Friday, February 20, 2015 2 comments

Knitting: Big Herringbone Hat test knit

I recently had the opportunity to test-knit this hat pattern for the designer.

If you know me, you'll know that orange is not my usual color. However, my casual winter coat is orange, and I wanted a hat to go with it. I love the dramatic herringbone design on this, and it's doubly-warm since it's a stranded (colorwork) pattern.

If you're interested in the pattern, it's for sale on Ravelry here: Big Herringbone Hat by Ingrid Aartun Bøe.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 1 comments

Knitting: Tessellated Pullover Sweater for Me

This pattern caught my eye the first time I saw it (Tessellated Pullovers). It's a seamless sweater knit in the contiguous sleeve method. The top part looks like an orangey-red in the photos, but it's really a hot pink. The lighting in my bedroom is awful.

There is waist shaping to make this fit well, and I love how it worked so well with the colorwork. It really looks like a traditional seamed sweater.

If you'd like to see my more detailed notes on this project, you can view my project page on Ravelry here.
Monday, February 16, 2015 1 comments

Knitting: Another $5 in Paris Sweater for Me

I knit myself another sweater in the $5 in Paris sweater pattern that I love so much. Please excuse the skirt that doesn’t match. I was just trying it on for a fitting, not wearing it for the day!

I made a few (more) changes to the pattern this time.

First of all, I only did 2-1/2” of ribbing to finish off the bottom of the sweater. Since I’m so short-waisted, I didn’t need the extra 2”. This put the sweater right in my ideal range: 14 to 14-1/2” from the underarm.

Secondly, I added a stripe to the sleeves and ended with a contrast stripe (also 2-1/2”, which ended up being a total of 15 rows before binding off). I hope this won’t bother me when I wear it (to have the sleeves end on a different stripe than the body), but it just made sense to make the sleeves to my ideal length as well.

I love how it turned out!
Saturday, February 14, 2015 3 comments

Knitting: Cornflower Socks for Me

I recently discovered a non-wool sock yarn at my local Michaels store. I think they've carried it for awhile, but my store just recently got it in stock.

I bought a ball of it to see how it would work for socks, since it's acrylic and nylon instead of wool and nylon.

I was excited to discover that I can get two pairs of socks out of one ball of this yarn. It took just a little less than 1/2 a skein for this pair.

The yarn is super-soft, and it holds up well to washing and drying. I've already worn the socks and washed/dried them several times, and they look just as nice as the day I finished them. I don't notice my feet sweating in them any more than in my wool socks (which does occasionally happen), and they don't feel any different when my feet sweat than my wool socks do. If your feet tend to sweat a lot, you may have a different experience, but I really like these socks and will make more.

At about half the price of a ball of wool sock yarn (which has half the yarn), this is a real value!

As for the pattern itself, I went down a needle size since this yarn is a light fingering and my feet are small anyway. It worked perfectly, even though I was afraid that the socks would be too small as I was working them. They stretch very nicely! (Surprise, surprise! This is supposedly a concern with acrylic.)

The design isn’t too difficult, but it’s not brainless, either. I made a mistake on the foot portion of one sock because I was working it during a lively game of Scattergories while visiting family. [I wasn’t playing the game, but it was pretty distracting anyway. You'd have to know my in-laws. :)]
Thursday, February 12, 2015 1 comments

Knitting: Musical Fingerless Gloves

I knit these amazingly detailed fingerless gloves for my kids' piano teacher for her birthday recently. If you play piano, you will appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into the designer's choice of the bass clef on the left hand and the treble clef on the right hand. :)

I'm modeling these in the pictures, but the recipient has larger arms and hands than I do. I made this using a sportweight yarn. If I were making this for myself, I'd have to size down to a smaller yarn. However, I tried it with light fingering yarn, and it was way too small. Regular fingering weight (think sock yarn) would probably be about right for me.

These might look very complicated (and the charts are a little intimidating at first glance), but it's just basic colorwork. Take it one line at a time, and it's no big deal. It was some of the easiest knitting I've done in awhile. But, then again, I do enjoy colorwork.

So why would a musician need fingerless gloves? They're great for keeping your arms and part of your hands warm if you're practicing or playing in a drafty hall or even outside. My kids' piano teacher also plays the harp and does a lot of outdoor weddings. I hope these will be helpful!

This is a free pattern available on Ravelry. If you'd like to knit a pair for yourself (or your kids' piano teacher), go here.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 0 comments

Knitting: Garland Cowl for Me

My daughter bought a skein of this color yarn to make herself a cowl, and I fell in love with it. I had to make one for myself, too. It's Impeccable yarn (by Michaels) in the Arbor Rose colorway, which looks nothing like the dusty rose color I think of when I think of that name. 

This is a fast and easy cowl with a very pleasing stitch pattern. It's also a free pattern on Ravelry, if you're interested. Go here.