July has slipped away from me – after vacation, work has gotten busy again and I’ve been drifting along working on pieces for the pinwheel throw to get rid of all of the random bits of yarn in my stash. Last night I finished off the last little ball of yarn, yay! I have made 148 pinwheels total, that will get me about a quarter of the way there, I think.
I’m planning to go to the bookstore today to get some inspiration for my next knit design project, but in the meantime I’m making a pair of these short socks that I’ll use as house socks – Mermaid by BarGie available for free on Ravelry. I’ve already modified them a bit, but overall I really like how they are going. I’m using Austermann Merino Lace, which is a little heavier in a beautiful palette of grays.
Here is the quick and easy pattern for anyone who wants to try the pinwheels (they also make great coasters!):
Garter Stitch Pinwheel
Needles: US6 dpn (4 total)
Cast on 49 st (I used the knitting cast-on method because it will give me a good edge to sew together), leave 16 st on each of 3 needles (17 on the third to start). Join by knitting together the first and last stitch in first round.
Row 1: knit all stitches.
Row 2: Purl all stitches.
Row 3: [K6 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 4: Purl all stitches.
Row 5: [K5 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 6: Purl all stitches.
Row 7: [K4 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 8: Purl all stitches.
Row 9: [K3 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 10: Purl all stitches.
Row 11: [K2 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 12: Purl all stitches.
Row 13: [K1 stitch, ssk] 6 times.
Row 14: Purl all stitches.
Row 15: [ssk] 6 times.
Pull yarn through remaining 6 st and weave in ends.
This last weekend of April is a rainy one, but I have a quick round-up of my knitting progress for the month. My day job is still keeping me very busy, so knitting has been taking a back burner. I made the most progress on the Cuffed Zigzag Mitts revisions. The pattern was in good shape, so all I had to do was just add some charts and tweak the layout a bit. I also got to use my skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Mansfield Garden Party – a one-of-a-kind skein I picked up last year. It seemed like a good time to use it with all of the beautiful spring colors. It was so large that I was able to use it to make a final test pair of the gloves, a matching hat and another pair of gloves to send to my niece.
I also started working on the revision to the reversible rib hat pattern, but then got distracted by making a final piece to donate to the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art Yarn installation project. At the last free workshop there was a mountain of donated yarn to choose from. I found a huge hand-dyed skein that I couldn’t resist, so I am making a fan lace piece that works well with the nubby texture and shows off the color variations in an interesting way. It took me a few tries to land on the right pattern, but I’m pleased with how its turning out. I’m giving myself until the end of the week to get as far as I can and then I’ll bind it off and donate it even if I haven’t gotten through all the yarn. (It took me 2 hours to hand-wind a center-pull ball that felt like a bowling ball when I was done!)
I have also been enjoying a beautiful spring here. We’ve gotten a good amount of rain this year and it has yielded one of the more beautiful blooming seasons in recent memory. Here are a few pictures – the cherry tree is in my front yard and never lasts long enough!
In January a neighbor of mine told me about a yarn installation project that will be happening at my local art museum and suggested that I should volunteer to help out. I was excited to have an opportunity to work with other local knitters, so I went to the first free workshop last week to help teach. I had a really fun time – its great to see people picking it up so quickly! There were three of us there to help with knitting and we all had different techniques for casting on. We each took a few people and showed them our technique.
The long orange and burgundy piece above the was sampler that I started that night and ended up finishing a few days later. It was fun to just knit and not worry about a pattern. I also decided to dig out my pinwheel project from last year and sew them together into a piece to donate to the installation. I had used various weights of yarn, so it has a more organic feel. It was fun to see how the colors all work together.
I’ll be digging out some more partial skeins and scraps to knit a few more samplers before they’re due in June. Its fun to see all the talent and energy that will come together to make this happen.
I’m getting closer to the final pattern on these gloves! The revised button hole area looks a lot cleaner and the standard worsted weight seems to work well. I’ve started laying out the final instructions, but then I will make one more pair to test the instructions and make sure I didn’t transpose any of the information. I hope to release this pattern soon!
After finishing up the first pair of gloves, I jumped into a second pair to write down the instructions more completely. I used this beautiful Madelintosh Merino in Corsage. It reminded me of tulip tree blossoms in the spring. I really like this yarn and found the perfect buttons to use with it. After finishing the first one and starting the second, I decided to try doing the button hole section in standard stockinette on my third pair that I am working in a lighter worsted weight that I will use for my final measurements, etc. I like these a lot, but I think the button area will look a bit neater in the next version.
I’ve started working on my next pattern, which will be another fingerless gloves project. I’ve been working on iterations of these gloves for over a year and decided it was time to get it down on paper. I started out with the idea of making a glove with a ruched palm area. I liked how these looked, but decided to go further with the contrast in volume and explore both adding stitches and changing needle size to create these fun dandelion puff gloves. The volume in the palm makes them feel somewhere between a glove and a mitten and makes a nice pocket of warm air around your hand in the winter.
Unlike previous versions, I’ve reworked the cuff to button up the side. I’ve finished the first one and am working on the mirrored version for the other. It does take a little extra work to sew on the buttons, but picking them out is so much fun and they can really add a lot of personality!
After seeing a few inspiring projects online (including this beautiful Beekeeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits) that utilize those scrappy bits of your yarn stash, I decided to devise my own project. I’ve been keeping a separate box for those little balls of leftover yarn and I liked the idea of a larger project with lots of smaller parts that can be worked on over time. I usually don’t have more than one or two WIPs going at any time, so I thought it would be a good challenge!
I really liked the shape of the Beekeeper Quilt modules, but I work mainly in Worsted weight, so I wanted to make something with bulkier yarn. After a few tests, I landed on this garter stitch pinwheel that knits from the outside in (like the crown of a little hat!). It looks good on both sides, so I won’t have to back it and it adds some bulk while keeping the work relatively flat.
I think the most fun will be laying out the colors once I have enough to make a throw!
I’ve been thinking about doing a recycled yarn project for a while now, but hadn’t seen anything that caught my eye until my last trip to the goodwill to peruse the book shelves. I decided to look at the sweater rack as well and a short sleeved lightweight sweater caught my eye. I liked the unusual color combination and it looked like I could pull it apart fairly easily.
After a day of ripping out seams and unraveling the sweater, I had a solid ball of cobweb weight yarn to work with. I thought I’d do a thin lace scarf and decided on this simple Leaf Shadow pattern since the yarn was so fine and easy to drop stitches. I left the yarn in the stripe order of the sweater and really like how it looks as a scarf.
I had never worked with yarn so fine, so I had to watch my knitting the whole time, but it was a fun project!
Let me know if you’ve done a similar project and how it turned out!
I got a request for a custom hat similar to a test I had done using the chevron rib pattern for the aviator hat, so I went back and made a new pattern based on it. The first one I knit came out a bit pointy, so I made a second version where I revised the decreases in the crown to make a more rounded shape. The second one came out as I had hoped and the recipient was very happy!
After that first hat, I made two more and have been working to write down the pattern. I may be releasing it in the near future. I need to make some final tweaks to the decreases, but I especially like how it turned out using Lionbrand’s Amazing Yarn in the Cobblestone colorway (first hat pictured).
Progress is moving faster now that I have worked out a couple of iterations. The first picture is the second version where I decided to try a cuff on the thumb opening as well. I reduced the flair at the bottom cuff, which worked perfectly, but the thumb cuff ended up being too heavy and picking up the stitches to finish it was hard to keep even. I also noticed that I needed to add a little more room in the glove at the base of the thumb, the material was being stretched more there and felt a bit tight.
I thought a bit more and decided that a button-hole opening would work well to streamline the gloves, but I needed to add a bit of a gusset below it to add a little give. I found a great button hole tutorial and decided to add some extra stitches on the outside loop. It turned out really well! The thumb hole has a little “cap sleeve” gusset underneath, but still maintains the pattern and helped with the fit. Now I just have to get it all written down in an easy to follow manner! I’ve also decided to mirror the left and right hand gloves, so the pattern will change on each glove. A bit of extra effort, but I think it will be worth it.