Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Pattern: Unicorn Hoodie!

This pattern has been kicking around in my head for a very long time, ever since my unicorn-loving friend got pregnant, and I thought... baby unicorn. Yes. I'm so excited that it's finally done! So here it is: A way to make your child look hilarious. 

The hoodie part of the Unicorn Hoodie is a quick knit. You start at the neckline with a provisional cast on, then knit down to the bottom. Sleeves are knitted from stitches you put on holders when you divided for the sleeves, so there are no seams. The sleeves end in cute little hooves. Then you undo the provisional cast on and knit the hood up to the three-needle bind off. The entire edge of the sweater is finished in applied i-cord, then you sew a zipper in by hand. (It's easy. Trust me.)

The horn, ears, and tail are knitted separately and sewn on. The mane is created with fringe.

Look at that face. That's the face of a kid who is thrilled to be wearing a unicorn hoodie, in the homeland of the unicorns: the forest. 

And a bonus: the pattern comes with instructions for knitting Unicorn Anklets as well! If your kid is going to have two hooves, he might as well have four, right?

(Yup, that's a hoof anklet.)

Skills needed (or skills you should be willing to learn): Knitting in the round, provisional cast on, i-cord, applied i-cord, short rows, three-needle bind off. The knitting is mostly just stockinette, so once you master these techniques, it's smooth sailing. 

6-12 Months [2T, 4T, 6, 8, 10]
Finished Measurements:
Chest: 21[23, 25, 28, 29.5, 31] inches

Cascade 220 SuperwashWhite; 2[2, 3, 3, 4, 4] hanks, plus a small amount of Strawberry Cream 
Cascade Sunseeker, Silver; 1 hank for all sizes
Paton’s Metallic, Pewter; 1 hank for all sizes 

US 8 24 inch circular needle and dpns
US 6 straight or circular needle and dpns

Stitch markers
Scrap yarn for provisional cast on
Tapestry needle
Separating zipper: 10[12, 14, 16, 18, 20] inches long 
Toy stuffing for horn

20 sts and 28 rows = 4 inches in St st in MC, CC1, and CC2 on larger needles

Price: $6.00
Get it on Ravelry- no account required.

A big thank you to my test knitters l8tylucky, offbeatchic, and canuckeh. You guys are great.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Deep thoughts with Emily Ringelman

Recently, I've been thinking about peoples' hobbies, and how when you break them down to their simplest form, they sound absolutely ridiculous, and you kind of wonder why people would spend their free time doing these strange things. I have no idea why I've been thinking about this. I'm just odd that way.

For example, I like to make little loops of string with a stick. My mom likes to cut fabric into little pieces and sew it back together. My brother-in-law likes to pick up heavy things and put them back down. My husband likes to go find birds.

When you really start to think about it, hobbies are kind of weird, right? So simple at the most basic level, but so all-consuming and terribly complicated in reality. Anyway.

Look, I'm getting close to being done with my Agnes pullover! I'm trying to limit myself to only working on this in the evenings, and even then only if I've made satisfactory progress on my "work" knitting. And the knitting I've agreed to when I've been drinking, and now feel like I have to do because I'm trying to teach myself to not agree to everything when I've got a cocktail in my hand. I'm looking at you, Yoda hat.

Both shoulder seams are sewn, and one sleeve is seamed and has been set in, and the other sleeve is started. While I was setting in the sleeve, it occurred to me that I'm pretty sure I've never done that before. What kind of knitter am I? I guess one who prefers non-set in sleeves.

Also, I think my yarn estimate is going to be perfect. Started my last ball of yarn partway through the second sleeve. Ideally there will be only a very small amount left over. My leftovers bin is getting out of hand.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My living room is all kinds of nautical.

My nautical quilt is done. As are two new nautical pillows.

I started the quilt probably two months ago, when we were still in California. In the process of quilting it, I sucked. I figured that the best way to go about it would be to start from the corner and quilt my way to the middle, then flip it and start from the opposite corner. This works if you've made a good, well-pinned quilt sandwich. I did not. I ended up with about an inch of extra fabric in the middle. So I put the quilt in a box, put that box in another box and mailed the box to myself. When it arrived... no just kidding, I packed it in the Uhaul. My new sewing room is quite a bit smaller than my old one, so I'm trying to make a solid effort to not have UFOs around, because they take up space, so I put in some time with my seam ripper and took out quite a bit of the quilting, then re-pinned and did it all again. I bound the quilt in some Coral and Salmon Kona with a bit of whale fabric mixed in, just for funsies.

The quilted pillow I also started in CA, when I was supposed to be packing my craft room. I used four colors of blue and some white to make four panels, then sewed them together with the darkest blue towards the middle. I did what I think is called matchstick quilting? Or is that even closer together than what I did? Regardless, it took forever to quilt this thing. Can't imagine doing it on a whole quilt. So I finished the pillow front in CA, then did the rest here in Delaware. I put in an invisible zipper in both pillows. AND I finished the seam allowances nicely on the inside. I'm trying really hard to become a legit seamstress who makes nice things.

That sailboat pillow? First of all, love. Got it at Joann's in the home decor section. I have enough fabric left to make at least one more pillow, which I may or may not do... because I was thinking shorts. Would that be too much?  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Knitting: check.

I finally, FINALLY finished knitting my latest design.

Had I been able to knit each stitch only one time, as is usual with knitting, it would have gone so much faster. However, I re-knitted the yoke about 8 times, then the body like 3 times, the lace piece 4 times, and the left sleeve I think had a black hole somehow attached to it.

But now, it's done. I think. I feel like it could use more length in the body, which involves either ripping out half of it and re-knitting (NO, I WILL NOT), or doing some scary magic with snipping a stitch and using the sorcery that is the Kitchener stitch. Or I might leave it as is. We'll see. Haven't decided yet. Pretty, though, right? It's Cascade Ultra Pima and Ultra Pima Fine. Thank you, Cascade, for providing me with the lovely yarn. It's so soft! Like, so so soft! Great to work with.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sweater Quantites

Something terrible has happened. My favorite hand knit sweater was attacked by vicious, sadistic moths. They ate an irreparable hole in the MIDDLE of the FRONT of my lovely wool/silk/alpaca sweater. It was (properly stored!) in an air-tight bin with three lavender sachets with a bunch of other wool sweaters, hats, and cowls. Did the moths eat anything else? No. Didn't even look twice at another sweater. They found my favorite one and chowed down.

Sigh. Trying to move on.

So I'm making a new sweater. It's the Agnes Pullover from the Fall 2012 issue of Knitscene. Normally I'm not a cable person, especially not an all-over cable person, but I loved this sweater instantly. I actually didn't ever plan to make it, but one evening a couple of weeks ago I was looking through past knitting magazines, and saw this pullover again, and thought... "Hmm. Isn't there a sweater's worth of Berroco Vintage upstairs in the craft room? In a color that would be perfect for this fall? What did I buy that yarn for, again?" Ten minutes later... we have started a sweater. This is why I don't normally keep sweater quantities around. I am rash when it comes to knitting choices. I think this is a better use for this yarn than the original intent, which was an all-over lace pullover that I somehow thought I would start AND finish on the drive out here from California. I am clearly a crazypants, because I didn't even wind any of the yarn into balls, much less knit an entire sweater.

Love these squishy cables. The yarn is perfect for it- so soft, and a real joy to knit. However... it looks a little bit fuzzy already (especially in the places I had to rip and re-knit... don't drink and knit, kids), but I think that it will be fine. 

And yes... that's a Harry Potter book in the background. It was time for the yearly re-reading.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

And the winner is...

Debbie! Congrats Debbie, I've sent you an email with the pattern.

To everyone else who entered, THANK YOU! If you end up making the Everett Henley I'd love to see it on you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The last stop on the Holla Knits! blog tour train.

Two Mondays ago (I don't know how many days that is... I am not even totally sure what day of the week today is. The down side of moving and not having a job lined up for when you get there.), we got into a moving van in Davis, California with everything we owned, including our cat. We drove, and drove, and drove, and then just to mix things up, we drove some more. We drove through mountains, through endless cornfields, the bleak desert of Nevada, the lush forest of Pennsylvania, a driving rain storm, intense heat, and far too many rush hours- including Chicago. Edge of my seat. The van overheated. The cat lost her cat cool and nearly had a heart attack. I became all too familiar with truck stops, and quickly learned just how much space one needs to turn around a moving van with a car carrier on the back of it. Towards the end I felt like my whole life had been spent in that van. There was nothing before the van, and there would be nothing else but the van. Luckily, thankfully, FINALLY, there was no more van. And now? Now we live in Delaware, land of strip malls, no sales tax, and cheap lobster. Yum.

Everett Henley, shown in Knit Picks Swish in Copper. Size 32"

Why am I telling you all of this? Because the day we got into that hated van is the day that my first ever sweater pattern, the Everett Henley, was published in Holla Knits. I went through like all of my data checking Ravelry every 2 seconds on release day, just to see how many queues my pattern was in. What I saw made me happy. The Everett Henley did smashingly well. Hooray! I cannot wait to see other knitters' versions of it... which will be easier for one of you if you win my pattern giveaway. Just leave a comment to enter, and I'll pick a winner next Tuesday... provided I can figure out what day of the week it is.

Shown in Knits in Class Merino Mohair Worsted in Mr. Darcy. Size 40"

If you'd rather not wait to see if you won, head here to purchase the pattern through Holla Knits! 

The Everett Henley is a fairly advanced pattern, but the end result is so worth it. All-over lace; raglan, 3/4 sleeves; a curved hem with applied i-cord; killer style. You know you want to make one. I kind of want to make another one.

Curved hem with applied i-cord. 

Leave a comment and win a copy!

Detail of the raglan increases and that lovely lace.

And this concludes the Fall/Winter 2013 Holla Knits blog tour. The end.