What Have I Been Doing? Obviously Not Writing This Blog!

Hi All!

I know I haven’t posted anything lately but holy moly I did not realize it’s been sooo long. I have been busy knitting! Over the next few weeks I will show you some of the pieces I have been working on and finishing!

The most recent piece I finished (just last week) is a ruana for my daughter Sam.  She found a ruana in a store that she really liked and asked if I would make one for her. So, of course I said yes. She found the yarn and had it shipped to me. I couldn’t find a pattern that I liked so I took bits and pieces from a variety of patterns, knitted up a swatch and started to work.  This is really my first big design. I must say it was a lot of fun and very satisfying to complete. I have tweaked a pattern or two and designed simple hats and a couple of scarves, but nothing quite like this.

The yarn is a variegated acrylic from Red Heart. It washed and dried beautifully. The finished dimensions are approximately 45 inches wide and 60 inches from bottom back to bottom of the front. I tried it on and took pictures. But since I am only 5 ft. 1 inch, it was a little big and I kind of looked like I was wearing a blanket. Fortunately it was designed and sized for Sam who is taller. I hope you like it.  I am still writing up the pattern but will probably post it here and on Ravelry.

Here are some pictures. I am hoping Sam will take some pictures of her wearing it and let me post them. Hint, hint Sam 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Weaving – Caroline

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Super Bulky Azel Pullover Picture

Hi All,

I promised a picture my daughter Sam, wearing the Azel Pullover.  I know I’m prejudiced but I think she’s adorable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is fast and easy pattern. Check it out before Spring arrives. Here in southern Missouri, the weather just can’t make up it’s mind. I am betting we will have some more winter before spring decides to stay. At least I hope we will have a little more winter, I have completed my first knit sweater. (More on that later.)

Happy Knitting and Weaving – Until next time…Caroline

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Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

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Shhh – It’s a Christmas Secret

Right now it’s 53 days until Christmas.  On one hand, 53 days seems so far away. On the other hand it’s ‘OMG it’s only 53 days until Christmas!! I have so much to do. How will I get it all done, freak out!’

Every year since the kids have moved out into their own places, I have been giving them a Christmas ornament.  The past several years I have been knitting the ornaments, a snowman, a mouse fairy, penguins with scarves.

If you promise not to tell my kids, I will tell you what the ornament is this year.  I usually send it with their cookie and fudge box after Thanksgiving. That way they can put it on their tree and they don’t have to wait for Christmas. But it is a secret until they open the cookie box. Ok, here it is, remember you promised not to tell….it’s a Santa Claus. There are great patterns out there, but I just couldn’t find the one that said, ‘Knit Me, Knit Me!’   (Don’t patterns talk to you?) So I created my own pattern.

I haven’t really done this before, but thought I should give it shot.  I carefully wrote down what I did each step of the way and typed it up.  Then I used it to knit up the second Santa. Is it ok to say it turned out pretty cute?  I hope you like it too. I have included the pattern below. Please let me know if you find any mistakes.

Happy Knitting and Weaving – Until next time…Caroline

Knitted Santa Front

Knitted Santa Front

Knitted Santa Ornament

Materials:

Yarn: All yarn dk or worsted weight

  • Red for Santa body and hat
  • Black for belt and eyes
  • Cream or flesh colored for Santa head
  • White for Santa hat
  • White eyelash for Santa beard

Needles : dpn size 4 US

Darning Needle

Fiber stuffing

Gauge: Gauge is not important in this pattern.

Notes: Worked in the round, starting at bottom of Santa. Finished size approximately 5 ½ inches tall to top of head.

Finished Size:  Approximately 5 inches to top of head.

Santa Body

With red, cast on 6 stitches. Distribute evenly on 3 needles, join and place marker to mark beginning of round. Each round equal 1 row.

Row 1.   Knit
Row 2.   KFB in each stitch, (12 stitches) Increase row.
Row 3.   Knit
Row 4.   KFB in each stitch, (24 stitches) Increase row.
Row 5.   Knit
Row 6.   Knit
Row 7.   KFB in ever other stitch, (36 stitches) Increase row.
Row 8.   Knit
Row 9.   Knit
Row 10. Knit
Row 11. KFB in every 3rd stitch, (48 stitches) Increase row.
Row 12 – 17.  Knit
Row 18.  Knit 2, ssk, knit to last 4 stitches, k2tog, k2 on each needle. Decrease row. (42 stitches)
Row 19.  Change to  black yarn knit.  Do not cut red yarn.
Row 20.  With black yarn knit.
Row 21.  Change back to red yarn and knit this row.  Cut black yarn and weave in ends.
Row 22.  Knit
Row 23.  Knit 2, ssk, knit to last 4 stitches, k2tog, k2 on each needle. Decrease row. (36 stitches)
Row 24.  Knit
Row 25.  Knit
Row 26. Knit
Row 27. Knit
Row 28. Knit 2, ssk, knit to last 4 stitches, k2tog, k2 on each needle. Decrease row. (30 stitches)
Row 29. Knit
Row 30. Knit
Row 31. [K3, ssk, k2tog, k3] three times. Decrease row. (24 stitches)
Row 32. Knit
Row 33. Knit

Stuff the body.

Row 34. k2tog all the way around. (12 stitches)
Row 35. Knit.  Add the head color on the last 2 stitches.

Santa Head

Row 1. Knit.  First 2 stitches head color and red. Drop red yarn and weave in ends.
Row 2. KFB in each stitch. (24 stitches)
Row 3 – 10. Knit

Stuff the head.

Row 11. k2tog all the way around. (12 stitches)
Row 12. Knit

Add more stuffing if needed.

Row 13. k2tog all the way around. (6 stitches) Cut yarn and pull through to tie off.

Santa hat

Using white yarn, cast on 32 stitches and distribute on 3 needles.

Row 1. Purl
Row 2. Knit

Change to red yarn.

Rows 3 – 12.  Knit
Row 13.  k2, ssk, knit to last 4 stitches k2tog, k2 on each needle (26 stitches)
Row 14. knit
Row 15. k2, ssk, knit to last 4 stitches k2tog, k2 on each needle (20 stitches)
Row 16. knit
Row 17. [k1, k2tog, k1] to end. (14 stitches)
Row 18. [k1, k2tog to end] to end. (10 stitches)
Row 19. knit
Row 20. knit
Row 21. k2tog all the way around. (5 stitches)

Cut thread and pull through to inside of hat.  Weave in all ends.

Make a tiny white pom pom for top of Santa hat and attach.

If using as an ornament, make a red crochet chain approximately 8 inches long an attach to top of hat.

Beard

Using white eyelash yarn, cast of 24 stitches.

Row 1. purl
Row 2. k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog (22 stitches)
Row 3. purl
Row 4. k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog (20 stitches)
Row 5. purl
Row 6. k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog (22 stitches)

Odd rows – purl

Even rows – k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog until there are 4 stitches.

Row 21.  purl
Row 22.  k2tog twice. Cut yarn and pull through.

Eyes

Place hat and beard to determine eye placement.  With darning needle, add eyes and secure.

Assemble

Place beard on head and secure with eyelash yarn.

Place hat on head and secure with red yarn.

Done!

Knitted Santa-side

Knitted Santa-side

Knitted Santa-back

Knitted Santa-back

 

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Colorful Shawl

I love knitting shawls.  I am not sure why, I just do.  I think because they are pretty quick to knit and are so versatile. You can wear them like a shawl or a scarf.  They can be a rectangle  or triangle.  They can be solid or lacy or a mix.  So many choices.

A couple of years ago I found this great yarn to make a shawl. But it was pretty expensive so I didn’t buy it.  Sigh. Every time I went to the yarn shop I would look at it and feel it and decide what color I would buy, someday. It was Mountain Colors Twizzle, a soft wool/silk blend.  Well for my birthday my husband went to the yarn shop and picked out some yarn and a pattern book all by himself.  I was totally awed, the yarn he picked out was the Mountain Colors Twizzle yarn in the color I had picked out!  I couldn’t believe it!  I hadn’t told him about the yarn and he hadn’t been with me when I was lusting after it.  The gals in the shop didn’t help him either!  Does this guy know what me or what!  He is amazing.

The book was one of the Malabrigo pattern books (Book 3) and it had the perfect shawl pattern.  So I started knitting it right away.  It is so colorful and soft, it was a joy to knit.  My two favorite things, soft and colorful yarn.  🙂  The pattern is the Scalloped Shawl. It has become my favorite shawl.  See the pictures below.

Happy knitting and weaving.  Until next time….Caroline

Mountain Colors Twizzle Shawl front

Mountain Colors Twizzle Shawl front

Mountain Colors Twizzle Shawl Back

Mountain Colors Twizzle Shawl Back

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Super Bulky Sweater Finished! (Azel Pullover)

Yeah, the super bulky sweater is finished! Now all we need is some Fall weather.  First time knitting with super bulky yarn and I must say it has it’s pluses and minuses for sure.  It was fast to knit up, always a big plus, and it kept me warm and snuggly in the cool air conditioning. I have small hands and the big (size 13) needles and bulky yarn made my hands tired, but not a deal breaker.

This was fun to knit though. It was one piece and then you add the cowl last.  I told my daughter she could unbutton it and use as an afghan. Check out the second picture below. The edging and the cowl are not a straight ribbing and I really like the way it looks.  The designer, Heidi May at The Velvet Acorn (www.thevelvetacorn.com) did a great job!  I also think it’s pretty cool the pattern comes in children and adult sizes.  A child size would knit up super fast. You can find the pattern on Ravelry just do a search for Azel Pullover.

The sweater has lots of ease to it so check out the finished dimensions to make sure it won’t be too big.  I also made this longer. The finished total length from front bottom to back bottom is 60 inches per my daughter’s request. I used 11 skeins of Hayfield Super Chunky with Wool yarn (100g/79 yards/skein).  It’s 80% acrylic and 20% wool.  I wanted it to be easy to wash and dry.  It washed and dried beautifully. I found some pretty wood buttons from Amazon to use. Check out the finished picture below.  This pattern is definitely going into the favorite stack.  🙂

This is so warm and snuggly, it will keep my daughter warm all winter. I am hoping she will send a picture of her wearing it. Hint, hint.

Until next time – Happy Knitting and Weaving….. Caroline

Azel Sweater Finished

azel sweater in progress

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From Thread to Super Bulky

My last project was knit with the finest of silk yarn or actually thread if you ask me. So of course I had to go in the complete opposite direction for the next project. Crazy person.

I found this pattern called Azel Pullover designed by Heidi May on Ravelry and fell in love with it. It wasn’t right for me but it was perfect for my daughter.  So of course I immediately sent her the link to check it out. She LOVED it!  Oh did I mention it used super chunky yarn and size 13 needles?  Yep, I didn’t even own size 13 needles.  Oh darn, I would just have to order some. Oh I know, how about a set of large sharp Hiya Hiya interchangeables. Yep that’s what I did, I ordered a set…Thank you Amazon Prime.

Next on to the Yarn Barn website to order the yarn.  I found a really pretty gray in 80% acrylic and 20% wool for easy washing.  Even found some great wood buttons on Amazon. Score!!

Now it’s time to get started and in plenty of time to complete before the weather turns cool!  The picture below shows the silk yarn (thread) on the right from the last project compared to the super chunky yarn for this pullover in the middle and a number 2 wood pencil for perspective on the left.  Yikes!  I don’t think I have knit anything with this chunky of a yarn.  Wish me luck! Check out the pattern on Ravelry and I will post pictures of the pullover when it’s done.

yarn comparison

wood buttons

 

 

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Finished at Last!

I fell in love with a varigated 100% silk yarn many years ago.   I am not sure I should call it yarn, it was really thread.  Anyway the colors are beautiful pinks, blues, greens and purples.  All my favorite colors.  I splurged and bought 2 skeins.  I figured that way I would have plenty when I decided what to do with it.  There are 1000 yards per skein! Yikes that’s a lot but I had no idea what to make or how much I would need.  I love knitting with fine yarns and small needles but Yikes, this is small stuff.  I figured it would be a lace pattern even though at the time I had never knit anything lacy. Ahh ignorance is definitely bliss.

Well, I finally decided I would use the silk for a scarf/shawl.  I looked everywhere for a pretty and fairly simple lace pattern. A feather and fan pattern I found was perfect, 4 row repeat with only one row of lace.  Yeah! Easy to remember. I started the scarf and worked on it for a while, then some other project caught my eye, mind and heart.  The poor beautiful silk scarf was put away for years.  So sad.  I have been trying to remember how many years it was left all alone and abandoned.  I think it must have been about 7 years.

I have started and completed many projects over those years but there are still a few (wink, wink) unfinished ones abandoned in baskets in my studio. This past winter, I decided before I tackled another new one, I MUST finish ONE unfinished project.  I chose the silk scarf.  The colors called my name, no really they did.

The pictures below don’t do the colors or sheen of the fabric justice, but it is my new favorite.  (Aren’t all new projects the current favorites?) Oh and by the way I still have lots of the first skein and didn’t even touch the second skein.

Check out the pictures.  Until next time.

Happy weaving and knitting – Caroline

Silk Scarf Close Up

Silk Scarf Close Up

Silk scarf wound

Silk scarf

 

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Contradictory Thoughts

Do your thoughts sometimes feel like ping pong balls in your head? Mine sure do. Take last night for instance, my husband and I were chatting and for some reason we got on the topic of contradictory thoughts. Well for me it happens a lot, contradictory thoughts that is.

Contradictory thoughts.  You know like those…. yes I want cookies, oh bummer I am trying to be good and not eat sweets, oh but peanut butter cookies sound so good. No I want to lose a couple of pounds. But peanut butter cookies sound so good. Arrggghhh!  What to do?

This discussion lead to more thoughts of what contradictory thoughts I have. So here are some…I want to knit, I am too tired to knit, but I want to knit, oh I want weave, I am too tired to weave, I want to retire, oh I would be so bored if I retired, I love my job, I want to retire, I love my job, oh how about chocolate chip cookies, I have been so good, no chocolate chip cookies. LOL, those thoughts just kept ping ponging in my head and multiplying with every bounce.  Am I the only one?

So last night the bottom line was no knitting, no weaving, and no cookies of any kind. After all that ping ponging in my head, I just went to bed.

Happy knitting and weaving and ping ponging. Until next time – Caroline

Contradictory Thoughts

Contradictory Thoughts

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Inspiration

What inspires you?

What gets your creative juices flowing?

When life gets busy and you get tired what gets you going again?

There are times your brain and your heart say knit, weave, draw, but your body goes , you have got to be kidding!  There aren’t enough hours in the day or energy bolts to move you in those directions. But others times, with the same amount of life happening, you easily knit for hours.  What are the differences and how do you get back to that place?

I so wish I had the answers for that. But sitting here on an airplane about to land I do have a thought. I just finished a delightful book mixing knitting, yarn, magic and love and I noticed I wanted to knit and weave again. The book reminded me how I feel when I am creative. I feel balanced and at peace with the world,  more patient and loving. Now if I could just bottle that feeling.  Sigh.

Surely there are other ways.  I have a few knitting mags, Interweave Knits my current favorite, and knitting/weaving catalogs with yarns and patterns, like the ones from the Yarn Barn in Lawrence Kansas, that inspire me.  So many pretty colors and projects.  There are quite a few novels involving knitting that can do the trick.

I have gone to a weekend knitting retreat with my sister.  That was so much fun.  It included classes and you got to meet some wonderful people and learn from a other knitters and see their wonderful projects. That was definitely inspiring.  I imagine a knitting group would do the same. I haven’t tried that one but it sounds like fun!  I am going to Yarn Fest in Colorado this year and can’t wait.  Lots of vendors and I have signed up for 3 classes.  And the best part is staying with my son, Zach and Melissa.  Definitely taking a large suitcase to bring back yarn.  🙂

What inspires you?

Until next time..Happy knitting and weaving – Caroline

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