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.

 

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.

 

Knitting Update….

Love is knitting seed stitch….

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There are not a lot of pictures of what I am knitting at the moment.

Yes, I am still working on my original Grain.

I also have something else going on…I am knitting up a bunch of heart and valentine cloths for an upcoming wedding. I can’t so whose…I can’t give it away. I am also planning to work up a set of kris Knits Valentine’s Day Cloths and Wedding Cloths.

Now, all I did was basically go through my queue on ravelry…as I have a ton of dishcloth patterns saved and I love hearts so I found a good ten or so for free on ravelry. I didn’t realize until I started knitting them up…on my third cloth…there are a lot of people who use a lot of seed stitch. I am a thrower, not a picker. I knit English style, not continental. Seed stitch can be monotonous and time-consuming.

By the fourth cloth, seed stitch started to grow on me…to the point where I had some ideas for simple cloths, maybe with yarn doubled, on larger needles, creating some seed stitch washcloths for here at home. It’s going to be a while though. I can manage to knit maybe, maybe, one cloth a day. If I knit at night…if I am able…sometimes I have to be happy knitting a few rows a day and let it go…so whatever I get finished in time is what I will be gifting the happy couple.

So far, none of the cloths I have knit up are the exact same size. They aren’t supposed to be. The patterns are by different people, with different gauges. I am knitting everything using peaches and cream or sugar and cream yarn, depending on what I grab out of my stash.

One thing I have learned is that I actually prefer….peaches and cream. It has a better hand-feel for me.

I am using size 5 US needles, regardless of what the pattern calls for…so far, most of the patterns call for a size 7 US needle. I am currently using metal needles…and my finger tips are nearly done…they do not toughen up…they just get more sore until I put down the pointy pointy things and quit poking myself with them. I cannot find my finger tippers…I can’t remember what they are officially called—but they are basically rubber thimbles you put on two fingers—I found them in the sewing section once and had to try them…they work great for me in this situation.

I will be switching back to my wooden needles…I had planned to use my square needles for these…but my size 5 needle was busy elsewhere in some other project …and then it hit me, anyway, that I wanted to use the metal needles because the yarn slips off the needles so much more easily…and now that I have had my needle just drop out of my cloths five or six times—although thankfully they go right back in—the stitches barely move at all…thank goodness…but that if nothing else tells me that less slick needles are mandatory as I move forward.

I will post more pictures as I go along…

 

One Grain Down…

 

Hmm…it was rather difficult to get a decent picture of the actual shawl…

The pattern is a free one from Tin Can Knits (I LOVE them).

The pattern is called Grain.

Well…a bit more of the grain shawl

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I used the yarn I had been working my own Einstein Coat up with for so long…

How long ago did I start this shawl?  I’m not sure.  I only have a project listed in my ravelry profile for the first one I started, using thin fuzzy yarn.  This one I am still working on…I have a bit to go yet…but I like it.

This one here, the grey one, is done in bulky grey heathered wool, on, I think, size 13 US needles.

I think this will be the best pic of the shawl….sheesh

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Last night I decided to work on it.  I had used up nearly all the Einstein coat yarn…and I decided I was going to finish off that yarn and see how much was leftover.  The last three, maybe four rows were not in the original EC…and that works for me.  I do believe there is enough yarn left in this skein to work up a simple hat–before winter gets here.

I finished up knitting, cursed Netflix for making such engrossing shows available, especially when the boy fell asleep on the couch and I wasn’t moving until I finished my shawl.

I love how this turned out.  I love how the smaller one is turning out.  This pattern is so simple, yet so lovely when finished.

Having used bulky yarn to make this thing, it was interesting to work it up on a 60 inch cable and not have any room leftover…and then cast off and have this long string of cable just sitting there, looking so bereft.

And now…off to do more knitting…or maybe chase the young boy a bit and then fight the cats off to knit…