Cast-on Monday: Foxglove Cloche and Poodle for Hire

My Monday knitting group took a field trip to Another Yarn in Winchester, MA.  They had some of the new Madelinetosh colors, and I found that Foxglove (in Tosh DK) just had to come home with me.

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I’ve already turned it into this adorable hat — which still needs a ribbon and a button to be finished:

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I also (finally) cast on for the poodle I owe to the winner of the Jasper raffle — I made a leg, then frogged it, because it was HUGE. I ended up un-plying the Pipsqueak I’m using into three individual plies, and using just one ply to made the leg again. It worked, I’m happy with the results: “just” three more legs, two sides of the body, the head, and the tail to go. 🙂

Pipsqueak:

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CO Monday: Purple Hedgehog Hat, Berringbone Patch Socks, Bam Boo Branches Store Sample, Silver Ribband

Welcome to CO Monday, or (as it shall be known this week) “Have I Lost My Mind?”  I started four new projects this week, even though I already have multiple projects already actively in progress.  Perhaps I am crazy, and believe I have grown extra arms, and need even more projects to keep my extra arms busy.  I hope those extra arms already know how to knit.

I think the cause is simple: I’m getting near the end of many of those WIPs, and I’m anticipating the lull that follows — the panic that sets in when I don’t have enough projects! Eek!

So, here are the four newbies:

Purple Hedgehog Hat — I bought a skein of Mushishi as a courtesy purchase when I checked out Aunt Margaret’s Yarn Shop in Chelmsford, MA.  The main draw of this shop (for me) is that they carry a full line of Knit Picks needles, including interchangeable tips and cables! But, I didn’t need any needles on this visit, so I chose a big cushy skein of purpley yarn.  It has long color repeats, but they aren’t that different from each other.  I’m taking full advantage of the color repeats with the short-row bumps in this hat. I have two bumps done so far :).

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Next up: Berringbone Patch Socks.  I haven’t made a pair of socks in quite a while.  It was time.  I’ve had this skein of Stroll Hand-painted around for a while, earmarked for socks … I did change my mind about the socks I was going to make, though.  I’ve decided I really don’t like lacy sock patterns, because they don’t wear as well as more solid patterns. I’ve finish the cuff and gotten about four rows into the herringbone pattern.

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I also cast on for a store sample for Hub Mills of my upcoming CEY design, tentatively called Branches.  The pattern sample is in cranberry, but the store sample will be this gorgeous purple:

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I cast on for this project, because I had finished the cape I was making as a store sample.  The pattern book won’t be out until June, so I have plenty of time to work on it.  But, when I work in the shop, I can only knit on projects for the store — I wanted to make sure I had something to do with my hands if it turned out to be a slow day.  As it happened, it WAS a slow day … but I didn’t work on the purple project at all.  Instead, I cast on (and then finished) a Sliver Ribband for the store.  We recently got in several kits by Laura Nelkin, and I got to make this one:

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I stranded the beads and knit it up in a single day — the kit comes complete with the yarn, beads, clasp, pattern, and even a little threader to help put beads on the yarn. I give it high marks!

CO Monday: Evergreen Beanie

I was relatively restrained this week, and only cast on one new project — and a small project at that!  I’m making an Everdeen Beanie (from the Weekend Hats book). If you compare my brim and most-of-first-repeat photo (below) to the pattern photos, you will see I’ve made some mods. First and foremost, I opted for a 1×1 twisted rib (instead of 2×2 rib), because twisted rib is tidier (especially for loose knitters like me) and 1×1 rib flows into the body pattern better (IMHO). I had to do the first row of the pattern just a little different, in order to make everything flow just right — I’ll post full details when I finish the hat.

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FO Friday: Sea Drift Toque

For Christmas, my in-laws gave me a copy of Weekend Hats. Swoon!  I cast on and finished this sweet little hat in less than a week — I found the pattern absolutely addictive. My middlest son was kind enough to model for me … but I think this hat will be for ME, thank you very much :).

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Project: Sea Drift Toque

Pattern: Drift Toque

Designer: Jocelyn Tunney

Available: in Weekend Hats ($15.30 on Amazon.com)

Yarn: Happy Feet DK in #52

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This hat has a really cool construction!  It’s worked sideways from a provisional cast on.  The cables sidle back and forth using increases and decreases (hidden by the reverse stockinette), and the crown shaping is accomplished with short rows.  I’m great at hiding short rows on the stockinette side — looks like I could use some practice hiding them on reverse stockinette too. At the end, the large graft is a bit of a bug-a-boo, but totally do-able.  I only had to undo stitches once, and that was only 10 or so.

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Cast-on Monday: a pansy and a wristlet

Last Monday, I didn’t have any new projects to talk about! The horror! I went a whole week without casting on anything new.  How tragic. This week I made up for this lack by casting on TWO new projects, using yarn I bought at the Hub Mills sticker sale.

Here’s my start of Panzee, in CEY Cotton Classic. I’ve never actually made a washcloth before, and I just love the Pansy Cloth pattern (by designer Theresa L. Jones).

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I also cast on for my Hellebores Wristlets, in CEY Silky Alpaca Lace. As far as I can tell, I’ll be able to make the wristlets AND the hat from a single ball of the super-soft very-purple yarn.  This project came about because the designer of Hellebores, Anne Hanson, was chosen for a designer JAL by the 52 in 52 group on ravelry.

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Ravelry Monday: Cascade Kid Seta Cardigan, Forgotten Garden Shawl, Ballycastle Tam

First Pick: Cascade Kid Seta Cardigan, by Marelie Hurter (FREE!)

Frothy, drapey, pretty … and very, very simple.  Made in laceweight yarn on big needles, the finished cardi should be lightweight and warmer than you’d expect … just the thing for spring.  What really sells me on it though is that it reminds me of Annie’s cardi (the ghost in “Being Human”).   This one made in into my queue! I think I’ll use something browny-grey?

Second Pick: Forgotten Garden Shawl, by Rose Beck ($5.00)

This elegant geometric shawl evokes formal gardens: box hedges and well-tended rosebushes in measured rows. I think I’d go with green or maybe shocking pink.

Third Pick: Ballycastle Tam, by Anne Podlesak ($5.50)

I love the subtle shading and simple pattern to show off the beauty of natural wool. Gorgeous.  I’d be tempted to use my usual palette of blue/green/purple, but I hope I’d have the strength to stick to the lovely colors provided by the sheep themselves.

FO Friday: Arbuckle Hat

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For Christmas this year, I gave seven gift certificates to close family members for a “Knit 4 U x Me” gift: they can choose from several suggestions, or ask for something else completely.  It’s a clever trick, because my giftees get exactly what they want, and I’m not swamped by Christmas knitting.

My Grandpa Bob made this request:

Commercial hat size is “large.” Measure is 22 1/2″.

Summer I’m a bill cap or straw, so best use a wool or such yarn.

Color wise? Hey, I’m color blind, an old dog, what-do-I-know dog.

This left a lot up to me! I wanted to use a pattern that was interesting without being too outlandish, but that my Grandpa could still appreciate.  I chose colors he could see, too. Superwash wool is a must for gifts, unless I’m sure the giftee knows how to care for wool and wants to do it.  Swish DK is exactly the right yarn for this  present.

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Project: Arbuckle Christmas Hat

Pattern: Arbuckle Hat

Designer: Alexis Winslow

Available: on Ravelry for just $2.00

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK in Marble Heather and Delft Heather (1 ball each)

I usually knit a bit larger than gauge, so I used the given needles in order to make a slightly larger-than-pattern hat.  Then I threw it in the washer and dryer, to make sure it could handle any rough care it might receive at it’s new home.  (If something will be ruined, I would rather do it myself and then try again.)  It felted just a tiny bit, and the garter edge wants to flip when it’s not on a head, but it survived admirably other than that. I deem it “good enough” to go to my Grandpa Bob.

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Ravelry Monday: Eomer Shield Tam, Pineapple Delight, Starboard Cape

First Pick: Eomer Shield Tam, by KYMaggie ($3.50)

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!  This pattern uses stranded colorwork and cables to re-create in yarn a beautiful design from the Lord of the Rings.  I think I might depart from the official Rohan colorway — the design uses 7 colors, maybe deep purple, bright sky blue, and silvery gray?

Second Pick: Pineapple Delight, by Larissa Valeeva (FREE!)

What a stunning (and FREE!) pattern! I am thinking of using this with my new Zauberball skein, but I would have to do a shorter version as I don’t have quite enough yardage.  This is worked provisionally downwards for the main lace color, then upwards with short rows to make the top.  The second PDF (with “en” at the end) is in English, even though the title is in Russian.

Third Pick: Starboard Cape, by Courtney Kelley (available in Knitscene, Summer 2011)

This little sleeved capelet is so darn CUTE.  It makes me think of Mad Men for some reason — just the thing for an office girl to wear?

Ravelry Monday: Hats, Hats, Hats

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First Pick: Quinny, by Julie Hahn (FREE! at Gourmet Knits)

Ravelry has been all a-buzz since the episode of Glee where Quinn wears this cute knit hat:

A couple versions of the hat have been released on Rav, but this is the one I like the best. The designer captured the look and shape of the original, including a bang-up job on the yarn button. I predict cute little pixie hats covering the nation’s heads (well, at least the Gleek heads), especially since this pattern uses bulky yarn and should knit up exceptionally fast.

Second Pick: Toasty Bean, by Chelsea Berkompas ($4.99)

I love knitting patterns that work with colorful yarn, mostly because a love colorful yarn and always want more.  This hat has a nice shape and lots of cool details — tassles, buttons, braids, etc.  It also has a very, very cute baby model :).

Third Pick: Inga Snoflinga Hat, by Johanne Landin ($5.00)

What a purty colorwork hat — cleverly placed snowflakes of different sizes and designs on a muted variegated background, yum! It looks like the pattern isn’t available quite yet, but it is a new listing, so with luck it will be up soon.

Ravelry Monday: Shoggoth, Reversible Tiara Hat, Sho-sho

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First pick: “Shoggoth” by Lee Meredith (part of an e-book, sold at $5.00)

It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train — a shapeless congerie of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter… — “At The Mountains of Madness” (H. P. Lovecraft)

I’ve played enough Arkham Horror to know that a Shoggoth isn’t something you want to meet ever, let alone have in your home — but this mini Shoggoth-pincushion is welcome to take up residence on my knitting table.  The designer captures the fluid asymmetry this particular monster should possess, while simultaneously making it cute.  A great first amigurumi project — you  can mess up a bit, and it would still be right! — and a perfect home for those odd buttons I’ve been saving up.

Second pick: “Reversible Tiara Hat” by Kristina Schling (part of a book, sold at $15.00)

This pattern makes clever use of the reversible nature of double-knitting to make a charming and warm beanie worthy of a princess. Although I love the popsicle colors of the sample hat, I think I might have to use golden yellow and princess pink — don’t you think?

Third pick: “Sho-sho” by Nokko Asano (FREE!)

I’m intrigued by this drapey shrug… I’ve been wanting to make one of these “rectangle with sleeves items for a while, because they look so comfy and wonderful.  I have put it off though, because it involves knitting a giant rectangle (just the kind of knitting I abhore).  This pattern, with large needles and a silk/linen yarn, may be enough to put me over the edge.  There isn’t any sizing on the pattern, which means I’d have to guess how much bigger to make it for myself.  (I’m not really “tiny Japanese” shape, more like “European peasant stock.”)  Still, it’s pretty and should knit up reasonably quickly. Pretty!