Saturday, December 10, 2011


Hi all. Don't be mad... I've been gone for almost a year. So much has happened since the last post, but almost none of it crafting. It is, however, that time of the year again. And I thought my first post back here would be in style with a free pattern for you all. This is a cowl that I made for my Grandmother. It's made of alpaca local to my home back in Ohio. I wanted something simple and warm, but with just a bit of femininity and this cowl fits the bill. I was not originally planning on adding a border to this, however the 2 sts of garter on each side did not keep the edges from curling (you forget these kinds of things when you've been away for a while ;]). The perfect solution was a crocheted shell border.

This cowl is knit length wise, grafted together, and then the border is crocheted on. This one had a fairly small circumference (but then again my Grandma is about 98 lbs). But it fits me fine, it's close to the neck. Knit it longer for a looser fit, or you could even do a mobius if you knit it long enough and then add a twist before grafting. It's up to you.

In any case, enjoy. =)

Pattern Specs:
Yarn: Buckeye Alpaca Worsted
Needles: Size 7 & Crochet hook size H/5mm
Gauge: 5.5 sts per inch

Tapestry needle
Smooth scrap yarn (such as cotton)

Get the Pattern: Ravel it! Not on Ravelry? Get it here.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Hey all. Another month has gone by. It's amazing how much faster time goes when you're an adult. When you're a kid you just want time to hurry up, and when you're adult you just want it to slow down a little so you can catch up with it. Oh well, we always want what we don't have, right?

I'm sorry for my absence. The truth is that my life went topsy turvy a little bit. I ended my 4.5 year relationship just a couple of weeks ago. For more than one reason, but mostly because we're not right for each other anymore (this is where the distinction between loving someone and being in love with someone comes in). It was amicable and a mutual decision and I am doing well. Some days better than others. It is both harder and easier than I thought it would be. I will soon be moving in with some good friends so I think it will make things easier. For now, I have another three months to spend in my empty apartment. I think it will be good, albeit lonely, for me to be by myself for a while.

In light of all this my crafting mojo is in recession again, otherwise I'm sure the January sweater would be finished by now. I only have the back, button bands, and collar to knit.

I can't promise I'll be back soon, but I will be back.


Saturday, January 29, 2011


It's almost the end of January, can you believe it? You know, January is usually a time for reflection throughout the blogosphere. For crafters they go over projects from the previous year and think about what they've learned, and in general there is reflection about the previous year and the events therein. Some big changes happened for me last year, the biggest that I moved to Arizona, half way across the country. I also lost my craft mojo for a while , but as I'm sure you noticed, it's been back for a while. I think it's just hard to knit when it's 110* outside.

And, lucky for you, that's about all I have for reflection. I'm more about the future, or at least living in the moment.

Now for the real reason that I started writing today, my January sweater. It is not, as the name may imply, finished, but I have gotten a big portion of it done. I'm very pleased with the progress, especially since it involved cabling pretty much every right side row. It's based on the September sweater tutorial [Ravel it!]. I've already made some big changes, but those are partially because of the significant size difference. The cable patterns that I'm using are different from the original sweater as well. The main cable (the encased cable) has a different number of knits/purls so that it flowed better with the 2x2 ribbing. I also used a braided cable pattern from The Complete Book of Traditional Aran Knitting by Shelagh Hollingworth. First printed in 1982 this version is probably from 1989. I picked it up for $6 at a Half Price Books. It has some great cable patterns in it as well as some great traditional aran sweaters.

I almost have the top half finished. =)

This is the Briar Rose yarn I got a Rhinebeck that was a different failed project a while back (almost a year ago exactly, huh). The color is really difficult to photograph, it always comes out too red. With a little tweaking I got this picture to be more or less the right color.

Also this month I finished a pair of worsted weight socks for my dad and I started Volna by Grumperina. I knew as soon as I saw the pattern I wanted to knit it, and when my dad came to town earlier this month giving us a reason to drive to San Diego (also to visit my Aunt & Uncle where I turned my Aunt into a budding knitter and yarn snob ;-] ) I needed a more portable project. I'm making it out of Noro Kirameki in, incidently, the same colorway as Grumperina, although I didn't do it on purpose per-se. It just happened to match the Noro slouchy hat that I made!

Anyhow, that's all for now, folks. =)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scrappy Make-Up Bag

I made this following Anna's tutorial. It was so easy! Sewing is awesome! I made this in an hour and a half! EEE! I love the way it turned out. I may have forced my boyfriend to look at it several times telling him intelligent things like "You can put stuff in it!"

Inside of this one is some bronzing face powder, a bronzer stick, and some lip gloss for my step sister. I think she'll like it a lot.

I don't know why it looks all neony here. It's not neon, promise.
The bottom is great because it really does help it stand up! It also has a nice body to it from the batting (I used fusible fleece because it's what I have). It's made with some quilting cotton, although the polka dot fabric is corduroy which is why the fuzzies were sticking to it.

It's more like this!

I fully intend to make another one (Or 1,000,000).

Thanks for the great tutorial Anna!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Tale of Two (Slouchy) Hats

There once was a spinner who made some great yarn.

That spinner had a great boyfriend who really loved said yarn and told her "I want you to make me something out of this."

The spinner (also a knitter) said "Okay, what do you want?"

The boyfriend said "I don't know, a hat?"

The spinner said "But that will take a long time and I spent a lot of time making the yarn so there was a lot of yardage so I could make something interesting!"

The boyfriend said "Pleeeeease?"

And so the spinner agreed, although they didn't agree on a time frame or anything. So, in secret she knit (And knit and knit!). Keeping it a secret was no mean feat! For the boyfriend and the spinner dwell in the same place. And when she finished the requested object she almost burst at the seams, for this was exactly perfect. She wanted to give it to her boyfriend immediately, but soon the green eyed monster reared its head.

Alas, being one to keep her promises, she wrapped the hat and put it under their tiny Christmas tree to be opened on Christmas and received with much glee! On Christmas morning the boyfriend was glad to have the hat that he requested not so long ago.

 He smiled and thanked the spinner, and in return she said, "Finally! Now I can make one for myself!" And she did. And they both were really happy. The end.

Pattern Specs:
Yarn: Hat 1- Handspun BFL Hat 2-Noro Silk Garden Sock (Seen also here)
Needles: Sizes 3 & 4 (Size 3 for the ribbing)
Pattern: Felicity by Wanett Clyde [Rav only], the sock yarn version [Rav only] Mods by Bluebutton
Mods: I knit about 2" of ribbing instead of a rolled brim. I used larger needles than the sock yarn version. I started the increases sooner, and I increased less with more rows inbetween the increases. 1st increase: *k12, m1*, to the last one which was *k18, m1*. I knit 4 or 5 rows inbetween increases. I also knit straight for a few rows before the decreases which I started out with at *k8, k2tog*.
Thoughts: I really like the end results! If I were to make another hat, I think I would start the increases sooner, as now it kind of just folds in the back instead of slouching. I would also do more rows inbetween the increases to make up for the length. I would maybe also try some less slouchy decreases, just for fun.

Friday, December 31, 2010


***Please see the erratum before starting the pattern.

Finally a pattern to share with you all! I knit these fingerless mitts for my brother. Initially, they were meant to be convertible mittens for my step dad but they ended up being too small. I started them the week my family was out here so my younger brother saw me making them. After I decided they were too small he asked if he could have them. How can  you say no to that when he's not wanted me to knit him anything before? =) My BF took all of the pictures and I love all of them, especially this one:

Lex is a pattern for fingerless mitts, with some cable detail. These were knit with guys in mind so this is great for a gift for any guy, but they'd be great for a quick knit with some leftover Mal for yourself or anything. Since these are fairly simple they'd look great in a range of yarns, kettle dyed, variegated, self striping, and solid. As long as it's soft enough for next to skin contact it would probably be great for these mitts! 

 The instructions are for a Women's L/Men's M. Since the ribbing is a 10 st repeat I'd suggest sizing with smaller needles, or a different yarn/needle combination. These are knit with Cascade 220 which I found to be a light worsted weight. For a Women's S you could probably use a DK weight, and for a Women's M I'd recommend going down a needle size. Upsizing should be easier as this is knit at a fairly sturdy gauge, just use a larger needle.

Pattern Specs:

Yarn: I used Cascade 220 Superwash, but any worsted should do
Needles: Size 5
Gauge: 5.5 sts per inch

Tapestry needle
Scrap yarn
Stitch markers
Cable needle (optional)

Get the Pattern: Ravel it! Not on Ravlery? Get it here.

***Erratum: You will need to decrease the 2 stitches you cast on after putting the thumb on waste yarn before starting the ribbing around the top.
More Pictures!

I hope you enjoy, and please don't hesitates to contact me if you have any trouble. =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hump Day!

Oooh, it's hump day! And 3 days to Christmas! I am actually very excited even though I ill be far from home. I even am planning an extravagant menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. (Not Christmas dinner, though because we are going to a friend's house and we are all bringing appetizers/snacky things). We're having Steak au Poivre, Potatoes Gratin, and some kind of salad that I haven't decided on for Christmas Eve dinner, with some kind of appetizer to snack on while I cook. Christmas breakfast will be a parmesan frittata with roasted tomatoes and probably some kind of fruit salad.

In the mean time I wanted to share with you my sewing FO! I have a few knitting ones, but I need to draft the patterns before they will be ready to share!

The table runner I just kind of winged. I made it 1/3 the width of the table and made the ends pointed like that. The buttons were my mom's idea. She also wanted tassels but I didn't think that was a good idea so I didn't add them... if she really wants them she can do it herself (she knows more about sewing than I do anyway! lol).

I didn't get a very good shot of it, but I backed everything in a blue denim. This is supposed to be summery and I thought denim suited it very well! After making the table runner there was a ton of fabric left over so I made a coaster set based on the one I saw on Anna's blog (blog post here). I just kind of winged these too, going from memory of her blog post. I think everything turned out really well! It's definitely not perfect, but it's at least not embarrassing. ;-)

And a parting shot of our adorable little Christmas tree (it's fiber optic, not that you can see that in the daylight!):

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
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