Category Archives: Knitting

KBC V: Fabulous hat edition


For the past four years, some bloggy friends and I have been getting together to hang out, eat good food, drink good drinks, chat, knit, and do other assorted crafts. It’s undoubtedly one of the highlights of my year and I still can’t quite believe I lucked into having these amazing ladies as friends. If you have a free weekend, I highly recommend organizing something similar yourself. Just make sure to buy slightly more wine and cheese than you think you’ll need. And lots of bacon. And bug spray because oh dear god the mosquitoes.

We swapped hats this year (in the past we did cowls and mittens) and I got to knit a hat for the lovely Nova. Aside from being a smart lady, fantastic mom, and possessor of the best drunk laugh ever, Nova has also been doing a tiny bit of profession-mentoring for me as I’ve gone back for a second master’s degree and am joining the same field she works in. She even let me follow her around a conference when I’m sure she had better things to do than babysit the nervous new kid. In short, she deserves a lot more than a hat.

Cecily in Brooks Farm Acero

Pattern: Cecily by Knitting School Dropout
Ravelry project page
Yarn: Brooks Farm Acero

This is a very pleasing, easy little knit with just the right amount of slouch. And bonus: it looks great sitting atop Nova’s curls.

Cecily in Brooks Farm Acero

The yarn was meh. I love heathered yarn, so the color was right up my alley, but it was so splitty that I’m not sure I’d knit with it again. I made a scarf with the same yarn a few years ago (I was knitting it at KBC III, actually) and noted some splittiness in the Rav project notes. So yeah, I think this is my last time working with this yarn.

And of course, a swap means that everyone goes home with a prize. One Ms Caro Splityarn knit me a super cute, slouchy purple hat that is exactly what I wanted. It’ll be in heavy rotation this winter.

Slable for Specs
(Photo by Caro, who makes everything look gorgeous.)

I had a lovely time, ladies. Let’s do it again soon.



Filed under Hats, Knitting

Basket ‘o booties

I really like pleasing arrangements of words. So much so that I will apparently design gifts around, not how they look or how functional they are, but how the name of the gift sounds. I am not the most practical of gift-givers that way.

But I think booties are a practical gift for parents-to-be, especially when the pregnant lady has specifically asked you to knit booties, since she herself is a knitter but hates knitting on DPNs. She made some super cute sweaters for her kid and friends’ kids, but just doesn’t feel up to all the wrangling required for making tiny shoes for tiny feet (which, after knitting a bunch of those things, I totally get).


But the end results are so cute and my sister and brother in law liked them so much, I really didn’t mind all the end-weaving, fiddly car-knitting, swearing, and wrist/finger nerve damage. Here’s a brief run down of what went into the basket o’ booties. (And if you look at the project pages, you’ll see that re: our discussion last time about picking up stitches, I did not pick up the appropriate number for ANY of these knits.)

"Eco baby booties"
Eco Baby Booties in Ella Rae worsted
Cute and quick, because they’re knit on worsted. I recommend two things: knitting with dark yarn (because there’s no way to get the seam to look neat) and sewing down the little rolled edge.

Magic slippers #2
Magic slippers 2 in KPPPM
These are the most satisfying little knit ever.

Magic booties #1
Magic slippers 1 in Plymouth Sockotta
These are the ugliest booties ever. But I guess the baby won’t get lost in a crowd? You know how babies are always doing that.

Newborn lace socks in Dalegarn Baby Ull
Oh god my patio table is filthy. Pretend I didn’t put white baby socks on it. Also the colors are all wonky in this shot and I can’t fix them so I gave up.
These are really cute. Would knit again A++++++.

Saartje’s bootees in Dalegarn Baby Ull
Adorbs. Right? You knew that.


I will add though, that if you haven’t knit these before you should know that they take as long to seam and weave ends in as they do to knit. After knitting they resemble a tiny garter stitch jellyfish and it’s only another 15 minutes of sewing that makes them into the cute little accessories you see above. Also: do not do this in a car. Seaming these is a surefire way to car sickness and a headache. (But still worth it because, did you see the wee buttons and straps?) There is a version of these knit in the round, but I missed it on the first pattern hunt and was pressed enough for time that I just wanted to knit two of a pattern I’d already memorized.

Saartje’s bootees 2 in Dalegarn Baby Ull

CUTER. I reluctantly chose the pink flower buttons for these after realizing that the little skull buttons at JoAnn’s were too big.

Sweet Baby Jayne in Vanna’s Choice
“Baby scoots down the hall in that hat, people know she’s not afraid of anything.” (Explanation video.) This was an awesome knit for sci-fi fan parents. My brother in law got it immediately, which was exactly the reaction I hoped for. I think a grown-man sized Jayne hat might be in order right around Halloween time.

I have one more baby shower to go to for the Niecelet, and I’m thinking of knitting another hat to go along with my store-bought gift. Probably Adrian’s Town-down Bonnet with the ears, of course. Because who doesn’t like a baby in a hat with ears? (Commies.)


Filed under Baby, FOs, Hats, Knitting, Lace, Niecelet, Socks

The Grey Lady

Meet my new stole:


Celes, by Jared Flood (ravelry)
Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Buckingham (beautiful yarn for lace! 80% alpaca, 20% silk)
Needles: US 6 / 4 mm

I like very simple things. Clean lines, solid colors, classic styles, black, grey, green, white. Because of this, I tend to knit very simple things: lots of stockinette, plain colors, nothing flashy or terribly stylish. So I’ve ended up with a lot of sweaters and accessories that I love, but that aren’t really impressive to either knitters or non-knitters. There was a big hole in my knitted wardrobe where an impressive piece might go — something that knitters and non-knitters alike would be impressed by.

And ok, maybe Celes isn’t that technically impressive — it got really damn dull toward the end there — but it does exactly what I want it to: it sits prettily around my neck and looks complicated enough that I’m not embarrassed to encounter other knitters while wearing it (like I am when wearing, say, my garter stitch Malabrigo scarf).


Celes represents something else I love: old things. It’s a perfect confluence of simple (repetitive pattern, grey yarn, easily disguised as a scarf) and old (the Shetland lace that inspired Jared’s pattern). And I’d be lying if I said the Scottish heritage of this scarf didn’t tug at my 25% Scottish heartstrings just a little.


I mentioned before that technique-wise, this stole isn’t much to brag about, and I think that’s true for most of you, my talented knitter friends. But it is the first time I ever grafted lace. I knit Eunny Jang’s Print ‘O The Wave for my grandmother a few years ago, but the grafting was intimidating so I left it out, knitting a single panel in one direction. But you know what? Grafting? Totally not scary. At least, not if you’re content with it being visible (and research on the internet has lead me to believe that there is no such thing as completely invisible lace grafting).

This truly crappy photo does a pretty good job of showing you the kitchenered graft:


See? Not terrible, but visible if you’re looking for it (which I would be if I saw another knitter wearing a two-panel stole).

Another technique footnote to this pattern: I will never, EVER, be able to pick up the correct number of stitches. You could hold a gun to my head, threaten my family, burn my books, or even help me count the stitches, and I would still pick up the wrong number. When picking up stitches for the edging of Celes, the pattern told me to pick up 211. I picked up 186. Not a big deal, because I just decreased a few extra times (k3 tog instead 2 at the end of RS of edging rows) to make the total divisible by 6 and made it work. But I do not know where I was supposed to find those extra 25 stitches.

Although none of that really matters because the finished object is beautiful and I am completely in love with it.



Filed under Accessories, FOs, Knitting, Lace

And back again.



I just finished the back of Aidez, which I am going to have to block the living hell out of if this piece is any indication. I didn’t do a gauge swatch because I figured it was such a quick knit that I’d know soon enough whether or not things were going awry. (Like hats! Hats are basically big, round gauge swatches in and of themselves.) The problem with that plan is that for it to work, you must actually check your gauge at some point.

So, severe blocking it is then!

(I’m making this entirely because of Christy’s version, which is gorgeous and doesn’t look at all stiff and chunky. Mine is suspiciously stiff at this point, so that’s all the more reason to do some serious blocking.)


Filed under Knitting, Sweaters, WIPs