The Gatsby Hat

The Gatsby Hat

The Answer Lady, Kate Winslow, designed this hat and asked for suggestions for a name on her Facebook page. I had the privilege of being chosen for my suggestion and received the pattern free. It is called The Gatsby Hat and is knit on the bulky machine. I added a few feathers and an old broach for the “roaring 20’s” look. The pattern will be coming out in a future issue of Country Knitting of Maine’s News and Views. Thank you, Kate! 😊

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Sweet Embrace Shawl

Sweet Embrace Shawl

This shawl is an inspiration from another hand knit pattern. I had a couple skeins of this yarn but the bulky machine literally gobbles up yarn ravenously – so I needed 4 total. Because it is made on the bulky and is made in a 3 X 2 ribbed pattern, it is super soft, warm and luscious feeling. A sweet embrace indeed. The free pattern is in the pattern section, but it is a shawl for winter, for sure…trying it on in the 90 degree weather was a challenge. 😊 I think my model might enjoy a sweeter embrace if she had arms, but you know…

Très Chic…Oui

Très Chic…Oui

I love figuring out how to make hand knit patterns on the machine. I don’t hand knit so reading a hand knit pattern is Greek to me, but there are ways of figuring it out. This hand knit one was a simple one to reproduce on the machine. It knits up in just a few minutes and makes a fun gift. I have used Red Heart’s Scrubby Yarns before – they do make several kinds and I love some of them for dish scrubbers. This is my first experience with the cotton one. I made it on the bulky machine and by the nature of the scrubby effect – it is not a smooth yarn to knit with, so I would not try it on any other machine. But it is a fun, quick gift idea paired with some perfumed, fancy soaps. The pattern is in the pattern section. Très chic! 😊

InVESTment in Style

InVESTment in Style

It is interesting how fashion goes in cycles. Vests were super popular in the 80’s. Now I see them everywhere again – even though some folks never stopped wearing them. They can be an all- season accessory. But now there are so many different vest looks – short ones, long, duster-length ones, waterfall styles, fur trimmed, hooded or fringed and lots in between. I decided to try one that was thigh length. I made the lapel/tie from thread lace the first time, but I could not get that to lie flat even with killing the yarn. I think the narrow 4 inches made that more difficult and I did not want to edge it with anything. So, back to the drawing board and after a bunch of experimenting I made it in Full Needle Tuck Rib. The design I used has a lacy look like the thread lace and lies flat! Yaaa! The lapel/long ties give it an interesting detail and dress it up a bit. They can be worn untied, as well. I wrote the pattern in 3 sizes and it is above in the drop-down menus if you’d like to try your hand at it. It was a quick knit.

Double Dipper Poncho

Double Dipper Poncho

Cropped V-Neck
Sideways

I saw a photo of cute hand knit poncho and thought I’d try my hand at making it on the machine. The poncho is “reversible” in that you can wear it as a cropped poncho with a V neck or you can wear it sideways and the lace panels run across the top. I made it on the standard machine with a 3- ply yarn. I did not have a pattern to follow but made 4 pieces. 2 of them in a fine lace and 2 in stockinette. After swatching in both stockinette and fine lace (which surprisingly turned out very close to the same gauge) I made them so that I would have pieces that were all about 40 inches long and when the stockinette and lace panels were sewn together on the long side, it was about 18 inches wide. I then sewed the lace panels together in the middle leaving a 13-inch hole for the head. So that’s the pattern. Pretty simple. I steamed it heavily and killed the yarn. It makes it unnecessary to add an edging as it gently curves to the inside and it gives it a lovely drape. I did not do any shaping for the V-neck. The poncho is loose fitting and the lace panels have give that conforms perfectly around the shoulders and lies flat. My husband suggested the title, Double Dipper Poncho and I thought it appropriate. 😊

Daruma…where have you been all my life?

Daruma…where have you been all my life?

Lavender Colors
Violet Colors

I was knitting up some charity hats and decided to change yarn sizes and use some of my 2/24 stash. There is a whole cupboard of it that I have accumulated through the years – most coming with a machine I was buying. But the problem is I need 2 strands to knit a hat and even though I have a cupboard full – nothing matches. So, I just chose 2 different sets of purple and began knitting hats. First, I just ran 2 cones through the same side of the mast and those are the hats in the photos that are striped. I presumed the colors would probably pool in a way I did not want, but stripes came out. The stripes did not look too bad, but I decided to try winding the 2 yarns together with a Daruma Twister before knitting with it. I have had that twister quite a while – it also came with a machine I had purchased. But I had never tried it.  I wound 2 balls – one with the violet yarns and one with the lavender yarns. And I knit more hats. I liked the result! It is more of an allover color distribution and I find it more appealing. The photos also show the difference in the 2 yarn colors on the cones. The lavenders are not very close in color, while the violets are closer. With this winder I can utilize a whole lot more of these yarns! Now…I know I could just make a second ball of one color on my Brother winder…but hey…what fun is that? 😊 I have discovered a new toy!

Always Learning

Always Learning

Spring top in lacy pink

At our yearly machine knitting seminar, that our knitting club sponsors, we have a demonstrator come in to share their expertise and this year we enjoyed Sandee Cherry of Kwik Knits. It was a great seminar and I must admit I spent way too much on patterns that she offered. But it was all so much fun to gather and see like minded-folks and learn new techniques! One of the patterns I bought showcases sideways knit tops. The photo shows a dolman sleeve top I picked from the choices and I do like this one because the slope under the arm is not large so that it bags with extra fabric as some dolmans can do. I chose to leave needles out of work to create faux lace. When knitting sideways one is limited by the width of the knitting machine for the length of the garment. I would have liked a little more length even though I added needles over her suggested amount and used the whole bed. I did have a bit of trouble with what I felt like was leaving out some vital instructions – but perhaps it is just due to my lack of experience following patterns. I tend to just find schematics of what I want to make, do a swatch and write my own patterns. But learning to follow other patterns is an education for me and probably most folks, that have been knitting and following patterns longer than I, would have understood. Sandee was gracious as I emailed her to find out what I missed. The sleeve edges and bottom can have an edge applied, but she has suggestions for making the unfinished roll look good. If I make this one again, I may do a flat ribbing or such thing – which would also help with the length of the top. I am not a huge fan of unfinished edges – although this one looks fine. I made this top out of a hard twist yarn like Tamm Diamante or Estilo on the standard machine at tension 7. It is suggested to wear a tank or camisole under the topper with the lacy look. I have more patterns of Sandee’s to try and I will be an expert pattern reader by the time I get through all of them! 😊

Tuck Lace Afghan

Tuck Lace Afghan

I wanted to make a blanket on the standard machine like this one that Diana Sullivan did on a bulky machine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93z-X3Nuq1s It is a tuck lace and makes a nice fabric and I like her hem technique. She did not refer to making sure there were plain stitches on the edge, so when I did it on the standard I should have watched a little more carefully because a tuck stitch ended up at the edges. That made it much harder to make a nice join with the latched joining method. So, I ended up mattress stitching it together. It is fine, but not as nice on the reverse side as the latching method would have been. Hoping it is a cozy, warm blanket to snuggle under as one receives the chemo treatment.

Awaiting a Living, Risen Savior

Awaiting a Living, Risen Savior

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!” Luke 24: 1 – 6

History proves Jesus Christ lived on this earth and there is proof he was killed. History and the accounts in the Bible prove He is alive today. The ones who killed Him could not produce a body. They all saw the empty tomb because Jesus had risen from the dead. Hundreds saw Him walking around after He was resurrected and saw the wounds in His hands and feet. He died to pay for our sins and His resurrection sets him apart from every other person. It was undeniable He had risen from the dead. Just as there was a specific day Jesus Christ was born on this earth, a specific day He rose from the dead, there will be a specific day when He comes back. Will you be ready for that day? You have one life time to choose Him and we never know on which day that life will come to an end. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. I invite you to trust Him today or you will miss out on the greatest opportunity ever presented to mankind. His resurrection and the free gift He offers us, sets Him apart from every other belief system. We await a living, risen Savior. May you truly rejoice over His resurrection this Easter!

Blizzard Baby Hat

Blizzard Baby Hat

Mid Gauge
Standard Gauge

As you undoubtedly heard on the news this last week, Colorado (and other states) had a blizzard called a Cyclone Bomb. That was some storm! But as I watched the coverage of it, they showed a Mom and her baby that was ready to come into the world – Cyclone Bomb or not – as babies are known to do. And this baby had the cutest hat on! It was an earflap hat with a pointed top and I was so inspired I had to make one. I had written a pattern a while back for several sizes of earflap hats, but they started at 6 months size and I wanted a newborn size to knit for our Knit Club charity. First, I knit one on the mid-gauge, then tried on the standard. I much preferred the standard gauge one. Even though the mid gauge one looked great – it is so much heavier with the bulkier yarn and the standard gauge one is so light and just right for indoor wear for a newborn. I did not work out making them come to a point, but I think they are pretty cute either way. If you’d like to try making one, the pattern is in the drop-down menus. The cute loops on the top of the standard gauge hat are not my design. You can see where to find the instructions at the bottom of the pattern. The hat with the loops in the photo ended up a little short so I adjusted the pattern – if adding loops to the top, then more rows are needed. But… we’ll call this one a preemie hat. 😊