Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Because I Have to Knit Something...

I just finished up a few projects and I have a few more I want to start next. The only problem is I didn't have the yarn for these projects and I didn't think to order any until I was sitting here empty handed. Sometimes I try to take a little break and maybe clean the house or organize a closet that got out of control but I can't go for too long without knitting anything. I know. It's just so hard. So while I am waiting for my new yarn to arrive, I cast on for the Sakura shawl because I have had the pattern and the yarn ready to go for some time now.

I just finished chart A (there are 4 charts) and the easiest part of the shawl - because it starts with 7 stitches and grows on either side of a center stitch ending with 367 stitches. So far so good.

I looked up the name "Sakura" and it means cherry blossom in Japanese. I think it is looking more like peacock feathers. Either way, the pattern is very pretty.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Finished: Mittens

As the cold weather rolled around in December, I needed a new pair of mittens to keep my hands warm - and look cute in some hand knits. I was working on a pair but kind of realized that they weren't going to match my coat or ski jacket, both of which are black. So I started over with a new pair.

The pattern is The World's Simplest Mittens by Tin Can Knits. It is a free download. Yay! I added the stripes myself because I wanted some interest and not a boring solid black mitten. I used Paton's Classic Wool in colors black and white and I used sizes US 6 and 8 needles.

I love these. They were super easy to make (hence the name) and knit up pretty quickly. Check mittens off my list of winter accessories to knit.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy New Year!

This post comes a little bit late but I have been trying to play catch up from the holidays. Also, every member of our family has been sick at one point or another over the last three weeks. I must say, I am glad it is all behind me and things are back to normal around here. I completed zero of my end of year goals (from a couple of posts ago) but my knitting has moved into a new direction so I am not so upset about that. I always forget, too, that the month of December is always a wash as far as my knitting goes. I have so much else going on to get ready for Christmas that my knitting gets put on the back burner. I did complete a small project for myself so all was not lost.

It is always at this time of year that I look forward to the warmer weather and sunnier days and my knitting tends to follow suit. There is a particular sweater that I have had my eye on and that I have actually knit that I would love to re-knit.

This is the Yoke Detail Sweater by Debbie Bliss and it was published in the Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009. I knit this about three years ago. There were warnings on Ravelry on knitters' project pages that this was turning out on the large side. I did the math and figured I would knit the smallest size and it would give me a little bit of ease and it would turn out ok. It is way bigger than my math and my gauge swatch (and the dimensions given in the pattern) suggested. It kind of swallows me up.

I still really love this sweater so I am thinking I will re-knit this in a smaller weight yarn on smaller needles and do the math to get the increases/decreases right and hopefully that will work.

Another thing that really bothers me about this sweater that I knit is the fact that one of the lace leaves right on the front is completely messed up. As I was knitting this one evening on the couch, I got up for a few minutes and when I came back my cute little dog, that was then a puppy, decided to make a nest of my sweater. He was curled up right on top of it. Stitches had come off the needle and because I was knitting the lace part, stitches got dropped and it was just unfixable. I tried the best I could but I just couldn't repair it.

All in all, I think this deserves a second go. If done right, I think it would be a great spring addition to my wardrobe. I better start soon!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Sample Knit: Proof Scarf

Exciting News! Brooklyn Tweed released its Winter 17 collection this week and all of the designs are stellar! I knit a sample for this collection - the beautiful Proof Scarf.
Proof is designed by Jared Flood and it is worked up in Brooklyn Tweed's newest offering of yarn, Arbor, in the color Vintner. I was lucky enough to get a whole box full of this yarn to work up the scarf before it was even released. Arbor is a DK weight and it strays away from BT's signature type of tweedy yarn like Shelter and Loft. I loved knitting with this yarn. It is a wonderful wool that knits up a smooth fabric with crisp stitch definition. And this deep wine-colored red is lovely.
This scarf has a lot going on - forked ribs, cables, and cartridge rib - but they all come together to make a harmonious design. The beginning and end have a tubular cast-on and cast-off which give it a professional look. It is really long as well. Great for bundling up on cold winter days.
I really liked knitting this sample. It definitely kept my interest and I loved watching all of those cables get worked up!
All photos in this post are used courtesy of Brooklyn Tweed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rethinking a Sweater

Last week I had the good intentions of knitting sweaters for the twins. I thought I needed something easy and fast. When I have to knit 2 of the same thing, the quicker the better. What could be easier and faster than a top down sweater? Everything gets knit at the same time and there aren't and seams and the finishing touches are minimal. So I started the top down sweater and everything was going along fine. After I got past the armholes and started knitting the body, I tried it on one of the boys. It fit well but something about it just wasn't right. I looked at it and tried to put my finger on what wasn't right about it. It was just so... boring. Too easy and too quick maybe.
It was then that I decided to scrap that project. I had a different idea for the yarn. Looking around Ravelry to see if I could find exactly what I was looking for, I came up with nothing. So now I'm designing something. Not so easy or so quick but I think I will be a lot happier with the results. I started swatching to get gauge. I am excited to see how this goes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Finished: Larch Cardigan

I have been in desperate need of a navy cardigan. I wanted something simple and easy to throw on. I looked through a lot of patterns and I was going back and forth between the Farmers Market Cardigan and the Larch Cardigan. I ultimately chose Larch because it seemed more my style and a little bit more versatile. I am completely happy with my choice. I love it!
The pattern is Larch Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. The yarn I used is Cloudborn Highland Sport in Navy which I stumbled upon while perusing the Craftsy site. It is a relatively new yarn and I thought I would try it out. I am so glad I did because it is really nice. I highly recommend it. It is 100% wool so even though it is a sport weight, it is nice and warm. The stitches are nicely defined and so far it is wearing well - very minimal pilling. My gauge came in slightly under what was recommended but I just went with it. The sweater has more of a fitted, tailored look. I didn't want it to turn out too big. I used a size US 5 needle.
I really like the ribbed shawl collar and the one button closure. I also appreciate the small detail at the bottom ribbing and cuffs - after the ribbing is knit it is bound off and then the stitches are picked up from the wrong side. This sweater is easy to grab and throw on to walk the dog on a chilly morning or to head out to the store. I am glad I went with something so classic - it really goes with everything!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Bake of the Week: Apple Cider Donuts

I know this is a knitting blog but I LOVE to bake. I am an avid baker. I am in my kitchen almost every day whipping something up for me and my family. So I thought I would start this weekly blog post and share my bakes with you!

This week I am starting the series off with Apple Cider Donuts. Last weekend, we had a little Halloween party to attend and I thought "What would be more perfect to bring to the party than Apple Cider Donuts?" I have this donut pan from Williams-Sonoma and I set about to find the perfect recipe.

I had to test a few recipes before I found the perfect one. I needed to find the right donut texture and that awesome apple cider taste. One of the recipes I made tasted so awful that all of the donuts went directly into the trash. Finally I tried this recipe and it was "the one." I followed it almost exactly except that I didn't have any whole wheat flour so I just used all white all-purpose flour.
These donuts were the hit of the party. I can't tell you how many people came up to me and raved about how great they were. They were gone in no time! Best of all is that I can make these now any time I get a craving! Enjoy!