Tag Archives: blanket

Inspiration: Autumnal Equinox

It’s officially Fall!  Happy Autumnal Equinox, everybody!  It’s now officially the best time of the year!!  It’s time for cool, drizzly days, steaming cups of hot cider, and cozy afternoons knitting on the couch and listening to old records.  The Autumn Rain has started here in Seattle, and I’m looking forward to everything getting green again.

(What, I’m the only one who prefers cold and rainy over sunny and hot?  Well, I’m a knitter, it’s in my DNA.)

Autumn is the time of year I like to start hibernating, making my house as cozy as possible.  It’s all about warm soups and comfy blankets (until the day after Thanksgiving, at which point my house turns into a Magical Christmas Extravaganza).

If I didn’t have a million things to do, I’d make myself this fantastic fall afghan.  I have a similar one that my Mother-in-Law (Hi Kris!) made me years ago.  I keep it in my studio, and it’s perfect for when my old house gets a little too drafty.  But this one’s lovely color scheme would be perfect for autumn!

Autumn Waves Throw by Mary MaximOr maybe I should make this blanket?  I can’t get over how gorgeous this crazy-oversized lace pattern is.  I bet it would work up in no time!

Autumn Lace / Winter Lace / Mayfield Afghan by Lion Brand YarnI don’t think you can have too many blankets (just ask my husband), but you can’t be truly comfy without a few pillows in the mix.  And my current throw pillows are getting a little bit… disreputable (dog hair just gets everywhere).   Maybe I should bust out a couple cute new throw pillows?  Maybe ones like this:

Autumn Equinox Pillow by Maria O’KeefeWhat do your thoughts turn to in the fall?

Snips and Scraps

I’ve been making a lot of socks lately, which means I’ve been ending up with a lot of little balls of scrap yarn.   You know, the 10 or 20 grams of sock yarn that’s left over after you’ve finished your socks.  It’s not enough to make another pair (or anything else really), but it’s enough that you can’t bear to throw it away. When I have leftover bits of worsted yarn, they go into my Mother Bear stash, but when it’s sock yarn… I just kind of hold onto it “just in case.”

So, let’s take a look at some gorgeous pattern ideas about what to do with those last little bits of sock yarn.

I love this simple blanket- it’s nothing more complicated than a mitered stockinette square, but the combination of all those sumptuous colors of leftover sock yarn… gorgeous!

Giant Square Scrap Blanket by Laura PetersOf course, this quilt is the new standard “using up all my lovely bits of yarn” pattern.  I’ve seen lots of knitters making the little hexipuffs, but I’ve never actually seen a finished one in person.  Maybe that’s a sign that I need to make one for myself. (Or maybe it’s a warning that if I start it, I’ll never finish it.  It could go either way, really.)

the beekeeper’s quilt by tiny owl knits

I really love this blanket, too.  I love the seashell pattern, and the fact that it’s all knit in a single piece- no seaming!  I imagine the short rows might get a bit tiring after a while, but the finished product is so pretty, they might be worth it.

Seashell Scrap Yarn Blanket by Charan Sachar

What do you do with your scrap yarn?  Do you have a go-to scrap yarn project?

*Yawn*

Good morning, everyone.  Did you sleep well?

No?  Me neither.  I don’t now if it’s the springtime pollen in the air, or something I’ve eaten, or that I have something on my mind, but I’ve been having a tough time sleeping the last few days.  Or, I should be more precise, I’m having a tough time getting out of bed in the morning.

All I want to do right now is close all the shades, snuggle back under the covers, and sleep for about three more hours.  Somehow, I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that, what with work, housework, and one small dog that’s really looking forward to going on a walk.

Instead of going back to sleep, let’s look at adorable knit sleep aids, and dream of dreaming.

I always have cold feet, and my current slippers are getting a bit disreputable, so maybe I should knit up a pair of these thrummed slippers to wear before bed, while sipping my Sleepytime Tea.

Cadeautje by Ysolda TeagueThen I could prop myself up with this adorable sheep pillow while I read a chapter or two of my current novel before bed.

Bobble Sheep Pillow in Super Soft Merino by Purl SohoAnd then I’d snuggle under my pile of blankets, and go to sleep.  I can always use one more blanket, and this one looks so soft and pretty, I know I’d get really good sleep under it.

Garter Squish by Stephen WestAll this sleep-talk is making me, well, sleepy.  I’d better go make some coffee *yawn*, or I’ll just end up back… zzzzz…..

Zzzzz… Huh? What? I’m awake!

Oh my god, you guys.  I just had a ridiculously fun long weekend.

My in-laws came to visit (Hi, in-laws!) and we spent three days on the Olympic Peninsula.  We hiked, we picnicked, we beach-combed, and we played in the snow.

We rented a little cabin, tucked between a lake and a beautiful waterfall, and spent two nights there, between day trips across the Peninsula.    We went beach combing on Rialto Beach (along the Pacific coast). Ollie really liked that- especially the piles of stinky driftwood!WP_20160402_004And, we went up to Hurricane Ridge, where there were still feet and feet of snow on the ground!  It was just gorgeous! Ollie had never seen snow before, and I think he enjoyed it.  He rolled around in it like an idiot (an adorable idiot, of course) and tried (unsuccessfully) to catch the snow balls we tossed for him.  And he also managed to pose like a model for Doggy Vogue. (So glamorous!)WP_20160403_025Needless to say- we are completely beat.  I’m still in my PJs, and my husband could barely get out of bed this morning to get to work.  And I don’t think the dog has been awake for more than 30 minutes at a time since we got home.

All I want to do is curl up in my warmest, comfiest knitwear and read a book.  (Any recommendations?)

I’d love to wear this adorable striped, cabled, and pocketed sweater.  How cute and cozy!

Cosy… by Marion CrivelliDSCN0278_medium2[1]

And this shawl somehow manages to be both modern and very classic.

Campside by Alicia PlummerIMG_5088_medium2_medium[1]

But, really, all I want to do is cuddle up under this blanket and go to sleep.

Neat Ripple by Lucy of Attic244441709480_00f95eea23_z[1]

I can skip work today… right? Right?

What do you like doing after a big, fun, but exhausting trip?

Achoo!

Yesterday was the equinox, so happy official spring everybody!

Here in Seattle, the trees and flowers have decided to blossom with a vengeance!  I swear, when I even look outside my nose starts running, and I begin to sneeze uncontrollably.  Not ideal, sure, but does that stop me from picking flowers and bringing them inside?  Ha! Histamines be damned!  I’m going to enjoy spring!

But, maybe I should just stick to only non-allergy-producing flowers.  Maybe I could work up some adorable knit floral patterns like these:

It’s not quite warm here- a damp chill in the 40s and 50s, so a lovely blanket like this, strewn with gorgeous flower motifs would be just the ticket!

Frida’s Flowers Blanket by Jane Crowfoot

12794767_10209072076018969_2032870089130453054_o_medium2[1]If I had a little girl, I would totally make her this darling cardigan.  (I wonder if my dog would be willing to put up with a sweater like this… hmm.)

Flower Cardigan by Ewelina Murachback_1_medium2[1]And, I have to admit that my teapot is shockingly naked at the moment.  Maybe I should work up this warm-looking tea cozy strewn with adorable little violets and leaves.

Floral Knitted Tea Cosy by Madame Weigel2093437863_88361d4cf1_z[1]I suppose I should just admit to myself that I’ll be stuck in the house, hiding from pollen until July.  I guess I just need to curl up under a nice, warm blanket like this one and watch a lot of Netflix, until spring is done and summer is in full swing.  (I suppose there are worse things to do.)

Floral Baby Blanket by Adi Kerenpic_medium2[1]

What’s the flower situation like in your neck of the woods?  Have your daffodils come up yet, or your cherry trees blossomed?

Blackout!

This Sunday we were attacked by the biggest wind storm I’ve seen since I moved here 5 years ago- maybe ever (which is saying something, coming from Illinois, where gales of wind rip across the state, since there’s nothing taller than a stalk of corn to stop them).  Trees were torn up, power lines were downed, they even had to close the 520 bridge because the waves on Lake Washington were so big, they were splashing up onto the bridge and causing dangerous conditions.

Our neighborhood lost power at about 2:00 in the afternoon.  And we didn’t get it back until the middle of the night- almost 12 hours later.

We didn’t feel safe driving anywhere, since the roads were littered with debris, and we didn’t want to leave the house, in case something went wrong (our house is surrounded by very big, very old trees- charming in sunny weather, scary in a wind storm).  So, we stayed in and watched the neighbor’s 3-story-tall pine trees whip back and forth like blades of grass.  It was kind of terrifying, but also really cool.

So, what did we do for 12 hours of powerlessness?

We played cards, listened to the music on our phones (until the batteries got too low), read books, and (of course) knit.

I continued working on a sweater design that I had already started (you’ll see it soon, but not today).  But, if I’d had time to plan my blackout knitting, I probably would have picked out patterns like these:

I would start with something super fiddly and technical.  After all, with no TV to distract me, I could really throw myself into a pattern like this gorgeous (and futzy) Fair Isle hat.

Electric Snow Fair Isle Hat by Don Godec4127721009_cc9c8f6a81_z[1]Then, when the sun started to go down, I would switch over to a pattern that used super bulky yarn.  With lowered visibility, big yarn is a must, and this hat’s simple design would be perfect for knitting in the dark.  Have you ever tried to knit by candlelight?  It’s not easy.  Trust me.

The Vermonter by Abi Gregoriovermonter2_medium2[1]

And, of course, no power means no heat (at least in my house).  So I would need as many blankets as possible!  This garter-stitch one would be perfect- squishy and warm!

Buncha Squares Blanket by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne2188346768_0ffdfd92b9_z[1]

Luckily our power’s back on now and we’re all back to normal (though it still feels luxurious every time I can open the fridge without worrying about the food spoiling).  But next time, I’ll be prepared!

Have you ever had a blackout in your neighborhood?  What did you do to keep yourself busy?

Inspiration: Dogs!

Did you watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show yesterday?  Because I sure did!

I realize it’s super silly, but I just love seeing all the breeds.  Isn’t it amazing how different they all are?  And the pups just look so happy out there running around with their heads held high putting on a show.  Delightful!

I think my favorite aspect of the show (other than when a dogs jump on their handlers, which makes me feel less guilty about our dog jumping on us when we get home from work) is how each breed seems like they have a totally different personality.

A personality that I can interpret through the medium of knitting patterns.  Because I’m me.

Best in Show this year was a German Shorthaired Pointer named CJ.   Pointers are hunting dogs, and can’t you just see him running around a little pond lined with cat tails, and retrieving a duck for his owner?   2016_bis_winner[1] And, in this scene, I imagine his owner would be wearing a cream-colored sweater with leather buttons and a shawl collar.  Something with a lot of cables.  It would be preppy, yet functional.  Warm, yet stylish.

Something like this:

Snoqualmie by Michele Wang Snoqualmie_04_medium2[1] The Best in Show Runner-up was as Borzoi named Sassy Girl.  I feel like Sassy Girl would not like getting her paws dirty.  I could see her accompanying her owner on a trip to Saks Fifth Avenue to get a new rhinestone collar and a silk pouf for her to lie on in front of the fire.2016_bis_runnerup_winner[1]I think this pretty girl would appreciate a beautiful square shawl of Orenburg lace, as they both hail from Russia.

Gaïa by Marie Adeline Boyer14023700106_f5601136ef_z[1]My favorite breed, though has to be the Tibetan Terriers (not that I’m biased or anything, but my dog, Ollie, is a Tibetan).  They’re such happy little dogs, and when they’re shown, they have such dumb little haircuts.  (How can they see!?)

Little Diamond Hunter won his breed (and of course he did- look at that shiny coat!), but was sadly beat out by a bulldog for Best in Group.

NP29619004[1]Ollie was devastated.WP_20160216_005But he consoled himself by burrowing further into the couch and tangling himself in a blanket.  Because that’s what Tibetan Terriers do- they’re champion couch hanger-outers.

In fact, if Ollie (and probably Diamond Hunter) could pick a knitting pattern, I bet they’d pick this gorgeous blanket- it’s the perfect combo  of comfortable and fancy,  just like Tibetans.

Ribbon Weed by Kate BostwickThrow_Hero_2_medium2[1]

What was your favorite dog?  What pattern would you pick for them?

Apparently It’s Leftovers Month

I feel like I’ve been talking about using up leftovers a lot lately.  I suppose, I have been trying to use up my stash before I go buy more (I’m almost out of space in my yarn bins).

And this week isn’t any different.

Over the years I’ve collected a bunch of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in a selection of natural heathered colors from off-white to dark, chocolate brown.  I’ve used this yarn in a bunch of projects- mostly blankets, and no matter how carefully I plan, I always end up with a bunch of half-skeins leftover.  I even had several half-skeins of the same colors, but different dye lots.

I had to figure out what to make with this ragtag bunch of yarn.  Anything fancy, like a sweater, was out because of the weird amounts of each color yarn.  Anything that took a lot of planning was out, too- I wasn’t in the mood to do a lot of math on this one.

So, I arranged the yarn in a gradient from lightest to darkest, dug out my crochet hooks and just started making a granny square.

And kept on going- using up one skein after another.  (The little bits leftover are going to turn into another Mother Bear– I think I have a problem.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe blanket ended up about 4 feet by 4 feet- a nice size for a lap blanket or maybe a baby blanket (though I don’t know if I’d give a baby an itchy wool, non-washable blanket).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOllie seems to like it.  He saw me taking pictures and came over to give it the official “Dog Seal of Approval.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And then he fell asleep- because he leads a very high-energy, stressful life.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat have you been doing to use up your leftover skeins of yarn?

Inspiration: Sick Day

Ugh…  I am feeling super under the weather today.  I’ll spare you the details (because ew), but suffice it to say that I kind of want to go back to bed and curl up with a cup of tea and a handful of Rolaids.  Blergh.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling poorly, nothing sounds better than snuggling up under a literal pile of knitting.

Let’s start with a simple, cozy pullover.  I kind of super want to make this sweater.

Undone by Jen GeigleyDSC_7173_medium2[1]Then pile on a big old cabled scarf- the kind that is so fluffy just your eyes peek out over top.

Celtic Cable Scarf by Martin Storeyceltic_20cable_20web_20cov_medium2[1]And finish this sick-day ensemble with a simple textured blanket.  This would be great wrapped around your shoulders while you heated up water for a third cup of peppermint tea, or tucked around your legs while sitting on the couch.  Delightful!

Chloe Blanket by Libby Summers

chloebeige_medium[1]Well, I’m about ready to go back to sleep.  What do you do on your sick days?

Inspiration: Shark Attack!

Remember a couple months ago when I was mildly obsessed with these mermaid tails?

1962699_10153195383503330_642696267624178778_n[1]Well, I’ve gotten a new obsession, and I think it’s even cooler.

SHARK ATTACK BLANKETS!

Bulky & Quick Shark Blanket by MJ’s Off The Hook Designs003_medium2[1]So fun, right?

Someone posted this to my Facebook wall a while ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them for weeks.

Fast and Easy Shark Tail Blanket by Sheila Hunt11781678_10153449629468632_5745988423847236629_n_medium2[1]They’re essentially the same as the mermaid tail blankets, but much more bad-ass.   (Just look at those sharp, sharp teeth!)

Can I justify spending the time and money on something as silly as a shark attack blanket and still conciser myself a grown-up?

Maybe.