Monday, December 25, 2023

Dasher & Dancer Progress

With all of my recent knitting and crochet posts, I thought people might appreciate an actual stitcher update. LOL Below are my latest progress photos of the stitching I've completed on the Dasher & Dancer design by Hobby House Press over the past week. I'm stitching this piece one-over-two on 40 ct Verdal evenweave (Grogg by BeStitchMe).

Starting Point:


For those unfamiliar with this design, here is a picture of the cover art. 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope all of those who celebrate have had a very merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

More Knit/Crochet Finishes

 I'm back today with more finishes from my recent knitting and crochet obsession. I have two knit hats and one crocheted cowl which uses the planned color pooling technique.

Pattern: Alexander Cable Beanie
Designer: Jessica Ays of Double the Stitches
Yarn: Craft Smart Value
Color: Light Coral
Needles: 5mm circulars
Started: 13 Dec 2023
Completed: 14 Dec 2023
Techniques: German twisted cast on, ktbl ribbing, cables, magic loop

The first hat pattern is from a new to me knitwear designer I discovered thanks to the 24 Days of Quickies series hosted by designer Marly Bird. This hat pattern wasn't one of the quickies, but I did find it while checking out Jessica's pattern store. I love all the texture the alternating cables give this hat! 

I also learned a new cast-on technique while making this hat. I had never done a German twisted cast-on prior to this. It's a very nice stretchy cast-on that's very similar to the long-tail cast-on I normally use when making hats. 

Pattern: Chunky Broken Rib Hat
Designer: Jessica Ays of Double The Stitches
Yarn: Red Heart Hygge
Color: Cloud
Needles: 5mm circulars
Started: 15 Dec 2023
Finished: 15 Dec 2023
Techniques: German twisted cast on, magic loop

The second hat I made is also from Jessica. It also uses the German twisted cast-on and is an easy ribbed pattern for the entire hat. I made this one in a single evening while watching TV. 

Pattern: Planned Pooling Cowl
Designer: Marly Bird 
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Pooling
Color: Haute
Hook: 5.5mm (US I)

Started: 6 Dec 2023
Finished: 18 Dec 2023
Technique: Planned color pooling

The final item I'm sharing today is this cowl designed by Marly Bird. It uses the Red Heart Super Saver Pooling yarn which makes planned color pooling much easier. This was my first time trying this technique, so it was fun to try something new with crochet. That being said, I'm not sure I will do any planned pooling again. I found the constant adjustments I had to make to my tension to get the pattern right to be very time consuming. I also had to do a LOT of ripping out to ensure things were lining up proper to achieve the argyle pattern. I know the argyle is kind of difficult to see when I'm wearing the cowl, so here is a photo of the cowl as I was in the process of making it which shows the pattern much better.

I hope you've enjoying my shares today. If you did, please leave me a comment below. I love comments!

Monday, December 11, 2023

Speargrass Hat - Knitting Finish

 I finished up another knitting project late last night. In fact, I stayed up a bit later than I should have, but I was so close to a finish that I just wanted to get it done. 

Pattern: Speargrass Hat
Designer: Susie Gourlay of Knit Natural
Yarn: Mandala Ombre by Lion Brand Yarn
Color: Mantra
Needles: 4.5mm ChiaoGoo interchangeable circulars (magic loop. method)
Pom Pom: 2½" created with my Clover pom pom maker
Started: 4 Dec 2023
Finished: 10 Dec 2023

This pattern was the favorite hat pattern of a very dear friend of mine who lost her battle with cancer in 2020. I knit this one in her memory. This was such a fun knit. I can easily see now why it was her favorite hat pattern. Here's a closer look at the stitch detail.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Mini Stocking Finish & New Yarn

Over the past few days, I took part in the Tiny Treasures Mini Stocking Challenge offered by Jessica Ays of Double the Stitches. She shared her adorable Tiny Treasures Mini Stocking pattern for free with challenge participants over a four day period. I've knit several pairs of socks over my 30+ year history as a knitter, so I just jumped right in following the written pattern. For participants who were new to sock knitting though, she offered a daily live video session where participants could ask questions and she could go over anything people found confusing. 

Here's how my little stocking turned out.

I knit mine using scraps of worsted weight yarn and size 4mm knitting needles. I used my ChiaoGoo 4-inch interchangeable circular needle set to create a 30" circular so I could use the magic loop technique to knit my mini stocking. I switched to my 4mm double-pointed needles (dpns) from the Knitter's Pride Mindful Double-Pointed Needle Set for the final grafting of the toe using the Kitchener Stitch because I find it much easier to do the Kitchener on dpns than trying to do it on the circulars with the cable dangling. If you aren't familiar with it, Marly Bird has a great Kitchener Stitcher video tutorial on her YouTube channel.

As cute as my little mini stocking turned out, I think I want to make it again with a different yarn weight. While this size would be fine on a regular full-size or larger tree, I have a slimline tree and I think it will be a bit too large. I might try dropping down to a #1 or #2 weight yarn instead. If I do, I'll be sure to post a photo of the finished stocking here on my blog and over on my Instagram

I also did a tiny bit of yarn-related retail therapy today. I had some Shopify Shop Cash that was going to expire today, so I hopped on their app and searched for yarn. The gorgeous silk yarn in the photo above popped up the search results and I was absolutely gobsmacked by how beautiful it looked! With the Shop Cash I had, I ended up only paying 24 cents USD plus shipping for 300 yards of Lace Weight 100% Recycled Silk Yarn from Darn Good Yarn. The color way I ordered (shown above) is called Tidal Pool. I have no idea yet what I'll use it for, but it was just too beautiful and too good of a deal to pass up. I'll probably end up using it for a small shawl, kerchief, or cowl since I only have 300 yards.

I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend of stitching, knitting, crocheting, etc!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Planned Color Pooling

 I decided to try my hand at a crochet technique that's intrigued me for several years, but one I had never actually tried before. It's the planned pooling of color using a variegated yarn to create various effects. For my piece, I went with an argyle effect. Here's my progress thus far.

Before attempting to actually work on a pattern, I watched several YouTube tutorial videos on the technique. The ones I found most helpful were from Marly Bird. You can find all of her videos on her planned pooling playlist. Even with watching quite a few videos, it still took me about 15 attempts before the technique finally "clicked" in my brain and I was able to successfully get the argyle pattern to work.

I've now moved on to working an actual pattern. The photo above is a cowl I'm working on using a pattern designed by Marly for Red Heart. It's available as a free download on the Yarnspirations website. The pattern also includes a matching double pom-pom hat. I haven't decided yet whether I'll be making the hat since I don't often has occasion to wear hats here in southern California. Most of the hats I make are either intended as gifts or for donation to charity hat drives.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Yarny Goodness

 Yet again, I've woefully neglected this blog for far too long. I know most people, myself included, rarely read blogs these days in favor of various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. That all being said, I still like using my blog as a bit of an historical record of the things I've been working on. Lately, that includes a lot of fiber arts vs needlework.

Here are some of my recent finishes. I do have a few others, but they are holiday gifts, so I can't share those yet.

Designer: Kelly McClure (Bohoknits)
Yarn: Mani Pedi by Lion Brand Yarn
Color: Boot
Needles: 2.75mm circulars for ribbing; 3.25mm circulars & dpns for stockinette
Started: 24 Dec 2019 then went into long-term hibernation
Finished: 15 Nov 2023

Pattern: Basic Beanie
Designer: Cleome Smith
Yarn: Loops & Threads Perfect Pair by Michaels
Color: Walk Like a Man
Needles: 2mm circulars for ribbing; 3mm circulars & dpns for stockinette
Started: 15 Nov 2023
Completed: 19 Nov 2023
Modification: Changed 1x1 rib to a 2x2 rib, only did 2" of ribbing instead of 3"

Pattern: Bead Stitch Hat (Crochet)
Designer: Erica Dietz (Five Little Monsters)
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Stripes
Color: Retro Stripe
Hook: 5.5mm (US I)
Started: 20 Nov 2023
Finished: 21 Nov 2023

Design: Year of Hats (March 2019)
Yarn: Big Twist Worsted by Joann Fabrics
Color: Aqua
Needles: 4.5mm circulars and dpns
Started: 23 Nov 2023
Finished: 24 Nov 2023
Notes: This was my first time doing a tubular cast on. (Video tutorial by Very Pink Knits)

Designer: DROPS Design
Yarn: 24/7 Cotton by Lion Brand Yarn
Colors: Creamsicle and White
Needles: 4.5mm (US 7) 16" circulars
Started: 25 Nov 2023
Finished: 26 Nov 2023
Notes: This was my first time doing two-handed stranded knitting.

Designer: Me! 😃
Yarn: 24/7 Cotton by Lion Brand Yarn
Colors: Creamsicle and White
Needles: 4.5mm (US 7) 16" circulars
Started: 28 Nov 2023
Finished: 28 Nov 2023
Notes: This is my first original crochet written pattern. I've made it available for free on Ravelry.

Pattern: I didn't use one. I just made a 7" square of thermal stitch.
Yarn: 24/7 Cotton by Lion Brand Yarn
Colors: Creamsicle and White
Hook: 4.5mm (US 7)
Started: 3 Dec 2023
Finished: 3 Dec 2023

I also have a couple of other fiber art WIPs I'm working on at the moment. I don't have a photo yet of one of this. It's another hat and all I have done so far is the ribbing. Here's a photo of a lap throw I'm working on for myself.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Stripes
Color: Retro Stripe
Hook: 5.5mm (US I)
Started: 16 Nov 2023

That's it for now. To anyone who actually sees this post, thanks for stopping by! Please leave me a comment to let me know you were here.