Cast On: Crochet Rainbow Baby Blanket

One of my longest and favorite friends from childhood recently let me know that she will be welcoming a tiny bundle of joy this summer. Okay, based on the size of her husband….may not be so tiny, but I digress.

My crafting time is pretty limited but she has worked CRAZY hard to get pregnant so she (and the baby) deserve something special. I knew Joanns was running a sale on Bernat Blanket and I found this amazing color!

The momma knows the sex of the baby but I don’t. So I figure bright rainbow suits either way. I’m doing a blanket similar to the Little Roses For A Little Princess one from last year. For this one I chained for 48 inches and I’m doing a half double crochet stitch and just working until I’m out of yarn or it’s big enough. Whichever comes first.

I love how fast bulky crochet goes so I’m already almost through the first skein! The colors are also helping to brighten up the dreary winter nights. I just have to watch myself so I don’t miss too many stitches and start going trapezoidal!

Happy Crocheting!

Taming The Queue

My name is Rachelle…and I’m a queue junkie. In the past I have thrown every pattern that caught me eye into my Ravelry queue. I had 12 pages at the beginning of 2016. This summer I culled that list to 6 pages based on my current aesthetic and knitting mojo. It was still daunting to me. Then the Ravelry code geniuses moved the Wish List feature to Favorites and it hit me…I need to use my Favorites better.

I spent far too many hours that I will admit to analyzing my queue. I moved anything that wasn’t lighting an immediate fire in me from queue to favorites. And I added the paid for patterns to my wish list. Then I took the patterns still in my queue and tried to match them up with stash. Boy that was hard! I even going to take it another step farther and goback through my queue and moved anything not matched up yarn into my favorites.

It made me make hard decision but I feel less overwhelmed now. I know I can go to my queue when I need a project and pull a pattern already matched with yarn. And if that doesn’t tickle my fancy I can peruse my favorites for inspiration. I’m hoping this helps me better utilize yarns I already own.

Am I OCD organization crazy, or do other knitters do this??

FO Friday: Happy Valley Vanilla Socks

It’s a happy day! My Happy Valley Vanilla Socks are done!

You have to love the simplicity and speed of toe-up vanilla socks with sport weight yarn! I knit these babies in 12 calendar days without too much hassle. I successfully made it without any pooling or flashing. Just some mild striping. I used 98 of the 100 grams of yarn in a simple toe-up vanilla sock with gusset heel. I knit the leg until my ball of yarn got small enough that I was worried and then started ribbing. 

I will admit one sock is slightly smaller than the other. It was the second sock. I’m not sure if it was just the rush to finish them or what. I thought I held the second one up to the first to make sure I was starting the various phases at the same time. It’s totally not enough difference that they don’t fit. And no one but me would probably even notice!

All I know is that Winter is still here in Kansas and I have another finished pair of socks for my drawer!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Storytime Scholar Sweater

My son is a tiny little inferno. It’s been legit below zero in Kansas a few time this winter and I’ve had to literally fight to get a coat on my 2.5 year old. A kind older couple (strangers to us) at the next table very nicely assisted in scamming my son into his coat after we enjoyed a nice dinner out. I mouthed a silent thank you to what I assume was a very accomplished Grandma. Or at least she should be one…she was great!

Having written this…I’m not sure why I’m even knitting what I’m about to show you…

This is the Storytime Scholar by Lisa Chemery. It’s a paid for pattern that I spotted one night on a Ravelry binge. It’s bulky and gorgeous and just all the things. I checked the “In My Stash” feature on Ravelry and noticed I had enough Knit Picks Biggo to make this in a suitable neutral outerwear color. And I have the needles…so off I went! Being that this bulky I cruised through the raglan increases in one night. I’m now in the body and in skein two of yarn. It’s 50/50 superwash merino and nylon so it should wear just fine. Not that my little Jellybean will stop growing long enough to wear it out anyway. My 2.5 year old is already in 3-4T toddler clothing. So I’m hedging my bets and making the largest pattern size of 4T.

Fingers crossed he will wear it long enough for me to take at least some decent photos of it. And that it’s cold enough that I can get a few outings of this yet this winter.

Happy Knitting!

The Fabric At Hand

I’ve been working on my Toe Up Socks with a Difference. I’m working fingering weight yarn on size 2 US needles. I would normally be using 1 US. To compensate for the gauge change the pattern calls for using less stitches. When I hold the toe/foot up against a finished sock it’s about the right width and size. So this sock will fit. But because of the magic of gauge the fabric created is looser. It looks fine right?

It’s not bothering me enough to rip and adjust the pattern. Mostly because I’ve never done the heel in this pattern before and a little because I don’t want to re-math. A tiny niggling part of my brain worries that these socks won’t wear as well as some others knit a tighter gauge.

I don’t know why I’m even having this internal and external monologue. I have enough socks in my drawer to have quite the rotation so it’s not like these will be my only socks to wear. Have any of you other knitters out there had this silly dialogue with yourself?

Countess Ablaze Winner!

Late last year the Yarniacs podcast had a giveaway sponsored by Countess Ablaze. And this lucky duck won! I won some The Bluefaced Baron Fingering in the This Aint A Scene colorway. It’s crazy and gorgeous! And most definitely going to grow up to be a hat/mitts or a shawl….I just can’t decide!

And as a bonus Countess Ablaze threw in cotton a-tote bag complete with logo!

Pardon me…but I’m going to do some Rav searching to match this with some potential patterns!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Toe Up Socks With A Difference

In addition to my ongoing PigskinParty KAL I have heard in the podcast-verse that a couple new KALs are popping up in January. The first is the Self Indulgent KAL with the Yarniacs and then the New Year New Ewe KAL with the Actually Knitting podcast. I figured I would cast on something special that would hit all three. My solution? The Toe-Up Socks with a Difference by Wendy D Johnson. They are a Pigskin Party sponsor, they are a new to me technique of the gusset on the bottom heel for the New Year New Ewe KAL, and the yarn is a golden skein I have been hoarding in my stash for the Self Indulgent KAL. Best of all…..these will be all mine!

I was off to a great start during nap time the other day. Until I noticed a problem….ladders on my toe increases. The designer recommends using a knit front and back increase which I failed spectacularly at. See….

So I turned that attempt into this….

I went with my old standby of the lifted left and right increases. Much better…

Now I’ve switched to my nine inch circs and I’m plowing up the foot!

Happy Knitting!!

Halfway Happy Valley

My Happy Valley socks are halfway there! (Don’t mind the dog hair…no matter how I clean it sticks to everything, sigh)

I’m copying the stitch count and measure from my Cygnus Vanillas with the exception that I’m working a gusset heel instead of an afterthought heel.

The yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorne Sport in the Happy Valley color. It’s playing quite nicely with my stitch count. I didn’t encounter any pooling or flashing, just some mild striping!

It actually went up farther than I anticipated based on how fast my yarn ball was shrinking, but not as far as my typical socks. But these are so lovely I’m just rolling with it. I used all but three yards of half of the ball…if that makes sense. I knit until I was scared I didn’t have enough to bind off and then stopped!

Now I need to get cracking on sock #2!

Happy Knitting!!

2016 By The Numbers

Well, 2016 is in the books. I had a lot of grand plans for the year including the 2016 Sock Yarn Experiment. I think I did pretty well on that front! I made:

  • 18 pairs of socks, 17 adult and 1 baby sized
  • Used 13 new to me yarns (thought not the same ones I set out to use, oh well)
  • Three of those pairs were gift socks!

Given that I got a whole new pile of sock yarn, I plan to continue my sock experiment in 2017.

Let’s look at the overall 2016 numbers shall we?

  • I finished 46 projects blowing my 31 projects from 2015 out of the water.
  • I frogged four projects from 2015 and sent three into hibernation.
  • I knit my first shawl in 2016

As for the Yarn In versus Yarn Out….well that one was a little rough…

I knit:

  • 19,189.10 yards of yarn
  • 57,567.36 feet of yarn
  • or 10.90 miles of yarn
  • I used 67.48 skeins of yarn

I purchased or brought in:

  • 23,272.10 yards of yarn
  • 69,816.30 feet of yarn
  • or 13.22 miles of yarn
  • I added 91.96 skeins of yarn

That leaves me 4,083 yards, 12,249 feet, 2.32 miles or 24.48 skeins in the hole for 2016. Whoops! I really want to try to better next year. So I’m going to gear up for 2017, finish some WIPs and work from stash. Yeah, we will see how that goes…

Happy Knitting!!