Knit: June 2017

FOs (Finished Objects)


Pattern: Oklahoma Cloth
Cost: Free! (but no longer accessible)
Needles: US 7, 16″ circular Knit Picks Carbonz fixed circular needles
Yarn: Hobby Lobby, I Love This Cotton! – Dove
Recipients: Wedding gift for church friends

This and The Dish (my free, easy pattern) were two hand-knit gifts we gave to our friends who married in their 60’s (and now share an anniversary with us)! We’re so excited for them!

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Pattern: Dinosaur, Jr.
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 6, 5″ Brittany birch DPNs
Yarn: Hobby Lobby, I Love This Yarn! Stonewash – Dark Grey, Cascade 220 Superwash – Turtle
Recipient: Sibu

This is the second time I’ve knit one of these cute stuffed animals as a gift for friends’ children. The first time I had trouble with stitch counts on some of the beginning rows, but didn’t have nearly as much trouble this time, thankfully! Unlike a lot of “stuffies” I’ve knit, this one isn’t as fiddly as some can be, and while the finishing touches do take a little bit of time, the end result is worth it.

This has already been sent to friends out of state for their little guy’s 4th birthday!

Added note: When knitting the dinosaur scales, for the firs time I realized that while k2tog (knit 2 together) and an SSK (slip slip knit) both achieve a decreased stitch, they have different functions. A k2tog creates a right slanting decrease, while an SSK creates a left slanting decrease. This website describes these differences in helpful detail.

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Pattern: Dish Cloth (Knit) from Lion Brand
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 6, 16″ circular Knit Picks Rainbow fixed circular needles
Yarn: Hobby Lobby, I Love This Cotton! – Dove & Ivory
Recipient: Neighbors who cat sit

I knew I didn’t have enough grey yarn left over from the Oklahoma dishcloth to knit another full one, so I chose another simple pattern I love and combined the rest of the grey with a bit of ivory. The “rule of thirds” using two colors is visually clean and pretty – I think I’ll try this technique again…intentionally next time!

WIP (Work in Progress)

StripedSocks

Pattern: Striped Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Cost: Pay for pattern by: Sox Therapist
Needles: US 1, 40″ Signature Needle Arts fixed circular needles
Yarn: Patons Kroy – Blue Striped Ragg
Recipient: The Optometrist

Using the Turkish cast on method, CO 10 sts and increased to 64 sts. Knitting these two-at-a-time, toe up, using Magic Loop on my beautiful, personalized Signature Needles (a birthday gift from The Optometrist). I adjusted the two balls of yarn to have matching stripes which is visually pleasing!

The feet are knit plain/vanilla, then I’ve knit a 3×1 ribbing (knit 3, purl 1) around the leg of the sock for it to fit snugly.  These will easily be finished in the next week!


July means I’m just a few weeks away from attending my first knitting/fiber retreat, Super Summer Knitogether (SSK) in Nashville! I’ve signed up to take two classes: Cutting and Finishing Steeks with Ann Budd and Two-handed Two-color Knitting with Margaret Radcliffe. In preparation for these classes I have a bit of knitting to complete between now and then. Knitting homework – yay! Look for a detailed recap SSK post later in July!

Knit: (Me Made) May 2017

Did you notice there wasn’t an April knitting post? That’s because I didn’t complete any knitting projects in April! But boy, oh boy, look what I’ve made in May!

FOs (Finished Objects)

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Pattern: Find Your Fade
Pay for pattern by: Andrea Mowry
Needles: US 4, 60″ circular ChaioGoo Lace fixed circular needles
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock – Pollen, Fools Gold, Bramble, Salty Tales, Pheasant, Dragonfly, Bali
Recipient: I’m keeping this one!

There for a while I was a little concerned about the abrupt segue between Bramble (white speckles), Salty Tales (definitely gray), and Pheasant (maroon) since these colors didn’t exactly fade gently between one another. However, I stuck to this original vision of how aspects of each color section would complement the other, and am so pleased with the end result!

Yes, it’s huge on my petite frame (massive, really), but it includes so many colors I wear and love, and I’ve already given it a spin in public during a blissfully cool evening!

I wouldn’t rule out knitting this again in the future, but would intentionally plan a more traditional faded color spectrum the next time.

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Pattern: The Dish (my own creation!)
Needles: US 7, 16″ circular Knit Picks Carbonz fixed circular needles
Yarn: Sugar & Cream – Potpourri Ombre
Recipients: Church friends getting married this weekend!

Here’s how I made this one:
CO 46 sts; K6 rows for border; *(RS) knit across; (WS) K6, purl across to last 6 sts, K6*; repeat * for desired height, K6 rows for border, BO.

Nothing too original about this, thus feel free to use, if you’d like!

Added note: CO during one of our University commencement exercises and later knitted during our visit to the local cinema to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Pattern: Easy Baby Booties
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 7 & US 9 DPNs
Yarns: Patons North America Jacquard – Fern Rose Jacquard, Cascade Heritage – Marine
Recipient: The Optometrist’s colleague’s baby

Baby #3 for our friends has resulted in a big boy, with big feet! Thus, I went up a needle size using my favorite, go-to baby booty pattern to accommodate his chubby little tootsies! (I forgot to take a picture before giving these away, but featured are the two skeins I used.)

Pattern: Basic Baby Hat
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 7, 16″ circular Knit Picks Carbonz fixed circular needles & US 7 DPNs
Yarns: Hedgehog Fibres Sock – Dragon Fly, Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk – Marine blue
Size: newborn
Recipient: TBD

Using small bits of sock yarn (there’s lots left over from the Fade) and creating new color combinations has brought endless creative joy and pleasure to make one-of-a-kind booties and hats. Since my US 6, 16″ circular needles were in use, I jumped up a needle size to make this a roomy, soft, and squishy fit for a newborn baby boy.

Pattern: Easy Baby Booties
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 6 & US 8 DPNs
Yarns: Hedgehog Fibres Sock – Salty Tales; Koigu KPM Black
Recipient: TBD

Again, using extra sock yarn, look – I created Zebra booties!

Pattern: Basic Norwegian Star Hat
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 6, 16″ circular Knit Picks Rainbow fixed circular needles & US 6 DPNs
Yarns: Cascade 220 – Doeskin Heather, Space Needle, & White
Recipient: TBD

Color work always looks impressive but isn’t terribly difficult – it just requires some concentration. If you’re new to fair aisle/color work, this is a great pattern that can easily be adjusted to accommodate different head sizes (I CO 80 sts). Pick your favorite sports team colors, or a soothing blend of neutrals, like I did.

I was inspired by Episode 5 of the Yarn Hoarder Podcast when Amber showed this pattern in Chicago Bears colors of navy, orange, and white.

See What I’ve Sewn

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I’ve already written a full blog post about the drawstring activity bags I sewed for our nephew and niece in May, but wanted to include these in my “me made May” report, too!

WIPs (Works in Progress)

Pattern: Oklahoma Cloth
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 7, 16″ circular Knit Picks Carbonz fixed circular needles
Yarn: Hobby Lobby, I Love This Cotton! – Dove
Recipients: Church friends getting married this weekend!

This will accompany my other washcloth, The Dish, in a small bundle of wedding gifts.

StripedSocks

Pattern: Striped Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Cost: Pay for pattern by: Sox Therapist
Needles: US 1, 40″ Signature Needle Arts fixed circular needles
Yarn: Patons Kroy – Blue Striped Ragg
Recipient: The Optometrist

Using the Turkish cast on method, CO 10 sts and increased to 64 sts. Knitting these two-at-a-time, toe up, using Magic Loop on my beautiful, personalized Signature Needles (a birthday gift from The Optometrist).

I adjusted the two balls of yarn to have matching stripes which is visually pleasing! The feet will be knit plain/vanilla, then I’ll incorporate some kind of ribbing for the leg and cuff to add a little bit of ease and stretch.

 

As for future WIPs, I’m still wanting to knit my first sweater/cardigan and am narrowing down my pattern and yarn choices.  For all you crafters out there, what’s on your needles right now or what projects are inspiring you this summer?

Knit: March 2017

It was a lighter knitting month (heavier reading month – 7 books read!), but I’ve immensely enjoyed what has been on my needles throughout March.

FO (Finished Object)


Pattern: Easy Baby Booties
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 6 & US 8 DPNs
Yarns: Ella Rae Lace Merino Yellow-green, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light – The Radness, Koigu KPM White
Recipient: Sunday School friend’s baby

I’ve knit so many pairs of these baby booties, but I never get tired of them! I was going to try a (free) baby sandals pattern on Ravelry, but after almost completing the first one, I didn’t like the look and how it might fit. Instead I picked out three squishy, merino sock yarn leftovers for a May baby, and whipped up another pair for my go-to, standard baby gift!

WIP (Work in Progress)


Pattern: Find Your Fade
Pay for pattern by: Andrea Mowry
Needles: US 4
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock (Pollen, Fools Gold, Bramble, Salty Tales, Pheasant, Dragonfly, Bali)
Recipient: I’m keeping this one!

This was also a February WIP, but as March ended, I’m now in Section 9 working with color E (Pheasant). The beginning colors were my favorites to see fade, but even though I’m now working with some drastically contrasting colors, they do all compliment one another and I’m committed to using the yarn I bought specifically for this project to achieve my original color vision.

It did accompany me to Branson on Spring Break (after ripping back a significant chunk because I thought I had too many stitches on my needles…when I probably just counted a YO row, which was a silly mistake), remains a very easy pattern to follow, I love the simple garter sections, and really hope to be finished by the end of April so I can wear it during some remaining cooler spring days!

Knit: February 2017

FO (Finished Object)

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Pattern: Void shawl
Pay for pattern by: Melanie Berg
Needles: US 7 and US 8
Yarn: Quince & Co. Lark, Chantrelle (6 skeins)
Weight: 29 g.
Recipient: I’m keeping this one!

February was a fairly monogamous knitting month for me, and while I only succeeded in finishing one project this month, it’s a big one and I’m proud!

Even though I’ve been knitting over 10 years now, projects like this one remind me of the life-lessons knitting teaches me: patience, perseverance, knowing when to exert a little more effort, and when to take a break and come back later with a refreshed perspective.

There were at least two starts/stops/rip-outs/start overs, but eventually my brain connected with the pattern and am glad I saw this shawl through to completion. While it’s been unseasonably warm at the end of February, we still have had a few colder days, so I’ve already gotten some wear out of it!

And as I shared last month, my inspiration and motivation was one knitted with the same colorway of Quince & Co. by the beautiful Katie of the Inside Number 23 podcast.

The project bag is the toffee colored Field Bag by Fringe Supply Co.

WIPs (Works in Progress)

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Pattern: Find Your Fade
Pay for pattern by: Andrea Mowry
Needles: US 4
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock (Pollen, Fools Gold, Bramble, Salty Tales, Pheasant, Dragonfly, Bali)
Recipient: I’m keeping this one, too!

I’ve seen so many knitters “find their fade” throughout January and February via YouTube channels, Ravelry, and Instagram. They have all been so colorful and creative, and when I heard garter stitch (knit) was used to comprise much of this shawl, it tipped the scales for me to buy the pattern and buy the yarn. I loved brainstorming what colors would fade well together, based upon colors in my wardrobe and I’m thrilled with my selection! As the month ends, I’m in Section 4 working with color B (Fools Gold). This will be the perfect accompaniment during our Spring Break road trip!


Pattern: Granny Stripes
Cost: Free!
Hook: Size E
Yarn: various sock/sport weight bits & pieces
Recipient: I’m keeping this one, too!

Between finishing the Void and beginning to find my fade, the granny stripe afghan hasn’t received much attention, but it’s still beautiful to behold!

As shared in January, after seeing granny stripe crochet blankets being made on YouTube channels like YarnGasm, the Yarn Hoarder, and LegacyKnitz, I was inspired to pick up a crochet hook after a long time and have been completely fine in “designing” my one-of-a-kind blanket without a firm plan about yarn colors or amounts. This will probably be a WIP for the indefinite future, which is fine, and now that I am finding my fade, I’ll have seven more colors of sock yarn left over to add!

For all you knitters, crocheters, and crafters out there, I hope your creative endeavors  have been filled with learning and joy throughout February!

Knit: January 2017

This first month of the new year has already proven to be filled with FOs (finished objects), opportunities to learn new knitting skills, and WIPs (works in progress)!

FOs


Pattern: Easy Baby Booties
Cost: Free!
Needles: US 6 & US 8 DPNs
Yarn: Premier Wool-Free Sock yarn, Berry Bush & a lavender acrylic
Recipient: friend’s baby

The mother-to-be works at our local Braum’s store (if you don’t have a Braum’s in your town, you don’t know what you’re missing!), whom I’ve gotten to know over the past few years when I stop in to buy milk or eggs on my way home. We’ve chatted about her college course load, work schedule, etc., but after she told me she was expecting a baby I immediately wanted to knit her a pair of baby booties, having the inkling that she may not have any people in her life to give her child a homemade gift. After dropping off the booties at the store on a night she wasn’t working, she took the time to come by my library office to personally thank me the following week. I can’t say I know this young lady very well at all, I don’t even know her last name, but I just felt the Lord impressing on me this was the right thing to do. This was a reminder that being faithful and generous as I exhibit Christ’s love to those in need never gets old.


Pattern: Copy.Cat C.C beanie
Cost: Free!
Needle: US 7, 16″ circular Knit Picks Karbonz
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, Doeskin Heather
Recipient: TBD

I’ve recently seen the store-bought version of these hats all over the place! Friends, students, and various young ladies in Branson at Christmas wearing these slouchy knit hats caught my eye. After seeing a close friend wearing one, I asked if I could take a look at it because I thought, “I could totally make that!” Even though they aren’t very expensive, the finishing was atrocious (looked like it was machine knit flat and then sewed up,evidenced by the poorly matching seams), so make one, I did! It fits a bit smaller than my friend’s store-bought CC hat, but the end result looks much more polished (in my opinion).

(Also wearing Hitchiker by Martina Behm with Lost City Knits yarn.)

New skill learned: Twisted Rib Stitch for the 1×1 ribbing made for a more open and loose brim.


Pattern: Basic Baby Hat
Cost: Free!
Needle: US 6, 16″ circular Knit Picks Rainbow fixed circular needles & US 6 DPNs
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore DK, Light Brown
Size: Newborn (although it turned out bigger…)
Recipient: TBD

The library remained open on the MLK holiday even though our students were out of class for a volunteer day of service. Since I had to work, I wanted my contribution and act of service to be knitting a hat to donate to the nursery of a local hospital. Using left-over yarn from the wedding afghan I knit for friends, I cast on this hat at the local Monday morning knitting group and finished it a few days later. Now to pass along this and a few other hats to fresh and new little babies!

Pattern: Basic Baby Hat
Cost: Free!
Needle: US 6, 16″ circular Knit Picks Rainbow fixed circular needles & US 6 DPNs
Yarn: Gale’s Art Valentine’s Day double sock blank (2016) & Lion Brand BabySoft Solid – Baby white pompadour
Size: Preemie (although it turned out bigger…)
Recipient: TBD (maybe SSK 2017 KAL donation?)

I made socks for myself from this double sock blank last year and kept wondering what I would do with the rest. After knitting the brown hat, and with Valentine’s Day coming up soon…voila!

Added note: I spent time knitting both of these in a weekly university-wide meeting where, once more, I received comments about my ability to communicate and knit simultaneously. Score one for continental knitting!


Pattern: Big Red Dog
Pay-for pattern from: Knit Simple, Winter 2008/09
Needle: US 7 DPNs
Yarn: Crafter’s Secret, Red
Recipient: Hannah

There were many errors I found when first knitting this pattern a few years ago, which I then re-wrote based on my corrections made along the way. Since then I consult my notes and love making these puppets and giving them as a gift along with a Clifford the Big Red Dog book.

After hearing from the recipient’s Daddy that she was hugging the puppet after her Mommy read her the story during bedtime of the night of her party, this is a good indication our dear friends’ little girl will enjoy this throughout her 3rd year of life as she plays, imagines, learns, and grows!

Another added note: since the body of the puppet is knit in the round on DPNs, I took this with us to the movies when we saw Hidden Figures (so good – HIGHLY recommend!). It was my first time knitting completely in the dark! Score two for continental knitting!

WIPs


Pattern: Granny Stripes
Cost: Free!
Hook: Size E
Yarn: various sock/sport weight bits & pieces
Recipient: I’m keeping this one!

After seeing granny stripe crochet blankets being made on YouTube channels like YarnGasm, the Yarn Hoarder, and LegacyKnitz, I was inspired to pick up a crochet hook after a long time and have been completely fine in “designing” my one-of-a-kind blanket without a firm plan about yarn colors or amounts. This will probably be a WIP for the indefinite future, which is fine, and gives me the bug to start buying mini skeins to add after I’ve exhausted all the color combinations of yarn I’ve previously used (some of which I’ve used every single bit)!


Pattern: Void shawl
Pay for pattern by: Melanie Berg
Needles: US 7 and US 8
Yarn: Quince & Co. Lark, Chantrelle
Recipient: I’m keeping this one, too!

My inspiration and motivation was the one knitted with the same colorway of Quince & Co. by the beautiful Katie of the Inside Number 23 podcast. While others have raved about this pattern, it has required tremendous amounts of concentration to execute everything perfectly. There have been at least two rip-outs/start over again/set it aside for now and come back to it when I don’t want to throw it out the window moments.

Project bag is the toffee colored Field Bag by Fringe Supply Co.

New skill learned: picking up dropped purl stitches. I already knew how to pick up dropped knit stitches, but parts of this pattern have purled sections and I wanted the rows to be consistent. Therefore, this method worked perfectly!

To view more details and photos of my FOs and WIPs, visit my project page on Ravelry.

2016 Favorites & 2017 Projections

Favorite Reading:

Click on the links below for a more detailed review from when I read these throughout the past year.

DarkMatter
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

capture
How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson

coldtangerines
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist 

ReadyPlayerOne
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Total books read: 56

Favorite Knitting:

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Title & Pattern: French Cancan
Recipient: me!
Yarn: Araucania Huasco DK: Grass
Needles: US 7

Green complements our University’s main color and the cabled border is a show-stopper!

coffeebeans
Title & Pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan
Recipeint: Elias
Size: 6 month
Yarns: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash: White, Malabrigo Yarn Rios: Glitter
Needles: US 7 & US 8

Such a pleasing and quick knit, which was so appreciated by my friend, the mother of the baby!

Total knits: 46 items

Hats: 12     Baby booties: 9 pair     Socks: 4      Dish cloths: 3     Various household items: 3 Adult afghans: 2     Mittens: 2      Fingerless mittens: 2     Coffee Cozies: 2     Cowls: 1         Shawls: 2     Baby sweaters: 1       Baby blankets: 1     Princess Crown: 1     Other toys: 1

2017 Ponderances:

  • When recently reading this Modern Mrs. Darcy blog post, I began pondering what it would look like for me to think on purpose this coming year. Rather than have my mind flit from topic to topic, a more diligent approach to my conscious thoughts will allow me to think more deeply, practice more logical reasoning, and perhaps see different angles to a given situation.
  • Practicing the art of hygge –  a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. From The New Yorker.
  • Finally knit a sweater! If I can knit a baby sweater, I know my skills allow me to be capable of knitting an adult size sweater. I’m pondering several patterns on Ravelry, so the goal is finding the right one and pairing it with the right yarn…
  • All the while remembering less is more. When I was in grad school and made peanuts for a salary, I was completely content to not buy new clothing, books, yarn, or other creature comforts very often at all. Somehow over the past few years this mindset has shifted, especially when I have seen so many beautiful yarns, striking patterns, or engaging descriptions of books, it makes me feel like I need to buy/read/make the same thing. I want to remember I can still buy/read/make these things, but more in moderation (quality vs. quantity) and to think on purpose if I will really enjoy it in the long run, and if not – to vicariously enjoy other people’s photos, descriptions, and creations.
  • Possibly re-read the Bible (If so, this will be my 4th re-read). I found the process of reading through the Bible this year (ESV) was greatly assisted by the narration feature on my Bible app, which would be again be used if I endeavor to make this spiritual journey again.

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:13b-14 (ESV)

 

Christmas Knits 2016

Now that Christmas has come and gone (avoiding posting spoilers beforehand!), I’m happy to share some gifts from the heart I made for loved ones this year.

gardenwaffle

Title: Garden Waffle Socks
Pattern: Blueberry Waffle Socks
Recipient: Momma
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light: Mansfield Garden Party
Needles: US 1, 40” Addi Turbo Sock Rockets
Method:  Two-at-a-time (magic loop), toe up
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Sock Blockers: Squire Country Crafts (Size: women’s small)

hermione

Title: Blue Hermione Socks
Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks
Recipient: Dad
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk: Marine Blue
Needles: US 1, 40” Addi Turbo Sock Rockets
Method:  Two-at-a-time (magic loop), toe up
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss Heel

policebox

Title & Pattern: Police Box Sox
Recipient: The Optometrist
Yarns: Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids: Marine, Koigu Premium Merino: Black & White
Needles: US 1, 40” Addi Turbo Sock Rockets
Method:  Two-at-a-time (magic loop), cuff down
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Toe: Hermione’s Everyday Socks

gingerbread

2016 Christmas Ornaments
Title & Pattern: Felted Gingerbread Ornaments
Recipients: various family & friends – smallest star and smallest heart
Yarns: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted: Roasted Pumpkin & Cascade Yarns Sunseeker: White
Needles: US 13, 24″ Hiya Hiya Bamboo

forall

Title & Pattern: Mittens for All
Recipient: Josiah D.
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn! Tweed: Red Tweed
Needles: US 5 & US 6 DPNs

worldssimplest

Title & Pattern: The World’s Simplest Mittens
Recipient: Gideon
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore DK: Gray
Needles: US 5 & US 7 DPNs
Size: Child
bonbon

Title & Pattern: Bonbon
Recipient: Olivia
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! Carousel Ombre
Needles: US 6 DPNs

purlsoho

Title & Pattern: Super Easy Lap Blanket
Recipients: Lauren & Max (New Year’s Eve wedding afghan!)
Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Worsted: White, Clarity, Dove Heather, Silver, Cobblestone Heather, Asphalt Heather, Black
Needles: US 10, 47″ Addi Turbo