An Orchid Hat for My Daughter

My daughter saw me working on the Frostfangs Hat  the other day, and asked if I would be able to make her a hat with orchids on it. I searched ravelry and didn’t see anything that fit her request, so I printed off some knitting graph paper I found via google, and sketched out a couple of orchids…

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Then I dug through my stash and found some gray Cascade 220, and a bit of Esoteric Tosh DK. They were close to the same weight and looked good together, so I did a little math  – the orchids were each 20 stitches wide, and she wanted 4 of them around the brim, I put 5 stitches between each one, so that came out to a CO of 100 stitches. I used the long tail CO, and then worked a little over an inch in a K1TBL P1 rib.

Once the ribbing was complete, I did 3 rows in the round of knit stitch, then began the orchid chart, repeating it two times for each row. I carried the contrasting yarn behind, sometimes having to “tack” it up as the color repeats got a little long. I tend to tug those parts a bit tight, so I had to keep adjusting my tension, but in the end the orchids came out looking like orchids. After the orchid chart I knit 10 more rows in the round, then began decreasing the crown. It took me about 3 days to knit, working on it after work each day, so it went quick.

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She wanted it to be the style of hat she could wear perched on the back of her head, so I knit it somewhat shallow-er than I normally would. It fits her exactly like she wanted though, and she has barely taken it off since I gave it to her. That makes me happy.

It feels kind of cool to come up with an idea, do a sketch on some graph paper, and then create the idea into an actual knit item. It has definitely given me some confidence in pattern design – that maybe I could come up with some more fun ideas. Also, now my daughter has a unique, one-of-a-kind hat displaying her love of all things orchids. I love when I am able to take an abstract thought and run with it, especially when I am successful in creating an end product that looks like what we imagined.

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I have posted a slightly more detailed “pattern” on ravelry in my notes for this project. You can find that HERE. I dont plan on writing it out row by row, so the “pattern” is really more of a guide, but its available for free if anyone else is interested in making their own orchid hat.

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Owls, Dragonflies, and Waiting for Rain

A friend of mine recently had a little boy. While she was pregnant they chose not to find out if the baby was a boy, or a girl – but they had decided to do the nursery in an owl theme. I wanted to knit the little one a sweater, and a sweater with owls would be absolutely perfect! I found the Hoot Cardigan on ravelry, and knew it was the one!

I previously posted about the finished sweater here

…and the sweater came out super cute, but its even cuter when you see it on baby Stanley.

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I mean, seriously?! He’s adorable. Babies in hand knit sweaters are amazing.

Another project that I finished recently is the Dragonflies Hat that I knit for my mom. She loves dragonflies, and they are special to us. I gave it to her for Christmas, and she wears it frequently. The pattern was a challenge – I’d never done cables in the round. It felt really good to complete it, and have it look like it was suppsed to when I was done!

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The yarn is Tosh DK in Cloud Dweller. I think the color complimented the pattern nicely. The top of the hat looks almost as cool as the dragonflies.

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Now Im working on Waiting for Rain. Its a beautiful shawl with lace that peeks through in short rows. Amazing right? It has this almost deconstructed look, but the lace softens it. Im obsessed, and working on it all the time. My current favorite color is yellow, so Im using Araucania Huasco yarn in color 108, which as you can see below, is a beautiful golden yellow with just a slight variation:

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I have to give a shout out to the shop owner at Darn Knit {Anyway} in Stillwater, MN for helping me be brave and get the yellow over a brown colorway they also had. I went back and forth about getting the color I loved – but was afraid I wouldnt wear as much (yellow), or the more practical, everyday wearable color (brown). In the end, yellow won out, and Im SO happy that it did!

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I am in love with this pattern, and the color, and the yarn. All of it makes me happy. Im through three (of the four) lace short row sections, and madly knitting away every night. The rows are getting long, but the end is near. Just when you start to go a little crazy knitting garter stitch row after row, a lace sections comes up and makes you think again for a while. I already have the yarn to make two more of these – one for my mom in a robin’s egg blue, and one for my sister in a purple galaxy color. My plan is to get them all finished by the end of Summer. That way we can all wear them while sitting around the campfire up at the cabin this Fall, preferably while eating s’mores…

And I did finish all that Christmas knitting! The Little Oak cardigan was completed for the swap, and the little guy that received it was very pleased.

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The Yak Hat was gifted to my Father-in-Law for Christmas. That yarn was amazing to knit with and I see more exotic yarns in my future. It was really soft and stretchy when finished.

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Too Much Christmas Knitting?

I may have began, or planned, too many projects to complete before Christmas. A common problem most knitters face, but I have successfully been able to pull it off in years past. I think deciding to knit the extra hat and mittens is what’s gonna do me in this year, but I am not giving up hope yet! The mittens are in heavy weight, and Im almost done with the Yak Hat (which I cant wait to post about when finished!), so on top of needing to complete a child’s sweater in 2 weeks for a ravelry swap, I only have 2 more hats, a pair of mittens, and a baby cardigan to complete. Thats not too bad, right? I have 2 months…

The ravelry swap sweater is the project that’s stressing me out a bit. Im knitting the Little Oak cardigan in a child size 4 and I have the bottom part up to the arm pits, and one sleeve done. I have 2 weeks before I need to ship it. I figure I have the largest part complete, I just don’t love knitting the sleeves. Im not a huge fan of DPN knitting anymore, (I went through a sock phase and LOVED my DPNs, but have since moved on) and sleeves just seem to take forever. You think that they are long enough, you measure, you are 2 inches short. Then it’s like you are stuck there. No matter how many more rounds you knit – it feels like you are 2 inches short FOREVER.  /rant

I have a couple projects I knit while I was on a blogging break that I wanted to share. First are the Knitted Scale Mail Gloves I whipped up for my daughter. They only took a few days, and once I figured out the best way to knit on the scales, they were easy.

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That is my gorgeous daughter, Anela, with her matching blue hair. She wanted mostly blue scales with silver accents and thats what she got. We call them her Dragon Scale Mail Gloves and I purchased the dragon scales on etsy. I believe I used around 300 blue scales and 100 silver. The gloves were kinda heavy once finished, but didnt feel too bad when you put them on. She likes them and thats all that matters.

I also completed a Kina for a work friend’s little girl. I used Madelinetosh in Tosk DK, in the color way Sunrose. The color was stunning. I like the reliability of this pattern. Simple, yet super cute, and it lets the pretty yarn stand out.

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I have to get back to my Christmas knitting now, before I see another project and add it to the list of “must knit NOW!” 🙂

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Yak Yarn and Owls.

I just finished the Hoot Cardigan for a friend’s new baby. She did not find out the gender of her baby before the big day, so I had to choose a pattern that would work either way, and her nursery theme is owls – so this pattern was perfect! It was a little tricky figuring out the pattern at first, but once I had a general understanding of how the owls were worked it went really smoothly.

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The yarn is Tosh DK, and the buttons are Buttons by Robin on etsy. I used almost an entire skein of yarn, just a few yards left over. The baby was born just a few days ago, and he’s a boy! They named him Stanley, which I love.

I also recently finshed a cardigan I was commisioned to knit for a friend of my Mom’s to give to her granddaughter. She chose the yarn color way  and the pattern. It ended up being one of the largest sweaters I have knit so far. The pattern is Girl’s All in One Cardigan on ravelry, and the yarn is Tosh DK. The buttons, as is my habit, are from Buttons by Robin.

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I have been working on some Christmas knitting, and wanted to knit something special for a certain member of the family. I was browsing etsy looking at some of the exotic yarn blends and came across this beautiful skein of wool/silk/yak in a nice, rich brown.

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Yes, that yarn is made from Yak! It has a subtle shine from the silk, and a nice twist. Its very soft, and I just cast on with it tonight. I am in love.

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Hello There!

So I havent been blogging for a while. Almost a year, actually. Im not really sure why. I have continued to knit many projects over the last year. Maybe I will do a mass update and show you everything… Today Im writing because I am just about finished with my Dreambird Shawl, and Im excited to start my next “challenging” project…

But first – a photo collage of my Dreambird, with a bonus pic of my amazingly adorable nephew/Godson, Trevor. He will be a year old in July already.

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Im on feather #17 and I might be done after this one. I only have enough yarn for 1-2 more feathers, and I want to end on an odd number, and I like the number 17 better than I like the number 19. Its plenty long enough to wrap around my shoulders at this length, and I want to complete it in time to possibly enter it into the State Fair this year. I have enjoyed knitting this shawl. Once I got in the groove of the pattern, it wasnt difficult at all, just a lot of counting. I think the colors knit up beautifully as well.

My next endevor will be for my daughter. I was awed by this pattern, and as it is primarily short rows – like the Dreambird – I think I will be able to handle it. Its called Butterfly/Papillon and its amazing. Check out the link. You will want to knit one too.

Anela wanted blues and greens. We chose Lang Jawoll Magic Degrade yarn in 88 Aqua, Grey, Navy, Lime, and Cascade 220 Fingering in 8400 Charcoal. I ordered the yarn today, and bought the pattern. Hopefully the greys will vary enough not to blend the border into the colored area, but if they do I will just skip past the grey area in the Lang Jawoll Magic Degrade. Maybe add another color or two with scrap yarn I already have. We shall see.

And…just because it was too TOSHWORSTE.DAFFODIL.zoom.1fabulous not to buy, I got a couple skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Daffodil. I have a new love of all things yellow. Not sure what it will become yet, but it was a serious must have. I do much of my knitting in Tosh DK. Its definitely my go-to yarn for all the baby sweaters I like to knit. It knits up so nicely, and the colors…oh the amazing colors. I havent been disappointed yet. Im addicted, and I like it.

 

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Dreambird Progress and a Leafy Shawl

I have been diligently working on my Dreambird Shawl, and really enjoying it. I followed the written instructions for the first feather, but after I understood the pattern I started to just follow page 16 with the row-by-row stitch count. I have completed 8 feathers so far, and love how the yarn has knit up with the smooth color transitions. It reminds me of autumn leaves.

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I think I have enough yarn to do about 18 feathers, so Im almost half way! My daughter, who adores owls and birds, has fallen in love with this pattern and already requesting one of her own. I believe she wants a neutral background color with blue and green feathers. So it appears that I will be doing another Dreambird once mine is complete.

I also finished my Leafy Lace Shawl. I used the Caterpillar Cresent Shawlette pattern, but instead of garter stitch for the body of the shawl I did stockinette. I also added another repeat to the lace so there are three completed leaves, and then another half leaf rather than the two and a half the pattern would have you knit. The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Magnolia Leaf (the Webs 40th Anniversary version).

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In other news, my amazing nephew turned one month old yesterday! He is so cute, I can hardly stand it. My daughter and I go over to see him 3-4 times a week. I love holding him and talking to him, giving him baths, and spending time with my sister and her husband. My sister is doing such a good job with him. Im really proud of her!

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Look at that cute, baby smile! Sticks his little tongue out and everything. Im going to have to find some more cute baby boy patterns to knit up for him soon.

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Trevor is here!

My sister gave birth to my Godson, Trevor John, on Monday July 14th, 2014 at 0913. He weighed in at 6lbs 10ozs and was 20.25 inches long. She called me at about 0530 that Monday morning and said she was having contractions about 5 minutes apart. By the time I got to her house about an hour later (after washing up and getting dressed) she was ready to head to the hospital. When she got to the ER at about 0730 she was already 5cm dilated! The labor was fast and intense, we only just got into the birthing room and the doctor was called. The doctor arrived and my sister began pushing. Four contractions later, little Trevor was born! He is perfect, and I am loving being an Auntie. He is so alert, and has the prettiest dark blue eyes, and dark brown hair with just a touch of curl to it.

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There he is in some of the hand knits Ive made for him. He is about 2 days old here. The hat is still a bit big on him, but I had to try it on! My sister loves the crossover cardigan because its easy to get on him, and kept him toasty warm in the hospital. He even wore it as part of his “going home” outfit! More photos and finished knits to come…right now Im still in a baby haze, spending all my spare time snuggling him and staring into his big blue eyes.

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