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Baby Boy Blue Brown Blanket

Here’s something I recently finished and put in the mail…. a little blanket for Mike’s new nephew, born on New Year’s Eve.

The pattern is the Running Stitch Blanket by Debbie Bliss. I used Berroco Vintage yarn, which is a washable wool/acrylic blend… practical for baby, but super soft. And I love the light blue and chocolate brown together!

I knitted each side, added the constrasting stripes, then joined them together with a crocheted edge. I should clarify that I do NOT crochet, so the edging is far from perfect, but the double thickness and soft yarn made a lovely squooshy-soft blanket for the new wee boy. Hope he likes it!

Peachy

Hot off the needles…. a springtime scarf/ shawl/wrap.

I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, since I made up the pattern myself. I wanted something sort of simple and not too lacey, with a bit of interest but nothing that would compete with the lovely peachy colours of the yarn. (McClellan Fingering by Three Irish Girls in the Georgia Peach colourway)

The process was a lot of fun, even if I did undo and re-knit several times. I started with just stocking stitch, then decided to add bands of moss stitch, divided by rows of eyelets. At the end I finished with a band of garter stitch, but broke it up with vertical rows of single knit stitches, and finally finished with a scalloped edge. I had only the teeniest bit of yarn left when I cast off the last stitch… whew!

Baby love

My latest knit – the pattern is called “Shrug Bug.” I love the scale… chunky yarn, tiny sweater!  A friend kindly obliged by having a baby this month, giving me a reason to make it.

For such a large button this one had surprisingly tiny holes… I couldn’t get one strand of yarn through!  But thanks to Mike and his power tool skills, I was able to finish it off with a piece of matching yarn after sewing it on.

I got to meet the adorable baby today and give her the sweater. Not the girliest of garments, but I used alpaca yarn and it’s so soft.

Speaking of getting organized….

…. or I will in a minute, but first here are some of the yarns I’ve got queued up for upcoming projects.

I’m loving these soft gray/blues. I’ve been collecting them here and there, and the tweedy one below was put in my Christmas stocking by Mike.  He did a good job choosing!

And….. ta-da…. my new needle case!  Ok, unless you’re a knitting geek or love bags like I do, it’s probably not all that exciting, but I’m rather tickled with it. I’ve been looking for a while for a replacement to my decades-old, too-small needle case, which was made to hold only long, straight needles – no short sock-type needles and definitely no circulars, so my needles and other tools have been spread about in various different bags or containers, making it difficult to actually find anything when I need it. Not to mention, it was made from sort of tacky looking fake tapestry.

Now this is the case for me. It looks like an envelope when closed….

…and inside has lots of pockets for straights, circulars, interchangeables… the works. There’s also a zippered pocket for a  tape measure, stitch markers, and other tools, and a larger pocket for who-knows-what-else.

The left side fastens with a button, the right side and the outside flap have hidden magnets to keep them closed. I had thought it would be cool to make my own case but, realistically, it would be ages before I could figure out and make one anywhere near as lovely as this.

It was a bit of an indulgence but sometimes, when it’s for something you love to do, it’s very nice to have some quality tools and materials if you can.

Finished hat!

The pattern is by Connie Chang Chinchio, and you can get it here. I loved knitting the vine and berries on the band.  And Sublime’s cashmere merino silk aran is…. sublime. Love working with it.

The first time I wore this, a complete stranger said “I love your hat!”  I must say, I’m pretty happy with it.

Katie-a-Go-Go

So I was out and about this afternoon, and I ended up in a yarn shop (it tends to happen).  Knotty by Nature, to be specific, where I had a gift certificate to spend (thanks, Robin!)  I ended up with some really yummy Malabrigo worsted in a colourway called Sotobosque, which I’ve now learned is Spanish for “undergrowth.”  It’s a beautiful mixture of brown and pink. I have no idea what I will make out of it, but finding that out is part of the fun.

What also caught my eye were the names for some of the spinning tools on the shelves. I have no idea what these gadgets are for but I had to take a photo. “Lazy Kate” and “Katie-a-Go-Go”… sometimes I feel one way or the other, for sure!

I also started a new project.  This is the gorgeous McClellan Fingering from Three Irish Girls in the colourway “Georgia Peach” that I wrote about here. I wanted to make some type of wrap/scarf, something that I could finish fairly quickly, so I’m making yet another Ishbel since I’m familiar with the pattern by now… this will be my fourth one.  What can I say, it’s a great pattern.  The other three were gifts so I’m looking forward to having one for myself.

Photo of the day

I’m not sure if this is an instance of guerilla knitting or if someone just found a scarf and put it somewhere visible so its owner might see it when they came looking…. either way, the lion looked like it was enjoying its jaunty scarf on a nippy day.

The last and the first

Happy new year!

My last project of 2009…. tiny sweater Christmas ornaments. I had hoped to make more so I could mail some to far away friends, but didn’t get them done in time (maybe next year!)  In the end I did make about enough that I was able to give some to local friends and family, as well as keep a few for our own Christmas tree.

Each sweater took two hours or less to make, depending on the yarn ( I used this pattern from Heartstrings Fiberarts).  After the first one or two I had the pattern memorized, and it was fun to experiment with different yarns.

I really like the rustic look of Noro Silk Garden, but it was slightly tricky to work with on such a small scale, the ones made from sock yarn went up much faster. I made hangers by bending wire with round-tipped pliers.

My first project of 2010 is something for me…. a friend gave me the most lovely pattern by Connie Chang Chinchio – the Cayuga mitten and hat set.  I had already admired them on Ravelry, so she was very clever to buy this pattern for me (I don’t think I mentioned it…)  I’m using one of my favourite yarns, Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran, in a scrumptious, slightly turquoise, French blue sort of colour (which is difficult to photograph accurately).

Here’s the band with its vine and berries, blocking in preparation for picking up stitches to carry on with the rest of the hat…. I’m excited to see how this will turn out!

You say qiviut, I say qiviuq…

It may not look like much, but this is Some Special Yarn.

The company I work for just gave each employee a Christmas gift, and the group who put this together personalized them according to each person’s interests. One of our staff has recently been working in Whitehorse, Yukon, and so my gift is a skein of Qiviuq (also spelled qiviut, but as far as I can tell both spellings are pronounced kiv-ee-yut)…. yarn made from the soft, wooly undercoat of muskox, straight from the Yukon.

Qiviuq is pulled or combed from muskox in the spring when they shed. It is stronger and ten times warmer than sheep’s wool, softer than cashmere, and, unlike wool, can be washed in any temperature of water without shrinking.

This little skein (it’s about 4″ long) is just 25 grams, 180 metres, and cost…… drum roll…… $70.00!! I was given the choice of this as my gift or something else, but decided since I can’t imagine ever buying this yarn, it’s a good opportunity to get some and see what the fuss is about. I’ve read reviews by knitters who absolutely love it, and apparently even when it’s knitted into something very open and lacy, it’s so warm it can’t really be worn in anything other than really cold weather.  Makes sense…. it’s the muskox’s amazing coat that allows it to function normally in temperatures as low as -40c.

Qiviuq  can be dyed in various colours, but this reduces the softness. I’m happy that mine is the natural colour of a muskox though, it’s what I would have chosen anyway. Can’t wait to make this into something warm and toasty for myself!

Thinking Pink

While I was at home with the flu last week, a lovely package arrived in the mail from Three Irish Girls.  Back in July, I’d spotted their gorgeous limited edition colourway of yarn called Georgia Peach in “Sock Summit 2009” and HAD to order some.  They were inundated with orders, apparently, and it took longer than expected to arrive, but I was glad it came when it did…. what a nice pick-me-up in the midst of my fever, chills and aches.

The yarn is McClellan Fingering, a merino/bamboo blend which is lovely and soft, but with a bit of sheen to it. And it’s just so…. peachy!  I have no idea what I will knit with it. For now I’m just enjoying admiring the skein as it is. If a skein of yarn can be a work of art, this one surely is.

The second yarn I ordered is Beckon Stretch Merino, in the colourway called Elsbeth.  As a friend just pointed out, it’s rather reminiscent of Neapolitan ice cream.

Normally I’m drawn to blues and greens, but apparently I was in a pink mood on the day I placed this order. I’m glad though, they did brighten my day. 

In the last few days, although still coughing and sniffling, I’ve felt up to doing some knitting. I finished a hat (except for weaving in the loose ends)…. this is made from my own hand-dyed yarn, kettle-dyed in a workshop I did in the summer. I’m happy with the denim-y look of it. The hat weighs 72 grams, and the leftover yarn weighs 54 grams…. I’m looking for a lacey pattern to hopefully squeeze a second hat out of it.

I also made a lacey scarf out of a mossy-green-with-touches-of-blue Malabrigo, this went up really quickly as it’s the fourth time I’ve knit this pattern (Ishbel).

I had a couple of green yarns queued up for my next projects but that pink yarn calling to me.  I think there is a pair of Neapolitan Ice Cream gloves in my future…..