Friday, November 30, 2012

FO Friday - Burberry Cowl

The Burberry Cowl I made for myself is done and I love it!  It's almost too warm to wear it right now - but it will be perfect once it starts snowing (which will be soon).  The yarn is amazing (details in a previous post).

This is the second time I've made this cowl - the first one went to my mother-in-law.  It's a great pattern and it's fast because you use chunky yarn.

I was talking to someone in my LYS the other day who said she's been wanting to make this cowl but was intimidated by the cables.  I can't express how easy cables are - especially these ones!  If you have never knit cables and don't believe me, just find a YouTube video on how to do them.  Super simple and they look great!

I could get used to this knitting for myself stuff :)

Head over to Tami's Amis to see what others have finished recently!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WiP Wednesday - Gramps

I've started my first project of my Christmas knitting (I hope it won't be my only project but progress is slow right now!) - Gramps!  I'm knitting the 3-4 year size for my nephew who is almost 2, but big for his age.  It's looking a little small right now and I'm hoping that it's just an illusion because it's on my needles and I haven't gotten too far yet.  I even did a gauge swatch before knitting this pattern (unheard of for me!) and it was pretty close to what it was supposed to be.

For the main color (brown) I'm using Diamond Yarn Luxury Collection Fine Merino Superwash DK.  For the contrasting color (grey) I'll be using Cascade 220 Superwash in charcoal heather color.

In my efforts to become a faster knitter, I'm attempting to knit this project continental style (not my usual) as I think that, once I get it down, I'll be able to finish projects in a more timely fashion.  This project is good because it's a lot of stockinette stitch.  My main problem with continental is keeping my tension.  I still have to 'rewrap' the yarn around my finger once or twice per row but the tension is looking pretty good, so far.

I've actually gotten a bit further than these pictures show but I'll likely feature this in another WiP post in the near future so I'll take more pictures then (unless by some miracle I find more time to knit and finish this in the next week or two, then it will be in an FO Friday post!).

I hope others over at Tami's Amis are sharing  more exciting WiPs than this!  Lots to do at work and the end of the school semester have been taking up most of my time lately!  I'm counting down the days until I get a break from it all over the holidays.  One of my favorite professors is encouraging me "not to waste December" and work on an article for publication - I'm not sure if I have the heart to tell him that I really want a full break for a couple weeks...on the other hand, I'm not sure I have the energy to write a publication-worthy article!  Would much prefer to be knitting and baking next month :)

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Knitting Prep!

Despite my hectic schedule, I am determined to knit some of my Christmas gifts this year.

So, in preparation, I put in a KnitPicks order :)

I've been wanting to invest in an interchangable circular set for a while and the KnitPicks sets went on sale for 20% off - perfect motivation to finally put in an order!  I also ordered the knitting chart keeper and a couple of fixed circulars for another project I've been wanting to start for a while.

I went to my local yarn store (LYS), Urban Yarns, which is always fun (and dangerous).  I fell in love with a new colorway from Sweet Georgia Yarns called Chai Spice:

I'm debating between a couple of projects for this yarn.

I am itching to make Arbutus from Jane Richmond's new book, Island.  I spotted this gorgeous Indigo Moon skein and, well, I need Christmas presents too so in my basket it went!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm hoping to finish Gramps for my 1.5 year old nephew.  Here are the colors I chose:

The brown will be the main color.

So, my trip to my LYS was successful.  A new yarn store is opening near me on December 1st and, if I've made good progress in knitting this yarn up, I've given myself permission to buy more...and I predict there will be sales :)

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WiP Wednesday - Something for Me!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I made one 'impulse' buy at Knit City.  I could not resist the chunky, pink, amazingly soft, 100% baby alpaca yarn by Jeanette Sloan.

To justify my purchase, I made myself come up with a project on the spot before I handed over my payment.  My project of choice was the Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf.  I rarely knit anything for myself (one of my goals is to do more of this, though!) and the fact that I'd be using the yarn for something I'd keep took away some of the guilt from the impulse buy that I promised myself I would not do.

Here it is in the making...will feature it in an FO Friday post soon!

On another note, I'm hoping to start some Christmas knitting now that my 7000 word paper for school is finished!  I'm hoping to start off with a project for my niece (I'm thinking Thirsty Rose but will ask her as she is quite the independent fashionista even at the age of 3) and nephew (I'm thinking Gramps for him) because they are the most fun to knit for!  Then I'll see if I have time to work my way through any projects for the rest of my family.  

Click the image below to head over to Tami's Amis to see what everyone else has on their needles!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

FO Friday - Irish Hiking Armwarmers

This FO is not baby knitting - it's something for me!

Part of our vacation this summer included some time in Oregon.  We did part of the Fruit Loop Farm Tour - which included an alpaca farm (Cascade Alpacas).  Not only did it make me dream of owning alpacas one day (even more than before), the owner's story of how they started the business was very inspiring!  They have a wonderful little yarn store on site.  Having passed up the opportunity (maybe better to say resisted the extreme temptation due to the "More yarn?  Really??" look on my husband's face) to buy yarn from an alpaca farm we visited on San Juan Island, I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice.

I ended up buying a few skeins of gorgeous yarn including this skein of gorgeous, super soft 100% baby alpaca, hand dyed in the colorway "The Gorge":

To justify my purchase, I had to come up with a project on the spot that I would use it for.  I had been wanting to make the Irish Hiking Scarf Armwarmers for quite some time and thought this would be great yarn for the project.

It's even more gorgeous once it's knit up.

These were easy to knit and fast.  They would make great gifts...but I'm keeping these ones for myself :)

Thanks again to Tami's Amis for hosting the FO Friday linkups!

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WiP Wednesday - Chunky Trapper Hat

When I applied to graduate school, I needed references.  One of my references had a newborn baby at the time.  I said to him that I'd like to knit his little girl something as a thank you.  That was nearly 2 years ago - but, I haven't forgotten (he, on the other hand, likely has!).  Lately I've been trying to focus on things that are weighing on my shoulders - doing them and lightening the load (in all areas of my life).  This is one of those things that was constantly in the back of my mind.  Now, he was a grad student at one point too.  I'm sure he will understand how busy I have been.  I'm also sure that I care about this 1000 times more than he does.

Last week, I found a project that would be fast, but super cute - the Baby Big Bobble Superfast Cable Trapper Hat by Mad Monkey Knits.  I'm loving chunky knits lately and I'm loving cables, so this hat was a perfect choice; not to mention that I think it will be adorable on a toddler!

I'm using Loops & Threads Charisma.  It's 100% acrylic but its soft (bonus) and it's washable/dryable (double bonus).

I'm loving how it's knitting up so far:

I did run into a bit of trouble understanding the pattern when I had to add in the second ear flap, but I emailed the pattern designer and she emailed back with a clarification within minutes.  I've purchased and knit a couple of her patterns before and the customer service has been great!

Will post the FO on a future Friday post.  Head on over to Tami's Amis to see what everyone else is working on!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cat Hair Knitting!?

While supposed to be writing a paper but procrastinating (what I do best), I was searching through the newly added patterns on Ravelry and came across this:

I had to share.  I can't decide if this is cool or weird!  My cat definitely has enough hair to make plenty of projects from his daily brushings...

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Reunited with My Needles - Some FOs

Since I've started school, I've found it hard to find time to knit.  Actually, I've found it hard to do anything but work- and school-related things.  Right now, I'm taking two courses (one is a 4-month class condensed into 2 months) and work is extremely busy.  I'm finding that I feel that I have less free time than ever, yet somehow I've picked up my needles again and finished some projects.  I really don't know how I've found the time, but I do know that I've felt that it's added more balance into my life which is a good thing.

My husband's cousin just had a baby girl.  Before Baby P was born, I decided to work on a few little things to give as a gift.  Not knowing the gender, I planned to make the Baby Pumpkin Newborn Hat, given it's fall, and the Owl Tuque in a neutral color.  Now that I know it's a girl, I've added the Baby Merry-Jane Booties to my list (a brown bootie with a pink sock).

The pumpkin hat is knit out of Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids (for the main part) and some scrap yarn (for the stem and leaves).  It was a quick and easy knit and is super cute!  It seems so tiny, I hope it  fits.

The Owl Tuque is knit out of Mirasol Miski which is 100% baby llama.  It's amazingly soft and I'm tempted to knit something for myself using this yarn!  I love the owl motif and I've added a couple more projects with the owl design in them to my Ravelry favorites.

It feels great to be knitting again and I love doing little projects like baby hats because you can finish them in one day, working on them here and there (in between reading journal articles, in my case).  The problem is, all I want to do is knit!  

Head on over to Tami's Amis to check out what everyone else has knit up lately!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WiP Wednesday - What's Off My Needles (but should be on)

Do your hibernating WiPs ever feel like a weight on your shoulders?  They do for me.  It seems that every time I start a new project, I feel guilt for not picking up my half-done hibernating projects.  I keep telling myself that I need to finish them before starting anything new...but it never seems to happen.  Funny that for every new project I start I don't have yarn for it either -- even though I have boxes upon boxes of yarn.

Anyways, this week I pulled out some of my unfinished projects that I really need to finish or frog.

I started knitting this basketweave hoodie for my nephew when he was born...1.5 years ago.  I was knitting it in the 6 month size, which would have likely fit this kid at 3 months.  I got busy, figured by the time I finished it, it wouldn't fit him, and tucked it away:

 I have the back, both sleeves, and one front panel done.  I should just finish it already!

This is the "Hat with a Duck Part" - oh dear, in creating that link I realize that I started this 2 years ago!  (Looking back at old posts I apparently have a pair of colorful baby leg warmers on the go too.  I wonder where those could be?) The kid that requested it surely is holding a huge grudge against me by now for never receiving it.  The problem is, the yarn is cotton and there just isn't that much stretch to it.  In addition, the hat was not tall enough and I ran out of yarn.  I ended up buying a skein from someone on Ravelry (which I had forgot until now) and was able to add to the length.  
Not sure what to do with this project now.  Tempted to frog, slightly more tempted to finish it up and just leave it as a hat where you roll the brim up (like in the picture) and find some kid that it will fit.  There is a slight chance that I will still attempt to add a brim, but I doubt it.

Back in 2010 I knit and sewed some gifts for a new little girl in the family.  One of the gifts was a knit elephant.  It was so adorable I thought I'd make my niece a matching one (as the two little girls would be growing up together).  It's the thought that counts, right?

 We'll see if I can find the motivation to pick this one up again.  It's a great little knit, but I still remember how much it hurt my fingers because of how tightly it is knit.

I had the best of intentions when I started this sweet little bolero...BACK IN JULY 2010!  Another project for my niece.  Poor Lulu...ripped off by her aunt again (good thing she has no clue).

 I'm so close to having this done that it's a likely candidate for finishing but it will have to be for some other lucky little toddler.

Last year I started an oversized seed stitch cowl for myself.  I didn't get far.  The good thing is that this is big yarn on big needles, so it wouldn't take long to finish.  It's also the perfect season to pick this up again.

All I can say is thank goodness for my Ravelry project pages or I would not remember what size I was making for many of these patterns.  Unfortunately, those pages cannot tell me at what point in the pattern I stopped knitting.  Hopefully it won't be too hard to figure out.  If I had the foresight to know that I would not be finishing the projects as I had planned, I would have made note of where I stopped.

Writing that reminded me that I actually used to keep track of some of my projects...although I'm not sure my notes will help me in this case.  I found some notes for the bolero above...we'll see if they make any sense when I finally pick up the project again.

Hopefully some of these projects will be featured in future FO Friday posts!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

FO Friday! - Things for Your Legs

I finally have some Finished Objects to share with the FO Fridays group over at Tami's Amis.  Yay!  It's been a while.

It took me a while, but I finally finished the yoga socks I was working on for my mom.  I was able to finish them while we were on vacation in September.  Of course, she loved them.

I also finished a pair of boot cuffs for a friend.  They are knit in Madelinetosh Merino DK and I am having a hard time getting the motivation to pack them up and send them away.  This is my first project I've knit with Madelinetosh...I think I'm a yarn snob in the making now.  Not only is the color absolutely gorgeous, the feel of the yarn is to die for...especially after blocking!

More FOs to come on future Friday posts! 

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WiP - Baby Merry-Jane Booties

Happy to finally be back (again) and sharing a Work in Progress with the group over at Tami's Amis!

I'm working on a pair of Baby Merry-Jane Booties.  They've been in my Ravelry favorites for a while now and I finally have a good reason to knit a pair - my husband's cousin recently had a baby girl!  I started a couple of projects prior to the baby being born (not knowing the gender) and I wanted to knit something really girly once Baby P was born.  

I'm using Jeanette Sloan yarn in baby alpaca/silk 4ply and baby alpaca dk.  The sock part in pink and the bootie in chocolate brown.

I've knit booties similar to this before.  They are not my favorite thing to knit as I feel like I knit for so long and then still only have this teeny tiny piece of work.  But, the final product is so this likely won't be the last time I do a project like this.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Knit City 2012 - Vancouver, BC

I had the opportunity to go to Knit City yesterday and I'm glad that I did.  I'm also glad that I only made one impulse purchase as there were many, many things that I was tempted to buy.

A few highlights...

As one of my newest dreams is to raise alpacas, start spinning, and eventually open my own yarn store, I really enjoyed the opportunity to try my hand at spinning!  Harmonique Spinning Wheels and Looms had some wheels set up and staff there to give you a mini lesson.  I probably could have stayed there all day...but moved onto the needle felting demonstration.

I believe that the needle felting table was sponsored by Baaad Ana's.  At this table, I made a needle felted owl (and some holes in my finger), free of charge.

I was amazed by the felted masks at the Soul Fibre booth.  You must go to her Facebook page and check out her photos.  The masks blew me away.

Tin Can Knits had the Pacific Knits and 9 Months of Knitting books and samples on display.  I have to say that I think owning the Pacific Knits book my be in my future.  I have been admiring the Antler Cardigan as it's been appearing at the top of my Ravelry patterns page for the last couple of weeks.  It's even more wonderful in person...and the wonderfulness was doubled by the fact that the sample was knit in Madelinetosh Vintage.  I also have my eye on the Low Tide Cardigan, Campfire, and Urban Hiker patterns from that book.  The patterns are written in sizes for toddlers to adults, which is an added bonus.

Of course, a booth full of Sweet Georgia Yarns is always a good thing and it took a lot of willpower on my part to not walk out of that booth with a bag full of yarn.

On to what I DID buy.  I went in with three patterns I wanted to buy yarn for.  I was able to find what I needed and only had one impulse buy, as I mentioned before.

I was on the hunt for some neutral-colored yarn to make the Winter Baby Boots in.  I found a colorway that I liked in superwash dk at the Sweet Georgia Yarns booth.  They only had one skein left and it was 50% off because it was a bit loosely spun.  You can see in the picture below how the weight of the yarn changes in a few areas.

The girls working there, as well as one of my expert knitting friends, said that it likely wouldn't show in the project I would be using it for.  I figured for 50% off it was worth the risk!

The next project needing yarn was the Baby Merry-Jane Booties.  I found some gorgeous baby alpaca/silk 4 ply and baby alpaca dk at the Pollika booth.

I am a complete sucker for baby alpaca yarn.  This is what led to my impulse buy...two skeins of chunky 100% baby alpaca in a beautiful pink color.  I knit the Burberry Inspired Cowl for my mother-in-law in similar yarn and decided that it would be a good idea to make one for myself in this new yarn.

Finally, I have been wanting to make Owlet for a while.  It's something I'd like to make in a toddler size and keep for my own 'collection'.  I picked up a skein of undyed Ecological Wool in shade 9004 by Cascade Yarns from the Valley Yarn Ltd. booth.

I also found out that Valley Yarn Ltd. is opening a retail store in December about 10 minutes from my house.  This could be a very good but dangerous thing.

I was very tempted to invest in some handspun yarn as there were quite few booths that had skeins calling my name.  However, I promised myself that I'd stick to getting only what I needed for the three projects I had chosen (considering my stash at home is a little bit out of hand).  I'll be sure to put some handspun on my list of things I'm allowed to buy next year.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012


Once again I have found myself without time to knit.

It's been a crazy semester  and I've been spending most of my time like this:

I have found a bit of time to work on things like this:

And even some of this (because fresh air is good for the mind):

I know, it's crazy to think that I haven't had the time to knit.  Between full-time work and full-time school and the rest of life, some days it's hard to find time for anything!

I'm in the home stretch of the semester and I don't have another class until July so I've been (while procrastinating) thinking of some stash-busting projects as well as finishing up some things that are currently sitting on needles.  That means more blog updates coming soon!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Knitting Blog Week

Knitting and Blog Week is coming up!  Are you participating?  Hmmm...maybe a better question to ask myself is "am I participating?"  I hope to this year!  You can find more information on

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sh*t Knitters Say

I had to share this!  I'm definitely guilty of many of these.  How about you?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WiP Wednesday - Yoga Socks!

I have started a pair of yoga socks to give as a gift.  The feedback on the pattern on Ravelry is that they end up being a bit loose.  

I'm about to start the heel portion so I have two options:  1) To continue as the pattern would like me to or 2) to go down a needle size or two so that the part that needs to be more fitted, is a bit more tight.  I'm tempted to keep going on this one and see if the pattern instructions work out for me.  The risk is that I finish and need to frog; then adjust and knit two more.  Even with sleeves of garments I tend to get bored on the second one...hmmmm.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

FO Friday - Two Things to Share!

I have two FOs this Friday (yay!).  I've previewed them both in previous WiP Wednesday posts.

I'll start off with my "Hat Full of Friends" (the pattern is Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat).  I love how this turned out and I'm contemplating making more with the same yarn.  I gave it to my friend at her baby shower last Saturday and she ended up having her beautiful baby boy on Monday (a little early but everything is good).

The Bandana Cowl is also complete!  I'm going to block it to see what happens and then hopefully snap of couple pictures me wearing this to show how it drapes (very nicely!).

Share your FO with everyone over at Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WiP Wednesday - Bandana Cowl

My WiP this week is a Bandana Cowl.

I'm using the yarn Nashua Ivy - it's a sage green color with little bits of silver in it.  It's really soft and not itchy at all!

I think I'm going to give this to a friend as a birthday gift.  If it turns out well, I'll probably end up making more as gifts -- it's a great pattern, an easy and quick knit, and I think my friends would get a lot of use out of a piece like this!

Because of the yarn and needles I used, it's a bit of a looser knit than the original pattern.

It's almost done in these pictures...I'll post the final result this Friday!  As you can see in the final picture, I made some sort of mistake.  I didn't rip back though because I figure you won't be able to see it when it's being worn.


Now head on over to Tami's Amis and see what everyone else is working on!