You know how you sometimes buy yarn planning to make a certain project for a gift, and then life changes happen and you don’t end up making it and you have the yarn sitting around in your stash for years before you find another project for which to use it? That’s what happened here.
I had noticed on Facebook that some friends were expecting a baby boy, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally use this Lion Brand Baby’s First yarn.
It’s a really nice yarn for baby blankets: it’s an acrylic/cotton mix that feels very much like cotton and not at all like acrylic, it’s washable, and it’s easy to knit with. I had also seen this Pinwheel Baby Blanket pattern a number of times and thought it was about time I tried it.
Blocking this blanket was an interesting challenge – I probably need to get another set of blocking panels if I’m going to do many more large projects like this.
But I made it work!
(Pardon the lighting and color balance on these photos – I was using my phone.)
I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. This yarn is fairly chunky and it shows off the pinwheel pattern really nicely. The baby’s mom assures me that it will be perfect for tummy time, too, which is awesome since tummy time is super important for wee ones.
This is, of course, another HPKCHC/destashing project: the Wolfsbane Cowl, made for the Apothecary assignment.
It’s another one for Susan, since the colorway reminded me of her winter wardrobe palette and I thought the blue and white tones would really suit her.
Wolfsbane, also known as Monkshood or Aconite, is a potion ingredient with extremely toxic leaves. Therefore, despite its lovely blue blossoms, it must be stored in a clear glass apothecary jar so that the contents are quite visible and not mistaken for anything less poisonous. This cowl is inspired by the look of Wolfsbane resting inside the glass: the blue color is visible and enticing, and as light shines through the jar, parts of the plant take on a glowing, almost white appearance. It is a rich color that calls out to you, even though you know that it’s inside the glass for good reason. As the color fades from rich blue to white and back again, the intermediate shades are a faint bluish grey in places, which is also reminiscent of the smoke that issues from a well-brewed Wolfsbane Potion.
I have been making all the hats as I continue to use up bits of leftover yarn in my stash and knit assignments for the Harry Potter Knit Crochet House Cup. I think I may also be trying to give cooler weather a little nudge.
First off, I made a Pewter Cauldron Hat for Potage’s Cauldron Shop.
This hat is the color of a pewter cauldron, perhaps one that has been somewhat neglected and lacks the shine of a new potion-brewing vessel. On the side of the hat are two cable twists, inspired by the precise stirring motions necessary for brewing spot-on potions. In this case, the brewer (knitter) used a synthetic fiber and smaller needles than she should have, making the weave a bit tighter than desirable and leaving the hat with less drape than it should have for this style. She did, however, learn a new technique (Tubular Cast-On), so certainly the endeavor was not for naught. Like potion-making, knitting can be a trial and error venture, and, in the eyes of this brewer (more generous than Professor Snape might be), as long as you learned something, it’s not a failure.
That one was theoretically going to be for K, but it may end up a donation.
Next up was the Wand Hat for Ollivanders.
My wand is Ash with a Phoenix Feather core. It is 12 1/2 inches long and has a pliant flexibility. Like my wand chose me in Ollivanders Wand Shop, this hat project chose me on a recent morning when the temperature started to cool off and show that fall is really on the way (never mind that it since changed its tune and is back in the 90sF). This yarn was waiting for me to choose it, as well, as part of my current destashing project. The brown yarn is the color of Ash wood, and the knitting sections contrasting with purl rows is reminiscent of the distinctive bark of a mature Ash tree. The grey yarn brings to mind the just-hatched Phoenix chick, covered in ashes and soot following its rebirth by fire. This hat will be sure to keep its owner warm and protected from the elements and prepared for winter weather just as a wizard or witch feels protected and prepared carrying the wand that has chosen him or her.
This one I think I’ll keep for myself, though I don’t often wear earth tones. I think the grey brings it close enough to my comfort zone.
Finally, the In the Red of the Night Hat for Knockturn Alley.
This hat is designed to allow the wearer to blend into the sometimes dodgy crowd who frequent Knockturn Alley. The repeated cables give the wearer the ability to twist and turn through the narrow streets and alleys, escaping notice through fluid movement. The deep red color is reminiscent of the blood-stained pack of cards Harry glimpsed in the glass case at Borgin and Burkes during his first visit there, and is a dark color likely to blend in with the wardrobes of those lurking in Knockturn Alley. The ball on top is similar to a clabbert pustule, a potion ingredient that can be found at the Knockturn Alley branch of Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary, though this hat’s orb maintains its red hue, unlike the pustule which would flash red in the presence of danger (not a wise thing to visually alert in Knockturn Alley).
This one is for Susan, to celebrate her being back in a climate where big fluffy hats are necessary. Hopefully she doesn’t run into any shady characters while wearing it.
This scarf is part of my continuing effort to destash and is also due to my renewed enthusiasm for building up my work-appropriate scarf collection. My building is usually kept at a pretty brisk temperature and since I sit still in my office most of the day, I definitely need an assortment of scarves to keep me comfortable.
You can see in the photo above that this yarn knits up really nicely in an open stitch pattern. Even before blocking (as above), it has a nice drape and the pattern starts to come out.
In the shot above, it is on the blocking boards and the pattern really opens up.
Finding a good spot to block long scarves is always a challenge, but luckily the guest room was unoccupied.
Here it is after blocking. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! My blocking wires are still packed away somewhere (I cannot for the life of me remember which box they’re in – not any of the boxes I’ve looked in so far!) but I was able to make do without them with only a few pin points around the edges.
This yarn is very light and has a terrific drape, thanks to it being made of a rayon fiber. I think an airy open stitch pattern works really well with this type of yarn.
These camera phone pics don’t really do it justice, but this yarn has a variety of shades of pink ranging from very light, soft pink to an intense magenta.
This project also counts as part of my ongoing effort to bring some bright colors into my wardrobe while still remaining close enough to my comfort zone that I don’t feel awkward. Since I started it in August but finished in September, I was also able to count it as a detention project for the Harry Potter Knit Crochet House Cup. This month the classes are all part of a field trip to Diagon Alley, so this is my Leaky Cauldron project. (Go Hufflepuff!)
I’m quite pleased with this project and I’ll definitely be wearing this scarf to work soon.
Despite a lack of posts to show it, I’ve been working on using up more stash yarn this summer. This is a continuation of the effort I started last year, but is also even more beneficial since we’re in between permanent living situations so the less yarn I have to move next time, the better. While my knitting hasn’t been as much of a focus as learning my new job, packing, moving, storing our stuff, and preparing to sell our Canton house (we closed on the sale Friday! Huzzah for milestones!), I’ve still been trying to make time for knitting in the evenings as much as I can. Most recently I used a skein of yarn that was part of a swap some time back on Ravelry.
The colorway is really light and airy, and I thought it would make a nice light shawl/scarf.
It’s also mostly cotton, so it hardly took any time to block.
This pattern is really easy to knit and went very quickly. It took almost one skein of this yarn, with just around 25 yards left over (enough to make something for Blythe, most likely).
I often wear a scarf to work, since the air conditioning is virtually always cranked and I get too cold otherwise.
I love the way this colorway worked with this pattern. The stripes worked out very neatly, but still organically, and the overall effect is, to my eye, quite perfect for the shape of scarf and feel of the fiber.
I can definitely see myself wearing this on a very regular basis. And while I’d love to imagine an idyllic scene involving a barefoot walk down the beach, me sitting in my office analyzing some spreadsheets is more likely. (I’ll take it.)
This one has been waiting for awhile! I made it several months ago but knew I was going to give it to Susan for her birthday, so I wanted to wait until I had actually presented it to her before posting the pics. So, presenting, the Little Leaves Lace Wrap!
This is another one of those knitting projects that uses a fairly simple, easy-to-memorize lace pattern that ends up looking really elegant and more complicated than it really is.
I had actually purchased this yarn with Susan in mind, back when she still lived in Florida. It’s very lightweight yarn that could be worn in warmer temps. Which means that she can use it anytime now that she’s in a more temperate climate.
Though these colors feel somewhat beachy, I think that they suit Susan really well regardless.
I hope she enjoys wearing it!
Today brings yet another stash-busting HPKCHC project: the Wolfsbane Neck Warmer, made for Potions, naturally.
This yarn is really soft and will be very comfortable to wear.
I also finally used the remote we bought months ago for the DSLR. I’d been doing a bunch of DIY around the house all day, so please ignore any bits of paint you may notice in my hair. I’m happy to report that the remote is super easy to use! I didn’t figure out all of its functions yet, but I was able to hook it up, throw the camera on a tripod, and take some pics without any hassle. It would be handy to have a mirror so I could see how the knitted object is sitting. There is probably some kind of gadget that will show you what’s in frame, right?
This month’s HPKCHC Muggle Studies prompt was to make a protective cover for a device. I chose to make a cozy for Susan (or her husband, depending on what they decide)’s Kindle Fire.
Because knitting stretches sideways, it looks rather skinny here, since I don’t have the Kindle on hand at the moment.
More stash-busting, this time in the form of a striped hat.
I only had a really small amount of this yarn left, and I wasn’t sure how far it might stretch. I started off thinking this would be an adult hat, but about half way through I realized that there wasn’t going to be enough yarn. So I adjusted the pattern as I went and made it into a hat for a bigger baby/smaller child. The ribbed edge is very stretchy, so it can probably fit a variety of sizes. It’s shown here on the model I use for newborn hats but would definitely stretch to fit a larger head if desired.
I was able to retain some of the slouchiness of the original pattern and used up almost the entire skein – I only have a couple yards left, which is really cutting it close. The brief for this HPKCHC challenge (Herbology) was to make something that will help you overcome your shyness or timidity. I thought that this self-striping yarn fit since it is a pretty bold pattern.
As this hat is for a baby or child, I’m looking for a home for it! If you know a kid you think might like it, let me know and I’ll send it your way.
This project is one of those that ends up being so right in every way: it knits up quickly and easily, it used up some yarn in my stash, and the finished product is lovely and something I think I will wear.
I made this for HPKCHC Charms, hence its namesake, Alohamora. This is some leftover yarn that has been sitting around for years waiting for me to find a use for it. Elizabeth Benson’s Intriguingly Posh Neckwarmer pattern to the rescue! The yarn is 100% merino and is super-duper soft. I also love the variegation in this colorway – you wouldn’t necessarily think, “this purple yarn needs some maroon in it,” but it works perfectly. I chose to highlight that little bit of color with the buttons (which were a splurge at Joann for $.47 total – thank you, Coupon Commotion!). Best of all, this is just garter stitch with a couple of button holes at the start and took just a tiny amount of time to complete. This one’s a winner!