Tag Archives: scarf

Two Down

It’s been a bit of slow going on my knitting, if I’m being honest.

There’s a project that has always been my Achilles Heel, and I have no clue why.

Scarves.

I don’t know why, but I absolutely detest making scarves.  They always seem like a good idea.  I mean, what’s more classic than a lovely knit scarf?  I start off strong, then about 6 inches in I get totally bored and wander off to work on another project.

Which is bananas, because I just knit an all-garter-stitch baby blanket in about three weeks without any trouble.  There’s no reason a scarf should take me as long as it does, but here we are.

This weird scarf hang-up probably explains why I’ve had this scarf on my needles in one shape or another for (according to Ravelry), more than three years.  I’d get a bee in my bonnet to finish the scarf, but then decide I didn’t like what I was doing with it, so I’d rip it out, knit about a foot, then loose steam and put it away again.  (And again, and again.)

But!  I managed to push through this time and I’ve finished!  I’ve completed a whole scarf!

Sure, it’s just a big ol’ garter stitch rectangle, and it hasn’t been blocked or anything, but hey!  It’s done!

And I kind of love it.The colors are bright and cheerful (sorry about the picture.  It’s real cloudy here today-surprise surprise.  But I promise you the colors are really pretty!)  I like the fact that the colors pooled to make cute little stripes.  I even like the thick-and-thin texture of the yarn, which I definitely did on purpose when I spun up the yarn all those years ago (*wink*).  All in all, I think this was a very successful scarf project!

Next, I’m off to tackle this box of bears.  Wish me luck!How are your Ravellenic projects going?

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: Is it just me, or is it cold out there?

It’s been dang cold here in Seattle lately.  (Yes, I know it’s January, when it’s supposed to be cold, but still.)  We even got a bunch of snow over Christmas!  It’s been in the 30s in the mornings!  I’ve been wearing my wool coat along with my big cabled sweaters!

(OK, I’m not really complaining- I love getting to wear extra-cozy sweaters and having an excuse to drink hot cocoa.)

But, it’s the time of year when people start working on their year-long temperature scarves and blankets.  Have you heard of this?  Every year I think “Great idea!  I’ll do that next year.”

The idea is that you start a simple project (usually a scarf or afghan, but I suppose you could do this with any project) on January 1st (or 10th, and then you play catch-up).  Every day you knit or crochet a single row or a single square (depending on your design), and then you repeat it every day through the entire year.  But the trick is that each row’s color is determined by the temperature outside that day.  So, if it was super cold, maybe you use a teal yarn.  But if today is in the 60s, you use lime green.  (Or whatever you decide your system is going to be.)

It’s a cute idea!  Simple, fun, and attractive to people like me who like starting long-term projects.

Some people have made cute ribbed scarves.

My Year in Temperatures Scarf by Kristen CooperAnd some people have made gorgeous afghans!

Temperature Gauge Afghan by Nancy StengelI don’t think I’ll be participating this time around, but maybe I’ll get my act together and make one next year.

Have you made any long-term projects like this?

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!

Inspiration: Silicon Valley

Sometimes I search out knitting;  I go to the library and look through books.  I spend hours scrolling through Ravelry or visiting yarn shops.  I’m not complaining, obviously, I think it’s fun, interesting, and a pretty pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

But, sometimes knitting just jumps out of the weirdest places, without any warning.  For example, I was catching up on last week’s episode of Silicon Valley (episode 36, “The Keenan Vortex”), and BAM! Knitting!

Jared, my favorite character, the dorky business manager with a heart of gold, was rocking some great knitwear this week.  (There was a whole subplot where there was a cold snap, so everyone was getting out their winter gear, but Jared’s was my favorite.  Everyone else had boring ski jackets on.  Why wear a ski jacket when you can wear an amazing wool sweater?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

He starts out slow, with a simple ribbed-scarf-and-pea-coat combo.  Classic.I need a nice simple scarf- maybe I should follow Jared’s lead and knit up one of these.

Fisherman’s Rib Muffler in Three Gauges by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasThen he stepped up his game with a mustard sweater vest. Now, I’m not usually a fan of a sweater vest, but if I really wanted to stay true to the Jared spirit, I’d knit up one of these bad boys.

Nathan by Jones & VandermeerBut the best knitwear is definitely saved for last- Jared comes out of nowhere with this amazing cabled gansey turtleneck.  The guys on the show tease him for it, but I gotta say- I love anyone who can unironically rock a cabled sweater.  Those are my people.It’s not as great as Jared’s sweater, but this one’s pretty good, too.

59-6 Sweater by DROPS DesignHave your favorite TV characters ever shown up in knitwear?

New Pattern: Gradient Scarf

Well, when it rains, it pours.  I’ve got another new pattern for you today!  And, better yet, this one’s free!

Introducing: The Gradient Scarf! (Yes, I know I’m not great at naming patterns.) It’s an asymmetrical triangular scarf, wider on one end (obviously, because it’s a triangle), and it’s knit in Knit Picks Stroll and Stroll Gradient.

Stroll Gradient is brand-new, and just lovely (I just received a couple skeins yesterday, and my fingers are itching to start kitting).  It’s a super-soft merino sock yarn dyed in one long continuous gradient.  (And, better yet, the colorways all have goofy names!  “Kale Yeah!” is my favorite, but “Hula Girl” is the one we used for the example.)The Gradient Scarf is worked in the round, starting at the narrow end.  Every few rounds, you increase a couple stitches, creating the gradually increasing triangle shape.  Then, the wide end is closed up with Kitchener Stitch (my favorite), making a super-sleek, seamless scarf.I suppose you don’t have to work this scarf with gradient yarn- it would be lovely worked in all one color, or solid stripes- but there’s something very entertaining and super satisfying in watching your yarn change colors as you knit along.

Want to knit your own Gradient Scarf?  Get the pattern here!  And pick up a ball (or two) of Stroll Gradient here!

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”?

New Pattern: Gradient Hat and Scarf

How does that old saying go?  “A new year, a new pattern?”  That sounds right… yeah.

Well, however that saying goes (and whether or not it’s actually a saying), I’ve got a new pattern for you!

It’s the middle of January, and it’s real cold, so what could be better than a super-squishy, extra warm, nice and thick hat-and-scarf combo?

Nothing.  That’s what.

Introducing: the Gradient Scarf and Hat.52178220_5_medium1This bad boy is made from worsted-weight merino, held TRIPLE, so you know it’s going to keep you warm.  Both the hat and scarf are worked all over in broken rib, one of my favorite stitches.  The fabric is soft, squishy and totally comfy.   Plus, there’s a mean pompom on top of the hat.  You gotta love a pompom. I mean, look at it:52178220_15_medium21And, that’s not all!  This pattern is one of eight in Knit Picks’ new book Quick and Cozy: Bulky Knit Accessories.  Patterns like this adorable red cowl from the cover:75279d1And these gorgeous colorwork mittens:75279d1051You can order a copy of the book here!  Or, if you’re feeling lucky, comment below with your favorite thing to knit in January to be entered to win your very own copy of Quick and Cozy!  (The winner will be announced next Wednesday!)

Knitting Big

I spent my Sunday at a little local yarn festival, Knit Fit.  It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, browsing through the little marketplace, squeezing the yarn and admiring all the gorgeous colors (and wishing you had infinite money and infinite time so that you take home and use all the yarn).

Of course, I had to treat myself to a little (big) souvenir.  It’s a wheel of The Big Squeeze from Hazel Knits in the colorway “Electric Slide.”img_3861 It’s 135 yards of slightly-felted oversized single ply merino softness in the most gorgeous shades of violet, purple and fuchsia.  I’ve salivated over the Big Squeeze before, but didn’t know what to make with it.  But then I saw this gorgeous color… and it was all over.

So now I have to decide what it’ll become.  It’s soft enough that I want something I can wear against my skin, but I don’t care for super-bulky hats, and mittens are kind of impractical in this climate.  I’m thinking it’ll make a big cowl, or maybe an oversized lace scarf.

I like this cabled cowl.  I love how it twists and turns and looks like it’s been very artistically rumpled.

Rainbow Twist by Thao Nguyenphoto_medium1And I like the openwork on this cowl.  There’s something really satisfying about lacework at such a gigantic gauge.  Maybe I’ll do something like this.

Spidey’s Spiral Cowl by Abi Gregoriospiralcowl_medium21And this one is just beautiful in its simplicity.  Sometimes you just need a big tube of ribbing in a beautiful color.

Castle Leoch Ribbed Cowl by Karen Clementscastleleochribbedcowl1_medium21What would you do with a big skein of oversized yarn?

Inspiration: Phew!

The Olympics are over and my sweater has finished blocking (just in time for a few lovely, cool days).  I love my new sweater, and there’s no denying that speed knitting can be very satisfying, but now my mind is wandering to a new project.  Something that I can really sink my teeth into, something I can work on slowly and carefully.  Something stupidly elaborate and full of ridiculous details.

This scarf/wrap is just gorgeous.  I love the use of a semi-solid with the slowly-transitioning rainbow colorway.  And the little sticky-outy leaves are a fantastic detail.  (Though one I think would drive me a little bit crazy to work up.)

Snood Forest Witch by Svetlana Gordon1m_medium2[1]And every time I see this project go across my screen, my heart skips a beat.  I love looking at all the beautiful colors people choose.  And, honestly, I can’t even guess how it’s constructed (short rows, maybe?)!

Fox Paws by Xandy Peters

2016-06-21-21-46-26_medium2[1]And, I do love lace.  It’s been years since I really sunk my teeth into a full-on lace shawl.  And this one has beads.  (And little cables.)

Lily-of-the-Valley-Rosea by Alla Borisova4_medium2[1]What do you like to work on when you’re looking for a complicated, careful knit?