Well the winter has brought inspiration for knitting but we've also been doing a lot of soaking at Hot Springs around Montana, so I haven't been blogging a ton...here is something I just finished last week though. I was intending to make it for Mr. August (Gus - my 2.5 year old) but it ended up being a bit thinner than I'd like when stretched across his little head. So, we're sending it to our sweet baby Clara, we thought she could use a little spring hat. You can see a sneak peek of her in the Checkerboard Scarf post.
Here is the hat still under construction. I decided to make it ribbed again, I just really like the way they stretch. I ended up using some of my Skyline 100% Superwash Merino Wool - sport weight. It called for size 3-5 needles (which is good sock yarn (fingering yarn - I think that is correct?) but I'm not quite there yet) - I was told to attempt about 5 hats before I started on a pair of socks. I think my next project is actually going to be mittens though or maybe some leg warmers. I really heart leg warmers. I used size 6 circular needles to make this hat and finished it off with double pointed size 6 needles like usual. I cast on 80 stitches, but since I was using such tiny yarn and needles it ended up being a bit smaller than I'd anticipated. I just knit two, purled two the whole time. When I decreased I purled two together first, then I decreased two knits together and purled one in between. I finished completely by knitting two together until I could finish the top. This yarn also says to machine wash cold or hand wash, lay flat to dry - just FYI Nicole.
I'll be sure to post a photo of Clara adorning her hat as soon as I get one, in the meantime here is the hat stretched on Gussy's little head.
Just a little taste of what's to come below. We went to Elkhorn Hot Springs this past weekend so I started another hat with some yarn that I got from Loopy. I'm really liking the Ribbed pattern, I sort of created, so I'm going to make a couple more ribbed hats. We enjoyed some tasty bourbon whilst knitting in our cozy cabin, of course this was after playing in the snow all day and soaking in the hot springs. I think this hat will be for me? We'll see.
So I completed my number two hat a few nights ago. I promised my little 5 year old that he could wear his new hat to school on Thursday morning and luckily I was able to fulfill that promise.
I gave him his hat at breakfast on Thursday morning. We decided we liked it best without the cuff at the bottom so he doesn't wear it that way. He chose his very own yarn at Joseph's Coat and he picked Shepherd's Wool Yarn made in Michigan. He selected the two colors on his own Christmas Red and Misty Blue. I wasn't super stoked about his colors because they were the colors from my high school and I didn't want to knit a North High Husky hat, heh...but it ended up being pretty adorable. He told me, with much certainty, that he didn't want stripes in his hat, he wanted the colors knitted and purled together, so I just held two pieces of yarn together. I'd done this with some scarves already so it wasn't tricky. The yarn for this hat was Worsted Spun Fine Wool and I used size 8 circular needles and of course double pointed for the end/decreasing. Again I can't remember how many I cast on and I didn't use a pattern until the very end. This is just knit 2, purl 2 the entire way around over and over again to create this ribbed pattern. Really simple. I did have to do a little bit of research on how to decrease the top since this was only my second hat - I'm a rookie. I used this pattern to kind of figure things out.I just purled two together the whole way around the first round of decreasing and then knitted two together the next time around. Then just knitted two together the rest of the way around until I could close the top. It was actually really easy to do. I'm happy to have that under my belt though. I was worried about not being able to figure it out.
I love this wool - it is very soft and warm - Simon informed me that his head stayed warm at school on Thursday and Friday. It says to hand wash. But I really loved working with this yarn, I'm going back for more!
Happy Knitting * Look at that happy warm head.
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).
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.
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).
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.
I was fortunate enough to be present one evening at a friend's house (only about 1 month after I learned to knit) to help teach an 8 year old to knit. I have attempted to teach Simon (my 5 year old) to crochet and each time it has ended in tears so maybe 8 is a better age to teach such things.
Alice picked it up right away. She was patient and really focused and I feel really lucky that I got to teach her. Her Mama was teaching her 8 year old friend that was spending the night - and it just so happened that I got to help Alice. It was really fun and super pleasing to leave their house that night knowing that she had it (we just did knitting no purling quite yet). She was pretty into it also. The next day (or maybe two days later) when I saw her she had made some serious progress on a project. I lent her my giant size 15 needles and some variegated acrylic yarn I had in my closet and she was proud to show what she'd accomplished. I will definitely be teaching my kids to knit (when they are a little bit older).
A project I'd just completed that I happened to have with me (to show Alice) was this checkerboard scarf. It is almost the same thing that I made for Nicole (posted a couple of days ago). I just used some variegated acrylic yarn I had on hand. This is a close up of the checkered detail. And a photo of how I like to "wrap" a scarf as a gift. It is so pretty just by itself so why not take some of your tail (leftover from casting on) and tie it in a bow around your creation?
So just to show what a rookie I am - yesterday's post mentioned that the scarf pictured was garter stitch (but it wasn't) this neck warmer actually is! So yesterday was a stockinette stitch. I'm learning I'm learning. So I decided the first project should probably warm Grandma's (Mom's) Wisconsin Winter Chilled Neck. The only kicker was that she had to sew on her own button. Not that I can't sew on a button - she just has a much better button selection than I do. So she did actually put the very finishing touch on right before she snapped this pretty photo of herself.
I didn't have patterns for either of these projects I just kind of held them up as I went along and when I was satisfied with the length/width I called it good. They both came out pretty well (small pat on my own back) for a first timer! So onto more experimenting! This was similar to the scarf - I used a chunky wool blend and knitted it together with a variegated yarn to just add a little spunk. I used big needles again - just because it really speeds the project along and I like the look of it. I actually was in the middle of the yarn shop seeking out yarn when a sweet older woman approached me. She approached me because I was wearing my very colorful scarf that was actually knit by Jan (who is modeling this neck warmer).
She told me she felt very comfortable talking to me because I was wearing something so colorful (warm fuzzies). Her advice was to get this inexpensive gigantic ball of yarn to mix with the solid colored yarns I selected - so I followed her advice and one of the skeins was the variegated I used in the blue scarf and the other was the variegated I used in the green neck warmer and there is still another color scheme you'll see in some of my projects. They are the balls of yarn that will last a lifetime - well not really - at the rate I'm going- but they will last quite a spell. Okay so that's all for today. I'm not sure on the size needles I used for the neck warmer - maybe 11? Something big! Happy Knitting!
This is the first project I attempted, or maybe it was the second - it was a couple of months ago so I'll just post a photo of the other one tomorrow. I decided to start with a simple garter stitch so this whole thing is knitted - definitely not perfect but hey for a first time what can you expect. I used a chunky yarn - a wool blend and put it together with a variegated yarn for a prettier effect. So my sweet husband ended up getting this for Christmas - simply because I knew he wouldn't be too critical of my handiwork (or lack there of). So it'll keep his neck toasty warm through the winter months.
My biggest suggestion to anyone that wants to knit is patience and to get big needles (I think I used size 15 needles for this project) and chunky yarn after you have your knit and purl mastered and whip something out in just a few hours - it is really pleasing to finish a project! It'll give you the bug to keep knitting (apparently non-stop!)