Out with the Old

Hi everyone! How are things in your neck of the woods? I’m currently enjoying an extended vacation. Or should I say, staycation. Enjoying time at home with my kids and not working! I’ve been doing a ton of knitting during my break. It’s been wonderful. Allow me to share:

Finally, the bunnies are done! I started these over a year ago (oops) and just recently got the motivation to power through and finish them. They only needed tails, dresses, and assembly. While the finished product is cute and I am pretty much happy with them, I don’t see me knitting these again! So much work for a stuffed animal. One modification I did make was to knit many of the pieces in the round… the pattern calls for you to knit everything flat and seam… wasn’t gonna happen. I’m glad I made that change. The faces are a little funky, but oh well. My girls think they are fantastic, and they were the audience I was trying to please!

I also finished my third pair of Zombie Vixen mitts. These are for a coworker friend of mine. I plan on making one more pair of this pattern and then I’m going to need a break from it, beautiful as it may be. I made this pair with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed – not my favorite for garments as I’ve said but it’s great for accessories.

Now the WIPs…

I started a pair of Christmas socks a couple days before Christmas. I feel a new tradition coming on, new Christmas socks every year! I’m using Lynai Yarns sock in Peppermint Twist. I can’t recommend her yarn enough, it’s so pretty!

And lastly, I’m back on a Mitered Crosses kick. We’ll see how long my streak lasts this time. I’m 10 squares in so far, and I’m guessing I have maybe 20 more to go. Maybe before 2016 is here I will have a blanket? Who knows. They are fun to knit so when I get on a kick to make them I go full force!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Did Santa bring you anything yarny?

Lightweight

Some finished things to share finally!

I finished my Lightweight pullover. I started this back in August, and it was a fast and comforting knit… so much stockinette! Great TV knitting. I always feel like these Hannah Fettig patterns are made just for me. My 2014 theme for projects seemed to be simplicity. No overly complicated lace, nothing too crazy. Just simple, happy knitting.

For this I used Knit Picks Stroll Tweed. I do love this yarn, but I don’t know how I feel about it for a garment. It felt like it was getting fuzzier and fuzzier as I was knitting it. I’m afraid pilling is going to be an issue. I honestly think this yarn would be more successful without the superwash quality. While it is extremely soft and comfy to wear, it just doesn’t feel durable.

I haven’t blocked this yet, so maybe I will fall in love with it more after I handle that! Either way, I have a new wardrobe staple.

I also finished my second pair of Zombie ViXen mitts. This pair is for a friend for Christmas/her birthday. They match a shawl I gifted her last year, which she loved. I used Spud and Chloe Fine, which is a wonderfully strong wool/silk fingering weight yarn that comes in a lovely array of colors.

This is the ONLY knitting I did for the holidays! Are you working on any last-minute gifts? I’m currently in the mood to finish ancient WIPs… perhaps it’s the new year on the horizon?

Thankful

Hi everyone! How was Thanksgiving, USA friends? We had a lovely holiday. I’ve enjoyed the time off of work, taking it easy and crafting like a fiend!

I started another pair of Zombie Vixen mitts. Some of my coworkers were quite enamored with mine and asked if I would be so kind to make them mitts. Normally I am the complete selfish knitter, and such requests would be denied. But these were so fun and fast to knit and these ladies are sort of like the sisters I never had. They are officially knit-worthy! So I agreed to make a few pairs with no deadline in mind. I’m not knitting them in color order. I’ll knit one gray one, then one rust-colored, etc. Just to keep it interesting. I’ve also started a new book. It has me mesmerized and spooked.

I also made a new project bag that is currently holding another new WIP, Clincher. I used the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s hoop travel bag pattern. Now I can tote my Walking Dead extreme geekdom with me everywhere I go. The fabric is from Spoonflower. This was my first order from them. I’m happy with the fabric. It didn’t fade in the wash, and it is sturdy (not soft, I guess that could be a good or bad thing).

Lastly, on Thanksgiving, I decided to start a new pair of handspun socks. They are sort of in time out at the moment. I’m using some old size 0 Addi’s where the cord is so kinked up and stiff it’s nearly impossible to knit with. Some Sock Rockets are on the way to me and then I will pick these up again.

That’s all for now. Did you start any new projects over the holiday?

Zombie Vixen

Can I share with you my new, most favorite mitts ever?

These are my Zombie Vixen mitts, a free pattern designed by Susan Claudino (you may know her by her super cute plush designs). This pattern has made me love mitts. I’ve made several pairs over the years but I’ve never been enamored with them like I am this pair. My pair only used 42 grams of sock yarn…182 yards! Less than half a skein! With the short yardage and addictive cable design, they really fly off the needles. I love the look of cables but I usually don’t enjoy knitting them. Not the case with this pattern at all!

I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine for these, which is a strong, beautifully heathered yarn, a wool/nylon/alpaca blend. I love how the alpaca gives it a fuzzy rustic quality.

And most importantly, kitty approves of my new mitts. ;)

For the Kids

With the temps dropping and the kids running off to school needing to keep their ears warm, I decided to whip up a little ear warmer.

I have three skeins of this Madtosh Chunky that I really don’t know what to do with. Since this project is done, I now have 2.5 skeins I don’t know what to do with. Chunky yarn makes me uncomfortable!, there, I admitted it.

Making one of these is super simple… I’ll walk you through what I did.

A size 9 needle, provisionally cast on 16 stitches and knit all rows until desired circumference. (I just kept wrapping it around her noggin until it looked like a good fit – snug, but not too snug. Undo the provisional cast on, and graft to your live stitches.

Now for the “bundle” part – I used a size 7 needle: cast on 8 stitches, knit stockinette for 2.5 inches and bind off leaving a tail. Wrap this little piece around the headband (I placed it over the kitchener to cover, but you can do whatever you want), and seam the ends together. Voila!

Little miss was also lucky this week to have her momma make socks for her. She picked the yarn (Regia) and I knit away. Toe-up, stockinette, and can you guess the heel? Do I even need to say it anymore?

They are a little hard for her to pull on, but the fit is good once she’s wearing them… can someone explain to me how my 6 and 8-year-olds have a 56-stitch sock, and I have a 60-stitch sock? And hers is tight? My feet are by no means small either, I’ll have you know. What is the deal?

I think my next priority is to finish my Lightweight Pullover and some other old, languishing WIPs. It’s time to clear out and make way for new things! Speaking of “clearing out,” now may be a good time to go through your stash, before the holidays. I went through mine this week and felt a bit sheepish by the size, but thankfully 2014 hasn’t been a big stashing year for me. I’m having fun working through the stash I have and really haven’t felt much an urge to buy yarn this year. What about you?