Tag Archives: knit

“Last Night Allison” Strikes Again

You all remember the last time Last Night Allison struck.  It wasn’t pretty. I mean, I managed to fix it, but it was touch and go for a while, and way more difficult than I expected it to be.

Unfortunately, Last Night Allison struck again.  But here’s the worst part.  I have no excuse for my bad decisions.  It wasn’t late (actually it was about 3:00 in the afternoon).  I hadn’t been drinking (except a cup of decaffeinated tea).  And, I really should have been paying attention.

I was starting the prototype of a sweater I’m working on.  The pattern begins with (spoiler!) a 1×1 rib for about 2 inches.

This is what I knit:Allison, that’s not a 1×1 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib that you worked on for about three hours before realizing your mistake!  (There was swearing.)

So, then, I had to decide, do I rip out the whole thing?  Start over?  Or, do I painstakingly go through with a crochet hook and change half the knits to purls, and half the purls to knits?

I bet you can’t guess what Last Night Allison chose.  (That’s right!  She picked the most fiddly and difficult choice possible.)I ripped each column of stitches out, one by one, carefully picking them back up in the proper orientation.  Which is totally not a super annoying process.  Ha!Amazingly, the fixed ribbing actually looks pretty good- I was afraid it would be a little wonky, but it looks OK.The only problem is I’ve still got well over halfway to go.  I think my “quick fix” is going to end up taking longer than re-knitting the whole thing would have.  Of course, at this point I’ve sunk too much effort into it, so I’m here for the long haul.What would you have done?  Would you have ripped the whole thing and re-knit, or do you have agreed with Last Night Allison?  Or, do you have a magical solution that would have been better than either?

Sockhead

I’m sure you were all waiting with baited breath to find out what I decided to do with my skein of Tosh Merino.

Well, I sat down on Monday night to start knitting, and I thought I was going to make the Annis shawl.  But, then my husband put on an episode of the new MST3K, and I couldn’t focus on casting on all that lace.  So instead I started on a Sockhead Slouch HatI love it so far- It’s a super simple pattern, so it’ll really show off the pretty color of the yarn.  I love how soft the fabric is turning out.  And, I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.  It’s not crazy thick and wintery- I’ve got plenty of thick winter hats.  I needed something a little lighter, for breezy spring days.I won’t lie, though, at this small gauge, it’s going to take me a hot minute to finish this hat.  But it’s so simple, it’ll be good TV-watching/coffee-shop-sitting/waiting-for-class-to-start knitting.  In fact, I knit about an inch yesterday morning waiting for my dog to get done with his haircut.

(Do you want to see pictures of him?  Of course you do.)

Before:  Shaggy old wizard dog

After: Teddy bear puppy

Anyway, dog aside, I’m enjoying this hat pattern.  Especially with some of the more *ahem* elaborate patterns I’ve been working on lately, it’s nice to make a super-simple project like this.

Have you been working on anything exciting lately?

Chuck

I’m a big fat liar.

Sort of.

So, last week, I wrote a whole big thing about how I am a process knitter only.  I said I would never knit something simply because I want the finished project.

Well, I shouldn’t have been so insistent about that.  Because this weekend, I went looking through my Ravelry Queue, trying to find something to do between work assignments.  And I re-discovered a sweater I has been living, half-forgotten in the back of my brain for the two years since I put it in my queue.

It’s Chuck!

I first saw this sweater at a knitting convention in 2015.  A group of impossibly cool ladies were all wearing the same sweater (this one) in different colors, and each had paired it with a unique vintage skirt.  I knew immediately I needed a Chuck of my own.

I have a bunch of high-waisted dresses that I love wearing in the summer, but none of my sweaters really go with them, so I end up having to wait to wear my dresses until the weather gets really warm (June or July in Seattle).

I love the shape of this sweater- the length is perfect with a skirt or dress, and the wide ribbed hem is super flattering.  I love how the sweater is fitted through the waist, and that cable is to die for!

I also happen to have a bunch of dark-chocolate yarn just waiting in my stash for a project like this.  (It was on sale years and years ago, and I miscalculated how much I would need for a different pullover by a couple skeins, so it’s just been sitting in my closet, waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.)

Anyway, I’m very excited to get started on this project.  (Or, rather, I’m excited to have this finished sweater.)  I think I’ll cast on this afternoon!

Have you ever made a project solely because you wanted (needed) the finished object?

And, don’t forget!  You’ve got until Friday to be entered into the Flourish giveaway!

Inspiration: Daylight Savings Time

Happy Monday Morning, everyone.  It’s a particularly early one today.

Oof.

It’s the first Monday of Daylight Savings Time, which is one of the stupider things we do.

We lost an hour last night.  And, now, even though it’s technically 9:00, it feels much earlier.

I could have been sleeping that extra hour!  Or I could have watched two extra episodes of Bob’s Burgers!  Or I could have knit up one of these super-quick projects.

So many lost opportunities.

I could have crocheted this gorgeous, chunky-textured cowl.

one hour textured cowl by Claire BorchardtOr I could have made these comfy-looking slippers.  (Which I could totally use! My slippers are starting to fall apart!)

1 hour Slippers by Mel PatonOr I could knit this adorable cabled cowl.  (I question the “one-hour-ness” of this pattern, but since I wasn’t able to knit for that lost hour last night we’ll never know.)

1 Hour Cowl by Stefanie JapelWhat would you have done with your lost hour if we didn’t have to deal with daylight savings?  Also, can you bring me some coffee? I’m sleepy.

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”?

Pattern: Rippling Diamonds!

Guys! I’ve got another free pattern!

It’s a fantastic (if I say so myself) dishcloth.

The Rippling Diamonds Dishcloth is crazy simple- it’s literally only knits and purls.  No slipped stitches, no yarn overs, no shaping of any kind.  Its carefully charted pattern of knit and purl bumps make an interestingly-textured washcloth that’s fun (and easy!) to work up.  (And, bonus!  The pattern is totally reversible, so it looks just as cool from both sides!)55883220Head over to Knit Picks’ website and download a free copy of the pattern.  I’m really proud of it!

Pattern Spotlight: Pussyhat Project

You guys know I try not to get too political on this blog (though I seem to be less good at being apolitical lately).  But sometimes there’s something political that comes up that I simply can’t ignore.

And when that something political also happens to involve knitting, well… I can’t help myself.

So you all know what’s happening on Friday (Hint: someone new’s moving into the White House), but you might not know what’s happening on Saturday.

It’s the Women’s March on Washington (and, really, across the country-  take a look, I bet there’s going to be a March near you this weekend).  The March is in support of women’s rights, as well as inclusivity for all minorities- African Americans, Muslim Amerians, LGBTQ+ Americans and everyone else.  It’s going to be an amazing event, and I can’t wait to take part.

And, one of the grassroots symbols of this event is this goofy knit pink hat, the Pussyhat (like pussycat, get it?).  pussyhatprojectcoverIt’s a simple hat, but it means a lot.  First, it’s taking some very “feminine” things (the color pink, the act of hand-knitting) that have been underestimated and devalued, and turns them into a strong political statement.  Second, the hats are a visual marker of just how many women (and men) believe that women’s rights are important- I’ve already seen people around town wearing their Pussyhats.  More than 100,000 people have pledged to make hats already, and yarn stores across the country are running out of pink yarn!  And third, these hats are all handmade, all worked with care, thought, and love, by people who believe in the power of women and that we all (women, men, people of color, etc.) have an important role to play in this country.  And, in my mind, at least, that’s a powerful statement.86c0bfde-6956-4e87-957e-63787f2444d4I’ve already made three hats, but I plan to work up as many as I can in the time before Saturday.  I’ll keep one for myself, but I’ll give away the others to anyone who wants them.  They’re a small gesture, but they’re a great reminder of what we’re all fighting for- equality, respect, and the right to live our lives the way that is best for us.

If you’re interested in making a hat (or two or three), you can find the official instructions here.  Or, if you prefer to knit in the round (like me), here’s what I did:

Pussyhat In The Round

One size fits most adults

Materials:

  • US8 12-16″ cable needle
  • about 50g worsted weight yarn (pink)
  • Yarn needle

CO 80, and prepare to work in the round.  (K2, P2) around for 2 to 3 inches.  Then, K all sts until the hat measures about 8.5 inches from the CO edge.  Cut the yarn, leaving a very generous tail, and use the tail to sew up the top of the hat with the Kitchener stitch.  Weave in ends and block if desired.

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year (yesterday), everybody!

Hope you’re all having a nice, hangover-free morning.  Did you make your New Year’s Resolutions yet?

No, not the “Loose 10 pounds,” “Watch less TV,” and “Eat fewer sweets” kind of resolutions.  Those are boring.

I want to know about your knitting/crafting resolutions!

Here’s mine:

  1. I want to spend more time knitting just for fun.  I have a tendency to take on too many assignments (design work, gifts for other people… you know, “work knitting”), and I prioritize that over the knitting I do just for fun.  I don’t want to burn myself out, so I need to make sure I’m still having fun. (And maybe I’ll throw in a couple non-knitting craft projects, too!)IMG_0652
  2.  I want to keep making my bears!  I love their stupid little faces, and they’re the perfect in-between project.  I did 11 this year, let’s see if I can do 12 next year-one each month.img_3934
  3.  I want to spend more time sketching.  If get an idea, I want to make a point of writing it down and making sure I keep it.  I sketch out some of my ideas, but not all of them.  I think it’s a good idea that I just don’t follow through on enough.  IMG_3268

Do you have any knitting/crafting resolutions for this year?  Are you going to tackle that beautiful shawl that you’ve had your eye on?  Are you finally going to learn lace knitting?  Or, are you resolved to simply sit down every day and knit?

Christmas Post-Mortem: A sweater

Hey guys, guess what.

I made a sweater!

(Surprise!… I guess.  I make a lot of sweaters.)

This one was made for my father-in-law.

Last spring, he asked me to make him a sweater, and I have trouble saying no (or maybe I just like having an excuse to make another sweater).  So, I asked him exactly what he wanted.  After all, if I’m going to put all the work into a project like this, I wanted the finished project to be something he’d wear, after all.  We talked about cables vs. stripes, crew necks vs. V-necks, yoked sweaters vs. raglans.  We talked about ease and fit.

And then my husband brought out a sweater I had made for him years and years ago.  It was a Ben sweater, knit in forest-green Berroco Vintage.

My father-in-law took one look at that sweater and said, “That.  That’s the sweater I want.  Except… can I have it in gray?”

So, I knit up another Ben, this time in gray.img_3860I love the cable/texture pattern.  It’s a fun, easy knit that packs a big punch.  And it’s crazy warm, perfect for Northern Illinois winters.img_3854Unfortunately, I forgot to take a big “finished project” picture before I wrapped it up, but needless to say, it’s a pretty great sweater.

Have you ever re-knit a pattern for multiple people?

Christmas Post-Mortem: A hat

Christmas is done!  Hope you had a nice weekend.  We played lots of board games, and ate lots of cookies.  A pretty great time, if I say so myself.

But here’s the fun part!  Now I get to show off the gifts I’ve been working on over the last few months!

Let’s start with this cool hat I made for my brother-in-law!img_4099I knit with a very cool “intarsia in the round” technique that I learned at this year’s Knit Fit.  Basically, you cast on and do the brim just like normal (in the round).  Then, as you knit the top (multi-colored) part of the hat, you use really long short rows and wrap-and-turns to work the intarsia without messing up the order of your yarn.  So, you’re effectively knitting back and forth at the same time you are creating a tube that looks like it was knit in the round.  Super clever!

And, it’s got this cool top (which looks better when it’s worn):img_4102It’s dead simple to make.  You knit all the way to the top of the hat without any shaping (making it extra-long), then you seam the top to make the whole thing flat, then take the corners and sew them together.

Cool, right?

What did you make for Christmas?