Posts Tagged ‘pattern’

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.

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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.

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Happy knitting!

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!

Dragon Baby Set

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

A friend of mine has just had a baby.  This is no ordinary baby, it has been nicknamed a “dragon baby” for the last little while.  I spent this rainy weekend knitting up some lovely warm and “dragony” things to drop off at my friend’s door.dragon babyThe hat is what came up on a ravelry search for “Dragon Baby”.  Here’s the pattern, from the blog SpinKnitUp.  I have knit it with the most dragony green from my stash.  It’s a good quality sport weight acrylic that should be easy to care for, and will last for years!  dragon hatThe pattern really looks like dragon scales!

To complement the hat, and use up the last bit of my yarn, I mashed two patterns together to create some cute dragon booties.  bootiesThe patterns involved are Dino Baby Booties (ravelink) which didn’t have a pattern available–but I loved the picot teeth idea, and the Monster Booties pattern.dragonI am not sure how well the booties will stay on, or how long they will fit a growing baby, but they certainly will be a cute addition to the dragon set.

If you are curious, here are my instructions:

Follow the monster bootie pattern for the sole of the foot. I used garter stitch rather than stockinette stitch.

When picking up for the top of the foot, pick up in “tooth colour” the number of stitches required for the rest of the bootie.  Knit a round, then work a picot edge (YO, K2tog) around.  Knit a round.

Join in main colour and knit the round, joining the edges of the picot together by knitting the live stitch with a loop from inside, several rows down–the first loop in “tooth colour”.

Continue working the monster bootie.

I hope that these will keep the little dragon baby warm and cozy this winter.

Hat 62: a felted cowboy hat

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Is it possible to knit a cowboy hat?  That’s been a question bantered about our team for the past few weeks now.  One of our mentors always wears a cowboy hat….and we wanted to make him a hat that would suit his personal style.

After checking ravelry and seeing a few crocheted cowboy hats, we expanded the search elsewhere online and found this hat which is knit large and felted.


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My first stop was to get some Cascade 220 (I used 3 skeins), in our team colours, and cast on.  very large hatThis hat took about a day to create.  It is loosely knit on very large needles with the yarn held double.  Before felting it looks like quite a floppy mess.feltedAfter 2 hot washes and cold rinses in the machine it became a nice stiff fabric that had shrunk significantly.  I stretched the hat over a small mixing bowl and used clothespins and string to mold the hat into a cowboy hat shape.

After drying it should hold its shape quite nicely.  I’m looking forward to the final results!

Ringing in the New Year

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Happy new year to everyone!  I’m hoping that 2012 is full of as much excitement as 2011 was.  In our family, we gather to play silly games to ring in the new year.  Last year we had a moustache-themed murder mystery party.  This year we played the classic board game “Rat Race” the social climbing game where you strive to buy fur coats, artwork and cars to “keep up with the Jones'”.


We ended up laughing and carrying on until 12:03 before we realized that we missed the ball drop!  Luckily it was on youtube shortly afterwards.  Hopefully we wont be 15 minutes late for EVERYTHING in the new year.

During all of the fun I was working away on my latest pair of mittens.  I’m knitting “Avo’s Mittens” a pattern from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush.  {Ravelink}  It’s been a while since I’ve knit anything using a pattern book.  I think I’ll knit a few more pairs before the year’s done.  The yarn I’m using is Nob Hill Naturals which I’m really pleased with.  It’s 100% wool and is much softer than I’d imagined.mittens

At the end of the evening, as per family tradition, we each lit a candle as we made a new year’s wish.  There are a few more of us this year in our family….It’s going to be an exciting 2012.


How did you celebrate this year?




For A Baby Girl

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Many of my friends are having babies these days, so I’ve started knitting some baby clothes to give them.  It’s a great way to use up some of my sock yarn/baby yarn stash.  The yarn is generally superwash wool or acrylic, which is suitable for baby clothes that tend to need quite a lot of washing.  This particular pattern is my new favourite.  It is the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi by Jennifer.  The pattern is so easy to follow, and is knit in one piece with absolutely no seams to sew up at the end.

To go with the cute sweater I knit up a “Top Down Bonnet” by Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn .  It is such a nice pattern that fits babies so well.  I just need to add some ties and it will be all done.

The combination will be packaged up, ready for the first girl to be born.