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Baby Hats and Big Girl Blankets

Received a baby boy announcement last week from Hubby’s cousin — isn’t he a cutie pie? Had some variegated blue baby yarn and size 4 double pointed needles handy, so just went for it. Turned out pretty cute …

Rolled Brim Baby Hat

I used Bernat Softee Baby Acrylic #3 Light weight in color His Jeans Ombre

Size 4 dpns

Cast on 88 stitches

Join and knit until  it measures 5″ from cast on edge

Decrease Rows:

(I use my cast on tail as my place marker, always keeping the first stitch at the beginning of a needle)

Next row: Knit 9, knit 2 together

Next row: Knit around

Next row: Knit 8, knit 2 together

Next row: Knit around

Next row: Knit 7, knit 2 together

Next row: Knit around

Continue decreasing in this manner until you have completed Knit 1, knit 2 together

Knit one more round

Cut yarn, leaving about 8″ to work with. Using a yarn needle, take each stitch off and close the hole by pulling snugly. Bring yarn through the hole inside the cap and weave in end. Weave in cast on tail. And it’s ready to wear!

And congratulations to my baby sister and her sweetie on the purchase of their house. All that moving and unpacking of boxes is exhausting so I made a Big Stix Afghan and sent it so they could take a nap with it.

I used skeins of Caron One Pound acrylic yarn in Black, Country Rose, Taupe and Off White. I love those Big Stix size 50 knitting needles!


Not So Continental

I took another class at Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint … the method of Continental knitting. It is also known as German knitting, European knitting and left-handed knitting. Apparently, I’m not Continental, German or European … well, one out of four ain’t great.

It was a 2-hour class simply on how to hold your needles and yarn, feeding it wrapped through the fingers on your left hand. Then you “pick” the yarn rather than “throwing” it, which is the method I’ve always used. It’s really hard!!! Actually, it’s not that hard but it’s going to take a LOT of practice to master. I’m going to cast on a narrow scarf in an easy to work with acrylic yarn and knit the whole damn thing Continental if it kills me. In the meantime, I’ll keep throwing, aka English knitting.

It is Arizona Knitting’s 28th Anniversary and they are holding a 25% off sale on yarn this week. I bought 3 skeins of luscious 100% silk yarn — Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Silk. I’m going to use at least one to make one of the Knitted Neck Scarves (from the Martha Stewart website), but a little narrower this time, going more for style than warmth.

I’m thinking I’ll try stringing a bunch of small crystal beads on another skein and making a lacy fashion scarf. You can buy yarn with the beads already strung, but it is four times the cost. For that, I’ll try stringing my own beads. At least once …

And I think there’s enough yardage in a skein to make a pair of fingerless mitts. Not sure which pattern I’ll use yet, but I think a pair in silk would be so nice.

I’m currently working on the last sleeve of the Lion Brand Soft Rib Cardigan. It is a gift and I’ll need it finished soon, so will keep plugging away at the pieces. Then I’ll just have to seam them all together and pick up stitches for the collar. I’m just over halfway through on a prayer shawl for a friend. It’s taken longer than I had wanted, but I have had other projects that had to be finished first. There is a surprise gift on the way to someone right now that I just finished over the weekend.

Happy Spring … Happy Knitting!

Knitting and TV Watching

I’ve had the house pretty much to myself this weekend and have been happily knitting myself into a coma while “holding the remote control” and laughing like a mad woman. Let me say first that I have not felt compelled to tune into the Olympics even once. It’s been Lifetime, the Food Network, A & E and true crime shows. This morning I watched “The Net,” which is an older Sandra Bullock movie where she plays a computer nerd whose identity is stolen through the computer. She is drawn into murder and mayhem and no one will believe her. This is very similar to the Jeffrey Deaver book I read recently, “The Broken Window.” Good and scary stuff!

Since I took the Funky Footsies knitting class, I have been on a mission to single-handedly pump out cozy chunky socks. Somebody stop me!

I started with a turquoise pair that I gave to a friend when we met for lunch last week. Bless her heart, she loves to receive handmade stuff and promptly whipped off her shoe, put on her sock, threw her leg up on the table and posed for a picture in the restaurant. Another pair went to the Granddaughter because purple is her favorite color of the moment.

Funky footsies for granddaughter and friend JEH - February 2010

YD requested a pair in charcoal gray with no frou frou stuff on top. If I did not know for certain that the only 9 pound 3 ounce baby in the nursery was mine the day she was born, I would think she’d been switched at birth.

Charcoal gray non-funky footsies for YD - February 2010

And a pair for a neighbor who is going through a serious health crisis …

Funky footsies for neighbor - February 2010

I just love the decorative yarns in the tops of these socks. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re available any longer — I’ve had them for some time and pulled them out of my stash.

I was visiting some of my favorite knitting blogs yesterday and as I read Mason-Dixon Knitting, I saw that they’re making these adorable little Knitted Neck Scarves. I’ve seen them pictured before, but never had a pattern. They offered this link to the pattern on the Martha Stewart Living website. Of course, I immediately had to start one. After again raiding my stash, I’m using a sport weight baby yarn that has a sparkly thread running through it as a test run.

It’s a very simple pattern and the little pocket that you knit into the scarf to pull the end through is ingenious!

To make it all even more cozy, along with the non-stop knitting and temporary ownership of the remote control, it has rained constantly. Everything from a little drizzle to the roof pounding kind that strains the palm trees and makes the dogs stare out into the darkness and growl. Kinda nice, kinda creepy!

Horsie Blanket

Note: D, if you don’t want to know what your baby shower gift is, don’t read this!

So my sweet friend that is having a baby boy soon is doing a western theme for the baby’s room. I decided I wanted to knit her a baby blanket and I’ve started three and ripped them out, not happy with what I was seeing. Then I found a horse head pattern (Giddy-Up Cloth designed by Amy-lynne Mitchell) through the dishcloth section of Knitting Pattern Central.com and started by making two horse squares, one brown, one beige. I am using worsted weight yarn with size 7 needles.

close up of horse head square

It seemed a little drab so I got a bright yellow skein of yarn and made a textured square with my favorite moss stitch. Then to tie them all together, I used all three colors and made a striped square that makes me think of a horse blanket that goes under a saddle. Here are the first four squares being blocked, although this is not the way they’ll be sewn together.

horse blanket in progress

A total of 16 squares, four of each design/color, should be just right. I need to have this completed for her shower in December so I have a month to get it all knitted, seamed together and edged. I think it’s going to be so cute!

Knitted Gift Pouch

Knitted gift pouch

Knitted gift pouch

My middle sister is having a birthday soon and I know she loves turquoise. We had spent the 4th of July in Prescott, Arizona, enjoying every minute of their wonderful celebration in Courthouse Square. There were hundreds of craft booths and — as hubby mentioned a few times — I looked at EVERYTHING in EVERY booth! There was a great booth selling turquoise jewelry and I found some beautiful silver dangle earrings with turquoise stones. Okay, done.

Birthday Earrings in Knitted Gift Pouch

Birthday Earrings in Knitted Gift Pouch

Now, what to send them in to make it more exciting. I decided to knit a little gift pouch. Played with it some and ripped it out and started over a few times. Settled on a moss stitch pattern and a button closure. Used size 6 needles and worsted weight acrylic yarn. Finished size, closed and buttoned, is 3-3/4 x 5-1/2″.

Cast on 3 stitches.

First row (right side): Increase in 1st stitch, knit 1, increase in last stitch – 5 stitches total.

2nd row and all wrong side rows of flap only: Purl across.

Row 3: Increase in 1st stitch, knit 3, increase in last stitch – 7 stitches total.

Row 5: Increase 1 stitch in each of first 2 stitches, knit to last 2 stitches, then increase 1 stitch in each – 11 stitches total.

Continue increasing 4 stitches on right side rows until you have 23 — this forms the pointed flap.

Body of pouch is in moss stitch: knit 1, purl 1 across every row until body portion is 7″ long.

Bind off.

Knitted gift pouch before seaming sides

Knitted gift pouch ready to bind off

Single crochet around entire edge. Crochet a small chain for loop — length of chain depends on the size of your button. I used a 1″ button. Determine where button needs to sit and sew on. Seam sides of pouch together.

Crocheting around the edge of the knitted gift pouch

Crocheting around the edge of the knitted gift pouch

You could make this any size by increasing more stitches for width and adding more length. You could use different size needles and/or yarn or change the pattern stitch. You could make it without crocheting around the edge, but would probably have to block it to keep the flap from curling.

You could make a strap for it and carry it as a little “going out” bag. I remember shopping in the handbag section of a department store with my youngest daughter who was in her late 20s at the time. I picked up a tiny, tiny handbag and said, “What could you carry in this?” Daughter replied, “A driver’s license and a clean pair of panties.” I looked at her, shocked, and we both burst out laughing. Just then, a snooty old lady walked around a display and glared at us. We stopped laughing just until she had walked on by, then laughed even harder. Good times …

I am posting this because my sister already received her gift in the mail yesterday so I can’t spoil the surprise. Happy Birthday, sis!!! Love you!!!

Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

One of the things I’ve knitted that I’ve kept for myself is this cute knitting bag. It was fun to knit, it’s even more fun to carry around to be admired, and the pattern is free at Knitting Daily.com. All you have to do is register on their site and they have so many wonderful things available, why wouldn’t you?

I made my bag out of Bernat Softee Chunky in Nature’s Way #40012. I think this yarn is so pretty, this is the piece I chose to use for my masthead photo.

One thing I did change was the handles. They show flat garter stitch handles; I decided to make round I-Cord handles. I did get some fabric to sew in a lining, but just haven’t done it. One of these days …

Close Up of Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

Close Up of Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

And I finished knitting the Speed Stix afghan last night. I decided to single crochet around the edge, which isn’t called for, but I think it gives stability and helps straighten out the tendency for the stockinette to curl. I’ll be adding the fringe next.

On the Needles – Weekend Retreat Cardi

Weekend Retreat Cardi in Progress

Weekend Retreat Cardi in Progress

One of my favorite new patterns is the Lion Brand Weekend Retreat Cardi (it is free on their website and I’ve included the link at the bottom of the page). I have made one for a friend and another for my daughter and am now working on one for myself.

I have added some length to mine beyond what the pattern calls for and am ready to start the ribbing on the bottom edge. My yarn is Red Heart Super Saver Black Fleck #4302, which is black with spots of color woven throughout.

In Caron Simply Soft Off White

In Caron Simply Soft Off White #8702

Although the pattern doesn’t call for it, I put a buttonhole and a single 1″ button at the top of the front band on my friend’s and a buttonhole with a barrel button centered on the bodice for my daughter’s. My daughter had purchased a new summer sundress and requested a cardi that matched the green embroidery on the bodice.  She has already ordered another one in a different color.  ;<) 

In Caron Acrylic Soft Sage over the cute sundress

In Caron Acrylic Soft Sage #580 over the cute sundress

This is a very easy pattern and I have worked on it as a passenger in the car during a long drive.

It seems I am usually knitting for others and rarely make anything for myself so I am really looking forward to wearing this.