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.

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

Pattern Roundup!

Yes, I know, it’s been a while since I last blogged. I’ve done a lot of knitting in that time, but what I want to share first are my patterns that I’ve published on Ravelry since I last posted. 🙂

Twisted Diamond Mitts

 

I came up with the idea for these mitts when I got some lovely yarn that I wanted to use to make an instant-gratification gift to myself after holiday knitting. I designed a simple-yet-pretty twisted stitch pattern that is easy enough to memorize, but
interesting enough to keep you from getting bored.

gloves2

Moss/Seed Stitch Hat

 

This hat is a simple knit that’s great for showcasing those yarns that feel so soft, but don’t necessarily have great stitch definition. The moss/seed stitch itself is squooshy, which accentuates the natural softness of any yarn.

109_3967

Climbing Lattice Hat

 

I came up with this hat when I wanted a hat that would show off the semi-solid nature of my yarn without too busy a pattern.
The hat features a weaving lattice pattern with decreases hidden by the cables.

2012-02-06_12.53.34

Climbing Lattice Neckwarmer

 

I came up with this neckwarmer to be a companion to my Climbing Lattice hat, and show off my semisolid yarn.
The neckwarmer features a weaving lattice pattern with basic cables running up the sides.
Neckwarmer is worked flat.

DSCF2208

Bubbling Diamonds Hat

 

I designed this hat to showcase the contrasting colors of some DK weight yarn I had. The hat features alternating bubble and diamond patterns in a stranded design.

There are 2 lengths available, depending on how many pattern repeats are done.

2012-07-15_13.58.02

Kera Wristwarmers

 

These fingerless mitts feature mirrored intertwined cables. They’re named after my sister, as I came up with the design for her Christmas gift this year.
They come in a small/medium size to fit wrist circumferences up to 7 inches, and a medium/large size to fit wrist circumferences 7 to 8 inches.

2012-11-08_12.38.39

Little things, big plans

Combining a House Cup off-month with summer heat equals not a ton of knitting happening right now, but a lot of planning given Christmas season is coming up.

I did manage to whip out a quick pair of basic fingerless mitts with some super soft, nice yarn I got a couple weeks ago, I think they turned out pretty cute:

The yarn’s interesting because it’s almost variegated, but not quite.

That’s my digital camera case for size reference at the top.

I also finished the Summer Flies shawl that I started while I was on vacation at the end of July, though I haven’t blocked it yet.

I used just under 2 balls of (about 300 yards) Classic Elite Yarns Fresco, which is a 60% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 10% Angora mix DK weight yarn, and lovely to work with. I loved the stitch definition I got with it too, I’m looking forward to seeing how it blocks out.

I don’t think I’m going to block it too aggressively, as it’s a pretty nice small scarf size now, so a light blocking should bring it to decent scarf size. It’s a little smaller than the pattern said because I used a DK weight instead of a worsted, but I think the size will work out in the end.

Still on the needles are the baby booties for my sister’s friend’s baby shower, which I hope to finish tonight since the baby shower is in two days! I also have my Spectacular Sightseeing Sunset Socks on the needles, but those are currently my in-the-purse-to-work-on-on-the-go project, so they don’t get a lot of love at home.

Speaking of purses, I got my Namaste Monroe bag last week, a birthday present from my parents! I love it, I’m using it as my regular purse plus knitting. It’s got 2 huge side pockets and one big center section, so I have plenty of room for all my purse things, plus a knitting project or two, and I don’t have to worry about my yarn snagging on my car keys, or falling out of my bag. Oh, and did I mention it’s purple?

Isn’t she beautiful?

Looking ahead, I’m working on my plans for the upcoming House Cup term. I was leaning toward doing an Arithmancy OWL (at least 8 of the same object) and doing 6 pairs of fingerless gloves, but then I discovered The Beekeeper’s Quilt, and may change my plans. I’m currently debating how I want to tackle the term, I might do the quilt as an OWL instead, and do the gloves for classes, or maybe do the gloves for the OWL and do groups of hexagons for the quilt for classes. I definitely have a lot of thinking to do, lol.

Image courtesy of tinyowlknits on Ravelry

This is the shawl that never ends…

I’ve come up with a song to describe this shawl that I’m working on (this is not a reflection on the pattern, I love it, I’m just losing my attention span because I don’t have long stretches on any given day to work on this):

This is the shawl that never ends

And it goes on and on my friends

One day I started knitting it not knowing what it was

And I’ll continue knitting it forever just because

(repeat x infinity)

Since I tend to only have a couple hours per night to work on my shawl, I’m only getting a couple rows done at a time, which means it’s taking f o r e v e r. I want to get it off the needles and on the blocking mat already! Hopefully this will happen tonight, and I can have blocking photos for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I did take a break from the neverending shawl (how am I ever going to get through my Aeolian? XD) to do another quick test knit crochet (I always default to knit!) for the Eye of the World Stole.

Patterns like this work well for short-repeat variegated yarns, I think.


The test only called for a 3-repeat swatch, washed and blocked, which I was able to complete in just about an hour. I think I’m going to rip out the swatch, cut the repeats in half width-wise, and crochet it as a scarf, using the Cascade Heritage Paints I have in my stash, which I what I used for the swatch. I think it’ll make a pretty, lacy scarf, what do you think?

The month of the gloves (and hat and cowl and monster)

Remember how I was all about the scarves a few months ago? Well, apparently this month it was gloves that were all the rage.

Let's all say it together now: Awwwwwwww!

If you count pairs I’d started before the month began, I finished a total of 7 pairs of gloves this month, along with a buttoned cowl, a striped scarf, a test knit hat, a cute little monster toy, half a pair of socks, and the baby hats I’m currently crocheting for charity (4 done so far, I’ll update later with my final total).

Of those 7 pairs, 4 of them were Broken Spiral Mitts (each word links to a separate pair), a fingerless glove pattern I test knit for fellow Raveler and HP House Cupper benningsm back in February.

Part of what motivated me to do so much crafting this month was the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry, which splits participants up into the four Harry Potter Houses and pitts the four groups against one another in 3-month terms. The group with the most points (gained through crafting for monthly “classes,” term-long “OWLs,” Quidditch, and other bonus point-gathering methods) at the end of the three months wins the House Cup.

Let me tell you, while it may be an internet game of sorts, it’s very competitive, and great for motivation. I definitely wouldn’t have done so much crafting over the past year-plus if it weren’t for the House Cup.

I was particularly motivated to craft this month, because I’d completed a full roster of classes in January and February, and wanted to finish out the term strong.

My first finished project of the month was a redo on a pair of gloves that I’d made for my boyfriend’s sister-in-law. The first pair was too big in the hands and too small in the fingers, so I started over (with measurements this time!) and they fit perfectly, which made both of us happy. 🙂

My second and third finished projects, both part of my OWL, were particularly special to me. One was a pair of London Eye Glittens (convertible fingerless gloves/full mittens) that I made for my sister using Patons Classic Wool, and the other was a pair of Celtic Moonrise Mittens I made for myself out of Knit Picks Capra yarn (one of my favorite yarns ever!).

I loved the glittens for several reasons:

1) They were SO my sister. Purple and green, mismatched-bur-not, bright colors, the whole nine yards.
2) They were fun to knit. They used some techniques I hadn’t used before, like picking up stitches in the middle of the piece for the mitten flap, and cabling without using a cable needle.
3) My sister was super excited to get them, and she wears them all the time (honestly, she’s one of the most knitworthy people I know).

The Celtic Moonrise Mittens were great for a list of reasons of their own:

1) The cable pattern is just gorgeous. I’ve always loved Celtic knot patterns, and had been looking for a good mitten pattern incorporating the knots.

2) The yarn is soooo comfortable. It is nice and soft, but still has great stitch definition, so it really shows off the cables.

3) I was able to modify the pattern very easily in order to continue the cables to the end of the mittens instead of the cutoff the pattern called for.

My other favorite project of the month: my Happy Monstie. I think his photo speaks for itself.

😀

Need…warm…things…

too much snow!

This was my car after our most recent heavy snowstorm.

Okay, so it has been COLD here. We’re talking negative teens for the overnight temperatures over this past weekend. Combine that with all the snow we have, and I’m just about done with winter.

We’ve already gotten over 43 inches of snow here in Connecticut this month alone, with up to another foot coming in tomorrow night. And we still have two months left of official winter.

At least that gives me plenty of excuses to make nice winter accessories, right?

Well, I’ve certainly kept busy doing just that.

prism scarf

I just love these color changes!

I finished my Prism Chroma rainbow scarf that I mentioned in my last post! I was actually really happy with it, because the scarf came out to just about 5 feet long after two full color pattern repeats, which turned out to be a great length for the way I like to wear scarves (I like to fold them in half, drape them around my neck, and pull the ends through the loop to secure them).

The yarn itself helped my color cause, because my ball started in the perfect spot on the red colorway and continued to the orange, so I was able to make two perfect color repeats.

rolled scarf

Doesn’t that look cool?

Another reason I love this Chroma yarn: scarves made from it look really pretty when you roll them up.

rainbow hat

I should have gone about 4 stripes longer.

Of course, I had to have a matching hat to go with my new rainbow scarf. however, I didn’t make the hat long enough, and it only covers the very top of my ears. 😦 I think I’m going to give this one to my younger sister and try again, I’ve still got about 5 colors (so just under a full color pattern repeat) of that Chroma colorway left, so it should be enough to make another hat. Plus, this one will be mostly blues and purples in the main section, which are my favorite colors! 🙂

It fits!

However, considering my rainbow hat was too small, and knowing we had subzero temperatures coming up, I decided to make myself another new hat to beat the cold. This one I made out of Bernat Alpaca blend, because it’s a bulky yarn so should be thicker and warmer (plus I was not home and therefore did not have access to my stash). I decided to just go with a simple 10 rows of k1p1 ribbing and then a stockinette hat, to ensure a quick finish.

As it would happen, I first cast on too many stitches, then got distracted while knitting, so I didn’t finish my “Emergency Hat” in time for the first really cold day, but I did have it in time for the second and third subzero evenings, so all was well.

I made sure this hat would be long enough by knitting it until the length I’d normal go before decreasing (about 6 inches), then continuing for another inch, inch and a half, just to make sure the length was there.

Sure enough, it fits! I finally have a hat that completely covers my ears without having to resort to earflaps!

Andean Silk mittens

You can even see here how loose they are.

Now I have to finish the matching mittens I’m making. I have a pair of mittens I made last year out of Knit Picks Andean Silk that I love, but I made them too loose and long. I’m considering felting them, but I don’t know how well they’d do (anyone ever felt Andean Silk? Does it felt well?). The only thing that has kept me from felting them so far has been my fear that if I felt them, I’ll destroy the pretty cable pattern on the backs.

Therefore, after making my Emergency Hat, I started on a pair of matching, tighter, shorter mittens – in other words, mittens that actually fit my hands. I’ve got one mitten done (sorry, I haven’t taken photo yet!), so hopefully the other will be done by the end of the week so I can turn them in for a class in the HPKCHC.

Other than the projects for myself, I have been working on a couple things for my sisters.

Owlings

Aren’t those owl cables cute?

I’ve made good progress on the Owlings mitts I’m making for my 13 year old sister. She requested a pair of fingerless gloves in bright orange yarn, so I found this KP Swish in the perfect color, and figured the owl cables would be perfect for her considering she is a huge animal lover.

I’ve actually finished one mitt (except for the thumb) but haven’t gotten a full photo of it yet.

And, last but not least, I’m working on another rainbow-colored Chroma scarf for my 18 year old sister. This one is being made using the Lollipop colorway of Chroma, which is more pastel/neon rainbow colors than the yarn I used for my own scarf.

This rainbow is a bit lighter and brighter than the other one.

Happily, I encountered the same color situation with this yarn as I did with my yarn: the ball started perfectly in the middle of the red/pink. I think I was just lucky with these two balls, because my Prism ended with yellow, and this ball of Lollipop ends with green, so I don’t think they’re able to start every ball at the beginning of the rainbow.

You can see where the slub was.

So far, I have been pretty happy with the Chroma. The only time I’ve run into issues has been with my sister’s scarf. In the first round of green, I got a huge slub that’s pretty noticeable in the knitting, and then a few yards later it pulled apart in a fluffy spot (which, admittedly, was a concern I’d had with the Chroma being a single).

Overall, it didn’t end up being the biggest issue ever. I showed my sister the slubby part and she didn’t mind (extra of her favorite color!) and I was able to splice the broken yarn back together. I wound the rest of my ball and didn’t see any more slubs or breaks, so I think it should be good now. I haven’t looked at my other ball, so I don’t know if there will be any problems with it, but I’m optimistic because I had no issues with my first ball.

Looking ahead now, my goals for the rest of the month (i.e. the next week) are to finish my mittens, finish my sister’s scarf, finish a hat I started for my boyfriend’s nephew, and make a warm winter hat for my boyfriend. Hopefully the snow this week will motivate me to get them done. 😉

Season of the scarf (plus a tip!)

Now, I like a challenge. I like knitting lace, because it captures my attention. I enjoy cables, because I have to pay attention to what I’m doing.

So how is it then, that I’ve ended up doing almost nothing but scarves this year (all one week of it)?

striped scarf

I like how the grey and black look together, don't you?

First up was the beginning of my Boyfriend Scarf.

My boyfriend needs a nice warm scarf, and I had a Michaels gift card from Christmas, so we went and picked out some yarn.

We originally planned to get some Lion Brand Amazing to do a Noro Striped Scarf, but the store was out of stock. So, we ended up with some black and some grey Patons Classic Wool, and I started going at the scarf. Not the most exciting pattern in the world, about 40 stitches of k1p1 ribbing per row, but I planned to change color every other row, and it was for my boyfriend, so it wasn’t terrible.

I got about 7 or 8 inches in before getting wrapped up in my next project…

Evan's scarf

Okay, so a 3-foot-long toddler scarf isn't bad...

My Evan’s Scarf.

A family member’s toddler was in need of a scarf, so I offered to make one. After all, no one wants to see a little kid cold. And besides, little kids are so cute when they’re all bundled up!

Of course, it also gave me an excuse to go to the yarn store during their New Year/LYS anniversary sale and get a raffle ticket for door prizes (I won a small bottle of Eucalan!).

I picked up some Plymouth Encore and started another, smaller k1p1 scarf. As it was for a toddler, it only took a couple days to finish.

Which brings me to my current project: my Prism Chroma scarf.

Prism scarf

oooooh, look at all the pretty colors!

The day after I finished my Evan’s Scarf, I got my Knit Picks order in the mail, containing some of their new Chroma yarn (which I posted a review of yesterday). I had ordered the Chroma so that I could make Noro Striped Scarves for myself and my sisters.

So far, I’ve gotten through one full repeat of the rainbow. Luckily, the colors are changing often enough to keep me interested, despite the k1p1 knitting. And the yarn is soft and nice to work with.

hair elastic tip

Hair elastics are a scarf's best friend.

At least while I’ve been working on all these scarves, I’ve developed a good tip to avoid frustration: as your scarf gets longer, fold it up and secure it with a hair elastic.

This keeps the hanging length of the scarf short, preventing it from dragging on your lap/table and getting twisted, which is something that I know has personally frustrated me when working on scarves.

What’s nice about this tip is that it keeps the scarf compact, making it perfect for working on on the go, too!

 

New Knit Picks yarn, yay!

I got a package from Knit Picks yesterday! I always love getting my Knit Picks packages because I always get so much at once (have to qualify for that free shipping after all! ;)).

Here’s what I got: 6 skeins of black Wool of the Andes, 3 skeins of their new Chroma yarn (I got Prism, Lollipop and Galapagos), 1 skein of orange Swish, and 2 skeins of blue Capra.

Noro Kureyon

If the Chroma came plied in these colors, it would be pretty much perfect.

The Chroma is similar to the Noro yarns, but is a lot softer – it’s 70% wool and 30% nylon. Overall, I like the Chroma better than Noro because it’s much, much softer, the colors are great, and you get almost twice as much yarn for the same or less money (I got a 110-yard skein of Noro Kureyon at my LYS for $9, the Chroma Worsted has 198 yards for the same price).

However, I’m not a huge fan of the fact that the Chroma is a spun single – with some loosely spun areas – so I’m a little afraid of it breaking (but so far so good!). I’m actually thinking of getting 2 balls of the fingering weight yarn next time I order from KP and plying them together to see if that adds strength, or at least peace of mind while knitting.

Anyway, I was super-excited to get this batch of yarn, because it meant I could start my OWL (mutli-month project for the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry), which is going to be a pair of Owlings fingerless mitts (with the Swish), a pair of London Eye Glittens (with some Patons Classic Wool),  a pair of Celtic Moonrise Mittens (with the Capra), and 3 Noro Striped Scarves (with the Wool of the Andes and Chroma).

This is my fifth term competing in the HPKCHC and I haven’t successfully completed an OWL yet. This term, though, will be the term I finally finish one. How do I know this? I know I can do it this time because two of the scarves and two of the pairs of gloves are for my sisters, and they will ask after their things until they get them!

striped scarf

I like how the grey and black look together, don’t you?

My plan is to work on one scarf at a time, and switch between the three gloves so that I don’t get bored. I’m hoping that the color changes in the Chroma can keep me interested enough in the scarves that I don’t get bored.

Of course I’m also going to be working on several other projects at the same time. I’m making a grey and black striped scarf for my boyfriend (on the right), a ribbed hat for his nephew, and an earwarmer for myself (after all, I do get some reward for all this knitting, right? ;))

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