Category Archives: On My Needles

Like an Elf

OK, y’all. I got one done! And it didn’t even take all that long. (In hours of work time, anyway. In days/weeks of calendar time, that’s a different story.)

It turned out super cute, even though the top is a little different from the one I made myself- I’m not sure exactly what happened there, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t use a pattern… or notes…

I think the big kid is going to like it!

But here’s the big question: it’s only a couple short weeks until Christmas- will I have time to make a second for the little kid? Or will they get a nice “New Year’s Hat” instead? Fingers crossed.

When’s the last time you had to race against the calendar to get a project done?

For the Children

OK, so you know how I finished my hat for myself last week? And I was so proud of myself/of my hat? Well, my children have fully stolen it. And I don’t know if they have weirdly large heads, or if that’s just how kids are made (I know I certainly don’t have a small head), but my hat fits both of them pretty perfectly… even the 2-year-old.

So this is kind of a good news/bad news situation. The bad news is that I have to go back to my old, sun-faded hat while the children fight over my new “Rainbow hat.” But the good news is that I don’t have to figure out a new pattern for their Christmas hats!

Because the yarn they dyed the other day was the same base as my “rainbow yarn”, I don’t even have to re-do the math. So great!

So I’m already diving in, because Christmas is closer than I’d like to admit, and I have a feeling that the one-week timeline for my hat isn’t likely to be repeated.

And, I’ve got to say, it’s cool seeing the kids’ yarns getting knit up- I actually really like this color combo! I didn’t think it was going to look that good, but I’m really enjoying it! Now, can I get both hats done in a month? Time will tell.

Are you doing any Christmas Knitting?

Like the Wind!

WOW! Y’all! Guess what?

I KNIT A HAT AND I DID IT IN A RESONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. I think it only took a week… maybe two? I don’t remember exactly when I started it. And sure, I had a lot more time on my hands this week because my kids got sick and fully passed out on the couch, watching Paw Patrol for 3 days, but still. (They recovered just in time for Daylight Saving’s Time to mess them up again… So fun!)

I made a hat and I’m so pleased with it!

It’s roughly based on Jason’s Cashmere Hat, a free pattern by Melissa Thomson, but worked in Knit Picks Muse that I had in my stash. It’s a super-cozy hand-painted single ply yarn. I didn’t have quite enough to make a fold-over brim, but it’s still pretty cute.

I just love the colors in this yarn. It falls somewhere between autumn reds and jewel-tone purples. Plus, there are little speckles of emerald greens, sapphire blues and coppery-browns. It was so fun to see the colors as I knit it up!

And, as happy as I am with the hat, I still can’t manage to take a non-awkward photo of myself. You’d think the I’d have figured it out by now… I’ve only been doing this blog for 9+ years…

Have you worked up anything satisfying lately?

Done-kin

You guys, I did it! I actually did it! I finished a project in a reasonable amount of time!

That’s right. I finished up my little no-pattern knit pumpkin, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

I put it together it one night after the kids went to bed. I stuffed it, closed it up with some sturdy cotton thread, and gave it a cute little “pumpkin” shape by sewing a couple stitches through the center and pulling them tight. I left it out on the coffee table, meaning to go out in the morning to find a nice twig to hot-glue on as the “stem.”

Well, the next day my husband took the “early shift” with the kids, and so when I got up, I was greeted by both very awake children taking turns chucking the pumpkin at each other as hard as they could and laughing like crazy. Ah, brothers.

Needless to say, I changed my mind about the “very pokey stick” idea. Instead, I knit a couple inches of I-cord and sewed it in place as a little loop stem, and called it a day. I have to say, it looks pretty cute. And it won’t (knock on wood) cause any scratched corneas. I hope.

Have you done any quick, successful projects lately?

Pumpkin

I’m back on the horse (sort of). I’m starting real slow, and digging (once again) into my stash. I’m all about easy, fast projects right now. I need something that I can work on for max 1 hour per day and get finished in a week.

I was inspired by the pumpkins I wrote about last week, and decided to go ahead and make my own. (Bonus, it will be a pumpkin that my almost-2-year-old can throw across the room without hurting anyone or anything. Which has been a problem… He’s got an impressive arm on him for someone who is literally knee-high.) Of course, I didn’t want to do anything like “following a pattern” or “reading instructions,” so who knows how it’ll turn out. It’ll be a Halloween surprise!

Basically, I grabbed a handful of half-used skeins from a craft kit I finished years ago (I think it was a basketry kit? All I know is that this yarn was not exactly meant for knitting. It’s soft and pretty, but very splitty). I cast on a multiple of 12 stitches (maybe 60? 72? not sure), and got knitting. I started doing a 2×4 rib, but then got bored and threw in some cable crosses every 5th row. I literally grabbed colors at random, and switched when I ran out. It’s all very scientific.

But I like how it’s turning out. My plan is to use some crochet cotton to close the top and bottom like a drawstring bag, then stuff it, and use a few big stitches through the center of the form to give it a more realistic “pumpkin” shape. Then, I was thinking I’d either knit up a little bit of I-cord for a stem, or maybe find a real stick out in the yard to glue in place as a stem. Not sure yet.

But, I’m feeling positive about this project, and I’m excited to see how it turns out. And if I have extra yarn, well, maybe I’ll end up with a little family of pumpkins. Fingers crossed that it turns out as cute as I think it will.

Are you working on any fall-y projects this year?

A Modern Miracle

You guys. I can’t believe it. I actually finished it! I finished the kid’s sweater! After three whole months, I finally actually factually finished it. That’s right. It took me three months to finish a sweater for a 4-year-old.

And when you think about it that way, two weeks to put buttons on is nothing!

I found this amazing set of pinkish-maroon-y buttons, that went perfectly with the red yarn without being too matchy-matchy. They came from my Grandma’s old button collection, and are probably from the 70’s (according to a bit of light Googling).

I sewed those buggers on and blocked the thing! The ends are in, the buttons are on, it’s all really and truly finished. Thank goodness. I didn’t think this sweater was ever going to be done.

Of course, it’s approximately one bazillion degrees out now, so the kid won’t touch the sweater with a ten-foot pole, much less put it on for a final photoshoot. But, hey, we can’t have everything, can we? So, instead, I’ll style it by laying it on my unswept floor with a bunch of our ever-present Brio trains. (Seriously. They’re always out.)

I’m off to drink a celebratory LaCroix (it’s too hot for anything else right now), and think about what my next project should be.

What have you been working on lately?

And Done*

*kinda.

After all that complaining about how long the kid’s sweater was taking, it turns out that all I really needed was about 2 hours and a couple episodes of Drag Race and…. Fanfare, please!

It’s done! I finished up the ribbing, bound off and even wove in the ends!

The sleeves are ridiculously long on the kid, but fit well enough when I roll up the cuffs, and the body is long, but not looong. I think (hope) that they’ll get a year or two’s use out of it (and I have plenty of extra red yarn, so I can always make the body longer as the kid gets taller). Although, at the rate they’re growing, it’s going to be too small for them by the time I finish typing out this post. Kids, am I right?

Now, just to get it blocked out and add the buttons. That certainly can’t take longer than actually knitting up the sweater. Right?… Right?

Have you finished anything big lately?

Slow going…

I guess my days of banging out a sweater in a weekend are behind me (at least until my kids can fend for themselves for more than five minutes at a time, anyway). I’ve been working on this ding dang sweater for more than two months at this point. And it’s a kid’s sweater!!

Ridiculous.

I mean, sure, I’m busy. The big kid has decided not to nap any more, and the little one has decided that it’s hilarious to take my ball of yarn and try to run around the house with it, so I’m relegated to knitting only after bedtime. And yes, it’s been hotter than the blazes over here, so I haven’t wanted to knit. AND, sure, I’ve been doing some design work that’s been using up what little knitting time I have. AND, of course, I accidentally picked a size that won’t fit my kid for about 3 more years… it could practically fit a (small) grownup!

But still. I’m ready for this project to be done.

At least it’s turning out cute. I’ve just got an inch or two left of the hem, a bunch of ends to weave in, and buttons to add. It’s practically finished!

Ha. (Let’s see how many more weeks it’ll take for me to finish up. Taking bets now!)

What’s the slowest you’ve done a project? Did it ever get finished?

Christm-ish

So, I went back and forth for a while about what color to get to finish off the kid’s sweater. And, while I was leaning toward the nice light green, or a neutral oatmeal/gray, they were adamant that they wanted RED.

I managed to talk them down from RED red, to this nice shade of “Black Cherry.” Not necessarily what I would have picked, but, hey, it’s not my sweater.

It took a while for the yarn to show up, so I haven’t gotten far, but I’ll be honest, I like it more than I thought I would. I figured the red + green would look so Christmassy, that I wouldn’t like it, but I’ve surprised myself that I don’t hate it.

(Would I have preferred not running out of green yarn to begin with? Yes. Would I have picked another color if it had been up to me? Yes. But, such is life with a preschooler.)

What new color combinations have you tried recently?

Choosing

OK, it’s officially official. I’m out of green yarn. (OK, not 100% out of green yarn, but close enough that I know for a fact I won’t make it to the end of this sweater. Unless I make this into a crop-top with 3/4 sleeves.)

So now, it’s time to buy some more yarn. In a perfect world, I’d love to get more of the same yarn (Douglas Fir), but I can’t imagine that the dye lots will be exactly the same, 10+ years after I bought this yarn.

So, I’ve gone through the Webs and picked out a couple favorite colors to do a series of mock-ups.

(My favorite) Fennel. Fairly low-contrast. I like the green-on- green, and I’d imagine it won’t take too much away from the subtle mistake-rib yoke.

(The kid’s favorite) Black Cherry. Honestly, they wanted red red, but I talked them down to this pretty garnet-y shade. Looks nice, but I can’t help but thinking it looks a little Christmas-y.

Oats. A nice neutral-y cream. Not too white (to hide the dirt that will inevitably build up on the sweater), but still nice.

Aubergine. A pretty dark purple. I’m a sucker for purple and green. Plus, the kid looks great in purple.

Thoughts? Feelings? Have I missed any fantastic color choices?