KnitCrate

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On the Needles and In the Stash

Knitcrate

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week and ready to welcome the weekend to have some more yarn time! As for me I want to focus on two projects – new sweater in Moeke’s Elena and a simple shawl from March’s Knitcrate surprise yarn box.
Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern

I gasped when I opened my box this time – the color palette selected by Knitcrate team is so perfect, even the packaging is too beautiful to throw away. March brought two squishy Crock-O-Dye (adore this name!) skeins (wool/nylon/silk blend) in rich deep colors from Knit One Crochet Too, two shawl patterns (I am thinking to cast on Windswept – will be perfect for my friend) and the cutest stitch markers set from Gloria Patre Spin N’ Knit.

If you ever decide to subscribe to Knitcrate monthly yarn box, don’t forget to use my special 20% discount code GOK20.

Knitcrate

Cute sheep are already in use – aren’t they adorable?

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern

This time Ioana and I decided it would be great to have at least one pattern for two strands of yarn. I got to know Elena pretty well while designing Journey and The Choice; but double strand feels like a brand new yarn, even a simple stockinette stitch looks slightly different. It obviously knits up much faster, but still has this beautiful drape to it. I can only imagine how beautifully it will flourish after blocking!

Textured Sweater Knitting Pattern

Have a wonderful creative weekend!


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By | 2017-05-12T07:45:29+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Knitting|8 Comments

Pom Pom Socklets. FO Details.

Pom Pom Socklets

FO – Pom Pom

Well, I guess I am a sock knitter now 🙂 Finished my first pair and though they aren’t perfectly perfect, I love these socks – super soft, playful, made of cotton, ideal for summer. Thank you, my fellow knitters, for converting me :).

Project Details

[box style=”rounded”]Pattern[/box]

Pom Pom Socklets by Purl Soho is one of the cutest socks patterns I have ever seen. Perfect for beginners with very clear instructions and photos for the visual help. Though it was my first sock project, I didn’t have any trouble following the instructions once. Definitely recommend it!

Pom Pom Socklets

[box style=”rounded”]Yarn[/box]

SilverSpun by Feel Good Yarn Company from December KnitCrate surprise box is a blend of combed cotton, nylon, spandex and silver. It is very soft, sleek and stretchy – I loved working every single stitch with it. The only thing that I wasn’t happy about is how the red color left spots on the white background – you can see a few smudges. I am always careful when washing the pieces made in more than one color, because you never know how it will behave. Though I put the socks in the cold water and left them for literally 30 seconds, red still washed slightly out and left the spots.

Pom Pom Socklets

[box style=”rounded”]Modifications[/box]

The initial idea was to knit the socks in silver color and add the contrasting pom pom. But, as I mentioned in my WIP post, I decided to rip out the sock when I noticed that there might be not enough silver yarn. I read through the pattern a couple of times, carefully looked through the photos to get the idea of the construction, because you can’t really make modifications to the pattern if you have no idea about the logic behind it; it seemed pretty straightforward so I just switched to the red color as soon as I started the heel. As I reached the toe, I put one sock aside and started the second one and knit it to the same spot to find out if I have enough yarn for both toes. I didn’t, so I switched to red color again for the toe. That’s a great way to save you from all the consequences of yarn chicken game and trouble of ripping out.

Another modification I’ve made is the number of stitches picked for the gusset. Just like I mentioned in my Raglan Armhole tutorial, sometimes the recommended amount of stitches isn’t enough to close all the holes. I picked 2 extra stitches on each corner and decreased them on the very next round coming to the recommended number, but avoiding all the trouble of closing the holes.

Pom Pom Socklets

[box style=”rounded”]Design Details[/box]

The main detail that attracted me to this pattern is the pom pom. Super adorable and playful. I’ve made them with the simple fork, but I am definitely putting the real pom pom maker on my must buy list. I loved the Pom Pom Maker review by Julie from Knitted Bliss and I know that I need it in my life 🙂

Pom Pom Socklets

[box style=”rounded”]Helpful Notes[/box]

So, to sum everything up, here are some notes that you might find helpful:

[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • If you are an absolute beginner and have no idea how to manage double pointed needles, especially if the set-up rounds seem way too tricky to you, check this tutorial Casting On With Double Pointed Needles. It’s definitely worth to try and learn a new skill.
  • Be careful with knitting two colored socks, make sure to check how the colors work on the swatch to avoid any disappointments later.
  • If you don’t have a pom pom maker, check this very helpful video tutorial how to make pom poms using just a regular fork! It took me a couple of attempts, but at the end they turned out fine. Just make sure to use very sharp scissors!

[/unordered_list]

Have a wonderful weekend!

I have to work tomorrow, but it promises to be something exciting, so I am actually looking forward to it!


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By | 2017-04-07T06:53:19+00:00 April 7th, 2017|Finished Objects, Knitting|7 Comments

Sock Knitting

Sock Knitting

After 8+ years of knitting, I am finally working on my first pair of socks. It was about time, right? Being a devoted garment knitter, I was so into the sweater construction, that casting on something different didn’t really occur to me. But if you are a part of this wonderful online knitting community, you are destined to see all these amazing socks popping out on the blogs, Instagram and Ravelry. I am still awed with these beauties by Tahnee from Woollen WildernessRainbow and Evening Stockings  this girl is a queen of sock knitting for me!

And just like that my Pom Pom socklets started to grow on the needles. There are so many firsts for me in this project – first project on DPNs (I use magic loop for everything in my knitting), first heel, first gusset… The most intriguing part is the construction, as I have no idea where I am going and where the instructions will get me. It is like reading a new exciting book with an unpredictable end.

But as always in very first projects that are some hidden pitfalls. First of all, I am a very loose knitter and if the yarn label recommends 5 mm needles, I go to 3.5 mm to get the gauge. And it is not a big problem in sweater knitting, as the needle size range is enough for me to go down with the needle size, but socks are already knit on 2.75 mm (US 2), the smallest size I can get down to is 2 mm (US 0) and I am still a little bit on the loose side. So, there is a big possibility that all the socks I knit will be slightly too big for me. Will see till FO.

Another thing I was wondering about is the yardage. When it comes to sweaters I can estimate easily if the yardage is enough and with socks it is a guessing game. The initial idea was to knit the whole socklet in silver color and add the contrasting pom pom. But then in the middle of the project I started doubt if the yardage will be enough for both socks. So, I put them aside to figure what to do.

Sock Knitting

I had an idea to knit the heel in contrasting red color, I was inspired by all the amazing patchwork socks my Granny knits. So, ripping out and starting all over again with the new plan.

Meanwhile my February KnitCrate sent an amazing sock yarn along with the pattern to cast on. I’ve never worked with the speckle yarn before and was too eager to cast on to see how the colors change. This is what great about learning new things – I start trying unfamiliar things! The problem with this project is that the pattern is written for teh magic loop and I don’t have a decent 2 mm circular needle, so I have to “translate” the instructions to DPNs, well I always enjoy the challenge, so that’s OK.

Sock Knitting

It feels nice to have an in-between small project on the needles to work on here and there whenever I have a free minute. Learning new things is definitely worth it – it is such a great boost for creativity! And though my love for sweater knitting is bigger than ever, I am always happy to “welcome” new projects.

Sock Knitting

Feeling a little sad that Yarn Along will be gone, I will miss seeing so many projects and books recommendations in one place. Thank you, Ginny, for hosting it for so many years – we had fun!!!

Have a great day!


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By | 2017-03-22T06:50:57+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Knitting, Yarn|23 Comments

Embracing Color

Knitcrate

We are almost half way through March (how did it happen?!) and I am finally free to show the contents of my January and February surprise yarn boxes! KnitCrate is such an out-of-the-comfort-zone-pusher for me – usually in the yarn store, I go straight to the shelf with neutrals and probably wouldn’t even consider most of the shades, but opening January and February boxes, I was “splashed” with colors! I am also super excited about February’s extra – lavender bath bomb by Etsy artisan Petting My Unicorn (I think the name is genius 🙂 ). Such a sweet and thoughtful item to add to the package…

Knitcrate

February Standard and Socks Box

I love how one small skein can sparkle the ideas. One of January’s skeins (far on the right) is a hand dyed worsted merino by ModeKnit Yarn. As soon as I saw it, I remembered that I have hand dyed lace weight skeins by Knit Picks in my stash that I wanted to mix in one of my projects, just like I did for the Gallery sweater – holding two strands of lace yarn together. I really loved the effect it created in Gallery and wanted to recreate something similar, but more playful and colorful. Though I wasn’t sure if the yardage was enough, that’s why i put it aside for awhile; but with this new worsted weight skein, I definitely have enough for a sweater! First I want to swatch on the knitting machine and experiment with different stripe sequence. Yay, super excited!

Knitcrate

“Shadow” by Knit Picks and ModeWerk Worsted by ModeKnit Yarn

February colors by Mrs. Crosby loves to play remind me of my Wall sweater… I am definitely going to use them together. I have an idea, but will have to check if the yardage will be enough. I wouldn’t add anything to this color combination – it is perfect as it is!

Knitcrate

As spring is definitely here, I am ready to dive more into colorful and playful shades in my knitting. It is always nice to change things a little bit once in awhile… Thank you, KnitCrate for an inspiration! If you ever decide to sign up for it or sign up your friend as a gift, make sure to use my special discount code GOK20 for 20% off your first package.

Knitcrate

I hope you are welcoming spring in your part of the world!

Have a wonderful day! Make sure to check Yarn Along for knitting and reading ideas!


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By | 2017-03-22T06:56:33+00:00 March 15th, 2017|Knitting, Yarn|27 Comments

Crochet Valentine

Crochet Hearts

I am not a big Valentine’s Day girl and I don’t think I’ve ever made anything Valentine’s related, except for the obligatory paper cards we had to make at school :), but this year I decided to join Meredith (who is such a big inspiration for me!!!) from One Social Girl for her #TheSocialHeartProject. Her idea is to crochet/knit/sew/etc a little heart, attach a sweet and encouraging note to it and put out there, in the world. It doesn’t have to be romantic, it’s just a note of kindness that might brighten a day of someone… I also had an idea to attach notes of gratitude and put them everywhere in the house and every time you find one of them, you’ll be reminded of the good things you already have in your life.

I knew exactly what yarn I am going to use for the crochet hearts – my December KnitCrate had the perfect yarn surprise for me! I can finally show it to you – I am being very careful of not revealing the monthly package content too early so I don’t spoil the surprise for any other KnitCraters 🙂

KnitCrate

December package brought two very generous skeins of Baa Baa Bulky Merino by Ewe Ewe Yarns, two hat patterns (for beginner’s – Shaggy Beanie; for more advanced knitters – Pineapple Expressions) and delicious dark cocoa. What a treat!

KnitCrate

I tried the yarn right away, because this is what happens when I get something new – I just have to get familiar with it before it can join my yarn basket. Baa Baa Bulky Merino has a great bounce, knits like butter and creates a great stitch definition. It will be perfect for baby knits, as it’s washable and isn’t itchy. Though if you are strongly against superwash yarns, it is not for you. I also tried it with the basic single crochet stitch and it worked really nice – afghans are definitely a great project for this yarn.

KnitCrate

If this is the first time you hear about this monthly surprise yarn project, you can read my full review with all the pros and cons here – Monthly Knitting Santa. KnitCrate Review. And don’t forget that you can always use my special 20% discount code for your first KnitCrateGOK20.

So, back to the crochet hearts. They are so addictive to make. You think of making 8, maybe 10, but end up with 20 of them! I used the pattern that Meredith shared on her Facebook page along with the step-by-step video tutorial – you will see how easy it is. I actually timed myself and one heart took me approximately 1 min 45 sec to make. It will also be a great project for all the scrap yarns that we all have and that are too good to throw away.

Crochet Hearts

If you prefer knitting, then there are tons of patterns out there – simple garter stitch heart or a lace heart, for example. You can also share your photos on social media with #TheSocialHeartProject hashtag. Spread the love! Thank you, for a great idea, Meredith!

Happy Sunday!


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By | 2017-02-12T08:00:29+00:00 February 12th, 2017|Crochet, Yarn|15 Comments

Swatch Frenzy and New Knitting Skills

Moeke Yarns

Knitting has officially taken over my life. These past 10 days I’ve become a swatching machine! How many Moeke swatches did I knit even I don’t know – 10, 15, 50?! Every single free minute of my day I am chasing this “aha” moment, trying to catch just the right stitch combination for the image in my head.

This time I decided with Ioana that I will experiment with holding two strands of Elena to create a little bit different from Journey and The Choice look. It’s fascinating to watch how such a small change can transform the fabric, plus it knits up much faster!

You should definitely experiment with your stash and mix it up a little bit. It doesn’t even have to be the same fiber, or color or yarn weight. If you have a lace yarn in your stash that you love and can’t wait to put it in use, but scared of committing to a lace weight big project, just hold two strands together. I am still in love with my Gallery sweater which was knit with 1 strand of lace weight merino + 1 strand of lace weight alpaca/silk blend.

Moeke Yarns

Now to something completely new for me… Sock knitting!!! Yep, I am going to make the first pair of socks in my life, that is decided! After reading Michelle’s, Tahnee’s, Tien’s and Andi’s blogs, I am giving up – I have to see for myself why sock knitting is so addictive!!

The timing is perfect. First of all, I’ve been freezing in the mornings and always have a pair of socks on, why not to put on the hand knit ones? Second, I need a small simple enough project to clear my head a little bit. And the last, but not least, I saw this photo on Purl Soho and fell in love – how adorable are those Pom Pom socklets?!

My latest stash enhancement from KnitCrate will be perfect for my first pair of socks – SilverSpun is a blend of cotton + nylon + spandex + silver. Cotton and nylon will be great for durability, spandex for the stretch and “memory” and silver has great therapeutic properties and blocks all the odor causing bacteria. Perfect sock yarn, in my opinion. What do you think?

SilverSpun Yarn

I am super excited to learn something completely new for me in knitting and have a pair of adorable pom pom socks on my feet. Let’s hope I am not going to frog the whole thing in a couple of weeks 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

SilverSpun Yarn

I’ll see you at Yarn Along!


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By | 2017-01-25T08:34:53+00:00 January 25th, 2017|Knitting, Yarn|16 Comments
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