Friday, September 4, 2015

FO Friday: One Fine Day Top

This week's finished project is also in Spud & Chloe yarn (click here to see last week's post)! I have been wanting to make this cute little striped top ever since it came out, but very few of my friends and family members have had girls, which I find a little mind-boggling, statistically speaking.

I picked up a skein each of Lipstick and Sidewalk when I spotted a really good sale online earlier this year, so I decided to just make it anyway. Eventually, a little girl will come along which this project will fit!
There was a bit of errata that will be helpful to download if you happen to knit this pattern. Overall, it was a nice simple knit, though I did manage to have a self-inflicted oopsie when it came time to knit the straps, which I didn't notice until all the ends were woven in and I laid it out to block:
Apparently I can't count! Luckily, it was easy enough to fix; I just undid the seam, ripped back, and then did the three-needle BO once more. All better!

Pattern: One Fine Day by Bobbi Intveld
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Fine in Lipstick and Sidewalk
Ravelry project page here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Spinzilla & KAL Ready

It's September! Exciting things are afoot - yesterday, spinner registration for Spinzilla went live, and you can now sign up to be a part of Team Louet North America! I'll be captaining #TeamLouetNA yet again this year, and we have some really awesome prizes up for grabs for our team - click here to read more on the Louet blog. I hope you'll join us!
It's been a pretty hectic start to the month, but I've managed to make some measurable progress on my Bijou Basin Ranch cardigan - just look at how sweater-y it's become!
I also have made a little bit of progress on my Leonarda wrap; unfortunately I did make a mistake in one of the rows or elongated garter stitch which took several hours to correct (rather than rip back, I opted to fix each stitch in the row below as I also knit the following row).
Over the weekend, I couldn't resist starting a little hat using some of the new yarn from Knit Picks which just arrived, Mighty Stitch. It's a wool/acrylic blend and so far, it's been quite nice to work with! I am making a little frog hat from a recent issue of Knit Simple (pattern details here on Ravelry):

I'm planning on participating in two KALs this fall, and I've been preparing for both this week. The first is a Mystery KAL featuring a pattern from my pal Mari Chiba and gradient kits of sock yarn mini skeins from Mountain Colors.  In general, I'm not a fan of the MKALs because, well, I've been burned in the past with a project I didn't end up liking. However, I trust Mari and I'm really excited to give this yarn a try - somehow, I've never knit with Crazyfoot. How is that possible?! There are prizes up for grabs and it should be a lot of fun - click here for more info on Mari's blog!
I also worked up a gauge swatch for my Midwestern Knits KAL project, the Sweater of Broad Shoulders. We'll be kicking off on Monday, September 14, so now I have plenty of time to stare at this pretty swatch and ponder the amazing project it's going to become.
The yarn is Analogue from the Cyborg's Craftroom, which I bought at YarnCon earlier in the year; it's a mondo skein of Targhee worsted! If you want to join this KAL, you can check out the thread here on Ravelry to see what yarn everyone else will be using. There are going to be some awesome prizes (and many other KALs featuring projects from Midwestern Knits), so stay tuned for more details!

Friday, August 28, 2015

FO Friday: Pint-Size Pullover + Midwestern Knits Trunk Show

This year, the only holiday gifts I plan to knit are for the wee little ones in my life, and today's project definitely fits that bill. It's knit with Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn using a new pattern they just released, the Pint-Sized Pullover by Sarah Smuland.
When I saw this pattern, I immediately starting thinking about the two skeins of Sweater I already had in my stash to make a colorblock variation of this pattern. This is a nice, basic pattern to have in your arsenal because you can knit it as-is, or get a bit creative by adding stripes or colorwork. It knits up quickly and there are three size options (I knit the 4-8 months size). As you can see below, I also modified this pattern to include a button closure instead of the twist ties because I found the perfect little button to use in my stash:
I should also mention that there is a bonus pattern for a fingering weight hat included with this pattern, which I have yet to knit, but it should be great for destashing!

In other news, I dropped by the Midwestern Knits Trunk Show last night at Knit.1 here in Chicago! My designer friends Allyson Dykhuizen and Carina Spencer launched this Kickstarter project a year ago, and it's super exciting to see everything come to fruition. I instagrammed this photo of Allyson and Carina giving their new book a look-see with Leah Coccari-Swift (who will soon be starting a kickstater project with Teresa Gregorio called Great Northern) and local yarn dyer Julie from Happy-Go-Lucky Yarn.
While I was there, I picked up the print copy of the book which was part of my backer reward!
Spoiler alert: I'll be leading a KAL for one of the many awesome projects in this book, the Sweater of Broad Shoulders! We'll be kicking things off next month, but you can join the conversation here on Ravelry as we discuss yarn choices and all that good stuff. Thanks for stopping by - have a crafty weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Whittling Down

After finishing my Delta Hat KAL project last week, I somehow resisted the urge to start any new projects over the weekend. I'm surprised too! I think I made the most progress on my Argent curl, which is soooooo close to being done! 
I also put in some time working on my yak sweater from Knitscene - I am so excited to wear this in the fall. Of course, it's pretty bunchy and scrunchy at the moment, but I think it's starting to look more sweater-like these days:
Probably the most neglected project is the Leonarda Wrap, but even that got a little love at my knitting group over the weekend. There is even noticeable progress since last week, since I have finished the garter section and moved on to the elongated garter section, though it is still at that hard-to-photograph stage I love so much: 
That's pretty much it for this week - short and sweet! I'm looking forward to sharing some of my recently-finished projects for babies for this week's FO Friday post - see you then!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Winner + My New Obsession: Louet Blending Board

First off, congratulations to LuckyPenny, who is the winner of this month's giveaway! I'll contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize which was generously donated by the folks at VK Live Chicago - free marketplace admission and 2 free classes this October!

Speaking of October events, now is probably a good time to say: Spinzilla is coming! Team member registration will open on September 1 (we'd love to have you on Team Louet!) and I am already starting to plan my strategy for this weeklong event. Enter my new favorite fiber prep tool: the Louet Blending Board. I've been coveting this board which debuted late last year (or maybe it was at the beginning of this year?), but they have been a little hard to come by because they are so popular! Finally my patience paid off and I was happily surprised last week to see a Louet box on my doorstep. I opened up the box, watched a couple of YouTube videos about blending boards, and I was off!
My fiber stash is pretty meager these days, and most of what I have is earmarked for specific projects. It was actually a challenge to find some blend-able fibers to use while I get the hang of the whole deal, but I found a few colors of dyed merino that I thought would play well together and began to make some rolags. I think each rolag has gotten a little nicer as I've kept going, but on the whole there was a pretty short learning curve.
Tilly's just making sure everything meets her standards.
I became so obsessed with making rolags that I began to search Etsy for some blendable fibers (I may or may not have placed a few orders, too). "Blending fiber" is now at the top of my shopping list for Wisconsin Sheep & Wool, too. I'm hoping that I can get some fleece or some other interesting add-ins for my fiber blending pursuits. This has caused a chain reaction, as I now realize that I need to do some major reorganization of my fiber stash: the modest bin into which I've stuffed most of my spinning fiber will no longer do. I think I will have to add two more bins to my craft room: one specifically for blending fibers and another one to keep all of my prepped fibers safe until it's time to spin them.
I can't stop making rolags!
If you've been curious about blending boards, I highly recommend tracking one down (you can probably ask your Louet retailer to put one on order for you!). But I must warn you - it's not only fun, it's also addictive!

For all of you spinners out there, I'll be sharing some more detailed tutorials with my new blending board between now and Spinzilla; I'll also be talking about my Spinzilla plans in greater detail next month!

Friday, August 21, 2015

FO Friday: Delta Hat KAL

I have a new hat, fresh off the needles! This is my project for the Delta Hat KAL that's happening over in the Hands Occupied Ravelry group through the end of this month:
I used Himalayan Trail, one of my favorite Bijou Basin Ranch yarns (and also the yarn which the pattern happens to call for). The color I chose is Continental Blue - a nice, rich navy (and hey, it's not green!). I did add in a few extra rounds of the garter brim because I was a little worried that the hat might be a bit shallow for my head - and I had a nice little bit of yarn left over at the end, so I probably could have added in a few more if I cared to. Also, I went up a needle size because I am apparently a tight knitter these days!
You'll notice I have some pretty spiffy buttons - they are made from salvaged tool handles, so each set of buttons is unique! Full disclosure: they are made by my friend Lindy, the talented woodworker behind Balwen Woodworks (you can find out more about this Chicago-based company here).

Anyway, when I saw these buttons at YarnCon earlier this spring, I had to have them - even though I had no project in mind. When I came across the Delta Hat pattern by Heidi Gustad and saw that it used the same buttons, I was pretty excited to put them to good use. I really can't think of a more stunning combination: luxury yarn and cool buttons. This jaunty little hat will be nice to wear in the fall!
It's not too late to join the KAL - find out more about prizes and how you can snag your yarn, pattern, and some killer buttons here on the Hands Occupied blog.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Progess Has Been Made

I think I've finally stopped starting all of the things and have moved on to phase II, wherein I try not to neglect any of the projects currently on the needles. Ahem.

After fixing a silly mistake on my Leonarda Wrap, it's seen some nice progress; in fact, I just finished the easy peasy garter and am ready to start the next phase, elongated garter:
Over the weekend, I also made some progress on my Delta Hat for the KAL...but that wasn't after having to frog back a bit when I realized I had somehow gotten a bit off in the stitch pattern. Luckily, a few well-placed stitch markers were all it took to get me back on track:
And I finally knit enough on my Argent curl to start seeing a hint of color change!
After knitting a few swatches, I was able to start my Pennant Cardi last Thursday, and I've made some slow and steady progress on the ribbing:
My destash mitered square blanket even saw some action - in fact, Tilly helped me pick out the colors for the next few squares. How nice of her to help!
Also, if you missed Monday's blog post, be sure to check out my giveaway for FREE marketplace admission and two FREE classes at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago this October!