Monday, April 18, 2011

Standard Knits

Welcome New baby Standard to Meghan and Ryan and big sister K!

For Baby S's arrival, I made him two hats which are the first newborn baby gifts I have made and actually got to deliver and SEE the baby in :-)

The first one is a bear hat which Meghan had specifically requested as she loves ears on babies. I used a half silk/half baby alpaca wool (not the best yarn for babies but it was SOOO soft) and cast on 44 stitches

Knit 6 rows of K1 P1 ribbing Change to larger needles and knit until piece measures approximately 4 inches from beginning (about 5 knit “ridges”)

Next row: K3, K2 together to end Next row: Knit Next row: K1, K2 together to end Next row: Knit Next row: K2 together to end Next row; Knit Next row: K2 together to end
Cut yarn leaving a long tail and using the darning needle thread tail through the remaining stitches, one at a time, and take them off the knitting needle.
Pull tail tight. Using the long tail, seam hat together matching ridges in hat.

For the EARS: Make two
With # 10.5 needles cast on 17 stitches leaving a long tail. Knit 3 rows Pass all stitches, one by one over the first stitch and off the needle until 1 stitch remains. Cut yarn leaving a long tail and using the darning needle thread through the remaining stitch. Pull to tighten. Thread tail in and out of bottom ear ending at right side of bottom ear.
To finish, fold hat in half with the seam at back. Using the long tails on ears sew ears on below the 2nd ridge and the 4th ridge on either side of the hat. Weave in ends and marvel at the finished product!

The second hat was equally as soft and adorable on Baby S. I used baby clouds yarn in blue sky. I cast on 35 stitches (it's a very bulky yarn) and knit till it was about 6 inches long and cast off. Now you have a rectangle that you basically fold in half and knit the side and top together. I added a pom pom to each end so it ended up looking like it had poof ears :-)

Pretty much the cutest baby I've seen in awhile, and nice kozy warm coming home from the hospital!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Natalie's Gap-TASTIC Infinity Scarf

I had been on the hunt for this scarf since I saw someone wearing it in September. It was apparently from Gap but each time I saw it, it was one of those "I KNOW I can make this!" deals so I refused to buy it. I'm a new member of Ravelry and actually found a pattern for it on that site! It cracked me up because apparently this girl had the same idea that I had, but actually went TO the store, counted the stitches and dissected the project so she could recreate it. Thanks to her, I now have one GapTASTIC scarf... and a homemade one that's obviously better than a stuffy store mass-created wannabe.

Totally simple-
CO 131 stitches on circulars, seed stitch for 11-15 inches.

I used the knitted cast on method and I used bulky weight yarn (Cascade 220 magnum) in a soft powdery blue. The patterns suggested Lion Brand Thick and Quick which I also love and will probably try next. I used size 11 needles, it calls for 13. Mine looks almost identical. There were tons of different links to similar cowls, but I owe mine to Jen Giegley on Ravelry. I would post the link, but unless you're a member it won't show up, so just take my word for it!

I also added two crocheted flowers to it to make it a little different...these are the same crocheted flowers that I have used for the past 3 projects because I'm obsessed with them and only know one pattern. This scarf is actually is one of my favorite things that I've ever made. However, I did learn as a child that the BEST gifts are those that you want for yourself, and for that reason, I chose to send this to my sister as part of her 21st birthday present. I probably will end up making one for myself at some point, but since it was pretty tedious to make I'll have to give it some time.

This whole thing took me about 7 episodes of Friends, one episode of the Bachelor, 2 Sex in the City and one Biggest Loser. So... 8-9 hours. Very chic very warm. I hope Natalie likes it; Happy Birthday!

Here is the original Gap Infinity Cowl that inspired this piece:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Flower Headband/Earwarmer for Big Girls

I made one for Addie's mom, Jaime. I have no idea if she'll wear it or not, but I feel like of any of my girlfriends, Jaime is one that can rock a headband really well, so I'm giving this first adult-sized one ever made to her.
Same pattern, different yarn

This is the softest yarn I have used in a long time... can't really tell from the picture but it's like mohair. The flower is more of a blob but it's the thought that counts, right?

Blob or not, I plan on making one for myself too because the yarn is really soft and yummy and it is perfect to keep my (very tiny, have you SEEN them?!) ears warm on the walk to train in the mornings :-)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Addiband! (or Addison Headband)

I had a hank of my favorite turquoise yarn left over from the "vogue scarf" I just finished that I planned to make a hat with. I cast on 72 stitches and after about an inch of K2, P2 ribbing, I realized it was going to be too small. Instead of ripping it out, I decided to make it into a headband for one of my girlfriend's adorable little 4 year old, Addison.

Earlier in the week I spent a fun Sunday at a "stitch and bitch" brunch at my knitting guru's new shop up in Andersonville. It was all complete strangers as my teacher wasn't even there, but I ended up having a great time... AND, someone taught me to crochet! All I've been wanting to do is learn how to make flowers so I can stick 'em on hats and such, so in about 10 minutes I learned to chain, single crochet, double crochet, slip stitch... I think that's it. Anyway, I picked it up really fast and now I'm on my way to being a crocheter as well! So psyched.

So- I finished off the headband after making it about 2 inches thick. It's just a simple knit ribbed band.

I added on 2 flowers that are the same pattern but different sizes. This is ALL I can crochet at the time, but I expect to be expanding my experience on that soon ;-)

Here is the pattern I used:

1. Chain 4 and join with slip stitch to form a ring.

2. Chain 1, work 9 single crochets around ring, join with slip stitch to turning chain.

3. Chain 1, double crochet & single crochet in next stitch, *single crochet in next stitch, (single crochet, double crochet, single crochet in next stitch), repeat from * 3 more times ending with single crochet in next stitch. Join with slip stitch to starting chain and slip stitch to top of first double crochet.

4. Chain 2, 2 double crochet in same stitch (top of double crochet of previous round), *chain 2, skip 1 stitch, single crochet into next stitch, chain 2, skip 1 stitch, 5 double crochet into next stitch, repeat from * 3 more times ending with chain 2, skip 1 stitch, single crochet into next stitch, chain 2, skip 1 stitch, work 2 double crochets into same stitch where this round started and join to turning chain with slip stitch.

5. Chain 2, 2 double crochet into same stitch (middle stitch of 5 double crochets), *chain 1, skip 1 stitch, 1 double crochet into next stitch, chain 2, skip 1 stitch, single crochet into next stitch (single crochet of previous round), chain 2, skip 1 stitch, double crochet into next stitch, chain 1, skip 1 stitch, 3 double crochet into next stitch, repeat from * 3 more times ending with chain 1, skip 1 stitch, double crochet into next stitch, chain 1, skip 1 stitch, single crochet into next stitch, chain 1, skip 1 stitch, double crochet into next stitch, chain1, join to turning chain with slip stitch. Finish off.

I sewed them on and that was that! Its super cute and I hope that Addison will agree. I can't wait to see her and get a picture of the cutie wearing it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the Vogue Scarf- Part I

For Christmas my Aunt Shelly gave me this AMAZING (seriously, one of the top best gifts ever) peel-a-day-off calendar that had a new stitch from Vogue Knitting on each day. I know you're not supposed to, but I went through the whole calendar and picked a stitch to use with another amazing Christmas gift I got... this beautiful dark turquoise yarn from my step-Grandmother, Rosemary. So this stitch was from August 26th and I hate to say that it was actually called the Faggoting Pattern (I swear, it was in VOGUE) but this was the one that I felt worked best with what I was trying to make. Just to prove this is a real thing (Faggoting Lace), check out this... believe me now?

I guess this term explains a Lace-type pattern in which every stitch is either an increase or a decrease... which explains my YO, and K2tog pattern well. The YO adds one on, the pulling two knit stitches together takes one away. Whatever.

It was actually an easy pattern:
Knit 1, Yarn Over (YO), Knit 2 together (K2tog)

This obviously has to be cast in multiples of three, and I chose to cast on 27 stitches because I wanted it to be nice and thick.

It's literally just that same row over and over. Once I got in the groove, it went pretty fast. It's nice and long and took exactly 2 skeins to create. I used size 6 circular needles (I find it easier to use circulars easier sometimes, especially for the smaller needles) and it was just a Cascade 220 Superwash Wool. I love it! It's a bouncy scarf and I have one skein left to make a hat with next!

So thanks to my family members who contributed to this, I am actually going to KEEP this one for myself :-)

PS- does this need tassels? I can't decide!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby BenJAMin Set

One of my favorite people that I've met in Chicago is someone who I worked with at my first job in the Windy City. He was my team lead with like 5 degrees from Northwestern and the respect of everyone in the office... and then he became a great teacher and mentor for me, and although our professional lives have taken separate turns, he remains one of the smartest, however angriest, yet kindest (but we won't tell) people I know. Mike is a good friend, a buddy, a confidant and still the smartest guy I know. Him and his beautiful wife, Corrin just had their first baby on January 10th, 2011.

I had originally started making a yellow baby blanket (yellow because we didn't know the sex) but it just didn't seem personal enough because I've literally made a baby blanket for every baby that has been born since I started knitting. I wanted to do something different, and lets be honest... I have yet to finish the blanket. boo.

Anyway- I made this ADORABLE (I must say) hat and baby mittens... Here is how:

I used the basic hat pattern but since I was using a chunky yarn and it is for an infant, I had to adjust it to work. I cast on 40 stitches to size 13 double pointed needles and joined to knit in the round on three needles. This is actually the first hat I've ever made on DPN's so it was a rough start. I simply did K2, P2 ribbing until the hat was maybe 7 inches (enough to roll a brim). I decreased by following the pattern for 6 stitches and K2tog. Then did a round of knitting the knit's and purling the purl's. Then 5 stitches in the pattern and K2tog. Then a round of knitting the knit's and purling the purl's... and so on and so forth until it was like 4 loops left in which I used a darting needle to finish. Then I made a pompom for the top in a floppy style and sewed it on. Super cute.

For the mittens, I cast on 16 stitches to the DPN's and followed the same ribbing for 6 rows. Then I did straight garter stitch for another 2 inches. To close I did one round of K2tog for the whole row, followed by another of just a knit round. Then another of K2tog and sewed it shut with a darting needle. I read that you should never make these tiny little hand warmers without something to tie them together as they would be easily lost. I did a tight braid and pulled the knot on the end through with a crochet hook. And that's that!

I hope to see Baby Benjamin James this week to have him model my new set :-) Congrats Mike and Corrin!

The Ruffle Scarf- Part 2

An oldie but a goodie, I had to repost this fun and very well received scarf as a part II. Please see my first Ruffle Scarf blog for the pattern!

This one was made for one of my new favorite people, Debbie Corcoran. She is the wife of a guy I work with... someone who I actually hired as our new trainer and has not only exceeded our expectations in becoming a great trainer but become a wonderful friend, confidant, co-worker, and party buddy extraordinaire. We recently had our annual company meeting and kickoff, and significant others were flown in to join in the fun... Kevin brought his wife Debbie who I've had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with this past weekend. I gave her this scarf to force her to like me (I mean how can they not with a handmade gift!) and welcome her to FREEZING Chicago for the first time.

So... welcome to Chicago, Corcoran's!