Winter is Coming

Game of Thrones and Yarn…what? How awesome is that?

And more importantly – The Starks and Yarn.

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This is Winter is Coming from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted and I’m going to be using it in my very first Mystery Knit-along.

First…the yarn.

I’ve used this yarn before in another color (one that I can’t get anymore and that makes me very sad). It’s soft, easy to work with, and washable…woo hoo! Still I haven’t been buying as much of it as I’d like because it’s about $20/skein. Not SUPER expensive, but not cheap either and when I’m crocheting and making things for babies, I generally stick to cotton blends or acrylic (cheap & don’t require much extra care). And believe me, if I could afford it, I’d have this yarn in 50 colors. First of all, there are so many to choose from. Secondly, they are so rich & the combinations are gorgeous. And third, it’s so smooshy and soft! I love it!!

Now, the knit-along.

It’s a Mystery Knit-along. That means that you don’t know up front what you’re going to make. Instead, you get a small portion of the pattern (called a “clue”) each week. And this knit-along is Game of Thrones inspired/themed. So, the piece is inspired by the show & books and the clues come out each Sunday to coincide with the new episode of the show on HBO.

So fun!! I can’t wait to see what I end up making.

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New toys

In addition to the awesome and pretty yarn that I got with my birthday money, I also got 2 great new toys…a swift & a ball winder.  I had every intention of buying them at a local yarn shop, but when I got there they said that they didn’t have any and that they could order me one.  Rather than wait for them to order and have to go back there to pick my things up, I went back to Knit Picks (the site from which I order pretty much everything at this point) and ordered them from there (yay free shipping!).  I got my order the other day, but haven’t been able to try my new toys out until tonight.  How did I do without these things?

 

When I’ve had to wind yarn in the past, I’ve resorted to some rather “special” methods.  The first time, I had no idea what was going on and tried to just roll the ball by hand without putting the yarn on anything.  Yeah – I wasted probably about half of that beautiful hand-dyed skein trying to get all of the knots I created back out.  After that, I knew I had to use something to hold the yarn.  I’ve used backs of chairs, lampshades, even one of my daughter’s toys.  But now I have the proper tools.  Hallelujah!

I just wound 2 superwash merino wool skeins (gorgeous handpainted  rainbow yarn…more to come on these in another post) and 2 of 10 Ultra Alpaca skeins for an upcoming project.  I plan on winding at least 3 more of the 10 alpaca skeins tomorrow so that I can start swatching for the project I have in mind (another post on this too).

Birthday Yarn

Today is my birthday.  Today I did pretty much nothing but yarny things and I didn’t have to feel bad about it…because it’s my birthday.

After my husband left for work and took the little girl to day care, I sat and worked on my Leaf & Acorn shawl for a while.  Then I went to the store closing sale at A Yarn for All Seasons.  I bought $100 worth of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Tonal in Strawberry (#6336) for $50 – that would be 10 skeins.  When I got home, I knitted some more and then the little girl and I went out to dinner with some of the family.

Now that the kiddo is in bed, I’m able to knit some more.  Yay!

Tomorrow, I’m going to take my birthday money to another yarn shop and make some additional purchases.  Yay for me!

Soft and Comfy Worsted

A friend of mine is having a baby and you know what that means…a baby hat!!!

(Shocking, I know)

I’m making a Pumpkin Hat from Susan B. Anderson’s book Itty Bitty Hats – one of my favorite knitting pattern books.  I’ve actually made this pattern once before and I liked how the pattern came out, but I didn’t like the yarn I used.  It was 100% acrylic and, although I don’t have a problem with acrylic yarns, it just felt too rough.

This time I went in a slightly different direction and ordered yarn online from Knit Picks and so far I’m not disappointed.

Personally I think there are two factors above and beyond anything to take into account when making a baby gift – softness & washability.  Because of this I chose Knit Picks Comfy Worsted yarn.  It’s 75% cotton and 25% acrylic..both washable & soft.

I got it in three colors – Sweet Potato, Peapod & Doe – to make the pumpkin.  The colors are vibrant and a little shiny, but not cheap looking.  As I’m working with it, it feels nice on my hands (100% cotton can be really tough).  It’s not too slippery, but it moves on the needles nicely and it has a good stretch to it without feeling flimsy.  The 25% acrylic should actually help keep the cotton from stretching out too far after repeated wearings.

This is only my second time buying yarn from Knit Picks, but I think I will be doing it more often.

PS – Knit Picks doesn’t even know I exist, save for the orders I’ve placed with them.  So they have nothing to do with this post and most certainly didn’t give me anything for talking about their yarn.

Bunny Hat

So I decided on the Bunny Hat…and, I’m sure to my husband’s relief, I discovered a ball of yarn while I was cleaning out my closet that will work nicely for this project. It’s a yarn that I bought over a year ago for a different project that I never wound up starting.

Yarn – TLC Cotton Plus in Light Rose

It had to be pink to go with the kiddo’s winter jacket, that was the #1 criteria.  Second it had to be soft, which this one is.  It’s a cotton blend (51% Cotton/49% Acrylic).  Particularly for baby projects, I actually don’t mind using acrylic blends.  They are often soft and, most importantly, washable.

I’m also using my new size 7, 16″ fixed circular Knit Picks Harmony Wood needles.  I think I’ll go into more detail about them (and my other needles) in a future post.

I’m happy with the hat so far.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 

Making something new

The other day I started a new project (the baby’s Inca hat isn’t done yet, but I’m waiting for the trim yarn I ordered so I can finish it)…I’m working on that laptop cozy I mentioned making in the last post. 

I found a couple of kinds of pink “breast cancer awareness” themed yarns at A.C. Moore & Michael’s and have been wanting to make something out of them.  Add that to my getting a new laptop a month ago and my thoughts about an Etsy shop and I decided to make a laptop cozy.  I’m not using a pattern – this is my own creation – so this one is largely an experiment. 

I bought two different yarns.  One is a 100% acryllic medium pink in all one shade and the other is a 100% cotton in shades from white to bright pink.  I’m using the cotton first. 

Here’s the thing with using 100% cotton…I like the way projects come out in the end when I use it, it’s washable, and gets softer over time especially after you wash it.  However, knitting with it is really hard on my hands.  So as much as I’m enjoying making this project, I’m really looking forward to finishing it too.

So far it’s really looking good, I’m thinking the end product will be pretty cool.  I guess we’ll find out soon. 

PS – Sorry for the mildly bad pictures…natural light seems pretty hard to come by in my house for some reason & I don’t have a bright enough light right now.  Hopefully I’ll be able to remedy that soon.

Finally some time to knit

I’ve made some big changes this week and because of that I’m actually going to make sure I dedicate time each week to knitting.  Not so much because I want to make certain things (although I do!), but because when I don’t take the time to knit, I seem to get stabby and cranky.

What am I making first?  A hat!  Shocking really (Sorry…I do make a lot of hats, especially for the baby monkey.  They’re just easy & they look cute on her and I have trouble rationalizing spending money on baby hats when I know I can make them myself.)

Specifically, I’m making the Inca Snowflake Hat from Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson.  I’ve made several other hats from this book and loved each one of them (I believe I mentioned this & another book in a previous post too).  Some have been given as gifts and a couple my little girl wore all last winter.  The patterns are super easy to follow and come out great every time. 

As for this particular pattern, I’ve been wanting to do it for a while but I hadn’t been able to find the right yarn.  I fell in love with the color scheme of the hat in the book and had never seen anything that seemed to compare….until I went to the farm market a couple months ago.  There was an alpaca farmer there and he was selling yarn made from his alpacas.  So soft & pretty!  As soon as I saw the colorway I knew I found the yarn I’d been looking for to make the Inca Snowflake Hat.

Soft and Pretty Alpaca Yarn

Then I didn’t have time to make the hat. 

Boo!

But now I do!

Yay!!