A hat and its possibilities

This lovely pattern was part of a yet another KAL that I started with frenzy but then put aside and didn’t finish by the deadline. I keep getting “F” on my KAL report cards!

I absolutely love this simple hat pattern. But, I don’t enjoy knitting with cotton. Hopefully, the hat will provide some warmth this winter. And, also hopefully, it will be comfortable to wear. If this hat doesn’t work out, my plan is to frog and knit dish clothes with the yarn. I am trying to look at a half full of glass (for a change!).

The details:

What is my newest handspun?

Here is my new skein of handspun yarn. Despite my good intentions to spin all four ounces on my electric wheel, I switched to my trusty Louet Julia half way into the project. I lost way too much fiber due to breakages and tension issues spinning on the e-wheel. Still, I have a decent amount of yarn for perhaps a hat.

Vintage Butterfly

The April 1989 issue of Just Cross Stitch has just couple of patterns that I would stitch and perhaps $1.25 was not exactly a bargain but I couldn’t resist thrifting it.

I stitched just the butterfly of the chart and changed all the thread colors. I also hand dyed the cloth. I am delighted with how it turned out.

  • Chart: “Australian Butterfly” by Kimberly Hattaway, published on the magazine Just Cross Stitch (April 1989).
  • Cloth: Hand dyed Aida 14 count
  • Fabric Size: 6 1/2 x 71/2 (cut to fit my modification)
  • Thread: DMCs 400, 452, 646, 938, 3802 and 3813

Learning Color work

Learning a new skill is tough. Learning a new skill when you are over forty years old (and have little patience) is…an act of love! I am determined to learn color work. What am I doing to make it easier? First, I watched a really helpful YouTube video on color dominance. Second, I picked a fairly small project. Finally, I am using two special handspun yarns. Hopefully all these considerations will make for a nice (painless) finished object.

The nitty-gritty…

Cross Stitch: Celebrate Barb Adams

This small project took a couple of days from start to fully finished. I enjoyed every second worked on it. Most specially, I stitched it to celebrate the life of Barb Adams, one of the designers from Blackbird Designs, who passed away recently. My thoughts are with her family, friends and the cross stitch community.

  • Free chart: “Now I Know My ABC’s” by Blackbird Designs
  • Thread: Mostly two strands of the DMC threads listed on the chart with a few exceptions. Comment below and/or contact me if you are interested in the full list.
  • Cloth: 18 count Zweigart Aida in Ivory
  • Needle: John James size 26
  • Frame: 4×6 from IKEA
  • Modification: Omitted last row of the chart so I could fit into a 4×6 frame with mat.


Stash Spinning: Merino

Back in 2019, my husband gifted me with four ounces of Paradise Fibers Merino in colorway Rust. I am spinning my “go to” handspun: two ply, fingering weight. I decided to practice spinning on my e-spinner. Somedays we have misunderstandings (it’s her attitude, really) and some days we spin along like besties (usually during happy hours).

I have half of the top yet to spin. If the stars align and yardage is appropriate, I would like to knit a Mara shawl . Wish me luck; it is very rarely that I have immediate plans for handspun.

PS: the free shawl pattern can be downloaded directly from the Madelinetosh website.

The Best Cup Ever!

I highly recommend this Anvy Stitch’s easy to follow and affordable chart. It had zero calories. It provided hours of fun stitching. Two others patterns from the same Etsy shop already jumped into my cart (and checked out as well!).

This was stitched on 14 count Aida that I over dyed with Rit Dye colors blue and green. I used most of the DMC’s threads called for except for the red cup that I switched to DMC 321. To fully finish this, I am pondering between a hoop or a pillow. Please comment if you have any other finishing ideas!

Rikke Hat Is So Popular, But Why?

There are thousands of Rikke hats in this beautiful and chaotic world. Why is this free pattern so popular? The pattern can be easily adjusted to any yarn weight and looks great in semi-solids, variegated, commercial and/or handspun yarns. Also, the garter stitch makes it for a comfortable and squishy hat.

This is my second handspun Rikke. Doubt it will my last.

Modifications to the pattern:

  • Handspun yarn wraps per inch = 16. Due to the inconsistency of the handspun, I would it classify as DK weight. Pattern was written for Worsted weight.
  • Cast on 82 stitches.
  • Placed marker every 14 stitches for decreases (only 12 stitches following the last marker). Knit two together (K2tog) and knit one after each marker whenever there were sufficient stitches. Started decrease sequence after each marker.

Ravelry link to project page.

Feeling content…

I have been going with the flow lately; starting as many projects as I want. Being inspired by materials and feeling content with all my WIPs.

This week I started the Reyna shawl in my own handspun. I don’t know the exact yardage on hand but my gut tells me it will be enough for a decent size shawl. This free pattern is perfect for variegated yarns. Mine is creating some stripes which I am enjoying while they last. If it starts pooling in a way I dislike, I plan to alternate balls of yarn.

Note: the following are Ravelry links – do not click on them if the website causes any discomfort or sickness.

  • Pattern: Reyna by Noora Backlund (free on Ravelry)
  • Yarn: Handspun Merino | Light fingering | Spun in 2014
  • Project page: here

There are almost 14,000 Reyna shawls posted on Ravelry and over 4,500 Instagram entries with the hashtag #reynashawl. The pattern deserves its popularity and more. It is easy and enjoyable to knit.

The journey

Look squirrel…and a new project! This is “The Journey“, a small cross stitch kit from Dimensions. I found it at a deep discount in a crafts store.

This design is cute but I cannot help but wanting to add my own touches. I am hoping to incorporate some motifs and fonts from the free DMC charts “Folk Ditsy Flower” and “Point The Marque 3”. Wish me luck!

Stitching and surfing the web:

I should day dream more often. Perhaps also finish some projects.

A Tasty Cup In Progress

I have made significant progress on this cute design. The big red cup is done and I am now working on the top right section of the pattern.

Our family went from nothing planned into a fully scheduled June in a blink of an eye. I don’t want to travel with an almost finished project. So, the plan is to start a new one! I will blog about it next week!

Check this out…

  • Work in progress post no. 1, with all Tasty Cup project details, can be found here.
  • How lovely is this other chart from the same designer, Anvystitch on Etsy?
  • I am participating in D’Nalis Casual Craft Along. Instagram tag: #casualcraftalong

Handspun Hat

I am hoping this small project motivates me to pick up my knitting needles more often. I am using my hand spun and re knitting a favorite design. It’s a win-win!

For this second Rikke hat, I will be looking into adding some soft fabric on the inside of the brim as the yarn is a bit too rustic for my skin. A curious eye will quickly notice the “ridge” on the hat. Let’s call it a design feature (although you and I know that I knit two rows by mistake….ugh!).

The details:

  • Fiber/Yardage: Wensleydale, approximately 150 yards, 2 ply. Find out more about this fiber: here.
  • Rikke no. 1: Ravelry project page: here.
  • Rikke no. 2: Ravelry project page: here.

A tasty cup…

This tasty cup is half way done. I will stitch the other half as I take part on D’nali’s casual craft along. For beautiful inspiration, check my friend’s blog (here) & her Instagram account (here).

The cross stitch pattern is beginner friendly as is all full stitches and requires only eight DMC colors. It is also very reasonably priced!

What is a SweetPurls’ project without a modification (a.k.a as Monica’s inability to follow directions)? Totally went into auto pilot when stitching the cup and ignored the pattern. There isn’t a face in my cup! I might over stitch it when everything else is done.

  • Pattern: Cup of Candy by AnvyStitch
  • Fabric: 14 count Aida hand dyed by myself
  • Thread: DMC
  • Size: 109s x 101h stitches
  • Instagram tag: #casualcraftalong

Finished Object = New Yarn

My newest handspun skein is a two ply BFL fingering yarn. The final yardage is 420 yards approximately.

The singles were spin semi woolen in my Louet Julia and plied on my electric spinner. Overall, I am satisfied on how well balanced the yarn is. To finish, it got soaked it on Eucalan Grapefruit.

Dahlia, the Blue Faced Leicester fiber

Back in December 2020, I gifted myself this gorgeous BFL fiber in the color “Dahlia”. It is hand dyed from Gale’s Art, a local artist. I have bought Gale’s spinning fiber on numerous occasions and it never disappoints.

I split the fiber top in half. One half will be spin as is. The other half was further sub divided into thinner strips.

The spinning is going well. I am using my Louet Julia wheel with a WooLee Winder flyer.

The book, 1 Page at a time, was a Christmas gift from my sister. I like the idea of taking some time each day to answer a prompt from the book. It helps me clear my mind. It forces me be in the moment.

Fully Finished: Birds and Flowers

Friends, I am slowly reducing my WIP pile. It feels so great to have a fully finished piece! The design is Birds and Flowers from the book “The Sampler Motif” by Brenda Keyes. I used two strands of my own chosen DMC colors on an Aida 18.

For the finish, I wanted a flat fold made from materials I already had in the house.

What I did?

  • Recycled cardboard to cut a rectangle for the base of the flat fold. The width was determined by how much Aida fabric I wanted to remain on each side of the cross stitch design.
  • Used an X-Acto knife to slightly cut the middle of the rectangle. This facilitated folding the cardboard in half.
  • Used craft paper to fully cover the cardboard.
  • Added some batting in between the Aida and the cardboard. Laced piece.
  • Cut a piece of craft paper to cover lacing.
  • Added rope & beads for cuteness 🙂

I’ll be back soon with more craftiness!

What’s going on? Stitching…

Once again, the stress and sadness have battered me. I cannot make peace with the two mass shootings occurred here in the United States. One of them hit SO close….within 15 miles of my home. Please keep this country and the victims in your thoughts. We are in desperate need of reconciliation, peace, and empathy.

Going back to regular programming: As suspected, I didn’t have enough yarn to finish my Lila pullover. Not winning the yarn chicken game took my knitting mojo away. I have a plan B with a different yarn (used already in the neck) but for now the project is on time out. Or, should I should say, the knitter is on time out?

I have been stitching up a storm on this beautiful geometrical pattern.

Chart name: Sea Glass. Stitch count 162×162

Designer: CM Designs

Thread: Called for DMC threads

Cloth: Zweigart 18 count Aida (modification as pattern suggests 14 count)

New thing: Gridding the cloth with a Pilot FriXion pen. The tint will fades with heat.

Will I win this game?

I am playing the yarn chicken game. Have yet finished one sleeve on my Lila pullover and all yarn let is what you see below. Ravelry project link: here.

For the sleeves on this project, I used my new shiny stitch holders. They were sponsored by my husband. He got them at the Modern Daily Knitting shop but they seem to be unavailable now. You can still buy them at this Etsy store.

The holders have super pointy ends. Getting the stitches on and off is very easy. They hold a decent amount of stitches. If you are in the market, I fully recommend these!

Wish me luck in my finishing stages of his sweater. I am really ready to cast on something new.

Fully Finished and Loved

Here in my neck of the woods we have had rain and a some warm days in between. On the bright and beautiful days I went to tennis courts; soaking in vitamin D and having a great socially distanced time with my teammates.

When it rained, I had some productive time in my craft room. I have been working on two cross stitch projects and knitting the sleeves of my Lila pullover. Finally, I framed one of my first cross stitch projects.

Because I cannot help myself, I added my touches to this project. I only have DMC colors and just chose those that best matched the picture on the book. Also, I didn’t stitch the border. Love the simplicity of the finished object.

The details:

Chart: Flora Danica by Jana Hauschild Lindberg. Read more about the exquisite Flora Danica dinnerware on their website.

Book: Scandinavian Cross Stitch Designs . Re printed in 1996.

Cloth: Aida, 20 count, Zweigart rustico

Thread: DMC 3363, 580, 869, 452, 3836, 154, 904 and an unidentified dark green.

Frame size: 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

Knitting Finished Object: A new favorite neck accessory

This is a beautiful (and free) design by the Espace Tricot team. I used a yarn that I bought at one of my firsts fiber festivals. The one where I also learnt to spin. Memorable!

The cowl is worked fast with a bulky yarn. It looks very nice and provides a good warmth. I would knit it again. Only caution is to bind off loosely so it goes over “big brains” with ease. My cowl “collar” is a bit tight. I have to take a deep breath and pull out the cowl with as much care as possible hoping not to loose an earring or my mask in the process. No worries, the operation is smooth and kid friendly (most of the time).

The facts…

Yarn: Two skeins of Plymouth Taria. Bulky weight blend of 40% Merino, 30% Llama and 30% Silk in colorway 2767 red. This yarn is discontinued.

Needles: US size 10 (6mm)

Modifications:

  1. Cable cast-on. Tutorial: here.
  2. Cast on less stitches (124 stitches rather than suggested 140).
  3. Joined in the round on row #2 as is easier for me to make sure stitches are not twisted when joining in the round.

Ravelry Link: here

Knitting WIP: Lila Pullover

Haaaaaaaapy Birthdaaaaay to me! Well, the actual birthday was two weeks ago. I made the executive decision to celebrate the entire month.

A few weeks ago I found a knitting bag with skeined yarn, a pattern and its required needles. All this had been waiting for me since mid 2019.

See, I was well advanced on a project when all of the sudden the pattern instructions didn’t make any sense. What was wrong? I had started a pattern and then mixed up the instructions from another pattern of the same book. Uhum! #$@&&%!!? I give myself some credit in that I unwinded the yarn instead of smacking the useless thing in the trashcan.

I have started the pullover again. With a good attitude and a printed pattern copy. This is a borderline boring pattern that works perfectly for podcast binging. Oh my, I discovered “flosstubes” in Spanish and I cannot stop watching them. If anyone is looking to donate some hours of their day, please send my way. I need them for the podcast watching and crafting that I have on queue.

Here is what you might want to know about my pullover…

Pattern: Lila Top Down. Pattern is from “Madder Anthology 2” by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Yarn: Cascade 220 Worsted in colorway 2452 Turtle. Cascade has a some free patterns on their website that you might want to check out.

Needles: Chiagoo US size 8 (5.00 mm). Chiagoo is offering a free hat pattern in honor of their 15th year in business. Head over to their website to download it.

Ravelry link: here

Fully Finished Cross Stitch: Be Calm

I took on cross stitch last year when I couldn’t even hold my knitting needles due to stress and anxiety. Learning a new craft seemed less panicking than having to worry about fit or gauge of a knitting project. Eventually, cross stitching re opened the door to my craft room. It helped me resume knitting and spinning when I was ready.

This finished object was enabled by my dear husband who gifted me the chart. No one can be surprised that I didn’t follow the directions exactly as written. I collected my favorite threads from thrifted kits, grabbed a fabric that seemed appropriate and started stitching. The original design is little too busy for me. What to do? I left out a few things …without any guilt!

The perfect (second hand) frame was found for less than a dollar. Inspired by other stitchers that I watch on YouTube, I decided to fully finished this project myself.

Post data...

Pattern is part of the “Attitude Series” from Shepherd’s Bush

— Vonna Pfeiffer has the most valuable finishing tutorials at her blog “Twisted Stitcher” and YouTube Channel

Coping with Stress during Covid-19 resources on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

–Finally, let’s all be calm and take the necessary precautions and care. We are in this together! xo

Knitting FO: Tolmie, the pullover

Last year, I had to tidy up my craft room often because (a) I kept buying stuff and (b) I was not using my stash. My new goal is to craft from my stash. I want to downsize. I not only need the physical space but the mental as well. I am not trying to preach on this space. What works for me, might not for you. That is what makes this a beautiful world—we all are different & unique.

Let me show you my most recent sweater FO: Tolmie. The pattern comes from a magazine I bought years ago. The pullover was constructed with yarn from stash. I did not have enough of the main color yarn to knit the seater. My work around was to add a second yarn for the neck, sleeves and bottom. Even then, I could not knit long sleeves with the lighter color yarn. I contemplated completing the sleeves with the darker color but at the end decided on three quarter length for them.

I am pleased with not only the fit but also the colors of this sweater. I also took baby steps toward my downsizing goal. Win-Win!

The fine print

Pattern: Tolmie by Josee Paquin, originally published on Amirisu Fall 2016 Issue II

Yarn: Main color is Elann A Series W02 Pure 28 micron mercerized wool (discontinued). Contrast color is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blackberry.

Needles: US 9 Knitters Pride Royale.

Modifications:

  1. Used two color
  2. Went up to US 9 size needles to get gauge
  3. Three quarter long sleeves

Ravelry project page: here

Finished Object: Handspun Hat

Do you agree with me on that there aren’t enough handspun hats out in the world? I am changing that one at a time. This is my first hat of the New Year!

The original post showcasing the yarn can be found: here.

The details:

Yarn: Superwash Targhee spun from commercially dyed fiber from Highland Handmade (no longer in business).

Needle size: US 7 – 4.5 mm

Pattern: March Hat by Meghan Babin for Kelbourne Woolens. This is part of the “Year of Hats” collection. All twelve free patterns are found in Ravelry: here.

Modifications:

  1. Did not change needle size for brim (ribbing)
  2. Added a few pattern repeats for a slouchier hat

Ravelry: project page

Stash: Gotland Handspun

Edited to add: I began the new year fully inspired and hopeful. Unfortunately, the events of Wednesday, January 6,2021 in Washing DC (USA) dramatically changed my mood. What happened there is totally unacceptable. As the creator of this small space I want to make clear that I condemn violence, bigotry and racism. I am a firm believer in humanity and democracy.

Let’s start the year showcasing my latest handspun. This 75% Gotland and 25% Merino fiber spun with a garment in mind. Who am I?? Planning before sitting in front of the wheel! I am as shocked as you are so let’s move on…

I want to knit the Shoreline vest again. This pattern is included in the book “Swoon Main“. My intention is to sample for gauge and then adjust the pattern…perhaps using the Ann Budd’s book “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters” as a resource.

Another consideration is color. The yarn as is might pool. A decision as to over dye will be made after swatching. Stay stunned.

It’s all in the details

Main fiber: 4 ounces of Gotland from Taku Fiber on Etsy

Second fiber: 2.5 ounces of Merino from my stash

Yardage: 1009 yards pre-washed

Wraps per inch: 14 WPI

Other: S Spun, Z plied on Louet Julia

Knitting WIP: Tolmie sweater

Say hi to my current work in progress (WIP)….her name is Tolmie. It is a beautiful sweater designed by Josee Paquin. I have been playing “yarn chicken”since casting on. I decided to use two different yarns just in case I ran out of the main color.

Let me confess that I cannot put this project down. The chart is not only easy to follow but addictive as well. It’s been a long time since I felt this urge to knit and it feels good.

Pattern: Tolmie by Josee Paquin, originally published on Amirisu Fall 2016 Issue II

Yarn: Main color is Elann A Series W02 Pure 28 micron mercerized wool (discontinued). Contrast color is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blackberry.

Needles: US 9 Knitters Pride Royale. I went up a needles size to get gauge.

Ravelry project page: here

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