Author Archives: onemilljellybeans

New Pattern: Rainbow Socks

It’s been a while since I was able to show you guys a new pattern, so today’s definitely a special day!

I’d like to introduce you to the happiest socks on the block: the Rainbow Socks!

These guys are in the new super-cheerful sock collection from Knit Picks (Pop Socks), which I definitely recommend you check out.

These adorable little guys are a super simple, top-down sock with an afterthought heel. The only tricky part about them is that they’re absolutely COVERED in bright, stripey rainbows! (Which isn’t really tricky, it just involves a lot of end-weaving.)

I’m so pleased with how these turned out, and even more tickled because the Knit Picks team put together a pack of rainbow-colored minis specifically for this project! You can grab the pack here!

I can’t wait to see folks start knitting up these little guys- nothing says “Spring” like hand-knits covered in rainbows!

Grab the pattern here, the book here, and the yarn here!

Flying V

I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of winging this sweater. I thought I had a plan- well, I do have a plan, but it’s a very rough plan. And the further in I get to this project, the more I realize that the “pattern” I wrote up at the beginning of this knit is more of a “suggestion” than an actual pattern.

But that’s fine, it just means I do a little math on the fly, and keep my fingers crossed that everything works out in the end.

The most recent thing that I’ve winged is the V-neck for the front of the sweater. I marked the center-most stitch, then decreased 1 stitch each side of the neck, every RS row. I kept decreasing until the neck seemed wide enough (which I always have trouble estimating). It looks a little wonky because of the cables, but I think it will look OK once I add the neckband. I hope.

I’ve roughly estimated the proportions on this sweater by holding up the project against my kid’s favorite sweatshirt. And, so far it looks OK (though the proportions will change a bit with blocking).

I guess I’ll just keep guessing and keep crossing my fingers, and hopefully it’ll turn out OK (or at least OK enough for my kid to wear it a few times).

Do you ever wing your projects, or are you strictly a follow-the-pattern knitter?

Better late than never

This is one of my favorite/least favorite genre of project. It’s one of those tasks that I know I should get done right away, because if I don’t do it right off the bat, then it’ll sit in my “to be mended” pile for months.

And that’s exactly what happened.

At the beginning of Fall, my big kid was wearing their favorite stripey sweater. It’s a cute, scrappy project that I made for them about a year ago. It’s getting a little “well loved” but still has plenty of life in it.

Anyway, I was sitting, chatting with them, and they were wearing the sweater inside-out (because that’s something that 4-year-olds do, I guess). They noticed the ends poking out of the sweater, and since it was a “use up all the scraps” project, there are quite a few ends. Before I could say anything, they grabbed one end, said “What’s this?” and yanked with all their might.

Sigh.

It doesn’t look that bad from the outside, but it’s turned into a weird, 4-inch-long lump. (It’s the blue stripe right at the top of the red section… It kind of pulls in and makes the blue disappear).

But if you look to the inside… it’s pretty obvious that something’s wrong.

So, I thew the sweater in my knitting/mending pile and figured I’d fix it when I had the time.

Long story short… that was probably 3 months ago, and I’m not even sure if the sweater still fits the kid.

Anyway, in a fit of productivity this afternoon, I sat down for 10 minutes (with the kids crawling all over me, so I probably could have gotten it done in 5, had I been alone) and fixed the whole dang thing. I used a big needle to unpick all the super-tight stitches and redistribute the yarn. Simple.

The sweater is good as new! (I mean, not new. There are plenty of stains and the elbows are a little threadbare. But still.)

Why are the simplest tasks sometimes the hardest to finish?

Making Progress

You guys. I have very very exciting news!

Is it precisely related to knitting? Not on its face, but I think the connection will become clear.

My kid had a playdate yesterday. Our neighbor from down the street came over (by himself!) and the three kids played on their own for just about 2 hours. We’ve never had a kids-only playdate before, and as much as I like having adult friends over, too, this was shockingly lovely.

The kids barricaded themselves into the bedroom, played trains and trucks and LEGO and pretended to be dragons and came out only to ask for a snack about halfway through.

YOU GUYS!!! I GOT TO SIT DOWN BY MYSELF AND KNIT WHILE MY CHILDREN WERE AWAKE AND IN THE HOUSE AND IT WAS AMAZING!

It really feels like this is the beginning of a new era of parenting.

Plus, I got the front of my toddler’s sweater done up to the split for the V-neck. Shocking.

When was the last time that you got surprise time to work on your knitting?

Yarn Therapy

It’s been a wild few weeks at our house. We’ve got a toddler that’s suddenly developed a LOT of opinions. A four-year-old who’s realized that the toddler wants to play with the “big kid toys,” and is suddenly on high alert making sure that “babies don’t go in my room.” We’ve had two rounds of illness (one of which was a nasty stomach bug- my literal nightmare). And I’ve been dealing with drama at the kids’ preschool co-op. (Why do all volunteer-run organizations seem to thrive on big drama?) February has been a lot.

To that end, I haven’t been able to get much knitting time. But what I have gotten has been really lovely. It might just be a row or two each day (or half a row), but it’s been so nice to have a familiar, comforting pattern to fall back on. Something that I know how to do, that I can count on, even when things are rough.

This little sweater is going slowly. It might not be done before the warm weather sets in. It might not be done before the toddler outgrows it (especially at the rate they’re eating lately). But right now, the most important part of knitting isn’t getting the object done. We’ve got plenty of knitwear in this house. It’s having a project available that I know how to do. Something simple and comfortable. Something that isn’t going to require more brain power than the limited supply I have available right now.

And, hopefully, once it’s done (some day), I’ll end up with a cute li’l sweater.

What do you like to work on when you’re overwhelmed?

One Decade

OK, y’all. This is going to blow your mind. Or at least it blew mine. Because it’s been 10 years since I started writing this silly little blog!

If you count it as a job, I’ve been at this for more than twice as long as any other job. It’s been fun, it’s been challenging, and it’s kept me making progress with my knitting and designing life over the years.

Should I have jumped ship for Instagram or TikTok 5 years ago? Probably. But hey, I’m still happy to be chugging along on my never-redesigned site from literally a decade ago. (And what a decade!) Thanks for coming along on the ride with me.

What’s your longest job?

Bigger than expected

I’m cruising along on my two-year-old’s sweater. It’s turning out cute. It’s really reminding me why I like this cable pattern so much that I’ve made it 3 times at this point. It’s just complicated enough to keep it interesting, but also is super easy to follow. There’s never any question about which row gets the cable crosses.

I have to say, however, I’m shocked by how much yarn this project is eating up. In my head, my kid is still a teeny baby who I could make a whole sweater out of a single skein in a weekend. Not so much anymore. I actually used more than one skein just to make the back! I’ve only got three skeins total, so I doubt that I’ll have to enough to make it all the way.

I’d rather not place another order, so I think I’ll just let it ride and cross my fingers until it’s undeniable. (Which will probably be in about two days when I finish the front and have less than a skein to do the sleeves and collar.) Or maybe there’ll be a miracle, and I’ll magically have enough yarn to make it all the way through.

When did my little baby get so big!?

When’s the last time you tried to play yarn chicken? Did you win?

It Begins!

I might not be too excited about the color, but I am excited about the sweater. I’ve started knitting away, and I’m in love.

Like I said before, I’m doing a slightly modified, sized-down version of the Ben pullover. I’m using a smaller gauge, so the cables will be scaled appropriately for a 2-year-old. I’ve taken measurements from one of the kid’s sweat shirts (one that is a little big for him right now, because who knows how long it’s going to take me to finish this sweater), and mathed it out. I’ve decided to do a simple drop-sleeve, instead of a set-in-sleeve, like the original pattern. I just don’t feel like doing the math on a set-in sleeve right now, and I think the drop sleeve will look just fine.

I’ve already gotten a good start on the back (the biggest piece). And I’ve got to say, it’s taking longer than I expected- but I guess that makes sense. My kid isn’t a teeny newborn any more, of course his sweater is going to be a bit bigger!

I’m going to keep cruising through. I hope it turns out as cute as I think it’s going to be!

Have you ever modified a pattern to fit your needs?

True Colors

So you guys remember when I finally bought some yarn a few weeks ago? Well, it came.

To refresh your memory, I’ve decided to finally buy myself some new yarn for the first time in… years. I’ve been just stashbusting left and right since the pandemic began, and to be honest, my stash was never that impressive to begin with. Needless to say, I’ve been feeling less than inspired by my knitting of late.

Anyway, I ordered 3 skeins of Berroco Vintage (a favorite of mine for soft, cozy, easy-ish care garments) in the colorway Okra. A cute, fresh green that I thought would look good on my red-headed 2-year-old. Here it is:

Well, you can imagine how excited I was when I saw the package in the mail- new yarn for a new project that I’m actually excited about? What could go wrong?

Well, look at it:

It’s fully a different color! And this isn’t a case of “Allison doesn’t know how to take pictures!” It’s truly this gray-green sage color, not the cute, chipper Okra color I thought I was ordering. (And, yes, I’ve checked the label- they didn’t send me the wrong color by mistake.)

I guess this is just a great reminder of two things:

  1. Dyelots matter- a lot. There’s a ton of variation in colors, even with a big industrial dyer like Berroco.
  2. Buying yarn online is always a bit of a crap shoot.

Is this the color I picked out? No. Was I bummed when I opened the package? A little bit. Am I still going to use this yarn to make an adorable sweater for my kid? Absolutely.

What’s the wildest color mismatch you’ve come across?

New Favorite

I just love the feeling of making a new project and immediately knowing that that item is going to be a favorite for years. It’s been a minute since I finished a project on such a high note, and I’ve gotta say, it feels good to experience this again.

I finished my alpaca hat this week- I didn’t even wait to block it before popping it on my head and going about my day. It’s soft, warm and cozy, but still feels fancy. I made the brim super long, so I have options about how I can wear it. I can fold it up higher for warmer days, and wear it right down over my ears when it’s chilly. I love the dark, chocolate brown and the simplicity of the design. It’s an incredibly simple hat, and in its simplicity, it’s ultra-versatile.

In fact, I’m considering writing it up as a pattern. Would that be something you’d be interested in?

Of course, I still can’t take a non-awkward picture of myself to save my life, so this one will have to do.

Have you been really pleased with any of your recent projects?