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.

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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.

Favorite Pattern Friday: Aeolian

Sidenote: I’ve decided to start up a couple new weekly features here including Favorite Pattern Fridays. These will be recurring posts. Check in again Monday for another new feature, “Queued of the Week!”

One of my favorite patterns I’ve made is the Aeolian shawl. It’s a very popular pattern on Ravelry, and for good reason.

My handknit Aeolian shawl

Me modeling my finished Aeolian

My Aeolian was my first beaded shawl, and was quite an undertaking. Having only have completed two shawlettes prior to beginning this project, I wondered if I’d gotten myself in over my head. However, I had found a yarn I loved and the perfect beads to match it (both on Etsy! The yarn here and the beads here!)

The allure of the finished product was strong enough, though, that I ignored my reservations and cast on.

Modeling my handknit Aeolian shawl

Another photo to show off the prettiness

One of the reasons I love this pattern is because it’s pretty easy to understand, even for someone relatively new to lace knitting. I had to go back and forth in the directions a few times for things to click in my head, but other than that I had very few issues. The beading was even easier than I feared it would be.

The main issue I had with the pattern was that the difference between k2tog/ssk and k3tog/sssk wasn’t entirely clear to me on the charts at first. Looking back now, I can see clearly that the k3tog/sssk lines are much bolder, and reach from corner to corner in their boxes, while the k2tog/ssk lines as thinner, slightly off-center in the boxes, and don’t reach the top corners of the boxes. While I was knitting, though, I couldn’t figure it out, but found the answer on a Ravelry thread. I had no other problems.

Overall, I love this pattern, and I’d recommend it to any knitter who enjoys a little bit of a challenge.

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

Swallowtail Shawl, finally!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on a Swallowtail Shawl (click here for PDF of pattern) on and off for the past several months, using Knit Picks Shadow Tonal yarn in the Deep Waters colorway. It kept getting put aside in favor of more pressing projects, or out of boredom with the repeating lace.

Finally, I’ve had the drive to finish it, and last night I did!I have to admit, despite my trepidation after reading accounts from people on Ravelry, I didn’t find the nupps difficult at all, and they came out very pretty.

I’m extra excited about this project because it’s the first full lace I’ve done, and my first large-scale blocking.

It took me about an hour to get the pinning done right, but part of that was probably because I’d never pinned anything out to block before. Oh, and my room smelled like wet sheep all night, because I forgot to put any sort of wool wash in the water. Oops. That was definitely a lesson learned.

One thing I did learn was that, when pinning out lace, you can’t just stick the pins in straight up and down, because the lace will pull up and bend the pin forward. I figured out that if I stuck the pins into the mat at an angle, so that the pin was almost flat and was stuck through the mat for most of the pin length, it held much better. I used a 48″ x 96″ x 0.5″ portable foam fitness floor as my blocking mat.

Unfortunately, I forgot to measure it pre-blocking, but while blocking it’s about 53 inches by about 31 inches. I used up just under a full 50-gram skein of the Shadow Tonal.

Without further ado, here she is – my Swallowtail!

Before blocking:

During blocking:

After blocking!

My shawl is coming along nicely!

I started this shawl last year, got distracted, and stopped working on it, but I finally started again and look at how far I’ve come!

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

A yoga dilemma

Okay, I’ve got a problem that isn’t a problem.

yoga bag in progress

This is my bag in progress, don’t the colors look nice together? 🙂

I’ve recently started yoga classes at a local studio, and I’m really enjoying it. Not wanting my mat to unroll everywhere, I decided to knit myself a yoga bag. I found a great pattern (Knitty link) on Ravelry (Rav pattern link), and started knitting in in some Sugar ‘N Cream, with a nice purple and blue contrast.

At first, I was going to make it wider than the pattern, in order to accommodate a block and strap. I quickly realized this was unnecessary, as the block would fit into the bag as the pattern was written.

So, now, my issue is this: I can’t decide whether to knit the bag an extra foot or so to accommodate the block, or knit a second, smaller bag in the same color scheme that can hook in with the bag’s strap onto the bigger mat bag.

What do you think I should do? Any yogis out there with some advice?

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