FO Friday: Tilting Blocks Baby Blanket

There’s something about a small blanket that is super satisfying to knit.

Tilting Blocks Baby Blanket

This one uses the Tilting Blocks pattern, which works so well with this all-cotton yarn (Dishie from Knit Picks). I also love all-cotton yarn for a baby blanket, since it can be thrown in the washing machine and dryer with no worries.

Tilting Blocks Baby Blanket

I also love the fun pattern of the knitting. It also seems a good size for a stroller blanket, I think. This one was a gift to our friends M and S and their little one.

Tilting Blocks Baby Blanket

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FO Friday: end-of-year wrap-up

I had a really long break from work over the holidays, which meant that I was able to do a ton of knitting, including designing/publishing a number of new patterns (some of these designs were in the hopper for quite some time and this break gave me the opportunity to get them ready for prime time). I was super lazy about posting, though, so here we are to catch up.

Chroma Scarf

This is the Chroma Fingering Scarf. I designed it to take advantage of this particular yarn‘s neat dye scheme. This pattern is SUPER simple and easy and knits up pretty quickly for fingering weight yarn. It’s also free!

Winter Headband (1)

Here’s another freebie! This is the Winter Headband – of which I made two for xmas gifts. It’s another quick and easy pattern and might be a good opportunity to learn a new technique if you haven’t done a provisional cast-on or Kitchener stitch before. Kitchener stitch is magical and will make you feel like a wizard, no joke.

Sea Monster Hat

Here we have the Sea Monster Hat. I made this one with a very stretchy rib pattern so it would be sure to fit the head of even my biggest-brained friends, but not be so huge as to give them the (totally incorrect, obvs) impression that I think they have a big head. I’ll definitely be making this hat many more times in the future, and probably for myself pretty soon.

Velveteen Hat

Although, I might make myself one of the Velveteen Hat instead. I am SO PLEASED with how this pattern turned out. I also love the yarn I used for this one – it’s a Merino/silk blend that is so soft and supple and really perfect for cold days when you want to feel cozy.

Okay! That’s enough for right now, though admittedly I have a bunch more Blythe-centric things that I will also post about soon. I hope that all of you are starting the new year off with cozy handknits to keep you warm, or at the very least the yarn and needles to make something for yourself!

Shameless self-promotion: With the exception of the freebies (only available on Ravelry), all of these patterns are also available in our Etsy shop!

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FO Friday: Tree Fort Sockhead Hat

After my recent projects of slouchy hats, which I made with X yarn, I wanted to try something with a lighter weight to see how it would drape. I was really pleased with the results!

Sockhead Hat

This pattern is called the Sockhead Hat, and I used Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in a colorway called Tree Fort to make this one. While I was making it, it seemed HUGE. Like, I kept measuring it to make sure that I hadn’t knit too much, and every time I wasn’t even close yet. It just keeps going! But that’s the way you get the nice drapey slouch.

Sockhead Hat

The hat is made with a relatively long brim (ribbed section) so you can easily fold it up if you want a slightly less long slouch in the back. This yarn didn’t pool the same way I’d expected it to based on some of the pictures I found of other people’s projects on Rav, but I am really pleased with the stripey effect it turned out to have. This is another project that may end up going to one of my Craft It Forward recipients, though I haven’t officially decided yet.

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FO Friday: an assortment

I’ve been working on a lot of little knitting projects lately, probably because I’ve been doing larger scale sewing and need a little variety. Dishcloths have been a favorite of mine for awhile – they’re relatively easy, pretty much instant gratification, and almost everyone can use a few more. When I went on a stash-replenishing spree during a Knit Picks sale last year, I bought a bunch of different colorways of their Dishie cotton yarn. It’s beautiful and it is such a higher quality than the cotton yarns I’ve purchased at Joann and similar craft stores. Those other yarns always let of a ton of teensy bits of fiber while you’re working with it and it really irritates my sinuses and throat. When I was using up the last that I had of that stuff, I actually wore a dust mask! The Knit Picks yarn doesn’t do that at all, though, and is way prettier in my eyes.

Grandmother's FavoriteI found a pattern called Grandmother’s Favorite on Ravelry. It’s almost laughably easy to memorize, which makes it great TV knitting. This colorway is called Nettle and is just about perfect for springtime. All those shades of green! I’ve really been missing being out in the garden this year, so perhaps I’m incorporating other ways to bring green things into my hands.

Grandmother's FavoriteThis one is made from the Maps colorway, which is a retro but not overwhelmingly so mix of brown, lime green, and aqua. As you may be able to tell, I accidentally worked a stitch or two too many in the middle, so it’s not quite symmetrical. It’s a dishcloth, though, so NO BIGGIE. I’m not sure yet, but these may become part of a set that I send out to one of the people to whom I promised to Craft It Forward this year.

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a long and winding yarn

I spent most of 2013 using up stashed yarn and almost reached the point where I didn’t have much of anything left. So when Knit Picks had a big fat sale for Thanksgiving, I used some etsy earnings to stock up. Almost everything I bought was at least 40% off, so I felt good about getting a bunch. I put off using it, though, as I knit up a bit more stashed yarn and because my electric yarn ball winder is so obnoxiously loud. It practically screams when you go beyond the very slowest setting. (Note: it also winds quite slowly even on the higher speed settings and the resulting balls are wound quite loosely – the product just isn’t well designed at all.)

Earlier this week I sucked it up, put in my earplugs, and wound a little over 7000 yards of yarn. Yes, that is a lot, and yes, probably this ball winder is not designed to handle winding that quantity all in a row. As you’ll see in the following video, the next day I tried to wind some more and, even at the fastest setting, this was the best it could do:

SIGH. I tried taking this thing apart to see if I could make any adjustments or add WD-40 inside, but it’s so well fastened that it appears I’d have to break it in order to get it open. I have one of the hand-crank ball winders but it is SO rough on the hands and wrists, especially when you’re winding large quantities. And the last thing I want to do is not be able to knit comfortably because I wrecked my hands winding yarn. I’ve done a lot of looking around online but haven’t found any other electric or automatic yarn winders – this sucky Boye model seems to be the only one on the market. Does anyone have any recommendations for alternatives? Perhaps there is a hand crank one that is better designed so it doesn’t take so much wrist action?

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Fruitcake Frenzy

The HPKCHC has, in addition to classes and detention, Quidditch. Of course they do! I didn’t participate in the first challenge for some reason, but I did find something to make for the first game. The theme is Fruitcake Frenzy, and I thought that this yarn was a perfect fruitcake inspiration.

KnitPicks Stroll - Cupcake Multi

I had most of a skein left, having only made a few small (tiny, really) projects from it before. I haven’t eaten much fruitcake myself, but I pictured it as being dark brown with some light-colored fruity bits poking out here and there, so this yarn seemed similar.

I looked for a pattern that only required the amount of yarn I had left (about 40 grams), and came across this one for Guitar Mitts. Well, now they can be Fruitcake Mitts!

Fruitcake Mitts

This is a really nice pattern. It’s easy, quick, and the rib means that they are stretchy so that they fit people like me with super-skinny wrists as well as anyone else.

Fruitcake Mitts

I really love the way the colors pooled in the wrist section. The diagonal sections of pink and light brown look so cool against the dark brown!

Fruitcake Mitts

All in all, I’m quite pleased! And now they are en route to their new home with Susan. I may end up making myself a pair eventually.

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screaming mandrake

One of the options for the HPKCHC Herbology lesson this month was to make something that screams as loudly as a baby mandrake.

Screaming Mandrake Scarf

This chroma yarn from Knit Picks seemed like the perfect thing! It’s mega pink, which screams on its own but is also screamingly outside of my personal color comfort zone. It’s actually a one-off colorway that was left over or something, which means I had gotten it on super-duper clearance sale. I think I must have been subconsciously inspired by Isobel when I bought this color.

Screaming Mandrake Scarf

This project is part of my de-stash project and I am so pleased with how it turned out. It’s soft, lovely, comfortable (I wore it yesterday for the first time), and: two fewer skeins of yarn in my to-be-knit pile!

Screaming Mandrake Scarf

This knitting pattern was easy to use and really works well with this yarn. It’s got enough of a pattern to be interesting and give the scarf a nice drape, but it’s simple enough that the beauty of the color variegation shows really nicely.

Screaming Mandrake Scarf

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Lacy Knits

Lacy Knits I love to knit lace. It’s so satisfying to me to see the pattern emerge and lace knits are the perfect way for me to class things up a bit without leaving my comfort zone. I noticed that Knit Picks recently released a mohair line called Aloft that looks to be a Kidsilk Haze-alike – perfect for trying some of the patterns included here. Check out my post at CPL for more.

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Rejuva Scarf

I haven’t made myself very many projects lately, and I’ve been wearing scarves almost every day this winter, so I decided to use this super-soft, very pretty yarn from my stash to make myself the Rejuva Scarf (free pattern I found on Ravelry, natch.)

Rejuva Scarf

Rejuva Scarf

This yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in Make Believe. It’s a merino/nylon blend and is really soft – also good for people like me who have sensitive skin and are easily irritated by some animal-fiber yarns. The yarn is designed for making socks, but I think it works exceptionally well in this scarf pattern. Extra bonus: it’s superwash merino, so it’s easy to care for. The pattern was really easy, too, and is available in both written instructions and charted.

Rejuva Scarf

I love this colorway!

Rejuva Scarf

I can’t wait to wear it this coming week – I’ll try to remember to take some photos.

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