Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I love getting yarn in the mail...

 I know I'm not supposed to be buying new yarn! I need to use up the yarn that I already have... but... my sister asked for lime green socks for Christmas. And I do not have lime green sock yarn in my stash. So I went searching on Esty and I came across a beautiful little shop. Evermore Studios has an amazing collection of yarn in all kinds of amazing colors, and they had a sale on some yarn (so of course I had to buy myself an extra skein of sock yarn!). This picture definitely does not due the colors justice. They are absolutely beautiful, and I can't wait to finish my boot socks so I can start on a new pair!

 Both skeins are from Evermore Studios. The green yarn is Swanky Sock BFL yarn in Pistachio and the blue yarn is the Dreamland Sock Yarn in Plum Crazier.

So even though I am breaking my rule in buying new yarn, I am still going strong on my stash-busting challenge. I have finished half of Challenge 1, and have completed a Christmas presents at the same time (does that mean I get double the brownie points?). These mitts will be given to the boyfriend as a gift (if he doesn't find them first - but I hid them pretty good so I should be fine!):
Chritmas Mitts:
Yarn: Patons Decor yarn in Green Earth
Needles: Size 3 DPNs
Pattern source: 3 Stitch Waffle Mittens pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

This was a great, easy pattern to follow. I didn't need to be really concentrating to make sure I wasn't making any mistakes. This is a great first mittens project, the instructions are clear and the pattern is easy to memorize. Highly recommended!

I am already on the second boot sock (I finished the cuff!) and I hope to have it finished this week, and I will post a picture of the finished product (they are really cute). 
Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some FOs and a new challenge!

I was able to finish a couple of different projects this past week. The first is my sister-in-law's birthday present that I have been working on for what feels like forever.

 I've already blogged about this 'Quick & Easy Afghan' here and here

I also finished the first pair of socks from the Sock Knitting Master Class Book:

 These super cute Slip-n-Slide socks were first blogged about here.

So now that I am finished my first Sock Knitting Master Class Challenge, I am on to the next pair of socks:

Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks:

 Yarn: Light Blue - Blended 3-ply knitting yarn Pink - Opal Sockenwolle Darker Blue - Knitters Brewing Company's Sock-aholi Sweet
Needles: Size 2 DPNs
Source: Sock Knitting Master Class Book

I can't wait to start on this pair. I just bought a new pair of boots that these will go GREAT with!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A new challenge for myself

I want to get rid of stash, one project at a time. So I've started with 5 groups of yarn that I am challenging myself to get rid of, so in no particular order:

These 2 balls of yarn were given to me a while back and I'm not quite sure what I want to do with them yet. I will have to think about these.

This is some sock yarn left over from previous projects, I'm pretty sure I am going to make Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks from the Sock Knitting Master Class Book.

This Homespun yarn is leftover from a bunch of scarves I made for Christmas a couple of years back. I want to make a blanket for my dog, and I think I'm going to use the pattern for the Pixie Dust Lap Blanket from the Purl Bee.

This is some yarn that I got (I don't know where it's from...). No idea what to do with it.

This is a bag of 'end of the line' yarn, I've made a few things out of it already and they turned out really nice. Maybe I can make a shawl out of some of it?

 So I will be working on getting some of this yarn out of my stash, and of course, I will be keeping you guys posted on my progress!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sock Knitting Master Class: Sock 1

So I've decided that I want to work on knitting up every sock in the book Sock Knitting Master Class (all except the Up-Down Entrelac pair - I won't wear them and I don't know who will). I am not setting a time limit on this project, I just want to take them at my own pace, and since I'm starting up school soon I don't know how much time I'll have to knit. 

So the first socks I decided to start on are...


Yarn: Knitters Brewing Co's sock-aholic Sweet in Sweet Cornflower
Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) DPNs
Pattern Source: Sock Knitting Master Class book

I love this pattern, it is easy to get in the rhythm of knitting it and it is working up really quick. When knitting these, I would recommend reading the Stitch Guide really carefully (maybe 2-3 times?). I almost messed up the stitch pattern but caught my mistake just in time! The yarn is working up really nice and I am loving these so far.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A new KAL

Boyfriend Blanket Square #1 (August):

Yarn: Unknown worsted weight, blue yarn
Needles: Size 7
Pattern Source: Ravelry

I have been planning to make the boyfriend a knitted blanket, so when this new knit-along started on Ravelry I couldn't resist joining in. The 12 month cable afghan "K-A-L" from Woolen Collectibles for 2011-2012 group administrator provides one square per month for a year, so by this time next year I will have a finished blanket! The August Square has already been posted and I found it challenging (to say the least). I have to be really concentrating so that I do not make any mistakes. So the fact that this is given to me in small pieces makes it easier for me to follow along. I would definitely not recommend this as a first try at a cable pattern, but it is a really good project!

I am trying (really hard) to reduce my enormous stash so I decided to use up some yarn I already had. I don't know what it is, it's worsted weight and it's blue. I'm knitting on size 7 needles, and the final square measured 14" square (I have not yet blocked it, I will do them all at once to make sure they are all the same size). It came out really nice, but was quite stressful to make as I had to be constantly looking at the pattern so as not to lose my place. I would recommend printing out the chart and color-coding it for easy referral.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Conceptual Knitting

I love the idea of knitting the weather. The Sky Scarf project over on Leafcutter Designs puts a spin on your boring old scarf. By looking outside and knitting two rows in a colorway that matches the sky everyday for a year, you will have a finishing project that reflects the weather changes day to day.
This put me to thinking, what if I was to do this, but instead of looking at the weather, I would knit my mood? While I am knitting my two rows, I would reflect on why I am feeling the way I am. This would enable me to realize what is affecting my life in a positive or a negative way, and what I could do to change this.
This is something I will be thinking about, and I will try to figure out which yarn I want to use from my stash (I'm trying really hard not to buy any more yarn!!) and how I would set it up!
In the meantime, Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simplest Hats ever.

When I say simple, I mean it's so simple it's ridiculous. I wasn't even sure if I should put up the pattern or not since it is such a generic idea, but I have a tendency to forget the details on how I have knit a certain hat, and I want to be able to make these ones again.

Simplest Hats. Ever. 

Yarn: Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in black.
Gauge: 4 sts and 5 rows=1 inch square with larger needles
Needles: size 7 (4.5mm) and size 9 (5.5mm) circular needles 16" long.
Size: Made to fit the average guy's head (easily customizable for any size!)
CO 70 sts using smaller needles, place marker and join in the round.
Purl one row, then continue in stockinette stitch (knit every stitch of every row) until it measures 3 inches from the beginning.
Change to larger needles and continue in stockinette stitch until desired length (mine was about 9") make sure you have enough yarn left for a few more rows!
Start decrease as follows:
Round 1: *K1, K2Tog* repeat until last stitch, K1
Round 2: Knit even
Round 3: *K2tog* repeat until end of row
Round 4: Knit even
(Side note here: you might need to use DPNs when you start getting low on stitches, I was able to stretch my stitches on the circular needles enough that I didn't need them)
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail, thread tail through remaining stitches, pull tight and tie to secure. Weave in all your ends, block and Voila! You have a hat.

Told you it was simple, but I love how they come out, they are the perfect guy's hats. I have made 3 and now I'm on my 4th one. I have made them all various lengths and I plan to put them up on my Etsy shop whenever I am ready to re-open it.
If you have any questions, please put them in the comment section. Until next time. Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some more free patterns

I love Ravelry for so many reasons. It is a great way to connect with other knitters, and find some amazing patterns. Here a few of my recent favorite free patterns.

Granny Square Pillows from Pickles. I saw a variation on this pattern, the 2 sides of the pillow cover were joined together using buttons. So cute!

 This cowl is so simple, but it looks so cute. This Thick and Quick Ribbed Cowl on Ruby Knits It is a great quick project.

This cute scarf would be a great addition to your winter accessories collection. You have to sign up with the Lion Brand yarn website, but they have a lot of great patterns to download (including this Two-Color Tango Scarf)

Hope you enjoy these free patterns, and until next time happy knitting!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

One Skein Wonder Woman

While perusing the internet, I came across this great blog. One Skein Wonder Woman is challenging herself to knitting every project in the Sock Yarn: One Skein Wonder book. There are 101 projects and she has to make them all (no skipping!). I must commend her commitment. I have a hard time staying on one project for very long (I always have about 4 things going at the same time). I had a great time reading her blog and you should definitely go check it out (after you've finished reading this post of course!)

I have been thinking about a similar project for myself. I recently purchased the book Sock Knitting: Master Class. Every pattern in the book is absolutely fabulous and I would love to try making all the socks in there. It would be a real challenge for me because every pattern uses different techniques, and a lot of them I haven't tried before (I've never even done toe-up socks before!). There is a blog over on Knitting Daily where Anne Budd is working on the same project, and she is making some progress with it, as well as plenty of others who have taken on the challenge. This is something I will think about doing, and maybe in the future I will take it on!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My progess on some WIPs

A few weeks ago I did a post on some larger projects that I am working on. I have been able to make some progress on them, but they are not coming along as quickly as I would like. The reason for this is that I have a hard time staying on task and I keep finding other things to do instead of working on these ones.

'Quick and Easy Afghan' from the fall 2009 issue of Creative Knitting magazine

This 'Quick and Easy Afghan' has not been all that "quick" for me. It's a super simple pattern, but the number of stitches (228!) is just about killing me. I have been making a lot of progress on it this week (knitting up about 1 ball of yarn per day) because of a sudden sense of emergency (i.e. remembering that the recipient of this blanket's birthday is next month). So hopefully next time you see it, it will be in a FOs post and not still a WIP.

 'Treads' from the Son of Stitch 'n Bitch book.

These 'Treads' socks have also been slow going (I am still on the first sock). I'm a bit disappointed in the pattern; I should have followed my instincts and modified the pattern when I had a chance. I do not like the way the heel was done, and I wish I had continued the instep in rib stitch instead of switching over to stockinette in order to give it more shape. I love the colors of the yarn though, it's really fun!

 Travelling Gnome from Knitted Toy Box (a free pattern!)

And here is one of those projects that distracted me from finishing the other two! He is still a WIP because he does not yet have eyes. When I went to the craft store to buy some for him, they were out of stock, so he will be a blind gnome for a little while longer (I will re-post a photo of Mr Wimwinkle when he is finished). 
 I wanted something to take with me when I go on trips to take photos with (like in the movie Amelie) so I knitted him up real quick (less then 2 hours). I used size 8 DPNs and Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends, and I did him in the round as opposed to knitting flat and them seaming him together. This is the second time I have used this yarn to make a stuffed toy and I absolutely love the look of it.

Those are all the projects I have to share with you at the moment, but later on this week I will be posting a super easy hat pattern. In the meantime, happy knitting!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why didn't I think of this?

Sometimes you look at a picture of something online and you wonder: "Why didn't I think of that?" This idea of cross-stitching on crocheted fabric is brilliant! The result looks so great and it is such an easy way to add detail to a simple project. This Home Sweet Home Pillow from the Purl Bee is just too cute.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Some Cross-Stitching

I am already starting to think about Christmas presents (yes Christmas!). I have to start early enough so I can get everything I want done. This year I am thinking of doing smaller projects and I already completed one. There is a big book lover in my family so I was thinking of making a set of bookmarks to give her. This is the first one that I have made, the pattern is mostly taken from the Kincavel Krosses blog. There are some brilliant patterns to be found there and this 'Hands Off My Book' bookmark is just perfect. I played around with the pattern a bit and I think it came out great!

I plan on making two more and I already have the designs ready to go, I just have to treck out to the store to buy more bookmarks!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Inner Driver Key Chain

Me and my boyfriend bought ourselves a Mazda 2 a few months ago. I love the car, it is a lovely lime green color and it's just amazing to drive. You have probably seen the commercials for it, it's the one with the little green alien guy (they call him Inner Driver). I wanted to make myself a key chain for my key, but it had to have the Inner Driver logo on it to match the car (I'm weird like that). So this weekend I managed to put together a little 'pillow' key chain for myself. I knew it had to be big enough so that I could easily find it at the bottom of my purse and this came out the perfect size. Sometimes things just work out the way you plan, this was one of those cases! 

The back view of the key chain is a simple key image that I found on Flickr. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So excited!

As I was scrolling through my blog reading list this morning, I came across an announcement for a giveaway winner, and guess what? I WON! 

 I had entered a giveaway last week over on Sew, Vintage, So Fun to win this kit. It is a really cute blog that I found through another giveaway at Wild Olive. I am so excited about receiving this embroidery kit, I have been wanting to start embroidery for a while, but I didn't know where to start! This couldn't be a more perfect way to start off my day! Thank you Anita!