Sayonara Summer

Time to start knitting again. If you have some acrylic yarn that isn’t worthy of much else…here are some ideas.

mailbox art

Yarn and Simon Mama Loves Knitting

We’ve spent the entire summer wrapping yarn around sticks making swords, staffs, decorative pieces, and each color has a “power.” My favorite is pink – that is “sexy power,” according to my 5 year old. Just to clarify “sexy power” gives you a skirt (whether you want one or not). Yellow is blinding, red is fire (of course), green is life, black, I think we all know, is death, and I might have to check in with Gus in the morning to be reminded of the rest of the powers.

Sword


If you tie yarn around your head (or ankles or stomach) – color dependent – you get special powers. Be mindful of your color choices!

I made only one hat this summer…and I’ve started on my second. Time to start hanging out in the basement after dark and knitting my life away. Of course this is just another of my infamous ribbed hats. I cast on 84 stitches and knit 2 purl 2 until the end. It’ll fit forever. This is supposed to be for a baby – and it fits Gus (my sizing model). It will fit the masses.

fall knits mama loves knitting

If you follow peeps on Instagram you can find some occasional knitting pics @evosshickey.

Life is grand – summer was fabulous. I’ll be knitting hats in San Diego – on our vacation in September. I was thinking I would attempt a hat a day on vacation – that is a stretch. I will be on the beach, in the sand, maybe I’ll finish one hat while I’m basking in the California sun and hitting Legoland with my all time favorite boys!

summer time mama loves knitting

Hope your summer was as magical as ours.

Hoodie Pattern

Whit's Hoodie

This isn’t my pattern, but I couldn’t resist this choice for the ‘pattern of the week’ after talking about how much this Mama loves a good hoodie. I love hoodie’s so much I’m knitting one right now…but this would be an awesome simple (shorter) option if you didn’t want to knit the entire sweater to go along with the hood. I love the patterns on Purl’s blog and Whit must be a genius! This Hoodie Pattern is officially on my list. Plus I’m pretty into making pom poms and there is a wicked cute one on this little number.

New Year Knits

Colored Shepard's Wool

Happy morn of 2011 – I’m still working on some of the same projects into our brand spankin’ new year. That baby blanket isn’t quite complete – but that baby isn’t either – still waiting on her arrival. Grandpa Jeff loved his new Packers Christmas hat & from the photos it looks like I could have made it a bit bigger/longer. Looks like you need to plan a trip to Lambeau.

Grandpa's Knit Hat Grandpa's Profile

We had/have a houseful of family and friends and all that love I keep talking about. We had a wonderful Christmas and we’ve had a pretty relaxing week…playing with our new treasures and knitting. My boys scored with Santa – man that guy is gracious, not to mention a whole mess of gifts from other family members and full stockings! Shane got me that amazing game I’d discovered about a month ago and although everyone poo pooed the idea of playing it on Christmas day we had everyone in the vicinity entertained after we powered the Wii up. The whole room full of Aunties, Uncles, Grandpas and Grandmas were passing Wii remotes between one another, sometimes arguing about whose turn it was.

Yarn Kirby

Every character in the game is made from yarn (grossly adorable) and all of the scenery is made from pieces of fabric that you can go behind, between and pull buttons to gather. It is seriously RIGHT up my video game alley!

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Even though you all might be tired of my hats…I’ve got another ribbed hat I’ve been working on…and I think it might be my favorite. I started it only a few nights ago, and have made progress amongst our company. In fact the knitting seems to be contagious around here. Grandma Melinda (my mother in law) has been knitting since Christmas night, my sister in law (waiting for the newest babe) has been crocheting, and on Christmas night I had the privilege to teach my sister in law Sarah how to cast on and do the knit stitch.

Auntie Sarah Christmas Knitting

Back to that hat – I also drew my little sister’s (Melissa’s) name for Christmas and she put in an order for a hat to match these mittens. (That I did not knit – but I wish I could say that I had.)

rainbow mittens

In the past I’ve used size 8 16″ circular needles to knit my famous ribbed hat. With this particular hat I cast on 88 and k2, p2 the entire way around until I reached the decreasing zone.

Cozy Stripes

I decided this time I’d like to switch up the top a bit, and make it a little bit more fun. I’m definitely going to do a pom pom again (because I love rainbows more than most things on earth) and I think a rainbow pom pom will be incredible eye candy. I hope my sister doesn’t think she looks like Rainbow freakin’ Bright when this arrives in her mailbox. As the decrease began I kept my work on my circular needles and k2, p2, k2, p2tog the whole way around.

Double Pointed Needles Place Marker Pretty Colorful

I put a place markers when the first round was complete and then I transitioned to double pointed size 8 needles while I k2tog, p2, k2tog,  p1 (the second time around). The third time around I just knit the knits and purled the purls. The next round I k1, p1, k1, and p2tog (the two purls that weren’t already purled together). The next time around I k2tog, p2tog. Then I knit the knits and purled the purls over and over again until I thought the hat was looking elf-tastic.

Elf Model Elf Gus

I finished it off by just k2tog until I only had a few stitches remaining and then I pulled the remaining yarn through. I hid all of the yarn I’d tied together from changing colors so many times. I always just use a crochet hook to weave it all in. No sign of the transitions and I love the way it turned out.

Mama Elf

I used my favorite yarn since I already had such a selection of colors. I only had to add three more colors to the mix to complete this project and now I want to make 10 more of these. The yarn is from Joseph’s Coat and it is called Shepard’s Wool. It is not superwash wool, but it is so incredibly soft and warm. * Hand wash only Mrs. gift recipient. * Since I ended up adding several inches to the top before closing it off, I got a little bit nervous about the appearance of the top of the hat. Not to be crass but it looked a bit like a striped wool condom attached to a beanie. Nobody wants to walk around with a phallic looking woolen good atop their noggin. Cindy Lou Who might be cool with it I guess, or any of the Whos for that matter. The pom pom addition really sealed the deal for me! I made the pom pom with a houseful of friends last night and a glass of wine nearby.

Elf Simon Simon Elf

So we happily ring in another beautiful year, and I’m grateful for the 2 degree weather today. I can knit all day, play games in our cozy house, and watch Return of the Jedi without an ounce of guilt creeping in. Happy Peaceful New Year to all! Ooh and I can’t wait to show off my next project! I’ll give you a little hint – it has a tail!

Transition

Christmas Knits

We draw names in our family…which is the very best thing ever! Nobody really NEEDS anything, but by drawing names everyone gets a little special something on Christmas morning. Part of our family lives very far from us, so really, the best present, would just be togetherness on Christmas. Since that cannot always happen like we’d wish…we pick names and share gifts. My favorites are handmade.

August Winding Making Yarn Cakes Making Progress

Yellow Hank Yellow Cake

My little August picked his Grandpa’s name for Christmas. Since he is three he painted a beautiful watercolor for him and Mama ‘helped’ him knit a Green Bay Packers hat. He played his role – he made the hanks of yarn into yarn cakes. He loves using that swift and ball winder. Usually, if we avoid a nasty tangle, it is helpful. Grandpa Jeff really loves the Green Bay Packers as a Wisconsin Native I suppose that is more of a responsibility.

Spinning Green Green Duty Green Cake

The yarns were such vibrant colors I wasn’t sure how I would like them together, and I guess when you love the packers – you’ll love a bright green and bright yellow hat.

Under the Tree Sweet Little Gift

I made it the good old fashioned ribbed way – just the way I like hats and I used the same yarn that I love. It is Shepard’s Wool and so soft! I recently heard that it pills up when you wash it, so far I haven’t washed any of it, so I am not speaking from experience, just from the word around the yarn shop. Simon and Gus’s hats are holding up really well and I suppose they are nearly a year old now, still soft as ever and in really great shape.

I cast on 96 stitches for this hat, just to be sure it would be big enough, and it fit on Shane’s head, so it ought to be big enough, no offense love. I just k2, p2 the whole way around until it was big enough. I even used Grandpa Dave aka Santa as a model/tester.

Santa Oh Santa

If it makes Santa happy it ought to make anyone happy. Maybe Grandpa Jeff will send us  a photo of himself in the hat? Merry Christmas Dad!

Cookies

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.

Baby Hats

Baker Yarn

I loved the way this handful of things all matched. Yarn-corn nuts-knitting bag from my sweet friend-cozy couch – ahhh! I’m making yet another hat for a doula client and I’m using some more of the yarn I got from Skyline Yarns . The doula client is less of a “client” and more of a friend so I wanted to make sure to use something special. This is a worsted weight superwash 100% wool yarn. Machine washable wool is the best! It says to knit with size 7-9 needles and I am using size 8 circular needles. I cast on 68 stitches to start this sweet little baby hat. Knit 2 Purl 2 round and round we go! It is still under construction as I type. This yarn makes a pretty amazing pattern, look at that beautiful stripe.

Variegated Yarn

I’m of course doing my favorite pattern – the good old ribbed hat. I love how stretchy they are and it just seems like a little person can get a little bit extra use out of a hat like this – it will fit for longer. I wonder what Karen used to dye this yarn, she dyes her yarns with all natural dyes – maybe carrots? Whatever it was – it looks delicious!

The second hat I wanted to make mention of, I whipped up in a couple of nights. It was for my last doula client and her sweet baby – Claira Rain – she was born a month ago (with the rain on April 30th) and I actually used the same yarn I used for the other Clara’s hat. It is special Skyline Yarn again but a bit lighter weight, sock yarn, fingering yarn.

Skyline Yarn Hat

This yarn called for size 3-5 needles. I used size 6 circular needles to knit this up. Same pattern knit 2, purl 2. I think I got a little bit slack when I decreased and closed up the top, I’ll have to look back at my old patterns when I close the hat I’m currently working on. It still looks pretty sweet on baby Claira’s head.

Claira and Ilsa Baby Claira

Look at that sweet little newbie and her pretty Mama. Knitting hats for new babies is quick and easy and so fun. I remember when my midwife knit a hat for Gussy while I was in labor, and it is one of my most favorite sentimental keepsakes ever. It goes on the top of our Christmas tree every year. Here is a photo of Gus in his baby hat 3 + years ago. Maybe some of the hats I knit will end as tree toppers? Who knows, what I do know is those babies will have warm little heads.

Gus Hat

Happy Knitting!

Yarn Cubby

Yarn Cubby

So I’ve never been the girl with 25 pairs of shoes…but boy did I find a way to fill this puppy up. I’m going to do whatever I possibly can to just keep my yarn in ONE of these and not go and get myself a second one. I best get to knitting! It is a shoe rack I found at Lowe’s in an attempt to find some shelving for my store. I stared at it for a bit and realized it would be the most perfect new home for all of my tasty yarn. I love being able to look at it and not have it buried at the bottom of a basket that I must dig through for inspiration. When I placed each skein/hank in its new home yesterday I was thinking about what I might use each of them for…so I’ve got all kinds of new project ideas up my sleeve. I’m thinking some felting is right around the corner.

Rainbow Blanket

In the meantime however, I’m still plugging away, when I have idle time, on this colorful blanket. I think I’ve finally decided that indeed it will be a blanket and I don’t think it will be much longer before I’ve used up the entire ball of yarn. My pattern (or lack there of) is just to knit, knit, knit creating a simple garter stitch throughout. I like to throw in some flavor every now and then with a few rows of knit two, purl two (k2, p2) making a ribbed pattern. I don’t have much of a rhyme or reason to when I add these “special rows” but I try and fold the blanket over to see if it is time for another row or three of variation.

Hiding

I asked a special someone to cozy up in the blanket this morning for a little photo shoot and this is what I got out of the deal. I was feeling a bit worried that the blanket wasn’t going to be wide enough but it seems to be just right for a 3 year old. Gussy asked me if it was for him on Sunday, “Mama is that for me? It is so cute!”

Peek Closed Eyes

He told me the blanket matched his arm warmers this morning. “How did you do that Mama?”

Well Goo – I did it on size 11 single pointed needles with a giant ball of variegated yarn!

Cozy Sock Yarn

I’ll leave you with a pretty view of some of the skeins of sock yarn that were gifted to me by my parents this past week when they visited. My collection really skyrocketed when they came to see us. Look at how nicely they fit right in their little cubby. Thanks for my bag full of birthday yarn Dad and Jan! I’m still in the same place with my socks that I was a few weeks ago, I’m the kind of girl that likes to keep my options wide open and I like to have at least 3 knitting projects going at once – I also like to be reading a few books at once to appease whatever mood I might be in.

I hope the next time I share something I’ll be done with my blanket and started on a brand new project. I’m close…so I don’t doubt it. Happy Knitting!

Side Project

Yarn Ball

This yarn, from Purl, arrived in hanks – as it usually does – but Mama doesn’t have a ball winder…or does she…My Ball Winder

Hank

I used my husbands arms and my hands to wind my own ball. Problem solved!

So after I had a ball I started knitting a little gifty for my Sister-in-Law for her birthday. Of course I decided I ought to stick to what I’m good at so I knitted another ribbed hat. Since this yarn is pretty chunky I used size 10.5 circular needles made from bamboo. My collection of needles is growing by the project. I knitted two, purled two the whole way around. I started by casting on 68 stitches (I think). I should always write down exactly what I cast on right when I do it because it immediately exits my brain and since I already gifted the hat I can’t count how many I cast on.

lexhat2

Trying it on for size. It isn’t quite done yet but I love the colors of this variegated wool. It is called Sheep Number 2, made in Uruguay. It has to be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. It is 100% pure wool and it comes in 100g hanks. I got it from Purl when they had their moving sale and I’m happy that I got two hanks of it, even though this project didn’t even require one whole ball of yarn. I have a little ball left over and one whole hank for Shane to hold while I wind for another project. I’ve become a yarn hoarder, I need to do some serious knitting to start diminishing my stash.

The Finished Product

Happy Knitting! Happy Birthday Lex!

The Final Ribbed Hat

New Hat

At least for a bit. I will try and ease my desire to make another one. They are pretty darn fun to make, but I need to branch into something new. I’m thinking socks, mittens or toys. Knowing me I’ll probably start with toys. Easter is coming so I’d like to fill baskets with knitted treasures – maybe some knitted sheep, bunnies and chickens. Fun!

Hat In Progress

This variegated yarn I fell in love with in Loopy I got a gift certificate from my good friend and used it promptly…how can a girl deny herself some yarn for free? It is Rowan Colourscape Chunky Yarn by Kaffe Fassett. It is 100% Lambswool, from England. It has to be hand washed and cannot be dried (which might be obvious). The color listed on the label is just Colourscape 0440. It was the yarn pictured in my post beside the bottle of bourbon, so I started working on this hat at Elkhorn Hot Springs. I couldn’t finish until my double pointed needle collection arrived, I was using some size 10 circular needles, on loan from a friend, and didn’t have the double pointed size 10 needles to finish my hat. Well they came in the mail, and upon using them for the very first time I got a sliver, kind of a drag, but I guess you get what you pay for. Luckily they are under warranty for a year so a new set is being shipped on Monday. They are U-nitt needles, just FYI. I was only using them to decrease the top of my hat – so I used them for about 1/2 hour and that was it. So that was a bit disappointing – but I did finish my hat! Oh and the pattern I used was just the same as I’ve been using for all of my ribbed hats, I just knit 2, purl 2 the entire way around. I can’t remember how many I cast on with at the beginning, I want to say like 88? I just checked and it was 88. I might have actually done a little bit less if I had it to do over, but it fits alright. I just like hats to be nice and snug to keep my ears warm.

Top View HatSide HatTop Hat

This yarn had some variation in thickness so you can see it some holes – or what looks like some holes. I mean I’m not saying I’m a perfect little knitter heh…because I’m obviously not…but the yarn was to blame for some of the imperfections, but I think that actually gives the hat some more character, and I still love this yarn so much!

Just a few more photos and I’ll sign off.

Another View HatFront View MamaFinal View

Look at that pretty color variation. Not sure who this hat is for, I thought it would be for me, we’ll see…maybe someone special will get it, for now, I’ll be the model. Something new and exciting to come soon.

We got our chickens a year ago for August’s birthday, but they arrived two days early, so their birthday is really three days before Gus’s…but for Gussy’s birthday we had a coop building party, so in turn our chicken birthday is rapidly approaching. The kids already decided we are making them a special birthday cake, maybe Mama will knit something special to coincide.
Ooh and I have a whole mess of wool sock yarn on the way from Grandma Jan as a really early birthday gift. Yay!

My Boys - Ribbed Hats

Happy Knitting!

Gussy’s Hat Take 2

So I actually started another project before this one, but it isn’t completed yet…since I was waiting for some double pointed needles to arrive in the mail. So you’ll get to see two ribbed hats in the next couple of days.

Since August’s first hat was a bit large, I decided I’d make him a hat just like Simon’s only I let him choose his own colors. So he pretty much chose the same colors – just a darker blue than Simon. We used the same wool – because it is pretty near perfect. And we actually got some for a friend for her birthday because it is just so great to work with and soft and yummy. Gussy's Hat Start

So here we are in the very beginning phase. I used the same size needles – size 8 circular needles. And of course switched to double pointed needles at the end (also size 8). I knitted two colors together (as one) again, just like I did with Simon’s hat. I just love the way Simon’s hat turned out, I know it is warm and cozy and covers his little ears and I wanted the same for Gussy. So – why mess with success right? The wool I used was Shepherd’s Wool Yarn made in Michigan. The colors Mr. August chose were Christmas Red (just like his big brother) and Cobalt Blue. Same pattern – knit 2, purl 2 all the way around. I cast on 80 stitches and the decreasing at the top was done the same way – I think? I knit 2 purled 2 until I had about 7 inches worth of hat then I decided to start decreasing. I decreased by purling my 2 purls together first and from then on just knit 2 together. I may have decreased more rapidly than I did with the first hat but it still turned out nice and tight at the top. I was debating putting a pom pom on top – but then maybe he wouldn’t love his hat until the end of time.

Gussy's 2nd Hat

He told me “Kank you so much for my hat Mama” this morning at the breakfast table. Such a sweet little peach. I could eat him right up. He’s been snuggling with it all day long.

Back View Ribbed Hat

Here is my sweet little peach’s hat from behind. So you can sort of see the decreasing.

And just a couple more shots because I figured you couldn’t get enough of what a cutie cakes he is!

August Ribbed HatAnother August

And finally I wanted to give you a taste of where my stash is at these days. Purl Soho had a sale so I got myself some new yarn, fun!

My Stash

Happy Knitting!