better space today than I was a month or so ago. Things are calming down and I'm filing through photographs. And, I'm getting excited to have the time to start some more new knitting projects. Happy 2012!

Baby Bill

 

 

Hi Knitting Blog

I've been away from you, but definitely not away from my knitting. I've got a handful of projects for new babes coming into the world and for sweet babes already in the world. I have my sweater in a good place, just awaiting the assistance of the Knitting Jedi to finish up the hood. She is this woman that is probably in her 60s and she's been knitting since she was 3 years old. I'm pretty sure she might know every single thing there is to know about knitting. My sweater has sleeves now though...I could conceivably wear it without the hood...but I kind of had my heart set on a hood.

Sleeve

Soon soon - the air is chilling - it is harder and harder to get out of my nice warm bed every morning. Pretty soon I'll be all snuggled up in a nice warm sweater of my own creation.

I had a fun and very full summer. Each of the places I visit, in addition to checking out the local toy store, I've now found I need to find the local yarn shop. I made it back to the midwest for a visit and my sister and I had a couple of days sans our kiddos while Grandma and Grandpa spent some quality time with them. We found a couple of magical yarn shops that I hadn't ever been to.

My Sister

Blankie Yarns

The first was Crafty Planet in Minneapolis. We decided since we had time we'd find the yarn I would use to make her baby a blanket and hat. Both will be featured in future posts. The blanket yarns are upon her shrinking lap (courtesy of Spud & Chloe). They had several yarns to choose from so it was pretty fun to look without distractions, they also had some pretty great fabric so we spent a LOT of time at Crafty Planet.

Then we got hungry and there was a tiny little restaurant that happened to be right around the corner. We actually did a GPS search for restaurants (pulled over on the side of the street) and we decided on our destination and we were about 20 feet from the parking lot. Probably didn't really need the GPS to help us get there, actually, who am I kidding?, we did. This was my delicious lunch at Chimborazo.

Hungry

Now back to the yarn. The next stop was pretty much my dream come true. The only bad part about this entire place was the temperature and that was simply because it was 100+ degrees outside in the muggy muggy midwest. Borealis was the shop we sought out in St. Paul, MN. This was outside the front door and I think it ought to be their home page photo...just sayin'.

Borealis

I'm pretty into the idea of tagging things these days. My tags will unfortunately never be this awesome.

Rad

Street Corner

Heart

Now for the yummy inside of the store. I will mention this place is HUGE, it has 3 separate yarn rooms - an entire room for just sock yarn. If sock yarn is your 'thing' you will probably want to put it on your list of places to visit before you run out of yarn. Which poses the question does any knitter/crocheter ever run out of yarn? I recently told Jan that I hope I live long enough to use up all of my fabric and my yarn. She told me I would just buy more, so that was probably impossible.

 Chunky Worsted Weight Yarn Yummy

There is something about cubes full of yarn that makes my heart sing. I'm so happy they didn't care that I was taking photos.

Wool Sock Yarn Green, Yellow, Cream

Don't you just want to stick your entire arm right in the middle of this rainbow?

Blues Pinky Purps

KNIT

Just do it!

 

 

 

 

Project Tote and Sweater Progress

Knitting Tote Outside

I really scored this weekend at a yard sale. I nabbed up a cute little knitting tote or project tote. I don't know what they are officially called I just know that all of the inspirational knitters in my life have them and mine was $1.00!

Project Holder Knitting Tote Tote

It came at the perfect time since I've been spending a lot of time knitting out in the sunshine.

Sweater Start

I like to sit on our back deck and soak up some Vitamin D while I work on Shane's sweater, watch my kids and chickens play, and watch my garden grow. The problem I was running into was that my ball of yarn seemed to fall off the table and somehow target a pile of chicken poo, which doesn't tend to have a very good outcome. This is no longer a problem! I can keep my ball of yarn in the knitting tote, poo free!

Starting Noro

I've made some progress on the sweater I'm working on. I'm using chunky Noro Yarn - that I'm completely in love with. It is great to work with and self-striping and the colors are great! I started off using size 6 needles at the bottom. The first piece I'm working on is the back. I think I cast on 99 stitches and I used size 6 needles for 6 rows of 99 sts in stocking stitch or stockinette stitch (which is just knitting one row and purling back on the other side). After those six rows the pattern tells me to switch to size 10 needles and work 16 + inches. I thought I loved the look of this pattern on Ravelry when I was admiring a photo of someone's completed project, but once I visited the pattern on Yarn Forward I wasn't as impressed. I decided today that a stripey colorful version will look much different. I can always fall back on myself as the owner of the sweater if all else fails.

Sweater Progress Noro In Tote Stripey Noro

One thing that I have thought of, is since this pattern is having me do the front independently from the back the stripes most likely won't match up, but I don't think I care and who knows, maybe I'll get lucky. The cable stitching near on the armholes will also prove to be very tricky, as I have no idea how to work with cable needles. I will learn I suppose! And I realize that might be a matching nightmare also - again I don't think I care. I just wanted this first sweater to be a fun, toasty, colorful sweater and I'm prepared for the imperfection that comes with it. I think the Noro yarn will make up for it.

Pouty Model Yogurt Pop Yummy Sweater

My little model wasn't thrilled with me, he was just trying to enjoy his frozen yogurt pop.

More to come soon on the sweater, just knitting my "spare" time away.

Happy Knitting!

Finished Blanket

close up

Finally finished up the blanket...and it is en route to Madison to sweet little Clara. I started crocheting her one back in June before she was born, but once I learned how to knit, I decided that crocheting was for the birds - well not really - but knitting this up was a lot quicker for me. I still really like crocheting too and luckily there are many projects where these two abilities go hand in hand. I used size 11 needles and this yarn was pretty chunky and it all came together pretty quickly when I would actually sit down and work on it. I mostly knit the entire thing but did a few rows here and there where I would knit two, purl two (k2, p2) just to add a little bit of variation.

So my blanket ended when my variegated yarn ran out. It ended up being really soft and actually a pretty perfect size for just a lap blanket, but great for a cuddle blanket for a wee one. It was pretty much square when I was done.

square

And of course we had to test it out before sending it. Hopefully little Miss Clara will pose in a photo for us that I'll post as soon as she gets her gift. Since I'm sure you're all dying to see her sweet little face again, I know I am!

Testers Serious Testers

My little testers seemed to be fans of the cozy blankie - that's always a good sign. So onto other projects, next my plan is a bag/satchel of some sort.

I have a fun new book that I just got called Head to Toe Knits by Zoe Mellor and there are several projects in there I plan to attempt.

I'll dive into my yarn cubby to find the perfect yarn and I'm kind of thinking I might do a felted variation of something, I've been dying to knit and felt something, so I think that's my plan.

Folded Treasure

Still working on this...whenever I get a wild hair. And someday I'll finish at least this one! Who knows if I'll ever make two - no just teasin' I will!

sockie sock

Happy Knitting! Pull up a hammock and knit in the sunshine, who says you can't knit in the summer?

Alpaca Wool Project

juliegrayscarf

I've been dying to put this photo up...this is Julie...she got a special scarf from me for Christmas. It was pretty much my first time buying really amazing yarn. I used a beautifully soft alpaca wool charcoal colored yarn as well as a variegated yarn that was quite spendy (also wool) and didn't come with quite as much. I somehow made it last through the entire scarf though and like usual kind of made up my own pattern. It is a checkerboard of sorts just longer pieces. It isn't an incredibly long scarf but it fits around a neck no prob. It was a quick project as that alpaca wool was chunky. The exact name of the yarn is Misti Alpaca 100% Baby Alpaca - Made in Peru, I picked it up at Loopy and I really liked working with it. I actually used fairly large needles again. I chose size 15 needles for this project. I cannot find the label for the other yarn that I used, but it was really beautiful - not chunky - so the color is very subtle in the scarf. It added some reds, grays and a hint of black (which I think is probably Julie's favorite color - at least that she wears often).

I actually made another scarf - that I still haven't gifted but I used the same two kinds of wool just in different dye lots. I chose a lilac Misti Alpaca yarn and a variegated wool yarn on a very different color spectrum, springy colors. I really like the way it came out but I haven't decided who to give it to just yet. I did a seeded rib stitch for the lilac scarf. The pattern was really simple - this is the first time I sort of used one. Row 1 (right side): Purl 1, *knit 3, purl 1; repeat from * to end. Row 2 (wrong side): Knit 2, purl 1, *knit 3, purl 1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, knit 2. Repeat rows one and two for seeded rib. I guess I used a variation of this each time I made a ribbed scarf but just didn't happen to be following a pattern any of the other times. I forgot until I unrolled the scarf just now that I put some fringe on the ends too. Ah knitting! How I love thee! Oh and I think I used those same size 15 needles? I can't quite remember though. Oh and that beautiful yarn photo from the 'Yarn Choices' post was the variegated yarn I used in this second alpaca scarf.

lilac alpaca scarf

Happy Knitting!