Friday, July 11, 2014

Hats Off

Finished for my trip to the Sequoia National Park but it was too warm to wear, even at 7,000ft! #knitting #quinceandco #tinyowlknits
I finished two hats in the last week. The first one I finished specifically so that I could wear on my trip to the Sequoia National Park. It finished drying in the car on the drive there! The pattern is called Orchids and Fairy Lights by Tiny Owl Knits and I used Quince and Co. Lark in the color Glacier. This hat was so tedious to knit! The cables are all two stitches and I knit them using the twist method without a cable needle but there were just so many of them. haha. I am realizing that I am not much of a cable knitter, although I like them visually. Bobbles though, I love! And they are fun to make. I sized down in needles since the finished projects for this pattern seemed rather large. I'm glad I did because the fit is absolutely perfect. The color is amazing too! The perfect light grey with barely a hint of oatmeal. Sadly I did not get to wear the hat during my campout. It was way too warm, I hardly needed a sleeping bag at night and only wore my sweater to avoid being eaten alive by mosquitos.

Sequoia National Park
I had no idea that the Sequoia National Park was such a popular tourist destination! Although, now I understand why. It is absolutely breathtaking! Our campsite was at 7,000ft and quite out of the way, but there were lots of tourists on the main road through the park. The air was very dry and more than one of us experienced nose bleeds. There were also more bugs than I have ever experienced while camping! I practically showered in bug spray. Seeing the sequoias was more than worth it though! We went on a couple of easy hikes. One of them was at the top of Mineral King Canyon where we saw at least a dozen yellow marmots yelping at us, and babies too!

Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park
My first #fairisle project! #quinceandco #laurelhurst #knitting
I started this fair isle hat on the drive to our campsite and finished it soon after I got home. It is my first completed fair isle project! I've attempted quite a few. The pattern is called Laurelhurst by NW Foraged and I used Quince and Co. Lark in Egret. The contrast color is the leftover from the Fairy Lights hat, Lark in Glacier. I'm very happy with how the colorwork turned out! It fits very well also. My only complaint about the pattern is that the crown decreases are a little too quick and pointy at the same time, but it could just be the thickness of the yarn I chose. Who knows, I may rip out the top and redo it. I would use my favorite decrease method, which is just starting the decreases sooner and then decreasing quicker on the last 3 or 4 rounds to create a flatter top. Some hats look awesome with a shorter crown, but the yarn needs to have more drape,  I think,  to really achieve that cinched in effect.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Yarn Along

IMG_4057
This week I'm test knitting a pattern for the very talented Andrea Rangel. Can't wait to show you guys the finished piece once she's published the pattern! The yarn color is accurate but somehow the teals and greens are much more overpowering in person. It's fingering weight superwash merino, very  sturdy but still soft.

I'm reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I'm on book one and I've been reading it for awhile but I love that I can always pick it up and remember exactly what was happening. Murakami always feels like a dream, yet startlingly real at the same time. It's very hard to forget his worlds. They are like permanent places you can go back to in your mind, again and again.

I couldn't snap a photo of my iPhone like Liesl Made, but the album I'm listening to this week is Riptide by Vance Joy and Post Tropical by James Vincent McMorrow is another record I've been obsessed with this summer.

What are you knitting and reading right now? Participate in the yarn along here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Spooky Sacks

Spooky Project Bags
Spooky Project Bags
So what do you think of the adorable fabric I found? Ghost captains, pirate bunnies, and trick or treaters!!! I think I've satisfied my sewing bug for awhile. The small pink one is for socks and I included a center divider. The medium halloween one is holding my newest project, a Lobelia, and the large ship crew one is for sweaters. I did not add a divider for the two larger sizes because it limits how much I can fit in the bags. The sweater I put in the largest sack will hopefully be my next FO so I'll keep that one a surprise!

Sweater Sack
Large size #socksack for sweaters!  #ghostpirates #sewing #projectbag
The pattern I used is called Sock Sack by Ramona Rose. I found all of the fabric on etsy. The fabric for the small pink bag and large white bag (including the linings) are part of the Seven Seas line by Cloud9 and the fabric for the medium halloween bag is part of the Too Cute To Spook line by Riley Blake. I made a few changes from the first two bags I made. I added topstitching around the drawstring holder (which I went back and added to ALL of my bags) and used waxed cotton cord and toggles for the drawstring. I almost always see grosgrain ribbon used to close project bags, and that is what I started using also, but it drives me crazy when the ribbon twists up! I am sooooo glad I tried the cord because I LOVE it!!! The toggles are just there to keep the knotted ends of the cord from slipping inside of the fabric tube. And... of course I replaced the ribbon on all of my project bags with cord.

I have been knitting for years without using projects bags. I typically carry my knitting around in canvas tote bags which does the job but the thing that makes these awesome is that they stay upright and hold the working yarn. Much less tempting as cat pillows also! And very cute! Now I can toss the project bags in my tote bags without getting my keys tangled up in yarn!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Half Moon Shawl

Half Moon Shawl
Half Moon Shawl
I've finished another shawl in my shawl knitting spree, which is not likely to slow down any time soon! This pattern is called Occitan by Beth Kling. When I first saw this design I was drawn to its half circle shape and the increase details. The lace is not too flowery and so it works well with variegated yarn. There are numerous amazing versions knit up with variegated yarn on ravelry's project pages! Sadly the yarn I used, Stitches Under The Sun, is closing up shop but there may be a couple of things left in her etsy store. I added extra lace repeats in the middle section just so I could use more yarn, it is so pretty!!! I cast on this and have been sewing up more project bags with the cutest fabric ever.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Shawl Sack

I finally decided to try Ramona Rose's Sock Sack pattern and I've been sewing up projects bags for the past couple of days. It's available in three sizes and comes with options for a center divider, center divider with zipper, and yarn guides for two at a time sock knitting. I am admittedly not a sock knitter, although I recently finished a pair that I have not worn yet because they are too special, I have plans for another pair soon. I made the medium size to hold my shawl projects. I included a center divider but without a zipper and I omitted the yarn guides. I have tried several bag tutorials and this is by far my favorite for knitting projects. The bottom is large and square so that the bag sits up right and the center divider keeps the yarn separate from the project so it doesn't get tangled around the needles.

Shawl Sack
Shawl Sack
I also made two small bags for hats. The green and blue one has been gifted and I am already using the blue batik bag to hold one of my hat projects. I left out the center divider on both of those but I am going to make another one specifically for socks. I also used iron on interfacing for all of the bags and did a thorough job of ironing out all of the wrinkles so I shouldn't have problems with it separating from the fabric like I have in the past.

Sock Sack
Sock Sack
Sock Sack
I made these bags with fabric I had on hand but I already ordered some ridiculously cute fabric from etsy (ghost pirates!!!) to make more. Definitely another small one for socks and a large one for sweaters. There has been lots of spinning and knitting happening too.

p.s. I learned how to singe the edges of this grosgrain ribbon with my lighter to keep it from fraying!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Home Again

Home Again
I recently learned how to make my own yarn using a spindle. After practicing with 3 ounces of beginner fiber I purchased some hand dyed blue faced leicester and silk roving from Spun Right Round in the color Home Again. The first 3 ounces are thick and thin but not thicker than a worsted weight so I was pretty pleased. It's not ideal for knitting anything with, but still beautiful.

Home Again
I was able to spin the last ounce fairly evenly between a lace and fingering weight and so I plied it together using the andean method so I could use every inch of yarn. All in all I got 322 yards of the single ply and 87 yards of the 2 ply. The plied yarn is AMAZING and definitely useable! I am thinking about combining it with a commercial yarn to knit this hat. I'm so excited to spin more yarn!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sakura Sparkle Sweater

Sakura Sparkle Sweater
Sakura Sparkle Sweater
I finished this 3/4 sleeve pullover last week. The color is a tad pinker irl with gold sparkle. The pattern I used is called Breakwater by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and the hand dyed yarn was a purchase from etsy last summer. It's an excellent pattern. As usual I had to use smaller needles to get guage for the smallest size and it grew to the next size after blocking. Fits perfectly! It would be easy to add short rows on the back neckline but not necessary as long as you knit the neck edge snugly.