Author Archives: onemilljellybeans

Itty Bitty, Teeny Weenie, Multi-Colored, Striped Pantinis

I got my yarn last week! And by “my yarn” I mean my yarn! My colorways of Felici from Knit Picks (Dragonboat and Fiesta)! And they’re so cute! I’m so pleased with how they turned out. (Fair warning- my pictures do not do the yarn justice. Some day I will learn how to take a photo with color that’s true to real life. Today is not that day.)

I was particularly excited about the Fiesta colorway- It’s way more “It’s the 80’s, so let’s wear our geometric design windbreakers to the mall and show off our ponytails” than I had intended, but in a really good way. I just had to start knitting something with it.

Anyway, I threw aside all the projects I’ve been working on/I’m supposed to be working on and had to cast on something with my new yarn as soon as possible.

It’s self-striping sock yarn, so of course I started a pair of socks.

Ha!

You don’t know me at all.

No! I started making a pair of baby pants! Because why? Because the world needs a pair of 80’s-tastic striped baby pants!

I’m kind of winging the pattern (which will definitely not backfire on me) based on a pair of my kid’s pants, so we’ll see how they turn out. But, they look so cute so far! (Speaking of the kid, he saw me starting one of the cuffs and said “A tiny sweater!” He’s learning so fast.) It was a pain getting the leg stripes to match up, but not too bad. It’ll be worth the futzing when they’re done.

And, don’t worry- I’ve got enough yarn to make myself a pair of socks, too.

Are you getting any Felici? What’s your favorite pattern for self-striping yarn?

Obsessed

I have been BUSY. Not knitting or anything that I’m “supposed” to be doing, but I’ve been busy, powering through my quilt.

I guess the secret to actually finishing a quilt is to let it sit for 7 years in your closet, then be stuck in quarantine for months. Who knew?

Anyway, I’ve made major headway. I’ve done (almost) all the quilting, sewing two lines on either side of each two-color seam. It looks really cute, but man, that was a lot of sewing.

And I like sewing.

I really like how the back looks on a hand-quilted blanket. It’s all cozy and wrinkly around all the quilting. It reminds me of my mom, who was always quilting when I was a kid. (Though, she hand-pieced as well as hand-quilted. She’s crazy. But, her quilts were (and still are) beautiful.)

Once the quilting was pretty much done, I trimmed the batting and the backing, and did a rolled hem to finish the edges. It looks great, except for one section where (years ago) I trimmed the backing way too short, or maybe I’m just did a really bad job centering my quilt top on the backing? So, that section has some scrap yellow fabric sewed on. It’s mostly unnoticeable. (Except for me. I notice it, and it bugs me. But do I ever finish a project without it having some element that I want to fix? No.)

There’s just one little spot that really irks me, though… It’s right here:

That’s right, there’s a tiny scissors-cut, right at the edge of the quilt. Why is it there? When did it get there? Did I do it? If I did, what was I thinking?

So many questions, and no way to easily and invisibly fix it. So, I think I’m going to pout about it for a while, then sew on a patch. Ugh.

Well, I’m almost done- I’ve got to finish up one corner of the border, take out the basting, and probably quilt a little square at the center of each block (I’m a little worried about how puffy the centers will get without any more quilting, but I also want this thing to be DONE).

I’m so close, I can taste it.

Caption Knitting

I’ve been cruising through my quilt (or as much as you can cruise through a quilt… it’s such. so. going), but I’ve hit a bump in the road. And it’s not the bump that I expected.

The bump is that we’ve started watching Dark on Netflix. We’re only a couple episodes in, but I’m hooked. (I know, it’s a show from 3 years ago, so it’s not like I’m on the cutting edge or anything.) But it’s a very well-made show; beautiful, well-acted and really compelling. I’m a sucker for a unique sci-fi show, especially a time-travel story.

But here’s the thing. It’s in German.

I took German in high school, and still remember enough to ask for directions or order dinner, given enough time and a German-English dictionary, but watching (and understanding) a TV show? That’s beyond me.

Which means we have to bust out the closed captions. And that means my eyes have to be glued to the TV. And that means, no quilting for me.

So, I’ve started a new project, just for working on while watching Dark.

It’s a super simple shawl, featuring lots of garter stitch and a really simple repeating pattern for shaping. I’ve based it more or less on the Deep Winter Shawl by Lisa Metzgar. I started by actually following the pattern, but somehow got lost (I blame the closed captions), so I just kinda kept going.

I’m really enjoying my new show, and my new knitting. It’s coming along pretty well, and I think it’s going to be a nice little shawl/scarf when it’s done. Just interesting enough to be fun, but simple enough that it won’t interrupt my TV show (much).

Do you have a dedicated TV project?

Stitching (Instead)

So you guys know I’ve been trying to finish up abandoned projects and use up yarn that’s been languishing in my stash for far too long. I’ve made some progress. It’s kind of satisfying, if I’m being honest. I do like finishing things.

But if we’re talking about unfinished projects, there’s one that I can’t ignore. The Grand Kahuna of WIPs. The White Whale of UFOs.

One major project that’s been languishing for far (far, far, far) too long.

It’s been in my studio since… before we moved (almost 7 years ago), and honestly, probably several years before that. If you told me this was a 10-year-old project, I would believe you.

And the ridiculous part? It’s probably been about 75% finished for the better part of a decade.

It’s my monster quilt.

It’s huge- about 80″ square. No idea why I picked that size. It’s not a standard bed/quilt size, and it’s freaking huge! I don’t know where I got the design, or if there was a pattern, or why I picked the colors I did (yellow is not a color I usually gravitate to…). But, I know I put the quilt top together, made the sandwich, basted the layers together did about half of the quilting before I got bored/distracted and forgot about the quilt. Every few months/years I’d see it in my closet and go, “Huh… I should work on that,” then forget about it again.

At the beginning of quarantine, I really started to buckle down on this project, alternating hand-quilting a square or two with working up a baby sweater sleeve or a few inches of scarf. It’s coming along, I’ve only got about 9 more squares to go (plus the edges and sewing on the binding… but let’s not dwell on that yet).

It’s a satisfying project, but if I ever say I want to make a quilt again, maybe don’t let me…

Have you ever actually finished a ridiculous unfinished project?

I MADE SOME YARN!

I usually try to write something clever, or at least do a little funny intro to my posts, but the only thing I can say today is:

I MADE SOME YARN!

YOU CAN BUY IT!

IT’S SUPER PRETTY!

A few months ago (actually, quite a few months ago, because apparently it takes a while to manufacture yarn), I collaborated with KnitPicks to design a couple colorways of their eternal-favorite self-striping sock yarn, Felici, and my yarn has just become available!!

My skeins are the bottom two- the bright, multi-colored ones! They’re both inspired my my (sometimes unrequited) love of gardens and gardening. (They both had garden-y names when I designed them, but I guess the KP marketing folks decided to rename them… who knows?)

The first one, Dragonboat, is a mix of greens and bright red, yellow and orangey-pink, the colors of my favorite zinnias, which always remind me of a summer garden. Not my summer garden, since all my zinnias are kind of sad and stunted this year, but still.

My other skein, Fiesta, is inspired by my neighbor’s garden. She’s a much better gardener than I am, and her yard is always teeming with vibrant dahlias, powder-blue hydrangeas, vivid roses and golden sunflowers.

I can’t wait to see the yarn in person- my skeins are en route as we speak! I think I’m going to start with a classic pair of stockinette socks, but then who knows where I’ll go… hats for everyone? A stripey sweater for the kid? The sky’s the limit!

Grab your skeins here!

Instant Gratification

I’ve been all about instant gratification these days, in my knitting and in my day-to-day life. (I may have eaten an entire pan of brownies in the last 3 days. Don’t judge me.)

I set out all these goals at the beginning of quarantine that I was going to use this forced downtime to finish up projects that I’d been putting off/forgotten about. I was going to use up my stash yarn- after all, it’s not like I can just pop down to the LYS. And I have been responsible… somewhat. I’ve finished my shawl, and some socks, and have actually resurrected a quilt that I started working on almost 10 years ago (more on that later). But the last few weeks, all I want is a fun, quick, easy project in a soft yarn and a pretty color.

Luckily, I have/had a whole bunch of Knit Picks Provincial Tweed in my stash (one of my favorite yarns for baby clothes), and a couple of pregnant friends.

That can only mean one thing- more Flax Lights!

That’s right, I’ve dived right in and knit three more Flax Lights one after the other. Two were in the smallest size for new babies due this fall, and one in size 4-6 for my kid, who’s already on the edge of outgrowing his red sweater, even though he’s just over 2… he’s a lanky kid that won’t stop growing! (The big sweater is currently being worn by my kid who should be napping, but is rolling around his crib like a wild man.)

I think I’ve now knit…6? I think? Flax Lights for my kid and friends’ kids. They’re kind of the perfect baby sweater. There’s no buttons to fuss with. The back and front are the same, so you don’t have to worry about which way you put it on. The neck-hole is really generous (important if your kid has a melon like mine does). And it’s a quick, easy knit. I can do a baby size in about a week (a couple days if I put my mind to it).

And, the yarn I’ve been using (Provincial Tweed) is just a dream for kids clothes. It’s super machine-washable and dry-able(!). I’ve washed my kid’s sweater probably a dozen times and it just looks better and better. The yarn is super soft, perfect for sensitive kiddos. And (this might be gross), since it’s a tweed, it hides dirt surprisingly well if you can’t quite get to the laundry as quick as you want. (Note: it’s marketed as a worsted weight, but honestly, it’s more of a DK or even a sport. It’s perfect for this pattern, with no substitutions/alterations, but it’s important to know if you’re planning using it to sub for a different, worsted-weight yarn.)

Plus, now I have a whole herd of little kids/babies running around Seattle in matching blue sweaters! Adorable!

New Pattern(s)! Puget Hat

It’s new pattern time!

Actually, it was new pattern time two (three?) months ago… Things have slipped through the cracks, what with everything going on. But hey! That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a new pattern.

Actually, 2 new patterns!

That’s right, today I’ve got not one, well, two, but kind of just one cute little hat(s)- The Puget Hat in Fingering and Worsted!

They’re both simple bottom-up beanies with a big panel of cabling on one side. But, the big difference between the two patterns (as you might have guessed) is gauge and yarn requirements.

The fingering-weight hat is a really great light hat for cool fall nights when you just need a little something extra to stay warm, but the worsted hat is perfect for the depth of winter, and will keep you toasty even in the snowiest months of the year.

I love the decrease details at the top. Instead of a typical, boring decrease pattern, this hat features an X-shaped decrease scheme, a super-cute detail that’s surprisingly easy to work.

Check in your stash to see what extra skeins you have waiting, then head over to Knit Picks to grab the Puget Hat: Fingering or the Puget Hat: Worsted!

And now, socks!

I’m continuing on my streak of “Finishing off projects that should have been done weeks ago if I’d only not been a doofus” with my newest pair of socks.

If you’ll remember, I had some special yarn from a trip to Austin. It’s a lovely gray-blue handpaint, super soft and cozy that I was really excited to knit with. So excited that I decided to knit up a whole improvised cable sock without doing a swatch.

And, exactly what you’d expect to happen happened.

The sock was tiny and depressing, too small for me to even consider wearing. I thought about making a second one to match and finding someone with smaller feet to wear them, but, well, I wanted to wear them.

So, after a few weeks in time out, I ripped out the tiny sock, lightly blocked the yarn to make it lose its kink, and went back to my original plan- Monkey Socks. I’ve made this pattern a bunch of times before, and I don’t know why I decided against it this time. It’s simple, effective, and super cute. Plus, they fit me!

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I did my favorite reinforced heel and made them a little longer than suggested, but they’re perfect for me.

However, I had a bear of a time taking a flattering picture of them, so you’ll have to trust me when I say they look great!

Do you have a favorite go-to pattern that’s always turns out the way you want?

Treasure

Something wild happened the other day.

I’ve been cleaning out my studio (because what else are we supposed to do while still on lockdown?), and I’ve been discovering a bunch of half-finished projects.  I found part of an afghan from 2013 (according to Ravelry), and two quilts in various stages of completion (one’s easily a decade old.  I think I started it when I first moved to Seattle…).

And, I found a baby sweater!  It was 99% finished.  The ends were even woven in.  It was so cute and tiny, and just was missing a few buttons and a block.

And I have ZERO memory of making it. I don’t know the yarn or the pattern, or when I made it or why. All I know is that it must have been made way before I had my kid, because it’s white.  And who in their right mind would make a white baby sweater?  Me, apparently.

But it’s so cute!

It’s got kind of a “1950s Letterman’s sweater” vibe and just needed buttons.  I went digging through my button jar, and found 4 different sets, two sizes of white buttons, and two sets of gold ones (eagles and lions).

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After a little debate between me and myself, I decided the lions were too perfect not to use.  They’re a slightly warmer color than the eagles, and just so ridiculous. (Unfortunately, they’re completely impossible to photograph.  You’ll just have to trust that they’re lions.)

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And so, with about 15 minutes’ work (plus blocking time, I’ve got an instant preppy baby sweater!

Now just to wait for someone to have a baby (who doesn’t mind doing laundry).

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Have you ever left a project unfinished for so long that you forgot all about it?

Finally Finished!

I’ve had a little run of… we’ll say “projects that haven’t been too successful.”  There were the socks that ended up three sizes too small, the woven scarf that took a left turn (literally) and the sweater that didn’t go to plan.  What with *vaguely gesturing* everything that’s happening, it just seemed to make sense that none of my knitting is working out either.  This whole spring/summer/year seems cursed.

Anyway, with all that, I decided I needed to finish something.  I have had my Stonecroft shawl literally sitting on my desk, looking at me for a good 4 months now.  It was basically done, except that I had lost yarn chicken while binding off the last 10 or so stitches.  I got frustrated with it, couldn’t decide how to fix it, and just… let it sit there.

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So, last weekend I decided NO! I’m going to finish something.  And it’s going to be successful, by god!  I ripped out a couple rows and re-bound-off.  (I had been toying with the idea of ripping way back to make the border wider, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that.  A decision I’m glad I made.)

And, within an evening, I had finished the project that had been sitting, teasing me for months.

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I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out- I’m not even mad at the slightly-narrower-than-called-for border.  It’s lovely, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

Of course, now that I’ve finished it, the weather has turned and I have no use for a cozy shawl…  But isn’t that always the way?

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Have you finished any projects lately?