New Socks

This week brought us around 6 inches of snow. I like snow – especially the fluffy kind that arrived this week. Plus, if we’re going to have to deal with freakishly cold temperatures (Polar Vortex, Polar Plunge, whathaveyou) we might as well have some snow on the ground to make it look like winter too. I also am pretty fond of cool winter colorways – blues and greys, but when it comes to my socks I think the more obnoxious the color, the better. Stripey or “clown-barf” variegated, those socks are more likely to match what I’m wearing. Presenting my newest pair of socks, the first pair off the needles in 2014 – my Neon Skinny Macchiattos! I enjoyed the stitch pattern in the Caffe Macchiato pattern and would knit it again. I ended up giving up on it though once I got to the heel as I was so distracted by the yarn, hence the “Skinny” in my project title. I did do the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on these and though it was tricky at first, once I got the hang of it, there were no problems. The fit is nice too. The yarn is from Wild Hare Fiber Studio, in the Neon Lights colorway. The neons are so vibrant!

It looks like we might get a bit more snow over the weekend and at the beginning of next week. I’ll be tucked in under a pile of wool! Stay warm!

FO Friday – a peek

Crochet practice Oh the cuteness, I can barely stand it! Last night at SnB I practiced my crochet skills on this wee little baby toy.  It’s adorable, and was quick and easy to make, but I’m not 100% happy with it – maybe only 98%! I will be adjusting a few things when I make it again – hook size & stuffing most notably. Working on this and the arrival of two books, that I’ll share next Yarn Along, has given me such a boost that I want to start All. The. Things. And you already know about my issues with startitis.  For now, I am letting ideas simmer as I carefully consider the yarn choices and get those other projects done! I am ready to work the cuff on first sleeve of my sweater, so yay! Here’s to a crafty weekend!

FO Friday – Mitts & a Monster

Nathair Mitts

I am in love with these mitts! This was my first Malabrigo March project, the Nathair Mitts, in Malabrigo Rios, the Solis colorway.  The cable was fun to work and though it did require my attention, I was able to work on these while watching TV and at knitting night without any mistakes! The yarn is butter soft and squishy and I will be on the hunt for more.  I only used 40grams to make the pair, so I have a decent amount leftover. Maybe I’ll make a cowl and finally have a matching set of accessories!

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This is overdue. This is a Mixtro monster (yes, another FreshStitches design!) that I made with stash-busting acrylic for the 600 Monsters group.  I finally got the right size eyes and stitched him up, and have sent him on his way. He probably won’t end up with the original 600 in Newtown, but that’s ok – the group promised to find homes for the additional monsters with kids have been through a tragedy or trauma and need a helpful monster to hug. 

Here’s to a great weekend – it’s been a bit of “one of those” weeks!

A cowl, an owl and cables! FO Friday!

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It’s been a good week! This cowl was my first crochet test project! Crystal wore hers a few weeks back to our knitting group and I was absolutely taken with it. I was rather forward in telling her that I was very interested in the pattern – I am feeling a lot more comfortable with a crochet hook and really enjoy the process. Crocheting makes me feel like I am using my brain in a different way, if that makes sense, probably because I still need to stop and think frequently, unlike knitting (usually!). Anyway, the Miss Adler pattern is wonderful for a beginner like me. Once I got through the first set of rows I was flying. Crystal has a great knack for explaining the details and her style is very clear. I can also vouch for her dedication to a pattern – I have seen her work through designs to be published at our knitting group and she doesn’t do anything half-way. She is having a trunk show this weekend and I am really looking forward to checking it out! I used Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for my version in the Wildflowers colorway. So many lovely colors poking through, very appropriate for spring. I did dip into a second skein, and as my gauge is different, my cowl is bigger, so I will probably wear it folded over as you can see in my Ravelry notebook.

Little Crochet Owl

Continuing with the crochet theme, this is Nel, the tiny owl, that I made for a swap on Ravelry.  He is another Fresh Stitches design and a lot of fun to make. I used Cotton Classic from the stash, and he turned out to be around 5 inches tall.  I hope he is loved when he gets to his destination!

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And finally, the Sweet Fern Mitts, from The Knitter’s Book of Wool.  These are also for a swap and I am very sad to see them go, but I will certainly make myself a pair.  They are just snug enough, and I made them with less than one skein of Berroco’s Blackstone Tweed. I struggled for a while with that yarn, trying to decide what to make with the lonely skein, but I would seek it out again – I loved working with it.

Have a great weekend!

FO Friday

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Last weekend I finished knitting my Fumior arm-warmers and I seamed them up while waiting on my computer to resolve some issues.  I love this yarn, Manos Maxima; the colorway Prince, and the pattern. For my actual FO there is a little love lost.  I blocked them to make the seaming easier and it grew more than I expected (my own fault, I didn’t bother to swatch first!). I also managed to misread the directions, so one arm-warmer has ribbing at the finger side and the other does not.  I am a better knitter than that! I’m choosing to keep that design element as a reminder to read the directions!The Lorax helped to take these photos – it is quite tricky to take a self portrait of arm-warmers.The color is more accurate in the second photo, and you can see they are true arm-warmers. 

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I also worked up another amigurumi friend for a swap package. This little guy is on his way to my downstream swap pal, I hope she likes him.  He is another Fresh Stitches pattern, Nasser the Baby Penguin. I have plans to do finish up another Fresh Stitches pattern over the weekend, for another swap; this has been a great way to really push me to try a few new techniques.  The whole reason I wanted to learn how to crochet was to make the amigurumi creatures! I’m looking at my stash with fresh eyes now. Much of my leftovers and acrylic is great for these fun friends!

 Linking up to fo fridays!

FO Friday – A Hat

5 going on teenI feel like a terrible knitter sometimes. All of a sudden, winter weather is coming on strong and my kids still did not have proper winter hats! I did make the Lorax a hat back in November with sparkly purple yarn she chose (Kollage Glisten), but I was impatient in getting to the crown decreases. The result was a hat that really didn’t fit. See?
Hats in action

She did wear it outside for some snow action last week, so I’m pleased that she actually wore it, but it wasn’t going to cut it. Winter is here for the next few months. I can do better!
Hey look, there’s the Regular Guy Beanie I made Dan – also in action!

New hat!
A bit of stash diving turned up a magenta skein of Vicki Howell’s Sheep(ish) yarn, one of the Lorax’s favorite colors. A bit of searching on Ravelry brought me to the Heel Stitch Hat, a free pattern from the Purl Bee.   The two played very nicely together I think. It fits, it’s warm, and when we arrived at school one of the first things she said to a classmate was “Look at my new hat my mom knit for me!” Be still my heart. A picture of my child in something I knit and she’s not in tears? AND she spoke of it with pride to another kid? Wow. This may be a turning point, but I won’t hold my breath. Cheers to the first FO of 2013!

In addition to my other resolutions, I’m going to try and get this blog back on track with the link ups and such. Today, it’s FO Fridays with Tami’s Amis!