Some Christmas Knitting

I have to admit that I did not do a lot of knitting for the holidays this past year – you are supposed to have more energy in your 2nd trimester (which I did) but that did not mean that I had any more FOCUS!!  Therefore, Christmas gifts hand knit by me, were few and far between!!  This dishtowel and 2 hot pad set was sent down to Debby in Key West – b/c really, they don’t exactly need hats and scarves down there!!

Dishtowel pattern is a free pattern from Lion Brand, Cottontail Dishtowel and the hot pads are ALSO a free pattern from Crochet Today! magazine, Your Nana’s Potholders.  These were all very satisfying projects that were finished quickly!!  The backs of the potholders worked up a little looser then I would have liked, thereby making them a little ‘puffy’ when they were attached together.  I would not use them as proper potholders for this reason, but they will make great hotpads!!

Yarn used: Bernat handicrafter cotton in Soft Yellow, Lily Sugar N Cream in Ecru and Soft Teal. 4.5 mm hook

More to come!



FO 3/52: Emmaline!!!!

Well, I thought that it just could NOT be done, but in fact, I was wrong! I have knit a sweater THAT FITS!!!!

I have to admit that I am a little bit nervous about actually wearing it *somewhere* since I read so many stories about other sweaters that stretch out into an unrecognizable mess.  😦  Right now I am still living off of the high of actually completing something that didn’t end up in the garbage can!!

The only modifications I made are these, I had to knit for 3.5″ for the bodice instead of the 2″ the pattern called for.  I was a bit surprised by this actually b/c my chest is very short and thusly, I have cleavage when I wear a scoop neck t-shirt.  I am SO GLAD that I took the time to try the sweater on before just blindly following the pattern!!  Since I had to knit for an additional 1.5″ at the bodice, I only had to complete 12.5″ underneath the bodice to achieve the proper length.  I did this by only knitting 7 rounds during the last knit section, this section called for 12 rounds.

4 skeins of Araucania Nature Cotton was JUST enough to make the Small, leaving me a small amount of leftovers.

The only gripe I have about this knit is that the top is a little baggier than I would prefer and the back sort of puffs out when I stand up straight.  Fortunately, or not, I typically have horrible posture so this probably won’t factor into being an issue. 😉  The waist increases and decreases worked for me, but I can see where a lot wouldn’t like them.  I am pear shaped, therefore my waist is not typically a problem area for me.  I did, however, stop and try it on after the first set of decreases to make sure that it wasn’t going to be too tight.  It is definitely snug, but not **tight**.  I can see where if you carry any extra weight in your stomach you’d want to do something differently there.

I did not knit a gauge swatch for this pattern; instead I used my Anthropologie Inspired Capelet as my swatch and knew that with size 11 needles I was going to end up with a really LOOSE sweater.  Something I did not want.  I opted for the next size down, 10 1/2.  If those had been too tight, I was going to have to break down and order some 7.00 mm tips from KnitPicks.

Now that I’ve completed a successful sweater I really feel like a knitter! I am feeling much more confident and ready to take on other sweater and garment patterns!

Easter Cloths

After I finished up my Anthropologie Inspired Capelet last week, I used my ‘free time’ before starting project #2 to finish up a WIP that was being ignored.  Since I did not get these finished in time to use them around Easter I did not stress myself on finishing them up quickly.  I was, however, ready for them to crossover from the land of WIP to the land of FO.  Each cloth is such a quick knit that I didn’t have to spend much time finishing up the 2 or 3 that remained.

Easter Cloths, design by Kris Knits…

I love going through my stash of cotton yarns and choosing the color for each cloth.  I always think that I want to use up the majority of my cotton and have a smaller stash, but then that would take away so many of my color options – and for some reason I *always* want to have a lot of cotton yarn to choose from.

For these cloths I used a size 4 needle (b/c my size 3 was occupied) and used Sugar N Cream in Rose Pink, Yellow, Hot Purple, Cream, Tea Rose, Hot Green, Robin’s Egg Blue and Soft Teal.

Two Toys

One of my friends from high school recently had her 2nd baby so I wanted to send her something for her new daughter – since she also has a son and I didn’t want to leave him out, this meant that I got to make 2 toys instead of just one!  I asked her what animals her son likes and she said Snakes! and that her daughter didn’t have any stuffed animals yet, but she thought kitties her good for little girls.  I was excited about both options b/c I meant that I got to knit 2 patterns that I’d never done before!

For the snake I knew exactly what pattern to use, Curly Snake from the book, Itty-Bitty Toys.  (I love everything Susan B. Anderson!)

This is from the section of toys using sock yarn, so I was able to use some stash yarn – Red Heart Heart & Sole in Green Envy – probably not something I’d want to wear on my feet, but it makes a pretty cute snake!! This little guy used about 1/2 skein on size 2 needles.  Susan recommends using size 3 in the book, and while my gauge was actually tighter than what was called for in the book, I actually prefer this fabric.  I am terrible at stuffing knit items and not having them stretch out all over the place, so I was interested in a stiffer fabric.  The good thing about toys is that gauge is not all that important – so that is perfect for me since my gauge is typically all over the place anyway! 😉

For the kitty, I chose Greta the Captivating Cat – I did not immediately think to knit this cat, I was going to crochet one, but I did some browsing on Ravelry and saw this one.  I already had this pattern, so it was perfect!!

I used about 1.5 skeins of Patons Paradiso doubled with size 5 needles to produce a very thick fabric!  So think in fact that if I were to do this again I would go up to a size 6 needle just out of sympathy for my hands!  This was a struggle to finish due to hand cramping!  I have had this in my stash for AGES! Literally since I began knitting about 6 years ago.  I bought it on ebay from some lady that sent to me half made up into a sweater! I had to rip her sweater out to reclaim my new yarn. hahaha  This is great yarn for baby girl toys so I am already planning my next project with it – i have 6.5 skeins left!!  You’ll definitely be seeing it again.

One modification I made on Greta was that I did not choose to do the 3 needle bind off on the top and then stuff the entire kitty through the small opening at the bottom. I did not think that I would be able to stuff it properly or completely, so I chose to stuff the kitty from the top and kitchener stitch the top closed.  I was NOT trying to be fancy, I just did not want to get everything closed up and have to stuff poly-fill thru the tiny bottom opening all the way to the top of the kitty’s head. ;0)

Kitty and Snake – Ready to go to their new home and meet their new friends!!

Maria’s Birthday Beach Cloths

For Maria‘s birthday this year she got the Beach Cloths Set!  She loves to go to the beach, but doesn’t get to as often as she’d like (and let’s face it — Who does!?).  Now when she is doing dishes she can drift away to a tropical Oasis- LOL!

Colors Used:

Sailboat Cloth – Cornflower Blue
Seahorse Cloth – Tea Rose
Fish Cloth – Sunburst
Bikini Cloth – Rose
Palm Tree Cloth – Soft Teal
Pail & Shovel Cloth – Yellow
Sand Castle Cloth – Jute
Seashell Cloth – Ecru

Happy December!!

I can’t believe that it is already December – but I have been doing my best, along with the help of “The General“, to be prepared with all of my Christmas knitting this year.  Fortunately, I have been able to significantly shorten the recipient list due to lack of ideas – I have already made most everybody in my family all of the gifts that I can think to make for them!  Therefore, only a very few are getting that last “I want to make this for you and here it is” gift.  Takes a LOT of the pressure off of me!!  I say it every year and this year I really mean it, next year the only people getting knitted gifts will be my husband and my mother!! 🙂

I did manage to squeeze in a little Thanksgiving project while working on my other commitments, the Tiny November knit-a-long at the Spud & Chloe blog.  I love everything by Susan B. Anderson, so this was a fun project even tho I didn’t actually get to knit along with her – I was a few days behind getting started and then a LOT of days behind getting finished.  Nevertheless, Franklin is completed:

I used Lily Sugar n Cream in Warm Brown, Wine, Yellow, Jute, and Sage Green.  All from my stash – so this was a really fun way to use some stash yarns.

I have recently discovered how loose of a knitter I am, so I had to use size 3 needles in order for my fabric to be tight and my stuffing not show thru.  That can be a little rough on my hands and that is why I had to go a little slower on knitting this.  But I had him finished for Thanksgiving and took him to show off at my grandmother’s.  He was very well received and now sits by the TV waiting for next year!!

Kiddie Cadet

For the most part, I am still churning away on Christmas gifts (and other gifts) but I did manage to squeeze in one baby knit last week.

This is the Kiddie Cadet, a free download on Ravelry.  I made this for my friend’s little 3 month old daughter.  It really turned out precious I think.

I used size 5 needles and a very small amount of Rowan Calmer (less than 1/2 skein) to produce a VERY STRETCHY hat.  This was my first time using Calmer and I was not disappointed!  I’ve had this brown in my stash for several years now so I was happy to get to use it for this project.  I am now definitely a Calmer fan.

I am most impressed with the little brim of this hat – I messed up the count somewhere along the way but everything turned out fine.  I am very pleased with the outcome!

For the little flower I used a pattern I found on ravelry for a 2-layered crochet flower (right now I cannot seem to locate it) and only did the first round.  I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lake.  This yarn is so splitty!!  I think this is just a bad skein b/c it is very faded and just all around unpleasant in comparison to the other skeins of cotton ease I have used.  (In fact, my most favorite amigurumi to date is made from Lion Brand cotton ease in almond and it is the softest thing ever.)

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