Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hexipuff Madness: The Chicago Skies Quilt

My knitting life has really gotten heavy duty lately. I'm working on multiple projects (more on those later) and watching the mail for Knit Picks packages. But sometimes, you get infected with a crafting brain worm of sorts. An idea occurs to you and you just can't let it go. For me, it came in the form of The Beekeepers Quilt and the components of that project, known colloquially as "Hexipuffs". For whatever reason, I couldn't stop thinking about this project.

Hexipuff Vase
What drew me to the quilt at first was the idea of using scrap yarn. It turns out, however, that most of my scraps are worsted weight and not sock yarn. Additionally, I didn't necessarily love the color story that you get when you use all your scrap yarn. My taste changes with the wind, so it would look pretty disjointed. Still, I used some sock yarn I received in a Sampler Kit to get things started. I may or may not have woken up at 3 a.m. on Saturday to download the pattern and feverishly put needle to fiber

I started with self-striping sock yarn which led to larger blocks of color per puff. Then I switched over to the color "Atmosphere Multi" which had gentle, smaller stripes which looks lovely in puff form.

Left: Atmosphere Multi (Knit Picks Stroll, Right: Moonlight (Knit Picks Felici)
I really loved the colors in the Stroll Atmosphere skein and it reminded me of a project I'd seen on Pinterest: The April Sky Scarf. The author of the post tracked the color of the sky each day in a year and knitted a stripe of a scarf to correspond with the weather that day. The colors in stripey Stroll Atmosphere are a perfect stepping off point to an insane idea: a puff for every day's sky here in Chicago. I'm tracking the sky color using a spreadsheet and will slowly acquire the appropriate yarn colors to begin. I grabbed some sparkly white Vanna's Choice from Lion Brand at Michael's yesterday to get started on the 'snow days' we've had so far in January. You can see the result in the top left-hand of the photo.

Please note that this is in no way scientific. I'm an office drone and really only see the sky during my commute or if I run in the mornings. The color listings are based off of archives from weather.com or my overall impression of the sky that day. I'm still loving this project... but that's seven puffs out of 365+. I think the Felici Moonlight colors are charming and might sprinkle them throughout to break up some of the grey months I know we've got coming.

Stay tuned!

Windy City Weather Color Chart:

Friday, January 27, 2012

FO: Lunch Hour Success


It's a Friday, which means I'll take a VICTORY. Wouldn't you? After attempting this pattern more times that I care to admit, I finally successfully finished a Herringbone Cowl from The Purl Bee. This is a deceptively simple pattern, but I could never find the right yarn or the right tension to really get going.

But finally, I found amazing yarn, bought the correct size circular needles and headed to town. I'm looking forward to weaving in the ends and getting this in the mail to my dear Alpha Delta Pi sister who is a major media player in Washington, D.C. Enjoy, girl!

Having been reminded how much I love a good Friday GIF from SewSoDef on Twitter, enjoy your weekend everyone. Oooooooooo-eeeeeee!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Today, I feel like a grownup. For the first time in my knitting life, I swatched before starting a project. I recieved a package full of lovely new yarn and was able to stop myself from diving right in on this sweater project that I'm really excited about. Please remember this occasion.

The project I'm so jazzed about? Shadow by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, published in Wool People Vol. 1 by Brooklyn Tweed.

Swatchin' it up!

I've got the width right and it's just a touch long, but I think "agressive blocking" will do the trick on that one.

I would apologize for the photography, but it's winter in the Midwest, so nice natural light is hard to come by. You'll just have to deal with my horrible yellow lighting for now and I promise to try to make improvements. Anyway, I'm really excited how nice the yarn looks in the cable pattern. It's Wool of the Andes in Camel Heather from Knit Picks.

Closer to the real color
Meanwhile, I'm using up some yarn I won on ebay by starting a Beatnik Sweater.

The yarn is super ugly, in my opinion. It's a combination of christmas green and red that comes together to make this muddy brown look. I'm hoping the cables will give it a nice retro feel and diminish the fug. I'd wanted to work with Cascade 220 for a while, and ebay makes me compulsive, so here I am. It's actual color looks a little something like:

Doesn't quite capture the ugly...
And finally: a project for the commute. A Herringbone Cowl from The Purl Bee for a beloved sorority sister of mine. She lives in a warmer climate but is always cold. In her honor, I've named this project The Alphie Cowl. <> The yarn is scrumptious - Brava from KnitPicks in Dove Heather. It's the best acrylic I've ever worked with - so soft and light. This one is going by fast and I'm loving every stitch.

I may have taken this picture on the bus...
With snow in the forecast for tonight, I'm looking forward to some Netflix and knitting. After my workout, which really will happen. Really! Happy Friday, guys.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FO: Shawl-ty

Ok, the title of this post kind of fails. I was thinking "shorty" and trying to make a pun... moving on.

I had an unexpected visit to my hometown in Indiana this past weekend because a family member was in the hospital. She seems to have bounced back pretty quickly and we keep checking in with each other, but this gave me time to get in some serious knitting.

I made her some washcloths, which I didn't take photos of, but they were versions of this:
Warsh Clorth

In progress
I was also working on another project: a shawl for a family member of my boyfriend's. I got it finished during a Downtown Abbey viewing with my mom:

The pattern name is Murcia and the yarn was in a bundle I received for Christmas - Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue. Confession: I messed up the lace repeat at the very end, but I'm trying just to gloss over it.This has not yet been blocked, so it will stretch out a bit and look neater in the end.

I'm gearing up for some major projects and I'm excited to share them. But even more than that - I HAVE NEW YARN ON THE WAY! Oh mailman. I'm so excited for your visit.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Is It

I got busy over the holidays. I know you did, too. I was busy knitting, which I know is a surprise for you because I haven't posted for months and months! But I realized that these were gifts for people and showing them all over the internet before Christmas kind of defeated the point. And then all of a sudden, it was December 23rd and I had four projects to go. And then I was wrapping them as I was leaving for Christmas dinner and had No Time to photograph any of them.

And then I was having a beautiful New Years in a Galena, Illinois, a town that was CRYING OUT for a dusting of snow, but instead got some drizzle and looked like the old mining town it actually is:

But now. I'm back to knitting for fun and general merriment. And I look forward to sharing with you guys, because I love writing, fiber arts and attention. Oh, MAN do I love attention - thank you so much for giving it to me so freely.

As a token of my esteem, have a little "pattern" that I developed while watching every 30 for 30 ESPN documentary with my boyfriend over the holidays.

One Skein Seed Stitch Cowl

1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick
Size 17 Needles (I used Circular, but straight would be preferable)

8 stitch x 9 rows = 4 inches
Note: Gauge is not important - use whatever you needles you have on hand)

Cast on 26 stitches. I recommend using Long Tail Cast On.

First row, K2 then P2 to end.
Second row, knit all purls and purl all knits.

Repeat Row 1 and Row 2 until end of skein (approximately 18 inches) leaving yourself enough yarn to seam ends together - (approximately enough yarn to wrap around your work twice). Instead of binding off, seam live stitches to bottom of work. Weave in ends. Steam block if desired.

Final step: Take insanely unflattering photo of yourself in the mirror before walking your dog. Enjoy!

Unflattering: Accomplished!