Category Archives: Knitting

Two-color beanies

It seems a little silly to be blogging about warm hats during the summer, but I’m still backlogged, and it’s not that hot at the moment, so let’s roll with it, shall we?

Blue and white ski hat

Pattern: Blue and white ski hat by Maria Petikhina
Yarn: Brown Sheep Serendipity Tweed in Indigo Delphinium and Lorna’s Laces Swirl DK in Aqua
Needles: US5 / 3.75mm and US6 / 4.25mm Clover bamboo circulars

I modified this to use only one contrast color instead of two, because that’s what I had. It was a fairly easy knit, as far as colorwork goes. I’m not thrilled with the finished project, especially with the shaping at the top, but it keeps my head warm when camping and used up some of my stash, and that’s good enough for me.

As for this next project, I kind of hate how earflaps on hats look. However, my ears tend to get cold faster than almost any other part of me (they’re second only to my hands), so… I finally caved. At least the rest of the hat is cute. It almost makes up for the earflaps.

Mrs. Jekyll & Little Hyde

Mrs. Jekyll & Little Hyde

Pattern: Mrs. Jekyll & Little Hyde by La Maison Rililie
Yarn: Elann Sock It to Me 4 Ply in colors 7558 and 7725
Needles: US0 / 2.00mm Hiya Hiya steel circular and US1 / 2.25 mm Knitpicks Options steel circular

If I ever knit earflaps again, I’ll probably make them a little wider and shorter. But these have worked well enough – even while traipsing around Glacier National Park at the end of the season, and that’s no small feat given how cold my ears usually get!

Along with adding earflaps, I knit this as a beanie rather than beret. Berets and I are not really friends, and also, who the heck puts earflaps on a beret anyway?

I found this pattern pretty easy to follow; the only really tricky bit was weaving in the ends for the second layer, but I think I did an okay job with it.

I’m actually relatively close to caught up to this year’s FOs now, but to break it up a bit, I’m going to post about current WIPs very very soon. Stay tuned!

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Kinda sorta not really sweaters

Oh look! More from the backlog!

Ribbons and Lace Vest

Pattern: Ribbons and Lace Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Vanilla
Needles: US2 / 2.75mm and US3 / 3.25mm Crystal Palace bamboo circulars

The original pattern is for a short-sleeved cardigan, but I made a vest instead – I just edged the armholes with i-cord. I probably should have made the armholes just a little deeper to account for this, though, because after adding the i-cord the armholes are a smidge short. It’s still wearable, but it’s something I need to keep in mind for the next time I want to make a vest.

Ribbons and Lace Vest

I also decided to eliminate the lacy bits in the lower back.

Of course, I modified the shaping for my own body, but I did actually keep the positive ease, for once. Though I may have overcorrected a bit and put in a little too much ease. Oops!


Yarn: Patons Silk Bamboo in Stone
Needles: US6 / 4mm and US7 / 4.5mm HiyaHiya bamboo interchangeables

No pattern for this little shrug – it’s just your basic seamed rectangle construction. I used the “fleurette” stitch pattern from the first Barbara Walker treasury.


I didn’t love actually knitting with the yarn, but the finished product is pretty much exactly what I was aiming for, so it all worked out in the end!

Someday I’ll catch up and have both my blog and Ravelry project page up-to-date again, right? Right?

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Tools of the trade

In my opinion, ready-made notions kits are great in theory, but not so great in practice. But this may be more of a reflection of me and my specific tastes/needs than it is on the kits themselves.


A few years back I got a Knit Kit from the in-laws as part of my Christmas gift. Mine came with a thread cutter, stitch counter, double-ended crochet hook, folding scissors, point protectors, stitch markers, darning needle, and tape measure. (The thread cutter is no longer included in the current version, which is just as well, because mine never cut worth a damn anyway.) The stitch counter is also a dud on mine – the 10s digit doesn’t increment, but since I don’t use mechanical counters anyway it doesn’t really matter to me.

As you can see, I replaced the stitch markers, point protectors, and darning needle. The former was just due to personal preference – I originally subbed in some smaller soft ring stitch markers, but I’ve since replaced them with some snag-free markers T’s aunt gave me, along with a couple of locking markers. The latter two were due to size – the stock point protectors fell right off most of my frequently-used needle sizes, and I needed more variety with needle sizes (I have an entire Clover set in there, and almost never use the largest one).

I liked the convenience of having everything all in one package, and none of the TSA agents I encountered while traveling ever took an issue with the thread cutter or scissors. One of my biggest problems with this kit, though, is that not all components are easily replaceable. When the tape measure inevitably stretched out, this just became an overly bulky carrying case.

I mean, it’s not a bad first notions kit. It’s just not a great one, and it doesn’t hold up over time.


I also own a standard Knitter’s Tool Tin, which was my prize from last year’s Puck This! Stanley Cup pool. As pictured above, this came with a tape measure, tiny yarn snips, stitch holder, double-ended crochet hook, cable needle, a set of three needles, and five stitch markers.

The tin, not surprisingly, is more durable than the plastic Knit Kit casing, and it’s more compact, which is a nod in its favor. Also, you can replace everything inside it, which is great for longer-term use. So if I had to pick a pre-made notions kit for a newer knitter, or for an experienced knitter I didn’t know well, this would absolutely be my choice.

However, the thing is, notions kits aren’t totally one-knitter-fits-all. So once you have a good idea of what you like to knit, or what tools work best for you, you may find yourself replacing parts of your existing kit… like I did with the Knitter’s Tool Tin.

I replaced the yarn snips with collapsible scissors very quickly. The snips I got don’t cut very well. It’s possible I got a dud, and I probably could have gotten a replacement, but… I also just found them uncomfortable to use so there was no point for me personally.

Also, the default stitch markers are very cute but not ideal for me. The rings are a little thicker than I like, and I find that the stars tend to get in my way as I knit (granted, this last bit may be knitter error). But the bigger problem for me is that the rings aren’t snag-free. So I’ve replaced these with a couple of locking stitch markers and several snag-free markers.

I also replaced the needles, because two of the three aren’t what I need in a notions kit. For example, I need a small darning needle, not a small sewing needle.

For comparison’s sake:


In both cases, the original Knitter’s Tool Tin component is on the left, while my component of choice is on the right.

I also took out the cable needle since I knit cables without one. And, I’m considering removing the stitch holder; there’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t use holders much. On the flip side I added a couple of things. I threw in a small bobbin of fine crochet cotton for lifelines, provisional cast ons, and so forth. I also added a pair of point protectors, though they actually spend far more time out of the tin in use.

So here’s what my kit looks like now:


Ah, better. Much more suited to my needs.

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Shawls from the backlog

I finished both Ewyn and Henslowe well ahead of time and they turned out beautifully. However, I didn’t actually photograph either before my lovely BFF’s wedding, and now one of those shawls is no longer in my possession, so documentation will have to wait for the moment.

In the meantime, since I’m still playing FO catchup, here’s a couple of older shawls:

Seraphim Shawl

Pattern: Seraphim Shawl by Miriam Felton
Yarn: Tess Designer Yarns Super Socks & Baby, colorway unknown
Needles: US2 / 3.0mm Knitpicks nickel-plated circular

Knit at a slightly denser gauge, like I usually do with lace, but with no other modifications. Yarn was nice to work with, too, although I wouldn’t go out of my way to knit with it again.

Seraphim Shawl

This was pretty mindless as far as lace goes, but that is definitely not a bad thing here! Effortlessly pretty, really.

Another effortlessly pretty shawl is one I knit for another friend’s wedding:

Duane Park Triangle

(I know, I know, I should’ve taken a few steps to my left before this was taken. Whoops.)

Pattern: Duane Park Triangle by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Anzula Haiku in Chiva and Paradise
Needles: US4/3.5mm HiyaHiya sharp steel interchangeable

I knit this one on smaller needles, too. Not only do I favor denser gauges, I also need smaller shawls!

Duane Park Triangle

The yarn was lovely to work with, as all Anzula yarns are. I picked two colors without a ton of contrast, so the striping isn’t super obvious and looks more like a blend of the two colors, especially up close, but that’s kind of what I was going for and I really dig it.

Yay, pretty shawls!

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Chamomile Top

In contrast with my last post, this post is certainly not about a dud.

This is one of my older projects, one that I blogged about a bit while it was still in progress, and I still contend that it’s yet another example of overambitiousness. Or lack of fear. Or both. But as I said with Captain America’s Shield and will most certainly say again in the future: go big or go home.

Chamomile Top

Pattern: Chamomile Tunic by Asami Kawa
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool in color 19
Needles: US0 / 2.0mm Hiya Hiya metal circulars
Hook: US2 / 2.2mm Susan Bates Steelite crochet hook

Lots of firsts with this project! First garment made out of laceweight yarn, and a very fine laceweight at that. First project with yoke shaping. First serious bit of crochet.

Also, first time I made multiple major miscalculations, leading to the first time I’ve ever knit a sweater yoke twice, and the first time I frogged most of the (already attached) sleeves and then reattached them by grafting. (Note to future self: the yarn requirement calculations you use for set-in sleeve sweaters don’t quite work for yoke-shaped sweaters.)

Not only that, but I did several other modifications as well. Like I’ve mentioned before, I added a bit of waist shaping. I also shortened the whole thing from tunic length to mid-hip length.

And if that wasn’t enough math for me, I also had to account for a very different gauge, since the Cashwool I used is quite a bit finer than the Alpaca Cloud called for in the pattern.

Chamomile Top


Needless to say, I learned a TON from all that, and I’m more than a little proud of how it all paid off. Seriously, I love Chamomile to bits! But goodness, the amount of work involved. Never doing that again, but it was totally worth it just this once.

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