My Knitting Life

Vacation Knitting

We flew the coop for Spring Break in a desperate attempt to feel more normal. We boarded a plane and went to visit kid #1 and hubby (and 2 doggies)…for once I only packed two knitting projects, a shawl and a pair of socks.

Souvenir Shawl knit with World Traveler by Beach Bunny Yarns

This shawl was a great traveling companion, easy and fast, especially on a size 6 (US) needle. It’s a great reminder of our family trip to Florida last summer! I dropped the kids off at the jet ski place (don’t worry, they’re adults LOL) and drove about 7 minutes to an awesome LYS in Ormond Beach, Florida, called She Sells Yarn. I’m always pleasantly surprised to find yarn shops in warm places. It was an hour well-spent—“spent” being the operative word!

The other project I brought was sock knitting for my brother. The last time I spoke with him on the phone he offhandedly said, “Hey, I need 5 more pairs of socks.” Ah, the uninformed comments and requests of non-knitters. I told him he could expect exactly two pairs this year, nothing fancy, no cables, twisted stitches, etc. So he’s getting (with love) plain pairs of socks.

No Frills Dude Sock
Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn and a 68 stitch leg, very similar to my Free on Ravelry 72-Stitch Sock Pattern

This is always my go-to sock yarn, lots of colors and long-wearing.

My Knitting Life

Travel Knitting

The most ridiculous thing happened while I was trying to bang out a sweater before Spring Break. I ran out of yarn with only about 23 rows to go at the bottom of the last sleeve. I quickly ordered more, but the package came more slowly than normal. The postman was pulling up to deliver the yarn as we were wheeling our suitcases to the airport train about two blocks away.

At this point, I thought I had enough yarn. (oh, and banging out a sweater is a thing in knitting circles LOL)

I had a brainiac idea that I should check with my LYS to see if they actually carried the yarn, Berroco Ultra Wool, and yup, they did (egg on face). Would you believe that the yarn I got here at my LYS was the same dye lot as the one I ordered from a shop one state away! But the dye lot wasn’t critical because I was combining it with a strand of mohair type yarn, Berroco Aerial Color. I finished the sweater two days before the other yarn arrived. I guess the joke is on me! I’ll use the excess yarn to knit some hats or something. Here’s the finished cardigan:

It’s cropped, neutral yet slightly variegated and it was oh, so warm for when we traveled back to the cold humidity of the Midwest. Is Kansas City considered the Midwest? Not sure…

I wore it everywhere!

Have you ever banged out a sweater? Suggestion: use big needles!

Knitting Patterns For Sale · My Knitting Life · My Sock Philosophy

Pattern Reknit

I had a three balls of Fixation left and I knitted 3 more pairs of Goodbye Summer Socks. Of course I sent two away before I took photos…one for daughter’s birthday, another for coworker who was recovering from medical treatment. Here’s the one that I did take pictures of:

Have you tried it yet? Got a spare ball of Fixation or DK yarn hanging around? Go over and get the pattern on Ravelry. It’s only $1.00!

Baby Patterns · Free Knitting Patterns · My Knitting Life

Someday Baby Blanket Pattern

Someday one of my kids will call and say, “You’re going to be a grandma!” I decided not to wait for that moment to start knitting some little baby things. I started with this blanket in a soft yarn that has excellent drape. It’s machine washable in warm water, but it will need to dry flat. That’s not too bad!

This is an easy blanket to knit, with a 24 row “modified basketweave” stitch pattern, 18 of which are just knit rows. The other rows of this basketweave pattern are a knit 3, purl 3 repeat across the row. It makes for nice texture and something a little more interesting than plain garter stitch. Oh, and the pattern is free! Click the link below!

The blanket measures 28″ x 32″ and should be easy to tote along for families on the go. I recall having a few blankets that were way too large to bring along, so I didn’t want to make this one too big.

For those experienced in knitting for grandkids, what do you suggest I knit next? Follow my blog and make a comment, and I’ll pick a winner to receive 3 balls of Brilliant Blues Universal Yarns Bamboo POP yarn! Winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 8pm MST. I will notify you by commenting on your comment, so stay tuned!

someday baby blanket

My Knitting Life · Non-Knitting Projects

Making in the Quiet Days

I’ve been knitting through these quiet days, but I haven’t finished as many things as I thought I might. Yes, there has been knitting in the evenings, but also sewing, stitching, and general peaceful projects to try my hand at.

First, I’ll mention that I bought an embroidered wool skirt at a second hand store (4 years ago?!), not because I wanted the skirt, but because I wanted to turn it into something else. I finally settled on turning the skirt into a bucket bag. Wow! That’s a change, huh? Check out the pictures:

OK, so I cheated and bought some leather handles from Amazon ($15) even though it took a week for Amazon to ship because everyone was obsessing about toilet paper in March.

I knitted some socks too. Two pairs. From 100 grams of the main yarn. To squeak out two pairs, I used some contrasting yarn for the cuff, heels, and toes for the larger pair. I just made a stockinette stitch leg and used the Arne and Carlos afterthought heel to show off the yarn and to just get this yarn out of my stash! Someone at church passed this yarn on to me. Thanks!

The pair on left is top down and 64 stitches; the pair on the right is toe up and 68 stitches.

I hope you have found some peaceful quiet times during this pandemic to relax and work with your hands!

Free Knitting Patterns · Free Sock Patterns · My Knitting Life

Chilly November Legwarmers

So. Cold. Here.

The last part of October gave us temperatures in the teens and twenties! Time to pick up the knitting game a little bit more to stay warm. I came up with these leg-warmers with cables and ribbing, both of which help to keep the leg-warmers in place. They’re a fast knit because there is very little shaping. AND if you know how to cable without a cable needle, you’ll get warm legs even more quickly! Enjoy this free pattern, but remember to abide by the rules of copyright.

chilly november legwarmers

My Knitting Life

Poems and Puzzles Dress

It’s been cold and rainy here in the valleys of the mountain west, while a few thousand feet above us in elevation ski resorts have had a banner year of snow, a whopping 700+ inches!!! We did have one warm spell, and my feet were hopeful that winter was over because they were clad in sandals. During those few warm days, I was knitting a summer sweater.

But the cold has settled in again and I’ve changed back to winter knitting. I’m knitting a dress, something I haven’t done in a LONG time! When I lived overseas in a house that was very chilly, I knitted a bulky dress. This time I’m knitting a fingering weight dress which, of course, is taking much longer, but it is keeping me warm as it gets longer and the cold sticks around.

This dress pattern is from Justyna Lorkowska called Hanke dress. It’s an above the knee dress in fingering weight yarn. Fingering weight and dress = a ton of knitting. At least I can read and binge watch something while I’m working on this dress.

The yarn is called Poems Puzzle by Wisdom Yarns. WAIT! That’s a super-bulky yarn! Yes, it’s a chain yarn and the suggested needle size is from 11 up to 50. What gives? Well…

I bought a batch of Poems Puzzle yarn on eBay along with a Vogue Knitting magazine containing a cowl pattern using 4 skeins of the yarn. BUT, the cowl was to be sewn, not knitted together. Uh, no.

So I stared at the yarn and then decided to unravel it. To my surprise, each skein of the Puzzle yarn became 200 grams of Wisdom’s Poems Sock yarn…over 800 yards. With 4 skeins of the Puzzle yarn, I figure I’ve got 3200 yards of yarn! That’s how I settled on a dress.

My hope is to get the body of the dress finished before the warm weather sets in (3 days away!) and I still have about 9 inches to knit. I’ll give it my best shot, especially since school is winding down and after-school meetings are at a minimum.

Burning question: is this my favorite yarn? No, not by a long shot. But it’s what I had and I think this will be a colorful way to celebrate the dead of winter.

My Knitting Life

Fast and Easy Blocking

I need to finish this project in a hurry, but it is in serious need of blocking. Here’s a trick I do whenever I don’t want to plunge my project pieces into water and wait 36 hours for them to dry.

Put a towel (or two) on the floor, smooth it out, and then pin your pieces out to the dimensions listed in the pattern. Pin, pin, pin. (I was seriously hoping the squares on the towel were 1″ square, but that would have been too easy!)

Take a spray bottle and mist the pieces to your satisfaction. It’s not necessary to soak them, but they should be something between slightly wet and fairly wet. (Sorry, describing degrees of wetness is not my forte!)

I pinned and misted these around 4:30pm this afternoon, and hope to be able to sew the seams and do the finishing starting tonight or early tomorrow morning. What pattern is this, you ask? It’s Lexie (link takes you to Ravelry) by Elsebeth Lavold. If you like this yarn, you can buy it here: Quixotic Fiber You need 3 or 4 skeins depending on the size. I’m sure this LYS would appreciate your business!

Free Knitting Patterns · Home Projects Patterns · My Knitting Life

Diminutive Placemats

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New kitchen needs new placemats. But any placemats that I own are so large that I can’t fit 4 of them on our table or kitchen island without overlapping. So I went shopping for placemats, but they’re all HUGE! And I couldn’t find any that I liked. Additionally, they’re all pretty expensive (times four)!

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In an attempt to solve this problem, and since I like the stuff that I make, I thought I would knit some smaller placemats. They’re 12″ x 16″ (as opposed to the usual 14″ x 20″). I have one placemat finished and three to go. I used Lily’s Cream ‘N Sugar yarn in Earth Ombre colorway. They’re machine washable too, unlike many I saw at the store. I like the ikat looking print that the variegated yarn automatically made.

Here’s the pattern for you!

Diminutive Placemats

Baby Patterns · Non-Knitting Projects

Houndstooth Heaven

Subtitled: How to Upcycle a Sweater

I was in a thrift store a few years back and saw what I affectionately call an “oops” sweater. You know, the kind of sweater where someone didn’t believe the “dry clean only” directions?! In fact, I found three of them, so I bought them with the well-meaning intention of doing something fabulous with them. Several years later I am just getting around to working with them. Here are all the items I made with one sweater:

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Much of the sweater body went to make a custom computer case with leather details (I also bought a leather skirt at the thrift store that day–smile). Actually, I finished this right after buying the sweater. The sweater sleeves went to make some water bottle covers and coffee travel cozies. And my feet are showing off the me-sized slippers. I modified a pattern from Purl Soho (here’s the LINK) by sandwiching some plastic canvas between the bottom pieces, blanket stitching it all together, and then adding a back strap. Instant warmth! Or, maybe several hours of sewing and then the warmth.

As for those sweet little baby slippers, I used another pattern from Purl Soho (Felt Baby Slippers). I cut out the pattern pieces with my pinking shearers, pinned them together, and then hand sewed them with sock yarn and a running stitch. Maybe 2 hours tops to complete. You can also check out this patternLINK for baby shoes.

Yeah, I’m not going to be doing this again, except for the baby slippers because they’re so cute! And to be honest, I feel like a super-dork in my slippers, but a warm super-dork!

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