Posts categorized "Quick knits"

Since I last blogged...

I caught a craptastically craptastic cold (I actually had it in the pictures of my finished Amused--hence the hat and pale face) and spent most of last week sick at home.

That wasn't all bad because a) I re-watched the complete two seasons and Christmas special of Downton Abbey (which I ADORE) and b) I knit a whole big bunch.

For example, I completed weeks 5and  6 of my Ella Reinvented coat, the cuffs and the collar.  I'm loving these ruffles! -even if they take FOREVER to bind off.  (It's a picot bind off, cast on 2, bind off 3, on a ruffle of a gabillion sts).

Ella with collar

And I finished my Grand Central Cowl (sorry about the crappy photos, sickness makes me lazy). 

 

The yarn is super squooshy Briar Rose Pilgrim. I love the deep jeweled colours.  Natalie's pattern is easy and fun and fast. I want to make another one.

 

I also got started on something new, Flavia from the Indigodragonfly Smartass Knitters/World Domination Club. The yarn is extra yummy Polwarth Silk. This stuff could become my desert island yarn. The pattern is a whole lot of moss stitch which suits me fine--I wanted some easy couch knitting.

This is my progress as of this morning. I got a whole lot of knitting done this weekend, but that's another post.


I'm knitting other stuff too!

The Ella coat is cooking along nicely, but when I'm not knitting that garment (especially once I'm done my weekly assignment) I'm working on some other very nice things too.

I just finished a baby sweater for a co-worker due any time now.  It's a great, easy little pattern found here.  I used Dream in Colour Classy in Good Luck Jade.  It's for a boy and I loved the slightly camo-look of the yarn.  

I should have put something beside the sweater for scale--it's a newborn to two month size.  So CUTE!  I can't wait to see the baby in it.

I'm also working on another sweater for me (though Emma is greedily eyeing it).  It's Amused from Knitty and it was a lovely fit with some Briar Rose Abundance I've had in the stash from a few Rhinebecks ago. While this isn't the best photo (hard to photography myself and this yarn is tricky to capture), it does show that I'm making progress.

image from www.flickr.com

Since I took this photo, I got to the bottom ribbing portion.  Only 3 more inches to go on the body and then to the sleeves.  The 4 sts to the inch gauge is nice and speedy.  I like the design a lot--sort of like a done up cardigan.  I'm also considering some modifications to the collar including some buttons so I can seal myself up against the cold if need be.  I'll see if that's possible.

While I would like to knit all of the things all of the time, I can't do that...but at least I'm makind a dent and having fun doing it.


End of 2011 Knitting Frenzy

I don't have a lot of unfinished knitted things taking up space in my yarn credenza (yep, I have my own yarn storage furniture), but there are a few things I want to get off the needles by the end of the year.  I like the idea of knocking down my stash a few kilometres (I love the downloadable excel spreadsheet on Ravelry!) and also having a relatively clean slate for the new year so I can cast on a whole bunch of new things.

I also don't do a lot of Christmas knitting, but always cave at the last minute and decide to make a few things.

This year I wove a scarf for my brother Mike.  He made a request on his birthday, went through the stash with me and well, said it would complement his rather expensive hipster coat--how can a big sister refuse?

I didn't get good photos as I finished it a few hours before we had our Christmas celebration.  But here's Mike happy with his scarf.

The warp was Indigodragonfly sock in Shadows and Fog and leftovers of Bugga and Tanis.  Yum.

I also decided to knit both kids socks for Christmas.  My children have size 9 feet.  Not my best plan.  I realized I wouldn't finish Emma's so I'll shoot for her birthday in January.  The pattern is Tiara from Indigodragonfly and the yarn is MCN in Now accepting applications for Minions.  It was a Smart-Ass/World Domination One Skein club offering in 2010.  Here's the first sock.  Not bad being 50% of the way there.

I did manage to finish Xander's sock.  I used the Velodrome pattern by Natalie Selles and Socks that Rock Lightweight in a one-off colourway.  It was a tight timeline--I finished them December 24th at 8pm.  The funniest part was him not noticing while I knit them in the car on the way to Mom's!

They were put on the second after he opened them--the finest compliment one can give a knitter.

With all that Christmas knitting out of the way, I decided something for me was in order. I went with the easy win: Momentum Cowl in vintage stash Colinette Point 5. Started at lunch on Christmas, was done before bed. Emma is stealing borrowing it for now.

Now that those things are out of the way, my plan is to finish that Tiara sock and finally finish the Hanami Stole I started in 2009. Probably not doable in the next 2 days, but it's good to have goals!


Baby Surprise

One of the great things about hanging out at a fabulous knit shop is the friendships you form and the ways you get to celebrate those friendships.  At Lettuce Knit, our knit-pal Jenn is having her second baby and of course, that's a great excuse to knit up super cute baby clothes.  

For me it was a chance to finally knit an EZ Baby Surprise Jacket.  I've never done one before, I bought Knitting Workshop a few years ago so I would have the pattern, and then I completely forgot about it.  I also didn't get organized enough to knit something until 2 weeks before the shower, so something tiny was also on the menu.

What a fun pattern.  It really is a surprise for the knitter, since the pattern has none of the usual benchmarks that tell you it's a sweater as opposed to a hat or socks.  You know, things like sleeves or any sense of what the heck the shape is going to be.  So I just did what the pattern told me, and waited for it to become a jacket.

Can you see it?

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How about now?

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I decided to skip the button holes and leave it as an open jacket.  I can always add a tie if Jenn would prefer it.  I did an i-cord bind off to add a little something to the edges, and even used the i-cord to seam together the jacket at the shoulders.  I picked up stitches from both edges and knit them together with the last stitch of the i-cord.  I really like the effect of i-cord with handpainted yarn.  The Socks that Rock Midweight was the perfect yarn to use (the colour is a rare gem--nice and gender neutral and perfect for an autumn baby).

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I can't wait to meet the baby and see him/her in this sweater!  


Sunday Stuff

I was going to write a post about the fact that I hardly ever blog anymore and really, should I bother in a world with Ravelry and Twitter and Facebook and then I thought, fuck it, why I don't I just post some stuff about what's going on like I always do and just not worry about it.

So here it goes...

I should run today.  I haven't run since Monday, but I've had a mild cold, it's been busy and when I finally found the time and energy, it was snowing like crazy.  So today it is.  Once I drink some coffee and get more motivation.

What I would rather do is stay home in my pjs with warm beverages and knit.  I ended 2010 with only one WIP on the needles and now Space Girl is done (and I love it).  Made from my own handspun (which tickles me a bunch).

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Now I have a brand new year and a beautiful stash and so many possibilities.  I let the yarn be the guide and started Redhook with Briar Rose fibers BFL that I bought 2 Rhinebecks ago. I've wanted to knit up this yarn for a while and it's super nice to work with.  I do hope I'll wear this vest (I don't have a great track record with vests), but I am enjoying the knitting.

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I also started some complicated socks--a first for me.  The pattern is Staked by Glenna C. and the colour is And Then Buffy Staked Edward, The End.  It's an offering from the Indigodragonfly Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination Club and it's lovely (there are little cabled hearts with stakes through them).  I know little of both Buffy and Twilight, but I know pretty socks when I see them.  

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I usually don't bother with difficult to knit socks because I like to use sock knitting as an easy thing, but this year I'm giving it a go.  While these can't be a knit on the subway project, they are a nice foil to lots of stockinette.  And they're small enough that I might get them finished!

Well back to psyching myself into a run AND working with Emma to finish her Social Studies project.  Stupid homework.  And it's not even MY homework!


Knitting 24/7

Veronik Avery's new book is great.  She knows lots of us love to knit, but also have busy lives.  Knitting 24/7 recognizes this tension and is a series of small, easy to do patterns that are easily stopped and started and many of which are portable for knitting at soccer, in a line, on your commute or any time you have an extra five minutes.

Knitting 24-7 cover 

 

The patterns show off Veronik's classic style and vary in difficulty and object: hats, shawls, mittens, scarves, bags, vests, sweaters and things for the house.  All of them are very pretty; there's lots in this book I want to knit.

Knitting 24-7 socks 

 

And I have to say, I love this skirt.  The details are so pretty on it.  Wanties.

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A variety of yarns are used including Veronik's own St. Denis which I'm using to knit the Cabled Beret from her book.  

Knitting 24 7 beret 

 

The publisher asked me to be part of a Knitting 24/7 knit along and it'll be fun to have a small project that's not socks and try the St. Denis yarn.


Not-so-summer knitting

I know a lot of people switch to knitting different things in the summer--tanks, lace, socks--things that are small (so they won't be on your lap) and lightweight and maybe in non-wool fibres.  So far, even though the weather has been warm, I haven't made the switch, but I also haven't finished knitting.

I recently finished this tiny little knit for a special friend:

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The yarn is Socks that Rock Twist merino and I used a Debbie Bliss pattern.  I'll warn you the yarn amounts are way way off.  I could have made 2 of these with the yarn stated in the pattern.  And easy and styling sweater for a baby on the way.

I also made some progress on my Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl--something as far away from summer wear as you can get. 

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I've started the slow colourwork parts.  I have about 400 sts on the needles and I need to work in two colours and weave the floats so they look nice.  I'm developing my skills knitting backwards for the "purl" rows and well it's taking forever, but in a nice way.  The Bugga yarn is lovely to work with and I love how the patterns emerge; it's all just gonna take a while is all.

And I've started my Soccer Mom knit--something easy to have with me during the myriad of kids' soccer stuff.  I've wanted to knit Tempest for a long while and I now have the perfect confluence of empty easy knitting dance card and the right yarn to work with.

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I'm using Indigodragonfly 4ply Organic Merino in Chickadee and Seasky.  It's a departure from my usual colour combinations, and that's a good thing.  I sorta into blues at the moment and this will be a nice sweater for spring and fall and for my extra freezing office (we have a/c issues).  Knitting fingering weight yarn at 5sts to the inch is also nice--it's like lace without all that pattern following!

 


A wee bit of Christmas gift-making

I gave up on getting stressed out about making everyone handknits for Christmas a long time ago.  I had big lists and big plans and well, it never worked out, so I stopped with the unrealistic expectations and I'm a much happier knitter because of it.

This doesn't keep me from making a few things for a few people every year.  This year's lucky recipients are my Mom and my Memere.

For Mom, a Shapely Cowl by Amy Swenson in Manos Wool Silk to match the beret I gave her already (the one I made for me, but which is not my colour).

Shapely Cowl

I love this cowl--a nice easy knit which is great for hand-dyed yarn.  I'm going to find a colour of Manos Silk that suits me and make myself one (or maybe use some Handmaiden Cashmere...)

For Memere, a woven scarf.  This was a last-minute decision, but weaving is great like that.  Besides, what can you buy your 83 year old grandmother?  Something handmade is perfect.

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I really love this scarf--it was another one of those hard-to-give-away pieces.  The warp is Knitpicks Gloss and some left over Fly Designs BFL (the darker part) and I like how it striped.  The weft is Briar Rose Grandma's Blessing (good name for a grandma scarf) leftover from Shawl That Jazz

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I used every last bit.  That's another nice thing about weaving--very little leftovers.

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Now I'm back to doing some knitting for me.  I have two luxurious weeks off over the holidays and it's great to just sit and relax with the knitting/weaving/spinning.

I'll tell you about it when the Christmas dust settles.  Now back to my spinning and Caesar.

Happy Holidays to you all!


What's Steph Knitting?

Really, even though the blog is pretty silent (work is mostly to blame), I'm still doing a bit of knitting.

I finished a beret last week.

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Chevron Lace Beret (Ravelry link) using Manos Silk Blend.  I really like it, but the colour looks horrible on me. It's going into the Christmas gift pile.  I've started a cowl to go with it.  Probably won't keep that either.  Sigh.  The yarn was very nice to work with and I would like some more in the future.  Silk really does make everything better.

And I'm working on the ugliest socks ever.  I'm pretty sure the yarn is a STR Rare Gem (can't find the label) and it was my mom's choice for her curling socks (she has a hot pink vest to match), but the pooling is making for some serious ugliness from my vantage point.  Perhaps the sight of her ankles whizzing by will distract the other team.  

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She'll like them because she's my Mom (and very appreciative of my knitting) and they're fine to knit (just plain old socks) but man, they're ugly.  Too much yellow I think.

The Bohus continues.  Kim practically dared me to have this done in the next three weeks, and I'm up for the challenge.  Hopefully my life will make way for my need to get this sweater done.  I'm itching to cast on a new sweater (something aran weight on big needles) and I told myself I have to have Grey Mist done first.


Hansel

Well it took me almost a year, but I finally released my Hansel Mittens.  

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The companion to Ysolda's Gretel beret, these mittens knit up fast in heavy worsted or aran weight yarn and have a lattice cable pattern inspired by the beret.

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The pattern includes charts and line-by-line instructions and is available on Ravelry for $5.00.  

The mittens have an 8" /20cm hand circumference and are 9.5" / 24 cm long.  For smaller mittens, knit to a tighter gauge.

I used Foxhill Farms Cormo Cross, but any worsted/aran weight yarn would do--about 220yds/200 metres.

So if you made Gretel you can get all matchy and have warm hands this winter.