Friday, April 18, 2014

Teeny tiny baby socks!

Exciting news: my boyfriend's sister had twin boys earlier this month! To welcome the boys to life with a knitting aunt, the first thing I made for them were some socks.

Cozy Little Toes is a nice, free pattern by Judy Kaethler for making socks sized for newborns. I knit them using my leftover Soft Like Kittens sock yarn in Alpine Flora, which I used to make socks for myself last year. While I wouldn't have described this colorway as "babyish," I think it works really well for baby socks, and I love how it managed to make little stripes!

The nephews were born a bit early, so as tiny as these socks seem, it will be a while before they grow into them. Meanwhile, switching back to adult-sized socks after making these was a bit of a shock...

Baby socks

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet Horatio

Once upon a time, during a discussion of mystery shawl knitting projects, someone's iPad auto-corrected the word "shawl" to "shark," and henceforth all mystery shawls were referred to as mystery sharks at my LYS. I have not joined in any mystery knit-alongs yet, but sharks do interest me, so I made Horatio.

The pattern I used to crochet him is Hector the Hammerhead Shark by Adriana Aguirre. It's a detailed pattern with plenty of photos - helpful in telling all of his fins apart. I did make one modification: the switch between the white and the gray parts happens at the beginning of each round, which makes the color change start to spiral around his body. To counter that, I just varied where I switched colors by a stitch or two every other round or so, so that I got a more-or-less straight line between his gray part and his white part.

Oh, and I also added a mouth, because a hammerhead shark has to have the little frowny mouth.

Horatio is my first crochet project using all new-to-me, fancier tools: an addi Swing hook, Uptown Worsted acrylic yarn, and Fiberloft polyester stuffing. It's been 6+ years since I started crocheting and I know I'm invested in this craft, so it felt like time for an upgrade. SO worth it - the new hook feels great and fits my crochet style perfectly, the Uptown Worsted acrylic is super-soft and feels almost like wool, and the Fiberloft stuffing is much fluffier and less clumpy than the kind I was using before.

Horatio spent several weeks hanging out at the yarn store and making friends, and he even got to model one of the mystery sharks shawls that a coworker made:

Monday, April 14, 2014

A long-delayed post about a long-delayed project

Hello! It seems fitting to end this unplanned blogging hiatus by writing about a project that I finished in November, but had to keep secret until a few weeks ago.

The LYS where I work has a holiday gift exchange tradition: we each put some stash yarn in a bag, then we randomly draw someone else's bag and make them a secret, awesome present with their yarn. So that we don't have to rush to get one more project done before Christmas, the gift exchange is usually scheduled for January. Except for this year, when a combination of travel and health issues pushed it back to March.

So, in October I drew Amy's bag, which contained sock yarn from Creatively Dyed Yarn. After poking through Amy's Ravelry favorites and her blog, I chose to make her a Cassis shawlette, which I finished in November. And then I finally got to give it to her a few weeks ago!

By that point, I felt like I needed to add something extra, since it had been months since I'd even thought about the gift exchange. So I crocheted a couple of Tiny Mousies that Amy can give to her kids - or keep for herself.

I made a number of minor modifications to the shawlette pattern that don't change its overall appearance, but made the knitting look and feel a little cleaner to me. The modifications are detailed on my Ravelry project page, if you're interested. And the mousies are made pretty much following the pattern, except I made their heads longer by one round.

Oh, and if you're interested in what I received in the exchange - I put in two skeins of The Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering, and got back two beautiful cowls made by Anna. Take a look!