New (Free) Pattern: The Windbreaker Hat

 The Windbreaker hat is a ridiculously stretchy cabled hat. Quick and easy to knit, the free pattern uses less than 1 skein of worsted weight yarn and is a great gift. #knitting | withwool.com

The Windbreaker hat got the chance to live up to it’s name this weekend. The Bearded One and I trekked through the falling snow, wind, and 19 degree temps to run errands and grab lunch. Every minute outside, the hat kept his head warm and the wind out. No cold ears here.
 
Windbreaker is a ridiculously stretchy cabled hat. Seriously. It fits both me (22") and the Bearded One’s 24” noggin. The secret to this stretch is that the hat, even the cables, are based in 2x2 rib. This has the added bonus of making the hat an easy knit while the cables keep things interesting. And thanks to the long brim, Windbreaker can be worn as a slouchy hat or with the brim folded for an extra layer against the cold.

 The Windbreaker hat is a ridiculously stretchy cabled hat. Quick and easy to knit, the free pattern uses less than 1 skein of worsted weight yarn and is a great gift. #knitting | withwool.com
 The Windbreaker hat is a ridiculously stretchy cabled hat. Quick and easy to knit, the free pattern uses less than 1 skein of worsted weight yarn and is a great gift. #knitting | withwool.com

The pattern uses worsted weight yarn, and this hat is made with less than one skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca (Oceanic Mix). Both written and charted instructions are included for the cables and crown decreases. The pattern includes two sizes, medium and large, and an option to work a longer section of cables and a shorter brim.

Add it to your queue and favorites on Ravelry!

Sizes: Medium (Large) - Shown in size Large which fits a head circumference up to 24" (61 cm)

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) 40" circular needle (for magic loop) OR 16" circular needle and DPN's

Gauge: 13 sts and 13 rows = 2" (5 cm) in 2x2 rib, unstretched

Yarn: 130 (145) yds / 119 (133) m worsted weight yarn. Shown in Berroco Ultra Alpaca - Oceanic Mix.

Notions: Cable Needle, Tapestry Needle

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Free Pattern: The Melded Scarf

  Introducing the Melded Scarf - a free scarf pattern designed for the Foster Care 2 Success’ Red Scarf Project. | withwool.com

The Melded Scarf is what happens when two colors meet in the middle and come together to make a cosy and bold striped scarf. Worked in 1x1 rib the scarf is reversible, and looks great on anyone. The Melded Scarf is also a great showcase for variegated and gradient yarns.

Check it out on Ravelry and add it to your queue!

  Introducing the Melded Scarf - a free scarf pattern designed for the Foster Care 2 Success’ Red Scarf Project. | withwool.com

I originally designed this pattern for Foster Care to Success’s Red Scarf Project which collects red scarves to send college-bound foster youth for Valentine’s Day. I first read about the project several years ago when I was a college student myself.  I probably should have been studying, but I was hunched over my laptop reading knitting blogs instead. A huge part of the reason I got into college and made it through 5 grueling years was because I had the support of my parents. Without them and their support everything from buying books, to final exams, to pulling all-nighters (saw so many sunrises from my studio desk) would have been so much more difficult. And it was so nice getting notes and surprise care packages from home. It was amazing and wonderful knowing that people were cheering me on. I wanted to share that feeling and support with others, and I still do. 

If you enjoy the pattern, please consider making a scarf for the Red Scarf Project or making a donation to the Foster Care to Success program. They provide scholarships, coaching, care packages, and an emergency fund to help foster kids get through college. And, according to Charity Navigator, the majority of the money F2C receives actually goes to it’s programs and services.

  Introducing the Melded Scarf - a free scarf pattern designed for the Foster Care 2 Success’ Red Scarf Project. | withwool.com

Free Pattern: Waffle Time Washcloth

 The Waffle Time Washcloth is just the right size with a stitch pattern that looks great on both sides. | withwool.com

After knitting more washcloths and kitchen towels than I care to count, I have some very definite opinions about washcloths. The stitch pattern doesn’t have to be reversible, but it should look good on both sides. Garter stitch borders are a plus. Cloths with a bit of texture are perfect for scrubbing. And any washcloth much larger than a 7” square is unwieldy and too big. 

 The Waffle Time Washcloth is just the right size with a stitch pattern that looks great on both sides. | withwool.com
 The Waffle Time Washcloth is just the right size with a stitch pattern that looks great on both sides. | withwool.com

I wanted to make a few washcloths as gifts and couldn’t find a pattern that I matched all my criteria. So I picked a scrubby stitch pattern and went from there. The cloths were quick to knit, and they’ll be sweet gifts with some lotion and a nice bar of soap.

If you share any of my opinions on washcloths, you can get the pattern below. Happy knitting! 

 The Waffle Time Washcloth is just the right size with a stitch pattern that looks great on both sides. | withwool.com

New Pattern: The Odd Couple Shawl

 Tame wild, variegated yarn with slip stitches and the Odd Couple Shawl. | withwool.com

Odd Couple combines simple auto-pilot knitting with slip stitches and texture to tame wild, variegated yarns.

The shawl can be worked with any weight of yarn, be it sock yarn, bulky, or anything in between. The pattern starts with a small number of stitches and keeps increasing so you can make a shawl as big or small as you please.

 Tame wild, variegated yarn with slip stitches and the Odd Couple Shawl. | withwool.com

I’m absolutely thrilled to finally share the Odd Couple shawl! It’s been many months in the making, so it’s great to have it off the needles, blocked, and ready to wear. The inspiration for this shawl was a beautiful skein of hand dyed Corrie Sock by Happy Fuzzy Yarn in a few of my favorite colors. The yarn matched my favorite coat, so it was destined to be a shawl. But what kind? I had a few ideas. It had to be asymmetrical with a little texture, and nip pooling colors in the bud. Oh, and if it were auto-pilot knitting, things would be even better. 

Mixing all those things together turned out to be a tall order. Even with an idea in my head and sketches on paper, I spent way to long frogging to figure out the shape and construction. The time was well spent though, and lead to a shawl that had every thing I wanted. 

 Tame wild, variegated yarn with slip stitches and the Odd Couple Shawl. | withwool.com

Odd Couple starts at the bottom with a tiny number of stitches and keeps on growing. You can make it big or small, and bind off when you’re ready. Use any yarn that you like - it doesn’t even have to be variegated. A solid color would beautifully show the texture from the slip stitches. 

To celebrate the release, Odd Couple will be on sale through Sunday, October 2. Use coupon code ODD to get $1 off. Put Odd Couple in your Ravelry cart (no account required), click add coupon, and type in the code. Happy knitting!

 Tame wild, variegated yarn with slip stitches and the Odd Couple Shawl. | withwool.com

Odd Couple

Yarn: Your pick of yarn in any weight. 

  • Fingering Weight: 400 - 800 yds
  • Sport Weight: 450 - 750 yds
  • Worsted Weight: 400 - 600 yds
  • Bulky Weight: 350 - 570 yds

Needles: Circular Needle 32” or longer to match yarn

Notions: 1 stitch marker, and a tapestry needle

Free Pattern: Show Off Boomerang

 Show Off Boomerang - A free pattern for that one special skein of yarn, handspun or hand dyed, that’s a show off all by itself. |   withwool.com

I finally finished a couple of long-term works in progress last week, and decided to reward myself by casting on for something new. The yarn I spun during this year’s Tour de Fleece has been taunting me, specifically a wild combination of dark grey merino and random mini batts. I may or may not have wound the yarn at 11 PM. Okay, I definitely wound the yarn that late. I stayed up watching movies and cast on for a beautiful shawl. Unfortunately, the yarn obscured the yarn overs, increases, and details that made the shawl what it is. Simple, reversible, garter stitch was the only option. 

 Show Off Boomerang - A free pattern for that one special skein of yarn, handspun or hand dyed, that’s a show off all by itself. |   withwool.com

I love the look of asymmetrical triangle shawls. And I love the fact that I could knit every inch of that precious skein without worrying when to bind off. So, I experimented with and frogged a few different versions of bias knit boomerang shapes before I found one I liked. Then I made sure that all the action happened on one row of the pattern repeat for easy auto-pilot knitting.  

Thanks to plenty of down time, I knit the shawl in one day and blocked it the next. Blocking smoothed out the curves - the yarn had it’s thick and thin spots - and added a few more inches of depth. I’m so happy I didn’t let the yarn linger in the stash or try to force it into a complicated pattern. This shawl will be the perfect pop of color on a dreary winter day. 

 Show Off Boomerang - A free pattern for that one special skein of yarn, handspun or hand dyed, that’s a show off all by itself. |   withwool.com

If you’ve got one precious skein of handspun or hand dyed indie goodness that wants to do it’s own thing, the Show Off Boomerang might be just the pattern you’re looking for. 

Size: Your Choice

Yarn & Needles: 200+ yards of any weight yarn and needles to match

 Show Off Boomerang - A free pattern for that one special skein of yarn, handspun or hand dyed, that’s a show off all by itself. |   withwool.com

Pattern: Mosaic Sisters

  Colorful and geometric, the Mosaic Sisters are textured mosaic knit cloths perfect for the kitchen or the bathroom. Each cloth is made with garter stitch and slipped stitches that are simple to knit, but create complex patterns. All of the sisters can be made as a kitchen towel, washcloth, or coaster. Make a full set in 2 colors or mix and match.

I am thrilled to finally share the Mosaic Sisters! Why sisters? Because each mosaic design, though unique, shares several traits. They all have wide stripes, are knit in garter stitch, and have geometric designs. The pattern is a set 3 three different designs that can be turned into kitchen towels, washcloths, and coasters. Or anything else your needles desire. Mosaic knitting makes the cloths the perfect thickness and texture to be useful in both the kitchen and the bathroom. Since the basis of the patterns is garter stitch, the cloths won't twist or curl. Since they're all sister designs, you can make them in as many or as few colors as you want. Make a whole set in 2 colors or mix and match for maximum rainbow. 

If you're nervous about working mosaic knitting for the first time, I wrote a few tutorials to help. Mosaic Knitting 101 will show you the basics, and the next tutorial shows how to carry yarn up the side of the work. To cast on, I recommend the long-tail cast on - it's great with cotton.

  Colorful and geometric, the Mosaic Sisters are textured mosaic knit cloths perfect for the kitchen or the bathroom. Each cloth is made with garter stitch and slipped stitches that are simple to knit, but create complex patterns. All of the sisters can be made as a kitchen towel, washcloth, or coaster. Make a full set in 2 colors or mix and match.

I had the idea for the Mosaic Sisters years ago. At the time there was only one cloth, the oldest sister of course, and it had a different name. I knit the first sample, wrote the pattern, and made the chart. For one reason or another I never published it. Years later I saw a call to submit designs for home related patterns. The oldest sister came to mind, but I knew I couldn't just submit one - that's when the middle sister came along. Spoilers - the submission wasn't accepted. Now two designs were hanging out on my hard drive. Once the sting of disappointment wore off, I looked at them again and decided to add a third pattern to the set, the youngest sister. I've been swatching, charting, knitting, and putting the pattern together ever since. It's been a long road, but I'm glad that the sisters are finally getting their debut. 

To celebrate the Mosaic Sisters release, the pattern is free until Sunday, December 6 11:59 PM PST. Afterwards, it'll go to it's regular price of $5. No coupon or Ravelry account required. Happy knitting! 

Mosaic Sisters

Sizes: Kitchen Towel - 8.5" x 14"; Washcloth - 8.5" x 8"; Coaster - 4.25" x 4"

Gauge: 5 sts = 1" in pattern

Needles: US 6 (4mm) straight or circular needles 

Yarn:  Worsted Weight Cotton Yarn in 4 colors

Shown in Knit Picks Dishie - Swan, Azure, Crème Brulee, and Tranquil

For the kitchen towels: 37g / 70 yds each color

For the washcloths: 20g / 39 yds each color

For the coasters: 7g / 14 yds each color

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In Defense of the Cosy and a Free Pattern

A few months ago I decided that I had to knit a cosy for my water bottle. I was tired condensation soaking the side of my pants as a I walked and wiping up water rings whenever I picked it up. A knit cosy seemed like the perfect solution. Stay with me here. I know the first thing people thing of when they hear “cosy” are creepy toilet paper covers. I know I do. 

Cozies can be functional though. I like cup cozies since anything that lets me drink hot beverages without burning my hands is a winner. Phone cozies are pretty helpful too since they protect screens from scratches. Hot water bottle cozies keep hot water hot longer. I’ve never made a tea cosy but I’ve got a small glass pot that could probably use a little insulation between pours.

So, I measured my water bottle and started knitting it a cosy in hopes that the thing would stop sweating all over me. My first thought was to use cotton because it makes absorbent kitchen towels, but I went with wool instead. Wool has more stretch than cotton which has helped keep the cosy on the bottle. Plus, wool is a much better insulator. It’ll definitely keep you warm, but it’ll also keep cold things cold. I fill up the cozied water bottle with ice and cold water. Even after sitting in 80º room for 70 minutes, there’s still ice floating around hours later. Cozies win!

If I’ve convinced you to cosy up your water bottle, here are a few tips and a recipe.

Measure first. It’s tempting to eye ball and guess how many stitches to cast on, but water bottles are larger around than you’d think. Mine holds 33oz/1000 ml and is 11” in circumference.

Negative ease will keep the cosy in place. The knitting is going to stretch during use and, if it stretches too much, the cosy will just fall off. By making the cosy slightly smaller than the water bottle, the cosy will stretch to fit but not get too big. A negative ease of 10% worked well for me. 

For example: My water bottle is 11” around and my gauge was 6 stitches to the inch which would give me 66 stitches before negative ease. Including 10% ease means I’d need 10% fewer stitches which brings the cast on number to 60. 

Put some ribbing on it. Whether you’re adding lace or sticking with stockinette, a few inches of 2x2 ribbing at the top will make the cosy easy to get on and off.  

Use wool. It’s got great stretch which will keep the cosy on your bottle. It’ll keep cold water cold and hot water hot. Plus, it’ll be a little easier on your hands when you knit.

Waffle Rib Water Bottle Cosy Recipe

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches. For my 11” circumference bottle, that was 60 stitches at gauge of 6 stitches/inch.

Join to work in the round. Work 2x2 rib for 1.5”

Repeat the waffle rib pattern until the cosy is as tall as your water bottle. 

    Rows 1-2: knit

    Rows 3-4: knit 2, purl 2

Decreases work just like a hat. Repeat 1 decrease row and 1 knit row. Here’s what it looks like over 60 sts (there were 6 set of decreases that happened over 10 sts):

    Row 1: *knit 8 sts, k2tog* repeat between * *

    Row 2: knit all 

    Row 3: *knit 7 sts, k2tog*

    Row 4: knit all

    Row 5: *knit 6 sts, k2tog*

    Row 6: knit all 

    Row 7: *knit 5 sts, k2tog*

    Row 8: knit all

Once I’d decreased half the stitches, I started decreasing every row to keep bottom from bunching.

Cut the yarn and pull through the stitches when there’s 10 or less on the needles.

Weave in the ends and the cosy is good to go. 

Pattern: Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket

Cuddly-Chevron3.jpg

Early last year I found out that a good friend of mine was having her first child. Since she’s on my knit-worthy list, my mind started churning with all sorts of ideas. I considered sweaters, hats, toys, and baby tube socks. All of those things are still an option now but what what I really wanted to make was a blanket. Sure, it’s more knitting, yarn, and time than the other ideas but a blanket has staying power. It can’t be outgrown like a sweater or a hat or adorable baby tube socks. A blanket is more useful than a toy and, maybe, not as easy to misplace. Plus, if you pardon the cliche, a great way to wrap someone up in love.

Cuddly-Chevron4.jpg

Those thoughts were the start of the Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket. I swatched my way through several different and complicated ideas, none of which panned out, before coming back around to the simple chevron. Soft, cushy, colorful garter stitch chevrons, in fact. After tracking down a machine washable cotton/acrylic yarn that actually had all the colors I needed, a task that proved much harder than I thought, I cast on. Then I ripped out because I wanted the blanket to be bigger. After that, the knitting was smooth sailing. I didn’t finish the blanket in time to send it off before the kid was born but it did arrive before winter turned really cold. 

My original plan was to publish the pattern before Christmas. Obviously that didn’t happen but I’m so happy that Cuddly Chevron is the first pattern of 2015. The first of many! Another first and something I’m really excited about is that I’m going to be releasing a tutorial series detailing the techniques in this blanket! I’ve never released tutorials revolving around a specific pattern before and can’t figure out why I haven’t. The tutorials will focus on several key techniques that will help with both with the blanket and future projects. The series starts next week and will cover weaving in ends as you go (without a tapestry needle), working lifted increases in garter stitch, and uses for stitch markers. If you’re wondering how to work another technique, let me know. 

Happy Knitting! 

Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket

Simple, classic, and warm, the Cuddly Chevron Baby Blanket is easy to make and a great gift for any baby or yourself. Worked in garter stitch, the blanket knits up quickly to create a cushy fabric. 

Stick with three colors of worsted weight yarn, just use two, or go wild and use up all those leftover yarns in your stash.

Want to make it bigger or smaller? The pattern includes notes to help you out. 

Size: 30” x 30”

Needle: US 7 (4.5 mm) 36” circular needle

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Avalon - 2 skeins (350 yds) of each color

C1: 10 - Artisan's Gold

C2: 02 - Silver

C3: 17 - Enamel Blue

Notions: Tapestry Needle, Stitch Markers (Optional)

Check it out on Ravelry!

Pattern: Cornered Slouch Hat

Cornered-Slouch-Hat-Profile.jpg

A quick, simple hat pattern is a great thing to have up your sleeve whether you have a great yarn or just 2 more knitting days until Christmas. Simple cast on. Simple ribbing. Simple stockinette. Simple crown decreases. Simple finishing. Let the yarn do all the hard work. 

I designed the hat to showcase a marled orange and blue beauty of a skein. The yarn was originally a pooling mess of fingering weight that I chain plied to create a lovely, marled aran weight. You can easily use any aran yarn that’ll give you 4 stitches to the inch or ply your stashed fingering weight yarn with the help of this tutorial

Cornered-Slouch-Hat.jpg

Cornered Slouch Hat

Sometimes, all you want is a simple, slouchy hat. Knit up a fun yarn or show off some handspun. This simple pattern with squared decreases is the perfect display for your favorite yarn. 

Thanks to the stretchiness of ribbing and stockinette, this hat will fit a wide variety of noggins. 

Sizes: 21” and 23”

Yarn: 110 - 130 yds of aran weight yarn

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) needles

Download Now

Cornered-Slouch-Hat-Decreases.jpg

Black Friday and Beyond Sale

Sapling-Black-Friday-Sale.jpg

Thanksgiving was wonderful this year and filled with lots of great food. The Bearded One and I made Thanksgiving Tacos and were quite satisfied. Now that it’s Black Friday and time for the biggest country wide sale of the year, I might as well join in too. From now, Friday 12 AM PST to 12 PM Friday, December 6, my downloadable patterns are on sale for 3.50. No coupons necessary. 

Just head to my Ravelry shop or this site’s “Pattern” page, pick out your favorite patterns, and add them to your cart. The adjusted price will show up automatically. 

Black-Friday-Sale-Diagonal.jpg

Pattern: Keep It Simple Hat

KISHat5.jpg

Another Thanksgiving has passed and I hope you had a great day even if it was just another Thursday. Now, Black Friday is upon us. As someone who has worked retail on this frenetic day, there is no way that I am venturing anywhere near a mall or major shopping center today. I might not even leave the house which sounds like a great idea to me. While I’m here, have a hat...pattern.

KISHat6.jpg

The Keep It Simple (KIS) Hat is a slouchy hat with a garter brim and simple Fair Isle stripes. It’s meant to be a match for the Keep It Simple Mitts which I designed way back in November 2010. I can’t believe it’s taken me 2 years complete the set. This hat follows all the guidelines I set for those mitts: a simple pattern in worsted weight yarn, a little color work to keep things interesting, a nice use for all those leftover bits, and a quick, attractive knit. I knit the larger size in just 3 days.

KISHat2.jpg

The first pair of mitts, I knit as a gift but this first hat is all mine. I’ve already put it to good use on a few  cold, windy days. Thanks to all the different colors, it’s a great match to all of my coats and a large percentage of my hoodies. I love the versatility.

KISHat3.jpg

The Keep It Simple Hat

Worsted Weight Yarn; Main Color(140, 160 yds), Contrast Color (9, 12 yds) per stripe

Shown in: 

Valley Yarns Stockbridge (Main); (Contrast) Patons Classic Wool, Knit Picks Swish, and Knit Picks Merino Style

Sizes: Small (20”) and Medium (22”)

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) 36" circular for Magic Loop or Double Points & 16” Circular

Gauge: 20 sts = 4” in stockinette

Download

@Ravelry

KISHat7.jpg

Pattern: Slouchy Babe

Transient

Things started out simply enough. My mom was going to her niece’s baby shower and requested a cute baby hat. But only if I had one in stock. I didn’t and decided to remedy the situation promptly. So, I started perusing Ravelry with a few ideas in mind: simple, slouchy, eyelets, and baby sized. There was nothing quite like I wanted so out came the sketchbook, the calculator, the needles, and the yarn. After more swatching, ripping, and pages of notes than I’d like to admit, I had a simple, slouchy, baby sized hat with eyelets. Knit from the top-down too.

Transient

Mom headed off to the baby shower, hat in hand, a few days later and I kept knitting. Soon there was another baby hat, a toddler hat, a kid hat, and an adult sized hat because I wanted one too. I wore it to the breast cancer 5k, hiking in the woods, all around town, and even took it to Denver with me. It’s warm, it’s comfy, and it looks good. What’s not to love?

Transient

Slouchy Babe

Sizes: 0-6 mo (16”), 6-18 mo (18.5”), 18-4 yrs, 4 yrs & up (20”) 

Worsted Weight Yarn (60, 75, 100, 130 yds)

Shown in Berroco Vintage and Berroco Ultra Alpaca

Gauge: 21 sts = 4” in eyelet pattern

US 6 (4 mm) needles

download  |  @ravelry

Transient

Pattern: Chevron Bookmark

I’ve made an executive decision: all that pesky, Christmas knitting is done, done, DONE. The week before last was filled with late nights, little sleep, a lot of last minute knitting, and a few triumphs. On Thursday night, I cast for a balaclava, finished knitting it in the car on Friday, wove in the ends in the parking lot, and dropped it in a bag seconds before the party started. I call that a win. After the party, the knitting continued since I had another party to go to the next day. This gift I managed to finish and wrap before I left the house. 

Anyway, in January of this year, I joined the local fiber guild. We meet up once a month and talk knitting/spinning/weaving/crochet and whatever else we feel like gabbing about. There are workshops, demos, and field trips. It’s definitely worth the membership fee. I haven’t been able to go the last few months and I’ve really missed it so I leapt at the chance to go to the Holiday potluck last weekend. Said potluck involves a little gift exchange and this year’s theme was bookmarks. Just because I can’t do anything the easy way, I had to come up with my own pattern and, of course, wait until the day before to cast on between balaclava rows. 

The pattern itself is only two rows, easy to remember, takes only a few scraps of fingering weight yarn, and almost seems to knit itself. Perfect for those last minute deadlines that make your eyebrows twitch. I know mine were.

Chevron1.jpg

Chevron Bookmark

Supplies:

  • 2.75 mm needles
  • 6 g total of Fingering weight yarn in 2 colors
  • Shown in Knit Picks Palette - Mochi (A) and Clover (B) 

With the long tail cast on, make 21 stitches using color A

  1. knit 1, k2tog, knit 7, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 7, ssk, k1
  2. Switch to color B and knit across
  3. knit 1, k2tog, knit 7, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 7, ssk, k1

Switching colors every 2 rows, repeat rows 2 and 3 until the bookmark is 7” or desired length. Knit 1 more row with same color and bind off.

*

With the exception of knit night and knitting socks while standing in line, knitting is a rather solitary affair for me. I am alone with my yarn, my needles, and my own thoughts. So, enjoying the potluck, and realizing that I was surrounded by dozens of people who share a passion for yarn, and textiles, and making was an amazing experience. Just makes this bookmark all the more special.

GiftBookmark.jpg

Pattern: Happy Birthday!

When I was packing for my trip I could decide what knitting to bring with me. Cotton didn’t sound fun, charts were too much effort, and my current projects were too big. Then a light bulb went off - Socks. These are all reasons that I knit socks. So, I started digging through my sock yarn for the perfect skein. Hello, Sex Kitten.

SexKittenS.jpg

Somehow, I managed to wait until I was in the car and headed to Savannah before I cast on for a perfectly bright pair of stockinette socks. I carried them with me everywhere - walking Tybee Island, strolling Savannah (and it’s various yarn shops), and just relaxing in front of the TV. They weren’t finished when we got back home - mainly, because I started reading Game of Thrones - but they’re a fun reminder of my trip all the same.

BDaySocks1S.jpg

Another reason I started a pair of socks was because I thought they’d be a fun birthday gift. Today is my birthday and I managed to finish them with a few days to spare. It had been awhile since I’d knit a pair of socks but I still remembered my old favorites: the wide toe, a column of gusset increases, and a reinforced heel flap. Along with the off the wall colors, these are an amazing pair of socks.

BDaySocks2S.jpg

Not only am I another year older but so is the blog at the ripe old age of two. To celebrate both our birthdays, I’m giving away the pattern for this fun pair of socks as a gift. Have fun!

Happy Birthday! Socks | download | ravelry |

Yarn: MacKintosh Yarns Chubby Sock - Sex Kitten

Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) Gauge: 7st/9 rows = 1”

Sizes: 7.5” and 8.5”

Pattern: Summer and an Elder God

Summer started off with a bang and I mean that quite literally. Thunderstorms have been rolling through since Wednesday. Loud, obnoxious thunderstorms that wait just long enough for things to dry out before dumping more rain. The cat has not been pleased but my garden could not be happier. As for me, I’m welcoming Summer in my own way with mai tai’s and truffles. This is a combination I heartily recommend.

Last weekend I was celebrating a different kind of beginning: a new baby. The parents are good friends of mine and also happen to be the creative force behind UndertakingFX, a special effects, makeup, and general source of awesome. One of their latest products is the Cthulu Plaque. They gave the Bearded One and I one as a gift and it is amazing. Now if only we could find the right place to hang it. We’ve already ruled out the bedroom. It's going somewhere we can enjoy it all day long. Anyway, since the two of them are H. P. Lovecraft fans I couldn’t stop myself from adding a little Cthulu into the mix for the baby shower.

Cthulu1.jpg

Cthulu Rising | download | @ravelry

~50 - 55 yds worsted weight cotton per cloth | US 6 (4mm) needles

gauge: 5 sts/in | 7” by 7” square

Shown in: Lily Sugar’n Cream - Sage Green &

Knit Picks Simply Cotton Worsted - Golden Heather

This set of 2 different washcloths knits up pretty quickly. The first shows off the Elder God in all his cute, yet horrible glory. The second depicts R’lyeh if R’lyeh were made of knits and purls and had lots of columns/windows. Who knows, it just might.

Ry'lth.jpg

____

If you’re reading this post on the site, you might have noticed something new. The “Free Patterns” and “Shop” links at the top of the page have been combined into one handy link - “Patterns”. If you're following the site through a feed reader, click through and check it out. Let me know what you think!

Pattern: KIS Mitts

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KeepItSimple Mitts | download | @ravelry |

Way,way back in the beginning of September, I started planning the rest of the year's gift knitting. These were grand plans but I thought I could pull it off. As it turns out, not so much. Part of the plan was a pair of lace wristlets for my mom and she only requested them in time for last Christmas. Up until a few weeks ago, I was under the delusion that Christmas was still far off. There was stil plenty of time for knitting and finishing a pair of lace weight wristlets. All the holiday music at the mall set me straight. Those wristlets? Totally not going to happen. Again.

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Enter Plan B. Around this time I was listening to the 150th episode of the Knit Picks podcast and the end of the episode really struck home. In a nutshell, it said: Christmas with all of its crazy knitting deadlines is not the time to prove that you know how to knit. Stick with something simple that you know the recipient will like. The gift doesn't have to be complicated and it'll be loved just as much as something more complex.

I ran with the idea and sketched up a simple color work pattern. I cast on for a pair of fingerless mitts soon after. The first pair, grey and orange, turned out big enough to fit me. The second pair, grey and gold, should fit my mom. On US 7 needles, they both knitted up quickly and didn't take too much yarn. My mom's 7" pair only took a little over 100 yds for the main color and only 12 for the contrast. 

In the end, Mom gets a Christmas present, the knitting list is a little shorter, and there's a new pattern to knit. Sounds like a good start to Thanksgiving to me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Pattern: Laddered Cloths

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It started innocently enough with a trip to the store and the random urge to walk by the yarn. I just so happened to see a lovely ball of innocent cotton yarn with an innocent name, York Town. It was light blue, dark blue, and red. I was quite smitten and I promised myself that, if I bought this yarn, it would not be buried in the stash. Indeed, the ball was out of my stash quickly but it did take me a few tries to come up with the right pattern. This pattern happened to include US 6 needles, slipped stitches, a lot of garter, and only 2 rows. It also looks like a series of ladders.

The Laddered Cloth | Ravelry | Download

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It turned out to be such an easy knit that I had to dig through the stash to make a few more. So, next up there were a few washcloths...

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...and then a coaster for the boy.

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After all this knitting, there's slightly less cotton in the stash, another towel for the kitchen, and a few gifts waiting for the right occasion. Oh, innocent ball of yarn, you've been quite helpful. Hopefully, I have a few other skeins of your ilk hiding in my stash. 

Pattern: Alternates.V2

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Pattern: Alternates.V2 | download | Ravelry |

Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark - Cream and Tidepool Heather

Needles: US 3 (3.25mm)

Date: Aug 1-20, 2010

@Ravelry

I'm going to miss August even if it did bring along 100+ degree temperatures. It's the end of summer and the last hoorah before Fall which always seemed to bring a bit more work. I wanted one last chance to be lazy and relax with my knitting before I turned into a knitting machine for the holidays. These socks were the perfect vacation. They knit up fast in sport weight yarn and, a plus, I'd already come up with the pattern

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Continuing with the lazy, relaxing theme, I followed the pattern to the letter...for the first couple of inches anyway. What I found so interesting with the first pair was how different the socks became when I knit the toes in different colors. With this pair, the green toe was just so much more appealing (also, the white toe definitely wouldn't stay white). So, I ripped out and started over with green. It wasn't until I reached the cuff that I realized how much this changed the socks. Instead of hanging out mid-calf, these socks were almost knee highs - even with my generous calfs. Such a happy accident and I adore this pair of socks. 

Course, I can't keep the knee high love to myself. So, I've updated the original pattern and it's now available to download.  Maybe in the next few months, I'll have to update this pattern again since I have enough yarn for another pair that should go over my knees. 

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Overflow

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Lately, I've had so many ideas in my head and no idea how to get them on to paper. Never mind knitting them up. It's just variation over variation and I can't decide on the best place to start. The whole thing is exhilarating and annoying all at the same time.

Maybe this yarn will give me a bit of direction. Right now I'm focusing on 3 balls of Valley Superwash and a skein of Araucania Itata. They're both destined for very different pairs of socks. Now if only I could decide which pair to start on first. Bah.

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Pattern: Sapling

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Sapling | ravelry |

Nichol was one of the first friends I made when I started at a new high school in a new state. We've continued to be good friends through college and beyond. All told, it's been seven years since we met and, during that time, I learned to knit and she learned to crochet. So, several months ago when she proposed crocheted goodness in exchange for knitted baby goodness for her soon to be born nieces, I jumped at the chance. One of the requests was a hat. I didn't want to make just any hat. It had to be special. Soon, there were several ideas floating around in my head - stripes, short rows, lace - before I decided on a cute leaf motif. After all, it was almost Spring. After a bit of trial and error, both hats were finished and just in time for two little Spring babies.

The hat is knit from the stem down and uses a variety of techniques: knitting, purling, working in the round, yarn overs, a variety of lifted increases, decreases, and EZ's sewn cast off. The pattern isn't written for any specific way of knitting (DPN's, Magic Loop, 2 Circulars, etc) so you can easily use your favorite method without translation. 4 stitch markers are necessary whichever method you choose. Plus, yardage is minimal. The hat uses far less than one skein which makes for great stash busting of that errant, leftover yarn.

$5.00

Also, many thanks to the test knitters for their help: JemeAngelaLenaLPetiteTricoteuseKimberly, and Evelyn.

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Errata: In printed versions of the pattern (through 6/5/2011), Row 21 of the 0-6 month size is incorrect. It should read - Row 21: *p2, k2, p2, LLinc, LRinc, p2, k2, p2, ssk, k3, k2tog*

The digital version of the pattern has been updated and is correct.