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…write about my current WIP’s for a while now, but somehow life (and knitting) interfered!! (note, this is a picture heavy post)

I think I eluded to a Garter Toke Cardi that my friend Elin and I were gonna start knitting together. We are emulating Knittingdropout’s gorgeous cardi that she is currently writing a pattern for (raveled here). We couldn’t wait so we decided to go ahead and do the calculations ourselves and knit away! I’m through the waist shaping and I’m currently working on one of the sleeves (I have a fear that I’ll run out of yarn even though I still have 6 balls left).

Garter Yoke Cardi

Garter Yoke Cardi

I’m using O-Wool Balance in Lapis, and I love it! When I first got the color I liked it but didn’t love it…But as I’ve been knitting I’ve really fallen in love with this color. Such a beautiful shade of blue. And I really want to get some of the Malachite color as well. Love O-Wool! And it has been real fun designing my own sweater (I love math!!), even if I’ve erased my numbers hundreds of times (aaaand I just realized that I effed up somewhere and I have to frrrrrrrrog all the way to the raglan!!, well, maybe I can fix without frogging – we’ll see.). Its actually inspired me to design some other garments, and socks! Which is what I’ve been doing…

These are currently called the Knitty Twist Socks (raveled here). There is still some tweaking left in the pattern, but I love how they turned out. And oh my how I love Dream in Color Smooshy! This is the In Vino Veritas colorway:


Knitty Twist Socks

Knitty Twist socks

These are my V is for Vesper socks (raveled here). I might rename them once I get the design down pat. I really wanted to knit something a bit more interesting for self striping socks than just you regular stockinette, something that shows off the striping goodness and at the same time keeps the knitting interesting. Not sure if this is going to fulfill that desire, only time will tell.

Vesper Socks

I’ve also been knitting a pair of Sandra Park’s Bloody Mary socks in Tempted Good Grrl Sock Yarn in the Bordello colorway. I’m not a huge fan of highly variegated yarn as I don’t like pooling or flashing very much, but I really like how this looks:

Bloody Mary's

And lastly I started my mom’s Christmas Cardi. I decided that I wasn’t going to knit for other people unless it was requested of me, and my mom wanted a cardi, so we went through some magazines and books and she picked out a few patterns. The one I decided on was Joy by Kim Hargraeves in her new collection Nectar (this book has FANTASTIC patterns!!). I’m not using the Rowan Denim the pattern calls for, so I’m just adjusting for the Denim shrinkage (which I actually don’t have to adjust for at all as my row gauge is pretty close to Denim’s after the shrinkage)

Mom's Joy

Oh, and am I the only person in the knitting community that doesn’t want to knit the February Lady Sweater??!!

I think this turned out pretty darn good…

Sahara

Pattern: Sahara by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in Mocha (or Baby Plum)
Beads: Amethyst Silver Lined Beads 6/0, about 2.5-6″ tubes
Needles: Size US4 & US6 Addi Circulars
Mods: Added some short rows, or course

Oh Sahara. The diamond rib stitch pattern is gorgeous. And I’m soooo glad I added beads. They were a bit of a PITA to thread on and knit with, but they really made a huge difference. And I love how this required practically no seaming what so ever (only needed it to seam up the center panel). Top down knits are the bomb!!

The only thing I would go back and change about this is I accidentally knit the hem in the wrong size needles. It doesn’t look bad, but I noticed that it puckers a bit when I wear it, so I may eventually go back and rip that out and reknit on US4’s. The good news is that I won’t run out of yarn! I love how the sleeves are constructed with short rows, and how you can adjust how deep you want the neckline by how far up you seam up the center panel (had to seam mine up a bit far – didn’t want the ladies poking out too much!!).

Sahara

I will say that I’m a bit worried with how much the Ella Rae Bamboo Silk will stretch. I think a little more length will be fine, but I can see how it would want to stretch a bit more, so we’ll see with wear. I was also worried about the color, but think it turned out fantastic, especially with the beads – without them the color would have definitely washed me out.

Sahara edging

All around a fabulous knit.

I also knit up aHelmet Liner for my dad’s Christmas gift while on a business trip. Its a quick knit and I think he’ll love it!!

Dad's Helmet Liner

Pattern: Helmet Liner by Bonnie Long
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Stone Blue #99
Needles: Size US6 & US8 Addi Circulars and Crystal Palace DPN’S
Mods: None

One of my really good friends grew up in Philly and is a hardcore hockey fan…therefore a hardcore Philadelphia Flyers fan. I share her love of sports (its very hard to find chicks that love sports), so for Christmas this year I wanted to knit her a sports themed item…the Philly Flyers Fetchings.

philly-fetching.jpg

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Needes: US4 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPN’s
Yarn: Cascade 200 Wool in Black, Burnt Orange and White
Mods: I did 4 repeats of the cable on the wrist, and I did a regular bind-off instead of the picot bind-off.

She loved them! I’m hoping these will be her wrist warmers to every Flyer game she goes to 🙂

My friend suggested to another friend that she may be interested in a knitted clutch, and her fiance told me her wedding colors were red, brown, and aqua, so voila, a stripy felted clutch:

aerins-clutch.jpg

Pattern: The Clutch You’ll Never Give Up by Leigh Radford, One Skein
Needes: US11 Addi Turbo Circs
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Red, Blue Bonnet, and Chocolate – 1 skein each
Finished Size: 14″ x 6″ pre-felting, 12″ x 6″ post-felting
Mods: Obviously I knit this stripped. If I remember correctly I knit 12 rounds in chocolate and red, then 10 in blue, including the handle. I also cast on 95 stitches as my gauge was off since I was using smaller needles that recommended in the pattern.

I think the clutch is adorable. It was my first felting project, and I closely followed the directions in One Skein for felting, but instead of adding a tennis ball to the washer, I tool the advice of my LYS and added a pair of jeans. It took 3 cycles in the agitator to get it felted all the way. I decided not to add any buttons because 1) My good friend is very particular about stuff like that and I thought she might like to choose something herself, or go without buttons, and 2) I couldn’t find any that I liked and that matched. I also didn’t line the bag for the same reasons but will let Aerin know that if she wants it lined I can sew it in for her (as well as attach any buttons). Now I need one for me!!

I have several Christmas FO’s to report!  I gave these Cozies to all my brother-in-law’s family, and some of my close friends on Paperback Swap.  They were so easy to make and after knitting a few I had a system and was able to whip each one up in about 90 minutes.  I also added some homemade hot cocoa and mini marshmallows with the mug and cozy.

garter-mug-cozy-2.jpg

garter-mug-cozy-3.jpg

Pattern: Garter Mug Cozies by Cathy Carron, Interweave Knits, Holiday 2007
Needles: US5 Cystal Palace Bamboo DPN’s
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Cardinal, Pea Soup Mix, and Woodland Mix – I used less than 3 skeins for 12 cozies
Mods: I did 6 increases for the base, then knit 10 rounds stockinette before switching to garter rib.  I then knit 16 rounds of garter rib in the main color before switching to the contrast color.  For the tie I cast on 20 stitches instead of 15 on each side.

These are such a great gift!  They are quick to knit up and who doesn’t drink coffee, tea or cocoa?   I recommend buying the mug before knitting to make sure it fits nice and snug 🙂

dads-kneewarmers.jpg

Pattern: Dad’s Kneewarmers – my own
Needles: US4 Cystal Palace Bamboo DPN’s
Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool in Sapphire – about 100 yards

My dad’s knees always get cold, so my mom suggested I knit him up some Knee Warmers. After measuring my knee as a guide, I cast on 68 stitches and just knit in the round for about 65 rounds. My gauge on this was about 21 sts/4 inch. Its basically a simple tube.

moniques-tam.jpgmoniques-tam-closeup.jpg

 

Pattern: Based on the December Lights Tam by Mary Jane Mucklestone (Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007)
Needles: US1 and US2 Addi Turbo Circs
Yarn: ShiBuiKnits Sock in Bark – a little less than 1 skein
Mods: Obviously I didn’t knit this up in fair isle. I used the pattern as a guide on the construction of the Tam. I was also off a little in the row gauge (I had 2 more/inch), so I added 7 rows to the body and another 4 to the decrease rounds, just spaced them out equally.

I love how this turned out! The sock yarn was a delight to knit with (and I still have one skein left so I guess I’ll be buying more Shibui!!). My good friend was flipping through the IK Holiday Gifts issue and said that the tam would be so cute in brown or black, and that she had seen on at Nordstrom’s or something and that it was very expensive. Perfect gift for her! Plus I think it looks really great on her, and I love the color!

shiftings-sands.jpg

 

Pattern: Shifting Sands Scarf by Grumperina
Needles: US8 Straight Needles
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Rich Chocolate – 2 skeins
Mods: I cast on 37 stitches to make the scarf a bit narrower.

 

Big thumbs up on this one!! This scarf is for my brother-in-law for Christmas. At first I was a bit worried that the colors wouldn’t be masculine enough, but after asking lots of guys their opinion I believe it will do fine! I love this pattern – its easy and a bit mindless. I did get bored with it after a while and ended up putting it aside for other projects, but absolutely LOVED how it turned out. Malabrigo is some of the best yarn out there…in fact I think I convinced a LYS to carry it – yay me! The scarf also curled like a mo-fo, but after blocking it appears it won’t be an issue.

I cast on for Elijah on Friday, even though I hadn’t finished the Shifting Sands scarf yet.  I kinda got tired of knitting it (I find it hard to knit a scarf all at once…its too long!).  I’ve only got about 1/3 of a hank left, so I’ll probably finish it by tomorrow.  Here’s what it looks like so far:

shifting-sands-wip.jpg

Its curling like a mo-fo on me, so it will need some serious blocking and probably some steam blocking too.  But its a gorgeous knit, and I know the recipient will be very happy with it!

Anyway, like I said I cast on for Elijah on Friday.  Since I’m knitting Elijah in pink, I’m calling her Elisa.  I was so excited to knit this little cutie, that as soon as I got my yarn in the mail Thursday I knew it wouldn’t sit in my stash for long.  However, once I set out the pattern and started to knit, I realized that the yarn I bought was not even the right weight!  Why I thought Elijah was knit in a fingering weight yarn is beyond me, but that’s what I bought – Rowan 4ply Soft in Fairy.  I purchased 2 balls, and it dawned on me that I could probably double up the yarn.  So that’s what I did – and I think it looks great!  I was worried that I might run out but I’m down to just his ears and I think I have plenty left.

elisa-wip.jpg

I am in love with this knit.  It has been soooo much fun knitting her up, and the pattern is so well written and easy to follow.  The arms were a bit of a pain because Elisa head and trunk kept getting in the way of those DPN’s, and I ran into a mental block last night how to knit up her ears, but I seriously think think this will become my staple knit for all my preggo friends.  How can you NOT fall in love with this stuffed angel from heaven??  I’ve already planned on knitting him up in yellow for my friends who has chosen to not know the sex of her baby. ABSOLUTELY. ADORABLE.

And why have I just now discovered Inox Double Point needles??  They are FABULOUS!  I have found that my knitting on bamboo  DPN’s is a bit stiff and uneven (my knits are significantly tighter than my purls) and moving the yarn along them can be a bit rough.  The Inox needles glide.  I lurve them.

I also worked on my BFF socks the weekend of Thanksgiving, and although I don’t have pictures, I love how they look.  I’ve knit up through the heel flap, but I think I’m going to rip back and add a short row heel because I like the way short heels look and as of now the heel flap is too long anyway.

I think next up as far as holiday knits go is to finish up the Broad Street Mittens.  They have been hibernating way too long and I need to get crackin’ on them. I am waiting on yarn to knit up The Clutch You’ll Never Give Up and a pair of Fetching Gloves, and I’m waiting for my Christmas mugs to arrive for which I’ll be making many Garter Mug Cozies.  I’m also going to knit up a few more Calorimetry’s but haven’t decided which yarn to use (I want to use stash yarn for them).  Its home stretch time!

An alert to all friends and family…some of these gifts might be for you, so if you wanna be surprised look away!!!

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Now that I got that out…I cannot tell you how easy these mitts are to make. It took me no time at all to finish them both (I’d say somewhere around 4 hours). These mitts are part of a gift set and will include a Calorimetry and a matching My So Called Scarf.

fetching.jpg

fetching-12.jpg

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Needles: US6 Crystal Palace Bamboo Double Point Needles
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Stonechat
Mods:
I did a regular bind off instead of the Picot bind off. Other than that I knitted them according to the pattern.

 

I love them! Just need to knit myself a pair now, especially since I gave my Composed Mitts to one of my best friends, Sarah. Merry Christmas, girl!!! Oh, and I am in love with Malabrigo. Seriously, that some damn good yarn. Seriously.

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