Monday, October 26, 2015

Best Effort

Dear knitting gods,

I knit multiple swatches, washing and pinning the final one.

I read through the entire pattern, making notes so I wouldn't miss any "at the same time" nonsense.

I've done my part. Please make sure you do yours.


Friday, October 23, 2015

The Gate With Mood Swings

A lovely blessing...

...unless the left side of the gate is open. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mad Dash to Stash

At the end of my post about the Zig Zags, I put a call out to anyone wanting a hat. My sister said her two boys would like one. We discussed, and I started on a blue dinosaur hat for my 4-year-old nephew.

It was way too big, and instead became another hat for my friend with the big head. (The bigger the head, the more room for the brain, right? Right.)

Ravelled here

Then I tried again on the dinosaur hat and got it right:

Ravelled here

My 8-year-old nephew decided that dinosaurs might be a bit too babyish for a world-weary gent like himself, but color was good. Got it:

Ravelled here

When I thought the first hat might be big, but not SO big, I sent an e-mail out to see if anyone wanted it. My other sister thought my 16-year-old nephew would like another hat. Okay:

Ravelled here

At this point, I was fairly sure I was done with hats for awhile. I'd move on to a nice, juicy sweater.


Except we were taking my mom's dog back to her house after dog-sitting for a week. Then we were headed to the airport to pick up Andrew's family from vacation. That was a lot of time in the car. It didn't lend itself to trying to swatch and figure out a sweater.

Do you know what it did lend itself toward?  Yep.

Baa-ble Hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Yarns Pacific (cream), Lang Yarns Silk Dream (blue), 
Ella Rae Classic Superwash (navy--looks black enough for me), 
and Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Full o' Sheep (green)

This one's for me! I wanted to make myself this hat as soon as I saw it.

I feel like this post should go down in infamy. EVERY ONE of these hats was knit with yarn I already had in my stash. That never happens. I have more yarn than any one human being has a reasonable right to own, yet I always end up buying yarn for new projects.* I'm fairly sure I've used up all my stash karma and will find that I am 20 yards short for anything else I try to knit from the stash, but that's to be expected. I'm just going to enjoy the moment.

And maybe cast on a pair of socks.

*Actually, now that I think about it, socks are an exception. I have enough sock yarn in the stash to---let's not think about it. Let's just agree that I have a lot of sock yarn.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sparkles for the Five-Year-Old

I was never a big doll fan as a kid. Stuffed animals? Yes. My Little Ponies? DOUBLE YES. Dumping my giant box of crayons out on the floor simply so I could then put them back in organized by color? A THOUSAND YESES. Dolls? Not really.

But my five-year-old niece is, and therefore:

American Girl Lace Dress (mine ravelled here),
knit in Universal Yarn Star Light, color 101

It's knit from the bottom up in a simple lace pattern. You decrease a bunch of stitches for the bodice and knit that in stockinette.

There are two tiny buttons on the back at the neck. The pattern says to crochet loops and sew them on, but I just did simple yarnover buttonholes in the edging. It works great and you know how my crochet skills are.*

The pattern also calls for poofy sleeves knit in the same lace pattern. I chose to do simple short sleeves, edged in garter stitch to match the bottom of the skirt (and hopefully keep it from curling).

Here's a closeup of the lace:

There are tons of patterns written for this size doll, and something in worsted weight would have gone a lot faster than light fingering weight. However, I decided that all dolls need a sparkly, lacy dress (the white has sparkles in it that you can't see in these photos), and I might as well go big if I was going to do it at all. Well, not big-- go small.

You know what I mean.

One Christmas present down!

*Practically nonexistent

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Boot Cuffs

Knitting is many things. Instantaneous is not one of them.

This is about as close as it gets though,

knit in stashed Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in cream

My niece asked for boot cuffs, and I churned these out in one evening.*

I used scrap yarn, weighing it periodically so I'd get the cuffs to match. These are shorter than the pattern calls for, but they work just fine.

I feel grateful she wants boot cuffs and not kilt hose. I think she's going to want more of these.

*It's hilarious that I think one evening is practically instantaneous. How knitting has altered my perception of normal.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Falling Stars Hat

I've owned the Falling Stars kit from Knitpicks for.... a long time. It sits on the shelf and pleads with me whenever I walk into the yarn guest room.

Recently I knit a laceweight sweater as a test knit. I decided if I could knit a LACEWEIGHT SWEATER and then put it in the mail for someone else to enjoy, I surely could knit myself a fingering weight sweater that I'd get to keep.

I decided not to knit the hat that they suggest you knit as a swatch to get comfortable with the colorwork. Then I decided I was a) too lazy to knit a proper colorwork swatch that would then get frogged, and b) not stupid enough to start a very frightening sweater without doing a little bit of prep.

So I knit the hat.

The colorwork is beautiful.

Despite that, I have been looking at it for a month, and I still don't know how I feel about it. I'm not sure I like the purls. I'm not convinced the result is worth the hassle of four thousand yarn colors tangling around one another. I'm not sure I want to try intarsia bobbins even though I own them. (I know. It makes no sense to me either.) I'm afraid the sweater won't fit. I'm worried the neck is too high, and the wool will be scratchy on my delicate self. I am filled with trepidation and can't seem to move past it.

Plus, there will be a steek. Terrifying.

So, I put the hat where I see it all the time and the rest of the kit back in the yarn guest room. It's only been a few years. Maybe I'm just not ready yet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Zig Zags

I made myself a Zig Zag Chevron Hat. A friend tried it on and then requested one for herself. I borrowed her winter coat, took a trip to Nomad Yarns and bought some Ella Rae superwash.

This is a seriously cute hat and a lot of fun to knit.

Zig Zag Chevon hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in Ella Rae Classic Superwash, colors 11 and 28

Here's a close-up of the hat, because I can:

Can you hear it whispering, "Maaaaaake meeeeee."? I thought so.

I had yarn left, so I looked for some fingerless gloves to go with it and found the perfect pattern.

Do you see how there's one pink stripe that's bigger than all the others? Totally a mistake. But I mirrored it on the other glove, and now I call it a design feature. 

Rachel was happy and looks adorable!

Footnote: Hats are lovely to knit. I knit so many socks and fingerless gloves and mittens, and you'll notice that all of those come in pairs. Hats? Just one. Let me know if you need a hat.