Sunday, February 28, 2010


Sometimes I buy yarn that has no purpose. It's just pretty. That yarn usually sits in my stash until I find a project for it. Sometimes I buy a yarn that does have a purpose: I have a pattern picked out already, and I plan on making it in that yarn. That yarn sometimes actually gets made into the project. More often, it also sits in the stash because I am lazy.

I have two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Night for this exact reason. They were on super-sale at the store I was working at, and I snagged two, hoping to make Ice Queen. And darn it, I was going to make Ice Queen. I was going to make Ice Queen even though I had no idea how to do lace and no matter how dumb I looked in a smoke ring.

I bought this stuff over a year ago. It is still not Ice Queen. Honestly, I don't think it will ever be Ice Queen. (I'm willing to bet I do look dumb in smoke rings.) So what does a knitter with unclaimed stash do? Find a new pattern for it.

That's one of the reasons I love Ravelry so much. You can plug in the weight and yardage of a yarn you've got and it will find patterns that work with your specifications. You can see if someone else has made an item with the yarn you're thinking of using.

IWTMT, meet Wisp. (Here's the Ravelry link.) Wisp is free. Like Ice Queen, it is also from Knitty and can be made with Rowan Kidsilk Night. Ice Queen has beads. Wisp has buttons. Ice Queen is a cowl. Wisp is a scarf. It's a toss-up, but I think Wisp slightly edges out Ice Queen for right now.

We'll see if I actually make it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Amanda, Welcome to Vermont!

This is definitely not the blog post I had planned for today. Today's blog post was going to be about how cutting my nails derails my knitting for days, but not my crocheting, and then I was going to take a picture of the Crapghan on the bed so you could get some context.

And then it started to snow. And I had to walk home in it. The Amanda Hat was thoroughly entrenched in Vermont weather and if I had to be cold and miserable in it I might as well get some pictures.

Personally, I was hoping that the shots of me in the sunglasses would turn out better so you wouldn't get a full-face shot, but that sound you hear would be the camera gods laughing at me. So instead you get my no-makeup, just-worked-out and walked-home-in-the-snow face. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Ugh, I'm going to regret posting that. Excuse the bags under my eyes, I'm apparently packing for a vacation. I guess I could have cropped it to just the hat, but then you would have missed an action shot of my Noro Striped Scarf #3.

Pattern: The Amanda Hat (PDF file) by Gina House of Sleepy Eyes Knitting.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in colorway Pagoda, about half a skein.
Needles: Boye interchangeable set, size US 8 & Clover bamboo DPNs, size US 7
Timeline: 2.9.10-2.18.10
Modifications: I cut out the second repeat of garter row stitches, as suggested by the designer, since I was afraid it was going to be too big otherwise.

Opinion: This was a fun project, and I'd definitely make it again.

Random Thoughts: I had to finish the crown on US 7 DPNs because the Binary Scarf is monopolizing my 8s. Oops! Having worn the thing out in the snow, I almost wish I had made it a smidge longer, but I haven't washed it yet, so I suppose I can get that through some minor blocking.

When I came in to defrost, I noticed how pretty the water drops looked on the hat, so I had to take a picture of that.


So there you have it, my first finished IWTMT! I guess that makes it an IMT (I Made That)!

This post is part of Little Andalucia's Creative Friday Features.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

IWTMT: Winter Twilight Mitts

Would you look at that! It appears to be Sunday again. You thought I'd forgotten about IWTMT. (And maybe I did, but then maybe I remembered -- not that I can confirm or deny the above statement. Maybe.)

Last week's IWTMT was a big, non-free crochet blanket pattern, so this week's goes completely in the opposite direction. It's a small, free knitting pattern for stranded colorwork mitts: the Winter Twilight Mitts. (Here's the Ravelry link.)

I am a huge fan of mitts. My hands are frequently cold, especially while I'm at the computer, and unfortunately they didn't make the Snuggie with glove attachments, so mitts are where it's at. They work up super-quick, and you don't have to worry about getting fiddly with fingers or anything like that. Since these are such a small project, they're also a great time to try stranded colorwork, a field to which I am a definite newbie. The color options are pretty much endless -- I've seen some beautiful examples on Ravelry made with handspun.

Hopefully you find some of my IWTMTs interesting. I can't wait to feature them here as finished objects! Until next time!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

IWTMT: Babette Blanket

Happy Valentine's Day! Since Valentine's Day is a chance for us to show others that we love and appreciate them, I wanted this IWTMT to reflect that. To me, one of the ultimate expressions of love through craft is the mighty blanket. You've clearly taken a lot of time and effort to wrap someone up in warmth and good thoughts.

To that end, I've decided to showcase a crocheted blanket this week. Yes, I know last week's IWTMT was a crocheted blanket that cost money too, but beyond that the Babette Blanket is nothing like the Cathedral Rose Window Afghan. The Babette Blanket uses lots of different colors and sizes of granny squares which, when put together, make the most unusual blanket. You can be as monochrome or as vivid as you like. You could probably even make a scrap Babette. Personally, I think that more color makes for more love!

I haven't mastered the granny square yet, but this blanket makes it a lot more fun and appealing. Granny squares definitely don't have to remind you of the seventies!

The Babette Blanket was designed by Kathy Merrick and costs six dollars at the Interweave Store. (Color errata can be found here.) And if you're on Ravelry and want to see this pattern's page, you can find it here.

Of course, love can be expressed in many different ways. Best wishes to you and yours this holiday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

In Progress: Amanda Hat

I'm working on a few secret projects right now, so I need to maintain some radio silence, but I figured I could give you a sneak peek of my Amanda Hat. This is in Malabrigo Worsted in the Pagoda colorway. It's very interesting to watch how it works up. And look, Ma, I learned yarn-overs!


(I'm a big fan of detail shots AND lens flare. Mmm, lens flare.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

IWTMT: Cathedral Rose Window Afghan

I'm really making an attempt to make this IWTMT a weekly feature. I had to stop myself from posting six times yesterday, since it wasn't a new week yet. Some people shop from their stash; I shop from my Ravelry queue. (I can't believe I spelled queue right on the first try!)

This week's IWTMT is the Cathedral Rose Window Afghan from Annie's Attic. It's a crochet pattern that costs $6.99. You know me, I like free, but sometimes this stuff is worth the cost. I am seriously a color junkie. I love rich, saturated colors, specifically jewel tones. Therefore it should be no surprise to you that I also adore stained glass windows. My future house will have a chandelier and a stained glass window, I guarantee it.

That's the appeal of this crochet pattern. Crochet blankets work up pretty quickly, and you have your choice of just about ten million colors. The possibilities are endless. If I bought this pattern, every single one of my family members would have this afghan, even if I worked on nothing else my entire life. Is that obsessive? Oh, I don't care.