Wednesday, November 30, 2011 5 comments

Knit Hats: Butterfly Hat

I love this hat pattern! It's so pretty and easy - and fun! Once again, I used some Caron Dazzleaire that I picked up at Dollar Tree a week or so ago.

It's really an adult-sized pattern (can be adapted to child-size by casting on 80 stitches instead), but I had my daughter model it since I look ridiculous in beanie-style hats. She, on the other hand, looks adorable ...

See the butterflies the stitching creates? They really aren't hard at all.
This one didn't turn out pointy, either, which I love. It took me a day's worth of free time to finish this one, so it's a quick knit.

If you want to make one, too, I used the free Butterfly Hat pattern from Ravelry. I can't say enough good things about the pattern or the yarn.

I'm putting this into my gift stash, although I don't necessarily have a particular person in mind at the moment. I'm so out of touch with fashion that I'm not sure if a teenager would wear this or not. Any thoughts? I have all age ranges on my gift list, so I'd love to know your thoughts on what age range you would give this to.
Friday, November 25, 2011 0 comments

Knit Hats: Rib A Roni

I made this Rib-A-Roni hat (and another with a green stripe and brown background) with some teen-aged nephews in mind. As you can see, it fits my 8-year-old son just fine, too. I made it in the Adult Medium size, but I had read other people's comments that little kids' heads are a lot bigger than we think, and I tend to agree! There's plenty of stretch left to fit a bigger head, but it looks fine on my son, too.

This was a fast and easy knit with relatively no thinking involved. Some people commented that they got a point at the top, but you can see that mine turned out fine.

I made this with Caron Dazzleaire yarn I recently found at Dollar Tree ($1/3 ozs). It's supposedly a bulky-weight yarn, but it works up more like a worsted-weight. It's super-soft, though, and I think it's perfect for hats - or anything else that comes in contact with your skin. I had to resist the urge to buy out my local Dollar Tree!

Are you knitting or crocheting any Christmas gifts this year? I'd love to see them!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 0 comments

Fingerless Gloves: Kate's Mitts

I'm just now getting some pictures taken of my knitting projects. Some of them will have to wait until after Christmas, since they are gifts.

I thought about unwrapping the Bitty Twins to model the sweaters I made for them, but I decided that I want my daughter to get the pleasure of taking all the tissue paper and such off the brand-new dolls (something we don't do often around here). :)

As a result, I only have a few pictures to share at the moment. We'll start with these fingerless gloves. My 6-year-old daughter is the hand model for these pictures, but I have tiny hands and they fit mine just as well. (It's just a little hard to take a picture of both of your own hands at the same time ... )

I used a free pattern from Ravelry called Kate's Mitts. I also used some of my harvested yarn that I recycled from a peachy-pink lambswool/angora/nylon sweater. Let me tell you, that yarn is lovely!

I love how these gloves turned out, and I plan to make a few more sets. Since I like to try a variety of patterns, I'll probably do them all in different patterns.

Do you knit? Are you working on any projects at the moment? I love to get ideas, so feel free to share a link to yours.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 6 comments

What I've been up to ...

I've been pretty quiet the last few weeks, haven't I?

Well, I've been busy. You see, I couldn't take my sewing machine with me on vacation, so I took my knitting needles and some yarn. It was great because I got an entire week to stretch my new knitting skills. I did cables, knitting on circular needs and double-pointed-needles, and I even made some tiny Christmas tree decorations (a sock and sweater).

I also nearly completed a collection of knitting needles and accessories, thanks to some great thrift store finds. I got some fabulous yarns, too. There were two different thrift stores that had several carts' worth of expensive yarn for great prices (mostly 75% off or better), and I had to restrain myself. :)

Since I've been back home, my hands have been wanting to keep knitting. :) As a result, I haven't taken the time to photograph my projects. However, here are links to a few of the projects I've finished or am working on:

Preemie Hats
Simple Sweater from a book I picked up at Tuesday Morning - I didn't care for this one as much.
Nena's Jacket - I've done this one in a few colors with no pattern (stranding), but I also just finished one with the pattern and I love it! The neckline is a little tricky, but I love the pattern.
Mochi Plus Doll & Sweater Hat - I've only done the sweater on this one so far, but I've done quite a few. This is easy and cute.
Cozy Slipper Socks - I finished one sock and have the second one about 1/3 of the way done. I lost steam on these, but I do plan to finish them. Next time I make socks (or slippers), I'll be doing them both at the same time.
Poppy Cardigan - This is another really cute doll sweater that I've made in several colors. I have my daughter's Christmas dolls coming in the mail (American Girl Bitty Twins - a splurge), so I'm not sure yet if they'll fit. If not, there are lots of other dolls around here that should be able to wear them. :)
V-Neck Doll Cardigan - I made this one without the stripes, but I can't really remember if I liked it much or not. I honestly can't remember which of the 10+ doll sweaters this one is. :)
Easy-As-Pie Shrug - I made this one with my niece's doll in mind, but it ended up being way too small. I think I used the wrong gauge of yarn.
Alpaca Sox Mini Socks - This is adorable and quite easy!
One-Skein Scarf - I used a thin yarn for this one to see how it would turn out, and it was pretty! It would be mostly decorative, though, since the yarn I used wasn't a warm yarn.

I've also found a few sweaters with great yarn at local thrift stores and have been unraveling them to use the yarn. Most of them have been really boring-looking sweaters with great yarn and colors, so I've been very happy. I can't bring myself to pay the prices for anything more expensive than acrylic, and I can't justify an awful lot of that. As a result, I've been thrilled to get a sweater's-worth of 100% lambswool for anywhere from $1.00-5.50.

I got a Nordstrom camel-colored cashmere sweater on Monday, and I'm having the hardest time trying to decide whether to unravel it or "felt" it and make a few cashmere scarves. (It's a men's size large.)

If you ever decide to try unraveling a sweater, let me give you a few tips:

  • You must use a swift, or you'll end up with nothing more than a tangled mess. Trust me on this one because I'm speaking from experience. Don't pay $50+ for one, though. I made one just like this one, and it works perfectly. I had everything on hand, so it didn't cost me a cent.
  • A yarn ball winder is an almost-necessity, but don't spend a fortune. I had one given to me, but I was planning to buy one. This Lacis version is the one I received, and it works great! This Oriental Touch version was also highly recommended to me. Joann Fabrics also has these on their website, so it might be cheaper to buy from them and use a coupon.
  • This is the best tutorial I've seen for how to deconstruct a sweater. I'd still like a better picture of finding the magic "unzip" thread (I still haven't figured it out, and I'm following the written instructions to the letter), but otherwise it's the best.
So now you know what has been keeping me busy this last little bit! :)

Don't worry, though. I haven't given up sewing and working with my beloved vintage sheets. As I mentioned earlier, we're getting my daughter Bitty Twins (brown hair, brown eyes) for Christmas, and they'll need lots of clothes. I'm working on knitting some sweaters right now, but I'm waiting for them to come before I start sewing for them since I need exact measurements for the boy's pants.

I agonized over these dolls since we don't usually spend that kind of money on toys, but this will be her main Christmas gift. All of the other gifts will likely be clothes I make for them. I looked all over for other twin dolls, but there aren't many choices out there. And none of them are the quality of American Girl, nor do they come anywhere near the cuteness factor.

Although I am a very thrifty person, I never want my kids to view me as stingy. When I saw the longing in my daughter's eyes the last time she looked at the twins in the American Girl catalog, I knew I would get them for her sometime. She has mentioned them several times now, and I know she's a good little mommy that will take excellent care of these two ... And you may just catch me playing dolls with her now and then! :)
Saturday, November 5, 2011 0 comments

Saturday in the Shop: A quilt!

I just listed the Blue and Yellow Patchwork Quilted Throw in my Etsy shop today. I probably won't be making another just like it, so get it before it's gone!

My house is becoming overrun by quilts. As much as I love them, it's impossible for me to hang on to every single quilt I make, so I'll be listing more quilts and other great Christmas gifts within the next few weeks. I hope some other people love them as much as I do and give them a good home! :)