Tag Archives: knitting

A *Little* Something Different

I think it will come as a surprise to exactly zero of you that I am a crafter. If it has to do with paint or glue or cardboard or fabric or yarn, I’m there, and I’m 100% in. And, as a crafter, I’m always looking for excuses to get making.

So, when my kid started getting invited to birthday parties this year (now that we can have in-person parties), I’ve been using it as an excuse to get out the craft supplies. And this time, I really think I outdid myself.

(This is by no means meant as a dig against non-crafty moms. This is truly just something I like doing, and after all, my kid can only play with so many cardboard houses and stuffed animals.)

It’s small.

And cute.

And, I love it so much!

I used Little Cotton Rabbits’ Free Teeny Tiny Knitted Toys and Itty Bitty Dress patterns to make this truly tiny bunny (she’s only about 2 inches tall, including her ears). I added a soft flannel mattress, a little pillow, and a teeny li’l quilt (which I’m probably going to cut down even smaller, because for some reason I’m being really “type A” about this project). And if I find the time, I might make a teeny little bedtime book, too, but we’ll see.

I really love how she turned out. Nothing like a bit of super-teeny, super-fiddly knitting to really start appreciating my chunky crochet project.

What’s the last thing you made as a gift?

Spring!

It’s definitely spring around here! I can tell because:

  1. My kid won’t stop talking about his birthday.
  2. I’m dying to get out and start planting the garden.
  3. I’m constantly sneezing.

What’s an allergy-ridden, indoor kid to do when the weather turns? Oh that’s right. Knit! (Or at least daydream about knitting.)

If I had infinite time and energy, I’d definitely make myself a lovely new spring sweater. Shall we window-shop through Ravelry together?

Rift by Jacqueline Cieslak

Such a stylish-yet-comfy silhouette. I love the subtle shoulder and hem details, and the slightly-textured yarn she chose for the samples. Can you imagine it in a cotton-wool blend? Or better yet: a nubbly slik? Ugh. To die for.

Felix Cardigan by Amy Christoffers

Or what about this darling little number? Can you imagine a more perfect springtime cardigan? I love the sweet little shoulder details. Plus the wool+mohair combo? Perfection!

Dustland Sweater by Stephen West

If I’m being honest, it’s still pretty chilly around here (despite what I want to believe), so maybe this is the best way to go. A lovely, textured pullover in a fantastic spring color. I usually like to switch up the colors of sweaters I make, but honestly, I can’t imagine this in a better color. That electric lime might just be exactly what I need in my wardrobe.

If you could magically knit up a sweater right now, what would you make?

New Pattern(s): Stitch Your State!

It’s new pattern day, but this time it’s a little different.

A few months ago I was approached by Knit Picks to help them with a collaboration with the Craft Yarn Council’s “Great Yarn Challenge” and Warm Up America. They had written the instructions on how to make a “state blanket”, but they needed someone to actually write out the charts.

And you know me. I love a good challenge, so I said “Sure!”

The idea is that you can use the charts to make your favorite states in your favorite style- filled in with intarsia, outlined with stranded knitting, or even embroidered! They’re easily adaptable to knitting or crochet, being a little more/less elaborate.

You’re more than welcome to keep your squares and make your own special blanket (maybe featuring all the places you’ve visited, or where all your cousins are living, or who knows!) But, if you want to participate in the Warm Up America part of the challenge, you can mail your finished squares in, and volunteers will assemble them with squares from all over the country to donate to people in need. What a fantastic idea!

This was a super fun project to help with, and I’m super excited to see what everyone comes up with!

Grab the pattern here!

Still going

Not much to report yet on my sweater, except that it’s still going… I’m at the bit I was worried about last week, the super super long rounds around the chest. I’m so close to splitting for the arms, but still it’s killing me. It takes me close to a half hour to do one round (assuming I’m paying attention and not spacing out and scrolling Instagram instead). But, soon, I should be to the body, and that should fly by by comparison.

Hopefully.

I’ve gotten all five colors into the sweater now, so the next thing will be to decide what to do about stripe order. My initial plan was to do the stripes at random, but now I’m second-guessing myself. Maybe I keep the red-gray-brown-green-cream order, repeating it down the body? But will that make it look like a rugby shirt from 2002? Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure.

At least I’ve got plenty of time to decide before I reach the next stripe. I’ve got four more rows… at least 2 hours of buckle-down knitting time. HA!

What would you do? Random stripes or a repeating pattern?

I DID NOT THINK THIS THROUGH

Or, rather, I did think it through, I just don’t like the answer.

So, it’s my sweater from last week. I like it. The design is going to be solid (at least it is in my head). The yarn is nice and soft. It’s fun to knit stripes.

But here’s the thing: This is a not-small adult sweater being knit on US5s. When I finish the raglan increases (knitting around the chest and shoulders, just before I split for arms), I’m going to have more than 400 stitches on my needle. That’s more than I had when I was making my big blanket. Ridiculous. It’s going to take forever.

Here’s what happened: I’ve used this yarn before, and while Swish is a super soft yarn (superwash merino), it’s really not hard-wearing. I’ve used it for sweaters before and they end up pilled about fifteen minutes after you try them on for the first time. I’m hoping to combat that by going down a needle size or two. So here we are with US5s (4s on the cuffs). I think it’s the right decision in the long term, but, man. It’s going to be a heck of a slog.

But, honestly, there’s something to be said for just miles and miles of stockinette. Nothing’s more meditative. Right? …Right??

Have you ever miscalculated about how much work a project was going to be?

Another day, another stashbuster

Now that my big project is done, it’s time to start fresh- and by fresh, I mean “with stuff that I already have in the basement”.

I’ve been itching to make myself another sweater- a simple pullover this time. I’ve basically been living in a uniform this winter (overalls, tank top and pullover), and I’ve only got so many pullovers (and they’ve all seen better days, if I’m being honest. The “nice” one has paint on the cuff from when I painted the basement last fall).

So, I dug around in the basement and found a bunch of KnitPick’s Swish DK from a pattern I was working on earlier this winter (keep an eye out for it next year some time). It’s a sweater’s worth of yarn in five colors that go pretty well together. (Do the colors look a little more Christmassy than I’d like? Yes they do. Do I care? Eh, not really.)

I’ve only got a couple skeins of each color, so it seems I’m making a stripy sweater, with cuffs and collar in cream (since I have extra of that). I’m planning on a raglan V-neck (a sweater I can almost work from memory, once I reference Ann Budd for the starting stitch counts).

I’m excited to get moving (and more excited to have it done- I want a new sweater!)

Have you started any new projects lately?

And Done!

I have hemmed and hawed about these eyeballs for longer than was strictly necessary. But, hey, that’s just how I roll. I do love to overanalyze.

I had gotten myself a brand new tube of black puffy paint, and tried it out on more scrap fabric, with similar results as the pearlescent blue paint. Both dried halfway between lumpy and smooth, but the black at least didn’t show every single little bump the way the blue did.

I went back and forth about the eyes for several days, afraid to pull the trigger on the puffy paint eyes, but not wanting to do anything else. Then, Saturday night in a fit of either confidence or frustration with my own commitment issues, I went ahead and just did it. I just did the eyeballs in a minute.

And… I like them! I mean, they’re obviously not as perfect as safety eyes would be, but they’re functional and cute, and I’m sure they’ll last for a long time. Plus they were so easy and fast.

I don’t think they’re the best eyes ever, but for stuffies for my kids, they’ll work great.

And I got them done before Christmas! Now, if only I could finish the last couple inches of that ding dang wedding blanket…

Are you finishing up any holiday knitting this week?

(Also, I just realized I forgot to add mouths… oh well. They’re mouthless butterflies, I guess…)

Procrastinknitting

I know, I know. I’m so close to finishing the wedding blanket, but man, I really want to make something fun, quick and simple. And after talking about knitting little stuffies for my kids, well, I suppose this was inevitable.

I’ve bit the bullet and decided to make them the Butterfly & Cocoon sets for Christmas this year! I went back and forth, but decided the cuteness factor outweighed the “these are going to be annoying to have to keep putting back together” factor. And, heck, worst case scenario, maybe the cocoons just get “lost”, and the kids just have cute li’l butterflies to play with.

And I gotta say, they are so fun to make! It’s shocking how quick they work up (though that might just be in comparison to the gigantic blanket I’ve been working on). I made this body in essentially one evening. I’m even using up stash yarn and stuffing left over from a project from years ago.

Now, I’m looking ahead, and the wings/antennae look like they might be a bit fiddly, but so far, so good!

What’s the most fun knit you’ve done recently?

Long enough?

I’m officially at the “Are we there yet” phase of this ding dang blanket. I’ve made it this far, but is it far enough?

And while every big project has this moment (at least for me), this blanket is giving me extra trouble deciding when enough is enough.

There’s a “ribbed” quality to this pattern that I underestimated when I was swatching, and I’m having trouble figuring out what it’ll look like blocked. For example, when I just lay the blanket flat, it looks long and narrow:

Surely, it’s ready to bind off, right? The goal is a square-ish blanket, maybe slightly longer than it’s wide, but I certainly don’t want a long, skinny blanket.

But then, a moments later with a little futzing, and suddenly my long, skinny blanket is short and chubby and could definitely use a couple more skeins.

I think with blocking it’ll end up even wider, which means I should do more knitting. (Which is not the conclusion I was hoping for.) But then, on the other hand, after it’s been used for a while, will it just relax back into its long, skinny shape?

I’ve got 2 and a half more skeins. I’ll probably do at least one more full skein (plus whatever I need to do to get to a stopping point). Then, I’ll have a debate with myself about stopping. And then convince myself that I need to keep going. And then I’ll keep knitting until I’ve accidentally run out of yarn, at which point I’ll have to debate about ripping back or ordering another skein to finish the project. What? I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What would you do? Call it, or keep going?

Little Gifts

So, my blanket continues to grow, and it continues to look exactly the same, so instead of giving you an update on my progress, I figured we’d go look at patterns on Ravelry, and you can help me pick out my next project.

It’s almost a month until Christmas, which means I should have finished any holiday knitting by now (or at least started it), but I haven’t. I’m not going to even attempt any big projects at this point- I’m not going to stress myself out that much. But I have been thinking about making a little something for the kids. Specifically, some a little doll or stuffed animal. Maybe a pair of almost-matching little guys for them to keep. (Not that they need more stuffies- we have baskets full, and they’re almost never played with.)

So, I need your help! I’ve got it down to four patterns, but I can’t decide which I like best. I’d love your input:

Mini Boy Bunny and Bear by Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. I’ve loved her patterns for years, but have never gotten around to making one of them. Pros for this pattern: Super cute, could make “fraternal twins” for the kids, they’re a perfect size for little hands. Cons: I shudder to think at all the ends in these little guys.

Butterfly & Cocoon by Susan B. Anderson. Another classic stuffed toy pattern. I love the goofy little wings, and the tiny little sleeping-bag cocoons. I know my 3-year-old would be beside himself if he saw this guy, but I also know that he’d need us to put that cocoon back on him about a million and a half times. And I don’t know if I want to do that.

Bebe Bunny by Amanda Buckley. These little guys are just so perfect and sweet. Honestly, they look like something out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Which generally isn’t the vibe my kids go for. If I was making these toys based on aesthetics alone, I’d be tempted to go with these little guys, but if I’m being honest, they might not get a ton of play.

Teddy Boo and Friends by Claire Fairall Designs. Finally, these guys are just the goofiest little stuffies I ever did see. I mean, c’mon. Look at them. They’re so silly. I like that they’re pretty simple, and that I could make two different animals, instead of just changing the color.

But, yeah. They’re all super cute, and if I’m being honest, they’d probably all about the same amount of play (which is to say none, because they’re not trucks). Which would you do?

Have you got any holiday knitting going this year?