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.

Finished Project: Raituli

I just finished another hat.  This has been donated to a silent auction for the College of Ag Sciences Alumni Society which raises money for their scholarship and internship endowments.

RaituliRaituli is a slouchy striped hat made out of fingering weight yarn.

Raituli slouchy hatIt was a quick, easy knit with really pretty results.  I hope it goes to a good home and helps increase the support for some of the students.

Raituli slouchy stripes

Finished Project: Footies

I’ve been taking my good old time on this project.  It’s been a busy fall so even though I knit the first footie in a week, the second one was pretty much ignored for weeks at a time.  But last night, I finally finished my Footies.

FootiesI used yarn that I got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Fesival. I had to knit the length of the footie longer than the pattern suggested but otherwise I did everything as written.  I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and it’s a good thing to have them now that it seems like fall is here for good.

more footies

Finished: Purple Mustard Scarf

This week I finished knitting and blocking a Mustard Scarf. I found this pattern while I was looking for something that would be easy to memorize and use one skein of worsted weight yarn. I used a leftover skein of Ella Rae Classic and it turned out great.

Purple Mustard ScarfI didn’t add the button because I made it longer than the pattern recommended.  I figure whoever wears it can use a nice pin to wear it more like a cowl or they might just want to wear it like a regular scarf.

I am donating this to a silent auction to be held at this year’s Candlelight Dinner in the Granary in Lemont. I don’t know how much it will bring in but I am glad to be able to contribute.

More purple scarf

Winding more efficiently

A little over a year ago, I wondered how you wind your yarn. Starting a new project meant spending time winding yarn with my knees.

But not anymore because Mike got me a swift and a yarn ball winder!

Yesterday I wound up a few cakes of yarn just to try it out and I love it.  Here is some worsted weight yarn I got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  The plan is to turn it into these footies.

Yarn cake

And this yarn is on deck for this shrug.

Swift  Yarn ball winder winding yarnThis was a really nice gift and I can already tell  it will get a lot of use.

Finished Project: Square Peg Poncho

I started my Square Peg poncho over six months ago but took many breaks to knit other things for some gifts.  I finally finished it and blocked it a couple weeks ago.

Square Peg ponchoI knit this poncho with Classic Elite Yarns Ariosa which is a bulky yarn.  When I purchased the yarn, they were still making it with 90% merino and 10% cashmere so it is very soft.  I feel like I got lucky as it is now 100% merino.

Square Peg poncho twoI think I light it best with the points of the square in the front more than the way it looks in the pictures in the pattern.

This was a quick, easy knit with clear instructions.  I think the holes add a nice little detail and they were simple to make. Of course, it will be a few months until I can wear it but I’m not trying to rush away the summer.

Yarn Dyeing Class at Main Street Yarn

I had such a great afternoon yesterday.  I felt like I was back at summer camp!

I signed up for a yarn dyeing class at Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, PA. The shop, which just opened a few months ago, is only about thirty minutes away from State College and it’s in a beautiful valley. It’s very picturesque and throughout our class many Amish people passed by on horses, in buggies and on bicycles.

We spent our afternoon under this tent learning how to dye yarn.  Our teacher was Libby from Mad About Ewes farm.

Behind Main Street YarnsWe each got two skeins of fingering weight yarn to practice space dyeing and set to work mixing our cake dyes.

Wilston DyesMixed Up DyesNaked YarnThe next part was the best.  We all started dyeing our yarns and it was so neat to see how we all chose colors differently and placed them on our yarn in a variety of ways.

019 020 023We wrapped our wet yarn up in plastic wrap, squeezing out the excess water and then cooked them in the microwave for four minutes.

017 025 022After our yarn had cooled, we took turns rinsing it in the sink.  The color really stuck to the fibers as there was no color in the water when we rinsed.  We hung our yarns over the hitching post outside the store to see our results.

Yarn on a hitching post More yarn on a hitching postThese were mine.

My first dyed yarnThis horse even came to see our creations.

Amish buggy and horse with my yarnIt was a really great time and I can’t wait to knit these skeins up.  I love the vibrant colors I chose and the way it all turned out.

my yarn

Quick Beanie Break

I decided to take a break from another project so that I could make a hat for Mike.  I was beginning to worry that by the time I finally had time to make a hat to match his fingerless mitts that it’d be too warm.

Also I knew that knitting up a hat in the middle of the other projects that are on my needles would be quick and satisfying. I chose the Regular Guy Beanie because I knew I needed something simple for the yarn.

It turned out great.

Regular Guy Beanie

I cast on 8 extra stitches because after reading some notes on Ravelry.  Knowing what I do now, I’d probably do 12 although it fits Mike perfectly.  It would have made the decreases make more sense even though I think it turned out good.

Back of Regular Guy Beanie I’m pretty pleased with this project.  It only took a couple nights and Mike already wore it today.


Finished Baby Bear

It’s hard to post a lot when most of the things you are working on are going to be presents.  Not that everyone I know looks at this blog, but sometimes you just don’t want to ruin the surprise.

When I first bought this High Society Sock Yarn, I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it.  It is very bright and colorful which always appeals to me but besides making socks (I haven’t finished the first pair that I started over two years ago) it wasn’t clear what I’d actually wear in such bright colors.

But then I realized it would make a great stuffed animal for my newest nephew and I found Susan B. Anderson‘s Baby Bear in her book Itty-Bitty Toys.

Beginnings of a bear

For my bear I mostly followed the instructions except that I increased the needle size to a US 5 and I waited until the end to put together all the parts.

Bear parts

The other thing I didn’t do was put a face on this bear.  I started with a nose and besides not liking covering his cute little yellow nose, I decided I didn’t like how my poor hand stitching made for a sort of scary face.

finished baby bear

Knitting a whole project on DPNs is not my most favorite (see sock comment above) and you can see in some spots that the knitting could be a little bit nicer. But mostly I just love how he looks like a rainbow.

side bear

The pattern was so easy to follow and all of his parts look so great.  I especially love his cute little tail that took maybe five minutes to knit up.

bear butt

Overall, I am very pleased with how he turned out.  I hope that he becomes a cherished toy that my nephew drags all around the house and snuggles with at night.

finished bear