Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Well, here's to me squeezing in one more post before Xmas and taking a stab at making it somewhat festive!

amanita muscaria?

I needed a last minute ornament for a tree decorating party and stumbled upon this pattern from beewee.

SO cute/fun/fast and before I knew it I had five of them knit...a couple for my tree and a couple extras to give away!.

I basically just used scrap yarn...The white is Patons Classic Wool, and the red is Rowan Kid Classic. I cut the little white spots out of felt and just fabric glued them on. They would be even cuter with needle-felted roving I'm sure.

The great thing about this pattern is that it's knit all in one piece and you just sort of stuff it as you go. Pull the yarn through the top down to the bottom, tie it in a knot and cram in inside so you don't really have to worry about any seaming and it's done lickety split with super cute results.

I also used the same yarn combo for another fun ornament:


pattern: Cherry brooch by Amanda Berry from Fluff and Fuzz.

You should check her out on ravelry, she really has some of THE cutest knit toy patterns available (though this one is gloriously free) and very well-written.


Not really sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I will probably make some much smaller ones in future as brooches. (Perhaps something a little less testicle sized next time eh?).

And just so you're not thinking it's only been miniature knits coming off the needles these days, my Treeline Striped cardigan is finally done!

treeline striped cardigan

And I really like it (though have to say I don't think it's the most flattering thing --horizontal stripes, go figure...).

treeline striped cardigan

I knit the sleeves for this sweater probably about ten months ago (you may remember I had some issues with the sleeves), and then FINALLY picked it back up to finish off the rest last month.

I know a lot of people like to knit the sleeves first for sweaters but I've never really understood that, always preferring to get the biggest piece out of the way before anything else (i.e usually the back) but I have to say, because the pattern called for it that way, I knit the sleeves first and psychologically it did really seem to make a difference. (Or maybe it was my ten month lapse that made the difference?) cause once I got into the body of this sweater it just seemed to fly off the needles.

treeline striped cardigan

Now that said...this pattern was RIDDLED with errors. Too many to even get into here, so if you're thinking about knitting it I've written quite a few notes about it on my ravelry page for this F.O. You can find that HERE, hopefully it will help someone out. God knows I was ready to tear my hair out at a couple of points, but once you muddle through it all works out in the end.

I knit this using (once again...) Patons Classic Merino wool (in black and grey). I have a lot of Patons in the stash right now that I'm trying to get through. Don't get me wrong, I like it, (the price and yardage can't be beat) but I'm definitely getting tired of knitting with it lately. I'm craving something fancy again (but am TRYING to resist...)

Also knit with more black Patons:

Olive hat

The Olive Hat from the Patons "Fall in Love" booklet.

I was planning to gift this to my sister in law, but have subsequently moved on to something else instead. When I first saw the picture of it:

I was convinced it was cabled. Turns out it's a sea of eyelets, so not exactly the warmest hat to gift to someone.

olive hat

It's also knit flat which I found a bit weird. I'm not sure I've ever knit a hat flat before. The seam up the back is pretty invisible, but I still know it's there and it bugs me. I would definitely opt to knit this in the round the next time.

Nevertheless it's kind of become my go-to hat lately, so I shouldn't complain!

Olive hat

So there you have it --can't believe I managed to cram so much into one post on Xmas eve!

I hope everyone has an amazing Holiday season--all the best to you and yours!
xo Cara

Monday, December 13, 2010


This is my friend Marnie's 3 year old daughter, Stevie:

(thank you Marnie for taking these pictures for me!)

pattern: Roo by Kate Gilbert (I find Stevie even kind of looks like the girl in the pattern photos!)
yarn: Patons Classic Merino in Old Gold (this was discontinued and all went on sale a while back so I bought a boatload of it!)
needles: 4.5 mm
size: 22"

She's a cutie --of that there is no doubt! But she's retrospect I likely should have made her the 24" size, cuz it looks like it just fits her. (I guess it's a good thing wool is so stretchy, and sometimes around that age they start to stretch and lose their little kid bellies, so who knows she may still get some wear out of it next year). But then what the hell do I know about kids?--how to knit for them, but that's pretty much it...

I love all of Kate Gilbert's patterns, they seem to be very well written, but are easy to follow even though the finished results often look complicated (Sunrise Circle jacket anyone? Clapotis?) She seems to have a serious brain for designing interesting knits.

This one is no exception. I love the finished results--it has a sophistication you don't often see in kids patterns.

Looking at the pattern and it's 5 or 6 different charts is a bit daunting at first, halfway through I was questionning my sanity in putting that much effort into a kid's knit. I think in future I would definitely have to opt for something with a lot less seaming. Back/front/front/sleeves(both knit flat)/ was a lot of seaming for such a wee thing, but the finished result is worth it I'd say.

Also a pain in the ass? The toggles:


In the pattern she kind of suggests "gluing" the leather triangles to it, but I was leery of doing that. Instead I bought leather shoelaces and hammered holes through the ends so that I could sew them on, and then I also had to hole-punch the leather triangles in order to sew them on as well. The result looked good and is super sturdy, but again possibly more effort than it should have meritted. I would likely just opt for regular button holes/buttons were I to do it again.

And because I've been going a bit "Patons crazy" lately, MORE felted sliippers:

though actually those ones were knit using cascade 220 I think

But I did another pair in Old Gold, and these teal-y ones,
4 pairs down!


I used some puffy paint in an effort to make a bit of a non-stick bottom on them, but it didn't really work. It looks cute but they are just as slippy I'd say, so I wouldn't recommend it.

Such a great stash-busting pattern (and fast gift) that I know I will be going back to it again and again. You can find the pattern for the French press felted slippers HERE.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

In which a bunch of hats got knit...

Apologies for my long absence! There's been a few hats lately:

love that swirl!

Both of those hats are the same pattern --the Noro Spiral one skein hat in the same yarn, Noro Kureyon, but in two different colourways (#128 & #51 respectively).

Noro spiral hat

It's amazing how two different colourways can produce such different results!

Personally I'm not much of a Noro fan...I find it all kind of scratchy, and those crazy colours are just not for me (I know, I know, I'm sure there is something in their repertoire I'd die for, but nothing that I've come across locally so far). When I first started getting into this whole knitting/blogging about knitting thang it really seemed like everywhere I looked people were all "Noro this, Noro that", so it was one of the first yarns I purchased and *had to* try, but in the end I learned pretty quickly that I'd probably never buy it again.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and a friend who said "I have some yarn, you want it?" and the rest is history...Noro in my possesion once again. (She also gave me one sock and the rest of it's yarn, so I completed the second sock for her --the difference in gauge between the two was nothing short of hilarious).

So, if you're like me and you have a random ball of Noro kicking around (or insert other varigated yarn from the stash here)this just might be the perfect pattern for it--simple, fast and a great way to show off those changing colours. I gifted the first one back to her and she seems pretty pleased with it.

one sekin Noro hat

one skin hat

The other one however remains in my "gift box" anticipating someone who might like it. I like it too, but the colours are much more masculine and sometimes the problem with Noro (especially in a one-ball situation) is which end to start at. I kind of feel like I might have liked the colours here going in the opposite direction (with the grey on top...)

Noro hat

No matter, it's all good (and free!) so I can't complain---if I really cared I would be less lazy and actually start over and knit it in the opposite direction.

Another totes adorbs hat pattern:

from Norway with love

pattern: From Norway with love hat from Pickles
yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK (again this is yarn that has been in my stash for about 5 years now so I am glad to finally get to use it --and it's beautiful)--though I'm actually not sure if it's a colour that even exists anymore. I also used some leftover Misti Alpaca Worsted for the hearts.
needles: 4.5mm?

You can see more details about this on my ravelry projects page, but essentially I knit one less row of hearts because I decided to add an extra row between each row of hearts, was using larger needles and yarn all in an effort to get a somewhat slouchier hat....not sure if I'm totally pleased with the results (it's still too big but will be gifted to someone with a bigger head!) and definitely plan to knit it again.

I think next go-round I will probably go for something a little more colourful (at least in the hearts...) and I would maybe cast on less ribbing. Try as I might I think my intarsia skills are still a little tighter than I'd like them to be (though this hat is unblocked, don't know if that would make the difference).

I've cast on for a couple other hats as well for Xmas presents, so I feel like there's lots of little bits of knitting happening right now. It always kind of feels that way right before the holidays though. But I feel vaguely less guilty about spending my evenings off knitting when there seems to be so much more holiday socializing already under way.

Let the December bloat begin!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

and speaking of fringe...

Super dupes cute scarf pattern from Twinkle:

Twinkle scarf

pattern: Boysenberry scarf from Twinkle's weekend knits
yarn: Patons Classic Roving in "Natural" (I think...)
needles: US #17
mods: aditional garter stich rows were knit -- another 30 rows

boysenberry scarf

For a while there I was koo-koo for all things Twinkle, but I quickly grew to realize that an uber chunky knit was maybe not the best for my body type (still I will probably be first in line again when she comes out with a new book!). I kept at it though...big needles and big yarn and cranking out an uber fast sweater is pretty freakin' satisfying. Better to stick with accesories here I think though then go out of my way to look like a linebacker every day if I can avoid it.

The yarn was a gift from super fabulous Miss Muffy last Christmas and it's first incarnation: the Mobius cowl was a bit of a fail, so I'm happy to have found a pattern it's really working with.

It's a smaller yarn than the Twinkle soft chunky so I knit about another 30 or so rows to the length, and left the width as is. In retrospect I could have easily knit an additional 60 rows---I'd probably like it to be a bit longer still and may even tear back to do so. The Patons roving has no doubt made for a lighter/airier version of this scarf, which is probably a good thing given it's overall size.

Twinkle scarf
gotta love those "warts"!

Anyway I'm pretty happy with this on all points --it looks good, feels good, and even better was a super fast knit (a couple hours maybe?) the most time consuming was probably tying on the fringe at the end.

boysenberry scarf

And it's neutral colour probably means it will see a lot of wear!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Phildar love

I was just snooping around on the Phildar website and thought I'd share some cute numbers that caught my eye...

I've always been a bit of a fringe person (as in "I like fringe" not "I am on the fringe"), and just when I thought my love of fringe was on the wane I spotted these two:

Though I think those would both be easy enough to adapt, so I might have to re-visit some fringe patterns already in my possesion.

Also in love with:

Which I suppose could be considered vaguely fringe-y as well. And note: This is the only pattern of these here that has an English translation avaliable on their website right now.

And I've always had a soft spot for anything miltary or nautical-inspired...lots of patterns for that kind of stuff on Phildar right now too.

Also presently salivating over this:

and this:

I'm contemplating the dainty-ness of this next one, because I know it would probably be easy enough to bang out. I think it's time I veered away from cowls for a little while and into shawl territory again. There's a lot of really nice non-grandma-y patterns out these days.

That's it! I am well behind on taking pictures of things lately and have already been waylaid by Christmas knitting. In the past few weeks I've managed to crank out three cowls, three pairs of slippers AND a pair of socks for a co-worker...most of which has just felt like a slog (and I'm no where near done), so I am looking forward to getting back to more knitting of the personal/selfish variety!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Let's Neck!

Welcome to fall...

burberry inspired cowl

pattern: Burberry inspired cowl (I think I only did the four repeats that this pattern calls for)
yarn: Mirasol Sulka in "Cinnamon" (4 skeins)
needles: US 10.5


I love it when knitters come up with their own patterns for 800$ designer common folk like style too dammit! God knows I don't anticiptate owning anything purchased full price from Burberry in my lifetime.

I love this Mirasol Sulka, and it has seen several incarnations of me looking for just the right pattern for it. My husband bought it for me all on his lonesome a couple Xmases ago --just walked into a yarn store and picked out one he liked. (I thought that was pretty good for a dude who knows next to nothing about knitting or yarn...) There was this cowl that never really worked out, but this hat that did. And I still thought I had several skeins of it left when I started knitting the burberry-inspired cowl last month.

Turns out I was wrong on that score, and given that it was about two years ago that he got that yarn in the first place I figured there was no way I'd get the same dye lot again...but I did! (maybe no one else was buying it?) I didn't even bother looking for the same dye lot, I was just thankful they hadn't discontinued the colour-- so I grabbed two more, brought 'em home and low and behold --the yarn gods smiled on me!

The same LYS had one of my other favourite yarns on sale as well-- Italian made Lang Silk Dream. So I bought oodles of it (well, oodles for me). This is good news and bad...good news: half price! bad news: probably because it's discontinued :( . Ah well, it's probably time for me to branch out and try something new anyway.

That said (and with favourite on sale yarn in hand), I also knit another Eternity scarf...

eternity scarf

pattern: Eternity Scarf by Michele Wang
needles: 5.5mm
yarn: Lang Silk Dream (grey) 3 balls I think?

I was kind of bemoaning the last version I knit of this...

Eternity scarf

...because I had knit it in a DK weight yarn and I felt like it really wasn't thick enough and wanted to do it over again in an Aran.

Turns out I am slightly on the fence about it...I may still like the first one better. I think the Silk Dream is possibly just a bit too stretchy, I can't really wear it in it's "long" format without feeling like it'll be at my knees at the end of the day.

I haven't really decided yet if I will tear it out and start over with another yarn or just continue to wear it "doubled-up".

eternity scarf (doubled up)

Which is pretty much exclusively how I wear the first of the first of those that I knit anyway (and I do get a lot of wear out of it), because as you know: I am koo-koo for cowls.

In fact my sickness for cowls is starting to get out of hand. So even though I loooove knitting them, I've decided I need to put a hold on any more of them for greedy little me and start busting out a few as Christmas presents for co-workers. (I will keep you posted on whether that gets accomplished--I probably need to do about 5 of them).

I think I will be abandoning a lot of personal knitting the next couple months as I scramble to get Christmas presents done ahead of time for once ---I don't want to be having hand cramps as I'm trying to stuff down all that Turkey. Though I do have a couple completed things that I still need to get around to taking pictures of (and posting about) so more to come.

I'm so happy it's fall and the need to knit is upon me again --it's a therapy I need right now!

super sunny, much squinting

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Easing back into it...

I've had a trying couple of months. I won't go into all the gory details, but the short story is that our furry beast Poncho is no longer with us.

AE-1, light leaks and rainbow flare

He deserves a mention here though because he's always figured prominently in a lot of my knitting photos. I will miss him like crazy. It hasn't been that long since we said goodbye to Archie and we find ourselves in an empty house that as far as I'm concerned is now devoid of it's soul.

We are very sad, but it has been a far less shocking situation for us than the loss of our last cat. Poncho was old and lived a full life and in the end we knew he was suffering, so it was at least a decision that we were able to make.

bye bye poncho...

We love you P-man.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Neck Fail

Well, a partial neck fail at any rate...

THIS beast:


pattern: Mobius Cowl --you might have to sign up to get at these free patterns, but it's supposed to look like this:

yarn: Patons Classic Wool Roving in "Natural" (well, I think...the yarn was given to me sans labels so I'm not totally sure--there's the possibility this could also be Bernat Roving)
needles: 9mm

I suppose it actually seems vaguely passable in that top photo. But the reality is that "getting my head through it" does not a wearable cowl make.

You know, for all the times that I've mistakenly twisted my stitches while knitting in the round (and subsequently mistakenly knit a moebius) I could not for the life of me get my head around twisting the stitches on purpose.

I must have watched half a dozen youtube tutorials on how to knit a Moebius (as well as read some non video tutorials) --and believe me, the instructions are different everywhere. I mean the instructions on this pattern simply state "twist the stitches" but it's pretty easy to over-think something so simple I'd say. "Twist it all the way around?", "Loop my needle backwards?" etc. I finally just kind of pushed them up a bit and then plunged ahead, but really it's amazing how you find yourself "compensating" for a twisted stitch without even realizing it. I think it is just ingrained in me now to at least TRY not to make a mistake.

Content that I had finally done right it really wasn't until I was casting off that I reflected "wait a minute..." and realized I'd twisted the stitches twice. Ugh (blissfully this was a fast knit at least).

Laid flat it looks more like diaper than a cowl!:

D'OH! Still, as you can tell in the first picture I was able to at least put it on and get a feel for how it would look if I'd managed to do it right. And that was basically enough for me to realize that I won't bother knitting it again. I'm just too short for a cowl this size I'd venture and it totally swallowed me up.

Plus, I have already re-appropriated said yarn for a scarf that I am much happier with (but I have yet to take photos of it so that will have to wait).

I had forgotten all about the satisfying joy of knitting with big yarn and needles...nothing like a chunky knit to make you feel more accomplished.

And speaking of fast knits, I also had one ball of Twinkle soft chunky languishing in the stash. It has seen several incarnations --a couple different hats if memory serves, but I finally just pulled it all apart and whipped up a simple seed stitch cowl.

I knit this ages ago but loathed the colour of it.

yes, a leeetle too bright for me!

But I finally got around to tweaking the colour a bit and am much happier with it now.

I didn't put too much thought into it, but happened to have some Grey dye kicking around the house, so that's what I went with. It was just enough to take the edge off that harsh raspberry.

seed stitch cowl

Love it, though I think it's destined for the gift box...

As I type this I have two MORE cowls in the works.

I loves me a good cowl!