knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: December 2013

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old navy sheepy sweater – thrifted necklace – j. crew chambray
marshall’s red pants – l.l. bean bean boots

i hope you guys had a really great christmas! or at least a fabulous december 25!

i didn’t get all of my quick knits up in time, but i still have a few leftover, tucked in my metaphorical pocket. so i might toss a few more posts up with those in the near future. but now we are in the final week of the year (eep!) so i have to do a bit of work ahead of me to get all of my FO’s up before the new year, as well as my end of year wrap-ups!

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what’s going on with you guys?


it was inevitable. i love knitting hats. this has somehow become the year of hats. i certainly didn’t intend for it to happen that way. but last year, i knit more cowls than anything else, and this year, i knit more hats!


hoarfrost by lilalu

horafrost (€3.90) a fantastically simple but not boring hat. great for the guy who wants ‘a plain black hat’, but stepped up just a notch!

dreiecke by svipser

dreiecke ($4.95USD) i obviously like the dreiecke, i made one myself! but it isn’t as stunning as this one! the yarn really elevates this project, and while i like mine, i feel like it’s a bit on the feminine side. and svipser’s really illustrates the masculine friendly aspects of this pattern.

upper east side by jojilocat

upper east side ($4.00USD) this hat is fantastic. i just love this inky yarn and the unusual scalloped patterning. as grumpy as hearing ‘just make me a black hat’ can make me, there is definitely something to be said for it’s near universal quality, as this one beautifully exemplifies.

scrollwork ($6.50) is a nice variant from the expected cabled hat.

garfunkel hat (free). a hat round up could never be complete in my eyes until it featured colorwork. this is a nice basic overall pattern, with room for more intricacy if you want it (check out this excellent three colored version).

need more options? go check out last years hat round up! or the year before’s round up!

if you want more cabled options, check out hipster sister (free), or knotted pine ($2.00USD) for a paneled, asymetrical hat. i can’t deny that brooklyntweed totally has my number when it comes to cabled hats, so you should probably peak at bough and bray (both $6.50USD).

need more colorwork options? i’ve been sighing over fethaland ($5.00USD) lately, and muckle toque is practically perfect in every way as well. or if you want something a little more of the season, go for the bemidji ($5.00USD) and knit yourself some reindeer! i’m sorely tempted to!

want some more feminine options? the morning glory tam ($3.90) is very pretty. if you want bang for your buck, go buy two glasses on pink zin ($6.50USD) and get two patterns in one fell swoop, one cabled, one slightly lacy. or instead of two separate hats, you could go for a two in one deal with mrs jekyll & little hyde (€4.20), striped on one side, lacy on the other.

what are your last minute go to patterns for hats? did you try any new patterns this year as gifts and love them? do tell!


jones new york blouse – j. crew belt – anthropologie skirt – topshop green tights – thrifted boots

christmas season is in full swing over here! as usual, i am deeply enamored with our christmas tree! for the first time, we managed to get a tree that is small enough for our short ceilinged apartment. usually our tree will be bursting out of the corner it is allocated to. this time, it fits! there’s even room for some presents!

we watched our usual movies while putting the tree together, but we also listened this swedish christmas music. anna has posted it multiple times before, but this is the first year i’ve bothered to download it or listen to it, and i was totally charmed and won over almost immediately.

i made my first cookie press cookies! spritz! the recipe called for a LOT of flour, and they were very difficult to press. after the first three dozen, my forearms couldn’t handle it anymore and i had to bring in jake’s fresh strength to use up the rest of the dough. sheesh! i might try a recipe with less flour next time in the hopes that it’s friendlier to my forearms. they were delicious, though! i find my sweet tooth is the hardest to resist first thing in the morning. a few cookies are so good with the first cup of coffee.

what are your favorite things about the season? any new discoveries sweetening your life?


lifeline mittens by belletrism

lifeline pattern ($4.00USD) another fabulous example of how the knit doesn’t need to be intricate to have wow factor. handspun or special yarn really elevate a knit, or a gift! i can’t tell you how frequently i stop back to stare at this picture. so beautiful! i think i’ll tear out my handspun cowl that i was never really sold on and use that yarn for a pair of these mittens…

hellskitsch‘s chocolate bark mittens

from the splitbark pattern ($6.00USD). i love the unexpected juxtaposition of the garter stitch with the offset honeycomb cabling, all amplified by this perfect yarn choice. neutral and unexpected!

cozy mittens pattern free from marthastewart.com

these quick and rustic mittens are a free pattern from marthastewart.com. i’d be willing to bet you could crank out a pair of these in one evening. set the tree to twinkle, pop in ‘it’s a wonderful life’, and i bet you could have a pair of mittens to show for it!

timothy hay & fluffy bunnies by urbanizer (blog post)

early grey mitts ($2.00USD) are sweet and simple. little mitts to warm your hands and give a chance to use up partial skeins and play with colors! i have a pair of these (made by the self same urbanizer!), and these get loads and loads of wear! last year, when it was bitterly cold, i found out the ease with which they slip under other mittens/gloves, and how much that extra layer of insulation helps!

thoroughbred mitts designed and knitted by aliciaplum

thoroughbred mitt pattern ($4.00USD) a lovely parallelogram textured mitt pattern. a totally neutral knit, i can’t imagine anyone they wouldn’t work for!

need more ideas? check out last years quick knits: mitts & mittens, or the year before!

if you wanted some cabled mitts, i’ve been loving the vancouver fog mitts forever (free!), and still intend to make them. if you want a little more of a challenge, there’s the cam cable mitts ($6.50USD), with an unusual cable, and patterning on the front and back. other textured mitts include raw honey ($4.00USD). if you’re jonesing for a bit of bobble in your life (but not too much!), there’s the emerald mitts. the most unusual techniques i’ve seen are on these cool zimtstern mitts (free!), which are started at the thumb, and use surface crochet to give the effect of radiating stars. if you’re looking for something a little more feminine, there’s the lovely katinka mitts ($6.00USD), or astri mi astri.


FO: once upon a midnight dreary

FO: once upon a midnight dreary <–ravelry project page

pattern: orchids & fairy lights
yarn: tanis fiber arts green label aran weight in colorway stormy
needles: US 6 for the brim and US 8 for the body
mods: i used smaller needles to knit the brim

FO: once upon a midnight dreary

you remember how i waxed poetic about the cheater cables in aidez? well, i put some of that to good use! all the little branches (or stems, depending on how you think of it) are wee little cables in this hat. and rather than pull out my double pointed needle (which is my weapon of choice for cabling) every other row, i used some of the cheater methods from the aidez cardigans cables.

FO: once upon a midnight dreary

this was my second time working with tanis fiber arts green label, and all of the things that impressed me about it the first time were still very much present. it’s a dense yarn with great stitch definition, surprisingly soft, with amazing colors and saturation. that said, i was worried about how the bobbles would turn out, being knit up with a dense plyed yarn. they turned out just fine, but i do think that bobbles would be better served with a fluffier single ply yarn that fluffs up even more with blocking.

FO: once upon a midnight dreary

i wanted to knit this pattern for a long long time before i finally got around to it, and this won’t be my last time! so next time, maybe single ply!


i’m a little later getting this party started than i would have liked, but let’s see just how much of this party we can fit in before christmas!!! (for you chanukah celebrators, i apologize, the deck was stacked against me this year.) hopefully you will see something to inspire and delight!

lane's mojave
mojave by lane

$6.00USD. the cowl shown above is a modified version of the original mojave pattern, so make sure you take a peek at the original. but lane’s is a great shorter (therefore faster!) substitute. this is a good project to use up skeins leftover from projects that didn’t take as much yarn as you originally anticipated. i love love love the muted palette shown, and i have a hard time picturing it in anything other than muted dusty tones, or warm jewel tones.


neil by dandiliongrl

$4.00USD for the neil pattern. this is probably going to be the fastest pattern of the bunch, clocking in at a low 240 yards. break out the chunky yarn and the bigger needles, and buckle in for an easy ride to a handmade holiday present! did i take that too far? i like the diamond pattern, and this looks both quick and fun to knit!

shandon
shandon by beatka

free! shandon pattern, featuring a fun chevron stitch. textural, gender neutral, what more can you ask for? this could also be easily modified by knitting it flat instead of in the round, if that’s a thing you’re interested in! the chevron ribbing is great for showing off a more complex yarn. it obviously works well with a gorgeous semi-solid, but i think a multicolored yarn would really shine in this pattern, too!


mesa view by rainydaygoods

$5.00USD for the mesa view pattern. a nice textural cowl, with a scarf option and the bonus of buttons! the buttons are great, because depending on your choice, you can really change the aesthetic of this cowl. the boldly teal yarn with cherry red buttons shown is very quirky and contemporary! but in wispy cream yarn with crystal buttons? quite feminine! imagine it knit up in a muted dark green with some natural wood buttons. sounds pretty masculine friendly to me!


gentille by hupsis

€4.50 ($6.35USD) for the gentille pattern, which is part of the feathery delights, all of which i find quite lovely. even this cowl, which features lace, could work for a guy. when scrunched layered around the neck, the lace in this pattern reads more as a textural elements than a lacy element. lately, that’s been something i’ve really been drawn to. i can picture it in a dark dark grey, almost black, so that it really amps up the element of shadow and texture.

not enough cowl inspiration for you? visit my first cowl round-up! or my second cowl round-up! i still like every single one of those patterns!

colorwork cowls seem to be my favorite. more that i’m currently in love with: the flambeau cowl ($4.00USD), has a short and a long version. the pine bough cowl is maybe a little intense to take on as a christmas gift right now, but it’s free and so so gorgeous. i also love triangle loop (free).

stripes can be super addictive and make knitting easy! tilted shadows cowl (free! and i especially love this one) is fun. or if you’re feeling the striped cowl, there’s also the… striped cowl (free!), and ships & seaside ($5.50USD, and so so so addictive, y’all).

if you need something quick, this lovely lace ptarmigan cowl is less than 200 yards ($6.00USD). if you’re feeling lacey & ambitious, solaria ($6.00CAD) and rivendell smoke ring ($6.00USD) are both beautiful. if you’re feeling another option for a textured cowl, cocoon me cowl ($6.00USD) or avery ($5.00USD).

i feel like i overused the word textural in this post. and exclamation points. but that’s besides the point! which of the above is your favorite? have you found any new patterns that look perfect for some quick gift knitting? or any tried & true cowl patterns that you always turn to in a pinch? share in the comments!


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lands end cowled sweater – thrifted brown tee – canvas cords – target booties

this sweater is shockingly warm considering its short sleeves. it’s like wearing a soft alpaca coccoon. this is the outfit i wore for thanksgiving. warm, comfortable, no restrictive waist bands… but i don’t feel frumpy or schleppy.

i only just discovered that my hair was long enough to do heidi braids. i’ve tried them before, and the braids wouldn’t connect at the top. and the non-braided part of my hair would rumple up in a fashion i didn’t enjoy at all. i finally figured out the right combination of factors to kind of control that: make a really tight base to the braid, and don’t braid down (which is my instinct), but braid out/up from your head, as if you’re trying for a pippi longstocking look. it kind of grooms your hair in the direction you want it to go, i guess? i’m definitely feeling like i never talk about hair stuff right now. i have very little vocabulary to implement!

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when it gets a little longer, i’ll be able to tuck the ends in a little better. i couldn’t find my usual brown bobby pins, only these cheerful red ones!

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