Saturday, May 07, 2016

Knitting in the Very Merry Month of May

It has been a relatively cold spring here in Chicago so far. We've had a couple of very warm days, but I still haven't been able to turn off the furnace because it gets cold at night. As a result, I haven't really been motivated to move on to lighter spring and summer knitting and am still making scarves and cowls for myself.

First up, I finished the cowl I made with the Knitcircus yarn I got at Chicago Yarn Con. I love how the different colors shade into each other.

Then I dug around in my stash and found some Diadem yarn from Knit Picks. It was left over from a Christmas gift I made for a friend. The color way is ruby, and it's a silk-alpaca blend. I love this yarn because it's incredibly soft, and I still have a couple more skeins in my stash, so this isn't the last you'll be seeing of Diadem.

Finally, I was inspired by this post by Ann Shayne on the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog to buy a skein of Jill Draper's Rifton yarn and start my own Belinda scarf. I got the Autumn color way. I only have a few rows knit so far, so I didn't take a photo of the scarf itself. Once I get a few inches on it, I'll stop and take a photo.

I think when I'm done with this scarf, I'll knit some baby hats. A couple of friends just had babies, and my stock is depleted. I also know of a few charities that could use them, and once the weather gets warmer, small projects like that are much more manageable.

Until next time, happy knitting!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Birthday Slippers and Other Things

In mid-January, just 2 weeks before her birthday, my sister asked me to make her a pair of slipper socks that look like Chuck Taylor Converse shoes. Thus began a saga I thought would never end. First, I had to find a decent pattern. There are lot of patterns for these slippers that look terrible. Then I had to find suitable yarn and order it (because of course, I didn't have sock yarn in the correct colors on hand). Then I had to start the things, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy. The pattern I found had been translated from Finnish to English and it was I had a really hard time sussing out the instructions, so this project took much longer than it should have, over 2 months. Anyway, I finally finished them and they're now in her hot little hands. Hope she appreciates all my effort.

Last weekend was Yarn Con here in Chicago. I hadn't been in several years, so I decided to treat myself. I got a couple of skeins of sock yarn from Fleur de Fiber.

I also got a skein of this gradient-dyed yarn from Knitcircus Yarns.

I've already started a cowl with it. I really like how it's knitting up so far.

When it's done, I'll be sure to post a photo.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Year, New Knitting

Happy New Year! I know, January is almost over at this point, but since this is my first post of 2016, I still wanted to wish everyone a happy new year. I have a bunch of new projects to show you.

First, I've made a couple of baby hats from that wool-alpaca blend yarn I got from Videnovich Farms back in November at the Hyde Park Handmade Market. I've already given away this hat (the baby is due in February).

I'm holding onto the other hat for the second baby, who isn't due until May. BTW, the color in this picture below is much more true to life than the color in the picture above. I was impatient and took the picture above at night under artificial light, so that's why the color is off. The moral of the story is that natural light is almost always best.

Second, I finally used some lace weight yarn that a friend gave me as part of a pay-it-forward initiative on Facebook. I knit two separate cowls (I cast on 145 stitches with size 8 needles and knit in the round until they were about 17 inches deep).

Then I tucked one cowl inside the other.

Then I draped them ever so artfully around my neck with the edges rolled.

I think it looks great and I've gotten tons of compliments when I wear it. I freely admit that I stole this idea of a cowl within a cowl from a scarf that a friend and I saw in a store last October.

Finally, I'm in the process of knitting yet another cowl for myself. Is it possible to have too many cowls? I'll let you know if I ever find out. Naturally, I'll post a picture when I'm done. I wish you a very productive 2016 filled with lots of fun projects.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Knitting: I Spoke Too Soon

I ended up doing a couple of small Christmas projects at the last minute. A friend's grandson was born early in December, and I decided I should knit a hat for him. I used Knit Picks Felici self-striping sock yarn in the color way Jingle.

The same yarn was perfect for a couple of small ornaments for two friends. We don't usually exchange gifts, but when I had my annual holiday party a couple of weeks ago, they both stayed late to help me clean up, and I thought these ornaments would be nice little tokens of appreciation.

They're super fast and easy to knit. I might do a few more before Christmas. If I don't blog again before the holidays, I wish you and yours the best, and lots of wonderful knitting to come in 2016!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Christmas 2015: Easy-Peasy

Some years I knit for several people on my list, and other years, I just don't have the desire or energy. This year is one of the latter. The only person for whom I'm knitting this year is my nephew. Last night I finished a hat and scarf set for him.

Orange is his favorite color, and the blue and orange combo are the NY Mets colors; he became a fan during the 2015 World Series. So I really think he's going to like this set.

So that's it for my Christmas knitting. I've recently given some hats to organizations that are helping Syrian refugees, and I made a hat for my cousin's new baby (I forgot to take a picture, unfortunately). Now it's back to working on a project for myself, and when I've finished that, I have a couple more baby hats to make for two friends who are expecting early next year. As always, pictures will be posted when I'm done.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Finished Items for Syrian Refugees

Tomorrow I'll be shipping this hat and scarf to the coordinator of a Ravelry group collecting items to send to Munich for Syrian refugees who have moved there.

I had 2 other hats ready to go, but they aren't washable, so I gave them to a friend who works at the First Unitarian Church here in Chicago. They are sponsoring a Syrian family set to arrive in early December. The family has 5 kids, so they can use hats of all sizes.

I guess I should turn my attention now to some Christmas knitting. I only plan to knit for my nephew. Everyone else can shift for themselves this year. I'm not in the mood. Does that make me the knitting version of Scrooge?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Knitting for Syrian Refugees

Fall is in full swing in Chicago. The leaves have turned and the days are getting shorter and colder. It's perfect weather for knitting. I finished a pair of socks for myself. The yarn is some Knit Picks sock yarn I had in the stash.

I've been buying yarn I don't need. Last Sunday I went to the Hyde Park Handmade Market and got this hand-dyed hand-spun wool-alpaca blend from Vera Videnovich. Two of my friends are expecting babies, so I plan to use this yarn for baby hats.

I also bought some more Knit Picks yarn--I swear, I should just hand over my paycheck to that company. I got this Diadem silk-alpaca blend for myself. I don't know if I'll use them together or separately. The 2 colors together give me a 70s vibe, but those earth tones do look good on me.

I some orange yarn to make a hat for my nephew. Orange is his favorite color. He wears it almost all the time and has an orange coat for winter.

Finally, I got a book of patterns to make Christmas tree ornaments. I don't know if I'll ever get around to making any, but I got it on sale, so it can go on the bookshelf for future reference.

I learned that there is a Ravelry group collecting knitted items for Syrian refugees who have landed in Munich and have no winter gear, so I started a hat. I already have one on hand so I'll add that to the package when I'm ready to ship it. I might even make a scarf if there's enough time.

Hope you're enjoying the fall and making beautiful things for the cold weather to come.