Monday, December 29, 2008

Wildcats Scarf

My father-in-law is a huge University of Kentucky fan, so for Christmas I knit him up a simple blue and white striped scarf. It's a 1 X 1 rib, with 19 24-row stripes.

Danny's Christmas Scarf

I did learn a couple of new tricks while knitting this. My favorite is the tubular cast on, as described in the Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques. It creates such a professional-looking edge, and it wasn't really that hard. I used the kitchener stitch cast-off to create a matching edge on the other side, and that worked out well too.

Neat edges

I also slipped the first and last stitches of every other row to create a nice neat vertical edge as well. I got the idea for these tricks from ogling the beautiful Noro striped scarves on Ravelry- I know I'll eventually get to one of those, too. Sometimes it's just the simple stuff, right?

Neat slipped edges

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tab Blankets

I'm knitting like crazy, but there are sneaky eyes out there trying to get an early peek, so I can't post anything about it. My brother-in-law has actually put himself on Ravelry's waiting list to try to find out what he's getting for Christmas.

But I can show you another little project my Mom and sister and I worked on this weekend. I didn't know this, but apparently babies really love tabs. Pulling them, feeling them, trying to eat them, etc.- they just love them. There are these little soft blankets covered with tabs made out of ribbons that babies just can't get enough of. In the store, they cost at least $10 or $15, but my sister had the brilliant idea of whipping up some at home for much, much less.

Two tab blankets

For each blanket, we cut out 2 16" squares of fleece. Then I cut 28 4" pieces of ribbon (4 ribbons each of 7 different types). I pinned all the ribbons to the ducky blanket about 2" apart (which took FOREVER) and then sewed them on. Then Mom sewed the 2 pieces together (inside out) and they were set.


I love that they are super soft, and reversible, and colorful. If the babies love them half as much as my nephew loves his taggy blanket, then I'll be happy.

Tons o' tabs

Blankets with tags- who knew?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Early Present

It's getting pretty cold and snowy here in Cincinnati, so I got a special request from my sister for a hat for my nephew. She wanted something that would cover his ears, so I searched around for an earflap hat for a baby and went to work.

I used Hey Julie's pattern, with just a few mods. First off, I put a little snowflake pattern on there. I found the chart for it somewhere online, but I can't find it again now. I was using worsted weight yarn (Cascade 220), so I did a little math and ended up making the hat 80 stitches around. It fits that baby perfectly!

He loves it!

Side view

I took three strands of yarn and crocheted them on to the back of the hat. Then I took 3 strands and crocheted it to the front of the hat. That left 6 strands of yarn hanging down on each side of the hat, so I divided them into 3 sections and braided it down to the end.

Little Woodsman

Okay, okay, I know I'm ridiculously biased, but how freaking cute is this baby in his little woodsman outfit? I got that outfit for him before he was born when I was visiting the Smokey Mountains. I remember staring at it, wondering what the little guy who wore it would be like. Now he's here, and man am I crazy about this kid.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I have a few little tidbits to show you, but we all know what the holidays do to knitblogging, so bear with me.

First up are a couple pairs of baby thumbless mittens, made from leftover sock yarn held doubled. I used this pattern, with one pair a bit bigger than the other. New nephew is especially tiny for a 6 month old, but his 7 month old buddy is especially large. I was worried that they would fall off, but I hear they fit both of the babies well and stay on just fine.

baby mittens

My comfort project lately has been a clapotis made of this gorgeous fluffy, tweedy alpaca that I got last year for my birthday. I know, I know, clapotis are boring and why would anyone want to knit one. I can't help it- I love the pattern and love the results, so whenever I need to just knit for comfort I cuddle up with this guy.

tweedy alpaca Clapotis

Finally, an actual FO. This will be a Christmas present for a fiery little 5 year old girl and I cannot wait to see her in it! I used the Lil' Devil Baby Hat pattern and good old Paton's Classic Merino.

Lil Devil hat

I used seed stitch instead of garter and put a little stuffing in the horns to make them really stick out there. Like everything else, I wet blocked it and when I did, I made sure to really pin those little devil spikes out.

devil horns

Hope all your holiday knitting is going well!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm Her

It's official- I am her. I am the childless aunt that knits ridiculous things out of Red Heart yarn and forces her infant kin to model them. I don't know how I got here, but there's no denying it's where I am.

Logan's First Halloween

It started with the pumpkin hat from Itty Bitty Hats, which he just had to have for Halloween. I was in a time crunch, so I went to Joann to get some orange yarn and dammit if the only thing they had that was the right orange was Red Heart Soft yarn.

But that was only the beginning. I woke up on Saturday, which happened to be the day of Logan's baptism, and decided I HAD to make matching booties. And finish them before 2:00, when I had to leave the house and become a godmother.

Halloween booties

So I went to Ravelry and found Ruth's Perfect Baby Bootie Pattern. I knit the bottom of the booties in the same Pumpkin pattern as the hat and used a seed stitch cuff to look more pumpkin-y. Knitting feverishly in the car on the way to the church, I started a green i-cord tie and finished it on the way over to the party.

Then, the next day, with my sister collaborating, we dressed him up in a Halloween onesie and took some pictures that we will someday show his dates while he cowers in mortification.

Halloween outfit

I can't even help myself. I'm already planning for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Socks that Sorta Get Down

I finally used Socks That Rock yarn to make myself a pair of socks. I got it in a trade, and it came in a beautiful colorway (Nodding Violet), but once again I've realized that I just don't dig on FOs in varigated yarn. Love looking at it in the store, love it when I wind it into a cake, but don't love it in the actual knitting.

Charade socks in STR

The pattern is Charade, which I think would be perfectly lovely in a nice solid colorway, but in the STR it's just kinda "Meh." They are really comfy, though, and I think they'll be cozy in the winter. Final verdict: these socks don't really Rock so much as Sorta Get Down. Like your Uncle Walt might at your wedding.

Charade socks in STR

I'm still dying to make the Opulent Raglan sweater from the last Knitscene (Julie's gorgeous version didn't help the craving) and I thought I was onto something when I found Soft Lux on sale at littleknits for crazy cheap. So I bought a bag for about $36.

1 bag of Rowan RYC Soft Lux in Camel

It's soft and pretty and great. But here's the thing- instead of calling the color "camel" they should call it "Half Latina Ohio Girl Skin". Because dammit if it's not the exact same color as my skin!

It's the same color as my skin :(

So I need to sell this bag of Soft Lux so I can buy enough yarn to make my Opulent Raglan. I'm trying to get $30 (shipping included) for the bag, so if you're interested, let me know!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Modeled Shots!

My nephew is 4 months old already and big enough to fit into the little pullover I made for him before he was born. My sister was nice enough to take some pictures for me because she knows the only thing I like showing off more than knitting is this baby.

Logan''s blue pullover

It's the placket-neck sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Rowan Calmer. Super easy pattern, nice for no-thinking knitting.

Little boy blue sweater

When I started knitting this, I didn't yet know that Logan would be a boy, let alone anything about what he would be like. Now he's here, and I'm here in Cincinnati where I get to see him all the time, and these pictures are making me feel a little overwhelmed with how lucky I am for that.

Logan Laughing

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ladybug for Lilybug

Yesterday I went to a ladybug-themed birthday party for my favorite 2 year old, so naturally I had to knit her an appropriate present. Crafty Alien came to the rescue again with a super cute Ladybug pattern, available in the "Buggin Out" set. There is also an ant and a very cute bee, which I can see myself getting around to someday. I know there have been some concerns with the pattern kits at Crafty Alien, but I have ordered pdfs from the website twice now and it's automatic and no problem at all.


Like most little toys, the ladybug was pretty fiddly. You make the body in two separate pieces, and then you make legs and antennae. Then you have to sew the body together and sew all 8 pieces on. The best thing about this project: felting hides everything! As usual, I had the most trouble with the eyes. They actually came out a little wonky because I was late for the party and had to just accept that I still don't know how to embroider.

Ladybug back view

That reminds me- I came across what looks to be a great tutorial on embroidering on knitting. Check it out.

I think the birthday girl likes her ladybug, though not nearly as much as she likes chocolate cake.


Friday, September 12, 2008


I've been a little hat crazy lately, because they are fun and easy and don't require me to go into a new LYS. Also, I have had good reason to do gift knitting.

First off, my friend Michelle turned 30! I pulled out a random skein of Noro Kujaku and some Patons Classic Merino in Black to make the Fake Isle Hat. Super fun, super fast knit! I would probably never use the Kujaku again (even if it wasn't discontinued) because it was pretty novelty-ish. It had these little pieces in it that looked like those old school wrapped friendship bracelets we made when we were 8.

Fake Isle Hat

The colors were fun, even though I had to rip back a few rows and cut the yarn because it went to a super dark, almost black section. But the green and the purple with pink flecks was cool.

Fake Isle Hat

If I were to make this again (which I would), I would change the decreases at the top. It came out a little pointier than I would like.

My next hat is an extra present for Baby Yuri, the now-3-days-late child who better get here so s/he can wear this little piece of adorable.

Sailboat Hat

Here's hoping that Kara doesn't see this because she's at the hospital giving birth! This pattern is from Itty Bitty Hats and I think it's as cute as pie. The baby has a sailing themed nursery and the parents are sailing fanatics, so I think they'll like it. How can they not? It's tiny! And has a boat on it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hey, I could make that!

I'm finally settled in at the house enough to start really knitting again, but the big move has tightened things up so I can only knit from the stash. Lucky for me, the move also made me realize that I really need to get the stash in a better place. I don't mind having lots of yarn, but there's a lot of stuff with no purpose. And not enough of anything to start a new sweater (this sweater, in particular, except without the flared sleeves), which is all I want to do.

In a perfect example of why I should buy yarn for a particular purpose, I pulled some Plymouth Encore I bought to make another Elijah out of the stash and was ready to roll on a present for my friend Kara's soon-to-arrive baby.

Elijah #2

Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda
Needles: Size 5 DPNs
Yarn: Plymouth Encore- 3/4 skein of gray, scraps of pink

This is the 2nd Elijah I've made and I still love him. This one is in the 75% acrylic Encore, which usually would not be something I would mess with, but this is surprisingly great yarn. It has a wool content similar to Woolease, but I think it is so much better. It doesn't have that plastically feel- it really just feels like slightly softer wool.

Elijah head

And of course, Ysolda's pattern is as brilliant as they come. Everyone thinks so- that's why there are 340 of these on Ravelry. The swirl the head decreases make, the way the purl row and decreases make the feet look, the way the short rows make the ears look perfect- all of it makes this pattern not only great because it is seamless, but also because it creates an adorable result with spot-on details.

In other news, I was in Urban Outfitters recently looking for fabric and saw this huge knitted purse:
Urban Outfitters purse
(please ignore ridiculous look on my face- I think I was trying to look casual)

Cute, right? Except this bad boy was 100% Acrylic and $68! So like any good knitter, I made my husband take pictures of it inside the store because I was just positive that I could replicate it.

Urban Outfitters purse- flat view

It looks pretty easy, huh? I may just have to figure that thing out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wow, that's bright...

So we're moving right along with all the painting projects in the house and in general, we're pretty pleased. We decided to go with very bold colors, which we have realized is not exactly for everyone, but we like bright.

Couch with lime green paint

We have an old house with a "cozy" living room, so we had to get new furniture that was comfy but still small enough to fit. I fell in love with this little chair from IKEA and actually picked the paint to match it.

IKEA chair with lime green paint

I can't actually believe this, but I am going BACK to IKEA today to see if I can find some dining room chairs. I cannot believe how lucky I am that they opened an IKEA in Cincinnati just 3 months before we moved here.

In knitting news, I made a little present for my house this week.

Swiffer cover- front view

The ubiquitous Swiffer cover. We have hardwood floors downstairs in the new house and I knew right away that I would NOT be purchasing copious amounts of expensive swiffer covers. So I whipped this up and really do think it's one of the most useful knitting patterns I've ever come across. Not necessarily the most exciting, but super useful.

Swiffer Cover-back view

I made mine a little smaller than the pattern directed, mostly out of laziness, with some Sugar and Cream I had lying around.

I'm busy with a secret knit for a friend who is going to have a baby any minute now. I saw her a few days ago and you could watch the kid trying to push his/her way out, so I better get busy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We're here!

A little over 2 weeks ago, we packed up our tiny Miami apartment and drove 1200 miles up to Ohio. It was hard- we loved our life in Florida and made the best friends you can imagine there (that's you, my little Menudo!). The drive was actually not horrible, and I knit most of a sock along the way.

Sock at Sonic

My Charade in Socks that Rock (Nodding Violet colorway) had a great time at Sonic- have you guys tried Diet Cherry Limeade there? Seriously- the drive into Georgia was worth it just for that. Partnered with Tater Tots, it is the best road trip treat e v e r!

About halfway through Tennessee, I got through the heel...
Sock in progress
And now I just have just the toe left. This sock is okay, but not my favorite ever. The Socks that Rock is nice, but may be a bit much for the pattern. Also, it's really thick. But Charade is great for road trips because it's fun but easy to memorize.

So when you drive north on 75, just before you get to Cincinnati you'll see one of my favorite landmarks in the world. It's in Florence, Kentucky, and it is hilarious:
Florence, y'all!
Its Florence, Y'all! And they really wanted you to know so they painted it on the water tower! I love it! I think it scared the crap out of Bryan (um...Farrah...where are you taking me?).

We closed on the house on July 31st, and since then our life has been all boxes and painting and furniture shopping. And lots and lots and lots of Ikea.

Bryan at IKEA

People, both of those carts are ours. Both of them. We went from a 600 square foot apartment to a 1300 square foot house, so we had some needs. Big, expensive needs.

I'll be back at you with some knitting soon, hopefully- we got a couch today so at least I have somewhere to sit. But I'll probably also post some house painting/decorating news, too. I've spent most of my creative energy on choosing things: paint colors, furniture, etc., so you'll hear all about it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Boy oh boy

I bought the book Designer One Skein Wonders for a few different patterns, but I especially had my eye on Boy Oh Boy, which calls for exactly one skein of Dream in Color Classy. I love Dream in Color so much, I didn't want to waste this beautiful skein of Blue Lagoon I had on a hat or something that would leave so much yarn left over. This pattern is a perfect one skeiner- I only had maybe 10 yds left over.

Boy-oh-boy arm folded

How cute is this little thing? And it was so much fun to knit. 5 separate pieces, all small and taking not more than an evening to complete. The seaming, not so much, but it was a good learning experience. It was all in reverse stockinette and so it was good practice for my cabled hoodie.

I went back and forth on the buttons. There were rustic looking wood ones in the pattern photo, which I really liked, but I couldn't resist these elephants. Something about the bright blue yarn just called for elephants.

boy-oh-boy close up

All in all, I couldn't be happier with the process or the product. I wish I had something so satisfying planned next, but unfortunately I didn't find that *perfect* knit to take along on my long trip up to Cincinnati. I have yarn for a pair of Charade socks, but that doesn't feel quite right. I'll have to make it work, though- the movers came today and all my yarn is packed away!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forgetting Type A Knitting

Believe it or not, I have photographic evidence that I am actually knitting this damn cabled hoodie:

Hoodie pieces

That's the back, a front, and a sleeve. Blocked and just waiting to be seamed together to see if they will actually fit me. They've been like this for a few weeks now, but every night when I come home, seaming just seems like too much to ask. It's hot, so I'm not inspired by the prospect of wearing the hoodie, but I am inspired by these:

Hourglass cables close up

Although I really love this little minx and am proud that I've actually gotten this far despite the massive amounts of frustration, I just can't handle her right now. My Ohio sweater will meet her fate and actually be completed in Ohio.

Here's the thing- I have been wrestling with a sense of knitting guilt all week. I put down my sweater because it was just too much and started on a pair of basic socks. I very much enjoyed making these socks for someone who will appreciate them very much, so why did I feel a nagging sense of disappointment in myself for not being more exciting? I feel like I've let my Type A tendencies seep into my knitting- like if I can't make the newest or coolest or best thing, then I shouldn't be knitting it. If I don't have 50 hearts on a Ravelry project, then I need to step up my game.

Popscicle socks

So today I decided to make a conscious effort to stop being externally motivated. I started another baby sweater for my nephew and forcibly ignored the little voices in my head yelling, "you've had too many baby things on the blog! People will think you're boring! If you have to make a baby sweater, at least make up your own pattern!" and instead took out some delicious Dream in Color Classy in the prettiest bright blue color (Blue Lagoon, it's called) and started on a little sweater from Designer One Skein Wonders. Because even though I know I am a little too effusive in my excitement over my new nephew, I just can't resist. I mean, seriously- look at this kid:

Logan loves me

So that's it. I am hereby forgetting my Type A tendencies and just knitting whatever makes me feel good. And baby sweaters in handpainted yarn make me feel good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Scarf

I have only a month left in Florida and have been spending as much time on the beach and with friends as possible. Although I wouldn't have it any other way, I haven't been knitting as much as usual. When I do get a chance to knit, I find myself wanting to space out and work on something soothing and beautiful, so the Lace Ribbon Scarf got a lot of play this month. This project came with me to Ohio for the birth of my nephew and has logged more hours than I'd like to admit on the couch watching the first two seasons of Battlestar Gallactica (hey, man- no one is more surprised that I'm BSG crazy than me). I try to spend time with my cardigan, but she is such a fickle and demanding thing. Working out gorgeously, but damn if she doesn't make me work SO HARD for every little thing.

But this scarf...I just never got tired of it. I know several people on Ravelry have commented that the knitting got a little boring after a while, but I never felt that way. I think it's probably because my life is in the midst of turning upside down right now, but I really relished every mindless minute of her.

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty, Spring 2008 by Veronik Avery
Yarn: One skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in Dusky Aurora, purchased from Sonny and Shear
Needles: Size 4 Knitpicks Options
Time: May 13-June 23

This pattern didn't really call my name when it was first published in Knitty, but I didn't feel like making socks and I was hankering to knit with that particular colorway of Smooshy, so I searched around a bit on Ravelry and realized that the ribbon scarf was a perfect fit for my mood- easy, repetitive, pretty, and perfect for one skein of sock yarn. I ended up doing 24 repeats of the pattern and it came out to 80", just like the pattern specified.

Lace Ribbon Scarf

I am a bit of a purple lover so I'm obviously biased, but holy crap if this isn't the prettiest colorway of Smooshy ever. My love of this yarn is well documented, and this time is certainly no exception. When the newest Knitty came out, I cast on for the Spring Forward socks immediately with some other sock yarn from my stash and quickly became less interested because it just didn't have the allure of the ever-sexy Smooshy.

Lace Ribbon Scarf

I'm not sure what I'll do with this yet. It's so pretty and universal I think it would make an excellent gift, but I really love it and may just get selfish. I know I would get some good use out of it during the fall weather...

I'll catch you up this weekend on the progress of my cabled hoodie. I just need to block the back and left front so I can seam it up and see if this bad boy is going to work out. For now, I can't resist leaving you with one more picture to remind myself of what I have to look forward to when I move away from this place that I love...

Tiny Feet