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!