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Shawl Baby Sweater and Garter Ear Flap Hat

November 14, 2016

garter-ear-flap-hat-shawl-sweater

I had to interrupt my Capella shawl knitting for something really important – a baby gift for a little boy!  I knitted a little shawl sweater and a little hat with ear flaps. These were two new patterns that I had never knitted before and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them and can highly recommend them.  And an added bonus:  they are both free patterns!

shawl-sweater-detail

The baby sweater is a pattern called Baby Sophisticate by Linden Heflin. I especially loved the construction of this sweater because there are no seams to sew up!  You knit in the round (my favorite) for the yoke, place stitches for the sleeves on holders, knit the body, bind off and then just place the sleeve stitches on your needles and knit those in the round.  You then pick up stitches for the shawl collar and button placket.   I knitted this sweater using my favorite Magic Loop method on circular methods.  You can find a tutorial for it here.

The pattern page is here but if you would like to see some of the more than 8,000 sweaters that people on Ravelry have knitted from this pattern, you can see them here.  I like to check out a project’s Ravelry page before I begin a project, so I can see how other people knitted the pattern, check out different color options and read notes and tips that people write about that pattern.  If you are not a member of Ravelry, join now!  It’s free, too.

The buttonholes were easy to do – just one YO and that’s it.

For the yarn, I inexplicably used an acrylic yarn.  It was an impulse buy.  I never buy acrylic yarn, but the colorway just jumped out at me.  I used Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand yarn in Grey Marble.  After I blocked the sweater, the yarn softened up a little.  But I didn’t like knitting with it much – it doesn’t have any give, like wool.

Pattern:  Baby Sophisticate Shawl Collar Sweater
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand Acrylic in Grey marble
Needles:  size #9 Addi Lace circular needles
Ravelry Page

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THE HAT:

garter-ear-flap-hat

The little hat is so adorable – it’s a pattern called Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho.  If you don’t know about Purl Soho, it’s a wonderful yarn shop in New York City.  They have a fabulous web site.  If you have never been on it, you will be amazed at the projects, tutorials, tips, patterns and ideas.  And so many of the  patterns are free!

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I love the hat because the design is just a little different – a little whimsical.  It’s a very easy, fast pattern.  After casting on, you knit the two ear flaps in the round, using short rows, which I love to do.  Then you continue on knitting the hat, shaping the crown in garter stitch.  Easy peasy!  I used my beloved Magic Loop method on circular needles.

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I love the cute little tassel on the top – how sweet is that?  Only takes a minute to make it. If you’d like to check out all the different versions of this little hat on Ravelry, the page is here. 

garter-ear-flap-hat-detail

Pattern:  Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand acrylic in Marbled Grey
Needles:  #8 circular Addi Lace
Size:  I made the small size, but on #8 needles
Ravelry Page

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Capella Shawl WIP Sneak Peak

September 13, 2016

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Currently enjoying knitting this wonderful pattern and will post final photos when it’s finished!

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Kirkwood Scarf

August 10, 2016

 

 

 

kirkwood scarf around neck

It’s finally done – the Kirkwood Scarf.  This project was such a fun knit, with three rows of cables running down the scarf.  It’s knitted up in nice soft Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  A big thank you to Brenna for this awesome gift!

kirkwood scarf on hanger

kirkwood scarf wrappedkirkwood scarf folded

The tubular cast on and bind off are both worth doing.  The finished ends of the scarf will be stretchier and nicer.  The directions in the pattern are easy to follow, just like all of Brooklyn Tweed’s patterns.  They are so well written.

kirkwood scarf doubled

There are two chart patterns from which to choose and I chose Chart A.  I liked the nubby effect of those stitches in between the cable rows.

This yarn blocked up so nicely.  I put it in a little bath with some Soak and the stitches just laid right down into place and were so soft.  I did the blocking with wires down the sides that the pattern suggested, and that worked out great.

Pattern:  Kirkwood Scarf
Yarn:  Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Nest
Needles:  Addi Lace Circular #8
Ravelry Page here   

Related post: Kirkwood Scarf WIP

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Magic Loop Tutorial

January 23, 2016

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I have had several requests lately for help in using the Magic Loop method for knitting in the round.  It can be a little daunting to learn.  Since I use Magic Loop so much, I want to help spread the love!  So I made a video (at bottom of post). I hope this video explains things in a way that makes it easier for you to understand, if you are struggling with it.

After you have knit with the method for a while, it becomes super easy.  Some people think Magic Loop involves a lot of fiddling with pulling the needles, etc., but I can knit very fast this way and it becomes second nature.

chinook on magic loop

With Magic Loop, you can try your work on for size!  Try doing that with DPNs – doesn’t work so well

 

There are some reasons I love Magic Loop so much for knitting things in the round:

  1. No DPN (double point needle) tips sticking out! I hate working around those.
  2. Your work isn’t in danger of falling off when you have it on the circular cable (shown on video).  When I put my knitting down, I just slip the work from the needles onto the cable and it’s safe as can be.
  3. If you’re knitting something like a mitten in the round, you can actually slip your work from the needles onto the cable and try the mitten on for size! A big plus.
  4. Makes it super simple to knit something tiny like a thumb or finger.  If you use DPNs, you have to get teeny tiny DPNs to do this and it’s a hassle.
  5. Even if I have a very long circular needle, I can knit a variety of sizes on it, because the cable part just dangles.

 

 

chinookfinger

In this video, I’m using 32″ circular needles, which is a great average size for a variety of different projects.  My favorite circular needles are always Addi Lace. They are super smooth and super sharp, resulting in work that just glides along and needle points that are inserting easily for knitting.

One thing I failed to mention in the video (sorry!) is a helpful little tip:  After you get your project going, the dangling tail yarn becomes your “marker” for the beginning of your work and to tell you where the right side of the work is. This is helpful in case you forget if you have knit half of the round or all of the round – if the tail yarn is dangling on the right, you have completed a round.  Sometimes if you are knitting a project that is just a single solid color, you can get mixed up.

tail end on the left:  you are in the middle of a row.
tail end on the right:   you are at the beginning of a row.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section or email me. Good luck and enjoy Magic Loop!

Elaine

 

 

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Kirkwood Scarf WIP

December 6, 2015

kirkwood wip closeup

I am knitting.   I have a lot going on, that’s for sure, with the holidays, December birthdays, the food blog and this new project.  But I am sneaking in some knitting, of course. So I just wanted to give you a little peak of my WIP.  It’s called Kirkwood and it’s by Julie Hoover for  Brooklyn Tweed.  I love Jared Flood, who started Brooklyn Tweed and I’ve been following him forever, before he got really well known, when he was writing this tiny little blog about his knitting life in NYC (if you have time, it’s fun to go back through his archives). And then I received a thank you gift from my son’s lovely and thoughtful girlfriend and guess what it was?  A Brooklyn Tweed pattern with five skeins of Shelter!  Squeeeee! And she purchased it from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, no less, on Bainbridge! Makes it even more special.

Hope you’re making something!
Elaine

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Honey Tapestry Mittens

October 4, 2015

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How I love this mitten pattern.  I just finished these for my future daughter-in-law’s birthday.  I love the two-color knitting pattern  and it has a lining, which makes them so warm. They took me quite a long time to knit, but were so worth the effort.

Instead of the I-cord cast on, I did a picot hem cuff, which I took from Post War Mittens.  I really like it.  And I love the contrast between the stark black and the honey/white of the mitten.

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These were knit in the beautiful wool from Quince, a wonderful little company in Maine that makes U.S. yarn.  The yarn is super soft, squishy and a joy to work with. The lining is a blend of super warm alpaca/wool, Berocco Alpaca Light.  So these mittens have a good three layers of warmth!

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I knit them entirely in Magic Loop, which I love for mittens.  You can try the mittens on for size as you go, unlike if you use double points.  It’s also great for the thumbs.  I use Addi Lace circulars and they are so pointy that picking up stitches is a breeze.

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Tapestry Mittens
Needles: Addi Lace Circulars #4, #2, #1
Yarns:  Quince Chickadee n Honey and Egret
Berroco Alpaca Light in Black
Ravelry Page

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Crocheted Jewelry Tray

August 3, 2015

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Here is another project from one of my favorite little places to visit on the web:  The Purl Bee.  It’s a crocheted jewelry tray and was so easy and fun to make – and quick. I loved working with that small hook and really stiff thread.  I used some of my wonderful natural linen thread from Lithuania that I got off of Etsy.  It’s sooo nice and I love the colors.  I used two different colors and held it double.

After I finished it, I sprayed it with starch, shaped it and let it set overnight.  I love it so much I may have to make the other versions – a circular and a rectangular.

 

Pattern:  Crocheted Jewelry Dishes
Yarn:  Lithuanian Linen, fingering and lace
Hook:  2.25 (B)
Ravelry Page

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