Second Scrollwork

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Now that I’ve got all of my projects back from the county fairs, I can show you my second attempt at Scrollwork.  If you recall, I knit up the first version using Sincere Sheep Equity Sport, and the hat turned out really cute, but smallish and thinner than I had expected.  You can read about it HERE.

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My first attempt at the Scrollwork hat pattern from Brooklyn Tweed.

 

I decided to give the pattern another shot, and this time I used some Plymouth Tweed yarn (which is Aran weight), that I had in my stash.  The colorway is Ecru.  This time I used size 7 needles instead of the size 6’s that I used on the first version.

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Using stitch markers to mark off the pattern repeats helped the project go faster, but did get a little tricky on the rows where the end of round marker must be moved.

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My new ChiaGoo stitch markers.

 

I do like my second version of the hat, but not necessarily better than the first one.  This one is definitely more functional as a warm winter hat, and would be more likely to fit the average person’s head.

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The stitch definition on each hat is different (in a good way) which I find really neat.  Neither looks as nice (in my opinion) as the apparent stitch definition achieved by using the recommended yarn for the pattern which is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  I linked to the pattern in my previous post, but here it is again, complete with photos of the hat done in the suggested yarn for comparison, if you are interested:  Scrollwork Hat from Brooklyn Tweed (designer Irina Dmitrieva)When you purchase the pattern, you actually get instructions for the hat as well as a coordinating cowl.

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As mentioned in a previous post, this hat actually won second place in knit hats at the Will County (IL) Fair this year:

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~Happy cabling!

 

 

Happy New Year 2013!

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Cabled Afghan

Happy New Year!  Things have been busy here on my holiday break.  Aside from trying to get my house in order (a never-ending battle, but two weeks off from work almost gives me the edge…) I have been doing some knitting.  Our  monthly stitching group met last Sunday at the local cafe, and everyone was extra chatty and extra friendly.  I wish I had taken photos because there were so many great and creative projects in the works – even more than usual.  I was working on the afghan pictured above.  It’s a project that I started back in 2010, just after I learned to cable.  I shelved it after completing just one panel, but as you can see, I now have three already stitched together.  There will be at least seven panels total on the completed blanket. 

I was tempted to call this post “Susie Acrylic Knitting Lady” because I have been working with more acrylic yarn in the last month than I think I have in the past two years.  I guess this means I’m not a TOTAL yarn snob (just mostly one…).  My cabled afghan is acrylic and I also ordered more yarn in an acrylic blend to knit THIS AFGHAN too.  I can’t wait until it gets here.  I think there may have been a mistake on the Lion Brand website because I got my Wool-Ease Thick N Quick yarn at an unheard of price.  I couldn’t pass up making another afghan when they are giving the yarn away!

It has been suggested that in the event of actual Armageddon, nothing will remain but cockroaches and acrylic yarn.  If I’m spending this much time hand knitting an afghan, it might as well last for all of eternity… 

I spent new year’s eve with family, and today I attended a new year’s day “craft in” at our local yarn shop.  The craft in turned out to be a great time with lots of people, lots of crafts and good food.  Again, I took no photos – sorry!  I did, however, do a ton of finishing on my Flore sweater (also in an acrylic blend) while I was there.  I managed to finish the sweater tonight.  Once I decide how I want to block it, I will photograph it.  It was a quick knit and an easy pattern for those of us who are ‘sweater challenged’ (eh hem).

~Happy New Year! 

FO: Painted Cables Scarf

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Finished in time for the Will County Fair (IL) in two weeks:  my Painted Cables Scarf.

This scarf was knit with 4 balls of Patons Soy Wool Stripes yarn (around 425 yards) in the colorway Natural Russet.  I used size 10.5 straight knitting needles.

The pattern is the Painted Cables Scarf designed by Tina Sanders.  You can click on the pattern name to see the pattern on Ravelry.

This is a fairly heavy, chunky scarf that I will be entering in the “muffler” category of the hand knitting section.

I actually took these photos before blocking, which I’m working on as I type this. 

Next on my list is to finish my Cladonia Shawl which will also be entered in the upcoming fair.

~Happy knitting!

Ambition

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Last Sunday, after that long, bad day, I grabbed this while at the grocery store.

 

While perusing it last night, I saw this:

Isn’t it great!?  I’m totally in love with this sweater pattern, and I think I will give it a go once I am finished with all of the current projects still on the needles.  I have four different sweater’s-worth of yarn, in four different colors to choose from, and it has been just waiting for a pattern that inspires me.

The other day, I also found this on Ravelry:

I liked it so much, I bought the pattern.  It’s a shawl with little cabled owls along the perimeter – and the owls have beaded eyes!  I’m thinking I would like to make this shawl with either my DCS with cashmere yarn, or the Malabrigo sock yarn that I got last Friday at the yarn shop in Frankfort. 

 

Meanwhile, I still have my Knit Love Club sock yarn that I got last month calling my name.  I think it wants to be mittens, and I think I might actually start a cuff tonight for a change of pace.

~Happy knitting!

“Take your pleasure seriously.” — Charles Eames

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I decided to take a ‘mental health day’ yesterday, since I finally had some time to just ‘veg’ and unwind.  It was heavenly.  I did lots of knitting.

I made this hat: (pattern found HERE).  I’m in love with how it turned out.  I used Lion Brand Amazing yarn in the colorway Joshua Tree.

         

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I made another one of these in some of that Suffolk wool that I bought from Freshisle Fibers:  (Pattern found HERE)

Then I added a pom-pom and put the hat on the dog.

It was all very serious business.

~Happy knitting!

Warm Hands

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I finally wore my new purple mittens today.  I had been sporting a pair of wool blend, fingerless mitts that a member of the knitting group made last year for our holiday gift exchange.  They worked out perfectly all fall but I noticed that my fingers were starting to sting in the last week or so.   I figured it was mitten time, and my new mittens worked out well.  No stinging fingers.

I recently obtained a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Knitting special edition magazine.  I had to search for weeks before finding it at a local craft store.

With the recent loss of Border’s book stores, and then the closing of our local Barnes and Noble book store, buying books and magazines has become a real chore.  Apparently no one in Indiana reads books anymore because we have literally NO book stores now, from which to purchase or peruse newly released books and periodicals.  Ugh!  Anyway…

Among many great patterns, there is a pattern (designed by Alexis Winslow) for a super-cute pair of fingerless mitts that caught my eye.  They are called Chivalry Mitts and they are done in colorwork hearts. 

I think they might be my first attempt at real colorwork.  I already have some yarn that I would like to use for the project, and I am dying to try, but I have been spending most of my spare knitting time working to complete Karen’s scarf by Christmas Eve.  I have two more weeks, and it’s not even half way done.  Colorwork mitts may have to be my New Year’s project.

After this week, I will have a two week break for the holidays which will free up some knitting time.  I am counting the days…

Happy knitting!

Winter Warmth

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Even with finals week approaching, I have managed to get some knitting done.  Actually, I’m more behind on my blogging than I am on my knitting, so I have some things to show you, including a finished object.

Last weekend, I managed to finish the body of the A Breath of Fresh Air Scarf  so that now I can focus on adding the lace border.  I’m excited to try it, since I have not knit a lace border to anything before.  Here is the body of the scarf so far, prior to the addition of the lace border.

       

I also had a request a while back from my cousin to make her a cabled hat like the one I previously blogged about HERE.  I saw her yesterday for a nice dinner and night out with my sister, so I made her hat during the week so that I could bring it along and give it to her. 

        

As you can see, her hat is pink.  It may not show so well in the photos, but it’s actually a soft, frosty looking, heathered pink.  The yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the color Blush Heather.  I think it turned out nicely, but the original hat made with Stitch N Bitch Alpaca Love Yarn was tighter which gave it a better fit, and neater looking cables.  I’m learning as I go here, but I think I’m discovering that stiffer yarn makes nicer cables.

My cousin was happy with the hat, and she asked if I would make one for her daughter.  She picked out a yarn that she liked from my stash (a pretty indigo blue color called Blue Mist, also in Lion Brand Wool-Ease), and I will be working on that during the holidays. 

In other news, it turned out that my cousin also knew of some local causes in need of warm winter accessories, which was perfect since I had been compiling a stash of things from my charity knitting endeavors.  Her son’s mother-in-law is a school nurse for a somewhat local grade school, and she had mentioned that many of the students come to her telling her that they have no hats/scarves/mittens because their parents can’t afford to buy them.  It had gotten to the point that she was buying yards of fleece and cutting strips to be used as make-shift scarves for the children in need. 

When my cousin mentioned this, I realized that I could help because I have a stash of donatable knits accumulating for just such a situation.  16 hats and 3 pairs of mittens will be going to the school, and anything they can’t use will be donated to a local church’s warm winter clothing drive. 

As if knitting wasn’t awesome enough, charity knitting makes it feel even better.

Happy knitting!  Take some time to knit up something warm for someone you love this winter.

Sunday Ramblings and Some Super Knitting Patterns

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Yay for Sunday morning.  I just started the laundry, fed the birds and made a fresh pot of coffee.   Yesterday was a bit of a marathon again, with the morning spent doing some heavy-duty yard work, and the evening spent getting the last of my grading done. 

So did you support a local small business yesterday?  If you have read my last few posts, you would know that I am SUPER excited about the Small Business Saturday idea.  I already love and appreciate what our local small businesses have to offer, but isn’t it also great to feel empowered (strength in numbers!) by something positive we can do in a time when our country leaves us feeling a little hopeless?   That’s how it feels to me, anyway.

So here’s what I decided to do.  I was shopping around Online last night, and noticed some great patterns at the Three Irish Girls website.  I know, that’s not a LOCAL small business, but it’s a small business that I was happy to support. 

I bought four different patterns.  The first thing that caught my eye was the Chicanery Mitts pattern.  I see lots of fingerless mitt patterns, and many of them are very artistic, but don’t always seem very practical or functional to me.  These look so great, and totally useful — and I think they would make a great Christmas gift for someone.

Then I saw the Live Oak Scarf which I love, love, love, and totally plan to knit.

There was also a beginners lace shawl pattern called the Loinnir Shawlette available for a few bucks, so I bought that one too.  I have been toying around with plans to make a ‘real’ shawl, but I am a little confused and intimidated by some of the patterns, and this one seemed like a good place to start.  The other major draw for me was that the entire pattern only takes 1 hank of yarn.  I have so many great little hanks in my collection, and I am in need of patterns for some ‘one skein wonders’ so that I can use them.

I also fell for this great cabled sock pattern:  Sonja Socks.  In all my ‘socky obsession’, I still have yet to knit a pair of cabled socks.

In other news, I regret to say that my little knitting nook in the corner of my bedroom has been overtaken by chaos and bedlam.  I am hoping to spend some time today organizing and trying to restore order to my little happy place.  I tend to leave yarn around because it seems a shame to store such soft, lovely hanks away in a plastic tub.  I am entertaining ideas for how I might display some of my yarn, since it’s pretty and it makes me happy —  Maybe some shelves or something.

Have a great Sunday.  Happy knitting!

Antiquing for Knitters

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I finished the cabled cuff, ‘magenta-ish’ mittens last weekend (on Sunday).  They turned out nicely.  I plan to make a hat to match, sometime soon, with the remaining yarn.

Sunday night, I got really ill, and ended up sick for two days.  I missed work on Monday.  After that, the rest of my work week was quite productive.

My birthday is in three days, and I decided to buy myself an antique sock blocker/stretcher that someone had for sale on eBay.  Four vintage sock blockers later, I am addicted to collecting these things.

The thought of the history and use of these objects stirs my interest and a sense of respect.  I really want to learn more about where they came from and how they were used, but finding this information has been really difficult.  It seems like such a thing should not be so difficult in this Internet age.  The blockers I have collected are all well marked:

I love, love, love them!  Does anyone reading this have any advice on where I can find information on old sock blockers?  I don’t even really know how they were used in the factories.  Were the socks still hand-made, or were they being made on knitting machines prior to shaping?  Can anyone recommend a certain book or even which area of antique collectibles would include these pieces?  They are listed under ‘Americana’ on eBay.

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Today my boys went to the groomer, and I visited my Mom.  I brought Panera bagels, which I shared not only with my Mom, but also with our beloved groomer since Flash gave her a black eye the last time he was there.  She said it took a week for the bruising to resolve.

I got the lawn mowed when we got home.  I also started working on some new socks this weekend.

In one more row, I can start turning the heel.  I’m hoping to finish this one tomorrow while my Mom and I watch the Bears game.  Go Bears!!!

…And happy knitting!

Knittin’ Mittens

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Found this new, wool blend yarn at Joann’s yesterday and had to try it.  It’s called “Sheep-ish” and it is SO soft, and it’s easy care, and it comes in really bright, crazy colors that I like. 

I chose a few skeins in a color called “magenta-ish”, which looks nothing like it photographed here.  In actuality, it is a really deep, grape color with almost a strange iridescence about it.  I decided it wanted to be mittens and I found a cute pattern with cable ribs for the cuff instead of plain old straight ones.

 

 

I’m thinking I will also make a cable hat like the blue alpaca one I made a few months ago from the remaining yarn. 

I’m still working on the second Mandarin Vines sock as well.

I’m so glad it is the weekend.  I haven’t been feeling well all week and I had to work a side job today until noon.  Now I’m home, knitting mittens, resting, and hoping to recharge my batteries.

Happy weekend!

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