Showing posts with label knitting projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting projects. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The 3 1/2 Year Scarf

It's sizzling hot here in Northern California today, the kind of day where you stay inside with the air conditioning blasting and a bowl (or a tub) of rocky road ice cream on your lap.
Definitely not knitting weather.


However, early this morning I finally finished knitting this scarf, which I started in February of 2012.
I've always known I'm a slow knitter, but 3 1/2 years for a simple drop stitch scarf is a record for me.
In any case, I'm pleased with how it turned out and might actually keep it for myself. The yarn is hand painted silk and so soft and lovely. It's fingering weight that I knit with a size 8 needle.
Hope you are staying cool.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Warm hands (warm heart)

Hello! I didn't mean to disappear for so long, but life has been a little crazy around here. First, I came down with a cold that left me completely wiped out and with no voice.  I remember a time when I could count on a cold lasting three days, with the second day being the worst. Now they last two or three weeks and just when you think you're getting better, boom! You're back in bed with a box of tissues and a cup of broth.

And then my cat Apollo got very sick. At first I wasn't too concerned-- I thought maybe he had the same bug that I did. Turns out cats can't catch colds from humans. After three days of watching him lay curled up in bed, barely eating or drinking or moving I took him to the vet. He had a fever of 105 and required many, many tests to diagnose the problem, which was a bacterial infection. He spent four days in the animal hospital with an IV in his leg, getting treatments and being force fed. He's home for good now and getting back to his perky old self. I think he  secretly likes that pink bandage on his leg-- it's his badge of honor.

I finished my hand warmers a couple weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to use them because the weather warmed up quite a bit. (Not complaining.) I keep forgetting to bring them with me to my day job where the office is always icy from the air conditioning. I love these mitts and would like to make a few more pairs to give as gifts.

Just a few last words on books. I mentioned a while ago that I was reading Gone Girl and really enjoying it. That was true until about 3/4 of the way into it. I don't recommend it at all. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so if you want to know why, please go to Amazon and read the one and two star reviews. The problem with the latter section of the book is spelled out there, over and over.

I'm now reading a wonderful memoir called May I Be Happy by Cyndi Lee, a world renowned yoga teacher. She writes about her lifelong struggle with her body image, which is a bit shocking for a woman who does yoga every single day of the year. Her book has me thinking about my relationship with my own body, something I have never given much thought to.
Whatcha doin' this weekend? Saturday I'm going to try and continue to get some rest, which I will need when my niece Lily comes over on Sunday. Have I mentioned she says my name now? "Shay-shee." It's too cute.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wash Cloths on Parade

Lots of crafting has been going on here. I'm still working on the pink apron dress, and I'm also knitting a pair of hand warmers for my chilly home and chilly office. I've also been doing lots of baking and cooking-- my skills are continuing to improve and I'm actually starting to enjoy it.

I thought I would show you some of the wash cloths in that stack on my dresser I mentioned a few weeks ago. 

This one is my favorite. The stitch is called  bee stitch and it is very, very addictive, although I had to watch three different videos to learn how to knit one below. I can't remember the name of this yarn, but I love it and want to buy more. I think it would be perfect for a lap blanket. Fortunately I do remember where I bought it, so I should be able to find it again.

The above wash cloth is feather and fan. The pattern for this is located HERE.

Double Bump Washcloth. I was hooked on this pattern until I discovered the bee stitch. It looks good in self-striping yarn.

This last one is a classic wash cloth knit on the bias. It is definitely not addictive; in fact, it's extremely boring in my opinion. But it turns out beautiful.

Tomorrow I have the whole day to myself, so hopefully I'll make good progress on my WIPs.  Have a happy Sunday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nineteen Hundred House Dish Cloth

I love knitting small cloths-- dish cloths, wash cloths, face cloths, scrubby cloths, whatever. I knit them all the time and I'm starting to wonder if I have some sort of weird hoarding issue with them. There is a stack of knit cloths on my dresser, each one a different color, none of them matching, and I can't bear to use them or part with them.

This pattern is called Nineteen Hundred House Dish Cloth and it is sooo addictive. Wouldn't several of these in different colors make a cute housewarming gift?  If you could bear to part with them, that is. This yellow one is in the stack on my dresser.

I'm finally working on something other than a small cloth. This pink project will eventually be an apron dress for Lily. The yarn is 100% cotton, so it kinda feels like I'm knitting a wash cloth ...

Happy New Year!!! Wishing you peace and blessings and joy in 2013.

Stacy xoxo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mendocino Ruffle Scarf

Last summer I spent a wonderful weekend on the Mendocino Coast, one of my favorite get-away spots. I stopped in at the Mendocino Yarn Shop and ended up getting a quickie lesson on how to knit one of those ruffle scarves that have become so popular lately. It's easy and fast to knit, two of the things I look for in a knitting project.

The yarn is Katia Triana, and it looks like this when you buy it:

And it looks like this when you pull the strands apart:

The trick is to knit in to the spaces along the edge of the yarn. Here is a good YouTube tutorial. I wouldn't worry too much about a lifeline like she recommends-- mistakes blend right in to the ruffles, which is another nice thing about this pattern.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hats for twins

When I first learned to knit, which has been about eight years now, I made tons of baby hats. It was good practice for learning how to purl and how to sew seams. Since I had no babies in my life, I ended up donating them to Planned Parenthood and my county hospital. I had little patience for finishing knitting projects, so they ended up being teeny tiny little hats that could be completed in a day or two. I'm not sure if the folks I donated them to ever passed them on to new mothers or just shook their head and discreetly tossed them in the bin.

My skills in hat knitting have improved a bit since then-- I can spend more than a couple day knitting a hat without abandoning it.  These two hats are for my co-worker, who is pregnant with twins. The pattern is a simple one that is knit flat and seamed up. While I have knit a couple hats in the round in the past, I still prefer the two-needle method. I love the little stems on top of these hats.

The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino, which is my new favorite. It is like soft, fluffy clouds in your hands and knits up like a dream. Each hat takes less than one skein, and there might even be enough left for a pair of matching booties.

The pattern was given to me by a friend. I tried to find a similar one online that I can link to, but to my surprise I couldn't find one. The closest I could find is here and here

I might make some modifications to the pattern that I used and post it in a week or two.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friday Fail

There hasn't been much knitting going on around here, so I thought I would share my last completed project (well, semi-completed). It was a failure.

Do you remember the lace shrug I raced to finish before Lily's first birthday?

I knit it to go with this dress that I bought her online from It was touch and go for a while, but I managed to sort of finish it in time for her birthday party. It's supposed to have a ribbed neckline, but I left it off.

Here's a shot of the back. It's pretty, but I have to admit I am not a fan of shrugs. They seem a bit silly. I considered knitting a cardigan, but decided a shrug would be faster and easier to complete.

The dress was a little big, and the shrug was waaaaaaaay too small. There was no way to get both of her arms in the sleeves. I'm sure the problem was me and not the pattern.

I haven't felt like knitting very much since the shrug fail, but I'm hoping that is going to change. Today I listened to a 2010 interview with knitting designer Nicky Epstein that inspired me. She is funny and down-to-earth and has great stories to tell.

If you would like to listen to the interview,  you can find the free podcast on the CRAFTCAST website and on iTunes. If you want to download it from iTunes, search for "Craftcast" and look for podcast #34.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Red Matinee Jacket

The Matinee Jacket  I knit for my niece Lily is washed, blocked, and seamed. I just need to find one more matching yellow button and she will be good to go for a Disney movie opening or perhaps an afternoon performance of a Broadway show. 

It was a relatively quick, easy knit, with just a few issues that were due to my inexperience with sweaters. Note to self: When casting on and binding off, leave looooong strands of yarn to use for sewing the seams. I didn't do this and ended up having to weave in about a zillion ends, which is one of my least favorite things about knitting.

Speaking of Lily, here is a photo of her taken earlier today. She is eleven months old now and getting so big. I'm looking forward to her first birthday next month so I can give her the basket full of gifts I've been collecting for the occasion.

I know I've been gone for a while. Not sure what happened, just needed a break I guess. I do plan on participating in Knit and Crochet Blog Week next week and would love it if you did, too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Potato Chip Scarf

Last Sunday I met my friend Dogwood for lunch, and while we waited for our table at the Cheesecake Factory she taught me how to make this highly addictive (and easy peasy) scarf.

Apparently this scarf goes by many names. I like "Potato Chip Scarf" best, probably because I like potato chips in general.  The pattern can be found at the blog Free Motion.

I'm knitting it with a skein of hand painted silk I bought at Stitches last year that I am absolutely in love with. At one point I had buyer's remorse for purchasing yet another single skein of yarn just because it was pretty, but now I'm so glad I splurged.

 Thank you, Dogwood, for teaching me this pattern!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

That little pink hat

It's wet and chilly here in Northern California this evening, but I'm sitting in my apartment with all of the doors and windows open trying to rid the place of the lovely odor of burned chocolate croissant. I meant to put it in the microwave for 12 seconds, but accidentally set it for minutes. No chocolate for me tonight.

Last week I took my niece Lily to a park for the first time. My sister Hil, Lily's mom, told me that Lily loves the toddler swings, and she wasn't kidding. I was overwhelmed with emotion watching the happy look on her face as I pushed her back and forth.

I knit that pink hat before Lily was born, about a year ago, and never cared for it. In fact, I deleted it from my Ravelry project page so I wouldn't have to see it again (forgot to delete it from my blog). But I happened to find it in the pocket of her stroller when we were at the park and lo and behold, it's actually kind of cute.

I finally came to a decision on what to knit for Lily with the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino I bought at the Stitches market last weekend-- this matinee jacket from one of my favorite knitting books, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies. I've completed a few inches of the back, and so far so good.

Another project I'm working on is this silk scarf for myself. I first wrote about it back in January, but have since frogged it and changed to a drop stitch pattern. It's slow going, but I'm plugging away. I thought that stitch on the holder was dropped and wasn't sure how I was going to fix it, but it was just loose, thank goodness. Must have caught on something.

I'm so sad that is going away in April. I use it to edit all of my photos before posting them and love how easy it is to use. It's great for reducing the size of your photos and brightening them up. I guess I'll have to learn how to use Picasa.

If you are a Downton Abbey fan and are having withdrawals, Anna at Thimbleanna has posted a list of suggestions from her readers that might help fill the void until season three begins. I want to suggest one more that isn't on the list-- Masterpiece's Sense and Sensibility from 2009. I like it better than the older version with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant because the cast is younger and fit their parts better. In the new one Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey) plays Edward Ferrars, and he is yummy with those gorgeous blue eyes.

Hope you are having a good week. We completed a big project at work this week, so I am taking Friday off to celebrate recover.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ribbed Scarf

I've decided to go to Stitches West next weekend, which has motivated me to use up the last few skeins of luxury yarn I bought there last year. Yesterday I began knitting the above ribbed scarf using Ellie, a thick/thin slub yarn made of silk and wool.  I'm still undecided about whether I like the scarf or not, but the yarn itself is lovely to work with. Below is a photo of how it looks in a skein-- I never dreamed it would knit up the way it does, with such an extreme texture.

It's been a sweatpants, take-out food, restful kind of holiday weekend. I went out of my way to finish all my household chores last week so I wouldn't have to spend any time cleaning (or feeling guilty about not cleaning) over the weekend. Instead I used my time to do something far more enjoyable-- I finally watched Downton Abbey. Oh. my. goodness. I am hooked! And I still have two more episodes of season one to watch and then all of season two. Now I know what all the fuss is about. I just don't want it to end.

I'm off now to scrounge up some dinner and then watch one of my other favorite shows, The Voice. Hope you have a great week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The return of the mini-drawstring bag

About five years ago I went through a mini-drawstring bag phase. Only five inches in height and knit in the round on tiny circular needles, they were addictive.  I gave them to family and friends as gifts. I sold them at the flea market (or at least tried to). I knit them in funky colors, like green and yellow tweed, and stuffed them in my dresser drawer. I didn't have a job at the time but wasn't too concerned about money because I sensed a MacArthur's genius grant was right around the corner for brilliancy in mini-drawstring bags.

Eventually I grew so tired of them that I couldn't bear the thought of knitting another one ... until recently. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, the urge to knit a mini-drawstring bag returned, a bright pink one that I could fill with candy.

Unfortunately, I ate all the candy before I could get a picture, so I filled it with a soft bunny instead.

I'm having a sweet Valentine's weekend. Lots of chocolate (dark with almonds and sea salt is my favorite), naps, crafting, and a viewing of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

Happy Valentine's Day to you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Knit Mitts

Last Saturday I woke up with an unexpected yearning to go yarn shop hopping. I guess my resolve not to buy more yarn until I made a substantial dent in my stash had run its course and it was time to resume shopping.

On weekends I move slowly, so there was only time to visit two of my local yarn shops. One of my purchases was a skein of gorgeous cotton variegated yarn called Pima Fresca from the Queensland Collection. I love the teal blue with the shades of brown, but I have to admit it looks better wound in a ball than it does knit up. I was hoping it would stripe nicely, but it was not to be.

The mitt pattern is an improvisation that only took a few hours to knit on size 9 needles. They are a bit loose and uneven, but the cotton feels warm and comforting, especially on my achy wrists. I didn't realize how chilly my hands get in my apartment at night until I put these babies on.

Speaking of babies, some day I will knit a pair for these little hands.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Flower Power

Last weekend while browsing in thrift shops I found a gift for my 7-month old niece Lily-- a teeny tiny denim jacket.

After taking the jacket home, washing it and gazing adoringly at it for a while, an idea came for adding a pop of color ... a knit flower in bright pink and green.

The pattern for the flower is from the book Vintage Hearts & Flowers by Kate Haxell. The yarn is Crystal Palace Panda Cotton. It is one of the easiest flower patterns I've found and only takes a couple of hours to knit.

I'll take a photo of Lily modeling the jacket later this week when I see her. In the meantime, here is a recent photo of my little darling.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A project on the needles and a novel on the nightstand

This post is inspired by the weekly Yarn Along posts by Tracey at Clover .

I didn't set goals or make resolutions for 2012, but I did make an informal decision to try and use up a good portion of my stash before buying more yarn. Part of the reason for this decision is I still have most of the yarn I bought at Stitches West last year ... and the year before. Stitches West 2012 is coming next month, and I am hesitant to attend. The temptation to buy more yarn will be hard to resist.

As part of my attempt to knit down my stash, I'm working on a lace scarf for myself with this hand painted silk from Urban Fauna Studio that I bought at Stitches last year. It feels strange to knit for myself, but I bought the yarn specifically for me because of its softness (my skin is super sensitive) and because of the color.

On the bedside table is the novel Death Comes to Pemberely , a mystery featuring the Pride & Prejudice characters six years after Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage.

I am obsessed with Pride & Prejudice and love reading "what if" stories that reimagine Jane Austen's original work or continue where she left off. The first few chapters of Death Comes to Pembereley are a bit slow, but I am eager to see where the story goes.

What are you reading and knitting?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chunky cowl

I had to take a break from the never ending lap blanket that I've been working on and knit something fun and easy and fast on big needles. I used one skein of chunky Noro Furisode, an online impulse buy from a while back, to make a cowl based on this super simple Ravelry pattern.

Update 12/13 : If you are interested in purchasing Furisode, it is on sale right now at Webs for $11.95 per skein, marked down from $17.95.

It was good to complete a project from start to finish in one weekend. It helped me remember how fun knitting can be when you aren't desperately trying to get a semi-big project done by Christmas day. Last week I got so tired of that blanket that I started daydreaming about paying someone to finish it.

That was my first time using Furisode, a blend of silk and cotton with a little wool thrown in, and it felt so wonderful in my hands that I think I will intentionally buy a few more skeins. I would love to knit a few more of those cowls and give them away as gifts.

Charlie was born to be a cat model-- when asked nicely he will hold perfectly still and look at the camera. Now if I could only get him to wear my knits instead of only allowing me to drape them over him.

Have you heard of Zentangle? Apparently it has been around for years, but I just heard about it recently. Tonight I spent some time on YouTube watching instructional videos and then gave it a shot (above). The first few attempts were not great, but I'm inspired by some of the gorgeous patterns I've seen online and want to keep at it. Plus I love that feeling of going in to a sort of crafty trance and creating from that place.

My niece Lily is six months old now. She is sitting up by herself and starting to eat a little bit of fruit and veggies. Here is the little monkey at bedtime in her crib, not sleepy at all.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

19 More Days of Autumn

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly around the earth seeking the successive autumns. -George Eliot

We've been having gusty windstorms here the last several days, blowing the last of the yellow leaves off the trees and creating a floor of gold in the streets and yards. Winter solstice is December 22nd, so there are just 19 more days left of autumn, but every year it seems to me that winter begins on December 1st, no matter what the official start day is.

I took these photos of a persimmon tree in San Juan Bautista last week while I was there browsing antique stores. The bright leaves and deep-orange fruit were a glorious sight.

There were more than a few blossoms in the gardens we passed by. I love the delicate papery look and lavender color of this flower, although I don't know its name.

Still working away on the grandma-inspired lap blanket for my mother. Like the blankets I have knit previously, I've gotten attached to it and don't want to let it go ... but I will. Next year I hope to knit one for myself.

Happy last days of autumn to you.