I’ve been coveting Tiny Owl Knit’s Beekeeper’s Quilt for a long time now, but was a little daunted by how many “hexipuffs” were needed for a large quilt and the whole joining process. But with an increasing accumulation of gorgeous sock yarn left overs (or maybe I should call them shawl yarns since I never knit socks?) around the house, I decided that the time was right. I also had a hankering for one of those projects you can just slowly work on over a long period of time. I love that you knit, stuff and finish each hexipuff before moving on to the next, so you get a little bit of instant “finished project” gratification. I’m giving this preview because I’m sure I will be knitting this project for a while, but couldn’t wait until the quilt is finished to show off some adorable puffs. Now I just need to get my hands on some koigu . . . only 336 more puffs to go!
As a part of my baby knitting spree, I decided to make another basketweave baby blanket like the green one I made for my cousin’s son a couple of years ago. This time (since the baby is a girl!) I decided to go with a really soft pink called Shell in the same Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton as the original blanket. I love this basketweave pattern and think it’s perfect for a cozy baby blanket. (I also made a simple little stockinette hat from a pattern in my head; if you’re looking for a similar pattern try the Umbilical Cord Hat by Jennifer Jones).
I’ve had some requests for the pattern used to make my basketweave baby blanket, and since it’s pretty much just a simple stitch pattern with a garter stitch border I figured I would just post what I did here instead of making up a pattern pdf. I used 4 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton with a US size 6 needle, but I’m a very loose knitter so I would suggest going up a size or two (the ball band calls for US 7-9). My blanket ended up approximately 28″ x 28″.
Please let me know if you have any issues with the pattern!
I mentioned in a previous post that after ticking a few things off of my summer to do list, I was able to think enough to pick up my needles again. I decided to get back into the game with another Brooklyntweed pattern – actually it’s an Anne Hanson pattern for Brooklyntweed’s “wool people vol. 1” – the hourglass throw.
The pattern calls for Brooklyntweed’s Shelter yarn, but I wanted to go with something washable and decided to use Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Cobblestone Heather. The yarn is nice and lofty, so the cables really pop. I tried out steam-blocking for the first time with this pattern and I can’t decide if I like it better than wet blocking or not – it’s easier for me to get the blocking wires in when the project is dry, but I don’t feel like the pattern opened up as much this way than with wet blocking. Any opinions on wet versus steam?
The stitch pattern looks really complicated, but there isn’t actually that much cabling (only the small cables contained in each hourglass and the two on each side), so once I got the pattern memorized the knitting went pretty quickly. I really like the little cables running up the side, and also the idea of ribbing on a blanket.
Believe it or not, this is actually the first blanket I’ve knitted that will be staying in my home! I’ve knitted a few blankets for others, and pretty much enjoyed every pattern I tried, but once the blanket I was gifting was finished I never really felt like taking on the same pattern again. Now I’ve knitted a new blanket pattern for the first time and it’s all mine! Of course it had to be gray. I knitted the medium size throw from the pattern, so it’s just big enough for me!
P.S. Sorry for the kind-of-dark-and-blurry photos – it’s been overcast here for daaayyys, but I really wanted to post about this project so I just decided to go for it! Maybe I’ll update later if I get a chance to take some better pictures.
Lately, I’ve been working on a few little things for the newest member of my extended family, my second cousin – er, first cousin once removed? Hmm, not really sure what the classification is, but I do know that he’s a little bitty guy and definitely deserves some itty bitty knitted things to keep him warm! Enter obsessive, related knitter (me).
First, I knitted him a blanket in bright green Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton, with an all-over basketweave pattern.
Then, I knitted him a little baby pullover in Malabrigo Sock – in the most gorgeous blue I think I’ve ever seen! The colorway is called “Impressionist Sky” and that is exactly what it looks like to me.
I love the crispness of the little 2×2 twisted rib on the cuffs, and I chose some little blue gingham buttons from my button jar for the collar. The buttons are purely for decoration in this case, seeing as I didn’t knit any buttonholes (I’m going to assume this baby boy has a casual-unbuttoned-collar type of personality). I love this little set because I can’t get enough of the bright green and blue together – last time I knitted baby things a chose more subdued colors (which I still love), but I like the change to bright hues this time.
These little knits are on their way to baby Logan (maybe they arrived today!), and I hope he (and his parents) enjoy them (and that the sweater fits). : )
I just had to include this picture because of how regal Hugo is looking in the background! Look at how straight he’s sitting – adorable!
I told you I would get back to the knitting! Although, fair warning, this post does have some marriage content – only, it’s not my marriage but the marriage of our fair knitting matriarch, Melody! I call her our knitting matriarch because she taught all of us girls how to knit something like 7(!) years ago. And if she hadn’t, I would never have been able to make this to celebrate her recent marriage . . .
In retrospect, I’m starting to think she taught me completely out of self-interest! : ) This blanket (called the Hemlock Ring Blanket on Ravelry) is from Brooklyntweed‘s adaptation of a vintage doily pattern, and I’ll admit it – I wanted it to look exactly like the one he made (which is usually what I want after I see, oh, anything knitted by Jared).
I love knitting blankets in the round (and I don’t care if the non-knitters in my life don’t really understand the concept of a round blanket – they’re pretty), and this one was a particularly fun knit. The flower motif in the center is so simple and beautiful, and I’ve always enjoyed knitting feather and fan.
Brooklyntweed has very helpfully charted the feather and fan pattern, indicating where he stopped in order to make his smaller lap blanket and extending it beyond for those who want a larger one. The Rainey Sisters have also helpfully combined the whole thing into one pdf (the original doily pattern + Brooklytweed’s charts) here – so now I guess you have no excuse not to make one for yourself! The edging is a bit time consuming (like all knitted on edgings, I guess), but I think it’s lovely – very light and pointy! : )
I used US size 8 needles and Cascade Eco Wool (most of two skeins). Wonderful, soft, wooly smelling yarn! I love knitting with it. I worked the feather and fan section to the end of the chart given by Brooklyntweed – I might have liked to go a bit farther, but the amount of yarn I had left wouldn’t have made it another repeat. After working the edging, though, I’m glad I stopped where I did – I think it ended up the perfect size for a nice, light-weight blanket.
Melody and Nik’s Hemlock ring ended up being almost 6 feet in diameter (at the tips of the feathers – or are those the fans? – in any case, at the widest point). I’m not really sure how I convinced myself that blocking this would be as easy as blocking Girasole (I think it went something like – “they both have knitted on edgings that make points, so just pin out the points – easy peasy!”). You may have noticed, though, that Hemlock Ring has quite a different shape than Girasole (thanks to the feather and fan), so it’s not really as simple as pinning out a circle. Thanks to much pinning, pulling, re-pinning, staring at the floor to see if it looks right, and re-pinning again, I did finally get the thing into the right shape.
Isn’t the flower pretty? Ah, symmetry, how I love you. I liked the idea of making a blanket from a vintage doily pattern for Melody because it really seemed to fit her style, and I new she would love the natural color of the wool and the utter wooliness of the wool. Cables are her thing (you should see the blanket she made for me and Sasha - rav link) and lace is mine, and one of my favorite things about knitted gifts is that you not only look for a pattern that you think the recipients will like, you look for something that represents you as well. It seems especially important when knitting for another knitter! : )
Congratulations Melody and Nik! We’re all so happy for you!
This past weekend I attended the wedding of a dear friend from high school. Emily and I spent as much time as we could together during our high school years – gossiping, talking about fashion, watching movies, shopping, attending each others’ extracurricular events (for me – cheering on the volleyball and girls basketball teams; for E – cheering on the cheerleaders at football and basketball games), sleeping over (most of the time at Emily’s house), and just generally doing the things that high school girls do. I have learned a lot from Emily, and really feel like we just get along perfectly!
We’re six years from high school now, but I still love Emily [and her little sister Lauren, who will always be a freshman in high school to me : )] – and I was so, so happy to celebrate her marriage to a seemingly wonderful and charming man. Now, you may have noticed that I tend to express love through knitting, so a few months ago I went to work deciding on a gift for Emily and Pete. I wanted something very cozy (and for me this usually means garter stitch), classic, and neutral so that they can take it with them wherever they go in the future. I decided that the Linie 208 Natural wool I bought at Stitches would be perfect and I settled on the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket (rav link) by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne as the pattern. I decided on this pattern because it is cozy garter stitch, but has some interest – both for me during the knitting and for the recipients. I thought that the different sizes and directions of the garter stitch pieces would be pretty in the natural yarn without being too much. And . . . I couldn’t resist the alliteration – Monogrammed Monochromatic Moderne (we’ll get to the monogrammed part later).
I used the pattern as a guide, but ended up changing the structure a little bit due to restricted amounts of yarn. I added an attached I-cord edging – a finishing touch that I always love. I think the I-cord edging makes the blanket look complete and also adds structure to the stretchy garter stitch. It took me a while to come up with the perfect personal element to add to the blanket but then I realized . . . if there’s one thing I know about Emily, it’s that she loves a good monogram! : ) I looked around for a while on etsy until I found Rememberwynn, who made me a lovely faux suede patch with the newly married couple’s monogram to sew on to the blanket. [I have to take a moment to say how wonderful Rememberwynn was, rushing a new patch to me when the first got lost in the mail! Thank you Rememberwynn!]
Once the patch was sewn on, the ends were sewn in, and the care instructions were attached, MMM was ready to go!
I was so excited to head to St. Louis for the festivities – it’s been a while since I’ve visited my old stomping grounds, and I was excited to catch up with a few friends. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous and glowing and the reception was quite a celebration!
I hope that MMM keeps Emma and Pete [and George : )] warm and toasty this winter and for many years to come! Congratulations again!
The secret wedding present is revealed! After not being able to discuss my knitting for a while, I’m so excited to share my experience with a wonderful pattern written by an amazing designer – Girasole by Jared Flood (aka Brooklyntweed). Here’s the finished project all laid out and in the hands of Eric and Emily. This pattern was wonderful, intuitive and I would knit it over and over again. (Um, yes, I know it’s huge. It’s actually about 9″ in diameter. This could explain the issue discussed in the next paragraph.)
I honestly loved knitting this blanket, the whole project went smoothly, with the only issue being the amount of yarn I had. I used the yarn the pattern called for – Cascade pastaza. This yarn is a beautiful wool/llama mix with a delightful weight. I ordered an extra skein of the yarn just to be safe (you don’t want to run out on such an important project) and reveled in my forethought (“what an experienced knitter I am, I ordered more than enough yarn and I’ll end up with extra for a hat or something”). Well, it turned out that I was being slightly overconfident and I ran out of my extra yarn a little more than halfway through the knitted on edging. Hmm . . . I’m slightly embarrassed to say that my heart was racing until I was able to log in to Webs and buy another hank. Once it arrived, I quickly finished up the edging and then did a happy dance celebrating the completion of the most massive project I’ve ever attempted. Oh, and not to give you a heart attack, but this is how much yarn I had left after casting off:
What follows is a picture essay on my project as it progressed (I took photos after completing each chart, which was sometimes at night, so I apologize for poor picture quality).
Chart D (we’re at 640 sts per round at this point folks!):
Chart E (oooh, it’s growing!):
Chart G (quite a mess of yarn at this point, huh?):
Starting the edging:
And now for the finale . . .
Goodbye Girasole! I loved our time together, but now I want you to go and warm the household of one of my best friends, Emily, and my new friend, Eric. Keep them warm throughout the years of their happy marriage (and also, try not to itch Emily too much).