Tag Archives: knitting

Inspiration: All Snuggled Up

I know it’s cliched, but holy cow do I need a vacation after my vacation.  I’m still exhausted, even though it’s been almost a week since we got back.

I think it must be a combination of the following:

  1. Too much traveling- a full day of air travel to get to the Midwest followed by a full day of driving to make it up north, and the same thing in reverse to go back.  (Plus all the driving we did over the week there.  I forgot how far apart everything is in the country!)
  2. I was surprised to discover that the part of the UP we were visiting was in the Eastern Time Zone, three hours behind Seattle.  I spent the whole week trying desperately to get on local time and failing miserably.  Now I’m back here, but I think my brain is still somewhere between Eastern and Pacific time.  I’m a mess!
  3. I picked up some nasty stomach bug somewhere on my trip back home, and I can’t for the life of me shake it.  I won’t give you the details, because ew… but suffice it to say that I’ve felt better.

Basically, all I want to do is snuggle up in some cozy knits and go into hibernation.

Let’s play the “what Allison wishes she had in her closet” game.  (I’m too sleepy to start any new projects right now… it’s that bad!)

I know this is a men’s sweater but man, I’d totally wear this.  I love the slightly variegated/tonal yarn and the cowl-like collar.

Cosy Hubby by Marzena KolaczekSpeaking of cowls- I can’t imagine anything cozier than this ridiculous cabled cowl.

Cozy Cable Cowl by Purl SohoBut really, this is what I want to wear right now.  It’s coziness personified… It’s halfway between a cocoon and a sweater (actually, it might be closer to a cocoon than a sweater).  I love the thick textured fabric, and the thigh-length oversized silhouette.  It would take about three pounds of yarn to make a sweater of this style for someone my height, but I think it might just be worth it.

Cozy Sweater by Anna and Heidi PicklesWhat do you like to wear (or knit) when you’re feeling under the weather?

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?

Christmas (in July) Balls

I’ve been knitting up a storm lately- but unfortunately (or, if you look at it another way, fortunately) it’s mostly been “work knitting.”  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thrilled that I can count myself as a “professional knitter,” but sometimes I long for the day when I could just knit whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted without deadlines or due dates.

(Woe is me, right?)

I’m crazy busy, but whenever I have a few minutes free, I’ve been slowly chugging away, working on a project just for me.  It’s fun, it’s straightforward, and it doesn’t require me to do any math! Woo!

Since I got Arne & Carlos’ book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit, I’ve dreamed of a Christmas tree covered in their adorable red and white ornaments.

I bought a big bag of red and white yarn in January, and I’ve slowly been making my way through the book.So far, I’ve completely finished 3 balls, stuffed 6 more, and have one freshly off my needles.

They’re quick little projects- it takes me an evening to knit up a ball (not including finishing).  And, its great to be able to just follow a pattern, knowing that it’ll turn out great.

Have you been working on any “just for fun” projects lately?

It’s in the bag

I’m flying through socks right now.  I’ve got two separate socks from two distinct pairs on my needles right this second.  I’ve even started a new pair of socks without finishing the first pair… something I never do.  It’s like I’ve been bitten by some sort of sock bug.  I’ve contracted a terrible case of sock-fluenza.  I’ve been stricken with sock-itis.

It’s a problem. (Not really.)

Because of my sock-itosis, I’ve been schlepping my sock bag around a lot, and I thought I’d give you a tour of what I carry with me when I’m on a sock binge.I’ve got a handful of sock bags, but I think this one might be my favorite.  It’s tough- I sewed it out of poplin and scraps of cute green quilting cotton.  It’s nice and roomy, but still compact enough to fit in my purse.  And, it’s got a nice big zipper to keep my knitting safe and sound as I schlep it around town.

Open it up, and all this fits inside!  Two big skeins of yarn, a half-finished sock (plus needles) and my trusty notions kit full to bursting with scissors, tapestry needles and stitch markers.

(OK, if I’m being honest, my bag also contains this Snickers wrapper from when I got real hungry at work last week and had to stop for a candy bar.  I’m a grown up, so I can eat candy when I want.)It’s not terribly exciting-there isn’t anything super surprising in my bag, but it still is pretty satisfying to know that I can keep a whole project with me at all times.

Ollie thought it was cool, too.Do you carry a knitting bag?  What’s in yours?

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.

Snips and Scraps

I’ve been making a lot of socks lately, which means I’ve been ending up with a lot of little balls of scrap yarn.   You know, the 10 or 20 grams of sock yarn that’s left over after you’ve finished your socks.  It’s not enough to make another pair (or anything else really), but it’s enough that you can’t bear to throw it away. When I have leftover bits of worsted yarn, they go into my Mother Bear stash, but when it’s sock yarn… I just kind of hold onto it “just in case.”

So, let’s take a look at some gorgeous pattern ideas about what to do with those last little bits of sock yarn.

I love this simple blanket- it’s nothing more complicated than a mitered stockinette square, but the combination of all those sumptuous colors of leftover sock yarn… gorgeous!

Giant Square Scrap Blanket by Laura PetersOf course, this quilt is the new standard “using up all my lovely bits of yarn” pattern.  I’ve seen lots of knitters making the little hexipuffs, but I’ve never actually seen a finished one in person.  Maybe that’s a sign that I need to make one for myself. (Or maybe it’s a warning that if I start it, I’ll never finish it.  It could go either way, really.)

the beekeeper’s quilt by tiny owl knits

I really love this blanket, too.  I love the seashell pattern, and the fact that it’s all knit in a single piece- no seaming!  I imagine the short rows might get a bit tiring after a while, but the finished product is so pretty, they might be worth it.

Seashell Scrap Yarn Blanket by Charan Sachar

What do you do with your scrap yarn?  Do you have a go-to scrap yarn project?

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?

New socks!

I’m on a sock roll! And you can’t stop me!

(Actually, you probably could, I’m pretty distract-able.)

I’ve been digging through my overly-extensive sock yarn collection and trying to use up some yarn that’s been hanging around for way too long.  (I once got overly-excited about a sock yarn sale and ended up coming home with about 2 dozen skeins of yarn… that was probably three years ago, and I’ve still barely made a dent in it.)

Anyway, I found enough turquoise-blue for a pair of socks, and I thought I’d get cracking.  But this time, I feel like trying something new.

95% of the time, I work my socks top-down.  But this time, I think I’m going to switch it up.  I’m going… toe up!  Woah!  I’m a loose cannon!

That means I get to break out Judy’s Magic Cast On!  I’ve used it a handful of times- mostly years ago, before I got so set in my sock-knitting ways.And, I gotta tell you.  That is one satisfying technique.  (It’s a little bit of a pain at first, but dang!  Once you get past the first few rows, it looks really nice!)

I’ve increased up to the toe,  so now I’ve just got to decide what I want to do next… cables? Texture? Lace?  There’s too many options!

What do you think I should do next?