FO – Freedom and Cables Test Knit

Hi All! How’s your February going? It’s going pretty fast for me. Things are super busy at both home and work. I did take the day yesterday to catch up on some shows and knit on my cardigan. And this weekend, hubby and I had a picnic at one of our favorite wineries and then did a wine and chocolate pairing at another of our favorite wineries. It was so gorgeous. Being out in the fresh breeze sipping wine was nice and relaxing.

Recently I read a post by my fellow sock knitter, Kat from felinityknits, and fell in love with the hat she had knit. Come to find out that it was her own pattern. I let her know that if she ever decided to write up the pattern, I would gladly test knit it for her. Lo and behold, a few days later, she sent over the pattern. There were very minor edits and overall it was very well written and easy to follow.

There are two versions: one color and two colors and you can see both on Kat’s blog post about them. I decided to knit the one with one color. I definitely recommend going by her yardage, as the skein I picked out had about 20 less yards and I lost at yarn chicken when I only had 6 rows to go. I even deleted one of the cable repeats thinking it would be enough.

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Yarn Chicken Fail

Luckily I found some yarn that had the exact same color in it and only needed 2 grams to finish it off.

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Two grams of beautiful perfection…don’t you love how the cables continue until the very end?

Once I made the pom-pom out of the same yarn and added it to the top of the hat, you couldn’t even tell I had run out. Before I show you the finished hat, check out how much this yarn bled! It is a discontinued colorway called Cherry and the base is Madelinetosh Tosh DK. I bought it back in 2015 so it was awesome to knit from my stash. The yarn I used to finish it off and make the pom-pom is Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. The colorway is number 3109 Woodland DK and it’s also been in my stash for awhile.

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Seriously yarn bleeding

Oh, here’s another thing. Do not aggressively block your hat! This thing was humongous on me after I blocked it and it fit perfectly before hand. Turns out you should lay it flat to dry instead of trying to stretch it over a great, big balloon or let it drag itself down on a styrofoam head. Ugh. I had to reblock, praying that it would shrink back (it shrank 1 1/2 inches both ways), and now it fits perfectly! When adding the pom-pom, use a large button to stabilize it and make sure you tie it in a bow so it’s easy to take off when you need to wash it again.

Didn’t it turn out gorgeous? I have gotten so many compliments already and it’s coming in super handy with the very cold weather the past couple of days. My project notes can be found on Ravelry here. Kat’s pattern is up on her blog (linked above) and is also on Ravelry as a free pattern. If you have never made a hat with cables, or worked with cables at all, or you love cables and weren’t sure what to make next, check out her pattern! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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FO’s – Neck Wear

Hi All,

Can you believe it’s already New Years Eve? I am absolutely amazed at how fast this year has flown! I have three final projects to end the year with you. I’ll try to write up a recap tomorrow as I reflect on this last year of crafting. It’s been a pretty good year for that with lots of big and little projects.

First up, a crochet project. This one was gifted to my dear friend Emmah for Christmas this year. I happened to be scrolling through the Free Testers Group on Ravelry and saw this test request. I knew I had yarn that would suit it perfectly and I wanted to make something for my friend to put in with her presents. This is a beginner pattern and would be perfect as a first project. It took me an hour for the original pattern, and then I decided to finish up my skein and it took me another 40 minutes.

Ravelled Here: Wintergreen Cowl by Rachel Counts

Started / Finished: 12/15/17

Hook: US K (6.5 mm)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Metallics in the colorway Poinsettia

A couple of days before Christmas, the Designer reached out again for another crochet test. I would classify this one as an Intermediate level. This was my first time using the Foundation Single Crochet (FSC) and the stitch patterns were more than a beginner would know what to do with. The pattern has a 6 row repeat and it definitely takes some concentration at the beginning. After the first section, it’s kind of easy to see what you are doing and moves a little quicker.

It took me about 8 hours to complete this one, over two days; however another tester took 4 hours total and another said it only took her a couple of hours. They both classified it as an Advanced Beginner pattern. I guess it depends on your skill level and I thought I was pretty advanced. This one hasn’t been published as of yet, but will be soon. As soon as it is, I will link up my project. I just finished blocking it and blocking really opened up the pattern.

Ravelled Here: Autumn Leaves Cowl (Test)  by Rachel Counts

Started / Finished: 12/26/17 ~ 12/27/17

Hook: US F (3.75 mm)

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in the colorway Weather Vane

Techniques Learned: Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)

Last, but not least, is a project that’s been on my needles for quite some time! Everyone knows the Hitchhiker pattern from the designer, Martina Behm. She sells that pattern, along with three others in an ebook called Hitchhiker – A Trilogy of Four Patterns. I chose Trillian as my first knit out of this collection.

It all started with one of my fellow knitters in the group I attend every Thursday showing off a shawl she knit in Miss Babs Yowza yarn. I went home that day and purchased two skeins, Morticia and Beachglass. A couple of weeks later, one of my other fellow knitters was talking about the Trillian pattern. We decided to start it at the same time. She finished hers within a few weeks.

Unfortunately, I wound up with some hand issues and then some emotional issues and this got put away for quite awhile. I’m so happy to have it finally completed, blocked and final pics taken.

Ravelled Here: Trillian by Martina Behm

Started / Finished: 8/5/16 ~ 12/9/17

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 10 (6.0 mm)

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza in the colorway Beachglass

I want to wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year! We are going to a dinner party and then playing games with friends, while sipping on delightful champagne. I hope your evening is just as fun, no matter where you are or what you do. Happy New Year!!!!

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

 

FO – Yes, I’ve been knitting!

Hi All,

I’m back again and am not sure I’m going to make it to the end of the year with all the catching up; however am trying my best 🙂 Next up on the plate is a hat that I blogged about earlier this year.

I’ve made several Sockhead Slouch Hats throughout the last couple of years and always have one on the go since it’s a super easy take a long project. Earlier this year, I decided I wanted a super quick option and decided to work the pattern in Worsted Weight. It turned out super snuggly due to the yarn I used and I thought it would be another hat for me. Turns out my Aunt Karen loved it and I gifted it to her while I was in Indiana. She’s definitely knit worthy 🙂 Here are the details:

Ravelled Here: Sockhead Slouch IV (Worsted)

Started / Finished: 7/20/17 ~ 10/12/17

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios in the colorway Arco Iris

Modifications: Since I used Worsted weight yarn instead of Sock weight yarn, I cast on with 104 stitches. I tried to do the Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast On; however twisted the stitches when joining in the round and decided the time wasn’t worth it to try again. I will try it again in the future.

Next up, is another quick hat by Purl Soho. I wanted to make another purple hat for my cousin that would keep her super warm on those cold Indiana nights. She has Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension so she is always super cold. It helps to have things to keep her warm and toasty. This one I started right before I left for Indiana…worked on the plane going there and finally finished a few days before Thanksgiving. It was a super easy pattern and would have been quicker to knit if I hadn’t been distracted by the goodness of hanging out with Rainy and the family 🙂 I made no modifications to this pattern. The gorgeous flag behind my head was made by my cousin-in-law, affectionately known as CIL. His company is called Our Old Flag.

Ravelled here: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho

Started / Finished: 11/7/17 ~ 11/20/17

Yarn: Lion Brand Heartland in the colorway Hot Springs

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

And last, but not least for this post…my Aunt Karen asked for a warm pair of gloves that she could also use when she wanted to play her games. This called for some serious hunting. Thank goodness I purchased the Chilly Podsters pattern from Glenna Knits! These are fingerless gloves and mittens all in one. Be still my heart! The only thing is that she wanted them in black. Do you know how hard it is to knit with black yarn in the winter? If not, please don’t try it. I persevered and finished these on Christmas Day. I also got them in the mail today, so win for me!!!

My Aunt Karen will be enjoying these in no time! They are a wee bit large, as I made the large size; however my Aunt Karen wanted them like that. There ain’t no shame in that game. BTW, she’s also requested a fingerless pair of mitts that match her hat in the same yarn. Since she’s knit worthy, I’ll make that happen.

Ravelled Here: Chilly Podsters by Glenna C

Started / Finished: 11/21/17 ~ 12/25/17

Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in the colorway Black

This was my first time actually making fingers on gloves. I’ve made thumbs before…just never fingers. What a rush to actually complete each glove 🙂 And how cute are my knitting jammies? I got these last year at Target and they are super comfy!

We’re almost finished with this year and I’m almost finished catching you up! Tomorrow will be three more FO’s that may cause ring around the collar? Hint, hint 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

FO’s – Unicorns Galore

Hi All,

Back at the beginning of December, I had high hopes for lots of blogging to show you some of the items that I had to keep secret as they were gifts. Now, it’s nearly the end of my three week vacation and I’m wondering where the time went! I’m going to share a couple of items with you today, just to get things moving again.

First up, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some “In Progress” photos. Several months ago, my cousin and a friend saw a Unicorn Blanket pattern that both wanted dearly. I found the pattern on Etsy (later realizing I could have bought it on Ravelry) and printed it out. It took me a little bit to purchase all the yarn I would need as several stores would have 1-2 skeins of it…I needed A LOT!

I learned a lot with the first blanket. I had never crocheted in the back loop only before and found that it creates a look much like ribbing with knit. I used office supply binder hooks to hold the hood and the blanket together for placement and sewing. I learned that I should use a much smaller hook with the yarn for the horn as it came out way too big. I also learned that since the stitches were larger, white fiberfill does not look as good. Although the horn is secure, it is not as firm as I would have liked. I also learned that gauge really does matter when you are trying to make a toddler size blanket. It turned out to be sized for a teenager. This was originally for Iris aka “Rainy”; however I gifted it to her Mama instead.

Ravelled Here: Unicorn Blanket by Keri Palbicki

Started/Finished 9/12/17 ~ 9/23/17

Yarn: Blanket used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Celebration; horn and hair used Lion Brand Landscapes in the color Boardwalk Promenade

Hook: Size US P (11.5 mm)

Final Pictures:

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I called the second one, Unicorn Shlanket since it’s a hybrid between a hooded shawl and blanket. I incorporated all of my learning from the original blanket, although I knew I wanted to make this a special fit for my cousin Nichole.

I made the hood with a size US M/N (9.0 mm) crochet hook, which made it much smaller. I also used a size US I (5.5 mm) crochet hook for the horn. I bought black fiber fill off of Etsy to stuff it with and it made a world of difference! I also made the mane much fluffier than the first by using a ton more yarn. I decided to make the hood first so I could maximize the amount of yarn used in the shlanket part and this turned out to be a wise decision.

The shlanket itself was made with a US P (11.5 mm) crochet hook and I decided not to add the fringe since it was so long. Unfortunately, I do not have finished pictures of the full shlanket because I forgot to take them before shipping this off to my cousin (hint, hint!) and she has not gotten back to me with final pictures. I do have picture of the hood however, and I think you’ll agree that it turned out much better! Also included is a picture of the “In Progress” shlanket part. I used the same yarns; however the shlanket is in the color Fisherman instead of Celebration.

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Until next time, Happy Knitting or Crocheting!

 

 

Once Upon a Sock: October Edition

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Hi All and Happy October!

I absolutely love this time of year. The leaves are just starting to change on some of our trees, although it will take a tad bit longer for the rest of them to catch up. The nights are definitely cooler and the days are too, which is a relief after an unprecedented, super hot summer. Pumpkin everything has come out…although not all of it good. Have you tried Halo Top’s Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream? I’m not a fan because of the pieces of pie crust (think soggy pie crust…not crisp and flaky) in it. Plus, I think there are some things you just shouldn’t mess with from the original flavor. Pumpkin Oreos anyone?

One of the other things I love about this time of year is getting to wear socks again! Yep…it’s all about the socks. And due to being sick last week, I was able to finish another pair, just in time for this cooler weather! I’ve talked about them many times on the blog. I actually started the first sock back in September of 2015. Socks were not really a priority at that time, even though I was blogging about them every Thursday. I finished the first sock in March of 2016 and cast on for the second. Then I put them away for a really, really long time.

Last month, while trying to determine which sock pattern I wanted to work next, I finally decided to pull out that second sock and get it done. I was tired of them taking up a pair of needles and a project bag. Plus I wanted that extra yarn for my sock yarn blanket 🙂 I also made a solemn vow to myself to finish everything in my UFO and WIP projects before starting anything new. This pair of socks is the reason why I always knit them TAAT* now as I never want to get SSS** again. I’ve even blocked them and taken pictures. Go me!!!

Ravelled Here: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

Started / Finished: 9/26/2015 – 10/3/2017

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) 24 inch circulars

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Sock in the colorway Spectrum (used 96 grams)

Techniques Learned: With the first sock, I learned how to do my first Heel Flap, Heel Turn and Gusset. I’ve used all of these techniques multiple times since then; however this was my first! I also learned that there are some mistakes you can live with and some you can’t. If you look very closely at the sock on the right foot, you’ll see that I got off pattern on the foot section. I decided I can live with it since I’m the only one that will ever see it.

I had to throw that last picture in there because my dog photo bombed me 🙂 Hey! Did you know that my friends and I blog about our sock knitting the first Thursday of every month? If you would like to join us, please let one of us know in the comments and we will be happy to link up with you! In the meantime, check out my very creative knitting buddies to see what they are up to this month! I will link straight to their posts as soon as they blog about them.

Katherine at fiber and sustenance

Kat at felinity knits

Stefanie at Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

*TAAT = Two at a Time

**SSS = Single Sock Syndrome

Grief Plus an FO and a WIP

Hi All!

I’ve been in a serious funk lately. It’s so weird to me that all of the family I physically grew up with are now gone. Grief comes in waves, ebbing and flowing, during this time of year and my mind has been full of memories and wishes for just one more moment of time with all of us together. My Mom (63) passed away in August 2014, my little sister Veronica (44) in October 2015 and my little brother Chuck (44) in June of this year. This is one of the last pictures that I have with all four of us together, taken in November of 2013.

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Plus, I’ve lost three of my four fur babies in the last two years due to age related illnesses as well as several friends 😦 So, while I’ve been busy knitting and crocheting, I haven’t really had the urge to talk about it…plus, I’ve been jumping from project to project, kind of like my mind, and have only finished a few things. Here’s one of them…plus a WIP.

I present to you the Sockhead Hat III. Yes, this was my third time making it. I think I’ve said before that this project is something that may be constantly on my needles as it is the perfect take a long project and super easy to pick up and put down. It’s also easily customizable for different head sizes.

Hat number 3 was on my needles for a long time; however it’s so worth it. I used a skein of sock yarn that I received from my Yarnbox Sock Club and I highly recommend it for the softness and utter feeling of luxury while knitting with it. It’s made of 80% Wool – Merino and 20% Manufactured Fibers – Nylon / Polyamide. It got even softer after blocking it. Here are the details.

Ravelled Here: Sockhead Slouch Hat III

Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) 16 inch circulars / DPNs

Yarn: Forbidden Woolery Glutton Sock in the color Alchemy (used 70 grams)

Started / Finished: 9/26/16 – 7/18/17

Modifications: Cast on with 136 stitches.

I can’t wait to pop this on my head to keep warm this winter. Plus, how could you not love this delicious color?

In addition, I have started another one in Worsted Weight. I had purchased four skeins of Malabrigo Rios in the colorway Arco Iris and only two of the four matched. This skein was so different from the others that I knew I had to use it for something on its own.

To tell the truth, it should have been done by now because it is moving so fast. I’ve just been concentrating on other WIPs instead and this one sits in my SUV, waiting for me to go to the doctor or be a passenger 🙂 But that’s okay. It’s not like I’m on a timeline for it and my knitting is not the boss of me. Here’s an In Progress pic. I’m just a little further along than this now and need to decide when I’m going to start the decreases to ensure I have enough yarn.

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I hope things are good for you! I’ve got some exciting projects coming up and I can’t wait to tell you more about them. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Once Upon A Sock: August Edition

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Hi All!

Did you enjoy my posts about Baby Rainy’s homemade gifts? If you haven’t checked them out, please do! You can find the links in the menu bar to the right. I would love your feedback. This year is flying by and this past month has been no exception. I didn’t meet my goal of finishing my socks by the 1 year anniversary of starting them; however I did finish them in the same month 🙂 I absolutely adore the pattern, fit and yarn…I guess I just love everything about them!

Ravelled Here: Smooth Operators by Susan B Anderson

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) magic loop

Yarn: String Theory Colorworks Inertia Self Striping in the color Putnisite

Started / Finished: July 10, 2016 – July 23, 2016 (Whew!)

New Techniques Learned: Afterthought Heels…this was new to me and scary as heck when I first started taking out the waste yarn, but now I love the method and will use it for future sock patterns. Especially for self-striping sock yarn!

I knit these TAAT and they took forever; however I’m so happy to be finished with them! They are super soft, especially after blocking and I know I’ll get a ton of use out of them.

Now, I just need to decide what I want to knit next. I’m leaning very heavily towards the Rose City Rollers or actually knitting the pattern from this months Yarnbox Sock Club, Call Me Ishmael. My yarn for the sock club just went in the mail yesterday, so I don’t know what color I will receive as of yet. Maybe I’ll wait until I get it and then decide. Regardless, I will have another pair on the needles again soon!

Me, and my fellow sock knitters, link up the first Thursday of every month to talk about our socks. If you would like to join us, let one of us know and we’ll be happy to add you to the group! I know that Stefanie from Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons is taking a social media / blog break for the months of August and September. Katherine from fiber and sustenance is currently on a cross country road trip with her hubby and I’m not sure if she’ll have time to post about socks this month; however check out her journey! She’s got some awesome pictures and lots of knitting!!! Finally, Kat from felinity knits has her sock post up for the month and it is an absolute stunning show stopper! Check her out!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!