Because crafts are like crack.

@%^>?&<… (sigh) February 14, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 8:25 pm

There is nothing on this planet that keeps the ego in check like knitting. I have been working on the February Lady Sweater since the first of the year. My mom got me some Berroco Ultra Alpaca in sweater quantities for my birthday a couple of years ago. When I received my Addi Turbo Interchangeables for Christmas I wanted to do some real luxury knitting.

It has actually been coming along pretty quickly. I have been doing a lot of knitting while catching up on my best movie nominations in preparation for the Academy Awards.

Last night was my knitting group and I was very excited to show off my progress. I pull out my sweater to find….

Well, can you spot the problem?

Yup. That sleeve is inside out. I knitted it into the inside of the sweater.

The lace pattern should look like this.

But instead looks like this.

I will frog with great humility. But that is the great thing about knitting. When you make a mistake, you can fix it by just knitting some more… which is what I like to do in the first place.


Fits like a glove! February 11, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 7:57 pm

Last winter I was knitting with numb fingers and decided I wanted some fingerless gloves to wear while I craft. I cast on this leafy pattern of vacation in Florida and quickly knit up to the fingers. Then for some reason, it went into the pile of UFO’s when I got home. Since we bought a new furnace last spring, so my fingers have stayed pretty toasty this year and I forgot all about them.

I think this project caught my eye again because the yarn is just so pretty. It is Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in Springtime and I can’t believe how beautiful it is for the money. I know I normally score about a C in my yarn/pattern matching skills, but I think this combination is an A+.

The really remarkable thing about this pattern is that there is no cabling. I KNOW! All those leaves are a combination of YOs, K2togs, and SSKs. The fingers were pretty easy too. I made them a little longer than the pattern said to maximize coverage.

The pattern comes in two sizes and I made the larger. I would say my hands are a little larger than normal and find there to be a bit of gapping. The ribbing in the pattern has a lot of give, so I would suggest the average woman make the smaller size.

Oh, and the polish on my nails is my new favorite… OPI’s Gouda Gouda Two Shoes. It has the tiniest bit of sparkle in person.


Why buy the cowl when you can knit one for free? January 19, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 1:09 pm

I pinned this because I thought it was a pretty take on the popular cowl. As I looked through the boards for Christmas gift inspiration, I decided that it would make a wonderful and quick gift for several women.

This one is in Cascades Superwash 220. I love this yarn for how it feels and how great it washes.

I was a little disappointed in the result of this one. I think the yarn and pattern did not mix as well as I thought they would in my head.

The yarn was amazing… Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Kettle Dyed. It looked like heaven in a hank. I just think the color variations clashed a bit with the pattern. Live and learn!

There was a third cowl that I made, but I managed to give it away without taking pictures. Maybe over the summer!


Putting my best foot forward January 9, 2012

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 3:56 pm

At some point, every knitter must venture into the world of short rows and kitchener stitch in an attempt to make socks. Either loved or loathed socks are such an integral part of knitting that they get an entire class of yarn. There is no hat yarn or sweater yarn per se, but whole websites are devoted to sock yarn.

This is actually my second pair of socks. The first pair are rarely clean as they get worn as soon as they come out of the dryer.

Did I just say “dryer”? Absolutely! In my house, hand wash socks would get worn once and then stashed in the “too difficult to clean” pile. I have been liking the Deborah Norville Serenity sock yarn. Has a great feel for the price.

And the pattern? Inside the wrapper of the yarn. Yep. I knit the wrapper pattern.

Please ignore the box in the background. I keep them around longer than I should cause the kitties like to play with them.


Winding up for some knitting January 2, 2012

Filed under: Crochet,Knitting — Casey @ 12:16 pm

As every yarn crafter knows, good yarn often comes in that perpetual knot-maker, the hank.

Why this is the preferred packaging for higher end yarns remains a mystery as any google search can tell you.One theory is that this shape is easier on natural fibers than balls that can pull and distort the yarn. Another argument is that shipping is easier and cheaper with the more compactable hanks. Still others claim that the hank allows the buyer to have a better idea of what the color variations in the yarn might look like.

Whatever the true reason, the process of getting a usable ball from a hank often requires a couple extra sets of hands and a lot of patience. That is unless you are fortunate enough to have access to a yarn swift and ball winder. These make quick work of any winding project and allow you to purchase hanks without fear.

The swift expands to the size of the hank and allows the yarn to be pulled off smoothly and with perfect tension. And it never complains, unlike my husband who used to have this task.

The ball winder feeds the yarn into a perfect center pull ball.

These tools allow an hour long task to be completed in a few minutes. Kitten help is optional.


Thanksss Sssusan B. Anderssson November 17, 2011

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 10:04 am

For creating ssssuch a sssssimple pattern. (For those of you who don’t know, that’s snake speak!)

Rarely do I find a pattern book from which I make multiple projects. I think my current count from this book is six and each has been just as cute and easy as the next. (Sisters is one of the several reversible doll patterns.) I highly recommend anyone who makes baby gifts look into this book.

I vaguely remember these snakes from my childhood. I know we had a couple brightly colored specimens hanging around when I was growing up and they were perfect for dangling from banister or attacking hapless Barbies.

This particular snake went to a brand new big brother. I figure he could use it in his arsenal of toys with which to torture his little sister. One of the best things about this pattern is it is perfect for using up sock yarn scraps. I used Deborah Norville’s Serenity Sock Yarn for this snake. I find this yarn works up pretty well, and you really can’t beat the price.

Even kittens think this is a pretty nifty project.


Sisters! December 27, 2010

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 12:23 am

Normally in the month of December the phrase “Sisters” automatically takes me to the delightfully campy Haynes duo in White Christmas. These costumes define fluorescent blue.

This Christmas I drew the name of a 1 1/2 year old cousin in a gift exchange so I focused on a different “sisters” that are a little less retina damaging. I have been meaning to work my way though the reversible toys in Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Toys. I have a lion and elephant with no ears, and about three rows of a turtle going right now. And I had all the gorgeous organic yarn I need for the Itty Bitty Sisters Reversible.

The dolls are relatively simple in nature. The only difficult part is theĀ  amount of whipstitching required in putting everything together. I always sweat of the placement of arms, eyes, etc. and usually feel like my creations recently escaped from a circus sideshow. But I read Laura Ingalls one too many times as a school girl so I am in love with the idea of laboring of homemade dolls for Christmas.

The best part of these dolls is that the “legs” of one doll is really the body of the other! So these two sisters are really one and the same! Two toys in one make these an excellent toy value.

As a side note, even the husband thought this project was cute and that Ms. Anderson must be incredibly talented. Baby kittens barely get noticed as cute in his world, so I would call that an incredibly high recommendation.