knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: November 2011

everytime i start trying to gather up projects for one of these posts, the amount i want to talk about spins wildly out of control. but there are so many great projects out there…

as a note, all of these patterns are free! i didn’t plan it that way, but i’m certainly pleased about it.

market mitts by knittinging.

small and quick, simple and elegant, these use one socks worth of yarn, allowing you to splurge on a nicer yarn. plus, they fit easily in a pocket.

handspun toasties by the lovely julie of knitted bliss.

handspun is always effective at giving a project a little more spice. plus, if you spun it yourself, that makes the gift that much more special and personalized!

the great thing about really simple patterns is how easy it is to modify them. stripes, scraps, color blocking, or… colorwork:

tma‘s fraternal mitts.

such a cool mod! i had to share it with you! ysolda’s garter stitch mitts are an easily customizable pattern (i’ve done it myself). plus! tma has her own lovely mitts pattern available for free: the camp out fingerless mitts.

xanniex‘s far and away mittens.

i love the muted palette of these. and who doesn’t love houndstooth? these mittens might actually be the most work intensive of all the projects here today, but if you’re anything like me, and get caught in the grip of colorwork mania, they wouldn’t take long at all.

my very own bella’s mittens (actually named michelle obama’s inauguration mittens).

these knit up fast, due to the chunky yarn. i knit these up a while ago (the second one was knit during obama’s inaugural ceremony, hence the name) and totally loved their bright cheerful fuzzy warmth until i lost them…. like a week later. it makes me sad just thinking about it. i really hope someone found them and thought ‘man, these are great! so fuzzy and cheerful! i’ll wear them all the time!’ and did.


hey! it’s been extra super busy over here. life is happening full force. family and holidays and pops production just started. so! i’ll try to keep this blog going at about the same pace (i really like where i am right now with the blog, i don’t want to lose momentum). i’ve got plenty of ideas, and i will try to get those out to you!

this is just a mini post, though, until i get some new pictures uploaded.

i made these socks some time ago:

i was never happy with the finished product. this yarn was one of my pet skeins, bought as a prize to myself after finals one semester before i even started knitting socks. i tried a different pattern (pomatomus. you can see some pics on the project page) before settling on this one (childs sock in shell pattern). the combination doesn’t do the yarn or the pattern any favors, but i was frustrated from two failed attempts, so i let them be.

they developed a hole:

which i used to practice my darning. but the yarn is quite thick for sock yarn (it’s practically sportweight yarn), so the mend became a thick dense spot on the sock that made it feel like i was walking with a coin in my shoe.

and then they developed some more holes.


i think that’s a sign, don’t you? i frogged the socks. the yarn is still in good condition, except where the holes were, and a little faded on the sole. i washed the yarn again, and it’s ready to find a new knitted object to become.

i feel that it is important to note that i don’t believe the holes have anything to do with this brand of yarn (blue moon socks that rock). i think some little wool eating creatures munched on these.

maybe i’ll find something new and lovely for this yarn to become. anyone have any thoughts?

tomorrow is thanksgiving, and i’m dropping off the radar for the day, so quick knits is moved up to wednesday!

i have not really delved into the world of knitted toys, but when i see projects like these below, they make me want to dive into my stash immediately to start looking for materials.

for whatever reason, as i was typing up this post, i kept thinking of companion books that could be gifted with these toys, so i tossed a few titles in here, too. i love the idea of a little bundled package of related presents.

knitxcore‘s tilly the mouse! i like little rodents of all varieties, and look how cute tilly is!

mrs frisby and the rats of nimh, stuart little

(EDIT: oh my gorsh! i can’t believe i forgot my *absolute favorite* mouse story in that list!!!!! the tale of despereaux! such a great story.)

kelly-ann‘s hugable hedgehog. best use of fun fur yarn EVER.

elegance of the hedgehog, tale of mrs. tiggy-winkle

spiderwomanknits‘s elefante.

for the record, this pattern is free! such a cute little elephant! and while on a general scale of animals, i like elephants fairly well, i apparently love knitted elephants, because i was tempted to add two more elephant patterns: elijah and oliphaunt.

babar, elephant and piggie

alicekathryn‘s supersized backyard critters fox family. check her felted matrioshka’s, too, they are Ah-mazing!

fantastic mr. fox

i’m really excited for thanksgiving! i hope y’all have great ones, too! and for you non-americans, well… have a fab thursday!

jake was extra photogenic, so below you will find an abundance of pictures of him!


so… this is only a sort of a finished object. but let’s skip that and work our way back to it, okay?

My creation

FO (almost): big bear beast <–ravelry project page
yarns: tahki yarns sedona dark olive, and brown (recently discontinued, so check your LYS, it might be on sale! the gold color is beautiful)
needles: US 8 (5 mm) for the edging, and US 9 (5.5 mm) for the bulk of the sweater


pattern: classic raglan pullover from knitting from the top by barbara walker

My creation

knitterly details: knit top down, arms knit flat and seamed (personally, i think these are the best seams i have made to date!), picked up stitches and knit the collar, steeked (my first!), picked up and knit button bands, sewn 2×2 grafted bind-off for all ribbing (using this here tutorial) added an afterthought pocket a la EZ. jake is extra wool sensitive, but tahki sedona is silk and merino, so he’s totally good to go. plus, really warm. i tried not to take any shortcuts in this knit, and really make this sweater to the best of my abilities.


we bought the yarn for this over labor day weekend, 2010 (i swatched for it here), and i cast on shortly afterwards. after misunderstanding the pattern, i had to rip back, which took me months and months. i hate ripping back.

My creation

i followed a piece of advice i picked up somewhere along the way: when knitting a top down garment, knit the sleeves before the torso. once they are finished, you can tuck them into the knitting, and happily go on your way for the rest of the torso. i did not know about this when making big baby june (another top-down one piece sweater), and i remember how cumbersome having to constantly turn the already-knit torso was (i should note that i also could have avoided this if i had knit those sleeves flat. but i hated seaming then, and i’m only now starting to figure it out). this all sounds a little silly when written out, but hey, that’s how it was. you want glamor, kids? you know you can count on me!


the buttons are beautiful, laquered coconut shell from lantern moon. however, i bought the entire supply that my LYS had (6), and then they apparently discontinued them. maybe this should be called the discontinued sweater, now that i think of it. i don’t like how far apart the buttons are from each other. it’s a pet peeve of mine when handmade sweaters gap between the buttons, and there just isn’t enough coverage here. hence: there are no pictures of the buttoned cardigan.


also, i picked up too many stitches for the button bands. so my plan is to pull back the button bands, and reknit them. pull off these buttons and save them for something else, and put in a zipper instead. that’s the plan. but for now, jake is happy to wear it as it is, and i need to focus my knitterly attention elsewhere.

we all have grammatical/spelling shortcomings, right? well, most of us. now, i can use the correct there/their/they’re, but for some reason i have a problem with straight vs. strait. one of them exclusively talks about water. the other one is what i mean 99% of the time. now that i’ve gotten that off of my chest, maybe i can start to get it straight?


thrifty! dress (f21)
j. crew! cardigan, tights
gifty! boots

My creation

i did a little dance, too, cuz it was cold, but it didn’t photograph quite as well:

i took some outfit pictures last week, but then as i was editing them, my computer crashed and ate them, and now the program freezes everytime i try to access them. HOORAY!

coming soon to a blog near you:
-FO’s!!!! hopefully multiple!
-clothing! i wear it everyday! i could document it some more!

going back a few years now…. to elizabethtown.

this film actually features my favorite costume designer. costume design (especially in contemporary films) is not something i particularly notice. an item of clothing here, an outfit there, sure. but i looked up the costume designer for several different movies and it kept leading back to her… kirsten dunst’s (or claire, really, i guess) style in elizabethtown is breezy, casual, and sexy. nancy steiner, come be my personal stylist! i’ll pay you a shiny shiny nickel! we’ll see if that entices her…

back to the hat for a moment. this was one of the first times i really became interested in the power of a good slouchy hat. it led to several failed experiments before i started to get the hang of it. and while there have been a few attempts to recreate this hat (and i’ve made one meself), i think if i were to do it again, i’d use the relm pattern.

brooklyntweed knows how to throw a good slouchy hat. i have some cherry red yarn squirreled away in the back of my stash waiting for whenever i want to cast on for this.

eep! less than six weeks til christmas. how did this happen? i have much to do. so i thought i would share with you guys some inspiration for quick gift knits that has been floating around my brain.

for the moment let’s limit it to slippers.

crispianna‘s moc-a-soc slippers

i’ve made these before, and i also love tiny owl knits great version, but crispianna really elevated these to a new level with the addition of the leather bottoms. even after three different versions of this pattern (count ’em: one, two, three), i might need to re-knit these… i’m not sure i’ve ever used another pattern more.

garment house‘s wookie slippers from nola’s slipper pattern (also note: this pattern is free!).

i love the really rustic super handmade quality of these. something i would have shied away from when i began knitting, when looking handmade meant ‘sloppy’ to me. but i’ve warmed to this since getting better at knitting. why shouldn’t it look handmade, after all? i made it with my hands!

kelly-ann‘s log cabin slipper socks

again, this is a pattern i’ve made before (voila) which i think is really elevated by the addition of leather soles. plus they are so tweedy and brutiful.

postcriptlove‘s cottage house socks from the eponymous pattern

oooh, so simple! so thick and warm looking! what is not to love? don’t you want to snuggle just lookin’ at them?

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