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

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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.

More patterns available now!

I’m happy to say that, since my last pattern update in December, I’ve added four new patterns for sale on Ravelry!

Blizzard Winds Cowl

Blizzard Winds Cowl

The first two patterns were released a couple months ago and are a matching winter accessories set: Blizzard Winds Cowl and Blizzard Winds Hat.

I’d been in a regular designing mood one night and came up with this swirling pattern one night, no specific goal for it in mind. I also had decided that I wanted to experiment with picot edging, with I thought went well with the colorwork.

Blizzard Winds Hat

Blizzard Winds Hat

I happened to be working on the cowl during the Blizzard of 2013 back in February, when we got a record 3 feet of snow (No exaggeration there, we literally got 3 feet) in Connecticut.

As I was knitting, I realized the black swirls on the grey background reminded me of the blowing snow and wind outside at the time, and the bumpy picot edging reminded me of the snow drifts piling up, so I named the cowl after the blizzard. The hat soon followed.

The next pattern was released last month, my Staggered Diamonds Cowl.

Staggered Diamonds Cowl

Staggered Diamonds Cowl

I’ve always liked playing with twisted stitch designs ever since I was introduced to the idea back in 2009 when I knit my first pair of CanCan wristwarmers.

Since then, I’ve played with  twisted stitches on a regular basis, first introducing them into one of my designs with my Twisted Diamond Mitts.

The tricky part with these types of designs is that it’s difficult to make the pattern continuous when you’re using it in the round. Because the twisted stitches are essentially two-stitch cables, continuing them across the beginning/ending of a round would require traveling stitch markers, and would increase the difficulty of the project quite a bit, especially for beginning knitters.

You can see the break in the pattern here

You can see the break in the pattern here

I’ve struggled with how to address the beginning/ending of rounds in my patterns with colorwork as well. Since knitting in the round means knitting a spiraling tube, the end of one round lines up with the beginning of the next round, creating a jog in many continuous patterns, whether they’re colorwork, regular cables, or twisted stitches.

To solve this issue with my diamond cowl, I decided to avoid the jog and the traveling stitch markers completely by making a definitive beginning and ending to the stitch pattern that coincided with the beginning and ending of each round.

My most recent pattern, Mad about Merino Mitts, was just released today.

Mad about Merino Mitts

Mad about Merino Mitts

This pattern was particularly exciting for me to design, because it incorporates several different techniques, including one I hadn’t used in a design before: the lateral braid.

The pattern was designed to use up leftover yarn I had after finishing my Fabergé shawl, and I wanted to experiment with patterns to really showcase the lighter grey against the darker grey.

I’d seen the lateral braid before in other patterns, and it seemed like the perfect way to really block out the diamond pattern in the light yarn.

The diamond pattern is similar to the one in my Staggered Diamonds Cowl, with a smaller version on the hand and a larger version on the cuff.

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

New fingerless gloves pattern for sale!

I just put my Fully Convertible Mittens pattern for sale on Ravelry! (You don’t have to be a Ravelry member to buy the pattern)  Please check them out and let me know what you think 🙂

Close encounters of the stitch dropping kind

My Aeolian is coming along quite well now that I’ve been able to devote my time to it. In the past week, I’ve been able to get about 15% of it done, which I know thanks to a wonderful spreadsheet a fellow House Cupper made.

I had a scary moment while knitting the other day, though. I’ve decided to put lifelines in every 4th yucca  chart repeat (there are 12 total) and every chart repeat after the yuccas. I was almost to the point where I could put in my second lifeline, when this happened:

Begin panic mode now.

I don’t know exactly how many stitches slipped off the needles. I just sat there staring in horror at it. Luckily, I was able to pick up the stitches and resume knitting with no major mishaps. Once I got my second lifeline in, and got 4 rows into the 9th yucca repeat (so that I could mark it as 15% on Ravelry), and put the project away for a few days so that I could breathe.

Wanting to give myself a break from the tiny yarn and tiny needles, I decided to start a pair of worsted weight fingerless gloves (I know, May isn’t exactly glove season).

I was debating what colors to use; I was originally thinking purple and black, but the purple was too dark to differentiate it from the black. I found some bright blue yarn I had, and decided to alternate it with the black instead.

I played around with a couple charts and settled on a pair of black mitts with blue dots placed throughout. I’m up to the thumb increases, and plan to make the pattern available on Ravelry once I finish one glove and get it test knitted.

Gearing up for the Spring 2011 House Cup term!

It’s almost May, and as my House Cup friends know, that means it’s almost time for a new term! Only 2 days until the new term starts, which means Sorting is up and the new common rooms are open!

What that means, to those unfamiliar with the Cup, is that I am frantically trying to free my needles, while planning what I’ll be making in the next three months.

Currently, I have three projects on the needles/hook: a pair of Crocheted Felted Slippers, a shawl I’m test knitting, and a pair of Endpaper Mitts. The slippers and mitts are both about half done (one of the pair is done) and the shawl is about 25% done, I think (it’s so hard to gauge the halfway mark on triangular shawls!).

I’ll probably be putting the mitts and slippers aside for a while, but will definitely be finishing the shawl, since the deadline for the test knit is mid-May. Side note – check out the cool cobweb-like appearance my alpaca yarn is giving between stitches!

I’ve got some pretty big plans for this term, and I mean that quite literally. Not only am I going to attempt to get as many classes done as I can, plus detention, but now that I’ve completed one OWL, I can propose two in one term, and I am crazy enough to do it!

In fact, I think I’m extra crazy when you consider what my plans for my two OWLs are.

This beautifully tonaled yarn should make a really pretty shawl.

One of my proposals is to make a full-size beaded Aeolian shawl, which should use about 1100 yards of yarn (according to the pattern), and a couple thousand beads. I’ll be using size two needles, so it will probably be pretty slow going, but the end result should be great. I’ll be using a blue-green laceweight yarn with matching blue-green beads, both of which I found on Etsy. I have to admit, I was thrilled to discover that my beads perfectly matched my yarn.

Looking at other projects on Ravelry, I think I should be able to get the shawl done within the three month timespan.

One difficulty I do anticipate is figuring out where my halfway point is. It’s difficult because the shawl gets bigger with almost every row, so I can’t just measure halfway. I’m going to have to do some research on what others have considered their halfway point, since I know there have been several other OWL Aeolians.

My other OWL will be good for knitting on the go and on car trips, which is good because I’ll be doing a lot of riding in the car this summer: I’m planning to make a Bernat Sampler Afghan, with some minor changes. The pattern as written calls for 30 blocks measuring 7″ by 9″, with 15 each of two colors, making a blanket that’s about 4 feet long and just under 4 feet wide. There are five different texture patterns to the blocks, and they’re arranged in a specific order.

I’ll be using dark green, dark blue and black to make my blanket.

My blanket is also going to be 30 blocks, arranged in the same texture pattern, but they’re going to be 10″ by 12″ and I’m going to make 10 each of three colors. My blanket should be 50″ by 72″ before any edging, so it should be a full afghan size instead of a lap blanket.

I won’t be doing all 30 squares for the OWL, however, as I’m pretty sure I’d never be able to finish it in the three months, especially considering I’ll also be working on the classes and Aeolian. My proposal is going to be for 19 sqaures: 9 black and 10 blue. I already knit one black square to use as my gauge swatch, and that square took me about three hours to knit, so I’m estimating my OWL at around 55 crafting hours, averaging about a block and a half a week.

For right now, I’m working to get that Snowdrop Shawl done so I can properly focus on my new term. My main problem this weekend is going to be deciding whether to cast on and swatch my Aeolian, or work to finish the other shawl! 🙂

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.

😀

Just in time mittens

I made this mittens just in time for the snow!

I recently finished a pair of mittens just in time for the snow, using the Celtic Moonrise pattern from Ravelry.

Modifications:

Instead of using the thumb in the pattern, I began a thumb gusset at row 15 of my second cable chart repeat, so that it ended at row 9 of my third chart repeat, putting the thumb opening at the same spot as in the pattern. I started the thumb gusset in the second chart repeat so that I’d have a longer mitten.

I wanted to have my cables continue and meet for an end, so I began decreasing on a row 1 of the chart repeat, using the following odd-numbered rows:

1) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

3) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

5) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

7) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

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