washcloths for us

Remember I told you I found a replacement for the washcloth yarn I loved so much? Well this is it! Araucania Ulmo Multy is 100% cotton and feels just as lovely to wash with as the skinny dyed cotton. I don’t normally go for multicoloured yarns but this one jumped out at me in the skein. At least they are all colours I would like individually? It also comes in solid colours, which I picked up once I knew how much I loved washing with this yarn. One skein of this cotton produced 3 waffle washcloths. They are a welcome addition to our kitchen AND are the first knits i’ve ever kept for myself and not given away as a gift. So far, they are very loved. Ravelry Link Here.

– Jenna

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a present for my grandma

Well, I promised I would share what became of my pile of Christmas yarn and now that my presents are all done I thought it might be time to post! We’ll start with my sweet Grandma. This pattern isn’t completely a first for me. It was one of my favourites on Ravelry when I first joined, but every time I tried it I would have to pay such close attention to the pattern that inevitably i’d mess it up and end up making my own patterns to make up for a mistake. Now, a whole year later I can finally hold this pattern in my head (it’s amazing the difference just a year can make) and could finally make my Grandma the washcloths I wanted to make her last year! Just for the record, instead of making these last year I made her a warm winter cowl so she wasn’t exactly deprived of a hand knit gift.

I do have to admit though, I didn’t make all of these myself! In fact I really only made the white one. Because we were making so many knitted gifts this year, Tristan pitched in on a couple of them so that they would actually get done in time for the holidays. This was one of the ones he helped with. I think that was nice for my Grandma though, getting a gift that was made by both of us.

The yarn we used was Blue Sky Skinny Dyed Organic Cotton. I love love love this yarn for washcloths. Using a washcloth made from a quality cotton is pure luxury. I had actually bought a bunch of skeins last year so I already had the colours I wanted to use for Grandma. Now there is just enough yarn for about 5 more cloths, which I will eventually make for us. The only sad part is that the store I bought this cotton from stopped purchasing it! I bought up as much as I could when it went on sale. Luckily this boxing day I found a replacement that I love as equally, and will post about that soon.

The pattern I used is by Debbie Andriulli, posted on her ‘homespun living’ blog here: http://homespunliving.blogspot.com/2007/11/waffle-knit-dishcloth-pattern.html My Ravelry link is here

I know dishcloths probably aren’t number one on anyone’s wishlist (except maybe mine) but I personally think they make such a great gift because washing with these cloths are so wonderful, and who doesn’t need a little spice in their everyday chores?  – Jenna

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twin button hats

A lot of people in my family knit. My grandmas were both knitters, my husband knits, his parents both knit.. and my mom knits. I didn’t pick up knitting until my first year of photo school, right before the winter holidays. With help from my mom it became my Christmas hobby. That was the same year Tristan and I fell in love, and so on Christmas day I spent the entire day knitting him a ‘Christmas Day Scarf’. Don’t worry, I still spent the day with my family, and my 10 year old god-brother sat next to me for a lot of it admiring the length and encouraging me as I went. I have continued to knit scarves every holiday season since. Finally last year I decided it was time to learn something new, beyond the scarf. So I started with hats for my cousin’s twins.

I personally am really drawn to the simplicity of knitting. I like when knits and purls are used in simple patterns and so I had a hard time finding a basic beginner toddler hat pattern. So as April mentioned in her post about knitting for Owen, I used videos and links to guide me, and came up with these hats. This is the video I used here and the sizing chart I used is here. I’m going to post the pattern for you regardless and decoded (for you Ape!) so it is easy for the beginner.

The beige hat was the first one I made and it was not without frustration. It was my first time using circular needles and I probably threw them across the room eight times before I got it right. I think the difficult part was Tristan sitting next to me whipping up a hat like it was nothing. Watching him knit with ease helped keep me determined though, and I stayed up past him until four in the morning until I could finally get a hat on the go. The next morning I ripped out what I had done once more and then finally my hat got started. I call this hat my fighter hat, and I gave that one to Sidney because he had to fight a bit at the beginning, being in the hospital a little longer than William. Regardless, both hats were a big deal for me at the time.

If you’re trying to adapt this hat for different yarn or a different size child or adult, use this chart to help you : and make a gauge with your yarn and needles to find out how many stitches you need to cast on. For example I was guessing that the twins had an 18 inch head circumference, and when I knit a square with this yarn and my size 9 needles I found that I knit 4 stitches per inch. So I multiplied 4×18 to get 72 stitches! Just make sure you are casting on for an even amount of stitches, if you want to make a ribbed brim. If you have an odd number of stitches, the brim of your hat will become a seed stitch. Another brim that is really nice is a 2×2 rib. Instead of doing knit 1 purl 1 like I did for these, you could do knit 2 purl 2 and it makes a bit of a more snug brim.

At the end of the pattern, Instead of me trying to describe how to decrease to you, have a look at the knit picks video that April and I mentioned earlier. It was so helpful to me! Again it is here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_hl7HGMDy0

If you have any other knitting problems in general, I would check out Knittinghelp.com It is my new favourite site for knitting videos and how to’s!!

My Pattern – Toddler size!
I skein of each colour makes two hats
Size 9 circular needles
2 wooden buttons per hat

I used Spud and Chloe’s ‘Sweater’ – a worsted weight yarn made of superwash 55% wool and 45% organic cotton – in the colours chipmunk and toast

Cast on 72 Stitches
Join in the round and place a marker at the beginning of your row

Brim of hat
Rows 1-7= Knit 1, Purl 1
Row 8 = Knit
Row 9 &10 = Knit with Contrasting Colour
Row 11 = Change back to the main colour and knit

Continue to knit until hat reaches 5 1/2 inches in height from the cast on row.

Place a stitch marker after every 8th stitch on your needle. You can use scrap pieces of yarn for this if you don’t have markers, it’s all the same!

First Decrease Row = Knit until there are two stitches left before the marker, and then knit those two stitches together. Continue this for the whole row.

Continue this pattern (knitting stitches until two before the marker, and then knit the last two together) until there is only one stitch between each marker.

Cut the working yarn a yard away from the hat so you have room to work with it. Pull the working yarn through the remaining stitches, and sew the tail into the inside of the hat.

Use a darning needle to sew in the two buttons wherever on the brim you think would be the cutest.. sew in all the yarn tails and you’re done!

Ravelry Link Here

Hope you enjoy these hats or are at least inspired to make up your own! – Jenna

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christmas knits

I thought this year having just taken up sewing that I would have been giving out more sewn gifts but I was way off. But as it does every holiday knitting called me back! I love knitting around Christmas time. It just seems like a Christmasy thing to do to me. Last year was the first year I really decided to learn something other than a scarf and I’ll share more about what I made then a bit later. For now I thought I would at least leave you with my 2010 christmas pile of yarn. Most of it has been made but there are still a few stitches left for me to do this Christmas eve. The finished projects (both mine and Tristan’s) to come!! Happy holidays everyone! – Jenna

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knitting for kai

Knitting is a craft I only recently started and with my lil munchkin running around its been slow going. None the less I still find the time every day to knit a little here and there, even if that means only getting a few rows done at a time. Knitting has become such a love affair for me. I step foot into a knitting store and I could be there for hours simply touching and gazing at all the beautiful yarns. I even have day dreams of owning my own farm one day raising sheep or alpacas so to be able to spin and dye my very own yarn….maybe one day, only time will tell! With fall on its way I decided to start a new project form my lil one. He really loves hats and I was feeling ready to take on a new project that I had never tried before. I was however feeling quite intimidated to begin this project as I have a hard time reading knitting patterns. I simply do not have the patience for all the de-coding! Discussing this with Jenna she advised me to look on YouTube for an instructional video and to simply make up my own pattern. Being a visual learner this helped me so much and made it easy to make up my own pattern. After watching this video I knitted up my swatch, measured my lil ones head, figured out how many rows to cast on, then I was off and knitting. I still have a bit to go before its done but when it is I will be sure to post the pattern (de-coding will not be nessasry!)

I also started knitting the little one a blanket awhile back and although very easy, it’s definitely taking me awhile to get this one finished. I’m afraid by the time its finished he will be much too big to even use it. In that case I guess it will become a baby blanket for the next lil bundle of joy we receive.

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