Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wittle Wednesdays: Gavyn Pullover


I finished this sweater up a couple months ago, and JJ has finally grown into it! He wore it on a cool day last week (actually, it was so chilly, he should probably also be wearing a jacket!), so I snapped a few photos so I could show it off.

Pattern: Gavyn, by Amanda Blackford
Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted in the Rock Creek Park colorway
Needles: ??
Rav link


There a few big pluses for this sweater--it knits up quickly in worsted weight, and the combination of knit and purl boxes is quite stretchy, so it should fit for a while. Through the winter, hopefully.

Unfortunately I can't recommend the sweater without noting that the pattern was a bit troublesome. There were some errors and confusing patches that I was ultimately able to work through--since it's a fairly straightforward construction--but it wasn't as clear as a knitter would expect.

Still, it's a free pattern, and a cute sweater, so if you're up to a little fussing and head-scratching, you can make it work.


This was my first time working with Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted (though I'm dying to get my hands on some Lincoln Park), even though she's a local dyer. I think I'll be using it again! The yarn is sturdy, but still fairly soft (not as soft as, say, Malabrigo, but I have a feeling it will hold up 10 times better). And I love the large skeins--400 yards. I even have enough left over for a matching baby hat.

If I could just find the time to knit it!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wittle Wednesdays: Spooky Wittle Sock Recipe


Ta-da! Here we are at the pumpkin patch, Halloween socks and all.

I was able to finish the socks in time, including an adventure in seaming while doped up on cold meds the morning of, because JJ was kind enough to share his cold with me (and not, I will note, with CP).

Sadly, the first thing JJ did when we set him on the ground to take pictures was rub his socks in the dirt, leaves, sticks and debris. At least it wasn't rotten pumpkin guts.


In case you'd like a quick pair of Halloween (or other themed) striped socks of your own, I've whipped up a little recipe for you.

What makes this a "recipe" instead of a pattern? Let's see.

For starters, there's nothing particularly novel about these socks--they're just slightly more interesting than plain vanilla socks, they just happen to be baby-sized. Basically, I've done a little math to create a smaller sock, so if you don't want to go to the trouble of doing math, it's your lucky day!

Sort of. This sock recipe comes in only one size: Size JJ. His little foot is about 4" long, and 5" around, so if you have a baby that's about that size, or will someday be that size, these socks are for you.

I'm going to assume you already have a general idea of how to knit socks, and have a handle on all the techniques that go with that, so I'm going to keep the instructions fairly simple. I knit these on DPNs, so the instructions are, you guessed it, for knitting on DPNs!

Also, this hasn't been test knit or tech edited.

And finally, while this basic sock will work with any fingering weight yarn, I used Knit Picks Felici and I did a lot of, "Oh, I'll just knit until the next color change," so if you use the same yarn, you'll get the same color blocking.


Spooky Wittle Sock Recipe

Gauge: approx 8 sts/in

 CO 44 sts over 3 DPNs

Work in 1x1 rib for approximately .5", or 1 color repeat.

Knit 1 round, placing a marker after 22 sts to mark middle of the rnd.

Leg Pattern:

Rnd 1: *k2, slp 1 wyib, k to 3 sts before m, slp 1 wyib, k2; rep from * once.
Rnd 2: *k2, k1 tbl, k to 3 sts before m, k1 tbl, k2; rep from * once.

Work leg pattern through 2 color repeats, or until leg is approximately 3" long, ending after Rnd 2.

Heel Flap

Work Rnd 1 once (I purposely worked 1 rnd in the next color, to make a little "strap" across the front of the ankle); at end of rnd, turn work.

Slp 1, then work back across 21 sts, up to the m; as you are no longer working in the round, you'll be purling on the WS, and remember to purl the slipped sts through the back loop.

You will be working the heel back and forth on these 22 sts. Move remaining 22 sts to scrap yarn or a spare needle.

Continue working heel sts in pattern, and slipping the first st of each row, until heel flap reaches approx 1.5", ending with a WS row.

Turn the Heel

Row 1: K13, ssk, k1, turn.
R2: Slp 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
R3: Slp 1, knit to gap, ssk across gap, k1, turn.
R4: Slp 1, purl to gap, p2tog across gap, p1, turn.

Continue as established until all sts on the needle have been worked; 14 sts.

Knit across 14 heel sts.


Return held sts to needle.

Pick up and knit approx 11 sts down the left side of the heel flap (needle 1), work across held sts in pattern (needle 2), pick up and knit 11 sts up the right side of the heel flap, then knit 7 more sts from the original heel flap (needle 3) to bring you to the new center of the round.

Work 1 rnd, knitting sts on needles 1 and 3, and working needle 2 in pattern. (You may find it useful to knit the picked up sts through the back loop on this rnd to tighten them up.)

Rnd 1: Needle 1: Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; Needle 2: work in pattern; Needle 3: k1, ssk, knit to end of rnd.
Rnd 2: Knit sts on Needles 1 and 3; work sts on Needle 2 in pattern.

Rep Rnds 1 and 2 until 22 sts remain on Needles 1 and 3. Needle 1 and 3 now hold sole sts, Needle 2 holds top of foot sts.


Continue as established, working Needle 2 sts in pattern and sole sts in stockinette, until foot reaches approx 3.5", or about halfway through the 7th color block. Mark new ctr of rnd between Needles 1 and 2.


Rnd 1 (start of Needle 2): *k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; rep from * once across needles 3 and 1.
Rnd 2: knit.

Rep these 2 rnds until 24 sts rem; then rep only rnd 1 until 16 sts rem.

Seam toe using kitchener stitch.

Make 2nd sock.

Put on adorable baby.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Birthday Recap: No Yarn in Sight

My birthday has come and gone, and if you can believe it, I didn't get any yarn.

Well, ok.

I didn't get any yarn from anyone else.

I may have purchased a few skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts' new Cosmic Blue Label for myself.


But what I did get is a freshly painted studio!


I hope this calming blue green shade will be inspirational.

And now, with fresh paint in place and old nails, hooks and holes gone, I can finally start decorating my walls.


The studio paint was CP's gift, but JJ didn't forget about me either!


I just adore Calvin and Hobbes, and I hope JJ will get a kick out of these when he's older too.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween Sock Scramble

You guys know how I get these ideas.

Like, "Oh, why don't I design and knit a sweater in a month?"

Or "Why don't I knit a shawl in a week?"

I keep thinking I'm going to STOP getting these ideas, and it keeps not happening.

A few weeks ago, as I was marveling at how utterly stupid baby clothing manufacturers must be, to think that the same pair of socks could fit a 3-month old and a 12-month old, I decided JJ needed some special socks to wear to the pumpkin patch. (And also for fitting his feet correctly.) I picked up a ball of Knit Picks Felici in Spooky, and since it's self-striping, I didn't need a particularly busy sock pattern to go with it, just something slightly more involved than plain stockinette so I wouldn't go crazy.

I ran into some trouble.

I found a lot of fun patterns for self-striping yarn, but they were all for adults, and would require advanced calculus to resize for JJ.

No thanks.

And I found almost no sock patterns for older babies--apparently it's fun to knit socks and booties for little bitty guys, but once they pass 6 months of age, baby sock knitting just loses its appeal.

(I suspect this has something to do with babies and toddlers constantly kicking off their socks, but--knock on wood--JJ doesn't do that. Yet.)

I hemmed and hawed so long on the pattern that once I finally decided to just come up with something myself, I had less than a week left to get them done.


What I've got right now is a half-finished pair of simple baby socks, with a few columns of slipped-stitches to add some knitting interest and to cause little jogs at the color changes, for visual interest.

Will I finish sock #2 in time for the pumpkin patch TOMORROW?!?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, technically, my birthday is tomorrow, but CP has to work tomorrow, so we're celebrating today.

I got breakfast in bed, a picnic lunch:


and I'm eagerly awaiting sushi and roasted pumpkin ice cream for dinner.

And to top it all off, CP had my studio/office/craft room painted yesterday! Once we move the furniture back in, I'll get a pic to share with you guys. It looks great, a calming shade of pale green/blue. Just perfect.

I've also gotten in some knitting time this weekend, so my Hugo is slowly, slowly progressing:


I'm knitting this up in Knit Picks Andes del Campo, which I just love, a soft but sturdy aran weight. I'm sure CP is going to look great in this sweater . . . someday.

I also got some exciting news to start my birthday weekend--one of my designs is going to be published in a magazine! I can't tell you which one, yet, or when, exactly, but a pretty popular one, next year! I can't wait to get started!

I don't want to keep all the birthday fun to myself, so I'm offering a special deal in my Ravelry shop this week--33% off pattern purchases. Just use the code BIRTHDAY, good through October 20th.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday Sampler: Creepy Crafting

 Halloween is just around the corner--but there's still time to tackle some spooky, spirited projects before the day arrives. Here are a few ideas for you:

Photo courtesy of Knit Picks

Everyone could use some pumpkins--knit or crochet! 

Photo courtesy of Dina Wirawan

I . . . am not even sure what this is, really. A vampire candy corn? Regardless, it's pretty cute!

Lil' devil hat
Photo courtesy of Thomasina

A quick costume for your little one.

Photo courtesy of

Or yourself!

Photo courtesy of lizclink

Even if you're not into costumes, you can still get into the Halloween spirit with this charming hat.

my basil is haunted
Photo courtesy of magandmick

Or just decorate your home with some terrifying ghosts.

 Photo courtesy of Emilee Mooney

Or maybe decorate yourself with bats! (Wa na na na na na na na BAT SHAWL!)

Celebrate Halloween with a spooky flash sale from Craftsy this weekend--big discount on mystery classes. Learn a new technique to boost your holiday knitting!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wittle Wednesdays: A Winner


Someone adorable is 8 months old today! So, since he was the inspiration for the Javi sweater, I think I'll go ahead and announce the giveaway winner. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, the winner of the Javi sweater kit is . . .


She'll receive a copy of the pattern, along with Wool of the Andes Sport yarn in the color combo of her choice, and buttons to finish the sweater. Sarah, please email me at mediaperuana at so we can coordinate!

Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway, it was lovely to hear so many nice comments about the sweater.

One commenter expressed an interest in seeing this as an adult sweater--I'm already thinking about it! I'm imagining a closer fit, thinner stripes, and something more "grown up" with the sleeves. I'll keep you guys posted.

Another commenter had nice things to say about JJ's hair in the pattern photos, so I feel obligated to show you what JJ's hair usually looks like:


OK, that's actually his bed head, but his hair is slightly wavy, and gets disheveled ridiculously easily. The results of brushing are very short lived.

But I digress . . .

Thanks again to everyone who entered the sweater kit giveaway--and as a special thank you, I'm offering a promo code for my Ravelry pattern store. Purchase the Javi pattern, and get any of my other patterns FREE. Use code "JAVI." Good through October 10.

I've got one more pattern making its debut in October, so please check back soon to read about my very first adult sweater!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesdays with Dory: Yarn Acquisition


Dear Dory,

I'd like to hear about some of the indie dyers out there. Seen anything interesting in Kristen's yarn stash?


Stashing in Saratoga

Dear Stashing,

Whenever Kristen goes to fiber festivals, she likes to bring home yarns from small dyers that are hard to find at a local yarn store, or sometimes even online. Here's her haul from last weekend's Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival:


She got some great stuff from Wandering Wool, Lizard Toes, and Shalimar Yarns. Wandering Wool is based in DC, Lizard Toes in West Virginia and Shalimar Yarns in Maryland, so all are local to the area.

A few other indie dyers' goodies almost made it into Kristen's shopping bag, but she decided to cut and run before she spent any more money--those included Beezigns Dyeworks, Wild Hare Fiber Studios, and Fairy Tale Knits.

And recently Kristen's first club yarn arrived from Forbidden Woolery--and it's gorgeous!


With all this new yarn coming in, it's getting pretty cramped in Kristen's studio--there's hardly room for me to lay on the floor and sunbathe. So please, go check out her for sale yarns on Ravelry and get them out of MY space.

Have a purrrrrfect day!