Rainbow Baby Blankie

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DSC_0451As I mentioned in my previous post, the friend who taught me how to knit (over 10 years ago!) recently had a little baby boy. I knew that I had to make something really special for this little guy, and since I happen to know that his mother loves colors I wanted something really bright! After seeing this project on Ravelry, I couldn’t get it out of my head. The original project was basically created by stitching together five short Multidirectional Diagonal Scarves.

DSC_0875I did pretty much the same thing, except that I joined the “scarves” while I was knitting. When I got to the edge where I wanted to join together two of the strips, I would knit until 1 stitch from the end, slip the last stitch, knit into the edge of the other strip, then pass the slipped stitch over. This created a nice join between the two pieces. When I was finished, I knitted an attached i-cord edging in the bright yellow color, which sort of ended up as my favorite part!

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DSC_0455I chose Kauni Effektgarn because I loved the colors in the original project. I ended up using the EQ and W-EQ color ways (very similar rainbows, but slightly different – I just mixed up the strips and liked the additional color variation). I only needed two skeins of the yarn! The blanket ended up measuring about 35 x 36 inches with four strips. For each strip, I increased as described in the pattern up to 60 stitches.

DSC_0444I can hear people out there thinking why would you make a baby blanket out of Kauni and I get it – it was a bit scratchy. It softened up some after a soak in wool wash, but was still a little bit rough, so I sent along a couple of soft receiving blankets to be used with the blankie. Receiving blanket on the inside for softness, wooly blanket on the outside for warmth! I hope this little baby boy loves it!

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Group Baby Blankie

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DSC_0038When my friends and I found out that the friend who taught us all to knit – our knitting group matriarch – was about to have a baby, we almost immediately decided that we should knit something together that we could all work on. We settled in to find the perfect pattern but started to worry about differences in gauges and how to make such a modular piece look nice and well planned out.  DSC_0046

Then somewhere in the back of my head a memory surfaced of the yarnharlot leading a group effort to make a baby blanket at one of her retreats, where many retreaters participated. I figured many knitters equaled even more gauges to deal with than we needed to (with just three of us) and her blanket turned out to be quite lovely. So we settled on trying to emulate that blanket and moved on to choosing yarn colors. We decided to use knit picks swish worsted in Dove Heather (3 skeins), Green Tea Heather (2 skeins) and Wonderland Heather (2 skeins). I know I’ve said it before, but I love this yarn for baby blankets because it’s super soft and machine washable!

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When it came to knitting the blanket, I knitted the central grey square (starting with a provisional cast on), then picked up stitches to set up the striped section.

DSC_0039The three of us then knit the stripes together (like this, except with three people), each of us with our own color (although I can’t quite remember which one I had – I think grey again?), and then the blanket was finished with the old shale lace knitted by E. After blocking, she shipped it off and it’s been warming a new little baby ever since!

DSC_0045Thanks for the pictures, E!

 

 

Chevron Baby Blankie

Get ready for a parade of baby blankets! First up was made for one of my bffs from high school, who just recently had a sweet little boy. After seeing an “in progress” shot of the baby’s nursery, I thought a white and grey chevron striped blanket would be perfect. I settled on the Chevron Baby Blanket pattern from the purl bee. I used knit picks swish worsted in white (6 balls) and dove heather (5 balls), holding two strands together the whole time. I started with a white stripe and then just worked each stripe until I finished that ball of yarn. Great pattern and one of my favorite yarns for baby blankets, since it’s so soft and machine washable! Unfortunately I only got a work-in-progress shot on my iphone, but I’m kind of lucky that I even have that since I totally forgot pictures before I gave it away! Ooops :)

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Crooked Paths Hat and Mitts

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2014-03-21 13.15.12I recently made a cute little set of fingerless mitts and a hat using the Crooked Paths pattern by Melissa LaBarre for a friend’s aunt. I used Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere so they would be super soft. I worked the hat as the pattern is written (except holding the yarn double), and then just used the same stitch pattern on the mitts (but holding only a single strand of yarn). I ended up using almost exactly one skein.

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I blocked the hat around a 10 inch dinner plate and it worked out perfectly. I loved this yarn and the color. It’s the first time I’ve used Dream in Color Smooshy (somehow?), and it was delightful. I would definitely recommend both the pattern and the yarn!

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Boneyard Brohats

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After seeing a boneyard shawl made out of malabrigo sock that I had given my mom for Christmas, my brother requested a beanie with a similar pattern and in the same yarn. Of course I was delighted to receive a request for handknits, so I ordered the yarn and set to work! I ended up making two hats just to make sure one would fit!

The yarn is malabrigo sock in eggplant. For the hat that ended up fitting (which is the one with more widely spaced stripes), I cast on 140 sts, knitted 10 rows of twisted 1×1 rib and then worked stockinette stitch with a row of purl bumps every 9th row. I started decreasing after the hat measured 9″, and then worked a double decrease at five evenly spaced points on the crown until I got down to about 5 stitches at which point I pulled the yarn through the rest of the stitches and cinched it up!

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For the one that was a little bit small (and will be coming back to me because it fits me!), I cast on 126 sts, knitted 15 rows of twisted 1×1 rib and then worked stockinette stitch with a row of purl bumps every 6th row. I started decreasing after the hat measured 7.5″, and then worked a single decrease at six evenly spaced points on the crown (just to mix it up from the first hat) until I got down to a few stitches.

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My brother loves the first hat and it fits perfectly (with plenty of room to fold up the bottom of the hat). The yarn is gorgeous and super soft. Here’s to family members that appreciate handknits!

Harold and Henrietta

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I’m on a roll knitting stuffed animals lately! I knit up a couple of these Knit Hedgehogs from the purl bee because I saw them on pinterest and just thought they were adorable! Now I have a happy little hedgehog couple to keep me company from the bookshelf.

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This was a super fun pattern, especially attaching the “spines” to the little belly! The pattern is seamless, starting from the nose, and goes really quickly. I used some Encore worsted that I had lying around for the face and belly, and some Wild Apple Hill Farm 100% wool for the “spines”. I tried out two different methods for making the nose – Harold has the nose made from the purl bee instructions, and Henrietta has a french knot nose. Go knit yourself some hedgies!

Eloise and Stella

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DSC_0844I’m back! With more baby knits! These two lovely ladies are headed to the same lovely lady that received this quill baby blanket a little while ago. Since the parents didn’t find out boy or girl before she was born, I didn’t get a chance to make her a sweater so (6 months later . . . ) I’m sending a wee Stella her way.DSC_0841

And since I had yarn left after I finished the sweater, I decided to knit up an Elijah (by Ysolda) to match. It was an excellent pattern and a delight to knit, as per usual for Ysolda. This elephant’s name is Eloise though (or Ellie for short).

DSC_0826I used Madelinetosh sock in carnation for the sweater and then doubled it for Ellie. As a side note, I bought this madtosh sock on my first ever visit to Madtosh Crafts in Fort Worth! It was amazing! A wonderland of beautifully dyed yarns in every color imaginable! I spent a loooong time there.

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I actually ran out of yarn with only one ear left to knit on Eloise! This meant another trip to Madtosh Crafts (such a hardship for me). Luckily they sell little mini-skeins (presumably for hexipuffs?) of their yarn and while they didn’t have a mini-skein of carnation in madtosh sock, they did have it in tosh merino light. So I took a chance and bought the tml. It worked perfectly! I doubled it just like the madtosh sock. If you’re looking for it you can tell a slight difference, but really the main difference is the ears are slightly softer than the body, which I don’t think is a bad thing!

DSC_0830I made the 12 month size of Stella so that it will hopefully fit for a while. I found adorable little pink buttons that perfectly matched the color. Mmm, I can’t get enough of those little garter stitch bumps in the light pink. I love baby girl knits!

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I happen to know that this particular baby’s wardrobe is especially girly, so I think Stella will fit right in. And as for Eloise, I hope she is so loved that she ends up missing a limb or something. :)

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Hexipuff Update – A Hexipuff Exchange!

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I’m still trucking along on the hexipuffs for my beekeeper’s quilt (while working on a few other things along the way). I’ve got about 65 puffs so far! Only 283 puffs to go! Because of the awesomeness of this pattern, I also talked a friend into getting the pattern and knitting along with me, and she sent me a wonderful surprise – four mini-skeins of sock yarn from her stash, from which I could make three hexi-puffs each. So exciting! So of course I reciprocated. Here are the balls of yarn I sent her (along with a glimpse of my puffs):

DSC_0476And here are the balls I sent her next to the puffs I made with the yarn she sent me. I forgot to snap a picture of my mini-skeins before I started knitting puffs (just too excited I guess!). I sent her four types of yarn; the green one is Slackford Studio Lightfoot Sock (sadly, Susan has closed up shop for the time being), the purple is Colinette Jitterbug, the peachy-pink is Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock, and the deep pink is Pagewood Farms Denali. Hooray for hexipuffs! And friends who send you yarn!

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(Cotton) Wool Leaves

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There are babies, babies and more babies showing up around here! (I guess I’ve left the time of life where all my friends are getting married and entered the time when everyone is having babies?) This trend isn’t a problem for me, though, because I love making baby stuff.

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This time around, I was knitting for the new baby girl of an old family friend I grew up with. I had some Blue Sky Alpacas worsted cotton in shell left over from the basketweave baby blanket that I made for the baby of this particular family friend’s sister. That is, these new baby girls are cousins, so I liked the idea of making their baby blankets out of the same yarn, but I wanted to use a different pattern.

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I settled on Jared Flood’s Wool Leaves, which is written for Cascade Eco Wool held double. The Blue Sky Alpacas worsted cotton worked beautifully held double, and made quick work of the knitting. I love the graceful leaves in the pattern and (just like last time) I can’t get over how pretty the shell color is for a little baby girl blanket. I had a little bit less than 4 skeins of the yarn, which meant I had to stop knitting with one lace repeat still called for in the pattern, but the blanket looks great and is still a good size even without that last repeat. I also sent the 3 month Baby Sophisticate with bright pink buttons that I knit from the new pattern. Hopefully it will be the perfect size once the weather cools down in a few months!

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Big Herringbone Cowl

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I started this project a while ago, as a Christmas present for Emily because I noticed this was a pattern that she had faved on Ravelry but not queued, which I was hoping meant “I really like the finished product, but I’m not very interested in knitting it myself.” Which I think is the perfect gift for a fellow knitter!

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I knit this using some left-over Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Squirrel Heather, which is a yarn that I really like – it’s super soft and 100% merino. The pattern is the beautiful Big Herringbone Cowl from the Purl Bee.

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The stitch pattern for this project is pretty fiddly, and you have to use larger-than-I-usually-like needles (I used US 13’s), but once you get in a rhythm it goes pretty smoothly. And you can’t beat the results! Such a beautiful herringbone. I was a little concerned about the edges before blocking because they looked sort of ruffle-y and unfinished, but after being blocked they started behaving. I think it looks so smooshy and comfy!

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