Knit List || Hot Chocolate

June 25, 2015

I cannot begin to explain just how particular Lou is. She loves to have bangs, and will get crazy mad when they get too long and start to hang in her face. She loves to have pig tails or a top knot as well, and picks out which hair bands I should use.

She picks out (and changes frequently) the shoes she is wearing, and will stand in front of her closet with me, helping me decide which shirt to wear. If I should try to just grab a shirt or pair of shoes for her, she will protest QUITE loudly until she can have her say.

At 15 months old, she's got more opinions than her 3 year old brother!

Because of this particularness, I know I cannot simply knit her something and assume she'll wear it in the colder months. She's got enough opinions for our entire house, and so I'm going to have to run future knitting choices by her before I cast on. But boy, do I hope this Hot Chocolate sweater makes the cut! I love the boxy nature, the turtleneck, and the cropped sleeves. It feels very Lou to me, and I hope she sees that as well!

Until it gets colder and she can start helping me pick out some winter knits, it goes on my "here's hoping list"!

Hats On People || Jeroen

June 24, 2015
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Jeroen about the possibility of making him a hat as part of my Hats On People project. He'd read of my quest in my friend Chris' book The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life, and was intrigued. He had read through some of my blog, loved the concept, and wanted to participate!

Of course I said yes - I love to make hats for others, and as much as I can, whenever someone contacts me about making them a hat, I love to get one to them. Jeroen lives in the Netherlands and has completed a quest of his own, so we've bonded over the last few weeks when chatting about the structure of a quest, and the passion behind it.

I'd actually started to slack off on my Hats On People project, and thanks to Jeroen's message, I added a link to the blog with more information for others to participate in this project, and I've gotten just under a dozen requests in the last week! It's so exciting to watch as these hats start getting shipped across the world to folks like Jeroen, excited to help me finish my quest, all while wearing a handmade hat of their own!

Fringe Hat-Along 3 Is Underway!

June 23, 2015

Have you participated in the previous Fringe Association Hat Alongs? I keep meaning to grab some yarn and play along, but then .... life, I guess. I was super bummed to miss out on the second one, as I had the yarn ready to go, but just never found the time to sit down and bang the hat out!

This third hat-along features the gorgeous Hermaness Hat from Gudrun Johnston, who is a designer I have loved for years. Her patterns are gorgeous - timeless and still technical, perfect for everyday wear while challenging the knitter in a variety of ways.

For the hat-along Karen is recommending the worsted weight version of this gorgeous lace-weight hat, although a fingering weight version is available as well. And as per Karen's usual amazing style, there is tons of advice and helpful tips in the Hat-Along blog post, so if you're new to hat knitting or lace knitting, check it out before you dive in!!

Dotted Rays

June 22, 2015

Pattern: Dotted Rays, from Stephen West
Yarn: Tosh Merino Light, from Madeline Tosh ( yards)
Knitting Time: May 6 2015 - June 20 2015 (six weeks)

I began knitting this shawl in early May, as part of my OWL for the HPKCHC group on Ravelry. I'm not really a shawl knitter, but I knew I wanted to stretch myself this spring/summer to make just a few knitted things that are outside of my normal knit-sphere. That said, I also knew a traditional triangle shawl is something I'll never wear, so I wanted something that I could see myself wrapping around my neck like a scarf this winter.

Something for football games and snow days and going to middle school practicums. Something that would take me from fall to winter to spring. Something I'd actually wear.

Dotted Rays is definitely that shawl! I love looping it loosely around my neck (as seen in the first picture above), but found that when I draped it over my shoulders for pictures, I immediately knew this would be the perfect way to wear this shawl when I need one extra cozy layer. And it also wraps more tightly around my neck like a traditional scarf, for those super cold football games this fall!

Dotted Rays comes with two sizes you can knit, and I chose the smaller size - both because I'm not a natural shawl knitter, and also because I'm super short, so a huge shawl would be a bit unusable. I'm so glad I made the small version, because it's just the right amount of "huge, blanket-like" for me, while still being 100% useable!

I made exactly zero modifications to the pattern as I knit it. And while I could say it's because I didn't feel adept enough to make any changes, in truth I adore this shawl made exactly the way it's designed.

I will say this, however. I worked the first four or five sections just trying to "pay attention" to where the short row turns were, and it was driving me insane! I complained a bit in a private online knitting group I'm a member of, and one lovely friend pointed out that DUH ROBYN, STITCH MARKERS AT THE SHORT ROW TURNS. Because seriously, then you don't have to do anything but pay attention to how many stitches you need to be away from the last marker, and not constantly count the entire section, like I was doing. Game. Changer.

This little tip is actually getting its own post at some point, once I feel like casting on another shawl so I can take pictures of this in-process. Because did I think to take pictures in the moment? NOPE! Oh well. I'm sort of out of practice at this whole blogging thing this spring/summer, so whatever. Next time!!

If you're a seasoned shawl knitter, you could whip this off your needles far faster than I did, I would imagine. But still ... six weeks of intermittent knitting time (when the kids were sleeping, basically) doesn't feel like a very long time to me, so beginner shawl makers shouldn't be scared away by this! The techniques are super fun and easy to master, and it's a piece I'll wear for years to come!!

COZY, The Collection

June 10, 2015
I've finally gotten off my duff and put together eight hat patterns, all previously published as individual patterns, into a collection called CozyPerfect for gifting and charity donations, the hats in Cozy work up quickly using super bulky yarn. You can purchase the entire collection for just $15.00 - a huge discount as each pattern is $3.00 individually.

If you've purchased any of these patterns in the past, but would like to have the entire collection, please message me so I can give you a discount dependent on the number of patterns from Cozy you've already purchased. I'd hate for you to spend money twice for a pattern, after all!!

I hope to have more collections like this available, coming this fall and winter. I'm finally getting back to writing patterns, finishing up some of the many patterns I've had half-finished for years along with getting some new patterns out of my head. It feels good to get back to this, for sure!!



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