Monthly Archives: December 2011

Made of Awesomeness

I had planned on putting another hat and some fingerless mitts on the blog today, but then my dear friend Aimee let me know she had received her Christmas gift today. I’ve been so excited about this since it was finished that it just can’t wait another second to make it onto the blog.

First, though, a little back story. I had planned on weaving Aimee a scarf for Christmas out of some red (her most favorite color in the whole wide world) awesome yarn. But…Aimee also loves all things multi-colored. The lovely ladies at Two if by Hand (my go-to source for spinning fiber) recently started dyeing yarn. As soon as I saw the preview for a shop update that happened less than a week before we were headed home, my plans of a red scarf went out. the. window. Two if by Hand has a colorway called “Whiz Bangs” and it is all sorts of awesome. I’ve spun it up in fiber form, but the yarn looked amazing and perfect for Aimee. The yarn arrived the day before we left for the east coast and so unfortunately it had to sit here until we were back, and then reality set it and I knew I wouldn’t get to it until after Christmas. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the yarn before I wove it up…but you can see it here. On Monday, I stayed in my PJs until the scarf was finished and it was all dry and ready to mail on Tuesday!

Yarn: Two if by Hand Superwash Merino Worsted in Whiz Bangs!

I’m happy to report that the yarn is just as fantastic as Two if by Hand’s fiber offerings. The Superwash Merino is quite soft in the skein, but really softens up after a soak in some warm water and wool wash. And of course, the Whiz Bangs looks ridiculously cool woven up!

I love how the edges are all different colors!

It had been a while since I had woven anything, and now that I have a stand for my loom (and don’t have to sit at the dining room table to weave!) I’ll be weaving much more frequently! How about one more photo for good measure?


In other knitting/fiber news, I just finished a hat out of some totally luxurious yarn (lambswool, cashmere, angora) and spun up a skein of merino/cashmere/silk yarn the other day! Hopefully it will stop raining long enough to have Seth snap some photos tomorrow! I’ll be back with those and the rest of the Christmas gift knits in a couple of days!

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A Couple of Christmas Hats

This year there were quite a few hats on my Christmas knitting list. Hats are relatively quick to knit and really, who doesn’t need a hand knit hat for the chilly weather? One of my brother-in-laws lives in NYC and the other (and his wife) love to ski…so I thought hats would be the perfect gift for them.

Pattern: Wanderer Cap by Jared Flood from Weekend Hats

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in colorway Gray Tabby

Modifications: None. I actually managed to knit two of these (one for each brother-in-law) out of one skein of DIC Classy, which is fantastic. The pattern is easy to follow and the resulting hat is a great mens or unisex hat. It knit up very quickly, which is always a bonus!

I love the way the crown decreases look! 

I really can’t say enough great things about the book Weekend Hats. This was my first knit from the book, but then I went on and knit the Leaves Long Beanie as well. There are a bunch of other patterns from the book that are on my short list of “hats to knit soon-ish”!

Now onto my sister-in-law’s hat!

Pattern: Cranberry Sauce by Brittany Taylor

Yarn: Sweet Georgia Superwash Chunky in Riptide

Modifications: None. The Sweet Georgia Chunky was a dream to work with and looks fantastic in the cable pattern of this hat. The yardage is generous and I probably had enough leftovers to do a pom pom or ear flaps (so in other words, one skein can get you a cabled, ear-flapped hat if you so desired!). This hat will definitely stay on my “last minute gift” list…I had at least two people try and steal it before I could send it off (I’m looking at you Aimee and Teena!).

The Sweet Georgia color palate is just to-die-for. When the shipment of the Sweet Georgia Chunky came into Stash, I drooled over all of the colors but was particularly drawn to Riptide. Thankfully I was able to snag a skein before they all sold out! There are plenty of other gorgeous colors, too, but for some reason Riptide called to quite a few knitters!

How about one more hat before I go? This one went to one of my cousins….I had a really hard time deciding what to knit for her. She lives in NYC and has a great sense of style…I wanted to make sure I made something she would wear and that would fit her stylish lifestyle 😉

Pattern: Rosebud by Jared Flood (Yes, I do love his patterns…)

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Primo (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon) in Garnet Martini

Mods: None! I followed the instructions for the shorter/less slouchy version of the hat. I have to admit, this was a tough hat to part with! Thankfully I have plenty more of the yarn in the same exact color and I’ll definitely be making myself one in the very near future.

How gorgeous is that humongous cable?! And I love the detail of the two smaller cables on either side of the larger one. And in Plucky Primo? A match made in heaven, I tell you.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! I know we sure did. Unfortunately, something happened to the memory card in my camera and I lost all the pictures I took yesterday of our Kenyan/Polish/Swedish Christmas dinner that we shared with some good friends of ours! I’ll be back in a few days with some more Christmas gift knitting!

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Manly Man Gloves

The men in our lives are often the hardest to shop for and definitely the most difficult to knit for. This year I asked several of the people on my gift list point blank if there was something specific they wanted me to knit for them. Joe requested a thin pair of gloves. So, just for Joe I knit my very first pair of gloves. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve knit plenty of mittens and fingerless mitts, but the thought of individual knitting all 10 fingers separately had been a turn-off in the past. I’m pleased to say the fingers weren’t nearly as tedious as I imagined they would be and without further ado, I give you manly man gloves:

Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern by Harry Wells

Yarn: Abstract Fiber Alto (100% Superwash BFL) in Little Black Dress

Modifications: I really only used the pattern as a very rough guide for these gloves. I knit with a larger-than-called-for needle and did some math-fu based on my gauge and the measurements that Seth’s Mom sent me to figure out my stitch counts for the gloves. I was a little skeptical about the finger situation, so I ended up knitting the hand, pinky, and ring finger of one glove and the hand of the other. I had Joe try them on at that point (surprise, I’m knitting you gloves…but they’re not finished!) and then finished the rest after I was confident that they would fit like a glove. ha.

The Abstract Fibers Alto was a joy to work with and knit up into a wonderful fabric. The yarn bled a tiny bit while I was knitting with it, but when I soaked the gloves in a bit of vinegar and water no dye seeped out. I have a TON of yarn leftover, so I’ll definitely use the leftovers to whip up another small project.

The finished gloves aren’t quite as stripy as they look in the second two pictures…the color is probably closer to the first picture. I do like that they aren’t solid black and have a little bit of depth to them.

More Christmas knits coming soon….

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We’re Back!

Seth and I headed back east about a week and a half ago to visit family and celebrate Christmas a bit early with our families. The view when we took off from Portland was GORGEOUS:

Mount Saint Helens and Mount Rainier from the plane

We could also see Mt Adams, but I couldn’t get a picture of all three in one shot. On our way to NY, we had a 4-5 hour layover at Chicago Midway and decided to venture outside the airport for some fresh air and pizza. The folks at the information desk told us about a pizza place within walking distance (a little less than a mile, I think) from the airport. There was a little dusting of snow on the ground and it was CHILLY  outside…but the pizza was well worth the walk in the cold!

Our visit started in Binghamton to see Seth’s family for a few days and ended in the Glens Falls area with my family. I was SUPER productive in the knitting department while we traveled, but some of them are gifts that have yet to reach their recipients. However, I do have a couple of things I can share before Christmas arrives!

While we were staying with Seth’s Mom we took a little trip to the Roberson Museum and Science Center to see their display of Christmas trees. They had some really beautifully decorated Christmas trees that represented celebrating the holidays around the world. My favorite, of course, was the Ireland display with their gorgeous Aran sweaters:

We also took a walk around the mansion, which was also decorated for the holidays. Most of the decorations were gorgeous…but there were also a few creepy things. Like the dining room with all the deer dining:

There was a whole family of them…and they were sorta creepy. Just look at those weird fake hands! But how about a picture of the cool stained glass windows in the mansion to distract from the weirdness:

We had a wonderful visit with friends and family! Now how about switching gears to some knitting?

Pattern: Retro Thrum Slippers by Leigh Radford

Yarn: Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia 2-ply, thrums were made with a merino/alpaca blend

Modifications: None. I followed the directions for the second size and ran out of yarn, though. The pattern states that all sizes (there are three) can be made with one skein, however I ran out with about 10 rows of the second slipper left. The yarn is held double throughout, which makes a dense fabric that seems to work really well for slippers. Merino/Alpaca was a great choice for the thrums, I think…the footbed of the slippers is wonderfully squishy and warm!

I made the slippers for Seth’s Mom, and she LOVED them. I think there will be more of these in my knitting future.

Well, I must go and start the unpacking process! I’ll be back soon with some gloves, a hat that Seth designed, and more!

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Leaves Long Beanie

Boy, I’m totally slacking in the blogging department as of late. I blame this on several things. First, I’ve been doing mostly knitting of the top-secret Christmas variety. Thankfully, some of those will be going to their recipients next week and I’ll have something to share! Secondly, I’ve been doing quite a bit of drawstring bag sewing because they’re selling like hotcakes over at Stash! And lastly, we’re headed back east on Friday so I’ve been doing last minute Christmas shopping, packing, laundry, wrapping, and knitting!

Before I show you my most recent FO (well, my most recent that can safely make an appearance on the blog), let me just show you what making many drawstring bags does to ones brain. I sewed up a few bags for Black Friday shopping and then Sonia asked me to make 6-8 more for December. I did all of the cutting in one sitting, sewed up the layers the next day and went to put them all together. Two of my bags looked something like this:

Ummm, why were the outsides an inch smaller  than the linings? No idea. No worries though, I trimmed the linings and everything worked out in the end! Now onto the Leaves Long Beanie!

Pattern: Leaves Long Beanie by Melissa LaBarre from the book Weekend Hats

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in a color whose name I can’t remember!

Modifications: None!

Please excuse the sorta creepy picture. It’s the picture that best shows off the pattern motif on the hat! 

This is the second hat pattern I’ve made from Weekend Hats and both patterns have been well-written, easy to follow, and has a fantastic finished product. I think I’ll be reaching for this book over and over again for gifts. This particular hat was made for one of Seth’s co-workers as a Secret Santa gift. She loved it and it fit her perfectly!

We’re headed out on Friday to visit family for a week or so…I might be back in this space before we return, but possibly not! I hope you’re all having a lovely December so far!

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