Natalie

I am blessed to have a handful of real, live knitting friends, and each of them are different. They each influence my knitting and my life in unique ways.

Natalie inspires me to be more energetic, to exercise, to enjoy my baby more, and she keeps me young. She keeps my knitting young, too. As I get older I realize that I am no fashionista, but I have Natalie to help me. It was she who aided me when I was choosing the pattern for the sister-in-law-Christmas-sweater. And it was she who inspired my first headband pattern up for sale in my new Ravelry pattern store.

The Natalie Headband is a simple ribbed headband worked from one end of icord to the other with decorative increasing and decreasing sections to form the shape and give the ribbing movement along the piece. I am sure that my knitting buddy will make her own with fabulous improvements – a big flower and/or a cute button – and I can’t wait to see it!

This headband is the first of a set that I have been working on. I will sell them individually as I complete them, but when all is ready I plan to put them together in an e-book.

Coming up next – Wren.

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Another Quick Knit

My recent splurge led to this next knitting project. I got a new toy this month. I got an iPad.

And, as everyone knows, every iPad needs a cozy.

And, as every *knitter* knows, all good things are made better when swathed on wool.

So, I harnessed some of my creativity and whipped up a little purple merino bag to keep my new gadget warm on the cold nights ahead.

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I used Judy’s Magic Cast On (which is really cool and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should) and worked stockinette stitch in the round to a good depth then worked some cables across the top edge, leaving gaps for the handles and button strap. I am really quite pleased with how it turned out. Of course, how could I go wrong? That Malabrigo Merino Worsted is to die for!

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Snuggle Cocoon Thingie

I bought some yarn last week.

Well, technically, it isn’t really yarn.

It is a T-shirt.
A T-shirt that happens to be cut into one long, continuous strip and rolled into a ball to look like yarn.
(I got it from The Cable Company on etsy.com)

But it’s not really yarn.

And this is what I made with the not-yarn.

It is a gift for a friend who is having a baby in August.
In Dallas.
Who wanted a cocoon.
A bulky weight cocoon.

I think the T-shirt not-yarn should be cool enough while still retaining the awesome look of a large gauge of bulky yarn (but it’s not really yarn), don’t you think?

I realize that it looks small in these photos, but I am using a 12.5 pound baby to model a newborn size cocoon, so I guess it will work for my dear friend.

For a pattern? Well, I just winged it. I cast on 4 stitches on size 15 DPNs and started knitting a ribbed tube with occasional increases to the top. Easy Peasy.

Sorry to spoil the surprise, Candi, but I am so excited about this and these pictures are too cute not to share! It will be on the way to you tomorrow.
Hope you enjoy it!
🙂

Whirl of a Wisp

Wren – I don’t think you read my blog, but today is not the day to start. Kindly refrain. See you Saturday! Shelly

The Whirl of a Wisp experiment has come to a lovely end. I am glad to have it done in time to give it to the sis for her birthday on Saturday. Here are some pictures to prove two things – 1) I can knit whatever I want! and 2) I am not a model. (In my defense, the sun was in my eyes and I had all the little people asking, “Can I take pictures, Mama?”)

Now for the knitterly details. ( I love this part)

This is less of the Wispy than I thought that it would be. When I started, I cast on and began as if I was making a Wispy, but pulled it out when I decided to taper the sleeves. So, I started again, with a provisional cast on, and slowly increased to the armpit, resuming the Wispy pattern, I worked across the back and just mirrored the second sleeve to the first.

The Whirligig influence was heavy as I got to the cuff of the second sleeve – I just put the cabled ribbing and seed stitch ruffle at the end of the arm. Then, I went back to the beginning, picked up the provisional stitches and repeated the process.

At this point, I had a Wispy back with tapered sleeves and Whirligig ruffles.

Picking up the stitches along the bottom of the back edge was the next task, after which I just did another cabled ribbing/seed stitch ruffle to match the cuffs.

Returning to the Wispy pattern, I picked up the edge stitches up the right front, around the back of the neck, and down the left side for a 2×2 rib collar.

Voila! The Whirl of a Wisp.

Now, the real test comes. Will a fashion savvy fifteen year old wear it? We shall find out soon enough. (And, you know, even if she hates it and it dies a sad death in the back of her closet, I think I’d be okay. I really did this for me – the thrill of a challenge, the puzzle to solve, the creativity that sometimes runs amok in my mind! It was a very satisfying project, even if it isn’t the treasured gift that I hope it is.)

Princess Crown – Free Knit Pattern

When thinking up ways to bless my little Princess for her sixth birthday, I came up with this nifty little crown. I thought that since she liked it so much, perhaps you know a little girl who would love it, too. Here you go:

Princess Crown

Yarn – worsted weight (I used Dream In Color Classy, Wisterious)

Needles – size 4

Gauge – 24 st to 4″, in St. st., although not terribly important. Look for a stiff-ish fabric so that the points stand up nicely.

Entire crown is worked in garter stitch – no purls.

Cast on 12, knit two rows.

Crown peak increase pattern

row 1 – k to last st, yo, k1

row 2 -k all stitches

repeat increase rows 1  & 2 four times more, to 17 st (if you want your peaks higher or lower, work inc rows more or fewer times)

Crown peak decrease rows

row 1 – k to last 4 st, k2tog, yo, k2tog

row 2 – k all stitches

repeat decrease rows  1 & 2 four more times (back to 12 st)

This makes one peak. Repeat crown increase set and crown decrease set to make enough peaks to encircle the head. Bind off and sew bind off edge to cast on edge. Block well.

Variation-

I made a variation of peaks in the center, making the front of the crown a little higher:

Higher front peaks –

After knitting 3 peaks of the same size,

Repeat the increase rows for the third peak until there are 19 st on the needle

Decrease to 16 st

Increase to 21 st.

Decrease to 16 st

Increase to 19 st

Decrease to 12 st

Continue making uniform peaks 2 more times.

I Had A Great Idea

Wool longies are so useful. I have been knitting wool longies and shorties, and skirties and undies, for a few years now. I use them everyday. I love them. I just hate knitting them. Granted, it is a quick knit. I don’t need to look up a pattern. I can whip out something cute, useful and compliment worthy really fast. Sometimes, in the middle of a long sleeve, or a lace shawl, I make a pair of longies to remember what it is like to bind off. But, they are boring. Boring, boring, boring. So, every time I make another soaker, I get creative. This time was no exception.

Winter is coming, and the nights are getting cooler, so I was thinking that I would like a pajama type of longie that would be warm and cute and wonderful. I wanted a square neckline, a straight body and long, warm legs. Something like this, only put the longies at the bottom:

Now, a smart girl would buy the pattern and just change the bottom, but I had a “better” idea. I just decided to wing it. How hard could it be? (famous last words, right?)

This is the first prototype. Well, the first one that got farther than 4 rows. I cast on, knit a bit, and frogged. Over and over and over. And, each time I started over, I changed my stitch count. I really didn’t want it to be too small. Of course, there was no gauge swatch involved, so it was all a big guessing game. And, while that picture above may look cute, it is a disaster, and I will tell you why. The front portion of the neck, from corner to corner, measures seven inches! I don’t know about your baby, but my baby’s chest is probably closer to three.

No problem, I thought when I realized this. I will just change my plan. This can be a something for Emma. This is where knitter denial reared it’s ugly head. Emma’s chest is only 5 inches…

So, I knit around and around, and it was nice, fast, mindless knitting. Then, I thought, I should try this on Emma. So, I put all the live stitches on scrap yarn and called Emma over to me. Wouldn’t you know it? The straps are too far apart (as I suspected they would be) and the body was too tight around the middle.

Some garment I made – it doesn’t work on any body, and there are a lot of bodies to choose from in this house! I need someone who is broad shouldered and skinny as a rail.

Back to the drawing board….

Abby’s Dream Come True

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Abby’s Dream Sweater in Dream in Color Smooshy (Ruby River, Green Lantern, Visual Purple and Buttercup)

Three things about this sweater.

1. Collaborating with my daughter was so fun. I can’t wait to do it again. And it was awesome to see her face when I presented her the finished product. She said it is exactly what she pictured. Score!

2. Still need buttons. I am thinking little pearl buttons that will fit in the weave of the button band. I didn’t put holes.

3. I learned through this project (among other things) that I don’t know how to do intarsia. It was  a poor attempt and I can see lots of flaws. I think I need to take a class or something. I am a self taught knitter, but I can tell I taught myself this technique wrong.

So, there it is. Success. 🙂