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Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Erie hat pom pom knit table

I used to be quite a prolific knitter.

Especially the first few years I lived in Boston, I was always making something – fingerless gloves for my girlfriends, sweaters for my then-baby nephews and niece, so many hats and cozy cowls for myself. These were also the years of Downton Abbey and Castle, Lark Rise to Candleford and Sherlock and Grantchester. I’ve never been a big TV watcher, but an hour here and there added up to lots of knitting over the years.

And then a couple of years ago, I just…stopped.

We’d moved again, and several of my favorite shows had gone off the air, and I couldn’t really justify knitting myself yet another hat or scarf. I spend more of my evenings running than sitting at home these days, and so the knitting fell by the wayside. But around Thanksgiving, as the hubs and I were watching Modern Family or doing the NYT crossword (possibly both), I realized I had itchy fingers. So I picked up a skein of Madelinetosh sock yarn I’d had sitting around for ages, and I started knitting – just a round or two here and there.

Two months later, I have an Erie hat – cozy and soft. And I decided it was high time I owned something with a pom-pom. (Red, of course.)

It’s been a comfort to have something back on the needles, and to watch the progress, stitch by stitch, round by round. The merino wool feels good in my hands. And when the weather in New England does its schizophrenic thing, I have another way to keep out those biting winds.

I’m not sure I’ll dive back into knitting the way I once did. But I am eyeing the Queensland Beach headband pattern, with some yummy red yarn I have in my stash…

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katie shaw hill cowl purple

“I haven’t felt like knitting for months,” a friend lamented last week. She has an excuse – after all, she had a baby this spring – but I agreed with her. After an absurdly long, cold winter, I couldn’t wait to exchange my heavy knitted cowls and hats for lighter scarves. I put down the needles in May and never looked back.

Recently, though, I’ve pulled out a few handknits as the chill in the air has grown more pronounced. I’m not ready for heavy-duty winter wear yet, but I’m enjoying the chance to wear fingerless mitts, or snuggle into a scarf or cowl with my favorite green coat. (I knitted the purple wrap above this winter, but had forgotten how soft and cozy it is.)

Also, as ever, the good folks at Innocent Drinks are sponsoring the Big Knit, encouraging people to knit wee hats for their smoothie bottles to raise money for Age UK. I’m easing back into knitting with these tiny hats – a few at a time while J and I watch football or catch up on Modern Family of an evening. (Bonus: they are so quick and satisfying!)

All this talk of knitting also has me browsing Ravelry for new patterns, and dreaming of bigger projects to knit for others or myself. My favorite yarn shop in Boston closed a couple of years ago, sadly, but I’m thinking I may have to order some yarn online soon.

Are you a seasonal crafter, like me? Any patterns you’re dying to knit (or crochet) this fall?

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I didn’t do a lot of knitting this fall, aside from a few hats for Nest Maine and my annual batch of wee hats for Innocent Drinks’ Big Knit. I only reached for my needles while watching TV, using up scraps from my multicolored stash.

I know the pitfalls of a huge Christmas knitting list, so I limited myself to two pairs of slippers. My mom’s birthday is at the end of January, so I started knitting her a big, cozy cowl this fall, knowing I could save it for her birthday if I didn’t finish it in time for Christmas.

The slippers, the cowl and the three projects I’ve started since Christmas all have one thing in common: my favorite color.

red cowl

This is the cowl I made for Mom – the pattern is Julie’s Stockholm Scarf pattern, simple and squishy and so cozy. (Now I want to make one for myself.)

pink slippers

These wee slippers went to my girl Bethany, who has size 5 feet and gets cold easily. The pattern came from this book of slipper patterns. I made a similar pair for Abi, in red, to replace the now-worn-out felted pair I made her several years ago.

My sister requested a pair of boot toppers like the ones I made for Mom last Christmas. She wanted red, and I was happy to oblige:

boot cuffs button red

I’ve also been doing a bit of selfish knitting: a cozy ribbed cowl in a deep red and a bright pink cabled hat. Because I need some color to combat the relentless white and gray of winter.

Are you making anything colorful during this gray month?

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Late winter knits

After nearly a decade as a knitter and three winters in Boston, I’ve accumulated quite a pile of winter accessories: scarves, fingerless gloves, lots of hats. But as the gray-edged piles of snow linger and the cold temps refuse to rise, I keep knitting more of them. My two most recent projects are getting lots of use.

First we have Rosebud:

rosebud hat

I coveted this pattern for ages, finally bought it and promptly knitted it up in yellow – but it turned out way too big. So I tried again with this lovely purple skein of Madelinetosh Vintage. The colorway is called “Flashdance,” which suggests ’80s neon, but the color is rich and deep. It’s warm and cozy and I’ve been wearing it almost every day. I love the big braid on the side. (Ravelled here.)

My favorite yarn shop, the Windsor Button, is closing (sad day), so I stopped by the clearance sale and picked up a few skeins of yarn. My new gray Fluted Cowl is made of two skeins of Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky. (I wish I’d had three, but there were only two skeins on the shelf.) It, too, is warm and cozy, either worn long or doubled up around my neck. (Ravelled here.)

fluted cowl

fluted cowl

If winter’s still lingering where you are, what are you wearing to keep warm? (And when, for heaven’s sake, will it be spring?)

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A wee raspberry cardigan

I did a lot of baby knitting this summer, including cardigans and other accessories for my nephew Ryder and niece Annalynn. I’m looking ahead to fall knitting (for me!), but first I had to send a wee sweater down to D.C. for my pen pal Jaclyn, who welcomed sweet Emily in August.

puerperium cardigan girl madelinetosh
Like Ryder’s, this little cardi is made of Madelinetosh Tosh DK (this colorway is called Tart). It’s also the same pattern, which is unisex, simple and adorable. Emily was born early, so it’s probably still too big, but she’ll grow into it and I like to think she’ll look stylish when she does.

Baby knits are so satisfying – they’re super quick and virtually guaranteed to turn out cute. If you’re a knitter, what are your favorite things to knit for babies?

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New niece knits

In addition to my sweet nephew Ryder, I have a brand-new niece. Annalynn Danielle was born at the end of July, and while I haven’t met her yet, I did whip up a little something to send down to Texas for her.

girl baby hat cardigan knitted pink

That’s the Easy Baby Cardigan from More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, and the Children’s Cotton Hat from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. (That’s the fourth of those hats I’ve made. So easy, quick and cute.) Both are made of Blue Sky Cotton.

I’ve done very little knitting this summer, but I did work on a few projects during the Olympics. I’m making myself a shawl (not nearly done, but progressing), and I’ve begun my 2012 batch of hats for Innocent’s Big Knit. I knit these wee hats for smoothie bottles every year (or I have since 2008) – they are fun and quick, and a fabulous way to use up yarn scraps.

If you’re a knitter or crocheter, what’s on your needles lately?

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New nephew knits

The big news of the past week? I’m finally an aunt.

Ryder Andrew was born on Tuesday afternoon – healthy and adorable and now home. My sister is a proud, sleep-deprived, happy mama, and my parents are reveling in their first grandchild.

I won’t get to meet him for a few more weeks, but I did a little knitting before he arrived, and sent a package down to Texas with a few warm, soft accessories for him to wear.

newborn magic slippers knitted

These are the Magic Slippers for babies, knit mostly in Madelinetosh Sock (with a few yards of leftover Malabrigo Sock to finish up). (Here’s the Ravelry link with more details.)

And the matching hat (an Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat, also in Madelinetosh Sock (Ravelled here):

newborn baby hat knitted sock yarn

I can’t wait to meet him, and see him model these knits. And since babies grow awfully fast, I wonder what I should knit for him next?

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