Queen B Socks and Twinkle Twinkle Blanket

August 18, 2014 11:11 by Suzy

May and June were super productive on the knitting front, but apparently not on the blogging side of things! I get so excited about starting a new project I completely forget to stop and reflect and write about what I have finished...hopefully this post will get me caught up.

JD and I have some friends back in Maryland who were expecting their first child...they were keeping the baby's gender a surprise until birth, so I knew I needed to find the perfect gender-neutral project. Luckily the mother-to-be told me she was decorating the nursery in an ocean/beach theme, so that helped me find the perfect pattern and yarn.

I found the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket pattern on Ravelry back in December...I loved the stunning yet simple pattern, the in-the-round construction, and the fact that it uses fingering weight yarn. Then I just needed to find the perfect yarn and color...a few email exchanges with Allison at Simply Sock Yarn led me to Dream in Color Smooshy, in the Blue Lagoon colorway. I liked that the yarn is durable, soft, and washable, and the colorway had the perfect tonal depth without being too variegated.

This was my first time using the disappearing loop cast on method...it worked really well and avoided both the cast-on "hole" and the tendency of other methods to pucker in the center.

Our friends' baby boy arrived safe and sound in June, and I was so pleased to present them with this lovely blanket!

As soon as I finished the blanket, I cast on for my June Sock Knitters Anonymous project...one of the themes was Historical Figures so I chose the Marie Antoinette pattern, from the wonderful Anne Hanson at Knitspot. I had some madeleinetosh tosh sock yarn leftover from my Sproutlette baby dress project, so I put that stash to good use.

This pattern has a very interesting construction...the top cuff is first worked flat, in a narrow strip, and then grafted together in a circle. Stitches are picked up along the edge and joined in the round for the remainder of the sock. I really liked the cuff edging, and the "honeybee" stitches down the back of the ankle down to the heel. Very regal design, hence the Queen B name!

In other project news, I have given up on my seamed Custom Fit cardigan. I wasn't happy with how the pieces fit together and my crappy attempts at seaming with mattress stitch. Apparently I am a knitter, but NOT a sewer, so I should stick to seamless (or as close to seamless as possible) designs from now on. I'm going to frog the cardigan and use the yarn on a new cardigan pattern...Magnolia by JOJI. Fingers crossed this project is finished soon!

In my next blog post I will share some other exciting news that happened this summer...hint: annual summertime event with critters and funnel cakes...any guesses?

Links to projects in Ravelry:
Starlight Lagoon Blanket
Queen B Socks

Monkeys and Tulips and Greystone, Oh My!

March 27, 2014 13:37 by Suzy

2014 continues to be productive on the knitting front...4 more projects finished since my last post!

Last fall, Shalimar Yarns offered a Monkey Jacobus kit using their Enzo Sport yarn. I had never made knitted toys (called "softies") before, but the monkey looked so cute I couldn't resist! Shalimar yarn has always held a special place in my heart, as my first-ever knitting project was made with their Homage fingering weight...my first taste of luxury yarn! Plus, they are Maryland-based, not far from where JD and I used to live.

When I received the kit, I was a bit intimidated by the lengthy and complicated-looking pattern (10+ pages!) so I was hesitant to get started. So the kit languished in my WIP bin until I finally got the nerve to give it a shot in February. Surprisingly, the pattern was not nearly as difficult as I had feared...just very detailed...I just followed the instructions and before I knew it, I had an adorable monkey, ready to stuff.

Isn't she cute? I named her Bernadette!

At the same time, I started a new pair of socks, with the awesome pattern name of Monkey, designed by Cookie A. I had some yarn in my stash that I thought would be perfect for this project...an indigodragonfly club yarn from last year. The base is called Filament o' Squid (70% Merino/30% Seacell) in the colorway Squalor Amongst the Ankles. I must admit, I wasn't in love with the yarn when I first received it...the color is kind of a muddy green with a bit of yellow/gold in it, and the fiber texture is different...not unpleasant, just different. Every month or so I would take it out of my stash bin, give it a look and a squeeze, and I started liking it more and more. I think it looks great with this pattern, don't you?

This was my first lace pattern sock, and I just love it. I also used a different cast on method, as I noticed the cuffs on my first two sock projects were a little tight. I used the slip-knot cast on and I really like how it turned out. The edge has an almost folded-accordion look to it.

Next, I made the Greystone hat with my first Bare Naked Knitspot club yarn. The yarn is Kent Worsted (60% Merino/40% Romney wool) in the Driftwood colorway. I love this color...completely from undyed natural wools. It's a beautiful blend of browns and greys with a great sheen. The texture seemed a bit rustic at first but softened up considerably after a soak and blocking.

The cables look great in this yarn, don't you think?

Finally, our good friends back in Maryland were about to celebrate the first birthday of their daughter, and I knew I had to make her something special. She is the lucky recipient of my Baby Girl Blanket and Sproutlette Dress, so I had to top myself, you know? Enter the Tulips Cardigan pattern...simple and practical, yet oh-so-cute and in such beautiful colors! The Coldwater Yarns online shop has a great selection of kits in different color themes...I chose the Anita's Rainbow kit. The kit comes with enough yarn of each color (9 colors in all!) to make the cardigan...so you don't have to buy full skeins of each. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy, which is a worsted superwash wool. The colors are amazing...not boring solids but beautiful and rich and complex.

(Note the picture above is pre-blocking) Various project notes on Ravelry for this pattern indicated that the cardigan runs small, so I made the 24-month size and also modified the pattern to have 10 rows in each color vs. only 8 rows. Luckily I didn't run out of yarn!

Isn't she adorable? And don't the colors look perfect on her?

I currently have another pair of socks on the needles, as well as my first project using lace yarn. My brain is already two or three projects ahead and I can't wait for my next club packages to arrive!

Happy knitting!

Ravelry project links:
Bernadette Monkey
Monkey Squalor
Greystone: The Legend of Romney
Birthday Tulips