Archive for the 'knitting' Category


Free lunch: Revenge of Scarf-o-rama

This double-sided cable scarf has one cable down the middle–a great project for anyone approaching cable knitting for the first time and with trepidation.

If knitting lots and lots (and lots) of I-cord won’t drive you mad, this I-cord scarf may be just the ticket for you.

The Coal Springs scarf is knit in the round (in a tube) and, according to the author, offers a great introduction to two-color knitting. I think it looks pretty spiffy.

This waving chevrons scarf was originally knit in three colors of worsted, but I wonder how it would look in a variegated yarn.

For the little ones, here’s a kid-sized snake-themed keyhole scarf that looks awfully fun.

If you’re more of a cowl person, check out this pattern, which offers basic instructions for knitting a simple cowl in pretty much any weight of yarn.

And if you’re a cowl person who doesn’t want to drop $750 on a Burberry design, check out this DIY version. I’m not the biggest fans of cowls, but this one may make it onto my to-knit list.


Free lunch: Warm hands

I know we’re at the height of summer right now, but winter (and the main gift-giving season of the year) will be upon us before you know it. So if you’re hoping to wear–or give–new handknitted handwear this winter, you may want to get started on it soon!

Looking for a challenge? Look no further: these Sanquhar gloves look mind-bogglingly difficult. But wow, the results sure are stunning.

Did you see the movie Coraline, based on the very excellent book by the same name by Neil Gaiman? Someone’s figured out a pattern for Coraline’s gloves. It’s wonderful when geekery and knitting overlap, isn’t it?

If you like unfettered fingers, try some fingerless mittens. Here’s a pattern for some nice and simple ones.

These rainbow-colored fingerless mitts were designed for homespun, but the author says that Noro would be a good substitute (and I bet they would look great in that yarn!).

I like these XO cable fingerless mitts, too; I’d love to try them as full-on mittens.

And here’s a fingerless mitten pattern sized for a man’s hands.

These daisy-stitch fingerless mitts are awfully cute. That daisy stitch, though–how in the world did someone first figure out to do that?

And if you like unfettered fingers but want to make sure your forearms (and maybe elbows, too!) are nice and toasty, check out these extra-long fingerless gloves.


Free lunch: Covering baby toes

Let’s take as our starting point some classically styled booties.

Then let’s move on to knee-high booties, for those babies who always manage to disengage themselves from their footwear.

These socks help babies express their inner Wicked Witches of the East.

Or maybe their inner monsters?

If you’re a sock knitter, you may especially enjoy these baby booties made with leftover sock yarn. Best of all, there’s no seaming whatsoever!

The person who wrote that pattern then upped the cuteness ante with these munchkin slippers, also made with leftover sock yarn and sized for newborn feet. Again, no seaming!

These are made from worsted-weight yarn,

Prefer your baby booties to come in mindless-knitting versions? Check out these slippers, formed from simple squares.


Knitting updates

It’s funny that I originally started this blog to keep track of my knitting projects yet lately I’ve been lousy about posting knitting-related updates here. I’m still knitting these days–not so much with my knitting group (busy schedules and other interests and obligations have made it difficult for us all to get together as often as we used to), but mostly during times when I’m sitting around waiting somewhere or watching a DVD.Early last month I finished the hem on my Wallaby. I’d originally knit it with a rolled hem, but after test-wearing it for a couple of months I decided I didn’t like how the roll formed a “bump” that poked me in the lower back whenever I leaned back on it. So I picked up stitches all around the cast-on edge, knit a hem, and sewed it down. I’m pleased with the results.


I also finished my squirrel and oak mittens to match the ones I knit for Sylvia a year and a half ago. She really wanted us to have matching mittens, and it took me a while to get the yarn and gauge right.You may recall that I knit Sylvia’s left mitten three times before I got the size right. I did not rip the failures but plan to knit their mates at some point. The small ones can be a baby gift for someone, and the larger ones will probably fit Sylvia this year.


I had similar trials with my mittens. First I knit one in Knitpicks Palette, which turned out to be too small for me. Then I knit one in Knitpicks worsted Wool of the Andes on #4 needles. Too small again. Using #6 needles yielded success. Fortunately, I always start with the squirrel mitten, which has “20” at the top. Since it’s highly unlikely that we’ll start a new century before I finish the oak mitten, I’ll be able to knit the mates for these and give them away. (The Palette ones are likely to fit Sylvia in a couple of years.)

Happily, I had no gauge problems whatsoever with this baby cardigan, sized for 6-12 months. Two years ago I took a class with Margaret Fisher and was so inspired that a couple of months later I got her book, Seven Things that can “Make or Break” a Sweater™: Techniques and Tips for Hand Knitters (even though the capitalization choices and use of quotes in the title annoy me).

This baby cardigan project features all of the elements she discussed in that book: as you read the book, you work through the project, thus getting some hands-on experience with each technique.I knit this in Rowan All-Season Cotton from my stash. What a fun project! I definitely want to knit this pattern again. This particular sweater went to a friend who is expecting her first child at the end of July. I can’t wait to see photos of the baby wearing it this winter!



Baby knits

My oldest friend (that is, the friend I’ve had the longest) just welcomed her second child at the end of March. I started knitting for this baby late last summer.

First I decided to knit a blanket. I made up this log-cabin design as I went along, and managed to knit this entirely from stash. All of the yarn is pima/tencel DK weight; about half of it is left over from Sylvia’s Anouk pinafore (for which I was very cautious and aggressively over-ordered yarn), and the rest is left over from other projects.


I actually finished the blanket over Thanksgiving weekend and thought I was done. But about a month ago I came across some Wool-Ease in my stash, in a nice muted mauve/pink color, and decided the baby (which we now all knew would be a girl) needed a sweater, too. This is the Simple Boatneck by Debbie Bliss, my favorite go-to sweater for babies and toddles. And of course once the sweater was done I needed to make a hat to go with it, right?



Free lunch: Bags

I love the look of this felted bucket bag.

The Kelly bag looks much more like a regular purse than most felted bags do.

The Giles bag is nonfelted and has a huge cable on the front and a cabled strap. One thing I always wonder about nonfelted knit bags is whether they stretch or sag when you put stuff in them. Anyone know? And if you put anything pointy in there (say, a pen), does it poke out?

I really like this market bag (which, unlike most so-called market bags, doesn’t have lots of holes all over it). But six skeins of Euroflax? Holy cow, that’s one expensive piece of knitting. I’d never spend this much on yarn for a bag, but if someone gave me the yarn I’d happily use it to knit up this spiffy project.

Here’s a market bag that looks more like what I’m accustomed to seeing in this category. It has lots of holes. (But they look small enough to constrain more groceries, I think.) It also has a beautiful handle.


The green sweater

So here’s the story.

At a knitting-group get-together last summer, my friend Gina shows up with two bags of yarn and asks, “Does anyone want these?” Some time earlier, she had bought two six-skein sets (one in green tones, one in pink/mauve tones) of a Cherry Tree Hill handpainted yarn called Wool in the Woods, thinking she’d make sweaters with it. It’s a beautiful yarn–the colors are amazing, and there are tiny gold threads running through it that offer some subtle sparkle. But when she got it, she wasn’t sure that she loved it, and after a while decided to clear it from her stash even though she still kind of liked it.

At this moment, I came up with a Brilliant Idea: “Hey, Gina! How about I buy the green yarn from you, you keep the pink yarn, and we have our own little knitalong and knit the same sweaters?” She loved this plan, and we spent the next couple of days e-mailing back and forth about possible patterns.

She found the winner: a bottom-up raglan that was in the Knitting-Pattern-a-Day calendar two or three years ago.


The pattern calls for fairly deep ribbing on all cuffs, and the waist is designed to be high (because, really, you don’t want a lot of snug ribbing around your waist…). The front-left raglan seam is actually a functional button band, but because of the wide neckline I don’t actually need to unbutton the sweater to put it on or take it off–which is good, because the buttons I used aren’t perfectly round and might snag on the yarn

I love this sweater. It was a fairly fast knit, and Gina and I both had ours done before cold weather arrived last fall. I think I’ve worn mine at least twice a week since then.

(Project 365 | 2010: 1 March)


Just finished! Hot off the needles!

Sylvia wanted me to knit something for her that matched my green sweater. (I’ll post more about that sweater soon.) I showed her the pattern for the Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest, and she loved it. So I got to work and two weeks later had this:


I used Lamb’s Pride worsted for the contrast color–partly because it’s what I had on hand, partly because I thought the heathered brown would rein in the wild colors of the green yarn. The green and brown are a nice woodsy-fairy combination, especially with the leaf buttons (which were left over from her Anouk pinafore).

I sewed on the buttons last night, and Sylvia happily wore her new vest to school this morning. She came up with her own name for it, based on her own interests: the Fairy Acrobat Pirate Butterfly Cowgirl Vest.



Close call

Remember that Baktus scarf I made last fall of two not-quite-full skeins of Koigu? Sylvia has taken to wearing it–which is great, because it’s the perfect size for her.

During last month’s heavy snowfalls, she spent a lot of time playing outside in the snow. Her pre-play preparations including putting on four layers of clothes* and finishing up with this scarf. After one outside excursion she came back inside only to discover that the scarf was missing. We looked in the yard and even revisited the small hill on the next street (where we’d tried sledding that day) but didn’t find it. Sylvia was a bit unhappy, but I was fairly certain the scarf was somewhere in the yard and would turn up eventually.

Lo and behold, as Jan and I were building a castle (complete with a snow bench long enough for all three of us!) in the front yard a week later, look what we found!



*I know this may seem like overkill, but she’s not shoveling (and therefore not building up a lot of heat), and she does spend most of her time sitting or lying on the snow (so waterproofness is key).


My Wonderful Wallaby…

…is finished. I cast off a few days ago and have been wearing it pretty much nonstop every since. I love this sweater.

You may recall that I had some issues with the sleeves at first. But I sorted those out and reknit them lickity split.

The body knit up quickly, too (gotta love that round-and-round mindless knitting)–not least because I did much of it while (re)watching one of the greatest television series ever made, Red Dwarf.


The lesson I learned during Round One of the Sleeves was “trust the pattern.” (You’d think I’d have already known this, since I’ve knit three other Wallabies in the past…) For the most part, I followed the pattern exactly. Here are my mods:

    I extended the ribbing on the sleeves from 3″ to 5″. I also made the sleeves a few inches longer than the pattern specified. I did this because my arms are longer than average in relation to the rest of my body, and I really hate having too-short sleeves. The extra ribbing gives me the option of pulling the sleeve down over the palms of my hands or of folding them back over themselves to get them out of the way tidily.

    I wanted something that would contract a bit more than K1P1, so I used K2P2 ribbing around the wrists.

    Because I do not like sweaters than bind at the waist, I did not do the called-for ribbing at the beginning of the body. Instead, I started right in with the stockinette, figuring I could do something else with it later. Although I like the look of the rolled hem at the bottom, I don’t like how it feels–whenever I lean back or lie down, I feel a bump on my lower back. So I’ll be changing this to a tidier hem like the one I knit on Sylvia’s second Wallaby.

    Using a rolled hem instead of ribbing meant I needed to knit the body a bit longer (unless I wanted the bottom of the sweater to end at my belly button!).

    I’m also not a hood-wearer, so I opted to skip the hood and knit the garter collar instead. I very much like how this turned out!

So now my family has matching Wallabies! (Jan has one, and Sylvia has not one but two.) Yes, a family portrait is in order some time soon…

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