Sunday, March 26, 2017

Black Light Knit Socks for Alex

When I was in high school, I was all about the black light posters. I had a couple of them in my room, and I lived for the day when we drove the couple of hours to the mall (any mall!) so I could go to Spencer's and get more.

So when I spotted this black light yarn at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair last fall, I freaked out a little. Of course, I knew Alex would like it, too, and he had asked me to pick up something fun for him. I was also trying not to spend a lot of money on yarn or add to my already-overflowing stash, so this was my solo purchase for the day.

Pattern: Amanda's Basic Sock Pattern
Yarn: Wild Hare Fiber Studio Pinnacle Sock in Neon Lights

Clearly, the cat is jealous of Nietzsche's usual guest spot in the sock photos. Yes, she always looks that evil.

The socks remind me of the Rainbow Road race on Super Mario Kart for Super Nintendo. Ah, good memories.

We haven't tried the socks under a black light yet, but we're planning to visit my parents soon so we're going to test them there. (That's right. My room is still pretty much in tact aside from my niece and nephew's toys and my mom's sewing machine.)

The funny thing about me buying this sock yarn: my friend Erica spotted this yarn when she went to SAFF and said she thought of me. She was going to tell me about the yarn, but I bought it and posted it to Instagram before she could even tell me about it! She knows my yarn preferences well.

Now that Alex has these socks, I'm jealous and want to make some of my own. I weighed the yarn and discovered that I only have enough to make one and a half more socks, so I'm going to add another color for the heel and toe to try and make two pairs. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Knits! Silvermine Shawl

Yep, another shawl. I just can't seem to get enough of these!

I first saw this shawl on Instagram. Christina Danaee of Appalachian Knits, the designer of the shawl, posted a call for test knitters. I immediately thought about this super special yarn and knew it would be perfect for this.

Christina is actually a designer local to Asheville, so it was cool to do a test knit for someone locally.

Pattern: Silvermine Shawl by Christina Danaee
Yarn: Siidegarte Siide-Fideel in Stiefmueterli and scrap gray yarn from my friend Emily

I've been doing a great job using up yarn that I already have. This beautiful wool-silk blend purple yarn was a gift from my mother-in-law. She went on a knitting cruise in Europe, and not only did they get to go to all kinds of awesome yarn shops, but the yarn also came to them.

The yarn seller boarded the boat and sold all kinds of awesome yarn to the knitting cruise group. My mother-in-law knows I love purple, so she chose this for me.

I love the little bobbles on the shawl that form these berry-like clusters. Once I got further along in the pattern, though, those bobble rows seemed eternal!

Before I even started knitting, I knew I didn't have enough of the gorgeous purple yarn to finish. But I did have a bit of gray yarn that my friend Emily sent me, and it looked lovely next to the purple. There's just something about purple and gray...

I got to the last few bobbles and discovered that I didn't have enough of the gray yarn. Ugh. I was so close to the end. I didn't have any gray fingering-weight yarn, so I ended up splitting a heavier yarn and using the split plies to finish it up. I don't think you can really tell! (It was pretty successful -- so successful that I'm writing a Craftsy post about it!)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Little Stinker Skunk and Fox Crochet Taxidermy

I bought Crochet Taxidermy by Taylor Hart on a whim one night when we were in Malaprops, our local independent bookstore here in Asheville.

I first thought I would make these as Christmas presents for lots of friends, but I then realized that wasn't going to happen. (I ended up going for fox brooches instead for many of my friends,which was much faster.) I made the skunk as a gift, and then Alex persuaded me to make the fox for our house.

Pattern: Sly Fox by Taylor Hart from Crochet Taxidermy
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Carrot and Lily Sugar'n Cream in White (both from my stash)

Pattern: Little Stinker by Taylor Hart from Crochet Taxidermy
Yarn: Black acrylic from my stash and Red Heart Buttercup in White

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Colorwork-Crazy Vespergyle Mittens for Jessica

I've been making my friend Jessica hand knit gifts for a long time. We met in a group fiddle lesson in Brooklyn, and we lived just a block apart. Even though we both left BK, we still keep in touch -- and we still exchange crafty gifts every year.

Last fall, Jessica told me about a pair of mittens she bought from a handmade market in Norway. She lost them, and she was pretty upset about it. Since she purchased them from a lady at a random market, they were practically impossible to replace. So I agreed to try and make a replica.

The result: Vespergyle Mittens.

Pattern: Vespergyle Mittens by Elinor Brown (Free Pattern!)

My colorwork wasn't perfect throughout the entire mitten, and this was my first time making a mitten where the thumb is increased slowly off the side of the mitten, rather than added later with picked up stitches. I think this type of thumb is way easier to knit.

The colorwork makes the mittens warmer, and it also looks super cool:

I don't think I successfully replicated Jessica's original mittens, but I hope these will be just as warm (and never lost!).

Here's a photo of Jessica's lost Norwegian mittens:

You can see they were a little felted and probably much warmer. But I think we did a pretty good job finding a pattern that is similar!

Here's a funny video of Jessica modeling her new mittens. Go, Jessica!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Alex's Latest Knit Crazy-Colored Socks

Alex is forever requesting that I knit him a pair of socks. You probably realize this already, since his legs grace the opening of practically every sock post. He's so spoiled now that he wears a pair of hand knit socks practically every day. (That's thanks in part to his mom also knitting socks for him.)

This latest pair came about by accident. My friend Jo's mom kindly unloaded part of her stash, and Jo brought over a whole bag of yarn for a few of us to go through. I chose my yarn, and after everyone left I found a lonely skein of sock yarn that had fallen off the table.

No one else claimed it when I asked, so I kept it! (Couldn't let such a lovely yarn go to waste.)

Thus was born Alex's latest pair of socks, requested for Christmas but delivered a teensy bit late.

Pattern: Waffle Rib Sock by Carolyn (Jill) Ferneau
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball®Crazy (I think it's color #1537, but not entirely sure)

I've made this same sock pattern several times. It's one of Alex's favorites, but I share the waffle love with all. Here are the other socks I've made with this same pattern:

I'm also really digging the Eye of Partridge heel. It has such a neat texture and makes other heel types look so boring.

When I didn't know what the yarn was, I worked up this tiny little swatch and put it through the washer to see what happened. I love how such a cool yarn can look so inconspicuous when it's worked in such short rounds.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pretty Winter Snowflake Embroidery

I'm always sad when we have to put away the Christmas decorations, so it's nice to have some general winter-themed crafts that we can leave up through January (and hey, maybe even February). Snowflakes are a definite January decoration for me, and this Winter Snowflake embroidery is a perfect example.

Pattern: Winter Snowflake by cozyblue

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mollie Makes Foxy Felt Brooches for Foxy Ladies

When I try to make something handmade for lots of friends, it's always a fail. So this past holiday, I looked for a gift that I could give lots of people. For inspiration, I went back through my Mollie Makes archive and found this adorable fox brooch kit that I hadn't even touched.

I made the foxes assembly-line style and was able to whip up quite a few in just several hours while I watched embarrassingly crappy Christmas movies on Netflix. Yeah! Handmade gifts for all!

Supplies: Felt, pin backs, and embroidery floss -- all from my craft stash! Woohoo!