Finished Project: Cable and Eyelet Hat

It’s my first finished project of 2014!  It’s a Cable and Eyelet Hat.

Cable and Eyelet HatI changed the pattern a bit, omitting some of the straight knitting and purling rows between the cable and eyelet detail in favor of repeating the cable and eyelet rows an extra time.  I like the way it turned out and think would have been even longer if I did it the way the pattern was written.  I think my brim is shorter too.

This is the top.  I changed the decreases ever so slightly so as to not be knitting the two stitches together at the end and beginning of the next row.  I still think it looks pretty.

top of Eyelet and Cable hatIt feels so good to finally finish a project.  I started the first sleeve of my sweater last night and I am very pleased with how it’s looking.

Welcome to my tarn factory

A few months ago, I discovered T-shirt yarn or tarn.  I was checking out Wool and the Gang’s Jersey Be Good and finding myself wanting to buy tons of colors.  But I restrained myself and instead started googling and learned how easy it is to make your own. I found some great tutorials like this one here.

It seemed like a great reason to clean out my closet and I grabbed some old T-shirts that were definitely ready to be recycled.

Here’s what I did.

First I cut the neck and arms off the flat T-shirt to make more of a rectangular tube.  I folded it in half and began cutting one inch strips being sure to stop before I got to the folded edge.Tarn OneHere you can see the finished cut T-shirt with Willie.  Cats are very curious about tarn making.

Tarn and WillieNext I began cutting alternating sides so that it became one long strip of fabric.

Cutting Tarnone long strand of tarnT-shirt is stretchy so you need to stretch it out so that the ends and corners fold in to make one long continuous strand that is a bit more uniform in shape.

Tarn comparisonCurled up TarnAnd then you wind it into a ball to use for whatever project you wish.

Tarn ballI made four balls out of old T-shirts. I’ll likely make a scarf out of this for the spring once I finish some other projects.

Tarn ballsAnd my next goal is to attempt to do some old flat T-shirt sheets.  I hope to turn those into a rug.

Updates on projects and other things

It’s been a while since I posted any projects because I haven’t actually finished anything yet this year.

I decided that I wanted to try my first real sweater and it’s been taking a bit of time to finish up.  I’m working on Lemongrass and I am loving everything about it.

Lemongrass SweaterFor a first time sweater knitter, I’ve found the pattern is very easy to follow, the construction is very simple and using a bulky yarn makes each section go quickly.  I just hope I finish it in time to wear at least once before the weather gets too warm.

I’m also working on Hermione’s Cable & Eyelet Hat for a friend’s mom.

Hermione HatThis is a quick knit too and I hope to have it finished within the week.

This week, another exciting this that happened was my card catalog was featured on Asja Knits. Asja wrote a post about yarn storage and found so many creative ways knitters are storing their yarns. It was very exciting to see my storage method listed with so many other beautiful and creative yarn stashes.

Baked Three Cheese Lemon Pepper Pasta

Mike loves all things lemon.  In the time that I’ve known him, I’ve warmed up to lemon.  I pinned this recipe when I found it because it was right up Mike’s alley and it turned out great.

Baked Three Cheese Lemon Pepper Pasta is delicious and easy to put together.

Baked Three Cheese Lemon Pepper PastaPer usual, we increased the recipe for a pound of pasta to make sure there were plenty of leftovers and they reheated well.

lemon pepper pastaI thought that the garlic flavor was very strong but Mike thought it was just right. Otherwise it was cheesy, lemony and delicious.

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Lime

It’s been a while since I posted anything.  I’ve been working on a sweater and it’s taking a while and I am not sure how interesting my progress updates would really be for anyone reading this blog.  We’ve also cooked some new recipes but I keep forgetting to take pictures or I take pictures and never intend to make that recipe again.

This soup, I’d recommend.  It’s Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Lime from Cooking Light.

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and LimeWe ended up using more chorizo than the recipe called for because our grocery store didn’t have the already cured chorizo.  I ended up just using three links and removing the casing and browning it up.  The amount of soup that this recipe makes is good for a side but we wanted to have it for the meal.  If you do that, I’d recommend doubling it if you like a lot of leftovers.

Otherwise, it was hearty and flavorful and we’ll definitely make it again.

Finished Project: One Row

It’s definitely best to have a person in mind when you are knitting up a project.  I started working on a One Row Lace Scarf for a while.  I used beautiful, soft Ella Rae Lace Merino and it was a great project to work on in a car or on a plane.  But it was not going very quickly otherwise because I wasn’t sure who I wanted it to go to.

Then I was thinking of way to thank Nicky for sending me those cute stitch markers and immediately I knew.  That scarf was for her!  It flew off my needles over Christmas.

one rowI love the way it turned out and I’m so glad it went to a good home.  Enjoy Nicky!

2013 Knitting Recap

I think I had a very successful knitting year.  I knit a few bigger projects (my poncho and a baby blanket) and tried out some new things that I’d never done before (a stuffed animal and dog sweater).  I made a couple things to donate for charity and others to give to some good friends.

2013 knits

Starting at the top and then going right to left:

1. Fingerless Mitts 2. Super Baby Blanket 3. Purple Mustard Scarf 4. Rainbow Bear

5. My Guy’s Beanie 6. Beanie 7. Square Peg for This Round Girl 8. A Dog Sweater

9. School Time Cowl 10. My One Row 11. Footies 12. Another Cozy Cap

13. Raituli 

If anything, I think that 2014 might be a more selfish knitting year.  I have a sweater on my needles right now and there are many other big projects I have queued for myself.  We’ll see how it goes!

Finished Project: School Time Cowl and a treat!

Our knitting group had a secret Santa yesterday and I decided to challenge myself with a quick knit for my pick.  I tend to be a slow knitter — patterns that are called one night scarf might as well be one week for me.  And that’s okay except when I really want to knit someone something and there’s a deadline.

That’s why picking out this School Time Cowl was perfect. I was able to put some leftover worsted weight yarn to good use. I got to make stripes which my knitting friends say are something they associate me with. And best of all, I got to knit a cozy cowl for my friend Anne.

School Time CowlI ended up doing only 15 stripes, although the pattern calls for 23.  I was running out of time and yarn.  I am very pleased with the result.  It’s very slouchy and warm and perfect for the evil coldness that doesn’t seem to be going away.

And then, today, I got such a fun treat in the mail!  Nicky posted a week or so ago about her cute little knitting buddy Pablo. He is really adorable and so I told her and look what arrived.  It’s my own little Pedro and friends!  I’ve never had fancy stitch markers before and it was fun and special to receive these.  She makes them herself!

Pedro and FriendsNicky, thank you so much!  I am in love with these stitch markers.  It’s hard to believe that there could be something to make knitting even more fun.

Finished Project: Izzy’s Hooded Dog Sweater

Each year my group of friends organizes a secret gift exchange. We try to do it a bit earlier than Christmas and we call it Secret Turkey.  When I got my pick, my friend Gigi, I was excited to see that she said that her new dog Pepper needed a sweater!

I found Izzy’s Hooded Dog Sweater on Ravelry and just happened to have some Paton’s Shetland Chunky in my stash.

This was a quick knit with very clear instructions. I knit one sleeve and then ripped it out. I was a bit nervous that it wasn’t even going to fit and the thought of having to get little dog legs in the sleeve seemed like a challenge. Maybe that’s because I have cats who don’t let us put anything on them.

However, even without the sleeves, it worked out perfectly! Pepper fits in her sweater.

Pepper SweaterPepper in a hoodieNow if only our cats were as welcoming to clothing as dogs.

Meatball Stroganoff

Last night we tried another new recipe.  I found Meaball Stroganoff in the September issue of Cooking Light. I’ve been really wanting some kind of stroganoff and egg noodles, so this was perfect.

It was pretty easy to follow and Mike and I worked on it together.  It did take a bit of time but was worth it for a weekend night when cooking is more like a fun activity versus a weeknight race to get something finished without having to eat too late.

Ours didn’t thicken up as nicely as the picture and I think that’s because I didn’t have the heat high enough when I added the wine and it took a while to reduce and finally I just continued with the instructions. It was still full of flavor and we’ll definitely make it again.

Meatball Stroganoff