Technical Tip Tuesday: Weaving in Ends as you Knit

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I found this amazing tutorial on how to weave in ends as you knit by Sockpr0n.  You can’t see the ends at all and it seems pretty straightforward.  So, that’s the technical tip for this tuesday.

It’s the perfect thing to use for this hat that I’m working on for my DH. Why is this the perfect project you ask?  It’s just a hat, one color, how many ends could it have?  A TON!  Let me explain… On a whim, as I was leaving the house with the yarn and needles in hand itching to be cast on while I did some waiting in line somewhere, I made the mistake of asking if DH had a preference for his hat.  Did he prefer a a ribbed beanie, or maybe a classic cabled hat?  I saw a flicker of excitement flash over his face and held his breath as if he wanted to say something, but he stopped himself and said he didn’t really have any preference.  I pressed him and he hesitantly asked if I could make him something with a brim.  Ok…. there goes my auto-pilot knitting. 

He later went ravelry pattern surfing with me and found quite a few hats with brims.  He picked the Dublin Cap by Cheryl Andrews.  There are TWO brims on this hat, the sides are worked in short rows and the back is worked up sperately, so already there are at least six ends to weave in plus any other tricky things construction that comes up.  The pattern says it is for the “adventurous knitter”, and I will have to agree… it is an adventure.  Such an interesting contstruction. Even though I’ve had to re-do several of the pieces more than once, it is such lovely Madaline Tosh DK yarn that I’m not broken hearted that I have to knit with it again and again.

Poor DH though, he’s asked about the hat several times and I seem to be knitting a lot, but getting nowhere fast.  It is likely going to be mid-summer before this black wool hat is finished!  All I can say, is that it had better fit!

Sun Inspired

Sun inspired

Wishing you and your families a little sunshine this weekend.  Hope you all remember to love your mom’s a little extra this Sunday.  XOXO

Pattern:  Shattered Sun Shawl
Yarn: Tosh Lace, Candelwick
Needles: Size 4 (2 sizes less than the pattern calls for)

Meet the New Addition!

Schacht

Isn’t she beautiful?  I’m not sure what I’m going to name her yet, but I think she deserves some romantic name that invokes images of old world traditions and a touch of magic.  Isis, or Magdalena, or maybe Aurora.  What do you think?

I need a lot of practice.  I took a private hour of instruction with Sandi from Purlesence Yarns and it was well worth the money.  She gave the wheel a throrough check out, a new drive band and proceeded to saturate every second with a wealth of knowledge about the wheel, spinning, fiber and recommendations on how to spin ergonomically.  Needless to say, my head was spinning after the lesson and I loved it!  One of the best things she told me was that my wheel is built sturdy, so not to worry too much if my 17 month old has at it (she’s trying to spin as I type and managed to spill milk on the peddle within 20 minutes of me bringing it home!).

Life

Life has been getting in the way of my regular blog posting cadence lately. I assure you I have not stopped knitting though. Here is a quick update with a few of my latest works in progress:

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Pattern: Sherman by Ysolda Teague in the Whimsical Little Knits 3
Yarn: Serenety 20 by Zen Yarn Garden 70/20/10 Superwash Merino/cashmere/nylon.  This yarn is so exquisit to work with.  It was my splurge buy at Stitches West this year, and I am so glad I went for it.  Well worth the money. 
Color way: Flamenco
Needle size: 2 US

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This will be the first socks I make for DH, who assures me he doesn’t want socks, but I’m making them anyway because he always has cold feet at night and tries to warm them up on my feet which happen to be two small heaters.
Pattern: Plain sock, 2×2 rib for about 1 1/2 inches at the top, stockinette everywhere else, planning an afterthought heel on this one.  LOVE the way the yarn is knitting up.
Yarn: Serenety 20 by Zen Yarn Garden 70/20/10 Superwash Merino/cashmere/nylon
Color way: WildBerry II
Needles: size 4

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And what do we have here?  A new lovely addition to my fiber family…  Can you guess what this is????  It’s a spinning wheel!!!!!!  I’m loving it.  I’ll do a post on this bad girl another time, but for now, enjoy this sneak peak of a lovely Pigeon Roof Studios 35%silk/65%super wash merino fiber spinning in progress 🙂  I love Pigeon Roof Studios fiber, it’s what I made my memory cowl yarn from as well.  Her colors are amazing!

Vanilla Socks

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Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly love these two little feet any more than I already do, I put soft hand-made squishy knit socks on them and lo and behold my heart filled up with even more love than before!  How is that even possible???

It is the second time I’m working with this yarn called Ella Rae Lace Merino.  I used a larger needle size (US4) and it made a ton of difference.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this project.  The pattern was so simple, I thought I would be board, but this yarn had a really nice stretchy quality and with the little color variations it was so delightful.  And portable too, no pattern, the project bag fits in my purse, so I can pull it out whenever a moment arrises that I will have a few minutes to burn.  Loved it all around, I’m hooked now.  I need a vanilla sock on the needles at all times!

April Fools is just around the corner.  Do you celebrate it by playing tricks on family and co-workers?  I typically don’t, but this year I just might serve up some mashed potatoes and peas & carrots and see what kind of reaction I get 🙂

Blueberry Hat

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It never officially felt like winter in the Bay Area this year until last week.   At which point the knitting bug hit me pretty hard and my little “sweet sweet”, as I like to call her, needed something warm and snugly to cover her ears and ward off the bite in the air.

It’s a good thing I happened to pick up the Malabrigo Rios yarn at Stitches West for this very purpose!  This was my first time working with this yarn and I really loved it.  It is super wash, the colors are just stunning! 

I improvised a pattern similar to the Bright Beret that Read One Knit Too raves about and added a little i-cord tale and pom-pom for some whimsy.  It’s not as slouchy as the original pattern, but I’m just happy it fits!  It knit up so quickly, and she doesn’t immediately take it off when I put it on, so I consider this a super successful project 🙂

Technical Tip Tuesday

There have been a few projects where I had to cast on hundreds of stitches. Inevitably I would get down to the last five stitches and run out of the long tail and have to rip out the entire thing and start over. Well, not anymore! With this great set of tips about the long tail cast on from Rox I learned that I could just use the center yarn as my working yarn and the outside yarn as the tail yarn. No need to worry about running out of tail yarn again!!

Rox gives a ton of other very useful tips in her video. She is also featured in the Ask A Knitter column in the This Week in Ravelry newsletters and is a master knitter. I’ll definitely be referencing many of her tips that I find particularly useful in the future.

Do you have any cast on tips or tricks? I’d love to hear what works for you!

Sewing is in my Future

Picture via luvinthemommyhood.com

This persistent little voice in my head has been nagging me to adventure into the land of sewing. It all started with this box pouch tutorial that is adorable and looks doable. I’ve managed to ignore this sewing tickle for the most part, because I don’t even have enough time and money to get through all of the knitting and spinning that I want to do… but nevertheless this sewing urge is there like an itch in the back of my mind and I must scratch it! I caved in last week when Marisa from Quilt Otaku agreed to teach me how to quilt! I’m so excited!! I have a list of all of tools I need and have been window shopping online at superbuzzy.comfor some fun robot themed fabric. I even entered a giveaway last week from the luvinthemommyhood.comblog for a book called Making it Sew Modern and I WON! I was so surprised!! Now I HAVE to start sewing. Let’s see how long my tiny Hello Kitty sewing machine holds up 🙂

Technical Tip Tuesday

SophieSocks

Welcome to a new regular installment to my blog where I will keep track of all the little tips and tricks that employ to help keep knitting a pleasant endeavor!

This week’s tip is about working cables on small needles. I try to avoid using a cable needle if at all possible, but I can’t seem to get the hang of cabling without a cable needle when working with sock or lace weight yarn. The stitches just drop too easily. A regular cable needle can also be cumbersome. So, I found what works for me is to use a cable needle that is a DPN one or two sizes smaller than what I’m using. That way the stitches have a little extra room to cross over so that I’m not fighting to work them. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Do you have any cable tricks up your sleeve? Let me know!

Yarn: Elle Rae
Needles: Knit Picks

Pattern: Frolic, by 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Oaks

Bliss for On-the-Go Knitting

Yarn pop bag

This bag by Yarn Pop is by far my best purchase at Stitches West this year.  I am constantly knitting on the go.  With two little ones it’s the only way I would finish anything.  I’m so excited for the chance to wait in the pharmacy line, or have an appointment with someone running late because I will have a chance to put a few more stitches on my project. 

There’s a downside for knitting on the go though, especially if your bag doesn’t cinch up or zipper like this one.  I am always missing a DPN, or stitch markers, or find that I have dropped stitches.  This bag solves all of those problems.  The yarn stays nicely tucked away and the project goes back in the bag, zip it all up with large plastic zipper teeth that won’t hurt or snag the yarn, and voila!  Perfectly safe and, not to mention, SUPER cute project back with no missing anythings!  I almost didn’t get this, but I am SO glad I did.  I was a little skeptical about the zipper teeth, and I did accidentally zip my yarn, but thankfully, when I unzipped, it came right out with no snags or damage to the yarn.

If you are an on-the-go knitter like me I highly recommend this bag.  It is pure on-the-go knitting bliss! (The yarn in the photo is my new purple Malabrigo Rios – LOVE it too!!  It is going to be a hat for my Sophie.)