Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yep, It's Another Pair of Hand Knit Socks

I complained for weeks about how long it took me to make my dad's Christmas socks, and then I immediately cast on yet another pair of socks. Knitting can sometimes make us crazy, yeah?

This time around was way easier, in part because I used knitting needles that were one size larger than the ones I used for my dad's socks and in part because this sock pattern was much simpler.

Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks (FREE on Craftsy;! Note that this is an affiliate link.)
Yarn: Schoppel Zauberball in 1507 Autumn Wind

I made these for Alex, and he seemed to prefer this yarn over the yarn I used to make my dad's socks. And the color changes in the yarn mean that you don't need a crazy complicated stitch to make the socks look awesome.

The time for sock knitting is about to end, so maybe I should try to squeeze one more pair in for myself before winter is over!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Knit Lace Wedge Yoke Sweater

After working on my dad's crazy size 1 needle socks, I needed something chunky that was going to work up quickly. Cue the Lace Wedge Yoke Sweater!

Yarn: Cascade Eco + in Sapphire
Pattern: Lace Wedge Yoke Sweater designed by Eunny Jang for Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure Craftsy class

(The above links are affiliate links.)

I whipped this sweater up in less than two weeks. Of course, it was during Christmas break and I didn't have much else going on. But it definitely took less time than Dad's socks!

I think the neckline is a bit too wide because I knit the yoke in a looser gauge than I did the rest of the sweater. Oops. I was not paying attention, mostly because I was watching movies during the knitting of most of the sweater.

To get the sweater pattern, you have to be enrolled in Eunny Jang's Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure class. I like the class a lot because it gives you what Eunny calls a "master recipe" for the sweater and then you can pick what kind of yoke, sleeves, and edge treatments you want. I chose the lace yoke and bracelet sleeves, and I chose rolled hems on the sleeves and edge.

I had quite a bit of yarn left, so I'm thinking about doing the cable yoke sweater using this sapphire and another color. Color block! This time I swear I'll pay attention to the gauge. Heh.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Chunky Knit Cowl for Keshia

Let the Christmas gifts continue! I knit this chunky cowl for my sister-in-law, Keshia. It's straight out of my book, Chunky Knits, and it was designed by Brenda Lavell.

I made my chunky cowl slightly smaller than the one Brenda designed by changing up the yarn just a bit. I love how it turned out. The open stitches create instant buttonholes, so you can move the placement of the buttons wherever you want depending on how tight or loose you want the cowl to fit.

Pattern: Goldenrod Cowl from Chunky Knits by Brenda Lavell
I bought the buttons from Knitting Diva, one of my local yarn stores here in Asheville. They're super thin, and I love the way they look with the icy blue yarn.

Keshia knows how to rock an accessory, so I'm excited to see what she wears this with!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hand Knit Christmas Socks for Dad

My dad is finally getting a mention on the blog! I'm ashamed to say this was the first Christmas I'd ever given him something handmade.

Dad isn't the type of guy to wear gloves, hats, scarves, or any other accessory for that matter. So this year I thought I'd do a little experiment and see how he does with a pair of knitted socks!

I used the For My Man Socks pattern from Craftsy (note that I used an affiliate link there), and I was knitting right up until December 22nd. The pattern took a while to memorize, but once I got the hang of it, I moved along much faster.

Pattern: For My Man Socks by Laura Nelkin
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine

I think he was shocked to find something handmade in that box, and of course I had to give him and Mom strict care instructions to make sure they don't shrink in the dryer.

Photo by Alex

I know the socks are comfy because I wore 'em myself. I don't know which is sadder: the fact that I can wear my dad's socks or the fact that he can wear mine. (That's me wearing them in the photo above. I guess they are a little big. Yeah?)

But now I'm in trouble. I've set the precedent for handmade gifts, which means I have to come up with something else for next year. AH!

What practical handmade items do you make for dudes who aren't into accessories and sweaters?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Download a FREE eGuide for Knitting Sweaters

Happy sweater knitting season! You're probably already planning your sweater knitting for the cold, yucky days of January. (I'm starting as soon as I get all these holiday knitting projects off my needles!)

To celebrate sweater knitting, Craftsy just released a FREE eGuide to sweater knitting, featuring some of my posts.

Download your free eGuide here!

(Note that this is an affiliate link, and I will be compensated if you download the free eGuide.)

The eGuide includes everything from sweater yoke ideas to different construction methods for sweaters. It's great for every level of knitter -- yes, you CAN knit a sweater if you're a beginner! -- so don't be intimidated.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What to Do If You Run Outta Yarn at the End of a Knitting Project

The Imposter Shawl I showed you a few weeks ago certainly wasn't perfect. Why? I ran out of yarn with about eight stitches left to bind off.

I didn't have any more of the Malabrigo Purple Majesty yarn, so instead I dug through my stash to find a similar color. The yarn I found was not the same weight, nor was it really the same color. But it worked.

You can't really tell unless you look at it up close -- which almost no one ever does. (I'm letting you look up close because I know you won't judge me.)

For those of you who want to make sure this doesn't happen to you, Knit Oasis just blogged this awesome tip for estimating yarn for binding off.

Next time you run out of yarn and you're at the very end of a project, don't go out and buy a whole other skein. Improvise. I promise no one will notice -- and if they do, stick your tongue out at them!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ta Da! Finished Imposter Shawl from Creativebug

I'm notorious for starting knitting projects and never finishing them (the wrap sweater that's been sitting in my stash for ten years, for example). But I spotted the Imposter Shawl and something hit me.

I finished it in less than two weeks.

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Purple Mystery
(Note that the Creativebug links are affiliate links. I will be compensated if you click through and sign up.)