A long overdue “thank you” for a stellar Cherokee Heights Arts Festival 2019! I got to spend the day with this lovely lady and a steady stream of art lovers that didn’t let up all day long. We had our best year yet! The planning committee and roadies did a superb job of making this a seamless and memorable experience (as always). Great music, food, drinks, and crowds with the most artists participating in fest history! We’re excited to see the momentum and enthusiasm for CHAF continue to grow while being a part of it all. We’ll see you there next year!
In addition to knitting, reading is one of my hobbies. A few years ago I met a great group of local ladies through a Goodreads group called Ladies & Literature. Since then the group has opened up to international members and numbers in the thousands. I am lucky to be one of five moderators for the group. One of my projects is the Annual Top Reader Competition that challenges our book club members to participate in every single “official” book club discussion for the year. That turns out to be 16 book discussions a year, one each month with a quarterly Classic book on top. This year we had 8 ladies complete the challenge. Of those 8, three win the big prize.
One of the prizes I supply is a custom knit piece. This year I worked with two of the winners to make a custom piece just for them based on my patterns. I love it when two hobbies can come together!
In addition to the prizes, one of our moderators is expecting her first baby, which was recently revealed to be a boy. After looking through patterns and inspiration, I decided to create my own version of a hooded blanket with bear ears. I had some Bernat Baby Blanket yarn on hand and was so pleased with how soft and thick a blanket it makes. You can get the notes for the blanket design here.
Happy Knitting and Reading!
Its been a while since I posted any knitting projects, part of the reason being that this summer has turned out to be busier than expected, and the other being that I took on my first full-fledged sweater project.
To back-track a bit, I finished up my summer sock diversion with the short Mermaid sock pattern by BarGie using some Austermann Murano Lace in the blacks/grays color way. I was able to get the color transitions to match on both socks, which was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed making these, so I decided to modify them with a different stitch pattern down the middle to use up the rest of the skein. After experimenting with several patterns, I ended up with this leaf motif. While I love the yarn, it isn’t the best choice to show off the stitch patterns. Lesson learned.
I wasn’t sure what to work on next, so with the encouragement of my friend and constant knitting companion Ashli, I decided it was time to tackle a garment that took more than one skein of yarn to make. Luckily it was also around my birthday, so I got the perfect book to get me started: Knit, Swirl! by Sandra McIver. I had admired the coat patterns and liked their relative simplicity. I decided to go with Forest Fiesta because I liked the shape and the DK yarn weight which would let me use the Austermann Murano Lace to its best effect. I chose the red color way because it has a lot of beautiful variation when looked at in detail, but overall gives the impression of a solid color.
I was happy to find that it is an extremely easy pattern to knit – the only thing a bit challenging is moving the yarn around the large circular needle in the beginning. I also liked the fact that it knits up in one piece with just one large seam to sew together to finish the piece. The Murano Lace yarn created a light fabric that contrasts nicely with the voluminous nature of the sweater. There are some other beautiful variations in the book that I may try in the future.
My next few projects will be creating some new pieces to sell at our neighborhood arts festival in November. I’ll be glad to work on some quick pieces again.
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!
It seems I am officially in custom request season now. I’ve had a steady stream of requests for custom dog sweaters and custom orders of available items from the Etsy store. Above is my largest order to date for 5 different colors of the Herringbone Aviator hat. I’ve also been working on a Christmas gift for one of my aunts and I’m in the process of working on two argyle dog sweaters, which are coming along nicely – pictures to come soon.
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.
I’ve had this beautiful fine baby alpaca yarn in my stash for a while (thank you Emily!) and I’ve been waiting for an idea to come along that is worthy of this yarn. I finally decided on a cloche type hat and above is my first attempt. I am quite happy with this one – both proportionally and the use of the subtle texture pattern. I’m working on a second version that may eventually become a pattern offering.
Here’s a quick bonus pattern for you to download for free! I like making this with a worsted weight and a sock weight yarn knit together to create a custom marl/tweed. The box crown makes the decrease at the top really fast. Enjoy!
Updated pattern 01.24.13
After a few tweaks, I have finalized the last Gingerbread Icing pattern for the ear flap hat. This pattern knits from the bottom up starting with the ear flaps. They are knit flat, then connected with a cast on brim that knits in the round. I hope you enjoy!
Available at Etsy for $2.50:
Gingerbread Icing Ear Flap Hat Pattern
Also available on Craftsy for the same price:
I’m revisiting the gingerbread icing pattern one more time to create an ear flap version of the hat. I’ve made one or two of these in the recent past, but wanted to figure out the pattern and make it available to you! On this first prototype I’m adjusting the pattern on the ear flaps and trying out a rolled over brim for a cleaner edge. It will probably take one more prototype to finalize the pattern before I have it available.