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?

Darla, Take Two

Do you remember my first Darla? I was happy about it, but it was a little too short to flip up the brim. Well, take two ended up much more successful in that aspect.

I used Dragonfly Fibers Traveller DK in the Winter Woods colorway. I lengthened the pattern by two inches to be able to flip the brim. What is ironic about this Darla is that if I try to wear it without the brim flipped, it looks silly. I guess you can’t win them all! I’ll blame that on my hair being at a weird length for hats. I’m growing out the pixie cut and I have days where I look in the mirror and go, “What the heck am I doing?!” I guess you have to accept the awkward phases with the cute ones.

Let’s talk some socks! I started these over the summer. These socks are all Andi’s fault really, because I first saw the pattern on her blog, and she sent me this gorgeous Hazel Knits skein for my birthday one year. So thanks Andi, for the yarn and inspiration!

The pattern is called My Cup of Tea and it’s a freebie. This pattern is so beautiful! I will give you a little tip if you are planning on knitting these, just from my perspective. The stitch pattern does not have very much give – I wish I had made mine one 1.5 needles instead of 1. That may just be me, but there you go.

Any sock patterns have your heart skipping a beat? I normally stick to my plain ole vanilla socks, but I do enjoy a little patterned sock every now and then.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

All the New Things

Finally, a new week and a moment to catch my breath. I’ve decided to spend this week catching up on all the yarny goings-on in my life. Knitting is a constant, and though I tend to disappear for a week or so from Instagram or Ravelry or wherever, my needles are always working in the background, whether I am riding shotgun in the car or on my lunch break or simply staying up too late watching Netflix. Knitting is rarely just knitting, it’s a companion to my everyday.

I know Halloween is far behind us now, but my finished object to share today was knitted for Halloween, and finished the night before the holiday. I picked up this yarn at an early Halloween update from Desert Vista Dyeworks… honestly, when this yarn arrived I could not stop admiring the colors and thinking about how special the yarn in my hands was. All the work she must put into dyeing each skein! And looking at the skeins just makes you happy. Perfect pick-me-up yarn. Having a bad day? You have my permission to splurge, because you should.

This is the “Franken Zombody” colorway, 60 stitches, size one needle, toe-up, and Fish Lips Kiss Heel – are you surprised? ;) I went for a super long cuff (and could have made it longer, seriously this yarn goes on forever) and ended up having to do a super stretchy bind-off (used this one here with great success).

I’ll be back a bit here and there this week to share my other finished objects!

And now some fancy things I’ve come across worth sharing…

+ Have you heard about the Graceful Pullover? This beautiful pattern also comes with a beautiful story. It’s something I would love to make and my daughters would love to wear.

+ The new pattern Sous Sous by Norah Gaughan is the perfect marriage of femininity and coziness. I want one!

+ The Fjordgirl blog has completely stolen my heart. The words, the images, and the beauty of her yarny life in Montana all make me want to pack my bags and move up north.

+ If you run into me in person, I sort of feel sorry for you because all I can manage to talk about lately is The Walking Dead. I just started watching after Halloween and am OBSESSED. My zombie fascination has spread like a virus (ha, ha) and I’m currently reading this sassy zombie novel – thoroughly enjoying every minute.

And that’s all! Check in with you soon.

Pumpkin Spice Eiku

Yarn: Gnomeacres Scruffy Sock in the Pumpkin Spice Latte colorway
Needle: Size 4

My second Eiku. Just as simple and fun as the last time I made one. Again, the only modification I did was the increases around the spine: M1R & M1L instead of yarn overs. I’ve said it before, but I’m just not crazy about the holes YOs make around the center spine of a shawl. I’m super pleased with this one, much like the first. This is one of those 400-yard shawls that actually blocks out to an ok size. The curved ends of the shawl help it stay around your neck.

And can I brag on Gnomeacres? This yarn is so fun and festive! I have a few other skeins dyed by her, and I’ve been hoarding them like the little jewels they are. I definitely recommend giving her shop a look if you’ve never checked out her stuff.

While dyeing really isn’t my thing anymore, I have been pretty happy with the things I’ve spun from my hand-dye days. It honestly felt good to give away all my dyeing stuff. When you realize something just isn’t for you, and you release all that stuff from your life, it is almost like a cleanse, a healthy actualization. So for this finished yarn. I had about 8 ounces of superwash merino I’d dyed a semisolid green. I kept it pretty simple – 2 ply. I really am in a phase of doing 2 ply yarns! For awhile there I was chain plying everything.

Now what to spin next…?