From the fella’s knitting queue

A couple of weeks ago when I said I didn’t know what to knit Matt immediately had some suggestions for me. Socks, sweater, or the navy arm warmers he’s been wanting. Of course he would have a list. The man has an insatiable appetite for hand knits. arm warmersThe yarn is something unpronounceable to me that I won in a holiday swap a few years back. While not really navy, it’s the closest I had in my stash. I don’t know if I’ve stated this publicly, but I might try to knit the whole summer from my stash. This would be a pretty big feat for me. I might have to allow an exception for a birthday yarn purchase mid-July, but this is my goal. I won’t go into the politics of maternity leave in the United States, but for most people it’s completely unpaid (I’m in this category) and it is requiring some definite budget discipline for us. Luckily I’ve spent years stashing like yarn was going out of style and I have a nice under-the-bed stashed yarn cave to choose from. arm warmers-4I am thinking of writing up this pattern when I get the time. I just did some hand charts on graph paper and went with it. I had to rip it a couple of times because I didn’t like the size first, then the way the chevron looked, but I’m satisfied with the finished result and it barely about 190 yards of fingering weight yarn. arm warmers-2Now to think of a name…It’s so hard to name things.

TTTKAL progress coming soon!

A slight knitting detour

Well, those sleeves were boring the heck out of me, so I decided to take a break. I was also being way too altruistic in my knitting, since all four projects I was working on were for other people. I remembered I had this lovely skein from PrettySouthern sitting in my desk drawer (that’s the ready-to-knit-at-a-moment’s-notice stash spot). I pulled it out and decided to cast on a little hat.

handspun hat

I love watching the colors change all the time. This might be the first time I’ve really knit with handspun yarn. Can that be true? Really? It seems absurd, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. It’s wonderfully soft and lofty. Even though the weather is warming up any second now, I thought I should have one more comfortable slouchy hat to get me through the transition.

Wasabi Cowl

This is another pattern/project I’ve had around for awhile. I wrote this pattern last summer, but neglected taking a picture for a WHOLE YEAR. So, here is the Wasabi Cowl! This pattern is free and available on Ravelry for download. Find it here on Ravelry. Or directly download it. DOWNLOAD PATTERN HERE

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This pattern is extremely simple and ridiculously quick to knit. It is knit on size 19 needles with super bulky Colinette Point 5. I think all in all, it took me less than an hour. I also wanted an excuse to use one of the fun and huge buttons we had at Hand Held.

This isn’t a project that really needs blocking, but I put in on my blocking board and lightly steamed it to get more accurate measurements.

Here is what it looks like on my blocking board:

That picture shows off the yarn overs more than you can see when the cowl is worn.


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Happy knitting!

EDITED TO ADD: Hey guys, I’m disabling comments on this post. Please see the FAQs here before you email with a question and check out all the great projects on Ravelry to see how people are wearing them and what alternate yarns they have used. Thanks!

The Unexpected Hat

I have a love for slouchy hats. This one especially feels almost like a hug from a bunny, as the Classic Elite Yarns Fresco yarn knits up super-soft. I re-knitted and tested the yarn until I could get it the way I wanted with only one skein of Fresco, so it’s  a pretty inexpensive project to make.  It was inspired by the pilot of Unexpected Life. I stopped watching the show (though the main character had some awesome head gear) and started looking for a pattern. When I didn’t find one, I just made my own. The pattern has some fun techniques. I use the Italian Tubular Cast On and you get practice making a 3-row buttonhole. Of course, the button is primarily decorative, so some might choose to forgo the buttonhole and just KNIT. I used this as a pattern in my Continental knitting class at Hand Held over the last few Saturdays, and it seemed to go over really well. 

This is available for sale on Ravelry and also at Hand Held Knitting in Fayetteville, AR.

Camping like elves

Grumpy slouch

This is a hat that I made awhile back. It has a cable whenever I felt like making a cable, and has the same kind of slouchiness in the back that Ysolda Teague uses in Ripley. It’s made out of Princess, by Classic Elite Yarns, which was not quite as soft as I hoped. Some of their yarns, like Fresco, are really much softer and fluffier when you knit them up.

I used the Italian tubular cast on, which makes a lovely professional looking edge, and knit for probably 1 1/2 inches-2 inches. Then I started doing cables whenever I felt like it and crossed them whenever I felt like it, incorporating that Ripley slouch, and BAM, there’s a hat.

I was on my way to the woods and realized I might not have packed warm enough things for sleeping outdoors at night, despite it being 91 degrees during the days…so I was rooting around my car and found this hat. The only thing to finish was weaving in the ends. I’m going to name it Grumpus, and maybe I’ll write up the pattern if there is any interest.  It might be difficult to see the cables in the black yarn.

Grumpus hat

I went camping for the first time in SEVEN years last weekend. My boyfriend wanted to do this for his birthday, so I obliged. Even when I had been camping, it was alway in conjunction with a float trip and near the cars without having to hike in to the woods. For this trip, we slept behind a lovely waterfall with NO TENT. That part was a little bit intimidating, but overall, it was a lovely experience.

We crossed a dirt road by my boyfriend’s friend’s house and were staring at the woods. I saw no trail. There was no trail. We dived right into the hot mess of trees. At first, I was freaking out a little, thinking of all the snakes and ticks and such, but Matt talked me down, and all was well.

We got to stop at a bunch of little creeks and waterfalls and those were gorgeously refreshing in the mid-day heat. I only really lost it once when I realized I had been walking through poison ivy in shorts and Chacos for awhile, but we got back to the creek and washed off and there were no bad repercussions.

I will go camping again, now that I’ve had such a wonderful experience. What I’m really ready for is a float trip, which also hasn’t happened in seven years. I was sooooo sore after this trip. The landscape was much more rough than Matt had experienced it before because in the last two years since he was visited that spot, there had been a couple of ice storms and lots of flooding. This is near the Buffalo River, but we didn’t actually make it to the river with all the boulders and fallen trees blocking the creek. It is an extremely lovely spot, though, and I can’t wait to go again.

Here are a few more pics of the lovely Arkansas outdoors:

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Happy Spring. I’m officially on spring break from school this week with no big plans. I’ve just been enjoying the lovely weather, admiring the newly flowering magnolia and red bud trees, and playing outside as much as possible. I’ve knitted many things that haven’t made it to the blog because as soon as the blog feels like an obligation it becomes less fun.  I’ve been working on Vision, designed by Marie Wallin in the new Rowan 49 magazine. Love working with the super soft Kidsilk Haze, as long as I don’t have to take it out at all. Very clingy. It’s a bunch of mindless stockinette so far with a few short rows here and there. That…and about 4 pairs of socks… and the Larch Cardigan are hanging around the needles. My motivation has waned for these cold weather items as the possibility of going sleeveless all the time gets closer and closer.

I went to a wedding the other day and my roommate suggested that my dress needed something colorful, so I whipped this up.

Spring Creature

It’s inspired by the I-cord necklace in DomiKNITrix, but I didn’t really use the pattern at all. I just got out some magenta Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight that I had left over, some seafoam Malabrigo that I’ve used in a couple of other projects, and some size 1 DPNs. I cast on 3 stitches and increased to form a ball whenever I felt like it, occasionally increasing with yarn overs to create holes. I’m pretty happy with the result and think it could be worn a few different ways. The color makes me think of all the beautiful red bud trees that bloomed out of nowhere this week. Wishing everyone good weather and lots of play time in the outdoors!

Teach me!

I would really like to put together a post about great knitting reference books.  The Knitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley is often mentioned in blogs, and Elizabeth Zimmerman is a queen of good knitting instruction, but what about the other gems?  I’m thinking about categories like patterns, general instruction, and design.  For patterns I’ve heard that Alice Starmore’s book of Fair Isle knitting is amazing, and Barbara Walker has some lovely books of knitting patterns.  I haven’t personally looked at them and used them, yet.  I once got The Principles of Knitting : Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting through interlibrary loan, but it is out of print and I’m unwilling to pay 170 dollars to own my own copy right now, even though it’s completely badass.  I really want to get this book on design, but it’s close enough to my birthday that I guess I should wait…. (ahem, ahem friends and family).  It looks to be very useful and informative.

Even though most things you would want to learn about knitting can be found online when you need them, I still crave holding a book in my hand and perusing it at a leisurely pace. I’d like to put up a post about some of the favorite knitting reference books that knitters like, with a short description of each.  At least for my own use, I’d like to have them in one place, and a blog seems to be a good spot.

So, if you have favorites in the areas of general instruction, patterns, or design, please leave a comment or email me.  I would love to learn more!