Tuesday, May 7, 2019

FO: Carol's Mittens

Pattern: Nagu Selbu
Yarn: Adriafil Sierra Andina in Light Gray and White
Needles: US Size 1 (magic loop method)

These mitten are just so perfect. Sitting down and knitting a pair of fair isle mittens has always been something I've wanted to do but set aside for other projects. When my dissertation advisor told me she would be retiring this year, I knew this was the perfect project to give to her. These mitten took some time to knit (especially as I tend to be a little slow when it comes to colorwork), but the end result is just what a I wanted: something unique, long-lasting, and beautiful. My advisor has given so much of her time to helping me through my program, it felt like the least I could do.

The (free!) pattern is extra special given the story behind it. The pattern comes from the designer's Norwegian mother-in-law's paternal grandmother's hand knit mittens. It's always such a treat when two things I really love: history and knitting, come together. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

WIP: Finding My 3-Color Fade

Pattern: Find Your Fade
Fog,  Freyja, and Cotton Candy
Needle: US Size 3

I was recently in Oxford, UK for a conference and luckily stayed in an AirBnB right next to the Oxford Yarn Store. It was my first time presenting my work at a conference, so as a reward to myself I purchased some locally-dyed, super gorgeous yarn to attempt a 3-color Find Your Fade Shawl. 
(And when I wasn't at the yarn store or at the conference, I was exploring the sites around Oxford, including the scene of a Harry Potter movie :) . )

So many people have knit beautiful versions of the shawl, but a lot have expressed just how HUGE it is. There's a lot to be said for having a scarf that basically functions as a blanket, but for this time, I'm hoping to get a more easily-wearable shawl. 

My current plan is to just omit sections 5 and 6 of the pattern and do the first color melt at section 7. However I've also seen that some people have also reduced the number of lace repeats. I figured I'd get to the end of section 4 and actually sit down and do the math to make sure it comes out right. 

I've also decided the gif-ing my knitting progress is absolutely something I should always do. 

FO: First (Complete) Pair of Socks

Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauerball Crazy in "Mars Experiment"
Needle: US Size 2 (Circular)

I've only knit socks once (more correctly, I've only knit *one* sock once and gave up knitting the second). I tend to make them too big and unfortunately that happened again with this pair. I made this pair for my boyfriend for his birthday and while I succeeded in making them in his favorite colors, they grew sooooo much during blocking. While they may not be an everyday sock, he will hopefully get some use out of them when it's super cold out. 

I used to have a problem where every hat I knit also somehow came out too large. Hopefully with a bit more practice I can also get my knit socks down to size. 

The pattern itself is great. I knit the medium size, though I should have knit the small. The Zauerball Crazy line of self striping yarn can give either very symmetrical or very non-symmetrical results with socks -- I got pretty lucky this time! 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

FO: Marte Vest

Pattern: Marte
Size knit: 40"
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in 'Faded Quilt' (4.25 skeins)
Needles: US Size 3, 4, 5, 6
Ravelry Project Page

I had always wanted to try out Brooklyn Tweed's patterns and yarn, and when I saw a call for test knitters for their Winter '19 collection, I jumped at the chance. This test knit was a bit of a challenge, but I'm glad for it as I tend to knit very simple patterns. The cables took me a while to get used to and unfortunately, Loft kept breaking on me at very stressful moments (i.e., mid-bind off). This yarn is quite expensive so I was a little surprised. 

I was hoping with blocking the yarn would toughen up, and it feels like it did. The fabric got much softer but also actually felt sturdier. 

I wish I had knit one size down -- it's a bit wide on me. Lesson learned (for the 500th time): block your swatch. 

I made a couple of modifications to the sweater. I only seamed the sides down to the start of the ribbing. I also chose not to sew the turtleneck down, though I may end up doing that. I bound off the turtleneck using Jeny's stretchy bind off and it's not quite as neat-looking as I would like. 

Another milestone reached this week is that I successfully defended my dissertation prospectus :) I am now officially a PhD candidate, not just a student. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Pattern: Flurries Hat

The (Adult) Flurries Hat is now live on Ravelry! (Not to be confused with my free, baby hat knitting pattern here!) I had my roommate Justine stand in front of my favorite brick wall near our apartment and model it for me.

The hat is a super quick knit! It uses bulky yarn in two colors and comes in 3 sizes. It's also very easy to modify the size to whatever your specific measurements might be.

This hat was inspired by the hats I knit as Christmas gifts this past month. I made some simple, one-color versions for my mom and my friend. I had never done stranded colorwork with moss stitch before and I wanted to see how it would turn out. The pretty blue-purple of my contrasting color with the cream color base made me think of flurries :)

The pattern is available both on Ravelry and in my Etsy store. If you have any questions let me know!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Knits!

This year I gave a few more knitted Christmas gifts than normal :) 
The photo above is my friend Esra modeling the hat I knit for her as her Secret Santa. I knit a similar one for my mom (pictured below), but used one of those faux-fur pompoms instead.

I also knit up some last minute ornaments. The first is a knit cactus. I used this pattern and picked up the felt for the flowers and tiny pots at Michaels. 

The second is a little pompom sheep. I just got a Clover pompom maker and it's been such a game-changer ;) 
I used to use old cereal boxes as cardboard for those cut out pompom forms. I would always lose them after each use and have to remake them every time. This definitely makes things a lot easier now. I got like 6 of these sheep done in under an hour.

I created my own pattern for the moss stitch hat above. I really liked the way it turned out so I decided to add a bit more flair and incorporate two-color moss stitch with some surface decreases. I am currently testing this pattern so be on the lookout for its release on December 30th! My friend Justine is modeling it for me below (it's so great to not have to do the knit modeling myself!).

Finally, this January I hope to be finishing/close to finishing two exciting projects. One is a test knit for Brooklyn Tweed that I can't share any photos of yet! The other is my No Frills Sweater. It took me a couple of tries but I think I found the alpaca/mohair combination that gives me the rich red/orange color I've been looking for. It's the softest and very relaxing to knit.

Did you have a lot of Christmas knitting to get done? Are you excited for New Year knits?? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Free Pattern: Knit Velvet Scrunchie Tutorial

Perhaps rather surprisingly, scrunchies are back! (?!?) 

You may have seen some very cute velvet crochet scrunchies on instagram using Bernat's new Velvet yarn. While I'll admit crochet makes a little more sense for this project, I thought I'd attempt a knit version for those of us who more often reach for knitting needles than a crochet hook. 

These scrunchies are made by knitting a wide ring in the round, then whip stitching the two ends together around a ponytail holder to make a hollow tube. Bernat Velvet breaks rather easily so handle your scrunchie with some care (don't stretch it too much!). I used the magic loop method, though I imagine a shorter circular needle (16in or 9in) or double pointed needles would work better. 

I recommend you use a ponytail holder you like. The scrunchies will reduce the stretchiness of your ponytail holder so make sure you have a size that works for you. 

I've created three sizes: S(M, L). Go up a size if your hair is a little thicker or you need some more stretch. 

About 20-40 yards of Bernat Velvet, shown here in Chilled Blue
US Size 11 (8mm) circular or double pointed needles
Yarn needle
A ponytail holder

10 sts = 4in (10cm) in stockinette stitch

CO: Cast on
K2tog: Knit two together (decreases 1 stitch)
Kfb: Knit through the front and back of same stitch (increases 1 stitch)
BO: Bind off


CO 40(50, 60)
Rnds 1-3: Knit
Rnd 4: K2tog around
Rnd 5: Knit
Rnd 6: Kfb around
Rnds 7-8: Knit
Rnd 9: BO knitwise

After binding off, leave a tail long enough for sewing the sides together

Turn the scrunchie inside-out (purl-side out) and place ponytail holder in center of ring

Sew the edges of the ring together by folding the scrunchie over the ponytail holder and using whip stitch (or any other sewing method) to sew the edges together

Hide the ends of the yarn inside the scrunchie. The cast on edge can be tucked inside the scrunchie. The sewing end can be threaded through and hidden inside the scrunchie after tying off.


There are so many ways to vary this scrunchie! In the top-left corner of photo above, I knit four rows instead of three before and after the increases/decreases. You could also not decrease and increase at all (and save yourself a little time!). Simply knit for eight rounds and then bind off knitwise. The scrunchies would then have less of a doughnut shape and a more ruffled look. 

Let me know what you think in the comments! Have fun!

Many thanks to Carly and Bridget for modeling for me :)