New Pattern: Evanlyn Hat

I’ve just put my newest design, Evanlyn Hat, up for sale on Ravelry and Craftsy! Let me know what you think :)

This cozy hat features a bold chevron pattern made of twisted stitches, with the pattern continuing through the decreases. The neutral pattern makes this the perfect hat for everyone in the family.

Evanlyn Hat

Evanlyn Hat

New to the Queue: Keeping warm and giving thanks

Sunlit Shawl

Sunlit Shawl

Photo courtesy of sweetfiber on Ravelry

This shawl caught my eye immediately. It’s one of those designs I love because it’s fairly simple, yet striking. I like the way the shawl plays with yarn weights to create the striping effect, it works very well.

Price: $6 CAD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Melissa Thomson


Ragnatella

Ragnatella

Photo courtesy of minimi on Ravelry

I love this hat. The contrasting stripes are dramatic, and the chevron pattern makes otherwise simple stripes interesting. It looks like a cute accessory to brighten any winter day.

Price: €3.75 EUR

Craft: knitting

Designer: Cristina Ghirlanda


First Snow Mittens

First Snow Mittens

Photo courtesy of Asti on Ravelry

Can you tell winter’s coming soon? These mittens are so adorable, and the colorwork is so detailed. There are at least 9 different snowflake patterns, including the big one.

Price: $3.50 USD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Aet Terasmaa


Colleen Hooded Coat

Colleen Hooded Coat

Photo courtesy of Susieacedo on Ravelry

I am in awe of this coat. The cabling is so gorgeous, and it looks like something that would be so comfy to snuggle into in front of the fire with a good book.

Price: €5.00 EUR

Craft: knitting

Designer: Susie Acedo


Thanksgiving Turkey Amigurumi

Thanksgiving Turkey Amigurumi

Photo courtesy of petalstopicots on Ravelry

Of course I couldn’t let Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. go by without a turkey pattern! This little guy is adorable, and I love his granny square tail feathers. He’d make the perfect Thanksgiving table centerpiece.

Price: free!

Craft: crochet

Designer: Kara Gunza

Favorite Pattern Friday: Cotyledon

Now that the weather’s getting cooler, I’ve been turning a lot of my focus toward projects to keep me warm, like scarves and hats. I used some lovely madelinetosh tosh DK to knit myself an autumn-themed scarf a couple weeks ago, and decided I needed a matching hat.

My Cotyledon

My Cotyledon

Looking at the amount of each color I had left, I decided that a Cotyledon in yellow with a brown trim would be the perfect complement to my scarf.

Of course, with Christmas gifts coming up and the crazy idea that maybe I can knit myself a sweater between now and Christmas on top of everything else, that hat’s fallen a bit by the wayside.

Anyway, I’ve decided to feature Cotyledon as my Favorite Pattern Friday this week, since my attention’s been brought back to it recently and because it’s such a nice pattern.

I was one of the original test knitters for this pattern in 2011, and loved it. The hat quickly became one of my go-to hats. The pattern gives two options: a slouchy version and a beanie version. I can only speak to the beanie version as that’s the one I’ve knit.

My Cotyledon

My Cotyledon

This pattern’s a little different than many hat patterns I’m used to because it is knit from the top down, instead of from the brim up. It’s a little fiddly getting started, just because there are so few stitches across 3 or 4 dpns, but once it’s cast on it’s an easy pattern.

I like the way the cables in the pattern are simple enough to be almost mindless knitting, but interesting enough that you don’t get bored. The contrasting border on the bottom adds a nice pop, too. The sizing of the pattern works very well for me, because I like hats that cover my ears well and this hat does the trick.

I would give this pattern an A and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting but not too complicated hat or portable project. The pattern is available for $6 on Ravelry here.

Review of the Week: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles

I’d been eyeing these needles since they first came out. I’m generally a fan of wood needles, but like the pointy-ness you can get with metal needles. These seemed to be the best of both worlds: a needle that has the warm feel of wood and the pointy-ness of metal tips. Plus, the needles aren’t as likely to bend as metal needles or to break as wood needles.

My Karbonz in action

My Karbonz in action

I got a set of size 2 (2.75mm) dpns on a whim at my LYS, figuring they’d see a fair bit of use as that’s the dpn size I use the most.

I’ve used them a few times now for various fingering weight projects, including my current pair of CanCans.

Overall, I like these needles a lot (in fact, I’ve requested an interchangeables set for Christmas!). They definitely deliver on the smooth, warm feel, and I’m very comfortable knitting with them.

The Karbonz are a bit on the pricey side compared to the wood Dreamz or the metal Nova, but about on par with Addi needles. For reference, here’s a price comparison on a size 4 16″ circular needle, using prices from WEBS as of Nov. 2013:

Nova – $6.99

Dreamz – $8.49

Karbonz – $14.95

Addi Turbo – $15.95

Overall, I’d give these needles a 9 out of 10, and would definitely recommend them.

Pros:

  1. The feel – The needles have  a nice, warm feel to them, which I like. They don’t stick to my fingers like metal needles sometimes do.
  2. The color scheme – I like that the needles are a simple black with metal tips. They kind of sit in the background and let the WIP jump out, rather than the needles.
  3. The way they work with different yarns – I’ve used a few different yarns with these needles, and I like how easily the yarn moves on them, yet doesn’t slide right off.

Cons:

  1. The joins at the tips – The spots where the metal tips meet the carbon bodies of the needles isn’t perfectly smooth, I can feel a bit of a bump there.

Favorite Pattern Friday: Dungarees Cowl

With my vacation coming up next week, I thought it would be appropriate to feature a pattern I knit while on vacation last year: the Dungarees Cowl.

2012-08-05_14.36.51_medium2I’d been looking for the perfect pattern for some sportweight cashmere yarn I had received in a swap, and this turned out to be it.

This pattern turned out to be a great vacation knit. While I was using cashmere yarn, it was sportweight and not too heavy to be working on in summer heat. The pattern was interesting, but it was simple enough that I could knit while sitting around talking to my family.

Dungarees Cowl

Protecting my face and looking like a bandit at the same time

I like that the top and bottom of the cowl are a simple ruffle, with the pattern focus being in the middle. It makes the cowl wearable right side up or upside down, so you don’t have to pay too much attention to which way you’re putting it on.

The airy pattern in the center is simple to follow, and the fact that it’s not a totally closed pattern allows the cowl to breathe a bit, so it’s not too hot even though I knit it in a very warm fiber.

The cowl is also just the right diameter to allow me to cover my face with it without the cowl falling down, which I love. It fits over my face slightly better if I’m wearing my hair in a ponytail, because I can “hang” the back of the cowl on the elastic.

Cowls are a favorite winter accessory of mine because I can use them to easily protect my face from the cold winds (granted, those cold winds might be welcome here since it’s been in the 90s and muggy every day this week!).

Overall, I give this pattern an A, and plan to knit more of them in the future, possibly experimenting with other yarn weights, or using a variegated or self-striping colorway.

Yarn of the Week: Cephalopod Yarns Traveller

I got this yarn a while ago after receiving some credit to the Cephalopod Yarns shop. I loved the color, and figured I’d take the chance to try a nice new yarn.

My Traveller beanie

My Traveller beanie

I’m very glad I went with this yarn. I feel like it’s not quite as well-known as the extremely popular Bugga! yarns from CY and the Verdant Gryphon, but it really deserves some recognition.

The colors remind me a bit of madelintosh’s colors in that they’re rich and tonal. The particular skeins I got were the colorway Goodnight, KY, and were a gorgeous, saturated blue.

I got two skeins, and so far have made a hat and a cowl using similar-but-different patterns. I’m planning to use the rest on a pair of matching mittens or fingerless gloves in an as-yet-undetermined pattern this fall or winter.

I like this yarn a lot, and feel like it’s a good value for the money.

So far, neither my hat nor my cowl is showing signs of pilling, which is fantastic because this is a nice, soft yarn, and soft yarns are often pilly. I can’t speak to how this yarn would hold up in a higher-wear object like a sweater, but at least for hats and scarves it seems to wear very nicely.

Overall, I give this yarn a 10 out of 10, and definitely recommend it!

Pros:

  1. The colors – As usual, one of my pros is the colors. I like the range of colors offered by CY, and I like that the names of each color are tailored to the base, with the colorways for Traveller being named after places.
  2. Lack of pilling – So far, I haven’t run into a lot of pilling yet. We’ll see once I make something more hard-wearing, but as of now I haven’t had any issues.
  3. Stitch definition – I’ve made two cabled projects with this yarn, and the stitch definition is great. My cables pop out of my projects, and the texture difference between knits and purls shows up beautifully.

Cons:

  1. None – Honestly, I can’t really think of any cons!

New to the Queue: Cute crochet this week

Owl Basket

Owl Basket

Photo courtesy of Deja Jetmir.

As soon as I saw this pattern, I not only added it to my queue but also purchased it. My sister loves owls, and I think this will be an adorable addition to her room. I like that the basket itself is a basic shape and the eyes are added on, so this could be customizable to be many other animals or designs. I have a lot of kitchen cotton around, I’m going to try doubling it up to make this.

Price: $2.99 USD

Craft: crochet

Designer: Deja Jetmir


Monty Moose

Monty Moose

Photo courtesy of Southern Gal’s Crochet

I just want to pick this moose up and give him a hug! His arms are even held out at the ready. I actually have a stuffed moose that my fiance gave me, and I may have to make Monty so my moose can have a friend.

Price: $4.60 USD

Craft: crochet

Designer: Southern Gal’s Crochet


Kawaii bee amigurumi

Kawaii bee amigurumi

Photo courtesy of mohu mohu.

I love this little bee. Apparently I was in the mood for adorable animal-themed items this week because this is the second of four on the list today. This little guy reminds me of the adorable Teeny-Tiny Mochimochis, and I think the size is part of the appeal. I’m not a fan of bees in real life, but I just want to cuddle this one.

Price: free

Craft: crochet

Designer: mohu mohu


Tiny Turtle

Tiny Turtle

Photo courtesy of Anna Hrachovec.

Speaking of mochimochis, Anna Hrachovec released four new tiny animal patterns, this little guy, a dog, a cat, and a parrot. You can buy the set of patterns here. I love her little patterns, and this little guy stands out from the other little pets. I don’t know if it’s his adorable little head or the lovely pattern on his shell, but I just fell in love with him.

Price: $6 USD for the pattern set

Craft: knitting

Designer: Anna Hrachovec


Tina-ease Cowl

Tina-ease Cowl

Photo courtesy of Tina Turner.

Last but not least, the only non-animal-related item I’m featuring this week: the Tina-ease Cowl. I queued this cowl for a few reasons. It looks simple but interesting, and it looks like a great pattern to knit in some of my madelinetosh tosh merino light. In fact, I think I may bring this with me as a vacation project this summer.

Price: free

Craft: knitting

Designer: Tina Turner

Favorite Pattern Friday: CanCans

My favorite pattern that I’m featuring this week is CanCans by Erica Lomax.

My first CanCans

My first pair of CanCans from 2009

These mitts were one of the first pairs of fingerless gloves I made, and to date this is the one pattern I have made the most FOs of.

I tend to sometimes have trouble making a pattern more than once (which leads to major Second Sock Syndrome) because I like to challenge myself, and get bored easily doing the same thing over and over.

The CanCans, for some reason, don’t bore me. And that’s definitely a good thing! I’ve made (so far) three pairs for myself, a pair for my sister, and a pair for a trade on Ravelry.

I think I like making this pattern over and over because it’s such a well-constructed pattern. The twisted stitch pattern on the backs of the hands is different enough to make it an interesting knit, but simple enough that it makes a good driving/watching TV/other mindless knitting project.

The CanCans I made for my sister

The CanCans I made for my sister a couple years ago

I also like the way the cuff/arm is tapered to make it fit well, without scrunching. I like longer wristwarmers, but I really don’t like when they scrunch up around your wrists. This pattern decreases the circumference around the wrists to prevent bagginess, and also makes the cuff long enough to hug your arm and not scrunch up.

This pattern is great for beginners too, as evidenced by the fact that this was only the second or third fingerless glove pattern I’d knit, and was the first time I’d used twisted stitches to make mini cables. In fact, this pattern inspired me to start designing my own patterns using twisted stitches.

Overall, I *love* this pattern, and it’s a great fall-back for gifts, or when I need a quick or portable project and don’t have anything specific in mind. It’s more interesting than stockinette, but easy enough I can knit without looking (especially since I’ve practically memorized the pattern at this point). I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun portable project or a great gift.

Yarn of the Week: madelinetosh tosh merino light

Sidenote: This is the third of three new weekly features on my blog. I will be featuring and reviewing a different yarn each week. Some will be established yarns, some new yarns. Tune in each week to see what I’ve picked!

tosh merino light in Venetian

TML in Venetian

I thought I’d start this new feature with one of my favorite yarns: madelinetosh tosh merino light. This was one of the first madelinetosh yarns I used, and I immediately fell in love with it.

I’m not normally a big fan of single-ply yarns, but this one is spun tightly enough that it doesn’t seem as fragile as some other single-ply yarns I’ve used.

One of my favorite TML projects has been my first-ever sweater, a lovely blue cardigan. The yarn was a pleasure to work with, and the pilling is reasonable, especially considering how soft the finished product is. I have to run a sweater shaver over the cardigan after every few wears, but there are fewer pills each time.

Self-designed shawl using TML in Tart

Self-designed shawl using TML in Tart

The yarn also works very well in shawls. Being fingering weight, it’s heavy enough to make a warm shawl, but light enough that you won’t overheat while wearing one. I’ve made three so far, all different types of pattern, and all of them held up nicely with blocking, and the yarn shows off the stitch patterns beautifully.

Overall, I give this yarn a 9.5 out of 10.

I *highly* recommend this yarn (as long as you’re knitting socks, since the fiber content is 100% merino, so there is no nylon in it for strength) and I will definitely be purchasing more (to add to my already large stash of it).

Pros:

  1. Colors, colors, colors - This is by far one of the best things about all madelinetosh yarns. She dyes so many gorgeous colors, you’re almost guaranteed to find one that works for what you’re making. I also like that the colors are complex – she doesn’t just have, for example, “black.” There’s black with red undertones, black with green undertones, black with purple undertones, etc.
  2. Consistency - The spin is very consistent. Many single-ply yarns can be a bit thick-and-thin, but TML is pretty consistent throughout.
  3. Strength - While I wouldn’t knit hard-wear items like socks from it, the yarn is strong enough that I don’t feel like I’m going to break it by looking at it the wrong way or by blocking my finished piece.

Cons:

  1. Color matching - Since this yarn is hand-dyed in relatively small batches, it can be a bit difficult to get skeins that match each other exactly. I’d recommend shopping for the yarn in person if you need many matching skeins, as you can compare individual skeins for the best matches. I’d also recommend alternating skeins every other row when possible if your skeins don’t match perfectly.

New to the Queue: A little bit of everything

Sidenote: This is the second of three new weekly features I’m introducing. New to the Queue will appear each Monday and will feature patterns added to Ravelry during the previous week that I love enough to add to my queue. The third feature, Yarn of the Week, will appear Wednesday.

Mini Lovey Blankie Menagerie

Mini Lovey Blankie Menageri

Photo courtesy of Rainebo on Ravelry.

I cannot get over how adorable these little lovies are. I may still only be in the planning stages for my wedding, but I will definitely be making a few of these for my own kids when I have them in a few years. My fiance’s nephews have similar lovies and they love them, so that combined the handknit (and extreme cuteness) factor of this pattern makes it an instant queue for me.

Price:$6 USD

Craft: knitting

DesignerLorraine Pistorio


Flight Home Shawl

Flight Home Shawl

Photo courtesy of YuliaAV on Ravelry.

I love the way the lace patterns in this shawl work together. The diamonds bend with the semicircle shape of the shawl so nicely, and wherever the shaping is it blends in well enough that I can’t actually see it. I also love that the shape of this shawl wraps around, so it would have no trouble staying on my shoulders.

Price: $5 CAD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Yulia Vysochina


Country Cottage Pillow Cover

Country Cottage Pillow Cover

Photo courtesy of BibbityBobble on Ravelry.

As soon as I saw this pattern, I had to queue it. I’m currently in cool-things-for-the-house mode, having recently completed setting up wedding registries with my fiance. These pillow covers will be perfect for our future house, and I can make our pillows the exact colors we want!

Price: free

Craft: knitting

Designer: Beth Richardson


Stray Cat

Stray Cat Shawl

Photo courtesy of AnimaKnits on Ravelry.

This shawl caught my eye after I saw a finished project of it on the Ravelry forum radar. I love the use of stripes to keep the solid interior section interesting, and the transition to a lacy border for a bit of flair at the end.

Price: $6 USD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Kristina Vilimaite


Blairsden

Blairsden

Photo courtesy of SFAlpacas on Ravelry.

I have a thing for stripes this week, apparently. This sweater jumped out at me from the pattern search this weekend. I love that the stripes begin around the bust and end before the waist. There’s enough striping to make the sweater interesting, but they don’t overwhelm the design. I have a feeling this cardigan will find its way into my wardrobe soon.

Price: $5 USD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Maria Olson

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