Category Archives: knitting

Every boy in Minnesota…

…needs one of these:
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It’s a balaclava, officially the Gusseted Helmet Pattern by Ellen M. Silva. The only mod I made was to knit the head one inch shorter before the decreases. If knitting it again I’d make the neck an inch or so shorter; you can see it’s curling up on him.

I finished this in early October when we were having a bit of  a fall heat wave. He loved so much he wore it to school, even though it was 75F by the afternoon. It’s in his favorite colors, John Deere colors of course. Not only is it very practical for these harsh winters, but it doubles as spy gear, which is extremely important when you are seven. He would not let me get a full on view on the whole project (“I am a spy, mom”) but he did want to show off his second favorite thing, which is the fact that he’s flying through these Harry Potter novels faster than I devoured Little House when I was the same age.  He’s actually on book seven now, and I’m trying to catch up to him with book six (my plans after this post). All I know, is I’m just dying about those brown eyes looking out at me…..

Now if only it would snow. We’re so ready.

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Filed under finished objects, hats, kids, knitting

Because this is still a knitting blog….

My knitting ennui seems to finally have come to a screeching halt. I feel as if I have projects coming out my ears, which is not good considering the large amounts of sewing I need to do. But cooler weather has the tendency to make a Minnesotan begin to knit frantically. Just in time for the cooler weather, I have two new cowl patterns to share with you, one for today and one coming up soon.

The first is the simple one to write up, my Ribbed Ridges Cowl:
Garter Rib Cowl

I came up with a simple pattern designed to show off this beautiful handspun I picked up from Aisha Celia a few years ago. This style of cowl I call an “indoor” cowl as I wear it all day long. Perfect for these days when the house is cool but it’s too soon to turn on the furnace.

Yarn: bulky, about 100 yards

Needle size: 10.5, 16 inch circular

Gauge: 7 stitches to 2 inches

CO 56 stitches and join into the round.

Round 1: Purl entire round.

Rounds 2 and 3: (K2, p2)  entire round.

Round 4 and 5: Knit entire round.

Repeat rounds 2 through five until your cowl is about seven inches in length.

BO: K2tog, slip stitch back to left hand needle, K2tog, repeat. Do so loosely for a nice stretchy bind off.

Sew in ends and block. Be pleased you used up a lovely skein in such a quick and useful manner, and stay warm!

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Filed under knitting, pattern, tutorial

About Hats, Part Two

Yes, I was still without a hat. And suddenly it hit me. After all that searching I had a pattern, and yarn, in the right color just waiting for me in my closet. A week of knitting and I had this:

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Here you see the Argyle Lace Hat from Boutique Knits.  An easy knit, enough stockinette to be mostly mindless with just enough of a lace pattern to keep it interesting. So easy, that I forgot to decrease on time and started the decreases too late. So the shaping on top is a little different but I still like it.

This hat reminded me of how nice it is sometimes to just use the yarn called for in the pattern. No gauge issues, no running out of yarn, no endless swatching. Which makes me wonder, how many of you typically use the yarn called for in a pattern (or something generally similar?) With my first hat, if I had just used the suggested yarn I would have been done in two days, not two weeks. But would I have learned as much? I think there are benefits to both.

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Filed under hats, knitting

All bets are on….

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I suffered interference of the worst kind this weekend. If I had a referee present Spinner would have spent the time in the penalty box.

Despite being one sleeve behind schedule all is not lost! You see before you one back, a left and a right front and the first 3 inches of a nine inch sleeve. If  people around here would go to sleep at a decent time I might just make it. The giant size hood and the seaming might be my only downfall!

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Filed under knitting, sweaters

Boys

People often ask me, “So are you guys going to try for a fourth? You know, maybe you’ll have a girl!” My first reply is usually that a fourth child just might put me hiding under the dining room table with a bottle of something-or-other. But my real reply is that I’ve got nothing against girls (since I am one and all) but I really, really like having a house full of boys.

I like brotherly ice cream thievery.
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I love boyish forts, including imaginary bear hunting and some sort of “lost kids living in the woods in the Civil War” game they had going on.
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I love grubby little faces full of milk and cereal.

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And I love making things for my boys. Enter my second Pebble Vest:
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This vest was knit on size 10.5 needles using a handspun yarn I finished a couple of year ago. I was a wee bit short and used some leftover Lamb’s Pride in gray to finish it up. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this pattern.

I did have a realization this weekend about my knitting. Everything I knit these days is for Spinner, who rapidly grows out of it. Time to knit for the big boys so I can get more wear out of them. Enter the Robin Hood Jacket, which will be my Knitting Olympics project. I’m casting on Friday night during the opening ceremonies. Yes, I’m going to try to do this while all three boys are awake and jostling me on the couch for space. Anyone want to place bets on whether or not I even manage to cast on all the stitches? Maybe if Spinner falls asleep early….

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Filed under family, finished objects, handspun, kids, knitting

All Matchy-Matchy

Well, I didn’t mean to just fall of the planet there, but I guess I did. I’ve just been too sleepy lately at night to do any computer stuff, or should I say computer stuff that  I need to think about. Random clicking, sure. A thoughtful sentence? Not as long at Spinner keeps up this incredibly slow process of getting his molars and waking up at 4:30 in the morning.

But I DO have some FO’s to report that I’m incredibly happy with. And the best part, I actually planned it all out ahead and I now have winter gear that actually matches. Because if you are like me, you just go ahead and knit a sweet pair of mitts and then realize it clashes with your scarf, your hat, or whatever else you’ve got to wear. Not this time. My new green coat was screaming for purple accessories.

First up, Damson by Ysolda Teague. I want to knit every pattern she has written, I love her stuff that much. This was an easy knit, except for the one inch I didn’t notice my YO’s were on the wrong side of the stitch marker. I noticed two inches past and decided it wasn’t noticeable enough to frog, so I went with it.

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Next, my Head Hugger from Stitch and Bitch Nation. This has been waiting in my stash for four years to be completed. Guess I needed the green coat to get it OTN.

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Lastly, my garter stitch mitts from Weekend Knitting. There aren’t a lot of patterns I knit over and over again but this is one of them.

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I knit with my own handspun from Loop in Earth Goddesss (she’s doing a shop update today and had some of this last night as well, you might be able to snag a batt.)
Knitting these was an education in how to spin for a project:
1. I might want to be more aware of what I might be spinning. The color differences would have been fine with a hat but with mitts they look a bit too different.
2. Same with plying and size. Notice how one mitt is bigger than the other?
3. Density matters. My earlier spinning (this is at least a year or more old) was pretty dense. I really like a lighter yarn, but I think recently I’ve solved that problem.

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So there you have it, one very matchy-matchy ensemble. And I’m sad to see I have only close ups, nothing of the whole thing!! But trust me, it’s very cute.

Quick question before I wish you all a happy weekend. Is it okay to just do Ravelry links these days? Do I have any regular readers who aren’t on Ravely who would like regular links? Please let me know and I’ll be sure to post them, otherwise I’m just posting Ravelry links from now on.

Now I can say, have a great weekend! I for one will be playing with my new serger. And working on the start of some new reviews on Monday. If you’ve been wondering which sock books to buy, I think I can help you out!

 

P.S If you are a local sewer, be sure to stop by and visit Sewtropolis, a sweet little sewing studio in South Minneapolis. She’s got a great line up of classes scheduled!!

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Filed under finished objects, handspun, hats, knitting, mittens/gloves, scarf, shawls

Socktoberfest

I’m always so revved up about Socktoberfest, but then I seem to lose my gusto and sort of forget about it after awhile. Not this year; I am determined!!

Despite the fact that I need to finish up Diminishing Ribs and Damson, and the fact that I really want to knit some mittens and a new hats for the family, oh, and finish up that sweater for Spinner, I am determined to get some sock knitting done this month. (Am I crazy? Just look at that list!)

For such a long time it seemed that all I knit were socks. And not even exciting socks at that, just plain old stockinette in the round sort of stuff. But then I made a resolution to branch out and I did, which is a good thing but then something happened last Spring, something very bad.

They started getting holes. Lots of holes. Bad enough that I’ve been walking around all day with my big toe sticking out of a lovely but very well work sock. And it’s supposed to snow this weekend. And we all know that I can’t just run out to Target, no, that’s not good enough anymore. Even the Smartwools from REI aren’t good enough for these tootsies. I need more socks.

So I’m going to try it Yarn Harlot style, and see if I sneak in a row here and two rows there if maybe I can get two pairs finished up this month.

Anyone care to guess how much I’ll actually get done?

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Filed under knitting, socks