Virus Shawl … FO!

This is one of my wonderful Friday knitting students, Annie! Annie’s from East Texas and has the beautiful accent to prove it!  My boss took this photograph of us on Friday after my class. I’m wearing my Virus Shawl for the first time.

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I am really happy with the way the shawl turned out. It’s my first “real” crochet project and I think it’s really pretty. I used two hanks of Malabrigo Sock in the Candombe colorway. I’m not sure why I love it so since green is not really “my color” but I do love it and I was happy to wear it!

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Candombe has greens and purples and a great grellow color all smooshed together to make another great colorway for knitted garments. The way the colors, with very short color changes, move is really quite wonderful and I think I’d even like it as a sweater or other garment.

The pattern for this shawl is a simple chart that you repeat. I memorized it and could just crochet away. It could be made in any weight of yarn. (Since I get hot easily, I most always choose fingering weight yarns for shawls and, increasingly, choose sport or fingering for sweaters, too.) The only stitches are single crochet, double crochet and chain stitches. Simple! Even for me!

Fun! I’m feeling accomplished!

Button, Button. Who’s Got the Button

Basic Baby Raglan Cardigan Sweater

Basic Baby Raglan Cardigan Sweater

The adorable baby sweater is finished except for the buttons.

The pattern used a yarn over (YO) to make a small button hole and it’s a bit odd … thus, it’s going to be a challenge to find an adorable girly-not-too-girly button (times seven). I’ve tried several that I thought would work and they don’t.

Again. The pattern calls for a 3/4 inch button … they seem a little bit to big. And anything other than a smooth circular or near-circular button gets caught in the button hole. Grrrrr!

I am sure that I’ll win at this battle. I can always make my own buttons but I’d like to find something sweet for my niece-to-be.

I chose to use a Knit Picks yarn, Comfy Sport, which was wonderful to work with. I love the way it feels and the colors are great. Price point is very reasonable at and it’s washable. I think that knitted gifts for babies have got to be washable. You can check out the colors that I used on my Ravelry projects page.

This pattern was free on Ravelry and it’s a very simple knit. A beginner could certainly make it … especially if one made it in a single color. Stripes are not difficult but carry the yarn as you go because there would be a ton of ends to weave in if you don’t. With my three colors there were enough ends and I carried the yarn as much as I possibly could. I made the 3 – 6 month size. It required one ball of each color and there isn’t much yarn left. Once it’s blocked and buttons are sewn on, I’ll post another picture. I just need those buttons.

Anybody got any ideas?

Gone knitting.

 

WIP to Finished!

It always feels so good!

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Lesser Evil Socks (Toe Up, Two at a Time!)

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My own design … baby blanket backed with polar fleece & silk border (sewn by me … and, no, I’m not a great seamstress!)

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And finally my Wonderful Wallaby … heading to my niece on the west coast for next year … or maybe the next year. We’ll see when it fits her!

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Gone knitting!

Ta-Da!

My Vintage Velvet scarf is finished! And felted. And blocked (well, dry.)

Vintage Velvet

Vintage Velvet

I first saw this pattern a decade or so ago and I fell in love with it way back then. I loved the way the yarn felt and I loved the way it looked. Truly like vintage velvet. Mine is no exception.

The pattern, from Scarf Style by Pam Allen, is pretty much perfect. The directions are clear and well written. The reversible cable pattern is simple to follow (even I learned it by heart) and the Meunch yarn, “Touch Me” is delightful to knit with. It feels so good in your hands while you’re knitting, it’s hard to believe that yarn could be so soft. I was fortunate to find the yarn, after all these years, on sale at 50% off so the scarf isn’t worth a small fortune. But even at full price, this scarf is so beautiful, it’s totally worth it! You do need 5 skeins (and I think I used six to use up all that I bought – I was shopping without the pattern) and at $16 or more per skein, this is not a “cheap” project. We all know, however, that it’s not about the price. Right?

Cable Close-Up

Cable Close-Up

The scarf has a beautiful reversible cable right down the middle and when it’s felted at the end – Yes! Felted! I washed mine with a load of towels in hot water and then put it into the dryer for about ten minutes as directed – it truly does look like velvet.

I only have one complaint about the yarn and that is that my dye lot seemed to have a lot of  knots and that meant that I had a lot of stops and starts … and a lot of ends to weave in at the end which is not my favorite part of knitting. But I loved watching the scarf unfold and am so pleased by the end result. It was worth waiting for!

Gone Knitting!

I win!

The first attempt was a flop. But the second attempt at the Gaia Shoulder Hug was a success! I did it! It’s finished! Yay, me!

Gaia Shoulder Hug (FREE Ravelry download)

And I like it … more or less. I’m not totally loving the Noro Kureyon Sock (which is now discontinued in the United States) colorway that I chose, but I think it will be a pretty piece to wear in the winter with a shirt.

I’m pleased that it’s finished and pleased with it – that’s what matters most.

Gone knitting!

 

Today’s Completed Projects

I wrapped up a couple of projects today and it feels good to get things finished. No pressure, for sure, but good to finish none the less. Here’s my story about one – or at least it’s a partial story!

I’ve made a twelve inch square for a group gift that my group will be assembling for a special member. I’ll explain more after it’s been presented but here is my square …

"The Candle Tree"

I didn’t want to do just a plain square. Tried a couple of stitches that I was unfamiliar with and then found this one in one of my stitch books – Barbara G. Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (if you want to buy a book of stitches, this is one of the ones to buy. Clear concise directions and a ton of different patterns. The only “problem” is that there are more than one treasury … so start your library!)

The pattern (on p. 290) is called “The Candle Tree” and it’s a panel of 35 stitches. I liked the idea of the candles as a memorial – I’ve explained my love of the Jewish tradition of Yarzeit candles before in my blog and that’s part of why I love the pattern. The tree is a symbol of family (think “family tree”) and strength (think “mighty oak”) and perhaps also a bit of the natural circle of life. and the tree as a symbol of family and strength. When I can tell you more about the gift that we’re giving, you’ll understand why this patch or square is significant!

I didn’t get the tree perfectly centered but it’s now blocked and ready to go to the assembly team (of one?) I am excited to see the end result – and if I do say so myself, it’s a really thoughtful gift – and see how its recipient likes it. I think she’ll be very touched.

I also did some baking today. Needed to attach my feet to the ground. I love this recipe which I found on the Internet … Levain Bakery’s Oatmeal Scones. I have been making this recipe for quite some time and my brother once said they were the best scones he’d ever eaten. I use a gluten-free flour and craisins in lieu of all-purpose flour and raisins. Today I even threw a few currants in because I didn’t have quite enough craisins. They are so delicious. You really should try them! And it’s easy to make scones – I mixed all the ingredients together and then added the diced butter and mix it all together with my hands until crumbly and then add the milk/cream/buttermilk and quickly mix it together with my mixer. Rather than mess up my counter, I use an ice cream scoop and have perfectly shaped, similarly sized scones that freeze really well … and we can warm up one or two each morning! I love Turbinado Sugar as a sweet and crunchy sprinkle on top! You could also make a little “frosting” with confectioners sugar and milk or orange juice and drizzle on top. Try it out!

Gone knitting (well, walking first and then knitting!)

Finished!

I have finished a few projects and wanted to show them to you!

I finished two hats – one for my son, and one for my shop. The son  one is from a pattern that he found and you, too, can find it if you click here. What I like about Staci’s patterns and site is that she includes tutorials that you can click through to and follow. They’re lovely – and my son needed to have just that hat! (And he loves it … and promises a photo when he gets his phone fixed!) For now, however, here’s a photo that I took of the hat. My son picked the colors!

A Hat for my Boy!

I made another hat from the leftover yarn from my boy’s hat. So, the colors are the same (duh!) I switched up the pattern but kept the ear flap style. It’s likely that I’ll send it to one of his roommates because he reported that they all wanted one! If not, it will be in my shop. Click here for complimentary transportation to Esty (dot) com!

I have also finished a “Boyfriend” sweater for my friend Harriet’s 4-legged fur family. My little guy tried it on and it fit him. I have heard that Harriet’s little dogs are a bit pudgy – too many treats? – so, we’ll try it on one of them and we’ll get another one done for the second little darling. I’m making them just like my little dog’s sweaters because I love them! Harriet will, too!

Lovers’ Mitten – Great Valentine’s Day gift!

I’ve finished a “Lovers’ Mitten” to add to my Etsy shop. It’s Valentine’s Day red. Hope it (and it’s pink sister shown here) will sell this month … and I have yarn to make one or two more! They’re a little bit kitchy but they’re fun. And if it’s cold where you are, think about it – you can walk down the street with the person you love and hold hands without them being frozen stiff at the end of your walk!

I’ve also finished a pair of fingerless mittens intended to be a gift but then I realized they were going to be a duplicate gift so they’ll go into my shop. I think. Or I’ll save them for my … well, if I tell you about it, then the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Let’s move on!

On the needles …

One almost finished pair of wool and silk fingerless mittens for my shop – they’ll be done very soon.

One half-finished black sock for my son. He’s the one who said he didn’t want me knitting him sock but this will be the third pair that I’ve knitted for him … the second that he specially requested. Ha! I knew he’d love them … who wouldn’t!?

I have 2 of my swatches from the class that I’m taking from the Knitting Guild Association finished. I’m working my way through their process with the goal of becoming a certified Master Knitter. It’s quite prestigious – but I think I can do it. The only part that makes me squishy is thinking about designing a human garment! Yikes! But I do have an idea – my sister Abbie has this really cool, unstructured sweater that I’d like to use as my inspiration.

I have a pattern for another pair of fingerless mittens sitting on my work table in my Atelier. I bought some really pretty red- and another lovely teal-colored yarn and will be making one pair as a gift for a super special friend and another for me.

I also want to make myself a tea cozy. Have you ever seen the book and patterns by Loani Pryor? She’s the Queen of the Tea Cozies! Visit her website/blog by clicking here. She offers a couple of free patterns on her site. I will likely try one of them but also really covet her book(s)! On my Amazon (dot) come wish list! I’m drinking tea daily and am wrapping my tea pot with a towel to keep it warm in the morning. I’ll also be making a tea cozy as a Christmas gift. Trying to think ahead!

Goodness, I’ve gone on … time to hit the hay so I can photograph the finished objects tomorrow and get some more knitting done!

Gone sleeping!