holiday stockings



Last year I made these oversize holiday stockings from the purl bee. The heels are turned as they are on a regular sock, but it is knit flat with bulky yarn. It's a very good project to try out sock knitting. I did one in the round, but I wouldn't recommend it. The seaming up the back gives the stocking extra structure and it looks better seamed.





I had a ton of leftover white and cream yarn from a sweater (it's Louet fingering, held double) and lots of colourful scraps, so I followed the pattern exactly (I also wasn't feeling that creative last year, to be honest). However, if I made these with new yarn, I'd do them one each in chocolate, grey and tan with a little bright fair isle rather than stripes.

I'll add in this tip that I wish I'd known at the beginning: embroidery yarn works perfectly for the stripes. It's cheap and you can find any colour. Just be sure to only wash the socks in cold water and lay flat to dry. I didn't have any problems with bleeding or shrinking on mine.


soft grey cotton


I used to prefer harder wools, because they are elastic, don't split and don't pill — they're easier to work with. But they are also itchy. Besides, it's only cold enough for wool for a few weeks where we live. I've  started really liking cotton and linen yarns.



I've found two cottons that I really like. One is blue sky cotton which is fluffy and thick and the other is Rowan pima cotton, which is smooth and comes in a beautiful palette. This hat is pima cotton in millet. I used one and a half skeins.





Cotton is light — it's nice nice to knit with in the summer, when I have the most free time to knit. I did most of this hat last year on summer vacation. The pattern is for babies: it's the pom-pom cap by Hadley Fierlinger. I thought I had lost the chance to make it in time last year, but I thought I may as well finish it it and maybe give it to another baby. However, I had a nice surprise — it fits my three and a half year old well. I was going to do a big fluffy yellow and orange pom pom that he was excited about. But in the end, he likes it plain and we didn't need the ties either. It keeps his ears warm, but it's very light and not too warm for running around in.

sparkle


We've been fighting various colds and bugs this week. There is one good thing about being sick, it slows you down. I do some of my best thinking with a cold. Anyway, this cat came home from school to cheer us all up.


I am trying to learn continental knitting, so it's non-stop garter stitch until I get the hang of it. Everyone says it's faster.


Auggie has just brought me a piece of green felt, 2 shells, 3 coins, a plastic wheel a dump truck and a plastic moose. I have to go!

pear tree denim


These were inspired by Amber, who would always wear nice slouchy fingerless gloves with a long ribbed top to staff meetings. I thought that was very clever, so I added 2 extra lengths of ribbing to the top of the long striped handwarmers from the purlbee. I have a lot of 3/4 length sleeves and these keep my wrists warm. And then I can roll down the top ribbing and tuck my fingers in when it is cold (it feels a bit like those skater hoodies with the holes in the cuffs).

These are pear tree merino yarn from australia in a denim colour way. I added in a few extra stitches as I found these knitted up a little small (but I knit tightly).

It took me almost 4 months to make these — I just carry my knitting around and get in a few stitches here and there.









bat | cat hat




It's not too late to make this for Hallowe'en. Original zsa mask pattern via smalleand pinterestMy pattern notes below. Pattern was created by Mme ZsaZsa.







This is the easiest, fastest hat to make. I originally made this for Auggie because he wanted to be a black cat for Hallowe'en. He's since changed his mind, but now we have a hat.

This would be good for a bat, cat or Batman costume and it's nice and cozy. Don't be lazy and knit this in the round — the seaming helps the hat hold it's shape :) This is a good seaming tutorial if you are new to it.

I used Blue Sky Worsted cotton (the same as for the Windy scarf) in Ink but if Auggie hadn't specified black I would have used the Graphite. I would only use cotton for this hat unless we lived in the Yukon — it's a thick knit.

sunshine

Update: the shower is past and the baby is here — look at this little one.

lyndsay.jpg

I've been going through online knitting patterns for babies for a bunch of baby showers this year. This it the third post. The first one is here and the second one is here.

pickles_pattern2.jpg
pickles_pattern3.jpg
pickles_pattern4.jpg

This is the pickles small & clever bonnet pattern again. There was only one tricky part which is increasing at the beginning without making a hole. I found this trick which avoids the hole. (Also, I did two extra rows on each side so that I had 47 stitches at the widest point — according to the babies around me, this seems to fit about right.)

The boots are oh baby! baby booties which I fell in love with when I saw this float past me on pinterest. It was a pretty good pattern. You could probably stripe the cuff or use up lots of scraps and it would be pretty. 

I used Alchemy Temple (yellow) and Debbie Bliss merino, bith dk for these.

pickles_pattern.jpg

Little pierrot slippers




These little baby slippers — december booties — are from a pattern by maddermade for lark yarn from quince. They are quite sweet without the pom poms, too, I think. This is a very good pattern and worth the $3.50. It's a continuous knit with no seaming and it was very straightforward to make. These are in a washable merino in a dk weight from mission falls. These are for a little boy who is a few weeks old, now.  If you would like help to make pom poms, our pdf instructions are here).

(ps. hopefully the music from Sunny, Snowy & Chinook and Foggy will be  is available here soon. I'm working on updating the blog to hundreds & thousands, as I'm almost finished with Windy-related material.)

Vintage Baby Knits




We tracked down a copy of Vintage Baby Knits: More Than 40 Heirloom Patterns from the 1920s to the 1950s and it was fantastic. Our little ones are getting to be too big for the patterns (the patterns are for 1-24 months). However, our Henry has just grown into this sweater, started last summer — lucky thing, too.



He wasn't happy that I stopped to take a picture (although, even though it's not such a good picture I am terribly fond of him in it), so I had to put the camera down and try again a few months later when he was distracted. It still fits.




The Jasper hoodie is a seamed, hooded sweater. It is knit in Rowan Purelife organic cotton (DK). It is a bit nerve-wracking doing a seamed sweater, since you can't tell how it will fit until you've finished knitting. However, it came together very easily and the diamond pattern is easy and handsome.

Here's a tip: use the Zimmerman trick where you make a buttonhole on each side instead of just one side. At the end you have 2 matching rows of buttonholes along both button bands. Then you use the buttonholes on one side to place the buttons, so they match up perfectly with the holes along the other band.



While searching for the book title online, we came across a site with free vintage baby patterns, like this little pony vest. Looks nice!

Brown Owls



We've been taking a bit of a break due to summer colds, but we'll be back soon with a book review and some snow globes.

In the meantime, here are some owls we've come across recently in our travels:

Owls and nests by the K 1/2 class at Charles Dicken Elementary and a brown owl cardigan adapted from the Owlet pattern by Kate Davies.



Edited to add one more owl, this time one for Auggie, with button eyes: