Christmas Yarn Haul

Knitting in the New Year

Out with the old, in with the new! Well at least that’s how I feel about going from 2013 to 2014. But before leaving 2013 entirely behind us, I wanted to share with you a few knitting projects I finished up over the holidays.

Baby Sophisticate Knit Sweater

This free pattern on Ravelry looked like the perfect gift for my rapidly-growing nephew. The little love bug (as I like to call him) would be going on nearly 11 months by the time Christmas rolled around, so the idea was to make something big enough for him to grow into.

My friend Caroline from over at De Mailles et de Mots made this sweater for a friend’s baby and she warned me that the pattern tends to run small. To compensate (and, knowing that I have a very tight stitch), I chose a machine-washable (very important!) Berroco Vintage Chunky yarn in a gorgeous sea-green-blue color.

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out:

Baby Sophisticate in Vintage Chunky
The result!

To make sure it was big enough, I compared the smaller and larger sizes in the pattern and using the stitch proportions, I made it one size larger.

Three Little Hats for Three Little Chaps

On the Spanish side of the family, Chico and I have three nephews ages 13, 10 and four. Though Spain hardly requires the same cold-weather gear that North America does, I thought they would each enjoy a little knit or crocheted hat.

Three Little Hats for Three Little Chaps
I say “little” but the two oldest nephews really aren’t that little…

Again, I went with Berroco yarn, this time just the regular Vintage (worsted weight). Berroco Vintage is my current favorite because it’s affordable, pleasant to work with AND machine washable (it’s an acrylic-wool blend).

I can’t find the pattern for the little blue and yellow hat, but the other two are a crocheted reversible pattern by Nancy Smith on Ravelry.

Though sadly I don’t have a photo, I also made my lovely sister-in-law this knitted headband in the same gray used on the two older boys’ hats.

Traditional Knitted Dishcloths from VeryPink Knits

For the Stitch n’ Bitch Christmas gift exchange, I picked up some 100% cotton wool in lots of fun different colors to make these traditional dish cloths.

Knit_Dish_Cloths
Photo courtesy of Ysabelh at Métro-Boulot-Tricot

For the second year in a row, my friend Eva from OuaKi Dou (a fabulously talented knitter and crocheter!) got my gift.

Knitting in 2014

It would seem that my family is enjoying my newfound passion for knitting, because I got two beautiful gifts of yarn from my parents and from my sister-in-law.

Currently, I’ve gone back to crochet and am working on an afghan for my boss’s little girl (pattern from Afghans for All Seasons from Leisure Arts – sadly not available to link to online).

On the list I also have a cabled hat and what will be my first attempt ever at a sweater! I’m looking at two patterns to use with the luxurious yarn from my parents, so I’ll keep you posted!

Christmas Yarn Haul
I still have a lot of this yarn to knit…

***

Don’t forget to check out TheBrainInJane on Ravelry to see my queue of projects!

Read More

Stitch Sampler Finished Product

Finished: My Stitch Sampler Masterpiece

Ladies and gentlemen, my stitch sampler masterpiece is DONE!  Though I finished the crocheting a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t block this beauty until tonight.  And so, here it is in photos:

Stitch Sampler Work in Progress
Modest beginnings…

Normally I would let you know what brand of yarn I used, colors, gauge, etc.  But the idea of this pattern (available on Ravelry) is that it’s a sampler; you use all kinds of leftover yarns.

Stitch Sampler Chilling on the Couch
Work in progress

I was lucky enough to have colors similar to those pictured in the book where I got the pattern: Afghans for All Seasons Book 1 by Leisure Arts.  I only had to buy three colors: the coral, the pink and the light brown.

This is a time-consuming project, and you have to pay special attention to the instructions at the beginning of every row.  But the end result is worth it!

Blocking the Stitch Sampler
Done!

One important note: This has been a real b**** to block.  Because the center starts out round and then goes to square, I had a lot of trouble with pooching in the middle.

I tried blocking part-way through, but that didn’t quite do it.  And now that it’s done I’ve tried two blocking techniques, hoping the second will work.  First, I shaped it and pinned it to the bed.  Then, with a damp towel fresh out of the washer, I placed the towel over it and ironed through the towel.  Once it got nice and warm I left it there for several hours.  Sadly, once unpinned it went pretty much back to its pooched shape.

Currently it lies pinned out on the guest bed, misted with water from a spray bottle.  The plan is to leave it there for over 24 hours and hope that does the trick.

If you have suggestions for blocking my beautiful masterpiece so that it looks as good as it should, please tell me in the comments!

Find TheBrainInJane on Ravelry, or look up your local Stitch n’ Bitch!

Read More