Archive for the ‘Beth’ Category
So, I decided to set up my own, general-purpose blog. It has been great running Good-Natured Ribbing with the other great knitters I know. But I’ve been doing a lot more than knitting lately, have family news to share, etc. so I decided to get a place of my own. I imported all my old posts to have everything in one place.
Please come to visit me over at BettyLovesYarn.com!
So, soon you’ll be hearing more about my other crafty endeavors, my family, and my various escapades. Enjoy!
Recently, a coworker asked me to make her a pair of mittens and didn’t really have any preferences. She just wanted them to be warm. After searching through many mitten pattern, and deciding on several different ones, I decided to let the yarn be my guide. I spent a good hour at the yarn store looking at all the different wooly yarn, waiting to be inspired. I didn’t quite get the inspiration I needed, but I couldn’t pass up the Shepherd’s Wool: so soft and great colors (made in Michigan, too!).
I spent a little time swatching and more time searching for patterns and finally selected Chevalier. These are mittens I’ve always really wanted for myself but never got around to it. It is a good thing my friend has smaller hands than me, or I would have a hard time giving these up!
Because “warm” was the only requirement, I knew I had to do a little something extra. Having recently finished my Fiddlehead mittens, I was armed with a new technique of lining mittens (and enjoying the results every day!). I decided that lining these mittens was the right way to go. In order to make this work nicely, I used the i-cord cast on, just like Fiddlehead. This give you a place to pick up and start knitting the liner without it showing.
Pattern: Chevalier Mittens
Yarn: Shepherd’s Wool in Midnight Lake for the outer and ggh Kid Melange for the inner
Needles: Size 5 US for the outer and 4 US for the inner
Modifications: Replaced the standard cast on with an i-cord cast on; added fuzzy warm liner
So I’m a little slow with the photos :)
Details: Artyarns Ultramerino4, Size 1 dpn, toe up, magic cast on, 60 sts, wrap/turn short row heel, increase to 64 sts before 2×2 ribbing.
They pooled like crazy and the color is a bit muddy but they feel great. I’ll definitely use the yarn again if I can find it in a solid or semi-solid color.
With only a couple days left before Christmas, I decided that I should knit a little something for my dad. I decided on coffee cup cozies since he frequents Tim Horton’s, where they serve coffee in thin cardboard cups that get so hot they are impossible to hold.
As you can probably tell, this is made of Noro Kureyon. I got three from one skein and they all looked different. It looks like I felted mine a bit more than the one in the pattern, but I needed to to get the right fit. Since they are so little, I just hand felted these then let them air dry on a Tim Horton’s cup. Here it is before and after felting.
I made 3 of these but wrapped up my dad’s before photographing them. I’m going to keep this one for myself! By the way, I used this pattern and made no modifications.
I received a single skein of Cash Iroha as part of a swap a long time ago. It is quite lovely but has very little yardage. Since the hand warmers in Last Minute Knitted Gifts calls for a single skein of this yarn, I made those! They will be a Christmas gift.
I made the thumb opening about 2x the specified length – they fit my hands so hopefully they’ll fit hers, too.
I decided on the fourth grade hat, a free pattern from Twist Collective. This was my first entrelac project. I think I liked the process, though it didn’t really make sense to me for the first couple of tiers! Here’s how it turned out:
I love the way it looks but wasn’t sure about the fit at first. It has grown on me and I’ve been wearing it a lot the past couple of days. I used Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light in several different colors. This yarn was left over from my mitten project.
These are Fiddlehead Mittens, pattern from HelloYarn (Fiddlehead Mittens“>available here). I love love love these mittens. The best part, besides their stunning outer beauty, is the super-warm-and-fuzzy liner. The mitts started off with an i-cord cast on (also a new technique for me). When the outer is done, you do the liner by picking up around the inside of the i-cord.
As you can see, I ran out of the Kidsilk Haze used for the liner. I decided to use some leftover pink mohair, Kid Seta, from some other projects (this and this) instead of buying another ball of the green. I don’t mind the “secret” pink thumbs.
I finished this blanket a while a go (after 5 months of work) and the bonnet was just finished recently.
Pattern: Serenity Blanket (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease (to ensure an easy care blanky). I think I got into the 5th skein.
Needles: Size 7 US. I used Denise Interchangeable but wish I hadn’t. It was hard to slide the lacy stitch pattern over the connectors.
Pattern: Leaves and Berries Bonnet
Yarn: American Cashmere Yarn – 80% Cashmere, 20% Silk
Needles: Size 1 US
Notes: I bought this as a kit (yarn and pattern) at the Michigan Fiber Festival a few years ago. The yarn and pattern come from Marilyn Merbach from Rabbit Tree Farm in Saxonburg, PA. The construction of this hat was new to me (click through to Flickr to see notes).
Because I was giving these as a baby shower present, I wanted to keep them secret. The shower was today and the gifts were given. I love how both of these turned out!!
I started these about 2 years ago… Seriously. I knitted one around the time the pattern was released then put it aside for other things. I had a hard time with the tubular cast on and didn’t like how it looked. This kept me from going back to it. Now I’m on a finishing streak and I knocked the second mitt out in 4 days.
The first one uses the Italian tubular cast on (without waste yarn) – tutorial here. I found it to be a bit unsightly, at least the way I did it. So, for #2, I tried the long tail tubular cast on – video tutorial here. This came out much nicer. Now that they are all blocked and have been worn several times both of the cast on edges look about the same – so there was no need for all the fuss after all. Either method works.
And I love them! They have been worn many, many times already.
This is a very straightforward pattern but the combination of yarns makes them something special. I used 2 partial skeins (just over half of each) of Claudia’s hand painted sock yarn (in Pink Clouds) and one full skein of Kid Seta silk/mohair blend (in Cotton Candy). They are very warm and will come in handy this winter!
The pattern is available here and is also on Ravelry:
(how sad is that… come on, knit some up so I can have more than 1 project!)
Having just completed two large and lengthy project, I needed something super-fast to satisfy an instant gratification craving. I decided to make a neck warmer/cowl. I’m not quite sure why that was my choice because I’m much more of a scarf person. Maybe I just haven’t found the cowl for me.
Anyway, I started digging through my yarn closet, looking for something interesting. I pulled out some yarn I dyed spun a while ago and decided on the simple but effective Gloria Cowl.
I love how it turned out, but as I mentioned, I’m not crazy about this form of knitwear. So I decided to give this to a coworker. She also like it a lot and has offered me artwork in exchange. I’ll share that when she’s! You’re going to love it!
I actually finished this a couple weeks ago, but I’m only getting around to this now. Last year for Christmas, I got a gift certificate to a yarn store in Windsor. With that, I got 5 skeins of Manos wool and silk blend. Then it sat around for a while because I couldn’t decide what to do with this lovely yarn.
Finally, I decided to go for Clapotis. It was started in May – working only a few rows at a time. After many months, I finished it.
Before I started, I figured out that I should use all 5 skeins, starting the last skein when I started the decrease section of the pattern. My calculations were a bit off… it turned out well over 6 feet long!! I guess that is OK because it is really cozy, even if it isn’t all that practical. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it when the weather turns really cold.
I needed something baked good-related to knit as a thank you gift (or a bribe or payment… depending on how you look at it). This was for someone at work who doesn’t really come across as a knitting fan.
I decided to go with something utilitarian as well as cute. It went over pretty well, I think. Though I haven’t seen it since :) I guess pink and sparkly might not be his style.
I’m still trying to pick out a name for this sock. If you haven’t picked up on a theme yet (Nutkin, Twinkleberry, Hunca Mucna, Jenny Wren), I’ve been selecting all my sock names from Ava’s favorite book series by Beatrix Potter.
I’ve been working on a new pattern and this is what I came up with. I wanted to show off the subtle color variation of the ShiBui yarn, but didn’t want it too plain.
The lace panels are simple enough to make it a quick knit while the heel and toe design add a little extra challenge. The are knit toe up with a wrap/turn short row heel.
I’m in the process of writing up the pattern now.
I was in Baltimore for a conference in June. While there, I made sure to stop at the yarn shop closest to the hotel – A Good Yarn. It was a tiny shop that is aimed more at teaching than at yarn sales, apparently. Regardless, I felt the need to purchase (as I normally do in a yarn shop!). There was a lovely mohair/silk lacey scarf as a sample for the Kid Seta yarn.
I decided to get the Kid Seta and for some inexplicable reason, I chose the pale cotton candy pink! The yarn lady kindly wrote out the pattern for me and tucked it in my bag. For some reason, when I went to start the scarf, I decided I wanted to make something else – not the sample scarf from the store. I decided on Wisp from Knitty.
I decided to skip the buttons and button holes – I would never wear it as a poncho, I know that. So, now I have a lovely little fuzzy pink scarf. Never thought I’d say that!! I do really like how it turned out, though. And it was a easy little knit.
See how happy I am with it?!
So, I seems as though I took the summer off – very little knitting and no blogging. Many of my projects are larger and although I have been picking away at them, it doesn’t seem like much progress and nothing is getting done. I really need to mix big projects with smaller, quick to finish, ones to keep my momentum up! Oh, and only one biggie at a time would help, too.
I’ve got my head on straight again and am on a role again. One night, a couple weeks ago, Ava was out for the night. [side note: She regularly spends the night at my in-laws' house. She always says that she had a great time with her babysitter, Grandma Lucy.] Something snapped and I really needed to start and finish something that night – it was already 8:00pm. It is hard to do that with knitting, so I headed for the sewing machine. I had some pre-cut fabric in the closet and just started sewing – we’ll serging. Yes, I pieced and assembled a quicky quilt using the serger. Top stitching was done on the sewing machine.
It is small and rugged – the perfect thing for Ava to take outside with her. The front is made of old Knitzi bag fabric and the lining and backing are fabrics I got from my mom. It took just under 3 hours from start to finish. While it isn’t too pretty, this is what got me going again!
I do have a little catching up to do so here are some things I’ve worked on since my last post…
I still have several things in the works and hopefully I’ll start finishing things, too!! Here’s what I have going: clapotis, serenity blanket, fuzzy pink mohair scarf, socks (a new design), and the minimalist cardigan (just one sleeve to go). More soon…
There have been a lot of comments about the Nutkin sock twisting uncontrolably. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out why some twist and some do not. Thanks to Trish fromThe Tangled Arts, the mystery has been solved.
Behold the lovely Nutkin on the left. It has a minor amount of twisting, which is a natural effect caused by all of the left-leaning decreases. On the right, you see Nutkin’s evil twin.
You must take care to keep your stitches straight when you fold the cuff over and knit the cast on row with the live stitches. The first cast on stitch must be knit together with the first stitch in the round. If you are off just a stitch or two, you end up with the evil twisted twin.
To ensure you get the right stitch, it may help to put a split ring stitch marker or safety pin on the first cast on stitch before knitting the first round.
That is Reynolds Soft Sea Wool, by the way, and I don’t like it very much.
I like Christina’s and Erin’s Montego Bay scraves so much, I finally decided to make my own. I’m using Wollmeise Sockenwolle in Raku Regenbogen.
I had to start 3 times because I didn’t like the way the colors were pooling. At 63 sts and the recommended 43 sts, the colors were pooling in vertical stripes! I ended up going with 47 sts and it it working out great.
Although I feel like I’m not getting any quality knitting in, I am doing enough to finish a couple projects. I started a vest a couple weeks ago and finished it recently. This is work of my own creation. I spent a evening doing a little sketching and a lot of math to figure out how to get started. From there, I just guess at the shaping as I went along. It turned out pretty well – actually, it turned out just as I imagined it.
Sorry about the lackluster photo – I didn’t take any better ones, though! You get the idea.
I also started and finished a little neckwarmer this weekend. As spring approaches (at least, I hope it is approaching!), I decided I needed a light, non-scarf, neck-warming garment. This one fit the bill. I used some yarn I received in a swap a while back. I’m not sure I’m crazy about the color, but it is darn soft!
Pattern: Razor Shell Neckwarmer
Yarn: Fiesta Yarns Ballet
Needles: Size 5 US
Mods: I liked the idea of making this a little wider around the bottom, as I saw someone else do. After about 5 inches or so, I did one round with increases but no decreases. I did it again at around 8 inches, knit a few more rounds in pattern, then bound off. It turned out really well – I think it has just the right amount of drape because of the flare at the bottom. The alpaca/tencel yarn is soft and silky.
I’ve had an overwhelming response to my Noro Kureyon sock. The pattern is now available at Knitzi.com.
I was lucky enough to have a fabulous test knitter, Donyale. She did a terrific job and helped to perfect the pattern. Check out her awesome red socks, too. The socks look great is the red semi-solid, don’t they!
Maybe it is because these turned out so lovely but everything I’m working on right now is orange. And I didn’t even notice until I took all these pictures today.
I started these socks for a recent trip to Washington D.C. I love the yarn (wollemeise sockenwolle) and I think the simple lace pattern works nicely with the colors. The pattern is called Express Lane and is fun and very easy to memorize. Unfortunately, I bound off a little too tightly. I think it will ease out a bit with wear, though.
I’ve had this yarn for a while and have been looking for something good to use it for. I finally decided that it needed to be a vest and that I’m going to wing it. I have picture in my mind and am keeping my fingers crossed!
I was sick for a while but still needed to knit. I grabbed some colorful yarn and started a plain toe-up sock. I’m still trying to figure out why I was drawn to this colorway at the Mich. Fiber Festival last summer. It’s pretty bad. The yarn is lovely, though, and I’ll use it again but in a solid color.
I’m going to try very hard for my next project to be in a completely different color scheme!
I was pretty sick with the flu over the weekend so I was in bed most of the time. By the time Monday (which I had off work) rolled around, I was starting to feel better but also felt like a bit of a slacker for not getting any knitting done all weekend. To compensate, I decided to go for a fast project to give myself a sense of accomplishment.
I picked the very simple Family of Slippers pattern from Knitting at Knoon. I cast on 36 sts on size 10 needles. Yes, it really was fast.
She wanted to have a fancy cuff but I’m a bit short on the eyelash yarn. I did have some white furry stuff from an earlier item I made for her. It looks a little be mangy to me, by hey, she likes it and that’s all that matters.
I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that she was going to revert to her old ways and refuse to put these on or throw them in the garbage or something. I was completely wrong. She way dying to get her feet in them. They are a hit.
I finished a pair of socks that I’ve been working on for a while. I started them back when I was participating in that single sock swap. I couldn’t decided which yarn to use for my pal so I started knitting my chosen pattern in two different yarns. I decided to send the other one and put this one aside for a while. I got it out again for a recent trip and was inspired to finish them.
The pattern in Baltic Socks by Clementine’s Shoes and I used Oceanwind Knits Merino in Amber. I’d never seen this yarn before (ordered it via The Sweet Sheep) but I love it. It was a delight to knit with.
I made a few modifications to the pattern:
- Picot cuff because I didn’t think the ribbing did the lovely pattern justice
- Short row heel because I like doing them and they fit me well
- Short row toe with 3 needle bind off because I was traveling and didn’t have a darning needle with me
I must say, I’m quite taken with these socks. They fit very well, they are very soft (especially compared to my last socks – Kureyon), and they have such a lovely leafy motif. And I really love the color.
Our old friend in Cleveland and his wife had a baby in November but I didn’t get the baby gift out yet. Of course, it only takes a short while to make my standard hat/sock set, but I got bored or distracted or something half way through the first sock. I finished it up today:
Instead of using i-cord or crochet ties, I decided to use a simple ribbon. I thought that it would compliment the dainty angora well… plus to was a heck of a lot quicker! I just used a darning needle to pull it through and tied a simple knot and pulled it tight. To prevent the ends of the ribbon from fraying, I just added a dab of the wonderful and amazing Fray Check. I like the looks of the ribbon, I think.
It will be out in the mail tomorrow!
I haven’t been doing a whole lot of knitting lately. I do have a pair of socks going, but that’s it. I did decide to crank out a little baby quilt for an upcoming shower, though.
It is the easy lap quilt from Amy Karol’s Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I’m sure I’ll be making this again – it was quite easy and trouble-free… and I’ve quite happy with the results. I did all of the buying, cutting, and piecing one day and the quilting and most of the binding the next. On the third day, I just finished hand-sewing the binding and it was all done… washed up beautifully.
Ava asked if it was supposed to look like the ocean. And I guess it is – the shower/nursery theme is aquarium, so it fits. I even put a sandy backing on it :)
I finished my Kureyon socks a while ago but never took a picture of the completed pair. Instead of waiting until I get around to taking the picture, here is another shot of the first sock:
I didn’t bother blocking the socks before wearing – they didn’t really need it. After wearing them for a full day, I can say with certainty that my feet are not bothered by the roughness… I can feel it, of course, but it isn’t irritating. And they are VERY warm. If you are thinking about it, you should definitely try it out!
Now I must tell you about a new online yarn store called WhitKnits. You will be thrilled to hear that for the month of January, they have all Noro yarn (including the Kureyon Sock) on sale for 20% off. I just might have to get a little more!!