I Knit a Bracelet

I bought Laura Nelkin’s Ribband pattern some time ago. I started a project following the pattern, but found the knitting to be quite fiddly, so I frogged it and set it aside.

As I looked through the Ribband projects on Ravelry I saw one that appeared to be done in Stockinette that I liked the look of. So I knit my bracelet in Stockinette, and I love how it came out.

Sometimes you need to work smarter, not harder.

Finishing the Two-Year Baby Blanket

Two years ago I started knitting a blanket for my niece. I fell in love with the Vivid blanket by Tin Can Knits, knit 9 of 20 squares, then got bored and wandered off to sew something instead. The thing about baby blankets is that if you wait too long they’re not baby blankets anymore. They’re just really small.

Earlier this year I decided I was going to finally learn to crochet properly. I watched a few classes on CreativeBug and learned a lot. One of the classes was on the classic granny square, and my passionate and unreasonable love for this simple square was rekindled. I say passionate and unreasonable because at an earlier time in my life when I disliked all crochet, I somehow still thought the classic granny was beautiful and interesting. Granny squares are my bridge into the world of crochet.

After completing a test square I didn’t want to stop, but I also didn’t want to start a whole new project, so I hatched a plan to knit half the squares for the blanket and crochet the other half. The knitted squares resemble flowers to my eyes, and I wanted the crochet squares to echo the floral design. Where the knitted design uses texture (lace) to create a flower, I needed to use colour the make flowers on the crochet squares. Each granny square consists of 8 rounds: the center in one colour, the following 5 rounds in another to make the petals of the flower, and 2 rounds of border in a third colour.

It only took me a few weeks to crochet my 10 squares. Then I knit the last square, and the quilt was ready for assembly!

Before sewing everything together I had to decide on a layout. This may have been the toughest part of the blanket, but I finally settled on a design I was happy with.

Once I had decided on a layout I sewed the squares together in strips, then sewed the strips together to form the blanket, using whip stitches throughout. The knit and crochet squares had very nearly the same number of stitches per side even though the granny squares appeared smaller. I clipped each pair of squares together in the middle and at the end, and sewed one stitch to one stitch as much as possible, skipping a stitch here and there as needed.

With the blanket in one piece I had to decide on a border. I swatched a few knit and crochet borders as you can see above. I was specifically looking for a chevron shape to echo the knitted lace. I decided on the crochet lace on the left. I liked it best, and I’m in a crochet mood right now, so it’s more likely to get done than knittted lace is at the moment.

I worked a round of single crochet around the blanket in preparation for the fancy border.

Then I worked the border in white. The border is worked in two steps: crochet shells, then single crochet over top of the shells to make them pointy rather than rounded. I used the border instructions from this blog post by Crochet 365, Knit too.

I love how the border and the blanket as a whole turned out! It took me much longer than I wanted, but the recipient is two, so she won’t know the difference.

In Progress

It turns out that if you actually work on your projects, they get done (I know I say that a lot, but it’s embarrassing how often I forget it). I started these socks almost a year ago, pulled them out in September when my feet started to get cold, and found them again earlier this month. I am determined to finish them by the end of the month. I’m about to start the second heel, so it seems a realistic goal.

socks

I also plan to finish spinning this electric blue soy silk by the end of the month. It should end up as a sport or light worsted weight. What should I make out of it?

spinning

This shamrock wasn’t long in the making. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

shamrock

Finito!

Here you see a pair of newly finished, freshly laundered stripey socks!

socks

Yarn: Knit Pick Swish in Rainforest Heather – 1.5 balls; Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Oyster Heather – 1 ball

Pattern: Vanilla socks using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel

Needles: US 4/3.5 mm

These socks were a quick knit. I knit them in 2-round stripes, which were strangely compelling. At first I had planned to do jogless stripes, but this was way too inelastic and might have undermined the integrity of the sock (doesn’t that sound like such a smart thing to say?), so I decided to skip the jogless-ness and just change colours like normal.
seam

square

Lessons from Socks

  • If you knit on anything long enough it eventually gets done
  • It’s ok to break a large task into bit-sized chunks

first-socks

  • Use nice materials – socks don’t take that much yarn and you can enjoy them as you knit and once they’re done
  • Knitting the same thing twice sucks (but is really rewarding when you have warm feet)

  • Warm feet make me happy
  • Fit is important. Sometimes it’s worth frogging and restarting to ensure a good fit

  • Socks are some of the most useful and appreciated things you can knit
  • Stripes are addicting and make everything go faster

Currently on my Needles

Well, friends, I have been good and only worked on projects that are on the list to be done. Luckily, a few things on the list are projects yet to be started, so I began a pair of socks (not for me). Incidentally, I’m trying a new thing this year where I have a goal of knitting socks every month. I don’t have to finish a pair, but I want to start them. Last month I knit some Rye socks for me, and this month is for stripey green socks.

sock

Let me tell you, friends, worsted weight socks go so fast! And 2-round stripes are ridiculously compelling. You fly through the needles, and then it’s time to change colours. Just like magic!

What’s on your needles?

Toasty Toes

You might remember from a few weeks ago how I made a pair of worsted weight socks for my mom. I didn’t realize it when I started my project, but I actually had enough of that yarn for 2 pairs of socks. And my feet have been cold lately.

socks

Now my feet are toasty warm! What shall I finish next?

2

Pattern: Rye by Tin Can Knits (with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel)

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heather in 9489 (Red Wine)

Needles: US 4 / 3.5 mm

Finished but not

The joy of knitting socks is that halfway through you have a finished object. The frustration of knitting socks is that you still have a second (hopefully identical) sock to make.

sock

The joy of knitting a blanket (composed of blanket squares) is that partway through you have a finished square. The frustration of knitting a blanket is that you have lots more squares to do.

square

(I am proud of myself for estimating exactly half the ball of yarn when I knit this square. It makes the rest of my blanket calculations easier.)

Two Things

  • I have always wanted pretty stitch markers. I’ve been on the point of buying some several times. But every time I walk away thinking, “But are these the ones I REALLY want??” So finally I have made some. And I love them! I pulled the shells from a necklace a friend was getting rid of a few years ago, strung them on short lengths of nylon coated jewelry wire, decorated them with assorted seed beads I had laying around, and secured each one with a crimper bead.

stitchmarkers

  • I have finished my husband’s Christmas hat! I couldn’t wait, so I gave it to him last night. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn, but after I finished the decreases I had just enough left to tie it up in a festive package.

He likes it immensely and feels that it makes him look cool, like a rugged Alaskan fisherman. I think I’ll keep him.