Friday Five – 11/8/13

Iiiiiiiit’s Friday! Time for planning your projects for the weekend – so much to knit and so very little time. Especially if you’re doing any holiday knitting; I get hives just thinking about how few days there are between now and Christmas (and there are even fewer if you’re knitting for Hanukkah!)

First I wanted to mention that Flax is out now, the free pullover pattern from tin can knits fantastic Simple Collection. This is a really fabulous collection that Alexa and Emily have provided for you to learn new knitting techniques while creating garments and accessories that can fit the whole family.

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Some quick gift ideas:

elinorDunbar’s Point Mittens – these call for just one skein of the yummy soft Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes and the project really is perfect for this plump and luxurious-looking yarn. I actually favorited these a while ago for possible holiday gifting and was delighted to find them anew.

In my wild imaginings, I think that I could knock out a pair of these during one of the two days of driving we are doing for the holidays, maybe you could too!

pattern_bloodwood-5_mediumSlightly more involved, but oh so lovely – Bloodwood Cowl. Knit with two contrasting colors of SweetGeorgia’s Tough Love Sock, this reversible cowl is a really striking winter accessory for you or a loved one.

This would also be really special in two lighter colors, something like Glacier and Silver!

Knit_Steek_and_Cuddle_-_01_medium2The Knit, Steek and Cuddle pillows might look a little intense, but think of how impressed your giftee will be! And I like my knitting to be a little sporting anyway, don’t you?

This designer is participating in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, which means if you’d like to participate, you can enjoy this pattern at 25% off with the coupon code “giftalong” when you buy before November 15th!

twistyshawlThe Color Twister Shawl is a great idea for that special skein of hand-dyed yarn.

Paired with a cabled border in a complimentary solid color, the design of this shawl really makes a variegated yarn pop! Or knit it all in one color for your more reserved friends and family members.

 

 

 

And in my continuing tradition of cheating on the five with extra patterns, well, here – have a Sammich. (It’s amigurmi! And it’s knit!)

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Friday Five 11/1/13

I’m trying to make this a weekly thing, can you tell? Also, can we pause a second and talk about how the heck it is already November? I feel like I blinked twice and this entire year went by!

This week’s faves are all patterns I accidentally stumbled onto while trying to find hat patterns last week. Don’t you kind of hate and love how that happens? You go to search for hat patterns, and then on the front pattern page of Ravelry, you see a cute sweater, which you click on. And that leads you to the designer’s page, which takes you to another pattern website, where you see an adorable shawl, and on and on and on, and before you know it, you’ve got a queue so long you wouldn’t be able to knit all of it even if you quit your job, grew six extra hands and just knit full-time.

That’s not going to stop me from trying, though!

Ramona_1_mediumRamona – the sweater that started my trip down the Ravelry rabbit hole. It was one of the “Hot Right Now” patterns, and I’m so glad, because this one really is going straight onto my to-knit list. It’s flattering, it’s cozy, it would look equally cute with jeans or a skirt, and it knits up at a nice zippy aran weight gauge – I’m sold! Now I just have to decide on the perfect yarn to use…

And as someone who grew up reading Beverly Cleary, there’s always a soft spot in my heart for anything or anyone named Ramona.

kynaAnd then I found Kyna, a real stunner of a shawl that would knit up with just a single skein of fingering weight yarn.

I admit that I’m more likely to admire shawls from afar as I get too caught up in sweater knitting, but this one has lots to admire – the celtic-style cables are simply lovely and the pattern is paired perfectly with a hand-dyed semi-solid.

And it’s knit sideways! Who doesn’t love knitting sideways?

Alby-0128_mediumOr what about Alby? A delightful
departure from the recent striped shawl craze, now you can have your stripes and your lace shawl too, and you only need about 65 yards of your contrast color. I probably have 65 yards left from every pair of socks I’ve ever knit! This looks super fun in the model colors, or go for the sophisticated more tonal version with two more similar colors. The designer is even having a knit-a-long for Alby right now in her Ravelry group – grab your sock yarn and get started!

hitofudeUnless you are like me, and you get distracted again by another sweater you may or may not have time to knit. Hitofude is delightful! Depending on your size, you can knit this entire sweater with between 2 and 4 skeins of Tosh Merino Light or a similar yarn like Numma Numma’s Panna Sock. The bodice and sleeves are worked as a single rectangle before moving on to the bottom portion of the sweater, and the lace patterns looks like it would easy enough to commit to memory for knitting on the go. Another one in the queue!

rosaAlso now in the queue – Rosa. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my grand love of alpaca? I am always looking for something practical I can knit with our sportweight alpaca yarn, so I was pretty stoked to find this pattern, which is not only versatile but looks like it should be easy enough to knit even when I’m home solo parenting (a real bonus indeed these days!). And it’s free!

Friday Five 10/25/13

It’s a blustery 65 degrees in Atlanta this week, and my only two WIPs are a fingering weight colorwork sweater and my old nemesis, the Sock-A-Long socks. So it’s really no surprise that my mind is wandering to hats, hats, and more hats, and, like the world is sending me a little sign, suddenly there a dozen great new hat patterns I want to knit for every member of the family.

Madelinetosh’s new Honey Hat uses just one measly skein of Tosh DK. It’s fun, it’s slouchy, it’s an easy knit, and it would complement my Honey Cowl oh-so-nicely. And a matching cowl-and-hat set could be a great holiday gift!

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Themisto. So, what you’re telling me is that I get stripes and color and cables all in one. This hat is pretty stellar. Plus, an awesome colorwork hat without really having to do colorwork? Sign me up. And if red and black aren’t your thing, check out how great this looks in some of the subtler color combinations on the projects page. I’m thinking something bright and fun paired with a nice neutral cream or brown!

themisto

It really doesn’t get much more basic than Halldora J’s Simple Moss Stitch Hat, a great new free pattern. This is the kind of hat I love because it’s an easy knit, it doesn’t take a huge amount of time, but at the end, you have a really classic, classY hat to wear or gift to a chic friend/family member. One skein of sportweight yarn is all you need, and you’re set for hours of relaxing knitting.

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Autumn Whirlpool says it’s for little girls, but I have to tell you that I want one of these hats, and I want one for my little boy, too (he can even have pink, if he wants!). Cables, pom poms, earflaps and those great tassels – this hat really does have it all, and with sizing up to 22″ I can definitely get my noggin into this!

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This last pattern is not a hat at all, but it’s too fun not to post – Hexagon Mitts! Love these. I’m a sucker for a fun construction technique, and you can knit these with just one variegated yarn or two complementary ones. It would also probably be a great project for using up those extra 1/3 balls of sock yarn you always end up with, or even mini-skeins if you’re feeling adventurous.

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For those of you who want to stitch a little something festive for next week’s holiday, I also found these cute, free, quickie patterns in my Ravelry travels!

ghost pumpkin bat

Friday Five

I had to rip out my socks already. Gauge swatches, not just for fun! Being a loose knitter makes sock knitting kind of tricky; often I go down to the smallest needle size produced by a manufacturer and still can’t get gauge.

Whenever I’m having a spat with my current project, I like to fantasize about starting something new, something that would never mislead me or come out the wrong size or turn out to be all wrong for my body type of course, because a project not yet started is filled with potential.

Rye - tin can knitsLike Rye.

These look so cool, and in aran weight yarn, they’re sure to knit up quickly and be super cozy for these chilly mornings. And surely I can get a gauge of 5.5 stitches per inch!

(And if you haven’t checked out the rest of the Simple Collection, you should – this is a series of FREE patterns from tin can knits intended to help you learn some new knitting skills while creating some adorable accessories and even a simple sweater, in sizes all the way from newborn to adult.)

Maroo Mitts - AmbahAnd then there are Maroo Mitts. Fingerless mitts – the best parts of knitting socks, fun and easy and forgiving. Plus with fall really and truly underway, a bit of cozy for my hands always appeals.

Bonus, AMBAH is having a Ravelry knit-a-long for her patterns as well. And these would be a great way to use up some sock yarn scraps, which, if you’re anything like me, you probably have coming out of your ears whether you knit a lot of socks or not!

And I don’t knit a lot of socks. I’m a sweater girl. I can knock out a simple sweater in a couple of weeks while my socks lag behind on the needles. And speaking of a simple sweater …

square-and-stripe-6

Square and Stripe, by Veera Valimaki, the designer who brought us Color Affection. Like a striped shawl, except better, because it’s a simple sweater. A simple, boxy sweater that will pull on easily over anything, anywhere. Roomy and cozy and screaming to be knit up as that first fall sweater of the year. Better still, it’s knit up in Tosh DK, and we just got in a new shipment.

sambuka-newOr a nice new cowl? I favorited Sambuka a week or two ago, and it looks like it would be a pretty quick but rewarding knit.

I never really get how I’m supposed to wear a cowl, but I love knitting them, and they look so great on other people that I have to believe with a little confidence, anyone could pull one off. And this one has two mesmerizing stitch patterns!

goverallsAnd if all else fails, there’s always this. Because babies. In overalls.

I’ve actually had this queued up for months, but now that he’s here I’m terrified to knit him clothes because he is growing so fast we need a new clothing size every 6 weeks! But at some point, I need to bite the bullet and just knit up some On-The-Go-Veralls. Because babies. In overalls.

So what will it be? A new, fun, fall project? Or do I do the mature thing and choose my new yarn, knit my gauge swatch, and get back to Sock-A-Longing with all you lovely folks, this time with a pair of socks that have any hope of fitting?