More Hats

I do love knitting hats.  They are fun, functional and fast.  It’s a good thing too.  My favorite hat customer lost one of his alpaca hats I made and requested another one.  It is what I lovingly call the ‘Night Camo’ hat because it’s all black.  Have you ever knit an all black hat?  Well let me tell you black is not my favorite color to knit.  It’s hard to see and hard to pick up mistakes.  But after knitting 3 Night Camo hats I have learned a few things about knitting with very dark colors.

The most expensive but so worth it was replacing the CFL light bulbs in the living room ceiling with LED light bulbs.  The bulbs are a little pricey but the light is much brighter and they will save on energy bills.  I like the LED bulbs so much we are slowly replacing them throughout the house.

The next thing I learned was to keep the stitch markers on the needles that I use to keep count when I cast on.  I always place a stitch marker every 20 stitches when I cast on so I don’t have to keep counting from the beginning.  I have found this helps boatloads to ensure I have the correct number of stitches starting out.  Leaving the stitch markers on makes it easier to spot mistakes sooner.  This hat pattern has four inches of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing and it’s really hard to see the stitches in the black. So you know right away if you got off the pattern if you don’t end with a purl stitch before each stitch marker.  If do get off the pattern at least the most you will have to undo is 20 stitches.  I am telling you this saved me so much frustration.

And lastly if you put a white or light colored towel, pillowcase or some type of fabric on your lap while knitting it helps reflect the light so the stitches are easier to see.

I am working on writing the pattern for this hat since it seems to be favorite.  I will post it when it’s done.  Check out the picture of the Night Camo hat.

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Weaving – Caroline

Night Camo Hat Side View

Night Camo Hat Side View

Night Camo Hat (View 1)

Night Camo Hat Top

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Fall is Here!

Fall is here and I am so glad.  It time for  fingerless gloves, shawls, scarves and mittens!  I love love love these projects.  They are small, portable and pretty quick to knit up.  And you use up some of your stash or not.  🙂

It’s also time to start thinking of Christmas. Hmmm, maybe I should have maybe thought about Christmas sometime in May, but that just never seems to happen.  We have birthdays in October so I am usually working on projects for those.  And you guessed it, Hats!  LOL.

A picture of my newest favorite fingerless gloves is below.  It’s a free pattern, let me know if you would like the link.  A picture of a pair of fingerless gloves using the Mosaic technique. Super easy way for color work.

Happy Knitting and Weaving.  Until next time – Caroline

iphone fingerless gloves

Iphone Fingerless Gloves

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Mosaic Fingerless Gloves

 

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Pattern Stashes?

I seem to be on a mission lately, to only knit or weave new projects with new patterns and new yarn.  Did you know you can buy mink yarn? Yep. Saw and felt it in real life at the Yarn Barn (www.yarnbarn-ks.com or Mass St in Lawrence Kansas).  It is very soft and yummy and not as expensive as you might think. I thought it would be furry like a mink coat. It wasn’t. Just pretty soft yarn.

Oops, sorry I got distracted for a minute there.  Back to where I started.  Except for hats, dish cloths and double weave blankets I just want to create something I haven’t made before.  I know we all have yarn stashes.   But no one seems to talk about pattern stashes. I think it might be a bigger problem than yarn stash.  I save knitting magazines because there are great patterns in the mag.  I subscribe to multiple newsletters from yarn companies that send free patterns, and free pattern ebooks. I search Ravelry and Patternfish to name just two for the perfect….(insert project type here)… pattern to go with that perfect yarn I just bought because I knew it would make them perfect (insert project type here).

While I look for that perfect pattern I find so many great patterns along the way I have to save them, to my ipad, my Ravelry library or I print them. Yikes!  I have a 4 inch binder with patterns stuffed full. I bought 2 3-inch binders to try and categorize and organize them.

It might be out of control. Notice I said might because I am not ready to confess that quite yet. Anyone else suffer from this little talked about affliction?  Or is it a sneaky way to fed my yarn addiction but easier to store and hide?  500 gb external hard drives are pretty cheap these days.  That’s it! Eureka!  I am going to get a dedicated pattern hard drive for all my patterns.  Do you think 500 gb is big enough??

Happy knitting and weaving….until next time – Caroline

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Works in Progress – Otherwise Known as WIPs

I think there are 2 things fiber artists of all kinds (knitters, crocheters, weavers, quilters, seamstresses) try not to think about or talk about except maybe in the back alleys and rooms of yarn shops to other addicts …..Our Works in Progress and our Stashes.  Today I am officially bringing out my personal WIPs.  Let me first define a WIP – these are projects that have been started in some shape or form.  You know on the needles, loom, fabric cut out or in some stage of completion.  Not to be confused with your stash which might include projects bagged with the pattern and yarn next to near each other but not started.

I got to thinking about this and wondered how many I had and what stages they were in.  So when no one else was home I went on a search.  I searched my office/studio and pulled out all the knitting bags, baskets, decorated boxes and ziplocs with projects.  Then I went to the basement and pulled out those plastic see-through storage boxes.  Well I must say that was the most fun, discovering all that yarn waiting to be used in so many projects. All that yarn yearning to be rearranged by color, fiber content……oops sorry I digress.  That’s for a discussion of stash another day.  Now where was I?  Oh yes, storage boxes looking for WIP.  I only found one and I don’t really think it should count as a WIP because I have no intention of finishing this hugemongous afghan knitted using 5 strands of yarn at one time on really big needles.  What was I thinking?  Anyway I officially re-classified this project as stash.

I gathered all the projects pulled them out their bags and laid them out on the coffee table. It didn’t look too bad.  The picture is below.  I was thinking maybe I should set a goal of finishing all these by the end of year.  And then I thought of the projects in the immediate queue patiently waiting their turn, plus the projects I am actually working on a daily basis. (Yes I said projects with an s.  I can’t just work on one thing at a time! Yikes!)  I decided to work on ONE of the WIPs and finish it by the end of year, probably, maybe.  Oh crapadoodle who am I fooling I will work on these WIPs when the mood strikes.  Ha how’s that for honesty.  I had a great time looking at all the projects and the yarn.  Anyway I pretty sure there is no law regarding the number of WIPs a person is allowed to have.  Thank goodness for that!

Here’s to all our wonderful WIPs!

Happy Knitting and Weaving…until next time… – Caroline

IMG_0816 From top left clockwise:

1. Log cabin afghan – 1 square
2. Black alpaca hat – finished since picture.
3. Shadow shawl
4. Scarf
5. Sock yarn shawl
6.  Cardigan
7. Entrelac shawl
8. Silk shawl
9. Double knit coasters
Not pictured because I just remembered it: 10. Dish rag I designed.

 

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Felted Matryoshka Dolls

Matryoshka dolls, you know, those wonderful Russian nesting dolls that are beautifully painted.  I just love them.  My Mom collected a few and a very dear friend has the biggest collection of them I have every seen.  She has all sizes and shapes and even a variety of Santa Matryoshka dolls.  Well I was thinking I wanted to make her a set of unique, just for her, knitted and felted Matryoshka dolls.

I surfed the web and found a great pattern.  I checked my stash and found I had plenty of feltable wool in a variety of colors.  Imagine that, having enough yarn in 5 different colors in my stash.  🙂  And I had the right sized needles and they were not use on another project.  It’s looking good for the project without ever leaving the house.  Which is a very good thing because I live in the middle of nowhere and even Amazon Prime can’t get orders here instantaneously or sooner.

So I was off and running.  They knit up really fast and easy and felted just as easy.  Drying was interesting. I used small cans from the pantry and various sized spice jars to form all the tops and bottoms.

Yeah!  Now they are all dry and it’s time decorate them!  Fortunately I have boat loads of different colored wool roving.  I had decided to needle felt the design. Most Matryoshka dolls are pretty or cute or absolutely beautiful.  So how was I going to create these?  I just didn’t know, so I put them on the table and just stared and stared at them hoping to be inspired.  Well it finally came to me.  There was no way I could make them cute or pretty and certainly not beautiful.  But I could make them uniquely unique and totally me.  So that is what I did.  I must tell you when I FaceTimed by husband and daughter to show them the finished dolls, the first thing they asked me was if I had been drinking.  I hadn’t  but maybe I should have!  Yikes.  Anyway, I love them and my dear friend loves them.

I hope you like them too.

Happy Knitting and Weaving – Creative and Crazy Caroline

Matryoshka Dolls After Drying

Matryoshka Dolls After Drying

Felted Matryoshka Dolls

Felted Matryoshka Dolls

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Airports

Sitting in the St. Louis airport waiting to go Denver for the week. Airports are good places to knit  and observe. Seems if I am busy knitting, people seem to leave me alone. I almost feel invisible. I get to watch and listen. Getting quite a bit knitted on my shadow shawl. Oops, plane is delayed 25 minutes. Yeah, more knitting time!

Happy knitting and weaving, wherever you are …… Caroline

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Camo Hats

Well it’s Spring now and I am still knitting hats, camo hats now.  Well the boyfriend loved his blaze orange hat so much he was wearing it to work.  So for Christmas he got a brown camo hat.  My son saw it and liked it so much he wanted one only in ‘Winter’ camo colors (white, gray and black). Then my son’s friend saw that hat and wanted one in spring turkey hunting camo colors.  I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to the Cascade Yarn Company for their incredible  hand painted 100% Alpaca yarns.  Each and every time I needed a ‘camo’ yarn they had the perfect color.  And a big thank you to Jimmy Beans Wool for having the yarn in stock and incredible fast shipping.

Check out the hats below.  Let me know if you need to know the yarn color. Dang I can’t find the pic of the winter camo hat.  Oh well, if any one wants to see it I will have my son take a picture of it and I will post it later.

Now it’s on to making shawls!  Yippee!

Happy knitting and weaving – Caroline

Spring Turkey Hunting Camo Hat

Spring Turkey Hunting Camo Hat

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Brown Camo Hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas is Coming!

SnoBuddy Family (KnittingAtKnoon Pattern, www.knittingatknoon.com)

SnoBuddy Family (KnittingAtKnoon Pattern, www.knittingatknoon.com)

Good Morning Everyone,

Christmas is coming! Are you ready? I am so not ready, but I have been working on it. I have some waffle weave towels on one loom and just bought some chunky wool for some coasters for the little loom. I have ordered the ingredients for lotion bars and started some cute knitted Christmas ornaments.

Oh my! I think I need more time. Or a leave of absence from my day job. Wouldn’t that be great if we could get paid leave before Christmas to make all our presents? Ok, that was way out there. I think I may still be asleep and dreaming.  Need more coffee!

Happy knitting and weaving….Caroline

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Fall

I love Fall. The weather is perfect, the changing leaves are beautiful, it’s finally cool enough to start knitting with winter type yarns again and you can wear those scarves you worked so hard on without suffocating.

In our house it also means hunting season and blaze orange is now mentioned as a yarn color of choice by the men in my life. A few years ago I was talking to my son about Christmas ideas for him and he mentioned he needed a new blaze orange hat for hunting. His was wearing out. Apparently he was still using his first ever hat from when he was 12. He was 25 at the time. He also mentioned it was a little small. Oh my that just made me laugh out loud. I now had a new mission, to find the perfect orange. I started looking online. Alpaca is my favorite hat yarn and believe it or not I couldn’t find any orange alpaca. So I kept looking and when I found an orange I thought would work I asked my husband. This is what he said, ‘Oh no, you can’t use just any orange, it must BLAZE orange a very specific color with certain reflective qualities.’ So started looking again. I finally found some Blaze orange wool from New Zealand. So I ordered it, knit it up and he loves it! It was a little rough knitting it up but it washed beautifully.

Flash forward 4 years my daughter comes home in August and asks if I would knit her boyfriend a Blaze orange hat for this Fall’s hunting season. My husband says he would like one too. Well, okie dokie then. So on the hunt again for Blaze orange yarn. Well I am happy to report there were a lot more choices now. I found some great washable wool from Cascade Yarn Company. Yeah! The second hat is in progress.

Enjoy this beautiful Fall!

Happy knitting and weaving – Caroline

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Finished Braided Scarf

I finished the reversible braided scarf for my daughter.  I really like the way it turned out. And more importantly so does she.  It’s my first project using cables and it was fun and way easier than I thought. You only use the cable every 5 or 6th row.  I found a pattern that I liked but wanted it to be reversible so instead of doing a row of knit and row of purl, I did a knit 1 purl 1 ribbing.  It looks pretty much like stockinette  on both sides.  It kind of looks like Entrelac, but it’s not.  This pattern is also thick and cozy.  It’s made of a very nice acrylic, but wouldn’t this same pattern be super yummy in an alpaca yarn.  But then I think everything is better with alpaca yarn.  🙂  Check it out below.

Happy Knitting and Weaving – Caroline

Reversible Braided Scarf

Reversible Braided Scarf

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