Socks – and then some…

I have yet to complete a pair of socks…er even one sock…but I am going to finish my sweater – hopefully before the weekend is over.

I wanted to share this blog that is full of fun patterns and mad skill. Today the focus happens to be sock construction…and I will be revisiting this after my sweater is complete.

Just so you have a fun photo to view this is another holiday gift that I knit up for Simon’s 2nd grade teacher – Mrs. Rothwell – whom he loves dearly. And I love this boy dearly…my little potato.

Simon's Scarf Gift

I knit this from some local yarn – made in Corvallis – Mountain Colors is the brand and boy is it colorful. It was a fun project – I knit most of this scarf in the hospital (doula-ing) while the little nugget below was being born.

adam

His mama was my yarn bomb buddy.

Here is a pretty cake of Mountain Colors yarn – which I will most definitely be using again.

Mountain Colors Mama Loves Knitting Mama Loves Knitting

Happy Knits.

 

Full House – Full Life – Still 5 mins to Knit

Amy's Scarf

We’ve had a houseful of love for the past couple of weeks and we will for nearly a month into the future. Don’t get me wrong – that is the way I like my life – full of people and making constant memories. Really everyday feels like a special day – yesterday we decorated our tree – two days before we went and chopped it down. Even a venture to the mall (a place I detest) was fun with Simon and Gus – they got to see Santa and I got a couple of gifts while we were there. Everyday brings something new and exciting and it seems to fly by. The time I get to spend knitting isn’t always guaranteed, but whenever I have idle hands I pick up my needles. I tend to have several projects going at once…so I can always just take 5 minutes and accomplish something – a row or two on a blanket I’ve been working on for my baby niece – due in a week, a row on the Birthdaymas hat for my dad, a quick scarf for a sweet friend’s birthday (I can make one of those during a movie if I really set my mind to it) and I use super chunky yarn.

Orange Scarf

Amy took these photos – so I can’t take credit for their fabulousness. But, the orange scarf, I suppose I can take credit for. She and I took a photography class near the beginning of the year and you can see she’s got some talent just from these two photos. This scarf was a ‘whip it up quick’ project. I had a skein of chunky wool ease yarn that I’d picked up at Michael’s or Joann’s at some point – benefit to this yarn is that you can wash it and you don’t need to worry. To give it a bit of flare I knitted it on my size 15 metal needles and threw in some variegated sock yarn. I have a bundle of balls of sock yarn that I’m hanging on to for when I finally finish that first sock and get sock crazed. Not sure why I ever did a blog post about it, because now I have to finish it at some point, but I’m thinking about taking another class in the new year…that will motivate me to master the art of knitting socks. Some of that variegated Deborah Norville sock yarn is beautiful though so I’ve been tempted to throw it into a hat before as well. It is 50% superwash merino wool and 25% bamboo 25% nylon. It is really soft and also machine washable. I really love it and I’m sure I’d love it on my feet, but I also love it mixed into this scarf.

I decided I’d knit two rows and purl one row which gave this scarf the ribbed look it ended up with. I don’t have a pattern, I just made one up. I cast on 14 stitches to start and then just rolled with it. When I start a scarf, randomly, I just pull it apart near the beginning if I don’t care for the pattern I’ve created. So there you have it – a scarf.

So many gifts I want to make – so little time. Every 5 minutes spent knitting counts.

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

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!

Knitting Lesson

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 Knits

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?

Checkerboard Scarf

Scarf Gift

Happy Knitting!

Checkerboard Scarf

So I’ve been experimenting with a ton of different stitches, I was told it was best to make a small block (before you start your entire project) to make sure you like the way the stitches look. The problem is that I didn’t start off following patterns so I was just wingin’ it. It seemed to work out the same way though. If I didn’t like the way something was looking I would just take it apart and start over – with a scarf that’s easy. So I will share a couple more scarves.

Nicole's Scarf

Just wanted to make sure you got to see my pretty friend Nicole! Disclaimer: I did not knit this hat! The scarf I did. It is a wool blend chunky yarn (yarn from crocheting days that I had on hand). It is variegated and I made a checkerboard pattern (sort of).

Checkerboard Scarf

I think you can see the detail a bit more in this photo. I just alternated knitting and purling and then switched when it looked like I’d done about 5-6 rows. I know I could have counted, to be sure, but I was too lazy. It didn’t end up being as long as I might have liked it to be – but I only had one skein of this yarn to experiment with. And, turns out I liked the scarf enough to gift it.

Clara Scarf

And I had to end this post with sweet Baby Clara – lovin’ on her Mama’s scarf.  Happy Knitting!

Grandma’s Neck Warmer

Grandma's Neck Warmer

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).

Mama's Colorful Scarf

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!