I loved how elegant that scarf looked, so I decided to knit one.
My enthusiasm on the project faded quickly. It was a slow and boring knit. The temptation to frog and run away was enormous. I did not quit; it was too cold for running away. Over the next several months, I wore a “product knitter” hat, poured some beers and finished a very long scarf.
My lack of interest was not the pattern’s fault. As a matter of fact, I do not even remember what pattern I worked. No idea! What I do know is that I poorly picked my materials. I do not have the patience for knitting on small needles holding together two thin yarns.
I do love the drape of the finished scarf. This will be a nice winter accessory!
Have you continued a project that you now think should had been frogged? Have you gone blank on a pattern name and spent two hours looking for it on Ravelry? Tell me about it in the comment section…
I wish I remember. Anonymous at the time of publishing this post.
Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Silk in WillowMalabrigo Nube Merino Handspun in Mostaza
I noticed a new to me yarn, “Cotton Collage” by Premier Yarns, during a recent trip to a big box craft store. I probably had a magnificent excuse for being in the yarn section of said store.
Two details immediately caught my attention: affordability and fiber blend.
I bought a skein of 246 yards (225 meters) for $3.50 USD on sale. Regular price is $4.99 USD. The blend is: 46% cotton, 33% super wash merino wool, 12% polyamide and 9% PBT which stands for “Polybutylene terephthalate”. This engineered material helps with the elasticity of the yarn. Read more: here.
With the help of a stitch dictionary, I came up with my own “sock recipe”. Pattern considerations: it had to be shorties and needed some structure given the yarn composition. Knitted on US size 1 (2.25 mm), I was able to finished a pair of socks and have leftover for a third sock. Two skeins for approximately $10 USD (before taxes) gets three pairs of hand knit shorties in a 79% “natural” material. Not too bad, ha?
The yarn has high twist and it feels nice to knit with, in my opinion. The downside is the limited selection of only five colors. I guess one could over-dye and hope for a happy accident.
PS: I took notes of my sock “recipe” and will share here for free, of course, in the near future!
Revolution is a compilation of four cable pattens beautifully designed by Nora Gaughan. As an added bonus, three of the cable motifs are fully interchangeable so the knitter can mix and match them between the cardigan, pullover and caplet patterns. The fourth pattern is for a beret.
All patterns have both written-out instructions and charts. The book is very reasonably priced and comes in digital (PDF) and/or paperback editions.
The paperback is nice to the touch and lovely to have in a library. The digital copy, where specific pages can be printed out and/or zoomed in, is practical. In a budget, I would choose the digital version over the digital and print combo.
Having just completed the “Liberty Tree Pullover” design from this book, I can definitely recommend addingRevolution to any knitter’s library. Whether one is cable novice or expert, Nora’s patterns are well explained, easy to follow and enjoyable to knit. I can see myself casting on the cardigan and the caplet in the future.
Soon after casting on, I realized this would be a quick knit. I enjoyed the process so much that had the pullover completed within two weeks. I proudly wore it on my birthday. Hope I can to knit me a birthday gift every year to come!
Chart and written instructions are included for the cabled yoke. I have knit cables on just a few occasions and had no issues with the ones for this project. Short rows are worked to raise the back of the sweater. There is not any waist shaping.
Yarns are accounted for in my Ravelry “Stash“. Each skein lists a number/location in my crafting room. The skeins are kept in labeled, clear plastic bags that are then stored in fabric buckets that I sewed myself . The XL buckets fit perfectly on the two bottom rows of my IKEA Kallax storage unit.
Patterns, either digital format or hard copies, are logged into my Ravelry “Library“. I also went way overboard cataloguing my books on the free and wonderful website My Library Thing. The books are stored following My Library Thing’s catalog.
PS: I have limited experience with my lovely sewing machine and still had success following this free pattern/tutorial.
PS no.2: Photograph here is a section of my stash [ modesty first :-)! ]
What’s next? How will I plan for a new project?
I will try to go to “My Library” when looking for the next cast on. My Ravelry “Queue” will include projects that intend to knit in the near future. Those projects will be matched with stashed yarn.
What is it that I am trying to accomplish? What will success looks like?
In 2023, I look forward to continue enjoying my craft using what I have in stash. Success will be refraining from buying yarn that I would not immediately use. Success will also mean letting go the thought that special yarn must be saved forever until I find the absolute perfect project for it.
Perhaps sharing my thoughts on stash management inspire another knitter out there! Drop me a line to send your encouragement, to knit along or make suggestions!
Thanks Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker for designing this cute free pattern. I have made just two modifications: (a) used worsted instead of recommended sports weight yarn and, (b) changed needle size to US 6 (4.5mm). With these changes my gauge was 20 stitches vs 21 stitches in 4 inches as suggested in the pattern with the recommended yarn..
The after blocking measurements aligned for the most part with a Medium size :
Bust circumference=34 in (approx. 86 cm)
Lower body length=18 in (approx. 46 cm) ** longer than suggested **
Upper body length=8 in (approx. 20 cm)
Neck width=9 in (approx. 23 cm)
The cotton & wool blend yarn, O Wool Balance, is lovely to knit with. It has great stitch definition and is very light weight wise. All the project details are also documented in my Ravelrypage.
Even though I have plenty of projects that could keep me busy for a year or two, I thought it was a great idea to cast on a new one. Blame the North American heat waves for the lack of common sense.
I cannot put this project away! The pattern is easy to follow and the yarn, despite being a cotton blend, does not hurt my hands. There were no warranties that a cropped tank would look good on me. Go figure! Therefore, I am performing sweater surgery now that I am confident that I have enough yarn to complete the tank. I cut the sweater at the ribbing band, pickup stitches and am adding length to the whole thing. Love how is turning out.
The fine print….
Pattern: “Tip Top Tank” designed by Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker. There are plenty of free patterns on the designer’s website.
Yarn: O Wool Balance Worsted Weight (50% Cotton & 50% Merino wool). Color is Butterstone.
Needles:ChiaoGoo US 7 (4.5 mm). Changed needle size to get gauge as pattern is written for Sports weight yarn.
These mittens traveled across four states over the past weekend. But, despite my good intentions to finished them on the road, the weather was too hot to be working with wool. They were done inside my home with the comfort of air conditioning a drink and a podcast.
The paid pattern is well written and even includes a picture tutorial of the Latvian braid. I also used a YouTube video as additional help (linked below). Unfortunately, the mittens are too snug for me. All my fault as I did not get gauge nor had enough yarn to pick up all the stitches required for the thumbs. I might to re do the thumbs entirely with the contrast color (handspun yarn).
Yarns: Mission Falls 100% SW Merino (discontinued) for main color, Merino/Bamboo handspun blend for contrasting color no. 1 and Alpaca handspun for contrasting color no.2. All Aran weight.
We are headed north where my daughter will compete in a tennis tournament. These days, for long drives, I require as much entertainment and snacks as the toddler next door.
I am packing a skein of deep stash Mission Falls yarn, some handspun and notions for a new cast on. The pattern,”Ninth River” by Whole Earth Education (Ravelry link), seems to be simple enough to keep me busy on the road and calmed at the courts. Let’s see if magic happens and they bag content comes back in the shape of two nicely finished mittens.
It promises to be a hot weekend. I am also packaging some Vermouth.
I have to confess that I had never worn any hand knit socks despite owing at least ten pairs. It had been against my nature to use something “treasured”. I am working on changing those feelings. I do not want to be attached to objects. What I really want to treasure is the craftiness and experiences creating the objects.
My husband surprised with a yarn advent calendar back in December 2021. My first ever! It was so fun to open woolly packages on random days.
The worsted weight bundle included seven mini skeins (44 yards each) and one full size skein (220 yards). In total, there are 528 yards for a nice size project. The 100% Peruvian wool was naturally dyed with plants by Anastasia from Eco Yarn Studio.
I would love to support this Canadian shop again in the near future and wanted to showcase it here as I believe any knitter would relish working with this amazing yarn.
My goal during the pandemic years had been to stay healthy (mentally and physically). It is not a small undertaking. Frequent exercise and crafts sessions have been extremely helpful.
Still, It is kind of surprising that I managed to finish some projects and not cast on a ton of others. Some of these items have been blogged about, many have not (yet) been documented.
Finished Objects: Six hats, two pullovers, two face towels, cowl
Works in Progress: Vest, cardigan, blanket
Happily frogged: Shawl, mitts
My 2022 goal will remain the same: being healthy. I am also looking forward to many hours with my yarns, spinning wheels, cross stitch charts and any other crafts that float my boat and help with my goal. Happy New Year!!
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!).
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.
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.
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
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!).
Fiber/Yardage: Wensleydale, approximately 150 yards, 2 ply. Find out more about this fiber: here.
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.
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).
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.
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…
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 beautifulworld—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 a single color to knit the project. My work around was to add a second yarn for the neck, sleeves and bottom. Even then, I could not knit long sleeves.
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!
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.