Tag Archives: knitting

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?

Inspiration: I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you’re having a lovely one!  Maybe you’re eating some chocolate or sipping on a mimosa.  Or maybe you’ve treated yourself to some nice flowers, or, since you’re a knitter, you’re going to go splurge on a lovely new skein of yarn.  (That’s my kind of treat!)

Love may (or may not) be in the air, but it’s definitely in these adorable mittens.  I really like mittens- they’re like fancy socks for your hands. (And you know how much I like socks.) But, I just realized I haven’t made any mittens in a really long time- maybe in over a year.  Now, this could be because we don’t have a ton of use for mittens up here in Seattle (it never really gets cold enough to require them), but I still think I should make… no need to make some fancy new mittens.  And why not make some Valentine-y ones?

These chocolate-y mittens look crazy cozy, and I love the cute, oversized cable running up the back.  They look like they might be a little over-warm for Seattle, but I might be able to convince myself that I need to make them anyway.

Hot Chocolate Mittens by knittedblissJCNothing says “Valentine’s Day like roses, and these rose-themed mittens are just beautiful.   I especially love the tiny rose on the thumb!  And it’s been a while since I went all-in on fancy color work.

Ruffles and Roses by JennyPennyBut I think these mittens (mitts, really) are more my style.  You know I love a good rainbow, and mitts are more appropriate for Seattle weather, anyway.  Plus, Can you imagine a better excuse to splurge on all those mini skeins of brightly-colored yarn?

My Rainbow Heart by Stephanie LotvenAre you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?  (And by “doing anything special,” I mean “knitting anything special.”)

Attempt 1: Baby Blanket

Woo!  And we’re off!

I’ve been cranking through my first project that I’m trying to finish during the Olympics, and I think I’m making good headway.  At this rate, I should be done in the next couple days (maybe earlier… if I actually manage to kick this cold’s butt and stay up past 8:00 for once).

I’m about halfway through my stash of leftover bits of Knit Picks Stroll, which is pretty satisfying.  I hate throwing away the little leftover bits of yarn at the end of a project, so this is a pretty perfect project for me.  I’m not even waiting for the end of a row before I switch yarn colors, so I’m not wasting even a little bit.  I’m holding the yarn double, and using great big needles (US10s), so the fabric is coming out super squishy and cozy.  It’s going to be a heck of a comfy blanket when it’s finished.  (I kind of wish I had made it adult-sized, I like it so much.  Though, that would have taken more yarn than I think even I have in my stash.)And, it’s turning out massive!  Or at least bigger than I had planned on.  I guess I didn’t do a great job of measuring my gauge swatch when I cast on the other day.   It’s a little under a yard wide (but I could easily block it up to that size if I wanted).  I had planned on making it rectangular, but now I’m thinking I might just leave it square.  If I do that, I’ve only got 8 or 9 inches to go!

Are you making headway on your Ravellenic knitting?

The Olympics Are Coming!

Opening Ceremonies are on Friday, and I’m not even a little bit prepared!I’ve participated in the Ravellenic Games for at least as long as I’ve been running this blog (and I think once or twice before that).  So, this isn’t like it’s my first rodeo.

Usually by this point, I’ve got a plan, or at least have a bunch of yarn ordered.  Last time, I made a nice gray cardigan, and the time before that I designed one of my very first sweaters with a pretty clever slipped-stitch yoke (if I say so myself).  This year, I have no idea what I’m going to do!

If you’re not familiar with the Ravellenic Games, a quick overview:Every time the Olympics are held, thousands of knitters across the world all cast on at once (usually, during the opening ceremony- though this year it’ll be 3:00 in the morning in Washington when the opening ceremony starts, so I think I’ll wait until a little later in the day to cast on), and spend the next two weeks watching athletes do athletic things and knitting away as fast as they can.  Knitters can organize themselves into teams, compete in different “events” (Sweater Skeleton,  Bag Biathlon, etc.) and spend the Olympics challenging their knitting skills.

It’s a fun way to crank out some quick knitting!

But this year I’ve completely dropped the ball!  The Opening Ceremony is on Friday, and I don’t have any idea of what I want to do!  I don’t really even have time to order yarn!

I know I’ve got some fancy-pants lace yarn, but a big lace shawl might be a little too much for a two-week project.  Or I could try to plow through some of my WIPS- I keep meaning to work on that Papaya sweater, but that seems a bit like cheating, since it’s already a quarter of the way done.  Or I could go to my LYS and see if they have any inspirational yarn in stock.

What’s a forgetful Olympic knitter to do?

Are you participating in the Ravellenic Games?   What are you making?

Captain’s Red

I’m not doing anything as formalized as New Years Resolutions this year, but I do have some vague goals I’m going to try to follow this year.  I’m going to try finishing up some WIPs that have been sitting around my office for too long, I’m going to try learning some new techniques, and I’m going to use up more of my stash.

Ha!

Me and every other knitter.

But, I suppose it can’t hurt to give it a go.

I went spelunking through my stash of sock yarn (it’s started overflowing its box lately, and I’ve been meaning to clear it out).  I found a bunch of small skeins (and even more half-skeins) of sock yarn, left over from projects over the years. Not enough to make a pair of socks in any single color, and generally I dislike making socks with too many stripes or blocks of colors.  (I get really peeved when I have to weave in lots of ends.)

But I did find a couple half-skeins of Knit Picks Stroll in Black and an almost-full ball of Firecracker Heather.And you know what’s tomato red and black, right?

(What’s that? You don’t?  You’re not a big old nerd halfway through Star Trek: The Next Generation?)

It’s Captain Picard’s uniform!The red yarn was almost perfectly the right color of “Command Red”!

Now I just have to decide- is this yarn going to be a pair of Command Red socks, or maybe a Command Red hat, or maybe even a tiny Command Red sweater for a baby nerd?  Choices, choices.

Have you dug through your stash lately?  Find anything good?

Inspiration: Tropical Chickens

Oof!  You guys!  I’m beat!  I had altogether too much fun last week.

I just got back from a week-long trip to Kaua’i with my family to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  It was so much fun!  Swimming and snorkeling almost every day, delicious food, gorgeous scenery and getting to spend time with some of my favorite people.  It couldn’t have been better!

One of my favorite things about Kaua’i is… a little silly.  You’d think it was the natural splendor, or maybe the crystal-clear water.  But if I’m really being honest… it’s the chickens.Twenty or thirty years ago a bunch of local chickens escaped from their local chicken farms and managed to establish a breeding population.  Now, every inch of the island is covered in the most beautiful, colorful, shiny chickens. They’re like pigeons in the city, only pretty.  And not gross.  And kind of funny, because they’re chickens.

Let’s celebrate the Hawaiian chickens with some chicken-themed patterns.

I think the only thing cuter than an island chicken is a tiny, knit island chicken.

Tiny Chickens by Anna HrachovecThis hat is absolutely hilarious!  I love the crocheted mohawk (I’m sure there’s a more accurate word for this, but I’m coming up blank) and the cute little beak.

Rooster Hat by Shawn TorresAnd these mittens are just glorious!  The blue-and-white colorwork is gorgeous, and the chickens are so sassy and full of themselves.  Too bad it never gets cold enough to wear mittens in Hawaii!

Rooster Mittens by Natalia Moreva

What was your favorite part of your last vacation?

New Pattern: Mukilteo Shawl

What’s that? You thought Friday‘s new pattern pattern was the only one I had for you guys? Ha!  You should know me better than that!

I’ve got a brand-new, super simple (and super fast) shawl pattern for you!  It’s the Mukilteo Shawl!

It’s a garter-stitch shawl featuring a triangular shape, contrasting pinstripes and a cute fringe edging.  Literally, it’s just knitting and increasing.  That’s it!  It’s worked from the center point, and increased on either edge, so if you end up enjoying your Mukilteo Shawl, you could just keep knitting until you get bored (or run out of yarn)- I’d love to see a really massive one!But here’s the cleverest part (if I can toot my own horn for a second).  No ends to weave in!  At all! None! Zero! I know!  You see the cute tassels along the edges?  They’re actually cleverly disguised ends.  I kind of want to put secret-end-tassels on all my knitting from now on.  (I really hate weaving in ends.)And there’s another surprise!  This pattern is in another new collection from Knit Picks, Beginner Bulky Knits.  And would you look at who’s on the cover of that book?

It’s me!  (OK, not me, it’s a very lovely model, but she’s wearing my design!)This is a really cute book, perfect for beginner knitters, people who love working with extra-bulky yarn, or people with short attention spans who want to get through their knitting super quickly.It’s  full of adorable shawls, super-cute hats, mitten and scarves.  What great designs for great, bulky yarn!Get a copy of the Mukilteo Shawl here!

Get the whole book here!

What’s next?

It’s the after-Christmas knitting let-down.  Not that I really had a lot of knitting I was working on for Christmas, per se, but I did have a couple holiday-related projects (and some work projects) that I finished around Christmas.

Now I’ve got to figure out what to do with myself again!

I could go back to my Papaya Sweater.  I swear, some day I’ll finish it.  I just… need more… enthusiasm.   Or, alternatively, I just need to get off my butt and just knit the dang thing.  (It sits in a big bowl next to my desk and looks at me every time I sit down to work on the blog or send email.  It judges me.)I could start something new… I did receive three skeins of a really lovely merino/bamboo blend in a fantastic, subtle shade of blue.  I just have to figure out what to do with almost 1500 yards of fingering weight yarn.  (Maybe a bunch of socks?  Or maybe a light, spring cardigan?)Or… I don’t know… I could do something non-knitting-related?  Heresy, I know!  But even I like to branch out once in a while.  I’ve dabbled in paper-crafting, cross stitch, embroidery, clothing-making, even bookmaking (like, making books with paper, not taking illegal bets. I’m not a bookie. In non-related news, I’ve been watching a lot of cop shows and reading true crime books over the holidays.  Maybe I need to start watching something else, if that’s where my brain goes).  Maybe I need to find a new project entirely?

Or I could just take a nap with the dog.What are you working on, now that the craziness of the holidays are over?

2017

I’ve gotta say, in some ways 2017 was a big ol’ dumpster fire.  (You don’t need me to explain that, do you?)

But, personally, 2017 had some pretty great things happen.  I’ve been working on some pretty exciting projects (that you’ll hear about soon), both personal and professional, and just generally, my family and I have been doing really well. (Except that Ollie had to go to the vet yesterday because he broke a nail partying too hard at the dog park… sigh. It’s always something with that dog.)Oh, and I got to spend a lot of my time knitting!

I managed to fill my Christmas tree with Arne and Carlos’ Christmas Balls, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out.  Sure, I haven’t made all 55 (yet), but I got about halfway through the book, which left me with enough finished balls to decorate my whole tree.  Plus, this way, I’ll be able to make more balls next year! Fun!I knit… a lot.  (Surprise, surprise.)  Starting in January with a whole pile of PussyHats, a stack of Mother Bears, a half-dozen or so shawls and scarves.  Plus a bunch of sweaters and socks.  I’ve started slacking off on keeping track of my knitting on Ravelry, so I can’t give you a full rundown of everything I’ve knit, but let’s just agree that there’s been a lot.Plus, I’ve been busy working!  I’ve just about turned this whole “knitting thing” into a real, big-girl job.  I never in a million years thought that I’d be able to make more than pocket change with my knitting, and I’m so thankful for everything that I’ve been able to do over the past (almost) 5 years of running this blog and focusing on pattern design.  Heck, this year alone, I’ve published 11 new patterns, and I have a half-dozen more that are somewhere in the design-math-editing process.  I couldn’t be happier with the trajectory of my new career!I can’t wait to show you what 2018’s got in store for me (there is big news in the works at Casa de On the Needles!).  I know it’s going to be awesome!

What did you get done in 2017? What are your goals for 2018?

One Last Bear

Waaaay back at the beginning of the year, I promised I’d finish 12 Mother Bears this year- one for each month this year.

Well.  I got close.

None of them are officially “finished,” but, I’ve got a half dozen knit up and stuffed, and five that have been knitted, but still need to be assembled.

And I’ve got one bear still on the needles.  I’m just about to the legs… and I’m just about to run out of the pants color.I guess this bear is going to be wearing shorts… and a scarf.  I suppose that makes sense.

I still have a couple days until the official end of the year- if I work like the wind (and get some more stuffing; I’m just about out), maybe I’ll be able to make it through and finish off all 12 bears.

Fingers crossed!