Favorite Thing Friday: Soft Baby Blanket

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Somewhere in between making Christmas wreathes, wrapping presents, and making fudge, I found the time to do a little knitting. A friend of mine is having a baby, so I decided to make her a blanket to go along with a sloth stuffed animal I got her for the nursery (long story short, she LOVES sloths).

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Every baby should have a sloth.

On Pinterest, I came across a beautiful, yet simple baby blanket, (Cuddly Soft Baby Blankie). What drew me to the pattern wasn’t so much the ease, but the yarn that was used in the sample. It was gorgeous and looked so soft! Luckily, the pin lead me to a link that had both the pattern and a full description of what kind of yarn was used. A quick stop to one of my favorite online yarn stores (yarn.com) and I was all set.

The texture of this blanket makes it a little more interesting than a typical baby blanket. The bumps and ridges add a “squishy” factor to the blanket, while the lace row creates a little eye candy. While the texture creates a nice look, the super-soft quality of the yarn is what makes this blanket special. As per the sample project, I used Ella Rae Cozy Soft Prints in colorway 09 (variegated blues, grays, and purples).

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Funny story – I forgot to take a picture of the blanket I made, but I found a shot of one on ravlery.com.

The pattern itself is a 15 row repeat that uses four stitches: knit, purl, yarn over, and knit 2 together. It’s perfect for the beginning knitter that has mastered the stockinette stitch and is looking for a new challenge.

I love how this blanket turned out and was quite tempted to keep it for myself (I have two furkids that would love to snuggle up in it!). However, I was very happy to give it as a gift to someone who really loved it.

 

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Failing Without Giving Up

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Sometimes a project just doesn’t work out. No matter how beautiful the yarn or how much you’ve mastered a new skill, there are some projects that just refuse to come together!

This week, I finally had to give up on a project I’ve been working on since May. The Box Pleat Scoopneck captured my attention the moment I saw it in the Summer edition of Knit Wear magazine. Soon after, I bought some beautiful yarn at one of my favorite yarn shops. The heathered copper color of Filatura Di Crosa Potrofino seemed like the perfect match for the stylish pleated top I was so excited to make.

At the point of cast on, everything seemed to be going great. I loved how the yarn handled the rolled rib at the hem and the color variation was just gorgeous as the piece grew larger. I loved the weight of the yarn and it’s smooth texture.

However, it was at the halfway point that I started to have doubts. The very things I loved about the yarn turned out to be the biggest problems. The subtle satin finish caused some of the stitches to slip and even twist due to the weight of the finished fabric. I suspect my gauge calculations had something to do with it as well.

Yet, I kept going because I thought I was over thinking it. I have a tendency to let my perfectionism taint any craft project I’m working on, so I was determined to fight through the doubt. Besides, wet blocking would likely help those wayward stitches, right?

Then, came the day I reached the point of splitting the front and back to make sleeves. I held the garment up to my body to see if the sizing was correct and I just about died. That beautiful silky fabric highlights every imperfection – everything from the button of my jeans to the jiggle in my hips, (however, for the record, the sizing was correct!).

No amount of determination was going to save this one. It was all over and I was okay with that. Some things are meant to be, but my copper colored Box Pleat Scoopneck is not one of them.  As soon as I get a chance, I’ll be ripping out each stitch as I rewind the yarn back into a ball.

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Doomed from the start!

While this sounds like a total failure, I haven’t given up yet! Shortly after making the decision to shelf this project, I ordered new yarn, (a gorgeous medium weight, superwash wool). As soon as it gets here, I’ll have another go at this top!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

Favorite Thing Friday: Mistake Rib Scarf

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After I finished knitting the Veronica Slouch, I had a bunch of yarn left over. Instead of letting it slip into my growing collection of stash yarn, I decided to make a scarf to match my beautiful new hat, (See FTF: Chunky Cable Hat)

I opted for a mistake rib pattern as it gives the ordinary rib a little more personality. The texture of a mistake rib works so nicely with a thick yarn, so I knew it would be perfect for what was left of my Colinette Prism wool.

A quick search on Ravelry’s pattern database pulled up a great pattern that is super easy to follow, (Mistake Rib Scarf by Joan Janes).  Not only is it free, but it also offers several gauges so it can be adapted to different weights of yarn. I absolutely love how my scarf turned out!

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Mistake rib scarf with a twist!

In addition, the simplicity of the pattern allowed for a modification I wanted to make based on a scarf style I spotted on Pinterest. I always wear my scarves tucked into my jacket, so sewing one corner to the edge to create a permanent wrap shape really appealed to me. All I have to do is slip it over my head and it’s a perfect fit every time.

To add a little more style to the wrap around, I added a button to the attached corner. As it turned out, I had an extra button left over from my hat!  With this little detail, I truly have a matching set of accessories!

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It’s a wrap! (And a button)

It’s amazing what you can do with a little leftover yarn and an extra button!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

Favorite Thing Friday: Raindrops

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I love that it rained multiple times during my stay in Indiana, but that’s not the sole inspiration for favoring raindrops this week. After more than three months of work, I finally finished knitting the Adeline Camisole, which features a raindrop pattern.

This is the first large project where I didn’t have to start over again because of a mistake. I’m pretty proud of that fact considering the difficulty of this pattern! The only really scary part came at the end, when I tried the garment on for the first time. It was about a size too big! As with most lace patterns, it stretched after blocking.

To fix this problem, I did what would probably give most wool-lovers a heart attack. I threw it in the dryer. I know, I know, this is blasphemy in the knitting world! Just know I was very careful and had a specific plan of attack.

First, I soaked the garment in water and squeezed out as much water as possible. Second, I put the garment in a pillow case and sealed it with a tie. Third, I put it in the dryer on high heat for twenty minute intervals. After each twenty minute cycle, I checked to see how much it had shrunk. Once it was the right size I laid it flat to dry.

After that harrowing process, I slipped on the camisole and it fit perfectly!

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Adeline Camisole

The raindrop pattern is a little hard to see, so here it is up close:

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Raindrops in yarn!

The yarn for this project totally sold me on KnitPicks as awesome place to buy yarn. Great quality, beautiful colors, and fantastic prices. I made this camisole for $16 using Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Coffee Shop (what a great name for a color!).

I’ve got a number of other projects going – too many, actually – so stay tuned for more pictures of my knitting adventures! 🙂

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

Favorite Thing Friday: Weird Socks

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Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when it comes to certain skeins of yarn in my stash basket. A while back I bought some sock yarn because I was fascinated by the weird combination of colors, (plus it was on sale). I’d never seen anything like it and I was tired of making socks in the same old shades of blue and purple.

The weird yarn sat untouched until I bought a shirt that actually matched one of the shades in the color way. Taking that as a sign, I picked up my needles (yes, needles and not the loom) and pulled a sock pattern I’ve been wanting to make for a while.

The great thing about Ravelry other than knitting camaraderie is the availability of free patterns. I found a pattern called Vanilla Latte socks and I loved it from the start. It combines two different rib patterns and includes three different heel variations so you can truly customize your sock.

Here are my Vanilla Latte socks in Patons Kroy Socks Stripes in Rusty Stripes (yup, that’s the weird color).

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Vanilla Latte Socks in a not-so-vanilla colorway!

I love how they turned out, but I’m still ambivalent about the color. Some days I love it and others I can’t figure out what made me buy it! Either way, I have a very cute top that matches the green stripe perfectly. At least I know they’ll be worn. And who knows, I might find these weird colors match other things in my wardrobe, too.

Aside from trying out a new color, I did realize something rather important with this project. While it’s nice to have more freedom with needle socks (there are so many more patterns available), my sock loom still makes the best sock. The fit is just better, especially when it comes to the heel and toe. I have yet to make a pair of needle socks that fit as snugly (without being too small) as sock loom socks. So, my next pair of socks will be loom socks!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014