Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Knits

1. Kimono Shawl with Yarn Cake, 2. Halfway There, 3. Pyramid, 4. Baby Blocks, 5. Stitch-Sampler Baby Blocks Color Wheel (after blocking), 6. Mini Mitten Ornament Collection, 7. Mini Mitten Color Wheel, 8. Scarf Flower, 9. Noro Kochoran Neckwarming Scarf, 10. Blueberry Hat, 11. Foliage in Vaa, 12. Foliage in Marron Oscuro, 13. Chevron Scarf Detail, 14. Chevron Scarf Folded, 15. Strawberry Hat, 16. Knitted Utility Bags, 17. Colorful Bibs, 18. My First Hat, 19. Umbilical Cord Hat, 20. Adult Umbilical Cord Hat, 21. Knitted Teddy Bear, 22. Celtic Plait Scarf, 23. Celtic Plait Scarf, 24. Baby blanket, folded, 25. Leaf Vine Baby Blanket

It was fun putting that mosaic together and reminiscing on my knitting life in 2007. (Thanks to Lolly for this blogging idea!) My favorite project by far is the Kimono Shawl (now at 82% done, but such a big part of 2007 knitting that I had to include it). I'm also especially fond of the Leaf Vine Baby Blanket and the Mini Mittens, and really enjoyed knitting all those hats (especially the Foilage pattern).

February will mark two years since I took up the needles (if you don't count the scarves I never finished as a child). Firsts for me in 2007:
* hats
* knitting with DPNs
* stuffed objects
* lace
* stranded knitting

My knitting goals for 2008:
* lace triangles
* designing something that I want to share/publish (I have a project in mind for this, we'll see how it turns out)
* more knitting from the stash
* more stranded work

I'm not sure that I'm ready to commit to sweaters or socks, but we'll see. And won't it be the Knitting Olympics again this summer?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Blocks are a Hit!

It was love at first sight when I saw this pattern. I was surprised that not many people have knit it - mine is one of only four projects on Ravelry.

Pattern: Stitch-Sampler Baby Blocks
by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas
From Knitting for Baby

I made several modifications. First, I decided to use Cascade 220, which is worsted, not bulky weight, so I used a size 7 needle instead of 9, and cast on 18 stitches instead of 14. The pattern calls for blocks knit in stockinette, seed stitch, stockinette/reverse stockinette rows, k1 p1 ribbing, k2 p2 ribbing, and basket weave. I don't like seed stitch very much and my k1 p1 ribbing looked bad, so I replaced them with double seed stitch and a lattice pattern.

I finished knitting and blocking all 36 squares by the end of November, but stalled out on how to stuff them. The pattern calls for 3 inch foam blocks, which I purchased, but then was worried that they wouldn't be safe for a baby to be chewing on, even through the knitted fabric. After some research and advice, I purchased a batt of Romney wool to stuff the blocks.

This is the first project where I've done the kitchener stitch to seam, and I'm not sure I did it completely right. Stuffing the blocks with the wool resulted in somewhat lumpy by still very cute blocks. The important thing, though, is that they are a hit!

The happy recipient on Christmas morning.

I had originally thought about knitting three sets for three babies in my life. After knitting one set, though, I don't feel the need to make any more. I'm pleased with the results, but one set was enough, thank you.

Holiday Knitting

I managed to get all the holiday knitting done by 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve - if you don't count the two projects I never cast on. The first three were easy, because they were already finished:
  1. Chevron Scarf went to my mother
  2. Foliage Hat in brown went to my sister-in-law
  3. Kochoran Scarf went to my sister
My partner and I tag-teamed gift #4. She knit the blue and I took over when it was time to knit the green.

The Blueberry Hat went to our good friend Chris.

Pattern: Ann Norling Kid's Fruit Cap
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: Clover bamboo US size 7
Mods: cast on 96 stitches to make a 22" adult size hat

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mini Mitten Ornaments

So, when my WEBS catalog arrived a few weeks back, I was enchanted by the little knitted mitten ornaments on the cover. I emailed WEBS about the pattern and they were kind enough to email it to me in PDF. A few days later, I noticed they had posted it online (note: opens a PDF file) as well. I guess it's a popular pattern.

And good reason:

I love these super-cute little mittens!

Pattern: Mini Mittens by Leslie Ann Bestor
Yarn: 6 colors of Cascade 220
Needles: US size 5

The patterns calls for yarn in sport, DK, or worsted weight, which would be using needles US size 3 (3.25 mm) to US size 5 (3.75 mm). It's a great way to use up scrap amounts of yarn and I think would be especially lovely in leftover variegated sock yarn.

I made a total of six pairs over the course of four days. Mine are for my tree, but I also proudly hung them at work to festively decorate my space.

Each mitten is knit flat, except there are some short rows in the middle to make the thumb. After the thumb, the yarn is rejoined where you started the thumb to finish the knitting, and then you sew it together. Each mitten took me 30-45 minutes. I got a lot of joy out of knitting these little guys up!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's a Yarn Sale

First, the first installment in Sundara's Seasons Club arrived. I didn't post pictures right away so that it wouldn't be a spoiler. The winter selection, Black over Fuschia, is gorgeous:

Sundara Silk Lace

Second, I ordered more Malabrigo Chunky in the Vaa colorway to make a scarf. I love this yarn:

And then, yesterday, Weaving Works was having a holiday sale, and my partner and I bought a total of 17 skeins. It was mostly hers - she is planning 4 scarves - but I took pictures anyway. My favorite is her Filatura Di Crosa 127 Print:

Color 33 (Dark Grey)

These also made nice photos and will hopefully make nice scarves - Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan in a dark blue and Loop-d-Loop Shale Yarn by Teva Durham in color 005 (Wine):

I didn't share everything here. If you want to see more yarn pics, they are on my Flickr.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Noro Kochoran Neckwarming Scarf

Now that it's December, my mind is full of holiday knitting. My stash isn't too large - it fits in two huge plastic containers - but I've been focusing on knitting from the stash. So when I saw the pattern for the Cashmere Neckwarmer, I immediately thought, "The perfect way to use up my one skein of Noro Kochoran!"

To adjust for the thinner yarn, I cast on 17 stitches with US 10.5 size needles. I got really close to 4.5 inches wide, but there was so much yarn in my one skein that it ended up being 69 inches long (instead of 25, as the pattern called for!). Which means I made a scarf, not a neckwarmer, and I didn't have to add a button.

I like the pattern a lot. It's super quick and easy and is great stash-busting. It was easy to knit Continental and went really fast. I cast on 12/4 and after a couple hours of knitting, had 15 inches done. A few more hours on 12/5 brought me to 28 inches. I powered on through until the wee hours of 12/6-7 to finish with 69 inches total.

The pattern is mostly stockinette, so the finished scarf has a curl to it. Hopefully it will flatten out with blocking. I have resolved, however, to only do scarves with ribbing or garter in the future to avoid the curling. (The curl of the Chevron Scarf also bugged me.) And speaking of the Chevron? After knitting a 69 inch scarf in just over three days, I will never knit a scarf with fingering weight yarn again. That's three months of my knitting life I'll never have back.

As for the Noro Kochoran - it's soft yarn but the 30% angora sheds quite a bit and when I wore it around the neck, it was a bit scratchy. I liked the color transitions as I knit, but overall found the colorway I picked a bit on the dull side - for Noro, anyway. I doubt I'd use this yarn again.

At least it made nice photos.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I know I don't have a lot of readers, but I thought I'd give advertising my destash a try.

I've been trying to use up "one skeins" as part of my holiday knitting, and have decided I'd be happy for the following yarns to find a new home:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Rolling Stone
fingering weight 100% wool yarn

I bought this for a second Chevron Scarf, but you know what? I'm not going to knit another one. There's too much pink in this colorway for my taste, so I'd love it to find a new home. It's been wound into a ball but never knit with. I'd like $20 (US) for this one hank.

Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk in the Lily Pond colorway
70% silk, 30% sea cell fingering weight yarn

I love this yarn (soft, luxurious, lovely to knit with) but don't wear pastels. One hank has been wound into a ball. I did start a project with it but frogged it shortly thereafter. Asking $65 plus shipping for two skeins, or willing to trade for some darker colors.

Plymouth Royal Bamboo 100% bamboo yarn
DK to sport weight yarn, but labels calls for US size 8 needles

Both balls have now been wound into cakes. I've cast on and knit a few rows with one and then frogged it. I paid $14 for the two balls, would like to get $10.

Tahki Donegal Tweed 100% wool worsted weight yarn

I've tried to knit a project with this yarn, but sadly, this was not the right yarn for that project. It was frogged and the yarn wound into a cake. I paid $12 for it, would like to get $8.

If you are on Ravelry, you can also see all the yarns here.

On any of the yarns, I'd be open to entertaining any offers. I can accept PayPal. Let me know if you are interested.