Sir Caterpillar

I've been following Stacey of Fresh Stitches on Twitter for some time now. She always has links to the kinds of stuff I like to read and posts lots of cute photos of crochet things. A couple of weeks ago she posted about her kit club and before I knew it, I was on her site, signing up. I haven't had much success with toys in the past (they always look wonky in the end) but I know with a little practice, I will get better. So why not have a kit show up every other month to help me get some of that practice in?

When the kit showed up at my door, I immediately ripped into that baby and started stitching. By the next morning, I had my caterpillar all done and looking like quite the gentleman.

I mean, you include a mustache in the kit for my caterpillar, I'm gonna add it. I love the mustache!

And, he's not that wonky! I think he's super cute. He is currently residing in my office, overseeing the book writing to-do list. :) Want your own caterpillar? You can get the pattern here.

I can't wait for the next kit to show up in a couple months. I think these are gonna prove to me a nice break from all the knitting work I have going on!

Happy crocheting (and knitting)!


It's Shawl City

Not much blogging these days. I'm at the tail end of working on the next book, which means I have practically nothing to show you. I am working on some other knitting and crochet stuff here and there for all the babies that will be arriving shortly, but most of those things are not done and in uninteresting places. Once I actually finish one of those baby things, the blog will be the first to know! :)

I did finish a shawl recently. My LYS asked me to do a mystery shawl KAL just for the shop. We called it Shawlapalooza! The KAL at the shop is over, and now I have the pattern up on Ravelry, ready for everyone's knitting enjoyment. It's Fremont:


Fremont is a top-down crescent shawl will a join-as-you-go border. I love these shawls. I can't stop designing/knitting them. This one is knit out of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single. So soft. So squishy.

The pattern is written for 2 sizes, so you can choose a quick shawlette or a nice, cozy shawl. The photos show off the small-sized shawl.

I loved every minute of working on this shawl. And the ladies participating in the KAL really enjoyed it too!

So what's everyone been knitting lately? Anything good? Anything for a baby I should add to my queue because everyone around me is having one and I can't keep up with the knitting/crocheting? :)


It's Doomvember!

I'm quite excited to be the next stop on the Doomvember blog tour. What's Doomvember, you ask? We have a blog tour going for all the patterns in the upcoming book, Doomsday Knits! The book is published by Cooperative Press and my pattern is the Wayfarer shawl.
It's a triangle shawl but knit up in kind of an unexpected way. You knit the two halves of the triangle separately and then bring them together with ribbon, cord, or whatever else you can find after you survived the apocalypse. You can find my shawl in the "Wasteland Vagabonds" section of the book.
Alex Tinsley did such an amazing job with this book. The clothes, makeup, backdrops. Her creativity is endless! As soon as I saw the call for design, I knew I had to send a submission. What a great idea for a book. Here's some details of my original submission:

 I never thought that wee swatch would turn into a shawl that was photographed like this:

The book is available for pre-order now on the Cooperative Press website. And, you can check out all the patterns on Ravelry (patterns are being added everyday from the book to Rav, so check it out often).

Want to get caught up on the blog tour? Check out the schedule here. And tomorrow, stop by ArgentGal Designs for her blog post!


Owl in Progress

So, I posted last week about the crocheted owl woobie for some good friends that are having a baby in December. After finishing that up, I got owl obsessed, and started a hat for the wee one. Here's my progress so far:
I looked at a bunch of photos of owl hats on Ravelry and decided I could just go for it without a pattern. I knit the hat by starting with two little earflaps and then knitting them onto the hat. For the eyes, I am following the instructions from the owl woobie pattern. I loved the way the eyes turned out on that, so I am gonna roll with it. I'm knitting this out Knit Picks Comfy Worsted, my favorite favorite favorite yarn for all the baby things. I seriously by this stuff by the truck-load (which is ok, because it's so cheap!). I love this yarn particularly for how lovely stockinette looks in it.

That's some fine looking stockinette if you ask me.

Hmm, wonder what other kind of owl stuff I can find to knit or crochet for this baby??


It's an Owl Woobie!

The last couple of weeks have been kind of a blur. Lots of personal stuff has happened. Everything is fine now, but the knitting and crochet and all related events kinda screeched to a halt. But over the weekend I back to it. I needed it. Yarn, I swear, it does something to your insides.

My dear friends are having a baby soon (well, December) and they revealed that the baby boy is gonna have an owl-themed nursery. Which is, in my opinion, one of the best choices for nursery theme. So, I do what I do, and hit up Ravelry, and that is how the crocheted Owl Woobie came to be:

So cute. I love it. I think they will love it too!
As you all know, I'm not much of a toy/amigurumi maker, but I think I did pretty okay. I think that is one adorable owl face.
I added and edging from Edie Eckman's Crochet Borders book, because I can't just leave a pattern alone. :) You can see a list of my mods on my Ravelry project page.
For this woobie I used various Knit Picks yarn I had in the stash. I have lots of Comfy Worsted and used that for the dark green and used some Swish Worsted for the light green. I think they go pretty great together! The pattern is the Owl Lovey Security Blanket.

Now off to find more owl things to make...


The Stripey Sock Obsession Continues

I finished up the stripey socks that I worked on for fifteen months, and of course started a new pair. It was the right choice. This time, I'm using Knit Picks Felici Sport in the Southwest colorway (sadly, this yarn is discontinued, though you can still get it in fingering weight).

Once again, I'm going with a toe-up sock with afterthought heel, though this time I wanted a little more patterning than the last pair of socks. I went with the old standby: Broadripple. I modified the stitch pattern slightly to make it work for my 64 stitch count. Well, and the pattern is written for top-down with heel flap and I'm knitting toe-up.

I finished the first sock last weekend and will probably cast on the second one tonight at knit night. These socks are the perfect knit night project....mostly mindless.
I love the chevron action. I am finding them way more enjoyable to knit than the last pair. I think it must be the pattern and the fact that I'm on sport weight yarn with bigger needles. Quick socks make this knitter happy.


New Pattern: Clarendon

Earlier this week, the Knit Picks City Tweed Collection went live on the Knit Picks website. In it, my latest shawl pattern, Clarendon. Yay!

Clarendon is a bottom-up short row shawl (you know I love those) knit out of 4 balls Knit Picks City Tweed DK. A cozy shawl for fall and winter.

The shawl starts with cables, but there is no reverse stockinette between the cables, giving you a very textured edge, a lovely match for the City Tweed yarn. 
You can get the pattern as an individual download or as part of the City Tweed collection. The collection includes a total of 6 patterns. There are 3 pullovers, a cardigan, a cowl, and my shawl.
Hope you enjoy the new pattern! :)


Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Hat Book

Before I talk about this week's book, we need a winner from last week's book giveaway. And the winner is....Michele/pdxknitterati (go read her blog, it's great!). Yay Michele!

This week, I took a look at Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Hat Book. This book has been out for awhile (as I said a couple weeks ago, I am super behind on the books around here).
The book is a collection of 50 patterns, many of which are new. At first glance at the book, I thought they were all new, but I recognized the Double Knit Hat from an old Vogue Knitting magazine. I remember really loving it when I saw it in the magazine then, and I still love it now.

The book starts with a brief history about hats and some hat knitting basics.
From there, it's broken up into several sections, making it easy for the knitter to find what they want.
Some of the hat patterns are a little out there for me. But, it's Vogue, so you kinda expect that. There are several that I loved though! Here are a few:

Newsboy Cap:
Nordic Snowflake Tuque:
and the Brioche Swirl Hat:
The book is chart-heavy. The lace, cables and colorwork hats have charts without the accompanying written instructions, so that's something to consider if you are not a chart person. I think this is a great book to add to your collection if you are an accessories knitter. Lots of new techniques to try for sure! However, if you are looking for a book with hats for men, this is not the book for you. You are not going to find one in this book.

Want to see all the patterns in this book? You can check out them out here.


Free-Spirit Shawls

Another week, another book on the blog. This week, it's Free-Spirit Shawls by Lisa Shroyer.

The book consists of 20 shawl patterns and is broken up into sections: Color, Lace, Simplicity & Texture. I really like the book being organized this way. You can find what you want to knit with ease! There is also a section about shawl shapes, which as a shawl designer, I enjoyed reading. There are lots of pretty shawls in the book, here are a few of my faves:

Bethe by Angela Tong may be my favorite:

There are so many different types of shawls in this book, I am sure most knitters will find something they like. If a pattern involves a chart, there are no written instructions to go along with it. However, there are patterns in the book where there is no chart, so if you are not a chart-reader, there is still something in there for you too!

You can see all of the patterns for this book here.

Want my review copy? Leave a comment on this blog post between now and Sept. 10th. I will draw a random winner on the 12th (when I have the next book mention/review up on the blog). Make sure you leave your Ravelry name or something so I can find you should you win.

Happy knitting!


The 15 month socks

When I first learned to knit socks around 2005/2006 I would knit sock after sock after sock each month. I was probably cranking out a pair of socks in a week on average. I went to the first Sock Summit and knit 3 pairs of socks in a long weekend.

Yeah, those days are gone. Now that I design (and what I design is pretty much not socks), I don't knit socks too often these days. They make an appearance here and there at knit night, when I have a design project that requires a little too much attention for gabbing all night with friends. That is why it took me 15 months to complete this plain ol' pair of socks. That is pretty pathetic.

I started these back in May of 2012 while heading to Ohio. I finished them last week after knitting quite a bit on them over Stitches weekend.
The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in the Time Traveler colorway. I had no idea it was Doctor Who themed colors, until Laura pointed it out to me at Stitches! (not yet into Doctor Who, I've been spending a lot of time watching Mad Men and Felicity. Judge me on the Felicity watching if you must). I just bought it because I loved the colors.
I knit these socks toe-up with an afterthought heel. I used every bit of yarn I had. I maybe had 1 yard total left at the end. One ball for each sock. I look forward to the cooler weather coming and finally getting to wear these babies.

Have you been knitting stripey socks lately? What's your favorite self-striping sock yarn?


Baby Hats, Baby Hats, Everywhere

We are going through this thing at work where the guys all have pregnant wives. Well, one just had a baby and one has a baby coming. So, I did what I do, and made some baby hats.

I knit an Upside-Down Daisy hat for the baby that already arrived. I obviously knit a ton of these. It's the go-to baby girl pattern at this point. I don't even need the pattern anymore. I think this is the fifth one I have knit.
So, after finishing that one up, I was ready to knit the next hat for my other coworker. He is also expecting a girl. Going against the daisy hat tradition I knit something else. Something dragon-y.
My coworker has a thing for knights and ren faires and D&D. So, it seemed appropriate to make his coming babe a bonnet that will make her look like a wee dragon. I really hope he likes it. I used the Baby Monstaa's Very Scary Bonnet pattern. Because I can't leave a pattern alone (the pattern was perfectly written, I just always end up changing stuff), I made some mods, which you can see here.

Both hats are knit out of my favorite yarn for babies, Knit Picks Comfy Worsted. I had one ball pink, one ball white, and it made both of these hats, with leftovers. That's $6 worth of yarn for two hats, which I think is the right amount to spend on something a baby is going to get projectile vomit on. :)

What are your go-to baby patterns? Knit or crochet, I want to hear about them!


Classic Elite Shawls, Wraps & Scarves

This week I'm looking at the book Classic Elite Shawls, Wraps & Scarves.

I simply love the idea of this book. It takes a stitch motif and uses it three ways in order to make three complimenting accessories.
The book obviously uses all Classic Elite yarn, and I love how different yarns are used for each set. You might use one lace/fingering yarn for the shawl and then use a chunky yarn for the scarf. It's fun to see how the stitch patterns change with the different yarns and constructions.

I love lots of stuff in this book, but this one is my favorite:
Since it's 60 patterns in one book, the ability to read charts is a must. There is no way you would be able to fit all the written instructions for the charts in this book. But don't let the charts scare you. Most of them are small and would be great to try if you are new to chart reading!

Wondering what else is in this book? Check out the Ravelry page.

Have you picked up this book yet? Which set is your fave?

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