Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Big Squeeze Toddler Hat and Scarf

Hello Friends!

Recently the lovely folks at Ancient Arts Yarns sent me a skein of their newest yarn line - Big Squeeze. Swoon! 100% Superwash Merino, soft and squishy like it's name suggests it is heart breakingly wonderful to knit with. As I started to play with it I knew just what it wanted to become - a hat and scarf set for a 2-year-old boy. I managed to dash off a few notes as it the set flew off my needles - so here it is for your enjoyment:

I used ever last inch of one skein of yarn so I would highly suggest starting with the hat. If you need to add more length to the scarf you can always knit on a contrasting color

Size: 18 - 24 months

1 skein of Ancient Arts Yarns Big Squeeze, 100% Superwash Merino, Bulky, 132yds/120m, 3.5 oz/100gram. I used colorway: Great Blue Heron
US #10/6mm, 16" circular needle or size to obtain gauge
1 or more stitch markers
50 yards or less of contrasting worsted weight yarn for pompoms
Clover 1" pompom maker (or your choice of pom pom maker)
1, 1/2 inch button
tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Gauge: 3 sts/5rows = 1" in st st in the round


Using the US #10, 16" circular needle, cast on 50 sts, join in the round making sure not to twist any of the sts.

Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Purl
Rounds 5 - 18: Knit
Round 19: *Knit 8, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Rounds 20 - 22: Knit
Round 23: *Knit 7, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Rounds 24 - 26: Knit
Round 27: *Knit 6, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Rounds 28 - 30: Knit
Round 31: *Knit 5, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Rounds 32 - 34: Knit
Round 35: *Knit 4, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Rounds 36, 37: Knit
Round 38: *K3, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Rounds 39, 40: Knit
Round 41: *K2, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Round 42: *K1, k2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
Round 43: *K2tog* rep from * to * to end of round
cut yarn leaving a 6" tail. draw yarn through remaining loops. Weave in end on inside of hat.
Make 1, 1" pompom with contrasting worsted weight yarn and attach securely to the top. Weave in ends from pom pom on the inside of hat.


The scarf is knit in rows and can be knit on circular needles if you do not join in the round or straight needles
Using a US #10, 16" circular needle or straights cast on 3 sts
Row 1 - 6: Knit
Row 7: Rotate work 90 degrees and pick up 3 sts along side of work, rotate work again and pick up 3 sts at co edge - 9 sts on needles
Row 8: K3, yo, k3, yo, k3 (11 sts)
Row 9: K3, yo, k1, kfb, kfb in next st (this is the center stitch and can be marked with a split ring st marker, from here on out this st will be referred to as cs), k2, yo, k3 (15 sts)
Row 10: K3, yo, k to last 3 sts, yo, k3 (17 sts)
Row 11: K3, yo, k to 1 st before cs, kfb in 1 st before cs, kfb in cs, k to last 3 sts, yo, k3

Rep rows 10 & 11 until you have 5 grams left of yarn (or 8 yards)
Bo very loosely purlwise. Pull yarn through last loop and weave in end.

Make 3, 1" pom poms with contrasting worsted weight yarn. Attach 1 pom pom at each end and 1 pom pom at center point

Attach a button or snap at one end and use yarn over space as button hole

Monday, November 30, 2015

Gifts for Knitters and Crocheters

It really is hard to believe but the holidays are upon us and gift giving is right around the corner. It's always fun to think through your list and try to come up with the appropriate gift for your friends. I try to carve some time out for myself and sit down with a cup of tea and my note books to jot out a plan of action. 

Here are some fun ideas:

Skeino yarn company has put together some really amazing knitting kits. I love the presentation of the Arabella Scarf. It was so stunning to open. 

The scarf has been addictive to knit - you just are so eager to see what the next color looks like! The pattern is fun and easy - great for this holiday time when things can get so busy and all you want is a bit of relaxing knitting. I'm beavering away on it as I think it will be a Christmas gift for a friend....hmmm...

A Good Yarn has a lovely brick and mortar shop as well as a lovely online shop. They have a wonderfully curated collection of specialty yarns in exclusive colorways that all have an "ocean" or "deep sea" theme. I was sent this lovely skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Glitter Sock (80 % Superwash Merino/ 10% Cashmere/10% sparkling nylon) in the Sea Slug Colorway. This yarn was dyed to reflect the colors of an amazing Polyclad sea slug! Isn't it amazing?

Any of A Good Yarn's beach themed exclusive colorways would make a great gift for a beach lover or a knitter who loves the ocean.

I'm planning on making a Starshower cowl for my mom out of this yarn. My mom loves the ocean and it would be a great meaningful way of "gifting her the ocean" this Christmas!

A lovely gift for those of us who love to crochet would be this set of Knitter's Pride Waves Crochet Hooks. They are so comfortable and light. This is my first crochet hook set that comes with a case and I just LOVE the fact that you can see through the case to see what's inside.

I hope these little ideas get you started in the gift-giving department.
Happy Giving!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to Wash Handspun

Hello Friends!

It's mid fall and for me that means I have a whole new batch of handspun to wash from Tour de Fleece back in July and Spinzilla in October.

It's easy to get carried away and want to knit with your beautiful handspun before it's washed (what's the point right since you are going to wash and block your finished knitted item) but resist! Yes, my friends, your handspun isn't truly finished and ready to knit with until it's been washed.

Washing will cause your handspun to "bloom" and set the twist. This "blossoming" could really change the gauge of your finished knit item if you do not wash your handspun first.

Besides, washing your handspun removes the last little bit of field dust, oil from your spinning machine and grease and sweat from your hands. Now who wouldn't want to remove that from your lovely yarn?

The lovely people at Eucalan and Stitch Craft Marketing sent me over my favorite wool wash to use in the video below. Eucalan is my 'go-to' wash for wool because it puts lanolin back into the fibers and because it has essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus which protect your yarn from moths and other unmentionable bugs! =)

You can find Eucalan at most local yarn shops or here online

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Knitter's Life: Episode 23 Fall In Love KAL

Hello friends!

A new podcast episode is up! And a new KAL has started!

As always show notes and more details can be found in our Ravelry group!

happy knitting!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Louet Spinning Packs - Part 2

Hello Lovely Friends!

Ok, do you have your lovely fiber packs from Louet that I talked about in Part 1? Aren't they wonderful?

I've been making rolags and spinning up a storm - all while dreaming about the projects I want to make with this lovely box of fiber.

One choice I have is to make a bunch of single skein projects by spinning up each individual fiber by itself and making various projects with those skeins.

The chocolate Coopworth would make some lovely Antler Hats by TinCanKnits

The Grey Gotland could be spun up to make my Bramblewood Vest pattern

Spin the 1/2 lb wool and linen into lace weight singles and you could make the beautiful Snowdrop Shawl

What about that lovely amazing cashmere? What about Susie Roger's Reading Mitts - they would be so warm and cozy.

And that 1/2 lb of flax? Why not try a flax hand towel for your bath or kitchen! It would be lovely!

And the lovely dyed Merino top? What about the lovely Kalimna Shawl - wouldn't that be lovely?

Now, after seeing all these lovely options you might be curious to know what I am going to do with my box of fibery goodness! Well, I'm making rolags to blend the fiber and create some beautiful tweedy yarn. I'm making two different kinds of rolags and will be knitting two separate projects. 

The first project will be the Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood
I've always wanted to make one of these lovely blankets and have often thought handspun would be a beautiful choice to use. 
I'm combining the flax, wool & flax blend, Coopworth and Gotland to make these scrumptious rolags that are so much fun to spin.
I am spinning a 2 ply worsted weight yarn from these rolags.

The second project will be the Starshower Cowl by Hillary Smith Callis
I'm combing the merino top, cashmere and optima to create a soft silky rolags which I'm spinning into 2 ply fingering weight yarn. Oh, yes, how lovely. 

So now are you curious on how I make my rolags to combine and blend the fiber? Head on over to A Knitter's Life YouTube Channel and watch my video tutorial on how to make rolags! It's simple, easy and so much fun! 

happy knitting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Louet Spinning Packs - Part 1

Hello lovely friends!

Most of you know July is the month for spinners of all kinds to dust of their wheels, get out their spindles and start spinning up a storm of fiber because it's Tour de Fleece time!

Even though I don't officially participate in the Tour de Fleece by joining an official team (one of these years I will) I love to spin along and use the whole month of July to really focus on my spinning.

It's a wonderful time of year to learn a new spinning technique or try new-to-you fibers. It's also a wonderful opportunity to spin up some yarns to stash away for winter hats and mittens or spin up some yarns that can be given as Christmas gifts to other knitterly friends.

I recently was introduced to Louet of North America's Monthly Fiber Packs. Oh, my, they are an amazing pack of fibery goodness!

July's fiber pack includes:
1lb of grey Gotland top
1/2 lb of Optim top
1/2 lb of dark Coopworth
1/2 lb of super fine Flax top
1/2 lb Wool/Flax top
1/2 lb dyed Merino top
2 oz brown Cashmere top

That's 3 lbs and 10oz of fiber! That, my friends, is enough to make approximately 16.5 skeins of yarn at 100 grams each! A large sweater... a nice throw blanket on the back of the couch... are you beginning to see the possibilities?

Now, wait until you hear the price! The fiber packs are offered to you at a little more than 50% off retail value! What?!! Is your head swimming? Normally all of that fiber would cost you $196.50. But Louet is charging only $75! Goodness they know how to make us happy, don't they?

Now, because it can sometimes be hard to get yourself from a box of lovely fiber to project ready yarn, I'm going to be putting together a little video tutorial on how to get yourself from point A (the box of amazing fiber) to point B (project ready yarn).

So go on over to Louet and get yourself July's fiber pack and let's get started. Next up will be a tutorial on how I make rolags that mixes the fiber beautifully with no other tool that a wooden knitting needle (or a dowel).

talk to you soon!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Knitter's Life: Episode 21 - In the Garden

Hello Friends!

I'm in the garden this time!
Show notes can be found in the Ravelry Group!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Knitter's Life Podcast: Episode 20

Hello Friends!
It's another episode from the Sunroom today.

I hope you all come on over and join the conversation in the Ravelry Group

Until next time,
happy knitting!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Knitter's Life Podcast: Episode 18

Hello friends!

Join me for a little visit out in the sun room today.
Show notes can be found on Ravelry!

see you in the Rav group!
happy Knitting!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Podcast Postcard

Hello Friends!

Just a quick little "Hello" today. I wanted to share with you some videos my mom made while on her cousins farm, Lily Brook Farm in Portland Maine.

There will be a full podcast later this week!
until then!
happy knitting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Episode 18: The Up and Down Episode

Hello Dear friends!
It's podcast time! Here's what I have been up to lately!
Show notes can be found in the Ravelry A Knitter's Life Group!
See you there!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Knitter's Life Podcast: Episode 16

Hello Friends!

Episode 16 of A Knitter's Life Podcast is up on YouTube. I hope you enjoy!

Show Notes can be found in the Ravelry Group

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Isle Cowl

I'm so happy to release the Isle Cowl! This was a fun and fast knit for me and I loved knitting every bit of it. 

This cowl combines lace knitting with stranded, Fair Isle motifs. 

Knit out of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes worsted it is nice and warm without being too bulky.

You can find all the details on the Ravelry page right here

Happy Knitting friends!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Knitter's Life Podcast: Episode 14

Hello Friends! Hope you enjoy another episode of "A Knitter's Life".

Show notes can be found in the Ravelry group!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Knitter's Life Podcast: Episode 13

Hello from a very cold Indy! I hope are able to stay warm! Grab a cup of tea, your knitting and let's have a chat!

Show notes can be found in the A Knitter's Life Ravelry Group!