At Long Last….

mamalovesknittingpleased

I did it! I finished my sweater – in one year – but it is finished none-the-less. I will probably wear it every single day for a year now. It is cozy and warm. It isn’t without a flaw here and there, like the entire hood is completely inside out, but with the addition of a pom-pom it looks perfectly adorable, in my opinion, and then no do-overs required.

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Before I forget there is a link I’ve been meaning to share. Picking up stitches can be tricky and each time I have to do it I realize I’ve completely forgotten how to do it, this video perfectly lays it out (for me). The photos above are when I was working on picking up stitches for my sleeves. I had to do it again when I was working on my hood and finishing up the collar. I am not going to lie to you, I’m pretty into the finished product.

mama_loves_knitting_sweater_complete

So I did end up finishing the hood later with a pom-pom and I love it so much more, but I love the elf effect it has on me.

mama_loves_knitting_sweater_elf_hood

I couldn’t comfortably stand in the yard while Shane took some pictures of me, I’m far to shy for that, so I grabbed my chicken to keep me company. Meet Octopus Pie – named after Gussy’s pronunciation of Optimus Prime as a tyke.

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So the hood, I flipped it so you could see the side that is (I think) actually supposed to be the visible part. I honestly like the way it looks though. Others may not be into the “character” (that is what I’ll be calling it from here on out).

The pattern for this sweater I found on Ravelry and it is called the Weekend Hoodie. You can see my progress if you look back at this post and this post. And I don’t honestly think there is much else to say. I’m beaming – and now for a few more photos…and I’m out (wearing my sweater of course).

mama_loves_knitting_sweater_collar mama_loves_knitting_sweater_hood mama_loves_knitting_sweater_chicken

Happy Knits!

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.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Uke it Up! Catching Up!

Pretty excited to knock this out for Father’s Day for my very own Ukulele Guy. And, maybe I can even surprise him with a little ditty. You see he got me a uke a while back and I haven’t taken the time to learn to play it, or maybe I haven’t taken the time to have him teach me. I am the proud owner of the exact same ukulele pictured on Knitty’s Pattern though. I’m going to click on some of those links and learn those chords tonight. And then pull some yarn out of my stash and knit this up, and attempt to felt the first thing I’ve ever felted. I’m not anticipating it to look anything like the beautiful examples pictured with the pattern, but I’ll do my darnedest.

I’ve been away from this sweet blog for awhile, not on purpose, but vacation(s), kids, life, etc have pulled me away. I’ve been knitting though…that is one thing I’ve stuck to. I’m still plugging away working on my sweater, it now has one complete sleeve. The sleeve ended up being, not quite as perfect as I would have hoped for, luckily I still have another attempt with sleeve two. Then I will only have a hood to do, which sounds daunting, but I WILL GET THAT DAMN THING DONE! And I will save the photos until the end, mostly for your sake.

I’m also working on a baby blanket for someone special.

On the Plane

This is a tiny taste of it right up next to a pretty kickin’ Mad Lib my 6 year old created for our airplane entertainment enroute to Mexico. If you aren’t into the anatomy and bodily functions a 6 year old finds hilarious – maybe this Mad Lib isn’t for you.

And, I’m working on a hat for a special little birthday girl in my life, shhh don’t tell her.  I think I’ll use it to top a jar of pickles, her favorite food (at least at my house). Those are the next special things coming down the pipe.

Edie

Happy Almost Summer!

Getting Closer and Cup Cozy

I’m pretty into a nice hot cup of Tipu’s Chai on my way to drop my boys off at school in the morning. I decided a few days ago that I can’t seem to live without it anymore. I am a changed woman in the morning after that cup of chai. I can climb a mountain (pretty easily – Seriously), I can chat with anyone I encounter (oftentimes I’m a bit shy/reserved) and I feel so rejuvenated. I’m not sure if this is good or bad? I love to have that hot drink in the morning though, but I don’t like to burn my hands. Here is the solution.

And the ‘Getting Closer’ part of this post is in regards to my sweater. I’m not going to be done by Cinco de Mayo – I just cannot fathom that happening, but I am nearing completion.

Sweater Vest II Sweater Vest III

I wasn’t sure which one I liked the most…so hopefully you can get a general sense of what is happening here from these quick shots.

It is getting closer!

Vacation is heavy on my mind.

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).

 

 

The  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!

New Sweater – Knit in the Round

New Sweater

I’m starting another sweater, I tore out the sweater for my sweet husband – that will be a project for later…

I started my sweater a few days ago and pulled the entire thing out last night. I decided on a hoodie of sorts. I didn’t want to deal with a zipper though, so I’m knitting a pullover hoodie. The pattern I picked I found on Ravelry. The sweater is called the Weekend Hoodie, unfortunately not a free pattern, but one that looked pretty much spot on. I love having a hood on my sweaters, it is a definite bonus on windy/chilly spring days. I decided to start with a sweater for myself, maybe that is  selfish, but I haven’t made a single thing for myself yet so I suppose it is high time!

I ran into problems right from the get-go, you’d think after all of the knitting in the round I do, I would have it figured out, but I definitely didn’t! The second row was the reason for pulling my entire sweater apart. When I say entire sweater – I was on row 12 ish…so not really that far, but when you cast on 220 stitches it feels like a LOT. I started over after figuring this out….

Flat Knitting:

  • garter: knit every row
  • stockinette: knit 1 row, purl 1 row
  • reverse stockinette: purl 1 row, knit 1 row

Round Knitting:

  • garter: knit 1 round, purl 1 round – this is where I went wrong. I was just knitting, knitting, knitting…not making a very appealing bottom to my sweater.
  • stockinette: knit knit knit every row
  • reverse stockinette: purl purl purl

I mean, it makes perfect sense when you think really hard about it, problem is I wasn’t thinking very hard about it.

Before I sign off I should tell you about my delicious yarn choice. I keep going back and forth between whether or not I like it enough to wear that sweater as much as I ought to once it is complete. I think today I’m pretty into it. It is a Cascade Yarn – Lana Bambu. It is 79% Wool and 21% Viscose from Bamboo.

I’m taking a sweater class to complete this project. I cast on 220 stitches on my brand spankin’ new Addi needles (size 6) and I’ve moved onto the Addi lace needles (sharper points) in size 7 and I’m going for it. The pattern is knit rows 1-3, p3, k1 on row 4 and start over knitting again. I think the pattern will be pretty fun when it gets taller, I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and I’m going to make a video of how to switch to a new ball of yarn as soon as I need to do so. If you missed the ball winder and swift video and you feel like throwing up, you should check it out.

Happy Knitting!

Fall in the Air

Decrease

So I’m a knitting MACHINE right now. I love it, I’m not doing anything super exciting. Still working on my sweater! My husband asked me last night as I grabbed a new skein of yarn to ‘cake up’ “What about my pretty sweater?” He was partially being a punk and probably partially wondering when I would be finishing that beast up, it’ll be awhile.

Sweater Progress

It still looks like a tiny knit curtain. But it is a really really pretty tiny knit curtain.

I finished up the wedding beanies. I shall send the Wisconsin Badger inspired ribbed hat to Mitchell and the light green and turquoise one to Megan in a little newlywed care package in the morning.

Wisconsin Hat Newlyweds

It is birthday season around here! I sent a hat to my sweet Aunt Karen who just turned 60, which you’d never guess, and she sent me this. Her sweet thank you totally made the hat knit with love worth it! I definitely sent it to the right person.

Thank you

I love this wool yarn rainbow – who doesn’t love yarn? and rainbows? Of course since I love that ribbed pattern it is what I do, it is good to do what you love, plus when I’m attempting to knock out a ton of projects I glue myself to simplicity.

Rainbow Hat

The birthday train is still in full force. My mom’s birthday present is under construction right now. I’ve decided to pull out my giant size 15 needles and do a simple garter stitch (co 15) and whip up a quick scarf with some extra chunky wool blend I had stashed away in the yarn cubby.

Garter Scarf Mom's scarf

And finally I recently sent my best friend Nicole a hat that I knit using some yarn I got from Purl Soho, another one I wanted to keep, but of course I have yet to own one of my own hats. This particular hat I cast on 68 stitches and k2 p2 the entire way to the decrease at the top. I used size 10.5 circular needles. Another snug delicious head warmer.

Knit Decrease

Nicola

There is that pretty face I miss so much.

Happy Fall Knitting!

Plane Knitting

Hat Brim

Gone are the days of me apologizing for how long it has been since my last blog post. I just decided I don’t need to start each post off by apologizing. And, I’m not going to apologize for making hat after hat after hat after hat, because I like making hats. I definitely am going to dabble in some other projects this fall/winter, but hats are the “gift” of the year (or possibly several years). If you are special to me, and you haven’t gotten a knitted hat yet, you can probably expect one at some point in your life. Don’t hold your breath, and you can pretend to be surprised when you get it, and maybe you honestly will be, since the majority of you aren’t reading “Mama Loves Knitting” in your spare time, someday you will (might) be gifted a hat.

Knitting Bud Lollipop

So, we traveled a LOT this summer. I know the last post was a knitting sesh on my lap and I was torn between knitting and reading the novel that everyone and their grandmother read over the course of the past year. The novel won, but I finally finished the hat (photos coming soonish hopefully modeled on the head of the recipient), so the next trip we took was to my little brother’s wedding in Indianapolis. The knitting was the easier option since we had our kids along for the ride(s), no reading could be accomplished, well with the exception of My Father’s Dragon which might be the best book ever (to read to your 6 year old).

Knitting Needles Knitting Nun Chucks

My family and I made my brother and his wife a pretty amazing quilt for their wedding gift, so…

Mitch's Quilt

I wasn’t sure I needed to get another gift, so I decided I’d KNIT SOME HATS for them. Mitchell told me he didn’t have a favorite color, which works out swimmingly for the above pictured quilt that he was the recipient of, but didn’t work out so well when I was attempting to choose a couple of Shepherd’s Wool colors at Joseph’s Coat the day before we flew away from Missoula. He did tell me that Megan (his bride) likes greens and blues so I chose two colors that I thought looked fun together and I’ve been wanting to keep that ribbed hat for myself ever since I started it.

I plugged away on the plane after starting at least 3 times from the beginning because I cannot count when I sit next to my three year old. I plugged away while we sat in our big house surrounded by my family and all kinds of cozy. I didn’t knit as much as I thought I might, as euchre was much more important, but I got a good start on Megan’s hat.

Simon Spelling Spelling/Knitting

I plugged away on the way home whilst Simon spelled. This Mama Knitted! And since I got home from our trip, I’ve finished that hat and started Mitchell’s that will be Ivory and Christmas Red Shepard’s Wool, I guess you get the colors of your Alma Mater if you don’t specify a fave. I am using size 8 circular needles, 16″. For Megan’s hat I cast on more stitches than I did for the boys’ ribbed hats, even though now that I think about it, her head is probably not any bigger than Simon‘s melon. I cast on 80 stitches for Simon and Gus and for Megan I did 96, I think? And, I did a horrible job of decreasing up top, I’m a little bit out of practice. Don’t worry though I’ll be back in the swing soon.

I’ve also been plugging away on that sweater. I re-fell in love with that project last night while watching a movie. I also discovered while knitting Megan’s hat that I can knit and watch a sub-titled movie, yep, pretty bad-ass, for a rookie. It is true that knitting is much more desirable when the weather gets colder. I have a lot of projects up my sleeve now I just need some cold weather and movies, with or without subtitles.

Swift and Ball Winder

New Swift

I decided to take the plunge. I don’t mind visiting my favorite local knitting shops to convert my hanks to something more easy to work with. But, since I order yarn online quite frequently I decided I wanted to have the means to make my very own yarn cakes whenever I darn well please! Don’t get me wrong I adore the winder that I used to take complete advantage of, but this made a lot more sense to me. So I got myself a pretty pine swift and got myself a ball winder to go along with it. My kids are having more fun with it than me. The swift attached nicely to my yarn cubby and we just put the ball winder on the little table from our store.

Watch Out Yarn Making Cake Action Winder

It is very easy to move around so it doesn’t get in the way, it is easy to store the swift and winder away whenever we want to, but oh so nice to be able to take them out whenever the need arises. This little guy takes his yarn cakes very seriously!

Spinning Swift with Yarn Speedy Swift

In case some of you might not know what the heck this all means you untie a hank of yarn and open it up around a swift (they come in an array of different sizes and styles). You find the ends and pull one of them over to a ball winder (or just use your fingers).

Ball Winder

You just turn the crank on the ball winder and the swift spins about while the yarn winds up really nicely. I like to make pretty little cakes and that is precisely what this ball winder will make for you.

Yarn Cake

Mmm that is a delicious looking cake! I’m going to use this cake to start my sweater! It is in the very very beginning stages…pretty exciting! Wish me luck.

Happy Knitting!