Whew, it’s been really dang busy around here (hence the lack of posts recently!). I’m hoping to get back on a regular blogging schedule soon, but in the meantime… I released a new pattern yesterday, woohoo!
Sweet Gemma should look familiar to regular readers of this blog—it’s only been about 6 months coming, haha:
Here are the specs:
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Aguas, 6 skeins. I was worried while designing/knitting the blanket that I would need 7, but it ended up being perfect with more than enough left over to crochet the blocks together.
To minimize color weirdness with the hand-dyed yarn, I knit one square with one skein, another square with a second skein, and then a third square alternating the leftovers of both of the previous skeins. I think it worked out really well!
Notes: The finished blanket is what I’d consider the perfect crib size, about 3ft square. And although it took me a while to finish, it was actually a very portable project. Each square is worked from the middle out, so it was easy to throw my current square into my purse or knitting bag.
I’m so delighted this pattern is out in the world—I hope you like it as much as I do!
What I’m Knitting
I’m at the finishing stage for both the cable/lace baby blanket and the little baby top, yay! But instead of showing you those this week, check out my newest pattern release.
This is the Sprague Lake Pullover, my first adult sweater release in a little while:
This sweater was released in a special preview collection of the Interweave Knits Fall 2016 issue. You can check out the four patterns in the collection here, or purchase this pattern individually for $5.50 here.
My intention with this sweater was to create a traditional Aran-type sweater with some modern updates. You’ll notice it has closer shaping than many of the more boxy cabled pullovers, a flattering scoop neck, and some fun twine-y cables. It was a lot of fun to knit!
What I’m Cooking
Aside from yet another batch of lentil-quinoa-kale stew (can’t get enough of that stuff right now!), I also took another stab at perfecting vegan, gluten-free mac and cheese. This one was enhanced by the addition of GF seasoned breadcrumbs and some toasting time in the oven. I thought it came out pretty well!
I’m coming into the home stretch on baby incubating (due date is in less than three weeks!). I was hoping to get some meals made and into the freezer. Stay tuned to see if that actually happens….
What I’m Reading
Like virtually everyone I know, I picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child rehearsal script this week. I finished it last night and have to say that I really enjoyed it! I think people expecting a “real” eighth Harry Potter book were sorely disappointed, but I was viewing it more like bonus material, so I wasn’t at all. Two thumbs up from me!
What I’m Knitting
More pattern writing than knitting this week, but with a payoff—my Tierney Hat pattern is now released!
It’s knit in beautiful Madelinetosh DK yarn and can be purchased from Ravelry for $5 here.
Now I’m back to work on the blanket squares! #7 is done and #8 is started… the finish line is in sight!
What I’m Cooking
A couple of surprisingly cold days last week gave me a hankering for chili, so I made a huge pot and happily ate leftovers for several days. Perfect with some (lactose-free) cheese and homemade cornbread muffins:
For my son’s second birthday last week, I decided to make him a cake. But since he’s dairy-free and mostly sugar-free (and so were many of the friends/family who came to his little party), I challenged myself to make a vegan, refined-sugar free cake. The cake part was made with coconut sugar, and the icing was mostly pureed dates with cocoa and some flavorings. I was surprised (and so was everyone else, ha!) at how good it was!
Here’s the birthday boy blowing out his candle (with an assist from Daddy):
I’m almost done with The Morrigan’s Curse—what a great book!
What I’m Knitting
I had a pattern (actually, two) released in a magazine this week! This is the Hoot Sweet Hat and Mitts, published in Love of Knitting, Fall 2016 issue:
Since this set is sized to fit toddlers to big kids, it’s worked in an easy-care yarn, Berroco Vintage Chunky. I’ve worked with this yarn before and love how soft it is! I think the owl motifs look so cute in the chunky yarn, and as a bonus, these accessories are really quick to knit.
These were some of the secret projects I was working on at the end of last year. It’s so nice to finally be able to show them off! I still have at least three more waiting in the release queue, so stay tuned…
What I’m Cooking
I missed getting pictures of the yummy curry I made for my weekly meal for a crowd this week, but I did manage a shot of these banana/walnut/oatmeal cookies. I don’t usually make an effort to bake gluten-free treats, but these were quite good! My son liked them a lot, although he refused to believe that they were cookies and insisted on calling them muffins.
What I’m Reading
What I’m Knitting
A week spent hard at work on deadline projects leaves me nothing to show off… so I’m going to take a page out of magicians’ handbooks and distract you with a shiny new pattern release!
Remember this nautical baby sweater? I actually released the pattern last month, but I never got around to posting it here on the blog. After discovering that the secret to getting my son to stop for a second so I could take pics was putting sticks in his hands, I got some pretty good photos!
Here are the specs on the pattern:
3-6 mo (6-12 mo, 1-2 yrs, 2-4 yrs, 4-6 yrs, 6-8 yrs)
Knit Picks Mighty Stitch (80% acrylic/20% superwash wool ; 208yds/190m per 100g skein); 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3) skeins in Celestial for MC, 1 skein in White for CC (all sizes).
One thing I love about this sweater is how economical it is to knit. Three skeins of the recommended yarn (which is all you need for all but the largest size) will cost you less than $12!
A few more pics, because I can’t resist this cutie:
What I’m Cooking
I was feeling a little under the weather this week, so I didn’t end up cooking anything for the first time in a long time! I have to admit, though, it was nice to have a break. :-)
What I’m Reading
Still plugging away on Confessions of a Murder Suspect… which is actually a bit odd for me, since this is a fairly quick read and I have had time to read before bed. I have to admit that I’m not really into this book. I read a lot of young adult fiction, and this one seems like an adult author jumping on the bandwagon who hadn’t really read much of the category beforehand. But I’ll persevere and get it done this week!
I have another new pattern release this week! This is Glenwood, part of the SweetGeorgia Yarns Fall 2015 collection:
I’m so excited that this one is finally out in the world! I’ve always wanted a snuggly, cushy, long cardigan—the kind you never want to take off. The shawl collar can be folded if desired, but I also like it the way they’ve styled it in these photos.
I usually like a seamless construction, but for a garment like this, seams are essential to give the sweater structure and prevent sagging. Seaming is SO EASY on this one, though! The waffle stitch pattern makes it incredibly simple to line up the pieces and keep track of where you are.
Here are the pattern specs:
Yarn: 7 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12) skeins SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash Worsted in Magpie (200 yd / 183 m per 4.06 oz / 115 g skein; 100% Merino)
Side note: Ohmygoodness, this yarn. I used SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted for this sweater, in what is possibly the most beautiful shade EVAR, Magpie. It’s a greeny-blacky-bluey color that looks completely different under different lights and one that I find absolutely irresistible. It’s aptly named, trust me.
Needles: Size 6 US / 4.0 mm straight or circular needle; Size 7 US / 4.5 mm straight or circular needle; Size 6 US / 4.0 mm circular needle, 32” / 81.5 cm or longer (longer needle recommended for larger sizes)
20 sts and 28 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Waffle Stitch using larger needles
20 sts and 32 rows = 4” / 10 cm in garter stitch using smaller needles, stretched lightly
21 sts and 28 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch using larger needles
(Note: Stockinette stitch is not used in this cardigan.)
Chest circumference: 30 ¼ (35 ½, 39 ¼, 42 ¼, 45 ½, 48 ½, 51 ½, 55 ¼)” / 77 (90, 99.5, 107.5, 115.5, 123, 131, 140.5) cm
Length: 22” / 56 cm from underarm to hem (all sizes)
Sample shown is size 35 ½” / 90 cm
Intended to be worn with 1-3” / 2.5-7.5 cm positive ease
Pattern includes a 6-page PDF (both written directions and charts)
Notes: I was actually astonished at how quick it was to make this sample. The fact that it’s constructed in pieces means it’s easy to bring around with you, and the waffle pattern is so simple that it’s memorized in a flash.
And this made me very happy… check out Glenwood in the top 5 patterns on Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list last week, yay!
I have a new pattern out this week! This is the Transposition Hat:
If it seems familiar, it’s probably because it’s the adult version of the baby/child hat from my Babe in the Woods collection, released last winter. Here it is, modeled by my son (he looks so tiny to me!):
The adult version required some fancy footwork with the decreases, since the ones I did on the baby hat didn’t work well over a larger vertical space. I ended up going with a single spot of the contrasting color on the top, rather than the concentric circles of the baby version. But I like the way it turned out. Here’s a pic of the top of the adult hat, with the baby hat for comparison:
Name: Transposition Hat (the baby hat’s called Transposed Hat. See what I did there?)
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, about half a skein in Natural and a little less than that in Pocion for the contrasting color. I picked out the most crazy variegated skein I could find at my LYS, since the whole point of this hat is to break up pooling and give you something neat to do with variegated skeins.
Rios is kind of on the thin side for worsted-weight yarn, so for substituting, I’d recommend a light worsted or even a DK. If fit is vital, make sure to check your gauge in the colorwork pattern! It pulls in a LOT.
Sizes: Small (Medium, Large). Shown in Medium.
Actual finished circumference: 19.5 (21.25, 23)” or 49.5 [54, 58.5] cm
Length from CO edge to top: 8 (8.25, 8.75)” or 20 [21, 22] cm
Recommended needles (make sure to check gauge and change sizes if needed):
US #5 [3.75 mm] circular needle, 16” long
US #6 [4.0 mm] circular needle, 16” long
US #6 [4.0 mm] double-pointed needles, set of 4 or 5
Stitch marker, yarn needle
Gauge: 27 sts/ 30 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Colorwork Chevron stranded pattern on larger needles
You can purchase the pattern for $4.00 on Ravelry, right here!
My newest sweater pattern is included in Knit Picks’ Golden Morning collection! This is the Elva Cardigan:
This flowy, lightweight cardigan is designed to be worn open or with a skinny belt. The garter fan pattern, charted and described line by line, adds a gorgeous detail to the sweater back, while easy raglan shaping and flattering lines make Elva easy to pull on and hard to take off.
Constructed from the bottom up, the sweater is worked seamlessly with raglan sleeve shaping. The elbow-length sleeves are worked with a slight flare at the cuff and then joined to the body at the yoke.
I’ve been in love with the laceweight-at-a-loose-gauge concept for sweaters since I knit myself a Featherweight Cardigan years and years ago. It was my go-to sweater when I lived in LA: just the right amount of warmth for overactive air conditioning or a cool-ish night, but small and lightweight enough to fit in my purse. So I thought it was about time I designed one myself!
Bonus: laceweight yarn sweaters are very economical. This one only takes 2-4 hanks of Knit Picks Shadow (a really lovely yarn with subtle heathering that gives the finished sweater shine and depth).
I added a little flair with the fun-to-knit lace pattern on the back:
To be entered to win, leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re planning for spring and summer knitting. Do you switch over from wool pullovers to lace shawls, or carry on with bulky accessories all year round?
I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner this Friday morning, so comment by the end of day on Thursday to be entered! I’ll ship anywhere in the world, so this contest is open to everyone. Good luck! :-)
I released a new pattern this week! This is Avelina:
This was one of the secret projects I was working on last winter. I’m so, so happy with the way it came out. I was going for a casual yet easily dress-up-able vibe, with simple details. This is one of the closest picture-in-my-head to actual-FO conversions I’ve ever done. :-)
Pattern: Avelina, available to purchase on Ravelry for $6.00 here (you don’t need an account to purchase).
Here’s the description from the pattern page:
Clean and modern, this sleeveless top features reverse stockinette with small cable details. The v-neck and subtle waist shaping help it pair equally well with a skirt or jeans.
To minimize purling, the top is worked inside out in the round to the armholes. The neckband is worked right along with the upper body, so the only finishing is sewing the straps together and knitting the armhole edgings.
Yarn: I used absolutely scrumptious Baah! Aspen (75% merino, 15% silk, 10% cashmere). I actually managed to squeak by with 2 skeins, but that required unraveling my swatch to knit the armhole edgings, so I recommended 3 skeins for this size. Still an economical project and a great way to get a pretty garment out of just a few skeins of luxe yarn.
Notes: This isn’t the first time I’ve worked a reverse stockinette garment body inside out to the armholes to avoid purling (my Put Together tank has this too). I love this trick! The hardest part for me is remembering to join new yarn on the knit side rather than the purl side. This time I wrote a big reminder in my notes so I wouldn’t forget.
I also really like the fact that the back and front neck edgings are worked along with the body. I swatched for a while to find just the right combo of stitches to make the edge look neat and finished–I think it works well!
My friend Cheryl did the modeling for me, since I had just had a baby and the top was, erm, rather stretched out in the chest area on me. Luckily it fit her like it was made for her. And she has that gorgeous glowing skin that complements the hand-dyed color so well.
I’m running a 25% off sale on all of my individual self-published patterns for the next month in honor of Madelinetosh May. Just enter the coupon code MADMAY15 in your Ravelry cart at checkout. So if you want to pick up a copy of Avelina, now is a good time. :-)
Oh! And if you live anywhere near the Knitting Temptations yarn shop in Dublin, Ohio, my sample of Avelina will be displayed in the shop starting in a few weeks, so you can see it in person.
What I’m Knitting:
I’m still knitting the adult Transposed Hat from last week, unfortunately. I finished the whole thing… and realized it was too long, and I didn’t like the top decreases. So I ripped it out and started again from the beginning of the crown shaping… and then the day job got crazy, so I haven’t had time to finish, sigh.
So to distract you, here’s the last pattern included in my Babe in the Woods collection, the Riparian Vest!
I was going for the knitted equivalent of a puffer vest, and it turned out rather well! It’s knitted in Malabrigo Mecha, same as the cabled hat and scarf set in the collection. The interesting thing was that the skeins of yarn in this colorway were noticeably thicker than the Mostaza (the gold-colored colorway). I ended up using a completely different needle size on each one. Moral of the story? Always check your gauge, even if you’ve used the yarn before.
The vest is sized from 0-6 months to 4-6 years. It’s shown in the 12-18 month size. As you can probably see from these pictures, the vest is a little big for my son, who was wearing 6-9 month clothing when we took the pictures. It’s tough to estimate how big your baby will be when you knit the sample months in advance!
What I’m Cooking:
Lentil, quinoa, and kale stew:
A new recipe that I’ve been wanting to try, tofu stroganoff (it was yummy!). I put it over rice noodles instead of wheat pasta, which was a little weird–next time, I’ll use regular pasta like in the recipe:
What I’m Reading:
Fairly boring here too, I’m afraid. I only managed to get about halfway through Greenglass House (see previously mentioned day job craziness). It’s really good so far, though! I’m looking forward to reading the rest.