Updated patterns!

I'm in the process of updating my old patterns, particularly the bibs, to include charts. I'm rewriting some of the directions to make the patterns even easier and including alternative methods for beginning the bibs and for making the ties. Look for these patterns in the sidebar to see which ones have been added. It's a slow process, but eventually, they'll all be there!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another Blankie!

Look what arrived in my message box this morning on Ravelry.
A picture of a beautiful blanket that Yola (who lives in England), knitted.  Isn't it adorable?  I love the way she made her borders.  Yola uses Woolgathering1 as her Ravelry name and here's a direct link to the project page.  She tells me that she knitted each square individually and then sewed them together with a blanket stitch.  I think she did a beautiful job and I was delighted when she said I could share it with all of you. Thanks Yola!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crazy Socks

I have such an addiction to knitting socks.  I can't even remember the last time that I didn't have at least one pair on some needles.  There's always a pair waiting for me to grab on my way out the door if I know I'm going to have an extended wait or even if there's the remotest chance I might have one!  I love to knit them in the car, at the doctor's, you name it.  I don't post a lot of pictures of them as I don't want to bore you with them.  I can hear the comments now, "oh great, another pair of socks!".  That said, every once and awhile I come across a sock project that I just love.  This is the case with the latest pair I finished for grandson, Micah.
This yarn actually began with a sock blank dyed by one of my most favorite independent dyers, Jennifer Porter of Marigoldjen Hand Dyed Yarns.  If you've never visited her Etsy shop before, you should definitely check it out.  You'll be in for a real treat.  Anyway, here's some before pictures, courtesy of Jenny.

She named the colorway:  "Crazy Go Round".  I had bought a sock blank quite a few years ago and was disappointed in how stiff it was. The yarn wasn't the best quality either, however, I knew that if Jenny was dying blanks, it would be a whole other story and I was right. This yarn is so soft and is wonderful to knit. At first, I was going to attempt knitting two socks at a time, but the instructions that I had called for short row heels.  I'm not a fan of that type of heel at all and so I decided to knit them one at a time. I rarely have second sock syndrome, so I wasn't concerned about finishing them.
I didn't it find it difficult to separate the yarns.  I did a little at a time and wound each ball as I went along. When it came time to start knitting, I made careful notes so I'd remember when I started.  (Now that I'm getting older, I seem to need notes for everything!).
The pattern is one my favorites.  It's called "Purl Bumps by Kathleen Taylor.  It's one of the patterns in her Big Book of Socks.  I love this book.  I even bought it in the digital format so I can have easy access to the patterns and can print them out.  I wanted a pattern that didn't detract from the yarn itself.  Three rows are straight knitting and the fourth has an easy stitch pattern.
I knit these in record time as I could barely put them down.  It was so much fun waiting to see what the next color combination was going to be! I kept saying "I'm only going to knit one more row" which inevitably turned into ten more rows! I have enough left to knit another pair of socks for Babe Ruth.  Those will be interesting as she has really small feet!  In the meantime, I bought a second blank.
This one is called "Rainbow Bright" and I can't wait to see what these socks will end up looking like!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beyond Puerperium

I managed to finish up my gift for the baby shower.  (You remember, the shower for the gal I don't know and probably will never meet!)  I ended up knitting this little number.
It's called:  Beyond Puerperium .  There's a free version also that's just called Puerperium.  The free pattern is knitted with DK weight but, of course, I had to use fingering!  I probably could have figured it out on my own, but I honestly didn't feel like doing all the math and so I ended up just buying the pattern.  I think it was a good decision as there are directions for different weights of yarn and lots of sizes. It's a cute sweater so I know I'll use it again (only with heavier yarn!).

I used Knitpicks Felici in Rainbow and US size 4 needles.  They were a little larger than I would normally use with this yarn, but they worked.  I tend to knit a lot tighter than suggested needle sizes and almost always have to move up a needle size.
Even with the "larger" needles, it still seemed to take forever to knit it.  I wasn't paying as close attention as I should have been though and I was blindly following the pattern.  When I laid it out, I realized that it was about 3 inches longer than it needed to be!!  For some reason, the designer likes really long sweaters.  I ripped it back and I'm much happier with the result.  I do wish that I had placed the buttons a little closer together, even though I dislike sewing on buttons!

This yarn is so soft, but I hate that there are all these flecks of darker colors sprinkled throughout the yarn.  If you look closely at the green on the top of the sleeve you can see what I mean.  They also show up in the yellow, and the orange . . .
From a distance, it doesn't look too bad, but up close it really bugs me.  They're so random that it almost looks like I spilled something.  Why then would I choose to use this yarn?  Well, it's because I had already knit a hat and booties out of the same yarn for another baby gift that I never got around to delivering!
Long time readers of this blog will remember that I knit these booties once before when I found out we were going to be grandparents again.  The pattern and details are here.  The hat is just a simple little beanie with a double I-cord knot on top.

To finish it all off, I included a copy of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  A classic if ever there was one. My grandkids loved it and hopefully, this baby will too!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Beginning and The End. . .

The very first “picture” bib that I ever made was the Teddy Bear.  
At the time, I was pretty happy with it.  It was totally my design and I knit it for my soon-to-be-born grandson.  Of course, this led to the dinosaur bib and many (many) more patterns to follow.  As time moved on however, I like to think that my designs improved.  I tried to give my “pets” some personality.  Let’s face it.  Teddy has no personality.  He also needed some serious updating.  My early attempts at pattern writing were not the best!  Since I decided on the bear theme for the baby shower, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tackle Teddy.  I didn't want to change him too much since he’s the bear that started it all!
You’ll notice that he’s a little slimmer.  I eliminated one row, right down the middle.  I wanted to make him the same size as the majority of my patterns.  I know that many of you like to mix and match the designs, so I try to keep that in mind.  The pattern for the bib has also been updated with the short rows and now includes a chart!  The cloth pattern also has a chart.
After I had knit Teddy, I was working on the Rhonda’s Delight bib and I kept looking at Teddy.  I started wondering what would happen if I knit him all in seed stitch.  It would produce a whole different texture, and might be a good alternative. 
What do you think?  I call him Seedy Teddy.  It’s basically the same pattern as original Teddy.  I was going to combine the two into one pattern, but I personally don’t like having to flip back and forth through directions, so in the end, I decided it was just as easy to post him as a separate design.
So there’s the beginning of my designs, Teddy still doesn't have much personality, but he is what he is.

This now brings me to the end of my designs.  I couldn't resist knitting up one more bear.  This fellow I refer to as The Head Bear. 
I patterned him after the baby sweater design I used for the little cardigan.  He's just a larger and happier version!  
This brings the number of my bear designs up to four, five if we include Seedy.  There’s Teddy, This Bear’s Repeating  and Ted E. Bear.  This fellow, however, is the head bear and might just be my favorite.
So there you have it.  The beginning of my designs and the last.  Well, the last for now!  The pdf files are in the sidebar, or you can just click on the links below:


I started to post my new patterns and I accidentally removed ALL the updated bib patterns!  It's going to take me awhile to figure out what I deleted and to re-post them all, so if you're looking for a particular pattern and can't find it, that's the reason!  What a dope!  Guess I know what I'll be doing for the next hour or two. . .