Posts Tagged ‘FO’

Heed the warning!

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

It happened so quickly.  I was browsing through the yarnharlot’s blog and I did not heed her warning.  I was lured in by the sweet images of a baby cardigan with two rows of little sheep around the yoke.  My photo is way down at the end of the post, so you don’t get sucked in without fair warning.

I looked at the pattern on ravelry.  It’s pretty cute adorable and before I knew it I was justifying the purchase price by telling myself that it would be a really versatile pattern–any small graphic could be substituted for sheep.

After making lunch, I ended up looking through my shelf of stash yarn to find some green.  I have some Nob Hill Naturals in Fern which I got on sale ages ago.  It seems pretty comparable to the recommended yarn.  Doubled sock yarn would do for the sheep.

I put a movie on and started knitting into the wee hours…

There is a lack of process pictures because I just kept knitting!  I would knit until a decrease, and then talk myself into knitting 12 more rows to the next decrease…and then starting the arm–it was so tiny that it worked up really quickly.

In the morning, I woke up and worked on sleeve 2.  Before I knew it I was knitting sheep!  How can you stop once you start seeing little sheepies around the neck of the sweater.

While I knit, I figured out that this would probably be the right size to fit one of the babies I met in Japan this summer.  I’m not sure if it will ever be cold enough there to wear such a garment, but maybe by winter she’ll be big enough to wear it.

Here’s the sweater, about 40 hours after I started it…waiting for a soak and then buttons.  (It’s a lot cuter in person–the colours are a bit off here)


I think I may have enough yarn left over to make the hat….

…and I may have ordered some more green to make another set soon!

This is a difficult affliction to beat!

Thrumming in August

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

I’ve been working on a gift for a now-retired colleague since February.  He had asked for a matching set of thrummed mitts for himself and his significant other.

I had started right away, happy for a way to thank him for his friendship and support over the past 10 years, and also eager to use up some of the sheep fleece that I’ve got!


As the weather got warmer my progress soon stalled.  3 mittens were done, and it just seemed too hot and sticky to be thrumming in May/June.

After experiencing the crazy heat in Japan, it felt cool enough this week to get working on these mitts again.


I am very happy to announce that the mitts are now all complete, and will be mailed soon to the maritimes where I hope they will keep hands warm for many years to come.

Spunky socks

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Today I finished my pair of socks that I’ve been working on for the last two months. They started off as the 100 g of Cotswald fleece expertly dyed and distributed by the good folk at Spunky Eclectic.
20130328-011037.jpg The yarn is thick and dense, perfect for the kind of socks that can keep you warm when wearing rubber boots. These are the most fun and classiest rubber boot socks that I’ve ever had.

I knit the socks on 2mm needles, toe up, with an after thought heel. Toes heels and ribbing were worked in black to contrast with the peacock tones of the body of the sock.

I am glad to be done this project, because I will soon be getting another package of fleece in the mail!

The Fastest Pair Of Socks…EVER!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Welcome to 2013!!


Owen, my brother and sister in law’s cat, ringing in the new year in style!

Some projects seem to just fly off the needles, as if the yarn has been sitting and waiting to be turned into something useful.  This pair of socks that I’ve just finished is one such project.  I started the first sock 2 days ago while waiting for my freshly dyed fleece to dry.  Craving the variagation and uniqueness of handspun yarn, I knitted up some of my stash handspun with Kroy yarn.  I was feeling rather smart when I divided up the handspun into two equal portions before I started.  It worked out really well!  I really like how the stripes break up the handspun’s long and unpredictable colour changes.  The blue also join the pair nicely together by virtue of the contrast socksFor me, socks, and particularly striped socks hold a particular memory for when and where they were knit.  I will be able to recall with each change of colour what was going on at the time, who I was with, and those memories stay lovingly locked away in those stitches.

These particular socks have wrapped up the last moments of 2012, and the first of 2013.  They knit together moments spent with friends and family; moments spent listening, and helping, celebrating and being together.  These moments of connection will be cherished as I wear these cheery socks through the cold winter days.

new sock

Here’s my recipe (as much for my own reference as for anyone else)

These are toe up socks, Toe: I started with a figure of 8 cast on 20 stitches in blue, increase on alternating rows to 60 sts.

Foot: 7 rows handspun, 4 rows blue.  I did not do any heel gusset increases.

My feet are pretty big, so I worked 6 stripes of handspun before the heel.

Heel Placement: knit 2 rows of blue (of the 4 rows expected), knit 30 sts in waste yarn for an afterthought heel, knit remaining 2 rows of blue.

Leg: I continued the striped pattern until my handspun ran out, the socks are a bit shorter than I’d like, but that’s ok.  I worked 2.5 inches of K2P2 ribbing and cast off loosely.

Afterthought Heel: Carefully take out the waste yarn, keeping the 60 sts on 3 needles.  Knit a toe (decrease 4 sts every 2 rounds to a total of 20 sts, graft with kitchener st)


Red Light Specials

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

While sitting indoors fighting off my cold, in the hazy days that follow Christmas and Boxing Day festivities, I finished off these two lovely hats.  I’m quite taken with the Red Light Special Pattern.  I love how different it looks with each new colourway I’ve light specialThe blue one was started on Christmas day, but not quite finished in time to be under a tree.  It has already been delivered to my sister in law, and the orange one will be given in the near future to a very big fan of orange who needs a bit of extra warmth and encouragement this winter, specially since we’re finally getting lots of snow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a closer look at the pattern.  I bet you can’t make just one!

Secret Santa

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

‘Tis the season for giving.  I love this time of year!  The weather gets colder, and it just seems sensible to wrap up in warm woolies.  I’ve been taking advantage of the long evenings to whip through a few gifts for the secret santa exchanges that I’m involved in.

My three high school classes are all exchanging gifts.  Each person is limited to $5 to prepare their project.  These limits have brought up all sorts of discussions generally starting with “you can’t buy ANYTHING for $5″.  I am a firm believer in creating gifts.  For $5 you could bake cookies/cake etc, draw or paint a picture, or in my case, I choose to knit.  I’m curious to see what gifts get exchanged.  Last year my gift was a Christmas tree ornament and a can opener.  I still use the can opener to this day!

Here’s what I’ve made for my secret santa students:  Here’s a slightly modified version of the “End of May” hat (ravelry).  secret santaI knew that I didn’t have time to knit up the hat at the gauge that was specified, so I used heavier yarn (acrylic so it’s not itchy) and worked 3 pattern repeats rather than 4.  I also didn’t work the internal lining, but rather did ribbing for one hat and a Latvian braid for another.secret santa

The yarn is scrap from my stash.  The red is not actually red, but more of a “radioactive salmon” hot pink/orange colour, which seems to be quite fashionable amongst the youngsters these days.  This yarn was rescued from the GAP where it was used as part of a display, but going to be thrown out afterwards (shameful!).  I remember the day when a big bag with many balls of fluorescent yarn appeared in my office–thanks so much to Rachel for giving me some.

secret santaThe third gift I made is a pair of 100% wool mittens (Sean Sheep brand from Walmart, purchased AGES ago). It’s a very cozy softly spun single ply yarn that sometimes didn’t hold together under tension.  I knit these mitts with extra long cuffs, then decorated them with snowflakes embroidered on top.

I hope that my students realize that although their gifts cost me less than $5 to create, they are worth much more.  I invested my time, and my care to create something specially for them.  I have high hopes that teenagers can appreciate these gifts.

Julekuler-Norwegian Knitted Balls

Monday, December 10th, 2012

It’s rainy here these days.  We’ve only had one brief dusting of snow which was quickly washed away by showers.  All the rain is making me remember my experience in Norway.  There is some amazing knitting that originated in Norway, the entire Selbu tradition for instance.

I recall my visit to the Selbu knitting museum where a young boy working there on a summer job told me that the very intricate mittens were knit in a day by Altzheimer’s patients who had forgotten everything but mitten knitting.  I’m a little doubtful as to the truth of that story, but here’s another little bit of Norwegian knitting that could be done in a day.  From my poor translations of the Norwegian websites I’ve discovered that Julekuler are knit balls that are stuffed, and hung as Christmas decorations.

Here’s the pattern for the reindeers in love julekuler shown below. (ravelry)

julekulerI knit this one for my brother and his wife to celebrate their first married Christmas.  He has a thing for moose–reindeer are pretty close.

Two Norwegian guys Arne and Carlos have made many different Julekuler as seen below.

image source:

Their pattern for the snowflake Julekuler is given on their site.  I made this one for my other brother and his wife for their first married Christmas.  snowflake

If you are counting down the days until Christmas and looking for a quick and interesting project, I recommend giving these a try.  They’re knit in the round with a gauge that creates a dense fabric so the stuffing doesn’t show through.  I’m sure there are lots of traditional motifs around, but I’m sure that a creative crafter could invent some non-traditional motifs.

image source:

Happy knitting!

A Mountain of Mittens

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

mittensIt’s been a busy fall!  I’ve been working on this pile of mittens for some time now–all Christmas gifts for various friends and family members.  The vast majority of the mittens I make are my slightly modified version of Robin Hansen’s Fox and Geese Mittens.  I started making this pattern when I was in grade 8 when my grandmother gave me Robin Hansen’s book “Fox and Geese and Fences, A Collection of Traditional Maine Mittens”.

My mods are: narrower longer cuff, and using a Latvian braid to stabilize the non-ribbed cuff from rolling.

thrummedAlso from the same book, I learned the technique of thrumming mittens.  This is where bits of fleece or roving is knit into the fabric of the mitten, leaving the ends loose on the inside as extra insulation.thrummedThese mittens are the warmest ones I’ve ever made.  The only issue with them is that there is limited mobility while wearing them.  They’re big, like boxing gloves, when they are first completed.  After years of wear the fleece tends to mat and felt a bit.  I’m using fleece that I washed myself.  It is clean, but has a bit of lanolin still on the fiber (it’s good for soothing chapped hands!).  It is not combed or carded fleece, I’m thrumming with the locks of fleece.

Knit a Penguin

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I’ve been looking all over to find a knitted penguin.  I’m going to make an ornament for a friend, so I wanted a pattern to make a little stuffed penguin.  My searching led to a few possibilities, and I’ve knit up one of them already.penguin

The pattern is an adaptation of a free pattern for an Easter peep.  It was a really quick project, knit on 4mm needles from some roving that I had.  I’ve never knit directly from roving before.  It worked really well!  I stuffed it with even more roving.  I had thought about felting it, but I haven’t tried that yet.  It’s a little bigger than I had expected–maybe too big for an ornament.  My modification to make it smaller would be to knit it out of sock yarn on small needles.

Another pattern that I have found since is here.  I’ll try this one next and compare the two for cuteness.

If anyone has found any patterns for tiny penguins please let me know.

Tis The Season For Elf Slippers

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

December brings twinkle lights, snow, and best of all….it’s the only time where it is perfectly acceptable to wear elf slippers.  I made a pair for my dad a few Christmasses ago, and was so intrigued by the process that I have knit up some Cascade 220 from my stash into some child and infant sized slippers.  The free pattern from Flint Knits blog explains the entire process, from knitting the oversized slippers to felting them.beforeThey go really quickly since they’re worked on 6.5mm needles….child size…the pointy toes are a clever addition…infant size…as are the pointy additions to the cuffs.  With a quick trip through the wash (twice through worked really well), they are felted and drying stuffed with paper towel to keep their shape.afterI’m pretty pleased with the sizing of the child’s pair, but the infant pair seems to be really large.  If they don’t fit for this Christmas, they’ll fit for next year for sure!