Another baby, another pinwheel blanket

pinwheel-2Please excuse the indoor light. I was far too impatient to hand this off to my friend, Canem, on New Year’s Eve for her baby that was due the following week. Luckily she and her husband have a very bright kitchen. I can’t seem to stop making Pinwheel Blankets when I want to make a baby blanket. I love the round shape, and the design works well for all kinds of wilder sock yarns.

This yarn is ONLine Supersocke in the colorway New York, which seems appropriate for this couple since they are recent transplants from NYC. I used two skeins for this and I think it ended up measuring about 36″ in diameter. Their baby boy was born on Monday and he is lovely. I can’t wait to see him in person. pinwheel

Christmas Hermiones

hermioneI’m still playing catch up with some projects that were presents that I haven’t blogged about. This is a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks in some Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks in the color Painted Desert. These were a gift for my friend Karen in St. Louis, to fulfill a special request from her husband. I wanted to make sure they got to her by Christmas, so I did a pattern that could be completed without extensive concentration, making it a bit faster. I was able to crank these out in a little over a week to ship them off in plenty of time for Christmas.

Karen is a huge fan of Harry Potter. She and our roommate, Genny, got me to read the first book in college after I scoffed at them a bit for reading a kid’s book. Now I’m also a huge fan. I thought Karen would really appreciate a sock pattern named after Hermione. I think these socks put me so much in the mood that I had to re-watch all of the movies.

I love this yarn. I made these socks for Matt out of another colorway in the same yarn a few years ago and they still look great. I had this in my stash and as I was knitting it I fell in love with it all over again, so I immediately had to replace the yarn for my stash so I could make another pair for myself…

 

Cleaning up last year’s mistakes

Sigh. What should have been the most straightforward and fast sweater for Matt has turned out to be a bit of a pain. I’m making him an Ease, adapting it to have a narrower neck, no waist curve, and shorter ribbing at the bottom and cuffs. Simple, right? Almost all stockinette with only 2% thinking necessary. Well, somebody (me) got cocky about not needing a gauge swatch, while at the same time going up a needle size. This made the body huge, but of course I didn’t have Matt try it on until it was 10 inches past the armpit. It was 5.5 inches too large. Matt asked how long I thought the sweater might last and I said maybe 10 years. He said, “Well I’ll probably get fatter.” It was very sweet of him, but I preferred him to have a sweater he could wear now, and this is also a man that can eat half and half on cereal and whatever else he wants and not gain weight, so I’m not holding my breath on that one. I rrrrrripped back to a few increases before separating the sleeves. At long last I finished the body.

Then I moved onto the sleeves, going along with the decreases in the original pattern, not giving a thought to how the numbers differed or where I wanted the width to end up until I was about 2 inches before the ribbing for the cuffs, knitting along as fast as I could so I could finish this on Christmas Day. Then I took a good look at the suckers and realized how crazy wide the sleeves were compared to his other sweaters. He tried them on. He was nice about it. I finished and blocked it anyway, just to make sure. Annnnnddd…somehow that didn’t make the sleeves magically narrower or better. From the elbows down it just looked like some wings. I probably should have taken a picture of this for documentation and later amusement (I’m not ready to laugh about it yet). Instead, I resigned myself to ripping out 2/3 of the sleeves. ease ripI had him try it on again, holding back my tears (ok, slight exaggeration), and I marked with the stitch marker where the sleeves needed to get drastically narrower. To quickly amend the wings, I decided I would go down a needle size. This time I’ve done some math, so I know if I want him to have approximately 9.5 inch cuffs, I’m going to make about 10 more decreases, one every inch or so. I’m doing both at once so they’ll match perfectly. I think this will fix everything, and if not, I guess I can just force him to wear it or burn the damn thing. ease rip-2Here I go again.

My brother, the ham.

ham-7I made my brother a Howlcat for Christmas, and it turns out that he loves it. He was a real ham for the camera. ham-10 Howlcat can be worn as a cowl or a double thick hat. This is good for my brother, Charlie, because he lives in Minnesota. That seems like a complete frozen tundra to me since I live much further south in Arkansas. Just thinking of those winters makes me shudder. ham-4Charlie requested “a hat that actually fits” for Christmas this year, as two previous attempts were not large enough for his 23.5″ noggin. For this hat I added 10 extra stitched to the width, and a full inch to both sections.

ham-12I used some Cascade 220 Superwash in Summer Sky and some Knit Picks Essential Solids and Twists in Brown. Both are washable, which is a good thing for those that aren’t wool aficionados by nature. The hat took slightly less than one ball for each. ham-6It was extremely gratifying to see him wear it for hours each day at my parent’s house from the time he opened the package until we parted ways a few days later. Christmas gift success!

More examples to come soon…

Success!

Happy Christmas Eve!

Just a couple of weeks ago I was obsessing about this sock yarn, and I found a great score on eBay shortly afterward! I got two balls for less than the price of one. My feet will be in wooly bamboo heaven soon…just as soon as I finish three other projects…onlineI’m just happy to have some in my little paws. It was a little Christmas gift to myself. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! At this moment I’m likely eating too many cookies and knitting as fast as I can to finish Matt’s sweater.

Last minute knitting

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog because I’ve been working on a totally secret project that I can probably talk about in a few days, and Matt’s gargantuan brown sweater (which is thankfully at the sleeves). I had to rip out about 10″ of Matt’s sweater when I made him try it on and it was at least 5″ too big in the chest. Uh, whoops. Don’t get cocky about gauge swatches with garments, people. That’s for another post.

Anyway, this is a little project due on Christmas that I cast on last night. It’s a Howlcat I’m whipping up for my brother. He lives in Minnesota, so the double layered wool hat will suit him well. I have a good chunk of knitting time today and tomorrow, so I’m hoping to get it finished quickly. howlcatI’m using a leftover ball of Cascade 220 Superwash in Summer Sky and I have some Knit Picks Essential sock yarn in a brown that will make the other layer. Superwash seems safest for my baby (30 yr old) brother.

Will I finish this and Matt’s Ease before Christmas? We shall see. Perhaps if I can skip blocking…

Itchy brain

You know when you can’t remember the name of something and it drives you crazy?! I have been trying to think of a yarn that I used for socks for both of my parents ages ago. Unfortunately, this was before I was good about putting almost every project that passed over my knitting needles on Ravelry. It was a sock yarn that was super soft, had a little halo when you knit it, had a bit of bamboo, could be washed and dried like it was no problem, and had a fake fair isle patterning on it. I’ve been wondering about it for a couple of months. When my LYS reopened it wasn’t in the sock yarn area and I didn’t know if it was one that hadn’t made it back into the shop yet, or if it was all gone. Tonight it came to a fever pitch because I just had to know. It was killing me.

Thank goodness for Ravelry!!!

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 8.25.13 PMThere it is. Seems unavailable online, but I’m just happy to have the brain relief. It got slightly fuzzy while I knit it, and it was so incredibly soft. For an inexpensive sock yarn, I was pretty impressed. I still want more, but maybe there is a small chance that my LYS has some somewhere. It seems like the company has other yarns with similar fiber makeups, so if I really must have something like it, I’ll be able to find something like it. I’m just glad to have the mystery solved, and this is a good lesson to keep up my project page so I know what the heck things are!