Tag Archives: knit

Oh No! Thor Has More Knitwear I Want!


After the post about the Katniss Cowl, you remember? The one where I blatantly begged someone smarter than me to not only design it but let me knit it? Well, here I am again.

My niece and I went to see the second Thor movie this weekend and we saw this…

11179523505_dde505d389_b

Amazing hat.

Amazing Cowl.

Amazing Cowl.

Amazing hat AND cowl.

Amazing hat AND cowl.

Maybe this time I will figure it out….well, probably not. But if anyone sees these photos and feels inspired I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

 

A Little Sparkle to Kick Off December


Oh, it is good to have Dragon Speak back again! The plan is to try to write shorter posts – so as not to bore you into a coma – but the actual process of getting that post finished is back to being utterly fantastic!

So I am working through a rather large back catalog of things I was knitting before I almost blog faded, here’s to hoping I don’t repeat myself. The rather large production in knitting is in direct proportion to the change in weather – and the return of illness to the Buckeye State. My OCD and emetophobia  tend to top the charts from the end of October till May, which sucks on a whole lotta levels. I sleep less, consume copious amounts of anything with vitamin C in it and look forward to warmer weather – which is insane because truly, I love cold weather.

The only bonus to my emetophobia, and my Panic Monster, being far more active than normal is that I tend to get a lot more accomplished – like knitting! See? this is me looking at a silver lining.

 – It Sparkles and Shines –

My very loving mother found almost 20 balls of Red Heart Boutique Midnight at a smaller craft store where my grandmother lives a few months ago, and it being such a good deal she bought every last ball of it. This particular shade is called Shadow (how fetching!) and is a mix of pinks and grey’s, and to be honest it’s actually quite pretty. Now, Red Heart is not my favorite thing in the world to work with but this yarn doesn’t have the oggey feel to it that Red Heart Super Savor has, my goodness it even has a little wool in it!

Being presented with 20 balls (teehee) is intimidating, so I’ve slowly been working my way through the collection. With the Shadow I made two projects: 1. My very simple no-look cowl and 2. The Amanda Hat by Gina House with as many improvisations as I could dream up to make it my own. Let’s start with the cowl….

The cowl is a super quick, super simple rib/stockinette/rib combination, best of all I don’t have to look when I am knitting the stockinette section!

Now for the hat – the original pattern is The Amanda Hat by Gina House on Ravelry, but I had to try to make it a little more my own. I used Cast On, Bind Off to give me a little inspiration on how to get started, I only did one pattern repeat to simplify the top of the hat, then used a fantastic new decrease that I’ve been toying with. All in all, I am pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Why are collage photos so much fun? It's a mystery!

Why are collage photos so much fun? It’s a mystery!

That’s it for me today friends and neighbors! Just in case you would like to share, what are you doing this blustery December to add a little shine to your life?

With WIPs to Keep Me Warm


I just love snow!

I just love snow!

It appears to be Wednesdays again, funny how that seems to sneak up on me every week! With the holiday weekend coming up and Trevor, Max and I celebrating alone for the first time every, I am tickled pink to have plenty of projects to keep me warm. Wanna see what’s on my needles? Brace yourself, there are quite a few projects going on!

– The Projects –

In keeping with the different projects on different needles theme I have more WIP than ever….and I kinda love it! Being a monogamous knitter (or just knitting ruffles) gets so incredibly dull. I guess I will start with the smallest needle and move my way up.

Second Pair of Socks

Second Pair of Socks

The second sock is well on it’s way, which will be completing my second pair of socks ever!

11079920006_5654516e4c

If you’ve read this blog before, this is where I was in the lace pattern BEFORE I had a nosebleed and had to frog the entire thing. I still love knitting it and my Mom is chomping at the bit for me to finish.

11077838916_01ea503cc5

  • Pattern: Hinagiku Hat on Ravelry by 87cafe – It is pretty heavily modified by still very much so their pattern.
  • Needles: Size 4US (3.5mm) and Size 6US (4mm)
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport Multis COL. NO. 108
  • Progress: Hopefully finish tonight.

I am in love with this hat, and since the OSU Buckeye’s are planning annihilate the 7-4 Michigan Wolverines I want it ready to wear by Saturday. 🙂

jayashri sweater - week 4

Pattern: Jayashri Sweater from Craftsy
Progress: What is the word for a frown-y face? 😦
Needles: Size 6US (4mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Fedora

My KAL sweater (a knit along that was MY idea) has been sadly languishing in my knitting cabinet. I am hoping to finish the ruffle order after work tomorrow and play with it this weekend. I am hoping to finish it by New Year’s Eve….we shall see.

10998035583_e8b0f3bd08

This is a truly horrible picture – my apologies!

  • Pattern: Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West
  • Needles: Size 9US (5.5mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat Mosaic in Aura
  • Progress: I’ve done 9 of my intended 12 repeats – on the second ball of yarn (≈  410 yards)

I needed a piece I could take to work when I am “sitting” with a patient (I’ve been picking up hours sitting with confused/suicidal patients at night). It is the kind of knitting you can do without looking and the pattern is super simple. I started with hand spun but whimped out and switched to the Bernat (which I don’t endorse at all). I can’t wait to finish this one so I can make another one.

And finally….

10927520503_60b7694a17

  • Pattern: Double Knitting Baby Blanket from my noggin!
  • Yarn: 2 strands of Lion Brand Pound of Love in Antique and White
  • Needles: Size 15US
  • Progress: I am currently in a black hole where it doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger, I’d say 1/4 of the way through.

A friend asked for a big, fluffy blanket that could be used as a floor mat as well. I know the stigma on Pound of Love but you can wash it everyday and nothing happens to it. The double knitting is practice for a Lucy Neatby design I want to try, and after this blasted blanket I should be ready.

– You’ve Made It to the End! –

So that’s it for me friends and neighbors, loads of things to do and not enough hours in the day – just how I like it. I wonder if I am the only knitter with so many WIPs going at once, I mean really – what is a normal number of WIPs to have on the needles?

In case I don’t talk to you before the (US) holiday, Happy Thanksgiving! Oh! and since I am currently down a LYS do a little Black Friday yarn shopping for me, I can live vicariously through your purchases! 😉

Time to Start Fresh


Holy crap I almost blog-faded! I could make loads of excuses (and more than less likely will do just that :)) but as my dear Lottie from Lottie Knits would say “it’s time to get off my bum.” Oh! Also, it’s snowing – which greatly improves my mood!

Knitting Weather!

Knitting Weather!

So, for anyone that is still reading this languishing blog, here is what has been going on the past few weeks to contribute to my blog-neglect (see? excuses already!)

– The Excuses –

  • No Dragon Speak Software – My NaNoWriMo gal has been plugging along so well with her novel that I told her just to keep it till it goes on sale on Black Friday.
  • My Mom retired – Yea! 
  • I had an order for 43 ruffle scarves – this brings my year total to….wait for it….319.
  • I have gotten a boat load of questions from hospital workers since it snowed, and now have a nice little influx of non-ruffle knitting.
  • 4 baby showers.
  • 2 weddings.
  • My father-in-law has changed Alzheimer’s medication and is being treated for skin cancer 😦
  • My LYS asked me not to come in because they were afraid my hand would scare off new knitters.

– The LYS Experience –

Before I retell this story, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already heard it, feel free to skip ahead (there’s a picture!). Also, I am going to keep this as short as possible – mainly because dredging it up makes me über cranky.

So back around the time I last posted my LYS owner called me to tell me knitting was canceled. No big deal. The week after that I called the shop to see if we were meeting that night and had the oddest reaction from a gal I’ve known for years. She told me _______ would call me back. About 20 minutes later ________ called me back and asked me not to come to knitting that night; they were having a meet-and-greet for new potential knitters (in a younger crowd than our knitting group (even though I am 28)) and she didn’t want my hand to scare them off.

My reaction was to go get on Instagram and connect with knitters who, in my mind, would be able to be objective because they’ve never seen my hand.

10860184946_121f79763a_o

 

I. Was. Heartbroken.

The support from knitter’s on Instagram was so overwhelmingly awesome that I should have just snapped out of it. So what? I don’t have an LYS anymore…..

Nope, not going to work.

Instead of feeling the love from the  99.9% of  knitter’s who are freaking amazing, I ran down the rabbit hole of knitting all the time to prove that I could do it. This is a fun mixture of stubbornness, OCD,  and my very own Panic Monster. I have been eating, sleeping and knitting….and not a whole lot else. I have kept all my social obligations and haven’t become a hermit yet but saying I got a little obsessive would be putting it….lightly.

– The Fresh Start –

So here I am friends and neighbors, ready to get back to what makes me happy. I love writing and I love reading your blogs. Both of these things have been severely neglected. So there will be some catching up to do (lots of catching up to do) so please be patient. I am slowly going to try to work the comments and questions that I’ve received – especially regarding patterns – but it may take a little longer than normal.

Also, I follow loads of you on Facebook – I haven’t “liked” or commented on your blogs because my Facebook account and my WordPress account aren’t linked – but I have been reading your work. Rob’s Surf Report and A Tangled Yarn are just two that I read every single time they post. The Knitterly Hook-er is one of my favs to follow on Instagram. If you want to follow me on either of these sites click → FACEBOOK LINK ← or → INSTAGRAM LINK ←. Both of these sites get updated daily because I can use one hand to upload and type.

– SPOILERS!! –

Stick with me and I promise I will try to give you something awesome to read or stare at – as awesome as I can make it! Here is a itty-bitty preview of what I’ve got up my sleeve:

This took three and a half hours to type friends and neighbors, every minute both cathartic and totally renewing. I can’t wait to catch up, happy Tuesday!

November Makes Me Think About Pie. . . .


But since I don’t want to weigh 400 pounds I decided that rusty/pumpkin-y yarn was the way to go. This is another “original” design – a better way to phrase this is “stitch dictionary modification integrated with tried-and-true beanie bind-off”. However you take it, I like how it turned out.

The Vogue Stitchonaries  have been a huge source on inspiration on making some things that are more mine, as in I didn’t download it off of Ravelry. Maybe this will be the start of something wonderful design wise, maybe not. Either way I am really happy with the outcome.

That's me!

That’s me!

So you start with the fancy, schmancy stitch pattern – then figure out how to write it in the round. Not the most creative thing in the world but I have to start somewhere. For those that are interested this is a herringbone stitch with a ribbed section in-between, which I found to be super fun knitting wise.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Then you work the pattern till desired length, for me this is about 3 1/2 inches. it ensures that the ears will be covered and kept warm. Then work the beanie until it reaches desired length, again, for me this is about 6ish” or a total of 42 rounds. It may seem really anal to keep track of every round I do, but hey, you know I have OCD.

Then you do the tried and true 15 row decrease (I will include this at the bottom of the post). What do you get when you combine all these knitting ingredients: a hat. Moron 😉

The bummer is that these hats look way better on than they do on the poor Styrofoam head, it looks a bit silly on the head to be honest. They fit like a dream though, nice and snug around the ears and a little looser at the top of the hat without feeling slouchy. Oh! This is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Rust – just in case you were curious.

 ** The Tried-and-True 15 Row Decrease ** 

  • I start with 100 stitches on size 7US needles (and worsted weight yarn) because I like a dense, warm beanie.
  1. K8, K2tog
  2. Knit
  3. K7, K2tog
  4. Knit
  5. K6, K2tog
  6. Knit
  7. K5, K2tog
  8. Knit
  9. K4, K2tog
  10. Knit
  11. K3, K2tog
  12. Knit
  13. K2, K2tog
  14. Knit
  15. K1, K2tog

Leaving a 20″ tail, sew live stitches in the round twice and remove from needles. Pull tight to keep the top of the hat from looking like a bellybutton and weave in your ends.

That’s all I have for today friends and neighbors, although if you have time I would like to know what you think of the hat. I figure with the vast amounts of smarts you possess you will come up with a way better way to do this.

My Cat Made Me Make This


When I was taking a break from knitting, aka wearing two braces and icing my two misbehaving hands, my cat went on a yarn bender. I found him Saturday night with my knitting cabinet open, yarn strewn across the floor, and him curled up in my WIP bag. So, I got him a new ball of yarn and he slept all night.

My little buddy with his yarn.

My Maxwell and his yarn.

Little did Max (or Trevor for that matter) know that I was planning on making something with this as soon as the braces came off. When all you do all week is work, talk on the phone (I couldn’t drive with the braces and all my close friends have new babies) and marinate in your need to make something, you get very creative in…um…sneaking around.

So, as soon as my hands felt close enough to ready I casted on. I really like this yarn, it is Patons Classic Wool in Harmony and it will be nice and warm this winter. The first hat I did had a ridiculous thick brim to keep your ears nice and toasty.

10300876054_29ebeec3e5

Feedback from the hubby was that, while it was good for me and all my hair, that for him the brim was just a little too wide. So, what would any good knitter do when she already has the yarn and didn’t get yelled out for knitting? I made another one!

This one is half the height of the first hat brim-wise, but otherwise all the same design ideas. The best news being that this one went over swimmingly with the hubby! I have to agree with him that the smaller brim looks really good on him and once it gets a bath it’ll lose all its itchiness.

So again, a little sparse on content but lots and lots of pictures! Thank you again for sticking with me while I try to hunt and peck out blog entries – I am enjoying all your blogs so much and I cannot wait to get commenting again!

Multiple WIPs to Combat Hand Fatigue


I was able to pick up my needles this week but quickly realized that I was going to have to find a sweet spot to appease both of my hands. This gave me the best excuse to cast on several projects, I mean, I have to keep my hands happy!

I have found that different types of needles, different needle sizes and different types of yarn are the best way to keep my hands from feeling any fatigue – also, I never get bored working on one project. Pretty awesome in my book, maybe this whole arthritis thing isn’t so bad after all! 😉 So here is my WIP run down:

Size 2US DPN – Sock Weight Yarn – Patons Jacquard & Stripe Socks #104

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

I casted on another pair of these immediately after I finished the first, I am only on the ribbing so no picture yet, but they are fantastic to knit and easy on both hands.

Size 4 Circular Needles – Lace Weight – Fiori Autunnali Shawl

What it looks like finished - photo courtesy of  teresat2 on Flickr

What it looks like finished – photo courtesy of teresat2 on Flickr

This pattern is from the Craftsy Class New Directions in Lace. It is an incredible early Christmas present from my Mom – and there are beads! I am still a bit daunted by how much work it is going to take to finish this beast, but it’s just so pretty I don’t care. Romi Hill creates the most beautiful work and her class is so full of information I’m surprised it didn’t cost more. If you like lace, like learning, want to try something new and work with a stellar pattern – go sign up for this class.

This is where I am in the pattern:

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Size 5US Circular Needles – DK Weight Yarn – Jayashri Sweater

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

This is the kalallnight that Stacy over at Musings and Motion and I are making. The pattern is available from Knit Picks and if you still feel the urge to join feel free! I have a feeling that Stacy will finish way before I do and I wouldn’t mind the company! Here is where I am so far:

jayashri sweater - week 4

Size 7US Circular and DPN – Worsted Weight – “Hat on the Brain”

I have gone on a mini design kick trying to make a bunch of different beanies. I am trying to have a very styled brim (usually combinations of stitch dictionaries) and working my way through a list of hat decreases. I just finished the one last night, the rusty orange beanie above ↑ so I will need to cast on another one today.

Size 8US Straight 7″ Needles – Worsted Weight – Looped Loop Cowl

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Here is a super fun cowl by Kirsten Johnstone that I just had to cast on – despite the fact that straight needles make both my hands hurt and the pinkie on my right hand usually gets rubbed raw ( you know, since it just lays there and doesn’t move…man…that sounds super dirty ;)). Anyway, I had to give it a go and here is the progress:

Total length needs to be 44" - still a bit to go.

Total length needs to be 44″ – still a bit to go.

Oh! For fun, here is Lucy Neatby showing the coolest provisional cast on I have ever done.

And finally….

Size 15US Straight Needles – Two Strands DK Weight – Eyelet Scarf

This was another attempt to create something out of my own noggin….and some stitch dictionaries. I am trying to combine different variations on eyelet patterns so it looks swirled. I started it before I hurt my left hand so I can only work on it maybe 20 minutes a day. The color is beautiful though so I don’t mind looking at it everyday.

So Far...

So Far…

So that’s the low down on my WIPs for Wednesday. I hope you’ve enjoyed my ranting and hopefully I have given you an excellent excuse to cast on more projects – you must think of the health of your hands!

So friends and neighbors I am interested to hear, if you would like to share, how you combat both boredom and hand fatigue. I was once a fairly monogamous knitter (no more that three projects going at a time) so this is all new to me. Feel free to share – I love to listen!

Two Years Ago I Couldn’t Manage to Hold a Spoon, and Now…


I just finished my first pair of knitted socks.

Size 2 DPNs - EAT MY DUST!

Size 2 DPNs – EAT MY DUST!

I thought this would be a good way to come back to my blog, to show some massive progress has been made. It wasn’t made in the week (5 days – Trevor would have added this here so I am going to add it for him) I took off but in the past two years. Two years….that is still really hard for me to wrap my head around.

Two years ago, from April to October I 1) lost my grandfather 2) lost the idea of motherhood and 3) loss all functionality in my hand. I was down, I was so down I didn’t even realize it. I couldn’t write, drive, eat, lift, get my hair clean, put in my contacts or give the finger in traffic  – and I was told it was never going to change.

I saw a knitting pattern by Tiny Owl Knits – the Orchids and Fairylight’s hat – and I knew I had to figure out how to knit that damn hat. It took three very long months of practicing calligraphy to learn to write again, another two months to figure out how to hold my needles (and write legibly and consistently). I found an amazing woman who showed me I didn’t really need more than seven working fingers to knit. She spent two days a week with me in the public library going over everything I thought I had already learned. She gave me swatch patterns to work on, made me write out my GG’s patterns then knit them. She built up my confidence far more than she built up the muscles in my hand.

A year later, I finished my hat. It took 4 months of monogamous knitting but I did it.

It’s been a week and I am ready to come back, my right hand is still a bit sore but my left is totally healed. I can look down at the stupid appendage, all swollen and purple, and feel nothing but grateful. My hand works as much as I need it to, and I will have to learn to treat it a bit better.

For now, it is 36º in the Buckeye State and I am curled up, wearing my new hand knit socks. And friends and neighbors….that’s pretty awesome :).

October 9th – 20th Yarn Photo a Day Contest


Let’s see if I can get back into the blogging groove, starting with loads of photos should help! Okay, here we go!

20131020-165552.jpg
So here we have day nine, socks! I finally casted on my second sock, um, almost four months later *sigh*. Spoiler Alert: there may be a post on this later this week. 😉

20131020-165844.jpg
Day 10 was themed around morning. I was at my Mom’s house, drinking blond coffee and staring lovingly at knitting that needed finished. Still healing that day so there was no knitting, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t look….longingly.

11

 

Day 11 was circles, and boy howdy does this chart have circles in it! It is a small section of a chart I am working on right now (not all of it, I swear). I am still pretty intimidated by charts – this one is growing on me though.

20131020-170155.jpg

 

A was for Abundance! This is a snap of my LYS after they had actually stocked everything, seems my timing was impeccable. There is something so magical about a fully stocked yarn store – so wonderful, so fluffy, so full of yarny possibilities! Goofy? Yup, but I’m embracing it!

 

13

 

Day 13 led me to sharing my secret weapon – my yarn/needle chart. I carry a laminated copy of this (OCD has some perks) in my wallet and pull it out when I am second-guessing myself. It is a very handy little thing to keep with any knitter.

20131020-170210.jpg

 

Day 14 was a sign that my not-so-secret knitting needed a rest. This is the compression glove that I use on my arthritic hand. These are Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves and can be found on Amazon, which is pretty amazing because they are amazing! They keep my hands warm, pull the swelling out of my hands and have a nice grippy texture. Excellent little investment.

20131020-170221.jpg

 

Just so you know, I know my knitted pumpkin isn’t really edible…but it still looks delicious!

20131020-170233.jpg

 

So the knitted part of day sixteen’s key challenge was actually my keychain. It was bought off of Etsy – forgive me, I have no idea what Etsy store it was – for Christmas last year. I will try to find the seller of this amazing key chain because I am really rough on my keys and my keychain is still in pristine shape.

10340002044_2ec31a999e_o

 

 

For my imperfect photo I chose the hot mess that was me trying to use a ball winder without a swift or chair. The yarn danced merrily around my laundry room until the giant knot from Hades appeared. Four hours later I learned my lesson.

20131020-170253.jpg

 

These babies are of course my Addi-Click lace interchangeable needles. My thoughtful hubby got them for me and they have changed the way that I knit. They are AH-mazing!

20131020-170305.jpg

Day 20 featured the antique ball holder (gesh, why does all knitting terminology sound so dirty? ;)). It is made of iron and hangs proudly in my laundry/office/knitting Mecca room.

**** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****

That’s it for knitting pictures this week, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I loved taking them!

One more thing – I was wondering if any knitters/spinners/crocheters/readers have seen any events that are starting in NOVEMBER! I have had so much fun doing this little side challenge that I am chomping on the bit for something to do in DECEMBER!

Friends and neighbors, any suggestions are really appreciated!

 

Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf – FREE PATTERN!!


Trevor here: Rachel wrote this pattern, all by herself she’s asked me to add, for a friend of that knitting website. I am here copying and pasting it for her here.

Gloria Here!: The site is Raverly, and the scarf is officially named Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf. Here are some pictures – which aren’t great but I might get to add some because she is going to let me play with her camera! And don’t forget to check out the Tags Section – it’s epic!

 

Okay. So I am doing this with the hunt-and-peck method so if there are errors just message me back. This is just how I did it – a change in gauge or yarn thickness will change things. Duh, huh? 😉

Needles: Size 11 US (8mm) Straight 8” Needles
Yarn: Two (2) Strands of Worsted Weight Combined for thickness (this was Red Heart Shimmer in Red).

CO 44sts (+/- 5sts for width change)

Pattern

Row 1: (RS) – P3, K3, P2 rep to till last 6sts; K3, P3
Row 2: (WS) – K3, P3, K2 rep to till last 6sts; P3, K3
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Repeat Row 2
Row 7: Repeat Row 1
Row 8: Repeat Row 2
Row 9: Purl
Row 10: Knit

** Repeat rows 1-10 till desired length **
** Repeat rows 1-3 once more **
** Bind off all stitches knit wise **

**** My Notes ****

-I put stitch marker on “wrong side” (it’s reversible, so there’s no wrong side) but it’ll help keep things moving

-I slipped the 1st (first) stitch of every row purl wise to keep the edges looking tidy.

Have fun! I can’t wait to see pics because this pattern is super quick and super easy. Yea! Stitch Pattern Books! 🙂

 

October 8th – 13th Yarn Photo a Day Contest! #yarnpadc


Feeling a little behind lately, but here are this weeks photos for October’s #yarnpadc photo contest!

20131013-191402.jpg

20131013-191545.jpg

20131013-191602.jpg

20131013-191623.jpg

20131013-191936.jpg

20131013-191954.jpg

For a full explanation of these photos or if you really enjoy knitting photos, follow me on Instagram!

Photo Heavy Custom Order Progress!


This order came in from a nurse who works with my Mom. She is a hunter who wanted 1. Something warm 2. Something aqua (I suppose so she won’t get confused for a deer) and that was all….the design was all mine!

** The Scarf **

Now the pictures are not great….or even good, but I had to do a quick job so I could get it to my Mom’s and out for delivery. The stitch pattern makes it look like rib on one side and a basket weave on the other. Simple and fun, easy to knit and super easy to memorize. Which is great, because it was about 82″ long.

** THE BEANIE **

10126777146_aed6f77051So I found the idea for this pattern on Ravelry, it’s called Claudia and it was perfect. I just decided that I wanted to make it mine.

I changed the cast-on edge for the ribbing. I elongated and doubled the band so it was super thick, gotta stay warm for hunting. I kept the trellis cable the same but again elongated the body by about another inch. The customer (I need to call her something else, customer sounds sooo pretentious) has a lot of hair and needed a hat that would fit over her hair being pulled up. To finish, I did a super long decrease – adding another inch and changing the stitch pattern for the finishing. It looks a little silly on the dummy head but it fits like a dream!

I am really happy with how it turned out. It hadn’t had a bath or been blocked when I took the pics, I did that my Mom’s house, but you get the basic idea. It blocked out far less pointy and the stitches really popped when it was stretched. I tried on the hat before I washed it and I will most assuredly be making this for myself in the near future.

So that’s it for me friends and neighbors, how about you….any projects you are just dying to get on your needles/hook/sewing machine/ etc.? I want to hear!

My First Real Big, Bad Frogging Experience


If you’ve perused this blog lately, this photo may look familiar to you. . . .

20131004-052842.jpgNice huh? Well, not anymore!

**** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****

The brioche stitch is something I have never done before, so of course I thought I would try it for the custom order. I am looking at this particular order as a great learning experience, so why not try something new…and throw in a cable…and use two strands of yarn…

This is not easy, I am not sure why but it just isn’t. The pattern base is set up knitting the first and last stitch and in-between knitting (sl1, yo, k2tog). This shouldn’t be difficult, but for some reason I was dropping stitches left and right and then left again. I threw in a lifeline and thought “Hey! We’re in business!”

I had almost five feet (yes – 5 feet…:() when my lifeline broke while I was working a cable. I spent about…oh, I dunno, 2 hours wrestling with trying to get it back on the needles. I loved the look, I loved feel and I didn’t want to let it go. It was the moment I accepted defeat that I pulled out my niddy-noddy and used it for something that just shattered my knitting soul.

10092860745_fc80d50bcfAnd so I frogged two days and five feet of work. I didn’t shed a tear – but I cursed like a drunk sailer on leave discovering they’ve landed in a place with no women. I am re-knitting the yarn in a straight brioche to get the rhythm of it, then I am going back to this pattern and I am going to knit the (censored) out of it!

I do want to share, in my defense, the factors that may have contributed to the utter failure of this scarf:

  1. I was using two strands held together for thickness.
  2. The two strands are acrylic (as asked for by the customer – sever allergies).
  3. My cable needle was too small to hold all those stitches.
  4. I was using plastic needles, so everything was slippery – and NOT in a good way.
  5. I used a frayed piece of leftover yarn as my lifeline.
  6. I bit off more than I could chew.

So I’ve learned my lesson friends and neighbors, don’t knit off more than you can chew. Ambition and learning is great don’t get me wrong, but some times you have to start at the very beginning to get a handle on it. Has this every happened to you? Have you tried to skip the necessary learning steps and made a massive mistake? Or on the way more optimistic hand did it work for you?

Cannot wait to hear from you, and thanks for reading – it still blows my mind that you do! 🙂

All Night KAL – Week 4 – Time for Body Work


jayashri sweater - week 4So despite the rather poor photo quality (I like browns in my house, obviously) the Jayashri Pullover is coming along quite nicely! I finished the decreases and now it is on to either six or seven inches of straight body work.

This should be the easiest part of the sweater, just mindless knitting in the round allowing some length to accumulate. I am a little worried about the bust increases, it is something I have never done and I have a rather ample bust. For now though I am just going to enjoy some straight up mindless knitting.

I am worried about the time factor this week, because this week looks insane! I have loads of ruffles that need done and two adult female from my Etsy store to do. I also have to go to work, feed myself and my husband (and the cat if he is good) and sleep. I’ve been keeping a pretty good pace and I suppose that one good day would keep me going, I just haven’t figured out where to put that yet.

Hopefully there will be nothing but good news next week and lots of extra stitches to take pictures of. Maybe, if I’m good, I will even remember to take the picture against a lighter background. Who knows? 😉

Not much to look at yet friends and neighbors, but it’s getting there. What I am wondering is how do you not get in a garment making rut? Is the seemingly endless amount of stitches like second sock syndrome? And most importantly, does working on a long-term goal make you have a serious case of startitis (thank you Knitmore Girls), because I have a million things I am dying to cast on in my Ravelry queue right now!

Hope you all have lovely days filled with good food, good friends and error free projects!

 

 

October 1st-7th Yarn Photo a Day Contest! #yarnpadc


20131001-133406.jpg

I want to thank Knitterly Hooker for sharing this on her blog because I am loving it! I don’t think that the pictures have to be all about knitting, but I am making it a personal challenge to do so. It’s how I roll! 😉 Also, I am using Vintique to get the super cute Polaroid style snapshots before I upload them on Instagram. It is a $0.99 app that I have gotten a ton of use out of.

Let’s look at some pictures shall we?

10040478884_713399d451On my needles was the custom order aqua hat and scarf set for a custom oder. I love this pattern because it looks different on both sides, yet still feels as timeless as a simple rib. More pictures on that finished project later.

10058379506_ba4f09be50I was pulling my wool out of the closet because it is finally getting a little cooler here in the Buckeye state. Hey all needed a bath, badly. I don’t use mothballs but a sachet with cloves in them – that smell needs to be washed out – pronto.

10080505364_b2a0d6da5bThis day was transportation – this counts…right?

10080714713_ec17f4d226My mommy-in-law got me a HUGE set of light up needles for Christmas about two years ago. Don’t tell her but I rarely use them. On the plus side though, if you are knitting in a theater they actually work really well!

10104546204_c1fec8ce1fI think that this is pretty self-explanatory.  This is a scarf that was in my PhD bin (I’ve been listening to the Knitmore Girl’s Podcast a lot – can you tell) that I plan to make for my brother for Christmas. We shall see if that actually happens.

10111568563_bea4fe91e8Trevor was home and made this incredible lunch, it was such a treat. But I was working on a OSU Buckeye Scarf for a friend who needed it by game day – the food played second fiddle to my intense need to finish this thing.

10127433494_3d7b557123Totally cheating, this is a picture of my Jayashri Sweater, but the brown is so yummy!

***** ***** ***** **** **** ****

I cannot wait to show you all the new fun photos next week. I am not sure who is actually running this shindig but if you want to join in, why not? Free country. All they are asking is that you use the hashtag #yarnpadc whenever you post.

That’s all the goodies I’ve got for today friends and neighbors, not even a question to end on! Have a wonderful week and I cannot wait to get caught up with each and every one of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprise! I Have ANOTHER Question!


I know at some point all you wonderful bloggers are going to throw your hands up, scream “Enough Already!” and quit giving me fee advice. Here’s to hoping I haven’t hit that wall yet! 😉

So here it is:
I received an email asking me questions about TNNA – which I know nothing about. After looking at their website I don’t feel any smarter or helpful. Hopefully this is where you awesomely kind and knowledgeable bloggers come in. So here are her questions:

1. What is TNNA?
2. Do you need to be a member?
3. How do you become a member?
4. Is it like the Knitters Guild?
5. Do you have to own a business?
6. Is there anywhere I can find more information about it than just their website?

Any and all comments, suggestion or words of encouragement that I can pass on would be greatly appreciated!

Oh…I’ve been knitting too!

20131004-052842.jpg

More on knitting when I get a day off – hopefully Sunday. Also, if you are doing October’s #yarnpadc you can keep up to date with my pics on Instagram, although my plan (oh how good I am at planning!) is to do a weeks worth of photos every weekend.

Well friends and neighbors it’s time I get back to work…:( Miss all your shenanigans and can’t wait to catch up with all if you!

Where Would I Be Without You?


If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will!

Trevor and Alissa and Yarn

 

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly arthritic in my right (and dominate) hand. When the great Ruffle Scarf Endeavor started I was okay with the knitting, not okay with pulling all the yarn apart. By the end of the night my hand was a ghastly purple bruise, even with ice and Advil the swelling was hard to control. My Etsy Shop had never really done any business until the ruffles, and since I was helping to contribute to our household I never said no to an order.

After a while though my hand was a mess, I couldn’t hold utensils to eat and my knitting was slowing to a snail’s pace. Well, here came my incredible family to the rescue. It started with my husband. Trevor started pulling apart yarn and placing them in the reusable bags we use to grocery shop. My hand was starting to heal but still lagging, and I felt pretty darn guilty for asking him to help.

Then, miracles or miracles, my niece…my Gloria…wanted to help as well. She’d come over after school and just pull yarn without ever being asked. It seemed natural to her to just hunker down and help. That’s just how she is. Before you know it, I was back to full knitting ability and my hand almost looks flesh-colored again!

Trevor and Max and Yarn

If I’ve ever lamented over anything, and I mean anything, then it was because I didn’t realize just how lucky I am. Being rich would be nice, no doubt about that – but I would never trade it for these moments, these amazing people in my life. Somehow I am lucky enough to have my two favorite people (and my favorite cat) helping me to do what I love, arthritis be damned.

Seriously friends and neighbors, does it get better than this? ♥

October #yarnpadc


Okay, keep in mind that I am at work and have NO idea how to link or do anything like that in my iPod.

So The Knitterly Hooker had a post today for October’s yarn picture a day contest and I’m totally going for it.

20131001-133406.jpg

Luckily I took a pic before I left today to send to the lovely lady I am making this for do I am good to go! Join in, follow at #yarnpadc on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. Here’s to making it through the month!

20131001-133805.jpg

Day one – On the Needles – complete!

Worst. Idea. Ever.


I am going to try to keep this as quick as I can, if only to shorten my humiliation at retelling this story. I want to say first and foremost that yes, I’ve learned my lesson. So….here it goes.

Stitches_Pic1LOGO_KasMelloI have been making baby blankets for Stitches From The Heart ever since I learned how to knit the garter stitch. I have a very special place in my heart for this organization which supplies an assortment of baby items for preemies. Closer still is the bereavement sized items that are always needed and this is the size I spend most of my time knitting. I suppose they need more of these made because it is just a bit too depressing to knit something for a baby that will never take a breath, but I know first hand just how important it is to the grieving process and how much it means to the families.

The bereavement blankets are usually far more interesting pattern wise, I spend more time on them and try to make patterns that I feel are peaceful. Anyway – I try to send in two blankets a month (preemie and bereavement sized). Since my Etsy Store actually started bring in orders though I have been having some trouble keeping up with the preemie blankets. Oh hell, I haven’t made one preemie blanket in almost four months.

Then I thought I had a great idea…knitting machine! (SPOILER ALERT: Not a great idea)

NOT So Ultimate After All.

NOT So Ultimate After All.

My idea was that I would use the machine to run off flat, stockinette panels. Then I could embroider and edge the blankets by hand. I had all these wonderful notions of sending this charity tons of blankets. I would be busting my stash, be able to spend more time on the special touches and quit feeling to guilty about not sending in both blankets.

I went to Jo Anne’s with my 50% off coupon and bought the Ultimate Sweater Machine. Yes, I felt guilty about sending in only half handmade items, but I reasoned it was better than nothing at all. Oh the things we tell ourselves.

Gloria and I picked it up, brought it home, set it up and ….huzzah!…it didn’t work. Not even a little. This loud, piece of crap could never even knit a row. It jammed, it got stuck, it screeched, it howled, it begged for mercy. Between the three of us (Trevor, Gloria and myself) we tried everything we could think of for two days before I put it back in the box to return it. I HATE this stupid machine – if it wasn’t for the money I would set it on fire in my back yard.

I’ve learned my lesson – there are no shortcuts in life. I actually feel pretty guilty about trying it now, as if the protesting machine was trying to tell me that I was in fact cheating. So now I am going to try to schedule a time of day when I work on my blankets. If something is important you take the time to do it, and you take the time to do it right. There, now you know my incredibly embarrassing story. I would rather have been caught having sex in front of my neighbors that admit to trying to cut corners.

What about you friends and neighbors, have you ever tried to cut corner’s with good intentions? Or even better, how do you whip up a cute baby blanket and still keep up with all your other obligations?

My Mind is Officially Blown :)


Something really amazing popped up in my WordPress notifications, even if it is a week or two old I wanted to share!

Are You Sure About This?

Are You Sure About This?

I cannot believe that this is right. I mean, really? Since March 13th my little hope of having a knitting blog has come to alive. I am totally awed and so freaking humbled it is scary! Who are you, my dear friends and neighbors, who find me even slightly interesting? I spend my time devouring your words, your photos, the little bit of your life that you wish to share. Now, it seems, that you are kind enough to afford me the curtsey of doing the same.

I hope this isn’t annoying or showy, but I wanted to share all the stats with you. It seems that since I quit staring at them daily that they’ve changed a bit.

  • Total Followers on WordPress: 525
  • Most Visitors in One Day: 344
  • Total Visitors: 13,519
  • Total Comments: 2,730
  • Total Posts: 120
  • Total Tags: 964
  • **** **** **** ****
  • Total Instagram Followers: 359
  • Total Facebook Page Followers: 68
  • Total Twitter Followers: 37
  • Total Tumbler Followers: 45

I wish that I was in a place financially to give something away, something as awesome as I feel right now! There will be a time, sooner than later I hope, that I can share my appreciation with everyone that puts up with this little blog. It’s strange though, even if no one read this I have learned so much from you in the past six months – more than I can ever express my gratitude for.

So thank you friends and neighbors, you have made my week!

All Night KAL – Week 3 – I Need More Spare Time!


So the progress on the Jayashri Sweater continues, very slowly. It’s been a really busy week; several custom orders have come into the shop (yea!), along with several (28 – yes, twenty-eight) ruffle scarf orders. If you don’t take into account having 1) a job 2) a husband and loving niece and 3) social life, well then I guess I would have my pullover finished by now.

Wanna see some progress? Because I really want to share!

10013459686_337fc59697_o

I am still keeping a very vigilant count of all the stitches that go into this wonderful pullover, it appeases my OCD as well as my genuine curiosity about how the garment is coming together. I am getting to the decreases that are written in the pattern for the waist, decreases aren’t a problem and I can see (both on the picture of the sweater and in my head) about how this supposed to turn out. It is the short rows and increases for the bust ( of which mine is….ample) that I am a little worried about. I am watching the Short Rows Class on Craftsy to get a better understanding of how these stitches are worked and it has done wonders to bolster my confidence. Of course I am saying this before I’ve actually worked a single row. 🙂

10013435525_662a7a4782_o

It is a bit daunting to put your first attempt at anything on the internet – especially when you spend every minute of your spare time seeing other bloggers amazing, flawless work. Perhaps it will be a way to motivate me to spend the extra time to learn the construction of a garment – I mean, who wants to fall flat on their face in front of such amazing talent? Either way it goes I am just remembering to breath and enjoy the knitting.

So friends and neighbors it’s question time! What was your first handmade garment? Did it end with smiles or tears? Is there any advice you would wish to share?

As always, it is a pleasure to blog with such great company! ♥

 

Custom Order Progress Update! Three Very Ambitious Hats!


I feel so lucky to be working on this custom order. You know, having quoted such a low price (all my fault) has really taken a lot of the pressure off. Which is strange, because this is some of the most intricate knitting I’ve done it a while. Wanna see? I wanna share!! (the last one may be my favorite!♥)

** Fancy Cables for a 3 Year Old **

 

9879546385_b0428e52fe_oThis toddler-sized cabled hat was…ridiculous, but in the best way possible! Every section has a new cable to look at, which as a knitter is always a bonus for me. The yarn may be 100% acrylic, but a little guy is going to be wearing it, so my guilt is minimal. Also, despite the rumors, after it is washed – it really is much softer. Plus, I’m only charging $5.00 a hat. 🙂

 

** RIBS AND CABLES TO GROW IN TO **

9840338524_60c8761ac1_z

This is probably the least interesting of all the hats I’ve been making. Following the same idea I followed with the Honeycomb Hat, I picked a rib stitch and a cable stitch and let my needles fly. I even used the same decrease. There is an odd sense of satisfaction with creating something all on your own, although I am sure some other knitter has already done it. Either way, it is another hat off my needles.

** THE BABY HAT I WOULD MAKE FOR MY (IMAGINARY) BABY **

9860309664_1e0d486c86_o
There are a million reasons that I am in love with this patchwork knitted hat. I love the color changes. I love that all eight panels are different. I love the little fluff at the top of that hat that you get with a simple running stitch. More than anything I love how this hat told my knitting story.

You start with the garter stitch, the first thing you learn as a knitter. Moving on to stockinette and then seed stitch. These were my go to’s for probably my first whole year of knitting (I had a limited imagination, as well as very limited time to learn). The next panel is actually the wrong side of twisted ribbing, the first thing I every really messed up as a knitter. The whole hat was inside out and I didn’t notice! So I went back and learn the basic rib stitch to allow my confidence to grow back. After getting a handle on how knits and purls changed texture I added the basket weave stitch to my go-to dishcloth pattern. With my confidence reignited I went back to the twisted rib stitch, this time correctly! To finish it off was learning the basic cable – and it’s all history after that.

I will fully admit that this hat made me cry a little. Goofy, I know. I just imagined myself pregnant, knitting a hat like this to bring Trevor and I’s baby home in. I don’t know if that will ever happen (although I am a bit of a pessimist where this is concerned), but a hat that shows knitting progression just felt like life progressing. The thought that our lives will progress without a child can quite literally take my breath away. However, I will gladly take giving it to someone else, letting them bring home a baby in a hat made with unconditional love.

End of diatribe.

Well that’s it for me friends and neighbors, although I may have blown my blogging load and it’s only Monday! How about you, where are you getting your knitting/blogging inspiration this week?