Color Block Blanket Madness

August 10, 2011

Over a year and a half ago I started designing a blanket. I had never knit a blanket before and since I’m a little intimdated by large projects, I thought knitting a bunch of small squares would make it easier on me. And then I remembered that I hate sewing and weaving in ends. So, this sat untouched on a shelf for over a year. A few weekends back I finally got so sick of looking over and seeing them sitting on the shelf that I pulled them out and started sewing them together.

Color Block Blanket

And then I put the pattern on Ravelry and it exploded! I had over 250 downloads on the first day alone and have gotten some pretty fantastic feedback from people saying how much they love it. The pattern has been up for a little over 2 full days now and I’ve reached over 335 favorites and 411 downloads!

I’m a little mystified because I built up so much angst about this project that I grew to kind of hate it. It’s made with Wool of the Andes Bulky from KnitPicks. I started this back when I was still knitting at a VERY tight guage so if you decide to give it a try, you might want to go down at least one needle size. The nice thing about this pattern is the versatility. You can make as many (or as few) squares as you want in order to make a whole range of sizes and you can substitute pretty much any color or yarn. If I were to make this again (which I doubt I ever will), I would use a machine-washable yarn.

This is mainly what I’ve been up to this summer:

Phase 5

It’s been a huge learning experience. Mainly I’ve learned that landscaping is really hard work and that I wouldn’t have a clue what to do or how to do it without the much appreciated help of my mom and dad. There is still so much to do, but I feel like I’m finally able to see where it’s going and what it’s going to look like.

Since my last post, I finished several knitted projects as well.

I completed two pair of felted slippers (knit long ago and finally felted this summer). The first are French Press Felted Slippers done Maryjane style in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (colorway = Winter’s Night).

Felted Mary Janes

The second are Felted Loafer Slippers in Wool of the Andes Bulky (colorways = Blackberry & Scuba).

Felted Loafers

Then I made some Skew Socks in Knit Picks Felici (colorway = Rainbow).

Rainbow Skew Socks

These were super fun to make and accomplished my knitting goal by being my first pair of toe-up constructed socks. The heels are so cool!

Rainbow Skew Socks

I made another Baby Surprise Jacket in Knit Picks Merino Style (colorways = Vanilla & Petite Four). After 2 unsuccessful attempts, I managed to improvise a hood, which I think turned out very well. It went to my friend’s Joe and Ashley who are expecting this fall.

BSJ Hoodie

With the leftover yarn from the hoodie, I made some Baby Booties for my cousin Heidi who just had a little girl at the end of last month.

Baby Booties

My favorite project was my Stripe Study shawl in Knit Picks Palette (colorways = Black & Marble Heather). It took me forever because I kept getting bored with the miles and miles of garter stitch, but it was totally worth it.

Stripe Study Shawl

It’s nice and warm but really lightweight. I’ve been wearing it almost every day at work because my company overdoes the A/C to an extreme.

Stripe Study Shawl

And finally, I used my Blue Moon Silkie Socks that Rock (my first time with this yarn and it was wonderful) for a Helix Scarf. The color is “Titania” and it’s so pretty!

Helix Scarf

I feel like I didn’t get a good picture that really shows how beautiful the yarn is. The ruffle is kind of fun and it looks neat all rolled up too.

Helix Scarf

Hopefully I’ll get a little better at updating regularly once the landscaping project is done!


Mmmm… Fuzzy…

June 22, 2011

My grandma’s 90th birthday celebration was a success and I think she really liked the beaded shawl. It was great to spend some time up at the cabin and the long drive gave me a lot of time to knit. I worked on my Stripe Study shawl on the way up and then spent a good chunk of time knitting some Skew socks.

Remember this post from back in March? Well, I finally finished the Phèdre mittens I’ve been working on for my friend Julie. They are based on the Kushiel series of books by Jacqueline Carey. I love how they turned out but they were a major pain to knit. The two dark-ish yarns required knitting under a bright light and almost driving myself mad from constantly making mistakes and ripping back (at least on the first one). I really enjoyed the blocking with these because I was able to beat my frustration out of them with a wooden spoon (no really, it’s called whapping – I didn’t make that up).

Phedre Mittens

Some time ago, I purchased some lovely Blue Sky Alpacas “Brushed Suri” (alpaca, bamboo, and merino blend) on the cheap from a very strange lady on craigslist. I’ve been trying to find the perfect pattern for ages and I finally settled on the Summer Shawlette pattern.

Summer Shawl

I went up a needle size and added some extra length. The entire time I was knitting it I questioned whether it was the right pattern for the yarn and almost frogged it numerous times. I’m glad I didn’t because it turned out to be a really lovely shawl.

Summer Shawl

The yarn has a beautiful halo and is so amazingly soft, fuzzy, and lightweight. The color is called “Snow Cone” and is somewhere between white and a very pale blue. I didn’t even need to block it.

Summer Shawl

After we returned from the cabin I finally went out to a laundromat and felted some slippers I made ages ago. Last night they were finally dry. I can’t wait to go home and take some pictures!

Beads, beads, and more beads…

June 7, 2011

Next week my grandma turns 90 and to celebrate the occasion I knitted her a beaded shawl. I chose the Haruni (it means “Grandmother” in Tolkien’s elven language), which I’ve made before, but this time I knitted it with over 1,050 size 8/0 TOHO silver-lined crystal beads. I used this tutorial to learn how to knit the beads into this. To call this project tedious would be an understatement. I started it back in March and took a LOT of breaks. One of those breaks was necessary due to breaking the tip off my size 16 crochet hook and taking some time to find a replacement.

Beaded Haruni Shawl

For the yarn I used KnitPicks Stroll Tonal (colorway = Blue Violet) because my grandma loves pastel colors. I did two extra repeats of “Chart B” to make a really generously sized shawl. As always, I’m awed by the magic of blocking.


Beaded Haruni Shawl


Beaded Haruni Shawl

The most disappointing part was not being able to get a photo that really shows off the beads. I tried different lighting, different colored backgrounds, and different angles but they just don’t show up in photos the way they do in person. In person, they catch the light and they really sparkle. I couldn’t stop looking at this for the first week after I finished it.

A heap of finished objects

May 31, 2011

I’ve resolved to start writing here more/again. No, really…

Since I last updated, I’ve finished a number of projects. I made some Carolina socks for my mom for Mother’s Day in Felici Sport (colorway = Too Cool). They were a quick knit and my mom seemed pretty happy with them.

Too Cool Socks

They were a fun pattern but the zig zags kind of disappear when you put them on.

Too Cool Socks

I also completed two Baby Surprise Jackets and really fell in love with this ingenious pattern. I love how the Felici Sport looks and I had a little too much fun buying tons of cute baby buttons for future projects.

I thought it was a little magical how you go from this:

Baby Surprise Jacket

To this:

Baby Surprise Jacket

To this:

Baby Surprise Jacket

I made two of these back to back – I couldn’t resist starting the second one right after the first was done. I’ve been trying to resist making another one until I know what the sexes of my cousins’ and friends’ babies will be.

Baby Surprise Jacket

For my friend David’s 30th birthday I made him a pair of Katamari Prince earmuffs. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and had a lot of fun making them. There is even a secret compartment inside.

Katamari Prince Earmuffs

He seemed to like them and his sister enjoyed trying them on as well.

Katamari Earmuffs

I finally overcame my boredom with knitting the body of the Ulmus shawl and I LOVE the finished project. It’s nice and big and I couldn’t love the color combo more.

Ulmus Shawl

I bought a dress form last month and I’ve been having fun putting my shawls on it and getting freaked out in the middle of the night when I wake up and see a vaguely human form in my bedroom.

Ulmus Shawl

When I’m hanging out at home, I usually wear super comfy cotton dresses. Unfortunately, my legs get cold in these and so I whipped up a pair of legwarmers in Felici (colorway = Afternoon) for myself. The yarn is so so soft and I’ve been enjoying them quite a bit.


I think legwarmers have been on my mind due to a ballet movie marathon last month as well. I watched Black Swan, Center Stage, and The Red Shoes. The pattern is Cables de Faux and was nice and easy.


My biggest knitting accomplishment as of late was the beaded Haruni for my grandmother’s birthday, but it deserves its own post. More later…

Better late than knitter…

April 9, 2011

Blog updates have fallen by the wayside these past few weeks. I have no real excuse other than my own laziness and that I’ve been feeling a little lackluster about my knitting lately. I’ve got at least six projects on the needles right now and haven’t really been completing much of anything. My current favorite of the work-in-progress pile is my Ulmus shawl.

IP - Ulmus Shawl

My friend Oona made this same shawl with the exact same colors long before me and when I saw it I became instantly obsessed with it and planned to copy hers. I had to wait for a decent chunk of time before the colorway (Gypsum) was available from Blue Moon. It makes me feel a bit unoriginal and generally lacking in creativity to do an exact replica, but imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery in this case. I’m calling it my “Copycat Spider Demon” paying homage to one of my favorite Buffy episodes (“Selfless”). This is one I definitely plan to keep for myself.

And here’s my Lavalette shawl(ette) which was started on a Friday and finished (even done blocking) by Sunday. I got a little obsessed while I was knitting this one and couldn’t stop until it was done. It’s a little small for my tastes and I may end up gifting to someone. I prefer full size shawls and not the currently popular shawlettes. The yarn is Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight (colorway = L.L. Cool Sock).

Lavalette Shawlette

I’m pretty smitten with the color and may have to order some more at some point in the future so that I can make something for myself.

Lavalette Shawlette

One thing that I have been excited for is another project I plan to start this weekend: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s famous Baby Surprise Jacket. This will be my first baby project ever and my first knitted garment. I ordered the pattern from Schoolhouse Press and they were wonderful customer-service-wise. They responded to email questions within minutes and offered me 20% off my order when I bought two things. The shipping was lightning fast as well. My cousin is having a baby this summer and my friend Joe will be having a baby sometime in the not-too-distant future as well. I’m hoping for at least one girl so I can use this yarn:

KP Felici Sport

Back in March I finally finished up the Katamari Mitts and they turned out pretty well. I revised the charts to make them fit on the mitts a little better. The pattern for the fingerless gloves is a free download from my pattern store and the images were done in duplicate stitch with KnitPicks Wool of the Andes.

Katamari Damacy Mitts

It has been just under 3 months now since I released my first pattern and I’ve had over 1,200 downloads, the most popular being my “Easy Knitted Bacon” pattern. It’s so fun to see other people’s projects that they’ve made using my patterns. I still have a few patterns I’ve been meaning to complete and release but it hasn’t been a priority lately.

I’m still working on my grandma’s beaded Haruni shawl. I had to put it aside because I broke the tip off of my miniscule Size 16 (0.4mm) crochet hook and just ordered a new one this week. I’m also doing a knit-a-long with a work friend for a pair of felted loafer slippers. I put aside the colorwork mittens because I lost my patience and couldn’t even stand to think about winter anymore.

My big exciting news for the month was reaching my 1-year stop smoking anniversary. I did so without even one drag or a single moment of weakness.


All of that “money saved” went to my new addiction: yarn. I used Allen Carr’s book The Easyway to Stop Smoking and it worked like magic. I can’t explain what about the book is so magical; you’ll just have to take my word for it. I didn’t believe there was any way that reading a book could possibly work on my 11-year addiction, but it really truly did. I have at least four other good friends who quit smoking using this book as well.

There is still a snow pile in my backyard but the weather is finally getting nicer and I am beginning to believe spring may actually show up. I went to the Macy’s Flower Show for the first time this year and fell in love with the weeping cherry trees.

Macy's Flower Show

And whatever these are:

Macy's Flower Show

Macy's Flower Show

My biggest current obsessions are Hell’s Kitchen homemade peanut butter and the new Britney Spears album. (The last vestiges of my 16-year-old self just died of embarrassment at that admission.) I had the peanut butter for the first time this year and just purchased my second jar in 2 weeks this Friday. I’m trying to restrain myself a little, but it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Peanut Butter

Now I’m off to Target to where I plan to listen to Femme Fatale on my iPod as I shop…

Socks at the End of the Rainbow…

March 18, 2011

Springing forward for daylight savings totally kicked my butt this week. I’ve been tired, out of sorts, and generally feeling dreary this week. We had a bit of a thaw these last few weeks and everything outside looks grey, dirty, disgusting, and covered in trash. So, on Sunday night I decided to use some of my new Felici (colorway = Rainbow) to make a cute little Junonia shawlette.

Rainbow Shawl

I got a little obsessive when I was working on it and finished it in about 3-4 days (including blocking time). I couldn’t be happier with the end result. It made me smile every time I looked at it. It’s amazing how much bright colors can cheer you up.

Rainbow Shawl

After almost a month of knitting, I finally finished my Slytherin House socks. They seem to go pretty well with my new shoes (purchased at Nordstrom Rack).

Slytherin Monkey Socks

I finished up my knitting while listening to Jim Dale read Chapter 33 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (“The Prince’s Tale”). I think my favorite Slytherin, Severus Snape, would approve.

Slytherin Monkey Socks

I love everything about these socks. I love the Monkey pattern. It is super easy to memorize which handily eliminates the necessity of carrying a pattern around with you (making it a good bus-knitting project). I love the yarn and the colorway may be my favorite of all time (Blue Moon Socks That Rock / colorway = Mr. Green Jeans).

Slytherin Monkey Socks

The reason they took so long (since the pattern goes amazingly fast) was 100% due to my reluctance to finish them – I just kept purposefully going slower and slower so I could continue to enjoy the process and the yarn.

Katamari Damacy Prince Chart

March 13, 2011

I couldn’t resist starting my Katamari Damacy Prince of All Cosmos mitts yesterday. I charted the prince almost a year ago and then kind of forgot about it.

Katamari Prince Mitts

I’m not sure it works well size-wise, but it’s cute nonetheless. I may make some modifications to the chart and will consider using this on a different backdrop that fits a little better.

Katamari Prince Mitts

I added this chart to my Blank Canvas Handwarmer pattern. All yarns are Wool of the Andes. And here’s the chart in its current form…

Katamari Chart

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