Tag Archives: knit

Doing the Dishes

Doing the dishes is not my most favorite chore, but I do them anyway.  I’d rather make something tasty and create a pile of dirty dishes than actually clean them up.  (But, I guess doing the dishes is part of being a grown-up… sigh.)

Anyway, I’ve got a stack of knit and crocheted dish cloths that people have given to me over the years, and they’re the best (I always use them before the store-bought ones).  I don’t know why, but handmade dish rags just seem to work better- plus, I love anything that’s related to knitting.

Unfortunately, since I’ve been using mine for years, they’re starting to get a little ratty and a little bleached out.  A couple are even starting to come apart at the edges.

So I guess it’s time to make a couple more.

This brick-patterned dishcloth is totally classic, and super cute.  I love the contrast of the garter stitch “bricks” and the slipped-stitch “mortar.”

Ballband Dishcoth by Peaches & Creme Design TeamThese interesting circular dishclots are cute, too!  I love the short-row shaping (I get bored easily, and short rows might just be the ticket to stopping myself from giving up halfway through and making another pair of socks instead).

Crazy Eights Dishcloth by Julie TarshaThese are also super adorable.  I love how basic patterns can be the most impactful.  The simple mitered garter square is just gorgeous, and the rainbow of applied I-cord at the edge is the perfect finishing touch.

Sinkmates by Lorilee BeltmanDo you use handmade dishcloths?  What’s your favorite pattern?

New Pattern: Knits for Everybody Two!

You guys!  I can tell you about a fantastic new pattern!

I’m so excited… I can’t even express it.

So, last year I was part of a really cool Knit Picks collection called “Knits for Everybody,”  where I wrote a sock pattern.  It was a fun project- simple patterns for classic projects, sized for virtually every body- from babies up to great big adults.

Well, it’s back for round two!

Introducing: Knits for Everybody Two!And this time, I’ve contributed a very nice (if I say so myself) yoked cardigan pattern.  I wear my cardigan all the time, and I even made a teeny one from sock yarn to give to my friends’ new baby (it’s even cuter than mine).  The cardigan is written out for a huge range of sizes (that took so much math!), and it can be worked in fingering or worsted weight yarn, which makes it even more versatile. If you get the book, you also will get the pattern for this crazy cute V-neck sweater.  (I’m tempted to make this guy for myself.  I love a classic pullover.)And there’s a really cute pattern for gloves!Plus, a great top-down hat pattern with brim options- or even ear flaps!I’m so happy to be included in this collection- I think it will become an indispensable part of a lot of people’s knitting libraries.

Grab a copy of the book here, or my pattern here!

Mt Rushmore Knitting

Last week, when I was talking about my love of Hermione’s Everyday Socks, I mentioned that they were probably on my Mt. Rushmore of knitting.

I’m not sure why, but that phrase got stuck in my head and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

And this happened (I’m not great at Photoshop, but it is fun):(I think Roosevelt looks particularly fetching in his PussyHat.)

What patterns (besides the Hermione socks) are really on my Mt. Rushmore?

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket is definitely up there.  I love how it’s constructed- it’s so clever and interesting.  And, it’s perfect for using up all my leftover sock yarn!If we’re going by sheer number of times I’ve worked a pattern, the Mother Bear teddy bears have got to be up there.  They’re simple, quick (ish), and are for a great cause.And, it feels a little weird to put this on here, since it’s my own pattern, but I flipping love my Socks By the Numbers pattern (though I should probably look it over again… it’s been years since I actually read it, and I’m sure it’s full of typos).  I love this simple technique for making perfectly-fitting socks in any size.  I’ve made dozens and dozens of socks using this system, and it makes me happy every time.I know you’ve got all-time favorite patterns, too.  Are they perfectly-written, interesting patterns?  Or some simple pattern you’ve knit dozens of times?

Pattern Spotlight: Hermione’s Everyday Socks

Sometimes you find a perfect pattern, and all you want to do is to keep making it over and over.  Sometimes it’s a perfect in its complexity and detail.  Sometimes it’s perfect in its simplicity.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder is one of those patterns.I’ve made socks every which way- plain stockinette, lace and cables, toe-up and top-down.  But I think Hermione’s Everyday Socks are on my Mount Rushmore of knitting patter designs. They’re simple, but interesting.  They’re easy but don’t not boring.  They’re sturdy, but not bulky.  And they’re truly unisex (in fact, my husband claimed my first pair of Hermione’s socks that I made… It was a sad day, but it did give me an excuse to make a second pair).I’ve been playing with the simple construction and knit/purl texture with some of my more recent socks- adding stripes, or changing the frequency of the purl bumps.  I’ve worked them top down and toe up, with a variety of toes and heels.  It’s amazing how many different variations you can make from such a solid starting-point. If you’re looking for a perfect-sock-for-everyone, you couldn’t do much better than Hermione’s Everyday Socks.

Well, I done goofed.

I’m on a bit of a sock kick lately.  I love making socks.  They’re fun, easy(ish), and they fit in my purse.  Plus, I love nothing more than slipping on a pair of brand-new pair of socks- they’re one of the best things in life.

I’ve been trying a few new techniques, and came up with this adorable sock:Picot edge, eyelets, and cute purple details.  What could be wrong with that?

Well…

Apparently something went wrong, because, hoo boy!  This is the tiniest sock ever!(Sure, I’ve got great big feet, but still!)  I don’t know what happened!  I’ve made dozens of socks, maybe even hundreds.  I’ve never had a sock come out this little before!  I must have spaced when casting on…  Oh well…

So, do I rip out the sock and try again, or do I make a second small sock to match and find someone with little feet?

What to do, what to do?

Have you ever goofed on a pattern you’ve made a bunch of times.

Inspiration: Jughead

So, this is a post I never expected to be writing.

It’s a little embarrassing, talking about the dumb TV shows I watch.  Stuff that I only watch when nobody else is around.  I’d love for you guys to think of me as someone with impeccable taste, who only takes in thoughtful feminist TV shows and interesting foreign indie films. (Then I remember I wrote about the Bachelor last season, so I guess the “I watch only good TV” ship has sailed.)

Anyway, Riverdale has shown up on my Netflix, and instead of re-watching Parks and Rec for the umpteenth time, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s… not good. But dang, if it isn’t compelling.

So far (and I’m only 2 episodes in, mind you), there’s murder, catty cheerleaders, a love triangle, a secret affair, and gorgeous 20-something actors pretending to bee teenagers.

It’s a lot.

Now, I never read Archie Comics growing up, so I could be wrong.  Maybe all this stuff is in the comic books.  But, my impression is that someone thought, “Hey, people liked Archie Comics back in the day.  But, these days everyone wants a dark and gritty reboot.  I know!  A dark and gritty Archie reboot! It can’t fail! It’ll be ratings gold!”

Like I said, it’s not “good” TV, but it’s certainly entertaining.

Anyway, the reason I’ve brought it up here is that Jughead wears a knit cap!I always thought his hat in the comics was a little weird (or at least what I saw of it when I was a kid while waiting in line to buy groceries with my mom) .  Was it a crown?  Was it a hat?  Why did he wear it?  Why didn’t his friends call him out on wearing a weird crown/hat?  Did they call him out on it, but he ignored their advice and kept wearing it?  Where did the design come from in the first place?  I had a lot of questions as a kid.

Anyway, the costume director for the show did a good job making a goofy-looking crown hat look kind of cool. (I even kind of want one now.)

And, it looks like a bunch of knitters seem to have had the same thought!  (If you search on Ravelry for “Jughead” almost a dozen patterns show up.)

There are hats with slightly more subtle crowns:

Jughead hat 7 points by Karen KopperThere are hats knit in worsted wool:

Jughead’s Hat by Alecia SoloveoffThere are even crocheted hats:

Jughead Hat Crochet Pattern by Roxie McCaraWould you wear a Jughead hat?

But, for real though, why is this a hat?  Do you guys know where the design comes from?  I want to know, but I don’t really want to do any research.

Heel vs. Heel

Two heels enter, one heel leaves.

Dun, dun, duuuuun!

(OK, both heels leave, because I could never throw away knit socks- just take a peek into my sock drawer… about 1/3 of my hand-knits are ancient and full of holes, but I refuse to throw them away!  I worked hard on them, dang it!)

It’s been a while since I’ve switched up my sock game.  I’m a fan of a top-down, turned-heel sock.  I make my socks the same way almost every time, switching out the textures but keeping the construction the same.

Not that there’s anything wrong with my socks, or anyone else’s, for that matter.  There’s about as many ways to make socks as there are knitters.  I just happen to like making socks a certain way.

However, I decided to go crazy with my green socks, and go toe up!  And I decided to make a mitered heel!  Shocking! I know.

I love how they’re turning out- the toe was fun to do, and the mitered heel was so much simpler than my usual heel.

But look! See how much narrower the green sock is than the striped one?

I used the same kind of yarn, with literally the same needles.  Of course, the sock on the left has already been blocked, the the sock on the right is going to be a little narrower because of the cables.  But holy cow! I forgot how much narrower socks are without the nice gusset to accommodate the heel.

I haven’t been able to try the green sock on yet (I don’t want to lose all my stitches from off the end of my needles)… I hope it fits.

(If it doesn’t- someone with smaller feet than mine will be getting a pretty nice Christmas present.)

Do you ever try getting out of your knitting comfort zone?  What do you usually do?  What do you do to mix it up?

Little Green Socks

OK, if we’re being honest, there’s nothing little about any socks that I make for myself.  I’ve got great big feet- the better to stop me from falling over.  (Oh, if only that were true… I’m such a klutz!)

But, these socks are coming along great!

I decided that I wanted to have tiny mirror-image cables running up the sides of the legs like this:  And at first, I thought that was all I wanted.

But you know me- never leaving well enough alone.  If there’s a way to embellish.  I’ll find it, and sew sequins to it.

So I decided to take one of those cables and run it down the top of the foot, too.  (I actually had to rip back a little bit when I decided to change it, which I think was worth it.)

Right?!  I love how this sock is turning out! The color- the tiny cables, the excitement of making them toe-up! (Yes, I’m a dork.)

I can’t wait for the other one to be done (and the weather to cool off again) so I can wear them around!

Are you working on any project that’s gotten you excited lately?

Travel Socks in Progress

Last weekend was a whirlwind!  I had an amazing time traveling down to LA to visit friends (and their perfect tiny baby!  Hi, Janey!), watch comedy, dance, and eat way too much good food.  I still feel like I have a hangover, despite not drinking anything since Saturday.  I guess it’s just an emotional “Why can’t I still be on vacation” hangover.

LA isn’t that far from Seattle- a couple hours on the plane isn’t that bad.  But, it still gave me plenty of time to get started on my Travel Socks.  And, I gotta tell you, I had almost as much fun working on these socks as I did the rest of the weekend.  (OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but they’re turning out really, really cool!)

I mean, look at this stitch pattern!You’d never know it was so freaking simple to knit.  It’s ingenious!

I showed it to a bunch of knitters over the weekend, and none of them could figure out how it was worked.  (And even when I told them what I was doing, they had a hard time believing me!)

It’s a 1×1 row stripe (1 navy row, one light blue row).  Every dark row, you knit, and every light row, you work K1, P1, alternating back and forth just like in seed stitch.  The finished fabric is beautiful, squishy and soft.  I think this stitch pattern might just start showing up in other knitting patterns.  (Right now, I’m dreaming of a raglan sweater with this pattern.  Maybe with variegated yarn?  Or maybe with stripes!  Or maybe with variegated stripes!)

I’m using the dark (MC) to make a simple cuff, heel and toes, which I think is going to look really classy- instead of an obnoxious striped sock, I’m going to have very cool, interestingly-patterned socks.  I can’t wait until I’m finished!What’s the last project you got really excited about?

Too Many Bears

Oof.

These bears are going to be the death of me.  There’s just so many!

I thought I’d done this before, but I must not have made this many all at once.  Because stuffing and finishing six bears takes. For. Ev. Er.

I put on a nice long movie last night and sat down with my box of bears and a big bag of fluff.  I figured two and a half, maybe three hours would be plenty to get all the bears put together- maybe even enough to put on faces.

Well.  I was wrong

It literally took TWO HOURS to stuff all six bears- I didn’t even get to start sewing them up during that time.So now I have a big box of bears/bear arms with stuffing popping out the tops.  (It’s actually kind of morbid… like I can see the bears’ brains!  Zombie bears!  Aah!)

It took another half hour to sew up one bear- closing the top of the head, attaching the arms and making the neck.  That means I’ve got another two-plus hours of work ahead of me before I even start sewing on faces.  Ugh!

I wish I could just send in the un-stuffed bears to the Mother Bear Project and have them finish them up.  I could make so many more bears that way!  (Although, then the Mother Bear folks would have to spend all their time stuffing them… They probably have better things to be doing.)

Have you been working on anything lately that’s taken longer than expected?