Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I love gift knitting.  I may obsess that the quality of the gift reflects both the quality of my relationship with the recipient and the quality of my knitting skills BUT I love it.  I really do.

I made a big stuffed owl for a very wise friend of mine.  The pattern, Big Snowy Owl by Purl Bee,  is lovely, squishy, and easy.  I used DeAire for the body and scraps of Vintage for the eyes and nose; I didn't like how bulky the eyes were in the Purl Bee sample.  I love Owlie, and he will be very missed in our home.  The way he would sit and stare, the way he would lie down and's and absence we're still feeling.

A tip: place markers between the body repeats!  Makes it easier and faster!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

woodlet (and my love of tiny owl knits)

woodlet woodlet woodlet!!

In the past few years, I've come across this pattern without reaction.  But earlier in July, I saw the woodland hoodlet and fell in love.  Instantly.

Anyone who knows me even the littlest bit can speak to my love of tiny owl knits patterns.  My adoration of the woodland hoodlet is no different.

It took me a while to commit to making this.  I kept thinking I wouldn't get much wear out of it, or that it was one of those things I loved for its design rather than its functionality, or that I wouldn't be able to do it (prior to this project I had never done bobbles or short-rows), but I am so glad I made the plunge because I love it.

I used Eco Wool double stranded and was just shy of gauge. I was considering dying it a mustard yellow, or mayhaps turmeric, but I can't imagine it being greater than it is in this natural color.   My hood is huge.  My tassle is sassy.

I had so much leftover.  This yarn is the greatest.

Here's a hat I made for Eddie pre-KoolAid dye!

Shy of gauge 
Omitted kitchener stitch using a 3-needle bind-off

I started making more hexapuffs for the beekeeper's quilt after finally, after six months of living in San Francisco, swinging by Mendel's to get some fiber-fill.  

Up next I want to make hopsalot out of a lil Cascade 220 maybe?

And, of course, the BFF Cowl.

My real-life BFF Ashley told me about this pattern informed me that we are making this. I'm using Malabrigo Twist in either Applewood, an amazing tonal neutral, or Sunset, a vibrant orange.  I'm leaning towards Applewood as I used the amazing Superfine Merino in Sunset for the Pangolin Cowl.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012


In lieu of paying for this pattern, please consider donating to your local domestic abuse advocacy center.

Materials needed:
US Size 6 (4.25mm) circular needle, 24" at least
Yarn needle (for weaving in ends)
Stitch markers
Two skeins fingering weight, at least 330 yards each. 
The yellowish shawl used to skeins of Malabrigo Sock in Ochre and Primavera.  The blueish shawl used one skein of madelinetosh tosh merino light in mica and one skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino color 115.

Skills needed:

Cast-on (co)
Knit (k)
Purl (p)
Knit front & back (kfb)
Make 1 left (m1l)
Make 1 right (m1r)
Slip slip knit (ssk)
Knit 2 together (k2tog)
Yarn-over (yo)
Bind-off (bo)

Using main color (mc), co 4
r 1 : kfb all (8 stitches)
r 2: k3, pfb, pfb, k3 (10 sts)

switch to contrast color (cc)
r 3: k3, kfb to last 3 sts, k3 (14 sts)
r 4: k3, p to last 3 sts, k3 (14 sts)

switch to mc
r 5 : k3, *Place marker (pm), m1r, k1* 3 times, *k1, m1l, pm* 3 times, k3
r 6 : k3, purl all stitches and slip all markers, k3

switch to cc:
r 7 : k all, slipping all markers
r 8 : p all, slipping all markers

switch to mc:
r 9: K3, *SM, M1R, K to marker* 3 times, knit to marker, M1L, SM, *knit to marker, M1L, SM* 3 times, K3
r 10 : P all, slipping all markers

Repeat rows 7-10 until there are 25 sts between each set or markers (50 for the middle section), or 206 stitches


Lace Edging (mc):

r 1 : *yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo* repeat until end
r 2 : purl all stitches
r 3 : *yo, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo* repeat until end
r 4 : purl all stitches

Repeat these 4 rows until desired length, ending with row 4


Modified picot edging (cc)

Knit one row, discarding all markers
Purl one row
Bind off 2 stitches as normal, *co 2, bo 2, co 2, bo 6* repeat until end

Weave in ends and block.


Monday, July 23, 2012

My little knits had a photo shoot yesterday... the conservatory of flowers.  Here are some highlights

Not included: the dozens of photos of me with hair in my face.  Thanks, wind.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Divisadero, Big & Bulky

In lieu of paying for this pattern, please consider donating to your local domestic abuse advocacy center.

Materials needed:
US Size 15 (10mm) 16" circular needles
One skein of Berroco Vintage, or another worsted weight yarn of your choice, held double.  About 200 yards.
Yarn needle (for weaving in ends)
Stitch marker

Skills needed:
Knit (K)
Purl (P)
Double yarn-over (YO, YO)

Now for a very quick version of Divisadero


CO 50 stitches.  Join in the round, careful not to twist stitches.
Rounds 1-3: Knit
Round 4: Purl
Round 5: *yo, yo, k1* repeat until end of round
Round 6: Purl all, dropping the yarn overs
Repeat rounds 1-6 one time

Knit 7 rounds

Repeat rounds 1-6
Bind off.

How easy was that?


Sunday, July 1, 2012

A brief to-knit list and a wishlist of sorts

I love being around yarn all day and taking inspiration from the projects people are starting, but it threatens the very foundation of my finances -- I want to make it all.  Somebody gets yarn for a chunky triple wrap infinity scarf, I wanna make it.  Somebody gets yarn for a giant toy, I wanna make it.  I need to know where to draw the line, so I don't end up with a stash of yarn bigger than me and no plan to make a dent in it.

My new to-knit list:

....or as I like to call it, the woodlet.  There's a hood on display at ImagiKnit and I find myself staring at it longingly so often.  But I don't really like normal scarves, with the wrapping and the knotting and the falling.  I prefer cowl, or in this case capelet, type creations.  How fantastic is this?  I don't know if I'd get daily use out of it (I'm sure Chicago would provide plenty blisteringly cold opportunities), but I just love it so much.

Just look at that sweet, sweet drape.  Knit in DK yarn, this would be a change from the light fingering weight shawls towards which I always gravitate.  I could wear it all day every day, and it'd be awesome in coral.  

This yarn would showcase a skein of hand-painted yarn perfectly (as it does so in the photo).  I am tempted to make another broken rib hat, but I've just done that with Tosh DK, and aren't we supposed to be pushing ourselves?  I long for this in green, which brings me to...

My new (incredibly truncated) yarn wishlist:

Tosh DK (or heavier) in Jade

Blue Sky Bulky in Fawn (1005)

Twirl in Coral Bells

Superfine Merino in Sunset
(same micron count as cashmere!  That means you get the feel of cashmere for the price of merino!)

All yarns are available at ImagiKnit :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Since I learned to knit, my mother has been telling me how much she wants mittens.  At first it was subtle, but over time she's gotten more boisterous. Example:

Mom: What are you knitting?  Mittens for your momma?
Me: This is a scarf.

My mitten apprehension was not out of laziness or unwillingness to make my mom happy, it was out of fear -- fear that mittens were too hard (and gloves were just ridiculous).  But I did it!  I made a pair of mini-mittens for Christmas ornaments and graduated to full size, functional, adult mittens.  So here mom, here's your stinkin' mittens.

The pattern is a little weird, the whole fabric seems too airy.  I considered sewing in a warmer lining but my mom said it wasn't necessary.  Oh well, it's her chilly-hands funeral.

Not fully satisfied with mitten attempt version 1, I used the yarn Eddie got me for our anniversary to make myself some mittens.

Knit with Tosh Sock in Baltic

They're still far from perfect (my thumbs are different sizes, whoops), but I love them.  They're warm and they make me feel like a crafty child.

 Used double-stranded fingering weight instead of DK yarn
Knit the whole set in 4s to avoid too small mittens (I don't think it was necessary)

Horseshoe Cowl

I've finally gone through the last of my Giftmas yarn with this latest project, Horseshoe Lace Cowl by Sashka Macievich.  To my surprise, I already knit up this pattern in bamboo before (project page) but rest assured, wool is a much, much better choice. 

Knit with Cascade 220 Sport in 8992

This pattern is written for fingering yarn but I used sport weight.  I fell in love with this yarn at first sight; the color is a deep, interesting blue and it was super affordable.  The problem is that at 164 yards, there's not a whole lot of one-skein options.  I considered making some fingerless gloves but let's get real -- when I have a choice, I will almost always make a neck-thing.  

I cast on 10 sts less for one less lace repeat
I did 5 lace repeats rather than the 8 the pattern recommended 

I used the whole skein.

The pattern really came out in blocking, and when I was knitting it I kept considering switching to stockinette because the lace wasn't showing up.  Patience, my knitting friends, patience is the key.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dandelion Air

In lieu of paying for this pattern, please consider donating to your local domestic abuse advocacy center.

Materials Needed
Size 6 circular needles, at least 21 inches
One skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light or other fingering weight yarn of your choice, about 400 yards.
Model was knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Candlewick
Stitch markers (optional)
Yarn needle

Skills Needed
Knit (k)
Purl (p)
Yarn over (yo)
Knit front & back (kfb)
I-cord bind off

This is a great website with videos on these and other stitches.

Cast on 3 stitches on size 6 needle

Set Up
Row 1 (RS): kfb all (6 stitches)
Row 2 (WS): p all (6 stitches)
Row 3 (RS): k1, kfb, k1, kfb, kfb, k1 (9 stitches)
Row 4 (WS): k3, p6, k3
Row 5 (RS): k3, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k3  **Note: the pink stitch is the center stitch, you may want to use stitch markers to keep track of it**
Row 6 (WS): k all

Pattern Repeat
Body Row 1 (RS): k3, yo, k to center stitch, yo, k1, yo, knit to last 3 stitches, yo, k3
Body Row 2 (WS): k3, p to last three stitches, k3

Every sixth row, knit a body ridge row:

Body ridge row (WS): k to center stitch, p1, k all

It can be tedious to count your rows like this, so it might be easier to keep an eye on the ridged edges of the wrong-side rows.  There will be two rows with ridged edges between each body ridge row.

Repeat body rows 1 & 2 (keeping track of the ridge rows) until your 20th body ridge row.

Purl edge:
Row 1 (RS): Purl all stitches
Row 2 (WS): Knit all stitches

Repeat edge rows 5 times (or as long as you like) ending on row 2

Binding off

Bind off using a 3 stitch I-Cord bind off.
Cast on three stitches, k2, k2togtbl.  Slide these three stitches back onto the left hand needle, then *k2, k2togtbl*.  Repeat until the end of the row.

This is a great tutorial for the i-cord bind off.

Block as you like; I pinned mine into points a bit.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Giftmas, Greg & Britini

My brother is not affectionate; it's how I've always remembered him being.  He hugs our mom and his girlfriend, but not me.  Maybe I can weasel one out of him at my wedding, but probably not.  Still, it's good to dream.  Am I giving up?  No!  I am relishing the small victories.  Example:

Thanksgiving 2011
Greg: Your pasta's actually pretty tasty, Liz.
Me: YES! (arms in the air in victory)

So when Greg actually asked for something specific for Giftmas, I jumped on it.

Knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Mink Heather and Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Black
Official Kittyville Hat by Kitty Schmidt
Knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in White and Cascade Yards Ultra Pima Cotton in 3775 Red

My brother's girlfriend Britini is adorable (clearly).  What to make for a girl who loves Hello Kitty and already has several Hello Kitty hats?  A Hello Kitty hat of course!  Of all the people to whom I've given hats with earflaps like this, she's the only one to rock the hat tied under her chin.  Adorable.

Knitting modifications
bearded toque

My original plan was to knit the whole hat in WOTA and get a ball of black for the beard.  Because the beard will rest against his face, I went with a softer (albeit less cozy) yarn -- Comfy Worsted.  It's so soft!  Only I goofed and ordered on ball of Comfy Worsted instead of two, so I had to make some modifications to make it work.

  • The ribbing is worked in WOTA (as opposed to Comfy for the beard)
  • There is ribbing at all (the pattern is written for seed stitch)
  • The beard is worked in stockinette rather than seed stitch

Hello Kitty Hat

  • I used size 8s because I lost my 7s.  Boo.
  • Instead of the decreases in the pattern, I did *K10, SSK* for one round, then *K9, SSK* etc until a round of SSKs
  • I knit the ears in the round and attached them after rather than picking up stitches
  • I lightly stuffed the ears with fiberfill
  • The I-Cords are a massive 13 inches long.

Hemlock Ring Blanket

I started this bad-boy super early (September 7!) and managed to get in done in a month, with about two or three weeks dedicated to exclusive foot-dragging.  I am so silly.  This throw wasn't even that hard.

My first Jared Flood project!  Although it doesn't count because it's not really his design, more his charting of a vintage pattern.

I almost always fear giving hand-knit presents, especially to people who already own such nice things.  I convince myself that what I make for people must look like garbage next to some of the nicer things people purchase.  This fear echoes, and my confidence shakes as I hand over my gifts, eyes slightly downcast, a bit embarrassed.  I wonder if this afflicts other proponents of gifts handmade, or if my insecurities are uniquely heightened.