Monday, January 26, 2009


Well, after making some fun Christmas gifts this year, I thought I just might make something for me. I wanted to use my leftover Cascade 220 superwash from the Fiddlehead mittens and Bird and Vine mittens. Combined I had enough for 2 mittens and 2 linings. Since I didn't have enough of any one color to do the stranding required for either of these patterns, I just thought I'd do some stripes and it would save on yarn. I used the shape of the fiddlehead mittens, but soon realized that it was going to be too big. So I reduced the starting count 10 stitches and started again. By the time I was done with the body I realized it was kind of large still. Once I added on the thumb it was quite apparent that these were NOT going to work. I'm kinda bummed and have zero desire to make the other mitten or try to fix this one. Now I'm trying to decide if I should just use this one as an oven mitt and be done with it, or save it for the day I'm dying for a challenge and fix it then. Somehow I kind of doubt that day will ever come! Either way, the colors are pretty. So at least I got that part right ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Well I got some great Christmas gifts this year. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite! Funny enough, most of my gifts were fiber-related! The most useful are probably the new digital camera I purchased with gift money from my husband's family, the set of interchangeable needles my husband bought for me, a new purse (that I quickly determined was going to be my amazingly fashionable project tote), and a sweater that I can be seen wearing around the house many days of the week - the last two both from my mom.

This was the first time Matt has ever bought me something that I had to ask for in a specific way. I didn't want just any needle set. I wanted the Knit Picks Options. And since you can't buy those in stores, I basically sent him the link and he purchased them. I felt kind of bad doing that, but it was truly what I wanted. I had set aside money to buy them months ago and ended up getting something practical instead. But now I can make anything that takes between a size 11 and size 4 needle!

You can see I've stuffed it with all my other circulars as well - my much preferred knitting utensil

I spent a long time researching and pricing out digital cameras. I feel like I got a good deal on a really nice camera. Its about one step down from a Digital SLR, which is what professionals use, but it still has options to change the shutter speed, aperture and exposure (a "superzoom"). I hope to one day master all of the settings and use it to its full potential. For now it takes great shots in its auto mode and has an awesome macro setting that allows me to take photos of small objects (like my handmade items) with amazing detail! It also takes up to 8 min of digital video which was a huge draw for me!
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28K

The tote is from Khol's. The color here is a bit off, but give me some grace, I'm just getting used to my camera settings! Its got a huge inner pocket with a small zipper compartment, plus two side zipper compartments on the outside. These are brilliant, as they allow you to compartmentalize things without adding bulk to the bag. I use them for storing my notions or cases, or just for extra yarn so that its not getting confused or tangled up with the skein I'm working from. You get a little sneak-peak on the second photo of the baby bluebird I'm making as a part of a baby bird pattern set (goes with my baby owl). You can see that yarn is a skein of Super Saver, which only takes up a small portion of the bag. This tote can haul!

And lastly, but very beloved, is my sweater from my mom. I wish I could say that I or someone I know knit this lovely piece, but alas, its not true! I LOVE this sweater. I wish I had one in multiple colors, honestly! I included a couple up-close shots to show off the macro setting on my camera.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

GLW is Done!

I sewed the zipper in my son's Grow Like a Weed Jacket yesterday and I just had to post a few pics because... well, I love how it turned out! This pattern is a keeper :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Grow Like a Weed Jacket

I am currently testing a pattern for Elinor Brown called the Grow Like a Weed Jacket. It has extra long sleeves that you cuff that will allow the jacket to grow with your child because kids "grow like a weed"! The photos below are from Elinor's upcoming pattern that will be available on Ravelry.

Photo by Elinor Brown

I came across the images above when I was browsing Ravelry one day and in her description Elinor said she was looking for testers. I was looking for a project to take on the 20 hour flight to India, so I jumped at the chance to test something! Unfortunately I only got the sleeves done on the trip, but have finished the rest when I had time after the holiday rush. The style totally fit my little guy so I opted to make the size 4-5. I added a little length in the torso because my son is quite tall for his age.

The pattern involved steeking (basically you knit a sweater in the round and cut it up the center to put in a zipper) which was scary at first, but I was able to figure it out using Elinor's instructions and references. I just purchased the zipper for it today and plan to install it tonight! I'm quite excited to get it finished. Unfortunately it turned out a little larger than I expected (maybe I didn't check my gauge as carefully as I thought I did in the rush of preparing for my trip), and those extra inches I added were probably unnecessary. It will more likely fit him in the 6-7 age range. No biggie, he can wait. I'm just glad it didn't turn out too small. Below is a pic of my version of the sweater, unblocked and not totally finished.

Christmas Rewind

I did my best to make my holidays handmade this year. I put a lot of thought into making something that I thought each person on my list would enjoy. I've blogged about most things in the past, but I was holding back posting these one because I was afraid my mom and mother-in-law would see what I made for them! Now that Christmas is over, up they go.

The first was an ear warmer for my mom. She is the type that prefers not to wear hats because it squishes her hair, and when I saw this pattern I thought it would be perfect for her. It was a fun knit, and a great intro to using a chart for cabling. I'd used a chart for cables before, let alone done so many cable cross-overs. I think this pattern really helped me get a better understanding of how cables work. However, I think I'd probably add a stitch or two on either side of the pattern if I were to make this one again. The edges of it just turn out kind of wobbly because the cables run practically right up to the edge. I knit this in leftover Patons Decor. The black yarn proved to be more than my camera and I could handle photographing, so this is the best shot I got!

The other Christmas item I never showed was this pair of fingerless mitts made for my mother-in-law. She is a seamstress and quilter and I thought they might be useful for her to wear when she's cold, but crafting and still wants the use of her fingers. I have to say this pattern is the type that looks much better on than off. The yarn used is Crystal Palace Aran Marl. Its a nice yarn, soft and cushy and warm. I had a lot of trouble matching gauge on the two different mitts, and ended up with one significantly smaller than the other. I made a total of 4 mitts, and got two pairs out of it. Only 2 of the 4 are the same size, unfortunately they are both right hands! The left hands are slightly larger and slightly smaller than the right hands, but overall they "match". I am giving the other set to my sister who was coveting them when I was making them. So it turned out all right!

As far as I know, the pattern for the mitts is only available on Ravelry as a free download. If you're interested in it and are not a member of Ravelry, sign up! Or you can email me and I'll ask permission to pass it on to you :)