Cast On: Zen Yarn Garden Chevron Baby Blanket

The 2019 Pigskin Party KAL hosted by the Down Cellar Studio podcast is in full swing now. I wasn’t able to do as much pre-planning this year as I have done for years past. I realized I had three major projects that were already on the needles that I don’t want to put into hibernation because WIPs don’t count for points. So I may not be as gung ho this year.

But at the very least I tried to get into the spirit of the competition by casting on a new WIP. I had been craving a big chunky blanket knit after I finished the Westport Blanket. So I went stash diving and found roughly 990 yards of Knit Picks Brava Bulky kicking around. The colors really do play well together with the true red, navy and grey.

I used the advanced search in Ravelry to look for bulky blanket patterns that used this yardage amount and that were completely garter. I wanted a nice BIG auto pilot project. I came up with the Zen Yarn Garden Chevron Baby Blanket by  Staci Perry of the VeryPink podcast and YouTube channel. I love listening to her every week so I went all in!

I cast on and quickly got to the second color. I think I will be true to the pattern and alternate the navy and grey with a solid chunk of red in the middle. This pairs nicely with the fact that I have three full skeins of the navy and grey and only one and a half skeins of the red.

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My hands do get tired working on this large of needle and yarn. So I will probably work this one in bits and pieces to avoid injury. But I’m really pleased with the pattern so far and how the yarn is knitting up! And it’s been awhile since I had to work a chevron. It’s been nice dusting that off!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Autumn League Pullover

I have had crazy sweater mojo here lately. It’s all I feel drawn to right now. I have a Worsted Boxy on the needles in a neutral colored Berroco yarn. But that didn’t stop me from casting on the Autumn League Pullover by Alexandra Tavel after I saw one being worn by the Jodi of the Grocery Girls podcast.

I printed the free version of the pattern and marked it up for the medium/large size, grabbed some needles and yarn and just started knitting. I pulled some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Acadia colorway (that has been in my stash for 5 year) because its a pretty soft 100% acrylic yarn that had the appropriate yardage I needed. It’s basically the same color as my Worsted Boxy. whoops!  I didn’t gauge swatch or pre-plan at all. This could be a total disaster…for real.

Speaking of disaster, did any of you catch the minor disaster in the photo above? When I pulled needles I just grabbed my plastic interchangeable that I have had since 2009. They had the right needles size and cord length so I could cast on right away. Well….these needles have seen better days. And as I was pushing the growing number of stitches around the cord….it came unlocked/un-clicked and I dropped about 25 stitches.

I grabbed a tapestry needle and some scrap yarn and scooped  up those stitches before they could run. I was pleasantly surprised that for 100% acrylic the stitches stayed pretty much put. I got wise after this and dug out my Knit Picks aluminum interchangeable needles and transferred my work to those. I made sure to use the key to tighten the cords.

I’m not sure if changing needle types will change my gauge or not. But after looking at my work I can already see places where I was purling flat that have some noticeable tension/gauge differences that I can see. So what the heck would a few more of those bother? This is comfy sweatshirt style pullover that I probably will just wear around the house. I just really want to be knitting soothing stockinette in the round forever and ever.

I am wondering if I am switching from a product knitter to a process knitter…zounds!!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Progression Shawl

I have found my zen again. As I wrote yesterday, I frogged my everyday shawl in my Cheshire Cat mini set yarn. Yet another dive down the Ravelry pattern search rabbit hole led me to the Progression Shawl by Carin Risinger.

This pattern is a garter stitch shawl which makes me happy because I was not in the mood to purl after my issues with the everyday shawl. And it’s also incorporated some easy eyelets to add some interest. The Progression Shawl is also asymmetrical and should made a nice long shawl to wrap up cozy in next winter. Not to mention I feel like the garter and eyelets are suited to the heavy variegation in this yarn.

The added bonus to this pattern is the fact that I can adjust the instructions to easily use up all my yarn. Those kinds of details just make my OCD tendencies SUPER happy. I might decide to save out 8-10 grams total of this set to add to my memory blanket. I’ll have to see how the yarn stacks out in this shawl.

Happy Friday and Happy Knitting!!

(Re) Cast On: Dad’s 2019 Christmas Socks

I put my big girl pants on and re-cast on my Dad’s christmas socks. This time I’m working a 64 stitch count sock.

The yarn is standing up well to re-knitting as I can barely even tell it has been kinked up. I’m finished with the toe increases and ready to zoom through the foot. I am still kicking myself that I have to re-knit this. Always listen to that voice that keeps telling you that something is off with your knitting, sigh….

I am slightly cheered by the fact I’m using my 19 stitches project bag. This project bag has been floating around in my purse for weeks and really has stood up well to a lot of abuse. I like that in a project bag!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Everyday Shawl

I have been sitting on a pack of Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat mini and tried to make then into a Vamping Shawl. That turned out to not be a great match of pattern and yarn. So after frogging I did some Ravelry searches and came up with Everyday Sahwl by Jenny Faifel. It was a little challenging to find a shawl that fit my yardage that wasn’t all over complicated lace and will suit this variegated yarn. My mom brain has NO space for lace nonsense right now. This shawl looks amazing! It’s alternating sections of stockinette and reverse stockinette so really soothing and easy on my grey matter.

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This is an asymmetrical triangle shawl that will make a nice large shawl that should be very wearable. And I think the pattern should be able to handle the variegated nature of the yarn. It will be interesting to see how the yarn transitions as I add the other minis.

I may or may not have cast this project on at 9 pm at night. Which soothed my soul, but I had to cast this on, rip it back and re-cast on to feel like I was understanding what I should be doing. My stitch counts were all off on the first go round. I’m 100% sure it was (tired) user error. But the good new is the 2-ply yarn structure didn’t seem to suffer from the ripping and re-knitting!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Worsted Boxy

I consistently find myself late to any and all knitting trends. I mean I knit my first fade only this year and how long has that been around? I have been finding myself attracted to some boxy garments lately. I have been working on my post-PB baby weight loss and I find myself comfortable and pleased with a skinny pant, boxy shirt or sweater and a cute pair of shoes look.

So I decided to try knitting Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli in some Berroco Vintage from DEEP DEEP stash. My line of thinking is:

  • This yarn has tried to be several things and it has never quite worked. So why not a comfy sweatshirt style neutral color garment?
  • I’ll get this sweater quantity out of my stash for good if I finish this
  • A worsted sweater should go faster than the fingering weight boxy
  • If I finish it and it look hideous or the color doesn’t favor me…I’ll find it a good home somewhere!

I’m knitting the medium size in the pattern. It won’t give me quite the full ease that Joji calls for but enough ease that it fit loosely but still be flattering. I have managed to cast on the 200+ stitches WITHOUT TWISTING and I have started the ribbing. Based on reading other notes I think I’m going to double the ribbing called for in the pattern to prevent the hem from rolling. Wish me luck!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Vamping

I have had this pack of mini skeins in my stash for awhile now and it keeps popping up in my mind. It’s some Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland yarns Cheshire Cat in the Mad Tea Party colorway. There are five mini skeins in a rainbow-ish kind of fade. I picked this pack up at a yarn store closing and I have been hoarding it. Well, last week I got a yarn newsletter that highlighted the Vamping pattern from Jennifer Dassau. And I rushed to my stash to grab my yarn and needles..

I was so lost in the wool fumes that I hand wound the first mini and cast on right then and there. It was like 9:45 pm and my brain was a little foggy so the cast on took three attempts. But I think I’m on track now….I hope….

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Soft Serve Sock Snake Socks

My sister has a June birthday and for the past couple of years I have made an effort to make her hand knit socks. She’s very knit-worthy as she lives in Colorado where it’s cold and she takes very good care of woolly items. But this year life with two kids just didn’t get me to a place where I could knit for other people. I really just wanted to take my time and knit for me as a self care theme.

But I talked previously about getting some sock snakes cranked by the dyer of MintRain yarns. So I cut off the first Felici snake in the Soft Serve color and pulled a mini from my scrap blanket stash and went to town. I was excited to see how this would work and if I liked it.

For the toes I decided instead of using the contrasting mini, I just pulled back the sock snake a couple of stripes and then re-knit down decreasing for a toe. I personally like hte idea of less ends woven in near my toe region. I’m not super fussy about the feel of it but I like the idea of continuous yarn being stronger in a high wear area of the sock.

I obviously did not get these done in time for her birthday but I hope to have the pair done before she visits in July. Fingers crossed!

How Tall Should A Hat Be?

Well, I finally settled on a plan for my Kindness Double Brim Hat. I went with coordinating two row stripes to match the Kindness KAL 2019 shawl. I put in six Salty Tales stripes before I decided it looked good enough. I have a tiny ball of yarn left but I think I’ll save that in case I need it to close up the hat.

What I really need to decide is how tall to make the hat! I have a pretty small ball of the Ink (blue) color left. And I am balancing between making a well fitting hat and playing yarn chicken again. I mean I could be bothered to get my scale out and weigh my yarn and track how much yarn each row is consuming. But that seems like a lot of work and I am trying to get this knit done after kiddos bedtimes. My brain is mush at that point!

I think I’ll knit another couple of straight rows and then start decreasing. I can always fudge a few extra decreases here and there if I start running out of yarn right? The husband said I should just quite and make it a messy bun hat. That would be genius but I don’t have enough hair for a messy bun!

Happy Knitting!!

Cast On: Kindness Double Brim Hat

Last week I finished my Kindness Mitts out of my last skein of Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK. And I have about 80 grams of yarn left between my two colors. So I did some pattern searching and I found pattern to start a hat. I am using Staci Perry’s Double Thick Brim Hat.

Now I’m just using this pattern as loose guide. I definitely don’t have enough yarn to knit a double thick brim or to make it exceedingly slouchy. But I like the stitch count and gauge enough I think I can modify it enough for my purposes.

I’ve completed about 3 inches (ish) of ribbing and I’m starting the stockinette portion. The next trick will be to decide how to work in the Salty Tales (grey speckle) color into my hat to maximize my hat size. I am deciding between small stripes to match my Kindness KAL 2019 shawl or one thick band/stripe just to be done faster.

Happy Knitting!