Hand Knit Rug

The blue hand knit rug is finished.

Pattern: Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown
Yarn: Briggs n Little Heritage in navy blue and sewSpun yarn with Leaves (hand spun and hand dyed)

Although, I had intended it to be a bedroom rug, I ran out of steam to make it big enough. It looked ridiculously small laying beside the queen size bed, like I had stuck a postage stamp on a 9*12 envelope.

So, it found a new home underneath the half moon table in the hallway.

Though I have yet to catch him on camera, Jake has found a way to squeeze at least half of his body onto this small rug. Poor Jake. He is still upset with us for throwing the old green carpet in the trash.

Because She Wanted a Hat Like Mine

On a recent walk around the block with Jake the dog, Elly complimented the headband I was wearing. It looks similar to the one found here. And perhaps because she knows I can and do occasionally knit, she asked if I had made it. I hadn’t though; it was a gift.

Elly continued to admire my headband, especially the flower on it. It was beautiful. What’s more; it would look beautiful on her.

Rather than ask me to give her the one on my head or ask me to buy her one just like it, she asked if I could knit her a hat with a flower on it. I said yes immediately.

It took me about a month to knit it. I sewed the flower on Christmas Eve – just in time to wrap it and put it under the tree.

Pattern: Fabulous Hat by Meghan Jones
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay in natural and Handspun wool yarn in green

May she always believe that any pretty hat she takes a liking to can be knit by Mom.

A Dog Rug

For a very small dog. Think chihuahua.

Jake’s head might fit on it, but nothing else.

Unfortunately, the rug is starting to get too big to fit in my knitting bag. It is also getting too warm to lay on my lap while knitting.

Tonight I took it to my neighbor’s house only to have Elly pull the live stitches off the needles. Then, she proceeded to stab the needles into the rug, informing me that she was knitting and helping me. It was very cute.  But, as you can guess, not a lot of knitting takes place when she is around.

Thus lately, I have only worked on it while at McDonald’s thanks to Elly being preoccupied and to the AC keeping me cool.

Knitting in between the Quilting

Work on the Dresden plate quilt continues but at this stage it is not portable, so I have picked my knitting needles back up.

The pattern is called the Ten Stitch Blanket.

My plan is to use it as a rug in our bedroom. As much as I love our hardwood floors, they are cold. A rug would warm things up and provide Jake, who is getting old, another soft spot to rest on.

The yarn is Briggs & Little Heritage wool, a gift from my mother-in-law.

To brighten the dark blue up, I plan to incorporate SewSpun‘s fall yarn though I am not entirely sure how yet.

Mixed Feelings about Mohair

The skirt I am knitting Elly is a complete joy save for one thing.

The math worked out perfectly, which never happens. I had no intention of publishing the pattern for this skirt, but since the math was so easy to calculate for each and every tier, I’ve changed my mind.

The large spans of stockinette stitch makes the skirt a great project on the go. I can knit a few stitches while watching Elly run around at all the different playgrounds we visit. But if Elly needs a push on a swing or moral support to climb a ladder, I can drop my knitting on a dime without worry of losing my place.

The Malabrigo Merino Worsted knits like its colorway: butter. It’s so soft and squishy. I just adore it.

I loved Claudia’s hand painted boucle, consisting of mostly kid mohair with a bit of wool and nylon mixed in, from first sight. I still do. The colors are beautiful. It gives the skirt a fun pop of color, making it perfect for my vibrant, little girl to wear. My only complaint, and it’s a big one, is that it’s annoying to knit. All the loops on it get snagged on my needles.

I find that I have to watch my knitting closely to ensure the yarn is knit cleanly through each stitch. It slows me down considerably and takes some of the enjoyment away. I have a good mind to hunt down a substitute yarn for the next skirt I knit for Elly. Yes, there will be a 2nd skirt. The good outweighs the bad.

Knitting for Elly Instead

Forget about knitting a stole. I ran across my design to knit Elly a tiered skirt yesterday and cast on.

I must have drafted this pattern last summer as evidenced by this picture.

Note how Elly has very little hair.

The skirt was shelved by the hexagon blanket. Well, now that the blanket is done, I can return to the skirt. Thankfully, there is no rush. Elly won’t be wearing wool until late Fall at best.

As you can see by the swatch Elly is holding, I’ll be using two different yarns: Malabrigo Merino Worsted and Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Boucle. Once I get past the ribbing up top, it will be all knit stitches as I work in the round with just a few increases to make the skirt a-line. Though I didn’t include it in the picture, I think I will add ruffles to the bottom for a more girly touch.

The Hexagon Blanket

It is finished.

According to my Ravelry project page, it took me a year to knit this blanket. Though I’m fairly sure for 6 months of that time, I had it stuffed in a basket that was then piled high with fabric. It took me a while to fall in love with the pattern. But, I did. Perhaps it was all the stitches that one must pick up in this pattern that caused me to initially hide my head in the sand. I was never very good at picking up stitches. Thanks to this pattern, I’m a pro and speedy to boot.

Speaking of the pattern, let’s talk details. I hope you want to know the stats because I am dying to share them with you. I took notes just in case you wanted to knit a hexagon blanket too or just in case you are curious. Either works for me.

Pattern: Basic Two-Needle Hexagon by Barbara Walker
Located in a 4th Treasury of Knitting Patterns book
Page 16 in my copy

Size of finished blanket: 60″ diameter
Size of individual hexagon: 20″
My gauge: 5 sts per inch on size 6 needles (though as mentioned previously, I’m a very loose knitter)

I originally made a hexagon about the size featured in the book by casting on 25 stitches. Yet, I knew Dan would find me on a train headed to the funny farm if I had to knit 20+ hexagons and then stitch them altogether. Learning from my swatch, I cast on 55 stitches. The rest of the instructions I followed to the letter. I even used 2 colors like Barbara recommended. After the first hexagon was finished, I became lax and perhaps a bit confident in my picking up skills. Finding her instructions on how to pick up exactly 55 stitches tedious, I stopped counting and proceeded to pick up only the stitches that were easy to pick up, skipping stitches at random. Rarely did I pick up the correct number. I usually had 2-4 stitches too many, but I solved that problem by quickly decreasing the extra stitches on the next row. Can I tell you that it made the hexagon just that much more enjoyable to knit? And how! As happy as I was to finish knitting before the weather got hot, I was sad to be done with the blanket. Though I’ve never knit a pattern twice, this is one pattern I would gladly make an exception for.

Now as you know, this blanket was a yarn hog. I made 2 trips to my LYS and still had to order extra yarn from a fellow Ravelry user. In the end, I used 8 skeins of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in natural, colorway 14 for the MC (main color). I even needed a 9th skein to stitch all the hexagons together. It was that close. For the variegated yarns, I used 3 balls of Crystal Palace Taos and 6 skeins of Noro Kureyon in colorway 250. If you plan to use Noro throughout the blanket as the CC (complimentary color), then you’ll need closer to 10 skeins.

Oddly, when I finished stitching all the hexagaons together, I didn’t like the blanket. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t as amazing as I had dreamed it could be. It looked like a bunch of little stitches with 3 different types of yarns. No angels descended from on high and sung to me. It just didn’t happen.

And then I washed it and blocked it. But more importantly, I left it at my neighbor’s house in her upstairs room to dry (she had the space to allow it to dry flat). Walking away from it for 2 days and not looking at it allowed me fall in love with the blanket when I saw it next. I think I had been too close to the blanket for too long. It looked so mundane to me because it was commonplace in my hands. Now, I truly love it again.

Beautiful Noro Featured in the 4th Hexagon

The beautiful Noro matched with the natural Manos del Uruguay

I just love how the Noro changes color throughout the hexagon.

Serious progress is being made. There aren’t too many cool Spring days left in which I want to be working with warm wool.

I work on it every night. My knitting bag comes along on every trip to the local playgrounds.

Elly has even learned proper etiquette around a knitting project, such as pulling yarn out of a skein currently being knitted from is a no-no. Lol.

Picking up Speed

Remember how I said this blanket was going to take years to complete? It’s looking like I may have to admit I was wrong. Give me a little bit of knitting time and I don’t screw around! Ha!

Since Elly is more and more independent with each passing day, I am back to bringing my knitting bag with me everywhere I go. While visiting my godsons for the eldest’s birthday, I managed to sneak in a few rows.

In the past 4 days, I have knit 1/3 or 2 sections of one hexagon.

Why I just might finish this blanket in the course of a few months. Oh, I hope so. I have so many other knitting projects I want to make like a skirt for Elly, a jacket for me and a sweater for Dan.

A Scarf for Me

I am allotted only 10 minutes or so a day to knit on the hexagon blanket. So, naturally I cast on a 2nd project because as Dan likes to say “Marie, you have a magical timepiece. You always think there is more time in a day than there really is.”

He’s a realist and terribly practical to boot. How is that any fun?

Want to see how far along I’ve come on my long scarf?

(Can you tell she’s my daughter? A little bit more dexterity in her hands and I’m going to have another knitter in the household).

Well, maybe there is some basis to Dan’s belief.

It is a short row scarf, titled Self-Twist Scarf. I received the pattern at the Pottstown Knit Out. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the exact pattern on Ravelry to share with you. But, this one looks similar.

I am knitting it in Malabrigo’s Worsted Merino verde, a lovely dark green.