Friday, January 28, 2011


I have made it through the hat portion of my brother's Viking Hat.
The bobbles aren't as close to the top of the brim as they appear in this picture. They're closer to the center.

I'll be starting the horns soon (today). And of course I still have to add a beard.

I hope it fits. I think it will, but that's always a concern when I'm knitting blindly with only a vague idea of head size.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I got a photo of my beautiful sister-in-law wearing her Koolhaas!
Photo "borrowed" from her Facebook. ;)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Head coverings

I finished my "Earpaper" tonight!


Random observation: I think my hair looks great in that photo! And I can't figure out why. I didn't do anything different ... just my regular cheapo Suave shampoo/conditioner and kids' detangler. But it looks nice and chocolate-y brown and smooth and silky ... I love it!

I finished the knitting yesterday, washed it, then soaked it in a tea/coffee mixture for 10-15 minutes to tone down the pink. I blocked it (flat) overnight then sewed the ends together and wove in the yarn ends today. I like my earwarmer almost as much as my hair in that photo! Well, okay, maybe not that much, because my hair and I have a well-documented love-hate relationship so it's pretty exciting to have a good hair day moment. But I do like the earwarmer.

As usual, there's a few other photos, and more information, on Ravelry.

Then I immediately cast on for my brother's Viking hat. Yay, FINALLY I get to start my OWL! Haha. Assuming I don't get seduced sidetracked by other projects, this should go pretty quickly. It's a fairly basic hat with a bottom hem, except for the horns and beard, which are knit separately and sewn on later. I'm improvising the design, but I've got it pretty well figured out already. I'm trying to keep good notes on what I've done so that I can write up a full pattern later. I know you're interested in it, Jessica, and maybe a few other people will be too. I'm thinking about offering it as a free PDF-format pattern if it turns out well ... what do you think?

Oh, and by the way, here's all the yarn and needles I'll be using for my OWL projects, along with swatches of each yarn:
From left to right, top to bottom, you have my Caron Simply Soft Eco yarn in Natural plus a swatch of that (done on size 4 needles) for the Viking hat horns (first column); Red Heart Super Saver in Cafe, for the Viking Hat beard, with the aforementioned size 4 Knitpicks circs, plus a swatch of that yarn (also done on the same size 4 needles) and the Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Bamboo Ewe yarn and swatch (yep, on size 4s) in Mercury for the body of the Viking Hat (second column); Road to China Light/Silken Jewels in Blue Tourmaline and a swatch (I really put those size 4s to work ...) for Mom's Hermione Hearts Ron hat as well as Knitpicks Andean Silk in Cinnamon with matching swatch (you guessed it, 4s) for my own Robin's Egg Blue hat (third column); and my size 3 dpns, the Patons Kroy sock yarn in Mercury, the completed gamer glove, embroidery floss in various colors and my Kroy swatch (hah, fooled you, this was done on 3s!) for Luke's Gamer Hat (fourth column).

I don't know how I managed to make the same set of size 4 circular needles work for all those different yarns, most of which are worsted weight and therefore shouldn't work well on 4s to begin with, but I did. The Road to China is sport weight, so it was no problem, and the Bamboo Ewe and Andean Silk both felt like light worsted and gave me a good, soft, drapey-but-not-too-loose fabric on the 4s. (The bamboo and silk probably contributed a lot to that drapiness. Both yarns feel amazing in the swatch.) I regularly knit Simply Soft on 5s, and since the horns will be stuffed with polyfill, the slightly smaller/denser gauge worked well for that. The Red Heart Super Saver is the only thing I even considered using a different needle for. Red Heart feels like a heavy worsted to me (it's actually listed as an aran weight, in fact), and since it isn't particularly soft, the gauge swatch feels pretty dense and a little stiff. But after considering the alternative, I decided to go ahead and use the 4s. After all, the beard on this hat isn't purely decorative. It also protects the bottom half of the face from the elements. A loose, floppy beard just wouldn't do as well. The fabric produced on 4s should still be loose enough to curve around the face with the hat but dense and stiff and heavy enough to stay there, even in the wind, and actually block the cold somewhat.

One last random observation: my cat is laying in the armchair, snoring quite loudly. Oh the joy of having pets. But she's so cute!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Maintenance

In case you haven't noticed, we've been doing some maintenance on our blog. Our FOs and WIPs are now listed on separate pages (links are above the blog posts). We also have an About Us page and a page for useful links.

We've also added a list of our labels to the left sidebar to make it easier to find posts about a certain topic.

We moved the FOs and WIPs to their own pages because our sidebar was getting too long and unwieldy, especially after adding the labels. We're looking for a new layout that will look good, better suit our needs and will allow us to show our WIPs (with progress bars, which can't be used on the WIPs page) and recent FOs on our main blog page, along with all the information currently there, without making the sidebar 50x as long as the average screen. So far we haven't found what we want, but we're still looking. We're also planning a new look/feel/color scheme for the blog, so keep an eye out for those upcoming changes!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 a new begining

OMG 2011 already. I typically like to set myself up with a knitting goal for the year. 2010 was the 10shawl2010 project/challenge. Which I loved. It was definitely a challenge for me tho. This year I wanted something a little different. I started off thinking I'd put myself on a strict yarn diet. After a few variations of that idea. I think I'm going to play it simple and just try to knit more from stash and buy less yarn. Easy enough right? Hush you let me believe what I want!

I also want to try to challenge myself to make at least 1 blog post a month. Even if it is just my typical fo parade post. At least if I do that I wont be making 3-4 end of the year blog post in January of the next year (hehe).

2011 has already started off as a good knitting year for me. I have 5 FO's to show you.

first up Nathan (my 6year old) asked for a new pair of mittens. I made him a nice blue pair last year. He still loves and wears them. But this year his favorite color changed. And he also requested that he have warmer mittens. well ok lets be honest first he asked for gloves. Because what kid actually picks mittens. And I do plan to knit him a pair of gloves. But since he wanted something warmer I talked to him about the advantages of mittens and warmth. I also picked a VERY warm pattern. And knit them out of wool. :)


Pattern: Yummy Mittens by Beth Brown-Reinsel
Yarn: Ella Rae classic in green (leftover from dino sweater)
needles: us 5, 6, and 7
started: December 28, 2010
finished: January 3, 2011

They already look worn in this picture. Because they are. He wears them daily. And has even played in the snow with them. The only thing that I would change if I were to knit them again is that I'd make the cuff longer so it tucks into his sleeves better. I thought when I was making them that I was doing this. but clearly I was wrong.

Next I cast on a hat for myself. With the winter heavily upon us it was clear that we didn't own enough warm winter wear.




Pattern: Embellished Helmet Hat by Bobbi Padgett
yarn: Malabrigo in Azul bolita
needles: us 9
started: January 8
finished: January 9

It was a very quick knit. But I totally misjudges my gauge. Its about 3 inches larger than it should be. I decided that I kinda liked that and kept it. It covers my hair nicely when in a ponytail or bun and still comes down and covers my ears. Its knit with the malabrigo held double. VERY WARM!

After that Nathan clearnly needed a new hat to match his new green mittens. He just couldn't continue to wear the blue hat. He decided that he wanted it to be the same as the blue hat tho. so another Thorpe was in order. I decided this time that I wouldn't hold the yarn double but instead I planned to line it with fleece (pictures to come). I also have yet to add the little ben10 symbol to the front of the hat. Trust me when I say Nathan has not forgotten this tho.


Pattern: Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur
yarn: Ella Rae classic green
needles: us 6
started: January 11
finished: January 12

now this hat posses a little of a problem. The cast on as written is very fiddly. You cast on 4 stitches. 1 onto each of 4 needles and try as you may not to twist them and then start increasing. I struggled with this like it wasn't funny. Finally I gave up on that. I cast on my 4 stitches but left them all on 1 needle and didn't join. Instead I slide the stitches down as if I was doing an i-cord. I then started the next row of increases moving the stitches onto the other needles as I got to them. It worked out so much easier. I've taken a close up of the top of the hat so you can see the results.


Its very neat and tidy and if you didn't know you could never tell that I did anything different at all. :) success!

My sister had been asking me to knit a family member a pair of socks for months. I got the yarn back in September or something. But just couldn't force myself to cast on. My sister let is slip that the reason she wanted hand-knit socks for her was that she goes outside in just socks a lot and her feet are very cold. Was hoping that they hand-knit socks would be warmer when she goes outside in just socks. CRINGE! yeah that makes me want to cast on right away! but I gave my sister my word that I'd knit them. And I had this yarn just sitting there. So I finally did.


Pattern: normal k3p1 rib with short row heel and round toe. us woman's size 4
yarn: knitpicks stroll kettle dyed in grasshopper
needles: us 0 (2.0mm)
started: January 3
finished: January 15

apparently it takes a long time to knit socks you dont want to knit. but since I didn't want to knit them I knit the 2 hats while these were on the needles. sigh. I hope she likes them and doesn't wear them out in the yard!

I am a navy wife. I live in a navy community. We move around a lot and dont always know people when we get here. I've been blessed this time with a fantastic group of other wives. We get along and we really help each other out. As such Donna (knitting group leader) is throwing a baby shower for a fellow navy wife that doesn't knot many people in our area. To be honest I've never even meet her. But I appreciate what Donna is doing. not to mention she is having a girl and you know how I love knitting little girly things!


Pattern: Clochette by Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer
yarn: some random pink baby yarn in stash (acrylic) and some knitpicks swish dk green
needles: us 5 for the hat. us 4 for the stem and 1 leaf. us 2 for the other leaf
started and finished: January 16

the final 2010 post

That about wraps up 2010 for me. It was a very nice knitting year for me. Even with Ryan being young and us having moved last January.

To finish up the year I knit Justin his 9th pair of socks. I think it was a thank you for letting me knit all those lace pieces that took so much concentration. He really stepped up with the kids while I knit feverishly (hehe). love you honey.


Pattern: our basic k3p1 rib with slipped stitch heel flap and round toe
Yarn: more of JulieSpins MCN 355 (we love this stuff!)
needles: us1 (2.25mm)
started: October 10, 2010
finished: December 28, 2010


I knit on these when the lace was to much. Or when with my new knitting group. I mentioned that I taught a neighbor to knit. Well she really took off with it. We've taught several other neighbors and friends. We have a 42 member stitch 'n bitch that we run together. It meets up once a week. Sunday nights. I would work on these socks at those meetings since I wanted to chat, or was running around teaching. The lace just wasn't a good idea since it required more thought and being paid attention to.

that ends Jessica's 2010 catch up. :) it was a great year. I had 28 knits. WOW. what a busy year.
‎10 shawls
7 pairs of adult socks
7 kid knits (sweaters, hats, toys, mittens, etc)
2 adult sweaters
2 accessories (earrings and clutch.. tho the earrings were technically crocheted) :)


The last you heard of the challenge I was showing off Aestlight. Which was my number 6th shawl. I took a break to knit the Lorna's Laces samples. Then went into high gear to get these finished before the end of the year. I mean at that point it was pretty late in the year and I needed 4 more shawls.

Amie was awesome enough to do a Bridgewater KAL. We first talked about it in August. Decided we'd start the first week in September. Well the first week came and went and neither of us had even ordered yarn yet. It took us longer to decide what to knit it with than we thought. Finally I settled on Malabrigo Lace. IMG_1718
And O I'm so glad I did. I picked a color and then was instantly disappointed when it showed up. way more variation than I was hoping for. BUT it looks amazing in the shawl and I'm glad I went ahead and knit with it.
So coming in at number 7 is Bridgewater.




Pattern: Bridgewater by Jared Flood
yarn: Malabrigo Lace in polar morn
needles: us 5 (3.75mm)
started: October 12, 2010
finished: December 18, 2010

This shawl was a lot of work. It wasn't hard but its big! I absolutely loved working on it. Even tho each thing was pretty simple to do, it managed to stay interesting. (I will try to get a picture of it in action... I was unaware that we'd failed to do that already hehe)

On to number 8. I knit another Annis. I needed something that would be a quick knit. It was already the middle of December and I still needed 3 shawls. I'm horrible disappointed with this shawl. I had some cone cashmere that a friend gave me. It was total crap. Hard on the hands to work with. Crisp but not in a good way. Then to make it all worse when I was blocking the threads started to break! this is my annis disaster but it still counts as my number 8.


Pattern: Annis by Susanna IC
yarn: cone cashmere red
needles: us8 and us 10
started: December 19, 2010
finished: December 20, 2010

After the annis disaster I needed something to pick my spirit up. I knew from the very beginning of 2010 that I wanted Ishbel to be one of my 10. So I finally got around to purchasing the pattern. I pulled out some very lovely special yarn and got to work.




the results totally amazing. exactly what I needed to lift me back up.

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: JulieSpins Vera Lace in concorde
needles: us 5 (3.75mm)
started: December 21, 2010
finished December 23, 2010

Was such a joy to knit. Julie is amazing with her colors. My pictures don't do them justice at all. This is a new yarn for her. Its amazing. A little like malabrigo. It is a laceweight single. Its crisp to knit with but softens up nicely and blooms some when washed. I wouldn't hesitate to work with this yarn again (and nicely so since I have almost half this one left and 2 others in stash!).

To round out the year I picked something a little different. A shawl that had only been knit a handful of times on ravelry. something simple but with some detail.




Pattern: Whipped by Mary Ellen Langieri
Yarn: Knitpicks gloss lace in sterling
needles: us 4 (3.5 mm)
started: December 24, 2010
finished: December 26, 2010

I did change the main body stitch to just plain garter. In the pattern its a more textured knit that I didn't care for.

That finished off my 10shawls2010 challenge. I feel so accomplished and proud. Throughout the year there were several times when I thought about giving up on the challenge. Especially there towards the end when I had a lot to knit in very little time. I'm glad that I was able to see it through. I owe Amie and Justin a lot of thanks in this. If it wasn't for Amie doing 2 of the lace kal's with me this year, I would have never finished. And Justin. honey I love you so much and I love that you let me neglect the housework to finish the challenge. You are an amazing man. I love you!

Lorna's Laces Sample knits

For a couple years now I've been sample knitting for Lorna's Laces. Here are the latest sample knits. This time I was lucky and knit 3 items for them. Usually I'm only asked to knit 1. But I offered to knit more than 1 this year. Its so much fun working with Lorna's Laces. I knit samples for them to take to trade shows. Its to show off their gorgeous yarn and colors.

I get awesome yarn in the mail that is to be knit up into pre-selected patterns. This was the yarn for this order. Its Helen's Laces in Monkeyshines, Honor in Tomfoolery and Shepard Worsted in cedar.



I knit the honor up into a sweet little girls size 4 shrug. If you haven't knit with honor yet... you are truly missing out. The stuff is amazing. So soft and incredible drape. Such a treat!

Pattern:Whirligig Shrug by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Honor in Tomfoolery
Needles: us 6 (4.0mm)
started: November 18, 2010
finished: November 19, 2010

Next up a simple little sundress also size 4

Pattern:# 266 Little Girl's Sundress or Jumper by Diane Soucy
needles: us6 and us8
yarn: Shepard Worsted in cedar
started: November 20, 2010
finished: November 22, 2010

Last but not least is the lace sweater.

eyelet increases up the sides (under the arms)
eyelet increases down the center of the back

Pattern: Featherweight Wrap to Knit by Val Love
Yarn: Helen's Lace in monkeyshines
needles: hmmm I dont remember. But I do remember I struggled to get gauge
started: November 23, 2010
finished: December 9, 2010

I personally am not a fan of the eyelets down the back and the sides. I like that there are increases there to add drape, and shape. But I'd prefer a M1 I think. Or a paired increase. But since this was a sample knit I stuck to the pattern. Its knit in a size small (i believe). Its must be meant to be worn big. Its not close fitting at all. I was able to try it on and I'm no small.

playing catch up

Time to play catch up again. This will be the first in a quick series of post to get caught up. I have 17 FO's to blog. I don't really want them all crammed into one post. So I'm going to break it up slightly.

a little felted clutch.
prefelted with iphone for reference
felted with iphone for reference
I lined it (it was a BITCH!)

Pattern:Melissa Wristlet by Christy Verity
Yarn: patons classic merino grey
needles: us 10.5
started and finished: September 26, 2010

a pair of amazing crocheted wire w/beads earrings.

pattern: Beaded Wire Curlicue Earrings by Michelle Ryan
hook: 1.25mm
34G beading wire and 10/0 seed beads in emerald.
started and finished September 29, 2010

a little cabled sweater. 12month size

A friend saw my knitting and inquired about me knitting for her. Sure fire way to get me to knit for you, have a little girl! Took us awhile to pick the pattern. Then we went yarn shopping. This little sweater was fun to knit tho. A little challenging but that's part of the fun.

Pattern: Top-down Baby and Children Cable Yoke Jacket by Cotton & Cloud
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solids & Heathers
needles: us 8
started: September 27, 2010
finished: October 7, 2010

Peyton's pigtail hat.
isn't she adorable? Like I said surefire way to get me to knit for you. Have a little girl! They are just so much fun to knit for. I wanted to make this hat for a very long time. One of my neighbors has the cutest little girl that always has her hair in pigtails. I must have asked her mom if I could make the hat a dozen times. Then finally I just knit it. It was a HUGE hit. The mom then quickly picked up knitting and knit both her girls matching pigtails hats. :) YAY!

Pattern: Nippertails by Jenn Jarvis
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Tesoro pink
needles: us 5
started: October 20, 2010
finished: October 21, 2010

Oh my gosh ... can it be? A post? From Amie?

Wow, time flies. I didn't realize it had been so long since I'd posted here. Eight months! I fail at this whole blogging thing.

The good news is that I found the camera that went missing in winter 2009. So I can post good photos again.

The other good news is that, due to some slow weeks at work and an increased craving for fiber, I've had time to knit!

I didn't get a lot done over the summer or fall, but Jess and I did start another KAL. We both started Bridgewater by Jared Flood. We spent quite some time finding the right yarn ... I ended up with some Colourmart yarn in the perfect pale gray. I love it. But then I got busy with Christmas projects and life in general and set it aside temporarily. Jess finished hers. I'm almost halfway through the center garter-stitch square. Lots left to go! I'm anxious to get back to it. I'm really happy with it. I'm double-stranding the center for extra warmth and squishiness, but I'll do the lace edgings with only a single strand to emphasize the delicateness.

I haven't added the project to Ravelry yet, but I'll try to do that later. I'm at work now and don't have the yarn information handy. If I do that, I'll try to remember to also post a photo here.

Part of the reason I was too busy to finish Bridgewater is that I taught a knitting class! It went unbelievably well. I had 13 active students, and they were all outstanding students. Also very encouraging. So encouraging, in fact, that several of them convinced me to teach another, more advanced class this spring. So, starting in April, I'll be teaching colorwork.

Then came Christmas. A few months before Christmas, I was looking at hat patterns on Ravelry, and my sister-in-law spotted Koolhaas. She went on and on about how cool it was and how much she liked it. So, for Christmas, she got this:

I had some issues with that project. I followed the pattern, finished it, blocked it, looked at it and realized it was pretty short. 2" short in fact. That was on Dec. 23. We celebrated Christmas on Dec. 24. So what she actually received in her wrapped package looked more like this:

Then I ripped back to the last row before the decreases, added a repeat and reknit the crown. That's the version you see on my head in the first picture. It fit her much better with the extra repeat, but I was unable to get a photo of her wearing the final product. So far. She loved it, though.

I finished Koolhaas this month. I've had a very busy month, due in no small part to the fact that I'm competing in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. I was sorted into Hufflepuff (GO BADGERS!), which I absolutely love. My housemates are awesome. Seriously. They're great. I highly recommend the House Cup to all knitters/crocheters/spinners/weavers/dyers, especially those interested in Harry Potter. (Although, honestly, that's not a requirement ... the projects don't have to be HP themed or anything.) And I highly recommend that all new players request to be sorted into Hufflepuff, because we're the best house! ;)

Basically, the HPKCHC requires that each player complete one project each month for three months. Easy, right? Projects have to fit into a "class," but categories are pretty broad. And if you're good enough with creative storytelling, you can make just about any project fit into at least one class. For example, this month's Charms assignment was to complete a project already completed by a first-year player other than yourself. Transfiguration required players to create something based on a non-HP book. Flying's assignment was to create something to keep a person warm or something made out of animal fur. You get 15 points for each homework assignment you turn in (or 5 points for a project you started but didn't finish), and the house that earns the most points over the three-month term wins the competition. There's even a Detention category for WIPs ... each player gets points for the first Detention project they turn in each month. I used Koolhaas for a Detention project and got 10 points just for completing it. I've also turned in Charms (a Saroyan) and Transfiguration (earrings based on the Lord of the Rings) for 15 points each. I'm on a roll!

Charms (Saroyan):

Transfiguration (Lord of the Earrings):
Lord of the Earrings

Now I'm working on an earwarmer based on Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts, which I'm called my Earpaper. I needed something to match the convertible Endpapers I got in a mitten swap. I'm using pale pink alpaca and brown wool.

Progress so far:

I'm about halfway finished. I plan to turn this in for my 15 points in Flying when I finish it, which will hopefully be soon.

I'm also working on a bigger project, an OWL, which is just a big project that takes longer than a month but less than three months. I've promised some people some hats, so I'm making four hats for my OWL: a bearded Viking hat for my brother, a cable and eyelet "Hermione Loves Ron" hat for Mom, Luke's gamer hat (finally!) and a Robin's Egg Blue hat for myself. I haven't started those yet, but I'll need to start soon.

Most of these projects are available (with more information and photos) on my Ravelry.