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

 

 

Double Pom Pom Hat

Baby William really digs his new blanket.

Happy Baby

The hat on the other hand…well that is another story. He looks really peaceful in these photos. This was another project I started this past summer for my baby nephew. I told my sister I could finish it up before I left the Midwest on our summer vacation.

Sleepy William Peaceful Baby

I didn’t end up finishing while we were still there, but it was really shortly after and it gave me something fun to knit when I had some down time while we played at the lake. On the pontoon boat one foggy morn I made a bit of progress.

On a Boat

When I wasn’t too busy adoring these lovebugs.

Tired Bugs

They were a little bit tired this foggy morn.

The hat was similar to most of my other ribbed hats. I used some Amy Butler yarn (didn’t know she made yarn until our trip to Crafty Planet). It was simple to knit with. I think I used size 5 or 6 circular needles. I decided to just wing the color changes between the blue and brown color. The yarn is a mix of organic wool and organic cotton, so perfect for a brand spankin’ new little baby head.

Double Pom Pom Hat

I got the idea to do a double pom pom up top from a hat that my kids had when they were a bit smaller.

Simon

Not a knit hat but a fleece number we got as a gift that I loved. I think I liked the idea of a challenge too, needed to vary my predictable hat just a smidge. I guess my sweater gave me some confidence. I used one of my handy stitch holders while I finished one side and then went back and did all of my decreasing for the other point. I am glad I was putting pom poms on there because I did have some little bits that needed covering. I’m generally quite the perfectionist but when you get right down to it, it just needs to keep the baby head warm.

Creepy Baby

Don’t you love my creepy model?

Close Hat

The Back

There was a bit of a gap in the middle (between the pom poms) so I ended up sewing that center up just a titch as well, with some yarn of course and it came together just fine. After all of the loose ends were tucked in you couldn’t even tell I’d done anything. I think I also realized how I can make it better the next time I attempt a double pom pom on a ribbed hat.

Creepy Baby Ribbed Hat

And Baby William, once again, I cannot wait to snuggle you. Hopefully before you are a month old, if all goes as I wish for it to.

 

 



Sweater Progress & Stole Pattern

This time I can say with confidence I WILL be finishing my sweater! I am so excited about it. I’ve got the back all knit up and I’ve started up the front. I’m hoping to have it complete before I go off to Mexico, on Cinco de Mayo, but we’ll see.

Sweater Body

It may not look like that much at this point, but I’m pretty darn proud of it. The pattern I’m using is converted to knitting in the round. Since I’ve started this project I’ve learned a lot! I didn’t realize it was so simple to convert a pattern to knit in the round. Most of the sweater patterns I looked over instructed the knitter to knit the back panel, followed by the front panel, and then sew two pieces together. That just didn’t make sense…so I sought out some aid and Terry (the Knitting Jedi) helped me convert this pattern. I’m knitting in the round and actually even after the split I’m still using my circular needles. It is a bit much to wrap your head around, as I mentioned in a previous post how patterns completely change when you knit in the round.

Ooh and another cool trick is this stitch holder – who needs a real stitch holder – you can just use a piece of yarn. This cream colored yarn is holding the entire front of my sweater together, while I start knitting up the back.

Angle View

My pattern doesn’t look too complicated, and it actually isn’t, but when I end up knitting in the pattern from the wrong side (WS) it gets a bit tricky. I find myself flipping my garment over often to make sure I’m staying in pattern. That gets old. I wouldn’t do it that way the next time around. I’d make sure that I was on the RS so I could k1 and p3 and see what I’d done the row before, etc. Anyway that is boring…so here are a few more pictures (with plenty more to come) and the pattern of the week (or two weeks).

Body Again

I heart my yarn. Cascade Lana Bambu Yarn. Now I need to order more because I didn’t get enough…bummer! And of course the dye lot in the yarn shop isn’t the same anymore. Argh.

Yarn Stitch Holder

That’s it for the weekend hoodie (at least for this week).

 

 

TheĀ  pattern of the week can be found here. It is a cool site with free vintage patterns, and I just happened to choose this stole because I love the pocket.

Stole

Happy Spring Knitting!

The Beach

Me and Nicole

The beach was amazing! We were right on Pacific Ocean in Ocean Park, WA and it was gorgeous. We met my dearest friend Nicole and her family. We stayed at their family beach house *right* on the beach, LUCKY! I mentioned in my last post that I had my knitting all packed up and of course I completely forgot to actually put it in the car, so packed or not, did me no good.

Knit Happens

The craziest thing happened when I missed a turn about a 1/4 mile from the beach house and my husband noticed a little cafe that was in the same building as a yarn shop. What are the odds? We ended up enjoying some delicious breakfast at the cafe one of the mornings we were there and of course…yarn time!

Felted Fish

The decor at the Full Circle Cafe was pretty adorable. There were felted fish hanging from the ceiling along with other pretty things – beach related – and seriously the food was incredible!

We enjoyed our breakfast and the kids and my husband headed back to the beach house while I did a little bit of yarn browsing/shopping. Of course I’d forgotten needles as well, so I had to indulge in a new pair (or two or three). Someone locally made these adorable needles with a pair of dice on the ends, so I had to snag those up and I was leaning toward a quick and easy project that I could complete in the sand on a blanket while my kids made castles and waded and my husband strummed his ukulele.

Cascade Yarn Yarn Tapestry Rose Tapestry Rose Again

I ended up deciding on the Cascade cotton yarn so I could make little beach hats for the babes. It was a bit of a stretch for me purchasing something other than wool but it made more sense for the season to get cotton yarn. This yarn can stretch too, that little ball goes a long way and it is very user friendly. Oh, and I threw in a hank of Cascade wool too. That wool will knit something sweet and maybe I’ll even felt it. I understand this Cascade yarn is wonderful yarn for felting.

My scores

In case you aren’t aware of the temperature on the beach on the West coast, it’s cold. We got so lucky and had beautiful weather everyday, but one, but it was still chilly. Windy and hat-worthy for sure. So I started on little Clara’s hat. Oh my gosh I finally got to meet little Clara. She’s a peach!

The Beach

This was right outside of Tapestry Rose and I walked right along this beautiful coast from the yarn shop back to the beach house. Ahhhh! There is something very magical about the ocean.

Beach Yarn

And something even more magical about my new knitting supplies purchased right on the beach.

Yarn and Needles

Look at those cute little dice needles and of course the variegated cotton wonders. I got myself another pair of circular needles and I was just crossing my fingers hoping I didn’t have size 5 already.

Gary

Meet Gary – he and his wife Colleen own Tapestry Rose. I was happy to meet him and find yarn right on the beach. One of the more perfect vacations of my life. Best friends, really relaxing, and my kids love sand and sea!

Happy Knitting!

Circular Needle Holder

Circular Needle Holder

So I have been on the lookout for a circular needle holder for quite some time now. I’ve seen the kind where you can hang them, but I don’t have the space for that. Then I noticed at Loopy, in one of their newsletters, that they’d just gotten a shipment in of Namaste Circular Needle Holders, so I headed down with a gift certificate in hand (that I got for my birthday from Sarah and Bryan) and nabbed one up! And, I couldn’t be more excited.

I’d like to back-track for just a minute and apologize for the lack of posts lately. We’ve been soooo busy I don’t even know where the time has gone. School is out, we’re playing hard and we’ve had a LOT of company and we are about to have some more and then head West on vacation to the Washington and Oregon coast on Monday. I’ve got my knitting packed and I plan to knit right on the beach! Here is a little snip of what we’ve been up to these days.

Moth Hatch Gardening

Exploring Rock Picking

Okay now back to the Namaste Needle Holder.

Closed Needle Holder

Here it is closed, at first I thought it looked too much like a briefcase and that didn’t seem very fun to me, but then I realized it was just a tool and every tool doesn’t have to be cute – but it is a perk!

Open Needle Holder

I can put a whole lot of needles in here and there are little tabs so you can label them yourself. They came in a couple of different shades – I chose indigo. I have some 29″ circulars in here but mostly 16″ since I’m a little bit ‘hat obsessed’.

Close Up Needle Holder

So – long story short – I love my new needle holder and it is small enough to fit right in my knitting bag or tote and I don’t have to worry about finding a spot to hang it! There will probably come a day when I need more than one circular needle holder – then I’ll get a cute one!

Oh and here are some shots of my completed baby hat – my cute model is holding it on his ‘baby head sized’ fist.

Simon and Baby Hat Unfolded Ribbed Hat Peek

Dropped Stitch & Pretty Needle Holder

So when I was making August’s knitted roll hat, my first hat, I dropped a stitch and didn’t know what I would do. I was thinking I ought to just call it quits for the night and start again tomorrow, or possibly go into the yarn shop in town and see if they could help me. But, then I remembered that I could check on You Tube for some suggestions…so I did just that. The very first video that I went to did the trick, so I saved the link to share. It was so helpful that I think I’ve completely got it figured out now. So in hopes that I can reference this in the future and help some of you fellow knitters I wanted to share.

I also wanted to show off some kind of bad photos of something really sweet my sister made for me for Christmas. As a brand new knitter – I knew these ‘needle holders’ existed but I didn’t know what I wanted, so I asked her to make me one. She came up with this…

Needle Holder ClosedNeedle Holder Open

This treasure definitely serves its purpose, but if I could change a couple of things…I’d probably put some batting in the back and ‘how was a girl to know she’d soon have circular needles needing storage?’. Otherwise I don’t know what on earth I’d do without this gem. My sister that made this is this little sweetie. I’m sure she’d take orders and she’ll be revamping her pattern, she doesn’t knit so she needs some tips, and I didn’t have many to give at that point, but as my collection of needles, double pointed needles, crochet hooks, and circular needles grows I’ll be needing a companion holder.

Some other good knitting nooks I’ve been informed of since I started this fun endeavor are Ravelry, Knitting Help, and the Yarn Harlot. I’m sure there are so many more out there…and I’ll mention them as they come along. Ravelry is my fav, it is like Facebook for knitters and crocheters. I heart it!

Happy Knitting! Oh and don’t let dropping a stitch discourage you – you can forge through!

My First Hat

Gussy's Hat

Yay I’m moving along! It isn’t a scarf! So this didn’t actually take me very long to knit up. I think I did it over the course of a few evenings (a few movies) and finished up on a weekend. The finishing was the hardest for me as I haven’t ever done anything major with decreases, etc. I didn’t have a pattern when I started but then ended up finding a knitted cap pattern which was very helpful for the decreases at the end. This was for my sweet little August. I let him choose his wool himself and then I added one extra stripe. This is also the first time I’ve switched colors while knitting. I have run out of yarn mid-project and had to start a new skein but this time it was all intentional (as I hope you can tell).
I found the pattern in a book that I checked out at the library (another great way to get free patterns).

Rolled Knit Cap

I used Patons Classic Wool for this particular project. It is a yarn that needs to be hand washed but is great for felting. The main color used was Cognac Heather. It said to knit it up using size 7 needles but I used size 6 circular needles for this project. It was my first time using circular needles and I love them! I wish you could finish the entire hat without switching to double pointed needles but it was a good first time experience for me. I guess most of you reading this probably know that you just knit the entire hat to make it roll this way, so no purling required. I think I started with 76 cast ons. I should write it down because I forget so easily. Since it was a gift for my little boy (who isn’t even 3) I figured that would be plenty, but if I had it to do all over again I would have done less. It is a bit big for him, I guess I could try lightly felting it to get it to shrink down…or just save it until he’s a bit bigger. I just don’t like that it doesn’t cover his ears very well…it doesn’t stay down over them. I’m actually making another hat right now but I’m using a ribbed stitch and it is going to be much better for ear coverage – that one is for Simon.

Stitch Markers

The upside to decreasing is I got to use my cute stitch markers from Skyline. I just knit two together before each of my stitch markers until I was done. It made a nice little star atop his cute little head.

One more photo of cute boots. He loves his new hat (almost as much as he loves to eat snow).

Gussy's Hat Front