Some progress was made this past month as I managed to get through the first layer of my knitting basket.

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Starting at the bottom of the picture: my take-along knitting bag.  I always have a sock on the needles that I can take along whenever I leave the house.  It takes the edge off when I need to wait with the bonus of getting a pair of socks in the bargain.  I finished one sock this past month and started on the second of the pair.   This little bag also comes in handy when I travel.  I can tuck two more balls of sock yarn in it and have enough yarn with me to keep me busy and sane on my trip.  It doesn’t take up too much of my suitcase, either.  When we’re both at home, I keep it in my knitting basket because it has an extra pair of reading glasses in it too….  and you know…. I can’t always find the pair that’s perched on my head or tucked in my shirt… so….

Next up, is this lovely:

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Stephen West’s Daybreak in Knit Circus yarns.  Isn’t it beautiful?  It’s a shop sample so you can see it person at Knit Circus or when they’re at a show.  I can’t say enough wonderful about this yarn.  It’s a dream to knit and to block and to wear.  Love! Love! Love!

The black project on the needles became these:

Knit with vintage Brown Sheep sock wool from my stash and a fun free pattern The Dark Side.  Aren’t they great?  They were very well received and I’m thinking I might need another pair for me.

The tweedy ball of sock yarn became this pair of socksimg_6897

I played around with texture on the leg and top of the foot for a manly looking sock.

Hidden below the first layer was a ball of striping sock yarn knit into theseimg_6896

where I slipped every other stitch on the round where the color changed.  I like the effect but I’d like to try purling the stitch instead of slipping it next time.

I hopped out of the basket to participate in a KAL with some friends and knit up

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this owl hat with stash yarn and buttons.  The patterns is all in one color but I jazzed it up a bit by stranding the orange and green and using intarsia for the blue.  I embroidered the pink afterwards and also embroidered the green nose.   I also added 10 rounds after the owls and before the crown shaping.  It was a bit tight, due to the stranding, when it was done, but after a soak and a stretch, it blocked out enough to fit on my head.

And hot off the needles,img_6891

a pair of slippers for the husband.  I made Charlie’s first pair four years ago and sewed them into leather moccasin soles.  I need to replace the knitted soles each year,  but this year, we decided the whole slipper needed redoing. I was able to reuse the leather moccasin soles though and knit an extra sole to sandwich in between the knitted slipper and the leather sole.   I always use Lion Brand Thick and Quick for these.  It’s cheap and machine washable.  The leather soles are machine washable too.

And now the knitting basket looks like thisimg_6895

A KAL sweater that I just started.   A forgotten sweater.  Some white sock yarn frogged from a unsatisfactory shawlette that is now destined to be a pair of owl-y socks with beady eyes.  A kit for Santa socks and a kit for snowman socks that just might sift to the bottom of the basket.

Pretty good month, knit wise.

 

 

 

 

 

Three plus weeks in to the new year and I have a quiet day in which to pause and reflect, as the saying goes.

It was busy year knit-wise.  It is all I want to do.  I think I want to blog, but blogging surely took a back seat to knitting in 2015.

  • Slippers – 2 pairs (1 crocheted pair)
  • Neck Warmers – 6
  • Hats – 11
  • Toddler Sweater – 1
  • Baby Sweaters – 8
  • Baby Hats – 6
  • Bootliners – 1 pair
  • Socks – 7 pairs
  • Scarves – 3
  • Fingerless Mitts – 1 pair
  • Shawls – 16
  • Cardigan – 1
  • Coat – 1
  • Boxes – 4 (3 crocheted and 1 knitted and felted)
  • Knee Warmers – 1 pair
  • Baby Blanket – 1
  • Hood – 1 (crocheted)

Looking forward to 2016, there is more knitting to do. I’ve decided to concentrate on WIPs (works in progress). The living room workbasket taunts me daily.

What a mess! I took this pic on NYE as motivation to get organized. The white sock yarn on the left is for a pair of child- sized socks with enough yarn left over to knit another pair. The bright stripes is KnitCircus yarns on its way to being to becoming Stephen West’s Daybreak. The open mustard pouch is the most current take-along sock that I carry with me so I have some knitting with me in case I’m stuck waiting somewhere. Why it is open and spilling out, is anyone’s guess. I see another ball of blue-striped sock yarn for a child’s pair of socks, some black and white sock yarn for a pair of Darth Vader mittens and a kit for Santa Claus socks. So much for the top layer……

I don’t have the strength deeper just now.

I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. In my little world, it is always the most relaxing week of the year. The Christmas frenzy is over and everyone is pre-occupied with football. The world seems to slow down during this time, spinning so slowly that we rarely see the sun. This year was especially slow-paced because I got the flu. Consequently, I had more time to reflect on the waning year and plan for the year ahead. When I wasn’t sleeping… Or moaning…

From a knitting perspective, 2014 was an exceptionally good year. I challenged myself to knit 30 hats in 30 days and I did! Thanks so much for all of your encouragement and wonderful words! It really helped me along.I’ve received such wonderful feedback from so many people that I’ll be offering the patterns for the hats in the near future. They may be in a book or they may be sold individually. I haven’t worked out the details yet but I’ll keep you posted. Also, people have asked if I would knit specific hats and I would love to do that. I’ll be setting some of them up for order on etsy.

I learned a few things too.
Knitting is so much quicker when you have a plan. The more complicated hats were easier to knit because everything was planned out before I started. The plain hats took much longer because I was making decisions on the fly and often had to rip back and try again.
It’s easier to knit a hat when you don’t have a particular head in mind. I’m always overly concerned about the fit when I’m knitting for someone specific. Surprisingly, each hat fit all sorts of heads in all sorts of sizes.
Blogging everyday is practically impossible. Even if you have the time, the desire is not there. It’s difficult to stay fresh. But it’s also difficult to start blogging again when you’ve been away for a while.
I have more ideas stored in my head than I thought. I was really surprised how one idea led to another. I didn’t get to ideas that I had in the beginning.

2014 was also a productive knitting year. I kept track this year of everything I knitted or crocheted. Not everything was begun in 2014. I found a few things that had been forgotten, including a vest from 1985 and a baby sweater from 1991. So happy to finish those and get the needles and project bags back into the light.

11 Shawls
1 Afghan (Tunisian crochet)
2 pairs of Socks
3 pairs of Slippers
40 Hats (including 2 baby hats)
1 Christmas Stocking
2 pairs of Fingerless Mitts
7 Scarves
1 Ottoman Cushion
2 Vests
8 Baskets (crochet)
1 Baby Sweater
1 Market Bag (crochet)
7 Sweaters
1 Poncho
4 Potholders (crochet)
1 pair of Legwarmers
1 Big Foot (my favorite project)
2 Sweaters (kid sized)
5 Cowls

If you want to see pics, check out
my ravelry page
; I’m duquette on ravelry. Feel free to friend me up.

Here’s a pic of gwampa with Big Foot so you can get an idea of Big Foot’s size.

There a few pics of Big Foot under construction on the project page
in ravelry too.

I’ve been planning for 2015 as well. I have some things on the needles that should be done in a few days, some warm things for Mom and Dad, some Christmas gifts for some family member who are celebrating in January, and some fun things for my new baby grand-nephew.

And things to figure out

The blog’s bells and whistles Like links – I’m missing a step. Guess I should go through the tutorial.

The hat patterns

Etsy

I need a dose of discipline and a dose of structure. But this has been known since kindergarten.

I did it!

I knit 30 hats in 30 days!

I finished Hat#30 at 10:45pm yesterday, Day #30.

Here are the last two:

Hat #29

Schoolhouse Press Un-Spun Icelandic wool in Winter Blue and Wood Violet
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

Still obsessed with Meg Swansen’s Russian Prime Pullover, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/russian-prime-sweater
I used the larger motif, centered it and then filled in with the diamonds of the pattern. I decreased the hat at 10 points and this asymmetrical pattern emerged. If I were to knit it again, I’d play with the crown design a bit; maybe incorporating the diamonds into the crown instead. But I love the design on the rest of the hat.

Hat #30


Schoolhouse Press Un-Spun Icelandic wool in Dusty Pink, Wood Violet and Shocking Pink
Gauge: 14 sts and 18 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

Oooh look! A beret! I held the Un-Spun double on this one.

That’s it. What to knit next? I have a little knitting to do for Christmas…. just a few pairs of slippers in bulky yarn.

But tonight, I’m knitting some hats for my baby grand-nephew Oumar. I’ve been eyeing Purl Soho’s Garter Ear Flap Hat
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/garter-ear-flap-hat
and it’s time for me to knit someone else’s design for an evening. I’m really intrigued by the short row ear flaps…

Day#29 Hats #25-28.

I can’t believe it’s almost over because I have so many more ideas and only two more hats to knit. Let’s get caught up. I’ve been playing with Schoolhouse Press’s Un-Spun Icelandic wool. I love this yarn for its softness, lightness, warmth and incredible colors. I’ve been drawn to color pairings that are close in value lately, as you can see from the next offering of hats, but I think for the next hat or two, I may be using some higher contrast and brighter colors.

Hat #25

Schoolhouse Press Un-Spun Icelandic wool in Beige and Dusty Pink
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

I love the eye-of-the-hurricane-spiral on the crown of this one. Don’t you?

Hat #26

Schoolhouse Press Un-Spun Icelandic wool in Blacksheep and Sumac
Gauge: 18 sts and 26 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

I’ve always been intrigued by the color pattern of Meg Swansen’s Russian Prime Pullover http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/russian-prime-sweater
So when I saw it woven as a pillow recently, I took that as a sign to knit it into a hat. The crown shaping yielded a surprisingly pleasing asymmetrical design. Everyone witnessing the shaping at our Wednesday evening knitting group agreed. I might knit Hat #29 in the same pattern but with the positive and negative reversed. (I think I’ll need to decide that in the next hour….)

Hat #27

Schoolhouse Press Un-Spun Icelandic wool in Sumac, Blacksheep, Lake Blue, Wood Violet and Shocking Pink
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

A sweet little cloche with two color purl bump textured stripes. I ran out of the Blacksheep but it turned into a happy accident. I like the asymmetry of the striping.

Hat #28

Schoolhouse Press Un-Spun Icelandic wool in Sumac, Dark Caramel, Cayenne, and Gold
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

Sweet Peerie stripes on a simple earflap hat. Such fun to knit.

So two more to go. I’m thinking I’ll keep going with the Un-spun Icelandic and try some of the new neon colors. Until tomorrow!

Last night I got caught up. Today I puttered. Now I’m almost behind again. Puttering was rejuvenating though and I now have more than six new hat ideas. So here I sit, surrounded by scraps of paper, pads of graph paper, colored pencils, oodles of knitting needles and more balls of yarn than I’ll actually need. I can’t believe this will all be over on this coming Sunday.

Now onto the most recent hats – I plowed through all the Noro that I had in my stash and came up with five hats. They all kinda look alike because the color ways are the same or similar. I’ll point out the differences.

Hat #20

Noro Kama Wool/Silk/Alpaca/Kid Mohair/Angora
Gauge: 14 sts and 22 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

Simple stockinette beanie with cable ribbing.

Hat #21

Noro Kama Wool/Silk/Alpaca/Kid Mohair/Angora
Gauge: 14 sts and 22 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size: Adult Large

Carried a rib farrow up to the crown shaping. This is a comfy hat.

Hat #22

Noro Kama Wool/Silk/Alpaca/Kid Mohair/Angora
Gauge: 14 sts and 22 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size: Adult Medium

Antler-ish cabled ribbing and then alternating cabling up to the crown.

Hat #23

Noro Silk Garden Lamb’sWool/Silk/Kid Mohair
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Size: Adult Medium

Simple texture stitch of alternating bands of stockinette and seed stitch with a squared crown.

Hat #24

Noro Silk Garden Lamb’s Wool/Silk/Kid Mohair
Gauge: 14 sts and 26 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size: Adult Medium

Antler cabled ribbing with horseshoe cables up to the crown. This is now my favorite hat.

I’m feeling like knitting some more stranded color patterns now.

Almost there! Hat #20 is on the needles and I have an idea for Hat #21 so…..

In the meantime, here are some more hats.

Hat #16

Blackberry Ridge Medium Weight Traditional Colors 100% Wool in Colonial Blue/Light Blue/Aster
Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size: Adult Medium

Used a Latvian Braid at the bottom of the hat and around the edge of the flower.

Hat #17

Knit One Crochet Too Paint Box 100% Wool
Gauge: 20 sts and 20 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern stitch
Size: Child Large/ Adult Small

This is a self-striping yarn and I paired two balls so that the colors would contrast. The color values vary so there are places of high and low contrast. Fun! Fun! Fun! I want to explore more ideas with this yarn.

Used a corrugated rib at the bottom and for the crown; squared shaping for the crown.

Hat #18


Knit One Crochet Too Paint Box 100% Wool
Gauge: 20 sts and 20 rnds = 4 inches in color pattern stitch
Size: Adult Large

I’m still not sure about this hat. I shaped it on the fly and there are things I would do differently the next time. I do like the color play though.

Hat #19

Blackberry Ridge Medium Weight Traditional Colors 100% Wool in Light Blue/Aster
Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Size: Child Large/Adult Small

Fun color work design on this one.

More than half way done!

Time to get back on track! Five hats to show today.

Hat #11:

Blackberry Ridge Medium Weight Traditional Colors 100% Wool in Colonial Blue
Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rnds = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Toddler/Child’s Small

Easy cabled rib pattern.

Hat #12:

Universal Yarn Classic Worsted Tapestry 75% Acrylic 25% Wool in Sweetheart
Gauge: 20 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Child’s Large/Adult Small

A good old fashioned stocking cap knit with self-striping yarn.

Hat #13

Adriafil KNITCOL ART.KN 100% Merino Superwash
Gauge: 20 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Toddler/Child’s Small

A diagonal rib pattern stitch offset the striping.

Hat #14

Adriafil KNITCOL ART.KN 100% Merino Super wash
Gauge: 20 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Toddler/Child’s Small

Straightforward; the yarn does all the work.

Hat #15

Blackberry Ridge Medium Weight Traditional Colors 100% Wool in Colonial Blue
Gauge: 16 sts and 24 rnds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Toddler/Child’s Small

1×1 rib brought up at 8 points with reverse stockinette between the points.

All were fun and easy to knit.

We’re a little past the halfway mark! I’m currently working on Hat #17…. but I have ideas for more.

I haven’t been blogging but I have been knitting. When I haven’t been chopping onions. Why do all my Thanksgiving recipes include at least one chopped onion?

I tried a bit of modular knitting on these two hats.

The first is a series of mitered squares with garter st rows between them. The top is shaped by decreasing at 6 points. I picked up at the bottom and knit a few rows of garter st and bound off with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Then seamed.

Blackberry Ridge Medium Weight Kaleidoscope 100% Wool in Firecracker
Gauge: 16 sts and 16 rows = 4 inches in garter st

It’s a favorite, although it looks more like a light bulb cover than a hat in this photo.

It was such a quick knit that I thought I’d try another modular design. Unfortunately, this idea turned into 2 days’ worth of work. I was stymied by the nesting right angles as they kept turning into entrelac. Being stubborn, a few hours later, success was mine. I increased in each st and then knit the cap in garter, decreasing at 10 points every 4 ridges.

Blackberry Ridge Medium Weight Traditional Colors 100% Wool in Colonial Blue, Light Blue and Aster
Gauge: 16 sts and 16 rows = 4 inches in garter st

Now I’m left wondering why I didn’t knit the cap in stockinette to save time, but I do like the garter stitch.

I have a few more hats done and will save them for separate blog posts. Tomorrow I’ll show a kid’s hat.