WIPWed #36: WIPs Galore

So somehow, even though I’m smack-dab in the middle of both Malabrigo October Stockpile and Spinzilla, I find myself casting on a new cowl… made with Malabrigo? No. Handspun? No… Codex.

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Apparently, when it comes to Codex, I lose all reason and can’t be held accountable. (I also needed some easy office knitting.) I came across this gorgeous version of the Ingot cowl (designed by Lisa Mutch) knit by Christine/BellyLaugher on Ravelry and I instantly coveted it. So I doggedly hunted down 3 skeins of black/teal Codex so my friend Katy and I can knit matching cowls. They are going to be awesome!

I also made some progress on the things I’m supposed to be knitting this month. Like these mitts:

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They are knit with Malabrigo Finito and make an absolutely heavenly-soft fabric. And also this hat:

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I’m using Rios held double for a super squishy fabric. I’m really liking how the pattern is turning out! And finally, some spinning:

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I’m through 2 ounces of the Malabrigo Nube! I’m much slower than the other spinners on my #Spinzilla team (#TeamSpinOff) but hey, 2 oz in 2 days is pretty good for me!

Check out more WIPs this week at TamisAmis!

IS #41: Stockpile Inspiration

Ahhhh, Malabrigo October Stockpile – that time of year when Mal Junkies furiously plan, queue, and knit up as many one-skein project as possible, posting their progress throughout. I’m pretty sure Mal March and Stockpile are responsible for ~80% of my 41-page Ravelry queue and entirely responsible for motivating me to get started on holiday knitting early enough to accomplish so many knits.

IMG_5118One gift down! This is my own pattern, Giving Comfort, modified to have slightly shorter repeats and throwing color changes in on the knit/purl rows just to spice things up. (Can I take a second to say how happy I am that there are now 61 projects for this pattern on Ravelry and over 200 ‘favorties’? So many of the hats were knit for charity causes, too,  which is just so awesome!) For this Inspiration Saturday, I figured I’d give a little run-down of the other patterns I’m planning to knit because who doesn’t love one-skein projects in fabulous yarn?!

Copyright Hunter Hammersen, click for pattern.

This hat, knit in Malabrigo Twist, is the primary reason I immediately loved Hunter’s new booklet of patterns, Ne’er Do Well Knits. I’m digging the luscious, dimpled look of the fabric and I bet it is super duper warm. I like envisioning color combinations for this, too. I’m pretty sure I’ll be knitting one in teal/white and another in grey/purple.

Copyright Hunter Hammersen, click for pattern.

Another Hunter pattern (about time I knit some of the zillions in my queue!) — this one is going to be for me. 🙂 I need a new pair of fingerless mitts and I have a kitten-belly-soft skein of Finito waiting specifically for this project.

Copyright Justyna Lorkowska, click for pattern.

This is Rama Lama, a really great slipped-stitch colorwork cowl designed with Malabrigo Worsted but which would probably be equally awesome in Twist (my favorite Malabrigo base). You can knit it short or long and use just two or as many colors as you’d like to help stashbust, which I always appreciate. Not sure if I’m going to get to this pattern, but I still really like it.

Copyright tma, click for free pattern.

These mitts by Tante Ehm are very simple, but great for showing off some of the more variegated colorways of Malabrigo Worsted or Rios. The garter detail on the hand is just the right amount of interesting to make these mitts practical but still pretty.

There’s also something about Stockpile that gets my designer juices flowing. Here’s a hat I’m throwing together using two colors of Rios, each held double for a chunkier weight:

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I think it’s gonna be pretty great when it’s done! What one-skein projects have you been working on lately? Do you have your holiday gifts thought out yet? Leave a comment to link to your own Inspiration Saturday post, if you wish!

IS

Finished-Object-Friday #6

Welcome to FO Friday, the final holiday gift edition! These were the last two stragglers of holiday presents that I finished just in time to gift by Christmas. (Sorry, Mom, I promise you’ll get your cuffs soon!)

Super Quick Hat:

Cascade 220 Superwash

I know this hat doesn’t look finished, but it is. I cast this on Christmas Eve night and finished it in the car on the way from Long Island to Connecticut on Christmas Day, whew! I actually wove in the ends just before walking in the door. Thankfully, it was a quick knit: worsted weight yarn held double on size 10 needles. I did a basic 3×3 waffle knit pattern, one of my favorites for hats, with a few stripes thrown in because I was running out of yarn. Easy peasy!

Beach-y Beribboned:

Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, colorway San Francisco Bay

After knitting three pairs of my Beribboned Wrists pattern over the last couple of months, I just realized I was adding a couple of extra rounds in between the yarnover rounds that the ribbons go through, woops! No wonder they were coming out so long… but that’s ok. I knit them for tall, thin teenagers who can pull off fingerless mitts that lace nearly all the way up their forearms, see:

Why is she hiding her beautiful face?!

Gorgeous! Here’s another great picture of happy knitwear recipients:

Stylin’.

I love my little cousins. 🙂 They really adore getting handmade gifts and it just warms my knitterly heart to no end. Now that the holidays are over, all of my knitting attention will be given to a couple of design deadlines I need to finish up. Then Mom’s cuffs. THEN THINGS FOR ME. (If I can drag myself away from my new wheel, that is…)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Finished-Object-Friday #5

Warning to family members: this post will involve photos of some of your holiday gifts, so you might want to look away!

There’s nothing like the week before the holidays, I feel like such a knitting champ as I finish project after project. It’s the closest thing we get to a rush, I think, as knitters… next to maybe that feeling when you drop a whole bunch of money on yarn at once (though that’s less of a rush and more of a queasy feeling). Onto the FO’s!

Uproarious:

BMFA Socks that Rock Mediumweight, colorway Aubergenious

I finished my Uproar cuffs, designed by Hunter Hammerson! This was a fun little pattern, which I will definitely be knitting again, especially since they take practically no yarn to make. These are not for me, if they were I probably would’ve knit a couple extra repeats to get a better fit, but I think they’ll fit the recipient just fine.

Santa’s Syrinx:

Malabrigo Yarn Rasta, colorway Ravelry Red

This quick-as-lightning cowl is my Syrinx Shells pattern, this time knit in a solid colorway. I had to fight a very strong urge to buy great big green buttons for this… it would’ve been overly festive, methinks. The solid colorway and black buttons really class it up, too. You can close this cowl a few different ways (like with ribbon or toggles) and this time I chose to attach the buttons on the far side like so:

This way it will snug up closely to the recipients neck when buttoned across through the yarnover holes. Alternatively, if you have more yarn you can just keep knitting and knitting to make a thick, cozy scarf, like Anne Weaver is doing with hers, check it out!.

Rustic Elegance:

Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Worsted, one of a kind colorway

This is the Hasselnusse cowl pattern by Anne Hanson that I raved about in my Inspiration Saturday post. I loved everything about this pattern, it is such an appealing design and I think I found the perfect buttons to compliment the look of the pattern and the yarn (if I do say so myself…). The yarn is fantastic, too. Zen Yarn Garden is a new-to-me indie dyeing company that I first encountered at Stitches East. The yarn pictured is a worsted weight Merino wool/cashmere/nylon blend that is really wonderful and their colors are gorgeous. I’m kicking myself for not buying the second skein of this colorway that I saw at the show, especially since the cowl used just over half the skein. I feel like I have a lot of yarn left but not quite enough to do much with. Oh well! It was perfect for this cowl.

Ever More Ribbons:

Malabrigo Yarn Rios, colorway Azules

Here’s another pair of my Beribboned Wrists finished! I intended this pattern to be for wristwarmers, but a knitter requested thumbs added to turn them into fingerless mitts and I’m glad I included the option. I love wearing them as wristwarmers but I know plenty of people prefer the fingerless mitt style and I think they work great as both. If you’re thinking of making a pair, feel free to join the KAL, there’s still time to enter to win the prize!



Be sure to check out more FO Friday projects below. That’s all from me for now, as I’ve got cookies to bake and bags to pack and gifts to wrap… To all those who celebrate, have a great holiday!

Cheerful Mitts and Afterthought Thumbs

After all the stress and natural-disaster-related worries of late, how about a little cheerful knitting and a brief afterthought thumb tutorial on a Monday morning?

These are my Beribboned Wrists pattern knit with Malabrigo Worsted in Natural for the body and i-cord knit with Socks That Rock Mediumweight in On Blueberry Hill to lace them up instead of ribbon. I love the rainbow effect of the color changes in the STR paired with the simplicity of the super-soft Malabrigo, don’t you?

I knit the Worsted size but ‘accidentally’ knit the DK chart for it. The only real difference is that the DK chart is a bit longer. I decided to add the optional afterthought thumbs that turn these into fingerless mitts instead of wristwarmers. They are a tad small for me, but since they are intended to be gifted to a young girl, that’s ok! If you’ve never knit an afterthought thumb before, you should give it a try because they are pretty simple and since they don’t involve shaping they are a flexible method for modifying patterns. You knit until the point where you’d like the thumb to be, then you knit a few stitches with waste yarn, turn your work and purl back over those waste yarn stitches, then resume knitting in the round with your regular yarn, and forget all bout the thumb until the end!

When you are ready to add the thumb, you unravel your waste yarn. With the extra-fuzzy Malabrigo I lost patience unraveling so I opted to cut the waste yarn out. Just be careful where you snip!

This will give you a bunch of live thumb stitches to deal with. You will have one more stitch on the bottom than on the top. I start by picking up a side stitch and all the bottom stitches on one needle. Then I flip the mitt and pick up a side stitch, all the top stitches, and another side stitch. These ‘side stitches’ are just any old random stitches on the edge of the thumb hole that you grab to try to prevent gaps from forming when you begin knitting in the round. It really doesn’t seem to matter which ones you pick up, as long as you aren’t forming holes when you grab them.

After I have both sets picked up, I split the bottom stitches onto two needles. Then I join my working yarn on the bottom right of the thumb hole and begin knitting clockwise in the round. After that it’s just following the pattern for a few rows and binding off!

It’s tough to see in this pic, but sometimes you still get gaps near the start of the round no matter how many extra stitches you pick up. When this happens, I take the tail of my yarn and work it into the fabric to close up the gap. Works like a charm! And the really neat thing about afterthought thumbs is that if you decide you don’t want a thumb later on after all, you can just remove the waste yarn, put the stitches on two needles, and use kitchener stitch to graft them together with matching yarn. If you do it neatly and weave in your ends securely, nobody will ever know there should’ve been a hole there! The only downside to these thumbs is that they can sometimes distort the pattern due to the lack of shaping to accommodate the base of the thumb (like in a gusset), but I think despite that they are useful, quick, and look just fine with many patterns. (I’ll have you know I had to try really hard to resist saying something about giving them a thumbs up. You’re welcome.)

Come join the KAL on Ravelry through 12/31/12!

Happy Boxing Day

For me, December 26th is usually a recovery-from-craziness day and typically an online-spending-of-gift-cards day. I began Christmas Day on Long Island and drove the three hours to my Fiasco’s family in Connecticut, totaling visits to three different groups of people that day alone, in addition to making two visits to different people each day on Friday and Saturday. It’s been a whirlwind. I was asleep by 9pm last night and slept until 9am. Twelve hours of blessed sleep and an entire morning of vegging out? Recovery accomplished. As for online spending, I placed my final yarn order of the year to Blue Moon Fiber Arts for some STR HW for Fiasco socks and STR MW, LW, and Mwata Silk Hankies for me. Ho ho ho!

There was some new yarn under the tree for me this year:

Tracks of Bison Fingering, colorway Blue Mud Dauber

This is Tracks of Bison Fingering dyed by Alisha Goes Around, available at The Loopy Ewe. It is 90% superwash Merino and 10% Bison Down, which I am very excited to try. It seems tightly spun and springy and is soft to the touch, I can’t wait to find the right pattern for it. I have 800 yards, any suggestions?

I also have some knitting to share, a few more last minute gifts. Here’s another Pretty Twisted
cuff bracelet:

STR Lightweight, colorway Thraven

An incredibly boring-to-knit but great squishy cowl for my Fiasco:

Malabrigo Worsted, colorway Vaa

Vaa is such a great colorway for guys, it’s a super dark mix of greens and blues that I really love. And finally, a pair of fingerless gloves in a simple cabled design of my own:

Malabrigo Rios, colorway Ravelry Red

I don’t typically like red but the Ravelry Red colorway is so bright and vibrant, it made me happy to knit with it. The recipient (the Fiasco’s Nana) loved them, too, so that’s good. I never got around to those hats I was supposed to knit so I’ve got four of those that will be coming down the pipe shortly, plus a couple of baby booties. This is the Christmas knitting that never ends!

I hope you all had wonderful holidays and happy celebrations. Mine were different this year due to recent family troubles, so there was a hefty dose of sadness in the mix, but there was still joy to be had and love to be shared and that is very comforting.