Sunday, October 4, 2015

Na,na,na,na,na . . .

Batman! Oh yeah, I has batman in the house! ;)
Batman hat in progress
Now this pattern wasn't too bad (free pattern available here at Portable Knitting) .  Because the colourwork is worked over a small area, your attention is only required for those 16 rows.  Then you're back at plain stockinette stitch--and in the round too (but not the intarsia part.  That has to be worked flat)
Hat with pattern print-off
Now I've worked intarisa before (there's Girlie Skull HatSkull Hat, & Monster Vest).  And even though the final item looks lovely, it can be finicky while you're working on it.  I highly recommend making small balls of the necessary colours ahead of time.  Also, a row counter can be your friend as you try to keep track of where you're at on the chart.
Smaller balls needed for intarsia
Sadly some ripping was involved--just like my other projects thus far (is this a test of my perseverance?).  And no, I didn't mess up the colourwork.  Instead I made a newbie mistake: an unwanted yarn over!  Not just one, but two!  Seriously?  I suppose it's my fault for knitting in the dark.
Messy yarn bits inside hat
With school and work, I was just trying to fit in some knit time and naptime is just as a good a time as any.  Besides, it's not like I've never knit in the dark before--with even more complicated patterns.  Not sure what happened . . .

In any case, this hat is well on it's way to being done.  And that makes me happy 'cuz I've got two more to make.     :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Best Laid Plans . . .

Sometimes the best laid plans go astray.
Yarns waiting to become a hat

I had hoped to make the Snow Bunny Hat.  As I worked the first row with my novelty yarn, a little voice in head hummed and hawed.  I worked a few rows of ribbing before finally taking a closer look at my other yarns.  Eeek!  My bamboo yarns were much thinner!  **sigh**  My fuzzy brimmed vision was not gonna work with this pattern.  :(

After ripping out, I searched for a pattern using worsted weight. I settled on Easiest Baby Hat 'cuz it echoed the shape and style of the Sunny Bunny Hat. Sadly this meant my novelty yarn was not gonna be usable as the brim, but it could still work as pompoms.

As I worked with the bamboo yarn, that little voice hummed and hawed again.  I ignored it.  After a few more rows, I couldn't ignore it anymore.  The hat looked smallish.  I finally went online and searched Ravelry's databatse.  Ack!!  My bamboo yarns weren't worsted!  They were DK!  Seriously?!  **double sigh**
Stripey bamboo yarn
More ripping ensued.  Back to search for similar patterns in a DK weight.  Was there even such a pattern?  I really wasn't interested in designing my own.  **triple sigh** 
Pretty colours waiting for colourful pompoms

To my rescue: Tappee Hattee.  **sigh of relief**   This pattern worked with the yarn beautifully and there was the added bonus that it was worked in the round so no side seams or matching stripes.

Now I just have to figure out how to make pompoms . . .  :S

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Makin' Christmas . . .

Remember the movie Nightmare Before Christmas?  Remember Jack Skellington taking over Christmas and making presents for all the kiddies?  During the movie, Jack and his scary pals sing a song with the verse "makin' Christmas . . "  Yup, that's me!

I hope I'm not makin' scary presents (that remains to be seen, haha!), but the tune keeps playin' in my head as I busily finish off some hats for my nieces.  Yup, it's gonna be a homemade Christmas this year for all my nieces and nephews. (Apologies to the adults 'cuz they're being cut out this year).

Using the free pattern Iceland Earflap Hat, I made some modifications.  Since the original adult-sized pattern called for super-bulky yarn, I took a chance that my less bulky yarn worked with smaller needles would produce a child-sized hat (FYI: using Lion Brand Homespun).
Berry Pixie Earflap Hat for Niece #1
I worked flaps as indicated, but added 2 extra row increases so that flap had 17 stitches (instead of the 15 stitches as suggested in pattern).  To keep the total stitch count at 60, I adjusted the count when connecting the flaps: knit across first flap and cast on 10 stitches (instead of 12), knit across second flap and then cast on 16 stitches (instead of 18). 

I wasn't too keen on the look of garter stitch flaps and ribbing next to each other, so I "borrowed" from Teo Hat which uses garter for the rim.  I think it looks nicer--more unified.
Rusty Pixie Earflap Hat for niece #2
Worried that the hat might not fit right (the brim of the berry version "looked" huge), I made the second hat with smaller flaps (15 stitches as originally written in pattern).  My big mod was to adjust the overall stitch count to 54 stitches (decreases happen in multiples of 6): knit across first flap (15 sts), cast on 9 stitches, knit across second flap (15 sts) and then cast on 15 stitches.  

I then realized that first version had a shorter brim (quite by accident I knit 3" before decreases instead of the required 4").  I think I need to take both hats to work where a few toddlers can try them on.  If they fit, I won't have to re-do any of them (oh please let them fit . . . !!). 
Funky hat for niece #3

I hope to make matching mittens to go along with the cute pixie hats, but right now I'm ready to start another hat for my older niece: a funky  Snow Bunny Hat
Lotta colours :)
Hoping to use a mix of different colours--although I'm conflicted about using the dark orange (not sure it works with the variegated novelty yarn).  Guess I'll just have to experiment with it.

This week I start my online course.  Hope it won't put too many demands on my time.  I've three more hats to make along with at least 2 pairs of mittens.  Just keep knittin', right?  LOL!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Long Enough?

Enough yarn?
Just wonderin' if there will be sufficient yarn to make my Cashsilk Fern Scarf long enough?  I know I can fold it over and secure it with a pretty shawl pin (I think one of the local craft shops carries hand-carved wooden shawl pins).
Over 40" in length
Thus far, my scarf has managed to grow to just over 40".  Ideally 50" would give enough length to tie and wrap it once around my neck.  What if it's just shy of my target length?  Maybe a severe blocking length-wise could garner more length?  Not sure  . . . 
Nearing the end with only a wee bit of yarn left 
There's only a wee little ball left.  Gotta be hopeful . . . 

Sunday, August 30, 2015


I was off--by a little.  Yeah, I took a calculated risk and increased the number of stitches in my shawl (by about 16 stitches) in the hopes of making it larger.  The original pattern required just over 300 yards.  I had well over 400 yards and thought that would be just enough yarn (thought it would use up every last bit).
Leftover DROPS Fabel--not enough for 3 more rows plus cast off :(
But I was wrong--close, but still wrong.  I had a wee bit of yarn left when I realized I still had 3 rows left to go plus the casting off to contend with.  What was I to do?  I was not going to rip back--no way, no how!
Patons Kroy in solid red
So I took a gamble and searched the local Five to a Dollar department store.  They carry Patons Kroy sock yarn and hoped to find a solid red or some reasonable facsimile.  And I did!   I found a solid red!
Edging detail
The colour seemed to be a good match, but the Kroy was a little thicker than the Garnstudio DROPS Fabel, even though both yarns are rated as fingering weight.  Still, it worked.  The slightly thicker yarn and solid red added a nice edging to the shawl, emphasizing the lace edge.  
Finished shawl
I've still got to block, but I must confess: I love it!  Serendipity!  Gotta love it when the fates conspire to work together--for a change. ;)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Little Progress

A little progress goes a long way towards finished items.  Yup, there be knitting at my place--and lots of it!

It started with travel knitting.  I knew I'd have no online access during my vacation, so I needed something to occupy my hands (and my brain, especially during the flight.  Have I mentioned how much I dislike flying?).  I brought along 4 projects: my current project, two long-standing projects that had fallen by the wayside, and a new project.
The growing Cashsilk Fern Scarf
The current project was the Cashsilk Fern Scarf which has grown by leaps and bounds.  It's about 38" at last measure.  I'm aiming for 50", but not sure there's enough yardage for that.  I'll need to leave enough for the border (2 rows of stockinette followed by four rows of moss stitch).  A good blocking should help with the length.  If it still runs short, I'll look for a pretty shawl pin to wear with it.
The still untouched Cranberry Neckerchief
I had brought my dandy Cranberry Neckerchief, but in the end, I didn't really touch that one (You can read more about that project from an old blog post dating back to summer 2011).  To be honest, I hadn't really left good notes about where I was in the pattern (although I could easily have frogged it and started anew since I wasn't too far in).  It definitely is something I'd like to revisit--and eventually finish.
A finished sock and the beginnings of the second
My other long-standing project was the Aquaphobia Socksfinished one sock and started the second one.  That pattern also had little in the way of any written pattern mods or notes regarding where I had left off (you can read more about my initial attempts with this project in a post from Feb 2014 and one from Dec 2013.).  If I'd had internet access, I could have more easily deduced my mods; instead I was forced to deconstruct and experiment (again!) to figure out what I'd done with the first sock.  Rest assured that everything was written down this time.  Ha ha!  After all, I may use the pattern again because it nicely controls the dreaded colour pooling that sometimes plagues variegated yarns.
The pretty coloursin my first lace shawl
And of course, there's the new project, my first lace shawl (aka the Oaklet Shawl which is a free pattern on Ravelry).  This has been great "mindless" knitting--a good take-along project when watching a movie or chatting over drinks at the cafe.  Sometimes it's just nice to do something simple that doesn't tax the ol' brain cells too much (although that'll probably change once I get to the lace border).

Now it's time to get back to the knitting.  There's lots to finish . . . 
Later, ;)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Who Loves a Bargain?

It's so nice to add to my Rav stash page as I do it so infrequently--and it helps me stay on top of everything.  Love how Ravelry looks through your stash and makes suggestions about which yarns might work for a pattern you're checking out.

Then I realized I hadn't yet shared my "bargoons" from Romni Wools. My budget was limited because I'd already spent a fair amount at LK Yarns when we were in Halifax a few weeks earlier.  Thankfully Romni Wools' lower level has a huge selection of discontinued yarns. And bonus:  there was a 20%-off-everything sale in the entire store.  Talk about lucky!
Lang Yarns sock yarn
First I checked out the sock yarns--and there was no shortage of colours, brands or fibers.   Decided on a brown mix called Lang Yarns Super Soxx Jubilee Denim.  Not sure about its regular retail rate, but it was marked down to $9.00 with an additional 20% discount at the register.  Not bad for over 450 yards--enough for a pair of socks.
Regia Lace
With the Regia Lace, I scored another great buy.  At over 600 yards, it was marked down to $9.90 with another 20% taken off.  Talk about value!  So much knitting fun for so little money.  And of course, I just love the rich colour.
Fritidsgarn in yummy colour

Then I spied more colours in the Sandnes Garn Fritidsgarn.  At $3.00 a ball plus an additional 20% off at the register, it was a steal.  Perhaps these can make a lovely woolen beret for one of my nieces.  Although both balls look identical, they have different colour and dye lots on the label, but I honestly couldn't tell the difference. 
Yummy candy colours . . . 
The Sirdar Baby Bamboo wasn't really an impulse buy, as I'd hoped to find some yummy colours to pair with some existing stash bamboo yarns in green, lilac and orange for a pretty multi-colour item: perhaps a scarf, shawl or shrug?  I'll figure that out later.  With or without the 20% off, these two skeins were still a great buy because they'll help me use leftovers from other projects.  Don't the colours look great together?
Colourful novelty yarn
My final purchase was a total whim--and whether it's folly or not remains to be seen--but I couldn't resist this fuzzy novelty yarn. The whimsical colours of Alessandra Filati Frizzante caught my eye.  At two bucks a piece, how could I not buy a couple of balls?  Maybe a funky hat for one of my nieces?

Yup, pleased as punch about my finds.  And honestly, it was all about the colours.  The prices were a bonus.  Thank heavens I don't live near Romni Wools, or else I'd be over there, rummaging through the basement bins, on a weekly basis. 
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