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Friday Roundup: Baby Hat Edition

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What I’m Knitting

I know I said I’d be working on the green textured sweater design this week, but I had to put that on hold for some emergency baby knitting (we’ve all been there, right?). A good friend of mine just had a baby boy a few days ago, so I cast on this mini-sized Koolhaas Hat for her little guy:

Koolhaas WIPThe yarn is buttery-soft Knit Picks Comfy in a lovely heathered gray colorway. This is my first time using Comfy, and I really like it! It’s 75% cotton, 25% acrylic, which is just about the perfect blend for my taste. It isn’t as heavy or unyielding as 100% cotton, and the touch of acrylic makes it really easy to wash.

Just when I was at the decreases of that hat, I decided I wanted to work up a little hat for a baby shower I’m attending tomorrow. This decision may or may not have been influenced by the fact that the guest of honor had another baby shower in a different town last week, and every. single. thing was purchased off their registry when I looked a few days ago. Oh well–one of a kind presents are good too, right?

So I cast on a super-quick baby bonnet this morning and have been knitting furiously in the car on the way to run errands (when I wasn’t the one driving, of course!). This one is also in Knit Picks cotton, some Simply Cotton Worsted left over from my Kari Baby Blanket. I’m ready for the decreases and on track to get it finished tonight:

baby bonnet WIP

What I’m Cooking

Another round of the delicious, wine-infused mushroom stroganoff (this time with added broccoli to up the veggies) over quinoa pasta:

mushroom stroganoffI had a head of cauliflower to use up a few days later and was planning to roast it… but that took about 45 minutes and the husband and son were hungry now. So I steamed it and mashed it with garlic, Earth Balance spread, and chives from the garden, then served it with veggie burgers. Delicious! The baby LOVED it. He ate a whole plate by himself.

cauliflower mash

What I’m Reading

I’m still working on The Dream Thieves–but I do have some other writing/reading related news! One of my manuscripts is in a really cool online contest called The Writer’s Voice (modeled after the show The Voice, apparently, but I’ve never seen it so that doesn’t mean much to me!). The contest entries went live today, and in a few days, literary agents are going to request to see manuscripts they find interesting. Wish me luck! If you’d like to check out my entry, it’s here.

Friday Roundup: You’ll Have to Take My Word for It

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What I’m Knitting

I made some progress on the sweater sleeve I was talking about last week, but reverse stockinette doesn’t make for very exciting pictures:

sleeve WIPAlthough I guess that line of loose stitches at the place where the DPNs change is exciting (for a certain value of the word). I’ll have to do some major tugging during blocking to get that to even out.

What I’m Cooking

My mom had a birthday last week and we hosted a party for 20 people at our house. My mom’s a strict vegan, so I went all out on my share of the potluck lunch: stuffed mushrooms, coleslaw, and the pièce de résistance: a vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free cheesecake.

And I got exactly zero pictures of any of it. Bummer. But trust me, it was all beautiful and very very tasty.

I made an enchilada casserole later in the week and missed getting pictures of that too… but I did remember after I heated up my leftovers! This is one of those dishes where the leftovers almost taste better than fresh.

enchilada casseroleNom. Comfort food at its finest.

What I’m Reading

Still working on The Raven Boys (which is getting really, really good!). Maybe when my son stops teething I can sneak in a little more reading at night before bed, sigh.

Deb, are you out there?

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I haven’t heard back from the winner of the Golden Morning book yet! Deb (who left the comment “I have moved to lightweight yarn for warmer weather and airy shawl patterns” on 4/13), you didn’t log in or leave an email address, so I have no way to get in touch with you if you don’t contact me.

In the interest of fairness, if I haven’t heard back from Deb by Friday, I’ll use the random number generator to pick a new winner. But hopefully Deb sees this before then!

New Pattern Release and Contest!

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Boy, people aren’t kidding when they say babies are a lot of work, haha. I’ve been working hard to keep up with my knit design work, and I’m afraid my poor blog has suffered. But I’m resurfacing to show off a new design!

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for your chance to win a copy of the pattern book that includes this design.

This is Roundstone Coat, from the Knit Picks Fall 2014 collection, Burnished:

Roundstone backIt’s designed in bulky wool for a toasty outer layer, perfect for fall outings.

Roundstone Front

The bold cable pattern is my favorite part of this coat. It’s challenging enough to keep your interest, but easy enough to be fun:

Roundstone detail

Here are the pattern details:

Available for purchase on the Knit Picks website here.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
S (M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X)

35 (39.5, 43, 47.5, 52, 56.5, 59)” finished bust measurement; garment is meant to be worn with 2-3” of positive ease.

YARN
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky (100% wool; 137 yards/100g): Masala 24681, 9 (10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins.

NEEDLES
US 10 (6.0mm) 24-32” circular needle, or size to obtain gauge
US 9 (5.5mm) circular needle, at least 47” in length

NOTIONS
Yarn Needle, Stitch Markers (at least 6 should be the removable type or safety pins), Cable needle, Stitch holders or Waste Yarn, 6 buttons, 1” to 1.25” in diameter

GAUGE
14 sts and 21 rows = 4” over St st, blocked.

Knit Picks generously provided me with an extra copy of the pattern booklet that includes the Roundstone Coat. The collection, Burnished, is gorgeous. There are at least half a dozen sweaters I want to make immediately!

Burnished KPFor a chance to win the collection, leave a comment by the end of the day this Thursday, September 25th and tell me what you’re planning to knit this fall. On Friday, I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner. (Contest is open to everyone, so international entries are welcome!)

WIP Wednesday: It’s a Big One! (Well, so to speak…)

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Well geez, posts have been thin on the ground around here, haven’t they?

But I have a very good reason, I promise. Ready?

I’m pregnant! My current WIP that’s taking up an awful lot of my time and attention is a baby boy or girl, due to be completed around the first week of July 2014. This is the first baby for me and my husband. We’re really excited (and I’ll be even more excited when the all-day “morning” sickness subsides, yuck).

You know what this means, right? Baby knits! (And possibly baby designs… but that’s a little further down the road.)

I whipped up these booties for our announcement post on Facebook:

Saartje's Booties

 

They’re Saartje’s Booties (Ravelry link), which I’ve made for several other little ones… but it was a thrill to make them for my very own baby! I used some Madelinetosh Sport left over from my Put Together vest to make them nicely unisex.

We’re probably not going to find out the baby’s gender ahead of time, so I’ll be on the hunt for yarns and patterns that work for boys or girls. Any suggestions?

FO Friday and New Pattern Release: Reilly Pullover

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Boy, things have been crazy around here! Rhinebeck was awesome, and I promise to have a post up on that in the next few days. But in the meantime, I have had not one, not two, but three new sweater patterns released this week! So as not to overwhelm this post completely, I’ll space them out into separate posts.

First up: a design in Knit Picks’s newly released Swish Collection, the Reilly Pullover!

KP Reilly PulloverAnd here’s the original sample, the FO I couldn’t show you back around this time last year, in its glory at Rhinebeck:

Reilly at Rhinebeck

Forgive the slightly glazed look and the slumped posture-it had been a long day! 

My inspiration for this sweater was my love of Aran patterning, but I wanted to keep it simple because it’s easy for cables to overwhelm a sweater. I knew I wanted a large front cable, and two smaller ones. Making the side cables wavy seemed like a good way to add a modern touch.

Here are the FO details:

Pattern: My own Reilly Pullover

Yarn: Swish Worsted in Marine Heather (the green sweater is in Jade). I really, really like this yarn. It’s soft and nice to work with, but as you can see, cables pop just as well as they do with a stickier, more rustic wool.

Notes: This sweater combines three of my favorite elements: cables that are complex but not hard to keep track of, a v-neck, and raglan, all-in-one-piece construction.

KP Reilly top

Stay tuned for more Rhinebeck pictures!

WIP Wednesday: A Bunch of Teasers

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Well geez, it’s been quiet around here lately, hasn’t it? It’s the usual reason: I’ve been working on commissioned designs that I can’t blog about. But I’m wrapping up the last of those today, just in time for…

Rhinebeck banner

My husband and I are hopping in the car on Thursday, driving to Buffalo to see a good friend, and then driving to Rhinebeck on Friday. We’ll be at the festival Saturday and half of Sunday, and then we’re going down to the Washington D.C. area to see family. Whew!

I have my car knitting all planned out. It will be fingerless mitts to match a hat I just designed, featuring this cable motif:Keelback teaserI’m working on something exciting this fall: my first pattern collection! That’s another reason you haven’t seen much around this blog recently. It will include the hat and mitts above, a heavily cabled, fitted sweater, and at least two more patterns (probably another sweater or vest and a scarf/wrap).

My husband has family who live near Lake Tahoe, so I’m thinking of scouting out some photography locations when we go out west for the holidays. Anyone know anything about that area in the winter?

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday: A Sleeve and a Group

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The yellow fall pullover now has the body and one sleeve finished:

 Melany sleeve

I’m about 1/3 of the way through the other sleeve, and then it’s on to the yoke! I was planning on a raglan sleeve, but I’m starting to wonder if I wouldn’t like a saddle shoulder better. I’m going to contemplate this as I knit tonight.

In other news, I’ve finally started a Ravelry group for my designs! I’ll be posting test knits (like the cozy gray sweater, which went up for test knitting yesterday and is almost full already, yay!), promotions, new designs, and lots of other stuff there. Come check it out here if you’re interested: Triona Designs Ravelry Group.

WIP Wednesday: So Close

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(I know, I know, it’s Thursday. I got busy yesterday and didn’t manage to get a post up. I won’t tell anyone if you won’t!)

Most of last week was spent working on my Concord Vest re-knit for the Knit Picks Independent Designer program. Everything was going along swimmingly until I got to the last part of the back:

Concord almost doneAnd ran out of yarn. *facepalm*

Usually underestimating yarn requirements isn’t a problem for me (if anything, I tend to go in the other direction), but somehow I screwed up on this one and need another fourth of a skein or so. Luckily Knit Picks has the same dyelot still in stock, so they’re graciously sending me out another skein.

So while that’s on hold, I’ve been working on crunching the final numbers for my secret designs, because I have to have them finished to be able to work on a design using… drumroll please…

Tosh Twist DK..this gorgeous yarn, which arrived yesterday! This is highly coveted Madelinetosh DK Twist in the Bluestem Willow and Farmhouse White colorways. It’s going to be a new striped vest design, which I already have planned out. I’m participating in the Twist and Shout KAL in the Madelinetosh Lovers group on Ravelry, so I have to wait until Monday to cast on. Expect to hear more about this design after that!

Oh, and I realized I got some yummy yarn last month that I forgot to show off here. As a participant in the Madelinetosh Lovers Rav group’s Mad May festivities, I was eligible to win prizes, and I was delighted to win a random drawing for two skeins of Tosh MCN Fingering donated by a lovely group member:

Tosh MCNThe colorway is Fluoro Rose, and let me tell you, it is bright. Photographing it accurately took me a lot of tries! It’s not a color I would normally have chosen, but I really like it. It’s a blue-ish pink rather than a reddish one, which definitely is more my color. I’ll have to figure out some properly eye-searing accessories for this yarn. :-)

Day 1, The House Cup: 4KCBWDAY1

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knitting and crochet blog week banner

 

 

 

 

The first prompt in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week asks us to examine four different houses (a la Hogwarts) and choose which one best identifies with our own crafting style.

I chose The House of Monkey, which is described as follows: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting. 

House of Monkey

(You can see the rest of the house choices and their descriptions here.)

It’s not so much that I have to have adventure and excitement in my knitting, it’s more than I tend to fall in love with projects or design ideas, regardless of difficulty level. Pretty much from the moment I started knitting, I identified myself as an adventurous beginner. If I wanted to make a project badly enough, I’d jump in with both feet and learn how to do any new techniques as I went along.

I got tired of scarves and basic hats really quickly, so about a month in I decided to try some socks. I muddled my way through learning how to use DPNs, how to do a heel turn, and how to do kitchener stitch:

Kari's socks

Clearly I didn’t learn how to alternate skeins quite yet…

I tried a couple of garments that failed spectacularly, so after about six months of knitting I bought some yummy Berroco Ultra Alpaca and decided to cobble together a bunch of elements from different patterns to create my own unique sweater.

Ultra Alpaca Sweater

It actually turned out better than I had any right to expect–that is, until I realized the uncontrollably itchy nose I’d had the whole time I was knitting the thing wasn’t an oncoming cold, but in fact an alpaca allergy. Sigh. But I digress.

I’m still doing this jump-in-with-both-feet thing in the present day, too. For my newest design, the Concord Grape vest, I fell in love with the idea of knitting the armhole and neck edgings along with the body, so there wouldn’t be any need to pick up stitches afterward. To do this, I had to figure out how to do all shaping without interrupting the edging pattern, which meant double and single decreases on the RS and WS of the work–some of which I’d never done before. I’d never knit anything with this construction, but I jumped in anyway!

Concord Vest BackAs you can see, it worked out rather well. :-)

I’m pretty happy with my status as a member of the House of Monkey. Knitting and designing like this keeps the whole thing fresh and exciting–which is important when you take into account how many hours a week I spend knitting!

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