Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BabyDROPS Hat


I finished the little hat I was working on for D a few weeks ago. I made a few mods since I was using a heavier weight yarn called for (these are listed on my Ravelry project page, linked at the end). I keep trying to get a pic of him wearing it but he doesn't ever really want to. Call it being 2, or maybe it does really itch, but he's just not into it these days. 

Either way, this little hat has already been on adventures. The first day he wore his new hat to the babysitter's happened to be a day my husband picked him up. The hat was misplaced somehow and when it was time to go home it couldn't be found. My husband told me that they sent it home with another kid. The sitter told me it was just hidden and that my husband told her "my wife will be really mad if that hat is lost." I probably wouldn't have been "really mad", maybe only just annoyed. Hats and gloves get lost all the time around these parts. When they're worn every day it's bound to happen.  But I still think it's funny he is becoming protective of the handknits I make!


After knitting D that hat, I am getting the itch to cast on for a hat of my own. It'll probably be something simple, maybe using the Knitbot pattern I used recently. I'll be using this gorgeous skein of cormo wool I purchased from the Wooful Mercantile. It is amazingly soft and I can't wait to start knitting with it!

Needles: US 5
Began: January 31
Completed: February 2


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Interweave Knits Spring 2015 Giveaway!

School is closed again today for intense cold, not snow, which isn't nearly as fun since this generally means you're housebound during the day. However, I was thinking about how much I LOVE my Mitered Crosses blanket and how much use this blanket has gotten over this winter alone. 

But I didn't come here today to complain about the cold, I came here today to give you a chance to win a copy of the Interweave Knits Spring 2015 issue!



Yes, this is the one that my Timetable Pullover is in, but I have two copies so why not share one?
To enter just leave a comment below with your Rav name and I'll choose someone by Random Number Generator on Friday, February 27th. Good luck! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

On the Weather


I've lived in Ohio now for the better part of seven years and while I tend to still find the snow and winter highly magical, February gets me every time. February in California is spring time. Flower blossoms, warm breezes, and driving with the top down. Here we are knee deep (quite literally) in snow and ice and pretty much the coldest part of the winter. It's hard to believe that we will ever be warm again. 


Being cooped up inside, I've been working on a two-color brioche cowl (free pattern from the Purl Bee) that was for a class I taught at my LYS. While I had planned to get the cowl done by the end of the class, I've been having some fairly severe hand pain that kept me from knitting a few weeks ago. So now I'm back at it and about halfway done. 

Being cooped up also means toddler problems. I happen to have a pretty active 2 year-old who has the energy of 10 men most days and this weather is not really conducive to going outside. We did venture out this morning for about 10 minutes before the wind was too much (that was also before the wind was -8, it was still a balmy 27 with a windchill of 17 then). The fresh air helps, but I notice tantrums flare up immensely on days like this. 


We made a trip to Target tonight for some much needed supplies (I wish everyone could have seen my cart stuck in the snow while I tried to get back to my car!) and picked up some craft supplies. D enjoyed painting after dinner and moved from using the brush to using a dinosaur to paint tracks. 

Ideas on keeping your toddler engaged during house-bound times? We've done indoor basketball, indoor slides, we have a huge sensory pool inside right now filled with plastic balls (yes, like Chuck E Cheese), we do snow sensory tables, painting, play dough. Nothing is quite enough for a full weekend when what we really need is some sunshine and fresh air. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bags and Beginnings

This weekend I cast on for my new project using Dream in Color Smooshy. I'm loving the vibrancy of that blue!


Even better, I've finally had a chance to use the new bag gifted to me by friend and sample knitter Lee. Lee has been one of the fabulous sample knitters that have been working tirelessly for me over the last several months. She runs the shop Wooly Bags on Etsy. I'm so very impressed with her bag. It's fully lined with no exterior seams, and the double sided drawstring? I was so excited that she would think to share this little treasure with me! 


And these woodland creatures are just so stinking cute! I've been wanting to use it but when you knit sweaters, it's pretty hard to fit half a sweater and the yarn in a project bag. So right now, while I'm still at the beginning of this, I will use this bag as much as possible. 



I gave myself about an hour to knit yesterday then it was back to the computer. But give me a few more days and the computer work will be done (for now) and I'll be back to work on knitting something fun! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Weekend Swatching

Over the last few months, my weekends and evening have looked pretty much like this:



A lot of swatching, a lot of coffee, a lot of spreadsheets. Oh, the spreadsheets.

I've been working on a new project that has proved to be a tremendous amount of work and quite the challenge for me (as I had expected). But you know me, no stranger to hard work and always willing to take on a challenge. So despite the tired eyes and the would-rather-be-at-home-in-my-bed-but-I-can't-get-any-work-done-with-a-toddler-rampaging feeling, I'm pressing on. The swatch this weekend is Dream in Color Smooshy (the same yarn I used for the Adult Tide Pools pattern) held double. The final piece will be in different colors. While I am loving the amazing smoosh of this swatch I hate the glare of a blank spreadsheet. I need to get cracking on this pattern over the weekend so wish me luck. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Red Barn Yarn

Last year I got the opportunity to work with some new to me yarn, Powder River Yarn, hand dyed by Red Barn Yarn

This yarn has quite the story in that it is spun by Mountain Meadow Wools and is a blend of 63% Mountain Merino, 25% American alpaca, and 12% Rambouillet. This wooly blend creates a marled look when left in its natural state and takes color in a very interesting way when dyed. 


After using Mountain Meadow yarn last winter for a hat for D, I started reading more about the company and their efforts to create an American wool that focuses on sustainability.

Despite my eagerness to use this yarn, school started and at that point my schedule has a mind of its own. So finally a few weeks ago I took the time to wind up this yarn. I was initially a little annoyed as I found 2 breaks in the yarn while winding (they weren't knotted however). After I was done winding all the yarn I weighed the skeins. I've had a couple bad experiences with getting skeins from various companies that have breaks and then end up weighing less than listed on the ball band! Annoying. Despite the breaks in the yarn, this skein weighed 20 grams more than listed on the ball band. Major points! Also, the largest skein weighed over the 100 grams listed on the ball band so even though there were a couple of breaks, I still got a full skein.

After finding a hat pattern that I thought would work well for the yarn, I took the time to swatch (and for a hat! I know!). On size 6 needles I got a gauge of about 5 sts per inch. Also, because I'm annoying like that, I washed my swatch. I am pleased to say that this yarn did not bleed at all! Not even a tint in the water! 


I'm getting close to finishing this little gem and can't wait to share with you the final results. In the meantime, I would suggest checking out Red Barn Yarns. Beside the Powder River Yarn, they have a large selection of yarn bases and weights to choose from and you can order directly from their site. You can also sign up for their newsletter here or check out Mountain Meadow Wools here.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Simple Hats

Last month I had the opportunity to work up a few quick samples for Hannah Fettig of Knitbot. I knit three Simple Hats.


I had been wanting to give this pattern a try since it came out but hadn't really found the time. So now I had to make the time. I used three different weights of yarn from Quince and Co.


The first hat was knit in Osprey in the color Clay. That was by far the fastest hat working up in just a day! Osprey is listed as an Aran weight but is a very versatile yarn. For this pattern it was used for the bulky weight version in a gauge of 14 sts over 4".


The second hat was knit in Lark in a heathered gray color (I can't find the tag). While knitting this hat I ran very close to using over 1 skein of yarn (the pattern actually calls for 2 skeins of Lark). When you are sample knitting, you must follow the pattern exactly and there's no trying to scrimp on yarn. So I did what any knitter would do and just knit faster (totally obvious, right?). Apparently it worked. After knitting to the recommended length, working the decreases and finishing off the crown I literally had 6" of yarn left. It was magic. 


The final hat was knit in  Chickadee in the color Iceland. While being the dk (and lightest) weight version of the three, this hat still only took two days to do. Part of it may have had something to do with the fact that I will still on break before returning to school after the holiday.  

This hat pattern is quick and easy to follow and comes in 5 sizes in 3 different weights of yarn! So many options to make that you will easily be able to find an appropriate yarn to use in your stash. I know just the skein I'll be using for my next Simple Hat. Do you have any favorite simple hat patterns?


Began: December 22, 2014 (I think)
Completed: January 3, 2015