Secret knitting

I always knit my kids Christmas gifts in secret.  
Sometimes they will request a certain item, sometimes I will come up with it on my own, but one thing is for sure, they will be surprised when they open it.
I will knit while they are in gymnastics class & when they come out for a water break, I will quickly shove whatever I am working on in my knitting bag and throw another project on top of it.  And of course there are always the late nights. Knitting away while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.

This year my youngest wanted a stuffed cow.  I bought the pattern Milk Cow by Susan B. Anderson and knit it up using Cascade 220.

 One of my favorite details was the udder!

She loved it!

My oldest daughter saw me knitting a pair of fingerless mitts for my Mother and then wanter her own.
Pattern: Nalu Mitts

For my daughter I was inspired by the song "What does the fox say?" and
 this pattern.  If you have kids, chances are you have heard the 'fox song' once or maybe a few dozen times.
I added a thumb & opted to only add 1 fox by duplicate stitching it on at the end.  I used some yarn that I had on hand. Dream in Color Starry, has a nice sparkle to it & looks like tinsel has been woven in.  
She wore them all Christmas day.


Perfect drape

I worked on this sweater nearly all summer, casting off just in time for fall weather.  The pattern/yarn combo created a sweater that drapes perfectly.

The yarn that I used was Madelinetosh DK in the colorway Rain Water.
The pattern, Vinita, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, is a lovely all over cable design.

I tell my knitting students that there are a million ways to cast on, cast off, increase, decrease, & weave in ends.  There are also as many ways to construct a sweater. 

This sweater was a fun knit suitable for an adventurous beginner.  Starting at the back, adding on for the sleeves, casting off for the neck & then working down the fronts, this sweater is a one piece wonder!

Taking care to seam the sides & sleeves to match up the cables, I have had people try to figure out how this sweater was constructed because it looks nearly seamless.


Not Quite Quince

A couple of months ago I was itching to dye some yarn and by chance I happened upon the perfect opportunity.
Quince & Co. had just posted some of their Osprey yarn in it's un-dyed state.  This limited addition yarn was rejected from becoming mainstream for one or more reasons.  Whatever the reason may have been, all I was interested in was getting my hands on some!  I placed an order & within no time at all, my package had arrived.

(5 skeins) ready to rock & roll.

Soaking with a vinegar/water mixture.

On to the stovetop to simmer using coffee as my dye.

Out to dry.


I used some of it for a baby gift.

I have 3+ skeins left & I'm thinking about designing a nice cozy loop to wear around my neck for the winter.


A few things off of the needles

This little sweater got a lot of attention when I posted it over on Facebook, so here are the details: 

When Spinning Yarns posted that a shipment of Madelinetosh was in, I went running.  I loved the color combo of Corsage (pink) & Steamer Trunk (gray).  
Now to find a pattern... I searched my new go-to catalog of 'things I want to knit' over on Pinterest & I found this shawlette that I had been eyeing for a while.
Xenia by Vanessa Smith was a fun way to combine my two colors.  The pattern was written in a way that you could knit it in one color or 'customize' it with your own color combinations.  The easy to follow pattern also included written & charted instructions for the beautiful lace bottom edge.

Lastly, I have finished another sweater for me.  Using Malabrigo Silky Merino, I knit Leaving by Anne Hanson.  You sure get your bang for your buck with this pattern.  It can either be knit in this pullover version, or as a cardigan!
The only major modification that I made was omitting the pattern on the sleeves.  Not that I didn't like the detail, I just really wanted to get this sweater done & be able to wear it.

 Wear the sweater? It's June you say!  Well, it has been a very cold June here in Maine... and I was able to wear this a couple of times already!


Lots of little knits

I have finished a lot of projects over the past few months, as well as one new design that I named The Diamond Panel Pullover.
It is knit in the round from the bottom up with the only grafting done under the arms.  A simple lace panel is placed on the center front.  
I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca in the photo shown.
The pattern can be found in the Pattern Store section of this blog, on Ravelry & on Craftsy.

I also just recently went to a baby shower.  Not just any baby shower, but the shower honoring my amazing Sister-in-Law who will be having her first baby this summer.  This will be my first niece or nephew & I couldn't be more excited! Knitting for a baby who's gender is unknown can be kind of tricky.  
We have a large Irish family, so the first project came easy.

A gender neutral Irish sweater!
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca.
Pattern: Aran Pullover by, Melanie Falick & Kristin Nicholas.

These buttons with clovers couldn't be more perfect.

Another great thing to knit for a boy or a girl is a stuffed animal.

The elephant head, ears, arms & legs were made following Susan B. Anderson's Lion & Elephant from her book Itty Bitty Knits.  The pattern is for a reversible toy, but I only wanted the elephant portion.  I made the body from a  ball pattern included in the same book.

Lastly, this baby needed a hat.  I whipped up a simple beanie & embroidered a single pea in a pea pod.

Still, there were 2 more babies to knit for.  A very special co-worker is about to have twins.  One boy, one girl.  This called for two peas in a pod.


a quick dry

I can't wait for summer!  Warm weather, short sleeves, flip flops & the beach!  But first, there will be mud season.
There are a few things that I will be sad to let go as winter fades away.  I will miss how a fresh blanket of snow looks & how I can watch it falling peacefully from my window as I knit by the fire.  That brings me to one of the things that I may miss most.  Our wood stove.  It draws the whole family close to it, taking in that special heat that only a wood stove can give.
Not to mention, how darn quick it dries my knits!!!
I cast off my last sts on this vest & wove in the ends yesterday afternoon.  Soaked it for a bit, spun it dry & laid it out next to the fire just before I had to go pick up my daughter from school.
This morning its ready to wear!

The pattern is called Nordic Trail by Elizabeth Smith of The Brown Stitch.  This pattern is written extremely clearly.  An advanced beginner knitter looking for the next step: this would be the perfect place to start!

The back of the vest has this lovely lace panel insert, the Nordic Trail maybe?

I used Cascade 128 in Charcoal, a nice, bulky, 100% wool with a rustic look.


Skinny Cotton Pullover

My newest pattern is a sweet pullover knit in Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Cotton, perfect for spring!
It is knit from the bottom up starting with the body.  The sleeves are knit & then everything is put together at the yoke.  The only grafting is at the underarms.  The pattern can be found here on the blog, on Ravelry or on Craftsy.

The sweater pictured above was made in the color-way Basil, the color below is called Zinc.