Saturday, November 24, 2012

Glove Love

Isn't it great having crafty friends on facebook?  Not only can you share your latest creation... but you can take inspiration from all of theirs, lol!  That's exactly what happened with my latest couple of projects.  Enter "Vancouver Fog by Jen Balfour".  I had picked up some lovely, hand-dyed superwash yarn in a detash on Ravelry, and using my favorite "cabling without a cable needle technique" by grumperina, I came up with these beauties (project info on Ravelry):

For this particular pattern, anytime the directions instructed to “slip stitches to a cable needle and hold them to the back” I used this part, and if it read to “slip stitches to a cable needle and hold them to the front”, I used this part. With this particular pattern, you are only holding at the most 2 stitches on a cable needle before knitting them, so the technique works out very well.
For example, in the pattern you do a
lpk – slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold to front, p1, k2 from cable needle
I would slip 2 stitches purlwise (with yarn in back) onto my right hand needle, p1, and then with my left needle tip, I would insert the needle into the front of those two stitches I slipped, and pinching the base of the 3 stiches (the one I purled and the 2 I slipped) I would pull out my right hand needle altogether from those stitches. That leaves the 2 slipped stitches on my left needle and the one stitch I purled hanging in midair :) I put my right needle tip back into the hanging purl stitch, and then I knit those 2 stitches I slipped from the left needle to the right needle… and voila! lpk completed. If it is a right crossing instruction, you just repeat the process, but insert the left needle tip into the back of the stitches. Once you get the hang of it… it is so much faster than using a traditional cable needle (IMO, lol!)

After estimating my remaining yarn (with a glass half-full attitude, I might add!), I decided to try the Treads, a tipless gloves pattern by Victoria Anne Baker (also free on Ravelry).  I love the lateral braid that decorates these mitts, and by using this informative video (in English, instead of the reccomended video in German), I managed after an attempt where my braid ended up on the INSIDE of my mitt, to come up with the right pattern stitch!  However, I really did not have as much yarn as I had hoped, and so I couldn't complete the fingers and had to go with a ribbed, fingerless ending.
See how much yarn I had left by the end?  Here's the link to my project page on Ravelry, "Treading Lightly".

 I've never done gloves with fingers, or tipless fingers for that matter, though.. so I really wanted to knit this pattern again as written.  So... take 2 was knit up with a skein of malabrigo (809 Solis).. which was so buttery soft it was a joy to knit with!  This time the lateral braid worked like a charm.  It really is a fun addition to your stitch library!  (Project info on Ravelry)

What's next, you might ask?  Well... I have several skeins of that malabrigo left... so I think another pair of the Vancouver Fog are calling my name (and going straight into the Christmas Box!)  I really enjoy knitting with this yarn.  Here they are (more info on Ravelry):


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like......

Christmas!  Time to get that holiday sewing/knitting/crafting into high gear, lol!  And what better way to get into the mood than with some adorable holiday stitchery?  There's something about whipping up a batch of these guys that just makes me happy!

My favorite way to assemble these little guys is to trace my snowman design onto some high quality muslin with a pencil (you can always tape your design + muslin to a window to aid in this process), and then back the piece with some fusible fleece.  This hides my yarn tails, and gives me a sturdier piece to work with while I'm stitching the design.  For this project, I used the backstitch for outlining and words, satin stitch for the noses, and french knots for the eyes & mouths. 

After I'm done with the embroidery, I place the completed stitchery face down on a similarily sized piece of muslin, and stitch all the way around my completed snowmen (you can see the outline of the snowmen from the back because of the completed backstitch), leaving a 1-2" opening for turning.  After clipping corners and turning right side out, I then whipstitch the opening closed and add a thread loop for hanging.  Easy Peasy!

You too can stitch up a whole host of frosty goodness :)  The link to the free pattern is at the bottom of Samantha's Accessories blog, in the "Free Patterns" box... and the file name is "Free Snowman Stitchery Ornaments.pdf" 

In fact, these little guys make a good first project for a beginner (as demonstrated by my lovely daughter).  Once you get them started, everyone will want in on the action!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

THIS is love :)

My hubby wanted two new hunting hats for his upcoming birthday (as well as his elk trip) and he requested the pattern Man Hat by Haven Leavitt for both (the same pattern I used to make the hat from my handspun).   He really likes this “Man Hat” pattern.. no fuss/no frills, and it fits him well.  Plus, it's reversible!

The green one is in bulky malabrigo (a joy to knit, and OH SO SOFT) and it knit up a lovely moss color.  I've never worked with malabrigo before... but I will definitely be revisiting this yarn again soon!

The orange one… well…. the orange one is from a thrift store 100% wool sweater I unravelled and dyed EYE-SEARING HUNTER SAFETY ORANGE with food coloring on the stovetop (quite the undertaking, I might add. That is love). The yarn started off cream, and I mixed up some “Orange Sunset” with yellow and red to get that shade, lol! It is knit double (in case there is a blizzard, of course). I’m pretty sure you could wear it as armor.  It practically stands up on its own, and he thinks it is PERFECT (what more can you ask?)

Carrie's Review?  This is an excellent, and well fitting pattern... (and free, I might add!)  The perfect go-to hat for the manly men in your life :)