Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Polos Headband and Cabling without a cable needle

How many of you out there have successfully transitioned to cabling without a cable needle? This skill has been on my must-acquire list for years, but I am just now giving it a try.

Oh, and I'm pretty terrible at it. So terrible, in fact, that I got mad at my lack of skills and banished my Polos headband to a few months of dust gathering. And, Knitscene had provided such beautifully written and illustrated instructions for how to cable without a needle that I was also mad at myself for my inability to follow them.

I avoided all projects with cables for a few months.

But, here's the kicker - I love cables. I love the way they look and how they seem to magically shape into beautiful designs while you're knitting them. So, I started the Axial cardigan. And I'm dyeing up some yarn to make the Movie Night Blanket for the Holla Knits 2015 KAL. I decided cabling with a cable needle wasn't so bad after all. Now it's time to finish up that Polos.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Making repairs

Bad, bad dog.



That is (was) the collar of my Sybil sweater. The one I worked for ages on. The one that I love for its warm coziness on cool mornings. The one that my dog decided was oh-so-delicious.


Believe it or not, I do feel sorry for my little Lucy. She really only chews when she's stressed, and I'm not completely sure what's bothering her. (Fortunately, the yarn came back up, so she doesn't have a blockage. Unfortunately, I had to clean that up.)

Looking at this in a glass-half-full kind of way, it is lucky that Lucy only chewed one side of a sewn-on collar. She very kindly did not eat the center back of the sweater. So, Sybil goes to the mending basket, where I will detach the collar, and pull it back to the first un-chewed row, re-knit and re-attach the collar. After a good wash, it should be good as new.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

FO: Nessie

December just about did me in. Between weeks of colds and a killer sinus infection, holiday activities, and kids' hockey, it's a miracle there were any handmade gifts this year. But, I did manage to finish - on time - a special handmade gift for each of my children. The Loch Ness monster has been a long-time interest of Finn's, so it was a natural choice for his gift this year.

 However, much like this post spent ages in my drafts before I published it, Loch Ness has been in my pattern queue for ages, purchased and downloaded months before I actually started knitting it. I blame it on the short rows. Short rows are my knitting nemesis, and once I discover a pattern features this technique, said pattern tends to give shoved to the back of the queue until I decide I can face it. (This pattern took almost 5 years to resurface.)

I'm clearly still not awesome at the short row thing - Nessie's neck is a little funky. Poor thing has a permanent crick in her long, lovely neck.

She's still a cute little thing, though, and is well-loved by Finn - rather than patrolling the depths of Loch Ness, Nessie is surfing through blankets in a cozy bed. 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas blankie for Addy

Addy is a blankie girl. She's not committed to any one blankie in particular, but likes to have an assortment of them available. Different types have different uses - the light bamboo blankets we swaddled her in as an infant are now perfect for making fancy capes (for dinosaurs or people). Thicker quilts are good for snuggling, picnic blankets, or tucking in her loveys.



When one of my LYS's closed when the owner retired last year, they had a good amount of Spud & Chloe Outer on clearance - and a huge percentage of that was pink. I snapped up about 12 skeins, and 8 of those were Sunkissed Pink. The skeins were all purchased with the intention of making a blanket for little miss, but they still languished in the stash for a while before I actually started anything. Mostly because knitting a blanket (even a toddler-sized one) is a big undertaking. Finally, I settled on the Purl Bee's Giant Granny Square, which I knew would be quick, especially using such chunky yarn.
And quick it was - total of about two weeks (with multiple other projects going at the same time, so I definitely wasn't working on this for hours a day). Highly recommended for the quick Christmas gift - and it's super easy to customize. So long as you're using the right size hook for your yarn, this blanket can be made with an infinite number of possible yarn/color combinations. If you're feeling really ambitious, you could go for the Giant, Giant Granny Square.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happiness is...

...a warm balaclava on a cold, cold morning.

Knit in the lovely Alisha Goes Around in her Bevy of Swans base in the Winter Silver color, and the pattern is Christine Grant's Balaclava and Beanie


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Woolly Mammoth winner!

Congratulations to Eerika!
I liked the woolly mammoth hat since the moment I saw it! It looks really cozy and I love the limitless possibilities of colour combinations you can do. I really like the original Otter/Surf combo and the Finn/Stormy Gray one. One that could also look cool is a silvery gray exterior and a variegated warm yellow inside. Thanks for the chance of winning the pattern!
You won a copy of the Woolly Mammoth pattern from the Holla Knits Accessories issue! I love your color suggestion of the gray exterior and yellow lining, too - I might just be copying your idea. I've sent you a message on Ravelry, and I'll get the pattern right out to you as soon as I get your contact info.


Thanks to everyone for playing along - and, the tour isn't over yet, so there's lots more chances to win other Holla Knits patterns and other goodies.

Nov 6: Knits in Class - Pattern giveaway
Nov 7: Karen Whooley

Nov 10: WeaverKnits - Interview with Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Company
Nov 11: Under the Red Umbrella - Cedar Glen Mitts kit giveaway
Nov 12: Patty Nance at the HK Blog - SEG: 2 Foliage Cowl WofA Bulky Blackberry Kits
Nov 13: Manos del Uruguay - Giveaway: Embrace Your Inner Pixie Kit
Nov 14: Neighborhood Fiber Company - Interview with Ann Weaver

Nov 17: KnittingKirigami - SEG: Embrace Your Inner Pixie KP Stroll Fingering Kit
Nov 18: Angry Knits - SEG: Wooly Mammoth Knit Picks Kit
Nov 19: Baah Yarn
Nov 20: Willow Yarns at the HK Blog - SEG: 2 Cedar Glen Mitts Daily kits
Nov 21: Lion Brand at the HK Blog - SEG: Foliage Cowl LB Kit

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Embroidery Interlude

Ever since I finished my Sybil sweater (which is getting a lot of wear on these chilly days), I've got a sort of knitting block. Nothing is really catching my eye - of course, I've got a few small projects I've been working on here and there, but nothing big that I'm really keen to start.

When I hit these blocks, I find it useful to switch gears for a little bit. Since I like to have busy hands, and enjoy creating, I don't like to take a total break from crafting. Embroidery is often my go-to knitting alternative.

I've had a subscription to Red Letter Day Stitches for the past year, and they have some really fun holiday patterns. As soon as I finished stitching this year's Halloween pattern, I moved right on to Pie Time

My embroidered lettering is looking a little "rustic," but I'm going with it.

What do you do when you hit a knitting block? Switch projects? Power through?

Don't forget to enter the Woolly Mammoth pattern giveaway! I'm drawing a winner tomorrow!