Archive for the ‘Fair Isle’ Category

FO – Claire Bear’s Mittens

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Happy Autumn everyone! Thought I’d start this, my most favorite of seasons, with a Finished Object for chillier weather :-D

I have a friend I met actually in high school. We went to rival schools. :-) Her name is Megan and we would see each other from time to time when the area Catholic high school bands would get together for the Honors Band program. Then SURPRISE we went to the same college!Anyway thanks to Facebook we’ve been able to keep in touch. This past summer I was able to meet her adorable children and I fell in love with her lil one Claire. I mean how can you not?

So when the new Twist Collective came out I wanted to make her something. The Horatio and Oren mittens were perfect!

Pattern: Horatio and Oren by Barbara Gregory from The Fall 2012 Twist Collective
My Ravelry Page
Yarns(s): The Loopy Ewe Solid Series
Colorway(s): Indigo & Ice
Needles(s): US 2½ – 3.0 mm
Casted On:
August 16, 2012
Casted Off: September 3, 2012
Modifications: None. But might I make a suggestion? This pattern is knit with 44 stitches. That’s pretty small so please please keep gauge in mind as you knit this. I k is these mittens will fit Claire just fine but if I were to do this pattern all over again I think I might have selected a more sport-weight yarn or maybe even a DK weight. With the stranded knitting, it can make for a tight pair making the mittens even tighter so keep that in mind when you got to select yarns ;-)

Super cute pair of mittens. I can’t wait to see lil Claire in them!

I’ve opened Santa’s workshop quite early this year starting four pairs of socks for loved ones of late so expect more socks in future knitting posts!


2 out of 4 Now Completed!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

I have finished my Christmas stocking:

Laura's Christmas Stocking

And now only two more to go!

Pattern:A NEW Mom’s Christmas Stocking by Dorene Delaney Giordano from her Ravelry Store (Note – This is a toe-up pattern)
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Patons Pure Merino.
Colorway(s): Purple and Gray.
Needle(s): US 3– 3.25 mm
Casted On: November 5, 2011
Casted Off: December 4, 2011
Modifications:  Like with the previous stocking, I wanted to make it bigger. I based the instep on 60 stitches (3 pattern repeats) and the sole on 40, making the total stitch count 100 and not what the pattern stated-100.

This made the fabric VERY dense so towards the end of knitting it, it was a rather rough knit! But I still like the final result:
Laura's Christmas Stocking

I just love stars so I knew this pattern had to be the one for my stocking. :-)

Laura's Christmas Stocking

I am not entirely sure I’ll get Layla and Luna’s stocking done in time for CHRISTMAS DAY but I hope to get them done within a months time. I’ve started on Ms. Luna’s:

Luna's Christ Stockin

She is a kitty that loves being in the center of attention. She has a super hero complex as well. So I found it only appropriate to use bright colors for her.

Layla on the other hand is a very gentle soul. Calm and soothing colors were required to match her personality however the combination still had to provide enough contrast for the stranded pattern to be visible. And yes, I’m sure plenty might say I was definitely over-thinking what colors I would use for her. I wanted to get it right though. I finally found it:

Cascade 220 Sport

Seeeeeeeeeeeee….soothing colors but will still provide some wonderful contrast.

Have a great weekend everyone. Knitters, getting all those handknits done for the holidays? What all are you making for loved ones?

Autumn Rose is COMPLETE!

Friday, November 25th, 2011


I haven’t completed as many finished objects I would have liked this year but I did complete one big one :-D

Autumn Rose This project didn’t take as long as you’d think. For about three months, it stayed in a box from the move. I packed it up in late July and unpacked it in our new home. It stayed in my box o’ WIPs mainly because of:

Autumn Rose Pullover

They. Never. End.

All these ends. Now I know knitters from centuries prior just tied them and let the wool felt. Great. But my control freak tendencies had an image of a hole growing when I’m away from home and then the unraveling started. So yeah. I wove them all in. As one can imagine, it took a long time.

Autumn Rose

Pattern:Autumn Rose Pullover by Eunny Jang from Simply Shetland 4: At Tomales Bay
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Long story. See below.
Colorway(s): Long story. See below.
Needle(s): US 2½ – 3.0 mm & US 4 – 3.5 mm
Casted On: May 8, 2011
Casted Off: November 20, 2011
Modifications: I made everything longer. Longer sleeves. Longer torso. If I were to do this all over again, I’d pull the neckline up. Kinda wish I did that. That said, I’m still quite proud of the end result. I wore it to work once but I think it’s more suitable to wear with cords at home. It’s just too warm for my office that runs a little warm anyway.

Autumn Rose

I had to pull out the neckline and redo it. But hey…as a result, I learned the importance and purpose of a neckline cuff. I picked up about 80 extra stitches along the neckline and the sweater practically fell off my shoulders. Re-did it and the new neckline helped bring the already long neckline more together. Phew!

Now colors.

I love the Knitpicks Autumn Rose Mineral version of this sweater. I even ordered the yarn in Knitpicks Pallete kit for this sweater. Turns out, I wasn’t all impressed by how thin the yarn was running. The resulting fabric wasn’t as strong as I’d like it. So I converted the Knitpicks Mineral kit and used Brownsheep Naturspun Sport. Below is a chart.

Original Pattern Color

(Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift)

Knitpicks Mineral Kit

(Knitpicks Pallete Yarn)

Brownsheep Naturespun

Sport (unless otherwise noted)

Shetland Black Asphalt Heather Pepper
Pine Forest Eggplant Plum Line
Admiral Clematis Heather Mountain Purple
Peat Huckleberry Heather Spiced Plum
Sunrise Iris Heather Mountain Lavender
Mader Hyacinth Purple Splendor
Old Gold Ash Classic Elite,  Fresco, Charcoal Black
Bracken Marble Heather Charcoal
Pistachio Silver Berrocco, Ultra Alpaca Light, Moonshadow
Yellow Orchre Mist Silver Lining
Scotch Broom White Snow

I really enjoyed knitting this sweater with this yarn. Naturespun Sport is a more full yarn resulting in a more dense fabric.

Autumn Rose
I consider this sweater to be a significant feat. First full fair isle sweater for an adult. I made significant modidifications in length and they were done well. I had expressed some issues with the sleeves and from what you can see above and below, they do, in fact match up.

Autumn Rose

While I might not be 10000% pleased with the long neckline, I’m still quite proud of myself. Gorgeous feminine sweater that fits me quite well :-D I’m very much looking forward to applying the lessons I learned with this sweater to Venezia :-D

One Down….Three more to go…

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

We adopted Layla and Luna in 2005. Back then, I was quilting more than knitting. I started picking up knitting more seriously at the weeeee end of 2006. By the time 2007 came around, the knitting bug hit hard and it became my primary craft. Then, in 2008, I said, out loud, “You know honey, it would be great if I knitted each of us a stocking for Christmas.” Cute idea right?

And naturally I didn’t actually start one till 2009:


Note: This pic was taken 8/23/09

I’m not proud. It took Jermaine and me buying our house to realize I really really wanted all of us to have a stocking this Christmas.
Jermaine’s, I knew, would be the most difficult. His name is just too long–8 letters. Why does that make a difference? I wanted our stockings all to have our names shown on one half of the stocking. Jermain’s name required about 70 stitches, so that doubled would make for a 140 stitch stocking. Depending on what yarn I’d use, sizing and shaping would vary.

So there’s that fine line between one hand where I make him a stocking out of fingering weight yarn, size 1 needles and it taking forever OR, on the other hand, I make him one that ends up so big it can fit Luna.

I then found designs by 2 Sticks and a String on Ravelry and I knew these were the patterns I wanted for our family stockings! :-) I grew up with stockings a little bigger than her planned schematic but overall, I really like the designs!

And with this, I present Jermaine’s finished Christmas Stocking:

Jermaine's Stocking

Jermaine's Stocking

Pattern: A NEW Dad’s Christmas Stocking by Dorene Delaney Giordano from her Ravelry Store (Note – This is a toe-up pattern)
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Sport
Colorway(s): Aurora Heather (green) & Dove Heather (white/gray)
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm & US 2½ – 3.0 mm
Casted On: October 7, 2011
Casted Off: November 5, 2011

  1. This pattern was based on repeats of 20. So to add some width because of my preference and because of the length of Jermaine’s name, I expanded the stocking to 120 stitches, as opposed to the 80 it called for. So for the instep, heel and “leg” portion, I used size 2.5 needles. After the border on the top, but before Jermaine’s name, I changed to size US 1-2.25 needles and increased twenty stitches evenly by making one stitch after every six stitches. I was concerned that the stocking sizing would look off but with the needle size decrease, everything coincided nicely.
  2. 120 stitches made for an awkward heel flap, so I ripped it and did a short row heel (I mean it’s not like Jermaine is actually going to wear this. It’s for stuffing present(s) in! ).
  3. I also did an i-chord bind off. This was a first time doing this bind-off for me. Sure, it’s not the quickest one in the world, but it gives the stocking a very nice edging. It’s curling over a little bit, as you can see so perhaps I should go up a needle size the next time I use it? I don’t know.  But this certainly won’t be the last time I use it.

I know this project came with a lot of false starts. (Did you notice the first pic? How there’s no gold in the final stocking? That was Jermaine’s request and I was more than happy about that. Never been a fan of golds/yellows/oranges.) But I am quite pleased with the end result.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I’m half way done with my stocking :-D

Laura's Stocking

I’m Back – FO – Tiled Cowl

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

No soon did I insist on blogging more did work pick up. Opps.

Well work pays for the yarn habit so it therefore trumps blogging.

I finished a cowl, though! yay!

One of my favorite things to do on Ravelry is to stalk friends in the “friend activity” feature. I know using the verb “stalk” could allude to not-so-great associations but I’m really just like keeping track of people’s progress on projects and what they’ve queued. Knitting inquisitiveness, if you will.

So my friend Sarah, I noticed, magic linked Knit Picks Chroma and I clicked for more information. Don’t know why…I just did.

Turns out she needed test knitters for her loverly cowl, the Tiled In Cowl.

I was able to help her with the test knitting and this was my final result:

Test Knitting Cowl

Pattern: Tiled In Cowl by SJ from her Ravelry Store
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight & Handmaiden Fine Yarn Casbah Sock
Colorway(s): Sweet Pea, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight, Rockin’ Sock Club installment from May, 2010 & Kaleidoscope, respectively.
Needle(s): US 3 – 3.25 mm
Casted On: September 14, 2011
Casted Off: October 1, 2011
Modifications: none

Here’s a closer-up version of the cowl:

Test Knitting Cowl The pattern is written wonderfully. AND I even learned a new skill–carrying floats:

Carrying the pattern yarn

Carrying the background yarn

So learning that alone made this process very very worth it. I was taught it real quickly once. Then I forgot it. This pattern requires about 19-stitch floats so I felt the need to re-learn it. Because I learned a new skill, I very much appreciated the process of knitting this cowl.

If you’re getting the impression that I’m not too pleased with the final result, you’re right. IT’S NOT BECAUSE OF THE PATTERN but more because of the yarn selection.

The designer flat out says in the pattern “Pick a multi-colored yarn with long color repeats.” And what did I do? I pick a colorway, that, while gorgeous, has only two-inch color lengths.

So Final Thoughts:

  • Wonderfully written pattern.
  • Take the designers advice–Use yarn with long repeats.
  • That said, be mindful of yarns that are single ply. I was nervous about using Chroma and/or Mini-Mochi because they do not tend to hold up when you use them to sew ends down. (I casted off for a sock using Mini-mochi once and the yarn kept falling apart.

Go see for yourself and buy this wonderful cowl pattern :-)


I haz a FO! I haz a FO!

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Wow things have certainly been busy here.

Jermaine and I are packing up our lives to move into our new house at the end of the month:

What fresh hell...
 We’ve been packing up all our stuff…picking up paint colors, searching for sales, going to liquor stores for boxes and Home Depot as well. Oy!

But in the midsts of all this craziness, I finally have a finished object. My last one was from April.

In and Out Socks

Pattern: In and Out Socks by Cookie A’s Designs from Knit. Sock. Love.
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight
Colorway(s): Skein with No Name, Rockin’ Sock Club installment from November, 2010
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm
Casted On: July 4, 2011
Casted Off: August 7, 2011
Modifications: none

This was one fun pair of socks to knit! The winding, cable-like pattern is what attracted me to the pattern in the first place.

In and Out Socks

And something I found particularly interesting was the way the heel flap was developed:

In And Out

The winding cable-like pattern then POP a heel flap!! That part of the sock almost made me giddy as I was knitting it.

I enjoyed this pattern very much. I seem to be on a sock craze of late. And a STR and Cookie A. one as well now that I think of it. Explanation of socks–well I guess that’s pretty easy. It’s summer and gross out. Socks are portable and small and most likely I’m finishing up someone’s Christmas present so that’s a win win right there. I’m inspired to knit with Socks that Rock sock yarn of late because I’m drawn to many patterns that are friendly to multi-color colorways, which also explains my draw to Cookie A. patterns as well.

What will be next is Cookie’s Raven Swirl Socks with March, 2011’s Rockin’ Sock Club installment:

Rockin' Sock Club - May, 2011

On a personal note, I won’t be back for a while we move. I look forward to showing off my Autumn Rose Pullover  with all the ends woven in and a lovely neck band:

Autumn Rose Pullover

Sleeves are gonna be the end of me!

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Sleeves always seem to get me. Don’t know why but they always seem to be the most challenging part of a sweater or cardigan.

Of course…it makes sense doesn’t it. Everyone’s arms are different, people like different fits. And they can be challenging–having the seams line up just correctly with minimal bulkiness.

Theeeeeeeeeeen throw in that yours truly must have Gumbi like arms. I like sleeves ridiculously long.

So I thouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuught I was being clever in lengthening the sleeves to my Autumn Rose Pullover. But Nope. I wasn’t

Autumn Rose Pullover

The fair isle motive that goes in between the circular pattern? In the body, it’s nine rows and in the sleeves, I made it twelve because, after all, these things add length.

It wasn’t till after I uploaded this picture onto Flickr that I noticed how blatant this was and how the motives just are not going to line up.

So what’s that sound you’ll be hearing this evening? Rip rip? Yup. That’s Laura ripping that sleeve back quite a bit….with the occasional whimper as well.

I need to be reminded that this is for the sweater’s well being. If motifs don’t line up, I’ll be wearing it in the office and it will be just like that Tide Commercial.…and I couldn’t blame anyone for feeling that way. I’d be distracted as hell at it.

So yeah. That project is probably going to spend the week on the bench. Sigh

Until then, I’ve casted on a new skirt and a shawl:

Lace Tiered Skirt

and this is the finished shawl, from Purl Bump’s Pattern Page

Dover Castle Shawl

Can’t Stop Updating

Monday, May 30th, 2011

One of my most favorite things to do is friend stalking on Ravelry. I love seeing updates from my friends, see what projects they updated, what they’ve queued, what they’ve added to their stash.

I’m sure if any of my friends enjoy the same thing, I can’t help but wonder if they’re a little sick of the daily updates I’ve made to my Autumn Rose Pullover Project Page. I just love taking new photos of this project–the evolution has been just as thrilling as knitting it!


Autumn Rose

May 16, 2011

Autumn Rose

May 19, 2011

Autumn Rose Pullover

May 24, 2011

Autumn Rose Pullover

May 30, 2011

I’ve started the sleeves.

On 9in circular needles.

This is going to be interesting.

Life Amplified

Monday, May 16th, 2011

My friend Lindsey blogged about how it’s been a long time since she’s written a blog. That got me thinkin- How long has it been for me?

April 16!

The reasons are plenty.

  1. While interest rates are low, Jermaine and I are looking to buy a home. That’s taken up a lot of weekend time.
  2. Work’s been insane. Very busy learning new things and facilitating intramural competitions.  I work with fantastic people so no complaints there but I can’t really say I’ve been popping out a ton of finished objects
  3. Another reason, I seem to be on a sweater theme right now anyway and those aren’t completed as fast as, say, a pair of socks or a hat.

I’ve picked up my Autumn Rose Pullover from hibernation:

Autumn Rose I’m no longer using Knitpicks Palette. With this pattern’s gauge, I was knitting this sweater on 5s (when it really calls for 2s) and I was just not liking th fabric that was resulting. I used Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport for Abby’s Cardigan and it’s just great for steeks. :-) So while it took a while to find equivalents from Palette to Nature Spun Sport, I think I have a great start.

The Connie Chang Chinchio trend I seem to be on:

Like many offices in the summer, mine happens to be very cold so I want to knit Sabbatical to wear around the office. Here it is so far:

Sabbatical This is a very fun knit. I’m making it out of Madeline Tosh Pashmina, a little gift to myself for my birthday :-) This is a challenging knit because there is lace on both sides of the knitting but that’s what makes it fun.

The progress made on these two projects has been minimal but still something I’m proud of:

Apres Surf Hoodie Here’s Apres Surf Hoodie. I want to pick up the pace on this project. I was looking at finished versions of them on Ravelry and was like “WANT!”

The following was an impulse knit-my friend Sidney started faving projects of Connie’s Tie Back Shell top and I instantly wanted one for the office. (I’m the queen of solid color cotton tops. I need to change things up! ) This pattern started with knitting a 17-stitch twisted rib…rope for 68 some odd inches for the band around my ribs and tie in the back. OY! But that’s complete now and I started knitting the bottom part of the top.

Tie Back Shell

I hope to get some of these done soon to show off some finished objects because God knows I’m workin’ hard on them!

And, I’d like to end this entry with an adorable picture of Layla. She found her own personal spot in our closet on top of blankets. I swear she even closes the door. Virginia Woolf was right. A woman really does need a room of one’s own

Layla's New Hiding Place

FO or how knitters express love and support

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

This is primarily a knitting blog but I won’t hide it – I’m a pretty liberal person. Two uppity liberals raised me and I’m quite proud of that.

A thread was started in the Knitters for Barack Obama group to show our support for the Wisconsin democrats and four republicans who voted against the governor’s legislation that cut public employee’s benefits. So what did we do? We knit hats for them. It was a little funny. The original poster, Carrie, listed all the senators and representatives. As someone whose last name is listed always in the bottom, I felt so bad for the folks listed last. They were getting no love. So I asked to knit a hat for Amy Sue Vruwink. :-)

Fulled Star Hat

Pattern: Fulled Star Hat by Ruth Sorensen

My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi and Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
Colorway(s): 101 (Rainbow) and 103 (Cream)
Needle(s): US 6 – 4.0 mm
Casted On: March 13, 2011
Casted Off: March 15, 2011
Modifications: none

Now I hope Ms. Vruwink likes her hats with a slouch and/or she just happens to have a big head.

Fulled Star Hat

(and I'll even admit--my head is HUGE!)

I absolutely love the hat patterns in Ruth Sorensen’s book. I want to knit all of them. But I realized that these hats are knit at a way looser gauge than what is typical for me. The last hat I knit was too tight for me.  The pattern called for size 2s and I, as you can see, knit mine with 6s. And usually that’s ok, but I forgot about row gauge this time and what resulted was a taller than usual hat

And for goodness sakes, Laura. This is for a woman in WISCONSIN….they get a lot of use out of hats in that neck of the woods, no?

Fulled Star Hat

I hope you enjoy it, Ms. Vruwink. I thank you for what you did! Hope you enjoy the extra hat “to cover your ears”

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