In December I decided I needed a big, bulky, cream-colored cowl and spent several hours perusing all of the cowls in my queue and favorites on Ravelry. I wanted something simple and preferably knitted in the round. I wound up choosing the Annie Cowl, which is knit flat, but still met all of my other criteria.
I knit it up in some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Bare that’s been in my stash forever.
This VERY simple (maybe a little too simple) cowl knit up very quickly over the holidays, but it took me a few days to get around to blocking and finishing it.
I’m happy with the finished project. In a neutral it goes with just about everything and is very warm, which has been great the past few weeks as we’ve actually gotten some winter weather mixed in with a lovely spring.
When I ordered this Knit Picks Hawthorne during the Big Sale in 2014, I knew that it was destined for Gavin. Seeing this hat, the Blue Star Beanie, in the right weight, for the right variegation of yarn, just sitting in my ravelry library was all I needed to finish my planning.
Knitting it though, was a test of will. I asked Gavin if he would like a longer brim so he could fold it up, and of course he said yes. Plus it’s 3×3 rib, which I meant that it wasn’t as natural to me as 2×2 rib and required more focus during the most boring slog. I didn’t like the increase round to ready for the cable pattern and I missed the (fairly hidden) direction to shift the start of the round by one stitch so I wasn’t happy with the way the stitch pattern was lining up with the ribbing. And I always find knitting cables tedious even though the finished pieces are some of my favorites.
If I were to knit it again, there are a lot of changes I would make. I’d knit the ribbing as the full number of stitches for the hat, but on smaller needles, and keep my modification of knitting a longer brim for folding. Then I’d increase my needle size instead of increasing the number of stitches. And I’d make sure that I lined everything up.
BUT. The hat is nice.
It’s a nice change of pace from grey hats and I think the light weight will be nice for Gavin to wear this spring. When you fold up the brim, you can’t tell that the stitches don’t line up properly. Plus that’s a detail only I (or maybe another knitter) would notice.
So: the hat is nice. Knitting it wasn’t. It’s done, and I’m happy.
After making it a third of the way through the cable chart and realizing I had made a really visible mistake, this hat went into time-out for a little while. Gavin frogged it for me (isn’t he nice?) back to the ribbing and I started again. being more careful about which side of the hat my working yarn was on! The rest of the hat was completed without a hitch.
The decreases look a little funky when the hat is flat, but it looks fine on so all is well.
I have to say that Knitpicks line of Swish yarns is one of my favorites. All of my projects in it (like the mitts for my grandpa, my red and grey Winkel-Winken hat, and more!) seem so delightfully squishy and the fact that it’s machine washable and soft makes it great for gift knitting.
Here’s to many more grey hats in the future!
I can finally share all of my Christmas knitting with you! I had to keep things secret for so long.
First, I knit my granddad two pairs of fingerless mitts. You saw the first pair as a WIP. He was always wearing work gloves in the house, so I thought these might still help him keep warm but have more functionality. I went stash-diving for some neutral colors in a superwash yarn and found Knitpicks Swish DK in Persimmon Heather, Lemongrass Heather, and Grain Heather.
The orange and yellow ones are Paddle from tincanknits. They have a gloriously long cuff, which would make them great for wearing with a coat. No problems with the mitten-coat gap here! I knit these in a size large, but entirely on size 3 DPNs to get a sturdier fabric.
The green and yellow ones are Bird’s Eye Mittens from the book Knitting for Him. I accidentally knit two right mittens, but honestly couldn’t tell a difference so I didn’t frog. I knit them in the round because seaming is the worst.
Next, I knit my aunt (for her December birthday, technically) a hat and fingerless mitts set – the Kilkenny Tam and Kilkenny Mitts. We’re all about being Irish, so anything cabled is a good bet. My mom helped me pick the pattern and advised me to leave the pompom off the top. I used some Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight in Tidepool Heather.
While I am happy with the finished products, I wasn’t in love with the mechanics of either pattern, especially the mitts. I would not recommend that they be your first pair!
Finally, I knit my mom a Selbu Modern. I tricked her into picking the pattern by asking her for advice on what I should knit for my aunt. I’m not sure I actually fooled her (we’re both pretty Sherlock-y) but the finished product is so lovely I don’t think it matters. For this I used Knitpicks Palette in Tidepool Heather and Cream. I logged a lot of time watching Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix while knitting this since the stranded colorwork took a long time to get situated for perfect tension, meaning it wasn’t worth picking up in spare moments, only for marathons.
Happy New Year to you and your family and I hope you’re still enjoying the Christmas season!
I’m so pleased that I finished my Christmas stocking last week and finally got it blocked!
I’ve been working on these for quite some time and even had to knit most of mine twice, so it’s very satisfying to have the pair finally completed.
I made a couple of modifications, namely:
- I didn’t knit the heels with a slip-stitch pattern like you would for a real sock heel.
- I did a normal gusset decrease instead of following their directions.
- On Gavin’s, I knit the toe more like a typical sock toe, where you decrease every other round and then once you reach a certain point, decrease every round. I prefer his to mine and will do that for any others I may knit in the future. (You can see that mine looks much pointier in the photo below.)
I also knit the leg portion on a 16″ circular before switching to DPNs for the heel and remainder of the stocking. I just prefer to work stranded colorwork on a single circular needle to help with the tension on my floats, but otherwise like to use DPNs.
Astute readers will notice that Gavin’s stocking has a hanging loop but mine doesn’t. I’m not thrilled with the crochet hanging loop on Gavin’s stocking because it doesn’t seem particularly sturdy where it attaches. I also am not sure where we’ll actually display the stockings at Christmas time, so they may not even need hanging loops. I’ll decide what to do about the loops closer to Christmas.
I took a picture of their insides, which are pretty crazy! I think if these were for kids, I would seriously consider lining them. As they are now, they should be fine for our use though.
The reverse stockinette stripes are my favorite (secret) part of the stockings. I love that particular proportion of stripes and will definitely keep that in mind for future knitting designs!
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I usually get out of a knitting slump by knitting a dishcloth or two. What I usually don’t do is knit six.
But that’s what I did this time.
First I made a Linoleum Dishcloth using small balls of leftover yarn. I’ve knit this once before, but only using three colors instead of five.
Then I made a Clover Tweed using dark green and a small leftover ball of variegated yarn. This one might be my favorite of all that I knit and I will definitely be making this pattern again.
After that, I still wasn’t ready to quit so I cast on a Harmonic Mosaic Cloth. I have made one of these before (a LONG time ago) and like how easily memorized the pattern is while still giving great results.
I let Gavin choose the next one out of my queue and stash. He chose a Garter Rib Dishcloth in light blue. This one is pretty tiny; next time I would add a pattern repeat to get more of a “usual” dishcloth size. This is a two-row pattern and therefore very easily memorized.
Next, I knit a Little Tent Dishcloth, which turned out huge. I would definitely remove a pattern repeat if I were to make this again.
And last of all, a Checker-Square Garter Dishcloth. I removed a pattern repeat, which made it the perfect size. I wish it were a charted pattern though! Knitting from row-by-row instructions makes for very tedious TV knitting.
And there you have it: six new dishcloths and a happily knitting Kate.
When Gavin and I were first dating in college, he had this dress shirt that had been his dad’s, with their initials (they’re the same) on the cuff. He wore it on our first real date, probably to graduation, basically everywhere. I thought it was adorable.
I remember showing Gavin that it had a (fairly large) tear in the very thin and worn sleeve sometime after college and feeling bummed that the shirt had finally died.
BUT! I saved it, with the intention of making something out of it. So when I saw this tutorial for turning shirt cuffs into pouches a couple of years ago, I knew it would be perfect.
And still the shirt sat.
Until last weekend, when I finally let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies, chopped off the cuffs, and sewed up some pouches using decidedly non-matching thread. My one allowance to perfection was to practice on the non-monogrammed cuff first, hence two pouches.
These took about three minutes to make – cutting off the cuffs neatly probably took longer than sewing them into pouches.
On the second, monogrammed cuff, I continued my line of stitching all the way around the edges of the flap too so it would have a topstitched look and not be as awkward on the back of the pouch. You can see what I mean in the pictures.
Hopefully Gavin will be able to use these for a rosary, quarters, or some tiny computer accessory. Whatever the use, I’m glad the GAR shirt lives on.
The first apartment Gavin and I lived in had a great sunroom in the back, with access from the kitchen and our spare bedroom. The bad news: the sunroom wasn’t heated or cooled and the doors leading to it had huge gaps under them. Since Gavin moved into the apartment in January, we realized we had to do something about it quickly!
I found this great tutorial that gave directions for using plumbing insulation (which is very cheap!) to create a twin draft snake with insulation on both sides of the door. This was nice because we could still easily use the door without having to move anything first.
We made three of them, one for the kitchen and two that went on each of the french doors in the spare bedroom. Gavin did most of the sewing for this project, so you know it was really easy.
The only change I made was to sew both ends of the tube closed, which is somewhat challenging to do on a sewing machine (and admittedly does not look very neat) because the foam is big, but I don’t like the idea of having open tubes on the floor. It just seems like something a spider would love too much for me to leave it that way. You can’t see it, so the neatness doesn’t matter too much.
Now that we’ve bought our house, we still use one of the same draft snakes between our office and the (usually unheated/cooled) addition that is the sewing room. They really make a difference, were quick to make, and didn’t cost much at all. Happy sewing!
I finished three cowls in February, so they really are all around! Around the house, around my neck, all around.
The first one is my Northern Loop, which I knit using some Swish Bulky in Potion. I still can’t believe this yarn is discontinued! After seeing that it was knit lengthwise (and not in the round), I almost chose another pattern because I generally hate knitting scarves. And a seamed cowl is just a seamed scarf. But I’m glad I stuck it out (bulky yarn for the win) because this is a great match of pattern and yarn.
The second is my GAP-tastic Cowl — my second cowl using this pattern. It was a great choice for the Rowan Thick ‘n’ Thin my parents brought me back from their trip to England. I find it crazy how different this cowl looks than the first (which I gave to my mom) due to the varying thickness of the yarn. The puffy pieces really stick out and make for a very interesting texture.
Lastly, my Roam cowl. This was my first time using a Mobius cast-on, which blew my math-loving mind. So fun to knit but so many stitches — I even ran out of yarn doing the bind-off! Many thanks to Alohablu who sent me her leftovers so I could finish without ripping back. I think a Mobius cowl that needs pretty intense blocking is a weird choice after trying to do it and as many people pointed out in their notes, this cowl looks totally different on the two “sides” you create working out from the middle. I don’t think it’s noticeable to non-knitters but I also know that’s the kind of thing that would annoy many knitters so I’ll give my fair warning! This was my first Hawthorne project and I definitely liked the yarn. Since I bought mine during the Cyber Monday sale they’ve released kettle-dyed colors, which look amazing and I can’t wait to get some!
I finished these two shawls in January but haven’t gotten around to photographing them until today!
First is my Kalimna, which I started last summer after buying the pattern during an ambah special release sale, made great progress on, and then neglected for a long time. Once I started working on it again, I finished it in a week or two. I enjoyed the format of this pattern but found that adding a couple more stitch markers made for a lot less counting!
I used some very old Knitpicks Stroll in Glacial and really like the color — I think it will look great with a white shirt and navy cardigan! The large size is much larger than any other shawl I have but the shallower shape still makes it extremely wearable.
My modifications included only knitting the even center section eight times instead of ten, and I’m glad I did that because it’s plenty large as it is. Blocking this was insane because it was so large — I wound up just laying it out diagonally on a queen-size bed and that was barely enough room. It measures 80″ x 16″.
Second is my Hitchhiker, my first Martina Behm project. I loved knitting this. It was amazing TV knitting and because the pattern was so easily memorized and “read” I had no problems picking it up and setting it down many times. I bought this pattern as part of a four-pattern ebook and cannot wait to knit the other three patterns. I only had 100 grams of this Knitpicks Imagination in Atlantis so my shawl only has 35 points, but I think it’s plenty big to be easily worn.