Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cardigan Sweater, Boot Slippers, Pinwheel Pouch and an Owl

Christmas is coming FAST and projects are everywhere in my house.

Right now I have a poncho, a sweater, a pair of socks and a shawl all on the needles.

This week I was able to finish up a few, including this great cardigan sweater.  I originally intended this one was for my Mom, but the sizing came out a bit small.  I will need to order yarn and start over 2 sizes bigger, but the pattern is super easy and it is a quick knit. This pattern is available on ravelry here for $5.00 by Megan Goodacre.  The pattern is well written and a very quick knit, well worth $5..
Just make sure you check your gauge and select the right size.
This one will go to my very petite friend!

These house boot slippers were super fun to make and are for daughter Erin.  In lieu of chunky yarn, I used double strands of worsted.  The pattern can be found here and is FREE!
I did some modifications to the pattern itself, but mine came out very similar:

This cute, cute mini pouch is perfect for my neighbor girl.. Plan to put a bit of cash in there for her!
The pattern can be found here and is also FREE

And lastly, another free pattern for this fun fun fun owl.  Knit up with scraps and left over buttons, this is for my son's girlfriend who really likes owls... Total project time for this one was about an hour.  Can't beat that!

Hoping you all have your holiday projects going in full swing and are closer to completion that I am!
Happy Knitting

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting ready for the Holiday Season, Weddings and Babies...

I'm starting to panic about this holiday season.  It seems that my knitting list is getting longer with each completed project rather than shorter.

So many babies are making their debut this year, my niece is getting married in November and of course, I had made a commitment to myself that all the kids would get a sweater this year.

I did manage to get Lisa's wedding shawl completed and sent to her last week for her 11/2/2013 wedding.  And it came out lovely, if I do say so myself.  I used JaggerSpun 50/50 wool/silk in lace weight and used Heirloom Knitting book for a guide.  The center diamond pattern picks up on the design in her dress and the lace edging is an Irish stitch, used to remind her of her high school days when she played Irish jigs on her viola.

My son-in-laws Christmas sweater is completed, which is knit with a washable wool.  I think it will work just fine for him as he works outside in the New England winters...  It is a top down Henley with some great stitch design!

I had a custom request from my daughter's friend for her new baby girl.  A dress, sweater, booties and hat, and what a fun knit these were!  Of course, I only have grandsons, so working on little girl items are always a JOY!

And I was actually able to get a bit of spinning done this month...

However productive this seems to be, I have a LONG list to get done before the holidays.  I know I always seem to put this pressure on my self each year and I need to learn to stop doing that.  I'm off to work on Mom's Christmas sweater now... the knitting must get done!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Couple Hats

I always tend to over buy yarn for projects and usually have quite a bit left over.  So when I purchased yarn for my current project, I did the math and ordered just what they called for. Well, this time I am running SHORT! 

Don't you just want to cry when that happens?  No only will I not get the same dye lot, but now the yarn is no longer on sale and I have to pay full price for 2 balls of yarn.  Woe is me! Well, the order is in and should be shipped soon.

Here are a couple of hats that I made with left overs from previous projects:

This one is my own design, knit for my son who has a huge  head, using left overs from a sweater knit for my daughter:

This one is knit from a pattern I found on Ravelry by Susan Moskwa called Joey.  This one was knit for my son in law with left over yarn from a sweater knit for my grandson.  This was a super fun pattern and it is FREE! 

What do you do with your left over yarn?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Reversible Cables

Using some left over yarn from a sweater, I thought I would try to do a scarf with reversible cables.

After searching Ravelry, I found a nice pattern called Braid Cable Reversible Hiking Scarf  by Jeanna Quinones.  I made it a bit longer than the pattern indicates, which requires more yarn, but I just kept knitting until I ran out.

This is the first time I did  a reversible cable, and it is actually quite easy.  The concept is that the pattern is done in rib (knit one, purl one) and when the cables are made, it is the same on the back as it is on the front.  Incredible... just like magic!

If you are a cable lover, most definitely give this technique a try!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Knit Mouse

Picture a dentist office. 

Ok, now that you have your vision in your head, picture this:

Hardwood floors, nice fireplace, beautiful scenic paintings on the walls and lovely decorative items on the fireplace mantel.  In the center of the room, a dentist chair, complete with a back massaging option.  Along one wall a high tech computer showing larger than life size xrays and along the other a huge bay window with a view of city traffic. 

At closer look at the fireplace there are tiny cast iron black mice peeking around photo frames, popping out of the fire logs and hidden here and there through out the room.

Not your typical dentist office, but then my dentist is not typical.  He is one of the most friendly people I know who is super considerate (LOVE the massage chair!).

Because his nick name is Mickey, people bring him mice that he displays in his office. So of course, I just had to add to his collection.

I found a great knit mouse pattern on ravelry by Dooley and Spud called Jingle Mouse - Cat Toy.  The pattern is actually a cat toy with a bell in the body, but I just stuffed mine as it won't be used for a toy.  And I also used little black buttons for the eyes rather than embroidery.

It knit up in a flash and I think it will fit in nicely with his collection. So, the next time I go to the dentist, I will give him a little thank you for installing the massage chair. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Handknit Hug

While daughter Sara is managing well through the ups and downs of life, recently she had several downs in a row.  It is hopeful that this little trend is just blip and things will start going up soon.  But until that happens, she just needed a hug to get her through. 

I'm in New York and she is in Vermont, so what else could a Mom do, but knit her a hug and send it in the mail?

I had some gorgeous wool, linen, silk blend DK weight yarn that is so very, very soft and smooth. I searched ravelry for a pattern for a short sleeve sweater pattern and fell in love with Tappan Zee the moment I saw it.  The construction is top down and incorporates a fun lace pattern in the yoke that is simple and yet fun to knit.  

It only took a week to knit up and it came out lovely.  I shipped it off to Vermont with a little note to Sara who responded on Facebook: "My mother is an incredible human being!. Thank you so much for the wonderful knit hug!"  

This little sweater brightened both our lives and not only brought smiles and warmth during the giving and receiving process, but will keep Sara snuggled in hugs for a long time to come. 

If you know someone going through some rough times, break out the needles and knit them up a hand knit hug to snuggle in and  you will both feel the love! 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mom's Socks

I just finished a pair of basic socks for Mom's 84th birthday.  The design is just a plain old pair of socks, nothing fancy.  Mom is old school... not old, mind you, just old school. 

Things in her life need to be functional and simple.  So, I knit her some plain crew socks in this gorgeous hand dyed yarn from a shop on etsy.  I think the rich color brings a little class to this old school, plain Jane pair of crews. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Little Man Sweaters

I'm always looking for fun knits for my grandsons and I recently found this really fantastic pattern on Ravelry for wee ones.  Of course it is a unisex design, but boy oh boy, it sure fits the bill for a little man's sweater. 

The pattern is Abate by Alicia Plummer. It is so well written that I didn't ever.. not once.. question what I was doing on each and every step. It is knit top down in the round so there is very little seaming. And it has the best underarm attachment that I have done to date.

I would definitely recommend this pattern if you need to make a sweater for kids. 

I knit up this one for my Grandson Gavin that just turned 3 last June.  I used Vanna's Choice Acrylic and it came out soft and snuggly, just like Gavin.

I liked the pattern so much, I did another for my other Grandson Warren, who just turned 7 this past May.  I did a little modification and added some textured design around the chest. For this one, I used (GASP!!) Red Heart with Love acrylic.  Now, I am a huge yarn snob and usually won't allow Red Heart in my house, much less knit with it.  But, after constant complaining from the mothers about the inability to wash and wear, I caved and bought some.  I am actually quite surprised that it didn't squeak on the needles and it is much softer than the regular Red Heart.

Anyway,  the pattern is FANTASTIC and I will probably make it again with some modifications. Definitely a great skeleton pattern to build your creativity!

Keep your needles clicking ♥

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Perfect Knit Socks

I am pretty much old school when it comes to knitting socks.  I am a die hard DPN girl and no matter how many times I try the magic loop sock method, I always give up mid way through.

Because I work each sock one at a time, I usually end up with one sock slightly different than the other due to missing a row or two. But, when I am diligent in keeping track of the rows, the pair will end up perfect.

The pair below is a basic stockinette sock.  I let the yarn give the pizzaz to keep the knitting simple.

Here are the tools that I use:

Double Pointed Needles
Fingering Weight Sock yarn
Note Pad
Sock Blockers
(not shown: darning needle)

I am totally in love with these DPNs that are named Darrn Pretty Needles, made in Vermont.  They are wooden and have the sharpest points and feel like glass.  These are size 2 and I prefer the 4 inch length for socks. 

I have found that if I diligently mark off each row when working each foot, the socks come out perfectly.  I use a notebook with grid lines, but any paper will do.  I like the note book as I can look back to previous socks and make sure I have the right size and stitch count for all my family members. As you can see, I have two sections for right and left foot:

I don't actually use a pattern, but I adhere to the 50/50 method (using half of the stitches for the heel and gusset).
Once they are done, don't forget to block them for that added look of professional knitting!
I knit this pair for my oldest daughter, Erin, who loves the outdoors. She goes hiking, trekking, snowboarding, skiing... and who needs to keep her feet warm! 


I know that the magic loop is very popular now and to knit both socks at once seems to be very gratifying, but there are still those of us that prefer the DPN method. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nolan's First Birthday Sweater

I absolutely fell in love with a knitting pattern I found on Ravelry for a sweet little sweater for a 1 year old.  And now that we have a wee baby in the family, I just had to knit it up.

Our youngest grandson will be one on Christmas Eve 2013, so how adorable would this cabled hooded sweater be on him! 

I'm one of those people that really has difficulty following directions (my high school teachers will attest to that). So when I sat down to get started, the pattern just didn't make any sense to me. It was to be knit in pieces, sewn together and then pick up stitches for the hood. So, I modified it to knit it in one piece from the bottom up.

I used the recommended yarn and needle size, but the gauge was coming out all wrong. I pulled out my calculator and started modifying the stitch counts and ended up changing the size of the needles as well.

I pretty much just used the photo of the finished sweater as inspiration and just did my own thing. Which, in the end made this a most enjoyable knit. Nothing to keep track of, just good old knitting till it looked right. 
Maybe I have become to rigid in my ways, but all in all, I think I did it justice.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Freestyle Knitting

My most recent shawl project is finished with a bit of a twist with the design.

I normally follow patterns or design elements that require full concentration, calculation and counting. But for this one I decided to try something a bit different.

I had a hank of stunningly gorgeous handdyed yarn with a bit of sparkle that I bought at a fiber festival. This is the WINK line from the Periwinkle Sheep. I am such a huge fan of Karin's handdyed yarns that I use it when ever I can.

My thoughts on this shawl were that I really wanted the yarn to stand out so I didn't want to have a design element that would take away from the beauty of the yarn. As I loving cast on for the shawl I told myself not to rush, listen to the yarn and decide where to go as I knit.

After I completed a few repeats with some texture and lace elements, I felt that some cable work would fit nicely along the bottom. And it did!

I must say, that this was one of my most enjoyable knitting experiences with no counting, charting or hard thinking.  And what beats kntting up a hank of the Periwinkle Sheep's handdyed gorgeous yarn?

What is on your needles?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Knitting with Cashmire

I couldn't resist this super soft cashmire blend yarn and I found the perfect shawl pattern on Ravelry to knit with it.

The pattern is called triplicity and is by Michelle Hunter and can be found on Ravelry.  The pattern is easy to read and is a fun knit.  Three different textured stitches are used, so it feels like a sampler in progress when knitting. I highly recommend this pattern!

Here is my version, soft and scrumptious! 

Don't forget to block it when you get done.  I think that is almost as important as the knitting for a nice finish.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tug Hill Crib Blanket

My newest baby blanket design is now available for knitters.   The pattern can be found in my etsy shop, on ravelry and on craftsy.


Inspired by Hudson Bay bold bright wool blanket, this crib blanket is knit with cream as the main color with thin strips of yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green. I named it Tug Hill Crib Blanket to celebrate my local area. The Tug Hill Plateau is an upland region in upstate New York, USA near the Adirondack Mountains that is known for its excessive snow fall. We average about 200-300 inches of snow per season and what better way to celebrate than with a warm cozy blanket.
The white background represented the six to nine months that we have snow on the ground or in the air. Cables imbedded within the white background show the snow blowing about in the midst of a blizzard. The bits of color celebrate the short time period when our world explodes with color:

·         yellow daffodils and dandelions explode in the spring and poplar trees show their yellows in the fall

·         orange sunflowers and garden pumpkins arrive in midsummer and the maple trees pop in the fall

·         bright red tulips and poppies bloom in spring and summer and trees show their crimson reds in autumn

·         purple lilacs and violets pop in the spring and the cool evening autumn skies are full of purple hues

·         blue bells, corn flowers and blue skies brighten our word occasionally

·         green grass in the summer and so many varieties of pines, spruces and cedar trees
This warm blanket is sure to be a favorite for moms and babes to keep snuggly warm!