24
Apr

One Skein Crochet Slippers

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All it took was one skein of Wool of the Andes Bulky in Stormy and a free afternoon and SCHIZZAM! I have a brand new pair of women’s small/medium sized slippers! I used a size H crochet hook and Pierrot’s Warm Slipper free pattern scrounged from my Ravelry queue to make these cozy little gems. This pattern wound up being about a women’s 8.5 shoe size which is far and away too tiny for my big flippers, but they fit my mother perfectly.

3
Apr

Tiny Spring Knits

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I rediscovered my size 0 DPNS and some sort of spring FEVER just swept right over me. Before I knew it I had knit up a whole passel of Anna Hrachovec’s Tiny Cupcakes and a Tiny Easter Bunny lined up next to me! All this adorable knitting happened during a burst of sun over the weekend, so I was able to camp out on my back stoop and whip out all of these guys in an afternoon. I had one ball each of Sky, Blush, Wheat, Grizzly Heather and White Palette in a little basket and I just loved peeking at those happy colors together as I worked.

13
Mar

Last Socks of the Season

Winter is SOCK TIME! Take one glance at my bin (yes I said bin)
of WIPs and you’ll typically see a pair of two-at-a-time toe-up socks on
a pair of size 2 fixed circular needles hanging out among all the hats
and mittens. I like being able to pick them up between projects, cruise
through both heel sections over a weekend and then knit in a rather
meandering way until I just can’t STAND to look at them anymore before I cast off and pop them over my toes.

This particular pair of Imagination foot
cozies have been resurfacing on and off over the past month or so. All
the greenery, daffodils and warm sunshine over the past week has
reminded me that soon it would be summer again and time for me to start
casting on more cute toys and fewer cozy woolens. I plopped down on the
couch with a jar of tea and finished them up this past weekend before
all that lovely sunshine convinced me that I could wait until next
winter to get them off the needles and onto my toes!

12
Mar

The magic of safety eyes

Way back when I first started knitting toys, I was always disappointed in my embroidery skills, especially when it came to their eyes.  For instance, about 6 years ago, I made a couple of the Mochimochi Knitted Grass guys by Anna Hrachovec.

While I like them, they just didn’t quite have that cute look I love with knitted and crochet toys.  Their eyes are uneven and no matter how much I tried, I could not get it to come out right. They just look all wonky to me. 

Then I discovered safety eyes!  Not only did they save me from my unsuccessful attempts at embroidery, they gave my Grass Guy a little sparkle in the eye that just made him so much more adorable.

11
Mar

Ernesto

My tiny baby Nate isn’t so tiny anymore, and he’s outgrowing clothes left and right.  I tend to get sticker shock when I shop for baby clothes, and there’s no worse offender than the commercially made knit sweater – I just can’t stomach paying so much for a piece of clothing that will only last him a month or three.

Baby knits are satisfying to me for a number of reasons.  First, I get to stash bust like a crazy person.  The finished garment is small, small enough to only require 3-5 skeins of whatever I have lying around.  If I see an accidental grouping of eye-catching colors in the bottom of a yarn bin, they may end up in a teeny sweater.

Second, the actual knitting is fast.  As long as I keep focused, I can churn out a sweater in just a couple of days and get it right onto a (little) body.  Success!

Finally, and somewhat shamefully, the fit doesn’t have to be as accurate as for me.  Babies don’t necessarily need set-in sleeves or short row shaping, and oversized knits are pretty charming too.  I secretly love making a sweater for a few months in the future and then unceremoniously stuffing Nate into it.  So cozy!  So warm!

6
Mar

Flanders the Flamingo

I have all sorts of knitting projects hanging out in the shadows these days. I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up my Hue Shift Afghan
and knitting a few rows, then setting it down to work an inch or so on a
pair of socks and then I get some tea and pick up my second Foreign Corresponden’ts Scarf and fiddle around with that until I get bored. Wash, rinse, repeat. There’s
really no end in sight for any of these projects, and that’s ok, but I
was definitely craving a short project that I could start and finish in
one day. I found this Flamingo pattern by Susan B Anderson and decided to give it a whirl.

 

 

6
Mar

Striped Billow Blanket

Oh, buttery-soft Billow, I’ve been waiting for you for ages.

I’ve had the prototype skein of Billow on my desk for months, and it’s easily the most-petted yarn sample in my office. It’s soft yet sturdy, knits up quickly, and makes you look like The Fanciest Knitter in the World when all you’re actually doing is miles of stockinette.

This line is a completely new concept for Knit Picks – the 8-ply thick-and-thin structure gives you a yarn that knits up into a slightly slubby, richly textured fabric.  We wanted to show off that texture to best effect, and consequently Billow was a challenge regarding color selection. We wanted to come up with softly saturated colors that came together unexpectedly in a fresh palette, and we also were trying to include a good range of neutrals (both browns and greys) in order to make the line more versatile.  It’s a great mix of colors, and they work together in surprising ways but can also stand on their own in solid-color projects.

4
Mar

A Billowing new cardigan

Spring is finally starting to hint at its arrival here in the
northwest. There are buds on all of the trees, and it’s actually almost
light out when I’m driving to work! This means that cold-weather
knitting is winding down, and it’s time to satisfy the need for
something a bit lighter. Since I was also eager to try out the amazing
new yarn Billow, I figured that a nice open-front cardigan would be just the thing for Spring!

Ever since we got the first samples of Billow, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.