jane hat

i’m not sure why i thought i wasn’t a “hat person.”  i just don’t wear them very often, and hadn’t even considered knitting myself a hat until last year.  i met up with Kelly and saw her amaaaazing hat, and bought yarn to make my own that same day (with her encouragement!).

jane hat

i actually knitted this hat last winter, but after i’d sewn the brim under and tried it on, it was WAY too small!  i had also made a pretty big mistake right by the brim that i didn’t notice until i unsewed the brim to see if that’d help it fit.   Continue reading

rainbow slouchy beanie

while i was taking my class at close knit, i had fun wandering around touching the different yarns, admiring the colors and varying degrees of softness, learning about weights, the usual “getting to know this new medium” type stuff.  and then i found a yarn that was so perfect for my little gal and decided to make her a hat even though she didn’t need one.

slouchy pink rainbow hat

it’s pink, but it’s also rainbow-y!  it’s soft, it’s worsted weight – lighter weight yarn than i’d ever knit with before, but not so tiny it was scary…it was perfect.  it’s the first “real” yarn i bought and yes, good yarn makes a big difference (just like good fabric does while sewing!).  it’s by cascade yarns – superwash paints in rainbow sherbet and i loved knitting with it.

slouchy pink rainbow hat

i thought it’d be cute to make her a slouchy beanie, and asked Tara what pattern she liked – she suggested the Graham (free on Ravelry).  my teacher said by age 5 or 6 a kid can wear adult hat patterns, so i cast on the adult medium size from the pattern started work on the ribbing.

slouchy pink rainbow hat

at a certain point, i decided i didn’t need the broken rib texture to add interest to the main body of the hat – the yarn had so much going on color-wise, i stuck with my sewing philosophy of “loud fabric?  use a simple pattern” and hoped it’d apply to knitting too.

slouchy pink rainbow hat

so after i was done with about 2.5” of k1p1 ribbing, i just knit in the round until it measured about 7.5” from the edge, then started my decrease (i had to look up how to do that evenly).  i first knitted a row adding a marker every 12 stitches, so with the next round i could just get to the last two stitches before each marker and knit them together rather than having to count.  i love how the decreased part looks with the little ridges!  once it got too tight for my needles (i don’t know how to use double pointed needles so i just did it all on circulars) i just cinched up the last bit and added a pom pom.  as you do.  🙂

slouchy pink rainbow hat

i blocked the hat and let it dry overnight with the crown stretched over a dinner bowl (my first time blocking!).  it definitely helped add to the slouchiness, though it stretched out the brim a little more than i wanted.

it still fits her fine, just a teensy bit loose.

slouchy pink rainbow hat

oh!  i should talk quickly about her skirt too – i made it for her first day of school and felt like it was too simple to blog on its own…but it goes so nicely with her hat, i figured i could throw it in here, okay?

briar rose skirt

the fabric is the popular (with good reason!) briar rose by heather ross – hex bee in lilac.  i basically sewed a lazy days skirt with no ribbon, and slapped a shot cotton hexi pocket on there for fun.  she’s worn it quite a bit in the last few months.

briar rose skirt

in this outfit, all layered and cozy and pink and purple, i think she looks like a little rasta grandma.  🙂

slouchy pink rainbow hat

i keep thinking that, as a beginner, i should knit something bulkier, something with immediate gratification just to practice the whole process and get more projects under my belt, but i really like the look of the thinner yarns and the shapes those creations take, ya know?  can’t help it.  and i’m pretty much in love with this hat on top of her head.

slouchy pink rainbow hat

peace out.

more hat details here on Ravelry.

dove gray honey cowl

i finished my honey cowl and boy is it cozy!

gray honey cowl

i am a self-professed scarf addict – i have lots of them, both store-bought and handmade, and never feel like i have too many because i wear one basically every day.  it did seem natural then for my first knitting class project to be a scarf…or cowl to be specific.  FOR MYSELF.

gray honey cowl

and hey – my coat still (barely) buttons…or it did last week when these photos were taken.  probably wouldn’t this week…

anyway.  i love love love my squishy soft honey cowl.  my yarn and pattern notes are here on Ravelry, which is where knitters put details about projects I’m told.

gray honey cowl

it was an easy project to knit but took longer than expected for a few reasons – one being i’m very slow (a look at my teacher’s speedy fingers and that was totally obvious), but also because this yarn/needle combo was more delicate than i’d used before, and i guess when you slip stitches it takes longer for the work to build up too.  so this took me two and a half weeks of a lot of knitting time (road trip, relaxing weekend over Thanksgiving, multiple movies, etc.) but it seems that might actually be kinda fast by knitting standards?  i feel like the time spent really needs to be emphasized though – this did not just come together in a weekend!

and that makes it even more special.

gray honey cowl

knitting is funny too – because i can do it in public, it opens me up to more interested glances and sweet comments from strangers, especially from older ladies, especially at the hospital lab where i had to sit and wait through the pregnant lady torture that is the 3 hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes (i flunked the 1 hr test but all was fine with the 3 hr, no worries!).  i even had a dad ask about it while i knitted at Em’s ballet class!

gray honey cowl

another funny thing with knitting versus sewing where i’m really fine with people knowing it’s handmade.  i’m not sure what that is, but when i sew i kinda want those creations to “pass as store-bought” even if that store is a boutique or something, whereas when i knit i love if people see that i made it, that it didn’t come from a random store.   it got noticed with a “did you knit that?” at a hipster craft bazaar i went to, which totally made my day.  mistakes and all, i’m proud of this little cowl!

gray honey cowl

so yep, it’s warm, seems to go with everything, and i’m happy it’s off my needles and around my neck!

i’ve got a simple hat for Em going now which is knitting up much more quickly, and will be my first time using “real yarn” rather than cheap stuff  – it’s from Close Knit, the cute little yarn shop where I took my class (AHEM it’s next door to Bolt) and i’m very excited about how it’s turning out.  i’ve had to go into more of a sewing production mode lately as Christmas crunch time approaches, though, so we’ll see how much time i can grab for it.

are you frantically sewing/knitting for Christmas?  nothing is truly “last minute” until Christmas Eve, that’s my motto.

JOURNEY blog tour & giveaway (closed)

omigosh you guys, i’ve been bitten hard by the knitting bug, and it’s largely because of this book.

JOURNEY e-book

a few weeks ago, my friend Shannon asked me if i wanted to join the blog tour for JOURNEY, a beautiful new collection of knitting patterns that she co-wrote with her friend Jane.

i nearly spit out my coffee when i got Shannon’s email invitation to the tour.  i mean, did she really want ME, girl who has barely knit a thing in her life, to join a tour of legit knitting blogs?

apparently so!  and now i truly couldn’t be more grateful that she encouraged me to participate in this tour, because very shortly after that email came my birthday, and i took the opportunity to finally take that knitting class i’d been talking about for a long time.

swift hat :: JOURNEY

my journey into knitting has now begun.  like sewing, knitting has undergone a recent resurgence and i just fall in love whenever i see beautiful modern knitwear.  i wish i could just KNOW how to do it RIGHT NOW, how to knit these amazing things i see, but i’m learning to slow down and pick it up over time, building my knowledge skill by skill like i’ve done with sewing over the last four years.  while i first looked at a basic sewing pattern and saw gibberish, that’s how i feel now with knitting.  but i know someday i will get there.

someday, i will knit some Spate mitts for myself.  they look so cozy and warm and fun to wear, and they seem to be the least intimidating pattern for me to follow (meaning they take just one skein of yarn and are knit on not-so-tiny needles).  a couple more projects under my belt and i think i could tackle this one.

spate mittens :: JOURNEY

then, i would knit a Swift hat.  the lace design is gorgeous and interesting, and the project is still small enough in scope not to be super scary (important for me starting out!) but i know i would learn a lot from it.  i don’t really wear hats, so i would likely knit this for one of my sisters or a good friend (or maybe i’d just start wearing hats?  i feel like i might be a more selfish knitter than i am a selfish sewer).

swift hat :: JOURNEY

once i felt ready for a larger scale project, i would knit an Onward shawl.  this is no granny shawl – Shannon’s design is stunningly modern and a treat for the eyes.  i think it would be the perfect gift for my mom, or to throw over a fancy dress, or to run errands, or to snuggle up under next to a campfire on a chilly evening…

onward shawl :: JOURNEY

and then, i would tackle the Climb socks.  i’m totally intrigued by handknit socks.  people seem to swear by them, become obsessed with them, add them to their collection bit by bit.  the retro athletic styling of these is exactly up my alley – if i’m gonna knit me some socks someday, they’d be the Climbs.

climb socks :: JOURNEY

once i was feeling very brave, i would tackle either of the two beautiful sweater patterns in JOURNEY – the arrow-detailed pullover Antrorse

antrorose pullover :: JOURNEY

or the i’d-never-take-it-off Inland.  i am a constant cardigan-wearer, and if i could knit my own cardigans?!  watch out.  i think that would make me feel unstoppable.

inland cardigan :: JOURNEY

that is my hypothetical knitting journey through JOURNEY.  in the time i’ve had the e-book in my possession, i just keep opening it up and scrolling through the patterns, searching to see which i might have the confidence to try first, hoping i feel ready sooner rather than later, deciding which skills i need to get to where i want to be.

it’s an inspirational book by two inspirational ladies, and i’m glad that for now i have something to aspire to as i learn a new craft.

onward shawl :: JOURNEY

>   >  >   ::   <  <   <

the e-book can be purchased on Marian Rae Publications or on Ravelry.  a print version will also be available soon!  thanks so much for having me, Shannon and Jane!

and now, giveaway time!

do you knit?  do you want to learn how to knit?  do you know someone who knits?  then you need JOURNEY.  beautiful projects, stunning photography, it’s just so inspiring.

to enter to win a copy of the e-book, please leave a comment below telling me what crafty skill you are currently working to master – sewing a zipper?  baking a souffle?  screen printing?  knitting?  i want to know!  


> giveaway is open until Monday, December 9 at 8pm Pacific Time.  **GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
> winner will be selected randomly and notified via email.
> void where prohibited.


*i was provided with a copy of the JOURNEY e-book for free in exchange for this review.  
** all photos in this post were taken by Nicholas Kupiak and used with permission.

in progress and contributing

i’m so happy you enjoyed film petit’s comeback – it was super fun to get that going again and i’m already looking forward to (and brainstorming) it for next month!

so…i didn’t do very much sewing this weekend.  the main reason is that i asked for (and received – thanks mom and dad!) a gift certificate to take a knitting class here in town!  i’ve wanted to learn how to knit for a few years now, and for some reason my brain does not grasp it via book or youtube video.  i need an in-person teacher to show my hands what to do.  my friend Erin taught me enough so that I made a cowl and a hat last year, but she lives out of town, and i was ready to learn more NOW. the class is going to be awesome – i’ve learned so much after just one!

knitting class

the thing is, and i knew this from dabbling last year – knitting takes FOREVER compared to sewing.  i took photos every few hours or so to compile the collage below – i knit while watching movies with my husband in the weekend evenings, while at Em’s ballet class, while the kids are in the bath, any chance i get.  HOURS, guys.  i’ve gotten pretty quick at sewing so this is an adjustment – totally could’ve sewn a scarf in a half hour, but it’s the process, right?

honey cowl progress

i’m making the honey cowl and i love it – knitting is extremely addictive.  i’m 27 weeks pregnant and starting to physically slow down as i get bigger (O was almost 9 lbs at birth and this fella looks very similar from a belly standpoint), so it’s the perfect activity to keep me sitting and relaxing but still doing something, which i kinda need mentally.

27 weeks

oh also – after i did the welt pocket tutorial, Liesl asked me to post as a contributor more often while she wraps up her spring 2014 patterns. like…twice a week!

so if you haven’t been following along over on the Oliver + S blog, i’ve kind of been there a lot.  i’ve written posts on holiday inspiration for boys and for girls, a new series where i invite die-hard Oliver + S fans to write about their favorite pattern, coordinated other guest posts, and did a brief interview of Liesl as part of another new series called Ask Me.  it’s been a huge learning experience, one that should continue through December, and it’s been a lot of fun too!

how was your weekend?  got any in-progress projects?  it’s funny – i’m not sure how knitting bloggers do it if projects take 10, 20, 50 hours to complete…do they just have multiple projects going on at once?  more in-process posts?  is it a slower blogging pace than sewing blogs?  got any must-follow knitting blogs i should check out?  

i’m all ears (and belly)!  🙂