Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bad Choices?

I'm not much of a knitalong person. I do what I want, when I want and that includes knitting. But for whatever reason, I decided to join in on Berroco's knitalong for Portfolio Vol. 4. I'm making Thea Colman's Clover Club Hat with two colors of Berroco Ultra Wool and some pink Vintage.

I knew even before I started knitting that there wasn't enough contrast between the pink and the teal... but I started anyway, and got all the way through the first and second colors before I had to admit to myself that I don't love this. It's not the pattern- the pattern is amazing. I think I was trying to be too thrifty by only using leftovers, and it's just not a great combo. 

The teal and the taupe-y color look great together, of course. It's just the pink. I went to my LYS and they don't carry this yarn, so I'd have to order it and I don't want to order one skein. I mean, I don't want to try to order just one skein but end up ordering like 6 different single skeins of yarn because I want free shipping. I'm trying to stash down. I know myself. 

So what to do? Rip it out and find something else that will work instead of pink? Carry on since I'm almost done with the hat anyway? Stuff it in a project bag and forget about it for 2 years? Open to suggestions. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Pattern // Aleyska Mittens

I talked about these mittens a bit the other day when I talked (gushed) about the yarn I used to knit them, but I figured they deserve their own post.

After winding up my new ball of Alegria Grande I decided that the yarn wanted to be mittens. Being me, I had to design some new ones instead of knit one of the 84523578 mitten patterns already out there. I found a cable pattern I loved in one of my beloved stitch dictionaries and here we are. Aleyska mittens

They're written for three sizes- adult small, medium, and large. The small fits my hands perfectly and my palm is 7.25" around above my thumb. I know we've been over this before, but I love knitting worsted weight mittens. They are so fast. 

I'd recommend doing magic loop if you're going to knit these. You don't want to be working the cable pattern between double points- what a mess. 

Want to make a pair? You can get the pattern on Ravelry for $5. BUT WAIT! Until September 21st you can use coupon code FALLYALL to get them for 40% off. It was fall-ish outside the other day. Football is back. Fall is here as far as I'm concerned, even if the high is 90 F today. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Replacement Unicorn.

We lost a lot when the house flooded last year. Most of the furniture, an awful lot of my yarn and fabric, tons of books. Probably the things that make me saddest, though, are my high school yearbook and my handknits. I had a box of handknits under my sewing table. The box would have floated except that the table held it down, so it filled up with water and sat there for two days. Again, this would have been fine- people don't realize just how much you really can save from a flood- except that one sweater in that box bled dark blue dye all over everything else, and that's not fixable. I don't care about the blue sweater. Never liked it anyway. But the original unicorn hoodie was in there, and that I lament. 

So cute.

So, I'm making a new one for the baby. I'm using leftover yarn from my Blowing Snow cardigan from Midwestern Knits, and some Knit Picks Swish for the hooves. Not sure yet on the horn. I might so the same yarn as the hooves, but I do like a metallic horn. Dilemmas. 

For the mane and tail I've got the perfect yarn. It's called Magic Ball and it's a mix of mohair, ribbon, and yarn in the perfect sugary unicorn colors. I can't wait to get this thing done because it's gonna be adorable.

Right? That is the most unicorn-y unicorn yarn I've ever seen. So perfect.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review // Manos Del Uruguay Alegria Grande

Possible new favorite yarn:

I was lucky enough to receive a skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegria Grande for a blog review. I squealed when I opened the package. It is GORGEOUS. The color is rich and deep and nearly impossible to capture in a photograph. I picked out Tahiti, but there are tons of other semi-solids, and a bunch of what they call "space dyes", which are really cool variegated colors- I'm partial to Orquidea. Check out all of the colors here

Alegria Grande is a worsted-weight version of fingering-weight Alegria. It's basically worsted-weight sock yarn- 197 yards per skein, 75% superwash merino, 25% polyamide (nylon). The yarn is actually made in Uruguay (it would be disappointing if it wasn't, given the name) and the tags are each signed by the artisan who made the yarn. It's also certified Fair Trade, which is a pretty hard label to get. I think that's pretty cool in this world of "made in China" mass-produced crap. I always like to know where my clothes and my food come from.

Knitting with this yarn was a joy. The color is glorious and it's so soft. Great stitch definition, too. It's hard to say for certain because I made mittens and not a sweater, but I think the drape on this yarn would be really nice. The only thing- it's a little slippery, probably because of the nylon content. I used metal needles and the stitches slipped off a few times, but I bet if you used wooden needles that wouldn't happen.

I designed some mittens with this yarn- more on that in another blog post. I've got enough yarn left over that I think I will knit some baby mittens for Elaina- the old fashioned kind that are connected by a string that goes through the arms of a coat. Then she can't lose them, and I get to knit a bunch of i-cord. Love. 

Thank you to Fairmount Fibers, the North American Distributor of Manos del Uruguay yarns for providing this yarn to me for review. Opinions are my own!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


The Berroco giveaway is now closed, and the random number generator says comment #9 is the winner, and that's Lacey Marie! Send me an email at emily.ringelman @ gmail DOT com with your contact info!

Thanks everyone for commenting!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Vanilla is the New Black

Miss Babs Cosmic Sock Yarn

I came to a realization recently. There's a not-small chance that the world could end soon, so why not just knit with the good yarn?
"What's the point," I asked myself, "in holding onto it if we might all die in a fiery inferno because of some aggressive tweets?"
"No point at all," I answered. So I finally wound up this Miss Babs sock yarn that I bought at Stitches West back in 2013, when we still lived in California. I've had this yarn hanging on a hook above my sewing machine for literally years, because the color is so gorgeous that it seemed a shame to hide it away in a yarn bin. I think this yarn is discontinued now- it's Cosmic hand-painted sock yarn, and the color is called Impatiens.

One lonely sock

It's been a long time since I knitted a pair of socks. I think the last pair I actually finished was in 2016. I finished this sock above (Down the Rabbit Hole) around Christmas time. I started the second sock but HATED knitting it- these are mirrored socks and the first one was a bit annoying to knit, because you have to keep shifting stitches around the needles, but the second one was intolerable because the twists go the other way, and it was proving too fiddly to be worth it. So I put them away but now that they're out for photos maybe I'll just make the second sock the same as the first and be done with them.

But back to the new socks. These are Vanilla is the New Black. I do love knitting mostly stockinette socks- don't know why, I just do- so these were right up my alley. The heel doesn't fit as well as my usual heel flap heels, but it's ok. They were fun, I love the yarn, done.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Berroco Giveaway!!

I wrote about my new pattern the Millington Cardigan in Berroco's Portfolio Vol. 4 awhile ago, but let's talk about it some more.

This design is a bit outside my usual wheelhouse, because it's knitted in pieces from the bottom up and seamed. Who am I? I love me a top-down seamless sweater, but there was something really satisfying about completing each piece. Also it's way more portable to knit a sweater in pieces! I think the biggest reason I decided to do pieces was that I wanted the background fabric to be moss stitch, and I knew that it would be really complex to write that as a top-down sweater without just saying "do your best to keep in pattern around the sleeve caps."

But really, this one, for me, is all about those pockets. Several years ago, while watching Trueblood, I sketched a cardigan that Sookie was wearing as a future design idea, because it had these cool fold-over, integrated pockets. Design inspiration comes from random places.

So finally, many years later, I've got my fold-over pocket cardigan. I hope you love it as much as I do.

I'm thrilled to say that I am giving away a copy of the book (which is awesome, I want to make like everything in this collection) and enough Ultra Wool to make the Millington Cardigan in your size!! Thanks, Berroco! To enter to win, leave a comment and tell me what you think about the collection, or your best tips for getting a reluctant baby to take a bottle, or a reflection on Hurricane Harvey, or whatever. I'll randomly pick a winner on Tuesday September 5th Giveaway is now closed, thanks! and Berroco will send you book + yarn. Unfortunately I have to restrict this contest to the US only, please and thank you!