Tag Archives: garter

One down

One project done, and several to go!

I’ll be honest, I thought I’d be through more projects by now (since we’re about halfway through the Olympics), but I guess my powers of estimation (and powers of sitting comfortably on the couch) are less than perfect these days.

Anyway, I finished the baby blanket, and it turned out great!It’s just about a yard square, insanely soft and squishy.  It used up a bunch of my old sock yarn stash, which is great, but I still have plenty of yarn left (maybe even enough to make another blanket?).I wove in my ends and trimmed all the tails on Saturday, and then got right onto the next project.  My hand-spun party scarf!

It’s been sitting on a shelf for probably three or four years at this point, so I forgot what size needles I had been using (apparently I had stolen the needles out of the project at some point over the years).  I ended up ripping out the whole thing, which sent my allergies going (so much dust!).  But, after finding the Kleenex, I got down to business.  I cast on 30 sts, and just went to town knitting.  So far I’ve got a little over two feet of knitting done, and I’m loving how it’s turning out.  It’s kind of fun making completely brainless projects for once- so much garter stitch!!Now I just have to keep going and not run out of steam!

How are your Ravellenic Games projects coming along?

Back to the Beginning

Sometime you’ve just got to go back to your roots.  You’ve gotta eat a bowl of Kraft Macaroni Dinner, or watch the Princess Bride for the thousandth time, or dig out that old, cozy sweater your high school friend let you “steal” from their closet.  There’s just something so meditative and lovely about going back and doing something comfortable once in a while.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m always trying new things, new food, new knitting techniques.  But sometimes it’s so nice to return to something easy, simple and comfortable.

And, I just so happened to have a gigantic skein of Hazel Knits the Big Squeeze in Electric Slide.  I got it at last fall’s Knit Fit, here in Seattle.  It’s gigantic, squishy, and hand-dyed in the most gorgeous shades of electric purple and hot pink.  You know I’m more of a browns, grays, greens, and blues lady, but sometimes I just have to go super bright and girly, and this is one of those times.

I hemmed and hawed about what to do with this skein when I first got it, eventually settling on “just leave the skein out on my desk so I can look at it.”  But I’m a knitter, not (just) a yarn buyer, and I needed something fun and easy to work on.

So, with such big, gorgeous, striking yarn, why not go old-school?  Why not remake everyone’s first project- something I haven’t made in 20 years?  Why try to fancy-up such an already-fancy skein of yarn?

Why not make a garter-stitch scarf?img_4667This yarn is crazy, I mean, just look at it- the yarn is as big around as a pencil!img_4650But, the color is what sold me on this yarn when I first saw it, and it’s still what makes me so happy every time I pick it up.  Just look at the magnificent dye-job.  I love it to death.

img_4645

I wonder if I could dye my hair that color…

Do you ever go “back to basics” with your knitting projects?  What are your favorite “old favorites”?

Christmas Post-Mortem: Another sweater

Guess what?!

I made another sweater.

I know, I’m a masochist.  (Or, maybe I really like making sweaters.)

This one was for my dad.  He’s a pretty classy guy- he wears a suit to work and if you see him in a sweater, it’s more likely he’d wear a thin, understated merino one from Nordstrom than something I’d knit (I do lean toward cables and bright colors, after all).

But he hasn’t gotten a sweater from me yet!  We can’t let that stand!

So, I got a big pile of Knit Picks’ Swish in Cobblestone, and broke out the “Knits for Everybody” book.  (I love a top-down raglan.)  I started making the sweater just as written- all stockinette all the time- but the smallish gauge and the simple pattern made me feel like I was knitting at a glacial pace.

So, I decided to add a little interest.

Stripes were out (Dad’s not a stripes guy), but I thought I could do a little texture.  I didn’t want to add any cables, since those can mess up your gauge, and I had already started knitting.

A little poking around on Ravelry, and I found Flaxsc-flax-08_medium1I liked the garter band down the sleeves (garter is my favorite).  So, I carefully ripped back a few stitches at either shoulder and re-knit them in garter.  And, because I love to embellish, I added garter panels down both sides of the body, too.img_4407The sweater turned out pretty well, and (I think) pretty classy, which is not something I usually strive for.

(Ollie thinks so, too)

img_4398Have you ever “fancied up” a pattern as you were working on it?  How did that go?

Garter Ridge Winner!

It’s giveaway day!  Always a favorite (or at least my favorites).

Let’s get right down to it.  I’m giving away a free copy of Knit Picks’ newest collection, Garter Ridge, featuring a pattern from yours truly.  It’s a whole book full of understated, squishy, gorgeous, garter-stitch loveliness.330151And, so many of you responded, I’m just going to scroll down the page and land on someone at random (“The Price Is Right”-style).

Drum roll please!

And the winner is: Knitonepugtwo!

I’ll be sending out your email some time today, so keep an eye out for it to come through (sometimes they end up in the spam folder).

If you’re not the lucky one today, hop over to Knit Picks’ website to buy your own copy.

Pattern: Carkeek Park Pullover (And a giveaway!)

It’s an incredibly rainy morning in Seattle- we’re bracing for the biggest wind storm since the 1960’s, so keep you fingers crossed that we don’t lose power!

But what could be better on a rainy day than looking at some brand-new patterns!

Maybe looking at some brand-new garter-stitch patterns?  I don’t think anything says “cozy up inside” better than a hot cup of tea and a book full of garter stitch coziness.

Introducing: Garter Ridge, a new collection by Knit Picks, featuring a pattern from yours truly.330151This is probably the sweater that I wear the most.  I love my Carkeek Park Pullover.  It’s super comfy, surprisingly warm and soft.  And, it’s knit with DK-weight yarn, so it’s not bulky (in other words, I can wear it under a jacket or, if it’s really chilly, with another sweater on top… I get cold sometimes),521262201I love the bands of multi-color garter at the hems and yoke.  It’s so fun to order lots of each color and watch how they blend together as you knit them up.  My prototype was knit in shades of green and brown, but I’d love to see Carkeek Pullovers in every color of the rainbow!52126220_31But my sweater isn’t the only gorgeous pattern in this collection!

I think I might make the Helianthus Shawl.  It’s just so pretty, and Preciosa yarn is so fluffy and warm, that you know it’ll even manage to keep me warm.330151011And that cover sweater!  I know the last thing I need is another oversized cardigan.  But I think I need the Nineveh Cardigan.  I love the weird modern shape, and the tiny sleeve detail in the contrasting color- to die for!330151071There are a ton of other gorgeous patterns in this collection.  You definitely want to get yourself a copy!

Want to try your luck and win a free copy?  Comment below with your favorite rainy-day knitting!  I’ll hold the drawing next Friday (rain or shine)!

Pattern Spotlight: Baktus

I might have been late to the Hitchhiker party, but I’ve been a member of the Baktus fan club for years.

This super simple long, skinny, triangular shawl/scarf is one of my favorite patters for several reasons:

1.  Garter stitch.  Love.

2.  It’s crazy versatile.  I’ve made Baktuses (Bakti?) from everything from bulky yarn down to fingering weight yarn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3.  It looks great worked in those pretty hand-spun skeins you have in your stash that you can’t figure out what to do with (You know, the ones you couldn’t leave at the yarn store, but you have no idea what to use them for.)4357513044_2288fc815f_z[1]4.  The Baktus uses only as much yarn as you happen to have.  If you have three skeins of bulky, it’ll use that much.  If you have one skein of lace-weight, that’ll work, too.  (No weird little leftovers to fuss with!)  Actually, the pattern has you weigh your yarn at the beginning.  You begin the pattern by increasing, then when you have exactly half your yarn left, you decrease, for perfect results every time!

3592484405_e3fa9a5775_z[1]5.  The Baktus scarf is really and truly unisex, and super cool.  P1100072rav_medium2[1]6.  People have used the idea of the Baktus and came up with their own (gorgeous) versions.  Want lace?  Add cool geometric edging?  Or leaf edging?  Maybe you prefer crochet?

5717416916_2d555e0368_z[1]Baktus might be the perfect project.

Have you ever made a Baktus scarf?

Pattern Spotlight: Hitchhiker

I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon.  And, I kind of love it.

I’m probably the last knitter to make a Hitchhiker shawl.  (There are 17,685 projects up on Ravelry, and I’m pretty sure it’s been in the top 50 or so patterns for the last couple years.)

CIMG7885The Hitchhiker is a triangular (ish) shawl/scarf knit in garter stitch, which is my absolute favorite.  Garter is great for scarves, since it lays nice and flat.  Plus, it’s super warm and squishy.  (And it’s great for knitting while you read or watch TV, since you don’t have to worry about following complicated stitch patterns.)

The shawl is a long, skinny triangle, with a sawtooth border along one side, which is worked as you knit.  You begin at one point of the triangle, and just keep going until you run out of yarn, or get bored.  And the simple 8-row repeat is super easy to memorize, so it’s almost mindless (but still just interesting enough to be fun).20150112_122126_medium2[1]This project is super versatile.  You can use whatever yarn you have on hand, and whichever needles you like best.  The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn, but this would make an epic deep-winter scarf in worsted or bulky, and if you were to use teeny tiny needles and lace-weight yarn, you could make something lovely and delicate.

IMG_1979_medium2[1]I made mine with a skein of Knit Picks’ Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in Thunderhead.  (I bought it to get the $50 free shipping, because free. Don’t judge me.  You know you’ve done it, too.)  It turned out lovely.  The sock yarn is wonderful and soft, and the hand-painted, monochromatic colors of the yarn looks great in a garter stitch.  (Sorry for the terrible picture.  The shawl was adopted out before I had time to find my real camera for a decent photo.)

WP_20150102_014I love how this shawl looks with semi-solids and self-striping yarn.  It’s so easy, and the results are spectacular.

DSC06485_medium2[2]Have you made a Hitchhiker?

Inspiration: Knitting the Sky

My friend Jenny visited me last weekend.  We have known each other for years (since college).  Actually, we met through the Knitting Illini, our university’s student-run knitting club.  (I’m still trying to find a knitting club as fun and welcoming as that one, but that’s a whole other story.)

Anyway, Jenny pulled out her needles and several shades of blue and gray yarn.  She whipped up a couple little garter stitch squares and put her knitting back in her bag.  I was curious what she was making, and she said she was “Knitting the Sky.”  I had never heard this concept before, and had her explain.

Apparently, Knitting the Sky is the idea that you put aside a few minutes each day to look at the sky and then pick a yarn color closest to the color of the sky to make an afghan square, or a few rows of garter stitch to add to a scarf.

As far as I can tell (and correct me if I’m wrong), the first person to do this was Leafcutter Designs.  They sell a kit (yarn plus directions) to make a Sky Scarf.  It’s a simple garter-stitch scarf, but the subtly shifting grays and blues make the scarf look almost like it’s made with hand-painted yarn.

sky-scarf-kit-3 Gorgeous, right?

But Jenny is an overachiever (in the best possible way), so instead of just making a sky scarf, she’s making a sky afghan, like this one.

Finished+Sky+Blanket+4How beautiful is that!  Who could have imagined that wrapping up in cloudy and rainy days could be so cozy?

And, imagine extending the idea of using a color to represent a day in other projects.  How about a striped cardigan that shows your mood each day for an entire year?  Or what about a pair of mittens that represent what you ate for breakfast for a month?  OK, I’m getting silly now.  But, the point still stands.

This is a fantastic idea, and a great way to get some knitting in while getting more in touch with the world around you.  Too bad that if I was to make a sky scarf it would end up being a uniform Seattle-gray.x354