Duncan’s Hat

I started this before Halloween, but put it on the backburner once NaKniSweMo began…

It is ready for the decreases…I am using the Clayoquot Toque pattern as my basis…and I LOVE this pattern.  It is the first one in a long time that has helped me manage decreasing without going nuts around here…because decreasing around the people in this house is madness…the trick is–there are stitch markers involved…for which I am so thankful.

New hat for Duncan in the works

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Now, the pattern calls for DK yarn…and I used two colors of Caron Simply Soft.  That bright bright yellow that the boy loves SO much and demanded…as well as a color-shifting orange…the original plan had been to use a solid orange and a solid blue to create a pattern on the hat…but I had the color-shifting orange in my stash, so I decided to go with that…plus, I love how the orange shifts and moves over the hat.

It is not a complicated pattern at all, as you can see.  I was actually far more interested in making sure the boy’s ears have extra padding and insulation than anything.

Now, since I am using simply soft here, my gauge is larger than the pattern…I sized down the hat because of that…although the hat is still plenty roomy, which I consider a good thing with the Little Mister because of all his hair.  His hair is very important to him.  I always knit my own hats a bit looser than called for because I have these curls to contend with…so it’s a thing around here.

I got excited working on my Boom! shawl and set the hat aside this past week…after I get my second sleeve started for my sweater, I will finish off his hat.  It shouldn’t take but a couple hours.  And then…I will have to face off with the boy who will want his matching scarf right that minute…I am still debating on knitting a scarf in the round and doing colorwork for him…or just knitting him a lovely yellow scarf…maybe with orange fringe.  I’m not sure on that yet.

 

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Boom!

My easy go to, knit in the car, knit when I need to not really think about it (although I actually DO need to think about this one much more than I thought because I am apparently easily discombobulated and get switched up) for right now is the Boom! shawl.

I am using Mandala yarn in the Wizard colorway.

Working on the shawl today

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The pattern is super simple–just two rows…and I keep one side marked so I know where I am…that doesn’t always help me…but it is a nice and simple shawl, which is what I was after.  I started this because the weather here has been so nuts…I mean 80 degrees one day, 50 the next.  I hadn’t pulled out my winter stuff yet…hey, the first day it went from I think 70s to the 30s the next, we had to take the youngest out and actually BUY him a winter coat that day because he had outgrown last year’s and I had thought I had some time to transition with lighter jackets before a full-on winter coat was required…I have hats where I can get to them…but I had taken all my scarves and whatnot (that I used to keep hanging on the back of the door) and stored them away for the summer…I’ve made sure the kids’ wardrobes are all switched out and they are ready for colder weather (if ever it comes and stays for more than a day or three), but I am still working on sorting my wardrobe out.

So, I pulled out my needles (size 8 US) and set to work…

I love how this thing is turning out.  I love the shape.  The colors are lovely.  I have another ball of Mandala in Chimera that I am thinking of turning into another shawl, maybe using the similar but different pattern of ex boyfriends, or maybe going with something completely different with close to you (because this was what I intended to make at first instead of Boom!, but my printer decided to have a snit that my husband finally fixed last night…)

 

NaKniSweMo

So, I was all set to do NaNoWriMo this year…I have three outlines sketchily scribbled out…but then, I saw this.

I had never heard of NaKniSweMo before…however, I had just recently purchased Heart On My Sleeve…and even more recently Strange Brew...I had even begun playing around with patterns by knitting a Clayoquot Toque type hat–although the first one I made I used yarn actually called ‘fair isle‘ so I didn’t have to do any colorwork–the yarn did everything…but it isn’t the only hat I made or have to make…

Since I purchased Heart On My sleeve, I have been slowly gathering some yarn…I started my project, because I am indeed doing the NaKniSweMo challenge, using the Strange Brew pattern as my base, using Mandala yarn in the colorway Sphinx.  I am not doing any colorwork this time around because (1) the yarn changes colors on its own and (2) I just want to make a sweater to be sure I can do it all right before I stress myself out doing a colorworked yoke.

So–Strange Brew starts out by casting on sleeve stitches…using DPNs, because my 16-inch circular needles started out WAY too small to work a sleeve on…I eventually moved onto the circulars, after a fair few inches and several increases…but before that…it was all on DPNs…and I must say, I am rather proud of myself for accomplishing that task.

About 8 inches done on first sleeve #nakniswemo

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As of this morning, I have that one single sleeve complete.

I decided to take the weekend off because –weekends are stressful and we had a lot of plans for this weekend…so I worked on something much more simple…and although I meant to cast on the second sleeve last night, I was so tired by the time we got home and settled yesterday that I was afraid to cast on and screw things up…I mean, I was TIRED…

First sleeve complete #nakniswemo

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Today, in just a little bit, I will be casting on that second sleeve…after some strong coffee enters my system, hopefully…

I am enjoying this process so much more than I thought.  I wonder why I have allowed myself to be afraid of it for so long.

However, next time, different yarn.  Mandala is gorgeous…I currently own three different colorways…but I am not sure I like how the yarn is holding up already…it’s not all pilly or anything, but when I look at the sleeve I knit up I sort of feel that it looks…as if it’s been a sweater for a long time and in heavy wear rotation…even though it hasn’t…and I have been taking amazingly careful care of it since I began working it…even the shawl that I am knitting up using this yarn, in a different colorway, all in garter stitch, seems to have a similar problem…so, this is my test knit sweater…and next time…I will find a better (read that as something with wool, or something along those lines) yarn with which to work.  I know from other projects I much prefer working with woolier bits anyway.

 

Halloween Knitting: Candy Corn Coasters

I have spent a lot of time on Ravelry recently…

I wanted to knit something for a few people, to let them know we care, but I wanted…no, I needed them to be quick and easy…and still be cute…

Duncan and I found these: candy corn coasters, a free pattern by Melanie Smith.

I started to work on a set last night.  In one hour, I had a complete set of four made–that’s knitting them and weaving in the ends–plus I had my favorite feline assistant sitting there “helping” periodically … once the first set was done, I was ready to knit up some more…they are that easy.

Yes, my cat as coaster for knit candy corn coasters…found the free pattern on ravelry

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Now, to wash them and hopefully make them look neater.  I can still tell my knitting is not up to par…some days I work harder than others to get back to where I once was…or at least better than I am now…

Enjoy your day.

 

The Original Grain

WIP. ..still…my original grain shawl

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This is my original grain shawl.

Remember, I started it in, what, December?

I was knitting away on it today as we drove around (I was the passenger, yes.) and thought–I should — I could — just bind off now.

I still have a nice hank of yarn left to that skein yet.

To think–I still have that whole other skein of yarn that I haven’t touched yet that I originally intended to use on this shawl…oh my gosh…that makes my head hurt there.

I love this pattern.

It is easy.  It is mindless.  It is gentle.

It looks really good when it’s done.

But…it’s monotonous.

It’s slow (because I knit slow).

It’s taking for-ever-and-ever….

And I am not binding off right now…I am going to use this whole skein of yarn…even if it takes me until next year to finish it…although my goal is to finish it THIS YEAR!

 

Knitting Update: The Sagaponack Tee Story

The Sagaponack Tee is a free pattern on ravelry.

So, I have been cleaning–I do that a lot…I clean here, and then there.  Small places at first…slowly they turn into larger areas…and that works for me.

I stumbled on a knitting project–one I knew was there…I had something in my head that said I needed to try it on to decide whether to continue increasing or not…something like that–and since I wasn’t really in a space to do that for a while…I didn’t.

But last week, I picked it up.  It was four inches of knitting…and the yarn…and no pattern.  Usually, I print out the pattern and stick it in the bag with my project.  Now, I know I printed out the pattern and that I worked from said pattern…but where that pattern went to…I cannot tell you.

Luckily, I knew which pattern it was…and I knew where to go to re-print it…thankfully I had created a project for this one on ravelry…

Imagine my shock, I mean SHOCK, when I saw the start date for this thing as June…2015.

NO! WAY!  I did not let that thing sit there for THAT long…did I?

I did.

So, I reprinted the pattern…and tried to decipher where I was in said pattern.

I have NO idea what the heck I was doing…and I did not keep notes in ravelry…I guess I didn’t think I was that far along.

And, I found out, I hated—HATED–the yarn that I had started the sweater with…and I also noted that said yarn was too thin for the pattern anyway…do I gauge swatch?  Not if I can help it, honey.  So–I frogged the whole thing…yeah, all four inches.

Then I discovered…a whole stash of red heart boutique unforgettable…now known merely as red heart unforgettable.

I have about five colors, four to six skeins each, of different shades of unforgettable.

And I hate the yarn.  But it is SO pretty.

So…I took the yarn that I started the sweater with originally…doubled it with another yarn…and now the yarn is a better weight for making this sweater and having it actually fit…

WIP top down sweater

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And I am trucking right along, loving the pattern, loving the yarn…and growling every time I have to frog back because I forget to switch to purl every other row or something (the top is knit in garter stitch, in the round).  Frogging double-stranded yarn can be tricky…ask me.

I used to combine lots of yarns all the time…three and four different yarns…I was making throws and blankets at the time…on big needles…but I think I reached a space where I couldn’t focus and keep track of even small things…and the frogging of that many yarns at once…is mind-bending, in a bad way.  So I stopped doing that.

 

Knitting Update….

I recently posted these finished cloths on instagram…

 

Will put pattern name and creator up later

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I bound this one off (the Mr) using the same needles I knit it with….and I did it late at night…so I bound off tighter than I would have liked…but it still looks decent now that it has been washed and put into circulation.

There's the set done…will post designer and pattern soon

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These patterns are available for free (click here to go to the pattern) on ravelry, designed by Penopoly Bulnick.

Both patterns are included in the same PDF.  Or you can download each pattern in a separate PDF of its own.

The pattern is clearly written and not at all difficult.  Just casting on, purling, knitting, and binding off.

I used sugar and cream cotton yarn and a US size 4 needle to work the pattern.

And, yes, that’s a bit of seed stitch, eh?  But these were the last two cloths that I wanted to finish before I got married…and, well, at least I finished them before our first anniversary.

Now, what I really need is a pattern that says ‘himself’ and ‘herself’… but that is a lot to put on one single washcloth….

Cheers.