Tag Archives: knit

Inspiration: Headache?

Y’all.  It’s been a rough week, I’ll be honest with you.  I’ve had a headache for probably 6 of the past 7 days (Saturday was OK for some reason).  I’ve tried everything.  Painkillers, extra caffeine, removing caffeine, more sleep, less sleep, sitting quietly in the dark, going out and running errands to keep my mind off of my headache, extra hydration, hot packs and cold packs.

At most, I’ve gotten a relief for an hour or two at a time, but my headache keeps coming back.  It’s now managed to migrate from my head, down into my neck and shoulders (probably because I’ve gotten so stressed about it, I’m tensing up the muscles in my shoulders… sigh.)

This morning I’ve been sitting quietly in a semi-darkened room, knitting and listening to podcasts (because looking at screens (like the TV) seems to exacerbate my headache), drinking a Coke (because coffee sounds gross right now, but I wanted to see if caffeine might help my head this morning), and taking turns with the hot and cold packs.  It seems to be helping, and hopefully by the time I need to leave the house for work this afternoon, I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or at least I won’t be dragging as much as I have been the last few days).

I’ve got a bunch of cold packs left over from when I used to play roller derby, but none of them have sleeves as nice as this- I might need to make one or two to have on hand the next time my head gets the best of me.

Knitted Ice Pack Cozy by Ampy Versalles-CurtisI’ve got a heating pack that I made years ago that I filled with barley.  I like it a lot (I’ve got it on my shoulders right now).  But, it’s gotten a bit stained and worn over the years, so maybe I should crochet up a cute little pouch for it.  I like the little crocheted buttons, especially

Comfort Pack by Donna Hulka

I’m so ready for this headache to go away!  Do you have any remedies for a stubborn headache?

New Pattern: Tannenbaum Tree Skirt

It’s a very special day today.  (No, it’s not just Friday, October 13th, the spookiest day of the year)  It’s new pattern day!  And, better than that, it’s new Christmas Pattern day!

Knit Picks just published an insanely adorable collection, cram-jammed with cozy holiday patterns.

Everything in this book is stinking cute, and gives me “Cozy Christmas Cabin” vibes, which is exactly what I want when I’m gearing up for the holidays.

I think the cutest pattern might be this adorable color work Santa pillow.  I see myself spending the next couple months knitting up a handful of these bad boys.  I love how the hats of one row of Santas form he shoulders of the next row- very clever!

Santa Pillow by Kathy LewinskiAnd these stockings are just too sweet!  I love that they’re worked in bulky yarn (making them extra-big for extra presents!) and the non-traditional burgundy, navy and cream are a really nice alternative color scheme.  If I hadn’t already made my stockings, I’d be seriously considering whipping up a few of these guys for my family.  Maybe I’ll end up with a sweater featuring the reindeer and snowflakes…

Holiday Stockings by Michele Lee Bernstein

But, if I can totally toot my own horn, I think my pattern might be my favorite.  It’s the Tannenbaum Tree skirt!

It’s a creamy, cabled, cozy tree skirt knit in a single piece, featuring Christmas-tree-shaped cables all the way around.  (Trust me, it’s even cuter in person!)It’s a smallish skirt, about 30″ in diameter, so it’s perfect for a skinny tree, or a small table-top tree.  It’s worked in bulky yarn, so it works up in no time at all.  Plus (and I realize this might not be something that everyone agrees with), the cables are insanely fun to work, all complicated and twisty, but really satisfying at the end of the day.

If you want to get a copy of my pattern, head over here!

Or, if you want to get a copy of the whole Merry Knitmas book (and why wouldn’t you?), head here!

Pattern: 15th Street Wrap

What’s better than New Pattern Day?

Free Pattern Day!

Woo hoo!

I just had a gorgeous (if I say so my self), simple, cozy pattern published through Knit Picks, and available to all of you lovely folks for free!

Introducing:  The 15th Street Wrap!This wrap is essentially a massive scarf, worked in seed stitch with extra-bulky yarn. (It’s super easy and goes super fast!) I love the colorblocking- the big swathes of each color are modern and un-fussy.

I love the blues they used for the example, but this wrap would also be lovely in creamy browns, or dreamy grays.  Or, maybe you could do a neutral background (grays and whites), with a pop of bright yellow or magenta on one end!  I could spend all day putting color palettes together!This shawl would be a fantastic Chrsitmas present.  It’s massive and impressive-looking, but takes next to no time to work up.  Throw a couple movies on TV, and you’ll be making headway before you know it!

Want to work up the 15th Street Wrap?  The pattern is available here for free!

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?