Past, Present, and Future

A few years back, 2006 ?, Brad and I visited England.  While there we found a really neat craft farm where I purchased a lot of wool.  Why?  I wanted to have a keepsake from England that wasn't a t-shirt or paperweight.  I don't want to have a keepsake of a big pile of wool either.  So, I have future plans for this wool - carding and spinning with a drop spindle!

I found this merino yarn earlier this spring on a trip to NYC.  Brad and I stopped at the Greenmarket in Union Square where I purchased this yarn from Catskill Merino Yarn.  I really didn't have plans for the yarn other than to purchase a few skeins and then see what happens.  I love the orange color and the white yarn makes me think of cream.  The orange knit really nicely into the Zig-Zag scarf you will see later in the post.  The undyed yarn's future has yet to be determined. 

Finished this a few weeks ago and just haven't posted.  I need to find some buttons for the front but the button holes are awfully small so I may need to find another option, like snaps or a zipper or something.   Anyway, I really like this little cardigan because of the wonderful textures.  Hopefully my baby will grow into this sweater during a season that he can actually wear the sweater, i.e. not summer.

My favorite local librarian, Sue, who also happens to knit recommended this book, 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders.  I am so glad she did because I have found so many really cool patterns.  The one I am currently working on, Baby Squash Hat, can be seen in this picture.  Right now, it doesn't look much like a hat but it will get there, I promise.

The Zig-Zag Scarf pattern came from this book too.  I really didn't need another scarf I guess, but I did need to learn a technique used in the scarf, the short row wrap.  All the zigs and zags come from these short rows.  With a better understanding of short rows I can knit one of the soaker patterns I found, Curly Purly.  Also, many socks require a short row heel.  Woo-hoo! 

and Future...
Since we are planning to cloth diaper, I want to knit some wool soakers to cover the prefold diapers.  I learned recently that the long ones ("Longies") can sell for as much as $50!  That is just a little too rich for my blood, especially when I can make my own.  Here are some examples of what I plan to make.
Here are some great tools to help me card and spin all the wool purchased in England.  I have had plans to card and spin all this for a while but have been delayed partially because I needed the right tools.  Well, now I have them so nothing (except procrastination) can get in my way!

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Hats, Hats, and more Hats

I love to knit baby hats, I will just say that from the start.  A few reasons, they knit quickly, don't require much yarn, and are just generally adorable.  Anyway, so to recap these hats.  The first hat is a night cap, think about sugar plums and fairies dancing through your head when you see this hat. The yarn is a DK weight wool/acrylic blend in light pink and an oatmeal/light tan color.  The pattern came from a great book which I would someday like to own titled, And so to bed...: Handknits and Things by Lucinda Guy.  Guy created some of the cutest knits for children including cute little owls, pajama holders, foxes, sweaters, hats, and so much more.  I definitely see myself knitting more patterns from this book.

This lovely little cabled hat knit really quickly, like maybe 2-3 hours.  I don't knit all that quickly so if you do, then this would be a really blazin' fast project.  I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease and size 8 straight needles.  You can find this easy pattern here.  This is the ten cable hat.  Because I knit the pattern on straight needles instead of circular I needed to do a little "reading between the pattern lines" to make it turn out correctly.  But I have to say that this turned out really well for never having knit cables before.

This hat is my own creation knit in the round on size 4 double pointed needles.  I wish I had written down the pattern as I went along because now I really like the hat and cannot remember how it came to fruition.  Oh well, I guess it is truly one of a kind.  My favorite parts are the 4 I-cords up on top which give it a funky look.  If you like to/want to knit baby/toddler hats, this site has a great collection of patterns.  Some patterns link to sites like knitty.com and others, like the cabled hat, come from individuals who can create some awesome stuff.

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Knitting Knews

Well, if I had this much time on my hands and didn't knit, boy there would be something wrong.  If you don't already know, Brad and I recently moved to Ft. Lewis Washington.  While he works and has things to do all day, I pretty much veg out.  At first, I enjoyed the chance to watch TV, go on walks, and just chill.  Now, I feel ready to pull my hair out and start talking to myself due to boredom!  To stave off insanity I have knit a few things that I want to share with you.

This pink hat knit quickly and I learned how to make a real pom-pom to put on the finishing touch.  I plan to make more in smaller sizes and a variety of colors for babies of all sizes and genders.  Currently this hat is a prototype for my friend Gina who photographs babies.

This matching hat and sweater are for an undesignated baby at the moment.  I may keep it for Joshua but who knows.  I actually don't know if the sweater will fit a baby as the sleeves are short and the bodice is rather boxy.  So while the length may fit a 3-6 month old, the sleeves may be goofy and the body too wide.  All in all, I like sweater because it was fast and easy to  knit but next time I will make the sleeves longer and wider.

That's all for now.  I will keep the needles clicking so I don't develop some weird boredom twitch.  Take care!

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This is a day for...

New Beginnings! And it isn't even January 1st. I don't have much time so here is a run down of all the new beginnings.

1. I learned to knit correctly. Maybe you read in a previous post that I twist all my stitches when I knit because I taught myself incorrectly. While I have made many things I am proud of, I decided that I really should learn to knit the right way. So, with a quick demonstration from Teri and the help of the SNB Handbook I learned how to knit continental style. Now, I think I knit correctly, however I might still be confused. If you are reading this and can see that my stitches are still twisted let me know, so I can learn how to knit correctly.

2. My cousin Matt and his wife Holly just had a baby boy, Benjamin! What a wonderful new beginning. I guess he has pretty big feet, so I hope the booties will fit by the time he receives them. The hat was supposed to become a frog hat but I got lazy and left it solid green. I really enjoy making these booties because they are fast, easy, and a great way to relearn how to knit because they are just a garter stitch. Without further ado, here is a picture of Benjamin's gift.

3. Brad's sister moved into her first apartment in Madison WI so she can attend Vet school at the University. First apartments are always fun to celebrate with house warming gifts. I knit some simple face cloths and dish rags for her. Hopefully they will come in handy. I plan to get some hand made soap as well to include with the gift.

Knitting during the race.

Knitting and the Crew car

Left Photo: Beatrix "helping" me take a picture of the dishcloths.
Right Photo: Face cloths in a sort of Rib Stitch and Seed Stitch

Yarn used in this post:
Lion Brand Microspun (Booties)
Green Wool Fingering weight yarn - not sure of the brand (Hat and Laces on Booties)
Knit Picks Cotlin - Island Coral and Almond colors (Face cloths)
Sugar and Cream - Celedon and Soft Teal (Dish rags)

Happy knitting!

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On the needles

My family seems to be growing and growing. Which works out well for me since I love to give them hand-made gifts! Specifically we have a new cousin on the way so I thought I would make this new little one a blanket. Initially I planned to give the Warm Up America Afghan but when I found out it was a girl I decided to make something a little more pinkish-purple. The pattern comes from the Knitting for Peace book as a suggestion for a Project Linus afghan. Easy to make, you only have to remember one line of pattern stitch, everything else is just knitting and purling.

(More on Project Linus to follow in the "Need Has No Season" edition for April/May.)



Little Jester Hat

In February I wrote about the Care Wear Organization and how they meet the needs for preemies. Here is the hat I made. It didn't require much yarn or time. This was a great project for a quiet afternoon and any knitter can make this great gift.

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UFOs and WIP

Ahhh!!! Yarn from outer-space....wh-what's WIP have to do with outer-space? Unfortunately I cannot report that I have had any Unidentified Flying Objects near any of my knitting and WIP doesn't mean Wayfaring Intergalactic Probe (also that doesn't really make sense). Instead try, UnFinished Objects and Works In Progress. These two acronyms also correlate with the mysterious lack of posting to this blog. So, to fill you in, here are my WIPs and UFOs.

WIP Sheldon:

I have completed the body, limbs, and top of Sheldon's shell. I am working on the other 2 parts of the shell so I can stuff the shell and limbs then attach the limbs. Oh, also, Sheldon doesn't have any eyes at this moment...still working on that.

UFO Baby Afghan WUA! style:

Over Christmas, I learned that Brad and I can expect the joyous arrival of another cousin in June! This baby will receive an Afghan made of 7 x 9 in. rectangles all stitched together. Sound familiar? This is just a Warm Up America! Afghan made with baby yarn. So far, I haven't had any problems except that the afghan requires quite a bit of time.

Completed Rectangles: Incomplete Rectangle:

Remaining Yarn:

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My New Cousin: part 2

I received a very exciting phone call this morning. My Aunt and Uncle had a baby girl! Her name is Angela Faith (I hope I am spelling that right, sometimes parents take a very lovely name and spell it phoenetically so that the lovely sounding name looks awfully hard to pronounce) born around 8 a.m. (Central Time) and she weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz.. Hopefully in part 3 of My New Cousin I can show you some pictures of her in her sacque, hat, and booties.

Until then,



My New Cousin

At the ripe age of 25, I get to have a new cousin! My Aunt Jen and Uncle Mike are pretty young, have 3 girls and a fourth baby on the way (they haven't any idea if the baby is a boy or a girl)! Since they are John Deere fans and the gender has yet to be determined green and yellow seemed fitting. I made a card and envelope, booties, a newborn hat, and a Knitted Sacque. Yes, a sacque, I had no idea what that meant so good ol' Merriam Webster came in handy.

Sacque: (sak), an infant's usually short jacket that fastens at the neck

So there you go, now you learned a new word too. Well I hope you enjoy these knifty knits!

Peace, Alison

Pattern notes:
For all of the projects, I used "Baby Bee Sweet Delight Pomp" yarn in the colors "sunkisses" and "grasshopper". The yarn knits very well and doesn't cost much ($4.99 per skein x 3 skeins), another great thing for baby gifts since babies grow so quickly.

First Knits: Projects for Beginning Knitters
by Luise Roberts and Kate Haxell (2005)
They are an easy project that requires minimal yarn and all you have to do is knit. If you would like to make them on your own you will have to check out the book at your local public library (or buy it, but hey if you get it at the library it is free to check out!).

This pattern came from a Lion Brand Learn to Knit kit but I didn't like how it turned out. So, I changed the pattern to fit my tastes. This pattern is super easy and fast to make. A great project if you need a baby gift in a flash.

  • Size 6 needles
  • Crochet hook, size H
  • Large-eyed, blunt needle to sew up the seam
  • Yarn
Cast on 76 stitches. Knit 6 rows. Work in stockinette stitch until hat measures 5.25" from the beginning.
Next row: *Knit 2 tog, knit 6; repeat from the * to end.
Next row: Purl.
Next row: *Knit 2 tog, knit 6; repeat from the * to end.
Next row: Purl
Work in k1, p1 ribbing for 2.25". Bind off all stitches in pattern.

Cord: Chain 70 stitches with a crochet hook. Break yarn.

Finishing: Join hat seam with mattress stitch. Thread the cord in and out just below the ribbing. Tighten the cord and tie.

This pattern was given to me by a friend and fellow knitter. It is pretty old and I don't know the source but it makes a nice gift. I made a 6 month size, but I think that babies today are bigger so my 6 month size sacque will most likely fit a 3-6 month baby not 6-9 months old. Size 1 are in parentheses.

  • Yarn (1 4 oz skein of baby weight yarn)
  • 1 pair straight knitting needles No. 6
  • 1 steel crochet hook (H)
Gauge: 5 sts = 1 inch 7 rows = 1 inch

Pattern Stitch:
Row 1: K1, *P1, K1, repeat from * across row.
Rows 2 and 3: P1, * K1, P1, repeat from * across row.
Row 4: K1, * P1, K1, repeat from * across row.
Repeat these 4 rows for the pattern stitch.

Starting at lower edge of back, with No. 6 needles cast on 47 (51) stitches. Work even in pattern stitch for 6 (6 1/2) inches. SLEEVES: At the beginning of each of the next 2 rows cast on 34 (38) stitches. Work even in pattern stitch on 115 (127) stitches until sleeves measure 3 1/4 (3 3/4) inches. Put a marker at each end of work for half of sleeve (I tied a piece of contrasting color yarn to the last stitch on each side, this worked well for me). SHAPE NECK: Work in pattern stitch across 47 (52) stitches; put center 21 (23) stitches on a holder; join another ball of yarn and work last 47 (52) stitches in pattern stitch. Work even on both sides at once for 6 rows. Then at each neck edge cast on 12 (13) stitches. Work even in pattern stitch on 59 (65) stitches of each side until sleeve edges measures 3 1/4 (3 3/4) inches above markers. FINISH SLEEVES: At each arm edge bind off 34 (38) stitches. Continue in pattern stitch on 25 (27) stitches of each side for 6 (6 1/2) inches. Bind off all stitches in pattern stitch. HOOD: With right side facing you, pick up and K 18 (19) stitches on right from neck; work in pattern stitch across 21 (23) stitches on holder; pick up and K 18 (19) stitches on other neck edge. Work even in pattern stitch on 57 (61) stitches for 2 rows. BEADING: * Work 2 (3) stitches, y o, work 2 stitches tog, repeat from * ending work last stitch. Continue in pattern stitch for 6 (6 1/4) inches. Bind off in pattern stitch.

Sew side and sleeve seams with mattress stitch. Fold hood in half and seam across top with mattress stitch. EDGING: (I just single crocheted around the edges of the sacque and the ends of the sleeves. I tried the shell stitch and it looks rather frilly. Since I don't know if my new cousin is a boy or girl I thought it best to avoid the "froo-froo". Also, a single crochet stitch uses less yarn and goes much faster.) Shell Edge. Join yarn at left side seam, ch 3, 2 dc in same stitch, * skip 1 stitch, sc in next stitch, ch 1, skip 1 stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch, repeat from * on lower edge, fronts and hood. Work same edging on each sleeve edge. Steam lightly. CORD: Make a chain 36 inches long. Fasten off. Run cord through neck beading and sew small pom-pom to each end (optional, I didn't due to not knowing the baby's gender).