Let’s Just Pretend Winter Is Over, Shall We?

Can’t hurt, right? Maybe that Polar Vortex will realize it smells like three-day-old fish and just move along  now that we’re on the other side of the equinox.

You could say I jump-started my spring cleaning with this blog. A refresh and move were long overdue. I’ve swept up many of the loose pixels on old posts… Please forgive the rest you find lingering in the corners.

While I’m not so foolhardy as to actually box up the knitwear, I’d like to put my winter FOs into a tidy pile here.

First up, my Frosty Fiddleheads. Taking the time to add the lining was worth every second.

Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia  Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts DK (Lucky Penny & Charcoal), lined with Frost in fingering
Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts DK in Lucky Penny & Charcoal, lined with Frost in fingering

Next we have my Ravellenics project, the Hat Halfpipe: Ogiku. Here’s how the photo shoot played out, in case this series isn’t clear. Izzy grabbed Lily to help her model. The predictably jealous loyal Violet decided to join in. No surprise who won the “battle of the pets.”

Pattern: Ogiku by Sarah Mombert  Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Cosmic label in Atlantic & Natural
Pattern: Ogiku by Sarah Mombert
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Cosmic label in Atlantic & Natural

And last, but not least, the infinity cowl and fingerless mitts I made my mother for Christmas. While she was excited to receive them, know that this shot if more about what a good sport she is.

Patterns:  Cafe au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever & Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland  Yarn:  Malabrigo Silky Merino in Jupiter
Cafe au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever
& Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland
Malabrigo Silky Merino in Jupiter

FO: Canyon Flower Socks

Consider the subtitle to this post “Ode to Elizabeth Bishop.” Or maybe just “One Art: Part 1.” The hardest part about moving cross country is that there’s always people and places left behind. Let’s just say I was especially missing the splendid colors of a New Mexico sunset when I knit these socks for the TFA Holiday KAL.

canyon flower 1
Pattern: Fair Isle Flower Sock by Candice DeWitt
Yarn: TFA Blue Label OOAKs (Canyon & Blue Iris)

They’ve been finished for nearly two weeks now and even worn and laundered. Just took awhile to document them here. Slowed, no doubt, by my scramble to finish up a pair of KAL mitts by this Friday and some covert holiday knitting.

Don’t get me wrong: Minnesota is home and always will be… Yet, January is sure to be good sock knitting weather and I have a pair of Maryland socks in mind. Albuquerque and Baltimore — two lovely cities.

FO: Second Socks for Izzy

Let the kiddo pick out her own sock yarn at Michaels — the right price-point for a growing teen with a tendency to be extra tough on her clothes. I’ll give it to her: Izzy located a skein with cashmere in it.

Pattern: Yarn Harlot’s Sock Recipe
Yarn: Loops & Threads Luxury Sock (Ocean)

These socks also mark a first: major surgery. When both pairs were done, Izzy tried them on…only to discover that I’d made the foot too short. So I snipped apart the toes, ripped back to the start of the toe decreases, added a good 1/2″, and then finished them up again. Can’t tell you how clever it made me feel.

FO: Primavera Socks

It’s Friday night and I have a new FO — what better way to kick off the weekend?

tartan primavera

No chance of my new love affair with socks waning after this pair. These are now hands-down (feet-down?) my new favorite socks. To start, there’s the yarn — isn’t it lovely? Not sure how she manages it, but that Tanis continues to outdo herself with each Etsy update.

tartan primavera 2

Pattern: Primavera Socks by natalja
Yarn: TFA Blue Label in Yellow Tartan (OOAK)

Then, the pattern: Easy to memorize and with a six-row repeat, it’s the definition of potato-chippy. (Just one more repeat…) I also really like the look of the heel flap with the 2-stitch garter edging; tidy and makes picking up stitches easy-peasy.

Since this is a knitting blog, guess I should mention the two mods I made: Changed the p3tog to Sl1, P2 tog, psso (much easier on my hands) and added slip stitches between the garter ridges to make the heel sturdier.

FO Parade: Blue Iris Rivercats

So that sock pattern that wasn’t quite right for the If a Tree Falls colorway I got at Yarnover? It was perfect for this OOAK lovely from Tanis Fiber Arts.

riverbed 2
Pattern: Rivercat Sock by Brenda Patipa
Yarn: TFA Blue Label (Blue Iris)

So success on that front, but I should have gone down a needle size. They’re a bit big inside shoes, but they will keep my feet toasty at home. Or be great layered over another pair for January outings. As you can see, they’re too pretty not to wear.

And this brings our FO Parade to a close. Hoping to keep up better in October.

FO Parade: Spiced Cotton Reels

Why, yes. You are correct. I did already knit another pair of fingerless mitts this year. But in my defense, I live in Minnesota.

Plus, I used fingering-weight scraps to create these. So I’m feeling all “virtuous” in a waste-not, want-not way. (What’s that, you say? My fingers are in my ears, so no, I can’t hear you laughing.)

cotton reel mitts
Pattern: Cotton Reel Mittens by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: TFA Blue Label (Plum and Spice)
cotton reel mitts 2

What do you do with your yarn scraps? I’ve got lots more itching to become something

FO Parade: If a Nutkin Falls…

Nothing like washing away the taste of an FO Fail with a great pairing of yarn and pattern, is there?

I got this lovely skein at Yarnover last April. My first choice didn’t work so well, but I knew to cut my losses early and frog before the heel flap. Love, love, LOVE how these turned out. The pattern is that perfect combination of interesting knitting but easy to memorize. Also, they’re clearly too big for Izzy, who’s modeling in the photos. Phew, that should keep them safe from sticky fingers.

Pattern: Nutkin by Beth LaPensee
Yarn: Vice Paradigm (If a Tree Falls)
nutkin 2

My current favorite socks. Sure another pair of these is in my future…

FO Parade: Dishcloths & Dishtowels

In case it wasn’t clear in my earlier Finishing Frenzy post, September was one INTENSE month at work. What’s a gal to do when comfort knitting is in order? Dishcloths, of course!

And nice ones at that, since I had lots of well-marinated cotton left over from baby projects for Izzy and a Log Cabin Blanket knit years ago for my sister and brother-in-law.

The only problem? Shrinkage even in tepid water. (Insert obligatory nod to George Costanza.) Never mind that, let’s just revel in the before photos…

dishcloths 2
Patterns: Ballband Dishcloth by Pisgah Yarn
& Slip Stitch Dishtowels by Purl Soho
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Cotton

dish towel and clothsAs for the end result… Well, they served their stress-busting needs so there’s that. Plus, there’s no shortage of spills to wipe up at our house — big and tiny.


FO Parade: Fall Fields

Last weekend, the Finishing Frenzy continued with blocking and photographs. Most even made it into Ravelry before I ran out of time. Oh, for more three-day weekends…

I’m going to queue up some blog posts now that the FOs are truly and completely finished — and before this weekend fades away, too.

A local yarn store closed its doors in August. Always a bitter-sweet event. Along with a half-priced sweater’s worth of Malabrigo and all the Noro I need for the POP blanket I intend to knit after I get this current wave of sock knitting out of my system, I picked up a lone skein. With all my favorite colors intertwined, I just couldn’t pass it by despite the high acrylic and rayon content. In fact, I was compelled to cast on that very day. And talk about a Pride & Prejudice moment: I love the result.

Pattern: Fields of Wheat by Varant Ekmekjian
Yarn: Berroco Boboli (Ginger Scone)

october cowlWhile fall seems to be a no-show this year in Minnesota, today’s snowflakes up North are a clear sign this is about to get lots of use.