Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yarn shopping!

I've been sent out of town for work and while getting the car packed up a bag was forgotten...  of course it turned out to be the bag of all my knitting!  So, a quick trip to Michael's was in order as soon as I realized.  I picked up some of the basics (needles, stitch markers, scissors, cable needles & tape measure) along with some yarn to keep me busy.  I found some yarn for a special request as well as some that I just liked :-)  So, this past week I've been working on a recently ordered hat with a blues and grays yarn.  The request was to have a hat with a bill and ear flaps which I'd never done together before.  It has been a challenge but I am finally feeling like I'm on the right track and really happy with the way it's turning out now.

Today I had about two hours to kill between my real work so I found a nearby yarn shop.  "The Dropped Stitch" was a quaint, easy to find shop in a nice plaza.  The shop owner was on site knitting and available to help with anything.  As I browsed the shop I overheard her offering to buy a book for a customer, just for them to look over.  Way to go above and beyond!  The prices were so reasonable I bought more than I usually would in a LYS.  The selection wasn't overwhelming, but it was a small space.  After purchasing my items, the owner even offered to wind it into cakes.  What a bonus!

I couldn't seem to get a shot that would accurately show the awesome shade of purple the Cascade Yarns Pastaza (left) is.  It's 50/50 Llama and Wool and a has a heathered effect.  It's my absolute favorite!  The Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega (middle) is an Acrylic and Wool mix and super chunky.  It's some shade of off-white that I can't quite explain.  I feel like a purse is in it's future!  I've heard so many good things about Cascade Yarns and there were a couple options in this shop, but this green (right) caught my eye.  It's Cascade 220 Heathers, a 100% Peruvian Highland Wool.  I am not sure exactly what it will be, maybe a hat, maybe a neck warmer, maybe even a scarf.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hats, mittens, hats, purses, a scarf, and custom order hats

After finishing the striped blues hat (which ended up looking too cute on my daughter), I still had hats on my mind, but I also had the single mitten waiting for it's future to be determined.  I did a test drive in the mitten and decided it was definitely too big and would have to be frogged.  I'm glad I did because I now have a pair of mittens that fit and are snugly warm!

With that off my mind and a half skein of yarn leftover, I decided to knit up a quick ribbed hat.  The Lion Brand Yarn Homespun is so versatile!  I've made hats, scarves, wristers, mittens and wraps out of it and they all look fabulous.

One of my thrift store yarns finds was a large amount of a crazy mix of red, black, and gray.  I had used some for a ski mask style hat for my son so I knew it made great hats.  This one has ribbing around the brim and then knit the rest of the way around.  My crown decreases were done to create a bit of a puff on the hat, so it's not exactly a beanie.

The marbled grays cabled purse was completed without further incident.  It's turned out to be a bigger purse with a handle that will easily fit over the shoulder.  The yarn was not as "stiff" as my previous purse yarn, but it gives it a more hobo bag look.

With one purse finished I was ready to do the next... this one using LBY Wool-Ease Thick and Quick.  This was my first time using this yarn and I loved it!  It was surprisingly soft and it was the thicker, stiffer yarn I was looking for in a purse yarn.  The finished product is a cute cabled handbag, perfect for grabbing only your essentials and going or teens/pre-teens who don't have to carry everything under the sun in their purse!

Since I completed the purses I had in mind, I decided to get back to hats.  I still had some LBY Homespun leftover after the mittens and the hat, but not quite enough for another hat on it's own.  Turns out I had more LBY Homespun in a complementary colorway so I put them together in a striped hat.  I made the crown a little longer for extra head room.

Sitting in my stash for too long, I decided I had to find a good project for the sparkly yarn I'd picked up from DBNY.  It is a medium weight yarn with sequins mixed in.  I really felt something lacy was in order but hadn't found something that caught my eye yet.  Off the cuff I decided to try a ruffle look on the ends.  So I cast on 3-4 times more stitches than I really wanted the scarf to be wide and then did quick decreases down to the right width.  From there I settled on a simple yo, K2tog lace look.  This scarf is still on the needles and starting to curl a bit which I think is giving it another intriguing design element.

The aforementioned scarf is still on the needles and moving slower now that I have some hat orders.  I'd previously knit a versatile cowl/head warmer for her, similar to the one in my Etsy shop.  She wanted to get a few hats to keep her head warm but not get overheated.  After looking at some knit hats online, we collaborated to come up with two ideas to get me started.  The first hat is out of a lovely lavender lace or fingering weight yarn.  It's started with a lace pattern, that gives the edge a scalloped look, and finished with stockinette.  The second hat will be out of the red, black and grey yarn with cables and lace.

Phew... I've done a lot of knitting over the past couple of weeks!  A whooping 10 projects completed, on the needles or almost on the needles :-)  Next up is getting good pics of everything and updating the Etsy shop again!